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'Conspiracy Theories' and the view of the US government

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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:12 AM
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Ever wonder what looking into conspiracy theories may lead to, well here we go-

The article below is written by Cass Sunstein-

en.wikipedia.org...

Yes, he is Jewish, but I'm going to ignore this ever common trend regarding influential people in US government to focus on his position and who he is.

He is currently the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. I highly recommend reading this article because it is a great insight into what is a very strong voice of persuasion to the government. They don't want people to think and ask questions- and the way for TPTB to do that is to make the government fearful of it's own people.

That way, we slowly lose our right to think for ourselves and ask questions, what passes as 'national security' is simply an attempt to keep control as the internet has afforded people to do their own homework and 'wake up'.

The basic summary of the article is that 'conspiracy therorists' are dangerous and ways to deal with the problem is to use agencies on website forums and chatrooms to class conspiracy theorists as 'extemists', there is even talk of the government outright banning talk of 'conspiracy' or taxing it!

Here's the article in full, from 2008-

www.scribd.com...




Many millions of people hold conspiracy theories; they believe that powerful people have worked together in order to withhold the truth about some important practice or some terrible event. A recent example is the belief, widespread in some partsof the world, that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks,including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law




What causes such theories to arise and spread? Are they important and perhaps even threatening, or merely trivial and even amusing? What can and should governmentdo about them? We aim here to sketch some psychological and social mechanisms thatproduce, sustain, and spread these theories; to show that some of them are quite importantand should be taken seriously; and to offer suggestions for governmental responses, bothas a matter of policy and as a matter of law.


Serious stuff really because the government is increasingly aware that through the internet, people are able to see many truths and they can't afford that to be the case if their system is to keep a loyal population.



Consider, for example, the view that the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; that doctors deliberately manufactured the AIDS virus; that the 1996 crash of TWA flight 800 was caused by aU.S. military missile; that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud; that theTrilateral Commission is responsible for important movements of the international economy; that Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed by federal agents; that the plane crashthat killed Democrat Paul Wellstone was engineeredby Republican politicians; that the moon landing was staged and never actually occurred






Within the set of false conspiracy theories, we also limit our focus to potentially harmful theories. Not all false conspiracy theories are harmful; consider the false conspiracy theory, held by many of the younger members of our society, that a secretgroup of elves, working in a remote location under the leadership of the mysterious“Santa Claus,” make and distribute presents on Christmas Eve. This theory is false, but isitself instilled through a widespread conspiracy of the powerful – parents – who conceal their role in the whole affair. (Consider too the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.) It is an open question whether most conspiracy theories are equally benign; we will suggest that some are not benign at all.


Very clever tactic there, very blatant as well to any half intelligent person, but you can see where the overall idea is headed right there.



And indeed, there can be no doubt that some people who accept conspiracy theories are mentally ill and subject to delusions


Think I need to go see the doctor for some magic pills to make me better, what do you think?



Those who tend to think that Israel was responsible for the attacks of 9/11, and who speak with one another, will end up with a greater commitment to that belief. Group polarization occurs for reasons that parallel the mechanisms that produce cascades.

Informational influences play a large role. In any group with some initial inclination, the views of most people in the group will inevitably be skewed in the direction of that inclination.


Not looking good for the future of the internet.



What can government do about conspiracy theories? Among the things it can do,what should it do? We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1)Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracytheories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech.


I think 3 and 4 are already seen on this very forum, with people posting to discredit not just a theory, but the poster themselves. By attacking them personally, it makes people question whether they should trust the conspiracy theorist.

Also fits into the current attempt by the Government to legalise propaganda-

www.presstv.ir...

This amendment to the defense authorization bill is to combat the rise of conspiracy theories and the damage it could do to the government's image- it's designed to maintain the sheep population.

