February 16, 2022 in Columnists, News by RBN Staff




By Ollie Clifford

Why Does IT Matter?


Great question! It matters a great, great deal. As Jesus said thousands of years ago, “The truth will set us free.” So it matters to those of us who understand and desire freedom, as it matters to those who would prefer that almost all people remain unfree or in a state of slavery. But are we all not already a free people? We hear it all the time. We are a free people. We have a right to come and go as we please. We can get into an automobile and drive wherever we can afford to drive or own property in any community that we can afford, etc. So what really is the topic all about? It is hoped that young readers and students especially will be introduced to the sometimes unapparent differences between truth and propaganda and everything in between since they are usually the most vulnerable and easily deceived by those who may have devious or unethical methods in mind for their readers. This document could well become a lesson for homeschoolers. In particular is this a problem in public education and in the public news media. Such is the gravity of this problem that there are those who believe that we Americans have lost already almost all of our freedoms that so recently we just took for granted. To those discerning individuals, it truly matters greatly. As well, an investigation of these differences and matters can improve and expand ones consciousness, IQ and intellect as does all intellectual pursuits.


To switch back to the topic of this essay, truth can be a matter of life and death to one who is wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit or accusation of complicity in any matter which may well create a drastic difference in the future of the one accused, their lifestyle, opportunities available, loss of reputation, income, etc. Consider, for example, the issue of the results of the 2020 presidential elections. The whole situation was so extensive and voluminous in declarations of truth and lies and a great deal of propaganda that it is only being used here as an example of the topic being discussed.


What Actually Is Truth?


Truth is provable facts, facts that are based on correct documentation. As an example, one is present at an occurrence, makes an observation, writes down what he/she observes or makes a video or picture of the event and signs an affidavit of truth under penalty of perjury as to the correctness of the information on the video/picture. This evidence then becomes truth in a court of law. Another example, a soldier in battle writes or tells a reporter of his/her experiences and observations in a battle. Because that soldier actually saw or experienced what he said that he saw, this is considered fact and truth. If that soldier reports what another soldier said that he saw, this is not necessarily truth, because the reporting soldier may have misinterpreted what the other soldier said he saw, or that other soldier could have lied about what he saw. This is hearsay in a court of law, an institution that supposedly relies on actual facts when making judgments on cases heard before it.


In actuality, I believe, few if any professional reporters and authors sign an affidavit of truth under penalty of perjury as related to their writings. Honest authors hope to develop a reputation of accuracy and honesty in reporting to acquire a following of readers and listeners who learn to depend on them for accurate and repeatable information. They research and collect hard copies of documents, audios, videos, books that support whatever they have to say or write. Nonetheless, even ethical reporters who do not mean harm at all can make small mistakes at times that can become magnified with re-reporting as time goes on. The reason this may happen is because none of us are perfect and we all make occasional mistakes. For the reasons described above real truth can be quite elusive and there are those who are willing to blend truth and fiction, black and white, morality with immorality, saying it is all relative and can therefore be discounted but depending on the situation, ie situational ethics. To me this is a truly scary and dangerous philosophy that has contributed much to the obvious deterioration of western society and culture.


In the example concerning the 2020 presidential elections, the apparent truth was that Mr. Trump actually won the elections by a landslide and Mr. Biden lost. All the media sources that many, many people depend on for their news sources repeated again and again that Mr. Biden won and Mr. Trump lost. This was the lies and propaganda. Actual hard copy evidence of the outcomes of the elections was kept from the public concerning the true facts surrounding the elections, the records of the Dominion voting machines, votes of persons who were ineligible to vote, late night unloading of literally bins of votes of highly dubious legality, etc, etc. Censorship of the highest order in all aspects of the media took place, websites were closed down, Mr. Trump’s twitter account was closed. SCOTUS, as well as some high state courts, refused to hear cases that they should have heard. All discussion of the validity of the Biden administration vanished within a relatively short period of time. No denial of Mr. Biden as the new president was allowed by the mainstream media sources. Researchers who were interested in the real truth went to alternative news sources to find information. Dire consequences of the deception of the 2020 elections immediately began to be apparent. Many, many people worldwide lost freedoms, liberties, homes, businesses and even their lives as a direct result of wrong information and disinformation concerning the 2020 elections because COVID 19 emerged in events surrounding the elections and before.


