Why are people called conspiracy theorists?

Steven Ian

Closed Account
So I'm only a conspiracy theorist at the moment I'm thinking of a conspiracy? But when I'm not, and I'm just living my normal life, I'm not one?

I'm still sticking with 'what's the value in labeling someone in such a way'?
But i dont think many people are labelled in such ways really.

Even the creator of Loose change is regarded as a filmmaker on Wikipedia
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
But i dont think many people are labelled in such ways really.

Even the creator of Loose change is regarded as a filmmaker on Wikipedia
People can have more than one label. Dylan Avery, the creator of Loose Change, is a conspiracy theorist. He's also a filmmaker and a bunch of other things.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Why does the supposed Government shill site Wikipedia award Russell with a professional profile, calling him an investigative journalist, and not write him off as a conspiracy theorist?
Maybe because Wikipedia can be authored and editted by anybody. (not just the 'powers that be' as some would have you believe - I have made numerous entries and updated articles concerning some of the more obscure and cult UK 1980's rock and heavy metal bands) If the author / editor agrees with the person concerneds stand point they will get called something like 'investigative reporter', if on the other hand they don't your gonna get tarred with the old brush of negativity. And it may well change from week to week as the infamous 'edit wars' rage and various pro and anti posters edit and re-edit eachothers edits to paint each article with their personal slanted hue of choice.

This open editting process is wikipedias biggest asset and biggest downfall at the same time, and is why the site should only be used as a rough guide to general information (especially when it comes to anything remotely controversial) and in no way deamed as authoritive or definative.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
If the author / editor agrees with the person concerneds stand point they will get called something like 'investigative reporter',
that guy Russell IS a journalist.
and on wiki he DOES get tarred with the brush of negativity
 

itsthematrix

New Member
They use the word conspiracy theory as a bludgeon now days, and I can understand why. Sometimes these conspiracies people believe in are just crazy, easily explained away, flat earth being one of them. I agree with the book mostly, that we all have our demarcation lines, and we draw the line somewhere, and that what someone believes of what a conspiracy theory is can be a lot different than what someone else would have theirs.

When people read or hear conspiracy theorists they think scale #10 for the most part, but its a spectrum. Even me, I believe that there is a conspiracy to hide certain technologies from the public, I have no proof of this, but I just believe it. That's where I draw the line for, the most part, some might think that project bluebeam is real or that sandyhook never happened. Everyone is a conspiracy theorist at some level, no?
 
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Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
They use the word conspiracy theory as a bludgeon now days, and I can understand why. Sometimes these conspiracies people believe in are just crazy, easily explained away, flat earth being one of them. I agree with the book mostly, that we all have our demarcation lines, and we draw the line somewhere, and that what someone believes of what a conspiracy theory is can be a lot different than what someone else would have theirs.

When people read or hear conspiracy theorists they think scale #10 for the most part, but its a spectrum. Even me, I believe that there is a conspiracy to hide certain technologies from the public, I have no proof of this, but I just believe it. That's where I draw the line for, the most part, some might think that project bluebeam is real or that sandyhook never happened. Everyone is a conspiracy theorist at some level, no?
The line that is crossed when I consider a person to be a conspiracy theorist, is belief in the conspiracy theory in spite of a lack of verifiable evidence from reputable sources. Metabunk examines claims of evidence. I do not consider myself to be a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe that people do/would conspire to do all sorts of things. Without any firm evidence to back up a particular belief, it is simply a thought experiment. From your post it is not unwarranted to:
believe that there is a conspiracy to hide certain technologies from the public
since cutting edge technology used in military and spy-craft is not made public in order to maintain an advantage over an adversary. It is understandable belief based on what has been published by reputable sources.

Take for example 'directed-energy weapons'. At Armywarcollege.edu (not HTTPS)

Directed-Energy Warfare, a Revolution in Military Affairs

However when someone makes the claim that directed energy weapons were used to cause the Camp Fires, that crosses over into conspiracy theorist, since it is not based on any verifiable evidence from a reputable source that 'directed energy weapons' were used to create that fire.
 
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internet

New Member
Most people don't use the word conspiracy at all. They think more of motivations, interests, agendas and plans. All people have those and act accordingly but that is not seen as if they are conspiring to reach whatever the goal may be. Instead they see it as normal, if the actions are in line with the stated goals, or reflects untrustworthiness on the person, if the actions are not in line with the stated goals.

One conclusion I derive from this is that regardless of the reason for trusting someone or not will reflect on how we judge the involved persons responsibility. The same goes for organisations. A "conspiracy theory" is therefore not as much a statement about an event as it is a reflection of our trust in people/organisations/government/society.

As it is there is not much trust in the government, politicians, organisations or corporations and therefore nefarious motives will be ascribed to alot of things.

Lets not forget that the existence of Santa Claus is a conspiracy between members of an older generation to hide from a younger generation the truth about where christmas gifts come from. :)

On a more serious note. During the 90's in the US there where militias of different kinds. These where kind of paranoid believing they were infiltrated and being framed by the FBI. Regardless of if they were, did they have any reason for this belief that the government was conspiring against them? Well, it was common knowledge that FBI had been running an operation called Cointelpro that involved infiltration and framing of civil liberties groups and more. An operation that, at the time, was secret and when infiltration and framing by the FBI was talked about was called "conspiracy theories".

I am from Sweden and during the cold war our public policy was non-alignement in peace and neutrality if there would be war. This was public policy and nothing to the contrary was ever hinted at. Of course we belonged to the west and everyone intended to side with the west during a conflict and everyone anticipated we would recieve help from NATO if attacked by the Soviet Union. In fact, and unbeknownst to the public, a number of preparations had been made with other countries and NATO from the end of WW2 until the fall of the Soviet Union. Preparations about mining with Denmark. Air corridors for bombers. Cruise missile flights. Sharing of radio intelligence. What parts of northern Sweden should be defended by Sweden and NATO respectively. No small things. All of this was a conspiracy by the government that was not revealed until the 90's and not fully even then.

