Civilian COINTELPRO: Pseudo-rationalism, or the Wikipedia School of Rhetoric

page: 1
31
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
+16 more 
posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 09:53 AM
link   
Recently, in connection with some of the topics I've been discussing on ATS, I've noticed a disturbing brand of rhetorical tactics used by a particular group, here. It is a series of techniques which collectively attempts to mask itself as legitimate rational argument, when in reality being the direct opposite.

I consider it very important to warn other posters here of this behaviour, as I've noticed that in the case of certain topics, the individuals running this particular game are extremely persistent, although there are not that many of them. Although as mentioned, they try to mask their tactics as genuine logical persuasion, the real goal is censorship; to simply bludgeon the original poster into silence, via any means available to them. I have personally been a target of all of these tactics during my time on this forum, and continue to be a target of them.

a} Using requests for sources as a means of obtaining ammunition.

Although I've since been impressed with the rationale that, if asked legitimately and without hostility, there can be genuine grounds for listing a person's sources in their argument, in my experience, it is still far more often when what I call the "citation needed," troll is used either as a means of discrediting an argument in and of itself, or as an attempt to gain further information about the poster themselves, which can then be used as a basis for ad hominem attacks, that often have no relation to the topic being discussed.

b} The "credible sources," troll.

This is a related troll to the above, where if an individual cites a particular source, then as a generalisation, an opponent can arbitrarily brush off the source cited as not being "credible," when credibility either remains a subjective abstraction, or is defined as including institutions or organisations that still have every possibility of being corrupt or non-credible.

A good example of this is when I've cited certain specific sections or chapters of the Zeitgeist movies as support for a given argument, and then immediately had this troll thrown at me in response. The reason why I consider this a trolling argument, is because although I know myself that some parts of Zeitgeist and its' sequels are very much factually questionable, not all of them are.

Another example, is a recent argument I saw against the film Thrive, where the author argued that the accuracy of virtually the entire film was thrown into question by the mere presence of David Icke, without making any reference to the specific statements made by Icke in the film. The issue of David Icke's belief in Reptilian aliens was also brought up, when this was not even indirectly mentioned in the film.

Where the source credibility argument becomes a trolling technique, is when it is used as a generalisation, and the entire source cited is dismissed out of hand, if only a particular part of said source is being referred to. Cited subsections of a given source should be refuted purely on the basis of the specific subsection cited, and nothing else. If David Icke gives a lecture on the reserve banking system, I am not going to dismiss his argument because of his belief in extraterrestrials, if said belief is not mentioned and is not relevant to the subject of reserve banking.

c} Scientism.

This one is both a lot more generalised and subtle, and harder to pin down. It can manifest in a number of different ways, but in general I could define it as an irrational and/or emotively based worship of certain elements of the politics or culture surrounding science, (including individual scientists) which are not directly related to the scientific method itself.

c1} There is a very strong bias towards the idea that large, centralised scientific institutions contain the only people who are permitted to express opinions on certain subjects, or apparently to even think critically at all.

c2} There is often a disturbing level of naivete implied in the presumption that individual scientists are incorruptible, and that any study cited, simply because it identifies itself as a study, should be regarded as infallible. Scientists are human beings, many of whom rely on large corporations for funding. It is therefore to be expected that in a very large number of cases, experimental results are going to match what said corporate sponsors want to hear, rather than as might be desired, the testable and verifiable truth.

c3} Related to c1} above, there is an attitude that the "mainstream scientific community," in terms of what it thinks and believes, is to be held sacrosanct, and the idea that said community might reject a given idea on the basis of it conflicting with erroneous, pre-held ideas which are associated with a purely emotional bias, is considered unthinkable. I believe two quotes from the physicist Max Planck are appropriate here.

New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

To further elaborate on this point, the reader is invited to read about (as but one example) the reaction of the scientific orthodoxy to Thomas Edison's first demonstration of electric lighting in Menlo Park. The invention was rejected completely out of hand, with one scientist, Henry Morton, who lived locally, refusing to walk the short distance necessary to verify Edison's claim, and instead felt that he needed to "protest in behalf of true science," and that Edison's lights were, "a fraud upon the public."

