There are many ways to manipulate a population. Bribery usually works in elections, but to change a cultural institution, you need weapons of mass manipulation. Tailored surveys and fraudulent reporting are examples of such weapons. In this article, we will consider some polls that have been used to deceive the Australian population.
Designed to dishearten opponents, manipulate public sentiment and provide politicians with a wimp-out excuse, they have worked well so far. I’ll explain why I believe only about 30% of the population support homosexual marriage (and even they probably do so naively).
(Authors note: This is a little longer and heavier reading than normal – but it is really important for you to see how you are being played!!)
We live in an age when professional activists travel the world [608, 609, 610]. They conduct workshops on message crafting, manipulation and social change. It’s not all bad; we need some of these people. Some of them are genuine heroes! However, in this current battle, I’ve been lied to and so have you. The goal has been to lull us into agreement and apathy while our culture and our children are reshaped .
These activists don’t represent all homosexuals (in fact, I believe they misrepresent most homosexuals) and they certainly aren’t seeking what is best for the nation. This is all about themselves and their own agendas; make no mistake. Our Age of Mass Manipulation.
This brand of activist knows that if people believe change is inevitable, most will choose to ignore the issue (“Why bother?”), jump on board (“I like to be on the winning side”) or wimp out (“Thanks for the excuse.”). One way to create an expectation of inevitability is to craft and conduct polls that provide the numbers you want. This is exactly what has been done.
In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Galaxy was commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) (brilliantly deceptive name that). AME got what they paid for: the ability to say 62 per cent of Australian voters support gay marriage. How did they do it? Well, no criticism of Galaxy, they just did what they were paid to do. However, AME appears to have:
- Laid deceptive premises to influence the respondents,
- Used a loaded warm-up question to promoting a double “Yes”,
- Used clever wording and an inappropriate response limiter, and
- Reported on these flawed results to provide an inflated perception of popular support.
The surveys themselves and the results are shown below. But there is a problem. It seems that the criticisms got a bit hot after the first two surveys, because AME has gotten increasingly selective about how much of the report they want to be honest about.
In 2009 they posted most of it , in 2010 they posted less [708b] and then in 2011 [708c] even less. Perhaps the criticism of flawed methods was getting too hot. Mind you, they haven’t left the kitchen: they’ve got cooking to do!
For the sake of brevity I will provide an overview here with footnotes below. My point here is not to paint all activists as liars or cheats, but to encourage you to put your skeptical on when you see and hear messages coming out of this “Marriage-Change-Marketing-Machine”.
Australia, Here’s How we ‘Got Played’
First, they checked the respondents age and voting stance. They rotated the answer options for this question [708, 708b]. I mention this only because it is a standard method used to improve accuracy. Evidently they wanted accurate data on this question. But accuracy was clearly NOT as important in the questions and other surveys that followed.
The first issue question (2010) was: “A number of countries allow same-sex couples to marry. These include Argentina, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa and Spain, as well as parts of the United States and Mexico (in 2009 they stated the US as a whole). Do you agree or disagree that same-sex couples in Australia should be able to marry?”
The start of this question makes statements portraying homosexual marriage as more accepted internationally than it is. Most respondents would have been surprised by this [715,716]. It very likely triggered a reaction like, “Wow, maybe we really are a backward nation like the gay lobby tell us?” But in fact, less than 5% of nations have legalised same sex marriage. Not good for honest feedback!
Building on this false foundation, a second cognitive reframe was made. Respondents were told that homosexual marriages officiated overseas should be recognised in Australia. This side-door entry cleverly re-framed the issue and likely caused a second unsettling conceptual shift (or cognitive re-frame) for respondents [715,716]. Again, not good for honest feedback!
The issue was presented not in the usual way of a privilege being sought, but rather as something given elsewhere and being wrongfully taken away here. More clever manipulation.
The respondents were then asked to “Support” or “Oppose” the statement. These emotionally charged terms were chosen in preference to more neutral and recommended survey terms like ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. This no doubt increased the “Support” numbers. Human nature is to please, accommodate, be culturally ‘hip’ and definitely not appear uninformed [706,715]. To illustrate, had they asked, “Do you support the use of maternalavic hugs in childrearing?” they probably would have got just as many “Support” votes. Who wants to deny hugs, admit they don’t know what “maternalavic” means, or oppose anything that sounds like its about love?
