Why do people believe?

F4Jock

Senior Member.
I've often stated that to disabuse people of conspiracies one has to understand why they believe in them. The Salon.com article that follows offers interesting insights that I believe need to be taken into consideration when reasoning with CT'ers.

We’ve written before about the historical and social aspects of conspiracy theories, but wanted to learn more about the psychology of people who believe, for instance, that the Boston Marathon bombing was a government “false flag” operation. Psychological forces like motivated reasoning have long been associated with conspiracy thinking, but scientists are learning more every year. For instance, a British study published last year found that people who believe one conspiracy theory are prone to believe many, even ones that are completely contradictory.


Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive scientist at the University of Western Australia, published a paper late last month in the journal Psychological Science that has received widespread praise for looking at the thinking behind conspiracy theories about science and climate change. We asked him to explain the psychology of conspiracy theories. This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.


First of all, why do people believe conspiracy theories?


There are number of factors, but probably one of the most important ones in this instance is that, paradoxically, it gives people a sense of control. People hate randomness, they dread the sort of random occurrences that can destroy their lives, so as a mechanism against that dread, it turns out that it’s much easier to believe in a conspiracy. Then you have someone to blame, it’s not just randomness.


What are the psychological forces at play in conspiracy thinking?


Basically what’s happening in any conspiracy theory is that people have a need or a motivation to believe in this theory, and it’s psychologically different from evidence-based thinking. A conspiracy theory is immune to evidence, and that can pretty well serve as the definition of one. If you reject evidence, or reinterpret the evidence to be confirmation of your theory, or you ignore mountains of evidence to focus on just one thing, you’re probably a conspiracy theorist. We call that a self-sealing nature of reasoning.


Another common trait is the need to constantly expand the conspiracy as new evidence comes to light. For instance, with the so-called Climategate scandal, there were something like nine different investigations, all of which have exonerated the scientists involved. But the response from the people who held this notion was to say that all of those investigations were a whitewash. So it started with the scientists being corrupt and now not only is it them, but it’s also all the major scientific organizations of the world that investigated them and the governments of the U.S. and the U.K., etc., etc. And that’s typical — instead of accepting the evidence, you actually turn it around and say that it’s actually evidence to support the conspiracy because it just means it’s even broader than it was originally thought to be.


Are there certain types of people who are more prone to believing in conspiracy theories than others? Does it match any kind of political lines?


I don’t think there is a systematic association between political views and the propensity to believe in conspiracy theories. There are some studies that suggest people on the political left are inclined to it, and there are some that suggest people on the right are. But it’s always a weak association. There are some theories that appeal to only one side, however. For example, the idea that 9/11 was an inside job was fairly common among Democrats in the early part of the 2000s, and very few Republicans believed it at the time. But conversely, the idea that the U.N. is trying to create a world government is predominantly held by people on the right, but not at all by people on the political left. So it really doesn’t depend on politics.


Everyone is prone to some degree of bias and motivated reasoning — where do you draw the line, if there is one?


The crucial difference between having a preconceived notion — we all do that, of course — and conspiratorial thinking is when you get into that self-sealing reasoning and ignore every piece of evidence that is pointing the other way, when you’re starting to broaden the circle of conspirators, and when your skepticism gets to be nihilistic — when you believe absolutely nothing that the government or the media is saying — that’s when you’ve crossed the line.


I hear a lot of stories from people who email or from friends who have a brother, or cousin, or friend who they say is normal and smart, but then they’re horrified to find conspiratorial stuff on their Facebook page or whatnot. One was even a medical student at a very prestigious school. How do otherwise smart and reasonable people end up believing this stuff?


Well, there is no relationship to intelligence, in my experience. Many of these people are actually quite smart, though not all, so it’s not that. It’s the need to explain and control, as I said, but it can be other things also: A general sense of disgruntlement, feeling excluded from society. Feeling discriminated against. Even insecurity in one’s job.


