Debunking Myths on Conspiracy Theories Article written by Gatecreepers.

Credit goes to simuvac for finding this.

> EXCLUSIVE: Debunking Myths on Conspiracy Theories [Infowarrior Resource Part 1]

"The purpose of this article is to redress a number of general myths concerning so-called 'conspiracy theories', repeated by media organisations and other self-proclaimed guardians of the orthodoxy, as well as people who have been erroneously convinced that conspiracy theories are intellectual aberrations rather the acknowledgment of a common historical and social phenomenon."

Debunking Myths on Conspiracy Theories

Article written by Gatecreepers.

The purpose of this article is to redress a number of general myths concerning so-called 'conspiracy theories', repeated by media organisations and other self-proclaimed guardians of the orthodoxy, as well as people who have been erroneously convinced that conspiracy theories are intellectual aberrations rather than the acknowledgment of a common historical and social phenomenon.

This document does not claim that every event is the product of a conspiracy. It remains true, however, that conspiracies are far more common than admitted by the establishment. Whether conspiracy or coincidence was involved, we believe that the matter should be arbitrated by evidence rather than falsehoods on the alleged motives or state of minds of alternative researchers.

For the purposes of this guide, a conspiracy theory may be defined as:

* A theory detailing the involvement of two or more people who have secretly or otherwise conspired to commit an act that is against the public interest, and furthermore who may have conspired to cover up these acts in concert with the media and other authorities.

Conspiracy theories should not be confused with other schools of alternate reality. Such claims may include:

* Supernatural claims. Elite groups may believe and act upon them, but those beliefs alone do not pertain to conspiracy as discussed in this document.
* Mythological or religious claims. A theory that an occult group engages in subversion according to its religious beliefs may be considered a conspiracy theory, but interpretations of religion and scriptures are not covered by this manual.
* Claims pertaining to alternative science. The act itself of covering up scientific discoveries is a conspiracy, but the legitimacy of the scientific claims are to be determined by researchers with the proper qualifications.
* Existential claims. Claims pertaining to the alleged existence of hidden or unobservable phenomena or beings (such as aliens) are not in and of themselves conspiracy theories. Inexperienced proponents of such claims however may attempt to justify their lack of evidence with a conspiracy theory, usually that the evidence is covered up by the government or the entity alleged to exist (in most cases, however, this is a straw man). This secondary claim must be addressed apart from the primary claim with at least evidence that the alleged conspirators believe in the existence of the alleged phenomena, and that they have made attempts to cover it up.

If the entity is alleged to be a participating actor in a conspiracy, then its existence must be proven and the entire claim must be treated as a conspiracy theory.

Conspiracy myths may be divided into the following categories:

* Claims that discredit proponents of conspiracy theories as legitimate researchers

Ad Hominem attacks are often leveled at conspiracy theorists to label them as paranoid, delusional, extremist, hyperbolic or mentally incompetent. In the case of academics, attempts will be made to undermine their credibility by labeling them as incompetent, unprofessional, or lacking objectivity, or by publicising issues of their lives or beliefs that are unrelated to the theories they propose.

* Claims that associate conspiracy theories with group behaviour or psychological pathology

This category is a subset of the first category, but it gets special mention because a large amount of anti-conspiracy propaganda aims at using scientific-sounding theories to equate it with paranoia, frivolous fantasies or security blankets.

Claims of this nature are usually made by purported experts from various academic fields. Like the specifically listed claims such as #1, #5, #9, #13, #20, #21 and #22, other claims trying to pin conspiracy theories on group behaviour and psychological disorders are groundless and pseudo-scientific.

In extreme cases of demonisation, there may be attempts to conflate belief in conspiracies with paranoid delusion. As pointed out in Myth #16, pathologising anti-establishment researchers has been done in many authoritarian regimes such as current Communist China and the historical Soviet Union, with various labels ranging respectively from 'political maniac' to 'sluggishly progressing schizophrenic'.

There may also be attempts to pin belief in conspiracies on sociological reasons, such as alleged needs to 'make sense of a traumatic event' and similarly formulated 'theories'. Those claims are usually found in articles which, despite being written by experts in their own field, rarely cite or point to academic research, are filled with political bias and aim at discrediting a specific conspiracy that started to gain prominence. Articles of this nature are formulaic and often start with statements alleging that conspiracy theories are popular amongst average people and have accompanied most major events (Claim #29).

* Claims made by academic scholars that delegitimise the role of conspiracies played in society and history

Many scholars reject conspiracy theories in favour of the so-called 'institutional' perspective, which ascribes events to the dynamics of institutions rather than organised groups. We do not believe that conspiracies and institutions are mutually exclusive; they often work together. Certain institutions that are taken for granted originated from conspiracies; likewise, institutional factors may explain what motivates people and groups to conspire.

