Are the conspiracy promoters radicalizing people?

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?
http://changingminds.org/techniques/conversion/radicalization.htm
http://changingminds.org/techniques/conversion/radicalization.htm

The process of radicalization, including social, ideological and purpose conversion, is something that is of great concern in times when radicals take extreme action. Here are some notes on how a person may become radicalized.
Transgression

The process of radicalization often starts with with some form of transgression by the other side, breaking rules that the person's side holds as very important.
Mistreatment

A common transgressing action is mistreatment, typically by the authorities or military personnel using methods that cause extreme physical pain or mental distress. The mistreatment may be of the person who hence becomes radicalized, but often it is other people who are lionized as heroes or martyrs.
For example, extreme methods of interrogation of suspects in Northern Ireland in the 1970s led to them becoming radicalized and their story leading to many others taking a strong position. More recently Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are clear candidates.
Mistreatment can be historical and reasons for radicalization can go back generations. Past wars, massacres, persecutions and so on can fester for hundreds of years.
Mistreatments today such as rape and child abuse are also extreme transgressions that effectively radicalize those who would severely punish the perpetrators. Many of us who think we would never be radicalized still hold extreme views on such topics.

Immorality

If there is no direct mistreatment then the inherent badness of the other side may be inferred from their transgression of an inviolable law or value.
They may say things or take actions which are shocking and unthinkable, thereby proving their unworthiness. They may have betrayed a trust, defiled a holy object, conducted black rituals, blasphemed or otherwise shown a terrible lack of respect for people or social rules.
Religion has been a source of radicalized conflict for many centuries.

Organization

A radical needs a movement, a cause. At some point, the outrage at the transgression is converted into organization for consequent action.
Outrage

A critical response to transgression is that some people at least are outraged or feel such a strong sense of betrayal to the extent that they seek justice, typically the extreme vengeance of retributive justice that lies outside national laws. This may be because the laws are seen as inadequate or because they represent governments who are the target of the outrage.
Core

At some point, a core organization is set up to drive the ideals and action. This typically happens in two ways. One is where an individual leader starts alone. Secondly, the core may arise more spontaneously as concerned individuals find one another.
People in the core (often a single leader) may write or use a critical text or otherwise use charismatic oration to establish the central message.
Cores can also be diffused, for example where they are based on central texts which are interpreted and acted upon in localized core organizations.

Focus

After initial development of the core message and core group, the organization starts to develop. This may be done formally or remain relatively informal. Key parts of this are in promoting the message, recruiting new people and driving action.
This focus leads to a need for more people to spread the message and take action. The purpose of the core is then to sustain the focus and drive the rest of the organization.
The organization may be strictly hierarchical, but it may also be very diffuse, with independent cells adopting the ideals and acting on their own.

Recruitment

When the transgression leads to some people seeking revenge then they may seek to organize in some way, recruiting and convertingothers to the cause.
Rallying

The call to arms goes through many channels, typically targeting groups where members may already feel the sense of injustice, such as minority religions, the unemployed, low-status women and so on. Other vulnerable people may well also be targeted.
Communication may include preaching, emails posters, one-to-one calls and so on. While these do not radicalize alone, they often take the first step in communicating urgency or outrage. Later, the volume and intensity of messages create enough tension to trigger action.
Initial communication may be subtle and seemingly about other subjects. Religions can be like this, first creating a desirable place, selling friendship and salvation before radical action.
Sooner or later, the subject of discussion turns to the basic transgression, including the mistreatment or immorality and the consequent sense of outrage. This creates anger and a desire for action.

Polarization

A key part of the message is to demonize the other side, objectifying the people as subhuman, using amplification, negative stereotypesand simplified schema.
In doing so, the argument is polarized. By showing that the other side is so extreme, the simple conclusion is reached that extreme action is the only possible route forward. The arguments used may well be full of fallacies but the passion and underlying messages are clear.

