Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

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dA ShAzAm
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Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby dA ShAzAm » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:10 am UTC

I just got off the phone with my brother. I haven't seen him in a couple months and I wanted to wish him a happy birthday. After chatting for a bit my brother started telling me about how he'd been researching conspiracy theories online and told me about how he'd discovered 'the weirdest coincidence'. He then lead me on a crazy game of connect-the-dots starting with something Siri said to him on his iPhone, then zodiac dates on google, Steve jobs and the illuminati, and ended with him thinking somebody was telling him 'we know you're looking for us'.
I humored him for a while before telling him he needs to be careful not to look too far into things, he said he wasn't but that I should watch a movie called Zeitgeist, and that it will 'blow my mind'. I recommended some videos of my own and told him I would watch Zeitgeist and told him goodbye. Looking into Zeitgeist it was just about everything I feared, including 9-11 conspiracies. I've seen these theories twist people's perception on things- make them paranoid, make them cynical. I don't want that happening to my brother.
I've seen Randall post a couple of comics dealing with people falling into this sort of thing and I was wondering if anyone here had experience in dealing with friends or family becoming conspiracy theorists. I can deal with random strangers online but it's a bit more difficult when I'm actually concerned about the person connecting these dots.

Any advice or personal stories anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for reading.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby addams » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:10 am UTC

No. Not, really.
Maybe. I am not sure.

How are People to tell Truth from Lies?
What is the difference between a Lie and good old fashioned Fiction?

This is Thinking about Thinking.
What do you think? oh, Really?

I Know Mom likes me, best.
I Know she did.

How? She told me not to tell you.

Virus of the Mind by Brodie.
It is a book. It does not tell you what the latest and greatest meme is.
Well; It might.

I think that book says, "You are responsible for what You have running around in Your head."
What a huge responsiblity in 2013. How can a Person choose from all the avalible data?

Poor You.
Poor Your Brother.
Poor Everybody.

We are sometimes Swamped with information.
Drownding in Information.

How does the Individual find solid footing in such a quicksand of data?
Thinking about thinking might help.

Used book stores sometimes have books about the Skills of Critical Thinking.
Who Know? A great many of the Conspericy Theroys might be Spot On.

What is important for You to function, be well, be useful and be Happy?
Do you Have To know who ordered the bullet that killed JFK? Why?!

Do you Have To know what your brothers favorite color is?
Do you know he is a good man? Is he kind? Is he funny?
Does he have your mother's eyes? Did you throw the rock that left the scar on his Left arm?

When your brother makes decisions, what kind of information does he use?
It seems so many people are attempting to remake decisions.
THEY did it wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

What about: Did They ever do anything Right?
Yep. Hence, Science.
Science people might do a Right thing from time to time.
And; They keep records. Or; lose them. (that's a good story.)
Sometimes the records catch fire.
Sometimes Dick Chenney orders some computers set on fire in his downstars office in DC.

Honey; You and your brother can not decide those Big Things.
The things you decide are Big Enough.

The Truth is that we each must operate in partial darkness.
We do not know what Other People are up to.

A nice Etho for your own choices is a good thing.
The Zeigist Movement seems Wholesome.

Paranoia is a bad thing. If he is frightened, then you may need to support him in a Discovery Mission.

An Open Mind is a Functioning Mind.
Pick your battles. If he wants to Know; Really wants to Know.

Then!! The internet Can Not be His Primary Sourse for Truth.

A Critical Thinking Class and a Scientific Methoids Class.
The Internet CAN do That! Do math because it exercises the Mind.

Those two classes will give you the tools to begin to Diagram other kinds of information.
There are other tools. I still use soapie; Everyday. nearly everyday.

Now I am depressed. i use soapie. such a loser. (whine. whine.)
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:15 pm UTC

My brother in law thinks the moon landing was faked. That's relatively harmless so I don't try to argue it.

The conspiracy you are talking about is a bit more dangerous. Sadly it's hard to intervene at this distance but maybe he'll "grow" out of it. And you have to be careful not to alienate him which it sounds like you were doing which is important if you wish to keep a relationship with him. I wouldn't say entertain the conspiracy but present yourself neutrally if you try to pose counterarguments.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:20 pm UTC

Not entirely conspiracy theories, but when Obama was elected, my mom spiraled way down the rabbit hole of 'it's all a big conspiracy to crush 'murican freedom', and this resonated with me;
dA ShAzAm wrote:I've seen these theories twist people's perception on things- make them paranoid, make them cynical.


So, yeah, I dunno how to break people out of it. They don't respond to facts or logic, and they view any disagreements or counter evidence as you being part of the system.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby engr » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:53 pm UTC

dA ShAzAm wrote:I just got off the phone with my brother. I haven't seen him in a couple months and I wanted to wish him a happy birthday. After chatting for a bit my brother started telling me about how he'd been researching conspiracy theories online and told me about how he'd discovered 'the weirdest coincidence'. He then lead me on a crazy game of connect-the-dots starting with something Siri said to him on his iPhone, then zodiac dates on google, Steve jobs and the illuminati, and ended with him thinking somebody was telling him 'we know you're looking for us'.


I am not a psychiatrist, but it sounds more like a delusion than a typical conspiracy theory... his "theories" sound way too personal.
The best thing you could do at this point is to talk to a mental health professional.
I had a family member having delusions of political persecution for years. That was tough for her and for all of us. Eventually we convinced her to see a family physician (she wouldn't agree to see a psychiatrist), who prescribed her a medication, and she went into remission.
One thing I can tell you right now... trying to convince a person that their delusion is wrong, is useless. Logic doesn't help. Persuasion doesn't help. Asking to trust you doesn't help.
I really hope I am wrong.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. Gilbert K. Chesterton

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Frimble » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:58 pm UTC

engr wrote:
dA ShAzAm wrote:I just got off the phone with my brother. I haven't seen him in a couple months and I wanted to wish him a happy birthday. After chatting for a bit my brother started telling me about how he'd been researching conspiracy theories online and told me about how he'd discovered 'the weirdest coincidence'. He then lead me on a crazy game of connect-the-dots starting with something Siri said to him on his iPhone, then zodiac dates on google, Steve jobs and the illuminati, and ended with him thinking somebody was telling him 'we know you're looking for us'.


