Mythologically speaking, as I play the part of the devil, disinformation and misinformation are supposedly my game. The more sensible of you will argue that the smear campaign started on the other side. And you’d be right.
The bible has enjoyed millennia of influence over the world due to blatant emotional appeals and the political powers that endorsed it.
Because of the support it has had from emperors, kings and other heads of state, it has become more than a religious canon but one of ostensible moral guidance. Its newer and no less stringent counterpart, the Quran, proclaims in his pages a standard of legal and ethical perfection that mere mortals cannot challenge.
Both books use me as both a scapegoat and unworthy opposition to the ruling parties.
Cast out of heaven for once not prostrating before Adam, and in the older mythology for challenging God’s totalitarian authority, my name has become synonymous with everything evil and wrong.
Think about this with me for now.
What if (and I understand that this is a big if) challenging the big guy’s power over creation got me labelled an enemy of the state like it happened to any dissident in Soviet Russia?
What if the biblical story of my fall from grace is one of the first literary accounts of disinformation and propaganda?
The invasion of other countries, the disappearance of documents that would prove God’s unfitness for office, and his corruption, all have parallels throughout human history.
This idea that any opposition to incumbent governments is unlawful or undesirable is a clear reflection of old, archaic human ideals more than divine wisdom.
Keep thinking with me.
What if what got me in trouble was telling the boss that we shouldn’t slaughter the Canaanites, that keeping all the women as spoils of war isn’t as kosher as he thought? Perhaps, I refused to lower myself before Adam because I was not too fond of his attitude towards Eve?
You could only take my word for it. But, if you pay closer attention to God’s demeanour as portrayed in his book, you see that he is a bit of a tyrant and questioning his heinous ways is reason enough for eternal suffering.
While the biblical accounts of libel and slander against me are about six thousand years old, disinformation works the same way today.
NOTE: DISINFORMATION IS THE DELIBERATE SPREAD OF FALSE INFORMATION TO CONTROL PERCEPTION, MISINFORMATION IS NOT NECESSARILY INTENTIONAL DECEPTION.
The people managing propaganda campaigns count on the human need to rely on emotion. Misinformation depends on either the lack of access to the truth or, in today’s information age, the limited human ability to filter information critically.
The data sets are too large for human brains to even see in their entirety, let alone understand them contextually.
Your algorithm-manipulated newsfeeds are showing you what you want to see, what you already feel is true. And unless you can or are willing to undo the last twenty years of internet search history, you will never see the entire spectrum of arguments and contentions that can change how you see the world.
Misinformation is about access to information – there is only one book about my expulsion from heaven – and it is by people who work for the one who kicked me out. I haven’t written a book telling my side of the story. And if I had, I am not sure it would have made any bestseller list in the socio-political climate of the first century.
Disinformation techniques work because of the human attitude to want to be right about what they want to be true. Some of the evilest people in history have achieved positions of almost absolute power by exploiting human cognitive biases.
Misinformation has caused eradicated diseases to resurge and currently threatens to harm civilisation due to fear-based responses to vaccines and other life-saving science. It often destroys entire societies by misaligning ideological principles with UNDESERVING rulers.
Aside from deadly superviruses, misinformation is the enemy that can wipe the human race out of existence, leveraging the power of belief and the immensity of human ignorance.
This I know. I am, after all, The Prince of Lies.
— A Concerned Devil
This is indeed a matter of concern.
You have wonderfully explained the difference between disinformation and misinformation.
Yes, perception is what we want to see and not exactly the truth.
Dear Devil, you may have suffered at the hands of some divine propaganda. It’s difficult to say. But let’s hope that your voice isn’t just beaten down because of your notorious reputation. After all, that too could be the result of a huge conspiracy.
Wonderful sharing! 🙂
Thank you – and I mean this – for taking the time to read what I write. It’s refreshing to see genuine engagement. I will reply in kind.