Dealing with Slander

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Robert Ringer


Watching Rand Paul get hazed by the media (both on the left and the right) last week reminded me again just how hot the kitchen can be if you’re playing for big stakes. Rand comes from good stock, so he’ll get the hang of it quickly and learn how to excel at forced smiles while simultaneously giving interviewers the mental middle finger.

When you enter politics, even with rare good intentions, you have to be very naïve not to understand that you’re fair game for slander and defamation, and that, unlike everyday citizens, you can’t file lawsuits in search of restitution.

So when a politician is asked the standard “When did you stop molesting your granddaughter?” question, all he can do is ignore such distracting rubbish and start babbling about make-believe issues such as creating jobs and getting the economy moving. It’s kind of a slimy tactic, but, hey, politics is a slimy sport. And — Who knows? — if you get really good at it, you might just become the next Chauncey Gardner and rise to the office of make-believe president.

But what about the rest of us? What’s a charming, innocent guy like you supposed to do if someone starts spreading lies about you? If you don’t understand your accuser’s neuroses, slander can be a very intimidating tool.

I’ve been slandered by a number of high-profile troglodytes, so I know how annoying it can be. Some of my accusers have fake PhDs by their names, some have evolved into fake spiritual gurus, and some are not fake at all — just malicious miscreants afflicted with Locknose at birth.

For the record, Locknose is a genetic defect. A person suffering from this condition has had his nose locked in a permanent upward position since birth, which causes him to spend his entire life sniffing out riff-raff (i.e., those who have been outrageously successful in the real world but don’t have at least a master’s degree from one of our finer college propaganda mills).

Never mind that the smartest, most knowledgeable guy on the planet, Mark Steyn, never spent a day in college. Nor did Eric Hoffer. And, of course, a pretty good country lawyer by the name of Abe Lincoln. In the eyes of the Locknose crowd, pure dummies!

Since all human beings possess, to varying degrees, negative traits such as jealousy, envy, hatred, and cruelty, slander is widely used for venting emotions. The question is, can you bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools? Probably not.

When someone tries to twist your words, accuse you of something you didn’t do, or tell lies about you, the likelihood is that you want to lash out and defend yourself. There’s a natural inclination to want to prove to the world that what has been said about you is false.

Everything else becomes secondary to righting the terrible wrong that has been committed against you. Unfortunately, once your emotions reach that point, the slanderer has won. After all, all he really wants is to jerk your string.

Why would someone have a desire to screw with your head? There could be any number of reasons. He may envy you because of your achievements; he may be frustrated over his own low station in life; or he may simply be an inherently envious or cruel person.

Nevertheless, when you’re blindsided by a poisonous slander dart, it can be jarring — especially if you’re a person who makes it a habit to mind your own business and focus on your own affairs. There’s so much bitterness our modern Age of Envy — due to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and failure (not to mention perceived self‑sacrifice) — that the neurotic individual often feels that the only way he can vent his frustration is by badmouthing others.

Perhaps the most difficult type of slander to swallow is the outright lie. It’s like being shocked with a cattle prod. When it strikes, it throws you off balance, often leaving you at a loss for words.

What is most difficult about an out‑and‑out lie is the depressing reality that there will always be some people who are going to believe it, and others who will at least partially believe it. The tendency to give credence to even the most outrageous lie is based on the old adage that “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” — which is precisely what makes slander such an effective weapon.

Fortunately, the effects of a lie are usually short-lived, even among irrational people, provided you don’t make the mistake of keeping the lie in the spotlight by incessantly talking about it. The less you say, the better, because rational people view a lie in the same way they view any other kind of statement not supported by facts. Repeat — rational people.

The reality is that you are going to be slandered from time to time, so you shouldn’t allow it to throw you into a state of emotional turmoil when it happens. If you feel the necessity to defend yourself against a lie, the best approach is to first give yourself time to cool off and think the matter through calmly.

During the cooling‑off period, try your best to analyze the facts with a dispassionate mind-set. Then, after you’ve thought it through carefully, state your defense clearly, simply, and firmly — but only to those whose opinions you value.

Avoid nasty adjectives and broad-sweeping statements that only succeed in discrediting you. Skip extraneous nonsense and avoid repetition. The destruction of the lie in the eyes of those you care about will very much depend upon how you handle the situation.