Socialization

A critical part of radicalization is often in the way the message is socialized, becoming a central part of everyday conversation outside of the rallying hall.
For socialization to work best, this conversation should be contained, with any contrary messages being kept at bay. Where possible, the people will be isolated to insulate them from external dissuasion. Where this is not possible, inoculation may be used to help them ward off other views.
Groupthink and other social means of ensuring conformance may also be used to keep people on track.

Action

At some point, the need for action is raised and the radicalized person moved towards proving their passion.
Requirement

The need to act and the required action may appear through the direction of a group leader, though it may also emerge via less structured groups talking about what they might do. Action can range from protest to acts of terrorism and may start small and escalate either with success or frustration at limited success.
A way that commitment is built is with sequential requests, such as Foot In The Door (FITD), where small initial requests that are easy to comply with are later followed up with larger requests.

Promise

Fulfilling the requirement is often linked to a promise of glory, from the admiration of peers to a guaranteed place in heaven.
People who have already taken such action are held up as heroes. They and their actions are glorified and the radicalized people made to feel almost in that state of being deeply admired by many. All that is needed is heroic action.
This in particular works with with people who are seeking meaning in life and who are feeling ignored and irrelevant. 'At last I can make a difference' is a common thought.

Preparation

Preparation for action is also a part of the radicalization process, as it sets the person on a road that is easy to start and increasingly difficult to back out of. This is particularly true when the person is working with others towards joint action. This may involve simulation, practice and continued indoctrination.
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Drew

Active Member
I don't recall who brought this to the table last week but found it very relevant:
http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/thepowerofunreason

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]:

Conspiracy theories can help us understand the turn to violence. Most extremist groups that become violent present the move as the necessary and only option available to them, because: the group is under attack; its goals are unattainable through peaceful means; or there is some sense of impending, apocalyptic doom and a response is needed urgently. Marc Sageman, one of the world’s leading al-Qaeda experts,
believes this distinguishes terrorists from nonviolent extremists: that they lose faith in other channels of dissent.98

Conspiracies add to the sense that violence is the only remaining option. Al-Qaeda consistently protests that it is waging a defensive, reactive jihad against a Western conspiracy to humiliate the Muslim
Ummah, 99 while anti-abortion extremists defend themselves in court using a doctrine of ‘defensive violence’, articulated in Paul Jennings Hill’s ‘Defensive Action Statement’ manifesto: the ‘lethal
force [is] justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children.’100 Defensive violence is only necessary because of the collusion of man in ‘Satan's current attack
(the abortionist's knife).’101
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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.
 

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?
 

Jazzy

Closed Account
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?
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...
 
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JRBids

Senior Member.
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...

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."

http://patriotcommandcenter.org/#2660
 

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)


Capture.JPG



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



The man identified by Wonkette this morning as the murderer of two police officers and a woman in Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas had long ranted against the “fascist” government, but the last comment he posted before the attack was the most chilling.

“The dawn of a new day,” Jerad Miller wrote on his Facebook page Saturday. “May all our coming sacrifices be worth it.”
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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?
 

Jason

Senior Member
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.
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.
 

deirdre

Senior 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

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.
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.
 

Jason

Senior 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.
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.

Focus
After initial development of the core message and core group, the organization starts to develop. This may be done formally or remain relatively informal. Key parts of this are in promoting the message, recruiting new people and driving action.
This focus leads to a need for more people to spread the message and take action. The purpose of the core is then to sustain the focus and drive the rest of the organization.
The organization may be strictly hierarchical, but it may also be very diffuse, with independent cells adopting the ideals and acting on their own.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
We can't use a broad stroke to paint all of them under the same swath, its not fair
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.
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
http://www.academia.edu/1023671/The...racy_Theories_Extremism_and_Counter-Terrorism

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.


