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Dark Minds; When does increduality become paranoia?

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posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 06:45 PM
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I wanted to share an article I read in the magazine Psychology Today called "Dark Minds; When does increduality become paranoia?" It also mentions Alex Jones. The following is the article.

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Alex Jones is trying to warn us about an evil syndicate of bankers who control most of the worlds governments and stand poised to unite the planet under their totalitarian reign, a "New World Order." While we might be tempted to dismiss Jones as a nut, the "Kind of Conspiracy" is a popular radio show host. The part time fil makers latest movie, The Obama Deception, in which he argues that Obama is a puppet of the criminal bankers, has been viewed millions of times on YouTube.

When we spoke, Jones ranted for two hours about FEMA concentration camps. Halliburton child kidnappers, government eugenics programs-and more. When I stopped him to ask for evidence the government is practicing eugenics, he pointed to a national security memorandum. But I found the document to be a bland policy report.

Jones "cherry picks not just facts but phrases, which, once interpreted his way, become facts in his mind," says Louis Black, editor of the Austin Chronicle, who knows Jones, a fellow Austin resident. When I confronted Jones with my reading of the report, he became pugnacious, launching into a diatribe against psychologists as agents of social control.

Conspiracy thinking is emabreced bye a suprisingly large proportion of the population. Sixty-nine percent of Americans believe President John F. Kennedy was killed bya conspiracy , and 42 percent believe the government is covering up evidence of flying saucers, finds Ted Goertzel, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University at Camden. Thirty-six percent of respondents to a 2006 Scripps News/Ohio University poll at least suspected that the U.S. Government played a role in 9/11.

We're all conspiracy theorists to some degree. Were all hard wired to find patterns in our enviroment , particularly those that might represent a threat to us. And when things go wrong, we find oursevles searching for what, or who, is behind it.

In his 1954 classic, The Paranoid Style In American Politics , historian Richard Hofstadter hypothesized that conspiracy thinking is fueled by underlying feelings of alienation and helplessness. recent research supports his theory. New Mexico State University psychologist Marina Albalakina-Paap has found that people who endorse conspiracy theorists are especially likely to feel angry, mistrustful, alienated from society, and helpless over larger forces controlling their lives.

Jones insists he ad a "Leave it to Beaver childhood." I couldnt confirm such an idyllic past. When I asked if I could interview his family or childhood friends, he insisted his family was very "private" and he had not kept in touch with a single friend. When asked if I might look tem up, he became irritated. He doubted he could "still spell their names," and besides, I'de already taken up enough of his time. "I turned down 50 or 60 requests for interviews this week," he wanted me to know.

The number sounded wildy inflated. Conspiracy Theorists have a grandiose view view of themselves as heros. "Manning the baricades of civilization" at an urgent "turning point" in history, Hofstadter held. Jones has a "messiah complex." Black contends. Grandiosity is often a defense against unerlying feelings of powerlessness.

Even well-grounded skeptics are prone to connect disparate dots when they feel disempowered. In a series of studies, Jennifer Whitson of the university of Texas and AdamGalinsky of Northwestern demonstrated that people primes o feel out of control are particularly likely to see patterns in random stimuli.

Might people be especially responsive to Jones message in today's America, marked by economic uncertainty and concerns about terrorism and government scandals? "There is a war on for your mind," Jones insists on his website, infowars.com. He calls his listeners "infowarriors."

Information is the conspiracy theorists' weapon of choice because if theres one thing they all agree upon, its that all the rest of us have been brainwashed. The "facts" will plainly reveal the existence of the conspiracy, they believe. And while all of us tend to bend information to fit our pre-existing cognitive schema, conspiracy theorists are more extreme. They are "immune to evidence," discounting contradictory information or seeing it as "proof of how clever the enemy is at covering things up," Goertzel says.

Conspiracy theorists exist on a spectrum from mild suspicion to full-on paranoia, and brain chemistry may play a role. Dopamine rewards us for noting patterns and finding meaning in sometimes insignificant events. Its long been known that schizophrenics overproduce dopamine. "The earliest stages of delusion are characterizd by an overabundance of meaningful coincidences," explain Paul D. Morrison and R.M. Murray of the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London. "Jumping to conclusions" is a common reasoning style among the paranoid, find Daniel Freeman and his colleagues, also at the Institute of Psychiatry.

Indeed, there are no coincidences in jones world. In a scene from The Obama Deception, Jones dives "into the belly of the beast," the hotel where purported conspirators will be meeting. As he begins a telephone interview, the fire alarm goes off. "The bastards have set us up." he says.

Jones says that he has been visited by the FBI and the Secret Service bu cant discuss the interviews. It may be that federal agents, in fact, wanted to evaluate whether he is a threat to the president. Theres no reason to believe he is--but the same cant be said for his listeners. In 2002, Richard McCaslin, carrying as arsenal of weapons, entered the Bohemian Grove, a campground in California that annually hosts a meeting of the political and buisness elite. He told authoritys he had been planning his commando raid for a year, after (he says) hearing Jones claim that ritual infant sacrifice was taking place there.

The "war" continues. In a video promoting The Obama Deception, Jones urges "We know who they are. Who know what they are. We know what has to be done."

-- John Gartner


Original Source: Psychology Today, September-October 2009, pages 37-38]
Source : pdf file with the full text of the article

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It goes on to give a test of how susceptible you are to conspiracy beliefs. Rating your agreement from 1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly agree.

