Disarming disinformation

When faced with attempts to deceive or confuse, how can we know what’s true? Turning to God, divine Truth, for wisdom and guidance is a powerful place to start.

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Disinformation is one of the most effective weapons wielded by modern-day adversaries. How can anyone know what is true and protect themselves from the damage of deception?

This question is as old as time. The Bible recounts that the first human beings, Adam and Eve, encountered a very convincing disinformation campaign waged by a talking serpent, which claimed that things would be better for them if they disobeyed God, good. Falling for it didn’t end well for them.

This allegory teaches us to carefully evaluate what we accept as true. Fortunately, the Bible also offers a remedy to misrepresentation and despair: the teachings and example of Christ Jesus. When Satan tried to lead Jesus astray, Jesus – whose receptivity to God brought alertness and wisdom – called out the perpetrator: “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). Jesus’ pushback assured his safety and silenced the lies.

Christian Science, based on the Bible, explains that Truth is a synonym for God. The nature of God, divine Truth, includes integrity. And because each of us is the expression of God’s nature – the spiritual offspring of the Divine – our genuine nature includes honesty and decency.

A wicked “carnal mind,” as the Apostle Paul refers to the false mind-set that is opposed to God, can sometimes seem to overshadow this natural tendency toward truth and justice, and to wrongly influence our thoughts and actions. This can be afflictive and has the potential for interrupting the peace and goodwill that is natural between countries, peoples, and family members.

But this carnal mind has no legitimacy, as it is not of God, the one divine Mind. No false narrative can withstand the power of divine Truth to detect and destroy whatever would motivate a lie – be it self-will, fear, greed, or distorted ego – and reveal in human consciousness the omnipotent ever-presence of divine good.

A friend of mine experienced this in the early days of his career as an attorney. One day he was assigned to check out a claim that a particular company was engaged in illegal, prejudicial practices at one of its locations. The young lawyer went to the facility in question and spoke with a few folks working there, including those who were in charge. They assured him that everything was fine and everyone was content.

But my friend sensed that he was being misinformed. So he turned to God in prayer for inspiration and direction on what to do next. He reasoned that God, Truth, is the basis of all reality, and therefore each of us, as the child of God, has the innate ability to know whatever is needed. He trusted that, through prayer, he would be led to whatever next steps were appropriate and expedient to ensure fairness and justice.

The thought came to him to return to the facility at a particular time, and he found that those he had spoken to earlier were not there. Upon speaking with the workers who were present, it became clear that discrimination was systematically taking place. This led to the situation being corrected in a way that was just and fair, including terminating the employment of a manager who had been complicit, and compensating those who had been cheated. Truth had prevailed over lies.

No matter what form disinformation tries to take, no matter how subtle or destructive it would seem to be, divine Truth, God, the only valid Mind, is always present – empowering us to prove little by little that “Truth is always the victor” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 380).

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