I am not a psychiatrist, but it sounds more like a delusion than a typical conspiracy theory... his "theories" sound way too personal.
The best thing you could do at this point is to talk to a mental health professional.
I had a family member having delusions of political persecution for years. That was tough for her and for all of us. Eventually we convinced her to see a family physician (she wouldn't agree to see a psychiatrist), who prescribed her a medication, and she went into remission.
One thing I can tell you right now... trying to convince a person that their delusion is wrong, is useless. Logic doesn't help. Persuasion doesn't help. Asking to trust you doesn't help.
I really hope I am wrong.


It sounds that way to me as well (speaking as someone who has actually been diagnosed with a psychotic condition) but the big question here is how much it bothers him. You don't really want to put him through anything as unpleasant as seeing a psychiatrist without good cause (not that it's all that unpleasant but still). I would ask your brother the following questions:
Are you looking for the illuminati? If so why?
Do you think anyone is trying to hurt you? If so why?
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:09 pm UTC

I've had some success telling conspiracy theorists the story about the ice.

I love this story, it is almost entirely true, but more importantly, it is instantly believable and conveys the point.

It goes like this:

Ice is a very useful thing to have in a disaster area. It preserves food and medical supplies, can be easily converted into clean water, etc. Generally it's a good thing. So in the aftermath of Katrina, the U.S. government ordered up about a hundred thousand tons of ice to be shipped post-haste to the relief effort. They called up truckers from all over the country on short notice, filled refrigerated trailers with ice and ordered them onward to FEMA staging areas, disaster relief areas, evacuation centers and other places where the ice might be needed. Trucking ice cross country like that isn't instant, in some cases the ice was several days from it's intended destination. And in the meantime, as the situation was assessed, changed, and re-assessed, many of these shipments were re-directed to other destinations. Many trucks carrying ice reached staging areas and sat idling while officials figured out where it needed to go from there. It was determined at some point, that the amount of ice ordered had been excessive, but it was too late to cancel the deliveries so even more ice trucks started piling up in the staging areas and no one had any idea what to do with them. Some were sent back where they had come from, or to government facilities where the ice could be stored, some bounced back and forth between staging areas, and the rest of the trucks idled to keep the ice cold while the drivers are got paid to sit around the staging areas waiting to be told what to do.

Now, about two weeks after Katrina, another Hurricane started raising concerns that it might hit further north, in the new England area. Somebody had the bright idea of taking the ice still sitting around the Katrina staging areas that no one knew what to do with, and ship it north to be pre-staged for the new hurricane. This hurricane however was a somewhat unpredictable storm and predictions as to where and when it would make landfall were continually updated and revised, and so the orders to the ice trucks were updated and revised. Sometimes it was predicted the storm would land in a high population area, so more trucks would be dispatched, sometimes a low population area, and so trucks were turned back south, only to be turned around again with the next prediction.

After a few days of this, another storm came into the picture, this one headed south, so more trucks were turned around and bounced between new staging areas.

in the end, the first storm after Katrina proved to be a dud, and the second while serious, was not as bad as had been predicted. Much of the ice was returned to storage.

In the end nearly three weeks later, many of the (over four thousand) trucks had clocked around five thousand miles (individually) traveling from storage facilities in middle America, to staging areas in the east, idling for up to two weeks or bouncing between staging areas, and then back to storage facilities as far west as Nebraska without delivering a single cube of ice to a disaster area. The bill for this icecapade to the U.S. taxpayers is estimated at well over a hundred million dollars, just for ice much of which never arrived at it's intended destination and wasn't needed there anyway.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:20 pm UTC

Is the point of the ice story that conspiracy theorists themselves are chasing their tails running from one story/fact to the next and never getting anywhere? Or that the government is too incompetent to carry out a conspiracy of the type that theorists are envisioning? I can see it working both ways.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Thrasymachus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:27 pm UTC

Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by ignorance.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby EdgarJPublius » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:10 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Is the point of the ice story that conspiracy theorists themselves are chasing their tails running from one story/fact to the next and never getting anywhere? Or that the government is too incompetent to carry out a conspiracy of the type that theorists are envisioning? I can see it working both ways.


That's the great thing about the ice story, it works on multiple levels. It's like a highly nuanced parody of conspiracy theories, but it really happened.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby sardia » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:23 pm UTC

When I read your ice story, I just thought "This is gonna cost a buttload. I wonder what aesop he's trying to tell." I'm not sure how this relates to conspiracy theories though, can anyone explain?

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby poxic » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:38 pm UTC

One of the lessons is that "any government this incompetent couldn't possibly pull off a coverup of any magnitude". Roughly what Thrasyperson said.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Lenoxus » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:56 am UTC

Warning: I can't really think of any advice for this particular situation, so if you're the original poster you can skip this longish post if you want.

poxic wrote:One of the lessons is that "any government this incompetent couldn't possibly pull off a coverup of any magnitude". Roughly what Thrasyperson said.

The problem, of course, is that's exactly what they would want you to think, isn't it?

And likewise for almost any other argument one could make about how real conspirators ought to behave. Hence, the conspiracy theories are unfalsifiable. And I've never encountered a good way to make people who are "deep in" understand why unfalsifiability is bad. Conspiracy theories are perhaps especially difficult, since anyone sufficiently motivated to debunk them will only look like they've been bought (if the debunker is not a deliberate agent of Them, then at least persuaded by Their propaganda and/or mind rays). Fundamentalists can get the same way with seeing Satan's influence everywhere (right up to the quoting of Scripture, as the saying goes).