And it’s often with good reason. For instance, the conspiracy theory that AIDS was created by the U.S. government is held disproportionately by African-Americans. In a sense, there is good reason to have that suspicion, since it wasn’t that long ago that, in the 1950s or even later, that the U.S. government was sterilizing African-Americans and doing all sorts of horrible things to them without their consent. So some conspiracy theories have a grain of historical truth in them — that’s not to say the theories are true, but the conditions that give rise to them are.



How should we think of conspiracy theorists? They’re often dismissed as fringey nuts, but an awful lot of Americans believe in one conspiracy or another.


First of all, any extraordinary event will be followed by conspiracy theorizing. I can tell you that right now. Whatever happens tomorrow, there will be a conspiracy theory about it. Number two, I think it’s important that we understand that it satisfies a need. It isn’t that these people are necessarily disordered or marginal members of society. After all, not that long ago, half of Republican primary voters thought President Obama was born outside the U.S. So, if half of one segment of a population believes in a conspiracy theory then you can’t talk about marginal elements and you have to accept that it’s a real part of society and serves a need. And I think we have to understand that need and find ways for society to find other ways in which that need can be satisfied.



Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter.
Content from External Source
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
That was an interesting article and I tend to agree. Things are pretty rough in the UK and people are becoming more disgruntled than we usually are. Purely anecdotal I know but I have been seeing friends entertaining conspiracies whether it be a false flag, Big Pharma and cancer or Monsanto breeding corn that will not only jump in the pan of water for you but will lay the table and cover itself in butter before giving you cancer. These people are intelligent but something seems to click with them. I thought it was to do with the fact we like to grumble and complain, but the belief seems to fill a need and they can seem blinkered to further investigation. I do wonder if as things get better they will drift away from the ideas. It is incredibly frustrating at times as most of the conspiracies are generated in the US and when put in the context of the UK they either don't stand up or are just not relevant. An example is Big Pharma or the Government hiding the cure for whatever or suppressing research on natural remedies, all to make more money. Often it sounds compelling until one realises that we have socialised health care, and the government has massive buying power and most our drugs are generics anyway. The NHS is always trying to save money and has even offered homeopathy. It is in the interests of a socialised healthcare system to find the most effective and cost effective treatments. However people seem blinkered to such arguments because they have not seen it on Youtube.
 

Drew

Active Member
Thanks for sharing that F4Jock. Lewandowsky has been doing some terrific scholarly work on conspiracy belief.

I think the "why" of conspiracy belief is an excellent meta-question underlying the discussions taking place here.

I would also point Metabunkers to an excellent lecture given by Dr. Robert Goldberg, "Enemies Within: The Conspiracy Culture of Modern America." He's a historian from the University of Utah, and gives a great overview of the hows and whys of American conspiracy culture.

It is an excellent lecture and I'm surprised the youtube count isn't higher.



It's long, about an hour, but you can skip the intros and Q&A, and I found it fascinating. A pdf of the paper he bases his lecture on is available here.
 

TWCobra

Senior Member.
Interesting as I came to a similar conclusion a few months ago about the need of some to have "someone" in control, even if they are "evil".
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
My hubby has said that and also that folks do not want to believe that a single person can assassinate a President or that a few radicals could pull off 9/11. They 'know' they couldn't, so they think others couldn't.

It is more comforting to them to believe that HAARP causes earthquakes and hurricanes, and that some 'mystical chemical' is causing illnesses.
 

someGuy

New Member
Funny thing is that debunkers are believers too...
They believe there's no conspiracy...
To feel safe and secure...
As conspiracy theorists think there are conspiracies because they need to think there's some people in control, in order to feel secure...

lol
enough bullshit

Power is not all about luck and is not granted
You have to take it
And for that you need a plan and allies

There's no conspiracy...
Only comon interests
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
There is a big difference in belief founded on sound science and facts and even reason and beliefs founded on a distrust of authority or on pseudo science and unfounded opinions.
 

someGuy

New Member
There is a big difference in belief founded on sound science and facts and even reason and beliefs founded on a distrust of authority or on pseudo science and unfounded opinions.


Yeah
But unfortunately, facts are often in short supply when it comes to sensible subjects, such as national security, organized crime and money laundring...
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
You mention three things that often are conspiracies of one sort or another. None of those are chem trails, or HAARP, or even 9/11 being caused by explosives.

