How to prove chemtrails are just contrails?

eon_flux

New Member
I used to believe in 'chemtrails'. I even had a website (skymod.org) - now dormant. I left 'the movement' after finally finding sensibility - only after asking myself and other people in 'the movement' some pertinent questions. Of course, no-one could answer these questions, but what I found, was that by being on 'the dark side' and having communications, meant I was able to mildly influence a few people. A couple of website owners agreed that they had got caught up in the hype associated with CTs and could not substantiate some of the claims, and from what I could see, some content was changed.

The questions I asked were primarily about logistics: where are the planes flying from; where and when are the chemicals transferred to the plane; where are the chemicals stored (on the ground); how and when are the chemicals being transported to the ground bases; etc. I asked people to help build the ultimate guide to chemtrails. The questions remained un-answered on my website for some months, my mailbox wasn't exactly filling up. In some conversations I pointed out to people that a paper discussing a principle wasn't the same as proof of it happening. Surprisingly although I had been in touch with such names as Scott Stevens and Dane Wigington, they also never replied to my questions or any further emails. I also sent an email at about the same time to many of the people I knew, disputing claims that DW had made that the high bypass engine should cause LESS trails, not more.

I think the mindset should be explained in greater depth than, paranoid, un-trusting and of course the reliance on the belief of anything that was posted in favour of the theory was taken as proof. But as some of the last posts on my website claimed (from memory) was that the issue was so divided because it was those that believed, and those that didn't. There wasn't and as far as I can tell, still isn't a true middle ground. Someone seemingly being 'on both sides'. There was one individual that attempted to put me on the right track by explaining not just science about contrails but also about weather patterns, and humidity patches, etc. It was the fact that this person quietly and calmly contacted me personally to talk to me, that finally saw me start to reason and question both sides. Speaking as someone who deals with technology and electricity on a daily basis, I now see my beliefs as being somewhat silly.

Whilst the folks on here do a great job at calmly insisting on the scientific principles, it is the big vacuum/cavern/valley between the two views that causes a mistrust of science or rational thought. Unfortunately many disbeliever comments on youtube are overly critical of believers and this just causes more problems. There needs to be some kind of active scientific TRUTH movement outside the realms of sites like this that attempts to equally oppose the other view.
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member
It sounds like somehow you went into critical thinking mode and found things lacking. Good for you. It also sounds like you saw some false information being put out and also some of your questions not being answered.

I had a look at an early(?) version of your page and didn't see those questions you speak about.

https://web.archive.org/web/20140101000000*/http://skymod.org

A person in your position could fill the void you speak of and help others. Would you be willing to step into that role for others as someone else did for you?
 

JFDee

Senior Member
I often get the feeling that public discussions add an extra 'gap' between the two opposing sides. A passionate chemtrail proponent may have invested a lot into promoting his belief, which makes even the slightest hint of conceding particularly hard.

Publicly questioning one's own conviction doesn't come easy to most people (that includes debunkers). So a private conversation may indeed be the most obstacle-free way for a direct interaction.

In a public discussion however, there is likely a third party - the readers - who may be picking one or the other rational argument from the exchange. That's why it's so important for debunkers to stay polite and focus on issues, not on persons, even when attacked personally.
 

eon_flux

New Member
I had a look at an early(?) version of your page and didn't see those questions you speak about.
I agree, the last version isn't cached. I used MyCSV as a 'data engine' for the the site. I've attached data1.csv which shows a list of questions I asked or points I wanted to develop. The problem became, that the more I thought about the issues, the more I realised the whole thing just couldn't be as I'd seen it. In fact just looking at the cached versions - makes me cringe! How could I have stated such things as facts? In the end I took such a break from it all that I simply never went back, until the day I went and shut the site. The content was corrupted for some reason when I returned, so maybe that's why it doesn't show historically.

I often get the feeling that public discussions add an extra 'gap' between the two opposing sides. A passionate chemtrail proponent may have invested a lot into promoting his belief, which makes even the slightest hint of conceding particularly hard.
I agree that the public nature of such things makes the pill even harder to swallow. In fact, my educator initially contacted me publicly on a forum, after I had managed to get the site in to a local paper! After pointing out my use of the usual test flight pictures, the fear of being less credible forced me to take those pictures down - part one of the lesson. Then we moved the discussion on privately.

In response to some initial backlash I recieved via email, I also asked people why there weren't trails every day, or at every hour of every day, how the prime minister defends themselves and family against these dangerous chemicals. I jokingly suggested to someone that the queen would be very annoyed when she finds out whats been going on. I insisted that she does leave the palace every now and again and can't be breathing through a filter permanently, unless one is fitted in her throat. Maybe its the ridiculousness of claims that could be used to slowly eat away at peoples beliefs.

