ABC says conspiracy web sites are contributing to mental health issues

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posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by angel of lightangelo
reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 



Vaughan Bell, a British psychologist who has researched the effect of the Internet on mental illness, first began tracking sites with reports of mind control in 2004. In 2006 he published a study concluding that there was an extensive Internet community around such beliefs, and he called 10 sites he studied "likely psychotic sites."


So he actually witnessed that there was a large community of people frequenting these websites and then decides to conclude then the they are "likely psychotic sites."

Anyone know this guy? That is about as unscientific as you can get right there. Is he the resident psychologist for Weekly World News?


www.iop.kcl.ac.uk...

Bell is a British Psychologist associated with King's College


I am a clinical and research psychologist interested in understanding brain injury, mental distress and psychological impairment. I’m currently at the Departmento de Psiquiatría in the Universidad de Antioquia and the Hospital Universitario San Vicente de Paúl, in Medellín, Colombia, where I’m a visiting professor. I’m also a visiting research fellow at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.



His research was on mind control websites. He has apparently never studied Gang Stalking websites, even though the article implies that he has.

I got this off Gang Stalking World.

gangstalkingworld.com...


Here are the follow up articles on this topic.


1. Sharing their Conspiracy on the Internet


gangstalking.wordpress.com... ernet/


2. Bridging the gap.

gangstalking.wordpress.com...


3. Extreme assessments and paranoid conclusions

gangstalking.wordpress.com... nclusions/

4. Clarification

gangstalking.wordpress.com...


5. Areas to consider when researching Gang Stalking

gangstalking.wordpress.com...


The person who wrote the article apprently didn't know the difference between Gang Stalking, or Mind Control. Lot's of research there.




posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by Yoda411

Originally posted by Vasilis Azoth

Originally posted by Yoda411
Would you argue that this fact-less concept could potentially further skew his perception of reality? Potentially even permanently embedding the idea that his nurses are reptilians?


By this reasoning we should ban all works of fiction. After all a mentally unstable person could read/watch it and think it is true.

Vas


Ah, but the difference is fiction is rightfully labeled fiction where as on a website you have to determine the credibility yourself through research and fact checking. Not everyone is mentally fit for this.


The problem is you have to be able to do this with books, movies, the Internet. What's to stop someone going on a Harry Potter website and having a delusion about wizards walking around? What's the difference if they read the books and draw this conclusion?

The Internet has not changed anything. T.V. was there, and has the same potential impact. Books the same and they have the same impact. What are you going to do, eventually worry that books could cause dulusions or paranoia, anymore than worry that these websites could?

These articles are whack. Period. I mean the potential risk is the same no matter what medium is accessed, yet I don't see these articles coming out about books, or T.V. which has some pretty messed up stuff.

The reason these sites are a problem is they get people to think and ask questions, and that's always a dangerous thing.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by ProfEmeritus

The man is an extremely respected psychologist who has studied and written an extensive list of research papers, SOME of which I have posted above. In fact, he has probably done more research on this subject than anyone in the world.


The man might be really well respected, but based on the context which his work was referenced, it's invalid. How do you write an article about Gang Stalking websites and reference Bell, when he has never studied the sites?

Also since you shouldn't make a remote assessment about a community without evaluating the members and he did not do this with the mind control sites he studied, how could he have drawn the conclusions that he did.

Also the sites that he studied, are any of them in existance today? A lot of websites come and go. Did he just pick the most out there mind control sites?

I ask this because in the article what's behind the Internet Conspiracy Empires Lauren picks the most outlandish theory about David Icke possible and then goes from there. He has a lot of other theories, not just lizards.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by Yoda411
reply to post by americandingbat
 


Indeed. So if the question to be asked is, "which psychologist do we trust?", then the answer is both. Both of them have done their absolute best to apply ancient psychiatric theory to modern day technology. This is not an easy task, and therefor we have no definite answer.

What we are left with, in my opinion, is our personal experiences. From my personal experiences, if someone is depressed and then you tell them their dog is dead, the assumed reaction would be to become more deeply depressed.

In the same respect, if someone is paranoid, telling them Biped Reptilians are dressing up like humans and ruling the world through mind control I would only expect them to become more paranoid.

If someone is happy, and you tell them they are going on vacation to Costa Rica, the natural reaction would be to become even happier.

If someone is delusional and believes monsters live in his closet, and you show him an article from what he assumes is a credible source that seems to prove that not only do monsters live in your closet but they are coming out at night and picking your boogers, [assuming he believes it] he has therefor become more delusional.

