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ATS Reality: CoIntelPro, Shills, Freemasons, and Socks: The Definitive Guide

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posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 01:19 PM
We've stumbled our way through another wave of threads and posts questioning the integrity of those who run and moderate our beloved, combined with an increase in threads worried about Shill/Sock/Agent infiltration. With that in mind, and seeing how this older thread has done nothing to sway the fears of "people just asking questions" (right), I thought it time to create the definitive updated piece on these subjects for present and future haters.

The Origins of The Lie

While there have been haters spreading hate about ATS before April, 2004, most of it was merely people who didn't like us, not those making up lies about some despicable affiliation with wicked government agencies. That type of "speculation" began when lots of people jumped to hair-brained conclusions, based on an April Fools joke posted here. It's clearly labeled, "april fools," uses IP addresses not even close to real IPs which aren't the IP's of ATS then or now. Regardless of that, fools and trolls across the Internet opted not to do their own trace, and thus we have the origins of the lie.

The Reality has never been under the control or influence of anyone associated with any government anywhere on the planet. has never been under the control or influence of anyone other than those who we've been saying all along: SimonGray, SkepticOverlord, Springer. We three (commonly referred to as the "Three Amigos) are not now, nor have we ever been, associated with any government group or person, or any other outside entity that may have an interest in influencing content on

I am a former advertising executive, with a deep interest in conspiracies, but a much stronger passion for user-generated content and the support of free expression though strong Internet communities. Before advertising, I started my own company to develop interactive children's books on CD-ROM focused on inspiring imagination. I freely left the world of advertising on Madison avenue to focus 100% of my energy on ATS and user-generated content.

Mark (Springer) is a reformed mortgage industry professional who jumped ship as he saw the coming chaos and the increasingly forced intense immorality of the industry at the time. Before that, he sold high-end business insurance. Also having an interest in conspiracies (UFO/Paranormal), Mark was able to jump in and provide some much-needed cash in a time of need in 2005... thus began his involvement in ATS.

Simon is currently pursuing a professional computer-related career away from ATS, but is still involved in every important company decision. He started the site back in the '90's as a teenager to express his passion for top-secret government projects, especially aviation and space projects and technology.

We three have an equal equity stake in the parent company, The Above Network, LLC, and combined represent a significant majority position.

The Above Network, LLC was formed in 2007 to officially begin a significant focus on user-generated content and "smart crowd" communities. Much of what you see springing forth from ATS in the form of a book, radio show, and soon television and mobile apps represent the core corporate strategy of The Above Network, LLC -- support a core user-generated content ecosystem with a universe of extensions into other media, the intent being to bring the best of the user ecosystem to more and more people. With the aid of our CFO (Crakeur), we located a small group of like-minded venture capitalists who were impressed with our business plan. With funding secured, we began several initiatives focused on ATS (advertising, technology upgrades, PR, etc.).

The angel investors who collectively provided the investment have a minority stake and no influence over the operation of The reason these people have not been revealed is the same reason nearly all companies never reveal first-round angel investors while the company is still private -- the investors would become inundated with business plans from people looking for money.

Our moderation staff have been hand-picked by ownership and admin and invited to become part of the best staff on the Internet based on their activity on ATS. They represent a diverse set of individuals from around the world with a diverse collection of interests. No one is invited without serious consideration, and none of our staff are influenced by any outside person or entity. All staff actions are determined by the ATS Terms & Conditions, however, some members with an intense passion in a particular area often feel otherwise.

Spreading The Lies Is Spreading Insults

Nothing posted above is contrary to anything we've ever said all along. Those who come here to claim otherwise -- such as ATS being controlled by the CIA -- are calling me, Springer, SimonGray, and our entire staff cheats and liars. It's that simple. If you feel so compelled to post these lies here, you can expect a response appropriate to someone spreading malicious lies.

The Issue of CoIntelPro

The lies that call ATS a COINTELPRO (Counter-Intelligence-Program) operation often evolve into something such as, "okay, but government shills could still be using ATS to spread disinfo." While that statement is essentially not incorrect, there are several things that tend not to be considered.

The Ego of Conspiracy Theorists

Ever since the concept of a "conspiracy theorist" entered the lexicon, those who embrace the title often adopt an attitude that their theories are so compelling and dangerous to "the government" that "THEY" must be interested. While that's certainly possible, the sheer volume of conspiracy speculation on the Internet today makes it improbable... or at the least, very rare. This is in no way a statement that one's conspiracy speculation may be wrong, just that there are finite resources available to "THEM" for identifying and potentially monitoring a conspiracy theorist posting in the Internet.