We believe that the conspiratorial point of view has its merits because not all activities operate within recognised institutions. Hidden, extra-institutional groups can exert major influence in ways that are overlooked by institutionalists.

Possible reasons why conspiracy theories are frequent targets of ridicule may include:

* Institutionalised intellectual elitism. Mainstream media personalities and academics may feel that their authority and experience are challenged by what they perceive to be 'amateur' research, while seeing themselves in the role of gatekeepers who filter the information to protect the public from what they view as 'unsuitable' information.
* Deliberate propaganda campaigns aimed at protecting established truths. An example of such a practice has been documented by a declassified document admitting attempts by the CIA to use academics and the media to discredit alternative theories on the assassination of JFK. The document reveals that many of the myths still widespread today and debunked in this document originated from the CIA (see Countering Criticism of the Warren Report). Other documents reveal CIA infiltration of American and foreign media as well as academia (see How to co-opt academia and Operation Mockingbird).
* The presence of unfounded and over the top conspiracy theories which undermine the credibility of more rational theories. It is speculated that many of those theories were deliberately spread in order to divide or ridicule research communities as well as confuse or turn away people who come across the alternative versions of the official story.
* Perception of conspiracy theories as being part of a cultural phenomenon or fad rather than a serious investigation of the motives and actions of the ruling elite. Such perceptions are reinforced by stereotypical portrayals in movies and sitcoms, such as 1997 movie Conspiracy Theorist and Dale Gribble in King of the Hill. This stereotypical view of conspiracy theorists, however, appears to be limited to American culture; in fact the expression 'conspiracy theorist' itself appears to be an invention of the American media. Most equivalent terms in other languages are directly translated, sometimes awkwardly (such as in French "partisan de la théorie du complot"), and are not used to label other people to the extent that they in the United States. It is also mainly in American language that one finds expressions such as "tin-foil hat". It is thought that those cultural caricatures originate from the controversies around the JFK assassinations, possibly with initial or on-going prompting from the CIA (see point #2).

The following is a collection of general statements purporting to dismiss conspiracy theories heard in various places from mainstream media articles to discussion forums. A separate document with sources and examples will be provided in the future.

* Myth #1: Conspiracy theories offer a simplistic view of how the world is run.
* Myth #2: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof
* Myth #3: Conspiracy theories violate Occam's Razor
* Myth #4: Conspiracy theorists believe in UFOs / Aliens / Apollo Moon / Holocaust denial
* Myth #5: Government conspiracy theories provide false relief from fear of real social problems
* Myth #6: Conspiracy theories violate Popper's rule of falsifiability
* Myth #7: Governments are unable to cover up their conspiracies
* Myth #8: Conspiracies would be quickly exposed by the media
* Myth #9: Conspiracy theories are attractive for their entertainment value
* Myth #10: Conspiracy theorists repeat their claims no matter how much they are debunked
* Myth #11: Conspiracy theories undermine confidence in the democratic system
* Myth #12: Conspiracy theories are based on faith
* Myth #13: Conspiracy theorists are paranoid and engage in fearmongering
* Myth #14: Conspiracy theorists are anti-semitic
* Myth #15: Conspiracy theorists give themselves a false academic façade to tell half-truths
* Myth #16: Conspiracy theorists are crazy / nutty / kooky / cranky
* Myth #17: Conspiracy theories assume the involvement of a large number of people
* Myth #18: Conspiracy whistleblowers would be dead if their claims were true.
* Myth #19: Conspiracy theories blame evil actors whilst failing to address root causes
* Myth #20: Conspiracy theories give a sense of exclusive knowledge
* Myth #21: Conspiracy theorists feel powerless and blame the establishment for their failures
* Myth #22: Conspiracy theories are reassuring because they give a sense of order
* Myth #23: Conspiracy theorists accuse people who disagree with them of being part of the cover-up
* Myth #24: The world is chaotic rather than conspiratorial
* Myth #25: Conspiracy theorists believe that all aspects of every official story have to be consistent
* Myth #26: Conspiracy theory is an 'industry'
* Myth #27: Conspiracy theorists dismiss evidence against their arguments as being part of the conspiracy
* Myth #28: There have been conspiracy theories about every major historical event
* Myth #29: Conspiracy theories are convenient to their proponents because they are impossible to prove
* Myth #30: Conspiracy theories gain acceptance because they make sense out of traumatic events by designating scapegoats
* Myth #31: People look into conspiracy theories because they bring relief to uncertainty of traumatic events by filling the void
* Myth #32: Conspiracy theorists select evidence and fix it according to predetermined conclusions
* Myth #33: Conspiracy theorists are political extremists
* Myth #34: Conspiracy theorists only look at evidence that confirms their theories
* Myth #35: Conspiracy theories can cause insurrections
* Myth #36: Conspiracism results in an excessively diverse set of different narratives based on different assumptions
* Myth #37: Believing in conspiracy theories makes people become paranoid
* Myth #38: Conspirators would be overcome with guilt and confess
* Myth #39: Conspiracy theories can only be proven through official acceptance
* Myth #40: Conspiracy theories are a waste of time
* Myth #41: Conspiracy theories ascribe too often on malice what should be blamed on incompetence
* Myth #42: Conspiracy theories appeal because they validate personal biases
* Myth #43: People believe in conspiracies because they don't know how things work
* Myth #44: People believe in conspiracies because they make them feel empowered
* Myth #45: Conspiracy theories appeal to common sense
* Myth #46: Conspiracy theories assume that big events cannot result from small causes
* Myth #47: Conspiracy theories are based on accumulation of circumstantial evidence rather than a chain of evidence
* Myth #48: Conspiracy theorists over-interpret evidence and documents
* Credits and Thanks