While I do think the cover-up problem is a good point, I also feel that particular conspiracy hypotheses can unravel at key points, and this can be even more damning. (After all, successful cover-ups really have occurred, though usually involving smaller numbers of people.) For example, from a non-expert's perspective, I think the best argument that the Apollo landings were real is the fact that the USSR never made an accusation. This would in turn imply that they were also "in on it", which suggests that the entire Cold War was faked! In which case, why bother with something like the Moon landing? (The conspiracist's answer of course being: The very fact that you're making that argument just goes to show that it was a good move on the part of the Secret World Government. "The citizens will never suspect us of colluding if one of us pulls off a stunt like that! Okay, if heads then we get the first man in space and you get the first on the moon, tails vice versa.")

Another example would be the primary problem I see with most 9/11 conspiracies, which almost always involve "controlled demolition". What exactly would hidden explosives do (in terms of the conspirators' ultimate goals) that jetliners alone would not? Yes, the truthers insist that the buildings fell too fast or in the wrong direction, but if the idea is to rally us into war and/or a police state, why wouldn't the simple fact of an obvious and horrifying terror attack do the trick? Did anyone think "Well, if those buildings fall slowly and sideways, then I'm not gonna feel much anger at anyone in the Middle East and/or fear for my own safety."

It's almost as if the demoliton idea is there merely because it would be so damning if it were true. Plus, any more plausible conspiracy (such as the Bush administration deliberately allowing an Al-Queda attack, which I do not think happened but which is certainly more believable) is harder to gather evidence about; the "meat" is in the parts we all encountered, the actual buildings falling. Likewise, perhaps, with the moon landings. It would be so oddly satisfying if Big Brother decided to pull off a gigantic hoax that the entire world was watching and you, yes you, are the brilliant and brave soul who sees past the charade when so many scientists could not.

For some reason, conspiracy theories tend to center around elements that are a kind of "canon" such that disputing them is heresy. For example, if you believe the moon landings were fake then you're probably also a truther, and (to a lesser extent?) vice versa. Neither one actually implies the other must be true. However, once you get paranoid enough about one, the other seems more plausible — plus, with regards to peer impressions, you don't want to look like a sheeple, or like "one of them", by denying any sufficiently-popular conspiracy theory! Hence, there's a snowballing effect. (It's not absolute, though. For example, most truthers regard the "hologram theory" — that the airplanes were really holograms on top of missiles or something — as insane, or even as "disinformation" fostered by the government to make conspiracy theories look crazy.)

It's a bit like the phenomenon whereby after a politician or celebrity is caught doing something unethical, each Interweb commenter has to say some either equally or more disparaging about the wrongdoer, because otherwise the commenter looks apathetic or even pro-wrongdoing. Similarly, each conspiracy theorist has to believe in either as many or more conspiracies as the next one, or else they look like they're quasi-praising the conspirators (insofar as, for example, "Bill Clinton didn't murder anybody" is praising him).

Ramble done.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Trasvi » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:25 am UTC

Conspiracy theorists have a lot in common with biblical literalists.
Any proof you present them will be discounted as a cover-up by the feds/evilutionists; and even if your proof is comprehensive and logical it will be discounted by saying 'thats what they want you to believe'/'you just gotta have faith'.

There are a few theories that seem plausible to me (mostly various assassinations) but for some like the moon landing... that is thousands of individuals each of whom could make millions of dollars by exposing the scandal, yet none of them have. Politicians have a hard enough time keeping their secretaries quiet, how on earth would they have the competence to cover something like this up?

Spoiler:
Its because they are actually devious chessmasters, and they let slip little things like affairs or funding scandals so you think they're not competent enough to pull off a moon landing hoax.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:51 am UTC

I think a big part of the power of the Ice story is that it just feels like a conspiracy theory. Once you figure out that the person you're talking to is a conspiracy theorist, instead of immediately going into 'debunking' mode, which just puts them on the defensive, you start telling the ice story. It begins exactly like a conspiracy theory, you've got FEMA and the response to Katrina which are always popular targets, so they're primed to accept it when the ridiculous conclusion comes.

I think comparing conspiracy theorists to religious fundamentalists like biblical literalists is wrong, or at least not useful. Fundamentalists can cognitive dissonance their way through any contrary evidence with 'Well, god's plan is mysterious/literally unknowable'. Conspiracy theorists generally have to find some rational motivation behind the conspiracy and are simply relying on some bad assumptions (that the government, or whatever shadow cabal controls it is powerful, and exceedingly well organized). It's human nature to see collusion and coordination where none exists, and it certainly doesn't help that public figures generally want to be seen as 'insiders' who know what is 'really' going on (even if what's 'really' going on is just that the Anytown post office is being renamed to the Sergent McHeroperson Post Office before being shut down due to budget cuts, or that the next iPhone will be mostly like the old one but with with more pixels, cameras and 'G's).
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby yurell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:29 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I think comparing conspiracy theorists to religious fundamentalists like biblical literalists is wrong, or at least not useful.


I'm not entirely sure — religious belief is generally a written exception to definitions of 'delusion' because they're so similar, to the point where a really strong religious belief is indistinguishable from a delusion.

Edit: by 'strong' I don't mean 'goes to temple every day' level of belief, I mean 'let's their sick child die rather than take them to the doctor's because Odin will save them' level.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Adam H » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:56 pm UTC

This might be horrible advice. Really really bad. But...

Maybe point out to your brother that if his conspiracy is indeed true, he should stop investigating it for his own safety. Then maybe it will turn into a harmless little belief that he has (akin to religion) rather than an alienating time-sink.

Course, that might just make him think you're in on it.

