The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

People today spend a lot of time talking about conspiracy theories. These theories often do harm because they divert attention away from the facts and thereby allow real crimes and other harmful effects to continue. Such conspiracy theories can be spotted based on three basic characteristics.

  1. They lack evidence.
  2. They spread widely before the facts are examined.
  3. Much simpler alternatives are not considered.

For example, take the most popular conspiracy theory of recent times—the official account for the crimes of 9/11.

  1. This theory was produced by mythologist Philip Zelikow, who, before the investigation began, created an outline that was kept secret from his own Commission staff. Zelikow’s outline determined the outcome of the investigation before any facts were examined. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission claimed sixty-three times in its report that it could find “no evidence” related to important aspects of the crimes. Evidence that the Commission did rely on, as a basis for its report, was later found to be false. Similarly, the evidence collected and held secret by World Trade Center investigating agency NIST was later found to contradict the agency’s conclusions. Much of that evidence is still being held secret including the computer model data that NIST was forced to substitute for physical testing that contradicted its conclusions.
  2. The conspiracy theory reports provided by the 9/11 Commission and NIST spread quickly before anyone could examine them. Getting government representatives to commit to any explanation for what had happened on 9/11 took years but, once ready, news media sources were prepped in advance to allow rapid parroting of the official line. The timing of NIST’s reports coincided with political events, like each anniversary of the 9/11 crimes, so that media could quickly present the official story while public interest was high but critical review was not possible. With the report on WTC 7, the public was given just three weeks to comment on a report that was nearly seven years in the making. The report was later found to be unscientific and false.
  3. The official conspiracy theory for 9/11 calls for belief in unbelievable things. That is, to believe the official account you must accept that otherwise honest military leaders will lie repeatedly for years to make themselves look bad. Buildings will collapse in unprecedented ways, through the path of most resistance, with no scientific evidence to explain it. The Secret Service will fail to do its job, insider trading can occur with no insiders, and “the enemy”—a vaguely defined group of dark-skinned people who just happen to live on strategically critical resources—can remain omnipotent and elusive. All the while, much simpler explanations are evident but cannot be considered.

The official conspiracy theory for 9/11 has led to tremendously harmful effects. Many Americans have forgotten completely what it means to be an American. An ongoing terrorism lottery, that could select any of us as a victim at any time, continues with no end in sight. And the 9/11 Wars that were based on the official account are bankrupting the nation both financially and morally.

Yes, conspiracy theories are a problem when not examined closely. Let’s all take a closer look at this one.

Kevin Ryan blogs at Dig Within.

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25 Responses to The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

  1. nomadd says:

    not so much a problem with conspiracy theories as a problem with propaganda. conspiracy are only a problem when the government turns them into propaganda.

    so what are some of the other conspiracy theories that have become ‘a problem’?

    • Marko says:

      The White Helmets , although they weren’t ‘turned into’ a propaganda vehicle , they were created as one from the outset.

      • nomadd says:

        exactly so. and how can one know whether a conspiracy theory is diverting attention away from the facts when one does not know what the facts are? this is a canard that is directed towards people who investigate so called conspiracy theories. im surprised to see ryan promoting it.

        will somebody please give me an example of conspiracy theories that do this? i dont know of any. the public is automatically hostile and resistant to conspiracy theories thanks to cia programming. look at how the general public reacted to pizzagate for example. they dont know the facts but they are sure, in spite of this ‘lack of evidence’, that it is false. so there is little danger of ct diverting attention away from so called facts. the public has been programmed to reject ct.we are still operating under dubyas dictum:
        https://youtu.be/6K5M0xtxQVQ

    • sellinpitchforks says:

      Not sure you get how Ryan is using “conspiracy theory” somewhat factiously here, describing the government’s official version of events. It’s an arrogant assumption of accepting version of truth at face value. Ironically he’s saying what the 9/11 debukers are saying: baseless conspiracy theories get in the way of understanding (ie. uncovering a crime). Which of course is the method of every magic trick, distraction.

