Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Follow the Leader Episode 155: Conspiracy Theories...........

Redartz: Greetings, gang! It's the Return of the Leader today; he (and I) is counting upon you to kickstart some dynamic discussion. As you know, the first stouthearted soul to check in gets the honor of setting the agenda; so take it away...


Colin Jones said...

What is your opinion of conspiracy theories? Do you believe any of them? Which is your favourite conspiracy theory?

Selenarch said...

I can't say that I have an opinion on conspiracy theories in general. Rather I am generally amazed at the mental effort which some people expend to maintain them. When I personally encounter this, my usual question to the theorist is: is there any evidence or set of conditions which would render your theory false? The answer typically, and unsurprisingly, is no. Which is the hallmark of a conspiracy theory.

I tend not to believe in conspiracy theories; that there is no "secret board of shadowy figures," and that individual actions which amount to a trend do not equate to a collectively planned and orchestrated agenda. My favorite theory, living in the States, is that the only reason Hillary Clinton received more votes in the popular election is due to swarms of illegal immigrants voting. I squatted in France waaay past the legal limit for a tourist, and know that the last thing you want to do when you are in a country illegally is get noticed by the law. So the idea of someone in the country illegally coming out and walking into a polling place to vote to get some sort of status is incredibly absurd. Of course, Trump installed the Voter Fraud Commission to investigate it just the same.

Or so the Russians would have us believe!

Mike Wilson said...

Some conspiracy theories seem credible at first, but the deeper you go the more it ends up being a load of crap. I generally don't put much stock in them, although there's sometimes bits of evidence that make me wonder (like a third fingerprint being found at the Book Depository in Dallas, proving there were probably TWO shooters there ... assuming the fingerprint is genuine).

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy theories are spread by the Illuminati lizard people secretly running the world, to keep us from questioning whats really going on. Fact.


Steve Does Comics said...

My favourite conspiracy theory is the claim that the moon doesn't exist and is being projected onto the sky by NASA.

Also, the claim that Australia doesn't exist and that every Australian you've ever encountered is really an actor.

And, also, the one that says gravity doesn't exist.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi All!

Colin, the “mother” of all conspiracy theories in the USA is still the JFK assassination.

The JFK one is perhaps our first in the USA.

The best hypothesis for it becoming the “mother” that social psychologists conceive is that Communists (nominally categorized on the far left and thus peace loving) could in no way have committed such an act of violence b/c Oswald was clearly a communist supporter.

To be sure, this is full of holes…

My 2-bit theory is the same as Mike Wallace’s (famous news caster 1960s to the 90s). The Secret Service guy, when he turned to see what happen to JFK, accidentally blasted him one. (There’s a lot of stupid government stuff that took place 24 hours after the shooting, like the FBI guy taking the bullets and then bringing them back to the autopsy.)
I find a mis-fire plausible given my millitary service and the number of times my colleagues accidentally pulled the trigger on our training exercises (one time even dropping a lance missile from the cargo hook of a CH-47!)

So, using my “conspiracy” theory, a cover up exists so that the American people do not “lose confidence” in our Government.

This rationale has been used time and again to not report things to our public . E.g., allowing the continued use of the monkey-virus-laced Polio vaccine (Simian Virus SV40) which I was probably administered as a kid, rather than ceasing immediately! You can read “Dr. Mary’s Monkey” as it righteously weaves the JFK assassination in with the SV40 Polio Virus fiasco story.

Anonymous said...

You don't believe the magic bullet then, Charlie?
Interesting to hear the JFK hit is still the ultimate conspiracy in the US; I'd wondered if maybe it was losing its grip on the popular imagination as the generation that actually remember it happening are passing away.
Area 51 seemed to be offering up some strong competition.

Dunno about a security mis-fire, but as a general theory of state cover-ups - which quite clearly do happen - your argument sounds quite plausible.
One of my favourite conspiracy theories is that the US government encourages speculation about Area 51 in order to put people off taking conspiracy theories seriously. You have concerns about state secrecy? Why, next you'll be going on about black helicopters and UFOs.


Killraven said...

The conspiracy that the Earth is round!

I think "Flat Earthers" have been gaining ground on JFK conspiracists as #1.
No matter the evidence, there's always some crazy theory they have to answer it.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

The JFK Conspiracy is an economy unto itself... Oliver Stone's film, countless books, TV specials... Amazon reports over 2,000 books under "JFK Assassination" lol.

The book depository from which Oswald plugged JFK in Dallas is a museum and hundreds upon hundreds visit daily. It's very well done. I recommend a visit.

The Alien / Area 51 thing is/was an economy unto itself as well. But it never seems to get a lot of traction in "normal" company. And with the inventing of cell phone cameras the whole alien/big foot/loch ness economy dried up a lot.

My guess is that that Area 51 is too unknowable to even really speculate about, compared to JFK. And those who do risk being labeled "kooky" LOL.

But I've read numerous government reports / findings in which the G continued doing what they were doing "to maintain confidence of the American people in their Government" especially during the Cold War. The other side of that coin is "we don't have to admit we are a bunch of charlatans and can keep our jobs" LOL. And that includes the cover up of my polio vaccine infected with the Simian Virus 41 (SV41).

Anonymous said...

Hmm I generally don't believe in conspiracy theories as a whole, although I think that some governments are guilty of trying to cover up certain facts. Were there strange happenings at Area 51? Maybe, although I'm not sure whether or not they're keeping little green men and their UFO on ice.

- Mike 'the Mafia killed JFK' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Colin Jones said...

Thanks for the comments :)

Charlie, I've never heard that theory about the Secret Service agent accidentally shooting JFK. But in 2003 (on the 40th anniversary of the assassination) I watched a very long and detailed documentary on the subject which convinced me 100% that JFK was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald - nobody else was involved and there was no conspiracy. Like Sean, I'm surprised that JFK's assassination is America's #1 conspiracy theory - not the faked moon landings?

And nobody mentioned the conspiracy theory that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were the masterminds behind 9/11.

My father always believed that FDR knew in advance that the Japanese intended to attack Pearl Harbor but did nothing to prevent it because he wanted a reason to get America into World War II (and my dad admired FDR for doing it).

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi Colin,

I hadn't heard of the accidental SS shot to JFK until Mike Wallace mentioned it. Based on my life experiences in the military, around weapons, the SS's weird behavior with the bullets, and working for the Fed Govt for the last 20 years, it is completely plausible.

If you ever get to Dallas, visit the Book Repository from which Oswald plugged Kennedy. It's not a long shot. Then stroll over the "mysterious" grassy knoll...

FWIW - with the dis-aggregation of media, it is hard to tell what the trends are, anymore, for things that cannot be measured in $ or "likes." I mean, how would we know which conspiracy has the most currency at the moment? I just know JFK always pops up here and there, lol.

But to Sean's point, young folks (say under 40?) don't seem to give it a thought.

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