A View From the Rabbit Hole.

RichT

New Member
Hi

This might be a bit long for a first post and could easily be tacked on to the “what to do when family members believe in bunk” thread but I´m not asking any specific questions so despite its length, it still qualifies as a “Hi, this is me and this is how I found myself here”, post.

My story.

We are born believing everything we are told and it would seem to be part of our genetic makeup. This makes sense as disbelieving everything we are told would be chaotic. “Don’t eat that! It will make you sick, eat this, it’s good for you”. So when we are told a story about a mystical guy up in the clouds that, if you are good, will be good to you, we believe it. Later in life we find out that Father Christmas was actually your dad and that your parents had been lying to you. A bit later on you find out that the other guy in the clouds is God….what do you do now? Do you continue to blindly believe what you were told or, now with you recently acquired knowledge that parents are not as truthful as you thought, question the validity of this guy’s existence?

One by one, the stories of tooth fairies, Easter bunnies and storks delivering babies are uncovered as lies but I am now old enough to be able to tell the difference between childish stores and the truth.

I was approaching 30 and hadn’t given too much thought to religion (being British from non-religious parents). I was working with a guy who claimed to have had a deep religious experience where all of his questions were answered and he fully understood everything about the bible. He used to go to sermons and correct the vicar when he ‘interpreted’ passages different from what he now knew was its true meaning (needless to say, he was soon excluded from any future gatherings; nobody likes to be told their beliefs are wrong). We used to chat about evolution and I was firmly on the monkey side of the fence but found myself struggling with how complex things like the eye could evolve out of thin air. My logical brain said you either have a fully functioning eye or you don’t. Take away the ability to focus and what good are eyes? My problem was that I was trying to figure it out for myself using the reason and logic that I had leaned so far. I didn’t have the expert knowledge or scientific facts to hand so lost the argument because “If you can’t explain it, then God must have done it”.

A few years later the internet, the world’s largest repository of information, was at my fingertips. I started researching about evolution and the eye and sure enough, I found out that it was perfectly possible for the eye to evolve and had done so into thousands of variations. It was when I hit 40 that I really started to take a closer look at religion (particularly Christianity and the Bible) and after many months of study, realised that I could now refer to myself as an Atheist (I´d never labelled myself as that before)….and then those pesky lies, that I thought I had seen the last of in my childhood, started to appear.

I had seen the film JFK many years before and it was quite a compelling story packed full of evidence. I´d read about MLK and seen Malcolm X and a pattern seemed to be emerging. Was it really that far-fetched that an organisation like the CIA could be behind these assignations? I didn´t think so and I certainly didn´t think I must be a fruit cake for thinking so. I then saw a video of JFK himself warning of ´secret societies´ so was HE now a fruitcake? My genetic default position of “I will believe what I am hearing is true until my knowledge of the facts proves it to be false” was now quite engrained and although I didn´t believe everything I heard from any random on the street, if it was presented clearly and concisely in a film like this, or by the president himself, I had no reason to disbelieve it. Then 9/11 happens, then Chemtrails, then Geoengineering, then banks, then the AIDS conspiracy…the list went on and on. The more I searched the internet, the more I found. I stopped at the moon landings and holocaust deniers, in my mind there seemed to be a line that I would not cross, or at least left them on the shelf for further investigation but in truth had no real intention of ever going back to, some things just seemed too far-fetched).

I´ve always considered myself to be open minded and a liberal kind of guy. I have no time for racists and have always treated woman as equals so in my mind, I did not fit the mould of some nutjob conspiracy lunatic with mental health issues (which I have none) but I was being labelled as one and it didn´t feel right.

When I spoke to other people around me that were also questioning things, they were all educated, sensible people with good jobs and respected by others. When I spoke to others about my new found knowledge and was dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, they tended to be people who had no previous knowledge of what I was talking about (chemtrails for example) but where confident in their belief that it must be rubbish and said so through hails of laughter. I quickly observed that those who knew nothing of what I was talking about were those saying the loudest that it was rubbish and that I must be a lunatic and a conspiracy theorist. If I was able to get a word in after that I would say that their reaction is not uncommon. The first people to suggest that the world wasn't flat were also laughed at; so were the ones who suggested the sun didn't go round the earth (but the other way round) and so were the ones who suggested we were not the creation of a God but the result of millions of years of evolution. So why do you so quickly dismiss what I am saying and laugh in my face without any knowledge of the subject?