Are there things about 9/11 that are not being told, possible. Do those have to do with the destruction of the buildings being caused by the planes being flown in them and the resulting damage, (to even WTC 7), I seriously doubt it. Is it possible that others, like some folks in Saudi were involved, Maybe. However, since Al Queda dislikes the Saudi royal family as much or more than they do us, I doubt it is them.

There are good and sound reasons for secrets.
 

someGuy

New Member
Do those have to do with the destruction of the buildings being caused by the planes being flown in them and the resulting damage, (to even WTC 7), I seriously doubt it.

You mean you doubt money laundring and organized crime have anything to do with terrorism ?
I think it has a lot to do with it
And I also do think that rogue factions inside government agencies can exist (the Iran–Contra affair proved it existed once, and there is no guarantee it can't happen again)


There are good and sound reasons for secrets.

Good?
Depends who you are
What's good for corrupted politicians might not be good for the people, for example
"the Enterprise" was totally illegal and secret
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Some money laundering, organized crime, drug and gemstone smuggling may be used for terrorism but most are just plain old human greed. Most corrupted politicians are basically just thieves.

There are rogue factions, but they do tend to be uncovered.

One thing that does happen, is that sometimes folks do the wrong things for what they feel are good reasons. Only history can judge those. That was during the Iran Iraq war, and we 'supported' Iraq, in spite of them being no better a 'government' than Iran. The missiles that Iran got helped to weaken Iraq also (not enough). Many folks were concerned about the spread of Communism close to the US, thus we supported right wing dictators friendly to us.

We are still too close to look on the actions of those times objectively.

It is far too easy to condemn in hindsight many things, from espionage to football play calls. We only have some of the information that folks did and we also have additional information as well.
 

someGuy

New Member
One thing that does happen, is that sometimes folks do the wrong things for what they feel are good reasons. Only history can judge those.
hmmm
Well no, IMO, history judges nothing, the court and congress did (very badly, for some stupid 5th amendment failure, but they did)
And thanks god "the folks who did the wrong thing for what they feel good" did not started a nuclear war
It was not their role to decide what's good or not and to launch foreign operations and massive drug deals on their own, they played god on this one

It is far too easy to condemn in hindsight many things, from espionage to football play calls. We only have some of the information that folks did and we also have additional information as well.

I don't condemn
The court and congress did
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
They did and only time will tell if that was the right thing. Your comment about a nuclear war is somewhat uncalled for, since the ability to do that has been LIMITED to the President.
 

someGuy

New Member
They did and only time will tell if that was the right thing. Your comment about a nuclear war is somewhat uncalled for, since the ability to do that has been LIMITED to the President.
Yeah
And what about the soviet nukes?
They're also controled by the president of the united states?

Face it, those folks, had their own private army inside the army, defining their own objectives, getting their own money through weapon and drug sales...
Almost a government inside the government, they could have triggered a situation forcing the soviet to attack and the us to respond, for example, even by accident

It's a fucking serious problem in the chain of command, not a joke
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
But that would NOT have benefited them either. That is why things are done thru 3rd and 4th parties.

Who profited from Iran Contra? Where is all the money you feel was stolen in that?

I will agree that in some governments it works that way, but we have a LOT of checks and balances to reduce that.
 

someGuy

New Member
But that would NOT have benefited them either. That is why things are done thru 3rd and 4th parties.

Who profited from Iran Contra? Where is all the money you feel was stolen in that?

I will agree that in some governments it works that way, but we have a LOT of checks and balances to reduce that.

"But that would NOT have benefited them either. That is why things are done thru 3rd and 4th parties."
Yeah well ok man, an army inside an army is not a problem at all everything is safe and secure
It's so safe and secure that you can let them in for 20 years and eveything will be fine
SURE
And they'll never attempt to hijack the government, no, never, what for ?



And Who profited from Iran Contra?
...
Narco cartels among other people on the payroll...
Just that, no big deal
That's organized crime actually, on a federal level, above it's the sun

And about checks and balances...
Are you shitting me ?
Fast and furious how check and balanced was that?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Returning the thread to 'Why do you believe?" instead of how horrible the US government is. Maybe that needs its own thread.


