The Deceptions of Warby Rit Nosotro
Change Over Time essay
Beginning with Gideon's trumpets, up through the Trojan Horse, and continuing through "Operation Fortitude" of WWII, describe some of the major deceptions, psychological-warfare, and propaganda techniques used in warfare.
Over the years the use of deception, psychological-warfare, and the use of propaganda throughout war has remained in essence the same. From the attack at Troy using the famed Trojan Horse, to a bombing raid on Tokyo which inflicted greater psychological impact than property damage, the basic tactics of destroying the enemies' resolve has remained unchanged. The weapons of deception have consisted of signs and wonders that confounded the enemy. Even the Bible predicts that a future anti-christ will deceive many through false signs and wonders. Those who are warned with the truth may avoid the pitfalls of deception.
According to the "Random House Dictionary of the English Language" deception is "the act or state of deceiving or the state of being deceived." The synonyms are: trick, stratagem, ruse, wile, hoax, imposture, subterfuge, and treachery. Since psychology is the "science of the mind or of mental states and processes; The science of human nature", then psychological-warfare involves attacking of the mental state of the enemy. Finally, propaganda is "information, rumors, etc., deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc."
The earliest deception in recorded human history took place in the Garden of Eden. Satan tricked Eve into believing she could become like God if only she would eat the fruit God had forbid (Genesis 3). Also in Genesis is the record of Jacob's masquerading as his hairy brother Esau in order to obtain the blessing from his dieing father. Perhaps the most infamous and blatant deception is recorded in Matthew 26:48-49. "Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: 'The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.' Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him." This attempt at deception lead to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.
The best example of psychological warfare from the Bible is seen in the experience of Gideon (Judges ch. 6-7). During this time, roughly around 1190 B.C., a large armed force of Midianites, Amalekites, and other foreign soldiers invaded Israel; so numerous were their forces that Judges 6:5 refers to them as “swarms of locusts.” While the Israelite army, led by Gideon, had initially had contained 32,000 men, the Lord saw fit to have Joshua dismiss all but three hundred of them, so as to clearly show how He would be the one to whom victory belonged, not to Israel. Needless to say, the odds of Gideon winning such a battle seemed rather slim. .
"So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites to their tents but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others." 1 "...'Watch me,' he told them. 'Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, 'For the LORD and for Gideon.'' 1
At Gideon's word, they each broke their pot to reveal the torch and sounded on the horn. The Midianites woke up to the frightening sound and saw they were surrounded by lights in the darkness. Then "the LORD caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords." 1 In the end, the great psychological battle stood as a total victory for the Israelites and a symbol of God's miraculous power. The idea was replicated when "less than 50 miles from the spot of Gideon's triumph--and 3,000 years later--another night attack took place. In 1918, during the First World War, a British brigade mounted a successful night raid on Turkish lines and, interestingly, also used deceptive noise and light."6
Another large and highly acclaimed deception centered on the siege of Troy. The nine year war around 1200 B.C. was filled with many deceptions and examples of psychological warfare. During the great siege, for example, Odysseus managed to steal the great Palladium. The capture of this great statue of Athena was a great psychological blow against the Trojans, and served to bring despair into their hearts. 2
The Trojan Horse
The Greek army had a very difficult time infiltrating the defenses of Troy. So much difficulty, in fact, that Odysseus decided to use a large hoax to gain access to the city. Building a great hollow horse in secret, Odysseus along with some of his best soldiers hid in it. When the Trojans looked out the next day, all that met their eyes was the great horse standing where the Greek camp had stood just the day before. Little did they know that the Greek army had simply packed up, boarded their ships, and sat waiting just out of eyesight. Carefully, the Trojans approached the horse, and a lone Greek soldier, posing as a deserter and telling them the horse was a gift to the victorious city of Troy and symbol of the Greek defeat. Irrupting into joyous celebration, the soldiers of Troy took the horse into the midst of their city and proceeded to party. In the thick of night the Greek "deserter" opened the horse and Odysseus, along with his elect soldiers, stole out and opened the gate, allowing the waiting Greek army to slaughter the drunken Trojans and win the war. 2 Historians debate over whether this event, with its mythological setting and involvement of Greek deities, actually took place. This “Trojan Horse” trick would become a term used to describe other such attempts, in which gifts or apparent appeasements are given in order to lower the guard of the enemy and gain better access to them.