I have been thinking about ways to change other peoples minds and while I'm willing to give some things a go. I see the absolute stick that Mick has received on youtube, for example, and I'm unsure I can keep my cool or simply brush off the hate so easily. What I'm thinking is that it needs a lot of small independently run websites - that tell the opposite side of things. All the time there are only a few outlets such as Metabunk, the believers can easily point and say the ususal things. The only other option is to produce media that seems sympathetic to the believers and that can not simply be as straight laced as any other program that will be labelled a hit piece. I read that tests are expensive, however, quadcopters/drones costing between £300 - £1000 can easily make it to cloud level (not that I advocate irresponsible use), this surely could be used to start conducting tests to prove the content of trails, even if they are not so amazingly accurate.

In short, its the amount of truth needed (the frequency of the message) that seems to be the answer.
 

Attachments

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've converted the .cvs to formatted text for more easy readability

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Whilst the folks on here do a great job at calmly insisting on the scientific principles, it is the big vacuum/cavern/valley between the two views that causes a mistrust of science or rational thought. Unfortunately many disbeliever comments on youtube are overly critical of believers and this just causes more problems. There needs to be some kind of active scientific TRUTH movement outside the realms of sites like this that attempts to equally oppose the other view.
Welcome Eon!

Thank you for a very valuable perspective. It is indeed relatively easy to disprove the claims of evidence behind chemtrails. The real hard thing is communicating this "disproof", and to explain what it actually means.

A part of the problem is the way of framing the issue that you started this thread with "how to prove chemtrails are just contrails". This is something you can't do, for the very simple reason that you can't test all the trails. You can't prove a global negative, because there's always the possibility that some other trail is a "chemtrail".

Chemtrail believers, at some level, know this. So if they think that Metabunk or Contrail Science is trying to "prove chemtrails are just contrails", then they also know I've failed, seeing as it's an impossible thing to prove.

What I'm try to do (and struggling to communicate) is just demonstrate that the claims of evidence behind the chemtrail theory don't hold up. That these claims are either wrong, or inapplicable, or based on faulty evidence or math. Basically I'm "debunking" in the sense of "stripping away the bunk", and not "proving the theory is wrong".

But the bigger problem here is that people simple don't want to listen. I went on my local El Dorado Sky Watch Facebook page when I moved to the region, thinking I could have a polite discussion, as their description said:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/222423134580717/
And yet I only lasted two days before the following was posted to the group
Basically the accusation of "shill" has stuck, and now some people ignore me, regardless of what I have to say.

It's impossible to avoid such accusations though. Even such disparate people as Dane Wigington, Michael J. Murphy, Alex Jones, Joe Rogan, David Icke, and every scientist and TV weatherman out there have received accusations of shilling when they say something someone does not want to hear.

How to get around it? Individual contact is best. Providing neutral sources (like old books) works well. But ultimately this is not going away. Lots of people can be helped, and that's very important. We can learn and improve our techniques for helping them, and help more people. But we are never going to "prove chemtrails are contrails" to the satisfaction of everyone.
 

mrfintoil

Active Member
There needs to be some kind of active scientific TRUTH movement outside the realms of sites like this that attempts to equally oppose the other view.
Well, the sceptic community is sort of a movement. But I think the problem is when things become too much associated with organisations or movements, believers can easily dismiss any arguments just because of the "source".

I know plenty of times when believers have ignored arguments just because they come from a specific source, not because the argument is wrong. For example, link to Metabunk and you're likely facing a knee-jerk reaction that Metabunk and Mick West are paid shills, not to be trusted even to a slight degree. Therefore the information bust be false and can be dismissed per default. This is because believers become conditioned to ignore and scorn known sources of different opinion, even if Metabunk is mostly a compilation of external sources.

It is therefore better if the information lacks any sign of being "organized". Not because it should matter whether the information comes from a forum such as this, but in the world of the paranoid, disinformational organisations are a very plausible thing. As you explained yourself eon_flux, the sooner a believer realizes that the person arguing with you is just an ordinary person who see the benefit of explaining misconceptions, the faster the believer will drop the idea of "paid shills 33 mansonic mkultra" ect.