Key point here-



Consider the Oklahoma City bombing, whose perpetrators shared a complex of conspiratorial beliefs about the federal government. Many who shared their beliefs did not act on them, but a few actors did, with terrifying consequences. James Fearon and others argue that technological change has driven down the costs of delivering attacks with weapons of mass destruction, to the point where even a smallgroup can pose a significant threat.

If so, and if only a tiny fraction of believers act ontheir beliefs, then as the total population with conspiratorial beliefs grows, it becomesnearly inevitable that action will ensue.


This is where the NDAA makes sense, because everybody is now a potential threat. Basically, the government's view will be that anyone who believes a conspiracy theory could be a threat to national security. This is why they passed the NDAA and FEMA camps are popping up all over the country.

What this article demonstrates, given the author's current position in the Obama administration, is that our government is being heavily influenced by TPTB, controlled if you will- this article is propaganda, and our leaders are brought to believe something like the NDAA is needed for security because there are potentially millions of domestic terrorists. This level of influence is similar to US foreign policy which is controlled by the likes of PNAC and The Saban Center on middle east policy.

It is complete and utter infiltration and influence over the US Government.




posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:22 AM
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this has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them.
when an event occurs and is riddled in coverups and secrecy, people just want to make sense of it, its natural that conspiracy arises from its ashes. if the government and the alphabet agencies were more transparent then we wouldnt have conspiracies.

they have dug a hole for themselves, but that hole is so deep that they are stuck in it with no way of getting out.
all we have to do is shovel the dirt on top and bury them
edit on 6-6-2012 by jazzguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:26 AM
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Sunstein and Vermeule argue that the practice of enlisting non-government officials, "might ensure that credible independent experts offer the rebuttal, rather than government officials themselves. There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that government cannot be seen to control the independent experts." This position has been criticized by some commentators,[



I like this one....from your wiki link...

Democracy is a smoke screen....



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:28 AM
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reply to post by jazzguy
 


I absolutely agree with you...as my signature says.

Secrecy breeds distrust, and conspiracies are born. They have only themselves to blame. They are used to doing this for too long...the internet has put a monkey wrench in the program.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:33 AM
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Originally posted by jazzguy
this has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them.
when an event occurs and is riddled in coverups and secrecy, people just want to make sense of it, its natural that conspiracy arises from its ashes. if the government and the alphabet agencies were more transparent then we wouldnt have conspiracies.

they have dug a hole for themselves, but that hole is so deep that they are stuck in it with no way of getting out.
all we have to do is shovel the dirt on top and bury them
edit on 6-6-2012 by jazzguy because: (no reason given)


Well the article brings this up a few times.

It even at one point says the government could officially debunk a conspiracy, but then argues that would be futile as it would not convince the 'conspiracy nutters'. It even quotes the main guy behind the 9/11 commission report-



Philip Zelikow,the executive director of the 9/11 commission, says that “[t]he hardcore conspiracytheorists are totally committed. They’d have to repudiate much of their life identity inorder not to accept some of that stuff. That’s not our worry. Our worry is when thingsbecome infectious . . . . [t]hen this stuff can be deeply corrosivetopublic understanding.You can get where the bacteria can sicken the larger body.”

Likewise, when theNational Institute of Standards and Technology issued a fact sheet to disprove the theorythat the World Trade Center was brought down by a controlled demolition, thespokesman stated that “[w]e realize this fact sheet won’t convince those who hold to thealternative theories that our findings are sound. In fact, the fact sheet was never intendedfor them. It isf or the masses who have seen or heard the alternative theory claims andwant balance.”



But I completely disagree, if they could release footage of a plane hitting the pentagon for example, footage that clearly shows a plane hitting the building, then I would be forced to question my stance on 9/11.

BUT they will not release clear footage, which therefore makes people think that it is a conspiracy- ie, what are they hiding?



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:33 AM
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Yeah read this awhile go, good proof and validity that this sort of thing is going on.

