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The Father of Lies

In his infamous work Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler said that most people “more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie…It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others would have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.” That was in 1925. When he became Fuhrer of Germany in 1933, he put into practice one of the first principles of propaganda—accuse your opponents, in this case Jews, of what you are guilty—and appointed Joseph Goebbels as head of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. By using every form of media to persistently repeat the same basic message, they believed they could control the populace by molding its thinking. The saying so often attributed to Goebbels is that if you tell people a lie once, they will not believe it, but if you keep repeating it enough they will.

Hitler said he also learned from “social democrats” in Vienna when he was a youth. These manipulators had carried out “a campaign of mental terrorism” against those who were neither “morally nor spiritually equipped to withstand such attacks.” These tactics consisted of “a veritable drum-fire of lies and calumnies” against the enemy “until the nerves of the latter gave way.” Hitler concluded, “These tactics are based on an accurate estimation of human frailties and must lead to success, with almost mathematical certainty…”

In his book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William Shirer related his experience as a correspondent in Berlin prior to World War II. There he learned “how easily one is taken in by a lying and censored press and radio in the totalitarian state.” He warned that “No one who has not lived for years in a totalitarian land can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime’s calculated and incessant propaganda.” He became frustrated when seemingly educated and intelligent Germans in casual conversations would utter “the most outlandish assertions.” These brainwashed citizens were “parroting some piece of nonsense they had heard on the radio or read in the newspapers.” Shirer’s plea is not to underestimate the effect of this diabolical technique to enslave a society. He wrote, “It was surprising and sometimes consternating to find that notwithstanding the opportunities I had to learn the facts and despite one’s inherent distrust of what one learned from Nazi sources, a steady diet over the years of falsification and distortions made a certain impression on the mind and often misled it.” Viewed from this standpoint, Shirer’s testimony explains how the false media narrative, created and managed by a pair of sociopaths, led to some of the most unconscionable crimes of recent generations.

We are living in times when people are being misled by ceaseless propaganda from Satan everywhere they turn. They have heard these lies so many times that they have begun to believe them: there is no God, there is no right and wrong, there is no heaven or hell, the Bible is a manmade book with numerous mistakes, evolution is the only intelligent way to look at the question of human origins, and marriage between a man and a woman is an outdated tradition, not an absolute moral law.

People are hearing Satan’s lies so often that they are giving in and accepting them. Now more that ever we must “test all things” and be “strong in the Lord” (I Thess. 5:21; Eph. 6:10).

Kerry

West End Church of Christ bulletin for October 31, 2021

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