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How Pseudoskeptics hijack "Skepticism" to mean its opposite: Are they disinfo agents?

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posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 04:24 PM
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I was thinking the other day about the professional media skeptics who call themselves "skeptics", but who in reality attack and try to discredit anything related to the paranormal or conspiracies, such as James Randi, Michael Shermer, CSICOP (now CSI), etc.

Their movement seems way too calculated to be due to sheer human ignorance and closed mindedness. Plus they've hijacked words like "skepticism", "rationality" and "critical thinking" to mean their opposite. Instead of open minded inquiry and the questioning of things and possibilities, they have been twisted to mean the suppression of anything that challenges establishment orthodoxy. That's not skepticism at all.

So could some of them knowingly be part of a disinfo campaign. Hijacking terms to mean their opposite does not seem accidental at all. It seems like a calculated disinfo strategy.

What do you think?

Yet there are so many pseudoskeptics around. James Randi's forum for example, is populated with thousands of them. And my SCEPCOP forum has a regular group of pseudoskeptics too, who repeat the same old arguments that I've debunked many times.

Are some of them disinfo agents and the rest just brainwashed followers?

What motivates such people to religiously reject 100 percent of the metaphysical and conspiratorial? Do these people believe in what they say, or just pretending? They seem so fake, as if they are playing some kind of game, yet there are so many of them and they never admit that they are wrong. Instead they religiously cling to their beliefs.


[edit on 29-8-2010 by WWu777]




posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 04:27 PM
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I've just created a new page on my SCEPCOP site about them possibly being disinfo agents. I'll paste it below. I got an inspiration one morning, like Icke does, to write it. Hope you all like it.

www.debunkingskeptics.com...

How Pseudoskeptics hijack "Skepticism" to mean its opposite:
Disinformation, Mind Control and Suppression


Pseudoskeptics are not just wrong and fallacious in their reasoning and approach to investigating the paranormal with outright rejection of anything that doesn't fit into a materialist orthodox paradigm. They've also, knowingly or unknowingly, engaged in deceptive mind control by hijacking critical terms to mean their OPPOSITE, including the very term "skeptic" itself. And they've hid what they truly are (suppressors of new ideas) by pretending to the opposite of what they are. Let me explain.

As mentioned earlier, a skeptic doubts, inquires, questions, ponders, etc. But these pseudoskeptics do anything but. They attack, ridicule, discredit and suppress anything and everything that challenges the materialist reductionist paradigm. But don't take my word for it. Just look at any article by James Randi, Michael Shermer, or Skeptical Inquirer, for example, and you will see that there is no questioning of what they are told, doubt or pondering of possibilities at all. All they do is ridicule and attack anything related to paranormal and psychic phenomena, holistic medicine, and conspiracies. That's not what skepticism is. The founder of the term itself meant this:


en.wikipedia.org...

* In classical philosophy, skepticism refers to the teachings and the traits of the 'Skeptikoi', a school of philosophers of whom it was said that they 'asserted nothing but only opined.' (Liddell and Scott) In this sense, philosophical skepticism, or Pyrrhonism, is the philosophical position that one should suspend judgment in investigations.[1]


And according to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, a skeptic is:


* "One who is yet undecided as to what is true; one who is looking or inquiring for what is true; an inquirer after facts or reasons."


Now, take Michael Shermer for example. He is a professional skeptic who runs a Skeptic magazine, which makes him a prominent skeptic in the movement. But does he do any of the above? Does he doubt or question authority or orthodoxy? Does he ponder possibilities and the mysteries and wonders of life? Does he engage in a nonjudgmental open search for truth? No. All he does is try to debunk and discredit anything related to the paranormal. Just look at EVERY article he writes and you will see that. Yet he is one of the "big name skeptics!" What does that tell you?!

So you see, these pseudoskeptics hijack the term "skeptic" so that it can't be used against them. By calling themselves "skeptics", they cast themselves as THE "skeptics" who question everything with critical thinking and doubt. And if you are a skeptic or critical thinker, then you will agree with them, so they hope.

Similarly, they've done the same with the terms "reason, rationality, logic, critical thinking, scientific" as well by hijacking them to fit their agenda, so that they support their agenda of discrediting anything related to paranormal, holistic or conspiratorial evidence.