Last year I got to a point where, after taking in so much stuff about the Islamification of Europe, I told my wife that I have to stop this. It´s not a matter of whether it is true or not, it´s just that it is taking up far too much of my time and it is starting to get me down….and now to the point of this post.

I am new to this site and I can´t even remember how I found it but I´ve been reading a few threads over the last few days, particularly the one about “What to do when family members believe in bunk” and I´ll admit I only got as far as the top of page five before feeling the urge to write this post. What I was picking up on in this thread was very much an “us and them” and it doesn´t sit comfortably with me. In this post I have seen conspiracy theorists referred to as ´fruitcakes, delusional, down the rabbit hole, mentally ill and ´not open minded´. I glossed over the mentally ill bit but noticed that some of the Non CTs? Have had or still have mental issues which kind of negates that one (which if I recall correctly Mick also said) but I did take offence at the ´not open minded´ bit as to me it seemed completely backward. It was my open mindedness not to blindly accept what I believed to be true that led me to investigate whether it was or wasn´t. The people I found to be completely closed minded were those who refused to listen to an alternative view because in their mind everything is fine and everything is exactly as it appears on the news. To question the validity of it makes you a conspiracy theorist lunatic so in my experience, those who weren´t open minded were not those searching for the truth but those who didn´t even want to know. To get away from the “them and us”, maybe it should be viewed more as a path?

If there is a path then surely it is:

1) I believed everything I was told,

2) I then found out some of it wasn´t true so learned to question

3) I then found out that after questioning, I had to work very hard to find the truth

Those who searched for answers and found all the stories about 9/11 and Chemtrails are simply on the path from 2 to 3 but the problem is, the information on the internet that says 9/11 was an inside job and that Chemtrails are real dwarf the stories that it is bunk by a thousand to one (pure guesswork, could be much higher).

So where am I at? Do I believe everything I read on this site? Of course not, I'd be naive to do that. Stage two has shown me that not everything I read is true. Am I ready to find out that 9/11 went down exactly as they said on the news and that chemtrails are just contrails? Sure, I'd love to find out that it's all bunk but at the moment, the jury is out as I haven't read the evidence for the defence, apart from Micks short video that contrails have been around for 70 years. Is that alone going to wipe out those images of the interiors of planes with large canisters? Or pictures of planes with strange pipes emitting chemicals? Or the chemicals found in the soil that shouldn't be there? Of course not, but I'm open to persuasion, with facts of course. So here I am, a fully paid up conspiracy theorist (or as I say, someone who doesn't blindly believe everything he is told) ready to be turned away from the dark side. But please, referring to people like me as fruitcakes and delusional is only going to force a wedge between us when what you should be doing is opening your arms and welcoming us in. We are not that different, we just haven´t found the info to move from point 2 to 3 yet as it is buried at the bottom of the internet below all the CT stories.

RichT
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Hi

This might be a bit long for a first post and could easily be tacked on to the “what to do when family members believe in bunk” thread but I´m not asking any specific questions so despite its length, it still qualifies as a “Hi, this is me and this is how I found myself here”, post.
Hi. Welcome to Metabunk and thank you for sharing. I have moved your post from the welcome thread since you named this thread a few times and are reacting to this thread. it's appropriate to allow other members to respond, which is not allowed in the Welcome thread.

Also your insights are very helpful, so it would be nice if readers that have an interest in this particular topic can find your comments :)



Is that alone going to wipe out those images of the interiors of planes with large canisters? Or pictures of planes with strange pipes emitting chemicals? Or the chemicals found in the soil that shouldn't be there?
All those 'questions' are answered on MB, so if you need help locating a specific thread feel free to ask. You can also check out www.contrailscience.com

Do I believe everything I read on this site? Of course not, I'd be naive to do that
You shouldn't believe everything you read on this site, or any site. That is the whole point of this site. This is a public open forum, so anyone can post provided they follow the posting guidelines. People must quote and link evidence to back up their assertions, and if they don't then you are free to dismiss it. 'That which is presented without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence'.

You can also present evidence that refutes evidence presented by another member. And you are encouraged to do so, if you see a member post faulty information or 'cherry picked' information.


But ultimately this is the 'What to do about family members who believe in bunk' thread. Thank you for your insights on the topic. Hopefully your experience can help someone reading.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've moved this from:
https://www.metabunk.org/what-to-do-when-family-members-believe-in-bunk.t4701/
As I think the points raised are interesting enough to deserve their own thread.