While it is not possible to demonstrate direct causal links between conspiracy theories and extremism, our findings suggest that the acceptance of conspiracy theories in contexts of extremism
often serves as a ‘radicalizing multiplier’, which feeds back into the ideologies, internal dynamics and psychological processes of the group. They hold extremist groups together and push them in a more extreme and sometimes violent direction.This happens in three ways. First, conspiracy theories create demonologies of ‘the other’ or ‘the enemy’ that the group defines itself against. Second, they delegitimise voices of dissent and moderation by casting them as part of the conspiracy. Finally, they can encourage a group to turn to violence, acting as rhetorical devices to portray violence, both to the group itself and their wider supporters, as necessary to ‘awaken’ the people from their acquiescent slumber.More broadly, conspiracy theories drive a wedge of distrust between governments and particular communities. Conspiracy theories -such as those that claim 7/7 or 9/11 were ‘inside jobs’ - demolish the mutuality and trust that people have in institutions of government, with social and political ramifications that we still don't fully understand. This can especially hinder community-level efforts to fight violent extremism. A more long-term threat is that extreme and violent groups could start to form new alliances based on shared conspiracies – as has already happened with the National Anarchist movement and various far right overtures to al-Qaeda.Moreover, extreme groups may be able draw on a larger counter-culture of conspiracies as a pool of possible recruits.Therefore, fighting the ideology of extremist groups, a central component of counter-terrorism strategy since 2001, should also target the myths, lies, and conspiracies that are part of it. However,attempts by government to factually refute them often inadvertently give them legitimacy. We recommend a small number of interventions focusing on making government institutions more open, and investing more resources in enabling people to think critically, rather than government confronting conspiracy theories directly
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BombDr

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

Jay Reynolds

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

BombDr

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.

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?
 

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.
 

occams rusty scissor

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.
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.
 

deirdre

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

Libertarian

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

Senior Member.
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.
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...
 

jonnyH

Senior Member.
This thread is baseless and all of the speculation groundless.
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.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
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.
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.
 
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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.


The emails from Emwazi left Cage with a thin and dangerous line to walk between pinning the blame on the security services for harassing Emwazi so much that he became a butcher who sickened even those who despise western policy, and giving ammunition to those who will accuse Cage of excusing his actions to make a political point.

The spokesman Amandla Thomas-Johnson says he accepts that Cage’s decision to take aim at the security services and British foreign policy as factors driving Emwazi’s atrocities will open it up to criticism: “We have our views on foreign policy and domestic policy; it may be unpopular to the powers that be. We have been on the ground speaking to the people who have been through this … We’re not offering excuses, we’re offering an explanation.”
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Cage also represented the family of Michael Adebolajo, the man who butchered Lee Rigby in a London street in May 2013. After the terrorist atrocity Cage revealed that Adebolajo, seemingly like Emwazi, hadbeen harassed by the security services prior to his violent action
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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....
 

scombrid

Senior Member.
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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.
 

jonnyH

Senior Member.
Here is an odd twist:
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....

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.
 

BombDr

Senior 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.

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?
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
regardless, it only takes one. being egged on by their peers, to snap. Then real live people and children die.
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.
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.
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.
IFF government is corrupt, CT is against government. Government is corrupt. Therefore CT is against 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.
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
In any event, how much harassment from unarmed people in suits can turn you into beheader-in-chief
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.
 

Libertarian

Banned
Banned
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.
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.
 
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NoParty

Senior Member.
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.
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?
 
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Libertarian

Banned
Banned
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?
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:

  • "The total number of worldwide attacks in 2011, however, dropped by almost 12 percent from 2010 and nearly 29 percent from 2007." (9)
  • "Attacks by AQ and its affiliates increased by 8 percent from 2010 to 2011. A significant increase in attacks by al-Shabaab, from 401 in 2010 to 544 in 2011, offset a sharp decline in attacks by al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI) and a smaller decline in attacks by al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)." (11)
  • "In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered between 82 and 97 percent of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years." (14)
  • Of 978 terrorism-related kidnapping last year, only three hostages were private U.S. citizens, or .003 percent. A private citizen is defined as 'any U.S. citizen not acting in an official capacity on behalf of the U.S. government.' (13, 17)
  • Of the 13,288 people killed by terrorist attacks last year, seventeen were private U.S. citizens, or .001 percent. (17)
Content from External Source
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.
 
