What the world really wants is flattery, and it does not matter how much of it is a lie; but the world at the same time also wants the right to disguise [the flattering lie], so that the fact of being lied to can easily be ignored. As I enjoy being affirmed in my whims and praised for my foibles, I also expect credibility to make it easy for me to believe … everything I hear, read, absorb, and watch….Josef Pieper
Here are four requirements for selling a narrative to Americans: (1) It must be easy to grasp; (2) it should require no independent checking; (3) it must flatter existing preconceptions; and (4) it must be forwarded by celebrities.
In his little pamphlet, Abuse of Language – Abuse of Power, Josef Pieper described what happens to language when it aims at something other than the truth. According to Pieper, whoever chooses his words without being explicitly committed to the truth is not regarding other people as equal partners. “In fact,” says Pieper, “he no longer respects the other as a human person.” Communication then becomes manipulation. All conversation ceases. All dialogue comes to an end.
And behold! Where once a country existed, a madhouse appears. The people become deranged by the lies they believe in. An optimist might suppose our leaders have retained some portion of truth for their own navigation. But no, it is a case of insanity all the way around. Policy then miscarries. Consider recent events in Afghanistan where lying and bungling went hand-in-hand. Look at the COVID-19 pandemic with its useless vaccines. Again, we find that lying and bungling are the correlates of policy. Consider, as well, conservative efforts to find the truth about last year’s election.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, like a mad Jack-in-the-Box, has popped back into the picture. Recovered from the shock of his failed cyber symposium, he continues to say Dennis Montgomery’s packet captures are 100 percent reliable. He cites Dr. Shiva’s analysis and Dr. Douglas Frank’s math; yet the analysis and the math do not appear relevant to Montgomery’s alleged PCAP data. Nevertheless, Lindell presses forward because his message – (1) is easy to grasp; (2) requires no independent checking; (3) flatters preconceptions; (4) and is forwarded by a celebrity (i.e., himself).
Has Lindell been wounded by his inability to produce, as promised, his “absolute proof”? In court Lindell’s lawyers say he has suffered losses. On Lindell TV, however, the MyPillow CEO says business is good. “I’m not selling off anything,” Lindell bragged. Evidently he has hired almost 200 new workers for his company; so the media have it wrong. If this is true, then Lindell’s lawyers also have it wrong when alleging he suffered losses.
On his TV channel yesterday Lindell said he was not swindled by software designer Dennis Montgomery, that he did not buy Montgomery a $1.5 million house in Naples, Florida (as suggested by Zachary Petrizzo at Salon.com). Yet there must have been a financial arrangement between Lindell and Montgomery; especially since Montgomery is said to be unemployed and recently registered his business at the address of a newly purchased $1.5 million dollar house. Where did Montgomery get the cash for such a residence?
Given all this, how can Lindell claim that Montgomery did not swindle him? Was there no exchange of information for money? Montgomery was, after all, the primary source for Lindell’s nonexistent “absolute proof”? As everyone can see, no proofs have been forwarded despite Lindell’s high-flying promises. No authentic packet captures (PCAPs) were presented at the symposium (not even behind closed doors, according to my sources). Yet Lindell maintains that Montgomery’s data is “100 percent.” He has said that Montgomery is “golden.” He has said that Mary Fanning and Brannon Howse are also “heroes.” What kind of heroism, ten months after an election, proves so bootless? Not one shred of proof has appeared. What remains is dodgy math and a dodgy software developer. Even more curious, two weeks ago I spoke with an associate of Dennis Montgomery who alleged that Montgomery had never promised PCAP data to Lindell. All this is doubly confusing when juxtaposed to Lindell’s latest commentary, where he says: “I don’t know why they keep hammering on [Montgomery]. You know why? Because he has probably got the most … accurate captures – and stuff – ever!”
Most accurate “captures” ever? From a guy who gave the Maricopa Sheriff’s office fake data – as attested to by Thomas Drake and Kirk Wiebe, who found “evidence of an outright fraudulent con”? Since the ill-fated cyber symposium, I have spoken with specialists who were backstage during the event. They told me no authentic PCAP data were presented. To save face, Lindell’s “absolute proof” was allegedly handed over to government-connected experts for examination. In a recent speaking appearance, “Election Investigator” Douglas Frank said that FBI undercover agents were at the cyber symposium ready to arrest Lindell & Company as soon as they released the PCAPs. So, the PCAPs were never presented.
But were there really any PCAPs? My sources say there were none.
If Josef Pieper is right, false narratives and false heroes are morally and politically dangerous. Such narratives detach public discourse from reality. A nice man who sells pillows or a likeable high school chemistry teacher, can do a lot of damage when people erroneously regard them as heroes of truth. Recent events have shown, quite clearly, that Lindell and Frank misled the public about the election fraud evidence. Even if this was done out of ignorance, or from foolishness, the time is long past for contrition. When do we get an apology? When can we get away from this never-ending campaign of misdirection and gaslighting? “There is real election fraud taking place,” said Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai to Steve Bannon during the cyber symposium. “There is likely a set of people who want to blur that. The folks in power… put out something like this [i.e., Lindell’s data] … to hide the real issues….” Referring to Lindell’s “true” vote totals for the election, Shiva’s suspicions were aroused: “I’m saying that this is evidence of a potential disinformation campaign.”