I'm particularly interested in how my video of old books on clouds keeps coming up. It seems like that's a form of communication that has worked very well. Can it be extended to other things?
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X72uACIN_00


The ballast barrels thing for example, covered in this thread:
https://www.metabunk.org/debunked-chemtrail-plane-interior-ballast-barrels.t661/

However apparently @RichT, you've never seen the thread (or other things explaining the Barrels).

Have a read of that thread. How could I have got the information to you quicker? Would a short video have worked for this?
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
I think the whole 'open minded' thing can be a bit of a misnomer. Everybody on both sides of the CT / sceptic divide likes to see themselves as open minded, and there is a temptation to see the other side as closed minded as a default position. Both sides like to research and take on new information. To me, this is being open minded.

However to be really open minded you must be prepared to accept the fact you might be wrong, and this means listening to the other other sides evidence, and working out which side is right by evaluation the arguments, testing the ideas with science and logic, triple checking sources and seeing what 'facts stand up to analysis and deductive deconstruction.

I HAD a friend who a few years back got into the thrall of a certain David Icke. Before his conversion we could and did have long rambling conversations and debates on religion, politics, science, history etc where we both gave each others often differing views consideration. Then he got well into the Ickeish house of conspiracy. Suddenly ANYTHING that differed from his 'Alien lizard people NWO project blue beam holographic universe etc' view of the world was dismissed out of hand as 'what they want you to believe', any info sources that differed from his became misinformation and any critic became a shill. A mind thats not just closed, but also has the shutters down, the alarm on and 'closed for staff holidays' posted on the door. And now he is cutting ties to all the 'negative' people in his life, ie those who don't share his world view, booting a lot of his old friends to the kerb and building a social echo chamber around himself. An extreme example may be, but to me THAT is closed mindedness.

I like to think that I am open minded, like most people. I AM open to the possibility that 9-11 was some kind of inside job, Prince Philip had Lady Di, 'JFK'd' or aliens are buzzing the planet etc. BUT until hard evidence is presented, that does stand up to analysis comes to light, all these conspiracies will remain a, often very very remote, possibility and nothing more.
 

RichT

New Member
I saw your video because it was on page 2 of "What to do when family members believe in bunk?". In the few days I've had since finding the site I've only managed to scratch the surface of the Sand Hook thread, Linked to a couple of pages about the House of Numbers AIDS film and the family members thread. I'll check out the ballast barrels thread shortly but my son is pestering me now so it might not be for a few hours.
 

RichT

New Member
I think the whole 'open minded' thing can be a bit of a misnomer. Everybody on both sides of the CT / sceptic divide likes to see themselves as open minded, and there is a temptation to see the other side as closed minded as a default position.

I am aware of that which is why I specifically mentioned people who openly admitted they had never heard of chemtrails (for example) but in the next sentence said "what a load of rubbish".

However to be really open minded you must be prepared to accept the fact you might be wrong, and this means listening to the other other sides evidence, and working out which side is right by evaluation the arguments, testing the ideas with science and logic, triple checking sources and seeing what 'facts stand up to analysis and deductive deconstruction.

Yep, happy to do that. It must be my bad luck that I've never been challenged by anyone who knew it was bunkham and could prove it. I think the reason for that is because the number of people who have gone through the thousands of CT stories and come out the other side with the truth is similar to my estimate of 1000 to 1 for CT stories compared to bunk stories.

I HAD a friend who a few years back got into the thrall of a certain David Icke. Before his conversion we could and did have long rambling conversations and debates on religion, politics, science, history etc where we both gave each others often differing views consideration. Then he got well into the Ickeish house of conspiracy. Suddenly ANYTHING that differed from his 'Alien lizard people NWO project blue beam holographic universe etc' view of the world was dismissed out of hand as 'what they want you to believe', any info sources that differed from his became misinformation and any critic became a shill. A mind thats not just closed, but also has the shutters down, the alarm on and 'closed for staff holidays' posted on the door. And now he is cutting ties to all the 'negative' people in his life, ie those who don't share his world view, booting a lot of his old friends to the kerb and building a social echo chamber around himself. An extreme example may be, but to me THAT is closed mindedness.

Can't argue with that.

