Mar 9, 2014

Studies Indicate I am Not Insane!

Before you ask, I have not been seeing a personal psychologist!  However, when discussing various topics with others, I oftentimes feel that I must have come from another planet, or something- especially when the topic is an event that is extremely important.  Indeed, the visceral and malicious reaction someone receives when offering up a viewpoint that differs from what one could call "conventional wisdom" or the "official" history of a particular subject can caused one to reflect upon their own psychological state.  Turns out, this is all by design!

EPJ highlighted an interesting article by Dr. Kevin Barrett entitled "New studies: 'Conspiracy theorists sane, Government Dupes crazy, hostile".  In this article, Barret discusses a study released this year "by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK).  Entitled 'What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,' the study compared 'conspiracist' (pro-conspiracy theory) and 'conventionalist' (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites."  He also cites a book recently published entitled Conspiracy Theory in America by political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith.  Of course, the very term "conspiracy theorist" conjures up images of someone who is psychologically unbalanced.  But in the article, Barrett sheds some light on the origins of this label, which is designed to invalidate and marginalize the viewpoints of those who disagree with an "official" rendering of major events:

"Professor deHaven-Smith explains why people don’t like being called 'conspiracy theorists': The term was invented and put into wide circulation by the CIA to smear and defame people questioning the JFK assassination! 'The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.'”

Interestingly, the study conducted by Wood and Douglas shows that those who choose not to believe the unbelievable story of 9/11 as depicted by the government indicate a far more psychologically balanced mindset than their counterparts, and-in actuality embody the mainstream opinion of various controversial topics:

The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

Perhaps because their supposedly mainstream views no longer represent the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often displayed anger and hostility: “The research… showed that people who favoured (sic) the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals.”

Additionally, it turned out that the anti-conspiracy people were not only hostile, but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. According to them, their own theory of 9/11 – a conspiracy theory holding that 19 Arabs, none of whom could fly planes with any proficiency, pulled off the crime of the century under the direction of a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan – was indisputably true. The so-called conspirators, on the other hand, did not pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11: “For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account.”

In examination of the unbelievable 9/11 story, James Corbett has put together a 5 minute video which describes that event as the government does.  There is very little commentary in the video; it simply explains the event as depicted by the US government in the 9/11 commission report.  Of course, much like the Warren Commission report of the assassination of JFK, the government story leaves much to be desired with regards to plausibility.  In fact, because of the absurdity of the US government's 9/11 fable, the Corbett video comes off as hilarious!  Thus, it is not surprising that those who question the official 9/11 story are found by the above research to come out in the "sane" category, while the defenders of the government story are found to be more fanatical and hostile.

Although questioning the government story (especially regarding the watershed events of JFK and 9/11) can be frightening to citizens who have been trained that their rulers are benevolent, it is especially important to do so if one would like to have an accurate picture of what type of government assumes authority in their particular geographic area.  If the government simply meant the organization who gives everyone puppies and flowers, it would not matter that much.  However, in the previous century, governments around the world murdered over 200 million of their own citizens!  Skepticism of government is of paramount importance in light of the violent and destructive track record which the State has earned as a form of governance.

There can be no doubt that the State- with the monopoly of force over a defined geographic area, and the likelihood of acting against the interests of the citizenry and for the interests of powerful political forces- poses the gravest danger to the common people who live within it. The fables the State propagates must be viewed not as the gospel truth, but with the utmost suspicion.

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