Myth #1: Conspiracy theories show a simplistic view of how the world is run....
A whole lot more here:

It is probably important to

It is probably important to understand that the range of conspiracy theorizing is about as broad as the range of human intellect. Both we and the "debunker" types should acknowledge this. Ultimately this acknowledgment is good for accuracy, because it should lead to investigating the validity of the theory rather than its superficial label.

Example: a friend of mine is a high level microbiologist, whose research centers around creating medicines. She is not from the USA, and is ethical to the point that it gets her into trouble. She has said, "I want to find cures, but they want to fund me to find treatments." There exist in the medical world conspiracies, for financial reasons, to fund for treatments rather than cures. How universal this is is up to question, and how many disparate as opposed to intertwined cases there are, is also up to question. To call this "a single, big, conspiracy" would be a great oversimplification, but there does seem to be a trend that comports with what my friend said. And she is not the only person of whom I am aware who has stated this. The brother-in-law of another friend also makes medicine, and has admitted that he seeks, for financial reasons, to find treatments rather than cures. Whether or not this is defined as "conspiracy," the fact exists and is important because it affects many, many lives. There is nothing "crazy" about this accusation.

Second example: a woman who used to volunteer at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington, here in Seattle, went from well-functioning to clinically delusional over a period of several months while studying UFOs. I am not criticizing the study of "UFOs" or the search for extraterrestrial life in the broader sense. But this woman became a textbook example of the dreaded "conspiracy theorist." She believed that many notable, deceased scientists were channeling through her and that other, living scientists were keeping the secrets hidden from the rest of us. It was hard to decipher what secrets she was talking about because she was only semi-coherent and wholly paranoid. Once in her car, driving at night, she said, "Look,"and pointed up at the sparse stars in the Seattle summer sky, and claimed she could see spaceships flying.

Many of the Gatecreepers, and plenty of others, keep treating the huge spectrum as if all of it fits into the latter category. It's akin to certain forms of racism or anything where one case is taken to exemplify, unfairly, the entirety.

We already know this, but we wish to find a way to communicate this into the BRAINS and BEHAVIORS of the people who are oversimplifying, and we seek to do this because there is a lot at stake. Hopefully we can reach these people--the Gatecreepers--because they are among the ones one would have thought would be on our side. Maybe calling them Gatecreepers isn't a good start...;)...though the exasperation that has led to that moniker is readily understandable!

Thanks for the effort. We will--I hope--communicate into their brains the distinctions that really should have been there already.

Very interesting

Treatment rather than cure. It makes a lot of sense from a perspective of greed. Thanks for bringing me that rather eye-opening insight.

By the way: I suspect what is meant by "gatecreepers" is people who creep past the gate (and the gatekeepers), instead of "creeps who guard the gates".

Did those who pulled off 9/11 think it was the thing to do?

I would wager that the true perps on 9/11 believed that they were doing "good", relatively speaking, and that the collateral damage was a small price to pay for realizing their agenda. They no doubt recognized the way the world was headed with climate change, shifting power bases and what all. By instigating or capitalizing upon 9/11, they positioned themselves to "do something" to further what they perceived as the best interests of America. The issue, aside from the immediate crime, is whether what they did in the wake of 9/11 was harmonious with the best interests of the American people in the longer term. The answer, I believe, is was an action driven by the Plan for the New American Century which was imperialist by design and ultimately would harm, not enhance, America's position in the world. But, in the end and to this day, I would think they reassure themselves that they did "what was best" for their country, notwithstanding the consequences to so many innocent people.

