1. Critical Thinker

    Critical Thinker Senior Member

    With the talk about how the Boston bombers may have become radicalized, I looked into the process of how that might occur and it bears a frightening resemblance to the methodology and tactics of the conspiracy promoters. What do you think?


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2013
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  2. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

  3. Drew

    Drew Active Member

    I cited it earlier, although I'm not sure I'm the first to bring it to the attention of the forum. Glad you found it relevant.

    And it's worthy to note that political rhetoric of al-Qaeda inspired groups and other militant Islamists often depends largely on some form of conspiracy theory — usually some mixture of old-school claims of global Zionist control or some variation involving a U.S.- or Western-led conspiracy to destroy Islam. Although the actors and emphases in the conspiracies differ slightly, they resemble theories about the NWO/Global Socialism/Illuminati/UN conspiring to destroy "traditional American values" like free enterprise and Christianity — a nefarious foreign elite is actively working to subvert what they hold dear.

    From Bartlett & Miller's Demos paper [29]:

    And here is why conspiracy theory can be so dangerous. Despite whatever irrational, poorly-reasoned, misinformed, or just wrong beliefs it is founded on, a conspiracy theory can lead certain groups to the point where they feel so backed-up against a wall that political violence can become the only rational response to a huge and pervasive threat. It doesn't matter that the threat is misperceived; once it is believed in, it's as though it would be immoral not to take action against it.
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  4. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    Exactly. Last night's Global Skywatch conference call consisted of a woman from San Francisco exhorting the faithful into acton for a planned protest tomorrow at City Hall. More than four times she repeated with certainty, "We won't let this just keep going on!"

    She may have no idea at this point, but ten years down the road she will be seeing exactly the same contrails which have been seen for decades already, maybe even more. What will she do then?
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  5. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    You knew what she would be doing ten years ago and can extrapolate like the rest of us.

    She will have a story, and will rationalize that her pressure has had some effect, and have moved seamlessly on with her war on people no more guilty or less innocent than herself. A comic heroine. [...]

    These demoes should all be HD video recorded and selected for humorous content. It's a gold-mine. Ninety minutes should be about right, for world distribution. Money to go to low-cost satellite receivers for land resource use in remote areas.

    Turn crap into food...
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  6. JRBids

    JRBids Senior Member

    That is true. I already see people posting that they see fewer trails, therefore they're complaints must be having some effect on "them". They know we are on to them.

    I saw this posted on either CGS or CK yesterday. It certainly fits the points in post #1

    Paraphrase: "Don't forget your gun. Don't use it unless they use it first. Of course they'll never start anything because there will be so many of us they'll never win."

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  7. Critical Thinker

    Critical Thinker Senior Member

    I looked up the Facebook page of one of the shooters, Jarad Miller^. I was not surprised to see that he buys into the chemtrail [stuff] and is a fan of Alex Jones (also is a fan of Ron Paul and the Koch brothers PAC The Heritage Foundation, and is a Libertarian).

    https://www.facebook.com/jerad.miller.1/likes_other (http://archive.today/xcKlg)


    Alleged Las Vegas Cop-Killers in ‘Patriot’ Movement, Warned of ‘Sacrifices’^

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  8. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    A lot of those symptoms are just general infection symptoms (which is what a lot of the flu is). I might have picked up one of those TV medical misconceptions, but doesn't having a weakened immune system actually reduce or prevent that type of symptom?
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  9. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    Jay I can't help but think this is a one sided view that all CT's are based on irrational, poorly reasoned, misinformed, or just wrong beliefs. Not all CT's originate from the same place, person, or emotions. Some come from desperation, and more often than because there is a certain level of distrust towards the establishment or a powerful group or entity.
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  10. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    saw this article the other day. its long and I don't know which parts to quote. Newsweek: basically the effect of conspiracy theories.http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/23/plots-destroy-america-251123.html?piano_d=1

