Confessions of a "Paid Shill"

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posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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I think it's safe to say at this point that I've been around here for a while. Sure I haven't been here since the beginning but I've been consistently contributing for over four years now. During that time I've been called a lot of things but the most common are things along the line of paid shill and disinfo agent. I know that some of you reading this probably still think this is the truth. This belief stems from my tendency to support mainstream explanations over alternative ones or ones that are conspiratorial in nature. As a result I regularly get asked what I'm even doing on a site like ATS. Well, I'm hoping that this thread will answer those questions. While I don't presume to speak for all the other "shills" and "disinfo agents" out there I have a feeling that what I'm about to say rings pretty true for them as well.

I'm not really sure how to start this so I guess I'll just start at the beginning. As far back as I can remember I've always had an interest in the paranormal and the unexplained. If were to catalog all the books I own presently I would probably find more books bearing names like Regardie, Keel, and Vallee than books bearing names like Penrose, Gazzaniga, and Dawkins. Excuse me for using a cliched phrase but "I want to believe."

That's why I'm here. I legitimately have an interest in the subjects that are discussed here. However, I also understand that nature of the beast. These fringe topics will never gain any kind of legitimacy as long as people will jump on every video of an orb or every rock that looks like Sasquatch as proof of the unexplained. Let's look at that word, unexplained. It means that there is no adequate explanation for the data. However much of what we discuss on here can be adequately explained away with the mainstream explanation. So what we're discussing isn't unexplained. We simply choose to ignore the explanation because it doesn't fit with our world view. This practice doesn't get us any closer to the truth. It simply makes us look like petulant contrarian children.

What I seek to do on here is make the community stronger. We need to stop relying on emotions when it comes to discussing topics on here and instead take a more pragmatic approach. We need to start automatically throwing out any evidence that has a mundane explanation. Instead what we're doing now is spending countless time and resources arguing over cases and evidence that in the end don't matter. Let's take the recent MIB video as an example. All we have is two men in black suits entering a hotel lobby and the word of a man who has changed his story over time. This is something that should have been thrown out right away but instead it is still being argued over. Let me just ask a question here, why? This video isn't going to change anyone's views on the existence of MIB agents. So why do we spend all this time arguing over something that doesn't matter?

That's why I tend to argue for the mainstream explanation. Anytime the masses are presented with data that has the possibility for a mundane explanation they're going to go with the mundane explanation. This in turn just makes the conspiracy community as a whole look crazy and any data that is presented later will be seen as less in the eyes of the public. However, if we start weeding out those things that have mundane explanations and only presenting those things that are truly unexplained the public might actually begin to see that things aren't what they seem.

The approach I take to this site is very much influenced by the methodology of the man I consider to be the greatest researcher in any fringe field, J. Allen Hynek. He approached everything with a skeptical mind and he would get rid of any data that could be explained mundanely. Remember he's the one that came up with the famous Venus reflecting off swamp gas explanation. He also didn't jump to any conclusions that weren't directly supported by the available data.

This is another thing we of this site are guilty of. As an example of this let's go with a thread from last month. I'm talking about the thread that claimed we would be invaded by aliens from the Sun this month. The data to support this claims? Artifacts whose legitimacy was in question and a triangle on the Sun caused by pareidolia. The data didn't support the conclusion but this thread became immensely popular. This isn't an isolated incidence either. At least once a week we get a very popular thread that's based on little more than a person's beliefs.

So there you have my confession and why I do what I do. While I'm sure some of you may not see it this way, but I feel in the end the actions I take are for the benefit of the community as a whole. As I said at the beginning I don't presume to speak for all the others who regularly get labeled shills and disinfo agents. What I do hope to achieve though is to illustrate why someone might come to this site and not support the alternative explanations on a regular basis. I am aware that there are some out there who will simply see this as a way to deflect suspicion away from me being a disinfo agent and thus confirm for them that I actually am a dsinfo agent, but there's nothing I can do about it. This has pretty much been my philosophy when it comes to ATS. Thoughts?




posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 
My thoughts are that you get a star and flag for speaking to common sense and reason.

I doubt any of us will ever agree on all subjects, but regardless if the evidence can't sway us one way or the other on any given topic, falling back to emotion or lack of honest analysis does no one any good, even when challenged directly or unkindly.

