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Cory Santos

I understand why people hate conspiracies

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Newsweek is a left wing journal?

When did that happen?

Also , I guess you did not read his book before last.

He called Oswald the assassin.

That is how he gets printed.  Same as with the late Alexander Cockburn. We will let you write about almost anything, as long as you say Kennedy was killed as the WC says it happened.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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10 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Newsweek is a left wing journal?

When did that happen?

Also , I guess you did not read his book before last.

He called Oswald the assassin.

That is how he gets printed.  Same as with the late Alexander Cockburn. We will let you write about almost anything, as long as you say Kennedy was killed as the WC says it happened.

 

No, I read that. So, he is essentially being controlled by the plotters. Thanks for the answer.

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14 hours ago, Denny Zartman said:

Hmm. I would guess that some of them can handle the talk about conspiracies. Why else would they return to debate the same set of facts again and again if it didn't hold some sort of appeal? Perhaps the appeal is in the game-like aspect of this debate that has been compared by some to "Whac-A-Mole." To me, the comparison is only apt if we realize that the person whacking the moles is also denying that there is a mole problem. When problems constantly come up for your case, perhaps that indicates your case has some problems.

You raise a point that has puzzled me as well:  Why would a Lone Nutter repeatedly return to a place such as this and beat his head against the wall?  DVP for example has devoted far more energy to these "discussions" than I would ever be able to do.  In small doses, I do find it intellectually stimulating and amusing.  For the same reasons, I enjoy engaging with flat earthers and young earthers on Christian forums and all variety of True Believers on paranormal forums.  (I hasten to add, I am a Christian with a huge interest in theology and would be considered a True Believer in many areas of Weirdness by a Diehard Debunker, so I don't engage in such discussions just to agitate and ridicule.)  Here, I have accumulated around 300 posts since 2015 and just returned from a self-imposed six-month hiatus, so my stamina pales in comparison to someone like DVP.

As I've stated, one motivation for me is a genuine interest in the conspiracy mindset and, as Michael Shermer says, "Why People [including me, to a degree] Believe Weird Things."  This interest began to develop more than 20 years ago as a direct result of my participation on Internet forums.  Attempting to carry on a rational discussion an Internet forum is essentially impossible, and I find the phenomenon fascinating.  A place such as this is the best laboratory that someone like me could hope for.  I am working on a book about the dynamics of belief and the process of developing a rational belief system (specifically in the religious context).

If I have any larger "purpose," it would be that my posts might help people see how the conspiracy mindset operates and to at least consider a different perspective.  I have faint hope in this regard, but just this morning I received a long and encouraging private message from someone I don't know at all that shows my hopes aren't entirely in vain.

You misunderstood my Whac-A-Mole analogy.  I was simply saying that the conspiracy mindset operates in such a way that the issues, real or imaginary, are never-ending.  As soon as one conspiracy truism is shown to be false, 15 new ones pop up.  Typically, 15 new ones pop up before the first one has been shown to be false because conspiracy theorists start moving the goalposts as soon as the discussion goes awry for them.  "Oh, yeah, well about what THIS?" is their mantra.  Conspiracy theorists observe every event with an electron microscope, typically losing sight of the event itself and how the event fits into the assassination as a whole.

As a lawyer, I know the game.  There's an old joke that a lawyer has to be able to talk for hours about a door knob while completely ignoring the fact that it's attached to a door that is itself attached to a house.  This is essentially what conspiracy theorists do.  Never mind the damn house!  Never mind the damn door!  HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS DOOR KNOB UNLESS THERE WAS A CONSPIRACY TO PUT IT THERE?

What I said was that if someone chooses to engage with the conspiracy community in the manner that DVP for example has done, he must accept that he will forever be playing Whac-A-Mole.  This is true regardless of whether the "moles" are legitimate or fanciful, whether they are genuine problems for the whacker's beliefs or utterly fanciful.  It's simply true that the Conspiracy Theory Game is analogous to Whac-A-Mole.  I don't have the energy for this and frankly don't see the purpose unless someone just enjoys playing Whac-A-Mole, but some people do and DVP is certainly very good at it.

 

Edited by Lance Payette

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5 minutes ago, W. Tracy Parnell said:

No, I read that. So, he is essentially being controlled by the plotters. Thanks for the answer.

