HearYourselfThink Training & Resource Hub 

Democracy is threatened by disinformation pumped out 24/7 by Fox “news,” Facebook, and talk radio. Getting to the root of how demagogues manipulate minds, attitudes, and emotions helps us expose their tactics and craft messages that reconnect with values of the common good, truth, and decency. When each of us resolves to fight mind pollution one conversation at a time we can make a big difference.

HearYourselfThink Co-Founders Erin and Dave Ninehouser bring a combined two decades of Rustbelt organizing experience to the task of creating more-light-less-heat conversations that can “puncture the propaganda,” spark critical thought, and begin to rebuild social solidarity. A compilation of recent trainings is included below.

Zero Tolerance for Fox Propaganda on Public TVs: #FoxOff Card Campaign

Join team #FoxOff – a campaign in partnership with The Brainwashing of My Dad documentary – and do your part to get Fox “News” and hate radio OUT of restaurants, gyms, gas stations, hospitals, hotel lobbies, and anywhere else it’s on in public.

Now you can join the team of FoxBusters who are speaking up and speaking out against toxic-to-democracy media outlets like Fox that have debased our politics, divided our families, and hijacked our public airwaves to push partisan propaganda.

Talk It Out: Communications Bootcamp

Hosted in partnership with ProgressPA

Part 1: Values Speak Louder than Lies

Get in touch with the core motivations that inspire each of us to speak up to counter disinformation and conspiracy theories.

In this first of three trainings, hosted by HearYourselfThink and ProgressPA, learn how to craft compact, powerful messages, centered in our values, that address issues where disinformation and propaganda is warping the public discourse, like on COVID, vaccine conspiracy theories and the Big Lie.

Remember, the fight we’re in isn’t just a fight over facts, it’s about our principles, who we are, what we care about, and what we stand for.The hard truth is that too many are willing to believe any outrageous lie simply to spite those who they perceive as a political enemy.

When people don’t care if something is true or not, and are choosing to believe what gratifies them, that’s not a problem debunking can solve. It shows that people have lost touch with truth as a value. They’ve given up on truth in exchange for the shallow meaning and toxic community the demagogue’s lies offer. But deep down, we have to have faith that they are still reachable, that on some level, they know they are being manipulated (even willfully so), and that offering them a path to reconnect with their truer, more meaningful selves will bear fruit.

Part 2: Making Truth Matter

How do demagogues poison hearts and minds? How does indoctrination happen? How do we puncture it? In this second of three trainings, hosted by HearYourselfThink and ProgressPA, we’ll build on our values-based foundation from the first training and practice creating our personal stories that challenge dogma, prompt reflection, expose manipulation, and make truth matter.

The demagogue’s bet — knowing that we are hardwired to respond instinctively, not rationally to threats, real or manufacture — is that if we’re scared and angry, we won’t stop to think about whether or not what they’re saying makes any sense, or if it’s in sync with our deeper values, we’ll just rage and react.

Unfortunately, they’re too often right, but that’s not the whole story. While demagogues use scary stories to shut down critical thinking and indoctrinate their marks, we too can use the power of story, only for good — to spark the kind of deep, visceral insight that can begin to break someone out of this manipulative cycle.

This training presents three stories: real snake/rubber snake, how media has changed, and look for the helpers, that we can learn and practice to help people break themselves free from the “cycle of indoctrination.”

Part 3: Vaccinated, Unindoctrinated and Motivated

As some normalcy returns, we prepare to engage more freely with our fellow citizens — and also look ahead to canvassing. What are the issues and ideas to prioritize?

It’s time to pull together the skills we’ve learned with interactive role-plays, practice rapid responses to common nonsense, and help each other hone our persuasive edge.

It matters when we focus on and speak from our fundamental values.

This training shares tips and strategies for engagement (creating the conditions to be heard and prompt reflection, not reaction) as well as the goals of a HearYourselfThink conversation: 

  • to identify the fear at the core of what they’re saying;
  • to dilute/counter the manipulative power of the demagogic influence; and
  • to connect on a values level to win hearts and minds. 

Role play subjects include: anti-mask/COVID is overblown sentiment from a coworker, Black Lives Matter antipathy from a relative of a police officer, and anger at Democrats for supporting socialist big government spending.


If you found these resources to be helpful, please make a donation to support our work.

We receive no funding from charitable foundations and are 100% supported by grassroots activists like you!

The HearYourselfThink Project is a 501c3 non-profit that defends American values of truth, reason, and the common good by exposing how demagogues tap into the reptilian mind to divide and conquer. We are 100% funded by small donations.


Dave & Erin Ninehouser, Co-Founders


P.O. Box 116
Ambridge, PA 15003
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