“Theoretical improbability” (True conspiracy theories)

CONSP

Without question, there are conspiracies, which occur when two or more people plot to do something, usually illegal or harmful. It’s also certain that there are theories, which are a set of ideas intended to explain facts or events.

So strictly speaking, the idea that the Tsaranev brothers were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing could be considered a conspiracy theory. But this designation fails in any meaningful sense because what we call conspiracy theorists reject ideas propagated by the mainstream media or government. Many theorists highlight a list of incidents in which the government was caught doing something unsavory, and use it to establish that conspiracy theories are real, and say they are out to expose more. However, what are passed off as proven conspiracy theories were exposed by government insiders or investigative journalists, not by WakeTheSheeple’s YouTube channel.

For example, the Lincoln assassination involved at least nine conspirators and there were plans for George Atzerdot to take out Vice President Johnson and for Lewis Powell to kill Secretary of State William Seward. This was revealed in a court room, not a chat room, and the details were announced by government prosecutors, not by those whispering about captive aliens, Rothschild wars, and other sinister secrets.

Brian Dunning at Skeptoid has identified two criteria that need to be satisfied if we are to credit someone with exposing a conspiracy. First, the theory must be falsifiable. Dunning explained, “You can’t just say ‘Some airplanes spray an unknown chemical.’ But if you say ‘United Airlines tail number NC13327 is equipped to spray VX nerve gas, and that one right there is spraying it right now,’ then that’s a claim that can be disproven with a single inspection.” So if I write, “The Illinois government is doing something corrupt with tax dollars,” that’s probably going to be “proven” at some point. But it lacks any specifics that would make it an exposé on my part.

Second, any secret knowledge needs to be uncovered by the theorist first. Richard Nixon’s presidency did not unravel because of the dogged determination of conspiracy theorists. It happened because two investigative journalists did interviews, examined evidence, and pieced together a puzzle that revealed the truth behind the Watergate break-in and cover-up.

And when doing genuine investigations, the only goal is the truth. If a reporter or detective comes across a piece of evidence that cast doubts on their suspicions, they weigh that with other information they’ve gathered and, if justified, will go down another path. By contrast, a conspiracy theorist considers any evidence that disproves the theory to be part of the conspiracy. Consider Barack Obama’s birth announcement in Honolulu newspapers. Birthers answered this by insisting his stateside relatives were tipped off by his parents in Kenya, then submitted a request for a Certificate of Live Birth from the state of Hawaii, and finally submitted this certificate to the newspapers. Likewise, Earth’s image on the moon during a lunar eclipse is attributed by Flat Earthers to an unexplained object that orbits near the sun. NASA knows when this mystery object will pass between the sun and moon, then announces there will be as a lunar eclipse at that time.

No one is claiming we live in a world free of government malfeasance and attempts to keep it quiet. But we learn of corruption and abuse from reporters and government insiders, not from Alex Jones, Jesse Ventura, and David Icke. They and their fellow theorists claim they are bringing evil to light and point to what they consider conspiracy theories that were proven to be true.

Usually topping the list if the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which was used as a pretext for the United States to enter the Vietnam War. No one disputes that on Aug. 2, 1964, a small naval battle took place between U.S. and North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was a purported skirmish two days later in the same locale that is doubtful.

That day, U.S. forces fired on radar targets, but no one reported seeing any North Vietnamese. As the action, or lack thereof, was unfolding, the USS Maddox commander communicated to the Pentagon that no enemies were giving or receiving fire. What’s more, Sen. Wayne Morse held a press conference that day saying the supposed attack was unsupported by evidence. All of this played out in public from the start. The U.S. entered the war following an attack that was either intentionally fabricated or based on sloppy intelligence. But this was all pointed out by military officers and senators right away and nothing was exposed by conspiracy theorists.

Another example touted as a genuine conspiracy theory was the FBI attempting to foil the U.S. civil rights movement. This really happened, under the bureau’s domestic counter-intelligence program. But this was exposed by eight men who broke into an FBI office, seized 1,000 documents related to the program, and mailed them to newspapers. Until this point, no one had leveled accusations that the FBI was working to hamper the civil rights movement, especially in the specific ways that were exposed in the stolen documents. This might have been a victory for vigilante justice, but not for conspiracy theorists.