Now, even if most people in Sweden think the government did the right thing there remains a new found knowledge that the government can and will hold secrets for a long time. We trust our government as much as americans do theirs and therefore our trust in what they say about an event will viewed through a general lack of trust and the knowledge of their capacity to keep secrets.

CT may be justified sceptisism run amok. Debunking will not solve the underlying distrust that is the cause of CT.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Debunking will not solve the underlying distrust that is the cause of CT.
That's not really the goal though. It's to get people to focus on real problems instead of imaginary problems. I don't really trust the government myself and I think there needs to be vigilance over their actions. False conspiracy theories get in the way of effective checks on power.
 

internet

New Member
False conspiracy theories get in the way of effective checks on power.
Haha! "False conspiracy theories". Is not the thread about just that? Having a theory about a conspiracy that goes against the dominant narrative/facts about an event or situation is a large part of what the label "conspiracy theorist" denotes. All CTs are by definition sort of false because if they were true AND part of the dominant narrative they would not be a CT. Russiagate is not considered a CT because it is part of the dominant narrative even though not true when it comes to many of its parts.

We should remember that it takes so long for the truth to come out that most of the people that lived at the time are dead or just old and out of the loop. The new generation have barely second hand information of how people thought at the time and can therefore not judge the information in the context of the time. So, does it really matter that the NSA lied about the second attack in the Gulf of Tonkin? Would anything have changed if they had not or if they had been exposed lying back when it happened? Was anyone questioning it back then and did they get labeled as conspiracy theorists or anything similar/worse? It took the NSA 40 years to admit to lying or, as it says on wikipedia, "deliberately skewed" the evidence.

My take is that we:
1. must be cautious with applying labels
2. must be sceptical whenever presented with a story involving people and/or groups getting together against "us"
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Haha! "False conspiracy theories". Is not the thread about just that? Having a theory about a conspiracy that goes against the dominant narrative/facts about an event or situation is a large part of what the label "conspiracy theorist" denotes
.....

Russiagate is not considered a CT because it is part of the dominant narrative even though not true when it comes to many of its parts.

That's called moving the goal posts. Mick was responding to your statement:
Debunking will not solve the underlying distrust that is the cause of CT.
If there are not true parts of Russiagate (whatever you mean by that), then start a thread and debunk them.
 

Gib

New Member
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.
I suspect that there is a significant correlation between being strongly in favour of gun ownership and believing in conspiracy theories (especially those in which government officials are the conspirators.)
 

Agent K

Active Member
You know the saying, "It's not paranoia if they are really out to get you." This acknowledges that paranoia is delusional by definition. Likewise, alarmism and phobia is unwarranted or irrational by definition. By the same token, is a conspiracy theory false or delusional by definition? Would it be fair to say that it's not a conspiracy theory if it's true?

I was reminded of this when "Tim Osman, Debunker and Conspiracist" asked Mick whether the 9/11 plot by Al Qaeda is a conspiracy theory, in episode 6 of the Tales From the Rabbit Hole podcast. The episode's description says,
Mick previously posted in 2014:
It's rather suspicious that so many Conspiracy Theorists are big fans of RT an Putin. Of course this makes ME a CT.
https://www.metabunk.org/posts/108639/
Of course, it's possible to be right for the wrong reasons. A conspiracy theorist who always assumes that the government is lying will be right about that occasionally, just as a broken clock is right twice a day.
 

Traci Youngblood

New Member
Gary,

This is my humble opinion without meaning to be cheeky - if they theorise about conspiracies - then the name tag 'Conspirary Theorist' would seem very befitting. Why must it be seen as being offensive rather than being a fitting title? I think they should take pride in it, seriously. Someone who teaches is called a teacher. Someone who dances is called a dancer. Someone who judges is called a Judge. Someone who theorises is a Theorist - I see no problem there. If those theories are about a particular topic of interest such as conspiracies, then conspiracy in the phrase 'conspiracy theorist' is only an adjective to clarify the kind of theories this person is specialised in.

That is how I see it and I, of course, welcome your input.
I agree.

I have been called a conspiracy theorist myself on several occasions. I take no offense however. Quite the contrary in fact.

It is no secret that the numerous outlets of the MSM are owned by a select few individuals. One only needs to channel-flip and witness for oneself that the narrative and information provided is constrained and repetitive.

I take pride in the fact that I do not eat up hand-over-fist the version of the truth that is always so willingly served up to anyone who is hungry. The ability to research, analyze, think and then research, analyze and think some more makes one feel alive.

Free thought is one of the few great pleasures of life we have left. Let's not waste it by splitting hairs as to what constitutes being classified a conspiracy theorists. Let's rejoice in the fact that we are all thinking and analyzing FOR OURSELVES.
 
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JohnP

New Member
When folks are presented with the facts, take on chemtrails, and they refuse to accept them and instead think up elaborate explanations for them. Or when they cling to a story that even they can't offer any evidence of (how would the WTC building been rigged for a controlled demo, who did it, when, and how did they survive the fires to go off when they wanted to to). Instead they develop exotic new explosives. Or when they persist in seeing actors instead of victims in crimes, I have no problem with calling them conspiracy theorists. That is a lot nicer name than most folks have for them.
Yes. It may not be rigorous or new, but my operational definition of a conspiracy theorist would be along those lines: someone who, when faced with evidence they cannot fit into their world-view, invokes a conspiracy of deception so as to deny the awkward evidence.
 
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