My point here is not an attack on the scientific method at all. My grievance is with what could be crudely referred to as the "circle jerk." Elitism, insularity, and a willingness to reject unpopular ideas without due dilligence.

d} Direct, relatively undisguised psychological warfare.

This is the most rarely used tactic, and generally does not rear its' head in a truly blatant manner. Usually those who consider themselves rationalists, prefer to camouflage their emotionalism in a more plausibly deniable way. Arrogance and condescension are one way in which this can manifest. Name calling and outright profanity are rarer, and of course do not manifest on ATS so much, but they can show up elsewhere.

Psych warfare, when it is used, underscores the point, that all of the tactics listed above, are not intended for the purposes of persuasion or even basic communication, as much as they are intended to cause its' opposite; censorship.

The goal is to shame or otherwise bludgeon the original poster into silence, to the point where even if they continue to disagree with the pseudo-rationalist, they will not continue to express their dissenting opinion.
edit on 23-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 09:59 AM
link   
reply to post by petrus4
 


So, basically, you find it disturbing when someone asks you where you heard about some "fact" and also disturbing when they want to stick to science as we know it, not as you want it to be.

Got ya.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 10:01 AM
link   

Originally posted by hooper
reply to post by petrus4
 


So, basically, you find it disturbing when someone asks you where you heard about some "fact" and also disturbing when they want to stick to science as we know it, not as you want it to be.

Got ya.


This is a standard response. I consider it as much a form of trolling as the others listed above. It also deliberately ignores and/or distorts what I have actually said.

Next.
edit on 23-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 10:05 AM
link   
This is in the wrong forum. I meant to post it in the Disinformation forum.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 10:08 AM
link   
reply to post by petrus4
 



This is a standard response.

Yes, just like the standard response to the question "what does two plus two equal"? is four.

I consider it as much a form of trolling as the others listed above.

Yes, to many repeating the truth over and over can seem to be "trolling", particlularly when their purpose is not to come to some rational understanding but to continue to pontificate on the brilliance of their own fiction.

It also deliberately ignores and/or distorts what I have actually said.

Actually, I think it summarizes and clarifies what you posted.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 10:11 AM
link   
If only the replies were as developped as the O.P..



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 10:34 AM
link   

Originally posted by Vio1ion
If only the replies were as developped as the O.P..


Thank you.
edit on 23-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 11:02 AM
link   
reply to post by petrus4
 


Hello P4,

What you are experiencing is what has recently been tagged…. Gang Stalking. By simply replying in an odd negative subtly threatening way to a targets posts the target's long history of abuse triggers a hopeless programmed reaction that is designed to shut down the target and his or her message.

From what you wrote in your opening post it sounds that you often if not always experience these as you insightfully & correctly recognized to be COINTELPRO style psy-ops.

Do not fear them. You have the power to destroy these pests. Fight on…



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 11:07 AM
link   

Originally posted by KOGDOG
reply to post by petrus4
 

Do not fear them. You have the power to destroy these pests. Fight on…


Thank you, Kogdog. I very much intend to. I wrote this because I also want to help other people resist their tactics if it is at all possible, as well.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 11:29 AM
link   
Well said and I agree. It is becoming more and more obvious lately, but free thinkers and inquisitive minds will always be attacked by those towing the line of the dominator culture. The power of intention, belief and imagination is very strong and it seems like some unconsciously rebel against the idea that what is valued to them as "reality" will be shaken. The possible cognitive dissonance from that shaking is too much to handle, so they attack by citing those they believe are much more intelligent then they are (experts; credible sources).

