Why are people called conspiracy theorists?

Gary Cook

Active Member
That's where the problem arises. Why do we need to call them anything? Shouldn't we be worried about the facts?
If someone says 'hey guys I think 9/11 is an inside job' the proper response has nothing to do with calling them anything. It has to do with asking them what facts lead them to that conclusion.
Right?


And by the way, shills don't necessarily have to be paid to do what they do, or be involved with government.

A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization.

"Shill" typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that they are an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) for whom they are secretly working. The person or group who hires the shill is using crowd psychology to encourage other onlookers or audience members to purchase the goods or services (or accept the ideas being marketed). Shills are often employed by professional marketing campaigns. "Plant" and "stooge" more commonly refer to any person who is secretly in league with another person or organization while pretending to be neutral or actually a part of the organization he is planted in, such as a magician's audience, a political party, or an intelligence organization (see double agent).[citation needed]
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That is true. Although in defence of most people here that is what they do. Sadly, some do react with the old insult routine. Not so much on this forum but that is how too many people react generally elsewhere. Been through that myself. Like with the gun debate. I kept getting called a conspiracy theorist just because I think we have the right to posses anything we want as long as we are not hurting anybody. After all the government does. It has literally tons of stuff that is very dangerous just by its very existence.
 
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Joe

Guest
Congratulations, you win this high school debate.

But really, I'm waiting to hear how calling people names is useful.

Tick tock tick tock
Its useful because when you return the insult You get banned . Its a great way to have a one sided forum .
 
J

Joe

Guest
Again I will ask : What do you call a Conspiracy Theorist when they were right ? Also what do you call the so called debunker when they are wrong ?
 

MikeC

Closed Account
I kept getting called a conspiracy theorist just because I think we have the right to posses anything we want as long as we are not hurting anybody. After all the government does. It has literally tons of stuff that is very dangerous just by its very existence.

Yeah - but to be fair they do have a lot of regulations controlling it - much of the military code of justice for example........do you want to be subject to that?? ;)
 
J

Joe

Guest
I had a guy said I remind him of Mel Gibson in the movie Conspiracy Theory :)
 
J

Joe

Guest
Joe, everyone knew the NSA was spying, they are not reading your emails or FB posts. I work with meta data in a game and everyone thinks I can see a lot more than I can.

You still don't have any evidence of geo engineering or of anything malicious about Agenda 21.

When you choose to ignore the facts and only choose to believe what they want, you can develop a conspiracy theory about most anything.
Facebook has said that it is within its terms of service to see what users are typing even when the status or comment is never posted on the social network.

http://www.latimes.com/business/tec...-posts-20131217,0,7847582.story#ixzz2nnNxZG4F
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Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Again I will ask : What do you call a Conspiracy Theorist when they were right ? Also what do you call the so called debunker when they are wrong ?
'Right' and 'wrong'?
What do you call a virgin after they have sex? It no longer applies.
If it's confirmed then it's not a theory in the sense it was being used before.
I'm sure they would more than likely still have other unconfirmed theories they are working on though. If they just had the one, then you wouldn't really call them a conspiracy theorist as it's not a huge part of their behaviour.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Face Book is not the NSA. And while they might like to do that there is no way they can. They might be able to use a script to alert them to activity on a certain account. Face Book is private property, it is not public.
 

Melbury's Brick

Senior Member.
Again I will ask : What do you call a Conspiracy Theorist when they were right ? Also what do you call the so called debunker when they are wrong ?

"So called debunker" Oooh....sounds a bit offensive.

What do you call a molehill when it's been blown out of proportion by acute paranoia?
Conspiracy theorists will be applying to the United Nations for recognition as an ethnic minority next! Of course, in that case, they will need a new name.

(Bloody conspiracy theorists....they come here taking our jobs, taking our women, opening their restaurants.........)
 