In essence, what they've done is put themselves in a position of "ultimate authority" on reason, rationality, logic, critical thinking, etc. so that if you call yourself those things, then you must agree with them and their position. As such, being "reasonable and rational" means to AGREE with them. And "critical thinking" can only be used to reject what they reject, never to critique the pseudoskeptics themselves, according to their paradigm, for they are "the critiquers".

Thus, they've made it so that "critical thinking" and "skepticism" can't be used against them, because they are THE "critical thinkers and skeptics". It's a very sly form of mind control that obfuscates the terms and attempts to shield them from "criticism" by putting them in the highest position of criticism.

As such, the term "skeptic" now refers to the one who suppresses, rather than the one who "doubts or questions". It refers to the "ridiculer, debunker and discreditor" of the "questioner" (who is the true skeptic) rather than to the questioner himself. In other words, the new "skeptic" is someone who debunks a "skeptic" by wearing the hat of the person they are out to debunk, in effect impersonating them! It's a highly deceptive form of role reversal that is sneaky and devious, no doubt.

Fortunately though, the true skeptics, critical thinkers and freethinkers see through this BS and call them on it. And that's the purpose of this page, to expose this mind control and hijacking of terms to mean their opposite.

Now, I may be speculating here, but this whole movement of hijacking important words to mean their opposite, and militant suppression of new ideas, seems way too calculated and organized to be due to simple sheer human ignorance and narrow mindedness alone. Instead, it's more indicative of an agenda, such as a disinformation or mind control campaign. This isn't to say that all pseudoskeptics are disinfo agents. But some might be, either knowingly or unknowingly. You have to remember that we are all mind controlled to some degree, one way or another. Even if these pseudoskeptics are not knowingly involved in a disinfo campaign, they are likely to be mind controlled themselves by a disinfo/thought suppression campaign.

It's a definite possibility, since after all, this world has more dark secrets than one can imagine, and most things are not what they appear to be. I don't want to jump to any far out conspiratorial conclusions here. I'm just asserting the possibilities, like a true skeptic does. Either way, there is no question that they have hijacked terms and pretended to be the opposite of what they are.

By hiding behind the mask of critical rational thinkers and skeptics, they've hidden the fact that they are suppressors of new ideas that challenge old paradigms, thus making themselves look forward and progressive, rather than backwards and suppressive.

(continued)



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 04:29 PM
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By hiding behind the mask of critical rational thinkers and skeptics, they've hidden the fact that they are suppressors of new ideas that challenge old paradigms, thus making themselves look forward and progressive, rather than backwards and suppressive.

Now, this form of hiding what you are by pretending to be the opposite of what you are is nothing new. It's a classic form of mind control. MIT professor of linguistics and media critic Noam Chomsky talks here in this video about how the mainstream media in America hides its conservativism for big business interests (which own them) by pretending to be a "liberal voice" for the people.



This forum poster hit the nail on the head about how and why the mainstream media trick us into thinking it is the opposite of what it is:


www.happierabroad.com...
"The mainstream media often are "liberal" on the "wedge" or "social" issues, such as gay rights, abortion, school prayer, etc. This gives them cover to be absolute reactionaries when it comes to the important issues of preserving vested corporate and governmental interests. The great triumph of the oligarchy in the U.S. is to have used the media that they own to convince voters to vote almost exclusively on these wedge issues, and never to vote their own financial interests because the media prevent them from discerning those interests."


Now this is not surprising given the state of affairs in this world, which this quote eloquently sums up:


"Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religion destroys spirituality." - Michael Ellner


The lesson here is that we all need to wake up and stop believing what people SAY, and start judging them by their ACTIONS. After all, actions speak louder than words, and talk is cheap. We've been lied to and deceived too often in the past. It's time we stop believing everything we are told, even by those in established positions of authority, and start thinking for ourselves. Seek the truth, and you will be closer to finding it.

It is my hope that many more will join us in this journey of truth and liberation from fear mongering, mind control, thought suppression, and limited thinking. Not only is it more liberating, but it is far more exciting and interesting as well. If you are accustomed to living in fear and conformity, then try the opposite for once. Try living in truth, and you will see that it is much more exciting and soul fulfilling. Once you've tasted that, you will never want to go back. Once you go up in consciousness, you will not want to come down.

It is my hope, therefore, that someday you will look back on this article and say "Hey you know, what I read there was right all along!"

