Fundy Fundamentals: How They Gain and Retain Control–
Rules for Fallacious Argumentation

by Lloyd Harrison Whitling

This page presents actual in-use rules of engagement used by the Radical Religious Right, by conservatives in general, and by many atheists as gleaned from an assessment of their practices, statements and methods. Use it as a warning: they do not put up the fair, honest fight expected of you by all parties on both sides.

So, why would any sensible person want to depend on dishonest, frivolous, error-laden tactics to win arguments? The answer is, because it works, and does so for several reasons:

  • Sleight of hand: They understand their audience and their beliefs. They know most people are intellectually lazy, and thus ignorant about their tactics, the materials under discussion, and their own beliefs. By making themselves appear to side in with such people, they can claim and gain the advantage.
  • They know what their audience wants to hear and say that, whether or not they mean it.
  • They eschew logic and objective evidence and favor opinions, fables, myths and apologia. The resultant freedom from controls enables them to say what they want without much fear.
  • Their opponents, however, are still required to offer proof, and then to prove their proof is valid.
  • They are memes-driven, and so seem more alive, excited and interesting than their stuffy-acting opponents.
  • Being memes-driven makes them more eager to learn how to promote their ideas, which (being memes) occupies a high priority in their lives—so high, in fact, that they often act against their own interests to favor the memes. This often noted fact deserves research funds.
  • Their materials seem easier to understand and remember than the technicalities-laden, seemingly irrelevant mysteries from science.
  • That typical opponents and audiences are ignorant about critical thinking and logic gives Fundys a vast array of fallacies and techniques, such as the Gish gallop or gas-lighting, to use with little fear of reprisal. If their opponent calls them on one, the discussion gets derailed and control gets ceded to the Fundy, which is what she wanted.
  • There are more, but you surely get the idea about what is behind the dangerous rise of religiopolitical fundamentalism.

A rule about the religious right you may consider valid in times of conflict with them is this: Always pay attention to the true purpose behind whatever battle they have lured you into; it will never be the one expressed. Ask yourself, “What is it that they have chosen this argument to distract me from?” Discover that, and you will have enabled yourself to uncover one of their weaknesses (and they have many). Attack that weakness, and forget the argument they brought you; it is unimportant and, actually, irrelevant. (see list of Fundy strategies in Section Two)

Is it necessary to be an honest, decent and humane person to be a rightwinger? See for yourself!   See again. This paragraph is an example of one of their tactics. See of you can recognize it as you read.


SECTION TWO: As paraphrased from actual practices:

This view from the Fundy side will help you understand their tactics and reasoning. Read this as though you have traded sides.

The following outline contains the complete Rules of Engagement for fascists doing battle with any and all heretical opponents of God’s Capital Truth. They will serve well in any frays that may engage you as a member of the Forces for God. The end of the Earth is nigh, and judicious application of these glorious procedures will help us bring it nigher.


The primary rule is “Criticize, criticize, criticize: Always attack the messengers and anybody associated with them; never acknowledge the message except to misquote it or remove it from context to change its apparent meaning.”

Always attack, never respond.

Remember: it feels good to win; it does not feel good to be right or honest and lose.

Winning is the sole aim of all battles, whether you are a soldier in man’s army or God’s.

Never address or repeat the contents of a countering argument.

Limit your scope to one single line.

You cannot aim at more than one object at a time and expect to hit anything.

Any two lines can be exploited, however, by claiming they contradict each other.

When you can, give them multiple targets in your replies to confuse and overwhelm them.

Context does not matter, nor does it matter if their contents are unrelated.

Failing that, quote some irrelevant portion out of context and bend the discussion toward arguments against that.

Since readers very seldom follow up on any references given, to worry about getting caught red-handed seems ludicrous.

Few readers of a discussion thread or observers of a dispute will review it or remember verbatim all that got written, and so will take your honesty for granted.

Even those on your opponent’s side will accept your presentation without question.

New readers or listeners will also take for granted the accuracy of all your quotes and your statements of what the context was about will be accepted.

Make sure all references agree only with your position; never offer links that may be construed to support your opponent.

Failing that, if you cannot find anything in the message to play your own message against, find a line you can restate so that it will sound and look like its original version.

Make your opponent look as ridiculous as possible so your audience will automatically take your side.

Act in a manner that will be perceived as helpful and friendly by your audience.

The air of authority and confidence that results will negate any attempts to question your ploy.

Forcing your opponent to deal with your ruse, or to point it out, puts him on the defensive and he will be unable to present his own case.

