Everything You Wanted to Know about
Social Engineering -- But Were Afraid to Ask...
The Historian's Approach
I'm a Christian. That means I have to believe something unbelievable
- that almost 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ died one Friday near
sunset, and was seen alive the following Sunday morning.
Ridiculous - yet I believe it. Hundreds of millions of people
believe it today. Among us are countless scientists, lawyers,
judges, and reporters. We are people who are trained to be to
be skeptical, yet we believe.
At the time of Jesus, a number of historians were active.
Unfortunately, other than the four Gospel accounts found in the
Bible, only one historian, Josephus, even mentions Jesus. However,
many of the people who were eyewitnesses to His resurrection
made it into many other history books. The way they made history
was by refusing to worship the Roman Emperor. This law was enforced
by not just the death penalty. Those convicted of not worshiping
Caesar faced horrible deaths, under torture.
Most of the eyewitnesses to Jesus' resurrection, and countless
thousands of their followers, chose death. They could have gotten
off by pretending to worship the Emperor and by claiming that
they were lying about Jesus. They could have social engineered
themselves out of trouble and continued to secretly worship Him.
However, they cared so much for those of us yet to be born, those
of us not able to see Jesus for ourselves, that they choose to
die horribly - as witnesses. They chose to pay the most extreme
price so that people such as me could know how important to them
it was to prove by their witness that Jesus really rose from
the dead and walked on Earth.
I can't believe so many people would die horribly to perpetrate
What if these witnesses were all psychotics, unable to tell
the difference between reality and fantasy?
If they were psychotic, how were eyewitnesses to Jesus' resurrection
able to recruit so many to their faith - in the face of hideous
punishment? Would you let a wandering psychotic bum persuade
you to commit a crime that would be punished by be being fed
alive to a lion or nailed naked to a cross in front of a jeering
mob to die over a period of several days from thirst and exposure?
But, but, haven't I been saying all along that there is no
possible amount of evidence that can ever prove anything true?
That's where grace comes in
"The truth shall make you free" - The Holy Bible,
So how does the historical technique bear on how to thwart
The basic concept is that a person's character, as revealed
by written accounts by credible writers, gives witness to the
truth of what he or she says. When Matt Richtel decided to investigate
John Vranesevich, he sought contact information for his high
school teachers, investors, family. I'm presuming that in his
investigations, Vranesevich's character was a core issue. If
someone has a history of honest dealings with family, friends,
school and work, that person is likely to continue being honest.
By contrast, if you haven't already, how about looking into
what the Attrition.org web site carries? If it is still on the
Internet when you read this, you will discover advocacy of retail
fraud, murder, shoplifting, perjury, burglary and computer crime.
A sensible historian would conclude that the people who run it
are unreliable sources - because the authors of the material
on that site clearly oppose the principle of honesty and advocate
a constellation of dishonest activities.
The same holds for Ken Williams' old Packetstorm site. What
kind of person would put on his web site pornography that degrades
Catholic nuns and threats against a girl whose only crime is
being the sister of someone he hates?
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