Andrew Buckley

New Member
I've never come across a conspiracy theorist who only mentioned a theory ONCE. Actually I never came across any who only believed one conspiracy theory.
As far as I can tell, I believe only one conspiracy theory: that the system of money creation in use today is maintained despite its obvious flaws, because those who benefit have indoctrinated portions of the economics profession with misleading "simplified" explanations of how the system works. I don't subscribe to vaccine, climate change, chemtrail, fluoride-mind-control, etc. That's not to say that I think the idea of global governance is without seriously concerning conflicts of interest if pushed forth in the manner being advocated by some pro-corporatism folks. Unfortunately, my political positions are hence immediately marginalised because I don't believe that capital is necessarily impartial. One only has to look at the public relations industry to see that conspiracy to misinform would be easily implementable, since the only thing missing from PR is the conspiracy.
 

Andrew Buckley

New Member
Wow! They gave Metabunk it's own mental illness! (I'm not offended. I must be too nuts.)


http://iaincarstairs.wordpress.com/category/the-brain/mental-illness/brain-damage/metabunk-syndrome/
"Even those with advanced Metabunk Syndrome – the need to mindlessly defend anything which the government writes on a piece of paper or reads into a microphone"

This is just as bad as calling someone a conspiracy theorist. It is categorising someone as a naive authoritarian because they disagree with you. This thread is about getting debunkers to recognise that the term conspiracy theorist has powerful connotations. The Syndrome may as well be in brackets for many readers. Whether or not you think it should be alienating, it is. The realist argument can be made on both sides. The utilitarian viewpoint demonstrates that the term has limited utility, as it allows description with brevity, but also pollutes discussion with derogatory connotations.
 

Andrew Buckley

New Member
Not quite. "Conspiracy Theorist" is not necessarily meant to offend. There is no such ambiguity about "Metabunk Syndrome".
I'll concede that point, but return to the point I'm more interested in making. If you disagree that the term conspiracy theorist marginalises a person (when used to describe them directly) in the public sphere, then I can only accuse you of having a different point of view, but it's blatantly obvious to me. I distinguish it from other derogatory terms such as "free market dogmatist", because that criticises a person for having a particular set of opinions regarding markets. Conspiracy theorist criticises someone for having opinions which suggest that untoward secret plans (in general) exist. The difference is subtle, but I contend that it makes a world of difference when the inextricable link between emotion and reason is considered.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'll concede that point, but return to the point I'm more interested in making. If you disagree that the term conspiracy theorist marginalises a person (when used to describe them directly) in the public sphere, then I can only accuse you of having a different point of view, but it's blatantly obvious to me. I distinguish it from other derogatory terms such as "free market dogmatist", because that criticises a person for having a particular set of opinions regarding markets. Conspiracy theorist criticises someone for having opinions which suggest that untoward secret plans (in general) exist. The difference is subtle, but I contend that it makes a world of difference when the inextricable link between emotion and reason is considered.

Any term can be used dismissively, depending on context and audience. Gay, Republican, Randian, Environmentalist, Socialist, Banker, Mercedes Owner, Scientist. These terms can be used to denigrate, or to celebrate.

As I've said several times in different ways, I use "conspiracy theorists" to describe a group when talking about the shared attributes and actions of that group. When I am talking with or about an individual then it's generally (but not always) better to just directly address the claims and questions of that individual. Search this site. See how often the term comes up when talking TO someone. I've done it once that I could find (in three years), and that was very deliberate, with someone I knew (online) very well.

But would anyone argue that Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura are not conspiracy theorists? The marginalization comes when the term is applied to more reasonable people in a sarcastic or kneejerk manner.
 

Andrew Buckley

New Member
Any term can be used dismissively, depending on context and audience. Gay, Republican, Randian, Environmentalist, Socialist, Banker, Mercedes Owner, Scientist. These terms can be used to denigrate, or to celebrate.

