Classic Essays

Conversational Propaganda


One-on-one conversations are excellent ways of recruiting even in the Internet era; tell likely prospects about the National Alliance and National Vanguard.

GENERALLY SPEAKING, our ideological mentors in government (both public and secret) have been content with laying down the liberal-minority line, showing disapproval of Majority attitudes and filing the names of those who are too outspoken for action at a later date. Lately, however, they have been trying to firm their grip on what we say in private by reviving the age-old technique of the agent provocateur, who sympathizes with his interlocutor in order to draw him into making some damaging statement, which is promptly relayed to the proper authorities. The forced resignation of Agriculture Secretary Butz for telling a private joke is merely the latest of such cases.

Any doubts this writer had regarding the positive or negative impact of conversational propaganda were dispelled a few years ago when I had a long talk with two people who had been active in Britain in putting over the Arab viewpoint on Palestine. They used a wide variety of techniques, many of them derived from a close study of the methods of the B’nai B’rith. Among these were a number of cocktail party ploys, which were so successful that within a few months a large credibility gap had opened in the massive Zionist public relations campaign. The gap was widened by brave and active individuals in several countries, with the result that the British press was finally forced to let the public know something about the Arab case. Just compare the press hysteria during the 1967 Israeli-Arab war (which we were led to believe the Arabs had started) with the more balanced reporting of the 1973 conflict. This was a considerable achievement, and was brought about by relatively few people, some of them previously employed in the U.S. State Department.

The most intriguing aspect of the anti-Zionist campaign was the conversational one. Conversational openings and answers were devised, together with accurate forecasts of several stages of reply and counter-reply. In due course, these statements came back to their originators in the guise of other people’s opinions. The fact is that most people deceive themselves into believing that all their opinions are their own. They don’t like to think of themselves as pet parrots, but their itch to conform is so great that they tend to accept what they read, although they are quite aware that little of which they have personal knowledge is truthfully reported in the press. The proper antidote to such self-deception is to realize that one is not too biologically distinct from others of the same race, and therefore not too psychologically different either. Accordingly, it is very likely that a view which you consider to be correct will also strike others as correct. This thought should be a comfort whenever you feel isolated. Similarly, when some point of view riles you, it is good to know that it was specifically designed to rile people like you.

As I see it, the basic rules of the conversational game are as follows:

1) Avoid discussing any touchy question with a member of a minority group. Whether he realizes it or not, he is a ready-made informer who will repeat what you say to others of his kind, until it sooner or later reaches the ears of hostile propagandists. Minority groups are like dark surfaces, which absorb light but do not reflect it. Only the Majority member, in his naive way, automatically repeats what he hears to minority listeners. The wisest thing to do is to avoid minority members in any case, but if you find yourself in a situation where it is natural to talk to them, confine your remarks to some neutral subject. Above all, ask them about themselves, which is the best way to chitchat without giving anything away. If they insist on discussing some controversial topic, stonewall them. Say something noncommittal and move away. Remember, you can never convert them. They are what they are, and the more compelling your arguments, the more annoyed they will be.

2) A basic condition for civilized intercourse is a reasonable degree of politeness. When we consider how often we find an offensive, hard-sell liberal abusing a Majority member for expressing controversial views, we realize how much the quality of our lives has deteriorated. The Majority member realizes that if he makes the obvious and truthful retort, he risks social and financial penalties for himself and his family. So he has to swallow the insults. His mistake was to let things go that far. If a minorityite aggressively attacks in conversation, don’t answer him. Make his lack of manners the issue and stick to it whatever he says. Perhaps the best method is to give him the cold shoulder. (The British are past masters at this!) It is still permissible to avoid the company of someone who breaks the elementary rules of courtesy. Thankfully, it will be some time before our enemies are in a position to attack good manners.

3) If minorityites act in a friendly way towards you, reciprocate in a friendly way. We are not trying to destroy them, whatever they may say. All we want is to get them off our backs. But don’t get too friendly. Remember how often a Majority member has been drawn into partnership with a minority member, has seen the relationship prosper for awhile and then been betrayed when the chips are down. However much they may like you, their natural loyalty is to their own kind. So is yours.

4) Bear in mind that your aim is to convert other Majority members to your point of view. This is not achieved by being known as the most tireless propagandist in the neighborhood! Avoid ranting, and above all avoid coming out with an obviously prepared spiel. Such an approach manufactures enemies, especially if your views seem far out, which is just what they will seem to those who have long been exposed to unremitting media propaganda. If you find your hearers have been zombiefied in this way, do not openly express your views. Merely express doubts. These will fester like splinters. (Just consider how doubts are implanted in your children’s minds by teachers.)