Then we have the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, one of the most revolting events in U.S. history. For 40 years, the government provided free health care to black sharecroppers, many of whom had syphilis. This appeared benevolent, but after the disease became treatable with penicillin, the government withheld the cure in order to conduct further studies on 600 blacks. These victims suffered painful deaths, blindness, and other ailments that could have been prevented. Theorists consider this another feather in their tinfoil cap. However, no theorist had suggested the government was engaging in this specific atrocity. It became known only when a former Public Health Service investigator revealed it in 1972.

Dunning studies this issue extensively and has said he “can’t find a single case of a conspiracy theorist having made a specific, falsifiable claim that was later proven true by investigators.”

Indeed, Watergate, the Gulf of Tonkin, FBI domestic counter-intelligence, and Tuskegee were all exposed by reporters or whistleblowers. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for WakeTheSheeple and his cronies to provide solid evidence that the government created AIDS, is poisoning the populace with chemtrails, and brought down Pan Am Flight 103 with the assistance of drug smugglers.

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5 thoughts on ““Theoretical improbability” (True conspiracy theories)

  1. So strictly speaking, the idea that the Tsaranev brothers were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing could be considered a conspiracy theory. But this designation fails in any meaningful sense because what we call conspiracy theorists reject ideas propagated by the mainstream media or government.

    Haven’t seen an honest skepi-bunki since Scientific Apologist, you are admitting(kind of) that your job is to defend the official narrative; is a story or account is propagated by the media establishment or government, it is a conspiracy, it if isn’t, it is a conspiracy theory – evidence is irreverent.

    any theorists highlight a list of incidents in which the government was caught doing something unsavory, and use it to establish that conspiracy theories are real, and say they are out to expose more. However, what are passed off as proven conspiracy theories were exposed by government insiders or investigative journalists, not by WakeTheSheeple’s YouTube channel.

    One cannot defend the ON and pay head to insiders and investigative journalist; if the official narrative acknowledges the account of a whistle blower, a “skeptic” will as well, if the ON ignores him, so will “skeptics”. Debunkers and airstrippers claimed for years that mass government surveillance was a “conspiracy theory” despite whistle blowers coming forward. Only after the MSM told you about Edward Snowden that you finally accept it – it became part of the ON.

    For example, the Lincoln assassination involved at least nine conspirators and there were plans for George Atzerdot to take out Vice President Johnson and for Lewis Powell to kill Secretary of State William Seward. This was revealed in a court room, not a chat room, and the details were announced by government prosecutors, not by those whispering about captive aliens, Rothschild wars, and other sinister secrets.

    You, and all debunkers(you are not skeptics) believe that nine conspirators were involved because that is what the mainstream historical narrative holds, the fact that is it true is incidental.

    Brian Dunning at Skeptoid has identified two criteria that need to be satisfied if we are to credit someone with exposing a conspiracy. First, the theory must be falsifiable

    AGW is not falsifiable…just saying.

    Second, any secret knowledge needs to be uncovered by the theorist first. Richard Nixon’s presidency did not unravel because of the dogged determination of conspiracy theorists. It happened because two investigative journalists did interviews, examined evidence, and pieced together a puzzle that revealed the truth behind the Watergate break-in and cover-up.

    Any investigative journalist that contradicts the ON is a CT to you. All the leg work would count for nothing to you if the MSM ignored it. After all you ignore any expert, witness, or piece of empirical evidence that contradicts the ON(JFK, OKC 911 ect.) , it’s a little late in the game to pretend that you care about evidence.

    Then we have the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, one of the most revolting events in U.S. history. For 40 years, the government provided free health care to black sharecroppers, many of whom had syphilis. This appeared benevolent, but after the disease became treatable with penicillin, the government withheld the cure in order to conduct further studies on 600 blacks. These victims suffered painful deaths, blindness, and other ailments that could have been prevented. Theorists consider this another feather in their tinfoil cap.

    Odd that you bring this up since “skeptics” claim secrets can’t be kept for long.

    However, no theorist had suggested the government was engaging in this specific atrocity. It became known only when a former Public Health Service investigator revealed it in 1972

    You know this how? The ideal that no CT brought up that this specific atrocity can’t be falsified.

    No one is claiming we live in a world free of government malfeasance and attempts to keep it quiet. But we learn of corruption and abuse from reporters and government insiders, not from Alex Jones, Jesse Ventura, and David Icke. They and their fellow theorists claim they are bringing evil to light and point to what they consider conspiracy theories that were proven to be true.

    You bring up Alex Jones who’s media operation broke fast and furious. Alex Jones also exposed about mass government surveillance 20+ years before Snowden, but of cource you won’t give him credit for it because the difference between a conspiracy and a conspiracy theory to you people is whether or not is part of the ON.