I understand if you consider this taking it out of context, however I am just attempting to explain my personal psychology applicable to my opinion.


What about someone who goes to church who is paranoid that the world is full of evil, and run by pedophile satanists, and they go to church and it's confirmed that the world is evil. Should be worry about the impact that church is having on the paranoid?

What about someone who is paraniod who believes witch craft is being used on them. They pick up a J.K. Rowlings book, and that's it. Should we then worry about anything that could have an effect on the individual? Let's say after reading the book they go online and find a community that believes in magic and wizardry, what then?

The same again is true for T.V. if that person watch an old show like BTVS (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and starts to be even more paranoid about the military putting chips in people's heads and controlling them remotely.

Are the psychologist going to study that community? (When it was active?) There are lot's of things that have the potential to have an impact on society and on various individuals. Each new medium is different, but the basic formula remains the same.

[edit on 19-12-2008 by Harassment101]



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by toasted
reply to post by Yoda411
 


" Indeed, individuals with mental illness' cannot determine truth from the fiction we are bombarded with 24/7. This is why I support the hypothesis in which they could be further mislead towards an incorrect perception of reality. "


I know this could never happen in this earth age,

but how much mental illness do you think there'd be,

if the news could not lie, and told the whole story and nothing but the whole story.



FWIW, had you heard of the reporters on fox who sued because the story was untrue, and the judge found the liars not guilty because there was no law against lying!!!! lmao...what a country...
...gotta love justice like that...


In the early eighties they said that dungens and dragons was contributing to suicide in teens. That teens who played these games had the potential to slip into a world of make believe to be unable to distinguish reality from fantasy. People got all scared and tried to ban this stuff.

Now today the world of warcraft another role playing game has 10 or 11 million monthly members worldwide. Beliefs can change.

Just because they can get a few people to say something is dangerous does not mean that it is. I am sure that roleplaying is dangerous for some people, but then so is reading a book, watching T.V. and yes visiting the Internet in some cases.

Yet there are no negative articles yet, about the world of warcraft and other role playing games. Just one more thing I thought should be noted.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by ConservativeJack
 


haha that was a good post. the first half im like thats funny this guys taking a # on these guys then i thought about my old roommate who didnt leave his room except to go to class cuz he was glued to warcraft and liked "hanging out" with his ventrilo friends more than the kids he grew up with.

he turned his best friend into a card-carrying warcraft player, too (but hes not as bad.) and now i ask them why dont you want to go out and do anything anymore and its like 'why bother.'

come up and visit, come snowboarding, lets play some hoops, lets go lift...'nah man im a gamer im playing xbox.'

sorry to get off topic, i already forgot what the topic is, so please resume.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by Harassment101
 

First of all, I assume that your reference to "you" is a generalization, and not aimed at me, because "I" did not do the things you said.
Having said that, however, I want to go on record that I answered, pn page 18 of this thread, a question asked by angel of archangelo, about "who" Vaughn Bell was. The response factually stated his credentials.
Second, Bell did write several peer reviewed papers dealing with the subject of "extreme communities". Here are two of them:



Bell, V. (2007) Online information, extreme communities and internet therapy: Is the internet good for our mental health? Journal of Mental Health, 16 (4), 445-457.

Bell, V., Maiden, C., Muñoz-Solomando, A. & Reddy, V. (2006) "Mind control experiences" on the internet: Implications for the psychiatric diagnosis of delusions. Psychopathology, 39, 87-91.


Although conspiracy communities are not specifically characterized as extreme communities, the paper does generalize in its study and conclude:



Aims: To examine the effect of the internet on mental health.

Method: Literature review.

Results: The internet is typically discussed as if it were a set of activities when it is actually a medium upon which various activities can occur. It is, therefore, neither “good” nor “bad” for mental health, although specific activities may have an influence. The standard of mental health information on the internet is probably equivalent to the mainstream media, although overall it still remains poor. The concept of “internet addiction” looks increasingly invalid, although it is likely that depressed or isolated individuals are more likely to focus on certain activities to excess. A number of “extreme communities” have formed online, such as pro-anorexia, pro-suicide, pro-amputation and likely-psychotic groups. These serve to provide support, outside a medical and social mainstream that finds their beliefs and behaviours unacceptable. A review of preliminary randomized controlled trials shows online therapy to be effective for many disorders.

Conclusions: Mental health professionals are advised to lead the creation of online treatments and information. Clinical recommendations for the use of the internet are offered.




