Tony Ortega’s Dirty Tricks #53: “Perception Management”

Unless, like Tony Ortega, you work in the shady field of Internet propaganda (or some of the more questionable advertising agencies of Madison Avenue) you may be unfamiliar with the concept of ‘perception management’.

Briefly, it is a ‘term of art’ coined by the wartime propaganda unit of the United States military and, according to the Department of Defense website, is understood to mean:

‘Actions to convey and/or deny selected information to audiences in order to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning… ultimately resulting in behaviors and actions favorable to the originator’s objectives.’

If this is starting to sound a little like the way Tony Ortega conducts himself as a quote/unquote journalist, it is no coincidence. Perception management is, after all, just another tool in the crooked toolbox used by unscrupulous manipulators like Tony. 

A propagandist like Tony Ortega understands that by influencing the way his target audience ‘perceives’ reality his is increasingly able to control and direct both their thinking and real-world behavior.

There are a number of ways Ortega attempts to influence his ‘targets’, or ‘suckers’ as we might more accurately call them. 

The first of which is through his imprecise use of language. For example, Tony often writes vaguely of the agendas and objectives of Scientology without explaining (or indeed, understanding!) either. By refusing to engage with the facts surrounding Scientology, Ortega uses his lack of clarity to increase ambiguity, making it harder for his readers to form anything close to an accurate perception.

Another way Tony Ortega tries to manage perception is by carefully stylizing how his own ‘social status’ is viewed from the outside. Readers of this blog are unlikely to be fooled by Tony Ortega’s bloviated attempts to aggrandize himself as a so-called “expert on Scientology”, but many of his Twitter followers fall for this. And they do so because Tony Ortega expends an awful lot of energy selling anyone who will hear him out on the lie that he is not only an expert, but the expert — to listen to anyone else would be ridiculous.

It is by virtue of this ‘impression management’ surrounding his alleged status as the expert that Tony Ortega attempts to control the perceptions of others regarding his authority. We see it every time Tony Ortega kisses up to those in power above him to ingratiate himself within their circles. Just what we see it whenever he shamelessly self-promotes, often at the expense of others.

All these tactics are routinely used by Tony Ortega, just as they have been by countless petty manipulators, pettifogging bloggers, and parasitic narcissist before him.

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