/bad advice

(this post is mainly so that someone who knows what they are talking about can explain why this is a bad idea)
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:50 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I think a big part of the power of the Ice story is that it just feels like a conspiracy theory. Once you figure out that the person you're talking to is a conspiracy theorist, instead of immediately going into 'debunking' mode, which just puts them on the defensive, you start telling the ice story. It begins exactly like a conspiracy theory, you've got FEMA and the response to Katrina which are always popular targets, so they're primed to accept it when the ridiculous conclusion comes.

I think comparing conspiracy theorists to religious fundamentalists like biblical literalists is wrong, or at least not useful. Fundamentalists can cognitive dissonance their way through any contrary evidence with 'Well, god's plan is mysterious/literally unknowable'. Conspiracy theorists generally have to find some rational motivation behind the conspiracy and are simply relying on some bad assumptions (that the government, or whatever shadow cabal controls it is powerful, and exceedingly well organized). It's human nature to see collusion and coordination where none exists, and it certainly doesn't help that public figures generally want to be seen as 'insiders' who know what is 'really' going on (even if what's 'really' going on is just that the Anytown post office is being renamed to the Sergent McHeroperson Post Office before being shut down due to budget cuts, or that the next iPhone will be mostly like the old one but with with more pixels, cameras and 'G's).

When I read it, it didn't sound like a conspiracy theory at all. Of course, the only conspiracy theories I hear about, is us making fun of them.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:35 pm UTC

I find that most conspiracy theorists end up being sort of giant fantasies. They cast the little guy in the spotlight as the defender of truth. Of course, all those big, powerful organizations are bad. Nobody ever seems to think that there is a conspiracy centered around ordinary folks. It's always the powerful ones.

In short, it seems to be a means of appropriating power. A way of visualizing those who have power as bad and undeserving, while you, of course, are virtuous and important in some way. This is often heightened with lurid tales that try to connect any death to the overarching plot as some guy who "learned too much". Obviously, this is only ever used to try to support the theory, not to sell the logical idea that "shit, if there actually is a bunch of rich people who kill folks, maybe I should not become a target".

It's a fantasy that people who feel powerless tell themselves because they don't want to deal with the truth.

Personally, I'd suggest just disbelieving it, but trying to, instead of focusing on the crazy idea, focus on more positive things. Ways they can actually take control of their life.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:53 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I find that most conspiracy theorists end up being sort of giant fantasies. They cast the little guy in the spotlight as the defender of truth. Of course, all those big, powerful organizations are bad. Nobody ever seems to think that there is a conspiracy centered around ordinary folks. It's always the powerful ones.

In short, it seems to be a means of appropriating power. A way of visualizing those who have power as bad and undeserving, while you, of course, are virtuous and important in some way. This is often heightened with lurid tales that try to connect any death to the overarching plot as some guy who "learned too much". Obviously, this is only ever used to try to support the theory, not to sell the logical idea that "shit, if there actually is a bunch of rich people who kill folks, maybe I should not become a target".

It's a fantasy that people who feel powerless tell themselves because they don't want to deal with the truth.

Personally, I'd suggest just disbelieving it, but trying to, instead of focusing on the crazy idea, focus on more positive things. Ways they can actually take control of their life.


I can +1 this - that's pretty much exactly how it feels.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Dthen » Wed May 01, 2013 1:42 am UTC

My mother has become a bit of a conspiracy theorist over the last few years. I try to ignore/avoid it, but I still reside with my parents & find it difficult to avoid her ramblings/ranting.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Enuja » Wed May 01, 2013 8:20 pm UTC

I do think it makes sense to try to figure out if your brother is suffering from pathological paranoia, or if he's just an "ordinary" person who has gotten into conspiracy theories. I don't have a lot of advice about the mental health angle, but other people here do, so you should probably listen to them.

If you conclude that this conspiracy theory is a neither a symptom nor a cause of major dysfunction in your brother's life, I don't have any advice for how to deal with him, but I do know of a very interesting book (I haven't read it, but my ex spouse read it and enjoyed it) that might help you understand him, and American conspiracy culture in general, better. It's Robert Goldberg's 2001 Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America, which is a history of US conspiracy theories, focusing on five of them (pre-2001, so no 9/11 truthers).

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby sardia » Wed May 01, 2013 9:40 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:I do think it makes sense to try to figure out if your brother is suffering from pathological paranoia, or if he's just an "ordinary" person who has gotten into conspiracy theories. I don't have a lot of advice about the mental health angle, but other people here do, so you should probably listen to them.

If you conclude that this conspiracy theory is a neither a symptom nor a cause of major dysfunction in your brother's life, I don't have any advice for how to deal with him, but I do know of a very interesting book (I haven't read it, but my ex spouse read it and enjoyed it) that might help you understand him, and American conspiracy culture in general, better. It's Robert Goldberg's 2001 Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America, which is a history of US conspiracy theories, focusing on five of them (pre-2001, so no 9/11 truthers).

The simplist way of prediagnosing someone is asking a simple question to their friends and family. Do you think they have a problem? Has it impaired his life in a meaningful way?

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Frimble » Wed May 01, 2013 10:06 pm UTC

Unfortunately it's not always as simple as that. My own illness went undiagnosed by my family for several months including when I spent an entire Christmas break with them (which as I was at Oxford was about 8 weeks). I pretty much had to go through everything I thought was going on in detail with a friend before we between us worked out that I was deluded. It really depends how introverted/extroverted the person is.

Really the questions as I stated above has to be "Do you think anyone is trying to hurt you?" "If so why?" For example I have heard of someone who replied that he thought the IRA were trying to kill him. (not necessarily a delusion) but when asked why he said they were trying to poison his cigarettes (definitely a delusion).

It's all about finding out that they think something that is definitely false and which should be self evidently false. Remember that Psychosis effected by culture: Someone from an african tribe is more likely to think that their ancestors are speaking to them or (controlling them in extreeme cases) while someone from the west would be more likely to think that they are being contacted by telepathy (or controlled by advanced technology).