    Jason desperation and distrust in the establishment, I believe, is what inspires radicalism. no? So anything (ie CTs) that FEED this desperation and distrust, would be bad.
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  11. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    Yes and No. I don't think radicalism and conspiracy believers are all cut from the same cloth. Radicalism began in the 17th century, or there abouts, when tensions grew between the American Colonist and the British. By its very definition radicalism is synonomous with extremism, far right or far left. The word stems from anger and discontent rather than how Jay interpretted it; "Despite whatever irrational, poorly-reasoned, misinformed, or just wrong beliefs it is founded on, a conspiracy theory can lead certain groups to the point where they feel so backed-up against a wall that political violence can become the only rational response to a huge and pervasive threat".
    The point I was trying to make is radicalism can lead to riots, tensions between a political parties and an extremist group. We see this happening all over in the middle east. But conspiracy theory believers are hardly up in arms trying to rebel against their government or throw them out of power. Conspiracy believers are from all walks of life, and found their way into a CT for most of the reasons Jay outlined above, but not all of them. Just because you distrust your government, a person, or group doesn't mean your a radical or a conspirator. Hell, most on this forum don't trust their governments. Most people who believe are not like Alex Jones or other big names CTers, and sure they have followers, some might even stand out side a bilderberg meeting every year in protest, but that hardly means they are radicals. Aren't people entitled to their beliefs right or wrong without have to be labeled one word or another simply because their beliefs differ from the norm or whats right. So for me, and I could be wrong Dee, CTers aren't radicalizing people against our government. We have the freedom of to speak up, and from the experiences I've had over the years, it seems the biggest message most of them put out there besides their interpretation of the events is to not trust your government and to question everything.
    On one hand I can see how that might come off as radicalizing, but don't we all question our government and have some mistrust towards them. So does that mean we're being radicalized by the avenues that made us mistrust our government or want to question them? I don't think so. We can't use a broad stroke to paint all of them under the same swath, its not fair.

    And honestly doesn't the focus of radicalizing sound eerily similar to religion, or how the US became the US, or even Hitler and the Nazis.

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
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  12. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    agreed. I don't think people are painting ALL CTs with the same brush stroke. But for those 'prone' to becoming radicalized, CTs don't help.
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  13. Critical Thinker

    Critical Thinker Senior Member


    This is an interesting bit of research into the role that conspiracy theories play in radicalized groups. It is a lengthy paper, so I am only including this one excerpt.

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  14. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    I also agree. A lot of CTs that I have debated and had discourse with are simply misinformed, yet concerned citizens.
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  15. Jay Reynolds

    Jay Reynolds Senior Member

    I agree too, but in this forum there is a 36+ page thread in which many misinformed and concerned citizens whose lives appear otherwise ordinary have demonstrated radicalization far enough to call for violence. The radicalization process seems easier when placed in a particular context which to me seems to follow the processes outlined in some of the documents presented in this thread. Therefore I also agree that for some people and in particular cases radicalization has been shown to occur in tandem with a CT worldview.
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  16. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    I know, but they are the minority wouldn't you agree?

    Also, whilst every threat of violence should be taken seriously, how many people have actually done anything?
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  17. E**

    E** Member

    Of course if any of them do commit violence against the government then it's an obvious false flag by the government to make them look bad.

    The "best" part of these movements is that they incite (or very heavily imply) people towards violence and then when the government puts them on a watch list they use this as a proof that the government is persecuting its own people.
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  18. occams rusty scissor

    occams rusty scissor Active Member

    Many of those "threats" made are more like people venting their fantasies IMO, much the same as any other misguided group of "concerned citizens" who get vocal and emotional about an issue and talk about what they'd like to do. And a lot of it is never going to be acted upon, like publicly trying to obtain a rocket launcher. It usually manifests itself at much lower levels, like shining lasers into cockpits and such, which I understand is still dangerous but less so than shooting at planes.
    It's something worth monitoring, because there's always that one or two easily led disgruntled followers, but as has been mentioned there's not really been any attempts to carry anything out.
    I see it more as chest beating than actual threats or radicalization.
  19. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    regardless, it only takes one. being egged on by their peers, to snap. Then real live people and children die.
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  20. Libertarian