I did not say any such thing.

 

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LP: DVP is certainly very good at it.

LOL

Yeah that is why he has to edit these things to transfer to his site and give himself the last word.

Can someone by Payette a set of handballs and a membership to the Denver YMCA.

I mean Mike Shermer? 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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3 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Can someone by Payette a set of handballs and a membership to the Denver YMCA.

I drove through Denver last week.  It was the first time in my life I've ever been there, and I merely drove through.  Do you know something I don't?  Is John Armstrong about to publish Lance and Lancelot?

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Lance, I'm not sure there is anyone here more adept than you at using lots and lots of words to say nothing.

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44 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

I did not say any such thing.

Pardon me for misunderstanding. Perhaps you can clarify the issue. What exactly is stopping you or anyone here from taking your "proof" of conspiracy to Jefferson Morley who has written two books which indicate he is open to being convinced about a conspiracy to kill JFK?

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1 hour ago, Lance Payette said:

You misunderstood my Whac-A-Mole analogy.  I was simply saying that the conspiracy mindset operates in such a way that the issues, real or imaginary, are never-ending.  As soon as one conspiracy truism is shown to be false, 15 new ones pop up.  Typically, 15 new ones pop up before the first one has been shown to be false because conspiracy theorists start moving the goalposts as soon as the discussion goes awry for them.  "Oh, yeah, well about what THIS?" is their mantra.  Conspiracy theorists observe every event with an electron microscope, typically losing sight of the event itself and how the event fits into the assassination as a whole.

As a lawyer, I know the game.  There's an old joke that a lawyer has to be able to talk for hours about a door knob while completely ignoring the fact that it's attached to a door that is itself attached to a house.  This is essentially what conspiracy theorists do.  Never mind the damn house!  Never mind the damn door!  HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS DOOR KNOB UNLESS THERE WAS A CONSPIRACY TO PUT IT THERE?

What I said was that if someone chooses to engage with the conspiracy community in the manner that DVP for example has done, he must accept that he will forever be playing Whac-A-Mole.  This is true regardless of whether the "moles" are legitimate or fanciful, whether they are genuine problems for the whacker's beliefs or utterly fanciful.  It's simply true that the Conspiracy Theory Game is analogous to Whac-A-Mole.  I don't have the energy for this and frankly don't see the purpose unless someone just enjoys playing Whac-A-Mole, but some people do and DVP is certainly very good at it.

 

I believe the reason that issues keep popping up is not because they are invalid, but because they were not satisfactorily answered back in the day or that there is other evidence that directly or indirectly contradicts those issues. Even if one believes that Oswald acted alone and there was a benign cover-up, the fact that there was a cover-up at all proves that we're dealing with an incomplete record. Some witnesses were bullied, some evidence was disposed of, some witnesses changed their stories from ones that seem to support a second shooter to one that was consistent with Oswald acting alone because those witnesses thought the Kennedy family just wanted to end the controversy. All of this adds up to an inherently incomplete record that we must now attempt to sort out.

As I tried to point out in the Teenage Freak thread, just because a LN'er believes that they've come up with an "explanation" for a problematic issue, doesn't mean that the issue has been satisfactorily resolved or that their explanation is persuasive. Just because an LN comes up with an explanation of any sort doesn't mean they have actually whacked the mole, even though the LN might honestly think they have. As Cory pointed out upthread, some LN's refuse to concede any detail whatsoever. I'm sure some CT's are out there who are compelled to counter every point, but I believe most CT's acknowledge the unexplained and unresolved aspects of problematic issues being discussed, while LN's seem to tend to approach every issue A CT deems problematic as a mole that can be easily and repeatedly whacked away, because in the LN's minds there is no mystery about the JFK assassination (i.e. no moles at all.)

I agree that many CT's focus in on obscure details while missing the larger picture, but the same charge can be applied to LN's. Vincent Bugliosi (arguably the most prominent author of LN literature)'s circular reasoning can be summed up as: "We can explain away any and all unexplained issues about the JFK assassination in a manner that lines up with the theory that Oswald acted alone, because we know Oswald acted alone." When you're guided by your conclusion like that and think that any significant issues that disagree with your conclusion can be hand-waved away or ignored entirely, that doesn't help anyone in the search for truth. LN's also like to focus in on a piece of evidence as if it existed in a vacuum and ignore the other circumstantial evidence out there that might cast doubt. To them, each issue is a game that they must win. Any serious and legitimate unanswered question is just a mole to be whacked before moving on to the next one.

