"SHE FELL FROM A STAR
"Come out, come out, wherever you are and meet the young lady who fell from a star ... "--Glinda sings to the Munchkins in 'The Wizard of Oz'
False information, less diplomatically stated, could be called lies. Sometimes lies are unintentional. Sometimes lies are intentional. Regardless, false is false, and we need to inspect all the information we receive to ensure that it is not false.
One way to know if information is false is to determine whether the information helps us achieve a workable solution or does it lead toward continued mystery.
Such scrutiny may seem obvious, but few people critically examine information they receive. Whether the information has to do with the meaning of life or how to bake a better chocolate chip cookie, it is wise to put the information to the test before using it to develop any theories or before taking action based upon it.
Precaution 1: Does the information contain actual statistics or documented evidence or is it just a broad, sweeping generalized statement?
The morning newspaper headlines have propagandized a recent political effort to take guns away from the citizens with broad, general statements like: "Street gangs are sweeping the country! The youth of America are all killing each other with illegal handguns!"
Of course, no violent deaths are acceptable. But, when was the last time you personally observed a street gang shoot-out? Check out the facts: In 1990 there were 971 black youths and 942 white youths under the age of 18 who were victims of homicide in the United States. Hardly an epidemic compared to a total of 9,923 total people killed with handguns in the same year.
By contrast, 12,400 people were killed by accidental falls. So, why don't the newspapers have headlines about "The Terrible Tragedy of Gravity"?
More than 28,642 people committed suicide in 1990 and 69,225 died of pneumonia or flu. Cigarette smoking was a major killer with 78,380 deaths from emphysema. Meanwhile, in a real, honest-to-god-epidemic, 476,927 people died of cancer! How much effort is being made by the propaganda machines of big government to prevent smoking which is one of the principle causes of cancer?
False information is also spread simply by failing to include all of the correct information or including too much information.
Precaution 2: Does the information help your survival? Is it destructive? Is it just plain upsetting?
Asking the news media to report "the truth" is like asking a fly crawling on a cow pie for an accurate description of the cow. The kind of information we receive from the morning news on television or in newspapers or 'Time' magazine is, factually, very often highly spin-doctored, altered and misinterpreted. The so-called "news" is nothing more than a very tiny slice of the most shocking, disastrous, upsetting, tragic, gruesome, inhumane events which these sources painstakingly cut from the relatively large and lovely pie of life. This "news" is gathered from isolated sources, at great expense and selectively edited using the most sensationally colored prose imaginable. Yet the mainstream media news neglect to report the fact that billions of people and billions of other life forms on this planet are enjoying happy lives--no thanks to them!
Does reading or hearing about every single psychopathic rape/murder/theft/mayhem/disaster that occurs anywhere on the entire planet really improve the quality of your life or happiness? Or is this information you can more happily live without?"
-- Excerpt from THE OZ FACTORS, by Lawrence R. Spencer