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Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:23 am
by conniption
MacCruiskeen wrote:Why would they be bothering with such a propaganda offensive? Any ideas?

I know you're joking because you wrote it in green.

Global Research

CNN’s “Yellow Journalism”: “Orwellian Newspeak” against the 9/11 Truth Movement

As Jake Tapper’s “The Lead” Dips to New Low with “Coverage” of AE911Truth’s 9/11 Museum Brochure

By Craig McKee
Global Research, June 26, 2014

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth 22 May 2014


It looked just like an infomercial, but with a lot more frowning.

In an example of Orwellian newspeak, the CNN show The Lead with Jake Tapper took on Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth over its decision to distribute information pamphlets outside the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero in New York City. The pamphlets mimic the design of the “official” ones, but instead of the official story, they contain key scientific forensic evidence indicating that the three World Trade Center towers were brought down with explosives and incendiaries. Unlike the official version, the photo on the cover of the AE pamphlet shows the Twin Towers and Building 7.

The Tapper report is a hysterical compendium of all the empty slogans and anti-conspiracy-theory talking points that make up the mainstream media’s continuing attack on the 9/11 Truth Movement. It didn’t take more than a couple of seconds into the report to see how Tapper was going to play the story.

CNN Fake Out

He tells us that “the conspiracy group” AE911Truth plans to stand outside the museum and hand out fake museum pamphlets that look exactly like the real ones. The volunteers handing them out are described as “so-called truthers,” and the whole exercise is labeled an “affront to the victims’ families.”

“Can’t these people give it a rest for one day out of respect for the families?” an exasperated Tapper queries, adding that the 9/11 memorial is “sacred.” Indeed, since 9/11 itself, the grounds have been transformed from a place of truth-seeking to a pathologically sacred shrine to “not asking questions about 9/11.”

Tapper contends that truthers are using the opening of the museum as an opportunity to spread their lies about the attacks. He reads from the AE pamphlet: “Welcome to the other 9/11 story,” but then adds, “the false one.”

Of AE, he says:

“Of course they don’t prove anything except for man’s capacity to believe crazy things and man’s insensitivity to, for instance, the families of the approximately 3,000 people killed at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania by Islamic terrorists with al-Qaeda, as every credible investigation has actually proven.”

CNN-brochure comparison scareBrochure comparison: Official vs Unofficial

I’m not sure if he’s talking about the 9/11 Commission Report, which even commission members have called a “cover-up,” or the NIST report, which the 2,100 technical and building professionals with Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth have shown to be rooted in fantasy, not science.

Tapper had on the air as his guest Emily Bazelon, a senior editor of Slate magazine, whose job it was to help Tapper figure out just what is psychologically motivating all these “truthers.”

She says,

“Usually, with a conspiracy theory, you imagine that people are trying to make sense of the senseless. But with 9/11, we have a real conspiracy called al-Qaeda. And so, one has to imagine that the anti-government motivation of the 9/11 truthers is really what’s driving this. Because if you could imagine the government made up 9/11 as a hoax, then the government is completely monstrous, and there’s no reason to believe anything any federal official says, and certainly no reason to pay your taxes.”

Wow. This “journalist” does a lot of imagining.

First, she admits that her pet theory about making sense of the senseless (which we hear regularly from the official story apologists) doesn’t fit the situation. But that doesn’t deter her, as her remarks then take a turn toward the surreal. In her world, if you don’t unquestioningly swallow whole the story of Islamic terrorists with box cutters, then you must think every government official is in on it, and therefore you don’t have to continue funding that government.

Perhaps Ms. Bazelon, who seems to pluck her theories out of thin air with absolutely no basis in fact or evidence, could provide us with even one example of a 9/11 truther whose views have their genesis in an anti-government sentiment or in a desire to avoid paying taxes. I wonder if either Bazelon or Tapper could come up with anything at all to back up anything they say in this report.

Still frowning, Tapper asks, “What happens when this nonsense hits the echo chamber of the Internet?” This prompts more incoherence from Bazelon:

“You see these dark corners of the Internet where people pile on, and there’s this minute parsing of the technicalities of the supposed evidence, and more and more detail gets added and accumulated, and it kind of feeds on itself,” she responds.

CNN Bazelon Newspeak

Huh? Is that sort of like saying that people on the Internet examine all the evidence and accumulate and discuss their findings? Perhaps if the mainstream media did some examining of evidence, then the truth about 9/11 might be clearer to everyone by now, including their viewers. But that doesn’t appear to be their role in this scenario.

Not to be outdone, Tapper risks straining himself with some political analysis.

“Historically, we see that these conspiracies come after very upsetting events like the Kennedy assassination, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. – is there a pattern there?”

Could it be that people get upset by conspiracies to kill public figures for political reasons, and they get just as upset when the government and media collaborate in covering them up? And could it be that one of the reasons these events are so upsetting is that the conventional explanations for them are so transparently fraudulent?

Furthermore, these explanations are always wrapped in phony emotion so that the rational doesn’t have to be addressed. Do we all see that pattern? Our “journalist” friends would have us believe that the only appropriate way that we can and should react to an event like 9/11 is emotionally. The museum itself focuses on the heroism and the emotion of the day – whatever it takes to stay away from the facts, which overwhelmingly contradict the paper-thin official story.

Tapper attempts to clarify just what truthers are actually saying:

“And the idea here is not just that the three buildings were destroyed by explosives, but that it’s all part of this grand conspiracy where the U.S. government – and let me state, if I haven’t made it clear enough, none of this is true, this is all just crazy talk – that the U.S. government faked it, killed all these people intentionally, and it was just to start a war in Iraq and another one in Afghanistan. Is that the idea they’re going for here?”

Here’s where even Bazelon has to admit there were some problems with how the Iraq war started.

“That’s the idea, and just to state it is to show how horrifying it is. I suppose that given that the American government did put forward some false ideas to motivate going into Iraq – in particular the whole idea that there were weapons of mass destruction there – that’s the tiny, tiny kernel of truth that is in some way related to this completely crazy theory.”

“Some false ideas.” Bazelon can’t even bring herself to state that the governmentlied to the American people to go to war. She minimizes the importance of these “false ideas,” which have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and she makes sure to get the word “crazy” in there to counter her subtle admission that the war was started under false pretenses.

Up to this point in the report, the really big gun hasn’t been brought out, but Tapper takes care of that with his predictable accusation that truthers are motivated by anti-Semitism.

“There’s also a lot of scapegoating with the 9/11 truther stuff,” he says. “There’s anti-Semitism, anti-Israel, anti-corporations.”

Anti-corporations? Is that exclusive to 9/11 truthers? Are we to understand that being critical of corporations now pegs one as a conspiracy theorist as well? From her place in the official story echo chamber, Bazelon responds:

“Exactly. And I think you see these virulent strains that are related to each other from familiar right-wing talk, and they all get weirdly braided together in this particular theory.”