Now, you may wish to parse your words, but nothing that I said in my response that you objected to, was inaccurate.

I also stand by my statement that Vaughn Bell has probably done more research on the Internet and mental health than any published author.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by ProfEmeritus
reply to post by Harassment101
 

First of all, I assume that your reference to "you" is a generalization, and not aimed at me, because "I" did not do the things you said.
Having said that, however, I want to go on record that I answered, pn page 18 of this thread, a question asked by angel of archangelo, about "who" Vaughn Bell was. The response factually stated his credentials.
Second, Bell did write several peer reviewed papers dealing with the subject of "extreme communities". Here are two of them:


I assume that it was a generalization. I don't know you personally. Oh wait, my bad. You was refering to Sarah Kershaw and her article sharing their demons on the web. Here is a link.

www.nytimes.com...



Bell did research extreme communties, specifically mind control. The article being refered to focused on Gang Stalking Websites, which he by his own admission has never researched. That was the point. In the article by Sarah Kershaw called sharing their demons on the web, she implied that he had researched these communities, he has not.

Those communities were referenced as extreme communities based on his research, but he has never researched them. That is the correction that needed to be made. These articles are not being well researched in some cases, but the general population is taking it as the God's honest truth and trust.

That was the point. You can't generalize something that you have not studied. I do not believe that Bell has recearched conspiracy sites either, but I would have to double check on that.

You can't generalize what you have not studied. Doesn't work like that, except for in these articles ofcourse.

[edit on 19-12-2008 by Harassment101]

[edit on 19-12-2008 by Harassment101]



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by Harassment101
 





Those communities were referenced as extreme communities based on his research, but he has never researched them. That is the correction that needed to be made.

Yes, I agree with that correction. Again, though, my post was purely in answer to angle of archangelo's question as to who Vaughn Bell was.

I do agree that the article bundled together a much broader range of sites than it should have. It also did not research as well as it should have, regarding Bell's work. On the other hand, that should surprise no one, as the MSM frequently "dumbs" down its reporting to the level of sensationalism. Personally, I believe very little of what the MSM reports, when the source is someone other than an expert on the field. After all, it rarely reports merely for the purpose of disseminating facts, but to increase readership or viewing, and to attract attention.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


As another of Dr. Bell's defenders on this and another thread, I would point out that he can hardly be blamed for not researching things that he doesn't claim to have researched.

Perhaps this speaks to exactly what bothers me so much about the ABC article: there is legitimate research being done that recognizes that not all extreme/conspiracy/alternative Internet Communities are the same, that you can't rely on common sense to provide the link between participation in such a community and psychosis.

But in the mainstream media it's all being wrapped up into one big package labeled "delusion", and being tied into "paranoia" and "schizophrenia".

To ProfEmeritus' analysis that MSM writes for profit and titillation, I would add: MSM writes to preserve status quo and to shape the public perception of the world.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by Yoda411
reply to post by angel of lightangelo
 


Did the schoolyard have delusional theories posted?


LOL. Posted? As in were they available? Yes. Where do you think I learned all the crazy crap that got me interested in this stuff? Do you think the internet invented conspiracy theories or gatherings of people who discuss them? Just exactly what website do you suppose I got this crap off of back in 1983?



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by Yoda411
reply to post by Resinveins
 


Which website would be more dangerous to believe every word of if you had a severe learning disability?


I thought we were talking about mental illness. You know, how you claimed this site made someone kill themselves. Then you went on to say that it is that dangerous because of the conspiracies posted here.

Really? Did he kill himself because of the supposed 2 by 4 on mars, or the shadow people, or was it the glass pyramids on the moon, JFK?. OK, so that is a dead end so you shift and twist. Gotcha.

but this????

Severe learning disabilities are not a mental illness?


AboveTopSecret.com

Or...

ABCNews.com


Either, both, neither. Depends on the specific learning disability but this thread is about mental illness.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by Resinveins
Wow... this answering a question with another question stuff is fun! Now I see how things get to 27 pages


LOL. I am learning too. Ignore the part of the post you do not like, quote out of context, and deliberately miss the point of whatever you are replying to. But be insitent. Even if you are wrong, say you are right, have been proven right. Heck claim everyone here agrees that you are right, even while Interestedalways is telling you that you are wrong on that very same page.

I was going to try playing that way too but I just cannot get myself to do it.

[edit on 19-12-2008 by angel of lightangelo]



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 





As another of Dr. Bell's defenders on this and another thread, I would point out that he can hardly be blamed for not researching things that he doesn't claim to have researched.