However even if it is a psychotic delusion then there is an argument for not trying to change it if the person it's harmless. I disagree with this view but I can't deny it's a valid viewpoint.
"Absolute precision buys the freedom to dream meaningfully." - Donal O' Shea: The Poincaré Conjecture.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby addams » Sun May 05, 2013 5:47 pm UTC

Conspiracy Theories?

All Your Internet friends think Your Brother is nuts.
Poor You.
Poor Your Brother.

I was Thinking.
I was Thinking about Information I did Not get from The Internet.

A Conspiracy? I don't think of it as a Conspiracy.
I think of it as, A Rodeo!

It is a Strange Rodeo. Have you ever been to a Rodeo.
Different Rodeos are different Ways.

The 4-H Girls with Goats are one Kind of Rodeo.
I have seen some of The Cutest Girls with Goats.

Some of those Goats will do anything the Girl says to do.
"Sit! Stay!" is Really hard for a Goat. They Practice.

Other Rodeos have a lot of Action. Jeeze.
It is Touch and Go for The Men and Women in The Corral, sometimes.
Those are Big Fricking Animals and Those Guys angered the animal on Purpose. (fuck)

Then there are The Day to Day Rodeos.
Any place where Human and Animal interact is a Rodeo.
Some are a, "Come. Sit." Rodeo. Others are a "You are going To Take This Pill!" Rodeo.

Jeeze. Have you ever given pills to an animal that weights 3,000 pounds? It is Not as Easy as it Looks!
There are a few Tricks to it.

So Where were we? Oh! I was Thinking about the Poor Little Prisoner in Chief. Well?
Who is deserving our Compassion? That Man got himself in Over His Head. Poor Child.

How old is he? I don't know him. I don't follow The Stars. But; He is Our Prisoner in Chief. Right?
Does he know he is a Prisoner? Well? He is a Smart Man. He has to be. He passed that MCAT.

That fricken MCAT is a hard test. There is No Way I could pass that thing. Not today. (ah. shit. now i want The Book)
So; We Need a Conspiracy or We Have a Conspiracy?

If you want a conspiracy you can build one out of a Rodeo.
Who handles The Prisoner in Chief?

He is, just, an animal. Like all Other animals he is Unique in The World;
To Someone! Not Me! You? Would you Know The Man on Sight?

I think he may have moments when he is petting the Dog or Holding his Wife;
When He Thinks of The Life that did not Happen.

Would They have moved back to Hawaii? Half a year in Hawaii and Half a year in Chicago?
Of course, he would have had to Make Money, somehow.

opps. That path keep leading to Washington DC.
Half a year in Washington DC and Half a year in Hawaii.

Two beautiful, Healthy, Intelligent and Happy Children and a Beautiful Wife.
Family and Friends as far as The Inner Eye can see.

It looks like a Good Life. What did he End Up with?
(Big Sigh.) Poor Baby. Let us Count his Blessings.

He has The Same Wife. She likes him.
They are "In This" Together. Nice!
Good Him! Good Him!

His Mother-in-Law hangs out with The Children.
And; Does other stuff. (shrug.)
I heard she lives with Them.
What is Up with That? Where is her husband?
Did he Die? Conspiracy Theory.

They Had Him Killed? Goodie. A Conspiracy.
You take The Conspiracy. I am interested in The Rodeo.

Animal against Animal. Humans Wangle Humans.
Who is Controlling Who?

The President could have and maybe Should Have a Web Cam.
Who Talks to him? Well; Is he Accessible to You?
Not to me. Can he be on TV any time he wants?

How often do You hear what he has to say?
Who tells him what is Real? The internet?

To be fair I was bored by his last Speech.
But; If He did a Bi or Tri weekly Stand up routine,
Then he would not Have To Be So Dull.

What do you think?
Who Handles Mr. Obama?
Who Handles Mrs. Obama?

When are They allowed to be alone?
Do you think they hold one another like Frightened Children, sometimes?

Group Hug. The poor Babies. Just Historical Figures.
Their Names Go Into The Book.

First Black President=Barack. It is a memomic, of sorts.
Someday little children will Learn:
Columbus=1492
Lincoln=1860's
Barack=2010

That is a lot of History! Adult Historians fill in The Blanks?
With What? War after War after a little Peace with some Storms and some more War?

I did not know until I was an Adult what The Bay of Pigs was.
I was taking an Exam. It was an Exit Exam of some kind. (fuck)
Bay of Pigs? That one Bothered me.
What? A whole section on Something I had Never Heard of?!

Weirdest Thing. I was attempting to figure it out by reading The Question.
Jeeze. The Questions usually point in The Right Direction.

The Section was Civics. I did ok with some of The Basics.
Not great on Date signed. Content in TheDocument, I was ok.

Then That pesky Bay of Pigs. What did you think it was?
All of The Saber Rattling was not interesting to me.

I Was Busy! Still; I asked questions.
Someone was waiting for me, when I came out of That Test.
He wanted to Know what, if anything, was hard.
Fricken Bay of Pigs was Hard.
He told me about the Bay of Pigs.
I was incredulous. "Why Pigs?" I wanted to Know.

He had No clue. He took a few Stabs at It.
He Knew when=1960's
He Knew what=Threat of H-Bomb on an Island?
Yes. That is what The Man said. The US was threatening to Bomb Cuba!
It was wise of Russia to Back Down. That is what the Man said.
He Knew Who=Telephone. Jack Kennedy By Telephone. Weird Fucking Story.

They Teach That shit in School? I barley passed any class that looked like That.
I passed other classes. No one tells me, anything.

How much Power does the Prisoner in Chief have?
Let's hope he gets out of This alive.
He is a Young Man.

If he does his Time, Then He and His Family get to Go Home.
Think about it. It is not a Conspiracy it is a Rodeo.

He and His Wife are The Animals.
Yet; They are Human.

I hope the End of The Movie has He and She holding hands.
Looking back at The White House from a Distance.