The anti-Semitism charge is a common one, and it seems to be thrown at truthers more and more often as time goes on (the theme of “contagion” with the term “virulent strains” is also a part of this). The physics of 9/11 are not anti-Semitic; neither is anything else on the popular 9/11 Truth Movement website,

During his recent Canadian tour, AE911Truth founder Richard Gage, AIA, was interviewed by Sun News journalist Michael Coren, who accused truthers in general and Gage in particular of believing that all the Jews were told to stay away from the World Trade Center on 9/11. Coren even used the word “virulent.” Of course, Gage has never made such a comment (I covered this in two recent articles on my blog, Truth and Shadows, here and here). All the same talking points that we see in the CNN piece were there in Coren’s report.

This propaganda masquerading as news is actually a carefully crafted attack on anyone who questions what the media tell us and on anyone who is not satisfied with the official cover-up of 9/11, and it is far from the only recent example. Newsweek, for example, has just produced a cover story ominously entitled, “The plots to destroy America.” In this attack on “conspiracy theorists,” we are told that it goes beyond craziness and insensitivity – that public health and public policy are threatened by those who question the official line.

It seems that those of us who question 9/11 must be making progress if the mainstream media have to pull out this kind of propaganda against the Movement. It also seems that the purveyors of the 9/11 official story may have assumed enormous risk in deciding to enshrine their story in a museum of glass, steel, and concrete, because now they have given the Truth Movement a focal point on which to direct their efforts to expose the fraudulent events and criminal perpetrators of 9/11.

Craig McKee is a journalist and the creator of the blog Truth and Shadows

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:47 am
by 8bitagent
Funny, CNN was playing 9/11 Truther tonight... ... 1.cnn.html

Also can we get a memorial for all the innocent Muslims killed in the intervening Western wars and invasions in response to 9/11?

Just sayin'.

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:53 pm
by MacCruiskeen
Dangerous Machinery: "Conspiracy Theorist" as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion

Ginna Husting, Dept. of Sociology, Boise State University
Martin Orr, Dept. of Sociology, Boise State University


In a culture of fear, we should expect the rise of new mechanisms of social control to deflect distrust, anxiety, and threat. Relying on the analysis of popular and academic texts, we examine one such mechanism, the label conspiracy theory, and explore how it works in public discourse to "go meta" by sidestepping the examination of evidence. Our findings suggest that authors use the conspiracy theorist label as:

(1) a routinized strategy of exclusion;

(2) a reframing mechanism that deflects questions or concerns about power, corruption, and motive;


(3) an attack upon the personhood and competence of the questioner.

This label becomes dangerous machinery at the transpersonal levels of media and academic discourse, symbolically stripping the claimant of the status of reasonable interlocutor—often to avoid the need to account for one's own action or speech. We argue that this and similar mechanisms simultaneously control the flow of information and symbolically demobilize certain voices and issues in public discourse.

Full text available for free here (you need to sign in, once, but it beats being ripped off by JSTOR): ... _Exclusion

See also:

boundary posturing

A territorial behaviour found in the higher primates. As the name suggests, it consists of occupying a position on the outskirts of one's territory and assuming postures and behaviours designed to convince any would-be intruders that the territory is already fully occupied.

The classic example is the chest-beating exhibited by some apes, as in the riverside boundary-posturing scene in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. [...]

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:58 am
by RocketMan
This is wishy-washy, intellectual-masturbatory bullshit, but an interesting case in how people who are supposed to apply academic rigour must twist themselves in pretzels in order to at the same time "take conspiracy theory discourse seriously" and discount the idea of elite conspiracies in a number of cheap rhetorical "flourishes" which wouldn't be out of place in a mediocre high school essay. Shame on you, Raw Story. :| ... overlords/

While it’s tempting to dismiss conspiracy theorists as nothing more than a loopy minority, on a growing range of contemporary issues they in fact make up a loud and vocal majority.

Consider the nearly four in five US citizens who think the government is keeping mum on salacious information about UFOs. Or the quarter of the UK population who believe Princess Diana was assassinated.

Then there’s the American political group Reptilian Resistance (RR) Movement United. Alongside its mostly unexceptional conservative social activist agenda is a violent declaration of war against the evil, reptilian-alien hybrids that have supposedly infiltrated the most senior levels of government.

But what is most surprising about RR is not its bizarre claim that we are in the midst of an invasion by evil über lizards, but that the claim has gained so much traction and generated so much comment in the public sphere.

In early 2013, RR received international media coverage upon posting what it claimed was high-definition video proof that one of President Barack Obama’s security attaché was a shape-shifting alien humanoid.

Apparently one of Obama’s Secret Service spooks shapeshifted into a humanoid during the President’s speech at the 2012 AIPAC Zionist Conference..

Even the White House saw fit to make comment. In an interview with Wired magazine, Caitlin Hayden from the National Security Council confessed that alien bodyguards were too pricey in an era of budgetary cut-backs:

I can’t confirm the claims made in this video, but any alleged program to guard the president with aliens or robots would likely have to be scaled back or eliminated in the sequester. I’d refer you to the Secret Service or Area 51 for more details.

Although Hayden’s (hopefully non-reptilian) tongue was likely planted firmly in her cheek, we think an invasion is indeed under way: not of politically ambitious reptiles, but of conspiracy theory discourse.

This discourse falls into two categories:

1) Claims, like those of RR, that nefarious forces are conspiring to do us harm
2) Claims that dress down the producers of the aforementioned claims for being conspiracy theorists.

In our view, though for different reasons, both categories of discourse are potentially problematic.

Some instances of the first type of discourse – the Kennedy assassination was a cover-up, 9/11 was an inside job, Obama is a crypto Muslim, etcetera – are decidedly socio-political.

Others are harder to classify: the Wingdings font contains “kill kill” messages, dentists are slipping microwaves into our teeth, Kentucky Fried Chicken is part of a Ku Klux Klan plot to render black men impotent, and so on.

Conspiracy theory debunkers

The second type of conspiracy theory discourse is produced by so-called debunkers: those who seek to disprove and discredit conspiracy theories and their producers.

Take lecturer in critical thinking Peter Ellerton, who asserted recently on The Conversation that anyone who denies the science of climate change is – ipso facto – a conspiracy theorist. He goes on to argue more generally that conspiracy theorists reject science and are irrational and deluded.

While we think Ellerton makes useful observations about the foundations of conspiracy thinking and the difficulties of toppling the “ironclad logic” of conspiracy theories, our views diverge from his in several ways. Not because we doubt the validity of climate change science – we think the science is eminently solid – but because of the unhelpful way he uses the term “conspiracy theories”.

After all, someone could doubt the science of climate change on numerous non-conspiracy-theory-related grounds. For instance, they might understand science poorly, they might be one of the (very, very) few scientists who assesses the data differently to the consensus, and so on.

Furthermore, many environmental activists who support climate change science could also be described as subscribers to various “conspiracy theories”: that Big Business has engaged in secret strategies to deny climate change and that Big Media is manipulating coverage are just two examples. And we are not entitled to counter that these aren’t “conspiracy theories” simply because they are or will one day be revealed to be true.

