1. Idrinkyourmilkshake

    Idrinkyourmilkshake New Member

    Hello. I have visited this site many times and would like to share my story of how I fell into and got out of the rabbit hole--Plato's Cave--and some other thoughts on CTs, skepticism, and debunking. In time I hope to bring value to this board and help debunk bad thinking and other distortions. I am going to make multiple post in this thread, many in fact. It may take a couple week to complete. My apologies if it is long winded. My hope is that my stories will be insightful.

    I once enthusiastically believed that JFK was murdered by a conspiracy involving members of the government, military, and defense contractors. I was young, 15 or 16 years old, when I was introduced to theories. It was the late 1980s, before the internet was a pixelated gleam in the international eye. I remember overhearing my mother say to her friends (my mother was in no way a CT fanatic, but the JFK CT meme was well established in the mainstream public) that she thought Kennedy was killed via a conspiracy. This really stoked my curiosity. First chance I got I made my way to our small town's library and checked out their only book on the subject.

    I do not remember the title nor the author. I do remember its writing style was accessible to the me, and it was structured like a noir detective novel. I remember feeling a kind of thrilling horror, not unlike that of a slasher film, and deep seductive intrigue while I read. As I read on, the 'evidence' became more and more convincing. The book described all the well known tropes of the theory: Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Dulles, FBI, CIA, the Zapruder Film, Eisenhower's warning about the military industrial complex, Ruby's mob connections, Bay of Pigs, Cuban Exiles, the dead witnesses, problems with the Warren Commission, and the Magic Bullet Theory, ect. I was caught--convinced that the official story was bull, and that a great crime had happened and was covered up by the deepest levels of government. Soon after, I was assigned a research paper for a high school writing class. I choose to research the assissination CT. I went to a nearby city's library and read several books, articles, and portions of the Warner Report. My ten page report received an A with the teacher comments, "I never knew this!" In retrospect, this reaction is shockingly appalling.

    Eventually the obsession would fade away in the urgency of other adolescent concerns: sports, cars, girls, video games. And it could had stayed nothing more than a month long teenage obsession if it wasn't for one man, one hand puppeteer casting shadows on the wall of Plato's cave just a year or two later--shadows that awoke the distortions already stuck in my mind, and put me in full bore CTer mode.

    ----------------------------------------


    Like any teen I had posters on my bedroom wall. JFK was one, a nod to a hand-me-down reverence from my Irish-American parents who spoke about the man in adorative tones. The other was the lead singer from my favorite classic rock bad, Jim Morrison. But it wasn't actually a picture of Jim, but of Val Kilmer with fire-red hair and idol eyes. And underneath the photo the movie poster listed, in prominate font among the smaller pointed credits, the name of the man who would kindle the CT obsession--Oliver Stone.

    When I heard he was directing a film about the assasination it was like combining the two posters. A synergy, so to speak. I couldn't wait. On New Year's Eve a friend and I went to see it. Now Stone remain one of my favorite directors--his films are a visual delight, and his warp sense of reality is a by proxy ride on the wild side. But he is manipulative, and in sum, fiction. But I was 18, a high school senior, and unsophisticated. His cunning juxtaposition, his liberal use of facts, his weaving theories into narrative--history into myth--was overpowering to my young mind. It captured my imagination, and amplified that thrilling horror, that seductive intrigue to a very high level. In some ways, I believe, CT thinking is like a drug; its seductive affects, fear, intrigue, anxiety, hits the reward centers of the brain--perhaps releasing endorphins--and compelling the CTer to want more and more of it. Walking out after that movie, I felt that I was on a high. This began a decades plus obsession with the theories.

    Throughout college I read all I could about JFK theories; I read book after book, article after article; I could digest 100s of pages in a 3-hour bender; But only if they supported a conspiracy. If it was an essay or article from a skeptical perspective, I could only read a couple paragraphs before putting it down in a spat of anger. Although it never interfered with my studies, I did spend too much time on it. I got to know every theory, ever bit of 'evidence', every readymade argument ( strawman) to counter skeptics, and every line of 'reasoning' on why the CT was obviously true.

    By my sophomore year the World Wide Web went mainstream. And with it were the first webpages on assasination theories and the nascent messageboard, Alt.assasination. There I could finally converse with other assasination aficionados, discuss theories, rant against against the gullible sheeple, and troll the government spies (skeptics) that dare to participate. It was a hobby, and one that would lead me to other woo; but yet, the alt boards was the beginning, the crack in the handcuffs, the beginning of the sunshine through a hole that would one day lead me out of Plato's cave.
     
