Aluminum Theory's Debunking Tips.

AluminumTheory

Senior Member.
Take this for what it's worth as I'm basically a noob at this myself but I figured I would share some of my methods when debunking various conspiracy theories.





1. Try to use well documented and well researched facts to support your claims as opposed to links to Wikipedia or news articles.

Most conspiracy theorists tend to ignore anything that comes from the "establishment" whether it is establishment media, establishment politics, etc. This is essentially a shortcut to avoid discussing evidence that doesn't exactly fit in with their theories even though they'll present their own brand of highly questionable sources all day long. I'll use my most recent debunking as an example. In this thread, alot of allegations are made regarding Ruslan Tsarni's connections terrorism and the CIA. Your typical CT is probably just going to throw a few articles at you and ask you to explain them away. You can always refute them by throwing your own articles at them but more often than not, you hear something along the lines of "left wing msm bias bullcrap". You won't get anywhere and the discussion will inevitably devolve into a CNN said this and Infowars said that type of scenario. To debunk the claims that Tsarni operated a business from his home, I researched the legal definitions of "Resident Agent" and "Principal Office", and I even provided other examples of mismatch between actual locations and the addresses listed with the state of Maryland. The facts I presented are based on official documentation and they are independently verifiable by anyone with internet access. This is quite a bit harder to refute than a news article you're not just dealing with an opinion.





2. Make sure you are getting the full story and it's details.

So far, almost every conspiracy theory that I've researched has had one common thread. And that's the details that have been omitted or in some cases twisted to suit a narrative. This is an extremely common tactic and you can find examples of it in almost all conspiracy theories. Going back to Uncle Ruslan's Terror/CIA connections, it was mentioned that he aided Benevolence International, a known supporter of terrorism. What is left out is that Benevolence International's real activities were not known at the time and that many others donated to them unaware of this.
Here are some other examples of omitted or distorted details.
Conspiracy Theory:
Example:
CNN's Charles Jaco faked Gulf War news casts in front of blue screenNot mentioning that the reporters were sequestered to the Dhahran Int'l Hotel and had to do their broadcats from the roof.
Pearl harbor and radar and was therefore aware of the incoming attack.The radar station was still under construction and the staff received little to no training. The incoming targets were thought to be a scheduled flight of B17s.
Saudi National was let in the country under a special exemption (S.A.O.) for V.I.P.s.The S.A.O. is not a special exemption, it is a decision-making process used by the US Department of State and United States embassies to grant or deny United States visas to investigate applicants suspected to be involved in illicit activities.
Obama's birth certificate is revealed to have nine separate layers in Adobe Illustrator and is therefore a forgery.This is something that can be done with any scanned document that it converted and optimized to PDF format.




3. Read, READ READ! the articles that conspiracy theorists present.

I say this because I personally find that alot of conspiracy theorists only read the headlines and maybe a few paragraphs. If you take the time to read the articles yourself, you'll often find things that contradict and even debunk themselves. Or even better yet, you'll find one that is essentially copied from other sources and altered for the alternative media. Here is a Prison Planet article, that is actually a copy of a 12160 article, that it actually a copy of a Virginia Pilot article. Of course the headline in the two former articles reads "2 FBI Agents Involved in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Arrest “FALL” Out of Helicopter and Die" which differs from the title found in the source article that reads "FBI: Agents died in fall from helicopter off Va. coast" which in itself should clue any skeptic into reading the details. Of course having read this you'll find that at no point does it mention that these were the FBI agents were specifically the ones involved in Dzhokar's arrest. Shortly after this, The Virginia Pilot wrote the the following statement in a later article regarding this matter:
Now do you think Prison Planet or 12160 bothered to relay any of that information to their readers?




4. Wikipedia is okay to use if used correctly

Going back to what I said earlier, don't try to center an argument around a Wikipedia article. But Wikipedia articles can be very useful if you check the sources. As most of us know, virtually anyone with internet access can edit Wikipedia. It seems that the moderators have a pretty good handle over the control of their content and what they produce and they heavily emphasize that editors cite reliable sources when adding content. That being said, you should always look at the sources when researching information. This is just like checking the feedback of a seller on eBay before you buy an item. You want to be able to measure reliability in some way.
What you need to be careful of is that sometimes people will attempt to sneak in a less than reputable source to inject some questionable statements in an otherwise well written article. These attempts are usually reversed by moderators, but some can go un noticed. There are also times were claims don't exactly match the details of the provided source resulting in a mismatch of context. An example would be an old revision of this article about the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. The following exerpt is quoted from the article
But if you look at the source article you'll find this correction at the bottom.
Another good example of why you should look at the sources is that you'll find alot of very useful information in those sources. When I was researching Benevolence Internatonal, I was then directed to Enaam Arnaout which lead me to this pdf detailing the specifics of Benevolence International's activities. This document proved that Ruslan Tsarni was one of many donors in the United States at the time and proved that BIF was responsible for soliciting donations, and the purchase and delivery of supplies to Chechnya. There is a time and place for Wikipedia, and is still a very useful tool in right hands.




5. Take a good look at any images or videos that might come your way.

While conspiracy theorists over analyze meaningless details an cite them as proof of photoshop trickery, they often seem to overlook some of the flaws in the images that they present. One example would be the picture of James Holmes, the alleged Colorado Theater shooter. It seems that they used a poor quality image to compare with the more recent photo resulting in perceived differences in skin tone, eye color etc. Not only that but he his smiling in one of the photos and his head is tilted in the other, both of which are causing a slight distortion in facial features. A basic internet search will provide much better photos for more accurate comparisons.
In videos, always watch for signs of editing for the purpose of changing the context. In the CNN Faked Gulf War Broadcasts, the video clips were edited together to make it appear as if Charles Jaco was rehearsing for a staged SCUD attack which occurs later in the video. The problem here is that early in the video (approx 0:32) Jaco states that the sirens went off 2 hours ago. But later in the video (6:45) is when is when you actually hear the sirens. Furthermore, the author of this video, used the same clip to make it appear as if it were two seperate takes.
 
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