As I've said several times in different ways, I use "conspiracy theorists" to describe a group when talking about the shared attributes and actions of that group. When I am talking with or about an individual then it's generally (but not always) better to just directly address the claims and questions of that individual. Search this site. See how often the term comes up when talking TO someone. I've done it once that I could find (in three years), and that was very deliberate, with someone I knew (online) very well.

But would anyone argue that Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura are not conspiracy theorists? The marginalization comes when the term is applied to more reasonable people in a sarcastic or kneejerk manner.
I don't intend to imply that I'm witnessing abuses herein. I think we, mostly, agree. I'm supporting the policy of:
1) Don't use the term if you can find one more specific. As you've noted, frequently, you don't feel that you can.
2) Don't use the term to describe individuals if you want to achieve something other than denigrating their critical thinking skills. If you're looking to do this with someone other than a public figure asking for money, then I'd recommend you ask yourself why.
3) Don't be fooled into thinking that all conspiracy theorists are nutjobs, which is what the term unfortunately implies (like "libertarian", it has undeserved connotations). I've met some very sharp conspiracy theorists, who I disagree with on quite a few issues, usually vaccination related. I posit that their scientific illiteracy, as I see it, is the result of a multitude of factors not inclusive of their intelligence, or desire to sensationalise. I don't use the term libertarian either, if I can avoid it, because it's simply not helpful in the vast majority of cases.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've met some very sharp conspiracy theorists, who I disagree with on quite a few issues, usually vaccination related. I posit that their scientific illiteracy, as I see it, is the result of a multitude of factors not inclusive of their intelligence, or desire to sensationalise. I don't use the term libertarian either, if I can avoid it, because it's simply not helpful in the vast majority of cases.

I'd re-posit that "scientific illiteracy" doesn't win you any fans either :) For two reasons - firstly it's rare for people to recognize their own shortcomings, and secondly there are many scientifically literate people who are also (for want of a better term) "conspiracy theorists".
 

Andrew Buckley

New Member
I'd re-posit that "scientific illiteracy" doesn't win you any fans either :) For two reasons - firstly it's rare for people to recognize their own shortcomings, and secondly there are many scientifically literate people who are also (for want of a better term) "conspiracy theorists".
It certainly doesn't; you're correct. My response to scientific illiteracy (since I've grown up), is hopefully perceived as, "Oh, I see why you thought this meant that! Easy mistake to make..." With conspiracy theories, which usually have social relevance, that sort of high handed teaching is simply misplaced. No one is enough of an expert in the field of human social affairs to reasonably claim fiat-superior understanding of political motivations sufficient to "know better." Social sciences are not as developed. Do I support people arguing their point? Absolutely. Do I support people insinuating their opponents' views are rooted in childish confusion and suspicion? No. Sometimes insinuation is misconstrued, and the inference of insinuation is the result. This is best avoided by avoiding loaded terminology :)
 
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Joe

Guest
Not quite. "Conspiracy Theorist" is not necessarily meant to offend. There is no such ambiguity about "Metabunk Syndrome".
Its not offensive at all to call someone a conspiracy theorist but
What do you call a molehill when it's been blown out of proportion by acute paranoia?
with many other innuendos are .
 
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Joe

Guest
Face Book is not the NSA. And while they might like to do that there is no way they can. They might be able to use a script to alert them to activity on a certain account. Face Book is private property, it is not public.
Sure and Zuckeberg really cares about your privacy ? Its exactly why I have no Facebook .
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Look at the terms Trekkies and Trekkers. Trekkers is more acceptable for hardcore Star Trek fans whereas Trekkies are more not as serious about it. A Trekker can discuss the philosophy in Star Trek and compare it to Aristotle whereas a Trekkie will know the plot of every episode. Most folks use them interchangeably
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
That's a distinction I wasn't aware of.