Failing that, question the message itself, as to its:


Right to exist

Credentials or veracity of its author

The disrespect shown in the fact of its existence

Failing even that, attack the messenger and/or the author.

Call him/her a “liberal”.

A “liberal” is anyone who disagrees with you or that you do not like.

Brandish words like ‘unpatriotic’, ‘communist’, ‘gay’ ‘hedonist’ or ‘atheist’ against your opponents.

Mention words like ‘evil’, ‘wicked’, ‘Satanic’, as often as possible in reference to your opponents.

Put all the burden of proof, references, a perfect accounting, etc. onto your opponents.

Refuse to budge or give any kind of acknowledgement to their demands that you do your own work.

If they do happen to put up a good argument, find a way to work it against them or to make it appear meaningless.

Accuse them of lying, dogmatism, prejudice, immorality or any other negative charge you can contrive and make it stick in people’s minds.

Take advantage of any dual-meaning words you can interpret wrongly, if doing so will aid your attack.

Take on the role of victim at every opportunity.

Put your opponent into the role of oppressor and make him the culprit.

Whenever possible, hide your own agenda by accusing your opponents of it.

Always be first to accuse, being careful to assure yourself of circumstances wherein it will not backfire on you.

If it does backfire, find a way to blame it on your opponents.

If you make a mistake of any kind, find some way to attribute it to your opponents.

They will usually get so flustered they will lose track of who did what.

Always view and express your concepts as polarities and never give recognition to so-called “gray areas”.


Morality: Right and wrong do not offer any room for neutrality.

If something is not right it is wrong and must be condemned.

If it is right and helps them more than you, find a way to make it look wrong and condemn it while accusing them of it.

Religion: People either believe in Jesus or they are atheists (unbelievers).

All other religions are wrong and therefore evil that must be banished.

Politics: People are either conservatives or liberals.

There are no true moderates

You are on our side; if not, you are on theirs

If you do not support the complete Forces for God agenda stated as God’s Capital Truth, you are a traitor no matter what if you follow your own ideals.

Science and reality: Things are either natural or supernatural.

Reality is an illusion.

If it cannot be explained in natural terms, it is supernatural.

It matters not if science later unveils an explanation that works and yields great benefits or exposes grave dangers, it is a lie, an illusion, and it is immoral and wrong.

If it can be explained in both natural terms and religious terms, the natural explanation is wrong because it comes from an illusion.

Wrong explanations are works of Satan that must be condemned

If you cannot win with facts, bury them under bullshit.

Find some organization or doctrine you can attack, and then associate your opponents with that at every opportunity.

Put your opponent on the defensive, and then use their responses to accuse them of aggression.

Limit all your arguments to just a few positions you can easily learn to aggressively defend.

Learn to manipulate all discussions until they become about one of those positions and the related arguments.

Never respond to any arguments your opponents make. Never repeat them.

They are meaningless, of course, so only read their materials to look for ways to destroy them.

You have nothing to learn from them.

Never show interest in anything they say.

Your goal must always remain to win at any cost.

To deal with an actual argument raises the aura of acceptance.

It then looks like you deemed it a worthy challenge.

Don’t risk losing face when winning is the only goal.

Complain all the while about how such an asinine discussion is beneath your dignity and not worth your valuable time.

Never hesitate to jump on any opportunity to support your godly views.

It allows readers more time in which they may, themselves, reconsider it.

You must maintain the appearance of quick and skillful wit.

Most people do not actually grasp very much of what they read or hear.

Stick with this process and stay on the offensive to maintain your momentum

You must maintain the appearance of sharp and incisive intelligence and authority.

You cannot do that while manipulating ponderous facts.

If something bad can be said about your opponent that he might say about you, be sure to be the first to say it.

Then, when he says it, he will have the appearance of retaliation, or of trying to get even by mudslinging.

Quickly accuse him of mudslinging

NEVER stray from the course set by your agenda.

Repeat the drill you have learned until you can say it without pause.

Repeat even untruths if they support your aims.

Lies heard often enough become truths.

Never allow yourself be seen pausing to think, it makes you appear weak and uncertain.

Creative use of the full array of logical fallacies will often enough so disorient your opponent that they are worth learning about and practicing.

Never resort to factual information in any way.

Salting your arguments with facts that can be made to look like they support you, however, will help your overall appearance.

Create your own set of fallacies to accuse your opponents with.

They need not be valid or logical at all.

Restating actual fallacies so they support your agenda works well.

These rules and their subsets are all you need to know.

Anything else is frivolous and meaningless.