Yet Mike Lindell continues as before; and Douglas Frank continues his road show, telling audiences that the promised PCAP data was withheld because it contained proprietary information (i.e., passwords). But we should not worry because, as Frank told one audience, “It doesn’t matter if you have the evidence…. In any court of law, you could prove fraud over and over…. Do you see that it’s not about the evidence anymore? It’s not about our laws anymore. So, the legislatures aren’t going to save us. The legal system [is not] going to save us. It’s back to you. It’s ‘we the people,’ the real government.” [Applause.]
What does this mean in practice? – when the left controls the culture, the courts, the schools, the government, the media, etc.? Who, exactly, are “the people”? And how are “the people” to rescue themselves when they cannot win in court, when they cannot win an election, and they cannot produce the PCAP data? “I think honestly,” says Dr. Frank, presenting himself as a truthteller. Yet honest thinking requires consistency, and Dr. Frank’s discourse is anything but consistent. He always begins by presenting important evidence; then he says the evidence does not matter. Even laws do not matter, since he believes little can be done through state legislatures. Everything is then laid at the door of “the people” – that nameless amalgam of disempowered nobodies. They must organize the solution themselves. But if no legal remedy is possible, if evidence and legislative control is irrelevant, what is this aforesaid people’s movement for?
Not surprisingly, Dr. Frank has been called to account by Jovan Hutton Pulitzer for “misdirection regarding the audits.” With rhetorical flourish, Pulitzer says, “The person I am calling out is Dr. Frank.” To his credit, Pulitzer wants full forensic audits. “But then some Bozo in a bow tie [i.e., Frank] with no technical background … sweet-talks everyone into a canvass [without the full forensic audit].” If you push canvassing without the audit, lawmakers will take a wait-and-see approach (which they prefer). Legislators have readily latched on to Dr. Frank’s advice, especially when he suggests “the legislatures aren’t going to save us,” because lawmakers can then breathe a sigh of relief.
Politicians may pose as messiahs from time to time, but they prefer to avoid the inevitable crucifixion. Frank’s idea is for “the people” to organize canvassing on their own, to build a movement. And while this movement is building, the clock will run out on the audits and the ballots will be destroyed. The next election will then resemble the last election. Of course, every sitting politician may not feel threatened if the status quo holds. It is not hard to see why Republican legislators in battleground states prefer to keep a low profile. After all, the people are responsible for everything. The politicians are responsible for nothing. According to Pulitzer, Dr. Frank has been called to testify and give advice to legislators. This is “idiocracy,” says Pulitzer, because Dr. Frank is not qualified to give advice on elections or audits. Of further interest, Pulitzer suggested that Dr. Frank’s mathematical “discoveries” were “borrowed” from Bobby Piton, a portfolio manager who is running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. “You know why I am calling out Dr. Frank?” asked Pulitzer. “Incredible people in Washington State … got completely undermined because of Dr. Frank…. I am upset, sick to my stomach that … others in Wisconsin … [were] completely undone by Dr. Frank.”
Is Jovan Pulitzer correct in his criticism? Many people have said that Dr. Frank is a hero, that Mike Lindell is a hero – even as Lindell has lionized Dennis Montgomery and others. In times of distress, we want to believe in heroes; but do we know what a hero is? Thomas Carlyle famously wrote that the foremost trait of a great man is sincerity; that is, genuineness, freedom from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy. “For if we think of it,” wrote Carlyle, “no Time need have gone to ruin, could it have found a great man, a man wise and good enough: wisdom to discern what the Time wanted, valor to lead it on the right road hither; these are the salvation of any Time.”
It recurs throughout Carlyle’s works that the hero’s second trait, after sincerity, is an ability to see the truth. Carlyle wrote: “of a Great Man especially … I will venture to assert that it is incredible he should have been other than true. It seems to me the primary foundation of him ….” The truth is not easy for mankind, noted Carlyle: “Poor human nature! Is not a man’s walking, in truth, always … ‘a succession of falls’?”
America is now experiencing “a succession of falls.” What is wanted is vision. What is needed is the truth. Pieper explained that one “may be entirely knowledgeable about a thousand details and nevertheless, because of ignorance regarding the core of the matter, remain without basic insight.” Because of ignorance regarding the core of the matter, Pieper tells us that “authentic reality is taken over by a fictitious reality … a pseudoreality, deceptively appearing as being real, so much so that it becomes almost impossible any more to discern the truth.”
Indeed, discerning the truth does seem almost impossible today. We have the pseudoreality of political correctness, climate change and Critical Race Theory. We have the pseudoreality of defeating COVID with vaccines that do not work. And we have the pseudoreality of self-defeating patriots.
Notes and Links
Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes and Hero Worship and the Heroic in History, Kindle Edition.
At the Symposium we were told that the PCAP data could not be revealed as promised, but would be shared with the global directors and officers of the Information and Sharing Analysis Organization “who are authorized to receive this information to process … threat information on behalf of the U.S. Government,” in accordance with the Cyber Security Act of 2015. https://rumble.com/vl20ir-breaking-news-cyber-symposium.html
Bobby Piton’s interview with Stew Peters – https://rumble.com/vk8bjo-arizona-audit-estimated-311000-phantom-voters-state-officials-move-to-decer.html
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