The good ol' Machiavellians

What you say here is, at its root, horrible; and yet it's perhaps the best that can be said about these guys. Ultimately, who comprehends their psychology? Do they themselves? Somewhere, maybe in a PNAC paper, there's a name given for the Invasion-to-be of Iraq (for the GWB regime). It's: "Operation Iraqi Liberation". Hmmm...some cynical (several adjectival profanities) guys being cute? The acronym for that early version of the Iraqi Invasion-to-be is: O-I-L. Good God...No... Bad Satan. And if you're not religious, just take it as a personification: these guys are, at their BEST, Machiavellian; at their WORST, Satanic. Good for their country? Good for the future? I don't doubt that in some perverse manner some of them really subscribed to that, though likely they were being untrue to themselves even while thinking it. In short, don't trust someone who is untrustworthy.

One of the major battles of this world at present is the battle for honesty. Consider that to ask for honesty on a grand or large scale is laughable, or rather, it may be considered laughable, and only for those who gaze at the world through ultra-rose-colored lenses. And yet honesty, so far as it is humanly possible, is the answer, or a huge part of the answer. Accurate voting.... If people don't like something, they can vote it out. They may have to deal with it for a while, and there will be disagreement about what's desirable; but with honesty, things can be remedied.

The PNAC papers certainly mention "resources" as part of the reason for attacking nations in the Middle East. Are any of the members of the PNAC, or people in close orbit round the PNAC, connected with oil? Seems so.

None of this is intended as an attack at you, fact, thanks for bringing it up. But you are right that some of the neocons, and George W. Bush himself, have repeated their plea, as in part to their own consciences and karma, if karma is a real thing, as well as to the questioners, that "What we did, we did for the country." I find it intensely difficult to believe this to be wholly true. It comes across more as a weak justification for actions that were motivated largely by greed and self-aggrandizement of the neocons, as well as the greed of the persons (for it does come down to individuals, however many) in corporations and perhaps some in the US military.

The gist is, yes, they will argue it was done for the greater good. I don't buy it for a second. Besides, it's been said before by war criminals and despots and their cohorts through the ages.

Two-faced, forked-tongued...

They pose a real challenge to the English vocabulary, that's for sure. I could try spelling 'hypocrites' all in caps and put an ongoing string of exclamation points at the end, and it still wouldn't convey what we have here.

Let's try taking this to a yet deeper, sicker level. Consider:

There's doing evil.

Then there's doing evil while pretending to be innocent of, appalled by, and opposed to such evil (known as gross hypocrisy).

While the 9/11 perps (whether guilty of carrying out the attacks or covering up the truth or both) clearly fall into this second category, there's more. For besides that, they purposefully, deceitfully bear false witness in attributing what they know to be evil deeds to others--so that they can get away with carrying out still more evil.

True, they might have all the self-justifications they need for why it was necessary to have all those things that 9/11 made possible (moving the U.S. military into central Asia, raisng military spending, advancing the police state); yet to appreciate such an event as the trigger they needed required that they also appreciate, from the outset, just how evil it would be to actually carry out.

The Jacobins of the French Revolution openly described their methods as 'terror.' They would say, in self-justification, 'without terror, virtue is helpless.' A demented rationalization--but at the same time, open about what they were doing.

The perps of 9/11 did not, of course, invent false-flag events. But somehow, they seem like they may be the most hypocritical practitioners of it to date--seeking not only to shift responsibility for what they know to be evil deeds onto others, then taking advantage of them to carry out still more evil deeds at home and abroad; but at the same time, perhaps to an unprecedented degree in the history of false-flag events, trying to surround themselves in this glow of innoncence and purity and righteousness all the while.

Well noted, SnowCrash

Since they're hoping to set things right, your interpretation looks to be correct. My brain is a turtle and takes a while to get from point A to point B. This can lead to some curious mistakes about C. Fortunately, the turtle usually gets to B...after a few days or so.

Have to add that I like the neologism, "gate-chinker," that Joe coined in the comments section of your new blog entry. Nice to have humor amidst the seriousness that is inevitable with the subject of 9/11.

Myth #3: Conspiracy theories violate Occam's Razor

One of the best applications of Occam's Razor is to the Pentagon building. When one finds little or no aircraft related wreckage in front of the Pentagon on 9-11, the best explanation is that a large airliner did not crash into it, whatever else one may have happened there.

I can't even think about gatekeepers anymore.

Forget about the gates. Let's breach the wall.

If there was a sick band fighting for 9/11 Truth, would you have them in your town if they set up a show, and split the revenues with you? Ameros: Now doing 50/50 benefit and cross promotional shows with 9/11 Truth groups.


GC was posted here before

I am currently working on a French translation of the article.