Oh! They could be Old. Like Really, Really Old. Like 65 or 70 years old.
Many years would have gone by.
The camera could see them holding hands and Looking at The White House from a Distance.

I think it is a nice way to End a Conspiracy Theory. Don't you?

Is it possible to Look at the White House from a Distance? Only from The Air?
Have you ever Been to The White House?

Your internet friends think your Brother is Nuts.
Who is Nuts a person that Believes in The Bay of Pigs or a person that does not?
DO YOU?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Ixtellor » Mon May 06, 2013 9:04 pm UTC

I had a friend who became a full fleged conspiracy theorist, and over time I basically helped him escape.

First thing I did was explain the flaws in all the conspiracy theories --- I think the one that most convinced him "Conspiracy theories rely on volumn and when you counter one of their 'proofs' rather than acknowledge it, they just move on to the next 'proof'"

Then I would tell him "Give me one solid piece of proof you feel, can't be refuted" or "I will research one piece of evidence , so give my your 'best' one."

Without fail you will be able to disprove it.

I think I had to do this a few times, then he slowly began to see the flaws with the theories and how they all use the same methodology.

I also found Occums razor to be more useful when it came to things like the Bilderbur... forgot spelling... group.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Nem » Thu May 09, 2013 6:44 pm UTC

I have trouble talking to conspiracy theorists, generally to the point where I don't bother - there's something wrong with the way they reason.

When I do bother, it tends to be basic probability. Sure, you can come up with elaborate stories. But the more elaborate the story the lower its probability - and what evidence do you actually have to push the probability back the other way? How much of it have you actually checked; how many assumptions are you making?

And then how have you looked at the evidence for all the other scenarios that might explain the same data?

"Ah, but that's what the conspiracy theorists would want you to think!"

No! Ah, Jesus, no. If the world would look the same to you whether there was a conspiracy going on or not, then you have equal evidence for either position - and since it's less complex for there not to be a conspiracy theory, the probability of that being true is larger. So, that's the option you ought to believe....

Even if the evidence actually does break down equally, which hahahahahaaaaa. Yeah, no.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby sardia » Fri May 10, 2013 12:38 am UTC

I was having dinner with some of my friend, Rick, companions. They asked me if I believed in conspiracy theories, which quickly got into a small spiel about it. I gave them A southpark runaround and told them the conspiracy theories were a conspiracy by the government in order to maintain their grip on conspiracy theorists. When they questioned that premise, I told them that's exactly what the government wants them to think. And then the buffalo wings arrived, and I feasted.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby addams » Thu May 16, 2013 5:37 am UTC

sardia wrote:I was having dinner with some of my friend, Rick, companions. They asked me if I believed in conspiracy theories, which quickly got into a small spiel about it. I gave them A southpark runaround and told them the conspiracy theories were a conspiracy by the government in order to maintain their grip on conspiracy theorists. When they questioned that premise, I told them that's exactly what the government wants them to think. And then the buffalo wings arrived, and I feasted.

Yep. I like it.
A complete Loop.

Now; What are Your Theories?
Is there a Government?
Oh, yeah? Where?
Does it Do Anything?
Oh, yeah? What?

Does Government bring Good Things to Life?
Or; Is that to Light?

Jingles and Mottos.
Is it not on This Forum that we ask our selves and each other;
What's in Your Head, Today?

Well; I know our Heads are full of stuff.
Most of it is stuff Other People put there.

Vampires? Yes. I have vampires in my head.
I would have never come up with it on my own.

Government Agents.
That is a Funny One.
I had a greater belief in Vampires than CIA agents.

True! Simon and I happened to be in an Old Cemetery as the sun went down.
We were separated. Me looking at One thing. Him looking at another thing.

It struck me, suddenly. The Sun is Down! Vampires!
I started toward The Car.

As I arrived at The Car, Simon was Arriving.
I opened the doors and I did not have to ask him to get in.

Not one word between us for five miles. Then we started talking.
You were a little, tinny bit, scared, too? What of?

It was so Funny! Vampires!
We laughed. We were afraid of Vampires.

Well; That's silly. There are no vampires.
Now that it is out in the Open; Do you want to Go Back?
No. We did not want to go back. It was dark.

Government Agents? CIA agents?
I think it is so funny.

I had a CIA agent walking next to me.
She told me and I laughed at her.

It made her angry. Well; Not the not believing part.
I was laughing. She said, "Don't you believe me?"
I said, "No."
She said, "Why?"
I said, "CIA? That's Intelligence. Right?"
She said. "Yes."
I said, "You don't look that smart to me."

Damn. She was angry at me.
She was Real!

See? Modern Life is Hard.
Vampires are not Real.
CIA is? So, funny.

She was angry. She said, "I am going to come back!"
I told her she was welcome, anytime.

She came back with some 'back up' people.
The group of them started to Look a lot Smarter, to me.
Silly. Right? Who do you Want to worry about?

Vampires are so much better. They will behave in predicable ways.
Vampires are Not Real! The Government is Made up of a Large Numbers of Real People.

Real People are more Dangerous and more Fun than Vampires.
But; Don't worry too much about them, until they start showing up in numbers and have ID and ask you to write something and read it in Public.

When that happens. Worry.
I didn't. I should have.

Lucky You! Fun with Friends.
They can tell you all about The Government and You can tell them All about Vampires.

I love to tell Vampire Stories.
Those tough Jersey Guys are not so Tough.

I told one of them about Vampires.
He was Tough. He knew stuff.

When I was done with him, he was pale and afraid to go to sleep.
I told him, "The Garlic Thing? You believe that? Good. The Vampires started that Rumor.
Vampires like Garlic. They like it in the blood And on the side."

"Very sophisticated bunch, Vampires. Of course, they started the Rumor."

"Who are you going to believe? The Movies or Me?"