Someone Who Disagrees Is Not Always a Shill

Following the above, passionate conspiracy theorists often fall into the narrow-thinking trap that those who don't share their opinion must be a shill sent to discredit. We see this quite a bit on ATS, and it's often very disheartening to see. The realm of conspiracies is just like anything else, a difference of opinion is most often just that and nothing more.

ATS has grown a great deal, and while our roots may be in the speculation of conspiracies and cover ups, today we are much more of a destination for people concerned about the "full story" behind recent and current events. More and more people are aware that the mainstream news is not telling them everything, and in some cases telling them lies. Sites like ATS are a place to parse through the additional information not covered by the mainstream so that people may come to better-informed conclusions. Many of these people will not be conspiracy theorists and may disagree with conspiracy theories -- but they're not shills, instead they are ordinary folk just beginning to become aware that things are not as they seem.

Shills, Disinfo Agents, Sockpuppets, Oh My!

Sure, in the grand scheme of things it is certainly possible that various persons, either government, government contractors, or directed by a corporate entity, may be tasked with attempting to influence opinion on My reaction...


Seriously. It may be downright impossible to discern the different between:
1) a "shill" sent to spread disnfo
2) an ordinary person who doesn't accept most conspiracies
3) someone fooled by mainstream media
4) someone passionate about a manufactured political ideology
5) someone who is afraid to consider conspiracies
And since it's impossible to discern the difference in an environment like ATS, why get worked up over it?

The reality is that those you think may be a shill are numbers 2-5, and actual "shills" in the severe minority (if at all). So the best strategy is not to sweat the motives and treat them as you would any person who simply disagrees -- state your case with authority, excellent back-up, well-composed responses, and polite compassion. You may not change their opinion, but the nature of your response may change the opinion of the thousands of other people likely to read your response, but who never considered joining ATS.

And if somehow someone is identified as a bon-a-fied shill, there's no reason not to still have compassion. It's got to be a tough job with long hours, low pay, high stress, and difficult to define route for career advancement. Feel sorry for the shill.
edit on 5-7-2011 by SkepticOverlord because: typo

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 01:32 PM

Oh i would not worry, it's another phase that always goes on during summer, but i do feel for you as it does get somewhat tiring trying to say that an orange is an orange and not a an apple.

Hang in there....

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 01:34 PM
link favorite part of what bill wrote is:

Ever since the concept of a "conspiracy theorist" entered the lexicon, those who embrace the title often adopt an attitude that their theories are so compelling and dangerous to "the government" that "THEY" must be interested.

...darn the ego that never gets enough attention...

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 01:50 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

maybe the rules and regulations should include: NO TALKING ABOUT ATS BEING A CIA or MASONIC INSIDE JOB

this would clear up alot of debate on the subject

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 01:52 PM
Yea i agree with cerebralassassins i feel bad for you too, most websites that i'v been on the owner could careless or would never take the time to do what you just did by making this thread, big ups to you, it shows how much you truly care and most other owners of sites don't and trust me that's a unfortunate truth....

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 02:49 PM
reply to post by indigothefish

maybe the rules and regulations should include: NO TALKING ABOUT ATS BEING A CIA or MASONIC INSIDE JOB

this would clear up alot of debate on the subject

..Not to forget It'll give a ton of ammo to those who think ATS has something to hide here. Sorry, but banning all discussion would make things by far worse and It would just make people a lot more suspicious.

Unfortunately you can't stop people from discussing this, all that can be hoped for is they grow up and stop biting the hand that feeds them. Hopefully this thread helps though.
edit on 5-7-2011 by Rising Against because: (no reason given)

+4 more 
posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 03:09 PM
reply to post by Rising Against

actually i'm all for discussing it.

ATS will close any thread discussing being a cia or masonic run conspiracy though

a simple ATS search will show any thread concerning ATS being an inside CIA or masonic inside job is closed, usually with the statement "this is already being discussed in many other threads in ats" then the thread is promptly closed

well the suspicious thing is that all those other threads are closed as well with the same remark given before they are closed, then this thread is opened

with a title like "ATS reality: cointlpro, shills, and socks: the definitive guide" , you can bet that title is nonthreatening and does not assume to the reader that this thread is for discussing ATS being an inside job

based on the actions of mods it would seem THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO TALK ABOUT ATS BEING A CIA or MASONIC INSIDE JOB!