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  2. Svartbjørn

    Svartbjørn Senior Member


    First, I want to say "welcome to the forums" and that I look forward to seeing more of your input as time goes along. Second.. Im assuming by the title that you no longer believe, or believe as strongly, in the theories you mentioned. Was there one thing in particular, or several things that changed your mind, or did you "grow out of" the idea of (a) conspiracy(ies) surrounding JFK? Now, for full disclosure there are elements of the JFK assassination theories that I buy into.. nothing like a shadowy government or that Oswald was some folk hero etc. Im more curious about the change itself and why it occured, if you know.. Your insight might help with trying to reach out to others or explain things in ways that help others get into the drive of looking into the science of things themselves.

    Thank you for sharing your history, and as I said earlier I look forward to seeing more.
     
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  3. Idrinkyourmilkshake

    Idrinkyourmilkshake New Member

    Svartbjorn,

    Thank you for the welcome. Today I believe the evidence favors the official story--Oswald was a lone gunman. My view is that Oswald was probably a narcissistic sociopath; when I read about toxic personalities I am impressed how their description matches what I've read about LHO. It puts him in the category with Tim McVeigh, or the Columbine shooters.

    I am still fascinated by the actions of Oswald 16-month before the shooting; there are weird mysteries there. I do sometimes engage in baseless, wild speculations of a non CT nature, about his actions and whereabouts then that do not venture too far from the realm of possibility--but I have no evidence to support them.

    My journey out of CT was caused by both growth and events, as well as guided by skepticism and debunking. I'm cutting my story up so as not to make a giant 30 paragraph post. I really do hope it helps counter the growing CT trend.
     
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  4. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    Welcome. It's good to hear these stories, as you can explain how it started, and how you changed your way of thinking.
     
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  5. Idrinkyourmilkshake

    Idrinkyourmilkshake New Member

    Where there is one irrational belief there are probable two or more.

    In college my mind was going two ways. In one direction I was receiving an education based on logic, reason, and science that I accepted with enthusiasm. In the other direction I was discovering theories of wild conspiracy, and pseudoscience that I was excited to engage in. Through mental gymnastics I was able to hold these two opposing schemas simultaneously; one was just the same as another, only held off by a snobby academic elite engaging in institutional politics.

    Other than the JFK assassination I was interested in two other pieces of woo. Alien visitation was one. Although I did not subscribe to some of the more wacky ideas, I did believe there was sufficient evidence to support UFO phenomena, the most reasonable explanation being extraterrestrials, and that Roswell incident probably happened. I didn’t get involved to the extent I did with JFK; a read a book or two and watched exploitive TV shows between classes. Another big sources of this woo came at night, out of the Nevada desert.

    I had a job back then, a closing shift at a well-known fast food deli. I’d work until 1:30-2 am. On weekdays business died early, and the only thing to comfort those lonely hours was Art Bell rippling out of the radio. I was attracted to Coast To Coast by its JFK Assassination theorist guests, and its coverage of UFOs. Of course I didn’t buy in to 99-percent of what Coast to Coast covered, most of it was ridiculous. But even so, it filled me with those emotions I found attractive when I first discovered CTs: horror, thrills, intrigue, darkness. Just his buzz line, “coming to you from the middle of the Nevada desert,” connoting a paranoid rebel out in the dangerous, western wasteland sucked me in. One night he had a guess that pulled me deeper into Plato’s cave, Jon Oats.

    Oats was the creator of a pseudoscience called Reverse Speech. You can look it up on the Net, but in short he believes we communicate subconsciously through speech by speaking our words in a manner that when heard backwards add additional information to our forwards communication. He states and ‘shows’ that one can tape human speech, play it backwards, and hear unsaid attitudes, beliefs, and secrets. One of his exhibits is Neil Armstrong: play his famous quote backwards and you will hear, supposedly, “men will spacewalk.” This is one of the most embarrassing things I have ever believed. I thought about buying his backward playing recorder from his website. I tried engineering cassette tapes to hear backwards recordings. I even checked-out his book from a campus library; strangely, I found it in the School of Education’s stacks. Of course the internet was there to supply all the info I needed for all these beliefs.
     
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  6. Idrinkyourmilkshake

    Idrinkyourmilkshake New Member

    The Journey out.

