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Old 5th September 2017, 02:45 PM   #1
wasapi
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What are the common traits of conspiracy theorists?

Though I've had contact with hard core conspiracy believers, I try to avoid them. But I am curious about what type of personality lies within them. Any commonalities - other than being gullible?

Thanks,
Julia
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Old 5th September 2017, 03:02 PM   #2
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They want to feel special.
They tend to be small.
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Old 5th September 2017, 03:03 PM   #3
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Brains of a rocking horse.....
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Old 5th September 2017, 03:24 PM   #4
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This is based on the 20 or so people in my old UFO discussion group:

They tend to be smart people.

Many hold decent jobs.

Most are alright people on an individual level.

They get into conspiracy theories almost always due to the influence of someone they respect, and usually it takes a few months before they embrace this other way of thinking. Others get into CT because of something they thought they saw, or a personal event.

In my UFO group, one guy had done his two-year enlistment in the 1960's in US Army Intelligence, got out, moved to San Francisco, and became an LSD-loving hippie. Nothing he saw in his time in the Army pointed to evidence of UFOs, but he would end every debate point with "Hey man, I was in intelligence, you don't know how those people work, or all the crazy things that go on."

One woman was a rape survivor who'd transferred the trauma onto little Gray men. I put this together from many long conversations. She was a sweetheart, but the only way she could cope was to believe the things done to her body were a result of an alien abduction, and not Weird Uncle Frank.

Drug use was common, marijuana mostly.

The guy I bonded with was a scout-sniper with the USMC in Vietnam, who flew hot-air balloons as a hobby. He was more level-headed, and like me he attended the UFO group looking for answers - and didn't find any. We both ended up getting kicked out because we wanted physical evidence, and were not satisfied just taking people's word on the subject. Unlike Army Intel Hippie Dude, he only told me one "Classified" story about the capture of Che Guevarra, and the only reason he knew it was that his younger brother was on that mission. About six years later the full story was published, and everything he told me was true.

Scout-Sniper-Ballon-Guy and I were there because of specific things that we had seen in the night sky, and were looking for answers. The UFO branch of the CT world is ready-made to suck people in. For us it starts with encounters reported by fighter pilots, and creeps into Blue Book, Grudge, and leads to Roswell. By the time you get to Majestic 12 you're a fat, slow moving target for other CTs.

We were both rational men who allowed ourselves to get sucked into a paranoid way of thinking. We both were able to get grips on our logical thinking, and walk away. Many can't admit being conned.
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Old 5th September 2017, 03:30 PM   #5
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Incredibly insightful, thanks Axxmann300. You've done an excellent job of describing and humanizing people who hold CT ideas.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RussDill View Post
Incredibly insightful, thanks Axxmann300. You've done an excellent job of describing and humanizing people who hold CT ideas.
Thanks.

I always point out that the 10% rule applies when it comes to groups of people. 90% are good eggs who've gone astray, and 10% are just looking for some way to be jerks without owning up to being a jerk.

For anyone looking for a quality, serious book about the social end of the UFO thing you should hunt down C.D.B Bryan's book: "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind:Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at M.I.T.

Bryan takes an honest look into the full spectrum of the 90's UFO culture, and provides outstanding statistical analysis that helps the reader understand some of the psychology behind the different aspects of UFO lore. I have successfully applied this work to clear my head of my old CT way of thinking.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:33 PM   #7
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Absolutely no understanding or acceptance of Occam's razor: http://www.yourdictionary.com/occam-s-razor

Which is the idea that the best explanation of an event is the one that is the simplest, using the fewest assumptions or hypotheses.

CTers take the loooooong way around the barn to get to an explanation of relatively simple, straightforward events.
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Old 7th September 2017, 12:42 PM   #8
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Axxman provides an excellent insider view.

My experience is from the outside looking in.

Other than my family growing up (Mafiosi killed JFK) I haven't been "in" a group involved in CTist think, but have observed it.

One common trait I've encountered both irl and on the intrawebs is the adherents of one theory or another that holds very string opinions on some aspect of a CT with absolutely -0- knowledge of what they're talking about.

From "experts" on ballistics, marksmanship and terminal effects wrt the assassination of JFK that barely know which end of the piece the projectile exits, to individuals horribly misunderstanding and/or misrepresenting facts related to explosive materials and explosive devices in both the OKC bombing and the assertions of controlled demolition in the 9/11 attack, there is a never-ending parade of individuals basing their beliefs and opinions on pure unadulterated ********.

