"Deny Ignorance" and the ATS Conspiracy...

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posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 01:09 PM
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Greetings ATS members,

Those of you have been with us for a long time may remember what this board was like before the "Deny Ignorance" motto was concieved. You may remember ATS as a small, insignificant website, but more importantly one with a definite focus. AboveTopSecret.com was established as a conspiracy site, and in the days when members numbered in hundreds rather than thousands, conspiracies were the core topics of discussion. This was a place where conspiracy theorists could express opinions and thoughts, no matter how far-fetched, and were free to entertain ideas without being beaten down by skeptics demanding conclusive proof and dismissing everything they said as paranoid ramblings. In short, ATS was a refuge for conspiracy theorists, a repressed and cruelly stereotyped section of society.

Today, things are vastly different. The topics of discussion remain largely the same, with the addition of the BTS and P@ATS forums, but the atmosphere, and most significantly the membership, have changed dramatically. Skeptics now form the overwhelming majority of the people who post on these forums, and at times it seems many of them have very little interest in conspiracy theories at all. This makes it very difficult for those who are interested in these alternative topics to entertain their ideas. The "Deny Ignorance" maxim and the attitude it promotes discourages theorising, which by its very nature does not entail conclusive proof.

ATS has become mainstream. Its membership is now a more broad reflection of society as a whole. This is arguably a good thing, as it brings a weider variety of opinions and personalities to the forums. But there is a downside to the growth of ATS. The conspiracy theorists who once upon a time viewed this site as a refuge where they could be taken a little more seriously are now subject to the same repression and ridicule online as they are in everyday life.

The promotion of non-conspiracy based topics and the introduction of the "Deny Ignorace" motto seem quite clearly to have been designed to bring ATS into the mainstream. On the surface, it may seem that the purpose behind this expansion was to bring conspiracy theories and their discussion to the attention of a wider audience.

However, I suspect there may be another motivation behind the expansion. Money.

The advertising revenue from the ATS mainsite, ATS board, BTS, P@ATS and ATSNN must amount to a fairly large sum, much more atleast, than the original mainsite and relatively small ATS board. I am not aware of the exact figures and would appreciate input from anyone who knows more about the subject than I do. However, I suspect that the expansion of ATS into the mainstream was initiated by administrators, most significantly SkepticOverlord - the artist formerly known as William - to increase advertising revenues, and to line their own pockets. It seems to me that they have abandoned the real principles of those who frequent this website in pursuit of profit.

It is my theory that "Deny Ignorance" is not a noble principle, intended as we are so often told to steer ATS towards its divine purpose, but an ingenious marketing campaign. This website lost its principles long ago. How's that for a conspiracy theory?

Your thoughts, ATS members?




posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 01:36 PM
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Keep in mind I’m speaking as a member here…

In my opinion blinded unconditional belief in someone’s “sighting” or conspiracy theory is the single worst thing that can happen to the conspiracy crowd. As long as I can remember conspiracy communities are ridiculed and brushed off because of their support of outlandish “stories” without any evidence or proof. If conspiracy theorists ever want to be taken seriously they need to realize that skepticism should be their best friend.

A story will stand on its own merits or fall because of them. Personally I have an open mind to many things but I require a little evidence/proof if I’m going to believe a particular story.

I think ATS and its members do an outstanding job separating the BS stories from those that deserve a closer look.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 01:42 PM
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You make a fair point kinglizard, these are indeed benefits of having a larger, more skeptical membership.

What I am questioning is the motivation behind the transition of ATS into the mainstream.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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While there are more boards (BTS,PTS) they weren’t created to make ATS a “mainstream” site. They were created to maintain the focus and standards of ATS. BTS and PTS threads were finding their way to the ATS forums before these boards were created. The ownership wanted to keep ATS “pure” and maintain the original intent of the board so the other boards were created to give these topics a home and to get them off the ATS board. So you see the intent of the owners hasn’t changed, in fact they are fighting harder than ever to maintain the focus of ATS.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:09 PM
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In this context, how would you described, "mainstream"?

Did you forget that we switched to dedicated servers because of the growing membership needs long before the motto appeared? And that as soon as the higher performance of increased bandiwdth kicked in, we grew quickly, long before a motto or advertising appeared? Or that I personally footed these bills with no advertising revenue at the time?

If not for the upgrade to new severs, and eventual Google ads, ATS would likely not exist beyond 2003.

Sure, go ahead and do the research. You'll discover that all of our advertising is from low-paying pay-per-click ad networks.

In any event, what's wrong with the 3 people who work the hardest getting a little financial reward for their efforts?

What's driving these new threads that suddenly question the motives of three people who work hard to make this place a free and open community for all members? One was a curiosity, two border on insulting, and... will there be more?



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:24 PM
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However, I suspect that the expansion of ATS into the mainstream was initiated by administrators, most significantly SkepticOverlord - the artist formerly known as William - to increase advertising revenues, and to line their own pockets.





