This week, the Mail has been serialising actor Rupert Everett's extravagantly funny and stylish memoirs.
However, it can take used to convince others to embrace a particular scientific, environmental, religious or even moral position as well, making it a part of almost all aspects of life.
Unfortunately, the term is usually associated with lies or half-truths, but that’s not always the case; in fact, some of the most successful propaganda is based on the truth, though that truth may be hidden behind the propagandist’s particular slant or style of delivery.
Sometimes, if I woke early enough (I had ripped a copy of the rehearsal schedule off the wall backstage so I knew his every move) I even waited for him to leave his house in the mornings and tracked him to the rehearsal room.
If he spotted me, I pretended I had lost something in the rubbish. Then, six months later, back in London and studying at drama school, I was passing the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden and saw a poster announcing Macbeth as part of the coming season. I loved that job; I couldn’t wait to get there every night.
Being a fan meant that you could utterly abandon your own life. Your whole existence became the play and the brief contact you had with your saviour at the stage door.
When Ian appeared, the ladies whined and snivelled, arms outstretched for the miracle of physical contact.In most cases, however, the role of the propagandist is to convince large numbers of people to think a certain way, making it a powerful tool, especially in the wrong hands.Of course, having strong opinions or being especially dogmatic about one’s beliefs does not automatically make one a propagandist.In the brief moment of climax, cards, cakes and keepsakes fell on him like a plague of locusts and then it was over. I positioned myself to full advantage, stood back and stared. Ian disappeared into the night and the ladies shuffled off, clucking.When they were all gone I dived after him into the darkness, darting in and out of the shadows like the hero in an Enid Blyton novel as I tracked my star on the walk home or to the pub.The dictionary defines propaganda as the deliberate spreading of information, ideas, or rumors in an effort to either help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, or nation.