Well said, friend.


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posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:40 PM
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Certainly an awful lot of time and effort spent here with this thread in attempt to convince folks that you are not a "shill" or "dis-info agent".

I am sure most will find that quite suspicious in itself with good reason.

I personally cannot recall reading a thread of yours to which I have arrived to such a conclusion, but I do find it rather suspicious to read such a time-consuming thread just deny some accusations.

If you have NOTHING to HIDE, you have NOTHING to WORRY about, correct?

Hmmm...
edit on 25-4-2012 by HangTheTraitors because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


Excuse my ignorance, but over what issues have you been called a shill or disinfo agent?
edit on 25-4-2012 by satron because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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I find it hilarious that the people on this website call you a "paid shill" because you disagree with them.


"Oh NO, its a huge hole in your story I pointed out, I must be a disinfo agent!"



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


OK this is too friggin' wierd!!! Didn't I read this a coupls of weeks ago?! Exact same! The response too!



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:47 PM
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I'm just here for the coffee and doughnuts, the pay is terrible....



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:48 PM
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At least you got paid.
There are a lot of people shilling on here for free. Spending a lot of time pumping out the bunk and not getting a dime for their troubles. I'd say someone who is getting paid for doing it is a bit smarter than those giving it away for free.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


That took guts and sincere interest in how things are working around here to post. Even if I disagree with everything, S/F on that alone.


As it happens, I don't suppose there is much to agree or disagree with. Your stating your own opinions, motivations and outlook. Nothing wrong with that and personally, I've never thought of you as a shill or agent of any kind.


In a more serious note? Heck.. If we didn't have the people with the wild theories and far out concepts to chew on, this would be more a science and boring academic site. If we didn't have people like you with your factual and well grounded approach to topics, ATS might begin looking downright Heavenly in appearance..
. That wouldn't be a good thing, of course.

So, it takes everyone together to make this the special site that it is for so many. Nope.. no agents here that I see. I just see a whole site of (generally) serious truth seekers and travelers mixed with just enough of the whimsical and outlandish to keep things interesting with a special spark of 'Wtf??'.


^^ Just my opinions..but thanks for sharing your personal reasons for being here and being such a strong influence on the forums!



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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I imagine that people who reflexively call others shills are not familiar with the saying, he who smelt it, dealt it.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:51 PM
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When peope ignore comments but attack a poster personaly eg: "You cant spell big words" its pretty damned obvious what their game is.

Are you a shill? I dont know but THEY DO EXIST HERE ON THIS SITE.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by satron
 


2012, Ancient Aliens, evolution vs. creationism threads, birther threads, among many others. These are probably the most common. I've probably been called a shill at least once in each of the forums on here. I'd say last year marked the record for the amount of times I've been called a shill or disinfo agent with all of the Elenin threads.


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posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 

Typically, I quote posts I reply to but Good God, man.


You speak of assisting the community but when was the last time you quoted a reply in one of your posts? Hell, my take, and the take of many others, on you is that you really, really like to see yourself in print and be damned with sharing the space with anyone else intrusions.

I am constantly amazed, - why, I don't know - at the self-importance people place on their participation in this forum particularly. Thousands of thousands of posts? For what? There is so much noise that few "bombshells" get through and those that do are quickly forgotten. Don't even think of Google as your friend as this data is manipulated to show what best sells ATS not what is most enlightening in ATS. Babble sells.

As to "paid shills", I am 99.999999999% positive that someone sometime paid somebody something to post some drivel on ATS. Other than that certainty, the post subject line is, imo, sensationalism for the pursuit of none other than stars, flags and backpats.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


Here are a few quotes about myself.




that hydropinics site and scam-reporters are probably just shills like yourself.


pay no mind to boncho, he is an oil company shill


No more trolling shill


Of course you will probably never admit to being a payed shill even if you are, despite admitting it in other threads like THIS one.


*Drinks coffee*

*Eats doughnut*

ahhhh.....



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


I've said some similar things in other threads, like this one

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I know I'm not the first to say something like that, but it's nice to know there's other people of similar mind!



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 



In a more serious note? Heck.. If we didn't have the people with the wild theories and far out concepts to chew on, this would be more a science and boring academic site. If we didn't have people like you with your factual and well grounded approach to topics, ATS might begin looking downright Heavenly in appearance.. . That wouldn't be a good thing, of course.