Why do you post if you think its all some evil plot to make money? What exactl is maintstream about this site, btw? The shape-shifting reptilian overlords from dimension X? The Akunaki from the ice planet Niribu? The Chupacabra goat-sucker? The Illuminati panics? The Rothchild-bilderberger hollow moon bases?

WTF do you think mainstream is? Mutants? Nazi-Zombies?



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
In any event, what's wrong with the 3 people who work the hardest getting a little financial reward for their efforts?


Last time I checked......not a damn thing.

To the three Amigos




posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:29 PM
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I don't remember being asked to pay up to join this site. It's free. And I don't know if you understand the cost of bandwidth, but it ain't cheap. So if they run a few ads to "help" offset the cost, I'm pretty sure they don't cover everything, then I'm all for it. I know I haven't posted a lot here, but I read it everyday. This place makes me think, ponder and laugh. All of that costs me NOTHING, I for one am more than willing to follow a few rules to have this asset available. Since I haven't said it before, I'll say it now. Thanks for ATS.

Jim Ragan



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
In this context, how would you described, "mainstream"?


I would consider the topics discussed on BTS mainstream. The same goes for ATSNN and PTS. I assume the addition of these topics has contributed to attracting new members who otherwise would not be interested in ATS.


Did you forget that we switched to dedicated servers because of the growing membership needs long before the motto appeared? And that as soon as the higher performance of increased bandiwdth kicked in, we grew quickly, long before a motto or advertising appeared? Or that I personally footed these bills with no advertising revenue at the time?


Yes, I forgot. My apologies.


If not for the upgrade to new severs, and eventual Google ads, ATS would likely not exist beyond 2003.

Sure, go ahead and do the research. You'll discover that all of our advertising is from low-paying pay-per-click ad networks.

In any event, what's wrong with the 3 people who work the hardest getting a little financial reward for their efforts?

What's driving these new threads that suddenly question the motives of three people who work hard to make this place a free and open community for all members? One was a curiosity, two border on insulting, and... will there be more?


I must admit I was not aware of any other similarly themed threads. Mine was born simply out of curiosity as to what the membership now considers the purpose of ATS, and what people think about the way it is run. My own motivation also stems from a disaffection with the change in content, membership and general ethos of these forums since I first joined.

I realise, as Netchicken so eloquently put it in his U2U, that it's a crap theory, but then so is the theory that little grey men run the American "shadow government", or that 9/11 was all a big diversion to cover up the secret testing of a military aircraft derived from alien technology. Yet people entertain these ideas on ATS. This is a conspiracy site after all, isn't it?

Anyway, I apologise for any offence my crap theory has caused.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:36 PM
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Well this really isn't any of my business but has been brought up, if you guys are make a bit of coin so what you 3 deserve it and I'm sure the severs didn't come cheep not to mention other soft wear components it takes to keep this place going. So I say hey more power to yous
it doesn't cost us the members anything except click an advert link now and a again. I wish all involved in the running of ATS long life and good fortune.




[edit on 31/8/2005 by Sauron]



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
In any event, what's wrong with the 3 people who work the hardest getting a little financial reward for their efforts?

What's driving these new threads that suddenly question the motives of three people who work hard to make this place a free and open community for all members? One was a curiosity, two border on insulting, and... will there be more?


As with any "exclusivity," the profane (some of them at least) regard their lack of "membership" and the inability to access the same "perks" as being subjugated by a "higher power." No doubt that the triumvirate of Simon Gray, Skeptic Overlord, and Springer have donned their hooded robes and are at this very moment plotting the enslavement of the internet and beyond (when the dinner bell rings, let me know... it's been too long since I had fresh baby
). The progress of ATS is taking it's natural evolutionary path (did I say evolution? I meant intelligent design
), and ATS is better for it... Despite the cries for the "good old days," progress, and the rewards that commensurate with the risk taken not by the membership, but by those whose vision has been realized... And justly rewarded.

Taking It To The Bank Monkeys, not just so that no good deed goes unpunished anymore...



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:53 PM
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I think something members forget to take into account is the massive COST of running this board.

Although i don't know the cost here, I have seen similar boards that are in excess of $1000 per month to run for hosting. I suspect ATS would be similar. In that case most of the income will be vacummed up into meeting those debts.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by CiderGood_HeadacheBad
I would consider the topics discussed on BTS mainstream. The same goes for ATSNN and PTS. I assume the addition of these topics has contributed to attracting new members who otherwise would not be interested in ATS.


Actually, the addition of these wasn't to attract new members, but to move non-conspiratorial posts from ATS. It became evident that people didn't just want to "speak" conspiracy theories all day. People wanted to also have the ability to chill out and talk about pretty much anything they wanted.

So when Chit Chat on ATS became a massive forum of random babbling and conversation, it became apparent a new forums system was needed.


Originally posted by CiderGood_HeadacheBad
[I must admit I was not aware of any other similarly themed threads.


Second one today.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
I have seen similar boards that are in excess of $1000 per month to run for hosting. I suspect ATS would be similar. In that case most of the income will be vacummed up into meeting those debts.


