Historical Revisionism is a calculated distortion of events. It makes people and events more or less favorable. This process used to take years, but today’s political climate it happens within a few hours. Learn how to see through this strategy.
Revisionism is a deliberate distortion of facts. A tactic to change how events actually occurred. So, learning to spot it is crucial to accurate decision making. It as a building block for the mythologies of nationalism and patriotism.
Everyone thinks they are too smart to fall prey to a con-artist. This is primarily the reason con-artists are effective. But everyone has been subject to some level of this tactic. We see it in the textbooks in the schools. Today we see it used to spin political agendas.
We assume that if we hear something several times, it must be the truth. Or, if a trusted authority figure tells us something, it must be true. This is the case with most of what we believe about history. The distortion becomes the ‘accepted’ truth. It’s important to recognize it and not be fooled by misleading data. Today, “bots” from fictitious accounts pump false information into social media. This exploits the heard mentality.
History is always written by those who dominate the cultural narrative. It could be the government or religion, or both working together. So, what we think are historical facts is a form of propaganda. Most of what we learn in school is one version of events. This is often a story with an intentional bias that omits or distorts the facts.
As mentioned before it usually takes years before we see the evidence of this tactic. But in today’s political climate within the pandemic we see it happening much faster. Now, events just a few weeks old are being reframed in an attempt to rewrite history. Politicians are using the same playbook as in times past, but are expediting it. They are obvious to those who point out their errors.
The Elements of Historical Revisionism
Let’s dive right into the subject. It appears there are three basic elements of this strategy. First, the association of the event with a high emotional impact. Second, the passage of time. And third your mental health including neurological or personality disorder.
The distortion of our memory can make past events positive or negative. To make things more interesting, memory changes over time. A memory can begin as a positive one but become a negative one. Then, the change from very positive to negative based on the three elements above. Our history books are cultural programming tools. They are used to creating the narrative of historical distortion.
Our memories are also be affected by social and peer pressure. So, the more social pressures and time involved, the more they can shape past events to fit any narrative. This has become a well-established fact concerning the reliability of witnesses. Eyewitnesses are often traumatized. This makes their recollection of events unreliable. Even so, eyewitness testimony still carries considerable weight.
We live in a culture that bombards us with emotional and sensational information. It’s important to remember that we are all susceptible to the distortion of historical events and memory. You can’t escape it, but you can learn to be aware of it. And, so reduce its impact on your thinking and beliefs. Learning to question the cultural narrative is the key. Don’t blindly accept what could be historical revisionism.
Understanding how this works is important to everyone. It’s imperative to anyone engaging in inner work, or spiritual exploration. This programming can cause distortions in our ability to perceive reality. These distortions result in biased and inaccurate judgments and prejudices. These roadblocks are formidable obstacles to overcome if you aren’t able to identify and deal with them. They remain hidden within our dreams and memories unless we take action to understand and reshape them.
Cloaking Mythology, Nationalism & Patriotism
If you unite people under the guise of fear, then you can manipulate them much more easily. This enables you to trigger their fight, flight, or freeze instinct. If you can do this you overcome their ability to use reason and common sense. This creates what sociologists call a mob mentality.
Nationalism is a cloak for fascism. Fascism is a form of government that gives dictatorial power to one person or group. It promotes censorship and suppression of any opposition. And, uses rules and laws to control those with other values. In effect, making it illegal to oppose the dictator. Fascism likes nationalism because it can make anyone, or any group the scapegoat for the ills of society. All it needs is a problem as a catalyst.
Problems can be created if there aren’t any. But, the more problems the better. The more scapegoats the better. And, the more groups you can blame for the problems you’ve created, the better. The more divided the population, the easier it becomes to control each group. Doesn’t matter if the scapegoats have a connection to the issues. This is where revising history comes in handy. Nationalism depends on historical revisionism to craft its message.
The heroes are those who claim to have the answers to solve the problems. Normally, by blaming the scapegoats. Tell lies long enough and touch the emotional buttons, and you have the tension needed to divide and control. Pride is the real enemy of the people. Pride in national identity is like insurance against anarchy.
Nationalism and patriotism are cloaks used to hide real motives. A patriot is some who devotes themselves to the cause of nationalism. So, here is your core of followers. They empower and embolden dictators.
Nationalism and patriotism need problems and adversaries to polarize people and create tension. The thing nationalism fears are harmony and peace. Because the greater the harmony the more united a population becomes. The more united a population becomes the more socially minded and just it becomes. The more just and united the population the less it can be controlled by the government. The less likely they are to use this tactic. The less likely the culture will overlook injustice and discrimination. The population can then demand equity. Equity is the real enemy of the greedy. How does all of this affect you now?