Rarely do they speak about the content and instead generalize the subject matter into a tight package in favor of established conclusions reached by someone other than themselves. Those tactics you list are their methods of doing so. Some of it is COINTELPRO and some of it can be called the Sheep Dog Syndrome (AKA Status Quo Parroting).
edit on 23-4-2012 by Chewingonmushrooms because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 11:34 AM
link   
reply to post by petrus4
 


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

This is undoubtedly a well thought out thread, kudos to you for that btw, but I have to be honest here, I don't fully agree with what you've wrote there, petrus. See, from reading your thread I didn't get the impression that you've encountered much apart from genuine responses from people looking to learn. Of course I could be wildly incorrect, but that's just what I got from reading what you wrote in this thread, particularly what you highlight as Cointelpro taking place here.

For example, you first choose to write about the request for sources - Yes, some people will not always be happy with what sources you provide, that's just the way thing's are. It doesn't mean you're being targeted or the person posting is an agent of some kind, or it doesn't even mean that they have much, if any, agenda of any kind at all. I mean let's be fair here, I'm sure you know already that there is a great deal of nonsense out there on the internet. That's fact. If someone has a reason to doubt the source you've provided, and if they've actually given a reason why, then in my opinion it is up to you to defend it. If they still disagree after you give a well thought out argument to say why you're right, then I'd just move on. Some people just won't get it, no matter what's said. And at the same time It doesn't necessarily say they're this or that really, it may just mean you aren't convincing enough.

The fact however remains, asking for sources is not trollish behavior. Nor is repeatedly asking for it if none are provided. Nor is disagreeing with the credibility of said source once it is provided. Some will be convinced and some won't for whatever reason, it's the way thing's are.

Also, you go onto discuss the importance of credibility, but you cite 2 films as sources. Now, if someone did that to me in an argument on say a JFK topic citing the famous film from the 90's, I'd shoot them down in a flash. A film is a film. It is not proof of anything. Period. You also highlight David Icke there.. now personally I'd react in a similar way you described as well. I also don't feel he has much credibility and I'll be the first to point that out in a thread and in a debate. It's a belief held by many others out there and again, if you disagree then you should be the one to say why he should be taken seriously if you feel he should.

But just because a lot of people don't agree with him or give him much credibility that doesn't mean people are doing it because of an agenda against you or finding the truth, it's just because those people happen to disagree. We all can't agree on the same thing's now, can we?

So, while I do personally applaud you for making this thread and the effort you put into it, I do have to strongly disagree with what you've actually wrote. See, the fact is people are always going to disagree with you. That's a fact of life. Another fact which I'm sure you'll agree with is the existence of Cointelpro, that's something I imagine we all know and I think there's very little denying It's existence, and I'm of course talking about It's existence past It's outing in the early 70's where It supposedly ended. But, the key question here is this, have you hit the nail on the head in citing it's use? In my personal opinion no, far from it.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:02 PM
link   
I think that the discourse in this thread is important and should be had, and paid attention to by anyone who participates in discussions here and just about anyplace else. If ATS is to serve its purpose and be a good platform for discussion and, god forbid, expansion of ideas, then I think we all have to re-learn some things about forum discussions.

It used to be a pretty good test on a thread or a reply to a thread, to tell if they're trolling you, by merely identifying whether or not that content infuriates you and makes you want to hulksmash the keyboard against the offending poster's head. However, that litmus test of trolldom doesn't seem to work anymore, as many very well-intentioned posts seem to induce that reaction these days. Perhaps it's because troll responses have become as prolific as they are, that we have an almost pavlovian reaction to dissent to our opinions as "must be trollin'", and then immediate anger. But it is something that I think we should work on reversing together as a community as best we can.

When dealing with accusations of "disinfo agent!" or "COINTELPRO!", it is even more important that we really think about why we're suggesting such a thing, and whether or not it is actually warranted, before we fly off the handle and start in with the name calling and bashing and swearless fighting.

There are many occasions when sources really aren't credible on certain subjects, and when asking for sauces really is acceptable, even when the OP might not think that such points need to be addressed. I feel like this is not only a way for thread starters to learn more about what they've posted, to strengthen their knowledge, and become better posters, but also to engage in positive discourse with others who hold opposing viewpoints. If all of that is attempted in good faith and diligently, and the same individuals still hound the poster over "this source is bad," "you need more sources," "you so dumb," etc, and only post something like "
" when confronted with their requested sources and explanations...well, then, it's best to just start ignoring those people.