To call our own conspiracy-related beliefs “truths”, but yet to dub those of our interlocutors “conspiracy theories”, is at best a facetious form of rebranding, if not an instance of begging the question against those with whom we do not see eye to eye.

As an antidote we could remind ourselves that the conventional account of the 9/11 attack is a conspiracy theory – about terrorists who secretly conspired to carry out coordinated attacks on New York and Washington – even though it usually isn’t labelled as such.

Ellerton seems to be trying to discredit climate change sceptics by foisting an appellation upon them which most would find embarrassing. Calling someone a “conspiracy theorist” is not a neutral naming act given the term’s association with paranoia, crazy thinking and tin-foil hat fashions.

Ellerton’s ready use of “conspiracy theorist” as a pejorative – alongside his positioning of science in opposition to conspiracy theorising – also implies that conspiracy theories only circulate in a particularly non-rational, unscientific and deluded sector of the community.

But, as mentioned above, conspiracy thinking can be found in staggeringly large percentages of the population.

The non-partisan nature of conspiracy theories

While common wisdom has it that conspiracy theory is generated almost exclusively by those on the political right, this is not a cognitive or explanatory style peculiar to any political allegiance: conspiracy narratives draw numerous advocates on all sides of politics, and among both progressive and conservative social groups.

Given the threat the “birther” campaign has posed to the American Democrats, for instance, it is interesting that original allegations about Obama’s citizenship were raised by anonymous Hillary Clinton supporters during the presidential primaries in spring 2008.

These observations are not meant to suggest party-political affiliations are completely irrelevant when considering conspiracy theories. In 2013, Public Policy Polling showed that while only 12% of those Americans who voted Democrat thought that global warming was a hoax, the figure was 61% among those who voted Republican.

On the other hand, more Democrats believed that the US government allowed 9/11 to happen, that the CIA circulates crack to the inner cities, and that the moon landing was faked. (The issue of alien existence was evenly divided.)

The lesson here is not so much that belonging to a particular voting public makes one susceptible to conspiracy theory, but that it tends to predict which conspiracies one will find appealing.

The ‘rightness’ of conspiracy theories

Elsewhere we have examined in greater detail the attractions of, explanations for and ramifications of the extraordinarily large number of conspiracy theories currently circulating in public discourse.

Here, we simply wish to emphasise that to better understand conspiracy thinking we would do well to think twice before shouting “conspiracy theorist!” at those whose beliefs and explanations (conspiracist or otherwise) do not align with our own.

Name-calling such as this has the potential to mute the expression of people’s genuine worries and also promotes a stand-off – or mimetic escalation of antagonism – between debating parties rather than encouraging inquiry and dialogue.

The mainstreaming of conspiracy theory in public discourse is not simply a matter of wacky content but of an epistemological orientation whose signal characteristics include doubt, scepticism and DIY inquiry.

Despite the outlandish propositional content of many conspiracy theories, there is a reasonableness – even a rightness – to some aspects of conspiracists’ modes of reasoning. One might even describe it as an idiosyncratic continuation of – rather than a rupture from – the ideals of rationality associated with the Enlightenment.

As such, the inconvenient truth in this particular scenario is that what is often categorised as “conspiracy theory” is not simply the pastime of reptilian resistors rehearsing the apocalypse. Rather, it is much closer to what, in other contexts, we would simply call “political rhetoric”.

Whether or not that is a cause for concern depends on our view of what political discussion should involve. At the very least, it should worry our lizard overlords.

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:29 am
by MacCruiskeen
RocketMan wrote:This is wishy-washy, intellectual-masturbatory bullshit

Well, pseudo-intellectual bullshit, and unashamedly stupid. Not one thought to be found in it anywhere. The guy doesn't even know what "salacious" means, although of course this deters him not a whit from using it in his second sentence in a routinely witless attempt at putting the plebs in their (appointed) place. All he is really doing here is demonstrating his unimpeachable soundness to his current and potential employers.


Yes, but it's not only himself he's servicing. The intellectual quality of articles like these is entirely secondary. They function primarily as social gestures, like the tugging of (say) a forelock.

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:26 pm
by elfismiles
Son of Carl Sagan is a 9/11 truther: ‘It’s a cover up, basically’
Tom Boggioni
13 Mar 2015 at 11:02 ET ... basically/

Plus Flashback to 2006
... page 6 of 9 below ...

The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll - New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Mar 27, 2006 - The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll. A new generation of conspiracy theorists is at work on a secret history of New York's most terrible day. By Mark ...

The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll

Smoke Bomb: Could this puff of smoke be evidence of an internal explosion consistent with controlled demolition?
(Photo: Jerry Torrens/AP)

As a boy shining shoes in Puerto Rico, William dreamed of being wrapped in a straitjacket and suspended upside down from a flaming rope. “That was going to be my big trick. It was my goal to become a magician, the greatest illusionist in the Caribbean basin.”

Later, Rodriguez met James Randi, a.k.a. the Amazing Randi, the magician best known as a debunker of supernatural claims, offering the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge to anyone able to demonstrate verifiable evidence of psychic powers.

“Randi was my mentor,” said William. “I admired him for his tricks but also because he never said they were anything but tricks. He separated the truth from the phony.”

William moved to New York, but beyond some gigs at Mostly Magic, his career did not take off. He started working for a cleaning company in the World Trade Center. He’d stay there twenty years.

On 9/11, William was late. Instead of mopping the stairwells on the 110th floor, where he almost certainly would have died, he was chatting with the maintenance crew on level B-1 in the basement. “I heard this massive explosion below, on level B-2 or 3. I saw this guy come up the stairs. The skin on his arms was peeled away . . . hanging. Then I heard another explosion, from above. That was the first plane, hitting the building.”

In possession of one of the few master keys in the building, William led firemen up the stairwells. He was responsible for getting at least a dozen people out of the towers. Trying to escape as the North Tower fell, he found himself beneath a half-buried fire engine.

“I told myself this is going to be a slow death, but I should make it last as long as I could. My training as an escape artist helped me. I knew to be calm. They found me just in time. I understood my whole life had been pointing to this moment.”

Acclaimed as “the last man pulled from the rubble,” William became a hero of 9/11. “I was at the White House. They took my picture with President Bush.”

Four years later, after repeatedly being rebuffed in his attempts to tell officials his story about the basement explosion, William is suing the U.S. government under the rico statute, legislation drafted to prosecute Mafia families. The suit reads like an Air America wet dream, with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, Karl Rove, and others (the Diebold Company is thrown in for good measure) listed as defendants.

“They say I’m a conspiracy theorist; I call them conspirators, too,” William says.

“It is like Randi said. There’s reality, and there’s illusion. When illusion becomes reality, that’s a problem. Nine-eleven is a giant illusion. Besides, what can they do to me? I’m a national hero, Bush told me so himself.”

“That’s him, the NIST guy,” William said, indicating Dr. S. Shyam Sunder, head of the institute’s Trade Center report.