    Libertarian Active Member Banned

    By far the most common and dangerous conspiracy theory is actually the notion that opened this thread. The irrational and unfounded belief that innocent people with a 1st amendment right to think what they want to are somehow radical and "against government" simply results in the police and various swat teams themselves becoming radicalized and militarized, makes them distrustful and jumpy, with the result that they kill more innocent people.

    It is government itself with the track record of repeated violence against innocents.

    Typically "extremists" rise in reaction to violence by government. Not in aim of it.

    This thread is baseless and all of the speculation groundless. Grab some statistics and look at this like a sociologist would and you will see that there is no statistically significant justification for the claim that anyone is "radicalizing people against the government"... except perhaps the government itself.

    With respect to the last point. Let's do a thought experiment:

    Premise: CT is against corruption.
    Premise: government is corrupt
    Conclusion: CT is against government.

    IFF government is corrupt, CT is against government. Government is corrupt. Therefore CT is against government.

    There may be many conspiracies backing the first premise. But the 1st amendment beliefs underlying 1 are less important than the 2nd premise by a long shot.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  21. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    I'm puzzled that you would disparage people for asking if this might be happening,
    complain that they should stick to "statistics and look at this like a sociologist would"
    and then just make up stuff like "Typically 'extremists' rise in reaction to violence by government." o_O

    The thread begins with the Boston bombers. As Tsarnaev's trial unfolds we are sure to learn a lot more about
    how this family's CT beliefs (reported holocaust denial, etc.) did or did not inspire their killing of innocents.
    To try to pre-emptively dismiss the question looks like defensiveness...even bordering on trying
    to excuse anti-government violence.

    The bottom line is that the internet--for all its awesomeness--has also had some unintended downsides.
    For instance, clueless or dishonest people can post CT videos on YouTube, gullible people believe them
    (fine so far...classic 1st Amendment stuff) but then the channel owners will aggressively censor
    (they only believe in free speech for themselves) any sober voice that reveals how dopey that CT theory is...
    so only clueless comments are acceptable, and the dumb get dumber. And some young people
    --who don't realize that sensible objections are systematically deleted--are impressed by what looks like universal support for the wacky CT.

    I hugely wish we already had the reams of data that sociologists would use to answer this question...
    but it's hard to quantify, and we're in a new age...
    But I can't agree with objecting to rational discussion about it...
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  22. jonnyH

    jonnyH Active Member

    Hey Kettle, Pot called to say that you are looking a bit sooty.

    If you think folks should be providing stats, and you are so sure what they will indicate why not do the search yourself and post your findings here rather than simply firing off your opinion that the chicken preceded the egg.
  23. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    well when your child and wife gets his/her face blown off or his/her legs blown off by some schmuck who's angry at the government, maybe you can put aside your paranoid ego for two minutes and focus on what people are specifically saying in their posts. IF you bothered reading my posts, you obviously didn't listen to what i said.

    "Mob mentality" is well documented. "Fear being contagious" is a well known phenomenon. Your 'statistics' are irrelevant to this topic of conversation.

    edit: add: and by the way, arent you the man who blatantly IGNORES statistics and tells parents not to vaccinate their kids? give me a break.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  24. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    Here is an odd twist:

    Jihadi-John, the British chap that has made himself famous for beheading people on camera for IS has been named and is known to be Mohammed Emwazi from West London and a graduate of computer science from the University of Westminster - He is no dumbass is my point here.