[edit on 29-8-2010 by WWu777]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 06:46 PM
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In another thread about Aaranovitch, someone posted a link to a website and radio show called skepticality. I listened to the interview. I must say, I was not impressed. Instead I found both Aaranovitch and the radio host arrogant and uneducated. Scepticism is important and necessary for finding the truth. But as Einstein said:

“Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.”

To often self-proclaimed sceptics do exactly that. They condemn what is outside their world view. Sarcasm, “common sense”, ridicule and mainstream talking points are no scepticism. History has been wild, violent and full of conspiracies. Those who lump all conspiracy theories together and then dismiss them with a condescending laughter are no sceptics. I believe, doubt is a necessary requirement for the quest for truth. Sometimes it is important to “unlearn” things. “Pseudosceptics” never show doubt. They only want to win an argument.



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 06:52 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenshrew
 


Well Skepticism for many is just a stance. I bit like following a football team but without the sporting entertainment. For many people skepticism is as mindless as fundamentalism. It is particular suspicious when debunking individual experiences of sane people. Note I wrote debunking as opposed to questioning or even discussing.

[edit on 29-8-2010 by Tiger5]



posted on Aug, 29 2010 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by WWu777
 


I just visited the blog, you have linked to. I read the introduction of Debunking the Arguments of PseudoSkeptics and Debunkers of the Paranormal. If you are Vinstonas Wu, I must congratulate you. You are a very eloquent and clear writer. I plan to read the rest of your treatise in the next days.

You laid down so many arguments, that I feel I have not much to add. Perhaps you may be interested in the works of Michael Parenti. Parenti is a political scientist, historian, and media critic. He has observed similar pseudoskeptical behaviour from historians and contemporal political analysts. Parenti is a passionate lecturer. Here is one example you might like:

Michael Parenti - The Struggle for History



Google Video Link


More great examples where history is altered and made to fit into the established paradigm and ruling structures gives the documentary series evidence of revision.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 12:03 AM
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If one wants to troll a site and troll that site hard, then one of the best ways to do it is to put on the facade of a skeptic.

I know this from experience.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 12:46 AM
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Hijacking definitions is a common strategy for manipulation.

This always seemed to be the biggest road block in my way of talking sense and reason into people.

Communication is impossible if you are on a different page than who you are communicating with. Oh yeah, it happens and it's done intentionally. Not only about skepticism, but almost everywhere. Popular culture, religion, life philosophy, science and research.

Much of it is engineered through the media.


Nice thread. Good to see someone else aware enough to notice the huge scale on which this disinformation tactic is used, and how effective it is really.

[edit on 30-8-2010 by BlubberyConspiracy]



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by WWu777
 


Very Nice Observations

I think your on the right information path

Just don't Be afraid to point out the bad on the other side of the court

Possibly they might even work Together?

Awesome Work Nonetheless



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 11:48 AM
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reply to post by WWu777
 


Great thread WWu777. I will be following this one with interest.

You are right of course. The pseudoskeptics are one of the biggest disinformation propoganda tools. Another one that you do not mention is to falsely discredit witnesses and whistleblowers which seems to be used a lot too. Maybe you should read some of my ATS posts?

I think that ATS members who support this 'pseudoskeptical' thinking are either ignorant of the real facts and need educating or they are wittingly or unwittingly party to a disinformation/mind control campaign.

"Now, I may be speculating here, but this whole movement of hijacking important words to mean their opposite, and militant suppression of new ideas, seems way too calculated and organized to be due to simple sheer human ignorance and narrow mindedness alone. Instead, it's more indicative of an agenda, such as a disinformation or mind control campaign. This isn't to say that all pseudoskeptics are disinfo agents. But some might be, either knowingly or unknowingly. You have to remember that we are all mind controlled to some degree, one way or another. Even if these pseudoskeptics are not knowingly involved in a disinfo campaign, they are likely to be mind controlled themselves by a disinfo/thought suppression campaign." debukingskeptics

I agree and suspect that the speculation is very close to the truth, certainly in the UFO and aliens sphere of research. All I ask is that we do not simply confine any work to debunk the pseudoskeptics to an outside website but try to educate and challenge them on sites like this as often as possible.

I will be in touch on your site soon.

[edit on 30-8-2010 by Pimander]



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 07:10 AM
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Originally posted by Drunkenshrew
reply to post by WWu777
 


I just visited the blog, you have linked to. I read the introduction of Debunking the Arguments of PseudoSkeptics and Debunkers of the Paranormal. If you are Vinstonas Wu, I must congratulate you. You are a very eloquent and clear writer. I plan to read the rest of your treatise in the next days.