The great philosopher Karl Popper argued that the fallacy of conspiracy theories lies in their tendency to describe every event as 'intentional' and 'planned' thereby seriously underestimating the random nature and unintended consequences of many political and social actions. In fact, Popper was describing a cognitive bias that psychologists now commonly refer to as the “fundamental attribution error”: the tendency to overestimate the actions of others as being intentional rather than the product of (random) situational circumstances.
Content from External Source

http://www.scientificamerican.com/a...why-people-believe-conspiracy-theories&page=2
 

someGuy

New Member
Returning the thread to 'Why do you believe?" instead of how horrible the US government is. Maybe that needs its own thread.

Well, I explained why I believe some conspiracy theories might be true
Because, actually, there was indeed a massive conspiracy called the Iran contra, and that's a fact now, not a theory

Unless a conspiracy theory is proven to be a hoax, I stay open to the possiblity that it could actually be true
No fanatism or retardation here, just open-mindedness
 

someGuy

New Member
What does is take to prove a 'conspiracy theory' a hoax to you? That is the real question
Same thing that proves me that a conspiracy exists
Good all facts

Conspiracy theories don't scare me, in fact, it's often entairtaining readings
But I also understand why some people are quick to dismiss them as a whole, already hard enough to feel safe, it's a cut throat world out there
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I don't really count Iran Contra as a massive conspiracy. Not that many folks were involved, that is that did the planning and had knowledge of what was going on.

To use it as an example to accuse the 'government' of numerous ones is just wrong, in my opinion.
 

someGuy

New Member
I don't really count Iran Contra as a massive conspiracy.
Well that's your personal opinion

Officials at the highest level had been detected organizing international terrorism (i.e., the Contras), violating U.S. law, and lying under oath.
Big deal

Not that many folks were involved, that is that did the planning and had knowledge of what was going on.
Yeah just 14 guys prosecuted at key levels of the reagan administration, big deal...
14 officials were charged with criminal violations as a result of the Iran-Contra investigation.
All individuals tried were convicted, one CIA official's case was dismissed because the government refused to declassify information needed for his defense, and two convictions were overturned on technicalities.

To use it as an example to accuse the 'government' of numerous ones is just wrong, in my opinion.
I don't use it to accuse the government of numerous ones
I use it to prove that real conspiracies can actually occure, that's quite different

And btw, those guys where only those who were caught

Does it mean there was more people involved ?
Not necesseraly...
Does it mean there's no similar operations that occured in a recent past ?
Not necesseraly...

As long as I'm not sure, I remain open, that's all
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Conspiracy theories don't scare me, in fact, it's often entairtaining readings
But I also understand why some people are quick to dismiss them as a whole, already hard enough to feel safe, it's a cut throat world out there

I don't think anyone dismisses conspiracies "as a whole" - it is perfectly clear that conspiracies do exist in real life, and we are probably all being affected by them right now - from commercial cartels to "proper" criminals - all of them impose at least a financial cost on the public that we pay every day.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
Even shoplifting 'rings' are a conspiracy. Then there are the folks that steal credit card numbers.

There is a HUGE difference between Iran Contra and insisting that 9/11 was done by the government.
 

someGuy

New Member
Even shoplifting 'rings' are a conspiracy. Then there are the folks that steal credit card numbers.

There is a HUGE difference between Iran Contra and insisting that 9/11 was done by the government.

I have never said 9/11 was done by the government
And I've never said the Iran-Contra was done by the government

What I'm saying, is that rogue factions inside the government agencies can exist, and act on their own behalf without any legal control, and without being caught...
Until they get caught, of course

The real problem comes when they are "too big to be prosecuted", IMO
 

HappyMonday

Moderator
Same thing that proves me that a conspiracy exists
Good all facts

Conspiracy theories don't scare me, in fact, it's often entairtaining readings
But I also understand why some people are quick to dismiss them as a whole, already hard enough to feel safe, it's a cut throat world out there

Which conspiracy theories have you rejected since you've been looking into them?
 

someGuy

New Member
Which conspiracy theories have you rejected since you've been looking into them?
The queen Elizabeth being a reptilian, definitely
lol
Maybe it's true after all...
But I can't remain serious for more than 1 minute when it comes to the reptilian stuff

David Hicke is a fascinating speaker, and I do think there is a possibility of an advanced extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe

But hu...



