We have seen, in the previous posts in this series, a LIE, for example, “Columbus killed millions of Indians,” become quoted in books, spread like wildfire, and establish itself in the popular culture, even though it is demonstrably FALSE.
How does such a thing happen?
One lie which we have all heard, “The army knowingly gave smallpox-infected blankets to the native Americans in order to decimate their numbers,” has been traced back to its origin. We can use it as an example of how such lies about our past are snuck in at the academic level.
In this analysis of the genocide rhetoric employed over the years by Ward Churchill, an ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado, a “distressing” conclusion is reached: Churchill has habitually committed multiple counts of research misconduct—specifically, fabrication and falsification. While acknowledging the “politicization” of the topic and evidence of other outrages committed against Native American tribes in times past, this study examines the different versions of the “smallpox blankets” episode published by Churchill between 1994 and 2003. The “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof strongly indicates that Churchill fabricated events that never occurred—namely the U.S. Army’s alleged distribution of smallpox infested blankets to the Mandan Indians in 1837. The analysis additionally reveals that Churchill falsified sources to support his fabricated version of events, and also concealed evidence in his cited sources that actually disconfirms, rather than substantiates, his allegations of genocide.
Thomas Brown, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Lamar University.
All historians believe in honoring the integrity of the historical record. They do not fabricate evidence. Forgery and fraud violate the most basic foundations on which historians construct their interpretations of the past. An undetected counterfeit undermines not just the historical arguments of the forger, but all subsequent scholarship that relies on the forger’s work. Those who invent, alter, remove, or destroy evidence make it difficult for any serious historian ever wholly to trust their work again.
American Historical Association’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct.
So, I glad-handed things a bit. Mea culpa.
Ward Churchill, on his smallpox blanket narrative.
Read the whole linked study, as Professor Brown goes into painstaking detail with irrefutable historical sources to debunk the body of Churchill’s claims.
But this is how modern leftism sneaks in lies about our past at the academic level, and by the way, this is done across many academic disciplines and not just history. But in the case of history, they depend upon the fact that few are conversant in the past these days, and so will not recognize a lie when it presents itself.
Then comes quotations and citations of the fraudulent narrative, in other academic and popular books on the subject. Each new book and magazine published, citing the lie, simply adds weight to its appearance as truth.
In the example of the smallpox blanket narrative, one diligent researcher, who did not recognize the lie to align with the historical facts he knew, traced the fabrication and falsification, and produced the record linked above. The author under question admits he lied (“Mea culpa.”) But if we did not have that diligent researcher and his published record, would we know?
Not only are there “experts” at the academic level publishing falsehoods, but we have a complicit media who loves these lies and propagates them, to create false narratives. Journalism used to be about countering false narratives with truth; today it is about creating false narratives to obscure truth.
Believers: we ought to be the first, of all others, to investigate these claims with research and facts. Instead, we are among the first to swallow them whole and spread them, completely in disobedience to the Ninth Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness.”
We have to recognize that the enemy, who, Yeshua taught us, does all he does to steal from us, destroy our work and lives, and kill us (Joh 10:10), uses lies as his primary weapon (Joh 8:44). We must repent of being his mouthpiece, and, with the Father’s help, establish a strong standard of truth for our words before we ever open our mouths!
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