“Today’s opinion manipulation industry is a powerful giant, but like Goliath, it is a giant with a fatal weakness. When the public is educated about its techniques, it often loses its ability to mislead and manipulate.”
– Toxic Sludge is Good For You!
This is part one of four parts. Part one is on the Duchin Formula. It is the primary divide and conquer approach industry and their PR flacks use to defeat activist movements. Part two will be on the additional tactics they use to weaken and sway non-profits and other groups. Part three will be a detailed analysis of how they have used these methods to weaken Lyme disease activism to further their agenda. It parallels many events occurring in the other medically abused patient groups. Part four will describe some of the other tactics they use; Good cop/Bad cop, third party technique, video and written news releases, astroturfing, front groups, partnerships, unintended consequences, etc. Most of this information is in the book “Toxic Sludge is Good For You.”
The activist world is naive regarding the fundamental tactics the industry uses to defeat activist movements. This group exists to present this information in an organized way. Industry and their PR spy firms do not want you to gain this knowledge. This material will make you a much stronger activist.
“the key to winning anything is opposition research.”
– PR executive Pamela Whitney
The Duchin Formula.
The public relations industry carefully co-opts activists to weaken them in order to benefit their corporate clients. The strategy has been outlined in detail by Ronald Duchin, senior vice-president of the PR spy firm Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin [They eventually became Stratfor.] In a landmark 1991 speech, Duchin described how Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin works to divide and conquer activist movements. These manipulative tactics are now common among PR firms.
Activists and groups such as non-profits, he explained, fall into four distinct categories: “realists,” “idealists,” “opportunists,” and “radicals”. That is how PR firms define activist types. It is beneficial for us to see where we fit in these terms. Then, they use a three-step plan to divide us and defeat us.
The four types; realists, idealists, opportunists, and radicals.
This is the most important piece of the puzzle for industry. They want to sway as many activists as they can into becoming realists. Industry can weaken activists movements by convincing activists they cannot get everything they want. They might believe a corporation is too powerful so they may falsely think they must compromise to get what they can. That coercion is a fundamental part of industries strategy to defeat activists.
Realists are willing to;
* live with trade-offs
* willing to work within the system
* not interested in radical change.
Industry gives realists the highest priority in any strategy dealing with a public policy issue because realists ultimately don’t fight for major change.
It is important for industry to “work with” realists to influence them. Industry works to shape the realist view into something industry accepts. The only thing industry would agree with will not fundamentally fix the issue/s that we need to fix.
Idealists are “hard to deal with.” from industries perspective. Idealists want what is morally best for everyone. They generally fight for what is fair and just. They want to solve societies problems but they have a vulnerable point. Some can be co-opted into believing they cannot get everything they want. If they can make an idealist believe they must compromise to get something worthwhile, then the activist will fight for less. When that happens, industry will win. Industry wants to turn idealists into the weaker realists. They try to create as many realists as they can among the idealists.
* usually altruistic
* apply an ethical and moral standard
* generally unaware of unintended consequences
* normally emotionally involved
* usually are naive
Opportunists are the easiest for them to deal with. They are only interested in personal gain. It might be for money, or attention, or to rub elbows with the rich or powerful. They would be happy to have his/her followers move in another direction if that works to his/her benefit. If they become influential they can be made to take the side of industry in the guise of making progress. Industry just has to give them the spotlight if they choose to and then the opportunist is easy to control.
* exploit issues for their own personal agenda
* only involved in an issue if personal gain available
* will not sacrifice self at any price for victory on the issue.
Radicals ( or NIMBY’s, Not In My Backyard )
This is the type of activist that scares the industry the most. Radicals are anti-corporate, do not compromise, they fight to change the system, and want to fix the evils in whatever arena they have chosen.
From Toxic Sludge is Good For You regarding Radicals (NIMBY’s)…
“They are often treated with contempt by the professional environmentalists, health advocates and other public-interest organizations … Many times they lack organizing expertise and money. They don’t have budgets or polished grant proposals needed to obtain funding from foundations and major donors. But corporations and the US government are spending tens of millions of dollars on PR and lobbying to fight these local community activists whom they derisively label “NIMBYs”-the abbreviation for “Not In My Back Yard.”
No national environmental group is fighting the dumping of sewage sludge onto farmland, or exposing the risks inherent in the “biosolids” scam. Rural families, whose health or property has been damaged by toxic sludge, are heroes for spending their own time and money while enduring personal attacks from government and corporate PR flacks. Forget the EPA they’re in bed with the sludge industry. The public interest is better served by citizen activists like Jane Beswick of Turlock, California; Jim Bynum of Laredo, Texas; and Linda Zander of Lynden, Washington.
Today, grassroots anti-toxic environmentalism is a far more serious threat to polluting industries than the mainstream environmental movement. Not only do local activists network, share tactics, and successfully block many dumpsites and industrial developments, they also stubbornly refuse to surrender or compromise. They simply cannot afford to.”
* do not compromise
* they fight to solve the problem for everyone (Fix the system.)
The NIMBY’s are the ones best able to create real solutions.
NEXT: The three-step strategy.
PR spy firms use a corresponding three-step strategy to “deal with” and defeat the different activist types.
First, isolate the radicals (also called NIMBYs) to limit their influence. NIMBYs do not compromise and do not trust industry so industry cannot manipulate them.
Second, cultivate the idealists and “educate” them into becoming realists. Cultivate means it can take time, sometimes years to turn many. They get idealists to doubt they can get everything they need. Industry has essentially won when many of the idealists become realists. Realists fight for less.
Third, co-opt the realists further into agreeing with industry.
Get them to support something the industry is willing to accept which doesn’t fundamentally change anything. One common way is to form partnerships. Get them to “Sit at the table” which makes them behave. Other methods are more nuanced and depend on the specific issue at hand.
“In relationships marked by power imbalances, cooperation and cooptation are nearly indistinguishable.”
– David Brubaker
If industry can successfully bring about these three steps, the idealists and radicals will be weakened and the realists can be counted on to share in the final solution.
* realists compromise which weakens activist movements. Can be manipulated into agreeing with industry. Industries put most of their effort into converting idealists into realists.
* idealists Can sometimes be co-opted into becoming realists.
* opportunists only care about themselves and are easily used by industry if they choose to.
* radicals (Called NIMBYs from now on) do not compromise and do not trust industry. They are the ones most able to create real solutions. Industry fears them the most.
A few of the strategies you need to win;
* NEVER work with them. It is a ruse anyway.
* NEVER fight for less than a solution for all affected people. Don’t fall victim to their divide and conquer strategy.
* NEVER trust them.
In other words, become a NIMBY.
The formula may seem abstract at first, but these methods can be applied in any activist arena. They use this formula against activists in many public policy areas and it has worked very well for them. In the future, I will often refer to the terms presented here in order to clarify what is going on. The Duchin Formula should become common knowledge to all activists everywhere because this is how they defeat activists over and over again.
This overview applies to the ways they manipulate all the abused medical groups. It is useful information for everyone. Information gathered in one diagnostic group will help you to understand their tactics in other diagnostic arenas. There are many parallels going on in the CFS, Fibro, GWI, Lyme, ME, PTLDS, VAX Injury areas. Everyone can learn from the other diagnostic groups. They are all subjected to the same PR manipulation and they are more alike than they appear.
1) Taking Back Your Own Backyard.
2) Divide and conquer.
3) Take An Activist Apart and What Do You Have? And how do you deal with him/her.
Coming soon… Part 2: How PR spy firms defeat Non-profits and other groups.
Fight for everyone.
A Lyme disease victim of research fraud.
A Truthcures member