An elegantly attired man in his fifties, Dr. Sunder, holder of degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and MIT, took his seat beside Carl Galioto, a partner at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, architects of the new $700 million replacement for 7 WTC. Behind them was a slide of “the new downtown skyline,” dominated by another Skidmore project, the Freedom Tower, which, at an iconic 1,776 feet, is next in line to be the world’s tallest building. Like the new 7 WTC, which Galioto said featured a “two-foot-thick vertical core encasing the elevators, utility infrastructure, and exit stairs,” the Freedom Tower will be “among the safest buildings ever built.” This was important, the architect said, because “constantly building and rebuilding” was what New York was all about.

After Dr. Sunder’s presentation (planes and fire did it), a woman from N.Y. 9/11 Truth stood up and said she hadn’t been able “to sleep at night” since her best friend had died at the WTC. She had hoped NIST would clear up doubts, but this was not the case. “I have here a report which contradicts much of what you say.”

The woman put a paper by Steven E. Jones, a physics professor from Brigham Young University, in front of Dr. Sunder. Jones makes the case for controlled demolition, claiming the persistence of “molten metal” at ground zero indicates the likely presence of “high-temperature cutter-charges . . . routinely used to melt/cut/demolish steel.”

“I hope you read this; perhaps it will enable you to see things a different way,” the woman said.

“Actually, I have read it,” Dr. Sunder said with a sigh.

Later, asked if such outbursts were common, Dr. Sunder said, “Yes. I am sympathetic. But our report . . . it is extensive. We consulted 80 public-sector experts and 125 private-sector experts. It is a Who’s Who of experts. People look for other solutions. As scientists, we can’t worry about that. Facts are facts.”


Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:59 am
by conniption
Voltaire Network

What lies behind the anti "conspiracy theorist" discourse

The State Against The Republic
by Thierry Meyssan

At the request of President François Hollande, the French Socialist Party has published a note on the international “conspiracy theorist" movement. His goal: to prepare new legislation prohibiting it to express itself. In the US, the September 11, 2001 coup established a "permanent state of emergency" (Patriot Act), launching a series of imperial wars. Gradually, the European elites have aligned with their counterparts across the Atlantic. Everywhere, people are worried about being abandoned by their States and they question their institutions. Seeking to retain power, the elites are now ready to use force to gag their opposition.

Voltaire Network | Damascus (Syria) | 13 March 2015
français Español Deutsch Português عربي italiano فارسى polski русский ελληνικά

January 27, 2015, President François Hollande made "conspiracy theorists" responsible for the crimes committed by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe. He called for a ban on their freedom of expression.

The President of the French Republic, François Hollande, has assimilated what he calls "conspiracy theories" to Nazism and called to prevent their dissemination on the Internet and social networks.

Thus he declared, on January 27, 2015 at the Shoah Memorial:

"[Anti-Semitism] maintains conspiracy theories that spread without limits. Conspiracy theories that have, in the past, led to the worst "(...)" [The] answer is to realize that conspiracy theories are disseminated through the Internet and social networks. Moreover, we must remember that it is words that have in the past prepared extermination. We need to act at the European level, and even internationally, so that a legal framework can be defined, and so that Internet platforms that manage social networks are held to account and that sanctions be imposed for failure to enforce" [1].

Several ministers also decried what they called conspiracy theorists as so many "fermenters of hate and disintegrators of society."

Knowing that President Hollande calls "conspiracy theory" the idea that States, whatever their regimes - including democracies - have a spontaneous tendency to act in their own interests and not in that of their constituents, we can conclude that he presented this confused amalgam to justify a possible censure of his opponents.

This interpretation is confirmed by the publication of a note entitled "Conspiracy theories, current status" by the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, a Socialist Party think tank of which Mr. Holland was the first secretary. [2]

Let’s leave aside the political relations of François Hollande, the Socialist Party, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, its political radicalism Observatory and the author of the note and let’s focus on its message and its ideological content.

Definition of "conspiracy theories"

The terms "conspiracy theories" and "conspiracy theorism" have developed in France in the wake of the publication of my book on US imperialism post-September 11, titled The Big Lie [3]. At the time, we had trouble understanding what the terms meant because they referred to American political history. In the United States, are commonly called "conspiracy theorists" those according to whom President Kennedy had not been assassinated by one man but by many, forming a conspiracy (in the judicial sense). Over time, these expressions entered in the French language and have overlapped with memories of the 30s and the Second World War, those of the denunciation of the "Jewish conspiracy". These are therefore now polysemous, sometimes evoking the law of the state-Stator silence and, at other times, European anti-Semitism.

In its note, the Jean-Jaurès Foundation gives its own definition of conspiracy theorism. It is

"an ’alternative’ narrative that claims to significantly upset the knowledge we have of an event and therefore competes with the "version" which is commonly accepted, stigmatized as "official"" (p. 2).

Observe that this definition does not apply solely to the delusions of the mentally ill. Thus, Socrates, through the myth of the cave, affirmed his challenge to the certainties of his time; Galileo with his heliocentric theory challenged the prevailing interpretation of the Bible of his time; etc.

For my part, and since they see me as the "pope of conspiracy theorists" or rather the "heretic" in the words of Italian philosopher Roberto Quaglia, I reaffirm my radical political commitment, in keeping with the French republican radicalism of Leon Bourgeois [4], of Georges Clemenceau, [5] of Alain [6] and of Jean Moulin. [7] For me, as for them, the state is a Leviathan which by nature abuses those it governs.

As a radical Republican, I am aware that the state is the enemy of the common good, of the Res Publica; which is why I wish not to abrogate it, but to tame it. The republican ideal is compatible with various political regimes-including monarchies, as was enacted by the authors of the Declaration of 1789.

This opposition, which the current Socialist Party disputes, has so shaped our history as Philippe Pétain repealed the Republic to proclaim the "French State". Immediately after his assuming presidential office, I denounced Hollande’s Petainism [8]. Today, Mr. Hollande claims to be of the Republic to better fight it and this inversion of values ​​plunges the country into confusion.

Who are the "conspiracy theorists"?

The "conspiracy theorists" are thus citizens who oppose the omnipotence of the State and who wish to place it under surveillance.

The Jean-Jaurès Foundation describes them as follows:

"[It’s] a heterogeneous movement, heavily entangled with the Holocaust denial movement, and which combines admirers of Hugo Chavez and fans of Vladimir Putin. An underworld that consist of former left-wing activists or extreme leftists, former "malcontents", sovereignists, revolutionary nationalists, ultra-nationalists, nostalgists of the Third Reich, anti-vaccination activists, supporters of drawing straws, September 11th revisionists, anti-Zionists, Afrocentricists, survivalists, followers of "alternative medicine", agents of influence of the Iranian regime, Bacharists, Catholic or Islamic fundamentalists "(p. 8 ).

One will note the amalgams and abuse of this description aiming to discredit those it designates.

