Manipulation and Deception

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Colonel Wilhelm Stieber was a master manipulator. Called “one of the nastiest men who ever lived,” he revealed his character while a young member of the Prussian police, and he was dismissed from this position because of his abuses. Yet the Russian government liked his methods and hired him.

However, Stieber returned to prominence in Prussia when the Prussian ambassador in Russia, Otto von Bismarck, became Prussian president in 1863. He asked Stieber to head the Prussian police force, and this ushered in a new era of governmental manipulation.

Stieber learned that by controlling information, he could shape “reality” to his own design. He doctored telegrams and spread untrue rumors. During the Prussian-France war of 1870-1871, he planted a story that French troops were panicking and suffering “appalling losses.” The story was a complete fiction, yet it accomplished his objectives: encouraging the Prussians and discouraging the French.

In subsequent years, many in business and politics—including the Nazis in Germany— have applied Stieber’s ruthless techniques. Even today, believers need to realize the many ways that information is manipulated by the media.

The Bible warns us to be on the alert. We must be on guard, so that we’re not deceived “with empty words” (Ephesians 5:6) or “with well-crafted arguments” (Colossians 2:4 NLT). And we must realize that we even can deceive ourselves (1 Corinthians 3:18).

We also must remember that Satan is eager to deceive us. He constantly endeavors to plant ideas in our minds and manipulate our thoughts. As Jesus warned, “Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Today, remember that you will face many forms of manipulation. This is why you must base your life on God’s Word and be rooted and grounded in His truth. Be alert, filled with the Spirit and sensitive to His leading and His warnings.