Official narrative

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The "Official Narrative" is the cover story of "the powers that be". On WikiSpooks this generally means the story intended for citizens of the so-called 'Western Democracies'. This could be the truth, but the term is usually reserved for use in cases in which it departs significantly from the truth (which may be be unclear or completely unknown, cover by a veil of official lies).

The Official Narrative of an event is the story told about it by the establishment. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wikipedia has no page on this important topic - the closest it comes is a generic page about cover-ups.

Official Narrative

The Official Narrative about Official Narratives is that this is while not necessarily the whole truth, certainly a large part of it and are mistakes are due to accidental oversight or lack of evidence rather than deliberate mendacity. While other narratives are inevitably tainted by the suspicion of self-interest, the authorities are deemed creditworthy - in the establishment's view - by their 'official' nature (and imputed track record of reliability).

Problems

The official narrative, like any other narrative is a human creation, and as such may be just as susceptible to human failings, bias, lack of integrity or other such shortcoming as any personal accounts. From the "white man's burden" to "Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction", history is littered with official narratives which were abandoned either because their mendacity was exposed or simply because they had served their purpose and were no longer needed. If the official narratives of yesteryear were packed with self-serving lies, is it reasonable to expect (far less, as the establishment would have it, assume) that the official narratives of the modern day are any less mendacious?

Official narratives are sometimes changed at short notice, and sometimes demonstrably at odds with the facts. For example, the 9/11 Commission report that states that nobody heard explosions in the World Trade Center, ignoring the testimony of dozens of witnesses such as the late Barry Jennings. They are very often inconsistent and/or incomplete (the Commission's first report completely failed to mention WTC7).

Official narratives often lack explicative power and often take a 'lowest common denominator' approach - i.e. By trivializing complex issues they fail to respect the subtleties of the matter at hand. (Who did 9/11?.. "Al-Qaeda, the evil doers". Why?... "Because they hate us." Why?... "Because we're free.") Their lack of subtlety and explicative power means that they increasingly end up as self-referencing faits accomplis, which could be instantly unmasked by a population of critical thinkers. This explains the importance of the commercially-controlled media to the modern deep state.

Legal protection

For a few special topics, official narratives are of such central importance and/or so lacking in credibility that they are buttressed by national law. An outstanding example is provided by The Holocaust; in much of Western Europe, expansive claims of "free speech" notwithstanding, the establishment imprisons those who question this official narrative, terming them "Holocaust Deniers" not for denying but merely questioning the historical record. The Thai constitution states that "No person shall expose the king [of Thailand] to any sort of accusation or action". 478 people were charged there in 2010 with this crime, termed "Lèse majesté".[1]

Partisan nature

By the usual definition (the recorded verdict of the "official" establishment body) the assassination of Martin Luther King has been, after the 1999 successful civil trial by William Pepper, in which a jury unanimously decided that Loyd Jowers conspired with unnamed (US) "governmental agencies" to kill King, demonstrably at odds with the idea of authorities as benevolent and reliable. For this reason, the trial was subject to a partial[2] news blackout by the commercially-controlled media. Wikipedia steadfastly refuses to follow its own policy on this point - preferring instead a set of unsubstantiated allegations that the legal process was "corrupted".[3]

Recent Developments

Especially since 9/11, increasingly organised crowd-sourced efforts (such as this website) are scrutinising official narratives and are successful in undermining their credibility. One ongoing response to such beviour is to attempt to suppress it through casting aspersions about those who carry out such analysis (e.g. labelling as "Conspiracy theorists") another is to ramp up censorship, refusing FOIA Requests and issue less and less by way of official explanations, citing "national security" concerns as an excuse for a culture of secrecy.

Official opposition narratives

Official opposition narratives are establishment-approved stories that run counter the official narrative. This may sound contradictory, but controlling the opposition by leading them is an old tactic. As Theodor Hertzl reportedly counseled "We will lead every revolution against us". In common with official narratives, they cover a strict subset of observable reality, sometimes in ways crafted to appeal to particular groups. Where possible, subterfuge such as distraction or insinuation is preferred to outight lies (which might lead to problems later), but the prefered stategy of dealing with uncomfortable areas (e.g. Cui bono?) is to simply ignore them.

Framing the debate

Noam Chomsky has published eloquently about 'framing the debate' - if you can choose both sides of the debate, there is no need to worry about who wins. For example, "Should we spend more on the war on terrorism now or can it wait until next year?..." "What is the best way to attack Iraq?..." "Which set of policies are the best for us, republican or the democrat?..."

Party politics could have been designed with this strategy in mind. For example, the US 2004 election, Republican Bonesman George W Bush was up against Democrat John Kerry, a fellow Bonesman. So whether you voted republic or democrat, you were voting for the same US secret society, Skull and Bones. As Anthony Sutton noted back in the 1980s such playing of both sides is a standard strategy of the Skull and Bones fraternity.[4]

Controlled media

Full article: Corporate media

Just as the commercially-controlled media is the venue for promulgating official narratives, so it is for official opposition narratives. This insight may explain how many prominent and apparently ardent critics of the establishment turn out to have an unexpected background. Bill Moyers, for example, whose 1987 film The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis introduced many to the concept of the deep state, was White House Press Secretary, a top aide to Lyndon Johnson and a member of the Bilderberg steering committee.