Respondents were also denied an “Undecided” option. Faced with only a “Support” or “Oppose” option, this pretty much guaranteed most Aussies would agree. Why? Because:
- Australia is yet to see honest research or public debate on this issue. The only message really given media coverage or government voice are the messages shaped and approved by the activists of change.
- Any reasonable opposing voice is shouted down and attacked. Homophobia-phobia has taken root in our language and culture. It’s school-yard bullying all over again.
- As a result, the population is largely uninformed on the issue and its consequences. AND
- Most Australians believe the lie that it’s all about love and it won’t impact them.
A fairly designed survey accommodates as many possible responses as practicable. If you deny people an obvious option, you often confuse and frustrate the respondent while also reducing the variability of responses, effectively making statistical analysis invalid . A fact the designers were, in all likelihood, fully aware of. Did they not consider that some might be undecided? Or was the goal to unsettle respondents and force them to answer while knowing the odds were massively stacked in their favor? You probably know what I think. What about you?
All Roads Lead to the Money Question
The second issue question was: “Do you support or oppose legalising marriage between same-sex couples?”
The warm-up benefits provided by the first issue question were no doubt deliberate. In addition to all the other deceptive advantage they provided, they also set up the “support” answer they wanted as a response to the second question. When you get a respondent to say “Support” once, a follow-up “Support” is statistically more likely . Question 2 is where “Support” responses were wanted. This is where it was all leading. This was the money question!
A clarifying question was only offered after forcing the initial answer, creating a more honest looking result. After being forced to answer “Support” or “Oppose”, respondents were asked; “Would that be Support or Strongly Support?” This created a four-point result spread, even though the question was in a two-point format.
This creates an honest looking set of results to hide methodological flaws. It also allows ‘clump reporting’ whereby the ‘supports’ and the ‘strongly support’ results can be combined for an impressive (and deceptive) result [702, 703, 704, 710, 711, 712].
The same flawed question format was repeated for all 1,400 phone calls. This is bad practice even in a fairly-worded survey. Reversing answer options and other variables is normal practice just to overcome what is called acquiescence bias (or the tendency for people to agree with a statement regardless of true position or when indifferent) [706, 717]. Again, this is normal practice for a fair survey. When a survey has significant influential and problematic variables however, it is critical!
Yet, AME’s survey designers chose NOT to do this. So the survey became nothing more than a fraudulent number hunt and ultimately a criminal misrepresentation.
“Christian” ammunition has also recently been gathered. This is a dimension that should be commented on. Christian bashing has been an ever present, but recently ramped up strategy of the gay media and activists. This is done by portraying those who oppose this change as stuck-in-the-past, crusty, hateful, old, bigoted, religious homophobic zealots.
Not having as much success with that as they hoped, they have recently having been seeking to ‘re-educate the Christians’. They have gathered Christian bullets; i.e. people who identify as Christians but also support homosexual marriage. In preparation for this, the 2011 survey [708c] asked what religion they considered themselves to be. Using these results, they now use their survey results to claim that a majority of Christians support homosexual marriage.
And that, Australians, is how we got done!
This survey was flawed from start to finish – by design. Weigh in the following and you have a brilliantly crafted tool of mass manipulation. This is how AME has been able to report that 56%, 57% and 62% of the population support of same-sex marriage over three surveys. [708, 708b, 708c, 712]
- Deceptive portrayal of homosexual marriage as more internationally accepted than actually true,
- Deliberately putting respondents through an unsettling cognitive re-framing of the issue, provoking primarily emotional rather than logical processed responses,
- Use of a warm-up question for “Support-follows-Support” probability,
- No undecided answering option provided,
- Emotionally laden (rather than conventional neutral response options), and
- No reversal protocols between different interviews to neutralize any acquiescence bias.
Considering the manipulation at play and the lack of awareness in the community, I’m actually amazed that the support-for-change numbers were so low! Seriously, it could have been much, much higher.
