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When do conspiracies become harmful?

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posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 03:16 AM
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Originally posted by ofNight

Originally posted by Akragon
reply to post by ofNight
 


When you start thinking "almost everything" has a conspiracy behind it...



Your post.. it's.. it's.. a CONSPIRAAAAAACY!





Your face is a conspiracy....


No really... it is.


JK.


I think it becomes dangerous when it becomes scary.




posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 03:17 AM
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Originally posted by rebellender
or maybe you will get an A in psychology


Charity starts at home!


Edit: Oh yes. My strong jawline is ... ALIENS!
edit on 19-2-2012 by ofNight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 04:28 AM
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Originally posted by TheGuyFawkes
reply to post by ofNight
 


i agree both were mentally unstable just by looking at some of the things wiese posted, yeah something was wrong with that kid it probably didn't help that he lost both of his parents either and people picked on him he was a ticking time bomb if u ask me, i think ats could have been what set him off though


I had a friend just like Loughner that was a dissociative schizophrenic. Was good friends with him for several years, typical normal kid. Then one day he just snapped. It is very weird to describe. He was mumbling, talking to himself, all sorts of crazy #. He was pulled out of school that year and none of us really ever heard about what happened to him. We ran into him around town here and there, but he was just bizarre and unable to remember people and converse.

In nov 2010 i turned on the news and there he was. He stabbed his mom to death while she was on the phone with her parents, and then he stabbed himself repeatedly in the neck. he did not die. he can no longer speak and is in a mental hospital. his brother was an emt and was on duty that night. he responded to his own moms murder scene. said when he went into the house he saw kurt just standing at the top of the stairs with a bizarre look on his face and wounds in his neck.

it was a really hard time in my life for like a month this was really hard. he had called my moms house several times asking for me that year. she kept telling him "kurt he doesnt live here anymore he moved please stop calling" and he would call back later that day, a week later, a month later, etc.

he even called our friend tj the night before he committed the crime. asked him to hang out and tj rejected.

we both felt like if we had hung out with him maybe nothing would have happened.

it is very hard schizophrenia. they can not help it and it is devastating for everyone around them.

please watch this video it is a good simulation of the schizophrenics day to day life.



edit on 19-2-2012 by theBigToe because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 04:42 AM
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Originally posted by theBigToe

Originally posted by TheGuyFawkes
reply to post by ofNight
 


i agree both were mentally unstable just by looking at some of the things wiese posted, yeah something was wrong with that kid it probably didn't help that he lost both of his parents either and people picked on him he was a ticking time bomb if u ask me, i think ats could have been what set him off though


I had a friend just like Loughner that was a dissociative schizophrenic. Was good friends with him for several years, typical normal kid. Then one day he just snapped. It is very weird to describe. He was mumbling, talking to himself, all sorts of crazy #. He was pulled out of school that year and none of us really ever heard about what happened to him. We ran into him around town here and there, but he was just bizarre and unable to remember people and converse.

In nov 2010 i turned on the news and there he was. He stabbed his mom to death while she was on the phone with her parents, and then he stabbed himself repeatedly in the neck. he did not die. he can no longer speak and is in a mental hospital. his brother was an emt and was on duty that night. he responded to his own moms murder scene. said when he went into the house he saw kurt just standing at the top of the stairs with a bizarre look on his face and wounds in his neck.

it was a really hard time in my life for like a month this was really hard. he had called my moms house several times asking for me that year. she kept telling him "kurt he doesnt live here anymore he moved please stop calling" and he would call back later that day, a week later, a month later, etc.

he even called our friend tj the night before he committed the crime. asked him to hang out and tj rejected.

we both felt like if we had hung out with him maybe nothing would have happened.

it is very hard schizophrenia. they can not help it and it is devastating for everyone around them.

please watch this video it is a good simulation of the schizophrenics day to day life.



edit on 19-2-2012 by theBigToe because: (no reason given)


That's a terrible story, I am so sorry that happened! It most definitely wasn't your fault, if he hadn't murdered his mother then, he probably would have either murdered someone else or her at a later date...

That video is also very scary. I can't even imagine. Thank you for sharing!

Off topic: Is it just me or does the lady in that video look like Cuddy from the show House?



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 07:50 AM
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reply to post by theBigToe
 


That video was right on the money....I've had schizoaffective disorder for a while now and that's pretty much how it goes...constant commentary.

Combine that type of intrusion with a manic episode and it's a recipe for disaster in a lot of situations.


