The Richmond Rally Is a Perfect Example of Why You Can’t Trust the Media to Provide Reliable Intelligence

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If you’ve been watching the news in the last few days, you are sure to be aware of the Gun Rights Rally held in Richmond, VA. And, depending on which news you watch, your ideas of what happened, who attended, what the rally was about, and how it proceeded could be radically different than the person next to you at work.

On one side, it was a show of force or terrorism by ‘white nationalists’, militias, supremacists, etc…

And on the other, it was a diverse and peaceful rally to show the state government of the Commonwealth of VA to not intrude further on Constitutional Rights.

And while I definitely fall on the side of the latter, I cannot think of a better real-time example of the value of not just information, but trusting the sources, evaluating bias, and the value of collecting information from other, opposing sources and viewpoints in order to make good decisions for your survival in the urban area.

The value of good intelligence

In the USE&E approach, information and intelligence (in the military sense, not the intellectual sense) are some of the most valuable things we can have. It helps us make decisions, lets us see what may be happening in our world that we need to prepare for, and gives us a view of enemies, allies, neutral parties, resources, and other things to make our lives better.

The first rule of intelligence gathering is to listen to it all, but believe none of it until you can verify it independently. This is especially true when you are inclined to trust the source.

A popular saying in old journalism schools is; “If your mother says she loves you, verify it with three sources.” This goes double for life-saving or actionable intel. As much as you might like a radio host, you should take their information at face value until you can get it from a few different sources.

There are a few reasons why.

What is the reason for the information?

In a mass media endeavor, information is not the prime reason for a show. Advertisers are.

There is a certain alternative host that is known as the greatest water filter salesman in history, and this is for a reason. No matter what knowledge he puts out, his primary job is delivering for advertisers.

It doesn’t mean his information is wrong or right, it means you need to take it for what it is, and get other, corroborating stories that will either prove or disprove it.

Look out for willful disinformation and propaganda

The next category is watching out for willful disinformation. This is probably the most common and rampant occurrence when seeking sources. The cause is usually easy to see if you can maintain a neutral viewpoint as you are consuming the news or information.

Mostly, it is doled out as half-truths dressed up as the full truth in order to advance an agenda, make someone look good or bad, or distract you from seeing the whole picture. The worst of it plays into your biases to keep you docile, or even worse, thinking that you are doing something worthwhile when in reality, you are just being kept busy and out of the way.

A nasty side effect is that you will usually share the disinformation, thus spreading it to different people, and roping them into that loop. This takes advantage of the normal human instinct to share what we find important and helpful with those close to us.

On a smaller scale, like work, for example, most of us have experience with the coworker that will half-lie for their own benefit, file false HR grievances to sabotage the competition, or various other acts using information as a weapon. This is the same thing I was talking about above, just on a different scale.

The final category is outright propaganda used to steer a population or a person into a false belief or false action.

We can see examples of this all around us, and the mainstream media’s behavior over the last few years can be used as a model to learn about this.

Why you have to watch out for bad intel

Now, after all of that, here is why I find it important to talk about this. As mentioned above, information is a currency all it’s own. It enables us to make proper decisions and act when needed.

But there are other reasons that looking at these things is important. Time is the most valuable resource we have. We need to spend our time wisely, and wasting it on false information is dangerous. It takes our time away from things that will really help us in the world we live in and makes us waste even more time worrying about things that do not matter. Neither of these things makes our lives better or our prepping worthwhile.

Another reason is that we need to watch against being guided or steered into harmful action, or inaction that benefits others but not ourselves.

The main reason, however, is the need to make the decisions for the lives we live now, and the lives we want to live in the future. If we continuously follow rabbit trails, swallow unproven conspiracies, let media inflame and enrage us, we are not living and preparing for our lives. We are reacting to others and living for them.

In the end, prepping and surviving requires us to act in our own best interest. We cannot do that if we do not have clear sight and a calm mind. We cannot help others if we do not know what is actually happening.

We cannot make allies and find helpers if we have a false picture of who to trust or believe.

In this case, we can become our own worst enemies. We are the only ones that can deceive ourselves to the point of danger. The more information we can trust, the less we can be susceptible to fooling ourselves based on what others try to shovel us.

Be skeptical.

Sometimes it is obvious that we are seeing a piece of disinformation, and sometimes it plays on a blindspot we have. Many of the false “be aware of this” viral posts on Facebook take advantage of our lack of knowledge of criminal behavior. Like the posts recently warning women about the zip tying of windshield wipers as a prelude to being abducted. If you don’t know how this actually happens, you will be worried about a false problem, and not looking for real danger signs, thus making you less safe.

In the future, I will be talking about warning networks, neighborhood networks, how to set up varying networks locally, and things to pay attention to in an urban environment to stay safe and prepared. We will also discuss various tricks of the trade and ways to get by. But none of that information will help if you cannot trust the sources you receive your information from.

Be skeptical.

Be realistic.

Trust your gut.

Be discerning.

About Terry

Terry Trahan has been a long term martial artist and teacher of personal protection, as well as an author for numerous publications. His experiences from being a gang member, enforcer, protection specialist, and bouncer have given his teachings a strong bent towards the practical. Fighting his way out of extreme poverty and some unsavory environs also gives him insight into survival and everyday life not often commented on. He can be contacted at terry.trahan at

Terry Trahan

Terry Trahan

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  • The following example is relevant:



    Did CIA Director William Casey really say, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”?

    Barbara Honegger, studied at Stanford University
    Answered Nov 25, 2014 · Upvoted by Mark Berger, former Legislative aide for a United States Senator.
    Originally Answered: Did William Casey (CIA Director) really say, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”?