When they were studying sociology and statistical survey methods at university (and they probably did) the people who crafted this survey would never have handed in such a flawed survey series as an assignment. They would have been ripped to shreds by their professor. However, when it comes to dismantling a culture and deconstructing the social structures that have held it together… then the only rule is to violate whatever rules you must to gain an advantage.
So can such surveys tell us anything? Short answer: Not much. But if we focus on those who gave a definitive viewpoint – and by that I mean those who chose ‘Strongly Support’ or ‘Strongly Oppose’, we can probably say, that at the most 30% of the population definitely supported same-sex marriage and 22% strongly opposed it.
The answers from the other 48% of the population (or about 8,160,000 adults) can only be disregarded, being invalid because of the design of the survey.
But how much does this mean anyway when no-one is allowed to honestly critique or share on this issue. We’re largely uninformed about a massively influential social change. A respondent’s opinion is only as valid as the knowledge they possess and the motivation they exercise when using it. But then again, these surveys always were just a deceptive and malicious marketing exercise.
Did you fall for it? (I did at first)
Did our politicians?
Raise your voice Australia!! You got had and this change is BAD for all but very, very few!
Regarding evidence and sources: Simply identify numbers in square brackets and then click here. The evidence and resources page will open.
Additional Commentary For Those Who want To Go Deeper (this article is already too long for the web):
Footnote 1: Unlike the deceptive wording and strategies used by AME for the Galaxy Poll, the Neilson polls were more technically credible. Of course, no amount of survey framing can overcome a misled or uninformed survey group. Footnote 2: The first survey led with USA as a gay marriage approving nation, saying “Same-sex marriages are legal in a number of countries, such as the US, Canada, Spain, Belgium and South Africa” – a blatant distortion of fact. The dispute over this law has torn America’s already fragile social structure further apart. The states that approve it are the minority. As of March 2, 2012, only 8 of 50 states (16%) and 2 of approximately 300 tribal jurisdictions 300 (00.66%) . have done so. Leaping to their own defense against this cultural maneuvering, 28 states have introduced constitutional amendments or initiatives to define marriage as man and woman (56%), and significantly – don’t miss this – in all states where it was put to the people, the referendum approved this defense .
Note that where the people have been given the vote,
same sex marriage has NOT been approved. It is only
through judges and politicians that homosexual activists
have been able to enforce this cultural revolution.
Even in the states where it has been legislated, it continues to face opposition.
- In Washington (a jurisdiction not a state) an “everything but marriage” expansion to domestic partnership was narrowly approved by a 6% margin. 
- In Maryland, the latest US state surrendered by its politicians, the legislation is not yet enacted pending a likely November referendum. 
- In New Jersey and Colorado, the legislation was passed, but then vetoed by the Governor, seemingly in response to public concerns. 
- In California, gay marriage remains on hold after voters banned it in 2008, but a federal appeals court struck down the ban as unconstitutional. In early 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court may settle the matter. 
- Illinois, Oregon and Nevada allow civil unions, but have now established constitutional amendments or statutes to prohibit same-sex marriage. And so on it goes. 
The states and the populations that have spoken to defend themselves against this are the overwhelming majority! Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by all sides either promoting one perspective or the other. Why? Because the pay-off for changing marriage is huge for one side and devastating for the other. Footnote 3: please note, the results do not add up to 100% because even though they were not given a neutral or undecided option, some respondents refused to be coerced into giving an uncertain or uninformed opinon. Footnote 4: In the Galaxy phone polls of November 2010, March 2011 and November 2011, the results FOR “Strongly Support” same-sex marriage were only 23%, 30% and 23% respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, 21%, 22% and 18% “Strongly opposed” same sex marriage. The remainder (44%, 48% and 41%) were not really sure (as indicated by their choice of a non-definitive response after being forced to make a ‘support’ or ‘oppose’ choice. ] Footnote 5: Each poll had 1,400 respondents who were called by telephone nationwide. They were 18 years or older. The maximum margin of error that might apply given this sample size was deemed to be approximately 2.6%. Telephone numbers were selected at random. The data was also weighted to reflect the population distribution.  Footnote 6: More specifically, the HIGHLY DUBIOUS AND INVALID results for the money question were: Do you support or oppose legalizing marriage between same-sex couples?
|Poll conducted||Strongly support||Support||Oppose||Strongly Oppose|
|Galaxy Oct 2010||25%||37%||11%||21%|
|Galaxy Aug 2011||29%||30%||14%||18%|
y and the speakers appointed confirmed this intention.