I've actually got a few good real-world laughs from providing guys with copies of a particular post in the JFK thread in this forum where a poster asserted that a headspace gauge (a measurement tool used during assembly of a new firearm or the rebarreling an existing one) is a tool used to determine if a firearm has been fired...and when...the assertion is so ridiculous that had I not provided a copy of that particular post, persons with knowledge of the subject matter would not believe that someone could make such a statement. It is so ludicrous I can't even make an analogy for it.

The various OKC bombing CT (no way anfo would take down that building, etc) and the 9/11 CD (Thermite! Thermate! Nano-Thermite! ad infinitum) theories are no better thought out or informed, but the strong opinion based on ******** is a universal condition of CTist thought.
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Old 7th September 2017, 01:08 PM   #9
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Conspiracy theorists tend to be of above average intelligence and also tend to be very detail oriented, even to the point of obsessiveness. Any historical event will have at least some unanswered questions, anomalies and "oddities". So, when the CT can't resolve each and every one of these, they conclude that some bad entity has designed it all. They have a hard time accepting the accidental nature of history, perhaps because of the control they try so hard to exert on their own environment. They then conclude that they can see these bad entities because of their own higher intelligence and insightfulness.
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Old 7th September 2017, 02:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mgardner View Post
Conspiracy theorists tend to be of above average intelligence and also tend to be very detail oriented, even to the point of obsessiveness. Any historical event will have at least some unanswered questions, anomalies and "oddities". So, when the CT can't resolve each and every one of these, they conclude that some bad entity has designed it all. They have a hard time accepting the accidental nature of history, perhaps because of the control they try so hard to exert on their own environment. They then conclude that they can see these bad entities because of their own higher intelligence and insightfulness.
I have to agree.

The end result is that people who don't believe in the conspiracy theory have to answer endless questions about this and that. When the discussion finally gets to a question that can't be answered to the satisfaction of the CTer he declares victory.
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Old 7th September 2017, 03:34 PM   #11
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Disturbingly, a common trait of conspiracy theorists may be that they would be will to do the things they accuse others of doing. If you're talking to a CTer, you may be talking to someone who would be willing to wire the World Trade Center with explosives and fake a plane crash.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0504080730.htm
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Old 7th September 2017, 04:35 PM   #12
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Humans are hardwired to look for patterns, and we're fantastic at finding them even when they're not actually there. We're remarkably bad at recognizing randomness; unless it's uniform, we're likely to improperly infer a pattern of some sort onto actual random elements. Toss in a pinch or larger of confirmation bias and voila! Conspiracies abound.
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Old 7th September 2017, 06:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Though I've had contact with hard core conspiracy believers, I try to avoid them. But I am curious about what type of personality lies within them. Any commonalities - other than being gullible?

Thanks,
Julia
I think you've hit the main one right there.

Otherwise, I realized many years ago that lots of smart people believe stupid things. It's because they WANT TO.
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Old 7th September 2017, 08:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mgardner View Post
Conspiracy theorists tend to be of above average intelligence and also tend to be very detail oriented, even to the point of obsessiveness. Any historical event will have at least some unanswered questions, anomalies and "oddities". So, when the CT can't resolve each and every one of these, they conclude that some bad entity has designed it all. They have a hard time accepting the accidental nature of history, perhaps because of the control they try so hard to exert on their own environment. They then conclude that they can see these bad entities because of their own higher intelligence and insightfulness.
This. My brother and mother, while different, are two of the smartest people I know. My brother is the most anal-retentive man I know. Every detail of his life is ordered and rational yet, when faced with events of consequence (9-11, JFK, even Trump's election (he is a Trojan horse for the Democrats), he embraces far flung CTs. My mother is a self taught woman with no college experience. She is easily the most well read person I know, and yet she too is a troofer, believes in UFO cover-ups, etc. The only link I kind think of is the one you just summed up. Well put. Thanks.
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Old 8th September 2017, 11:34 AM   #15
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Like a few before me, I tend to think of them as gullible intelligent individuals that can't grasp the reality of events and the small anomalies that they can't explain. Also included in this group are those that are unwilling to do some basic research on their own. My wife more intelligent than I in many respects) believes in UFO's. My difference with her is that there should be a few more intelligent species in the Universe, but that life has not visited us.
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Old 8th September 2017, 03:18 PM   #16
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Your posts are helpful in creating a better profile of believers. I also note there are different levels in what the theory is and to what degree they believe. Lots of variables.