You laid down so many arguments, that I feel I have not much to add. Perhaps you may be interested in the works of Michael Parenti. Parenti is a political scientist, historian, and media critic. He has observed similar pseudoskeptical behaviour from historians and contemporal political analysts. Parenti is a passionate lecturer. Here is one example you might like:

Michael Parenti - The Struggle for History



Google Video Link


More great examples where history is altered and made to fit into the established paradigm and ruling structures gives the documentary series evidence of revision.


Yes I am Vinstonas Wu. And thank you. I just changed the name of my treatise though, to something simpler and shorter: "Debunking PseudoSkeptical Arguments of Paranormal Debunkers".

Also see the main fallacies section in the left sidebar of the home page, starting with here: www.debunkingskeptics.com...

I have a mailing list there too, if you want to sign up for it.

The Pseudoskeptics remind me a lot of the "computer sentinels" in the Matrix movies. lol

[edit on 5-9-2010 by WWu777]



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 07:14 AM
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Originally posted by BlubberyConspiracy
Hijacking definitions is a common strategy for manipulation.

This always seemed to be the biggest road block in my way of talking sense and reason into people.

Communication is impossible if you are on a different page than who you are communicating with. Oh yeah, it happens and it's done intentionally. Not only about skepticism, but almost everywhere. Popular culture, religion, life philosophy, science and research.

Much of it is engineered through the media.


Nice thread. Good to see someone else aware enough to notice the huge scale on which this disinformation tactic is used, and how effective it is really.

[edit on 30-8-2010 by BlubberyConspiracy]


Exactly. As Michael Ellner pointed out (which David Icke loves to quote too):

"Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information, and religion destroys spirituality." - Michael Ellner

David Icke calls it "Orwellian double think".



posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 09:42 AM
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Starred and flagged.

This is a very important topic and is well worth considering by almost everyone here at ATS.

I do think though that there is something missing from the OP.

A 'thanks' to the sceptics.

The people labelled as sceptics in the OP have proven many people who claim paranormal abilities and exploited those vulnerable enough to part with cash wrong on several occasions.

From their efforts we get to the truth of the matter rather than some story which requires belief in one person's perspective which has no evidence to back it up.

The time spent 'debunking' these claims is done for free, for the benefit of everyone and done in a way that is explained to that everyone can understand how these conclusions are met.

Something else missing from the OP is an apology.

Every single claim that is made with a paranormal element to it requires scrutiny and evidence for it's existence. Tons of people claim here, on a daily basis, wild fantastical stories which eventually get found to be false. Hoaxers, lunatics and people who misunderstand what they are seeing are put right by people who are sceptical here every single day and no one says sorry for all the time and effort that is wasted by those struggling to find the truth.

If a polarity must exist between 'sceptic' and 'believer' then understand that when you choose which community you belong to you take on board everything that that community represents. If you are a believer than you must accept that you will be regarded, in a general sense, with the same integrity that every hoaxer, kook and person who accepts the fantastic over the easily explainable is. If you claim to be a sceptic then you will be seen as someone who opposes the unexplained and someone who hinders the truth.

Both of these assumptions are indeed wrong but these seem to be the general sentiment of each group towards the other.

Being a sceptic means that you must approach each case with a fresh mind and with no assumptions upon it's authenticity. Applying scrutiny will let the perceived truth of the situation become apparent and however it ends up is how it ends up - paranormal or not.

Whilst it is hard with so many deliberate hoaxes, trolls, misidentifications and presumptions of the paranormal over the stoic approach to maintain a sense of politeness and acceptance of honesty, this is what a sceptic does - and as mentioned without thanks for apologies for time wasting.

So please, if you must believe - then do so. But if you fancy the fantastic over the facts then stay off the internet and keep out of conversations because for things to work, we need to have verification and sharp minds and the follies of fantasy do no favours for anyone outside of the entertainment industry.

As I said at the beginning I think this is an important topic and should be addressed by most of the ATS community. I may not share your outlook but I do appreciate all the hard work you have put into discussing this subject and hope to see it blossom into an interesting thread filled with decent opinion and reasonable arguments.

