Tackling the Propagandists by Peter Jones

Peter Jones

Tackling the Propagandists


There have always been, and always will be, nutters who make it their one object in life to attract attention. Most are quite harmless and can be left to celebrate their nucitude (Latin /nux nucis /3f. ‘nut’) in peace. But some are not. One thinks of Shoko Asahara, leader of a sect that used sarin gas to murder twelve commuters and injure thousands of others in a Tokyo subway in 1992, and Jim Jones, responsible for the Jonestown massacre in 1978. But at least there are forces of law and order that can (one hopes) deal with people like that.

But then there are nutters whose purposes, while not obviously murderous, are directed at ends whose consequences certainly could be. These are more difficult to handle because we in the West, valuing ‘freedom of speech’, are loath to suppress the traffic in ideas. In the early 1990s one such individual,

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