I had a friend for a couple of years who appeared in every other aspect to be The Good Guy. Highly intelligent, thoughtful, charming person. Yet, if a political discussion was in progress and a name - like Clinton/Obama - came up, his personality would change. He would give a sardonic smirk and mutter things like, "Ha, I know too much. I know the truth about them". The same with UFO's, Reiki's healing powers . . .

It creeped me out. I can't continue the friendship.
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Old 8th September 2017, 08:09 PM   #17
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For a percentage I suspect bi-polarism is a culprit.

I used to date a psychiatric nurse, hanging in the waiting room waiting for her shift to end I had many colorful conversations. The CIA was a common bogey man, when even I'd try to turn the conversation to paranormal topics they would have it, it was all a CIA mind game. Their parents were CIA agents, their teachers were CIA, the microwave was bugged by the CIA. They didn't believe in ghosts, bigfoot, or UFOs...nope, all of them were CIA games.

Another problem compounding the CT farm system is the internet. My CT days began in 1972 and ended in 1996. We had to buy books, and sometimes we'd get lucky and have local talk-radio do an hour on JFK. Later cable TV began to run CT shows, and Art Bell became a thing. We got a break from CTs back then were today the internet can bring you CT's 24/7. 9-11 is the first CT of the internet era, and it looks like it's the first CT to be killed by the internet too. It takes work, and commitment, but the rational thinkers can eventually win.
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Old 9th September 2017, 01:26 AM   #18
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Interesting article here:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...acy-theorists/

Quick summary of the traits identified:
-Anxiety about death
-Political cynicism
-Inclined to be disagreeable
-Rated themselves as having lower intelligence
-Underlying distrust of authority
-General rejection of science
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Old 9th September 2017, 02:11 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
They want to feel special.
They tend to be small.
I think the first does play into it but I'd change the second statement to "tend to be ordinary folk".



Of course we need to separate out actual conspiracies to the fantasy conspiracy theories. Conspiracies do happen, the classic example I often use is the conspiracy within the Roman Catholic Church to protect itself from damage caused by the abusers within its ranks.

When that originally started getting traction in the 80s it had all the hallmarks of a fantasy conspiracy, i.e. it was something that went on for decades, had been kept a secret by huge numbers of people, that it would simply be too big a to have hidden for decades, we had denials of civic authorities the police etc, the denials of the RCC hierarchy. The people making these claims were declared to be fantasists, damaged people, out for the money and so on.

Yet everything was true, the Roman Catholic Church had for decades covered-up terrible abuse, this was known from the top to the bottom of the organisation, police forces were aware of accusations and allegations as were other civic bodies.

I would say that example would be a good way to "compare and contrast" conspiracy "believers", we can look at people who believed in an actual conspiracy for which they had no proof compared to those who we assume believe in a fantasy conspiracies. Are there different traits we can identify and so on?
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Old 9th September 2017, 08:10 AM   #20
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In the end the cover-up did more damage to the RCC than if they had been open about it.
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Old 9th September 2017, 08:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think the first does play into it but I'd change the second statement to "tend to be ordinary folk".
How about "powerless"?

It's important, of course to distinguish between the ordinary folks and trash like Alex Jones, who are in it for the money.
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
How about "powerless"?

It's important, of course to distinguish between the ordinary folks and trash like Alex Jones, who are in it for the money.
They are no more powerless than any other member of the public. They just don't seem to be able to get their heads around the idea that they (largely) live in functioning democracies. They therefore have a vote, the same as anyone else. If they choose not to use it, that's their problem, really.
(I say "largely" because we are talking about the chemtrail/ reptilian/ fluoride crowd for the most part. There are, of course, many, many CT believers in Muslim countr.ies, most of which cannot be described as functioning democracies. In these cases, the belief in conspiracy does indeed stem from a justified feeling of powerlessness, couped with an unwillingness to accept that the problems in their countries and their religion are often of their own making).
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:30 AM   #23
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Someone on ISF said that belief in CTs provides what the believer thinks is a shortcut to erudition.
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:51 AM   #24
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A lot of people have already touched upon the feeling of powerlessness, but I wanted to add that I recently read about a study that confirmed that:

Quote:
According to a pair of new studies published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, conspiracy theorists—and there are a lot more of them than you may think—tend to have one thing in common: they feel a lack of control over their lives.
A friend of mine recently went off the deep end into CT territory after a divorce. I don't think that's just a coincidence. I've met a lot of men who've went bonkers after a marriage break-up. I haven't had that happen to me (yet), and I would like to think I'd be able to keep my head together reasonably well, but... you just never know until it happens, do you?