Myths of the "conspiracy theorists"

The Jean-Jaurès Foundation continues its vilification by accusing "conspiracy theorists" of ignoring the realities of the world and naively believing hackneyed myths. Thus, they would believe in the "World Zionist plot", the "illuminati conspiracy" and the "Rothschild myth" (p. 4). And to credit these three statements, it cites an example solely on the "Rothschild myth": blogger Etienne Chouard - whose work is not simply about the Republic, but goes beyond to treat Democracy [9] - says the Pompidou-Rothschild 1973 law is the source of the debt of France. And the Foundation goes on to refute this assertion by quoting an article published by Libération.

One will note here that the example of Étienne Chouard leaves one unsatisfied about the two other cited myths. Especially, the Foundation addresses ignorant people who have neither read the response from Mr. Chouard to Libération [10] nor the contribution of the "conspiracy theorist", former Prime minister Michel Rocard. [11] Indeed, in this debate, it is clear that the 1973 law allowed the explosion of the French debt in favor of private banks, which would have been impossible before.

The "conspirasphere"

For the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, conspiracy intellectuals would be

"essentially North Americans. Particular mention is made of Webster Tarpley and William Engdhal (both former members of the US political-sectarian organization led by Lyndon LaRouche), Wayne Madsen (, Kevin Barrett ( or Michel Chossudovsky ( ). With their European counterparts, they form a kind of International to which Thierry Meyssan, president of Voltaire Network, tried to give concrete form in November 2005 in Brussels, bringing together an "anti-imperialist conference" - "Axis for Peace "- the list of participants of which reads like a who’s who of conspiracy authors most prominent at the time" (p. 8 ) .

First, let’s observe that the Fondation Jean-Jaurès must only read in French and English, and have barely skimmed over the participants’ lists of Axis for Peace, to believe that the phenomenon it describes only concerns France, Canada and the United States. In fact it includes a very large literature in Arabic, Spanish, Persian and Russian; languages ​​which are also in the majority in Axis for Peace.

Let’s note also the malicious nature of the reference to "the politico-sectarian American organization led by Lyndon LaRouche." Indeed, William Webster Tarpley and Engdhal quit this organization more than 20 years ago. And at the time when they were members, this party was represented in France at an extreme-left organization’s congress.

A little further on, the Jean-Jaurès Foundation does not fail to mention the comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, whose shows the State seeks to prohibit, the sociologist Alain Soral, whose website ( ) obtains audience records in France, and Alain Benajam (, chairman of Voltaire Network France and representative of the Novorossian Government of Donbass.

In 1989, the former head of US intelligence in Europe, Irving Brown, revealed to reporters Roger Faligot and Rémi Kauffer that he had recruited Jean-Christophe Cambadélis when he militated in Lambertists Trotskyists. 25 years later, Mr. Cambadélis became First Secretary of the French Socialist Party.

The political ideas of "conspiracy theorists"

After these appetizers, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès comes to the heart of the debate, that of political ideas. It defines those of the "conspiracy theorists" thus:

- "the erasure of any distinction in kind between liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes (deemed more “totalitarian" than the worst of totalitarianism)”;
- "[Opposition to] any anti-racist legislation under the pretext of defending "freedom of expression";
- "[Rejection of] the relevance of the left-right divide, the real divide is the one between" the system "(or" Empire "or the" oligarchy ") and those who resist it"; (P. 8 )
- "the idea that Zionism is a project of world domination" (p. 9).

The Jean-Jaurès Foundation specifically targets areas of conflict, but exaggerates to discredit its opponents. For example, no one is opposed to all anti-racism legislation, but only and exclusively to the Fabius-Gayssot law that punishes by imprisonment any debate about the extermination of the Jews of Europe [12].

What is Zionism?

The Foundation then engages in a very long analysis of my works on Zionism. It disfigures them, then comments:

"Thierry Meyssan’s anti-Zionism bears no resemblance to the criticism of a situation, that of the governments that have been able to succeed each other at the head of the State of Israel. It does not arise from an anti-colonialism that would be resolved by Israel’s withdrawal from the territories occupied after the Six Day War and the creation of a Palestinian state. It also does not proceed from an internationalism that would hold in suspicion, in principle, any national movement wherever it comes from, precisely because it does not liken Zionism to a national movement. This paranoid anti-Zionism does not pretend to fight Zionism in the diversity of its historical expressions, but as a fantastic hydra that is the source of evil in the world. "

In wanting to conclude this debate by giving it considerable space in its analysis, the Jean Jaurès Foundation highlights its importance. I indeed defend a position thus far absent in the Western political debate [13]:

- The first head of state who stated his intention to bring together Jews from around the world in a state that would be theirs was Lord Cromwell in the seventeenth century. His project, clearly explained, was to use the Jewish diaspora to expand English hegemony. This project has been defended by all successive British governments and registered by Benjamin Disraeli in the agenda of the Berlin Conference.

- Theodor Herzl himself was a disciple of Cecil Rhodes, the theorist of the British Empire. Herzl originally proposed to create Israel in Uganda or Argentina, not in Palestine. When he succeeded in having Jewish activists adhere to the British project, he bought land in Palestine by creating the Jewish Agency whose articles are a carbon copy of the Rhodes society in Southern Africa.

- In 1916-17, the United Kingdom and the United States reconciled themselves by committing together to create the state of Israel through the Balfour Declaration in London and Wilson’s 14 points in Washington.

It is therefore perfectly absurd to claim that Herzl invented Zionism, to separate the Zionist project from British colonialism, and to deny that the State of Israel is a tool of the common imperial project in London and Washington.

The position of the Parti socialiste on this subject is not innocent. In 1936 it proposed with Léon Blum to create the state of Israel on the territory of the Lebanon mandate [14]. However the project was quickly dismissed because of the opposition of the French High Commissioner in Beirut, Damien de Martel de Janville.

Concluding remarks

In 2008, Professor Cass Sunstein, an adviser to President Barack Obama and husband of the US Ambassador to the UN, had written a similar note [15].

He wrote:

"We can easily imagine a series of possible answers.
- 1. The government can ban conspiracy theories.
- 2. The government could impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.
- 3. The government could engage in a contrary discourse to discredit conspiracy theories.
- 4. The government could initiate credible private parties to engage in a discourse against conspiracy theories.
- 5. The government could engage in informal communication with third parties and encourage them. "

Ultimately, the US government had decided to fund individuals, both at home and abroad, to disrupt the forum websites of conspiracy theorists and to create groups to contradict them.

This not having sufficed, France is called upon to take authoritarian measures. As in the past, the French elites, of which the Socialist Party forms the pseudo-left wing, have placed themselves under the orders of the main military power of the time, in this case, the US.

Let’s not be naive, we are approaching an inevitable showdown. It remains to be determined which instance, necessarily administrative, will be in charge of censorship and what will be its criteria.
Thierry Meyssan

Roger Lagassé

Attached documents
« Conspirationnisme : un état des lieux », par Rudy Reichstadt, Observatoire des radicalités politiques, Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Parti socialiste, 24 février 2015.
(PDF - 159.3 kb)

[1] « Discours de François Hollande au Mémorial de la Shoah », par François Hollande, Réseau Voltaire, 27 janvier 2015.