    The short version is that he was upset about "the West's" war against Islam as he saw it and went 'on safari' in Tanzania but were detained by the Police there. He then flew home via Amsterdam and is allegedly questioned by MI5 there and in London. He then went to his Kuwait - his country of birth - for a while and on a visit back to London he was prevented from returning to Kuwait as his visa was denied... It is then claimed that MI5 continued to try to recruit him.

    So what? - You might be asking yourselves... Well, Cage, a UK group that advocates against security surveillance and prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are claiming he was radicalised by the constant recruitment efforts of MI5.

    So in a reverse-thrust of this thread, here are some people that go on to become murders and (even though I hate the word) 'terrorists', and blame the government for them becoming murderers by their efforts to stop them becoming murderers.... The government is radicalising them against the people, is their argument...

    Like I said, odd world we live in now....
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  25. scombrid

    scombrid Senior Member

    I don't see any content in the opening post that justifies your assertion here that there is a notion that people are radical just because they oppose the government.

    Threats and acts of violence is what makes someone "radical" and the notion that opened this thread asks if promotion of conspiracy theories encourages such behavior.

    I can do without them blowing me up at the finish line of a race or on an airplane if their target is the government.

    Except when the CT is not true and the thing that the government is supposedly doing is a fantasy like chemtrails.
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  26. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    I think a good parallel can be drawn here with fundamentalist Christian terrorism of the type that aimed against abortionist and abortion clinics. (mainly in the US, although there have been a few attacks in Canada, Australia and new Zealand.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence#United_States

    Although one of the most notorious killers of abortionists was a preacher, Rev Paul Hall, most of the others are lay members of, or had links to churches where the clergy were of the hell fire fundamentalist ilk. Now I'm not for a minute suggesting every christian is going out to blow up clinics, far from it considering the comparative rarity of attacks and the percentage of church going in the US (far higher than here in the UK). But it does show that where people are of a certain mindset, the preaching and teaching of those they see as mentors, wise, or in some way enlightened can trigger them into violent and even murderous action.
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  27. jonnyH

    jonnyH Active Member

    In both cases the individuals concerned had made attempts to join extremist groups prior to any contact with security services. It therefore seems unlikely that harassment by MI5 was the main factor in their "radicalisation" though it might have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
  28. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    I think it is highly unlikely, but it is a very convenient explanation for the supporters of this view...

    A bit like those that say shoot down chemtrail planes as he government is out to get us, and when they get questioned:"You see? There ARE out to get us!"

    In any event, how much harassment from unarmed people in suits can turn you into beheader-in-chief?
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  29. occams rusty scissor

    occams rusty scissor Active Member

    Yes, I totally agree with that, and my post probably seemed more flippant than I'd wanted. I was trying to draw a distinction between what seems like people venting openly and chest thumping vs a system of radicalisation such as what we see with the likes of ISIS and their cronies - they're chalk and cheese.
    Bear in mind we are referring to the internet in General which also encompasses the rest of the world, thus 1st amendment doesn't really mean much to those of is outside the US. Sure people can think what they want. But when it's proven that what they think is a big misunderstanding I.e. Chemtrails, and then those same people start calling for violent acts to occur against the government based solely on a misguided notion, that they are going to be well deserving of the negative attention that they receive from the government.
    Again, doesn't this depend on context? If the conspiracy theory turns out to be absurd and baseless then really there is no corruption to be fighting against. So whoever engages in acts against government on this premise can only be seen as radical and irrational.
  30. occams rusty scissor

    occams rusty scissor Active Member

    It is kind of a weak justification. Exactly what was the nature of the "harassment" I wonder? And I think it'd be odd and somewhat neglectful if an intel mob weren't "harassing" a potential terrorist recruit.
  31. Libertarian

    Libertarian Active Member Banned

    My family is much more likely to be killed by the police than by some schmuck who's angry at the government. They are also more likely to die from bee stings or interaction with deer.

    Of course statistics are relevant to the topic of conversation. I wonder how many "radicalize" simply in response to the notion that somehow they are "against government". How many radicalized in direct response to government violence?

