1. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    From the New York Times comes a story about a conspiracy theory that got debunked by reality:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/27/us/27gulfport.html?_r=2

    What I found particularly interesting is the mentioning of Timothy McVeigh who was at the site once to check it out and dismiss the theory, because "as concerned as he was about the New World Order, he also saw a danger in the increasing spread of mystified paranoia in the Patriot community."

    The latter quote is reportedly from a book about McVeigh, "American Terrorist"; I took the quote from here:
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/dec/08/soviet-trucks-in-mississippi-sold-for-scrap/

    I can't verify that point of view, knowing no details about the McVeigh story or the book in question. But if it's true, McVeigh would count as one of the "cool heads" in the conspiracy theorist crowd, even as an occasional debunker, despite his ultimate actions.

    For me, that raises the question: who is more dangerous in the hard core conspiracy theorist's circles, the crazy hot-heads or the cooler, calculating believers ?
  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    This reminds me of the FEMA Coffins story, it's an argument from incredulity - what could those thousands of coffins (or hundreds of Soviet trucks) POSSIBLY be doing there.

    McVeigh was an intelligent guy, as are many in the conspiracy sub-culture, like Ted Kaczynski (the "Unabomber"). But somehow their world view gets skewed and distorted. Eventually it's distorted enough that they rationalize their decision to cause harm to innocents. No different to Bin Laden really. It's also a mindset that has always existed, and will always exist.

    Clearly those that take action are the most dangerous. But they were fed from two directions. Firstly by the higher up sources of conspiracy propaganda. For McVeigh it was William Luther Pierce (author of The Tuner Diaries), David Koresh, the NRA, the general Militia movement. And then his rationalization must have been supported by the masses. The rank and file people who ascribed the the NWO/UN conspiracy would each, by their own armchair posturing, have ultimately lent some tiny fraction of support to his action. McVeigh felt like he was part of a popular movement. But the movement was based on bunk. By debunking the foundations of conspiracies, we can take away a little of that base of support that might propel another McVeigh over the edge in the future.

    That's why a comprehensive and clearly honest debunking of even the smallest aspect of these conspiracies is a worthwhile endeavor.
  3. Alhazred The Sane

    Alhazred The Sane Senior Member

    "That's why a comprehensive and clearly honest debunking of even the smallest aspect of these conspiracies is a worthwhile endeavor."

    Very well put. It is worth considering some of the reasons that people are propelled towards conspiracies, however. The past actions of governments are one major reason; for example the secret experiments on citizens using LSD, and false flag events like the Bay of Tonkin, the bombing of Mainila, Gleiwitz, etc. We live in an age when an increasingly large number of people don't trust their elected officials. Then there are the numerous groups of elite decision making or think-tank organisations, whose memberships seem to be largely composed by the very powerful and the very rich, and whose activities are a mystery to the ordinary citizen. As long as there are places like Bohemia Grove the likes of Alex Jones will have fertile ground to till, likewise the existence of the Bilderberg Group, the CFR and the Trilateral Commission will always induce a tendency towards suspicion.

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