Mr. Orwell, wish he was around to comment.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:45 AM
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This man is, in his own words, 'overseeing federal rule making', he is serving an agenda and is one of the hidden hand forces behind such things as the NDAA. His job is to convince politicians that it is in the interest of national security to see millions of Americans as potential terrorists, simply because they may ask questions about 9/11 for instance.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:56 AM
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reply to post by Wonderer2012
 


The thing that makes me believe some of the theories is that...it is actually logical for government to lie. It is logical in a world where money is a dominant overlord, to lie to your subjects, to deceive them, in order to further some private agenda. We know that private groups are sponsoring future presidents, that private groups have lobbies that influence law making. Those things are done for those that control the global markets. Not for you or me...but for the money. It is an oppression of the worst kind...hidden, masked as a dear friend and caretaker. They answer only to those that finance them.

Why on earth would anyone believe any government at face value...? Their motives are highly suspicious.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 06:19 AM
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Ah, we are the bacteria infecting the body politic.
Needing to be 'sanitized" for the good of society.
I seem to remember some guy in Germany saying the same thing about The Jews.
Guess we'll be in good company.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 10:44 AM
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Ok First off I want to start by saying I starred and Flagged you because this is a very well thought out and presented thread. Kudo's for that!


Now, after having read the entire Wikipedia, I'm going to inject some of my own thoughts if you don't mind, just to add or perhaps keep some balanced views on it.

I think you have unintentionally or intentionally (only you would know) cherry-picked all the bad information contained within it, and have glazed over the good (unfortunately being the big conspiracy theorists that I am myself I still have to concede to some truths about CTs as a whole).

I'm going to use external text to point out every element that I find as good followed by the elements that I find to be (regrettable) truths about us as a group.

The Good




Second Bill of Rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Among these rights are a

  1. right to an education
  2. a right to a home
  3. a right to health care
  4. a right to protection against monopolies



Also


Sunstein is a proponent of judicial minimalism, arguing that judges should focus primarily on deciding the case at hand, and avoid making sweeping changes to the law or decisions that have broad-reaching effects.


Also, where he wrote about taxation (and as we often argue here on ATS and elsewhere that we have so many liberties), unfortunately he makes quite a sobering point; one which should be well considered:

(I want to point out that with respect to this point I find it good only in that it should give us a bit of perspective)


In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live? Without taxes, there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without placing any burden whatsoever on the public… There is no liberty without dependency.


Here is some Bad



In this next excerp I find it almost criminal to make the claim he is making. I mean let's face it, the reason our entire republic was designed the way it was, was to ELIMINATE one man's power, not enhance it, but none the less I have to be open to what his interpretation of "Federal Law" encompasses:


The interpretation of federal law should be made not by judges but by the beliefs and commitments of the U.S. president and those around him, according to Sunstein. "There is no reason to believe that in the face of statutory ambiguity, the meaning of federal law should be settled by the inclinations and predispositions of federal judges. The outcome should instead depend on the commitments and beliefs of the President and those who operate under him," argued Sunstein.


In the following The biggest problem I have with it, is simply the same way I view a Nuclear weapon; simply because we CAN launch one should we ever launch one. Well, just because the President MAY have the authority, should he USE it? It becomes morally ambiguous at least to me.


In 2002, at the height of controversy over Bush's creation of military commissions without Congressional approval, Sunstein stepped forward to insist, "Under existing law, President George W. Bush has the legal authority to use military commissions" and that "President Bush's choice stands on firm legal ground." Sunstein scorned as "ludicrous" an argument from law professor George P. Fletcher, who believed that the Supreme Court would find Bush's military commissions without any legal basis.


And finally my (our) Concession



Recently I was having a difference of opinion in another thread here. Leaving names out except mine obviously, but Im going to quote what was said in there to prove in a way the point Sunstein was making:


I'm really not sure what to do about this problem, at this point. I've considered the idea of getting a few email addresses of like minded people via U2U, and setting up a private email list where we can talk. If atheism continues to take over society to the degree that it seems to be, it is going to become increasingly difficult for us to find refuge from them, I fear.