A very interesting story you have there though. Throughout the years when I've discussed with "chemtrail" believers, they have asked me to provide them with the evidence that "chemtrails" do not exist. I have responded by saying that the best way to provide such evidence is to take a proper look at the evidence claiming it does exist. Of course, most believers never take the time to really do their research properly, for various reasons.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I read that tests are expensive, however, quadcopters/drones costing between £300 - £1000 can easily make it to cloud level (not that I advocate irresponsible use), this surely could be used to start conducting tests to prove the content of trails, even if they are not so amazingly accurate.
Unfortunately it would take a bit more than a standard drone. Most contrails form in the 30,000 to 45,000 foot range, and regular drones struggle to ascend more that 5,000 feet.
 

JFDee

Senior Member
In short, its the amount of truth needed (the frequency of the message) that seems to be the answer.
This matches my own conclusions pretty closely.

However, I think that expensive "in situ" contrail sampling tests are probably overkill. There is enough controversy when it comes to the basic understanding of the atmosphere.

The "contrails normally don't persist" is still at the core of misunderstandings, so it's worth repeating over and over such facts like the decreasing temperature of the air with increasing altitude, or what the main products of fuel combustion are.
There are countless references for both which makes outright dismissal harder.
 

eon_flux

New Member
Ok. I am aware that any thoughts I post here could be used against any ideas that may be of use. I did visit this site a few times while trying to get to the bottom of the issue and did feel as though because no-one is reaching out to explain things, it drove the fear IN ME that this was a dis-info site. No-one is doing anything wrong, but I think that people see it as a closed shop of people who don't care about their worries. Here are some additional thoughts about the psychology.

And yet I only lasted two days before the following was posted to the group
Content from external source
Attention Sky Watch Members

They
have something to fear - THIS is the very driving force behind the movement.
(Often the fear is similar to that of someone who perceives the opposition as a bully. This is not the same as a trouble maker who needs to be ignored or told off. An olive branch type approach may be useful. They're fearful for their health and of those around them.)

They have something to focus on. The object of fear is visible.
(I found that changing from terms like 'dangerous chemicals' to 'visible pollution' may have been mildly effective and if truthful I should say that I still don't like anything being in the sky that 'shouldn't be there'.)

They have 'gone viral' and created a network, albeit not always through organised means.

Their mission - inform and recruit others. It is a religion of sorts. I even printed little business cards on paper.

Well, the sceptic community is sort of a movement. But I think the problem is when things become too much associated with organisations or movements, believers can easily dismiss any arguments just because of the "source".
I should not make judgements about others' personalities, but I think we are all aware how much of this goes hand in hand with other conspiracy theories (some of which I still need help with) and that goes along with a massive distrust of mainstream media. I won't mention government for now. But yes, if the message is exactly the same as is found in the 'Daily News', it won't be taken seriously. It needs to be tailored to have sympathy for concerns held.

Unfortunately it would take a bit more than a standard drone. Most contrails form in the 30,000 to 45,000 foot range, and regular drones struggle to ascend more that 5,000 feet.
Yes, now I see this. I have a habit of floating ideas without doing research first.

So I accept that the title is slightly misguided. I would like to ask if anyone has any ideas regarding the involvement of airline companies or large organisations that would like to help reduce death threats and laser pointer attacks. I see comments on the site regarding people who do seem to have contact with large carriers and/or their staff.

The last video I watched is of course known to probably everyone on here
(Dane scaring the hell out of people) I'm sure this is a re-post by someone because the title isn't what I remember. But with this kind of propaganda, things can only get worse.
 

eon_flux

New Member
The "contrails normally don't persist" is still at the core of misunderstandings,
Yes, probably 95% of all the chemtrail believers I've seen still think that "normal" contrails cannot persist.
So how about a short educational video on every flight. We may not need to address the issue with the believers directly, but as long as when someone hears them talking about 'chemtrails', they are told, "there was a short film on the flight we just went on, etc". Especially when it comes from a family member that they trust. The film doesn't have to be 'dis-info', just as long as it explains some basics about flight, including contrails and what they are.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I did visit this site a few times while trying to get to the bottom of the issue and did feel as though because no-one is reaching out to explain things, it drove the fear IN ME that this was a dis-info site. No-one is doing anything wrong, but I think that people see it as a closed shop of people who don't care about their worries.
I recognize this is a big problem of perception. My early focus for Metabunk was to provide very focussed explanations (debunks) of very specific questions, like "what are these barrels?" or "what is this plane spraying from its wingtips". I figure if I can get good quality factual explanation of these things, then people will be able to find them, and it will help stop the spread of bunk.

This works to a certain extent. I get thousands of visits a day, mostly from search traffics from people looking for information about a specific claim. Kind of like how people "check Snopes" to see if something is true (except people rarely "check Metabunk", it all comes via Google).