    1. CT messageboards and its factional arguing.


    It was on the message boards that I began the long journey out of illogical, unscientific beliefs. Alt.assasination and other newsgroups, yahoo groups and boards, ICQ, were just a few venues that I visited in the mid-1990s to engage in my Ct interests. Crazy as it seems, it was in them that I began to develop a critical view.

    There is a characteristic messageboards have little known then that are well known 20-years later. When unpoliced, an active messageboard is a nasty messageboard; controversial subject garner more posts than agreeable subjects do. Even in boards loaded with the likeminded argument will happen. After fighting skeptical visitors, after commenting on the latest news, after reviewing the newest book by a growing JFK assassination market, there was nothing left to do but argue with each other. See there isn’t a JFK theory; there are JFK theories, millions of them. I, like others, had my favorite theory that I wanted to advance, to do so I had to show why competing theories were wrong. One rule that grew in the arguments was that a theory had to explain all ‘evidence’ in the assassination lore or the theory would fail. If one theorized that only the mob was a part, and no other member of the government was involved, the theory was discarded because the mob could not have done a, b, c---evidence of government cover ups, control the Warner Commission, cut DC phone lines, ect.

    I did not like this rule.

    By that time I had a theory that only a faction in the CIA along with Cuban Exile and Mafia connections were involved—I was seeking to minimize the size of the conspiracy. Of course, that theory broke the rule, there is no way a smaller faction could explain the masses amounts of ‘evidence’ found in the literature. So I had to show that those things were not evidence at all. I had to do the work. But why do it when it has already been done? So I did the easy thing; I went to the place where a readymade debunking of those items was waiting; I went to alt.skepticism.

    It is laughable now, but it is true; I cheery picked argument and debunking from skeptical boards and websites to use in battles with other CTs. Of course I totally ignored the counters listed by skeptics to ‘facts’ that supported my pet theory, justifying it by the cliché, “A broken clock is right twice a day.” (In the USA at least.) My trips there didn’t convince me of the slim validity of the theories at large, but it did get me to think, to pull me towards a more reasonable view, to begin a critical look at things; skills I would later turn towards myself.

    2. Education and experiencing other views from fellow students, staff, and professors
    .

    In college I took Philosophy 130, Intro to logic. It was a very influential class that I liked immediately. We learned the basics of logic, construction of arguments, critical thinking, and logical fallacies. Throughout my remaining scholastic career I used these skills in class after class, but didn’t use them effectively enough on my CT hobbies. Yet they were in me, waiting to be of use.

    I started off majoring in accounting but then switched my studies to journalism and political science. To secure a degree I had to take classes on statistics, classes on case studies, classes on polling, and classes on the media. I learned of the Null Hypothesis, the scientific method, internal and external validity, and how to look at events and ideas objectively. I learned how to identify cognitive biases and what evidence is supporting and what is questionable. I learned why testimonial evidence does not make the best source for a story and why there needs to be three sources for every nonobvious fact. I learn to compare and contrast evidence and statements and ask important questions when they diverge. I began to understand issues like facts, narratives, memes, schema, and a wealth of psychological truths about mankind from classes, student reporting, researching stories, and internships assignments. I was in training to be a skeptic, but yet none of this ended my CT fanaticism.

    What it did do was allow me to evenly and openly discuss theories with friends, and others I met on campus, who were skeptical. Putting myself in a journalistic state of mind, I could hear what they had to say without getting angry. Sometimes they would dice my arguments or use a scientific debunking of my ‘facts’ that would momentarily shock me. The feeling is like a slight headache, my breathing would constrict, anxiety would occur souring my gut. For a quick fraction of a second my mind would flash the idea that I was wrong, and would recoil as if my ego was under deep threat. But then it would gather itself back and I would run to the comfort of my books, Oliver Stone, the internet to re-convince me that I was right, and further strengthening my beliefs. Even though I knew of the concept, I didn’t recognize it in me at the time, that this is the physical manifestation of cognitive dissonance; my minds schema to tie a rational education with CT beliefs.

    I had a chit-chat once with an advisor. Somehow the subject of Kennedy came up. I told him of my beliefs. He was unconvinced. “I think people grasp on to these ideas because it gives comfort that bad events have a reason, which someone is in control of, instead of the anxiety of living in a chaotic world.” It was a point I heard many times before. I respected the man; he had a great career as a journalist and was smart, funny, and demanding. I was sadden he didn’t share my views and was ‘one of them.’