Most people realise how much time SkepticOverlord spends coding away those fancy features and perks people get to use. I don't know any of that stuff anywhere near his level (my level of knowledge was ATS 1.0!), but I do know a semi-decent web developer rings up an average $100 an hour doing contract work on the cheap.

I got SkepticOverlord on the hamster wheel 15-20 hours a week. Professional web server packages set you back about $500 a month, Enterprise level servers about $750-$1000 a month. Did anyone hear S.O. mention we have four servers running ATS??

...and that is just basic, we are top-spec. So please drop the money threads, what is wrong with a hobby making some coin on the side...

[edit on 31-8-2005 by SimonGray]



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by SimonGray
Most people realise how much time SkepticOverlord spends coding away those fancy features and perks people get to use. I don't know any of that stuff anywhere near his level (my level of knowledge was ATS 1.0!), but I do know a semi-decent web developer rings up an average $100 an hour doing contract work on the cheap.

I got SkepticOverlord on the hamster wheel 15-20 hours a week. Professional web server packages set you back about $500 a month, Enterprise level servers about $750-$1000 a month. Did anyone hear S.O. mention we have four servers running ATS??

...and that is just basic, we are top-spec. So please drop the money threads, what is wrong with a hobby making some coin on the side...

[edit on 31-8-2005 by SimonGray]


Not a damn thing wrong there. I'd wager that a good number of members would pay for ATS, I would but that hasn't been asked. So, where's the beef?

As to SO, what he can do is simply amazing and for what? The satisfaction of what he does for our favorite website, a good deal of well earned kudo's and some strife, which imo is not needed. After all, if Skeptic packed it in, we're all up the creek.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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Well so long as I"m not paying membership fee's I think the three amigos should be allowed to make all the money they want. After all, with all the work they've been doing they're severely underpaid for their hard work.

Nearest I can tell, SO is doing professional level work on ATS for free. So far ATS is the most advanced discussion board I have ever seen, and I've seen quite a few. Add in four servers, ATS cannot possibly be cheap to operate, just imagine if SO wanted a paycheck.

Personally I wish there was a good way for ATS to make profit for the three amigos without going mainstream, however it doensn't look too plausible. Such a shame that the three amigos are too modest to accept donations, I know many members would donate very generous sums.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 07:24 PM
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I know a way that you guys can absolutely rake in the cash. Simply charge $10 per person per time to post an "ATS is an Evil Money-Making Scam" thread in BQ&B. You can't go wrong because it's definitely the fastest-growing market on ATS.



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 09:56 PM
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i think it's totally fair for "the three amigos" to get rich off this site.
i think it's hypocritical to slam OTHER conspiracy 'products' for the same thing, ....ie. david icke, alex jones, or any one else selling their version of 'truth'.
just because you care, doesn't mean you don't like gradeAAA black angus steak and expensive wine, or even not sleeping in a cardboard box and not eating cat food.
if the owners of this site make dough off it, then GOOD, it can continue to survive, yeah?
just keep up the quality, and ENCOURAGE conspiracy theorising, yeah?



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by SimonGray
what is wrong with a hobby making some coin on the side...


Absolutely nothing. If it provides the ability and necessary incentive to create such a high quality forum experience to address and meet the needs of a varied, educated, and engaged audience on a variety of topics, I say THANK YOU and WELL DONE!



posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 10:38 PM
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In Defense Of Filthy Lucre

As far as I'm concerned, if the Three Amigos became multi-billionaires off ATS, I would be ecstatic.

Good on them and more power to them for making this place exist in the first place.


Who the bloody hell has such a problem with people making money? Why is that considered some sort of crime?


The only people I have ever seen make an issue of it are people who are envious because they aren't the ones making the money.

Or, to paraphrase Ambrose Bierce, “Selfishness consists of the failure to yield to the selfishness of others.” Not his exact words, but I prefer my version.

Most of this “evil rich” nonsense is surplus prolefeed from the Cold War. But that's the problem with Information Warfare: once ordnance is released on the battlefield, it persists virtually forever.

Heck, we still have people in my country who think Spaniards blew up the Maine. :shk:

What's The Dillio?

Here's the bottom line for me.

I come to ATS to learn, have fun and maybe help others do the same. It costs me exactly nothing more to cruise the ATS forums than it does to cruise any other free forum on the Internet.

In exchange for the zero dollars I pay, I am lavished with more information, education and entertainment than I could ever afford to pay for somewhere else.

Indeed, ATS offers more than most fee-based subscription services I know of.

It's an incredible value all-around, and still people are complaining about it.

I feel like I'm a player in some sort of online “reality show” dramatization of Atlas Shrugged.

Yes, even irony is free on ATS.


The Conspiracy Conspiracy

And yeah, why the sudden surge in “ATS is run for sinister motives” posts?

Some sort of metaphysical backlash from rousting the political trolls? NSA/ISD upset because one of their moles got banned? Zeta Reticuloids trying to restore disorder to soften us up for the imminent invasion? John Titor sending negative waves back through time because no one's talking about him anymore?

There are no coincidences.

Want to know what's behind all this?

Follow those who follow the money.





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