"Who spends a lot of time Dressed in Black and Outside at Night? You or Me?
Who do You think those People I talk to are? Me? Afraid? No. They like me."

"Here eat some more Garlic."

It was nice of you to make a nice Loop for your friends.
I left the Loop open. (shrug) Vampires? (shrug)

The Poor Man. I laughed. He was not laughing.
The Fact that Vampires hate Garlic was like his Hale Mary.
When that came into doubt, it was all over for him.

He is going to have to give up Vampires or Garlic.

Conspiracy theories? It does not matter if it is True or Not.
What can You do about it? Vampires or Governments?

Every once in a Great While You may have a choice to make or a paper to read and write about.
Every once in a Great While. The rest of the Time a simple, honorable life, well lived is enough.

What? People need entertainment?
Or; People have an uneasy feeling?

Or; People know something is Wrong.
People, just, don't know, 'What is Wrong and Why is it Wrong."

It is terrible. They must be nice people. They are worried.
They are willing to Do something to make IT, whatever IT is, better.

What ever You do, Do Not Take Up Arms! Arms are for Hugging!
Besides; It is, really, hard to feel a hug through a bullet proof vest.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby AlexTheSeal » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:45 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I also found Occums razor to be more useful when it came to things like the Bilderbur... forgot spelling... group.


The problem with Occam's razor is that when the theories being proposed reach a certain level of intricacy, it's very hard to tell who's "multiplying entities beyond necessity" more than the other guy. Gun enthusiasts tend to believe someone besides Lee Harvey Oswald helped kill JFK mostly not because they think the CIA had reason to do it (though they may) but because they find the Warren Commission report ludicrous. The single-gun theory's explanation of the ballistics of Oswald's shots is the straw that breaks Occam's back. Somebody besides Oswald must have had a gun and fired at the motorcade too (the argument goes), so then the door is opened to speculation about who somebody might have been. "Truthers" argue that an attempt to encourage support for war in the Middle East by faking a terrorist attack, planned and executed secretly by a faction within the Bush administration, is easier to swallow than the idea that the collapse of a steel-and-concrete building superheated by burning jet fuel would look on TV just like a deliberate controlled demolition. It didn't look like what would happen if a jet hit a skyscraper(the argument goes)1, so somebody must have planned it.


1 I'm not saying this is equivalent to nor as strong as the argument of the gun owner against the single-gun theory, just analogous to it. We have a lot more evidence about what happens when you fire a rifle at someone in a slow-moving metal land vehicle than we do about when you crash an airliner deliberately into a 100-story building at full throttle.

Code: Select all

10 REM WORLD'S SMALLEST ADVENTURE GAME
20 PRINT "YOU ARE IN A CAVE (N, S, E, W)? ";
30 INPUT A$
40 GOTO 10

Lulled to sleep by the one-hertz chuckle of Linux logfile writes since 1997.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:59 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I think comparing conspiracy theorists to religious fundamentalists like biblical literalists is wrong, or at least not useful. Fundamentalists can cognitive dissonance their way through any contrary evidence with 'Well, god's plan is mysterious/literally unknowable'. Conspiracy theorists generally have to find some rational motivation behind the conspiracy and are simply relying on some bad assumptions (that the government, or whatever shadow cabal controls it is powerful, and exceedingly well organized). It's human nature to see collusion and coordination where none exists, and it certainly doesn't help that public figures generally want to be seen as 'insiders' who know what is 'really' going on (even if what's 'really' going on is just that the Anytown post office is being renamed to the Sergent McHeroperson Post Office before being shut down due to budget cuts, or that the next iPhone will be mostly like the old one but with with more pixels, cameras and 'G's).
I realize I'm just contributing to necromancy, but I was reading the thread and wanted to point out a way in which I disagree -- that religious fundamentalism and conspiracy theories are similar.

Both often rely on a simple trick: That which contradicts my narrative is part of a concerted attempt to undermine my narrative. Challenges to faith (that which contradicts holy text) are seen as tests to overcome rather than genuine problems with the text; the narrative incorporates anything that might contradict it within the narrative itself!

You see this exact mechanism at work in the conspiracy theory -- evidence that contradicts the theory is part of the conspiracy. Oh, engineers proved that 9/11 was not done with bombs? Obviously, the engineers are part of it. Oh, fossils prove creationism wrong? Obviously, they were put there by the Devil!

I bring this up because I think it's crucial to understanding conspiracy theories -- they rely on an all-encompassing antagonist who's power grows in proportion to the evidence against the theory. The more proof you find that they're wrong, the bigger the conspiracy becomes.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby addams » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:26 pm UTC

AlexTheSeal wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:I also found Occums razor to be more useful when it came to things like the Bilderbur... forgot spelling... group.


The problem with Occam's razor is that when the theories being proposed reach a certain level of intricacy, it's very hard to tell who's "multiplying entities beyond necessity" more than the other guy. Gun enthusiasts tend to believe someone besides Lee Harvey Oswald helped kill JFK mostly not because they think the CIA had reason to do it (though they may) but because they find the Warren Commission report ludicrous. The single-gun theory's explanation of the ballistics of Oswald's shots is the straw that breaks Occam's back. Somebody besides Oswald must have had a gun and fired at the motorcade too (the argument goes), so then the door is opened to speculation about who somebody might have been. "Truthers" argue that an attempt to encourage support for war in the Middle East by faking a terrorist attack, planned and executed secretly by a faction within the Bush administration, is easier to swallow than the idea that the collapse of a steel-and-concrete building superheated by burning jet fuel would look on TV just like a deliberate controlled demolition. It didn't look like what would happen if a jet hit a skyscraper(the argument goes)1, so somebody must have planned it.


1 I'm not saying this is equivalent to nor as strong as the argument of the gun owner against the single-gun theory, just analogous to it. We have a lot more evidence about what happens when you fire a rifle at someone in a slow-moving metal land vehicle than we do about when you crash an airliner deliberately into a 100-story building at full throttle.