How Society Uses Historical Revisionism
Modern societies use this tactic so much we don’t recognize or question it. Open any textbook on history. You will find it paints the events to drive the message they desire regardless of whether it is factual. It is rare to find a textbook that provides different versions of the facts.
We encourage you to do your research. The problem today is that things are happening quickly. Instead of textbooks, what we are told about events history comes in the form of political or religious propaganda. The facts are often distorted or fabricated. They use the same tactics, but since most people only want to hear what the want to hear it doesn’t matter.
Determine the credibility of the source. People do make mistakes. However, if they do, do they apologize and correct the error? Or, do they keep on telling lies? If a source is not credible, don’t listen or accept their lies.
Here are two examples that show the effectiveness of this tactic. One is from fairly recent history and the other is from ancient history.
North American Genocide
Another example is how North America portrays the colonization of the continent. Political leaders portray the continent as a largely uninhabited landscape. This was not the case. Thus, treating the indigenous peoples as roadblocks to their ability to colonize. Demonizing people enables you to see them and treat them as less than human. In this way, you can persecute people without guilt. Then use historical revisionism to rewrite the social narrative.
Assyrian Mythology Becomes Western Theology
To demonize someone or something is a term predating modern history. It shows how a concept can become inserted into a culture’s values. In the Hindu religion, the Devas (the bright lights in the Heavens) were the personifications of Deity. In Assyrian theology, the deity of the Hindu became the bad Gods or devils of their enemy.
The deity of the Hindu Deva became the Devil of the Assyrians. This enabled the Assyrians to conduct warfare using inhumane methods because the Hindus were not human. The term “demonize” comes from this distortion. The slandered Deity of the Hindu later became codified in Assyrian/Persian mythology. It became the basis of the belief system and terminology devils and demons in later Western theological constructs.
Historical Revisionism as a Tool of Control
We see how the two examples above are a means to an end. But, why would a culture need to use these tactics in the first place? It’s needed to hide the true motives of those in control. This is simply the continuation of the strategy of control. Let’s look at what precedes the need for revisionism.
You’d think that a government would want to promote a culture of peace, harmony, and equality. Sadly, this isn’t the case. To maintain ultimate control, there needs to be social tension. This enables social manipulation. Divide and control is a proven tactic. You just need to set it up correctly. You need a strong sense of us versus them. This creates the social tension needed.
You need three things problems, scapegoats, and heroes. You can adjust the social tension as needed to keep people’s attention off the real issues. The real issues are increased cash flow and return on investment for those who are the real “owners.” The real problem is anarchy which overthrows the government and ruins the cash flow.
Personal Warning Signs
When you encounter roadblocks on the path to growth, such as difficulty meditating or concentrating. Experiencing the general lack of joy in life. Feeling like you are on a plateau and something in the way, but can’t put your finger on it. These are indications that you may be affected by the three elements above. Two patterns let us we are dealing with something that is potentially affected by this bias.
The first pattern is when you have feelings of fear or hate about memory and don’t know why. This indicates reprogramming is happening. This is triggering your “fight or flight” response. So, if you fear or hate something it’s important to ask yourself why.
The second pattern is when you discover emotions and feelings around a memory have changed. This is a strong indicator especially if the emotions have gone from positive to negative. You might miss one unless you are using a journal to record your practice, dreams, significant memories and the feeling associated. In my experience working with people, this type of distortion isn’t uncommon.
How it Programs Memories and Emotions
If you think either of these patterns may apply, remember, you can overcome the issues. You can reprogram your memories and emotions to best reflect the truth. I recommend you seek help either from a trusted friend or counselor. Essentially, what you need to do is backtrack. Find out how, when, and why your memory or the emotions attached to it changed. This will give you the leverage to “choose” what you want to do with emotional attachment. Please start using a spiritual journal to record your practice. Record your feelings about dreams and memories that “pop up.” This will help you sort things out.
What you need in the long-term is a strategy that prevents being programmed. You need something which enables you to “see” when someone is trying to manipulate you. That’s where some basic spiritual technologies can help.
Finally, it’s important to remember that we are all susceptible to historical revisionism. For that reason, we highly recommend that you use spiritual technologies for expanding awareness. This is the best way to make you less susceptible. A good place to start is the application of inductive and deductive reasoning to sharpen the ability to discern fact from fiction.
The best way to enhance your critical thinking is with the study of Logical Reasoning. Spotting Logical Fallacy, and The Logical Axioms are two companion toolsets. Regardless of what people want to believe about the past or future, remain a skeptic. A skeptical mindset is built on a solid foundation of logic. We also recommend going against the flow, promoting peace and harmony wherever you go.
Remember, part of your awakening is to help others. Share your insights with others so that they can also learn how to determine the facts from the fiction.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia