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Sun May 26, 2013, 11:29 AM

Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories

In the days following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, speculation online regarding the identity and motive of the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators was rampant. And once the Tsarnaev brothers were identified and the manhunt came to a close, the speculation didn’t cease. It took a new form. A sampling: Maybe the brothers Tsarnaev were just patsies, fall guys set up to take the heat for a mysterious Saudi with high-level connections; or maybe they were innocent, but instead of the Saudis, the actual bomber had acted on behalf of a rogue branch of our own government; or what if the Tsarnaevs were behind the attacks, but were secretly working for a larger organization?

Crazy as these theories are, those propagating them are not — they’re quite normal, in fact. But recent scientific research tells us this much: if you think one of the theories above is plausible, you probably feel the same way about the others, even though they contradict one another. And it’s very likely that this isn’t the only news story that makes you feel as if shadowy forces are behind major world events.

“The best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory is belief in other conspiracy theories,” says Viren Swami, a psychology professor who studies conspiracy belief at the University of Westminster in England. Psychologists say that’s because a conspiracy theory isn’t so much a response to a single event as it is an expression of an overarching worldview.

As Richard Hofstadter wrote in his seminal 1965 book, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” conspiracy theories, especially those involving meddlesome foreigners, are a favorite pastime in this nation. Americans have always had the sneaking suspicion that somebody was out to get us — be it Freemasons, Catholics or communists. But in recent years, it seems as if every tragedy comes with a round of yarn-spinning, as the Web fills with stories about “false flag” attacks and “crisis actors” — not mere theorizing but arguments for the existence of a completely alternate version of reality.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/why-rational-people-buy-into-conspiracy-theories.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0&pagewanted=all

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Arrow 56 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories (Original post)
meow2u3 May 2013 OP
Donald Ian Rankin May 2013 #1
Viva_La_Revolution May 2013 #3
rhett o rick May 2013 #9
Taverner May 2013 #32
kentauros May 2013 #38
Donald Ian Rankin May 2013 #39
AngryAmish Jun 2013 #54
Populist_Prole May 2013 #2
Jake Izzy May 2013 #4
SidDithers May 2013 #5
Rex May 2013 #6
cprise May 2013 #12
HiPointDem May 2013 #16
rhett o rick May 2013 #20
HiPointDem May 2013 #25
rhett o rick May 2013 #31
Skip Intro Jun 2013 #51
KittyWampus May 2013 #24
MotherPetrie May 2013 #27
Rex May 2013 #17
whatchamacallit May 2013 #7
hughee99 May 2013 #8
iemitsu May 2013 #34
hughee99 May 2013 #40
starroute May 2013 #10
cprise May 2013 #11
markiv May 2013 #13
Eddie Haskell May 2013 #33
iemitsu May 2013 #14
leveymg May 2013 #15
Rex May 2013 #18
leveymg May 2013 #21
Eddie Haskell May 2013 #30
Whisp May 2013 #36
rhett o rick May 2013 #19
Number23 May 2013 #22
randome May 2013 #28
CanSocDem Jun 2013 #50
Starry Messenger May 2013 #23
stopbush May 2013 #26
Whisp May 2013 #37
RobinA Jun 2013 #47
rightsideout May 2013 #29
sigmasix May 2013 #35
arely staircase May 2013 #42
BridgeTheGap Jun 2013 #46
LineReply .
snagglepuss May 2013 #41
stevenleser May 2013 #43
sigmasix May 2013 #45
CJCRANE May 2013 #44
Octafish Jun 2013 #48
LineLineNew Reply !
whatchamacallit Jun 2013 #49
lumberjack_jeff Jun 2013 #52
CanSocDem Jun 2013 #53
alp227 Jun 2013 #55
siligut Jun 2013 #56

Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:44 AM

1. There *are* no rational people.

It is obvious to me that a) everyone else is irrational, and b) it appears to everyone else that they are rational.

It appears to me that I am rational.

It is theoretically possible that that observation is correct, and I am the only rational human being.

But it seems far more likely that I'm deluding myself like everybody else.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:59 AM

3. ^this^

nice.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:18 PM

9. Wait just a second. You dont really believe that last sentence, you are just pretending

 

to be rational. And dont ask me how I know.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:45 PM

32. Amen. All of us have brains that play tricks on us.

 

Hence the importance of peer review and empirical research

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #1)

Mon May 27, 2013, 01:22 AM

38. I am quite content in my irrationality.

In fact, my creativity and imagination pretty much require that I be irrational (at least, when I'm being creative and imaginative.)