That definitely deserves a star! Sometimes the most obvious truths lay hidden in plain sight.
I also agree that self-preservation is a factor in the story. In fact, in my initial post to this thread, here is what I said:




For those that aren't familiar with how news networks develop a story, here's the quick and dirty answer-
They decide EXACTLY what to believe FIRST, then they tell their reporters to go out and find things that support their beliefs. Yes, there are a few good reporters that actually report the news as they see it, but a large majority of them, report what they are told to report. It's called collecting a paycheck for another week.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Harassment101
The person who wrote the article apprently didn't know the difference between Gang Stalking, or Mind Control. Lot's of research there.


Yeah see. This is all BS and propaganda all the way around. There is no merit to this at all baseless idea about mental illness and websites.



posted on Dec, 20 2008 @ 07:11 AM
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Mod Edit: Hold off on the personal attacks.

Cheers - alien


[edit on 21-12-2008 by alien]



posted on Dec, 20 2008 @ 07:19 AM
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Originally posted by ProfEmeritus
reply to post by Harassment101
 

First of all, I assume that your reference to "you" is a generalization, and not aimed at me, because "I" did not do the things you said.
Having said that, however, I want to go on record that I answered, pn page 18 of this thread, a question asked by angel of archangelo, about "who" Vaughn Bell was. The response factually stated his credentials.
Second, Bell did write several peer reviewed papers dealing with the subject of "extreme communities". Here are two of them:


Have you read them all the way through? You would not be pushing the idea that this man is the man to be speaking on the subjects this thread is about.



posted on Dec, 20 2008 @ 07:30 AM
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Originally posted by americandingbat
reply to post by ProfEmeritus
 


As another of Dr. Bell's defenders on this and another thread, I would point out that he can hardly be blamed for not researching things that he doesn't claim to have researched.


Exactly. Read those papers and then go back to that ABC story and see if they really back each other up or if ABC did an even worse job of fact checking than had been pointed out already.


Perhaps this speaks to exactly what bothers me so much about the ABC article: there is legitimate research being done that recognizes that not all extreme/conspiracy/alternative Internet Communities are the same, that you can't rely on common sense to provide the link between participation in such a community and psychosis.


Yeah, you would think that if the premise of their story were true at all, they would have references that clearly and specifically researched and could back up the point. Instead that had to pull this crap and little green jedi's still buy it?



posted on Dec, 20 2008 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by angel of lightangelo
 


Evidence of your bias on the subject matter:

You believe MSM is to blame for linking conspiracy web sites to mental health issues.

Yet ATS is not to blame for the posts in which people contribute to the website.

Somehow you fail to blame the reporter on ABC's behalf and jump directly to the conclusion it is the MSM, an even broader conclusion than if you were to blame ABC.

In the same context, you would therefor blame AboveTopSecret, or it's parent company (if there even is one), for the posts which are on their website.

Just thought I'd point that out because it has had a significant impact on what you have contributed thus far.

Additionally I will re-state something which was in the original article and is thus far completely overlooked by you.



Whether or not conspiracy theories harm people who are susceptible to mental illness is a matter of debate among psychiatrists.


Exactly. Which is why it is a matter of debate among us here on ATS. We should all stop bickering with "I'm right, you are wrong" ideology on the subject when neither opinions can be conclusively proven to be true.

Opinions can never be proven true.



posted on Dec, 20 2008 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by Yoda411
reply to post by angel of lightangelo
 


Evidence of your bias on the subject matter:

You believe MSM is to blame for linking conspiracy web sites to mental health issues.

Yet ATS is not to blame for the posts in which people contribute to the website.

Somehow you fail to blame the reporter on ABC's behalf and jump directly to the conclusion it is the MSM, an even broader conclusion than if you were to blame ABC.

In the same context, you would therefor blame AboveTopSecret, or it's parent company (if there even is one), for the posts which are on their website.


ABC pays the reporter for her work, regardless of how much autonomy she may or may not have in choosing a topic and spin.

ATS does not pay us for our contributions, nor do they ask for anything from us. They do not take any position on any issue – they are fence-sitters.

ATS' parent company is The Above Network and their corporate website can be found by clicking on the little graphic at the bottom of every page. Basically, it's the Three Amigos, Crakeur, and some dude who's name I forget, with some no-strings-attached outside investment.

ABC's parent company is The Disney Company, and their corporate structure is rather more complicated





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