It’s always been that “Conspiracy Theorist” was synonymous with “Wacko”, “Nut-Job”, “Crazy Person”, “Paranoid-Over-Exaggerator” (you get the idea). But in the last 50 years, the phrase has evolved even further into a person who, at worst, outright fabricates a story to satiate their own sensationalist tendencies; at best, someone who is looking for a problem, discrepancy etc where there simply doesn’t have to be one.
Of course, if it were me conducting black operations which would be unpopular with the vast majority of American Citizens…and someone was onto me? …I would certainly try to make them all look like lunatics who don’t know their assholes from their elbows. Discrediting someone who has something to say is one of the oldest tricks in the book. In fact, discrediting is a tactic that we, as Americans familiar with our Justice system, are accustomed to seeing in a Court Room. So naturally, once a person has been discredited, their opinion no longer carries any weight with us. And an “opinion” is all it is unless you can prove it with facts. And if you are dismissed as a paranoid schizophrenic? You’ll never get that chance.
With the rise of the ‘Shadow Government’ to power (aka the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex that Eisenhower warned of) through the courses of World War I and World War II, the necessity of keeping secrets from the American Public became more and more important. Some secrets were benign, but with the power to do whatever you please in complete secrecy, the system was eventually abused and that supreme power fed the already large egos of those pulling the strings. Even for professionals, some secrets find their way out into the masses. Disgruntled ex-employees (military, scientific, political etc) airing dirty laundry, foreign double agents infiltrating an operation and releasing the truth to create unrest…there are many ways. Usually, when these pieces of information slip out, they do so in a very limited way. Enter the Conspiracy label.
Even if the Conspiracy Label is not placed on a person and it assigned to information instead, the information instantly becomes tainted in the eyes of John Q Public. If it is a person, that person is no longer credible; unable to be trusted or believed. Sometimes it is employed subtly…we can’t call EVERYONE a conspiracy theorist, can we? (Then again, if no one believes the few that are out there, we’ll never have to.) But usually it’s combined with some other derogatory adjectives to amplify the affect of an already negatively associated word. But if you look for it, this technique is employed quite frequently. I would even go so far as to say that there could very well be a domestic operation by the CIA, a sub-agency or another intelligence department dealing with Counter-Propaganda specifically targeted at secret information that the Government wants [black]magically turned into ‘folk-lore’, urban legend or the now synonymous conspiracy. For example:
Time Magazine’s Adam Sorenson writes today, “Not releasing the image [of Osama bin Laden’s body] will surely agitate conspiracy mongers like talk radio hyper-ventilator Alex Jones, but evidence, photographic or otherwise, has never been much of an obstacle for Jones’ black helicopter fantasies. [LINK]
There, we see this technique employed expertly, cramming in the phrases “conspiracy“, “monger“, “hyper-ventilator” and “fantasies” into a 37 word sentence. Anyone reading the above statement who is not already aware who Alex Jones is would likely put him in the same category as some loud-talking shock-jock who is only in it for the ratings and will regurgitate any garbage that fell on his news desk.
More of a subtle method, as mentioned above, is discrediting through an overt verbal attack. Instead:
Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said today “Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos [of Osama bin Laden’s body] are doctored anyway…” [LINK]
What he accomplished by saying the above is equal to saying “Conspiracy Theorists don’t believe anything anyone says. You give them the truth, they don’t believe it. You tell them a lie, they don’t believe it. So guess what – they ruined it for everyone and we’re not releasing the picture! Besides, it doesn’t matter whether anyone believes us or not. If you don’t, you are a conspiracy theorist!”
Of course, to reinforce the notion that conspiracies are for wack-a-doos, the mainstream propaganda/brainwashing machine must repeat their slogans over and over and over. Even in stories that aren’t specifically about the “fringe elements”, these crazies must be mentioned:
In today’s Wall Street Journal Leisure & Arts section, Richard B. Woodward writes: “Whereas photographic images were once a bedrock of verisimilitude, better than eye-witness testimony in a court of law and proof that a specific event had actually happened at a specific time, they have become in some minds proof of the extent to which sinister authorities will go to hoodwink us. So while rational people are celebrating his demise, others may already be gathering material for the inevitable ‘Osama bin Laden Lives’ conspiracy.” [LINK]
Again, the subtle language suggests that anyone who believes that there are persons or entities who conspire (for whatever reason) to advance their own agenda (whatever that may be) is NOT a rational person. However, he DOES make the assertion that the rational people are too busy morbidly celebrating the death of a man to be concerned about the possible truth.
The main point of all this was to address the few statements I listed above (and generally, all the ones I’ve read in the past). So many times, I’ve read through a news article dealing with a controversial subject where all the facts aren’t 100% clear and the author or a commentator refers to someone as a conspiracy-nut-job or to an opposing viewpoint as a conspiracy fantasy. I’ve wanted to comment on it each time because many of those subjects desperately need more intelligent research and instead of putting in the time to study the unpopular points of view, the writer goes with the modus operandi of the Mainstream Media and resorts to insults whenever the subject falls into the realm of ‘conspiracy’. Why not prove it? I’d love read a conclusive answer, even if it contradicts my previous beliefs, rather than one that just props up the Counter-Propaganda-created-image of a guy locked in his ‘compound’ with a tin-foil hat on (which is also Counter-Propaganda Conspiracy Nut Job Imagery).
Now, I am not saying everything labeled ‘conspiracy’ is true. There are obviously a lot of fake or truly crazy ones out there (probably created to discredit those who believe in the real ones). What I am saying is this:
DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ. DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS BASED ON WHAT YOU KNOW OR FEEL TO BE THE TRUTH, RATHER THAN WHATS POPULAR. And if people call you crazy. So be it. The truth is more important than people seem to think these days. Would you rather believe a cozy lie, or a harsh, but eye-opening truth?