-m0r



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:20 AM
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reply to post by WWu777
 





posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:39 AM
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The problem is that most self proclaimed skeptics completely miss the point of what skepticism is meant to be. The core of what a good skeptic does is ask questions. They don't make unfounded proclamations based on their personal belief system nor do they make personal attacks against those who make spectacular claims. The hardest thing for most of these "debunkers" to do is to simply say "you may be right". No matter what evidence is placed before them (much as their counterparts in the true believer camp) they will cling to a "logical" explanation no matter how illogical it really is.

One thing that I want to point out that I have seen over and over again both on this forum and on many others that I've been part of over the years. There is no such thing as camps when it comes to actual honest inquiry. If you find someone claiming otherwise, then they are not interested in actual truth. They are only interested in winning arguments.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 01:34 PM
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Why is Wikipedia always against anything related to the paranormal or conspiracies in every entry? It claims there is no reliable evidence and always sides with the establishment.

Why is that? Have the pseudoskeptics hijacked Wikipedia? Why can't the pro-paranormal crowd gain control of Wikipedia? How did the pseudoskeptics and establishment defenders get control of it? Is it cause the owner of Wikipedia is on their side?

How does Wikipedia make money? I don't see any ads on it.



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by WWu777
Why is Wikipedia always against anything related to the paranormal or conspiracies in every entry? It claims there is no reliable evidence and always sides with the establishment.


There IS no reliable evidence, the "paranormal" industry is full of frauds like Geller, Benneth and Brown etc.


Why can't the pro-paranormal crowd gain control of Wikipedia?


Because all they have is lies, fraud and deception. Wikipedia is about facts and the truth, not lies.


How does Wikipedia make money?


Who says that they have to make money? Not everyone is money grubbing, with lots of ads on their website.


edit on 14/9/10 by dereks because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2010 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by dereks
 

Out come the pseudoskeptics!


Great thread. S&F from me.
You might find the Book of the Damned by Charles Fort interesting, as it deals a lot with this subject. But yeah, I've noticed this too. It seems like a lot of these "skeptics" cherry pick what they want to be skeptical about, and exclude the rest.



posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by WWu777
 



...they've hijacked words like "skepticism", "rationality" and "critical thinking" to mean their opposite. Instead of open minded inquiry and the questioning of things and possibilities, they have been twisted to mean the suppression of anything that challenges establishment orthodoxy. That's not skepticism at all.


I resonate 100% with you on this. I could list at least five such 'agents' off the top of my head who operate on ATS. They each have their own designated forum, and occasionally show up on other forums to lend weight to the illusion that they are general participants in ATS. They will, almost without fail, show up on page one of any thread that challenges mainstream views of archaeology, astronomy, UFO sightings, military conspiracy, NWO and so forth. They throw down aggressive, derogatory, divisive and generally obstinate comments about the subject at hand, and try to draw the thread to premature conclusions. They will ridicule anyone who holds to the unorthodox theories, and will utterly deny the use of logic on most occasions. They love a 'quick win', and love it even more when a naive or non-affiliated 'wanabee pseudo skeptic' compliments them on their seeming wisdom.

The most curious thing about many of these people is that they profess to have vast knowledge (and indeed, they generally are very hot on providing links to mainstream sites and source materials), and yet - they NEVER (or almost never) start any threads of their own. When you check over the quantity of posts they make, it sometimes seems that they are online 24-7, ready to respond to any new theories being posited on the hallowed boards of ATS.

Sometimes they can even be seen to behave in a similar fashion on OTHER conspiracy sites and forums. Always the same spiel, the same profusion of posts, the same domineering and 'thread killing' approach.

These guys are most definitely 'on the payroll'. It's extremely hard to call them out about it, as they even seem to have infiltrated the realms of mods in some cases. Even without admin protection (which some do appear to have unfortunately) they seem to relish being called a disinfo agent, as it gives them fuel for the ridicule of the 'conspiracy nut' who dared to highlight their aggressive, pseudo-sceptical behaviour.

Star and Flag for you sir - let's try and figure out a way to call these people out, or draw attention to them, within the bounds of ATS terms and conditions of course. I don't believe that true scepticism is harmful to the validity of a site like ATS - indeed, without it the place would be chaotic and chock-full of charlatans. But we're talking about pseudo sceptics here, not true sceptics.


Fly.



posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss
 




If I could give you a hundred stars for that I would. Genius.

We need more of this!




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