As far as how conspiracy theory can become harmful?
I think when it begins to dominate and override any enjoyment, trust or meaningful social interaction with the world.

Back before the days on the online community, the only theorists I met were isolated loners desperate to talk to anyone about what they had gleaned....there were three prevalent types:

1.) Those who took a curious interest in certain subjects.
2.) Those who tried to lock you into their own fear based rationale so they could ease the burden of their own fears and weren't "alone in what they knew" anymore.
3.) Those so far gone that they hit the level of being mentally ill and socially dysfunctional or dangerous.

Healthy investigation and curiousity is normal, but when a certain point is passed - it just eats you away from the inside out and everything can become poison.



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


That's quite an indictment you've handed down there, counselor. The lone voice of reason in an asylum run by the inmates, eh?

"Mind Firmly Closed" indeed.



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by ofNight
 



Fear mongering is rampant...

An ATS buzzword thrown around way too liberally. And used to shame and belittle others all too frequently. Nevertheless, it does apply here at times.



I've often found myself wondering if some people are just flat out paranoid or mentally ill.

And this is your professional opinion of course.



Now, please, don't get me wrong, I love a good conspiracy. I believe the government is definitely shady in a lot of what it does, and there is a lot of deception.

There are some who would consider this statement a product of paranoia, and/or mental illness.



I've seen topics on this board that I think are completely ridiculous, and there are those who legitimately believe them.

There's not a thing wrong with this statement...As long as you remember you are also a member here, and there may be others who consider some of your topics or thoughts ridiculous.



It's when individuals begin spreading disinformation that it becomes a problem, when a conspiracy with little to no evidence makes people afraid or accept it as the truth. What good does that do?

This statement always fascinates me. If there were sufficient evidence for an indictment of most of the conspiracies we discuss here at ATS, they would no longer be theories. They would be accepted as fact. One mans disinformation is another mans piece to a puzzle. If you or I don't agree with a statement, we either question its veracity, or move on and pay it no mind. "What good does that do?" It keeps the wild notion of the free exchange of ideas alive on this site.



I suppose denying ignorance isn't always something that can be done.

"Denying Ignorance" is a thoroughly subjective term. I suspect this was known before it was ever used as this site's motto. For one, we live in a world where all sources of information are questionable, no matter how "official" they may be. Also, what you or I may see as an obvious fact, either by personal experience, or knowledge of a given topic, may be unfathomable to someone else until they themselves see it or experience it.



Some people enjoying fear-mongering, some are trolls, and some are just flat out mentally ill or uninformed.

Your professional opinion again?



Either way, I've seen preposterous threads get extreme amounts of attention, while good threads with a legitimate (though maybe not as "exciting") plethora of evidence to suggest a conspiracy are left untouched.

On the one hand, I can't help but agree with this statement. I've seen it too, as have most of us. On the other hand, some of the best scientific minds of our times had the word "preposterous" used to describe their work by their own peers.



One must wonder however, when do too many conspiracy theories become harmful?

This is a good question. And by harmful, I'm assuming you mean to the persons own psyche.
I don't think there is a pat answer to this one. The truth of a matter can drive a person over the edge just as easily as unfounded paranoia can.

I think a person is in danger when they stop questioning themselves. Whether you are a hardcore skeptic or a staunch "believer", a realist or an idealist. If you become incapable of questioning and re-examining your own beliefs. You may very well be walking a very thin line.

I think the basics of Rene' Descartes' idea were good in this respect. Cartesian Doubt (Methodological Skepticism)



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 10:23 AM
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reply to post by ofNight
 


Thank you, it was a very hard time in our lives. We all felt just terrible about it.

You can read more about the case at here:
Multiple Tragedy Shatters the Town of Greece




Greece, N.Y. — A 23-year-old Greece man has been charged with second degree murder, after police say he stabbed his mother to death in their Old English Drive home Sept. 29. Kurt Neusatz was indicted Oct. 6 after evidence was presented to a grand jury by the Greece Police, District Attorney's Office and the Medical Examiner's Office, Greece Police said Friday afternoon. He was arraigned in his hospital room this afternoon and remains in custody of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Kurt Neusatz is believed to have stabbed himself multiple times in the throat after fatally stabbing his mother in her bedroom. Kurt Neusatz was on the front porch when police arrived that night, around 8 p.m. He had apparently called 911, asking for medical help. The family says that Monica was on the phone with her mother, Gloria Paparone, when she heard Monica begin screaming and the dog began barking wildly. “I was sitting in the living room, when I heard my wife say, ‘What is going on?’” said Monica's father, Santo Paparone. He entered the room where his wife was standing and took the phone. “I called out to her, yelling ‘Monica, Monica,’" he said. "We had trouble with the phone going on and off. I heard her say ‘Why are you doing this?’ and then I just heard no more conversation. Only groaning, and moans.” Monica was alone in the home that evening with Kurt, who the family said has been treated for schizophrenia since the age of 17.