    Dunning studies this issue extensively and has said he “can’t find a single case of a conspiracy theorist having made a specific, falsifiable claim that was later proven true by investigators.”

    Read: later proven true by the ON, you people are still supporting the magic bullet theory. You ignore the fact the twin towers exploded for no other reason then that the ON holds that they simply fell from a fire.

    Indeed, Watergate, the Gulf of Tonkin, FBI domestic counter-intelligence, and Tuskegee were all exposed by reporters or whistleblowers. Meanwhile, we are still waiting for WakeTheSheeple and his cronies to provide solid evidence that the government created AIDS, is poisoning the populace with chemtrails, and brought down Pan Am Flight 103 with the assistance of drug smugglers.

    You will accept theses things when INSOC says they a true, not a second sooner.

    I’m waiting for pseudo-skeptics to provide a logic reason why the twin towers were demolished in mid air. I won’t even ask for evidence.

    • 9/11 is a good example. No Truther that I’m aware of has ever produced anything approaching a coherent and plausible alternative narrative, unsurprisingly, because attempting to do so, even in a hypothetical manner, always leads you to massive, insurmountable barriers. Truthers simply focus on finding anomalies which they can use to cast doubt on the ON, which they KNOW is a lie. Once an anomaly is found, it is not investigated any further: it is held up as unquestionable proof of the conspiracy. Conspiracists have no plausible answer to questions such as “How did they manage to rig the buildings for CD without any of the thousands of people using the buildings realising?” Such problems are simply ignored. Essentially, the reasoning works as follows: any failure of the ON to provide 100% explanation for every aspect of the events of 9/11 proves that the ON is 100% false. If the CT can provide a possible explanation for 0.1% of what happened, then it is proven beyond all doubt. That the CT cannot explain the remaining 99.9% is simply ignored by conspiracists.

      • 9/11 is a good example. No Truther that I’m aware of has ever produced anything approaching a coherent and plausible alternative narrative, unsurprisingly, because attempting to do so, even in a hypothetical manner, always leads you to massive, insurmountable barriers

        When you subscribe to a world view that holds the ON must be true, any counter narrative must be false. Any alternative narrative is incoherent and silly to you Parsons.

        Truthers have no obligation to provide an alternative in the first place, we only have to provide evidence for our claims.

        Truthers simply focus on finding anomalies which they can use to cast doubt on the ON, which they KNOW is a lie

        I am not aware of a worldview that holds that the ON must be a lie, I do know of a worldview that holds the ON must be true: Parsonism.

        Once an anomaly is found, it is not investigated any further: it is held up as unquestionable proof of the conspiracy.

        People you call CTs are a large and diverse group, some do thing this way, I do not.

        Conspiracists have no plausible answer to questions such as “How did they manage to rig the buildings for CD without any of the thousands of people using the buildings realising?”

        Control of the building.

  2. “you are admitting(kind of) that your job is to defend the official narrative; ”

    Usually the “official narrative” is the one that is supported by the evidence, and the one that is most plausible according to Occam’s Razor, which is why it is accepted by the majority of people. Conspiracists start from the default position that the official position is a lie, and dismiss all evidence to the contrary by adding additional layers of conspiracy. They also explain the failure of others to see the conspiracy by claiming that they are brainwashed, and lack the special cognitive ability to see through the propaganda which the conspiracists/truthers possess. This is a textbook case of illusory superiority. In fact no official narrative would continue to be accepted were it revealed, upon an unbiased and fully informed examination of the evidence, to be untrue or implausible. Conspiracist assessments are always riven by confirmation bias (they already know the official position is a lie) and ignorance, which is sometimes genuine, but often wilful. In short, most conspiracists simply think they are better informed and possess superior critical thinking skills to the rest of the population. In reality, the opposite is true. So no, he has not admitted (kind of) that his job is to defend the official narrative. His job is to go where the evidence leads, even if it happens to support the official narrative, as it often does, for reasons stated above.

    “”. Debunkers and airstrippers claimed for years that mass government surveillance was a “conspiracy theory” despite whistle blowers coming forward. “
    You’d need to provide citations for that. You’d also need to demonstrate how the Snowden leaks proved specific claims previously made by conspiracists. Whistleblowers cited by conspiracy theorists are rejected because they are unable to provide evidence to support their claims. Kristen Meghan is a good example. When a whistleblower such a Snowden comes forward with solid evidence of his claims, then he is accepted by the mainstream media. Typically, you fall back on the standard “sheeple” excuse. You claim that whistleblowers are ignored by skeptics because they are not recognised by the mainstream media. In reality, whistleblowers are recognised both by skeptics and the MSM when they provide evidence to support their claims.