See I'm not saying we should get rid of the wild theories. What I'm saying is that we should realize these theories are merely speculatory. Instead what I see are people fully believing these wild theories that have little more supporting them than coincidence. Once belief comes into play discussion gets shut down and it just becomes an argument between believers and non-believers. I'm also not saying this should become and academic or scientific site. In fact what I'd like to see are more threads presented that simply can't be explained by science in any way.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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Something I think many don't consider is that there are many who benefit from the public being ill-informed, excitable, and ignorant. So it stands to reason there are actually people (or bots) who are paid to come here and actually dumb this forum down.

These are likely the people who attack anyone who asks for sources, who points out logical flaws in reasoning, or who brings up factual problems.

Of course, it may just be the case that there are lots of dumb people who do so of their own free will because they just dont know enough to understand someone pointing out 2+2 does not equal five does not make them a 'shill'. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but I know in the US, the total lack of a functional school system is a major factor.

But one can certainly see that if there was a need to pay someone to come up and create DISinformation, it would be in the form of angry, excitable people who push entirely bull# theories and then attack anyone who is kind enough to take the time to point out the flaws in their work.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of scenario which creates a kind of circle-jerk of stupid here at ATS that make the rest of some really smart, useful posters and threads seem silly by comparison. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that is intentional. When you have open access to so much information, the best way to hide it is to just surround it with bull#. Got proof of drones being used over US soil in violation of US law? Send in the people who actually think it was an alien spaceship. Got evidence to show the war in Libya is part of a larger pro-western agenda of Imperialism? Send in the people who think the entire war is manufactured in a sound stage in Utah. It goes on and on.


It's unfortunate to me that so much obvious ignorance is embraced here on ATS, but then again, it's entertaining to read people who think common, easily explained phenomina is ALL someone fanciful.
edit on 25-4-2012 by stanguilles7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by AlchemicalBinoculars
 


The reason I don't quote posts is because it just takes up space. I know I personally hate having to scroll through pages that are mostly quotes of other posts on the same page. If I'm replying to a specific part of a post I'll quote it. If I'm replying to a post as a whole the reply feature works just fine.



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


It causes the reader to have to click the link and read one or several screens to see WTF you are talking about. So, no, that's a poor excuse and you often refuse to use the Quote feature for very simple, short posts and now the reader is going to have to click back on your link above to see if I am or not plastering you unfairly, that you or I are lying or obfuscating the conversation.

The poster doesn't have to read the quoted portions when you use the Quotes feature and you of 4,300 posts damn well knows this. He doesn't have to jump back and forth between several screens, all is in one place for easy scrolling and review, and this you damn well know is true as well. Being disingenuous is a fruitless posture.

So this leaves us with the fact that you fail to use the Quote feature because it "takes up space" as you said

........waiting for Reader to back-click...........and return...........

which quoted space deflects away from the perceived importance of your pseudo-self-important message.



edit on 25-4-2012 by AlchemicalBinoculars because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2012 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by Xcalibur254
 



Once belief comes into play discussion gets shut down and it just becomes an argument between believers and non-believers. I'm also not saying this should become and academic or scientific site. In fact what I'd like to see are more threads presented that simply can't be explained by science in any way.

Well, again, I think you're hitting a jackpot with your point. My graphics design instructor has a saying about brainstorming design ideas. No idea is stupid and no idea ought to be ignored. Not because every idea IS worth keeping...but because even the worst concept or idea could LEAD to or develop INTO something far better. I've personally entertained and posted in a supportive way to a few theories I've thought were insane...but heck, there might have been more to it or the OP may have had more to say as the thread developed..so why attack on sight? (Of course..a couple of those I ended up criticizing anyway, but after a fair shot to prove it wasn't just absurd)

SO many do attack without even reading the entire OP though...as you note. It's getting to where I sure as heck won't start a thread with something purely speculative and fuzzy for facts. It'll be torn to ribbons in minutes and become a combat thread..rather than the whimsical journey into the absurd, looking for the nuggets of fact that it might have been even a few months ago.


Those little journeys into the absurd, hunting for truth could be downright fun at times..I miss those threads. I really do.





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