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Author Topic: Conspiracy theories
Babbler # 478

posted 01 July 2001 12:56 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Auntie talked about these a while ago, and took the sensible position on how to reply when dissed by neo-cons for being paranoid.

Sometimes, though, conspiracy theories are interesting to me, not (necessarily) because I believe in them but because I think the powers that be, especially in the U.S., have given lots of people lots of reason to begin wondering nervously what the next sub-text to just about everything is going to be.

For me, the Warren Commission (on JFK's assassination) sparked some justified paranoia just by bungling, at least. The CIA and the RCMP really were playing funny games with the citizenry, increasingly through the 60s -- happily, they were usually incompetent enough to be exposed, but ... Lyndon Johnson lied; Richard Nixon lied -- are we surprised that large numbers of Americans began to read signs and portents into just about any event worthy of notice?

Anyway: Any favourite conspiracy theories, utterly loopy, or just possible enough to be scary? Any favourite establishment apologists, guys hired as mouthpieces to soothe us out of our suspicions? (Robert Fulford comes to mind in the latter category -- he produces a laugh-at-the-loonies column at least annually, pretty much the same column every time, too.)

From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 621

posted 01 July 2001 01:15 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well I am going to offer a conspiracy theory whose provenance is, I have been told, right-wing, but which I have heard from lots of people. It's the contrail (=condensation trail) theory. Haven't heard of it? Use google

I don't think I believe in any conspiracy theories, because I believe in Ockham's razor. You don't particularly need conspiracy theories to explain anything. OTOH I suppose believing the Trilateral Commission and European Round Table are sinister manipulators of the public agenda counts as a conspiracy theory in some quarters.

I'll try to think of some more.

[ July 01, 2001: Message edited by: rasmus_raven ]

From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
John Hansen
Babbler # 852

posted 01 July 2001 01:42 PM      Profile for John Hansen     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While history has shown that there have been
many instances when groups within governments have engaged in secret behaviour
to undermine some sector of society (COINTELPRO in the USA, The RCMP's seeking out gays and lesbians in the civil service and many, many other examples), I have never really bought these these visions of vastly organized and highly complex and secretive conspiracies. It assumes the people involved in these things are really, really smart and I've never believed that so many people could be so smart for such a sustained period of time.

A good example is Oliver Stone's JFK. Now I don't for a second believe Oswald acted alone (I'm thinking disgruntled CIA guys, some Cubans, and maybe some mafia guys thrown in for good measure) but Stone's vision got so convoluted that you would think the conspiracy involved approximately ten thousand people. Then he started making stuff up.

However conspiracies are great to follow because from time to time, some turn out to be true.
Disinfo has a great collection of conspiracy theories. Some crackpot, but some absolutely chilling. My favourite right now is the one about time travel experiments being conducted in order to go back in time and murder Jesus Christ. The Montauk Project involves CIA (of course), the Navy, aliens, dinosaurs, and just about every other conspiracy theory player all in one place.

Of course there's also the theory that conspiracy theories are being used to discredit conspiracy theories in general so that the real conpiracies can continue undetected. One theory gets too close, a fake crackpot theory is sent out and the original theory suddenly looks silly. To paraphrase Jello Biafra wanna hide something like a conspiracy, just put it in plain sight. He was actually referring to government funded crack labs.

From: Saint John | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 490

posted 01 July 2001 05:50 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I like the guy who did "Feudalism Alias American Capitalism" - he's actually a Gold Standard Socialist (which I think has to be a contradiction in terms, but the rest of the site is quite interesting. I take some of it with a rather huge chunk of salt tho.)

(edit for bad URL - do a yahoo or google search for the website; some people have mirrored it)

[ July 01, 2001: Message edited by: DrConway ]

From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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