however, they kind of beat around the bush about it, and i am the kind of nonthreatening person that like clear cut wording on things. am i supposed to expect not to be able to talk about this subject on ATS? i still don't know, but i would like to

i do however, think i struck a nerve with skeptic overlord, and for that i am sorry. i only wish for the freedom of speech and ability to discuss a conspiracy within a conspiracy website.

you have to understand it from skeptic overlords' point of view though, he works this site to inform others and expose the truth, and expose the disinfo agents, so to assert that Him or His Site isa disinfo or inside job, man that would make even ME furious! i think i really hit home with this topic because it's basically like calling 'the good guys' and saying you think they might be 'the bad guys'

when in reality i just want to either discuss the subject without the unknown possibility of the thread being closed without any warning ( happened today in the last remaining thread discussing ATS being a CIA / masonic inside job, just after this thread was made ) or at least be told that discussion along those lines is prohibited

+1 more 
posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 03:12 PM

Originally posted by indigothefish
based on the actions of mods it would seem THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO TALK ABOUT ATS BEING A CIA or MASONIC INSIDE JOB!

Read the opening post. There is no inside job.

however, they kind of beat around the bush about it

What isn't clear about the opening post?

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 03:17 PM
Been here for a bit, all I can say is that its an alternative website... A site were those insane ideas about conspiracies, alternative beliefs are the acceptable norm. I don't think this is a CIA front or there are disinfo agents. Personally your biggest problem is you'll always have:

1)Your religious nuts that feel like their gods messenger that must use the bible from everything from converting to spelunking.
2)You have your troll thats only here to enrage and gain much sought after attention due to divorce, lack of a good childhood, or general douche. (take your pick)
3)Your unbeknownst to anyone sutle racist willing to play the affirmitive action card as a plot to take away jobs.
4)The Intelligent contributer that is English Literate enough to sway opinion in his favor, using not information or fact but the mastery of the english language (Your Hitler Orator so to speak)

You'll always have more trolls than those that contribute. I know what your mean about people having thought that there is some Disinfo agent among us...

but personally I don't think the gov't needs to worry about us.... were on these websites because we have regular job and are attached to the system as any other sheep around here.

The disinfo comes from our own members who don't research so much as a simple google search to varify anything, or add a disclaimer on their original post. Even those that contribute are sometimes as blind for not reading a post in its entirety...

Hell I remember the thread about this is for you "men" out there I personally think very few read it, it was set up as an arguement rather than a statement. Yet no one noticed... weird in my opinion, but what can you expect really?

ATS is a website dedicated to those few that don't want to seek that information personally, but want others to do it for them. (No offence, I like ATS, but why do you think we always have multiple thread about the same thing, with a link to yahoo news)
edit on 7/5/2011 by FoxStriker because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 03:18 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

i beleive you, thanks for making the thread

i'm just going to stick to other topics on ATS


edit on 7/5/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

edit on 7/5/2011 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:30 PM
I know the point of the post was to address the shills and to clarify that ATS is not associated with any Government entities. However, it was an interesting read and a nice bit of background on the owners and founders and I enjoyed it.
Nice to know that you have the human touch and really endears me to this site even more. (Than I already do).

Thanks and you really shouldn’t have to keep explaining this again and again.

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:32 PM
It's an achievement to walk the fine balance between tolerance of all posted opinions and points of view and the vulnerability to image and integrity on an open forum. The balancing pole of intelligence, compassion, and common sense cant be appreciated or employed enough.

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:33 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:36 PM
ATS is self made millionaire

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:41 PM
Skeptic overlord is one of the best character here..Dude , where's your old avatar !!!

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:45 PM
reply to post by LulzCode6

Are you referring to this blast from the past?

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by SkepticOverlord

That is the one Amigo

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 04:49 PM
LMAO, those graphics are hilarious.

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 05:14 PM
With a rise in popularity in a website, you are no doubt going to attract a lot more people who are paranoid and delusional. The sort of people that believe the whole world is against them except for a very small group of friends, and in some (very sad) cases not even that.

I saw a thread the other day created by Cluckerspud IIRC where he said that he was speaking to a fellow member of ATS that he met at a party who was extremely paranoid and delusional to the point of thinking that Cluckerspud was a CIA disinfo agent. (Why the CIA would pay people to visit websites and/or people in person to try and sway that persons beliefs, I will never know. It just sounds utterly ridiculous)

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 05:18 PM
I just want too know who the biskethead with the skinny arms (your cartoon dude) is and what is his involment in all this?

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