But there's a problem of people like your self (from a couple of years ago) coming here seeking general information. Sometimes we get believers who arrive with what they think is inarguable evidence, like a gap in a contrail, and then ten people explain it to them at once, and they get defensive, often after going through the laundry list of chemtrail evidence.

They have something to fear - THIS is the very driving force behind the movement.
(Often the fear is similar to that of someone who perceives the opposition as a bully. This is not the same as a trouble maker who needs to be ignored or told off. An olive branch type approach may be useful. They're fearful for their health and of those around them.)
I encourage (even force) people here to be polite. I've even banned some of the more vocal debunkers. But it's really hard to avoid this perception of being attacked. After all, chemtrail believers have their belief pretty much as a cornerstone of their entire world view. It can be frightening to have such a fundamental belief challenged, no matter how politely.

But your perspective here is very valuable. It shows that the way you say something is actually very important. Politeness helps, but it's not the whole picture. We really need to consider the perpective of the other person.

 
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deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
So how about a short educational video on every flight. We may not need to address the issue with the believers directly, but as long as when someone hears them talking about 'chemtrails', they are told, "there was a short film on the flight we just went on, etc". Especially when it comes from a family member that they trust. The film doesn't have to be 'dis-info', just as long as it explains some basics about flight, including contrails and what they are.
i dont think there are enough believers to warrant such a thing and the passengers may not be happy you are delaying their watching of The Rock as the Tooth Fairy. (i think it was The Rock). Contrail formation is only vaguely interesting, I wouldnt mind seeing such a short film once.. but if i had to watch it on every flight I'd probably start hating contrails :)

I also think believers would absolutely see that as proof that the airlines are coordinating in an effort to brainwash people.
 

JFDee

Senior Member
Contrail formation is only vaguely interesting, I wouldnt mind seeing such a short film once.. but if i had to watch it on every flight I'd probably start hating contrails
Actually, I quite like the idea, on a voluntary base of course.

In today's entertainment systems, there is often a "flight information" channel or menu. This could be a platform for all kinds of explanatory short films about flying and plane technology, including one or two about clouds and contrails.
I'm quite certain that there is an audience for this.

I think I'll write up a little suggestion to Lufthansa.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
Actually, I quite like the idea, on a voluntary base of course.

In today's entertainment systems, there is often a "flight information" channel or menu. This could be a platform for all kinds of explanatory short films about flying and plane technology, including one or two about clouds and contrails.
I'm quite certain that there is an audience for this.

I think I'll write up a little suggestion to Lufthansa.
or articles in that SkyMall mag.

add: speaking of, look what i found the other day (cant be a high demand for this pillow!)
jet_contrails_in_blue_sky_pillow-r22c3ffe6da0c4e1e8deb505cde95e090_i5fqz_8byvr_324.jpg
 

eon_flux

New Member
I encourage (even force) people here to be polite. I've even banned some of the more vocal debunkers. But it's really hard to avoid this perception of being attacked. After all, chemtrail believers have their belief pretty much as a cornerstone of their entire world view. It can be frightening to have such a fundamental belief challenged, no matter how politely.

But your perspective here is very valuable. It shows that the way you say something is actually very important. Politeness helps, but it's not the whole picture. We really need to consider the perpective of the other person.
I'm sure you understand that I'm simply giving an insight into the workings of mind's like mine. Also I'm suggesting ideas for anyone who wishes to communicate the point to someone who is having problems with understanding, on any platform, not just here. I'm not wishing that people adhere to any rules other than were already here before I came.

i dont think there are enough believers to warrant such a thing and the passengers may not be happy you are delaying their watching of The Rock as the Tooth Fairy. (i think it was The Rock). Contrail formation is only vaguely interesting, I wouldnt mind seeing such a short film once.. but if i had to watch it on every flight I'd probably start hating contrails :)

I also think believers would absolutely see that as proof that the airlines are coordinating in an effort to brainwash people.
I understand entirely what you're saying. Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology with short film. Just a mention that anything that can be seen from the engines or wings are/is entirely normal, etc. but I do understand.

I can't help but feel that very frequent mentions of the words 'contrail' and 'normal' will eventually start to reverse the trend. Programming can be done subtly.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Actually, I quite like the idea, on a voluntary base of course.

In today's entertainment systems, there is often a "flight information" channel or menu. This could be a platform for all kinds of explanatory short films about flying and plane technology, including one or two about clouds and contrails.
I'm quite certain that there is an audience for this.