I know a lot of lefties felt a feeling of powerlessness after W. Bush got re-elected, and that's when I saw a huge spike in 9/11 Truth, also. If Trump gets re-elected (and, statistically speaking, it's highly likely that he will), I expect we'll see a similar spike in CTs. Hold on.
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:55 AM   #25
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Some fall into CT-isms due to lack of critical thinking skills. Watergate was a real conspiracy- therefore conspiracy A, B, & C must also be real too.

They don't step back and read up on Watergate to learn the details of what happened, and how it fell apart. If they did they would learn that Watergate falls within the typical shelf-life of real conspiracies/black ops/underhanded high level business shenanigans.

I point to the F-117 program which was successfully kept secret for almost a decade. From the Have-Blue prototype to the fighter wing going operational at Tonopah the USAF stretched the limits of maintaining secrecy on a large scale project which involved Lockheed, a number of pilots, ground crew, and air-tanker crews. They went public in 1988 after a crash in California, and the reason was that the financial burden of keeping the aircraft secret had become too much.

Even so, airplane nuts like me knew the USAF was flying something around the Nevada desert going back to 1984. Hasagawa referenced the F-117 on the box art of it's 1/72 scale A-7 kit where a silver aircraft is seen tailing the the old attack plane. We didn't know what it was, we didn't know what it was called, and we had no idea it was an entire squadron, but we knew there was something cool going on. Since then, the USAF has released photos of some other aircraft that were in the running for the F-117 contract, and they're just as out of this world as the stealth fighter we know.

Does this mean that the USAF is hiding alien spacecraft?

Short answer: No

But CTists don't want to hear that part. They won't read Ben Rich's book on his time at Lockheed's Skunkworks and learn about the colossal amount of work that goes into keeping big programs secret. If they did they'd learn about the man-power that required. They don't read books by former CIA or KGB agents to understand what is possible in the covert world, and discover how many operations never get off the ground because they are compromised before they get out of the gate.

Someone always leaks info, someone eventually leaves a door unlocked, or loses a briefcase, stands in a White House press briefing holding a coded file with a secret code name stamped on the front, and sometimes your top secret stealth helicopter crashes during a mission in Pakistan.
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Old 9th September 2017, 01:01 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Axiom_Blade View Post
A lot of people have already touched upon the feeling of powerlessness, but I wanted to add that I recently read about a study that confirmed that:





A friend of mine recently went off the deep end into CT territory after a divorce. I don't think that's just a coincidence. I've met a lot of men who've went bonkers after a marriage break-up. I haven't had that happen to me (yet), and I would like to think I'd be able to keep my head together reasonably well, but... you just never know until it happens, do you?

I know a lot of lefties felt a feeling of powerlessness after W. Bush got re-elected, and that's when I saw a huge spike in 9/11 Truth, also. If Trump gets re-elected (and, statistically speaking, it's highly likely that he will), I expect we'll see a similar spike in CTs. Hold on.
Interesting to think that perhaps a 'trigger' can cause a person to fall into the deep water of conspiracy.

Another question. Do anti-vac people fall into a category of conspiracy theorists?
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Old 9th September 2017, 01:03 PM   #27
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I used to play a game called F-19 Stealth Fighter (Microprose 1988).
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Old 9th September 2017, 01:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
...
Does this mean that the USAF is hiding alien spacecraft?

Short answer: No
But but but, I saw the alien craft in Independence Day
Quote:
...
How anyone could believe that hiding an alien craft for 60+ years without SOMEONE spilling the beans is unbelievable.
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Old 9th September 2017, 05:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Axiom_Blade View Post
A lot of people have already touched upon the feeling of powerlessness, but I wanted to add that I recently read about a study that confirmed that:

"According to a pair of new studies published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, conspiracy theorists—and there are a lot more of them than you may think—tend to have one thing in common: they feel a lack of control over their lives."
Exactly!

I am surprised by the numbers of CTers who make up theories about matters they could understand and do something about if they'd just make the effort.