      RE your question: RussiaGate looks like another baseless ct (deepstate media driven). The “problem” here is not in the covering up hidden crime….ie. the 9/11 official story hides crime; the RussiaGate invents fake crimes.

  2. outer_rl says:

    I find the official 9/11 story, of a terrorist conspiracy, and the fringe stories, of an inside job, are remarkably similar. Both involve groups of people secretly planning an attack, and later denying it. And both had the same motive – to provoke American invasions of Middle East, and thus wars between East and West. So no need to worry about the difference.

    • slorter says:

      Remarkably similar I am trying hard to see the similarity! One did give us the momentum to go to war the official story! Had the investigation been conducted in a more transparent and honest way the prospect of war might have been more internal not external.

  3. Sparticus says:

    ALL of Life is a Conspiracy Theory.

    Conspiracy Theories hold True far more often than the Patriotic Propaganda: Obvious, BS and LIES. Thieves ( and those with things to hide) do not want you to uncover their crimes; so they try and “mock/discourage” ( like silly grade-school bullies) independent thought and speech. This is called deflection and those who use it are trying to hide something. People will also lie and mock others ( conspiracy theorists) for their Master ( whom ever they sold their soul to), so beware, the Conspiracy theorists are mostly Correct and this scares the government silly.

    Now, It was once a “Conspiracy Theory” that Nazis were murdering Jews. Is it still? Could be? When people throw that BS “Conspiracy line” at me I just start denying their fables and start calling them “Conspiracy Theorists.” David Irving, the most Studied “Authored,or and Published, historian on WW-2 ( EUROPE) says, ” It never happened.” I believe him.

  4. jadan says:

    Always refreshing to revisit 911 since this indicates the sheep do actually think. This act of terror was never subject to forensic analysis because it was political terror and that sort of train wreck requires a political explanation, not a crew from the NTSB, not science. not rationality. The media echo chamber hammered the propaganda into a traumatized and scientifically ignorant public mind. The lie was too big to be confronted by society’s professional dissidents, such as Mr. Leftist Radical his own bad self, Noam Chomsky. The betrayal of science and simple common sense by the US intelligentsia still pisses me off. I have no respect for anyone who accepts the official 911 explanation. I thank Kevin Ryan for his continued effort. It’s a thankless task and poorly compensated.

    • nomadd says:

      ‘The lie was too big to be confronted by society’s professional
      dissidents, such as Mr. Leftist Radical his own bad self, Noam Chomsky.’

      Worst than that. He supported it, making him, at best, a Deep State asset. He sheepdogged the rest of the intelligentsia away from it. Just as did Zinn and Cockburn. The three left gatekeepers.

      “World renowned peace activist and left-wing anti-war icon Howard
      Zinn recently told an audience that he didn’t care if 9/11 was an inside
      job, echoing the disdainful and apathetic rhetoric of fellow liberal
      gatekeepers Noam Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn in dismissing the
      efforts of the 9/11 truth movement.

      Buddy Moore, Independent Candidate for US Senate in Colorado, asked Zinn
      if he would join him in voicing doubts about the official 9/11 story
      and in particular the demolition of the twin towers and Building 7.

      Zinn said he was skeptical of the official story but then stated, “I don’t know much about the situation and the truth is, I don’t care that
      much about it, that’s passed….that’s a diversion from what we really
      have to do,” adding that debating who was behind 9/11, “gets in the way
      of dealing with the immediate situation”.

      Moore attempted to ask Zinn a follow up question about allowing the
      perpetrators to go free but was largely shouted down by Zinn’s fawning
      army of left-wing sycophants.”

      Zinn, Cockburn, Chomsky. What’s up with these guys?

