We cannot trust the corporate media. Mainstream news in particular consists of little more than propaganda. This includes “gray” propaganda, comprising corporate “sponsored news” reports that are merely thinly veiled advertisements or public relations messaging not attributed to an openly identified source, as well as black propaganda, consisting of pre-packaged lies straight from the government, presented surreptitiously as news reports and legitimate journalism.

Since Obama did away with the Smith-Mundt Act with his signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2013, the U.S. government has been legally allowed to propagandize its own citizens. Not that they hadn’t been doing it indirectly (and illegally) since 1948, when the Smith-Mundt Act was initially passed into law. Now, the U.S. government can disseminate gray and black propaganda through its lapdog and mouthpiece, the mainstream media, and no one can be held accountable.

Actually, that is not entirely true. The only way propaganda can be effective is when people actually fall for it. Ultimately, Americans are accountable for the crimes committed by their government in their name. Every time we accept at face value dubious narratives like North Korean missile tests or chemical weapons attacks in Syria, without questioning any aspect of what we are told, without attempting to confirm mainstream media claims with verifiable evidence, we are accountable for what happens next. Ignorance, willful or otherwise, is no excuse.

A number of events—some of which are clearly hoaxes and false flags—have been presented to us through the mainstream media in the last year. With even the most cursory examination, many of these narratives fall apart, and one is left with little to no evidence that the alleged event even took place. The Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting, Melbourne car attack and Westminster car attack are three examples of what appear to be staged terror events. Now we have the latest bullshit de jour, the Syrian gas attacks.

Unlike the first three events I mentioned, which were aimed at pumping up fear about terrorism, demonizing all Muslims and further dividing us into two opposing camps (left/pro-immigration vs. right/anti-immigration), the Syrian gas attacks have already prompted a knee-jerk reaction that may be the first step toward a disastrous global military conflict. And all this before a single shred of evidence has been presented that confirms beyond a shadow of doubt that Assad launched a gas attack.

Unconfirmed reports, rumor and innuendo abound, but none of it is the basis upon which a military attack should be predicated. The same thing can be said with respect to North Korea, which is also in America’s crosshairs. U.S. Navy warships are heading toward the North Korean coast as I write this. There is no conclusive understanding regarding the North Korean nuclear arsenal, nor any proof that they have a functional delivery system that would enable them to attack Washington DC. We are simply supposed to take the White House, State Department and Pentagon word for it. Even though everything they do is purportedly vital to national security and U.S. interests, none of us average Americans are allowed to know the details. We can’t handle the truth! But we sure swallow their lies—hook, line and sinker.

We were lied to about Pearl Harbor, lied to about the Vietnam War, lied to about the Iran-Contra affair, lied to about the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, lied to about 9/11, lied to about WMDs in Iraq and lied to about Libya.

Given that track record, what are the chances that we are now being lied to about Syria and North Korea?

As I have pointed out in a previous article, there is something really strange going on here: on one hand, we are presented with fake terrorist events that are hyped by the mainstream media around the world. Yet, on the other hand, the mainstream media also deliberately downplays or outright buries stories about actual crimes attributed to Muslim and African immigrants in Western countries. Why? If the goal is to make us fear and hate these immigrants, why not simply report on the actual crimes they commit? What is the purpose of hiding real crimes only to stage fake ones?

I am disappointed by some in the so-called “alternative media” who tend not to take a critical view of events that conveniently dovetail with their particular agenda. For them, affirming the mainstream narrative is politically expedient. It really bothers me when I see some in the alternative media and analyst community question the Syrian gas attack narrative, but unquestioningly accept that the Orlando Pulse shooting and the Westminster attacks were real, if only because it supports their argument that Islam is incompatible with the West, some Muslims pose a threat to our communities (i.e. they belong to secret terrorist cells) and immigration should be halted. For the record, I agree with all three of those statements. However, I will never accept something the mainstream media tells me out of hand simply because it reinforces my argument. That would make me irresponsible and dishonest. I may not always be right, but that is OK. I only want to uncover the truth, no matter where it takes me.

To my mind, as horrific as 9/11, the Nice truck and Westminster car attacks appear on the surface, the idea that these events were very likely false flags or hoaxes staged by our own governments is a far more frightening prospect. This means that our own governments are targeting us as the enemy and they are acting against our best interests. These events are happening all over the Western world, from the United States and England, to Canada, Sweden, Germany, France and Australia. This, my friends, is the very definition of a conspiracy. Propaganda not only facilitates conspiracy, it helps cover it up. This is the primary function of the corporate media.

It is extremely difficult to identify propaganda and know when we are being lied to. This is why I strongly encourage everyone to avoid the corporate media. I am not only talking about news, but also TV shows of all kinds, including sports, Hollywood movies, video games, porn, social media—everything. All of these are working in tandem to present us with a completely false perception of reality. Instead, we must take the time to study propaganda techniques, fine-tune our baloney detection kit and make a studious effort to cultivate a deeper understanding of issues that affect our lives. For the time being, the internet offers unfettered access to painful facts, damning evidence and unvarnished truths that can help us gain a more accurate and honest view of the world we live in. Take advantage of this access while you still can, I suspect it may not last much longer.

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. —Rene Descartes