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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How To Sustain a Conspiracy Theory

The following is a parody-joke-satire-commentary thing by our good friend Eric Spratling, in response to a string of inane conspiracy theories and idiotic comments advanced at his own weblog and on the Dixonverse Message Board. It has been reprinted mostly in its entirity without context. It's hilarious.

"How To Maintain Your Conspiracy Theory Despite the Awkward and Painful Intrusions of Reality" by SPC (P) Spratling
(shhh! don't tell anyone that I'm undercover here in the Army!)



STEP 1: ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH YOU IS IN COLLUSION WITH THE CONSPIRATORS.

Note that this is probably the most important one to remember! The beauty of any good conspiracy theory is that when you're backed up against a wall, all you have to say is "You're one of them!" and you'll be good. Because if you ever start believing that your enemy has something going for him besides lies and propaganda, then the whole house of cards would collapse, and really, where's the fun in that?

To the conspiracy theorist (or CT, why not), there can only be three types of people: a) the evil organization (usually the gov't) who is pulling all the elaborate strings; b) the ignorant, sheeplike masses who are too intellectually scared to question said government, and c) the CT himself, a valiant David-like hero who is alone able to pull the wool off of the sheep's eyes.

If someone you know offers a compelling, disinterested argument, then see 1b: he/she is an ignorant sheep who couldn't fathom questioning their own government; too bad for that poor chump! If someone offers you actual evidence against your ramblings, then see 1a. Etc, etc.

Moving on....

STEP 2: YOURS IS THE ONLY VALID VIEWPOINT.

This ties in with Step 1 in an obvious way: remember, the only three types of people are the good CT, the evil government, and ignorant sheeple. Obviously, anyone who expresses a viewpoint other than those of the first kind are to be shunned.

It is in this way, then, that an article published in a respected scientific periodical can be safely dismissed as "biased," "propaganda," "pro-government," and "wholly intolerant of questioning the government" simply because it uses terms like "outlandish" and "extremist" to describe people who subscribe to the theory that a cast of tens of thousands successfully conspired (and later covered up, without a single leak) to pull off the most gruesome mass murder in American history.

Why would PM publish articles critical of President Bush for such comparatively "little" things like Civil Rights infringements, then go ahead and (deliberately or not) help him cover up the most gruesome mass murder in American history? We can never know. Hey, maybe those previous criticisms were a deliberate trick just to throw truth-seekers off the trail... yeah, that's the ticket! Don't you see? IT ALL MAKES SENSE!

STEP 3: THE "GOVERNMENT" IS A MONOLITHIC ENTITY THAT ACTS WITH ONE MIND.

A lot of people are under the crazy impression that the United States governments consists of millions of Americans all over the country and indeed the globe, including but not limited to such diverse institutions as the executive/legislative/judicial branches, police, firefighters, FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, ATF, FCC, the entire U.S. Military, the Departments of Health, Sanitation, Commerce, Treasury, Education, Homeland Security, Motor Vehicles, etc etc etc ad nauseum. And while this is technically true, it does not take into account the part of CT gospel that all of these organizations operate in perfect lockstep and act unquestioningly from a central, micro-managing leader: The President.

This is how we can dismiss anything the NIST says (in addition, of course, to the reasons we can already dismiss it under what is established under the all-important Step 1) since the NIST is subordinate to the Department of Commerce and that's the government. This is why none of us genius CTs were surprised back in the late 90s when President Clinton failed to be successfully removed from office: both the defensive White House and the impeaching Congress were the government. And why on Earth would the government convict itself?

You need to be careful when exercising Step 3, though, because it can lead to awkward questions. When you're exercising Step 3, someone might approach you and ask, for example, if Bush's iron fist is so successful about maneuvering the findings of the Department of Commerce, then how come he can't keep one of his own intelligence agencies, the CIA (which his own father at one point ran, for Heaven's sake,) from leaking to the media like a sieve any information that could potentially embarass him? Why, in fact, if the CIA is part of The Government, is it such a shockingly anti-Bush organization that has worked for years to humiliate and compromise its own leader? Surely The Government that cannot keep a simple thing like a wiretapping program a secret could not be successful in pulling off a massive terrorist attack in plain sight of the entire country?