To take an example, your interlocutor may bring up the subject of muggings by blacks, expressing the liberal view that they are caused by social deprivation. Do not reply that the muggings are encouraged by the permissiveness of the law and that the law is manipulated by our enemies. Express concern for those who have been mugged, mentioning specific cases. If you are told that the real people to blame are the whites who flee to the suburbs, you know you are dealing with a fanatic. Now is the time to remember an important engagement and slink regretfully away. More likely, if you are talking to a Majority member living in a city, the reaction will be less extreme, and you can follow up your first remark with another to the effect that U.S. blacks are a great deal better off than most other people in the world, who don’t go about mugging people for a living. As long as you keep referring to specific cases, you are likely to win on points.

5) Propaganda experts lay great emphasis on repeating slogans until they are firmly imbedded in the mass mind. The rule, however, is primarily applicable to speech-making and the writing of pamphlets. In conversation, repetition is more likely to be counter-productive. Many people, especially stupid people, imagine that they have answered an objection by merely repeating their former argument. If you then restate your original objection, bang goes your chance of influencing your interlocutor. However rude his restatement may seem, let him get away with it. He will think he has won the argument. But as long as you do not withdraw your objection, it will remain in his mind and may affect his future thinking. Either he will have to construct a counter-objection which appears to deal with it, or he will unwittingly modify his argument in the light of it. Either way, you gain. If, however, he is so dense that he remains quite unaffected by your objection, there are always the bystanders. Many a kibitzer has been won over by someone who appears to have lost the argument.

6) Do not allow yourself to be drawn into any sort of political discussion when drink is flowing freely. You may lower your guard and say more than is wise, while your arguments at best will only make a fuzzy impression. It’s more prudent to be amiable in such circumstances. It will stand you in good stead later on.

7) If you think about it, you will be able to guess in advance which subjects are most likely to be discussed. Prepare yourself by reading and taking notes. But only interject what is appropriate at each conversational opportunity. Don’t give your hearers mental indigestion by going on about the real views of Jefferson and Lincoln on the repatriation of Negroes to Africa, the origins of both world wars, the Katyn Forest massacre, the legend of the Six Million, and the shortcomings of Albert Einstein, all at the same time.

8) Remember that conversation is not by argument alone. Opinions are only one aspect of a personality. So make yourself as integrated a person as possible. This kind of integration, having the courage of your convictions and living as you think you ought to live, is the only one we should really favor. By this I am not advocating a Norman Vincent Peale approach. If we had not built up resistance to slick, hypnotic salesmen, we should all have been ruined long ago. The best salesman is the softsell artist with a good product that he really understands.

I am, however, advocating that you should make the best of your life, however great your misfortunes. If your hearer is sympathetic, tell him about these misfortunes – once. And listen to his complaints as well. But try also to show that you have the capacity to rise above your situation. Other people will respond to this.

Don’t despise more ancient and time tested methods of persuasion. If you are a woman and your male interlocutor is reasonably attractive, there is no harm in letting him know that you are aware of this. Conversely, if you are a man, and your interlocutor is a woman, emphasize her intelligence.

9) Above all, get the feel of the group of people you are with. There is something to be learned even from the methods of our enemies, although our psychology is different. Anyone who has seen the Oberammergau passion play (never televised in the U.S.) will remember how the inciters move among the crowd, starting the cry for crucifixion in low voices, looking with appreciation at those who take up the cry and treating them as leaders, then moving on before they can be identified. Within a short time, the crowd has been worked into a fury. No wonder attempts have been made to abolish the Oberammergau play. It comes too near the bone, as any witness of a real riot can testify.

This technique, incidentally, may permit you to indoctrinate a group within a reasonably short time, not because of your superior intelligence, but simply because those who know what they are doing can quickly prevail over those who do not.

10) A wholly different situation may arise when you are traveling. Trips offer countless opportunities for quick conversions or for destabilizing opposition propagandists. Conversations with strangers are very much a part of modern life. If your interlocutor responds to your leads, suggest that he might like to read some intelligent Majority-oriented publication. Then obtain his address and send it to him. It won’t cost you much, and it may make all the difference to the person concerned. There are literally millions of people ready to read our material, if only they knew about it.

If you run into a minority propagandist, let him have it hot and strong, first having made sure that your address is not in evidence on your baggage and that he cannot check your name with a hotel clerk. This will do you a lot of good psychologically, and will have a very disconcerting effect on him. If he is an unpleasant type, as he may well be, you should display strong personal hostility. This is an important part of the destabilizing technique. The opposition can afford to use this technique in ordinary social circumstances because they can injure you publicly if you respond in kind. Only while traveling can you safely demoralize the opposition with large doses of psychological hostility.

11) Lastly, if cornered, don’t back down. If you have said anything quotable, there is no way in which you can reinstate yourself in the eyes of the enemy. Any attempt to appeal to his magnanimity (something quite nonexistent) will merely be taken for what it is – a sign of weakness.

* * *

Source: Instauration magazine, January 1977

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