Heard the term 'conspiracy-monger' today. That seems like a definitely derisive use compared to conspiracy theorist.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I can only speak in regards to the conspiracy theories I've seen surrounding Newtown. It is out of control. The bulk of people I read throwing out 'theories' have done zero research on the subject. They are just reiterating what their beloved "conspiracy prophets" say without checking any of the facts, applying any logic or researching the subject matter. They don't care about the truth, they just want to jump on some anti-authority bandwagon. Which is understandable, until it hurts people.

I also think (as far as how I define terms) some people tend to confuse 'political spin' and 'mistaken'/differing ideology with 'conspiracies'.

Unfortunately, there Are legitimate things governments do that need to be questioned. But the new phenomenon of turning every event into a 'conspiracy' is distracting from that. Newtown Hoaxers for example make Conspiracy Theorists look bad.

I think if the legitimate Conspiracy Theorists spent more time debunking the 'conspiracy trolls' (lets call them...conspiranoid is a separate category) that would go a long way to making "Conspiracy Theorist" less derogatory. But like all things, like Newtown etc, the 'sensational' actions of a few often hijack the reality of the whole. Look at that poor guy Jesus, wandering around trying to make people feel better and before he knows it there are people 'spinning' his words and intents to protest funerals in 'his name'. that's what's happening to the legitimate Conspiracy Theorists.

Plus if you differentiate between conspiranoid, conspiracy troll and conspiracy theorist you would probably get banned from most sites for being insulting. So the Conspiracy Theorists should fix it themsleves or learn to live with the new 'derogatory' label.
 

Gary Cook

Active Member
Face Book is not the NSA. And while they might like to do that there is no way they can. They might be able to use a script to alert them to activity on a certain account. Face Book is private property, it is not public.


No Facebook is not NSA but they do patrol it so to speak. And likely they have access to all records. We are essentially profiling ourselves.

They do use keywords to alert themselves but also they can manually check any account. I have heard that from NSA and CIA personally but of course I cant prove that.

I would imagine they use JQuery. It can do "live" database updates like that. I have it on some of my websites to predict potential search queries as they are being typed. Much like Google does. In fact I would imagine that have always recorded what you type. Even if you don't manually post the search form.
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
In all reality, there's not much anyone can say these days without someone taking some kind of offense to it because people tend to automatically jump to the single most derogatory and negative meaning of a word. The world has become far too politically correct. For nearly a decade, I wore the word "jarhead" as a badge of pride and honor... whether someone meant it as condescending or not.

Words and terms only mean what you personally -want- them to mean. Jarhead, Leatherneck, Devildog, Shipmate, Soldier, Troop, Trooper.. hey you.. hey bone head, hey knuckle head.. hey yoohoo.. Take those words as you will, never bothered me in the least because I didnt allow them to. If a word really and truly bothers you, then you need to do a little introspection and find out why that word bothers you. Is it because the word or phrase actually holds a bit of truth? Is it because its something you were always taught was negative, or bad? Is it because of an experience that left a bad impression or taste in your mouth about the word?

Once you go through that process, sit down and think about how important it really and truly is in the great grand scheme of things. Do all our machinations here on this tiny little blue marble really and truly mean anything in the overall grand scheme of the Universe? We are, all of us, just tiny little microscopic specs when compared to the size and scale of the Universe as a whole. Words, in all reality, are that much smaller.

Maybe its just me... Maybe its just the way I perceive things, because I tend to look at things in a big picture sort of way, and from my experience.. a few words literally add up to a whole lot of nothing. Thats not to say that I havent been hurt by words.. happened a lot when I was much much younger.. but after I got older and broadened my look on the world and the universe on a whole, words simply just dont cause emotional issues any longer. Well.. almost. When I tell my significant other "I love you.." those words stir deep wells, and the same is true in reverse.. but again, thats because of the weight I personally assign them.

Just somethin to think about.
 