I think I'll write up a little suggestion to Lufthansa.
I think you'd have to be careful of a backfire effects. If people already think the government and airlines are complicit in a supposed "chemtrails" scheme, then they will just view this as propaganda, and evidence that their theory is correct.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
I understand entirely what you're saying. Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology with short film. Just a mention that anything that can be seen from the engines or wings are/is entirely normal, etc. but I do understand.

I can't help but feel that very frequent mentions of the words 'contrail' and 'normal' will eventually start to reverse the trend. Programming can be done subtly
i dont really know how movies work on flights now adays... been a while since ive flown. But esp. for kids it would be great (if they dont have it already), many kids would watch if they were actually on a plane at the time. Fun stuff.
 

Jason

Senior Member
i dont really know how movies work on flights now adays... been a while since ive flown. But esp. for kids it would be great (if they dont have it already), many kids would watch if they were actually on a plane at the time. Fun stuff.
I agree in that the short film wouldn't necessarily be effective. Considering a small minority of passengers are seated near the windows behind the wings of the plane (where contrails are visible).

I do however see the importance of educating our youth, but I think this should happen in the classroom. Kids are fascinated by the trails planes leave behind them in the sky, but they think it's just "smoke" similar to a car's exhaust. And most parents can't adequately explain what contrails are or why they even exist to their children. It's this lack of knowledge/education that allows people's beliefs to be misguided.

I think if more people were educated about this at a younger age it would be a big positive push in the right direction even if it took a generation. It would be a fun exercise in high school physics or even when discussing earth's weather patterns.
 
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skephu

Senior Member
A part of the problem is the way of framing the issue that you started this thread with "how to prove chemtrails are just contrails". This is something you can't do, for the very simple reason that you can't test all the trails. You can't prove a global negative, because there's always the possibility that some other trail is a "chemtrail".
Look at whether there is a gap between the engine and the trail. If there is a gap, this is strong proof that it is condensation. This will prove almost all "chemtrails" to be contrails. It's not proof of a "global negative", but is pretty close to it. Of course it requires observation of the plane, and not just the trail some time later. Then you have the solar halos, which can only be produced by ice crystals, proving that the stuff in the air is ice. Then there is the ice budget argument. So this is not just a case of "we have no evidence for chemtrails", we actually have strong evidence that they are contrails in most cases.

The problem is, many believers even reject physics and chemistry. They believe physics is disinformation. Those are the most hopeless cases.
 

eon_flux

New Member
I think if more people were educated about this at a younger age it would be a big positive push in the right direction even if it took a generation. It would be a fun exercise in high school physics or even when discussing earth's weather patterns.
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20040084855

Although this activity is aimed at creating an awareness of pollution, maybe it might touch on the subject of how they are formed. I do also believe it is mentioned by the rather tacky looking www.checktheevidence.co.uk, as an effort to normalise 'chemtrails', although the search facility is pretty poor.
 

JFDee

Senior Member
If people already think the government and airlines are complicit in a supposed "chemtrails" scheme, then they will just view this as propaganda
The video audience I have in mind is rather the majority of people who never cared or thought about aerodynamics, jet engines, GPS, cirrus clouds or contrails, but are occasionally interested in the plane's position and have plenty of time to kill.

As @eon_flux implied, every bit helps on the way to creating a 'critical mass' of knowledge.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
Kids are fascinated by the trails planes leave behind them in the sky, but they think it's just "smoke" similar to a car's exhaust.
Hey you! Long time no see.

I'm pretty sure if smoke is coming out of your exhaust you blew a head gasket. no?
 

Rico

Active Member
Hey welcome to shill territory! Just kidding.

I apologize in advance as I haven't read what everyone had to say when I mention this, but I feel that really the best people who can show chemtrail believers that chemtrails are just contrails are former believers themselves. Maybe running a small forum community like this one where folks are free to discuss their experiences is a start.

I doubt there is any true method to dispel hardcore believers, no matter how educational some pieces of information can be, but I think if I were a believer, I'd probably take the word of someone who did believe and changed his mind a little more seriously than some random bloke lecturing science to me (assuming I am distrustful and fearful in the first place)
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member
But it's really hard to avoid this perception of being attacked. After all, chemtrail believers have their belief pretty much as a cornerstone of their entire world view.
I think it's partly a matter of just how thoroughly and ridiculously wrong their beliefs are. It's like we are calling them "stupid" when we are simply explaining the facts to them.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I know plenty of times when believers have ignored arguments just because they come from a specific source, not because the argument is wrong. For example, link to Metabunk and you're likely facing a knee-jerk reaction that Metabunk and Mick West are paid shills, not to be trusted even to a slight degree. Therefore the information bust be false and can be dismissed per default. This is because believers become conditioned to ignore and scorn known sources of different opinion, even if Metabunk is mostly a compilation of external sources.
This is why I find it works better to post the original source rather than a link to the Metabunk debunking. Use Metabunk like Wikipedia (or at least like Wikipedia SHOULD be used) - not a source in itself but a handy repository of primary sources.