    But his psychological analysis echoed in my mind. CTs are a crutch to explain bad events in a more comforting way? Introspection told me that wasn’t true (to this day I will say that such a schema wasn’t a factor; at least not consciously.) But that was just me. Could most CTers be influenced by such a motivation? I utilized my growing education and developed a prediction; if that was true than the next big disturbing event should create CTs that are illogical, and if it does so we can say it has some validity. If it doesn’t then at most we can say it is incorrect, or in the least incomplete. The Oklahoma City bombing happened a year or so before, there was CTs about that, but those theories were propagated by the far right—an ideology implicated as impetus for the attack. Projecting a CT to defend a philosophy is different than creating one to relieve anxiety. So I didn’t count that. I wanted to see it happen in real time anyways. It was 1997, and my time at the University was almost complete.

    3. Careful what you wish for. . .

    My generation’s Kennedy assassination happened on September 11, 2001.

    Like most Americans and others of the world I was shocked. I watched the coverage 20-hours a day for a week. Eventually this obsession faded and the thought occurred to me: This is my chance to test the theory—that CT originates from a desire to see the world as orderly. My expectations were that there was no reason to suspect a CT here, other than the real conspiracy, that Al Qaida conspired and execute the largest terrorist attack in the USA. And it was obvious that they did so. After all, there are tape to show the planes crashing, the building fell live on TV, Al Qaida had previously bombed embassies and ships. So a logged on to a Kennedy assassination board to see what member were saying. To my dismay, there I saw what was the beginning of the truther movement. It was just a week after the attacks, long before the idea that plane fuel can’t melt the steel beams or any of the tropes we know today. It was just knee jerk speculation they were convinced was true, and they were looking for anything to warp into evidence. I argued with them a bit, told them they were proving skeptics right. They bashed me; I was a sheeple, I believed everything the government says, I was naive and gullible. I logged out. To this day I have never visited a JFK board again.

    This didn’t convince me that my JFK beliefs were invalid. The skeptics were right about the psychological background of CTS, but this fact doesn’t make Kennedy CT false; that would be an Ad Homonym fallacy. But it did give me pause, allowed my learned analytic skills to rise, and it freed me from the compounded echo chamber of the net.

    In a few years I was ready to discard the entire thing. The only thread that kept me hanging to it was the physical evidence of the assassination scene itself. The radio analysis done by the 1970 congressional investigation seemed to indicate two shooters. Moreover, the magic bullet theory was unconvincing; a two shooter hypothesis better described the bullet wounds, or so I thought. My CT was whittled down to a Mob hit. There are taped phone call between mobsters that seem to support the idea. But I was open to the lone gunman theory, if these things could be explained.

    4. The final debunking


    The final debunking came from a documentary I saw on TV around 2003. It showed how the government’s case regarding the bullets was reasonable without resorting to a magic bullet. See what the CT literature missed was the seats of the car JFK was sitting in were not that of a normal car. The seats were more towards the inside, and he as the main attraction sat higher than Governor Connally in front of him (I am assuming most here know something about this. My apologies if it happens that you do not.) As the documentary showed, when this is corrected the single bullet path makes logical sense and leads to the third floor of the book depository. Furthermore, the conclusion of the radio analysis done in the 1970 has been put in high doubt by more modern technologies and techniques. The mob tapes, when I took another look at them, do not say they were involved at all in an assassination; They are using ‘we’ as in ‘the mob’ or other in the mob (they are engaging in CT themselves) not asking each other a question they already know the answer too.

    The documentary was the final opening out of the cave. And like the parable, I was out into the sunshine. I sat back afterwards, and finally utter the word, "Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter." And my skeptical skill set and belief was finally one. I laughed, “How did I ever find myself in that?” My interest in CT didn’t end though. Now the hobby was uncovering its seduction, how it grows, why people believe and ignore debunking, and the art debunking as skill.

    In both a professional and personal setting I was soon be confronted with the irrational shadow of woo. My next post will be on those experiences, my failures to change minds, and my personal growth on how to adequately confront them. I will follow with a post of lessons learn, what I think happens to me, and my opinion of how CT casts its spell, and maybe some ideas to better counter them.
     
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  7. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    just to interrupt real briefly. i always thought that theory ridiculous. what sense does it make to say people don't want to believe random evil happens, so they replace it with 'organized evil happens'. That is much scarier.