I mean come on, that's ridiculous
 
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HappyMonday

Moderator
David Hicke is a fascinating speaker, and I do think there is a possibility of an advanced extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe

I'd love that to be proven tomorrow.

I understand that some people take it as entertainment, I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction.

I wonder too why people choose Icke for their entertainment. There are much better storytellers if we're talking sci-fi, his schtick is sub Von Daniken to my mind.

At least when I read a work of fiction, it's sold to me as such.
 

someGuy

New Member
I'd love that to be proven tomorrow.

I understand that some people take it as entertainment, I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction.

I wonder too why people choose Icke for their entertainment. There are much better storytellers if we're talking sci-fi, his schtick is sub Von Daniken to my mind.

At least when I read a work of fiction, it's sold to me as such.

"I'd love that to be proven tomorrow."
hooo me too :D


Well Hicke exposes fascinating ideas... And does it in simple words, that's his main strenght IMO

He has succeeded in merging the classical "offshore banking cartel conspiracy" (which might be true btw) with "Ancient Aliens theories" with Matrix
Pretty much a giant mix between Alex Jones, Tsoukalos, and Neo...

But what I think people like in his mythology, is more the human/moral values he "preaches" through it, and his humor, than the content itself, IMO


I like this one :)


"I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction"

On the other hand, that's what makes the difference between him, and any other scifi author...

David Hicke is half way between an hardcore conspiracy theorist and an artist, IMO
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
A Laundry list of conspiracies . . . what makes them conspiracies??

NOTE : Old list many links are outdated or broken . . .


The greatest Conspiracies . . . History's greatest conspiracy theories
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/pict...n-history.html



1) 11 September 2001 WTC Attack . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septemb...iracy_theories
2) The assassination of John F Kennedy . . .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F....iracy_theories
3) A flying saucer crashed at Roswell in 1947 . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roswell_UFO_Incident
4) Nasa faked the moon landings. . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_la...iracy_theories
5) The Illuminati and the New World Order . . .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Wor...piracy_theory)
6) The Jesus conspiracy - novel (The Da Vinci Code) . . .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Da_vinci_code
7) Diana, Princess of Wales, was murdered . . .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_o...iracy_theories
8) Elvis Presley faked his own death . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley_phenomenon
9) Operation Northwoods - A genuine conspiracy involving a plan by the Joint Chiefs of Staff . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods
10) MK-ULTRA - The code name for a covert mind-control and chemical interrogation research program . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKULTRA
11) North American Union . . .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Union
12) Shakespeare was somebody else . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakesp...rship_question
13) The disappearance of Shergar (race horse) On February 8, 1983 . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shergar
14) Paul is dead - “Paul is dead” replaced by a look-alike and sound-
alike. McCartney’s death . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_is_dead
15) The July 7, 2005 Tube bombings (London) . . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_...ondon_bombings
16) The Moscow apartment bombings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_apartment_bombings
17) Black or unmarked helicopters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_helicopters
18) Harold Wilson (British Labor Party Leader)
was a Soviet agent http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wilson
19) The Protocols of the Elders of Zion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pro...Elders_of_Zion
20) The peak oil conspiracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Simmons
21) Pearl Harbor was allowed to happen
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_H...owledge_debate
22) The Philadelphia Experiment - the US Navy destroyer Eldridge was
rendered invisible http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phi...hia_Experiment
23) Pan Am Flight 103 - Lockerbie in southern Scotland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_103
24) Fluoridation - Fluoride is commonly added to drinking water http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_f...on_controversy
25) The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami http://freeinternetpress.com/story.php?sid=2633
26) Plastic coffins and concentration camps - Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/FEMA_concentration_camps
27) HAARP - Alaska, is the Pentagon's High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Fr...search_Program
28) The Aids virus was created in a laboratory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_or...ific_consensus
29) Global warming is a hoax http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_...spiracy_theory
30) Chemtrails. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtra...spiracy_theory




Additional information found below. . . .