So there!

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Response to kentauros (Reply #38)

Mon May 27, 2013, 03:07 AM

39. I'm not. I find the idea of being literally unable to work out when I'm wrong terrifying. N.T.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 10:04 AM

54. This is exactly right

 

We are animals. We have brains. We do not function rationally. We are a seething mass of chemicals that interact with our environment. Our sex hormones bend out minds. Our parasites bend out minds. Our experiences, injuries, all things get thrown into that chemical soup which is out minds.

The thing about our minds that is arguably the thing that makes us human is the ability to categorize things and see connections between things. That is very, very useful but can lead into false impressions of reality. For example, you hear people all the time say they don't believe in coincidences. That is horseshit. THings happen all the time that are coincidences. But our minds reject things being coincidences because it is safer not to believe in coincidences.

I could go on and on and I might...but if anyone says that they are rational they are wrong.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:57 AM

2. I dunno. I think it's just a matter of being the "comfort food" of inner thoughts

Everything works, everything makes sense and there's no heavy lifting required to defend or promote it.

Not much different than a 5 year old's belief in Santa Claus.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:01 PM

4. can I believe in some conspiracy theories and not others?

 

Please?

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:23 PM

5. Kick and Rec...nt

Sid

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:36 PM

6. Why irrational people buy into conspiring to be impossible.

 

The best are people that don't believe in ANY conspiracy theories or that it is somehow impossible for 2 or more people to conspire. The world must be very strange to them when something grey happens.

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Response to Rex (Reply #6)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:11 PM

12. Correction:

...don't believe in ANY conspiracy theories or that it is somehow impossible for 2 or more wealthy and powerful people to conspire.

Its perfectly acceptable to level conspiracy theories against the 99%, only in this case the criminal justice system is inclined to oblige.

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Response to cprise (Reply #12)

Sun May 26, 2013, 03:03 PM

16. +100000000000000. We're supposed to believe that our leaders are nice people who would never

 

conspire, despite thousands of years of evidence to the contrary.

Only conspiracy theories with the official stamp of approval may be believed. In which care they are no longer called 'conspiracy theories,' but *fact*.

The 'conspiracy theory' label is just intended to make certain lines of inquiry beyond the pale.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sun May 26, 2013, 04:18 PM

20. The CT label is used some times here in DU to bully posters into shutting up.

 

If someone is labelled a conspiracy theorist, they are fair game for mocking and ridicule.

CT's shake their comfortable denial bubble that is carefully crafted to insulate them from the badness of the world.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #20)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:35 PM

25. i'd say it's used that way 99% of the time.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #25)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:44 PM

31. Yes, I agree. One prominent poster suggested that those posting CT get immediately PPR'd.

 

Of course he would get to apply his CT criteria. It's about power.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #20)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 09:26 AM

51. Yes it is, and it isn't the only label used to do so. n/t

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:30 PM

24. after reading this article I thought of "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out

 

to get you".

Just because some conspiracy theories are outlandish and perhaps products of people's need to create order and feel in control… doesn't mean that there are, in fact, groups conspiring in the world.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:49 PM

27. +1

 

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Response to cprise (Reply #12)

Sun May 26, 2013, 03:03 PM

17. Yes that is far more accurate.

 

TY.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:40 PM

7. Because sometimes they happen?

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:45 PM

8. A "false flag" claim is useful whenever someone sees something,

that doesn't fit into their world view. I think people are willing to buy into a conspiracy theory (at least a little bit, initially), because it allows them to not have to rethink how they see the world right away. Eventually, some people will give up on the theory and either except that things aren't exactly as they once saw them OR come up with some rationalization as to why a particular example "doesn't really count".

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #8)

Mon May 27, 2013, 12:42 AM

34. I think you are confusing conspiracy theories with cognitive dissonance.

Conspiracy theories develop when official explanations don't jibe with the evidence or when some people think that the two don't fit. In this situation, sensible people look for answers that do make sense. Those, who don't want them looking, call them conspiracy theorist nuts to discredit their search for the truth. Considering an alternate explanation when the official one seems unlikely to be true is seeking the truth.
Cognitive dissonance is being introduced to information that is proven to be true but, if accepted as fact, means that everything you previously based your understanding of the world on, is false. Many, in fact most, will reject the new, proven truth and cling even more tightly to the discredited, old truth. This is probably a natural defense mechanism that is triggered when, as you say, they need to postpone rethinking how they see the world. This is avoiding the truth, not seeking it.
The motives for conspiracy theories and for cognitive dissonance are the opposite.

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Response to iemitsu (Reply #34)

Mon May 27, 2013, 07:49 AM

40. Whenever something occurs, like the Marathon bombing,

the attempted Times Square bomber, violent actions by those supposedly with the Occupy movement, WTO protesters, etc, a false flag claim is made as soon as it turned out the person/people responsible aren't the white republicans we were speculating it would be. Hell, I heard someone suggest just the other day that Code Pink and Medea Benjamin are really a front for the Koch Brothers. The repukes do basically the same thing, it's not unique to one side or the other.

As more information comes out, many will relent and agree that in this case it probably wasn't the people they initially suspected, often after coming up with some explanation why this is some unique situation that doesn't really count when considering larger issues, but others will still cling to the false flag claims. In the end, it doesn't matter how far you go in the conspiracy, you can always claim the CIA/BFEE/Koch Brothers/Karl Rove are the secret people behind whatever group is responsible. It doesn't matter how outlandish that claim may seem, you can't PROVE it's not true.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:43 PM

10. Rational people want the world to make sense

And it hasn't been doing a whole lot of that lately.

When modest gun control measures that enjoy broad support from all points of the political spectrum can't even get through Congress, people start to suspect there is something else at work than the will of the people.

When the same people who got us into our economic mess are put in charge of pretending to fix it, people wonder what's really going on.

When our government tells us ten different unlikely stories about the same event, people question whether the tenth is any more reliable that the first.

The problem I see with most conspiracy theories is that they're too simplistic. They assume the existence of super-villains who can bring off complicated plots requiring flawless split-second timing. But the intuition that there are covert forces behind certain baffling events isn't misplaced. And it arises from nothing more complex than an assumption that the world is not as WYSIWYG as the pundits and politicians would like us to believe.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:01 PM

11. "Conspiracy theory" is used as an instrument of logical fallacy

...a very broad brush used to paint odd rantings and embarrassing data with the same color. Its bestows non-validity by forced association... suspicions that the attorney generals and the courts are disinclined to pursue are all swept under that rug.

OTOH, the prisons are bursting with small-time "conspirators" while the war criminals, bankers, genetic engineers and nuclear energy sector are exempted from liability and prosecution.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:22 PM

13. 'conspiracy theorist' is a pejorative thrown at anyone who questions policy or actions

 

sure, there are many stereotypical tin foil hat nuts

put there are plenty of real conspiracies too

for example, is any who saw 180 billion to AIG as a conspiracy a nut?

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Response to markiv (Reply #13)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:52 PM

33. When authority is mistaken for truth, truth loses its authority

Question everything!

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:38 PM

14. Conspiracy theories are the result of unbelievable official accounts.

No one wants to have to guess what is true when it comes to assigning responsibility for catastrophic or dramatic/destructive events.
Of course, in the immediate aftermath of any event there are bound to be many unanswered questions (a guessing period) but as the evidence is sorted through, and pieced together, the story ought to begin to make sense.
Our natural desire to make sense of situations makes us question what does not seem to meet that mark.
It is the government's fault that Americans face this dilemma. It is certain that our government lies to us when they think its in "our" interest to be lied to or when it is in the interest of individual government employees to hide the truth. Since this has been admitted, by many in-the-know, it stands to reason that one possible explanation for nonsensical accounts, is that the authority, providing the account, is lying.
Most "normal" people do not find conspiracies under every event but when faced with implausible explanations they must attempt to make sense of the event on their own.
Those in power benefit from the belief in conspiracy theories among their populations. It is an effective "divide and conquer" technique, pitting one group's theories against all other possible theories. This ultimately results in a Mexican Standoff and lessens our ability to work together in our own defense.
This is why those in power find incomplete or unbelievable explanations useful. We are knocked off our feet and confused (like Obama in the fist debate with Romney). We can't work together because we are frozen, our guns pointed at each other and our attention focused on, and clinging to, the version of truth each of us finds most compelling. This keeps us from effectively communicating with each other, from working together to make a better world, and keeps us from ever discovering the root cause/causes of our problems.
Superstitious, ill-educated, and isolated people have always been easy to manipulate. They don't see the big picture. What this article ought to have pointed out as remarkable is that well-informed, educated, middle-class Americans, who understand the world through accepted academic methods and authority, are no longer able to make sense of the world, using the information and explanations provided by once trusted authorities. This is a sad story of a psy-ops program gone bad. At least bad for us, the citizens of this land. This same situation has been considered a win, by our government, when realized in other countries.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 02:40 PM

15. What does one call Judy Miller's Iraq WMD reports in the NYT, if not conspiracy theory?

Why did the NYT publish Bush and Rice's post-9/11 (mis)statements verbatim, "Nobody could have foreseen someone flying airliners into a building" - wan't that also creating a conspiracy theory, an official sort of CT?

If the NYT doesn't print it, but the WaPo or WSJ does, is it still a "conspiracy theory"? Does that make the reporters and editors of those other papers "irrational"?

Seems to me, CT is just a phrase used to discredit those with knowledge and opinions that contradicts one's own slanted version of partial truth.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #15)

Sun May 26, 2013, 03:06 PM

18. It is something to ridicule by those that live in a black and white world.

 

Those that live and die from binary thinking.

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Response to Rex (Reply #18)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:40 PM

21. Binary Thought Syndrome: Official Pronouncement - (Truth); unauthorized thought- (conspiracy theory)

BTS - sometimes fatal, always destructive to democracies and reality-based communities.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #21)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:27 PM

30. Conformist: One who has to follow what's 'In' in order to gain popularity and have a life.

Society's Bitch.

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Response to Rex (Reply #18)

Mon May 27, 2013, 01:12 AM

36. I wonder how long that Gulf of Tonkin thing ran as official truth

 

lots of finger pointing and laughing at that one, no doubt.

The thought that there are no conspiracies is crazier than Cheney is really a Lizardman.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 04:14 PM

19. "Buy into" may not be fair, but lots of people recognize that conspiracies abound

 

especially in politics. Karl Rove's job is conspiring.

Before we get to the bottom of who committed an act of terror, there are lots of theories. These are all CT and there is nothing wrong. People like to complain about the CT's that turn out to be wrong, but dont recognize that the theory that panned out was once a CT.

And our government doesnt help when they consistently lie to us. Like trying to convince open minded people that there was no conspiracy behind the JFK, RFK and/or MLK jr. assassinations. That's very unlikely.

Some people denigrate CT because they dare to challenge the comfort of the status quo.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:01 PM

22. My mom is a successful attorney. Worked, raised me and went to law school BY HERSELF

all as a single mom. She is one smart, hard working cookie and she thinks the moon landing is fake. I can't understand it.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #22)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:59 PM

28. Wow. Not doubting you but...wow.

 

[hr]
[font color="blue"][center]Stop looking for heroes. BE one.[/center][/font]
[hr]

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Response to Number23 (Reply #22)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 09:22 AM

50. What she is really telling you...

 



...and of course this is entirely my own opinion, is that the corporate institutions that we all so deeply and proudly support, are completely capable of deceiving you for their own interests and in ways you couldn't imagine.

That is really good advice.

.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:07 PM

23. Humans look for patterns as part of our makeup.

Last edited Mon May 27, 2013, 04:12 AM - Edit history (1)

In the absence of any one that seems plausible, they will create one. And it doesn't help that there are several bastards who really are out to get us. But that's my theory...

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 08:46 PM

26. And yet this NYT article doesn't have the guts to even mention THE elephant in the room

when it comes to wacko CTs - the CTs surrounding the assassination of JFK.
This is the DU member formerly known as stopbush.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #26)

Mon May 27, 2013, 01:15 AM

37. The well is so poisoned for a purpose.

 

call all CTs nutzo and you can hide when the real one comes around.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 07:51 AM

47. JFK

is the third rail of conspiracy theory theory. It's pretty much gotten to the point that you are considered a dupe if you don't believe that Castro operatives, the Mafia, and George Bush Sr. were all firing at him from the grassy knoll. Saying anything reasonable on this subject has become almost impossible.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:25 PM

29. I'm conflicted on conspiracy theories

I haven't bought into any of the conspiracy theories about 9/11, the Moon Landing, the Sandy Hook False Flags and Obama's birth certificate. And the GOP making Benghazi into some conspiracy.

But I'm into Bigfoot, the Lock Ness Monster, the Mermaid thing, the Bermuda Triangle and UFO stuff.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2013, 12:59 AM

35. conspiracy theories vs criminal endeavors

Conspiracy theories are a different animal from criminal endeavors; CT relies on the notion that there are agents of near universal power and willingness on the part of the conspirators. These extra-human powers of universal control serve as sufficient cause for belief in a usurping, unconquerable secret organization targeting "conservative" leaders and operatives, as well as the sovereign needs of the country. These claims never contain statements that are logically self sufficient and therefor result in constant "goal post moving" on the part of the CT enthusiast.
The treason commited by reagan, bush and ollie north is not CT in form or function; criminal endeavors have a distinct ability to be refuted by sensible evidence to the contrary; and due to the fact that it is disprovable it is therefore NOT a conspiracy theory- but a criminal endeavor with universally held conceptions about what constitutes a criminal endeavor. CTs are going to be losing adherents soon as we get further away from the millenium. Minds that are easily confused and distracted by pretty bullshit excuses like this notion that CTs have the weight of the really real truth about the world probably shouldnt be trusted to own guns or vote.

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #35)

Mon May 27, 2013, 11:31 AM

42. +1 nt

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #35)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 07:09 AM

46. Do you mean like this one from Woodrow Wilson?

“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive., that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” Woodrow Wilson

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2013, 10:53 AM

41. .

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2013, 11:49 AM

43. Many of the common conspiracy theories you hear are recycled John Birch Society nonsense

 

or are modern offshoots.

The whole UN, one world government, black helicopters, FEMA Camps, Bilderberg, Rothschild, Council for Foreign Relations, Flouride stuff are all things the John Birch Society has been trying to peddle since 1958. Chemtrails, Haarp, Anti-Vax are just more modern offshoots of that.

It's taken the JBS 50 years but by continuing to repeat the same garbage and adding some modern twists, they have gotten a small following for those conspiracies. Alex Jones and his radio show and the infowars site peddles this stuff and he has a significant base of followers.

That group will fold any major event into their conspiracies. Any weather or tectonic event is HAARP. Any terrorist or military event is a False Flag, etc.

When we talk about conspiracy theories, I think we have to put the above in a different class. This is simply garbage that the JBS has been pushing for a long time.

As far as non-JBS conspiracy theories, I will always default to wanting to see proof.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #43)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:19 AM

45. birchism was a movement dedicated to CT

Birchism worked much like a cult that we all know- the further up in the organization you were, the more "truth" they entrusted to you. Thier leader wrote several papers and stories that built an eleborate conspiracy theory ideology designed to explain away all inconsistencies and deflect and questions. These writings and the belief in the CT espoused within is what inspired McCarthy and many other bigoted left overs from the days of jim crow. Birchers tried to inculcate the RNC over the years, but the true conservatives of that time realized that extremists could destroy the republican party, so they very firmly said "No thank you". Modern republican leaders have been willing to sell the soul of the party just to maintain votes (votes of wackjob extremism, but still a vote)

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2013, 11:50 AM

44. That's what they want you to believe.

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 08:51 AM

48. Like when NYT puts Judy Miller's bogus WMD stories on page 1?

When, in reality, there were no WMDs in Iraq, as attested to by Hans Blix and Scott Ritter.

Of course, Miller's mistake was simply a coincidence. Likewise, instead of getting canned and shunned professionally, Ms. Miller today enjoys membership in the Council on Foreign Relations.

A lesser undercover government propagandist might have ended a career simply posting unread musings as just another unemployed blogger and faded away.

One thing is for certain: She has innoculated people to the idea of imprisoning journalists.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #48)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 08:55 AM

49. !

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 09:26 AM

52. "conspiracy theory" is a phrase frequently used to discredit healthy critical thinking.

 

i.e. did the supreme court really intervene in 2000 because of their newfound respect for the 14th amendment?

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 09:57 AM

53. Imagine my relief...

 


...then when waking up this morning to find out that our own little robber-baron premier, recently installed as the authority over our publicly owned assets (which are many), was off to the Bilderberg Conference this week in Hertfordshire, England.

I could be wrong but I think the only thing he is capable of bringing to a table that size, is the vast efficient publicly built and owned infra-structure and energy wealth that we have accumulated under decades of social democracy.

What have I got to worry about?

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Response to meow2u3 (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 01:54 PM

55. I think it is because of a desire to know everything.

even allegedly rational people want quick answers to everything so they feel smarter.
This is the DU member formerly known as alp227.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #55)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 02:18 PM

56. Or to know exclusive information

Conspiracy theories are wrapped in excitement and intrigue. You get to be a part of a special club and everybody in the club agrees with you when you believe in the conspiracy theory.

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