Brainiachick

Active Member
In all reality, there's not much anyone can say these days without someone taking some kind of offense to it because people tend to automatically jump to the single most derogatory and negative meaning of a word. The world has become far too politically correct. For nearly a decade, I wore the word "jarhead" as a badge of pride and honor... whether someone meant it as condescending or not.

Words and terms only mean what you personally -want- them to mean. Jarhead, Leatherneck, Devildog, Shipmate, Soldier, Troop, Trooper.. hey you.. hey bone head, hey knuckle head.. hey yoohoo.. Take those words as you will, never bothered me in the least because I didnt allow them to. If a word really and truly bothers you, then you need to do a little introspection and find out why that word bothers you. Is it because the word or phrase actually holds a bit of truth? Is it because its something you were always taught was negative, or bad? Is it because of an experience that left a bad impression or taste in your mouth about the word?

Once you go through that process, sit down and think about how important it really and truly is in the great grand scheme of things. Do all our machinations here on this tiny little blue marble really and truly mean anything in the overall grand scheme of the Universe? We are, all of us, just tiny little microscopic specs when compared to the size and scale of the Universe as a whole. Words, in all reality, are that much smaller.

Maybe its just me... Maybe its just the way I perceive things, because I tend to look at things in a big picture sort of way, and from my experience.. a few words literally add up to a whole lot of nothing. Thats not to say that I havent been hurt by words.. happened a lot when I was much much younger.. but after I got older and broadened my look on the world and the universe on a whole, words simply just dont cause emotional issues any longer. Well.. almost. When I tell my significant other "I love you.." those words stir deep wells, and the same is true in reverse.. but again, thats because of the weight I personally assign them.

Just somethin to think about.


Just wonderfully explained. Thank you!
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Just wonderfully explained. Thank you!
However don't forget . . . Words (the pen) are/is often mightier than the sword . . . they may not bother the individual who is strong enough to deflect them psychologically but they can start revolutions, religions, political movements and destroy reputations . . . and once published or spoken they are often impossible to retract . . . used for good and evil almost simultaneously . . . words are ideas, dreams, passions, love and hates removed from the recesses of our souls and given physical existence in the world for everyone to ponder . . . he who truly hears or reads them may forever be changed . . .

Interestingly . . . Sword is just Word with an "S" in front of it . . .:)
 
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Brainiachick

Active Member
However don't forget . . . Words (the pen) are/is often mightier than the sword . . . they may not bother the individual who is strong enough to deflect them psychologically but they can start revolutions, religions, political movements and destroy reputations . . . and once published or spoken they are often impossible to retract . . . used for good and evil almost simultaneously . . . words are ideas, dreams, passions, love and hates removed from the recesses of our souls and given physical existence in the world for everyone to ponder . . . he who truly hears or reads them may forever be changed . . .

Interestingly . . . Sword is just Word with an "S" in front of it . . .:)


I think you've completely sealed and re-enforced Svartbjørn's post and I completely agree with you. Where would we be without words - we simply might not be able to communicate as we do. The importance of words cannot be over-emphasised, but words are only as powerful as we allow them to be! They stir up revolutions, destroy reputation etc because of the power that the speaker and more importantly the hearer has ascribed unto it. And that is human nature. If you don't let hurtful words stick, they have less power. That is what I've takes away from Svartbjørn's post. After all, even he ascribes importance to the words 'I love you'.
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
Gary.. have you ever seen Roadhouse? Its a movie from the mid to late 80s with Patrick Swayzee.. There's a scene in the movie where Swayzee's character is laying out the ground rules for the staff (bouncers). One of the guys asks "yeah, and what if someone calls my mamma a whore?" Swayzee turns and says "Well.. is she?"

Steve: Being called a cocksucker isn't personal?

Dalton: No. It's two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.

Steve: What if somebody calls my mama a whore?

Dalton: Is she?