I like to think that I am open minded, like most people. I AM open to the possibility that 9-11 was some kind of inside job, Prince Philip had Lady Di, 'JFK'd' or aliens are buzzing the planet etc. BUT until hard evidence is presented, that does stand up to analysis comes to light, all these conspiracies will remain a, often very very remote, possibility and nothing more.

I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a bad idea if there was a section on this board where some conspiracy theories are accepted as true. Like accepting that the Gulf of Tonkin as a conspiracy theory is true? It's tempting for newcomers here to believe that every CT will be debunked which casts some doubt over the authenticity of the site as not EVERYTHING can be false. It may already be on the site, I haven't looked that closely.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a bad idea if there was a section on this board where some conspiracy theories are accepted as true. Like accepting that the Gulf of Tonkin as a conspiracy theory is true? It's tempting for newcomers here to believe that every CT will be debunked which casts some doubt over the authenticity of the site as not EVERYTHING can be false. It may already be on the site, I haven't looked that closely

Joe Rogan has criticising me for "debunking everything". When I was on his podcast he brought up Operation Northwoods, and I said I thought it was a bit overblown (as an example of an actual conspiracy), as it never went anywhere. I also said it seemed like the Gulf of Tonkin incident was exaggerated and exploited, rather than a planned false flag. He said that if I said there were no conspiracies, then nobody would believe me when debunked something that was actually false.

It's a reasonable point, but then I don't say there are no real conspiracies - it's very obvious that there are. But the truth is often both more banal and more complex than the exciting Illuminati Plots type things.

I wrote this a few years ago:

https://www.metabunk.org/four-types-of-event-conspiracy-theory.t1139/
tl;dr: Sometimes people conspire to exploit events after they happen, but they did not necessarily make the event happen.

Tonkin, as far as I can tell, seems to be an Exploited Event. There was some kind of minor skirmish, but the American's fired first. Then there was some kind of radar contact, with no actual boats. It's all a bit hazy. But something happened, and then the American lied about the extent.

Northwoods was a different type of thing. They were looking for a pretext to invade Cuba. They wanted a real one ("legitimate provocation" attached PDF page 10 (labeled 7) ), but they also asked a group to come up with a range of fake pretexts. Ultimately the fake-pretext idea was (officially) dropped. This does (as Joe pointed out) show that there was a mindset that though fake pretexts (false flags) might be acceptable, but it also shows they prefered real pretexts (or exaggerated ones, like Tonkin), and they were concerned about the backlash if the fake pretext was revealed (a HUGE concern - consider if a 9/11 style thing was actually revealed as a government plot).

So you can't just say "X was a real conspiracy", you need to get into the details.
 

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RichT

New Member
Ah yes, I should have differentiated between False Flags and Conspiracy Theories.

I guess my point was that if there was a section called Debunked and another called Not Debunked it would give some instant credibility to the first time visitor as straight away it stops looking like a site that's all about debunking (but in reality it is) but is happy to accept that not everything is a CT. This would also stop people like Joe Rogan dead in his tracks as you could just point to the Not Debunked section and say "Oh really?

Just a thought.

Interesting breakdown on the various types of event CT as well, although not disproving anything but a nice way to categorise the various sub-types.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I guess my point was that if there was a section called Debunked and another called Not Debunked it would give some instant credibility to the first time visitor as straight away it stops looking like a site that's all about debunking (but in reality it is) but is happy to accept that not everything is a CT.
The thing is though, we try to focus on specific claims of evidence, not broad theories. There's no thread called "9/11 debunked", or "Chemtrails debunked" (although there is a "Debunked: Sandy Hook Hoax"). There's lots of threads like "Virginia Shooting Hoax Claims - Can People Run After Being Shot [Yes]" where we look at a very specific claim of evidence that people use to validate a theory. Debunking that claim does not debunk the theory, but it does removed that claimed evidence as a support for the theory.

The possibilities that "chemtrails" are real, or that 9/11 used controlled demolition are all there as remote possibilities, but we show that there's evidence against those theories, and the claimed evidence for those theories is often just flat wrong.

You can't really "debunk" or "not debunk" Northwoods or Tonkin. You can look at the details though, and see if people make claims that are wrong. Beyond that it's largely speculation.
 
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RichT

New Member
Fair enough. You asked me in a PM about the cloud book video and what else you could do that might help the cause and I was trying to think of something from the CTs perspective. I appreciate it's not going to be easy because if it was, there'd be hundreds of sites like this and people like me would be stumbling across them all the time, not decades later.
 
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