1) September 11, 2001 - Thanks to the power of the web and live broadcasts on television, the conspiracy theories surrounding the events of 9/11 - when terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington - have surpassed those of Roswell and JFK in traction. Despite repeated claims by al-Qaeda that it planned, organised and orchestrated the attacks, several official and unofficial investigations into the collapse of the Twin Towers which concluded that structural failure was responsible and footage of the events themselves, the conspiracy theories continue to grow in strength.


2) The assassination of John F Kennedy - The 35th President of the United States was shot on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas at 12.30pm . He was fatally wounded by gunshots while riding with his wife - Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy - in a motorcade. The ten-month investigation of the Warren Commission of 1963 to 1964, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) of 1976 to 1979, and other government investigations concluded that the President had been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald - who was himself shot dead by Jack Ruby while in police custody.


3) A flying saucer crashed at Roswell in 1947 - The event that kick-started more than a half century of conspiracy theories surrounding unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Something did crash at Roswell, New Mexico, sometime before July 7, 1947


4) Nasa faked the moon landings - People who think that the Apollo moon landings were not all that they seemed at the time believe that Nasa faked some or all of the landings.


5) The Illuminati and the New World Order - A conspiracy in which powerful and secretive groups (the Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group and other shadowy cabals) are plotting to rule mankind with a single world government.


6) The Jesus conspiracy - The theory that launched a blockbusting novel (The Da Vinci Code), a film of the same name and a plagiarism battle in the courts (with the authors of the Holy Blood and holy grail).


7) Diana, Princess of Wales, was murdered - Why won't this one go away? Despite an official inquiry that found no evidence of a plot by MI6 or any other entity to murder the princess and Dodi Fayed in 1997, fevered speculation continues.


8) Elvis Presley faked his own death - What can we say? A persistent belief is that "the King" did not die in 1977. Many fans persist in claiming he is still alive, that he went into hiding for various reasons. This claim is allegedly backed up by thousands of so-called sightings.


9) Operation Northwoods - A genuine conspiracy involving a plan by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to launch a fake Cuban terror campaign on American soil to persuade the US public to support an invasion against Castro. The plan involved bombings and the simultaneous hijacking and blowing up of American airliners.


10) MK-ULTRA - The code name for a covert mind-control and chemical interrogation research programme, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence. The programme began in the early 1950s, continuing at least through the late 1960s, using US citizens as test subjects. Project MK-ULTRA was brought first to wide public attention in 1975 by Congress and by the Rockefeller Commission. Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MK-ULTRA files destroyed in 1973. . . .


11) North American Union - The North American Union (NAU) is a theoretical regional union of Canada, Mexico and the United States similar in structure to the European Union, sometimes including a common currency called the amero. Theorists who believe that the three countries are planning for this believe that it is part of a global conspiracy to set up something called the New World Order (NWO). Officials from all three nations have repeatedly denied that there are plans to create a NAU . . .


12) Shakespeare was somebody else - Who really was the English language's greatest writer? Among the numerous alternative candidates that have been proposed Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, . . .


13) The disappearance of Shergar - On February 8, 1983, a group of men wearing balaclavas and armed with guns turned up at the Ballymany Stud Farm in Co Kildare, Ireland and took a hostage – Jim Fitzgerald, the stud's head groom. "We've come for Shergar," they said. "We want £2m for him." Shergar was arguably the greatest racehorse to have ever lived. But 25 years after he was kidnapped from Ballymany the mystery of exactly what happened to him after he was snatched that night still lingers.


14) Paul is dead - “Paul is dead” is an urban legend alleging that Paul McCartney died in a car crash 1966 and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike. "Evidence" for McCartney’s death consists of “clues” found among the Beatles’ many recordings.


15) The July 7, 2005 Tube bombings - One of the supposed mysteries surrounding the 7/7 attacks is this image, used by several news outlets, of the bombers entering Luton station on their way to London at around 7.20am on July 7. Theorists claim this image is fake . . .