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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.
 

Libertarian

Banned
Banned
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.
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]
 

jonnyH

Senior Member.
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.
Did you copy and paste that last bit from here?
http://www.thedailysheeple.com/poli...ation-release-us-from-the-police-state_112013
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.
Content from External Source
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.
 

BombDr

Senior 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.
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.
 

occams rusty scissor

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.

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...
 

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.

It ended with the arrest of a 28-year-old suspect, David Joseph Lenio, late Monday afternoon at Whitefish Mountain Resort, near Kalispell in Flathead County, Montana, just one county east of Idaho, immediately south of the Canadian border. In the interim, Lenio had retrieved two rifles from a storage locker, one a semi-automatic to add to his semi-automatic pistol. If it hadn’t been a three-day weekend, there’s no telling what he might have done before the police and the FBI caught up with him.
Content from External Source
“It is important to note that there are only a few actors in these larger extremist movements that act violently on their legitimate frustrations of economic insecurity,” she said, but “it is also important to remember that while some of those violent actors may struggle with mental health instability, the ideology of these movements can make everyday people spin deeper and deeper into the fear, scapegoating, and conspiracy theories to the point of violence.”
Content from External Source
Precisely because Lenio’s online ideological ramblings are so uneven, crude in some ways, sophisticated in others, they provide an interesting way to approach such material. One of his most telling YouTube creations is “Channel Surfing for 9/11 Truth: A Video Investigation,” a nearly 90-minute video, combining his own ramblings with a variety of video clips from different sources
Content from External Source

He makes clear at the beginning that he’s not interested in proving that 9/11 was a hoax; instead he simply asserts it as a fact, citing physical evidence that Popular Mechanics comprehensively refuted long ago, with more recent updating as well. Rather than proving his case, he wants to focus on who would benefit, and how—which, logically, does nothing to prove the underlying assertion—but does make it more psychologically satisfying to embrace.

Similarly, he also says, “Israelis were involved with it, it’s just a fact.” He says there were “some factions” of the U.S. government involved, but, “There were some people that were loyal to another government. And that’s Israel.” Then he adds, “You know when you start talking about Israel, and Jews or whatever, that’s taboo, the Holocaust, or whatever.” In short, he takes for granted a whole constellation of conspiracist beliefs, and he takes the fact that others find this odd, unproven or even unbelievable as proof that he is in the know and others are foolish or ill-informed.

This reflects an aspect of conspiracist thinking that I talked about in a previous story for Salon. Regarding conspiracy theories, the philosopher Brian L. Keeley observed, “These theories throw into doubt the various institutions that have been set up to generate reliable data and evidence. In doing so, they reveal just how large a role trust in both institutions and individuals plays in the justification of our beliefs. The ultimate point of such theories, then, is to destroy the foundations of how things are known—not just to question specific factual claims.
Content from External Source
“Just keep in mind, there’s no hate in this video,” he says, straight-faced. “I’m not saying that all the Jews did it, or whatever.” Then, however, he begins to slip: “But at times some of the things I say, I feel that kind of sounds like skin-headish shit, and like, until I started investigating 9/11, I never thought I’d say some of the things I’ve said about Jews. So, I don’t know, I’ll probably make a video about what I think about Jews, too…. I’m not spreading hate, I just want a real investigation in 9/11.”
Content from External Source
“I’m not spreading hate, I just want a real investigation,” it might as well be the GOP’s national motto in the Obama years. But who does he think he is fooling? One can’t help wondering, watching the video. It seems like perhaps he’s trying to fool others, in order to fool himself. Self-deception and redirection of anger and blame reappear again and again in his videos—and more rapidly, in the blink of an eye, in his twitter stream
Content from External Source
 
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