    “You, and all debunkers(you are not skeptics) believe that nine conspirators were involved because that is what the mainstream historical narrative holds, the fact that is it true is incidental.”

    Again you fall back on the “sheeple” argument, which, it should be pointed out, is an ad hominem. Skeptics believe it because it is the sequence of events supported by the known facts. When it comes to modern events, conspiracists will never accept the mainstream narrative NO MATTER HOW STRONG THE EVIDENCE IN ITS FAVOUR. They will always necessarily fall back on the excuse that those who do are simply following the mainstream media/official narrative lead, when in fact they are following the evidence.

    “Any investigative journalist that contradicts the ON is a CT to you.”

    No, they are only CTs if they make allegations that they cannot support with evidence.

    “ After all you ignore any expert, witness, or piece of empirical evidence that contradicts the ON(JFK, OKC 911 ect.) , it’s a little late in the game to pretend that you care about evidence.”

    No, skeptics do not ignore such evidence. They simply do not do what conspiracists do, i.e. accept only evidence which appears to support their theories (upon further examination, it usually does not, but conspiracists stop when they find confirmation of their religiously held belief), whilst ignoring much larger amounts of evidence (and expert opinion) that does not. It’s also true that there are very few ideas so absurd that you can’t find a handful of credentialled people to support them. Skeptics also dismiss creationists with science phDs, since their credentials do not change the fact that their arguments are absurd. The same applies to 911, OKC etc.

    “Odd that you bring this up since “skeptics” claim secrets can’t be kept for long.”

    Straw man. Secrets can be kept under certain conditions if the number of people aware of them is limited, and if they people aware of them are not negatively affected by their existence. There is a world of difference between Tuskegee and 9/11 conspiracy theories, chemtrails etc.

    “You know this how? The ideal that no CT brought up that this specific atrocity can’t be falsified.”

    Burden of proof fallacy. It is not up to skeptics to prove a negative. If you claim that some CT did make this allegation prior to its hitting the news, then the responsibility is with you to prove it.

    “. Alex Jones also exposed about mass government surveillance 20+ years before Snowden,”

    Again, please give a specific claim of Jones’s that was backed up by Snowden. “Mass government surveillance” is too vague a term to have any useful meaning.

    “You will accept theses things when INSOC says they a true, not a second sooner.”
    We will accept them when proper evidence is produced, and which they will become mainstream. The official narrative becomes official because it is supported by the evidence. To conspiracists, the official narrative MUST be a lie. You cannot accept that your own assessment of the evidence is massively flawed and hugely biased, so you must constantly fall back on this ad hominem of “you only accept the ON!”

    “I’m waiting for pseudo-skeptics to provide a logic reason why the twin towers were demolished in mid air.”

    Not even sure what you mean by this, but I do remember something about them being hit by aircraft flying at high velocity.

    It’s not us that are biased in favour of the ON. You are hopelessly biased against the ON, and no amount of evidence will ever be enough to prove that the ON is true.

    You can see how the most extreme incarnation of this mentality works by examining the modern Flat Earth movement. You claim that the official narrative for 9/11 (which is supported by the evidence) is a lie, purely because it is the official narrative. FE’ers claim that the official narrative re the shape of the Earth (which is supported by the evidence) is a lie, purely because it is the official narrative. The only difference is one of degree.

  3. The WMD in Iraq is an interesting case. For a while, it was the ON that Saddam had WMD, and that this was proven beyond reasonable doubt, but after the invasion of Iraq, it became clear that he didn’t, and what had been the ON fell apart. Now if the world really worked the way conspiracists think it does – in which the government (or shadow government, or some other elite organisation) feeds its desired narrative to the MSM, and that narrative is unquestioningly accepted by the gullible masses, with the exception of a heroic minority who possess special powers of discernment – if that state of affairs were true, why did “they” not ensure that WMD were found in Iraq, or at least that the MSM continued to claim that they had been? Such a conspiracy would have involved far, far less work than 9/11, yet it did not happen. The sheeple were allowed to know about the lack of WMD. It’s because the conspiracist view of the world is a fantasy, and its main aim is to shore up the egos of conspiracy theorists, and allow them to sustain their belief in their cognitive superiority over the rest of the population.

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