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The Mother of All Conspiracy Theories

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posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 02:38 PM
[The following is an article I originally posted elsewhere, reproduced here for your reading pleasure and slightly edited]

I have often wondered at the sheer number of conspiracy theories that are floating around, and their utter disconnect with facts and reality. I can understand some of these theories. Questions often remain unanswered after a newsworthy event such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or the atrocity of 9/11. Sometimes the explanations we're given don't seem to answer all the questions, and they may appear to be cover-ups. In fact, there are likely some actual conspiracies that have been perpetrated to hide events that the public would find outrageous, that might bring down governments or cause serious unrest. Not all conspiracy theories are bogus or unreasonable.

On the other hand, most of these theories really are nonsense at best. They question events that have been reasonably explained to the satisfaction of most people, ask questions that have no good answer, demand proof that could not be given under any circumstances while rejecting evidence that is sufficient to account for the events.

How to account for these theories? Where do they come from, how do people conceive of such notions and hold them with such fervor? How can there be so many conspiracy theories, many of which are so unreasonable? I believe I have finally found the answer.

It's the Government. If you think about it for a moment, it should become obvious that only the Government has both the resources to generate conspiracy theories, and a powerful incentive to do so. Let's examine the facts - or the lack of them.

First, the Government is known to be shady and dishonest. I mean, it's a bunch of politicians. What else could it be, but dishonest? Aside from the disinformation that arguably is necessary to ensure national security, there is their reluctance to level with its own citizens on almost any topic lest they become "upset" or "confused". So you have poisons in the water supply, it's covered up. You've got contaminated medicines, it's covered up. Mismanagement of resources, poorly-conceived wars, high-level scandals - silence. You think the upper reaches of the Government are without errors or misbehavior? Don't be naive. They're just as fallible and human as anyone else; but they have the power to cover up their mistakes and crimes.

The one thing the Government can't stand is careful scrutiny of its behavior and its people. It need to divert the energies of people who would otherwise aggressively and persistently dig until they reached some sort of dirty secrets. The Government isn't able to stop making mistakes - that's impossible - and it isn't willing to stop stealing and screwing around. I mean, what's the point of becoming a powerful politician, if you can't sleep around and line your pockets? The only other answer is to send our best and brightest malcontents off in a dozen directions, chasing down spurious conspiracies created by the Government to throw them off the scent of the real misdeeds.

It's childishly easy to do. Build an Air Force base. Surround it with high, barbed-wire fences and outrageous security. Deny that anything at all unusual is going on. Deny that there have been any unusual sightings in the area. Soon enough, you'll have hundreds of people trying to find out what's really happening at Area 51. There don't have to be any sightings. Just deny they took place, and you'll get tons of attention, and likely many people who will insist that there *were* unusual sightings at exactly the time the Air Force denied them. Or send up a weather balloon, and then staunchly insist that it was just a weather balloon, deny that it was ever anything but a weather balloon. Absolutely prove it beyond doubt, with eyewitness accounts, photographs, memoranda - all true - that show that this was nothing but a weather balloon. Set up a special panel to look into the issue, and have them conclude - correctly - that it was a weather balloon. No one will believe you, if you're the Government.

Everyone knows the Government is a bunch of liars The minute they try to deny something, you'll have hundreds of people convinced that they're lying, trying to prove they're lying. The great thing here is that the Government doesn't have to actually prove anything. All it has to do is maintain its stance, that there is no secret. It doesn't have to create a secret to hide. In fact, it's better if there is no secret, because there's less evidence to go on - proof of a cover-up. The Government doesn't have to work to spread disinformation. It has only to deny the existence of any secrets.

Either way, the Government wins. If people eventually decide that there really was no hidden agenda or secret, then the Government looks like they're falsely accused of a cover-up by overzealous conspiracy theorists. This almost never happens. If, on the other hand, some evidence is revealed, it works even better. Any evidence, no matter how spurious, is further grist for the mill, inflaming passions and diverting even more attention and effort to nonexistent matters.

Personally I am convinced that conspiracy theories in general are devised by the Government to divert attention from them. Fabricating a conspiracy theory - or a dozen of them - is an inexpensive and highly effective way to defuse potential threats to the status quo. When the President is screwing up, stealing, or otherwise misbehaving, it isn't always convenient to start a war. Wars are expensive and unpopular. Once you've got a few wars going, that option is really used up. But you can always start another conspiracy theory to muddy the waters. Got something to hide? Go to court to block the release of old documents related to the Kennedy assassination. release a new statement denying that the US Government HAARP program had anything to do with recent monsoons. Deny anything, and you'll have all sorts of people trying to uncover a nonexistent connection, while the real secrets get lost in all the chaos.

So from now on when you read some excited conspiracy theory about how the Government is behind aliens or 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination, you'll know the truth. That's just the Government trying to deflect attention from itself.

posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 02:42 PM
reply to post by chiron613

Mmm, the idea that conspiracy theories are themselves a conspiracy is not a novel one ...

Thankfully, reasonable people who take the time to investigate can discern between which have merit and which are red herrings.

btw, please share your source with us.

posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 03:07 PM
Very insightful.

Right now a local lawman is beating on a ghetto dweller while the mayor embezzles the city funds. Meanwhile, you argue about rocks on the moon. Brilliant.

posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 05:11 PM
reply to post by Grumble

Well, right now children are starving to death, and you're worrying about someone who's only getting beaten. So - what's your point? That I don't worry about the worst problems 24/7? If so, mea culpa. Neither do you, or anyone else. No one should, either. It's unhealthy and unreasonable.

What have you done about any of this? I at least worked for a while for an attorney who pursued police misconduct cases against the poice department. Among many of other cases, he won a lawsuit called Regalado v. City of Chicago, in which a young man was beaten by police so badly that he spent the rest of his life unable to do anything but move his eyes. The verdict was $28 million - but you know, I'm sure he'd have gladly given all that money away, just to be able to move again. You can Google the case. The attorney's name was Blake Horwitz.

We worked on plenty of other, less dramatic cases, too. Maybe we didn't put an end to all police misconduct, but we did make a difference to some of the families of the victims. We made a dent in it. Probably some police policies have changed as a result of worries that they'll get sued if they break the law and hurt people too badly. We made a difference.

So, what exactly have you been doing to help?

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