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2 hours ago, Lance Payette said:

As I've stated, one motivation for me is a genuine interest in the conspiracy mindset and, as Michael Shermer says, "Why People [including me, to a degree] Believe Weird Things."  This interest began to develop more than 20 years ago as a direct result of my participation on Internet forums.  Attempting to carry on a rational discussion an Internet forum is essentially impossible, and I find the phenomenon fascinating.  A place such as this is the best laboratory that someone like me could hope for.  I am working on a book about the dynamics of belief and the process of developing a rational belief system (specifically in the religious context).

 

Lance,

I think you should really differentiate between "conspiracy theorists" and critical minds.

A conspiracy theorist might believe that, say, the Free Masons are behind all the evil in the world. So he'll attribute anything bad that happens to their doing because he's deluded.

A critical mind on the other hand is well aware that most Free Masons are perfectly harmless people. But as soon as learns of evidence that SOME Free Masons are involved in criminal activities he'll decide to investigate and see if the allegations are true.

Have you ever heard of Propaganda Due? That was an Italian Masonic lodge that for years tried to undermine the Italian government by funding right-wing terrorists financed by illegal arms deals with Latin American dictators. No conspiracy theorist could've come up with a better story, even the Vatican's Bank was involved.

When John Kerry started to investigate Iran/Contra, he was labeled a conspiracy theorist. But he turned out to be right.

Today the term "conspiracy theorist" is often used to discredit critical minds. That's why I think it should be used with caution.

And in the case of the Kennedy assassination even high ranking officials, journalists and academics have come to the conclusion there's a high probability of conspiracy.

Do you really think that Robert Blakey, Jefferson Morley or Professor John Newman, to name but a few, are all "conspiracy theorists"?

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40 minutes ago, Denny Zartman said:

I believe the reason that issues keep popping up is not because they are invalid, but because they were not satisfactorily answered back in the day or that there is other evidence that directly or indirectly contradicts those issues. Even if one believes that Oswald acted alone and there was a benign cover-up, the fact that there was a cover-up at all proves that we're dealing with an incomplete record. Some witnesses were bullied, some evidence was disposed of, some witnesses changed their stories from ones that seem to support a second shooter to one that was consistent with Oswald acting alone because those witnesses thought the Kennedy family just wanted to end the controversy. All of this adds up to an inherently incomplete record that we must now attempt to sort out.

As I tried to point out in the Teenage Freak thread, just because a LN'er believes that they've come up with an "explanation" for a problematic issue, doesn't mean that the issue has been satisfactorily resolved or that their explanation is persuasive. Just because an LN comes up with an explanation of any sort doesn't mean they have actually whacked the mole, even though the LN might honestly think they have. As Cory pointed out upthread, some LN's refuse to concede any detail whatsoever. I'm sure some CT's are out there who are compelled to counter every point, but I believe most CT's acknowledge the unexplained and unresolved aspects of problematic issues being discussed, while LN's seem to tend to approach every issue A CT deems problematic as a mole that can be easily and repeatedly whacked away, because in the LN's minds there is no mystery about the JFK assassination (i.e. no moles at all.)

I agree that many CT's focus in on obscure details while missing the larger picture, but the same charge can be applied to LN's. Vincent Bugliosi (arguably the most prominent author of LN literature)'s circular reasoning can be summed up as: "We can explain away any and all unexplained issues about the JFK assassination in a manner that lines up with the theory that Oswald acted alone, because we know Oswald acted alone." When you're guided by your conclusion like that and think that any significant issues that disagree with your conclusion can be hand-waved away or ignored entirely, that doesn't help anyone in the search for truth. LN's also like to focus in on a piece of evidence as if it existed in a vacuum and ignore the other circumstantial evidence out there that might cast doubt. To them, each issue is a game that they must win. Any serious and legitimate unanswered question is just a mole to be whacked before moving on to the next one.