Since many of their theories posit fantastic, life changing happenings by the alleged conspirators I have to wonder if they just don't grasp the idea that many changes for the good can be had by simple, straightfoward acts like doing accurate research, insisting that open meeting laws be obeyed or insuring that the minutes of governmental meetings be made available to the public.
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Old 9th September 2017, 06:33 PM   #30
Axxman300
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Originally Posted by bknight View Post
But but but, I saw the alien craft in Independence Day


How anyone could believe that hiding an alien craft for 60+ years without SOMEONE spilling the beans is unbelievable.
I'm positive that if the USAF has a captured craft all they have to do is park in plain view at Wright Patterson with a giant neon sign that reads "Captured Alien Space Ship", and no UFO nut will ever believe it.
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Old 9th September 2017, 06:43 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Interesting to think that perhaps a 'trigger' can cause a person to fall into the deep water of conspiracy.

Another question. Do anti-vac people fall into a category of conspiracy theorists?
Second question first: Yes, they are CTists. You can check off every CT box with them.

As for triggers, the best example I can think of is Richard Gage of A&E9-11 Truth. If you listen to his story of how he came to believe the government caused 9-11, and rigged the buildings with explosives, what you hear is a man who clearly had a mid-life crisis. The CT gave him a purpose.
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Old 9th September 2017, 08:29 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post

... The CT gave him a purpose.
I'm really glad I have a purpose in life.
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Old 10th September 2017, 11:14 AM   #33
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I agree about the pot-smoking; it's amazing how many of them have that in common.

Generally conspiracy theorists don't confine themselves to one CT. If they believe 9-11 was an inside job, you'll probably find they also believe in one (or more) of the following:

JFK assassinated by someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald.
Moon landing faked.
OKC inside job.
Sandy Hook shootings faked.
Chemtrails.

Most of them have an overarching plot and a lurking super-villain group in charge. The Jews, the Bilderberg Group, the CFR, the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Lizard People. This makes it easy for them to fold any new event into the bigger CT. The Jews did 9-11 to discredit the Arabs, the Bilderbergers did it to get a pipeline through Afghanistan, etc.

The main fallacy they employ is affirming the consequent. In logic we often use the "if a then b" argument. For example, if (a) Jane is going on a date tonight, then (b) she will wash her hair shortly after dinner. Suppose we establish that she did indeed wash her hair; we have not established that she is going on a date tonight, as there are other reasons why she might wash her hair. If you look for these fallacies, you will see them everywhere. If the Jews did 9-11, we might expect that some of them would celebrate. And we discover that some of them were apparently celebrating across the Hudson, so therefore, the Jews did 9-11.

They ignore any debunking that goes on. I remember at a Phoenix Truther conference, I spent about a half hour swatting down the talking points that a very pleasant woman named Lynn Pence attempted. Not once did she acknowledge the corrections, but quickly moved on to another gambit. This is galling to say the least, but understandable because (as Jonathan Swift observed), you cannot reason a man out of something that he wasn't reasoned into in the first place.

Most CTs are not about the event itself, but about the perceived consequences of the event. 9-11 Troof is not about 9-11; it's about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. JFK conspiracy theories weren't really about JFK; they were about Vietnam. Holocaust denial isn't about the Holocaust; it's mostly about Israel.
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Old 10th October 2017, 09:17 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Yet everything was true, the Roman Catholic Church had for decades covered-up terrible abuse, this was known from the top to the bottom of the organisation, police forces were aware of accusations and allegations as were other civic bodies.
I agree. There seems to be a problem that if anybody talks like Bertrand Russell, or the now deceased actor Kenneth Griffiths, and is below a certain taxable level, then he or he is regarded as certifiable. I have had opinions about bugging in the past, but with the Julian Assange and Edward Snowden revelations now don't seem so strange. I believe there are D notices, but we don't know what they are. That information is never reported and the mainstream media get round that by never reporting it, or changing the subject.

For example, it has been said that Monet the founder of the EU said that the public would never understand the concept of a United Europe which he intended to happen. There has always been a widespread ignorance of the principles of international finance. I think a Rothschild once said that the public don't understand the control of money, so that the public are fairly ignorant about it.

Even on this forum discussion of the paedophile elite in Hollywood and Europe has been censored, perhaps because it's politically embarrassing.

There is practically no discussion about ordering defective F 35 American warplanes which cost a fortune while orders for the Euro fighter are drying up.