If someone comes at you talking like this, it's important to remember Step 1.

STEP 4: EXPERTS, SCHMEXPERTS

If there's a piece of evidence against your case that could be made to sound silly to a layman, do not hesitating in making it so.

For instance: the idea that the flights weren't shot down because there were only 14 jets on active alert status in the continental U.S. "What? Only 14? That's ludicrous? Where did all our tax money go?"

Of course, you, the CT are probably not in the Air Force and do not have a history with Norad or any such organization. You're just an average guy (with a superpower of seeing the truth, of course!)and you likely have no background that you could use to state definitively whether, in pre-9/11 times, only 14 fighters being on alert is totally normal. But guess what? Your intended audience probably doesn't either. So just pour on the silly. Make 'em hurt!

Don't know much about construction, foundations, and anything else that would tell you about why cement would have been "scooped" out from under a building? Don't have a history of the area to tell you why such a project would or would not have been necessary? Doesn't matter, because those chump sheeple probably know about as much as you do about it. Distract them from wondering about why such a thing might be legitimately true by saying something really goofy. Maybe about a dragon. Hardy har har!

Now, we know that we have trained a lot of you to make high-minded quotes about your opponents being guilty of contempt prior to investigation. But don't worry: that only applies to your opponents, and usually when they might be starting to outsmart you. You can feel free to pile on all the pre-investigation contempt you want!

STEP 5: EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS IN YOUR FAVOR.

Along with Step 1, this is really the true beauty of conspiracy theories. If you uncover even the tiniest shred of "evidence" (in context or not) that, say, evil Zionist Reptilians secretly run the world, then you are free to seize that and run with it: it's much harder for the rest of the world to prove a negative against that then it is for you to "raise questions" and as long as your questions cannot be answered immediately by the layman, then you can claim victory. However, if your theory about the evil Zionist Reptilians has NO evidence, then you can whisper that that just shows how effective the conspiracy is.

It's that same kind of logic that leads to arguments like this one:

"Also, it's curious that they found 16 common conspiracy theories....and they think that they've conclusively de-bunked all of them. Weren't some of their studies, ya know, inconclusive? Didn't they research something and just say, 'Hey, maybe the theory's right, maybe not, but it's simply impossible to know.' Nope. They claim conclusive evidence against every single one. I don't know about you, but that really undercuts their credibility to me."

See what our experienced CT did there? To argue that the PM's counter-arguments are just propaganda and lies, he cites the fact that they think all their counter-arguments are conclusively right. Surely those mental gymnastics are amazing, but they are doubly so when you consider that if Popular Mechanics had arrived at less than 100% conclusive finishes on some/all of their points, or, God forbid, came to the opposite conclusion, then Mr Brennan would of course still be jumping with joy. If you can't prove me 100% wrong, then I'm right; and if you DO prove me 100% wrong, then I'm still right because it shows just how much of a tool you are.

This, of course, ties in with Step 2.

[I'm sorry, but I just have to break character here to say how this reminds me of a great quote from "Married with Children" where the Bundys are in the video store, trying to agree on what to rent.

PEG: "Al, you're just being negative. You don't want to see any of the movies I want to see!"
AL: "Well, Peg, all the movies you want to see suck!"]

So, to recap:

1) They're all out to get you
2) They're all out to get you
3) They're all out to get you
4) You are smart
5) You are smart

Just always keep this handy manual at your side, and you'll never have to worry about losing an argument about your conspiracy theory ever again.

Congrats!

-The Royal Society of Conspiracy Theories


originally posted by Eric Spratling on August 09, 2006 at 08:41:24 on the Dixonverse Message Board
source IP:72.24.81.91

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