[2] « Conspirationnisme : un état des lieux », par Rudy Reichstadt, Observatoire des radicalités politiques, Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Parti socialiste, 24 février 2015.

[3] L’Effroyable Imposture suivi de Le Pentagate, par Thierry Meyssan, Nouvelle réédition, entièrement réactualisée et annotée, éditions Demi-Lune.

[4] Léon Bourgeois, sculpteur français (1851-1925). Théoricien du « solidarisme » (que les socialistes actuels confondent avec la Fraternité). Il fut président du Parti radical, président du Conseil des ministres, premier président de la Société des Nations et lauréat du prix Nobel de la paix en 1920. Avec l’aide du Tsar Nicolas II, il posa le principe des arbitrages entre États, dont la Cour internationale de Justice des Nations unies est l’aboutissement actuel.

[5] Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929). Il défendit les Communards face à la droite et combattit la gauche socialiste de Jules Ferry aussi bien contre son projet de colonisation que contre sa vision de la laïcité. Alors que, durant la Grande Guerre, le pays semblait vaincu, il devint président du Conseil et le conduisit jusqu’à la victoire.

[6] Alain, philosophe français (1868-1951), co-fondateur du Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes (CVIA). Il milita pour une république protectrice de la liberté, strictement contrôlée par le peuple.

[7] Jean Moulin, haut fonctionnaire (1899-1943). Il prit le parti des Républicains espagnols et organisa illégalement, malgré le gouvernement socialiste neutre, un trafic d’armes pour résister aux Franquistes. Durant l’Occupation de la France, il dirigea le Conseil national de la Résistance, y incluant toutes les sensibilités politiques à l’exception de celle qui s’était battue aux côtés des Franquistes. Arrêté par les nazis, il mourut sous la torture.

[8] “France According to François Hollande”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Michele Stoddard , Voltaire Network, 4 August 2012.

[9] La République veille à ce que le Pouvoir serve l’Intérêt général. La Démocratie exige que le Pouvoir soit exercé par tous les citoyens.

[10] «Analyse des réflexions de Monsieur Beitone sur la prétendue rumeur d’extrême droite à propos de la loi de 1973», par Étienne Chouard, 30 décembre 2011.

[11] Émission Mediapolis sur la radio Europe 1, le 22 décembre 2012, l’ancien Premier ministre socialiste Michel Rocard était l’invité de Michel Field et d’Olivier Duhamel.

[12] De nombreux responsables politiques se sont vainement opposés à cette loi, dont l’ancien président Jacques Chirac, et les anciens Premiers ministres Dominique de Villepin et François Fillon.

[13] “Who is the Enemy?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Roger Lagassé, Voltaire Network, 4 August 2014.

[14] My Enemy’s Enemy: Lebanon in the Early Zionist Imagination, 1900-1948, Laura Zittrain Eisenberg, Wayne State University Press (1994). Thèse de doctorat vérifiée par Itamar Rabinovitch côté israélien et Kamal Salibi côté libanais.

[15] «Conspiracy Theories», Cass R. Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule, Harvard Law School, January 15, 2008.


The Saker
embedded links

France at war with alternative medias

March 16, 2015
By Cyrano

They were thousands of people marching all over France for Freedom of Speech, chanting JE SUIS CHARLIE, after the killing of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. No surprise there. Arguing in France is a national sport, the French just love to discuss the pros and cons of such and such ideas and to defend their point of view in discussions that can last forever. However, some had doubts about the political exploitation of such a massive rally. It looks like they were right.

First, there was a political and mediatic outcry against whoever considered to be an anti-Charlie. That led to a string of arrests on the vague charge of “defending terrorism”.

But that was just the beginning. What we are seeing now, is the start of a smear campaign to denounce all “conspirationists” who dare to disagree with the official policy of the French government.

It started when president Hollande has assimilated what he calls “conspiracy theories“ to Nazism and called to prevent their dissemination on the Internet and social networks.

His speech at the Shoah Memorial on January 27, 2015 is crystal clear:

“[Anti-Semitism] maintains conspiracy theories that spread without limits. Conspiracy theories that have, in the past, led to the worst “(…)” [The] answer is to realize that conspiracy theories are disseminated through the Internet and social networks. Moreover, we must remember that it is words that have in the past prepared extermination. We need to act at the European level, and even internationally, so that a legal framework can be defined, and so that Internet platforms that manage social networks are held to account and that sanctions be imposed for failure to enforce” (source:

He then asked the French Socialist Party to prepare new legislation to repress all dissident voices.

French presstitutes wasted no time to join in the dance.

The leftish weekly Marianne (that self-proclaim itself as fighting one track thinking) has published an in-depth review under the title “Conspiracy nuts”.

L’Express, another weekly, has created its own directory of “sites d’infaux” (literally “false news sites”), listing their name, their category (blogs, alternative info, parody) and what kind of “false news” they spread. Even worse, they invite their readers to submit their links, which is nothing less than encouraging them to act as stool pigeons (they’re bragging that they added 30 new sites thanks to their readers). Just imagine Newsweek doing the same in the US.

Left leaning Libération had less chance with its list of evil pro-russian sites, that was removed after howls of protest among its readers. The list include not only the French Saker and members of the French Saker Team (félicitation mes amis!!) but also the Original Saker Blog and a reference to our entire community.

A full fledged media campaign against “conspiracy theories” has just started, telling the good people of France that all Websites challenging the single worldview the French government want to impose are all nests of fascists, Nazis, terrorists, lunatics and anti-semitics. All this in the name of Freedom of Thought.

Next will come a law prohibiting all those sites, that could lead to forced closure and arrest of those who just question the official thinking.

In the meantime, many French are thanking those magazines for the opportunity to introduce them to informative Websites they were longing for. An eloquent proof that the French still believe in the plurality of views.

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:50 pm
by elfismiles
Conference on Conspiracy Theories
Department of Political Science
Department Events
Upcoming Conference

March 12th-14th, 2015
University of Miami
Chair: Joseph Uscinski


Welcome to the conference home page. This page will be updated regularly with important information about the conference. For fear of raising the ire of both conspiracy theorists and government eavesdroppers, this conference is not open to the public due to both space and catering considerations. Inquiries can be sent to Professor Joseph Uscinski at

The purpose of this conference is to bring together scholars from across disciplinary and geographic boundaries. While disciplinary specialization has served most academic pursuits well, it has not served the study of conspiracy theories. With a diverse set of scholars tackling issues related to conspiracy theories and conspiratorial beliefs, there is a growing tendency to talk past researchers in other disciplines. Given the recent surge of academic attention to this topic, there exists an opportunity to share approaches, integrate methodologies, and communicate important findings.

This conference features more than fifty participants from nine countries, thirty-five institutions, and fifteen disciplines. Indeed, the study of conspiracy theories is an international and interdisciplinary endeavor.