Well, this is fascinating because your two last paragraphs are almost EXACTLY what I would say about CT's! I believe that CT's are FAR more prone to what you're talking about than are LN's.  Relevant to the topic of this thread, I believe that this is largely because there is indeed a well-documented conspiracy mindset in a substantial minority of people.  As I've repeatedly stated, this doesn't mean that this mindset is pathological, that all conspiracy theorizing is delusional, that conspiracies never happen, or anything of the sort.  It would be insane to suggest any of those things.  It does mean that those with the conspiracy mindset tend to view the world and events in the world through a different lens than those who don't have this mindset.  And, of course, those who have the conspiracy mindset and certain other psychological "attributes" are going to be those who find plausible conspiracy theories that others, including other conspiracy theorists, find absurd.

This thread was supposed to be about the mindset of those who "hate" conspiracy theories.  I really don't believe there is any such mindset.  There may well be some people whose religious beliefs or worldviews would be threatened by certain types of conspiracies and who thus resist them, but I don't believe there is a "non-conspiracy mindset" per se and have never seen anything in the literature to suggest there is.  There is a well-documented conspiracy mindset, I believe it prevails in the JFK assassination community, and I think it explains a great deal of what we see here.

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4 minutes ago, Mathias Baumann said:

Lance,

I think you should really differentiate between "conspiracy theorists" and critical minds.

A conspiracy theorist might believe that, say, the Free Masons are behind all the evil in the world. So he'll attribute anything bad that happens to their doing because he's deluded.

A critical mind on the other hand is well aware that most Free Masons are perfectly harmless people. But as soon as learns of evidence that SOME Free Masons are involved in criminal activities he'll decide to investigate and see if the allegations are true.

Have you ever heard of Propaganda Due? That was an Italian Masonic lodge that for years tried to undermine the Italian government by funding right-wing terrorists financed by illegal arms deals with Latin American dictators. No conspiracy theorist could've come up with a better story, even the Vatican's Bank was involved.

When John Kerry started to investigate Iran/Contra, he was labeled a conspiracy theorist. But he turned out to be right.

Today the term "conspiracy theorist" is often used to discredit critical minds. That's why I think it should be used with caution.

And in the case of the Kennedy assassination even high ranking officials, journalists and academics have come to the conclusion there's a high probability of conspiracy.

Do you really think that Robert Blakey, Jefferson Morley or Professor John Newman, to name but a few, are all "conspiracy theorists"?

You make a valid point, at least to a degree.  Interestingly, I just finished a long and scholarly book about the history of Mormonism.  Its origins and rituals have their roots in Freemasonry.  So I'm not sure I'd characterize Freemasonry as perfectly harmless, but I'll say no more.

Certainly a conspiracy theorist can be highly intelligent, highly educated and skilled in critical thinking.  You're right that "conspiracy theorist" does tend to conjure up a particular image, just as Cliff chided me for using the loaded term "fundamentalist."  "Conspiracy theorist" tends to conjure up an image of someone in a tinfoil hat reading JFK was Killed by Aliens!  (I attended the 1989 MUFON conference in Las Vegas where John Lear and the late Bill Cooper did a serious presentation to the effect that JFK was gunned down by one of the Secret Service agents because he knew too much about the aliens.  I was fairly wacky myself at the time, but not that wacky.  Those guys were real "conspiracy theorists!")

What I'm really talking about is "people who have the conspiracy mindset."  As I just explained to Denny, I'm not saying that this is some pathological or delusional state.  It simply means that people with this well-documented mindset tend to see the world and events in the world in a way that is fundamentally different from those who don't have this mindset.  Those with the conspiracy mindset are indeed those who become "conspiracy theorists" like Lear and Cooper, but certainly not all of them do.

I'd characterize Blakey, Morley and Newman as very definitively having the conspiracy mindset.  When someone makes a career out of the JFK assassination, as Morley and Newman have done, I'm always a little suspicious of his motives and agenda.  But in any event, I'd say that all three have the conspiracy mindset and that the latter two have allowed it to run amuck and are probably incapable of seeing anything other than the Deep Politics theories they are promoting.  I got into hot water here by daring to point out that Newman is also the author of Quest for the Kingdom: The Secret Teachings of Jesus in the Light of Yogic Mysticism.  As someone who is far more involved in serious Jesus studies than the JFK assassination, I will simply say that this tome (which postulates highly unlikely conspiracies involving the gospels) gives me pause that Newman may indeed be a "conspiracy theorist."  I've never even seen this book mentioned in the community of historical Jesus scholarship.  Newman is apparently also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

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39 minutes ago, Lance Payette said:

Newman is apparently also a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

Well I think no-one can deny that 9/11 was a conspiracy in the literal sense of the word. At least 11 people conspired to bring down the World Trade Center. I don't know what exactly John Newman believes, but I think confessions given under torture are completely worthless. I haven't done too much reading on this subject but it appears there's at least some circumstantial evidence that Saudi government officials might have aided the terrorists.