It’s not a matter of turning the other cheek. It’s a matter of doing what’s in your best interest. To feel compelled to expose a lie to every person who crosses your path is counterproductive.

An overly vehement defense rarely convinces others that the slander is not true. On the contrary, the louder the protest, the more suspicious it tends to make people. An important rule to remember when it comes to defending yourself: The power of the understatement is enormous. State the truth once, state it calmly, state it firmly. Then stop.

Whatever the slanderer’s reasons, the moment you begin analyzing what motivates him to want to hurt others, you’ve already taken a step in the wrong direction. You’re much ahead of the game if you stay calm and recognize that it’s his problem, not yours. Then simply ignore his remarks and move on.

And, by the way, don’t spend a minute worrying that the slanderer might get off scot free. Trust me, Nature will have its way with him.

One last thing: Whatever else you do, don’t try to shush the slanderer — especially if you plan on running for president someday.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

16 responses to “Dealing with Slander”

  1. Jim Hallett says:

    Very good points about trying to defend oneself. Reminds me of a Buddhist story where a man of impeccable character was accused of gross misconduct, and his response to all who inquired was a simple "Is that so?" Over time, the Truth did come out, and this man knew he was not in control of what anyone else thought, but he knew of his own character. When it comes to politics, where character is never on display (with the rare exception of Ron Paul), it becomes a land mine. Of course, if one is a "progressive" parasite, he/she will get off with softball questions, while anyone else will have to answer to unlimited attacks and innuendo. And, to your point about lack of college, when one reads John Taylor Gatto's epic work, "The Underground History of American Education", you learn that avoiding as much of the dumbing down process is a blessing!

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Agreed, Jim. Gatto's tome is one of the most important books I have ever read. Before reading it, I thought the dumbing down / indoctrination process in public schools was a fairly recent phenomena. Not so. Even though I am almost 70-years-old, it still pisses me off every time I think about how they got me too! I often wonder what my life might have been like, had they taught me how to think, rather than what to think.

      Fortunately, the Vietnam War kept me out of college. I enlisted straight out of high school to get the then unavoidable draft over with (and earn the GI Bill) before starting college. Fortunately, while in uniform, I never met a college educated junior officer that had a lick of common sense. Thus, I eschewed college when I got out and I became a thankful autodidact. Instead, I used my GI Bill to pay for flying lessons and a couple hundred hours of flight time for my pilot's license. I have never regretted it. ◄Dave►

      • Jim Hallett says:

        Dave, I too, was surprised to learn the degradation and brainwashing has been going on since the beginning of the 20th Century or slightly earlier. I am a '68 HS grad/'72 from UM (one of the schools highlighted by Gatto as a pioneer in the process of creating obedient slaves to the State). Fortunately, I am an avid reader and traveler, so have overcome the limitations imposed by public forced schooling (to call what they offer "education" is a supreme insult to the very roots of the word!). I do hope the book gets more exposure, because I am afraid we are past the point where we can now have a nation where the majority think for themselves. They have become a herd of cattle, looking for the next gravy train, and alleviating the pain in any way they can. Avoiding contact with politicians, media whore deceivers and others of their ilk is the only way to maintain happiness and to seek some degree of freedom. Moving to Chile and/or New Zealand for half of the year will help as well. Fly high, my friend!

  2. Albert says:

    Excellent read Robert! Unfortunately the world is succumbing more and more to such behavior, especially in this day and age of social media where everything travels at lightning speed. By the time it's on the other end of the world, what started out as a flagrant lie, it suddenly becomes the truth. Just another example of our instant gratification society and the "something for nothing" mentality. Sad indeed….