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


That's quite an indictment you've handed down there, counselor.

Care to mention which points you disagree with, and why?


The lone voice of reason in an asylum run by the inmates, eh?

Gosh, do you really think so? Where's Jack Nicholson then?


"Mind Firmly Closed" indeed.

I love how that gets under certain people's skin, don't you?



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Care to mention which points you disagree with, and why?

"Lets cut to the chase". Your condescending attitude toward the membership and site owners is abundantly obvious in your post, making the points you bring to the discussion skewed at best. Your attempt to pass off your subjectivity as reasoned and well thought out objectivity fails miserably. You have every right to your opinion of the membership and staff here, and I believe in your right to voice it. I also believe in my right to call you on it.

I'm certain your characterization of the ATS regulars here as "socially maladjusted" and "genuinely insane", is from your personal experience with them after meeting them all in person. And as to attracting "crazies like moths", I notice you are willingly among the crazies. And have over 6000 posts, and over 6 years of conversing with them.

I would agree that credulity among a portion of the membership is no doubt a reality. I would not agree with that being a majority. And among those you or I might consider gullible, it is definitely evenly distrubuted on both sides of most debates on this site.

Profound cynicism? Social irresponsibility? Making money off the insane while reinforcing their delusions? And you accuse them of cynicism?



But though it may not add to the number of lunatics with guns running about the place, ATS does real harm all the same. It does so by facilitating the spread of alternative medical and psychological practices that actively harm people and society. The antipathy towards vaccination that is spread on this and other internet sites has the potential to cause plagues and epidemics. The quack remedies for body and soul that are promoted by member threads must cause a great deal of harm to the people who read about them here, believe what they read and try to put it into practice. I wonder how many ATS members have harmed themselves and their families in this way. Dozens, perhaps even hundreds, I imagine.

So you believe that for ATS to give members a place to voice their opinion, and share knowledge they have gleaned from a variety of sources is akin to crimes against humanity? And you believe that the average member here is incapable of making an informed decision as to the validity of some of the claims made here by other members? I would submit to you that those who come here may be better able to think for themselves than 99% of the general population of the earth.



And of course, a great many fascists, homophobes, racists and bigots of all kinds use ATS as a means to spread their poison.

I would never argue that there aren't members here who would fit this description. But a "great many"? A little overkill there.



Finally, ATS adds much to the misery of those who are committed believers in paranormal powers, alien abductions, and so on. It is particularly dangerous, I think, to paranoid schizophrenics, the kind who believe that they are being shadowed by the CIA, or MK-Ultra, or aliens, or whoever. All these unhappy folk will find much to reinforce their delusions here on ATS.

I think the delusion here is blanketing these folks as being delusional. While the vast majority may have mundane explanations in the end. Not everything fits into the perceptions and the paradigms you and I have built for ourselves.



Conspiracy theories are very different from the very real conspiracies that do exist in the world. They are urban legends, fantasies and hoaxes. Such, for the most part, is the staple diet of ATS.

"real conspiracies" usually start out as theories in someones mind long before they become conspiracy fact.



Personally, I believe that the entertainment industry is the source of most of the evil in today's world.

I don't know about it being the source, but I would be willing to say its one of the most potent tools the source has at its disposal.



ATS, being part of the entertainment industry, partakes of its nastiness.

I see the proprieters of ATS as owners of a blank slate, who have given each of their members a piece of chalk, and established guidelines for using that chalk. From there, the content is user generated.



I love how that gets under certain people's skin, don't you?

Just be sure to clean out the cobwebs, and oil the gears occasionally.



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by Klassified
reply to post by ofNight
 



Fear mongering is rampant...

An ATS buzzword thrown around way too liberally. And used to shame and belittle others all too frequently. Nevertheless, it does apply here at times.



I've often found myself wondering if some people are just flat out paranoid or mentally ill.

And this is your professional opinion of course.



Now, please, don't get me wrong, I love a good conspiracy. I believe the government is definitely shady in a lot of what it does, and there is a lot of deception.

There are some who would consider this statement a product of paranoia, and/or mental illness.



I've seen topics on this board that I think are completely ridiculous, and there are those who legitimately believe them.