And @eon_flux, welcome. I'm glad you "saw the light" ;)
 

mrfintoil

Active Member
I should not make judgements about others' personalities, but I think we are all aware how much of this goes hand in hand with other conspiracy theories (some of which I still need help with) and that goes along with a massive distrust of mainstream media. I won't mention government for now. But yes, if the message is exactly the same as is found in the 'Daily News', it won't be taken seriously. It needs to be tailored to have sympathy for concerns held.
I know what you are talking about. I like to call it the clustering illusion of evidence, and most believers suffer it. It is when you believe so many conspiracy theories that all seem to support each other. "Chemtrails" are real because GMOs are bad. GMOs are bad because 9/11 was an inside job. It's a form of circular reasoning were the conviction that one conspiracy must be true because other conspiracy theories are true. If the government did 9/11, they must be capable of doing "chemtrails" as well. That's the mindset I am referring to.

At a superficial level, it all seem to form a coherent picture. But at the fundamental level, you have a complex array of misconceptions, errors, ignorance, and fear. For a believer to realize it all to be wrong, each and every detail needs to be debunked, which is very hard when you have quite a lot of other claims left to sort out. There is always this but what about this claim... But as you have experienced yourself, the more claims you sort out the less obvious becomes the evidence of conspiracy.

I like to illustrate the clustering illusion of evidence with this image.
true.jpg
I think it explains pretty well the effect of superficial understanding of certain concepts and claims.

For example, some 9/11 truthers still believe that the missing trillions announced by Rumsfeld one day before 9/11 is evidence of foul play. But practically all who still find this as evidence don't know the context of the announcement, which in reality was about money that could not be accounted for over many decades due to an inefficient accounting system. There simply is no relevance of this announcement to the events of 9/11. But superficial understanding makes it feel relevant.

Imagine then that there are thousands of similar misunderstandings and errors that constitutes the "evidence" of a belief. This is true for "chemtrail" belief as well. I know plenty of examples, and you likely do that too by now.
 

Jay Reynolds

Senior Member
I also sent an email at about the same time to many of the people I knew, disputing claims that DW had made that the high bypass engine should cause LESS trails, not more.
I see you mention this and am wondering about it. This idea which seems to have come from Russ Tanner has been discussed a lot here. It seems to be a reaction by the leadership to find some way to overcome/sidestep the essential element the 95% Mick speaks of who don't grasp the essentials of contrail formation. It is quickly becoming accepted but I see it as a very big weakness for them. It seems to have been a significant enough point to make an impression on you large enough that some walls began to crumble.

When a person sees someone they relied upon come to state with certainty something you know to be untrue, that person becomes less of an authority, you change your opinion of them, and from that point their reliability is shaken.

Did you find that a wall became broken when this happened? When your questions were unanswered? When you tried to logically work through it all seemed to be the key for you. How did those people react to your email? I'm wondering about it and how others dealt with it.
 

eon_flux

New Member
I know what you are talking about. I like to call it the clustering illusion of evidence, and most believers suffer it. It is when you believe so many conspiracy theories that all seem to support each other. "Chemtrails" are real because GMOs are bad. GMOs are bad because 9/11 was an inside job. It's a form of circular reasoning were the conviction that one conspiracy must be true because other conspiracy theories are true. If the government did 9/11, they must be capable of doing "chemtrails" as well. That's the mindset I am referring to.

At a superficial level, it all seem to form a coherent picture. But at the fundamental level, you have a complex array of misconceptions, errors, ignorance, and fear. For a believer to realize it all to be wrong, each and every detail needs to be debunked, which is very hard when you have quite a lot of other claims left to sort out. There is always this but what about this claim... But as you have experienced yourself, the more claims you sort out the less obvious becomes the evidence of conspiracy.
Some governments or politicians have clearly done wrong - sneaky things for their own benefits that go against the peoples best interest which may be revealed by mainstream media for tomorrow's front page scandal. Although most of this tends to be misappropriation of funds through stupidity or for personal gain, it seems that many people have a particular view of politicians if they read the news. It is fairly common place to hear people insinuating that 'they don't know what they're doing anyway' and 'they're all out of touch', etc. - which may be a fairly UK-centric view because a percentage of these people are privately educated, come from families with money, etc - so they do not seem like everyday folks or affected by their own poor decision making, and some seem to forget they are elected to work for us using our resources. Combine this with many meaningless government quangos, seemingly over zealous 'rule making' which can come from local 'authorities', (unelected) organisations such as the EU churning out laws above those already in place and journalistic bias. Now study the complete opposite in society, which is more freedom and a knowledge of, and thirst for personal rights, and maybe we can see a catalyst for problems with who to trust. So, if someones mind is set up to believe that they can not trust those who seem to be in authority, will they trust someone who seems to be more like them, who has 'inside information'? Is this indicative of a pre-revolution type of thinking?