The St. James’ Ethics Centre brand would be enough to fool most, yet I wanted to see just how the distractions and limitations would be woven.
The ‘debate’ was unethical and dishonest. Let us count the ways.
Note: In the interests of fair play, you can see Same-Same’s report of the event here.
A 3-on-1 Format
The (Dubious) Ethics Centre assembled a 3-on-1 tag team for this debate.
In the red corner were the ‘marriage should be changed’ team, comprised of politician Clover Moore, the seasoned, political chameleon and talented strategist Mark Textor, plus for good measure, mega-feminist, queer theory writer, anti-establishment, anti-marriage and pro-gay rights lesbian academic Professor Annemarie Jagose.
In the actual blue corner, standing alone for the ‘marriage should not be redefined’ team was Catholic Ethics Professor Nick Tonti-Filippini. That’s how it would have looked if they were honest, but for this debate, Professor Annemarie was put into the blue corner and told to wear the same blue jersey as Professor Nick.
Even before round 1, the promoters had staged the event well.
They Chose to Not Invite Many Qualified Speakers
Amongst those not invited were Bill Muehlenburg (a published authority on the sexual diversity agenda), Jim Wallace (Director of the Australian Christian Lobby) or Peter Madden (who has risked life, finances and reputation to encourage honest analysis of SSM’s impact on children and education). They also didn’t approach Peter Stokes (Salt Shakers) or David Phillips (Family Voice Australia). Any of these players would have made the debate intelligent, entertaining and legitimate.
But that (very likely) wasn’t what the goal.
The Charade Began with the Topic
Even a high school debater knows that topics should not be framed in the negative. The Ethics Centre ???
(Ah, maybe they don’t understand the conventions of fair debating).
Let me explain:
As a debate topic, “The ocean is blue” is good; “The ocean is not blue” is bad!
The second topic (the ‘not blue’ option) is bad because it requires mental gymnastics: the ‘For’ team must argue against the ocean being blue, and the ‘Against’ team must argue for the ocean being blue. Confused?? That’s why the convention exists.
Why did they not follow it? You decide.
It was a crafted deception that was insulting and duplicitous in both intention and delivery
Had they framed the topic conventionally, with a topic such as “Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legalized” they would have increased the likelihood of the debate being seen as the propaganda exercise that it was.
In a similar way, using a topic such as “The meaning of Marriage should remain as a voluntary union of one man and one woman for life, to the exclusion of all others’ would have given license to far reaching and honest debate; it would not however have favoured the marriage change lobbyists.
Low Substance and High Fluff
For these and other reasons (which I will explain) this debate was a meal of little meat, bland salad and lots of fluffy deserts. It was a crafted deception that was insulting and duplicitous in both intention and delivery.
About twenty minutes into the debate I noticed something else was missing: debate! The pens and paper on the speaker’s desks were barely touched, the usual debaters expressions of perplexed and deep thought were missing and furious scribblings in preparation of defending an argument were not being made. Then I realised – there was to be no opportunity for rebuttal. It wasn’t even a debate! It was a speech session. Even if Professor Nick wanted to rebut he couldn’t; he had been positioned as first speaker. For him to respond to any falsehood or error he would need someone to ask him a ‘Dorothy Dixer’ question from the floor, and in this audience, he had few friends.
Structured this way, the debate was be as open to manipulation as a typical “Q&A” infotainment episode from the ABC. It would also stay as light on substance as another ABC classic; namely “Play School”.
So with loaded teams, no formal opportunity for rebuttal this was already pathetic. But it got worse.
This speech-fest also discarded with traditional 3-on-3 format for the 2-plus-2 one already explained. Then, to add further insult to this masquerade, the time given to each speaker was shortened. We were told this was to allow more questions from the crowd, however I humbly suspect more devious motivations.
With small teams and short presentations, both the lack of substance in the ‘marriage change’ argument could be hidden and truckloads of science, research, logical and democratic freedom problems could not be discussed.