It's also important to realize when you're just doing something like that because you disagree with a person, not because you have anything constructive to add to a discussion. There are a lot of people who probably think that they're doing the world a favor by derailing threads containing opinions they dislike, when in actuality these situations could be used constructively for all involved. I have been guilty of this more than a few times. But I'm workin' on it.

Again, I suppose it's when all good faith efforts lead to nothing but name-calling and destructive criticism that one should give up on whichever poster is doing that, chalk it up to a bad day irl (we all get 'em), and go on about life.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:24 PM
link   

Originally posted by Rising Against
reply to post by petrus4
 


The fact however remains, asking for sources is not trollish behavior. Nor is repeatedly asking for it if none are provided. Nor is disagreeing with the credibility of said source once it is provided. Some will be convinced and some won't for whatever reason, it's the way thing's are.


I've experienced both on here. I've had, "cite your sources please," when I could clearly tell it meant, "I've already decided that don't agree with you and I'm looking for a way to discredit you further."

I've also had sources requested from someone who did so in a very legitimate and civil manner. I did not cite sources in the first case; I did in the second.

If it is a legitimate request, I will honour it. If it's identifiable trolling from someone who has an axe to grind, or who has made up their mind before they ask for sources, then I won't.


You also highlight David Icke there.. now personally I'd react in a similar way you described as well.


There have been things which Icke has said, which I've had serious problems with, as well. I will admit that openly. However, I also evaluate his statements on an individual, case by case basis. If he talks about Reptilian aliens, then based on what I know at the moment, I will not be inclined to believe what he is saying.

If, however, he makes statements about the banking system which are reasonable and which I am able to corroborate, then that is fine. It means he has some valuable information which I can make use of.

The bottom line here is to evaluate statements or premises, not the person making them. If I based my assessment of Alex Jones' material on what I'm inclined to think of his personality, then I would never listen to a word he says. However, some of the statements that he makes are factual, as far as I can determine, so I accept them on that basis.

I evaluate ideas. I don't care about personalities, or credentials, truthfully. Most people have trouble with that latter one; but the reality is that a person CAN go to university for X number of years, and still be an idiot at the end of it.


See, the fact is people are always going to disagree with you. That's a fact of life.


Sure. People can disagree with me as much as they want. They're going to anyway.

If someone is honestly looking for the truth, however, and disagrees with me simply because they either think I'm wrong, or because I actually am, then that is completely legitimate. If they disagree with me pre-emptively, because they've made a very rapid decision that I simply violate one of their biases on the other hand, and that upsets them...or if they have another motive in actually trying to make sure that people do not get exposed to the potential truth of what I'm saying, then that is something else entirely.


Another fact which I'm sure you'll agree with is the existence of Cointelpro, that's something I imagine we all know and I think there's very little denying It's existence, and I'm of course talking about It's existence past It's outing in the early 70's where It supposedly ended. But, the key question here is this, have you hit the nail on the head in citing it's use? In my personal opinion no, far from it.


I think there's different forms of it.

The actual term COINTELPRO seems to imply someone who has been specifically paid by the CIA or FBI, to engage in a campaign of defamation or harassment of a person, in order to silence them. So I possibly shouldn't have used that term here.

While I think COINTELPRO does exist, I would be inclined to believe that its' actual prevalence is much smaller than what most people here think. I believe that something which is far more dangerous, is people (who can actually sometimes even be quite well meaning, if very adamant) with deeply misguided ideas about both science and rational argument, who falsely identify themselves as rationalists, and who are driven to "debunk," things, because they think they are performing a public service.

Now again, don't get me wrong. Pointing out hoaxes can genuinely be valuable, and at times it needs to be done. There are other times, however (and personally I feel 9/11 is a particularly good example, here) where I feel that the debunkers are doing more harm than good, because they tend to nitpick or focus on extremely small points, while ignoring what I at least consider to be much larger and more direct pieces of evidence which are extremely obvious...or again, at least are that way to me.