And from the Wiki:

His 2001 book, Republic.com, argued that the Internet may weaken democracy because it allows citizens to isolate themselves within groups that share their own views and experiences, and thus cut themselves off from any information that might challenge their beliefs, a phenomenon known as cyberbalkanization.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by alphabetaone
 


The 'good' thing he mentions is that we should 'celebrate tax day'?


I've pointed out later on he does have a point in that the internet allows people to surround themselves only in conspiracy theories, hence if someone is inclined to believe a conspiracy, they will be much stonger in their beliefs posting on a foum like this which caters for that. I can see that as a point, but he then goes on to say that it isn't in the interest of the government to officially debunk conspiracies and then quotes NIST who argued no matter how much evidence is posted, the 'kooks won't buy it', hence a waste of time. But that is just an excuse.

I'm sure there are many 9/11 truthers who would change their opinion if the government conducted a proper investigation or released evidence they do hold, such as video footage of the plane hitting the Pentagon.

Their excuse for not releasing the footage is that conspiracy theorists wouldn't change their mind (hence futile)when this in not true at all, I for one would be forced to requestion my opinion if they released the evidence.

The very reason there is a conspiracy regarding 9/11 is the fact that the official story is full of holes and unanswered questions, and he knows this full well.

This whole article is an excuse to demonise 'conspiracy theories' and prevent people from questioning the reality of the world around them, and the US government has taken his message on board, shills already post on this forum and stuff like the NDAA being passed are evidence of that. They are planning to make propaganda legal against Americans, that is a direct attempt to combat the growing number of people reading and believing conspiracy theories.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by Wonderer2012
reply to post by alphabetaone
 


The 'good' thing he mentions is that we should 'celebrate tax day'?



As unfortunate as it is, he does make some valid points about the reality of what those taxes are designed to fund. Whether or not they reach the desired destination I'm sure can be debated until we're blue in the face, but the premise should add some perspective.


Originally posted by Wonderer2012
I've pointed out later on he does have a point in that the internet allows people to surround themselves only in conspiracy theories, hence if someone is inclined to believe a conspiracy, they will be much stonger in their beliefs posting on a foum like this which caters for that. I can see that as a point, but he then goes on to say that it isn't in the interest of the government to officially debunk conspiracies and then quotes NIST who argued no matter how much evidence is posted, the 'kooks won't buy it', hence a waste of time. But that is just an excuse.


Yes, and like I've said I was simply cementing the fact that we do actually have to admit to ourselves that more often than not, we, as a whole, do go overboard and become a self-sustaining anxiety machine.


Originally posted by Wonderer2012
I'm sure there are many 9/11 truthers who would change their opinion if the government conducted a proper investigation or released evidence they do hold, such as video footage of the plane hitting the Pentagon.

Their excuse for not releasing the footage is that conspiracy theorists wouldn't change their mind (hence futile)when this in not true at all, I for one would be forced to requestion my opinion if they released the evidence.


I couldn't agree with this premise more. I think most of the world, if not Americans in general, certainly are intelligent enough to view footage that was presented as evidence and ingest it as well as analyze it properly and how it was intended.


Originally posted by Wonderer2012
This whole article is an excuse to demonise 'conspiracy theories'


Well let's be clear, it wasn't an article, it was a Wiki page. Wiki isn't editorials, but supposed to be fact driven information.


Originally posted by Wonderer2012
and prevent people from questioning the reality of the world around them,


I would say the man himself is responsible for wanting that. I do in fact, think that's precisely what he wants to do.


Originally posted by Wonderer2012
and the US government has taken his message on board, shills already post on this forum and stuff like the NDAA being passed are evidence of that. They are planning to make propaganda legal against Americans, that is a direct attempt to combat the growing number of people reading and believing conspiracy theories.