    My choice to not vaccinate is in response to good science worldwide. Japan has a good record of not covering up rates of side effects like the CDC was caught doing with MMR data. A study of their reported side effects makes me favour single vaccines spaced out. Simple safe ways to avoid harmful side effects and adverse reactions are not available in Canada's medical tyranny. Only one prescription of cheap adjuvant filled garbage is available. I have no right to buy expensive clean vaccines like what the German government gave to Merkel. Only sole sourced crap. My radical position re: vaccination was a direct response to bad government.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
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  32. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    So is it your love of statistics that makes you so reluctant to share those that you say would support your assertions?

    p.s. And even if I were more likely to die due to cancer than by drunk driver,
    does that mean that I should make excuses for drunk drivers?
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
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  33. Libertarian

    Libertarian Active Member Banned

    I thought it was common knowledge that so-called extremists actually killing anybody is INCREDIBLY RARE.

    In the decade from September 11, 2001 onwards, 238 American citizens were killed in terrorist attacks. In the same period, 293 American citizens were killed by their own furniture. Once you strip out military deaths, the number of civilians killed by terrorists is about 16 per year, as outlined in this 2011 report by the National Counter Terrorism Centre. Here are some highlights from the report:
    In contrast, 500 innocent Americans are murdered by police every year (USDOJ). 5,000 since 9/11, equal to the number of US soldiers lost in Iraq. This statistic and a few others are broken down very well in this short film entitled "RELEASE US".

    Here are some other highlights:
    • In 1994 the US Government passed a law authorizing the Pentagon to donate surplus Cold War era military equipment to local police departments.
    • In the 20 years since, weaponry designed for use on a foreign battlefield, has been handed over for use on American streets…against American citizens.
    • The “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror” replaced the Cold War with billions in funding and dozens of laws geared towards this new “war” against its own citizens.
    • This militarization of the police force has created what is being called an “epidemic of police brutality” sweeping the nation.
    I'll take a look for the "bee sting" and "deer" data. But yes, far more people die from interactions with bees and deer than with terrorists as well. And yet, our ridiculous government keeps investing in a police state. The government is doing the radicalizing folks. Not purveyors of conspiracy theory.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  34. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The issue is not if conspiracy theories radicalizing people into terrorists is an acceptable risk.

    The issues is if it happens at all, and if so, how much.
  35. Libertarian

    Libertarian Active Member Banned

    You would need a lot of good social science to determine this. But anecdotally the answer is "no, it doesn't happen at all". The popularity of various conspiracy theory outlets has increased dramatically in the past decade. But the rate of terrorist attacks has not.

    [off topic material removed]
  36. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Stay on topic please.
  37. jonnyH

    jonnyH Active Member

    Did you copy and paste that last bit from here?
    Thats just an estimate, probably based on the 2003-2009 figures for arrest related homicides by law enforcement which at 2931 over the 6 year period does come down to about 500 a year. The trouble is that you can't just extrapolate those figures over a longer period without consideration of any long term trends and changes in reporting nor can you characterise them all as innocent victims, homicide is not equal to murder.

    ...and "(USDOJ)" is not an adequate reference when links to source data is available.
  38. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    I have no inside information, but I imagine it would have been various inducements of money, appeals to his sense of humanity, even offers of employment. I certainly don't think MI5 would have been silly enough to hurt or threaten to hurt him while they have several lawsuits of that nature on the go already.
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  39. occams rusty scissor

    occams rusty scissor Active Member

    Yeah my thoughts too - Im fairly certain that they know what they're doing. Pointing the finger at MI5 as a source of radicalisation is a bit much. A potentially good CT there, though...
  40. Critical Thinker

    Critical Thinker Senior Member

    An interesting article from Salon.com titled "Dozens of threats to execute grade-school kids”: Madness of a 9/11 truther" . I have included a few excerpts below, but I encourage you to read the full article.

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