There is a bit of background to this in a book called Keeping it Dark published in the 1930s:

Quote:
Apart from the Official Secrets Act there are the restrictions set on newspapers by the laws concerning blasphemy, seditious offences, contempt of court and the recent legislation limiting reports of divorce court proceedings to the names of the parties concerned, the grounds of action and the judge's summing up........ The serious aspect of the situation is rather the absence in England of just those spirited periodicals which exist abroad solely for the reason that they are the avowed organ of minor interests, if not political or economic perhaps sectarian or territorial, which in this country pass almost totally unrepresented.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 10th October 2017 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 10th October 2017, 09:20 AM   #35
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This thread is obviously a trap to ensnare us brave truth tellers.
Don't help the E.N.E.M.Y.!
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Old 10th October 2017, 02:05 PM   #36
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Traits/descriptions of CTs can vary. At least a tad.

Conversely, which word(s) satisfies your definition of the opposite of a Conspiracy Theorist?

If such a label can be singled out, that is.

Last edited by Bubba; 10th October 2017 at 02:21 PM. Reason: oops did not edit
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Old 10th October 2017, 02:20 PM   #37
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Or what would you call yourself, if you thought there could be reason to suspect fraud or deceptive practice involving more than one person in govt or media?

What described you when you knew or suspected those trusted holy men in skirts were messing with kids in the church? Did you see conspiracy?
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Old 10th October 2017, 02:28 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by arayder View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgardner View Post

Conspiracy theorists tend to be of above average intelligence and also tend to be very detail oriented, even to the point of obsessiveness. Any historical event will have at least some unanswered questions, anomalies and "oddities". So, when the CT can't resolve each and every one of these, they conclude that some bad entity has designed it all. They have a hard time accepting the accidental nature of history, perhaps because of the control they try so hard to exert on their own environment. They then conclude that they can see these bad entities because of their own higher intelligence and insightfulness.
I have to agree.

The end result is that people who don't believe in the conspiracy theory have to answer endless questions about this and that. When the discussion finally gets to a question that can't be answered to the satisfaction of the CTer he declares victory.
I would qualify the point about detail oriented, although I agree that CT are in general above average in intelligence. The ability to see patterns that are not really there requires intelligence.

In regards to detail orientation, most conspiracy thinkers are indeed detail oriented, however, it is about the details that support the CT narrative. CT's can obsess over the most arcane details about an event that in their eyes supports the CT narrative. However about details / facts that don't support the3 CT narrative they can be amazingly ignorant.

For example CT concerning the Kennedy assassination can quote chapter and verse about this that or the other about people in photographs or the position of Kennedy's head at this or that moment yet they will repeat, ad nauseum, the magic bullet nonsense and assert the Kennedy and Connally were siting at the same level Connally directly in front of Kennedy. When Connally was actually a little lower and off to the side a bit. (Also Connally had turned a bit.)

Further I have found when confronted by these details that undermine their points CT's will frequently claim that they are fake, fraudulent, part of the cover up and so forth.

Thus I would agree that CT's are detailed oriented, but mainly about the details that support the CT narrative. Details that contradict the CT narratives, are denied, explained away by special pleading and frequently are things the CT believer doesn't know or remember.
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Old 10th October 2017, 03:47 PM   #39
dudalb
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Someone on ISF said that belief in CTs provides what the believer thinks is a shortcut to erudition.
"Conspiracy Theories are the sophistication of the ignorant".
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Old 10th October 2017, 03:53 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think the first does play into it but I'd change the second statement to "tend to be ordinary folk".



Of course we need to separate out actual conspiracies to the fantasy conspiracy theories. Conspiracies do happen, the classic example I often use is the conspiracy within the Roman Catholic Church to protect itself from damage caused by the abusers within its ranks.

When that originally started getting traction in the 80s it had all the hallmarks of a fantasy conspiracy, i.e. it was something that went on for decades, had been kept a secret by huge numbers of people, that it would simply be too big a to have hidden for decades, we had denials of civic authorities the police etc, the denials of the RCC hierarchy. The people making these claims were declared to be fantasists, damaged people, out for the money and so on.

Yet everything was true, the Roman Catholic Church had for decades covered-up terrible abuse, this was known from the top to the bottom of the organisation, police forces were aware of accusations and allegations as were other civic bodies.

I would say that example would be a good way to "compare and contrast" conspiracy "believers", we can look at people who believed in an actual conspiracy for which they had no proof compared to those who we assume believe in a fantasy conspiracies. Are there different traits we can identify and so on?
The RC pedophile scandal was a cover up. A lot of real conspiracies are cover ups.
Most Conspiracy theories ,however are not cover ups but a plot to do actually Do some vast, nefarious crime. Big difference.
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