- With their combined 30 minutes, the marriage change team was able to pull on heart strings, stand on self-righteousness, sound off selfish philosophies and vilify opponents … and them politely sit down unchallenged before they ran out of fluff.
- With his ten minutes, and hampered by his Catholic and academic roots, Professor Tonti-Filippini needed to stay away from issues involving child safety or sexual development, community values, science, sociology or standards. With limited time, a hostile audience and the shadow of sexual abuse still hanging over the Catholic church, it was a tough challenge. Despite these challenges, the Professor did very well.
The loaded speaker bias, deceptive framed question, short presentation time and 2-plus-2 format were no accident. They were manipulations for effect. The science, sociological research and verifiable evidence against marriage change would once again not get air time, just as they do not get air time in the mass media or in parliament.
Praise Where it is Due
When the speeches ended, people queued behind six microphones placed around the amphitheater. It was only a few minutes into the floor comments that I realized how well this would play into the goal of producing a deceptively pro-gay-marriage presentation. The profound, the emotional, the opinionated and the downright embarrassing would all took their 1-minute of fame – but ultimately the guy with control of the microphone always wins.
The BBC got some great material! Sadly, I am confident that most of the moderate and reasonable comments will end up on the cutting room floor, yet the more embarrassing will be included to portray marriage defenders as bigoted and unreasonable.
Deceit is, after all, how this war is being fought and won.
Amidst the floor contributions, there were more than a few bright lights and I want to praise two young men amongst them.
The first simply said that where the protection of a child is threatened by the aspirations of an adult, the child should be protected – and then he calmly sat down. That effort, I expect, will end up on the cutting room floor, but well done!
The other “Good on ya’ son!” goes out to the young man who politely challenged Clover Moore to answer the question she had earlier dodged from Peter Madden. He then also respectfully challenged Mark Textor to stop calling himself a ‘liberal conservative’ as a cloak for his true philosophies. Not surprisingly, Clover and Mark both deftly sidestepped and let the challenges go through to the keeper.
They did however invest time and position to belittle the young man. By my assessment, the target of their rants demonstrated more strength of character and courage than both of them put together. (For the record, Mark should call himself an economic conservative and a sexual freedoms liberal. Unfortunately however, such honesty is rarely seen.)
Not surprisingly, Clover and Mark both deftly sidestepped and let the challenges go through to the keeper.
The integrity of event moderator Dr. Simon Longstaff is also worth noting. He made honest effort to follow a ‘for-then- against’ order in questions from the floor. He also had the integrity to present the debate’s bias from the outset, giving blatantly one-sided introductory comments. He mentioned nothing of the world-wide fight, victories or arguments against same-sex marriage while speaking broadly of the campaign’s conquests and its premises.
He didn’t pretend to be even handed; I respected that. He was the moderator for a pre-staged ‘macavalian marketing event’ and he didn’t pretend otherwise.
The Results of the Debate
In the pre-debate poll, 75% of the audience supported changing the definition of marriage, 10% were undecided and 15% wanted the definition to remain as it is. This was no surprise. The event was mostly marketed within the gay community, the tickets were priced beyond the reach of the average family man or woman, and it was a mid-week event in the heart of highly gay-culturized and populated Sydney.
Wow! Professor Nick had won 5 % over to the ‘leave marriage alone’ side while outnumbered, outmaneuvered and strategically hamstrung. This was an amazing outcome.
Amazingly, however, even after a shamelessly manipulated and biased event, the final results were 73% supportive of change (down 2%), 7% undecided (down 3%) and 20% opposed it (a 5% increase). Wow! Professor Nick had won 5 % over to the ‘leave marriage alone’ side while outnumbered, outmaneuvered and strategically hamstrung. This was an amazing outcome. Truth’s light had been given just a few moments to expose a lie or two. In that brief flash of light, even amongst a hardened and polarized audience, the same-sex marriage arguments collapsed for some.
I was greatly encouraged by the event. Disgusted but also encouraged.
If even here, under these circumstances, 4-5% could change their mind, what could happen if the 80% of the nation who don’t know the broader issues were to find out?
The challenge remains however: how will they??