It doesnt matter what the intent of a word or phrase means unless you assign it a value. If you take the term "Conspiracy Theorist" as a negative thing, then its going to effect you in a negative fashion. It's that simple. The power of words, as both George and BC mentioned, fall completely and totally on you.. You have to take responsibility for how the word makes you feel. As I said in my post originally, you have to determine what the word means to you and why. Who gives a rat's butt if someone's saying it to hurt you, you are the one that determines whether or not it actually causes any harm.

If more people looked at the world in that respect, then we wouldnt be having this conversation because you wouldnt have people using words to try to inflict pain. Why? Because itd be brushed off and would eventually fall into oblivion.

Just sayin'

*edited to add in a quote from the movie.. found it after I made the post.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
... you have to determine what the word means to you and why. Who gives a rat's butt if someone's saying it to hurt you, you are the one that determines whether or not it actually causes any harm.

A seemingly common behavioural trait of 'those-that-must-not-be-named' is to take offence at things, because the small 'oppressions' they object to are evidence of the bigger deliberate programs of oppression they are convinced exist and are determined to expose. The more adversarial forces they can feel are ranged against them, the more they can rationalise their position as being correct.
So it's perfectly natural for a conspiracy theorist to decide the term itself is part of a psy-op.
 

Brainiachick

Active Member
A seemingly common behavioural trait of 'those-that-must-not-be-named' is to take offence at things, because the small 'oppressions' they object to are evidence of the bigger deliberate programs of oppression they are convinced exist and are determined to expose. The more adversarial forces they can feel are ranged against them, the more they can rationalise their position as being correct.
So it's perfectly natural for a conspiracy theorist to decide the term itself is part of a psy-op.

I don't often do this, but Pete I did get a good laugh outta this! Sorry, just couldn't resist....
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
Isn't a 'conspiracy theory' the same as an 'allegation'?
I dub the term, instead of 'conspiracy theorist',

'Allegator'
I don't think it's a real term (yet).
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Isn't a 'conspiracy theory' the same as an 'allegation'?
I dub the term, instead of 'conspiracy theorist',

'Allegator'
I don't think it's a real term (yet).

I'm an allegator, I'm a mama-papa coming for you
I'm the space invader, I'll be a rock 'n' rollin' [myth] for you
Keep your mouth shut,
you're squawking like a pink monkey bird
And I'm busting up my brains for the words
~Bowie~
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Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
"They" are overour heads all the time? WHAT is over our heads all the time? "Chemtrails"? Chemtrails are a hoax. There is no "poison/nanobot/population control/whatever" being sprayed over your head.

Take whatever precautions you think you need to.

No they are not infallible and some may be immoral.

No, you're a conspiritard. I'll probably get banned for saying that, I'm sure it's "offensive" to someone.

I think you've gotten the wrong end of the stick with Gary. Firstly, earlier in this thread he explained that thanks to Metabunk he had learned about 'chemtrails' and had come to realise that there was nothing to fear, and he was thankful for that. So, he's not a chemtrailer.

He's a young man, and he's not too thrilled with government. I believe his problem is more to do with confusing 'conspiracy' with actual practice. For example, the NAFTA and TPP can't really be viewed as conspiracies as they're both in your face, despite the fact that both have hugely significant impacts on the lives of ordinary working people in a number of places, while adding more power and wealth to corporations. But it's above board, it's in your face, and it's just another step in the descent of capitalism into something to be truly feared. I expect when Gary talks of government conspiracies he has this kind of thing in mind. I could be wrong, he might have other more specific things in mind.

Also, I think Gary hasn't quite grasped how the forum works - that we debunk evidence of claims, not the claims themselves. The reason for that is debunking claims always becomes an exercise in whack-a-mole, whereas each point of evidence can be examined and debunked as it stands.

But he strikes me as a genuine young man with genuine concerns, and referring to him as a conspiritard seems unhelpful in the extreme. Mea culpa, I've been sarcastically dismissive myself at least once before in a comment to Gary, so I'm not on any higher ground here.
 
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