    : ) But i'll stop interrupting now.
     
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  8. Mackdog

    Mackdog Active Member

    Welcome aboard Idrinkyourmilkshake! Most of us here have definitely had many experiences with CT's in the past, so you are not alone. Its good to see more people come out of the rabbit hole of delusion into the real truth..I think you will enjoy the myriad of topics here at Metabunk and we look forward to seeing you on the threads.

    And btw...I love your avatar! I'm an OSU alum also :D
     
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  9. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Because it's about control - if it's controlled and not random, that means Man is at the Centre Of The Universe and not randomness, and can (however remote the possibility in the face of overwhelming evil) fight back and regain that control for 'good'.

    Thanks, an interesting journey well told.
     
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  10. Santa's sidekick

    Santa's sidekick Active Member

    I think the idea is people prefer 'order' to 'chaos'. Populist Utopianist ideologies (eg Marxism-Leninism, Fascism, religious fundamentalism) also generally try to make sense of the world by ordering everything neatly and labeling them. Once someone subscribes to one of these ideologies (or a CT) the world loses much of its complexity and they are easily able to understand events. (Just say, 'Zionists control western governments' and poof! - you now understand everything that goes on in the world. No need to study political science, or economics, or psychology, or sociology - your understanding of the world is deeper and more profound than that offered by any of these disciplines. And it turns out it's quite simple, too.)

    I think the reason people believe the order v chaos thing is a cause of CT and other counter-mainstream ideologies is that so many of these beliefs/ideologies offer this. When the shared characteristics of 1870s Russian socialism, 1930s European fascism, 1980s Islamic fundamentalism, and popular CTs like NWO and alien visitation (a meta-narrative of world history, oversimplification of human nature, and a clear demarcation of 'good' vs 'evil') all include reduction of complexity and chaos being turned to order, it's very tempting to conclude that this feature is not just a characteristic but is in fact a motivation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
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  11. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    I never realized that homonym was a homonym for hominem, so this typo hit me as especially funny.


    I think the whole organized evil vs. random evil thing is an extension of the monkeysphere idea. There's a cognitive limit to our social awareness, so we tend to abstract entire groups as one archetype in our minds. Makes them easier to understand, and more convenient to hate if we're so inclined. Doing this with sin lets us abstract all forms of evil down to one person in our mind.

    Early religions use this a lot - usually having a specific label to apply to everyone except them to effectively other everyone else down to a representative person, who they could apply traits to as they needed to.

    It can also help prevent panic during disasters, because they frequently don't just attribute all sin to one entity, but to a unified and reasoned plan. "Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even when the plan is horrifying."
     
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  12. Pigeonkak

    Pigeonkak Member

    Thanks for sharing Idrinkyourmilkshake. Since I began following Conspiracy as a subject, and then started to watch Theorists themselves as a subject, I have become far more aware of my own cognitive dissonance from day to day. Honesty like yours gives us all perspective. That clarity starts with one being honest with themselves as you were.

    I remember when I was a kid in my home country, news stories began surfacing of bodies washing up on river banks in the rural areas. In each case, they appeared mutilated: eyelids, eyeballs, lips gone. This frightened the rural communities and 'Inkanyamba' was blamed. Inkanyamba being a giant serpent with a horse-like head, that can cause storms and lives in rivers, waterfalls and lakes.

    The bodies were those of drowning victims, not uncommon during the rainy season, and the drownings were not occurring at a higher rate than normal for areas prone to flash flooding and the weather was also normal. The 'mutilation' was typical of crabs having a scoff of soft tissue. But combining these things, and add some chance media coverage and the people's imagination ran riot. It was a natural self defense mechanism that placed senseless death into a higher order of things and at once eased the pain the community felt, but also created a fear that they could at least say was caused by an unassailable creature of lore. Even I had my own theories, that I turned into silly sketches as my childs mind tried to believe in the magic of the story and also make psuedo-scientific sense of it all. I believed it was a fresh-water squid, for god's sake. And its tentacles were being mistaken for snake heads.

    I really can understand why the JFK assassination captures the imagination of people and especially CTs. I can understand why they would turn to conspiracy theory to answer so many questions about his death. The assassination shattered the American psyche. And by who? A dead beat, failed communist with a mediocre shooting skill! I might rebel against the official story too, had I been watching the news that day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  13. Idrinkyourmilkshake

    Idrinkyourmilkshake New Member

    Ok this is taken a bit more time than I anticipated. I have a side job that gets busy when it snows. Spring has come finally!