But anyway, maybe we could at least agree that it takes a "conspiratorial mindset" to uncover actual conspiracies?

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21 hours ago, Mathias Baumann said:

Lance,

I think you should really differentiate between "conspiracy theorists" and critical minds.

A conspiracy theorist might believe that, say, the Free Masons are behind all the evil in the world. So he'll attribute anything bad that happens to their doing because he's deluded.

A critical mind on the other hand is well aware that most Free Masons are perfectly harmless people. But as soon as learns of evidence that SOME Free Masons are involved in criminal activities he'll decide to investigate and see if the allegations are true.

Have you ever heard of Propaganda Due? That was an Italian Masonic lodge that for years tried to undermine the Italian government by funding right-wing terrorists financed by illegal arms deals with Latin American dictators. No conspiracy theorist could've come up with a better story, even the Vatican's Bank was involved.

When John Kerry started to investigate Iran/Contra, he was labeled a conspiracy theorist. But he turned out to be right.

 

Today the term "conspiracy theorist" is often used to discredit critical minds. That's why I think it should be used with caution.

 

And in the case of the Kennedy assassination even high ranking officials, journalists and academics have come to the conclusion there's a high probability of conspiracy.

Do you really think that Robert Blakey, Jefferson Morley or Professor John Newman, to name but a few, are all "conspiracy theorists"?

Mathias, your post message above is so coherently logical and true to me.

"Today, the term "conspiracy theorist" is often used to discredit critical minds. That's why I think it should be used with caution."

More than caution - active vigilance.

Yes, I am stimulated by engaging others on this forum ( many highly regarded and published book writers and researchers ) in the study, debate and even speculations regarding the assassination of not just JFK but RFK and MLK as well. Like many are stimulated by the same type of engagement regarding the Civil War, WWII and other major historical events that hugely changed the world we live in.

This is definitely part of my participation motivation here for sure.

However, I don't like wasting my time on just any possible conspiracy stories.

The JFK assassination event is separated from 95% of all the other possible conspiracy stories in our nation's history by it's impact.

The impact from JFK's brutal slaying was almost as important if not as important as the allies defeating the Axis powers in WWII.

What responsible citizens of the United States on 11,22,1963 wouldn't want to know as much as they could regards the who, what and why's of their president's slaughter?

95% of Americans since 1963 would not keep focused on this story question study as long as we here on the forum have been, but I think most would understand the long term interest as a rational thing more than an irrational thing for those that still consider the truth about the JFK event important enough to keep searching for it.

I don't care if the moon landing was faked. I am not interested enough in the 911 event to give it more of my time, study and engagement than I do. The subject of UFOs and ET presence does interest me...but I don't have the ability, connections and energy to study it more thoroughly than a passing interest.

I don't "search" for more conspiracies to delve into.  The JFK one is all I can handle.

I do think that if we ever find out the full truth regards who killed JFK and why, that this knowledge will explain almost all of the most secret doings our country has been involved in since JFK and even before.  We will finally know more about who we really are as a society and who has been controlling it than we could imagine.

President Eisenhower "asked us" ( all Americans ) to be more interested in and concerned about a reality he called the Military Industrial ( and Congressional? ) Complex. This new configuration of accumulated vast power was a "conspiracy."

Read or listen to his farewell address again. What a stark warning! He was asking us to acknowledge, accept and confront the reality of a power shift in this country so threatening to our democracy that he felt compelled to make it an important part of his final speech as President.

He was asking us to accept and face this new and powerful and usually secret...conspiracy.

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer

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For the record, John Lear was a hoaxer on the UFO scene.  I know this from someone who dealt with him personally.

Cooper was on both scenes.

Surprising that our Colorado lawyer did not smoke them out.

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