The paper presents a chronological and conceptual context for the recent change in the spiral of silence theory, developed since the seventies by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann and her critics. A recently introduced novelty of this theory is the concept of opinion leaders which was first elaborated by Paul Lazarsfeld in his mid 20. century studies of voting behavior in America. Noelle-Neumann now integrates this concept with the original composition of her spiral of silence theory. The question, however, is to what extent this renewed theory remains consistent with its original outlook. Authors' reply in this paper is negative.