Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal or political conspiracy. However, it has come almost exclusively to refer to any fringe theory which explains a historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by conspirators of almost superhuman power and cunning. To conspiremeans “to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end.” The term “conspiracy theory” is frequently used by scholars and in popular culture to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at stealing power, money, or freedom, from “the people”.
Adam Lanza, Sandy Hook Shootings.
Skeptics are important in achieving an objective view of reality, however, skeptism is not the same as reinforcing the official storyline. In fact, a conspiracy theory can be argued as an alternative to the official or “mainstream” story of events. Therefore, when skeptics attempt to ridicule a conspiracy theory by using the official story as a means of proving the conspiracy wrong, in effect, they are just reinforcing the original “mainstream” view of history, and actually not being skeptical. This is not skeptism, it is just a convenient way for the establishment view of things to be seen as the correct version, all the time, every time. In fact, it is common for “hit pieces” or “debunking articles” to pick extremely fringe and not very populated conspiracy theories. This in turn makes all conspiracies on a subject matter look crazy. Skeptics magazine and Popular Mechanics, among many others, did this with 9/11. They referred to less than 10% of the many different conspiracy theories about 9/11 and picked the less popular ones, in fact, they picked the fringe, highly improbable points that only a few people make. This was used as the “final investigation” for looking into the conspiracy theories. Convenient, huh?
James Holmes: Suspect in Aurora Movie Theatre Shootings
In fact, if one were to look into conspiracy theories, they will largely find that thinking about a conspiracy is associated with lunacy and paranoia. Some websites suggest it as an illness. It is also not surprising to see so many people on the internet writing about conspiracy theories in a condescending tone, usually with the words “kool-aid,” “crack pot,” or “nut job” in their articulation. This must be obvious to anyone that emotionally writing about such serious matter insults the reader more than the conspiracy theorist because there is no need to resort to this kind of behavior. It is employed often with an “expert” who will say something along the lines of, “for these conspiracies to be true, you would need hundreds if not thousands of people to be involved. It’s just not conceivable.”
Jared Lee Loughner, Gabby Giffords Shootings.
I find it extremely odd that the assumption is on thousands of participants in a conspiracy. I, for one, find it hard to believe any conspiracy involving more than a handful of people but the fact remains that there have been conspiracies in our world, proven and not made up, that involved many hundreds of people. It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of fact.
One more thing to consider, have you noticed that if the conspiracy is involving powerful interests with the ability to bribe, threaten or manipulate major institutions (like the mafia, big corporations or government) then don’t you find it odd when people use one of those as the “credible” counter-argument? What I mean is, if you are discussing a conspiracy about the mafia, and someone hands you a debunking article that was written by the mafia, it doesn’t seem like it would take rocket science to look at that with serious criticism and credibility. This is the case with many conspiracies. In fact, I am handed debunking pieces all the time written in many cases by the conspirators in question. Doesn’t this seem odd to anybody else but me?
Hitler disarmed Germany, Stalin disarmed Russia, and Mao disarmed China, and now Obama is disarming America.
Is it so hard to believe that your government would resort to any means possible to achieve their goal?
There is an old saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.