There's not a thing wrong with this statement...As long as you remember you are also a member here, and there may be others who consider some of your topics or thoughts ridiculous.



It's when individuals begin spreading disinformation that it becomes a problem, when a conspiracy with little to no evidence makes people afraid or accept it as the truth. What good does that do?

This statement always fascinates me. If there were sufficient evidence for an indictment of most of the conspiracies we discuss here at ATS, they would no longer be theories. They would be accepted as fact. One mans disinformation is another mans piece to a puzzle. If you or I don't agree with a statement, we either question its veracity, or move on and pay it no mind. "What good does that do?" It keeps the wild notion of the free exchange of ideas alive on this site.



I suppose denying ignorance isn't always something that can be done.

"Denying Ignorance" is a thoroughly subjective term. I suspect this was known before it was ever used as this site's motto. For one, we live in a world where all sources of information are questionable, no matter how "official" they may be. Also, what you or I may see as an obvious fact, either by personal experience, or knowledge of a given topic, may be unfathomable to someone else until they themselves see it or experience it.



Some people enjoying fear-mongering, some are trolls, and some are just flat out mentally ill or uninformed.

Your professional opinion again?



Either way, I've seen preposterous threads get extreme amounts of attention, while good threads with a legitimate (though maybe not as "exciting") plethora of evidence to suggest a conspiracy are left untouched.

On the one hand, I can't help but agree with this statement. I've seen it too, as have most of us. On the other hand, some of the best scientific minds of our times had the word "preposterous" used to describe their work by their own peers.



One must wonder however, when do too many conspiracy theories become harmful?

This is a good question. And by harmful, I'm assuming you mean to the persons own psyche.
I don't think there is a pat answer to this one. The truth of a matter can drive a person over the edge just as easily as unfounded paranoia can.

I think a person is in danger when they stop questioning themselves. Whether you are a hardcore skeptic or a staunch "believer", a realist or an idealist. If you become incapable of questioning and re-examining your own beliefs. You may very well be walking a very thin line.

I think the basics of Rene' Descartes' idea were good in this respect. Cartesian Doubt (Methodological Skepticism)


I appreciate your post, you're correct in a lot of what you say. To say that there are mentally ill people on ATS isn't an opinion, it's a fact. Jared Lee Loughner is a perfect example. Unfortunately, he was a mentally ill individual, and thankfully others haven't followed, so why are you insinuating the one needs a professional opinion to acknowledge the signs of mental illness?


To say that the government isn't shady to some degree would be a complete falsehood. That's not paranoia, that's logic. There are examples on a daily basis in which governments lie to their people. This isn't saying, "The government has made the sky a hologram and they're out to get me.", this is saying, "The government is prone to corruption."

edit on 19-2-2012 by ofNight because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-2-2012 by ofNight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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I just think mentally ill is a very subjective term at best. What I might consider signs of a mental illness, you may not. And vice versa. My point about professional opinion was a bit tongue in cheek. In other words, even their opinion is open to interpretation.

I can remember a time that saying the government had carried out deadly medical experiments on its own population would have relegated you to the tin foil hat club. But now that it's main stream, and common knowledge, it's just another fact that will soon be forgotten, and surely they would never do it again, or on a much larger scale. So I will refrain from denying the sky is holographic for now.


And as for whether they're out to get me, I'm sure the descendants of those who died with syphilis in Tuskeegee, or whose ancestors were secretly sterilized in North Carolina, or those affected by "the Pellagra incident" might have an opinion that differs from mine.
edit on 2/19/2012 by Klassified because: spelling



posted on Feb, 19 2012 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by Klassified
I just think mentally ill is a very subjective term at best. What I might consider signs of a mental illness, you may not. And vice versa. My point about professional opinion was a bit tongue in cheek. In other words, even their opinion is open to interpretation.

I can remember a time that saying the government had carried out deadly medical experiments on its own population would have relegated you to the tin foil hat club. But now that it's main stream, and common knowledge, it's just another fact that will soon be forgotten, and surely they would never do it again, or on a much larger scale. So I will refrain from denying the sky is holographic for now.


And as for whether they're out to get me, I'm sure the descendants of those who died with syphilis in Tuskeegee, or whose ancestors were secretly sterilized in North Carolina, or those affected by "the Pellagra incident" might have an opinion that differs from mine.
edit on 2/19/2012 by Klassified because: spelling


I agree, it's definitely subjective. I also agree about the government carrying out deadly medical experiments, you're definitely right. I'm sure there are numerous things that the government initiates that we know nothing about, that endanger the lives of innocent people. I think there's a fine line between acknowledging this as a fact, and acknowledging this as a fact, thinking the government is out to get you, and wielding a gun and shooting a governmental official.