I think it's likely that the government actually relies on these people, as well. It doesn't need to always pay its' own agents to do the job. Sometimes "free thinkers," will be more than happy to do the work for it.
edit on 23-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 01:58 PM
link   
I really hope that the people that bash David Icke for some of his far out theories aren't themselves Christians, Jews or Muslims, because if they believe in the Bible, Torah or Quran they couldn't possibly credible following that logic. Judge the man by his input on the subject matter, and judge whether his input is plausible and if it isn't articulate why. If plausible then pay more attention to the details and sources and analyze the evidence put forth. If I am knowledgeable on ecology then it matters not what my views on political science are nor is it relevant if the discussion is about soil erosion.
edit on 23-4-2012 by Chewingonmushrooms because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-4-2012 by Chewingonmushrooms because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 04:23 PM
link   
Any structured, organized disinformation programme is only effective if it's existance is denied by those involved. If you were required to declare yourself a disinformation agent before making a post, noone would take any notice of what you have to say. Likewise, if it were an undisputed fact that an operation like cointelpro was still operational, it would hardly be as effective as it was when it was first deployed as a tactic in the 60s and 70s. Therefore, calling someone out as a "disinformation agent" is hardly likely to evoke an "I'm sorry, you got me gosh darn, I will try harder next time" response. I would hope this is stating the obvious. I merely hope to emphasize the futility of openly engaging in name calling and attempting to defend yourself against nebulous attacks in which unrealistic demands for sources in discussions are made.

The slogan of ATS is "deny ignorance". If people are ignorant of commonly available sources, then perhaps it is best to "ignore deniers". If they truly do seek the information they request, it is but a search engine away. They will take the information you have presented, research it, and thus educate themselves. I have seen this before where people have posted replies demanding sources, then a few posts later say they have re read it, and googled it or something and effectively apologized. I think debating with some people who expect a fight is not doing them or your topic any justice. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, and you need to excercise discretion.

The other observation I would make is that those with the most important things to say often have a few oddball, even extremist views on certain topics. In someways this is intentional, so they get to live another day. Ie a whistleblower who is perceived as a cuckoo, gets to breathe, but if everything you say is 100% credible, and some of that is damning to those with the motivation to stop you breathing, don't expect the "sane" one to draw breath for too long. On the other hand I believe there are some spokespeople who are paid to provide this service. They pretend to be a bit nuts on certain topics, while dispensing factual information that is damning, simply to de-sanitize the damning information. And then there are those who start off in the category of being genuine whistleblowers, and are perceived as a threat, but are too high profile to be passed up as a honeypot for disinformation. And so, through carefully planned psychological interferrance, they are led astray and convinced of some outlandish theory that has been purpose crafted to become "thier obsession". Thus everything they say becomes tainted. And the same group that did this to them start discrediting the other things they are saying, which needed to be covered up.

I'm not sure what all the answers are but that is just my observation.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 05:19 PM
link   
So OP, if I'm not mistaken, what you are upset about, essentially, is people disagreeing with you.....You might be better off with a blog than posting on a forum!
edit on 23-4-2012 by squarehead666 because: clarity



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:09 PM
link   
I think your OP was extremely well put together, logical, and true. Kudos. Its threads like these that make me believe all the good guys are not yet gone from ATS.



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 06:13 PM
link   

Originally posted by squarehead666
So OP, if I'm not mistaken, what you are upset about, essentially, is people disagreeing with you.....You might be better off with a blog than posting on a forum!
edit on 23-4-2012 by squarehead666 because: clarity


You're either one of the trolls described in the OP, or sadly lacking in reading comprehension. It is a growing problem in society. Was the topic too long for you to pay attention?



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 07:31 PM
link   
reply to post by petrus4
 


Asking for credible sources isn't trolling, its just common sense



posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 07:39 PM
link   
reply to post by petrus4
 


Magnificant post, if you ask me! Makes perfect sense.

But I still need a litle while to absorb this, since it to be very alien in its nature. However, you have my full support, Sir. Cheers





new topics
top topics
 
31
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join