1) For the most part, government serves the interests of a few organized groups, such as buisness, and isnt very concerned about the needs of people like myself.
2)I have trouble doing what I want to do in the world today.
3)Its difficult for people like myself to have much influence in public affairs/
4)We seem to live in a pretty irrational and disordered world.
5)I dont trust that my closest friends would not like to me.

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My question is, what does everyone think about this article? Do you find it true to yourself or completely wrong?




[edit on 8-9-2009 by Jess_Undefined]

post edited to insert quotes and source

[edit on 9/14/2009 by benevolent tyrant]




posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 07:28 PM
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Very inciteful article, Jess. It is part of the human condition to see things for more than they really are, or that are not there at all... Just look at religion, as a prime example. It isn't intentional deceit, the source truly believes what they are telling you. That is why I now keep a glass jar with a pound of salt in it on my computer desk. To remind me to not only take things with a pinch of salt, but a whole pound of it. One of the constants of this site is the never ending 'major event' that is just around the corner, but never seems to come to pass. KEEP THE SALT CLOSE BY!



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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The article seems very close to a bullseye to me!
I also see many parallels between conspiracy theory and religion, I think that Ct plays a very similar part in peoples lives.
If you want to test my theory, just go and disagree with the Truther crowd.
It seems that both CT and religion offer The Truth with a capital T.
Here's some advice, never believe anyone that uses the capital T!



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 09:41 PM
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incredulity; the quality or state of: DISBELIEF


Doubting Thomas

en.wikipedia.org...

Love the portrait here.


When it comes to those masters of disguise and illusions, I think many fall for the same routine until someone exposes them, even themselves as if to prove a point. I think maybe narcissism plays a huge role. The devils advocate? Skeptics seem to do this often as examples. It does open our eyes more though. It's more mind games.

It's a fascinating topic of human nature and a test of our growth; humility and character.

I don't know if it's all paranoia or just an obcession with a diversion from our collective mundane realities. There's been a few threads on IQ on these topics.

My thoughts of people such as Alex Jones may be threats by his followers or dis/believers acting on their own mixed up interpretations. More human nature.

I'm at the point of not trusting the past or especially my (implanted)memories. At this point, I distrust even more information than before as if some world wide matrix of deception. Planet earth may very well be hell in disguise.


......Thanks to ATS.



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


I have noticed that. I see countless threads on "Something big is going to happen..and soon." Yet day after day, nothing.

I agree with the article to a degree. Someone who had a rough childhood, would grow up always looking for answers or whys to why everything is the way it is. Therefor growing up, you start to question everything. Ide like to say it isnt true but having a rough childhood myself, it did have me searching for answers to questions that may not even be there. You start to re-examine everything, and dig apart everything.

Alex Jones just might be one of them. Though we dont know what his childhood was like.



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by OldDragger
 


Didn't read the posted article very much did you?



posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by Jess_Undefined
 


I think he's a niche parasite. He found a niche upon which he can make a killing and is sticking to it. He understands the paranoid mind so does just enough research to appease it.

[edit on 13-9-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 06:24 PM
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reply to post by Jess_Undefined
 


I wonder, if the writer would say the same of Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine?

My first thoughts are "doubtful".

Many writers will take a potshot at so-called "conspiracy theorists" on the right side of the spectrum, and in fact enjoy a particular disdain and Ivy League superiority when they are able to point out their obvious flaws. I know because I not only went to school with them, but I work with them. My friends love to point out right wing crazies as they sip wine and pat themselves on the back for not being "one of them". As for the people that write these articles or show up on CNN to talk about the right wing fruitcakes...they think nothing of diagnosing, dare I say, or practicing medicine on individuals who are not their patients if those patients happen to have a southern accent or live in a "red" state.

Rage, my favorite band, is comprised of individuals who were superior students in school, are highly articulate and well-informed, and they hold the exact same opinions on 9-11, eugenics, the Bilderbergs, the coming police state, etc. as Alex Jones. They're just civil libertarians that swing towards the progressive side instead of the conservative side. Tom Morello (guitarist) is a former Hill aide and he will tell horror stories about the Democrat he worked for and all of the compromises to the expense of the American people he was a personal witness to. His "conspiracy theories" come from having had an inside view to what these people are capable of.

Why is it that a band who can sell out stadiums, has platinum records, and has far more listener's than Alex Jones is not included in an article on paranoid conspiracy theorists?

I'll tell you why, and it's quite simple, really.

Because they are cool.

Rage is the coolest band on the planet. Zach de la Rocha owns the mic, screams Wake Up" with the swagger and authority that Mick Jagger wished he had. Intelligent, articulate, powerful and with serious beats.

Alex Jones = not so cool.

If he were, he wouldn't have been featured so prominently in the article.

I don't feel I am a conspiracy theorist because some of the conspiracies have been true. There were no weapons of mass destruction. We know now that the rumors about Dick Cheney forcing the CIA to say that there were is true. We know now that there was a conspiracy between his think tank, their contractor/corporations, and the White House.

However, when I said it at the time people were appalled at me, called me a liberal nutcase, and said I wanted the enemy to win. This so-called liberal nutcase was right, and I'm not happy about it.

Do I think Alex is crazy? I'm not a doctor, but he probably is seeing a lot of patterns that don't meet up, but some do. He's been right about a lot of things. Will I follow him blindly? No, but I don't do that for anyone.

The fact is history will tell us if Alex Jones is a paranoid crackpot or a visionary.

Anyway, just my two cents.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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reply to post by A Fortiori
 


I would. And your argument is based on an unknown factor. How the author feels about him.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


And since I don't know for sure, I posed it as a question, said "doubtful" and then reflected on those that say similar things that I do know.

Hi Watcher!




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