I really appreciate your post, I agree.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 04:48 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 

Ooh, eloquent!


Your condescending attitude toward the membership and site owners is abundantly obvious in your post, making the points you bring to the discussion skewed at best.

Ah, I see. You don't like my arguments or my tone, and you feel that is reason enough to make insulting personal remarks about me. Well, that's fine as long as you actually have some objections of substance. So let's see how you do on that.


I'm certain your characterization of the ATS regulars here as "socially maladjusted" and "genuinely insane", is from your personal experience with them after meeting them all in person.

You don't need to meet a person to know they are crazy if you have their writings in front of you. Writing is my profession, one I have practised for more than thirty years, so I'm a bit of an expert in this area. I have also had some experience of dealing with mental illness at close quarters.


I notice you are willingly among the crazies. And have over 6000 posts, and over 6 years of conversing with them.

Sure. I acknowledged this in the last line of my post. If ATS plays upon my weaknesses as well as other people's, my argument is not contradicted; it is reinforced.


So you believe that for ATS to give members a place to voice their opinion, and share knowledge they have gleaned from a variety of sources is akin to crimes against humanity?

That sounds a bit hysterical – very ATS. Where did I accuse anyone of crimes against humanity? Stupidity, gullibility and derangement are not crimes.

Apart from the above objections, the rest of your post expresses nothing but your disagreement with me and your distaste for my tone of voice. None of it actually refutes a thing I have said.

As you remark, I have been an ATS member for rather a long time – a little longer than you have, at any rate. If you last as long as I have here, you may well come to agree with me one day.


edit on 20/2/12 by Astyanax because: of tone.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Nice deflection and redirection of the readers attention for those that fall for it. Nevertheless, the exchange is now on record, and I'll let it stand as it is.

But if you think you can determine a members sanity by their posts here. You need to think again. Everything is not as it seems at ATS.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 11:03 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Everything is not as it seems at ATS.

Again, very ATS – a tempting confection of allusion, paranoia and menace with no food value to it whatsoever.

Ask yourself who is likely to take offence at my post.

The site management? They already know how I feel; SkepticOverlord and I have had our arguments in various threads. He and I are both former members of the same profession, so each of us knows where the other is coming from. That profession, incidentally, is advertising and marketing communications – the business end of what I earlier called the entertainment industry.

ATS regulars? I am, as you generously point out, one myself. The sane ones know I am not talking about them. There are plenty of people for whom ATS is a hobby on which they spend a couple of hours a day. There are members – people like ArMap, Byrd, Chadwickus, CLPrime, Hanslune, NGChunter, SoylentGreenIsPeople and many others – whose main motivation for coming to the site seems to be a genuine desire to share information about their interests and more generally to dispel ignorance. Such people are the ornaments of ATS.

Most of the insane ones don't think I'm talking about them; it's always someone else at whom the finger is seen to be pointing, isn't it? The only exceptions, of course, are those whose particular poison of belief is amongst those I named in my post. Such people I am only too pleased to offend, if offending them will throw a shaft of reality through the window of their glazed perceptions and maybe – just maybe – help kill the deleterious memes of which they are the vectors. Perhaps I do so for the love of mankind, maybe I serve some abstract ideal of rationality, truth and common sense – or perhaps I just like crowing about how much I know. What's it to you?

I suspect you see yourself as one who takes up the cudgels on behalf of others. This is a common self-deception practised by those who do not wish to inspect their own personal demons and drives too closely. Since (a) this is an internet forum where membership is entirely voluntary and everyone may speak up for themselves, and (b) I am merely expressing an impersonal opinion, I think your charity would be more usefully employed in feeding the hungry, helping the sick, the halt and the lame, or some other useful act undertaken back in the real world.

The real point is that my post was not directed against anyone, except perhaps the site owners (but they're big boys just like me and don't want coddling). It was merely a general criticism of the setup here. Your post, on the other hand, was a direct attack on me, full of Pharasaical self-righteousness, ersatz public spirit and thinly veiled passive-aggressive malice. If it was your intent to engage me in moral jousting, you just lost.

But your contribution, as you say, is noted.



edit on 20/2/12 by Astyanax because: there is no middle finger icon available.



posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


As is yours.

You'll have to get with SO on the middle finger icon.



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