Episode 63 – Armenian Propaganda and Perception Versus Facts On The Ground

Sociology can be a liberating force, which can help us explore and confront widely accepted fallacies that are morally unacceptable.

I will expound on the concepts of propaganda and perception to show you how the Turkish-Armenian conflict is politicized and falsified by Armenian propaganda. As Dr. Gwynne Dyer, a London-based independent journalist put it in 1976, I quote “… The deafening drumbeat of the propaganda, and the sheer lack of sophistication in the argument which comes from preaching decade after decade to a convinced and emotionally committed audience, are the major handicaps of Armenian historiography of the diaspora today…”

Propaganda dates back to the missionary activities of the Catholic church in 1622, but it was first used effectively during the First World War as a formidable psychological weapon to influence people. Thereafter, it was constantly perfected, reaching a high point in Nazi Germany. Alfred and Elizabeth Lee in their 1990 book Sociology For People, classified propaganda devices into seven major categories:

  • (1) name-calling
  • (2) glittering generalities,
  • (3) transfer,
  • (4) testimonial,
  • (5) plain-folks,
  • (6) card-stacking and
  • (7) bandwagon.

Each of these devices makes an appeal to feelings rather than to reason. These propaganda devices are usually employed in combination. T

o these devices, Alfred Lee later added: Guilt-by-Association and Guilt-by-Heredity and their opposites, Virtue-by-Association and Virtue-by-Heredity.

1) Name-calling technique involves giving a bad name to a person, a group to arouse an instant hostility. Playwright David Mamet’s recent comments on Bill Maher’s April 9, 2022, HBO program about free speech were significant: “When people with an opposing view are canceled, we’re going to end up with a totalitarian state.”

2) the 2nd technique is glittering generalities where the Armenian propagandist uses some impressive ideas which mislead the people, like the “unarmed, noncombatant, peaceful, and loyal ottoman-Armenians,” totally ignoring Armenian revolts, terrorism, treason, territorial demands, and the resulting Turkish suffering.

3) The 3rd technique is called transfer, where the Armenian propagandist presents the Armenian cause as an integral part of a larger cause. They will use the religion card, for example, and falsely claim that Armenia was the first Christian nation, whereas it is even recorded in the bible that Ethiopia was the first Christian nation in 330 A.D.

4) The 4th technique is testimonials where the Armenian propagandist promotes a fallacy using the name of some distinguished person like a U.S. president, senator, governor, singer, or film actor. President Wilson, who uncritically took every Armenian claim at face value, is a good example.

5) The 5th technique is called plain folks, where the Armenian propagandist professes that he or she is just like the plain folks and identifies with their common virtues and vices, while spreading fallacies, as in Armenian efforts to brainwash local folks at cultural events.

6) The 6th technique is card stacking, where the facts are twisted and colored by the Armenian propagandist to suit the Armenian cause and impress his listeners, weaving a story and presenting it as a true event. The Van revolt by the Ottoman-Armenians is a good example where Armenians claim they defended Van but they actually caused the death of 194,000 Muslims, according to page 246 of Professor McCarthy’s book The Armenian Rebellion at Van.

7) The 7th technique is called bandwagon, where the Armenian propagandist touts to an unsuspecting person that since everybody is agreeing with Armenians, he or she might as well do it, too. Whereas most well-meaning people who succumb to Armenian intimidation do not know that Armenians hide the entire another side of the story like Armenian revolts, terrorism, treason, territorial demands, and Turkish suffering.

Center For Eurasian Studies, AVIM, a research group in Ankara, Turkiye, published an interesting letter by an Armenian-American truth seeker, IVER TORIKIAN, in August, twenty-twenty-one, by the title “STRATEGICALLY MUM: THE SILENCE OF ARMENIANS.” Torikian stated that he wrote the letter because he wanted to explore why there was so much misinformation about Armenian-Turkish relations. Reflecting sincere views with academic objectivity, AVIM has decided to publish the letter. He lovingly describes the lives of his grandparents and considers his father lucky to attend Robert College where the intermingling of teachers and students from many ethnicities was instrumental in making his father a tolerant person.

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