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Much of what passes for discussion today is really verbal combat where the goal is to "beat" the opponent and "win". Discussion isn't about "beating" or "winning". It is about discovering the truth based on facts. It is about reaching common agreement.

What are the characteristics of these disruptive "warriors" who dominate today's national (and local) discussions? How do they set truth and facts aside to prevent common agreement? How do they drive wedges between reasonable people and prevent effective opposition? How do they eventually drive anyone who cares about principles into sullen silence and isolation?

It turns out that the tactics these disrupters use are fairly easy to recognize, once they are pointed out. Once recognized, they can be ignored. Their tactics don't work if nobody listens or responds.

There are several articles available that describe the disrupters tactics. The earliest I can find is an essay called "Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist" originally written by H. Michael Sweeney in 1997 and revised in 2000, just as internet use was becoming widespread. He ends with this quote:

Truth cannot live on a diet of secrets, withering within entangled lies. Freedom cannot live on a diet of lies, surrendering to the veil of oppression. The human spirit cannot live on a diet of oppression, becoming subservient in the end to the will of evil. God, as truth incarnate, will not long let stand a world devoted to such evil. Therefore, let us have the truth and freedom our spirits require... or let us die seeking these things, for without them, we shall surely and justly perish in an evil world.

Mr. Sweeney expanded this essay into one entitled "Twenty-Five Ways to Suppress The Truth: The Rules of Disinformation" which was reprinted by WashingtonsBlog.

About the same time as Mr. Sweeney was writing, David Martin published "Thirteen Techniques for Truth Suppression" at

In 2012, A guest posted an article entitled " A Gentleman's Guide to Forum Disruption" at PasteBin. It contains information from the three articles mentioned above plus some new observations specifically on preventing reasonable discussion on internet forums.

If you actually look at the links above, you will see that none of them (with the exception of WashingtonsBlog) are particularly sophisticated websites. The writers have been marginalized because they lack a mass outlet for their ideas and observations or, maybe they were giving semi-private instructions to the disrupters themselves.

Whatever the motive, there are enough common characteristics to create a general profile of those dedicated to disinformation instead of truth (Subject for a Future Article here). These tactics are beginning to show up in personal conversation, not just on the internet.

Monkey see on TV & internet, monkey do at lunch with friends.

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