  3. Guest says:

    Hi, Robert — Love this article. Do have a question for you, though. What if the slander is committed against you, when you called the cops to help defend you while you were getting beat up? Oops! I made that mistake. Won't ever call cops for help again, but also got myself out of the relationship wherein I thought I had to. So, my now ex didn't only slander me to them (causing my arrest in a "domestic violence" case; he cost me tens of thousands by fighting my county-filed divorce, and then more tens of thousands, suing me for bogus reasons, afterward, so I couldn't even afford to fight the first "DV case." I now have "domestic violence" on my record, even though it wasn't the case. Complete slander. The guy is a narcissist and pathological liar. (Hence, I spotted B.O. as such, WWWAAAAYYYY ahead of his getting elected.) Guess my main question is, how can I even get anywhere in a career, now, with this garbage "on my record," since the guy basically, legally harassed me so that I couldn't afford to defend myself? It's a much longer story, filled with coercion and attempted extortion, but I'll spare you the details.

  4. RealitySeeker says:

    "And, by the way, don’t spend a minute worrying that the slanderer might get off scot free. Trust me, Nature will have its way with him."

    Not always. In some cases it seems like nature rewards ruthlessness, camouflaged intentions and slanderous deception. Karma or some other metaphysical self-delusion is what the losers of The Big Game comfort themselves with as they and their reputation lay in the gutter, bleeding to death. In the Big Game the slanderer is often rewarded when he becomes president, grows rich and powerful and retires to a life of luxury funded by the fealty. An honest, hardworking man with an upright name ends up being walked on by those who expertly speak slander. Shit rises to the top. That's nature's way. Professional slanders do very well for themselves in America.

    Like a gladiator, Rand Paul is going to have to expertly fight against a non-stop onslaught of libertarian slander, GOP slander, neocon slander and progressive slander. Daggers are drawn and Rand is already surrounded. The target of choice will be Rand's back. The MSM shall be busy biting chunks out of Rand's arms as the libertarian ankle-bitters chatter and yap about what a "sellout" Rand is….. Meanwhile the banks and transnationals shall be shoveling 2.5 billion into Hillary's campaign. Yes, Slander inc. shall be rewarded with cold, hard cash….. and then some.

    It's going to be quite show. A "really, really big show" as Ed used to say…… And if the economy goes south sometime between now and election time, this could be the most dirty, slanderous election in American history.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      You bring up a sobering reality, RS, as in this physical domain of life, those who are immoral or amoral ARE often rewarded with wealth and other spoils. Look at LBJ – had 8 people killed, and then needed to have JFK killed so he could be Prez. After his time in DC, though, he was a miserable and haunted man, so not sure he thought it was worth it. Hillary & Bill will likely never answer for their murder of Vincent Foster, either, amongst the bevy of criminality they are involved with. One has to understand that the same traits that attract one to other crimes are the same that attract one to politics, since govt. only deals in crime – theft, coercion and killing. Ron Paul wanted to make a statement – not seek political power, and I am sure some of them rubbed off on Rand; however, until the State is eliminated, crime and the lack of freedom will be the order of the day.

      • Ellis Baxter says:

        Really ? This statement is libel on the face of it. I have been researching these claims for years. There is nothing to connect LBJ to any of the claims you are making here. While LBJs ex girlfriend said he told her of the JFK hit the night before, nothing else connects him to that event. As to Vincent Foster again no sign of any involvement by the Clintons. Believe me if there was I would be the first to publish it … again you need to do more homework and really need to dig into where the money went in the Ron Paul campaign cash accounts. But I am sure you will only dig into one more you tube video for your evidence …

  5. Fred says:

    There is one type of slander that you cannot ignore. Lies from a government prosecutor. And they are prevalent and expanding.

  6. Serge says:

    Year after year as Americans accept lower and lower standards of what constitutes a political candidate, we will be forced to vote for either a slug or a double headed sidewinder.

  7. Shankar says:

    Then there is something grossly wrong with American politics or politicians. The president won will be one of the most powerful person on the earth. He/She need to be tested for character based on their past service/ capabilities and his vision for future. Not by Slandering. Wish this media change for progressive and constructive criticism.

  8. Ellis Baxter says:

    Good points …as to Ron Paul ? You really need to review his campaign finance reports … Few understand this but there are many ways for a candidate to use these funds to enhance his own financial condition. Other wise why keep running for President as he has no path to victory. As to Government lies they are rifle. GDP, CPI, Unemployment, National Debt all or incorrectly reported. Whey I proved that both Edmundorf and Bernanke admitted in congressional hearings that the national debt is 45% less than stated. I was a racist ? See my other replies attached to posts …

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