16) The Moscow apartment bombings - Former GRU officer Aleksey Galkin and former FSB officer the late Alexander Litvinenko (who was killed with Polonium-210 in London in November 2006) and other whistle-blowers from the Russian government and security services have asserted that the 1999 Russian apartment bombings were operations perpetrated by the FSB . .


17) Black or unmarked helicopters - The concept became popular in the American militia movement, and in associated political circles, in the 1990s as an alleged symbol and warning sign of a military takeover of part or all of the United States.


18) Harold Wilson was a Soviet agent - Soviet defector Anatoliy Golitsyn is thought to have claimed that Wilson was a KGB spy. He further claimed that Hugh Gaitskell was assassinated by the KGB so that he could be replaced as Labour leader by Harold Wilson. Furthermore, former MI5 officer Peter Wright claimed in his memoirs - Spycatcher - that he had been told that Wilson was a Soviet agent. MI5 repeatedly investigated Wilson over the course of several years . . .


19) The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - Despite being utterly discredited for at least 100 years, belief in this document has proved remarkably resilient on the internet. The text takes the form of an instruction manual to a new member of the "elders," describing how they will run the world through control of the media and finance, and replace the traditional social order . . .


20) The peak oil conspiracy - Peak oil (a theory in itself) is the supposed peak of oil production during and after which demand for oil outstrips supply sending prices through the roof.


21) Pearl Harbor was allowed to happen - Theorists believe that President Franklin Roosevelt provoked the Japanese attack on the US naval base in Hawaii in December 1941, knew about it in advance and covered up his failure to warn his fleet commanders. He apparently needed the attack to provoke Hitler into declaring war on the US . . .


22) The Philadelphia Experiment - Popularised by the Charles Berlitz novel of the same name, conspiracy theorists believe that during an experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in October 1943, the US Navy destroyer Eldridge was rendered invisible.


23) Pan Am Flight 103 - Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American's third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from Heathrow to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport. On December 21, 1988, the aircraft flying this route - a Boeing 747 - was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground. The remains landed around Lockerbie in southern Scotland. A popular theory for which no evidence has been produced suggests that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had set up a protected drug route from Europe to the United States - allegedly called Operation Corea - which allowed Syrian drug dealers to ship heroin to the US using Pan Am flights.


24) Fluoridation - Fluoride is commonly added to drinking water as a way to reduce tooth decay. However, there has been some evidence that there could be some harmful side effects from fluoride and conspiracy theorists believe that this information is known


25) The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami - A popular theory in the Muslim world is that the tsunami could have been caused by an Indian nuclear experiment in which Israeli and American nuclear experts participated.


26) Plastic coffins and concentration camps - Just outside Atlanta, Georgia, beside a major road are approximately 500,000 plastic coffins. Stacked neatly and in full view, the coffins are allegedly owned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema).


27) HAARP - More than 200 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska, is the Pentagon's High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program


28. The Aids virus was created in a laboratory - Based on the theories of Dr William Campbell Douglass, many believe that that HIV was genetically engineered in 1974 by the World Health Organisation.


29) Global warming is a hoax - Some climate change doubters believe that man-made global warming is a conspiracy designed to soften up the world's population to higher taxation . . .


30) Chemtrails - Chemtrail conspiracy theorists believe that some contrails, which consist of ice crystals or water vapor condensed behind aircraft, actually result from chemicals or biological agents being deliberately sprayed at high altitude for some undisclosed purpose.


The greatest Conspiracies . . . History's greatest conspiracy theories
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/pict...n-history.html

Content from External Source
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There's a difference between a conspiracy, and a conspiracy theory.

A conspiracy theory seeks to explain events by using a theory without any strong evidence (or with disputed evidence, depending on your point of view), or sometimes with just a suspicion.
 

HappyMonday

Moderator
"I'd love that to be proven tomorrow."
hooo me too :D


Well Hicke exposes fascinating ideas... And does it in simple words, that's his main strenght IMO

Has has succeeded in merging the classical "offshore banking cartel conspiracy" (which might be true btw) with "Ancient Aliens theories" with Matrix
Pretty much a giant mix between Alex Jones, Tsoukalos, and Neo...