      • jadan says:

        I can only shake my head and agree. We have no leaders worth spitting at. The people are simply oblivious and those who court any kind of celebrity don’t want to wake them from their oblivion. The so-called intelligentsia is as devoted to opinion poles as any menial politician. When I first noticed the aerial spraying program going on about 1998, I was astonished that so few people would trust their own senses or their capacity to understand phenomena in the natural world that would allow them to distinguish between a genuine contrail and what became known as a chemtrail. This was prep for 911. There are no leaders with courage to speak the truth and few scientists not dependent on funding for their livelihood who will not pander to political lies and mass stupidity. What have Zinn or Chomsky wrought? They have delivered eulogies at the graveside of social justice and the public interest. It’s their fault, they say, not ours! We fought the good fight! Their cowardice has delivered the people into the hands of Donald Trump & the billionaire ideologues. Piss on them. At least marijuana is getting legal. That may be the left’s major accomplishment!, So, enjoy! In moderation, of course.

        • nomadd says:

          amen, jadan. fucking …i want to say ‘cowards’… but its worse than that. traitors? fucking assholes. that will have to do until i think of something more accurate.

          btw. i didnt notice chemtrails until 2007. too busy and programmed to look up. aint that some shit?

  5. Tom Paine says:

    Forget Conspiracy Theory but let’s concentrate on Conspiracy Facts of which there are plenty.
    US government has a proven history of staging covert actions to provoke war and then lying just about everything.

    • Wilma says:

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  6. Zelikow was a WH plant on the committee, obviously steering the committee to the WH’s perferred narrative, no? Very much like John Foster who represented the CIA on the Warren Commission, no?

  7. Sparticus says:

    Us government has started or funded over 240 wars and insurgencies since ww-2. The US government sterilized black people and others that it considered undesirable. The US dropped an Atom Bomb, on innocent civilians, knowing full well its destructive power.

    The US lied about WMD`s and Invaded Iraq Illegally on False Data. The US government gave Trillions of Dollars to its banker buddies on Wall Street. The US government murdered Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, and sacked the country. The US government lies about everything!

    Anyone who believes the US government is a total Idiot. I believe the conspiracy theorists because they at least seek truth, the US government seeks to hide and classify the truth.

  8. cstahnke says:

    Sadly we live in a solidly post-rational historical moment. The vast majority of Americans have never fully embraced the Enlightenment principles upon which the country was founded but they did have some respect for those principles even as they failed to grasp the implications of those principles. Today most Americans seem to actively and enthusiastically embrace tribal politics and hammer for any pleasing Narrative/conceptual framework that reflect a their tribal emotional attachments.

    The reason for this is fairly simple and easy to understand. First there is the dramatic and almost stunning failure of the educational system at all levels to educate the public using what we now know about cognitive science turning kids off to intellectual pusmrsuuts other than jumping through hoops taking courses that ignire the realities of contemporary life. Similarly, it also has seen an even more dramatic decline in intellectual discourse both from the Academy, popular entertainment, and the mainstream media. Second, Americans have faced system of mind control for at least a century with advertising, PR, propaganda that is light years ahead of even the fantasies of Nazi and Soviet propagandists. Part of the mind-control regime was displayed “emergent” properties but a good deal was specifically engineered by the State (at this point I consider the MSM and the major IT companies to be part of the State).

    So any kind of truth claim does not need to have evidence. As you said mere assertion in an authoritative voice and echoed in a variety of tribal languages is enough to make it a fact. Even when there is an obvious smoking gun most people, particularly the higher educated, will deny it. Quickest way to stop a conversation is to pull out that gun as in the RFK assassination where Sirhan’s gun had 8 shots and sound analysis shows 13 shots were fired. Worse, the Coroner’s report showed the fatal shots were fired into the back of the Senator’s head from below whereas Sirhan fired from the front about 3 to 4 feet from the front. No one wants to accept that clear evidence because if they did their entire world view would be invalidated.

    • Sparticus says:

      Big Education will only make better slaves for cruel slave masters. Education ,in America, makes poverty. The good paying jobs are always “exported” to Slave Labor; while H1-B ships in slaves to take the remainder. American Capitalism is nothing but a Global Slave Trade replacing the Old Slave Trade.