So I believe that the theories don't necessarily support each other especially if they're unrelated, but once someone has bought into one without doing due diligence, and the concept of us vs them is firmly in place, then the weight of each unsupported claim seems to be heavier and therefore more acceptable.

I hate meaningless gossip, 'celebrities', etc and tend to stay away from the press apart from the headlines and a brief insight as to what the journalist, who wasn't there to witness events, thinks happened. Unbiased interviews and scientific facts are what I would prefer to read. But I think that even I have fallen for gossip in many of the videos I've watched, just believing that it was meaningful and relevant to me. I think its worth also mentioning that if you feel that you can't trust many people, you may give up on trying to get to the truth as you once knew it (if you ever did). Just as I stated, there seems to be a very few places where matters such as this are discussed scientifically and the vast majority of mainstream media simply dismiss the believers in a similar way. So cynical me still says - really? proof please? but now to everything that sounds suspicious unbelievable or incredible rather than what I had previously zoned off as true/untrue. Maybe I spend too long checking facts now, but better that than working myself up about the next rumour.

I am interested if there is a clear link to cognitive bias (there is a thread on here although I posted on it for other reasons), and is this because of an underlying disorder thought process? I think the names of specific disorders are widely misused but its obvious to me, there are spectrums of behaviour that are very similar and that many people are clearly on the borders of such patterns. How many people 'kind of' believe in chemtrails? I suppose I might have been in that camp for a little while, but all the other theories weigh heavily even when not linking them.
 

mrfintoil

Active Member
I am interested if there is a clear link to cognitive bias (there is a thread on here although I posted on it for other reasons), and is this because of an underlying disorder thought process?
I only have basic formal education in psychology, but have continued to study the subject more in-depth over the years. I also have personal experience of what it means to fall victim of the conspiracy mindset, which have helped me understand what makes you a believer and what keeps you there. My personal experience is a story I've mentioned many times in this forum, but it is, at least for me, a good example of how sudden these ideas can take hold.

One particular thing I've noticed over the years of discussing these subject with believers is that they suffer an inferiority complex. When I had my own experience, long before I became a sceptic, I did suffer low self-esteem, and I often had bad thoughts about end-of-the-world scenarios. So when a friend introduced me to Alex Jones (who was unknown to me at the time) the scaremongering really caught me hard. People already living with fear are more susceptible to claims of scare and doom. And for a week I honestly believed that "the elite" would poison most of the world's population and enslave the rest by 2012.

It's embarrassing for me to think that I actually believed such thing once, but when you're caught up in it it becomes almost impossible for you to analyse the situation on your own. And I had no intellectual assets to question the claims of Alex Jones. I didn't know the concept of scepticism.

At such point, one is desperately trying to find comfort. It's like being in limbo without knowing where to go. The mind is desperately trying to ease the anxiety in some way. Two possible paths can be reached at this point:

  • Either you embrace information that claims to combat "the powers that be", you "spread the word" in hope that it will solve the problem. The more "research" you do, the more caught up in the conspiracy mindset you become.
  • The other option is to find proper sceptical sources that explains the true nature of the claim. Sceptical sources that objectively debunks it all and exposes people like Alex Jones for what they are.
I was lucky to stumble upon sceptical sources first, and that helped me become aware that there are people out there who might suffer paranoia and is spreading hysteria, or simply do it for economical gain.

To summarize all this, to me it becomes obvious that conspiracy theories fill believers with a sense of purpose and importance, to belong to the exclusive "resistance" fighting the evil. If you are convinced, these are very ego boosting ideas, which people with inferior complex craves. When you become so dependent on this feeling of being a hero against the evil forces of this world, it becomes very hard for you to question yourself and what you believe. Admitting being wrong doesn't fit this adopted grandiose image of yourself. And this is why many believers refuse to acknowledge being wrong, they respond with any of the typical psychological defence mechanisms, denial, projection, manipulation, regression, ect. This is being done in order to ease the anxiety, the cognitive dissonance.