But what I think people like in his mythology, is more the human/moral values he "preaches" through it, and his humor, than the content itself, IMO


"I just think it's dishonest and likely damaging for him to make truthful claims to thousands of followers in the name of his fiction"

On the other hand, that's what makes the difference between him, and any other scifi author...

David Hicke is half way between an hardcore conspiracy theorist and an artist, IMO

Got to the point in the video (after shouting at it for several minutes) where he cheerfully alters a word from an ancient text to suit his story, just to make it easier to understand. I detest his work the more I see of it, and I think it may have been when somebody left me a recording of a show of his that I really started to ask myself questions about the conspiracies I was giving creedence to at the time.

I certainly don't see it as worthwhile art. You essentially said yourself he mashes together other theories, and I've seen him spreading whatever is 'current' (chemtrails recently) online numerous times. If it's art, it's recycled pop-art in that sense.

It boggles me that so many hyper-skeptical-of-ANYTHING-establishment conspiracy believers are happy to buy tickets and stand IN THEIR THOUSANDS watching the guy, and that they let him get away with being booked at a major music festival sponsored by huge corporate interests whilst he preaches that the Rothchilds are evil, or whatever.

I'd like to know what need it satisfies for them, certainly.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
There's a difference between a conspiracy, and a conspiracy theory.

A conspiracy theory seeks to explain events by using a theory without any strong evidence (or with disputed evidence, depending on your point of view), or sometimes with just a suspicion.
So Mick. . . .Conspiracies are two or more people engaging in a covert act . . . and Conspiracy Theories are a different animal?
 

someGuy

New Member
If it's art, it's recycled pop-art in that sense.
Totally

It boggles me that so many hyper-skeptical-of-ANYTHING-establishment conspiracy believers are happy to buy tickets and stand IN THEIR THOUSANDS watching the guy, and that they let him get away with being booked at a major music festival sponsored by huge corporate interests whilst he preaches that the Rothchilds are evil, or whatever.
lol yeah
That's one out of many contradictions regarding Hicke

It's pretty much like buying a ticket to go to the local dance
No1 really gives a shit about the music, they just want to be entertained
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So Mick. . . .Conspiracies are two or more people engaging in a covert act . . . and Conspiracy Theories are a different animal?

What we are really talking about are "proven conspiracies", and "theories that involve conspiracies"

A conspiracy theory is an unproven theory (in the lay sense of the word: "a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural") that involves a hypothesized conspiracy as a vital component.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
What we are really talking about are "proven conspiracies", and "theories that involve conspiracies"

A conspiracy theory is an unproven theory (in the lay sense of the word: "a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural") that involves a hypothesized conspiracy as a vital component.

I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged

I disagree. I could invent a theory right now and it would be a conspiracy theory, just not a very popular one.

"The building collapse in Bangladesh was a false flag by Big Steel to force legislation to get strong steel frames in all new buildings".

Is that not a conspiracy theory?
 

someGuy

New Member
I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged

I disagree with d
If it's a conspiracy theory related to some event which occured 500 years ago ...
What's the damage possible ?
I mean who gives a shit anymore lol ?

Some people missleaded in the process...
Well, it happens everyday in front of the TV, not to mention christmas and santa...

Labelling conspiracy theories as something always damaging doesn't sound balanced to me



Edit:
And a, for the reason mentioned above by Mick
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I disagree. I could invent a theory right now and it would be a conspiracy theory, just not a very popular one.

"The building collapse in Bangladesh was a false flag by Big Steel to force legislation to get strong steel frames in all new buildings".

Is that not a conspiracy theory?
I was thinking the above criteria could be used to determine when a conspiracy theory should be challenged . . . Not that it is a perfect definition . . . :)

I think the criteria for a conspiracy theory are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged
 

someGuy

New Member
A speculative interpretation of events implying that a secretly concerted plan was orchestrated by a malevolent group

Sounds correct to me
 
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