    Thanks all for the welcome.

    I am going to try to be briefer, I feel there maybe too much autobiography.

    deirdre--I misspoke. 9/11 CTs don't necessarily prove the the theory that CT resolves anxiety of a random world, but it did support it in my eyes by confirming the prediction. My view was best said by Santa Sidekick. It goes to locus of control. Bad things happen by some 'other' is external. A naturally random world is best survived by a inner, which can produce anxiety when thought that only your decisions can lessen danger. But only lessen, some things can never be controlled. It easier to think that if only you could defeat 'the bad guys' and then the world would be perfect.

    Mackdog--O-H! Not sure if your into American football, but if you are it was a nice winter indeed!

    Pete Tar--thanks for the compliment!

    Hevach--I knew that was misspelled as soon as I typed it! Unfortunately I forgot about it and didn't edit. ;-) oh well, it was worth a laugh.

    Pigeonkak--that story reminds me of Mothman, the cryptid that was 'seen' in the Ohio River area between Ohio and West Virginia. It was supposedly there to warn of a bridge collapse in the '60. One correction though, Oswald tested once sharpshooter in the Marines; Oliver Stone was the one that invented the myth he wasn't. Even his lowest score was marksmen. These qualification though are up to subjective measure, and so are easily manipulated into 'Oswald was a bad shot' do to equivocating on the word 'good' and 'bad.' CTer like to muddy evidence they don't like by showing them subjective views, but the somehow turning around and using them as objective proof of the opposite. "Tom says the hamburger at this bar is good, but he calls McDonald's hamburger good too. So obviously the hamburger at this bar is bad."
     
  14. Idrinkyourmilkshake

    Idrinkyourmilkshake New Member

    After I jettisoned my beliefs in a JFK conspiracy (one that also included MLK and Bobby Kennedy), Alien visitation, and shamefully reverse speech, I had ignored the like. By this time I was a full on skeptic, and look at much of life through its perspective. The only time I experienced the subject was from an analytic view, " what led me down the rabbit hole?" This mainly comprised of seeing an article on the subject online, or in Psychology Today, or a rare NPR segment. I didn't devote much time on it.

    A few years later I was confronted with conspiracy beliefs that I was force to deal with in a professional setting. I was a middle manager for a company in town; one of my charges was named Sharon ( not her real name.) Sharon was an odd bird, but was productive and experienced. Around 2009 she approached me with some information she found online; this coincided with her sudden disgust with newly elected President Obama, a candidate she had enthusiastically support the previous fall. What she told me was of plans by FEMA to haul people into concentration champs. I was flabbergasted. This was the first time I'd heard that one. As warmly and politely as I could, I told her that I thought the idea was highly dubious. She replied---and I swear I am telling you the god honest truth-- "it was true because it was on the internet." She said that a website had proof, text of several Presidential Executive Orders giving FEMA such powers. She told me to look it up myself and gave me the URL.

    I should had left it at that as there was no professional issue at stake. Unfortunately I am the type that has to correct people I feel are wrong, a habit I am trying to break. I was also motivated by politics; I felt a member of the tribe was lost when she flipped on the president. I suspected the website was the cause of that too and I seeked to rectify it. Later I discovered that was indeed the case, although at that time she held back her most outrageous belief about the Prez from me; The website published the theories of David Ickes.

    I didn't know who David Ickes was. Later I visited the website. The page was decked in a deep night black background cut by neon red text. The colors produce all the emotions I had recognized from my CT past: anxiety, fear, subversion, intrigue. The illusion is of an underground resistance risking their lives to pass some sort of taboo truth. The text were said to be Executive Orders that together outline a hideous plan for concentration champs in the USA. They were numbered. A 'Fund Me' link was highlighted on the page.