So yes, we are certainly talking about a disorder here with an underlying cause. There are of course more factors to this, but from personal experience I always see it centre down on inferiority complex, either from a lack of self-esteem, or that you are feeling abused by higher powers.
 
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eon_flux

New Member
Did you find that a wall became broken when this happened? When your questions were unanswered? When you tried to logically work through it all seemed to be the key for you. How did those people react to your email? I'm wondering about it and how others dealt with it.
Apart from having my 'reality buds' stimulated by someone, who it turns out is a member here ;) I had started to realise how much duplicate information there was out there, and peoples, and my reliance on it being the core of the truth. I stated that I didn't care if someone believed in pseudo science, or that some of the sites looked amateur, but about this time, I was starting to access more appropriate medication for me, and now looking at returning to normality and developing my own business. Credibility and standards became very important as I studied other businesses for ideas, so I suppose everything started to fit in to place at the same time.

I got a few emails with links to more non facts that were repeated on a thousand other sites, one that suggested someone had 'got to me' ("Who has been talking to you?", it asked), and one from somebody who realised he too was publishing information that he couldn't substantiate and agreed he should tone it down. I found that a lot of people were pursuing this in their spare time after work, and weren't that hot at replying to emails anyway. Its a pity I purged everything from the site as I rejected the whole idea, otherwise it would be interesting to analyse some of the contact I had.
 

eon_flux

New Member
One particular thing I've noticed over the years of discussing these subject with believers is that they suffer an inferiority complex. When I had my own experience, long before I became a sceptic, I did suffer low self-esteem, and I often had bad thoughts about end-of-the-world scenarios. So when a friend introduced me to Alex Jones (who was unknown to me at the time) the scaremongering really caught me hard. People already living with fear are more susceptible to claims of scare and doom. And for a week I honestly believed that "the elite" would poison most of the world's population and enslave the rest by 2012.
I think this is a good explanation. I wouldn't have described myself using such terms, but I have an extreme lack of confidence due to constantly failing in the progression of life (I actually present as confident and not introverted in any way), so maybe this is very applicable. It may be of some note that Alex Jones (the 'gateway conspiracy theorist' for a lot of people) comes across as overly confident - which maybe compensates for peoples feelings about themselves. Some people seem to hate his attitude.
At such point, one is desperately trying to find comfort. It's like being in limbo without knowing where to go. The mind is desperately trying to ease the anxiety in some way. Two possible paths can be reached at this point:
  • Either you embrace information that claims to combat "the powers that be", you "spread the word" in hope that it will solve the problem. The more "research" you do, the more caught up in the conspiracy mindset you become.
I also think that once you have bought into the fear, your sense of belonging to the group/movement is a form of security. Its a vicious circle. I think you were lucky to only believe in the worst of theories for a week. I've realised, thanks to what you're saying, that I was cynical and now I am sceptical. A little more healthy I think.
 

skephu

Senior Member
I always see it centre down on inferiority complex, either from a lack of self-esteem, or that you are feeling abused by higher powers
There is a joke about a pyschiatrist telling his patient "No, Sir, you don't have an inferiority complex. You are indeed inferior." :)
It may be of some note that Alex Jones (the 'gateway conspiracy theorist' for a lot of people) comes across as overly confident - which maybe compensates for peoples feelings about themselves.
Plausible. The leaders in the CT movements often seem to be extremely confident. And then people think "oh, if this guy is so sure about what he says then he is probably right". People don't do fact-checking because that is difficult and needs work. Instead, they just believe things on the basis that they see a confident and popular person saying it, assuming that that person has already done the fact-checking. And maybe they expect that they will also become confident and popular if they say the same things.
 

Belfrey

Senior Member
Plausible. The leaders in the CT movements often seem to be extremely confident. And then people think "oh, if this guy is so sure about what he says then he is probably right". People don't do fact-checking because that is difficult and needs work. Instead, they just believe things on the basis that they see a confident and popular person saying it, assuming that that person has already done the fact-checking. And maybe they expect that they will also become confident and popular if they say the same things.
And of course, the conspiracy theorist social culture is strongly self-reinforcing and self-policing in this regard, with frequent admonishments not to question the beliefs of the group (which is considered "trolling"), and the constant threat of being declared a "shill" if you do so.
 

Joe

Senior Member
It doesnt matter because many don't call them chemtrails . They've Evolved . Jim Lee and Max Bliss @EPA hearing on Jet pollution and Geoengineering
 
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