Irena Sendler and Al Gore: the Propaganda Machine Is at it Again

Patriot Notes

IT'S BEEN A WHILE SINCE my last post about a propaganda email, but the one I received today deserves some comment.

It's both subtle and unbelievably nasty.

It begins with a very sweet picture of an old woman smiling, and reads, in part:

Look at this lady - Let us never forget!

The world hasn't just become's always been wicked. The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving.

Irena Sendler
There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena.
During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.
She had an 'ulterior motive'.
She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews (being German).
Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids).
She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.
The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.
She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.
After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family.
Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was not selected.
Al Gore won --- for a slide show on Global Warming.

The second half of the email—almost as long as the part above—declares that it is a "memorial chain" designed to help make sure that the world never forgets the Holocaust.

It goes into some detail about the horrors of the Holocaust, and urges the readers to do their part by continuing the memorial chain.

So what's wrong with that?

The answer, of course, is that there is nothing at all wrong with a chain letter designed to remind people of the Holocaust—and certainly nothing wrong with a chain letter designed to spread the story of this brave woman.

There is, however, something terribly wrong with using both our emotions about the Holocaust and our admiration of Irena's courage and love to make two cheap political shots look high minded and moral.

If you look at the structure of the email, you'll notice that it is, quite intentionally, not what it seems:

  1. Opening thesis statement: The world hasn't just become's always been wicked. The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving.

    This tells the reader, up front, what the email is really about.
  2. Irena's story.

    This is told as background information to the claim in the thesis.
  3. The punch-line: Last year Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won --- for a slide show on Global Warming.

    As is common with these propaganda pieces, the punch-line leaves the actual conclusion implied. If the reader has to make the connection for his or herself, he or she is more likely to believe it.

    The conclusion we're supposed to draw has several parts:
    1. Al Gore didn't deserve the peace prize.
    2. Irena did deserve the peace prize.
    3. Al Gore got the peace prize for reasons that are "wicked" in some sense.
    4. The Nobel Committee is somehow implicated in all of this.
    5. The Nobel Committee and Al Gore are thus on the side of "wickedness", along with the Nazi's, and Irena and the reader on on the side of goodness, along with the author of the email.
    6. Which brings us full circle to explain the opening thesis.
  4. After the punch-line, and after those subtle conclusions have been thoroughly implied, a long bit about the holocaust is added.

    This is designed to do three things:
    1. Distract the readers from the message that has just been planted, before they have time to question it,
    2. Solidify the connection between the readers and the author—what kind of person isn't going to agree that the Holocaust was horrible?
    3. Motivate the readers to send this viral message on to its next victims.

      In the process, the email suddenly transforms itself from a story about how "The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving" and a cheap shot at Al Gore, to a high-minded "memorial chain" about the holocaust.

It's a very subtle, and very sleazy, little piece of brainwashing.

The readers are left with the vague impression that there are two sides to the world—good people, like themselves, who pass on "memorial chains" and care about people like Irena, and "wicked" people, like the Nazi's and the Nobel Peace Prize Committee and Al Gore.

Most readers won't even know that a criteria for the Peace Prize is being involved in significant activities during the past two years, and that therefore she didn't even qualify by the basic rules, at the time.

Most readers will believe the email's silly allegation that Gore won the prize for his slide show.

After all, that's what he's most famous for.

They won't bother to find out that it was for all of his "efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

Was the slide show, and the book, part of that? Sure. And that's bad because...?

But the worst thing about this email is the disrespectful attitude the author takes toward Irena's heroism and the victims of the Holocaust.

If the author wants to take a cheap shot at Al Gore, or the Nobel Committee, that's fine.

But it's not fine to use this woman's courage, or the sorrows of holocaust survivors, as a screen for cheap propaganda tricks.

People have real emotions about these things, and it's not appropriate to use those emotions to manipulate them for slick political ends.

Irena is proof enough that the world is not uniformly wicked.

This email is proof enough that some people are.

At least, that's what I think today.


Global warming is not science, more of an opinion to try and change the way everyone lives and give Government more control. AL GORE is a billionaire because of it. IRENE SENDLER was a woman and a hero and the Nobel Peace Prize means absolutely nothing to 9 of every 10 people. Those are facts. The rest is political posturing.

WAY over analyzed.  Fact is, she did a wonderful thing, she was good, Al Gore won, she lost, and if you compare what each did to be nominated, really shouldn't have happened that way......

Well, here were are years after this email circulated and I got it today only this time reference to Obama's Nobel Prize was added.  So, an email is NOT always an email and IS used for propaganda purposes as this blogger carefully expalined.  Such emails are intended for people who can't think for themselves and wouldn't believe a fact if it hit them over the head.  The lowest person on the food chain who can vote. 

People have real emotions about these things, and it's not appropriate to use those emotions to manipulate them for slick political ends. I agree .


(This comment originally contained a first paragraph which contained some unnecesary language and other material which appeared to have been pasted in by mistake. Since it might have been offensive to some readers, and did not appear to make any sense in this context, I have deleted that paragraph - Ken) 

Another little tidbit was added to the version I just received: 

"Later another politician, Barack Obama, won for his work as acommunity organizer for ACORN."

Exactly. Facts don't matter to the people who write these things.

Thanks for the update.


After some internal struggle, I have deleted what was previously the last comment on this thread.

I did that primarily because the author's tone was very rude--calling other commenters names, and generally not treating the discussion with respect.  But I was also concerned that the response had little to do with the content of the original post, or with the ongoing discussion, and cited "facts" which were simply not true.

I hate doing this, and I hope that in the future commenters will be civil to each other, stick to the topic of discussion, and check their facts before ranting about them.



Mr. Watts, I came across this blog looking for information on Irena Sendler. I am amused at your response to 7101. You seem to like numbering your points to (try) to prove yourself right. So I will use numbered responses to each of your numbered statements so you may better comprehend my message.

#1 You stated "the phenomenon of global warming has not been "proved

wrong over and over."" To that I say it has not been proven to be correct either. You stated there was a "massive body of growing evidence worldwide" without pointing out a single concrete example of that evidence.  You try to make light of the scandal in the U.K. and in doing so show yourself as to not seeking to validate "Climate Change" but to promote it regardless of evidence to the contrary.

#2 REALLY!!! A snow storm is your evidence?  The earth has been going through changes in mean temperature (up & down) since they began keeping records.

#3 I only have a question here. How does research on animals prove the Theory of Evolution?

#4 "who was neither human or monkey." With this statement are you saying the common ancestor was a humanoid? If so where did this humanoid come from?

#5 You stated that "it does seem to be true that more liberals than conservatives are interested in scientific truth". Is that what those scientists in the U.K. were searching for?

Mr. Watts, As you can see it is easy to pick a part a person’s writings and muddy up the water so to speak. In the end the conclusion is still the same. Al Gore (who is by the way a poor example to follow concerning conservation) was given a Nobel Prize and Irena Sendler who it can be argued saved thousands of lives was not given the award. 

I have deleted the link which you added, because 1) It had nothing whatsoever to do with the topic of the original post, and 2) it was a link to a questionable source.

I leave the rest of your comments to stand, or fall, on their own.

All the best,


Mr. Ken,

Your analysis is clear and to the point.

When I saw this post my first impulse was to check the correctness of its claims regarding the Nobel prize. That is when I have found your page. 

To make it short, your text is a mandatory read, as an alert and as a lesson, for readers around to world to stop being so naive and start developing their own critical thinking.

Well done!