Well, that may or may not be true. But one thing I will tell you for sure is, (and as I have recently responded to within another thread on ATS), until ALL men have absolutely nothing left to lose, they wont give up the luxuries they hold now for a little bit of "liberty".



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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Personally, I did not want to accept that 9/11 was an inside job and most people I talk to about don't either. I do want to understand this world so I can contribute in the most meaningful way so the government has a delima. It can lobotomise everyone in which the media is doing a great job and I expect more intrusive ways being investigated and sometime employeed. But in doing so it is reducing the countries potential as many great minds are turned to mud. So what is the national intrests, a small factional power base maintaining the status quo or education and support to resolve some very difficult and systemic problems?

As for trying to link terrorism into this debate, we all have self determination which is a protected right under UN guidelines. As such, some people will contine to do stupid things while many do great things. If we are to lobotomised then all we will do is nothing. When looking at the numbers of how many are dying because of these protected secrets and how these state sponcered actions have been undermining rather than protecting democratic princibles, the terrorist threat proposed is like comparing an insect bite to an elephant stamped.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 06:55 AM
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Originally posted by kwakakev
Personally, I did not want to accept that 9/11 was an inside job and most people I talk to about don't either. I do want to understand this world so I can contribute in the most meaningful way so the government has a delima. It can lobotomise everyone in which the media is doing a great job and I expect more intrusive ways being investigated and sometime employeed. But in doing so it is reducing the countries potential as many great minds are turned to mud. So what is the national intrests, a small factional power base maintaining the status quo or education and support to resolve some very difficult and systemic problems?

As for trying to link terrorism into this debate, we all have self determination which is a protected right under UN guidelines. As such, some people will contine to do stupid things while many do great things. If we are to lobotomised then all we will do is nothing. When looking at the numbers of how many are dying because of these protected secrets and how these state sponcered actions have been undermining rather than protecting democratic princibles, the terrorist threat proposed is like comparing an insect bite to an elephant stamped.


That's an interesting post. It raises a lot of questions that are very hard to answer.

A lot depends on whether you accept conspiracy theories in the first place.

I don't think education is designed to 'lobotomise' people, I think George Carlin explained it very well in that they want us just smart enough to operate the machines and do our jobs, but not smart enough to ask questions.

To me, Western populations are viewed as consumer cattle by TPTB, we are constantly bombarbed with advertising etc, we are raised to be part of this system, and we all buy into it because of our education and media.

We also have lots of distractions (X factor, sports, porn, gambling etc) that stop us from asking the important questions. All the while as we buy into the system we make it possible- we fund the wars through taxes, we may not directly want the wars (although TPTB will try and convince us we do through propaganda and lies) but we don't get any say where our money is spent- namely going to war in foreign lands to benefit the elite.

What worries me about this article is the sheer level of deception and manipulation geared to our leaders and politicians. They've been bought out, but TPTB are constantly hard at work convincing the politicians conspiracy theorists are dangerous, that wars are needed, that Iran is a threat etc.

I genuinely believe a lot of politicians are sucked into this agenda and once they are in, there is no way out for them. I seriously think Obama is trying to resist them right now, and that is why he is starting to be undermined because he hasn't intervened in Syria yet, TPTB wanted this underway already IMO.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by Wonderer2012
 


Great point about being smart enough to use the machines but not smart enough to ask questions, I did go a bit over the top there. I can appreciate what you are saying about Obama, he has tried to improve the social conditions within the country but just getting wiped out with the special intrest lobbying. As for Syria I am leaning more towards the Russian Navy base as for what is holding the line. A big part of the problem is how money is used to resolve conflicts of intrest.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by kwakakev
reply to post by Wonderer2012
 


Great point about being smart enough to use the machines but not smart enough to ask questions, I did go a bit over the top there. I can appreciate what you are saying about Obama, he has tried to improve the social conditions within the country but just getting wiped out with the special intrest lobbying. As for Syria I am leaning more towards the Russian Navy base as for what is holding the line. A big part of the problem is how money is used to resolve conflicts of intrest.