Early in 1944, the Allies put into motion this scheme and launched a massive propaganda campaign to deceive the Germans into thinking the Allies would land in Calais, France. The decoy mission was named "Operation Fortitude". Its objective centered on keeping the Germans entirely confused as to when and where the Allied forces were to invade France. By using inflatable rubber tanks, plywood artillery, and an assigned group of trucks driving endlessly back and forth along the same road, the allies were able to actually convinced the German spy network that the invasion was going to take place in Pas-de-Calais. They placed the notoriously tough U.S. General George Patton in Dover, England, where the army was allegedly positioned, in order to convince the Axis command that the false army existed. To top it all off, the allies had a group of radio technicians clutter the radio with fake messages from units of troops that did not exist. The decoy mission ended up being a total success, and to prove it the German planners and tacticians, along with Hitler himself, still thought the landing at Normandy (155,000 troops) were decoys to take firepower away from Pas-de-Calais. 3
The Doolittle Raid
Switching over to the Pacific theater, another great deception that was made which destroyed the Japanese sense of security while at the same time boosted the allies courage after Pearl Harbor. On April 18th and 19th, 1942, Doolittle lead a small bombing force of B-25 Mitchells from the carrier Enterprise. Swooping low over the ocean, the bombers suddenly appeared over Tokyo and commenced to bomb military factories. Although the damage was not significant, the fact that American bombers attacked the capital of Japan devastated the Japanese people who had been greatly deceived by the propaganda of their military leaders. American's around the world rejoiced at the miraculous accomplishment.4
In 1 John 2:22 the Bible defines the coming deceiver. "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." 1 In Revelation, God tells us through John's vision that the antichrist will sweep the world to himself through his lies and deceptions. He will destroy the worshipers of God and attempt to blot them off the face of the earth. "The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10).
"Evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (2 Tim 3:13).
"For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people" (Rom 16:18). The epitome of such a person was Adolf Hitler. Germany, throughout the Second World War, had a committee designed solely to deceive the people and to tell them lies so that the people would be proud of their country, and would fight and die gladly. Hitler had pastors swear allegiance to the state. Those, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who refused to disseminate the Nazi propaganda through their pulpits were killed.
During the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, both sides used propaganda to further their causes. However, the USSR used dictatorial control to extensively spread communism and killed millions who were perceived as threats to the party line.
Why does the Bible contain examples of propaganda, deception, and psychological warfare? The answer is in Romans 15:4, "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." By walking in the truth that sets free indeed, that is Christ, there is no stumbling into deception. Self deception is the strongest delusion of all. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in they name? and in they name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matt. 7:22-23
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). "Test everything. Hold on to the good" (1 Th 5:21).5
1 Christ Unlimited Ministires
"Bible.com" http://www.bibleontheweb.com/Bible.asp (January 27, 2005)
2 "History of the Trojan War" http://www.stanford.edu/~plomio/history.html (January 27, 2005)
3 Normandie Memoire 1944-2004 "Operation Fortitude" http://www.normandiememoire.com/NM60Anglais/2_histo2/histo2_p5_gb.htm# (January 27, 2005)
4 Joel Shepard, "The Doolittle Raid: April 18, 1942" http://www.cv6.org/1942/doolittle/doolittle.htm (January 27, 2005)
5 Dan Corner, "End Time Deceivers" http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/deceivers.htm (January 29, 2005)
6 Author Unknown, "Warfare in the Light of History" http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/history/marshall/military/mil_hist_inst/w/warfrA.asc (February 1, 2005)
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