    I took the first EO number, went to the online Federal Registry, and typed it in. Sure enough it was a presidential directive copied word for word. It gave FEMA, or it's predecessor, the responsibility to run refugee camps in the event of a nuclear attack. It was ordered by Kennedy--this was certainly in my wheelhouse. I looked at the date. It was ordered in Oct of '62. That was during the Cuban Missile crisis; he was obviously preparing for the possibility of nuclear war. Then I noticed something else, a footnote saying the EO had later been superseded. So I went to the superseding EO to find that one was superseded as well. So I went to that EO and it was likewise. I went to several EO all superseded by successive administrations until the chain ended with Reagan, who invalidate it with 100s of others in his shrinking government initiative. So not only did Icke have a supersedes EO as his first exhibit, the entire concept of the EO has been voided and was no longer a standing order. I stopped there. His first exhibit of proof proved to be a lie. I printed out each EO in the chain, made notes and highlights on them, printed other supporting documents, and stapled them together. I was confident I would disavow her of the notion that this was even remotely true-- I had forgotten my CT days.

    When I showed her my research she shrug it off. It didn't budge her a bit. I told her, "how can you believe this guy when I just showed you he's either misinformed or lying?" She told me that it must be a government stunt; that it didn't matter if it was no longer law, the government works through illegality just as easily. I protested, " but this was the evidence! I've debunked it. If the law is no evidence then why offer it? And why would the government even need go to the lengths of creating the EO if they could act without one?" The inconsistency of it had no effect on her; instead she clammed up, with a look like I was the irrational one. I excused myself from the conversation. I heard no other CT ideas from her for a year. I thought it was a phase that passed.

    The complaints came a year later; Sharon was freaking people out. It was several at once but it was happening for a year-and-a-half, and the employees who didn't want to rock the boat alone acted in mass. She was disrupting them with theories; in the least they were annoyed, at most scared. Some who were not as assertive as others felt she was invading their boundaries. She wouldn't take body language and hints as intended. The more religious were offended because her theories mixed Sci-fi with biblical prophecy. She told them of the FEMA camps, and chemtrails, and HARRP. But the bigger shock was that she believed President Obama, President Bush, and Queen Elizabeth were secret lizard people from outer space sent to control us. I almost laughed! It was like the 1980s TV show V. Her latest scare was a rumor that China was on the verge of attacking the United States through Mexico. I was astounded. The employees told me she had been stockpiling, in her 750 sg.ft. condo, boxes and boxes of distilled water, can goods, medicine, and supplie; that she goes to the warehouse weekly and take cart loads of discarded empty boxes home. The possibility of a schizophrenic breakdown concerned me, so I informed H.R. then went back to the Ickes page to see if she picked it up there. She had, dispelling any notion of psychosis.

    With a LP officer in tow to witness, I sat down with Sharon and confronted her with the complaints. She confirmed she had spoken with co-workers on the theories described. Her motivations were to warn them and felt very distressed with what she was reading online. What upset her the most was her belief in the impending invasion by China; 50,000 troops were about to cross the Rio Grande. She actually broke down in fear and anxiety, crying in front of me. The puppet shadow in her cave played out a nightmare, and it had a real psychological effect on her. I felt sorry for her, and very angry at the CTers who caused her to feel this way. I tried my best to debunk the theories; arguing that 50K would not be enough to occupy Texas let alone the US, how the story first appeared 6- months ago, too long for a nation to pay to stash a force, the geopolitical realities that speak against it, ect. It didn't get through. Hoping to calm her anxious state of mind I made a mistake. I suggested a hotline the company pays for that can help with mental-emotional issues which she heard as " you're crazy." I tried to walk it back but the damage was done. She clammed up. After noting that her theories are covered by the office " no controversial discussion policy" ( ie politics, religion, ect ) I dismissed her from the meeting. She never again brought up the ideas, though we knew she was still stashing boxes and water and can goods. A few years later I left the company and Sharon was still doing it, with no sign of FEMA or China yet.

    Next I'll describe how woo found its way into my personal life, and then I will wrap this over-long introduction up.
     
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  15. StratMatt777

    StratMatt777 Member

    Wow, that was some story!
    The first part I have quoted here is precisely the problem!
    Some people blindly believe any youtube video as fact also.
    There is one uploaded by youtube user catagd called "High bypass engines cannot make contrails",
    where the guy mostly just repeatedly states the title as though it is fact- and people not only belive it and refer me to it as proof, but they re-upload it.
    catagd's other videos feature him talking about how "chemtrails are used for mind control" and him challenging police officers to meet him at the local airport to discuss "chemtrails" - while laughing maniacally.

    Now get this: Dane Wigington, a leading "chemtrail" conspiracy guy has a website: geoengineeringwatch.com
    3 years ago he FEATURED this [...] guy's false video on the most prominent part of his website.
    I made the mistake of pointing this out to Dane in the comments section of one of his youtube videos and he removed it. If I hadn't said anything we could still point to it as proof of his for-profit "ministry" of lies (complete with PayPal "Donate Now" Button).