Concerning Syria, the media is currently in overdrive pushing the case for intervention, and Obama is still pushing for a diplomatic solution.

I do agree with you, Russia is certainly preventing intervention right now, perhaps Obama sees the danger of intervention and the tension that will create between the big players.

Either he is delaying it with an agenda (perhaps for votes closer to the election) we can only speculate as to the reasons of what is.

One thing I am learning regarding TPTB is that they're not all united. There are factions and sides with their own interests, it's not just as simple as imagining one big group of 'Illuminati' working together, there are many agendas and side issues that make the whole thing one big giant mess to even begin to understand!



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by Wonderer2012
 




One thing I am learning regarding TPTB is that they're not all united. There are factions and sides with their own interests, it's not just as simple as imagining one big group of 'Illuminati' working together, there are many agendas and side issues that make the whole thing one big giant mess to even begin to understand!


This is very much to be expected counsidering just how long and deep the lies have been going, a state of utter confusion. It does get quite sad just how corrupting, time wasting, unproductive and harmful some of these diversions have become. On top of this we have a culture of twisted capatilistic ideals built on quicksand in a world that is just exploding in complexity and technology as the natural diversity is falling away. The can of worms has grown into a factory as people are trying to cover there ass in a never ending state of panic as the problems continue to grow bigger and harder.

On the positive side, the one thing that can unite and prevent a complete breakdown are the facts. The compounding stress of holding up and perpetuating lies cannot last. Many are aware and prepared to pick up the short falls as it comes time to remove the rott. Some will still slip through the net until it is there time. When it all starts to fell a bit much, take a depth breath and look for the common sense and reason.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by kwakakev
 


Nice post man


I just want to add finally here, when I was reading this article, part of me could see some of the POV's.

By surrounding ourselves in only the conspiracy POV, we are only ever going to believe that.

But reading up on Syria and how even the MSM in parts admits to the real agenda, I can't bring myself to deny evidence. What is happening is a 'conspiracy' by the West, it is a planned overthrow of the Assad regime and part of the agenda for the middle east.

The evidence is downright overwhelming to believe the official story.

Ultimately, that is what makes the POV of the article and our government's who are influenced by this Israeli lobby, very dangerous. They are going to try and stop the truth ever getting out, anything against the official story will be labelled 'conspiracy' and banned/undermined as being dangerous to the security of the country or some other BS.




edit on 7-6-2012 by Wonderer2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by Wonderer2012
 


That has very much been their game plan and with large stakes in economic management, government, media and military they do have a lot of capability. But they are starting to upset more and more people as there responsibility with such large and powerful forces is misguided. I know a lot of people just switch off when they hear the term 'conspiracy' as it is muddy and confusing to try and make any sense of it. It has taken me years of research to just get some idea of what is actually going on, something a lot of people do not have the time or inclination to do. But as those few that do do the homework make their findings known it is helping in guiding the way for others.

It is good to see that on these boards the zionist agenda and propaganda is getting quickly shot down as people are waking up. But as for getting to the critical public mass requied to meaningfully affect change it does take time. The internet is helping a lot and playing more of a role in politics as it continues to grow. When confronting a lot of the real cause for these troubles, it is dangerious as a few people do have a lot to lose and they will try anything for their self preservation and gain. Some of the deeper spiritual aspects also rasie a lot of warning flags with much still unknown, listen to your heart and reason is the best advice as compasion and understanding are a couple of things that fear does not like.
edit on 7-6-2012 by kwakakev because: spelling 'has'



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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Sorry to bring this thread up again but another point I wanted to make was that the article says that 'conspiracy theories' are wrong because it would involve too many people to keep a secret.

But there are hundreds of examples of whistleblowers, many end up dead.

- Gary Webb, deemed a suicide in 1996 despite there being TWO gunshot wounds to his head!

- Sibel Edmonds-



Video is a must see IMO.



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