The conference includes thirty-six paper presentations and three keynote addresses. Drawing on a broad range of approaches, the authors and presenters focus on four enduring questions: What is a conspiracy theory? Why do (or don’t) people believe in conspiracy theories? What are the consequences of conspiracy theories? Where does the study of conspiracy theories go from here? While there is likely no singular answer to any of these questions, it is likely that our discussions will lead to better answers and a clearer trajectory for future research.

Additional Conference Information ... mation.pdf

Latest Update: March 9th, 2015 ... onference/

From the PDF...

Conspiracy Theory Conference
March 12-14th, 2015
This conference was organized by Joseph E. Uscinski, Associate Professor of Political
Science at the University of Miami. Inquiries can be directed to Professor Joseph
Uscinski at
Funding for this conference was generously provided by the University of Miami College
of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office, and the University of Miami Political Science
The purpose of this conference is to bring together scholars from across disciplinary and
geographic boundaries. While disciplinary specialization has served most academic
pursuits well, it has not served the study of conspiracy theories. With a diverse set of
scholars tackling issues related to conspiracy theories and conspiratorial beliefs, there is a
growing tendency to talk past researchers in other disciplines. Given the recent surge of
academic attention to this topic, there exists an opportunity to share approaches, integrate
methodologies, and communicate important findings.
This conference features more than fifty participants from nine countries, thirty-five
institutions, and fifteen disciplines. Indeed, the study of conspiracy theories is an
international and interdisciplinary endeavor.
The conference includes thirty-six paper presentations and three keynote addresses.
Drawing on a broad range of approaches, the authors and presenters focus on four
enduring questions: What is a conspiracy theory? Why do (or don’t) people believe in
conspiracy theories? What are the consequences of conspiracy theories? Where does the
study of conspiracy theories go from here? While there is likely no singular answer to
any of these questions, it is likely that our discussions will lead to better answers and a
clearer trajectory for future research.
Recent history suggests both an increase in the spread of conspiracy theories, and an
increase in actual conspiracies. Given these alarming trends, the time is now to peer
deeper in the darkest regions of humanity’s psyche.
Panel 1
Discussant: Karen Douglas,
University of Kent
Paper: Marius H. Raab, Benedikt Kammerl, and Claus-Christian Carbon, University of
“Conspiracy Beliefs and Personal Beliefs: Exploring the Linkage between a Person’s Value
System and his/her Conspiratorial Ideas”
Paper: Hugo Drochon and Rolf Friedman, CRASSH, University of Cambridge
“European Conspiracy Theories”
Paper: Daniel Sullivan and Roman Palitsky, University of Arizona
“A Cultural-Existential Account of Variation in Conspiracy Beliefs”
Paper: Monika Grzesiak-Feldman. University of Warsaw
“The Relationship between Conspiracy Beliefs about Events, Conspiracy Stereotypes and
Prejudices towards Out-Groups”
Presentation: Kamal Premaratne and Manohar Murthi, University of Miami, Engineering
“Opinion and Consensus Dynamics in Social Networks”
Panel 2
Discussant: Andrew
McKenzie-McHarg, CRASSH
Paper: Brian Keeley, Pitzer College
“Conspiracy Theory: Skepticism, the Scientific Method and Credulity”
Paper: Matthew Dentith, University of Aukland
“Rumsfeld, Hitchens and the Unknown Known”
Paper: Lee Basham, South Texas College
“Ignoring the Conspiracy: The Problem of Toxic Truths”
Paper: Alfred Moore, CRASSH, University of Cambridge
“The Vices and Virtues of Conspiracy Theories”
Paper: Jack Bratich, Rutgers
“Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories Exist?”
Panel 3
Discussant: Joseph Parent,
University of Miami
Paper: James Tracy, Florida Atlantic University
“The Medium is the Con(spiracy)”
Paper: Michael Butter, University of Tübingen
“Much Ado about Not Much: The Internet and the Alleged Proliferation of Conspiracy
Paper: Peter Knight, The University of Manchester
“Corporations, Conspiracy and Collusion”
Paper: Ryan Neville-Shepard, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus
“Beyond Paranoid Style: Subtextual Form in Modern Conspiracy Rhetoric”
Paper: Juha Raikka and Lee Basham, University of Turku and South Texas College
“Conspiracy Theory Phobia”
Panel 4
Discussant: Nicole Hemmer,
University of Miami History
Paper: Kathy Olmsted, University of California, Davis
“Schwartz's Law of Misdirected Conspiracism”
Paper: Jesse Walker, Reason Magazine
“What We Mean When We Say 'Conspiracy Theory”
Paper: Rolf Fredheim and Andrew McKenzie-McHarg, University of Cambridge, CRASSH
“‘Conspiracy’ vs. ‘Conspiracy Theory’: A Relationship of Inverse Proportions?”
Paper: Nayanika Mathur, University of Cambridge, CRASSH
“Climate Change or Conspiracy Theory? Human-animal assemblages and the state in the
Indian Himalaya”
Paper: Asbjorn Dyrendal, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
“Conspiracy and Esoteric Counter-Epistemologies: Dynamics
Producing Conspiricism in ‘the Cultic Milieu’”
Speaker: Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College
Panel 5
Discussant: Santiago Olivella,
University of Miami
Paper: Ted Goertzel, Rutgers
“Anti-Science Conspiracies of the Right and Left”
Paper: Josh Pasek, University of Michigan
“It’s not my consensus: When individuals know and reject the scientific majority”
Paper: Jay Cullen, University of Victoria
“Learning About Conspiracy Theories: Experiences in Science and Risk Communication
with the Public about the Fukushima Dai-ichi Disaster”
Panel 6
International Conspiracy
Discussant: Elton Skendaj,
University of Miami
Paper: Martin Orr, Boise State
“From U.S. Ghettos to the ‘Arab Street’: Race and the ‘Conspiracy Theorist’”
Paper: Scott Radnitz, University of Washington
"Conspiracy Claims and Coalitions in Weakly Institutionalized Settings"
Paper: Tanya Filer, CRASSH, University of Cambridge
Panel 7
Motivated Reasoning
Discussant: Casey Klofstad,
University of Miami
Paper: Adam Berinsky, MIT
“Telling the Truth about Believing the Lies”
Paper: Joseph P. DiGrazia, Dartmouth College
“Explaining Geographic Variation in Conspiratorial Belief”
Paper: Dan Cassino and Krista Jenkins, Farleigh Dickinson University
“Knowledge, Media Use and Belief in Conspiracies: Is all Information Weighted Equally?”
Paper: Alex Alduncin, Jack Edelson, Chris Krewson, James Sieja, University of Wisconsin
“What Drives Beliefs in Voter Fraud?”
Paper: Joanne Miller, Kyle Saunders, and Christina E. Farhart, University of Minnesota and
Colorado, Boulder
“Motivated Conspiracy Endorsement: A Test of Moderators and Thoughts about Future
Speakers: Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood, University of Chicago and Ohio State University
“Enchanted America: Magic, Metaphor, and Conspiracy Theories in US Public Opinion”
Panel 8
Discussant: Joanne Miller,
University of Minnesota
Paper: Michael Wood, University of Winchester
“Romance, Spin, and Propaganda: The Role of Mass Media in the Spread of Conspiracy
Paper: Nicholas DiFonzo, Rochester Institute of Technology
“Conspiracy Theories as Rumor”
Paper: Robert Brotherton, Goldsmiths, University of London
"Intention seekers: Conspiracist Ideation and Biased Attributions of Intentionality"
Paper: Jan-Willem van Prooijen and André P. M. Krouwel, VU University Amsterdam
“Suspicion at the Political Extremes: How Ideology Predicts Conspiracy Beliefs”
Paper: Preston Bost, Wabash College
“Where Do We Go from Here? Shaping the Next Phase of Psychological Research on
Conspiracy Ideation”
Speaker: Karen Douglas, University of Kent
“The Social Costs of Conspiracy”
Keynote Addresses
Brendan Nyhan
Dartmouth College
Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood
University of Chicago and Ohio State University
“Enchanted America: Magic, Metaphor, and Conspiracy Theories in US Public Opinion”
Karen Douglas
University of Kent
“The Social Costs of Conspiracy”
A successful society requires people to engage in a variety of civic behaviours oriented
toward the collective good. However, in some crucial domains (e.g., voting, vaccination)
engagement in civic behaviours has seen a worrying decline in recent years. Although
there may be many obstacles to civic behaviours such as these (e.g., decreasing interest in
politics, apathy, time), social scientists have recently started to consider the role that
pervasive and popular conspiracy theories might play in influencing people’s intentions to
engage in political and social action. In this talk, I consider some of the social costs of
conspiracy theories, reviewing empirical evidence available to date. I also consider how,
where appropriate, the influence of conspiracy theories might be addressed.