    So this is the problem. [...] people make videos up and people believe them because "it is on the internet".

    Amazing!

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2015
  16. Gridlock

    Gridlock Active Member

    Welcome :)

    You didn't half pick a strange CT to be turned away from IMO! Oliver Stone aside, LHO was a very interesting character, as was Jack Ruby. And LBJ. And so on.. But I can see how ending up with Icke's theories would sober anyone up.
     
  17. Gary Cook

    Gary Cook Active Member

    Glad you are looking more in to science now yourself.

    Personally, I am a bit like a cop. I look at evidence but also motivations and reasonable suspicion.

    If anybody was against the "NWO" it was JFK. He would of been called a conspiracy theorist by the criteria most people here use.

    So, although I do not make specific claims I do generally believe he was killed by government connected mafia.
     
  18. RecoveringCT

    RecoveringCT Member

    Great personal story about your journey in and out of conspiracy theory . Are you a native of Ohio as well? Maybe it's something in our water? (Tongue firmly planted in cheek)
     
  19. Chuck

    Chuck Member

    Gary, at one time I too believed JFK was opposed to the NWO. However, I was not aware (as is pointed out at the end of the video) that this April 21, 1961 speech was actually 2,249 words, not just the 181 words that have been carefully edited to foster the above assumptions? Most are as shocked as I was to find that this speech had nothing whatsoever to do with exposing the Rothschilds, the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) or any of the aforementioned clandestine players. Kennedy's actual target? The threat of Communism and the cold war.


    Don't believe me? Listen to the entire unedited speech (below) - (for the text version click HERE). There is an entire thread devoted to this topic HERE.
     
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  20. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    There is already a complete thread on this topic Gary could read through too.
     
  21. Chuck

    Chuck Member

    That's why I wrote, "There is an entire thread devoted to this topic HERE."
     
  22. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    sorry, missed that bit.
     
  23. StratMatt777

    StratMatt777 Member

    My understanding is that JFK wanted to end the Vietnam war and end the Federal Reserve - and had started taking steps to do so.
    It is interesting to note that the military personel involved with "The Gulf of Tonkin" incident that prompted our entry into the Vietnam War have revealed that the incident never occured.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  24. Chuck

    Chuck Member

    Perhaps this may clear up some "Gulf of Tonkin" misperceptions. I never ceased at being amazed by the Monday morning quarterbacking of the revisionists, finding a false flag under every Bush (pun intended). https://thrivedebunked.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/false-flag-attacks-debunked/

    With regard to JFK and the FED, the following offers a different take than the garden variety CT slant. JFK was a globalist. His admin was peppered with CFR members. The notion that he was anti-FED and some sort of a Ron Paul type, simply distorts the historical record.
    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/weberman/jfk.htm
     
  25. StratMatt777

    StratMatt777 Member

    Being a debunker of the "chemtrail" nonsense with a full awareness of how confirmation bias works I was ready and willing with an open mind to find out at your link that I had been fooled, but instead it says what I already knew to be true - no new information:

    "what is referred to as the “Gulf of Tonkin incident” was actually two incidents. There were two alleged attacks on U.S. warships by North Vietnamese patrol boats on two separate occasions in early August 1964. One such attack clearly and definitely occurred. In fact it has been admitted by Vietnamese officials. The second attack did not occur. This is the attack that Robert McNamara is speaking of in his brief clip shown in Thrive, which is taken out of context.

    Because we know for a fact that one attack definitely occurred, this automatically disqualifies the Gulf of Tonkin incident as being a “false flag.” However, the second attack—the one that did not happen—doesn’t satisfy the definition either. It didn’t happen, but it wasn’t staged. Gamble clearly wants you to believe"

    Also I've never heard of "Thrive" or Gamble.

    So that information appears to change nothing- based on the evidence.
    Go to 1:18 in this:


    Thank you for that link- that directly addresses Presidential Executive Order 11,110 which is the basis of the claim that some stupid youtube movie that I must have watched 3 or 4 years ago made. ;)

    On an unrelated note: I'm in the process of creating a "chemtrail" debunking video that includes footage of persistent contrails over Seattle along with the atmospheric temps and RH% from the university of Wyoming's site that show why persistent contrails are persistent contrails.[/QUOTE]
     
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