Last Updated: 04 June 2016

It would appear to be an indelible human trait that the ‘truth’ about nearly all issues goes through four distinct phases known colloquially as “the four stages of truth“. During the first stage, the issue goes unrecognised and is therefore ignored.  The second stage is one of ridicule, as in “that’s ridiculous”. The third stage is characterised by a period of vehement denial. Finally, the fourth stage witnesses the truth being recognised as “self evident”. 1

Examples of this sort of thing a legion. Thus for example, five hundred years ago contemporary Western (meaning European) society believed that the Earth was flat and at the centre of the Universe and anyone who had the temerity to suggest otherwise publicly was invariably burnt at the stake. It wasn’t until the Magellan expedition’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1522 that the reality of a round Earth was finally acknowledged as being “self evident”.

The reason why ‘truth’ goes through these four stages is that humans in general are very reluctant to give up their beliefs as to the nature of reality because they have invested a lifetime of expense and effort in arriving at those beliefs. Acknowledging that their perception of reality may no longer be applicable in the light of new evidence usually presents humans with the uncomfortable choice of dispensing with a paradigm that they have become used to – and which has probably worked for them quite satisfactorily to date – in favour of a something new and yet to be properly defined. Few humans have the strength of character to pursue such a course of action as it usually results in considerable personal discomfit associated with a lack of supporting structures surrounding new ideas and a fear of the unknown, not to mention the vociferous ridicule they can expect from their contemporaries towards anything new. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that those who question society’s prevailing orthodoxy are by definition dissenters who, by “rocking the boat”, tend to threaten the very lifestyle, comfort and income of those around them who hold to the prevailing orthodox position. It is for this reason why dissenters have been relentlessly pursued and persecuted throughout history by their contemporaries.

For more on this issue see:

  • ‘Dissent’ by Alex Paterson (incomplete)

The four stages of truth applies to the day to day personal life situations of humans as well as the wider questions pertaining to the nature of reality and who we are.

Philosophical Materialism
Contemporary Western society’s understanding as to the nature of reality is a good example of the “four stages of truth”. Western Science’s understanding of reality is based on the concept that the Universe is solely a material dimension and that all phenomena in the Universe (i.e. reality) are strictly the result of the material interactions of the separate physical ‘bits’ comprising it – all operating in accordance with ‘natural’, immutable laws of the universe and not exhibiting, or being the subject of, ‘consciousness’. However, this understanding of reality – known as Philosophical Materialism – is not supported by the scientific evidence at a ‘quantum’ (minute) scientific level. Despite the lack of scientific evidence in support of Philosophical Materialism, the theory is trenchantly defended by the Western Scientific community – not because the theory has been observed to work, or that there is some irrefutable scientific proof of the same – but rather because it is the underlying philosophy of that very science. As such, the careers of most Western Scientists are inextricably linked to that philosophy. In the eyes of most scientists, the notion that they abandon a paradigm of reality built up over a lifetime of study and effort in pursuit of something that has yet to be defined, is clearly unthinkable.

For more on this subject see:

 Copyright © Alex Paterson 1999


1. The various stages of truth are more often referred to as “the three stages of truth” which has been attributed on the internet to the German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), who said to have stated; “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

I have simply added an initial stage to this process in which the truth goes unrecognised and is therefore ignored; hence my assertion that there are “four stages of truth”. (Alex Paterson)

However, there is some controversy about Arthur Schopenhauer’s authorship of “the three stages of truth” which readers may like to investigate.





  1. Aldous says:

    Whether it is three or four stages of Truth doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I prefer 6,000,000 stages of Truth anyway – or is it 6,000,001 stages?

    Do you know it is technically unlawful (whatever that means these days) in many ZOG cuntries(sic) to dare to suggest that actual figure is arithmetically incorrect by even 1?

    Were one to state that the actual figure was in fact 5,999,999 because I was actually there and counted them – then that would be a virtual hanging by piano wire charge.

    21,768 murdered in Katyn massacre by the Soviet NKVD – April 1940 – Joseph Stalin Lavrentiy Beria [Caution Advisory: Disturbing Images]

    The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katyńska, ‘Katyń crime’), was a mass murder of thousands of Polish prisoners of war (primarily military officers), intellectuals, policemen, and other public servants by the Soviet NKVD, based on a proposal from Lavrentiy Beria to execute all members of the Polish Officer Corps.
    Dated March 5, 1940, this official document was then approved (signed) by the entire Soviet Politburo including Joseph Stalin and Beria.

    The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000, the most commonly cited number being 21,768. The victims were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin (Tver) and Kharkov prisons and elsewhere. About 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, the rest being Poles arrested for allegedly being “intelligence agents, gendarmes, saboteurs, landowners, factory owners, lawyers, priests, and officials.” Since Poland’s conscription system required every unexempted university graduate to become a reserve officer, the Soviets were able to round up much of the Polish intelligentsia, and the Jewish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian intelligentsia of Polish citizenship.

    Nazi Germany announced the discovery of mass graves in the Katyn Forest in 1943. The revelation led to the end of diplomatic relations between Moscow and the London-based Polish government-in-exile.

    The Soviet Union continued to deny the massacres until 1990, when it finally acknowledged the perpetration of the massacre by the NKVD. as well as the subsequent cover-up. An investigation by the Prosecutor’s General Office of the Russian Federation has confirmed Soviet responsibility for the massacres, yet does not classify this action as a war crime or an act of genocide. This acknowledgement would have made necessary the prosecution of surviving perpetrators, which is what the Polish government had requested. The Russian government also does not classify the dead as victims of Stalinist repression, which bars formal posthumous rehabilitation.

    After 3 April, 1940, at least 22,436 POWs and prisoners were executed: 15,131 POWs (most or all of them from the three camps) and at least 7,305 prisoners in western parts of Belarus and Ukraine. A 1956 memo from KGB chief Alexander Shelepin to First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev contains incomplete information about the personal files of 21,857 murdered POWs and prisoners. Of them 4,421 were from Kozielsk, 3,820 from Starobielsk, 6,311 from Ostashkov, and 7,305 from Belarusian and Ukrainian prisons. Shelepin’s data for prisons should be considered a minimum, because his data for POWs is incomplete (he mentions 14,552 personal files for POWs, while at least 15,131 POWs “sent to NKVD” are mentioned in contemporary documents).

    The Germans assembled and brought in a European commission consisting of twelve forensic experts and their staffs from Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, and Hungary. After the war, all the experts, save for a Bulgarian and a Czech, reaffirmed their 1943 finding of Soviet guilt.

    The Katyn Massacre was beneficial to Nazi Germany, which used it to discredit the Soviet Union. Goebbels wrote in his diary on 14 April 1943: “We are now using the discovery of 12,000 Polish officers, murdered by the GPU, for anti-Bolshevik propaganda on a grand style. We sent neutral journalists and Polish intellectuals to the spot where they were found. Their reports now reaching us from ahead are gruesome. The Fuehrer has also given permission for us to hand out a drastic news item to the German press. I gave instructions to make the widest possible use of the propaganda material. We shall be able to live on it for a couple weeks.”

    The Germans had succeeded in portraying the dark side of the Soviet government to the world and briefly raised the spectre of a communist monster rampaging across the territories of Western civilization; moreover, General Sikorski’s unease threatened to unravel the alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. (9:11)

  2. Men Scryfa says:

    Yes interesting 4 stages. Now for the fifth, it’s called retribution.

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