Example Official opposition narratives

Full article: Iraq War

The official opposition narrative to the invasion of Iraq is that it was a terrible mistake. Leaders were given "faulty intelligence", were hawkish, overexcited, even perhaps credulous and they allowed their desire to do good to overcome their good sense. Clear evidence of mendacity (e.g. the Downing Street memo) is more or less ignored and the issue of sincerity of leaders or their prosecution for war crimes does not arise. No mention is made of motivations such as the desire of multinational oil companies for continued easy access to fossil fuels, the massive profits made by mercenary companies and financial institutions.

Full article: Rated 4/5 “War on Drugs”

One official opposition narrative to the War on Drugs is again that drug prohibition is 'mistaken'. It states that concern for people's welfare has triumphed over the scientific evidence which suggests that the prohibition of drugs harms society and increases criminality. It never asks "Cui bono?"; it is silent on the wider consequences of drug prohibition such the immense profits which accrue from the global drugs trade or the criminalization of huge sectors of society.

Usage on Wikispooks

Many Wikispooks pages begin with an Official Narrative section. This reflects not a high degree of credibility in the official narrative, but rather the fact that:

  1. Most events have a certain number of indisputable facts which are generally[5] accounted for by the official narrative
  2. Repetition by government schools and/or the commercially-controlled media means that many readers are more familiar with this perspective than any other

The official narrative serves as a starting point for the ensuing discussion, just as an introductory "Background" section often sets the scene for articles about people by giving some basic facts. Most "official narrative" sections (as on this page) have a "Problems" subsection which highlights some key weaknesses of the official narrative, whether in terms of its internal coherence and implausibility or in terms of its failure to sufficiently explain observed reality.

"Fringe theories"

The opposite to an "official narrative is termed by Wikipedia a "fringe theory", an idea too at odds with the official narrative to be worth contemplating. Wikipedia uses this label as an excuse for censorship. For example, the evidence that nanothermite explosives brought down the World Trade Center, although published in a peer reviewed scientific journal - by Wikipedia's own policy, a strong indication of reliability - is apparently invalidated by addition of the "fringe theory" label.

Fabrication by The Establishment

The spinning of official narratives by the establishment is a routine activity. This process is often the (completely sincere) routine work from officials who prepare press releases or public statements, later edited or soundbyted by the commercially-controlled media for their own purposes. Conscious deception is certainly involved in some cases, but creating official narratives is not necessarily indicative of venality; the majority are probably handled routinely by employees who have this responsibility precisely because their perspectives are sufficiently limited by the regulating group mind that they can be relied upon to create establishment friendly interpretations.

For particularly dramatic deep events such as the 9/11 attacks or the JFK Assassination sometimes one or more "official" investigations are carried out ostensibly to uncover the truth, but in practice more to diffuse discontent and public suspicion and to actually cover up the truth by working out a solid enough alternative version of events, one from which establishment wrongoing has been expurgated and so can be safely promulgated by the commercially-controlled media.

Censorship

Full article: Stub class article Censorship

Censorship may indicate a duplicitous official narrative. For example, after it was shown on TV on September 11th, 2001, the collapse of WTC7 - in stark contrast to WTC1 & WTC2 - was not broadcast on commercially-controlled media for several years. Where no plausible official narrative can be concocted, this is generally preferred - so where censorship is evident, this may suggests malfeasance.

Another, albeit perhaps rare, motive for censorship is that an official narrative poses a clear challenge to the establishment. The best example of this is the 1999 verdict that the US government was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate MLK. Dramatic underreporting of this event by the commercially-controlled media has meant that most US citizens are still completely unaware of this fact.

Timing

The speed of concoction of the official narratives is sometimes revealing. On September 11th, 2001, the collapse of the World Trade Center towers was being attributed to fire[6] and the attacks were blamed on Al-Qaeda within a matter of hours, while the BBC and Fox News notably announced the WTC7 collapse before it actually happened.  

Examples

     Page name     TypeDateAuthor(s)Subject(s)Description
CONTEST/Prevent/Official narrative
File:Cass sunstein conspiracies.pdfpaper15 January 2008Cass Sunstein
Adrian Vermeule
Conspiracy theoryA classic Official Narrative-type exposition of Conspiracy theory and Conspiracy Theorists with recommendations on how governments should deal with them. It is the principal source of the now widely-used expression "Cognitive Infiltration"
Lockerbie Bombing/Official NarrativeThe Official Narrative about the Lockerbie bombing was presented by former Lord Advocate Colin Boyd on 28 August 2001.
 

Related Document

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TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Pilgrims Society Address 2002speech28 November 2002Richard BoucherFull of platitudes and the obligatory quotations from politicians past to bolster and confirm the essential righteousness of the Pilgrims present. Probably a fairly typical address to The London Pilgrims by a US Embassy Official, but hard to read without squirming at the delusional sanctimonious arrogance it exudes.
== Rating ==
3star.png 1 July 2016 Robin  An important concept on Wikispooks
This provides an overview of both 'Official narratives' and 'Official opposition narratives' can be used to frame debates in ways that suit the establishment.


References

  1. High time to concede the Thai king can do wrong, 20 July 2011
  2. The verdict was reported in the New York Times, which even cited a member of the jury as remarking that "We all thought it was a cut and dried case with the evidence that Mr. Pepper brought to us, that there were a lot of people involved, everyone from the C.I.A., military involvement, and Jowers was involved".
  3. By the Washington Post and New York Times.
  4. UG#675 - What We're Not Being Told
  5. But not always! Note for example, the official narrative of the collapse of WTC7, that it collapsed due to fire, notwithstanding the fact that no steel framed skyscrapers collapsed from fire before or since.
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z45hI6YuC-I
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