Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 22, 1966

Propaganda Methods

Arthur W. Atkinson

In this our sixth article on this subject we introduce our readers once again to the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, Inc.'s publication.

Card Stacking

"Card Stacking" is a device in which the propagandist employs all the arts of deception to win our support for himself, his group, race, nation, policy, practice, belief or ideal. He stacks the cards against the truth. He uses under-emphasis and over-emphasis to dodge issues and evade facts. He offers false testimony. He resorts to lies, censorship and distortion. He omits facts. He creates a smokescreen of clamor by raising a new issue when he wants an embarrassing matter forgotten. He draws a red herring across the trail to confuse and divert those in quest of facts he does not want revealed. He makes the unreal appear real and the real appear unreal. He lets half-truths masquerade as truths. By the Card Stacking device, a mediocre candidate, through the "build-up", is made to appear an intellectual titan; an ordinary prize fighter a probable world champion; a worthless patent medicine a beneficent cure. By means of this device, propagandist would convince us that a ruthless war of aggression is a crusade for righteousness. Some member nations of the Non-Intervention Committee sent their troops to intervene in Spain. Card Stacking employs sham, hypocrisy, effrontery.

Examples of this type of propaganda could be multiplied. This is so often used in the field of politics that it becomes difficult for the average reader to ferret out the truth. In my own mind the late John F. Kennedy was a master at this. He, a mediocre person, with a mediocre record, built such an image of himself that many people elected an image and turned up with a man who didn't fit the image. And, stacking the cards is much easier in the political field when an individual has unlimited funds.

But this method of propaganda is not confined to the political arena. It enters also into religion. Men always attempt to turn people to their cause regardless of how they have to accomplish it. The Judaizing teachers in Paul's day attempted to stack the cards against the apostle. It is apparent from a careful study of II Corinthians that the Judaizing teachers were boasting of their accomplishments and heritage while they were running down the apostle. They were stacking the cards against Paul.

This past week a periodical came to me and in it was stated that as a result of the Herald of Truth there had been 225, 000 people added to the church. It rather looks like someone is trying to stack some cards in favor of the Herald of Truth by over emphasizing the good that is being done. Now, if this were true it still would not make the program in its present set-up right. However, I don't believe there is a person that can prove such figures. In fact, I believe that one could come nearer proving it false than others could come in proving it true. This looks suspiciously like an exaggeration calculated to stack the cards in favor of such a program.

It behooves us to study carefully the paragraph on "Card Stacking" and ever be alert for the characteristics therein. We have not exhausted by any means the use of this device in our three short illustrations. The reader must be left to judge for himself with a discerning mind when such devices are used and to study carefully to learn just what the truth is.

-1354 Mt. View Avenue San Bernardino, Cal.