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:19 pm
by Elvis
Paper: Jack Bratich, Rutgers
“Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories Exist?”

:wallhead: :starz: :roll: :shrug: :shithitting: :uncertain: :snoring: :hamster: :banger: :bleh: :ohno: :puke:

Do these people have nothing better to do?

Shaping the Next Phase of Psychological Research on Conspiracy Ideation

Translation: "Crafting our next phase of grant proposals affirming our in-group status and displaying our special brand of pre-packaged wisdom without having to do much real work."

“The Social Costs of Conspiracy”

It's high time we started taxing those wretched er, conspiracies!

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:21 pm
by seemslikeadream
Elvis » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:19 pm wrote:
Paper: Jack Bratich, Rutgers
“Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories Exist?”

cause Bibi told me so

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:00 am
by Joao
Elvis » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:19 pm wrote:
Paper: Jack Bratich, Rutgers
“Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories Exist?”

Do these people have nothing better to do?

The proper title (note the italics) is “Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories Exist?” A little research on the author quickly reveals his perspective is hardly dismissed so simply:

Jack Bratich (with emphases by Joao) wrote:The affective power of data becomes clearer when we note the wide variety of beliefs that get amalgamated into the master category “conspiracy theories.” It lumps beliefs in extraterrestrial or cryptozoological creatures (nothing more conspiratorial about that than, say, believing in God) together with views regarding Bush regime coverups, adding narratives about shapeshifting global elites and claims about vaccine-autism links. Nothing holds these twenty beliefs together except that someone at some point has ridiculed them. Their grouping is thus rooted in tradition. Numbers retroactively justify a fuzzy category, a recent conceptual invention based in commonsense. The inconsistency (euphemism for willfully ignorant conceptual synthesis) betrays a collective political wish. We want to believe in conspiracy theories. After years of repetition, the term has become an article of faith, one with strong institutional support, canonical works, and now quantitative authority.
Jack Bratich (with emphases and unmarked edits by Joao) wrote:To put it simply, I'm not convinced that conspiracy theories exist (as referents). My book does not seek to define CT, but does start with how CT is defined in conspiracy panic discourse. My work is deliberately liminal in this way. This is not just a postmodern conceptual preference; it plays out in practice. Using this ambivalence, I have been able to organize a panel on “9/11 and the Left” for an annual Left Forum. I have taken on Leftists in print regarding their approach to conspiracy research, while also being heckled by Truthers at a presentation for not affirming their truth-claims. I am fine with this in-between position, as part of my goal is to have a more open dialogue on the Left about its internal policing of dissent, minor knowledges, popular culture, and tactics. The regulation of conspiracy research is a key example of creating “hegemonic oppositional” discourse.

If there is any world proposed in my work, it is a world in which the term “conspiracy theory” would not be able to carry a political charge, one where the discourse or individual wielding it would look as anachronistic as someone discrediting a narrative by noting that the researcher has been possessed by demons. Once we are liberated from the term conspiracy theory we can refresh the work of political analysis. And with that we can renew the potentials for effective dissent and radical skepticism.

And finally, since I am often asked for an opinion on 9/11, I will provide it here at the end. What happened on 9/11? My serious and committed answer is: it’s worse than you think.

Having spent a few hours looking at the work of the other presenters at this conference, I don't like all of them but they're more than a group of run-of-the-mill sleepwalkers. Thanks elfismiles for posting the info.

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:42 am
by Elvis
Joao wrote:The proper title (note the italics) is “Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories Exist?”

Yes, that specific wording is what seemed stupid to me -- but as you say --

Joao wrote:A little research on the author quickly reveals his perspective is hardly dismissed so simply:

Indeed you are quite right, thank you for setting that straight! The presenter is in fact right on, making excellent points about exactly that which I was so carelessly accusing him of doing, based on my hasty misinterpretation of his title. Too bad. I really liked those smileys.

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:15 pm
by elfismiles
The one participant of note though is James Tracy of Florida Atlantic University whose paper “The Medium is the Con(spiracy)” is listed as one of the presentations. Tracy is a strange fellow who has spoken out vehemently about Sandy hook and whose website name kinda hijacks the Project Censored "Memory Hole" meme / name In fact you can read his post about the conference there ... theorists/

Re: [Poll] A sticky thread for "'CT' in the media"?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:43 pm
by elfismiles
What I Saw At the Conspiracy Theory Conference
When tribes collide
Jesse Walker|Mar. 18, 2015 2:49 pm ... heory-conf

Re: Conference on Conspiracy Theories

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:24 pm
by Joao
elfismiles » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:43 am wrote:What I Saw At the Conspiracy Theory Conference
When tribes collide
Jesse Walker|Mar. 18, 2015 2:49 pm ... heory-conf

Thanks. Good write-up, especially considering it came from the Randians over at Reason.

I'm slightly surprised by the absence of Prof. Lance deHaven-Smith and the other academics who contributed to the famous Feb. 2010 "SCAD" issue of American Behavioral Scientist. I wonder if they weren't invited, or if they didn't want to participate in something entitled "Conference on Conspiracy Theories". (Complete text of those ABS articles linked here.)