How Does One Identify Propaganda?


I takes a certain amount of reading and education and experience to recognize propaganda and it is everywhere, the movies, television, social media sources, newspapers, magazines, literally everywhere. Frequently, language that appeals to the emotions is utilized, words like “for the earth”, “for the children,”racism,””sexism,” and any other flavor of “ism” that in the past was proven useful. “How do you know?” is always a good question to raise when you hear words such as these which should raise flags for you. Propaganda can be the most viscous and subtle form of misinformation and lying. Usually it promotes only one viewpoint and/or topic at a time. Actual documentation proving the viewpoint is usually absent or inaccurate. Promoters of propaganda usually do not want to engage in discussions of opposing explanations. A more sophisticated propaganda piece may have some real truth interspersed throughout. Mixed in is outright falsehoods and inuendos making the piece confusing and difficult for the novice to recognize and properly evaluate. This inexperienced reader is quite vulnerable to untruths and is easily persuaded to believe what they read simply because it is in print or they saw or heard it on television. The authors seem to have an objective to promote regardless of proof negative to their opinions. For this reason the education of our young people sorely needs to be closely monitored. Consider the brilliant work of Charlotte Iserbyte in her well known work, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of American Education. As an example, consider the teaching of evolution in the public schools. There is no actual solid proof whatsoever that man evolved from inanimate materials. The likelihood that this occurred in the far distant past is so remote that thinking persons routinely reject the process as sheer fiction. The biological processes of life are far, far too complicated to have developed in this manner. Other explanations of the appearance of man and other life forms are completely forbidden in public education.


Consider how Mr. Trump and his populist ideas were treated by the press. It could not be more obvious that the press as a whole despised him. Absolutely nothing he did was acceptable or favorable to the nation so far as they were concerned. Day after day he was attacked relentlessly no matter what he did or said. Many, many people recognized this propaganda against him and this is why, as per my own opinion, he became ever more popular among the working classes and the better financially fixed population and, in fact, the world. My own opinion regarding Mr. Trump and his agenda was that I liked much of what he did but not every thing, but his treatment by the press so aptly demonstrates the principles that I am attempting to convey to interested persons. So propaganda can be quite harmful, or at times can be useful depending on the motives of the writer, and this is why freedom of speech and the press is so pivotal to the concept of personal liberty. Am I recommending that a student or other reader refrain from reading or listening to propaganda pieces? Not at all. It is simply hoped that this article will help the reader to better evaluate and understand the material. The search for truth often leads one down various pathways.


So Where Does Opinion fit In?


Opinion, as per my own definition, is my own version of truth and conclusions at which I have arrived based on many pages and books, articles, experiences including education and such that I have read or acquired over the years. Essays, and this is an essay, are usually personal opinion pieces. They are not documented with bibliography as are the writings of authors who really want to be taken seriously. However, there is very little in this article that cannot be well proven beyond all reasonable doubt were I to be able to recall who I read or heard that I truly respect as a chronicler and /or historian. Real truth cannot always be proven by documentation or otherwise. Documents can be destroyed, books can be burned, witnesses can die or be threatened into silence, but still, facts are truth and the truth is the truth. Opinion, in my opinion, should not be discounted out of hand because provable facts are not in evidence and are not documented, but might be considered as possibilities or directions towards which the truth might be found, an event which often seems so evasive by receding so relentlessly into the distance just like Mr. Fauci and his rules for return to normalcy. Such is the substance of freedom of speech, the press of so much importance in our world of today. As Jesus implied, we just keep trucking, pun intended.





I am a retired teacher, masters prepared nurse, former business owner among other activities. I wrote this article among other pieces (not propaganda, I hope) because it has been a long cold winter with free time that is compatible with my desire to do useful things with my time.

This article is meant for use by those who are homeschooling children free of charge, but may be downloaded for anyone who may be interested.