When it comes to the art of conversation, the evangelist knows it's small-talk, after all, he/she must insure that it gets past the objections of the person that they are targeting in the most benign way. After all, they want to be seen as friendly, before they con you.

The basic premise in manipulating the conversation, is that they want to make you believe that it was YOUR idea to have this discussion. Like a good con-artist they wish to have you reveal intimate details of your life.

Let us look more in detail how they will manipulate the conversation into their own ends.

The Socratic Method

The Socratic method is a series of questions in which your prospect can readily agree, then ask a concluding question based on those agreements, in order to receive a desirable response.

The most famous example of this in the evangelical context is of course the "Good person test", a series of questions that start from basic questions about a person's identity, and then a quick switch to the evangelical framework.

The Socratic method, is also a nice way to answer objections, as questions can be used to gain personal knowledge. Remember, if they say "I want to understand you", they really mean "I want to gain enough knowledge so I can supplant you!".

Quote Mining

Quote mining is the practice of purposely compiling frequently misleading quotes from large volumes of literature or speech.

It is commonly used to describe a method frequently employed by Creationists to support their arguments, though it can be and often is used outside of the "science vs. faith" discussion. The evangelist often present "mined quotes" which, when taken out of context, appear to undercut a topic, or quotes which have been altered so that it appears as though the source of the quotation has a complete opposite view than the way it was originally intended.

This is a form of misinformation warfare, which takes advantage of the ignorance of people in certain fields (science being the most common one).

The Big Lie

This technique, consists of telling a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe anyone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously". The first documented use of the phrase "big lie" is in the corresponding passage: "in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility".

Many Ministries use the big lie to push misinformation, this takes form of misquotes, taking words out of context, and sources of an evangelical bias. Many ministries tend to even use urban legends that have been debunked time and time again, yet they will push this technique, the big lie, in hopes to maintain their hold on their followers.

See Also

External Links