    I am the source for this quote, which was indeed said by CIA Director William Casey at an early February 1981 meeting of the newly elected President Reagan with his new cabinet secretaries to report to him on what they had learned about their agencies in the first couple of weeks of the administration.

    The meeting was in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House, not far from the Cabinet Room. I was present at the meeting as Assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser to the President. Casey first told Reagan that he had been astonished to discover that over 80 percent of the ‘intelligence’ that the analysis side of the CIA produced was based on open public sources like newspapers and magazines.

    As he did to all the other secretaries of their departments and agencies, Reagan asked what he saw as his goal as director for the CIA, to which he replied with this quote, which I recorded in my notes of the meeting as he said it. Shortly thereafter I told Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who was a close friend and colleague, who in turn made it public. Barbara Honegger [email protected]



  • The most important thing about the rally for gun rights, self defense and the Second Amendment in Richmond was what DID NOT HAPPEN:

    A) Despite the presence of thousands and thousands of scary yucky guns that can shoot one thousand gajillion rounds a second, NO ONE DIED. So it looks like maybe, just maybe, the guns are not actually the problem

    B) Despite all the big tough talk by the World’s Dumbest Communists, Antifa was a no show. Looks like the presence of trained gun owners is a deterrent to big mouth goons who wanna play dress up and smash peoples skulls with clubs and crowbars

    C) Despite all the scare tactics about how all gun owners are hate filled racists just spoiling to murder them thar dark colored people, none of that crap happened either. In fact, the crowds were notable for being polite and patient and they ACTED LIKE GROWNUPS.

    Lets pause to give thanks to the hard work of Governor BlackFace, the VA Dummycrats and the meat puppet media: your combined efforts have made it possible for Virginia to go full red state again, and add the Dominion state’s electoral vote to President Trump’s upcoming landslide victory this November

    Great going Dummycrats. Good job, Bolsheviks. You rolled the dice that were loaded in your favor, and you still came up snake eyes.

    • Concerning B) I read more than one report that said that the local VA antifa would be marching with the Second Amendment supporters. That may have scared off the national antifa, realizing that if they attacked, they may be fighting against their own.

  • One of the reasons why MSM is so fearful of alt-news. Not only does alt-news point out MSM bias and slant, MSM self-censorship of uncomfortable facts, but also takes away advertising dollars.
    But then when you point that out, MSM cries the victim. Had MSM not sold out their journalistic integrity, objectivity and standards, the American public would not be so distrustful of them.
    And I believed that long before Trump.

  • Terry , one of my former classmates and good friend had that happen to her. The Windscreen wipers on her sports car were zipped tied together, she just thought it was a practical joke and went to her local repair guy to get them cut off. That’s when she was told about the story. She thought it was strange , they targeted her because as she told me why in heavens name would anyone want an obvious (her words) overweight 65 year old grandma. Told her driving that “fancy” sports car of hers, someone must have thought she was a younger “hot” chick not the “hot” gramma she was.

  • One rule that I’ve made for myself is not to waste my time watching news over which I have no control of changing. Examples include:

    Don’t stay up watching elections’ returns: once I’ve cast my vote, there’s nothing more I can do. Therefore, just go to bed and get a good night’s sleep.

    I haven’t watched one second of the impeachment hearings—there’s absolutely nothing I can do to change them, so why waste my time watching them?

    There are many similar events where reading about them afterwards is a better use of my time than watching them.

    My mother likes watching ABC national news (the guy is cute). I’ve sat down and watched with her a few times—what a waste of time. Most of what they report on is entertaining trivia that has zero effect in my life. That’s not counting their fake news.

    The news I watch (not necessarily on TV) are local events where I can act directly, as well as national and international news that have the potential of local effects. For example, if there had been violence at the VA 2nd Amendment demonstration, would it effect my practice of the 2nd Amendment in my state? Will there be a World War III, what will be its causes and how will it play out? While I expect World War III, my main interest is what would be its local effects and how to prep for it? Pork prices are going up because of a pig disease in China, so their imports from the U.S. are four times last year’s. We can expect sugar prices to rise because of a poor harvest in the Red River valley this year. There’s a limit to how much news any individual can adsorb, concentrate on what we can act on and what will effect our lives.

    Also background information is often more important than day-to-day actions, because background information can often predict day-to-day actions.

  • I think that a lot of people remember what happened in Charlottesville and were worried about a repeat with the Richmond Rally. I don’t think that anyone involved in the C’ville rally had any idea that someone would be stupid enough to purposefully drive a car through the crowd.

    With the Richmond Rally, even the mainstream media as far away as Iowa and Nebraska talked about how peaceful the rally way. I think it was a win for gun rights citizens everywhere. It seems that the huge amount of hate shown in the C’ville rally was missing (thankfully) in Richmond.

  • Anxiety Sells

    If you can be made anxious or confused, you’re more likely to buy something to pacify these feelings.

    So, if a clown amusedly formerly known as Bill H*cks rants & raves, hitting a desk with rolled up papers then stops on a dime and tries to sell orange juice or vitamins that’s probably what he is doing. In addition, he is backwashing anything he had said by appearing like a lunatic which could be a case of controlled opposition (the proverbial wolf in sheeple clothing). Time to check facts.

    • oops, “… backwashing … ” was meant to be “blackwashing” or what opposition does to discredit the group they’re mimicking. “Whitewashing” would be damage control by re-instating an event or statement by presenting it in a better light, by omission of facts, diversions or muddling facts. Then again, if an event is presented as an either or choice, door number one or two but not three, four and so on, then it’s time to check facts.

      Note, I’m not saying to presume anything, just check the facts. It could be mine or your assumptions that are bias or wrong. It happens.

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