      American`s have to pay Colossal Sums of Money for education ( more than housing in many cases) and if you cannot repay loans, immediately, the SLSC/AES “doubles” repayment terms with 100-percent Interest and Capitalization Charges on Deferments. I know. I had to pay back 60-grand — would I do it again — HELL NO!

      Most people do not need to be educated to do the mundane/boring Jobs that are offered in this Society. Truthfully, this should be obvious, but you can look at the Garbage Pay (most Americans are in Poverty) and the Fact that Labor Rates are Flat (40-years) for conformation. I can train anyone to do my Job. Most Jobs use to be “all Job Training, then promotion, until Big Education came in and scammed Americans for Billions of Dollars. at sick interest rates,, thus making them slaves to education.

      • cstahnke says:

        Well, I wouldn’t say Big Ed is at fault particularly–it’s quite logical for any part of the political economy to grab as much power and money if the only bottom-line value is money and power. Our problem is moral–we no longer, for both good and ill, believe in morality aside from personal gain mainly through cash.

        • Sparticus says:

          I Agree. However, the situation is totally out of control. I am not kidding, SLSC/AES will charge 100 percent interest, then Capitalization Charges on anyone who runs into hardship after graduation. So .. As in my case, and many others, the amount you originally borrow is doubled. This is a Crime. This is Slavery. There is a good show on RT running about Student Loans in America it will verify the above. This is not business … This is Evil. And, they do it to Children!

          A Wise Person would stay the HELL away from BIG EDUCATION IN AMERICA.

  9. unheilig says:

    Just because there’s a conspiracy theory doesn’t meant there isn’t a conspiracy.

  10. Jay Gan says:

    The most unbelievable conspiracy theory is the official one.

  11. Carl Jones says:

    Most so called ‘conspiracy theories’ aren’t theories, they are un-investigated or covered up conspiracies. Conspiracy is the basis of (UK) police criminal investigation. Unless the police catch the person red handed or they confess, they only have a conspiracy theory.

    Our problem as truthers, is that we are up against a hard core 80% sheeple who huff the moment some one suggests its a conspiracy theory. Our corrupt elites actually encourage the development of conspiracy theories just for this reaction. How often do you hear the fake news media presstitute says something like “numorous conspiracy theories surround the case/incident”? Plenty of times,

    The Moon landings aren’t a theory, JFK isn’t a theory, 9/11 isn’t a theory, Princess Diana isn’t a theory and the fake war on terror isn’t a theory and so on. There is a massive war going on for control of our minds and most sheeple drink from the MSM shit pipe every day.

  12. aleksandarsarovic says:

    If you try to create a conspiracy theory you would easily find out no media would be willing to publish it. There is no way anybody is able to debunk conspiracy theory before it happens. Once it does, then conspiracy theories have interest to put you people on a wrong track. Conspiracy makers are rich and pay a lot of money to hide themselves behind false conspiracy theories. So if you see endless conspiracy theories about anything you may be sure the conspiracy makers have worked hard to put you on a wrong track. You also may be sure that you have been manipulated what ever you think.

  13. nomadd says:

    Mueller presents a conspiracy theory. Or rather elaborates upon the one currently being sold by the same people that gave us the 911 conspiracy theory.

    “Trump’s people did interact with Russians against Hillary but they DID NOT REALIZE what they were doing.

    The bottom-line here is Mueller gets to say Trump’s people did
    conspire with Russians against Hillary so she can say “see I told you
    so” but then exonerates them saying they had no idea so he cannot indict
    anyone and this avoids having to prove anything at a trial. Indicting
    Russian who will never be extradited to the USA avoids a trial
    altogether.”

    http://themillenniumreport.com/2018/02/conspiracy-theorist-robert-mueller-fabricates-the-most-ridiculous-conspiracy-of-2018/

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