Hell-o The World is Strange at Best.
You are bringing up two Public events that are in Our Collective Past.

The Death of JFK and The Demolition of The World Trade Centers in NYC.
Old men and Young people Love to sit by the fire and play, 'What If?"

What if it was One Shooter in (oh what was that 1965?)
So, What? One Shooter; A Falling Star; The Crowd Tearing Him Apart;
Why do you care? No matter who pulled the Trigger; The Man is Dead.

The 9/11 Thing? Fuss All You Want.
Those buildings are Down.

Have you seen before and After Sky Line Photos?
There must be, Somewhere on The Internet?
Photos from Up by The Cloisters.

Photos taken before The Two Towers were built there in Gotham City.
Photos taken during The Short Life Span (for a building), of the Two Towers.
Photos taken after The Demolition.

The Skyline. What do you, As An Artist think of the Skyline?

Who did it? Why? If you find 'them', Will you make 'them' Undo it?

That 1965 Thing? jeeze. All the People involved are Dead. Right?
Someone do the math.
In 1965 the youngest person that could be involved and Remember it would have been -what Trained or Gruntled @ 25?
2013-1965=48 48+25=73
The Youngest Person that could possibly Know anything about it is 73.
The Chances of That Person still being Alive is What?

Who cares? I don't.
They Live Like Gods.

Does That Bother You?
We are Jealous? Is that Why we Love Conspiracy Theories?
I don't like them, much. What Fun are Conspiracy Theories?

who done it Mystery Novels were not interesting to me.
Many, Many People Love that kind of Entertainment.

Who are You and Who am I to tell Them that is not Fun?
If you don't like Playing That Game. Maybe, they will Play a Different Game with you.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Tomlidich the second » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:52 pm UTC

the only help i have seen for these people, is get them looking in the right direction.

the world is full of alot of less than good things happening right now, many of them could be refferred to as "conspiracy"

point things out to them that are valid, documented things, to keep them occupied. maybe they will do some good and spread awareness about it, much like the NSA dealings and somesuch.
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby addams » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:24 pm UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:the only help i have seen for these people, is get them looking in the right direction.

the world is full of alot of less than good things happening right now, many of them could be refferred to as "conspiracy"

point things out to them that are valid, documented things, to keep them occupied. maybe they will do some good and spread awareness about it, much like the NSA dealings and somesuch.

ok.
Maybe, sit and hold their Hands.

To think about big systems is frightening to some adults.
I would like some one to Hold My Hand while I attempt to understand that None of it is Connected.

See? None of it is Connected and we are not able to understand it anyway; Is both The Good News and The Bad News.

Is there anything I can Understand? About The Government?
Yes. At no time are the actions of The Government separate from the Agents that perform The Duties.

Is that Right?
Well; That proves it. I don't know anything about The Government.

What do Your Friends Know? Is it Funny?

I Knew a Woman that did Know some Real Stuff.
It cost her. Don't do it. Stick to Vampire Stories.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Sleeper » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:31 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I bring this up because I think it's crucial to understanding conspiracy theories -- they rely on an all-encompassing antagonist who's power grows in proportion to the evidence against the theory. The more proof you find that they're wrong, the bigger the conspiracy becomes.
I think you're right. Whether it's Christianity's and Islam's The Devil or Alex Jones's The Interdimensional Alien-Worshipping Elites, in either case you have a distant, invisible enemy whose influence is ever-present.

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:00 pm UTC

Sleeper wrote:I think you're right. Whether it's Christianity's and Islam's The Devil or Alex Jones's The Interdimensional Alien-Worshipping Elites, in either case you have a distant, invisible enemy whose influence is ever-present.
As an aside, that's probably part of what makes breaking a conspiracy theory so damn near impossible. Once you're locked into that narrative, anything and everything that could contradict that narrative gets described as just another facet of that narrative.

At some point, narratives like these go critical and just become giant fucking black holes. I suspect the precise moment this happens is around the point when someone decides that all the evidence against a theory may actually be evidence for the theory. "The Lord works in mysterious ways", or "The complete lack of evidence for this conspiracy just demonstrates how evident this conspiracy is!".

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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Io ANARCHY oI » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:09 pm UTC

I think addams has the right idea despite the sarcasm and strange use of capital letters. The next time my Dad brings up 9/11, Bigfoot, or a fake moon landing I will just start telling him about Vampires.


It will be more fun creating my own undeniable conspiracy theory. Much more fun than listening to garbage being passed off as facts.

nemui10pm
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby nemui10pm » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:08 am UTC

My father doesn't believe in climate change. I used to believe him, but I looked some stuff up online and started noticing holes in his theory. I finally realised he was wrong when one of his predictions (that the whole "hoax" was going to blow wide open in 2011) didn't come true.

It was difficult to admit it - I knew my father wasn't perfect, but it was quite tough emotionally to face the fact that the man who influenced me so much growing up, who seemed to be (who still is, in many ways) intelligent and reasonable, can be so wrong about something so major, and admitting that I disagree with him felt like a betrayal. But I've gotten over it now, and I'm just thankful that my little brother didn't get caught up in his father's theories.
a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker

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addams
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby addams » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:34 am UTC

nemui10pm wrote:My father doesn't believe in climate change. I used to believe him, but I looked some stuff up online and started noticing holes in his theory. I finally realised he was wrong when one of his predictions (that the whole "hoax" was going to blow wide open in 2011) didn't come true.

It was difficult to admit it - I knew my father wasn't perfect, but it was quite tough emotionally to face the fact that the man who influenced me so much growing up, who seemed to be (who still is, in many ways) intelligent and reasonable, can be so wrong about something so major, and admitting that I disagree with him felt like a betrayal. But I've gotten over it now, and I'm just thankful that my little brother didn't get caught up in his father's theories.

Be gentle with your Father.
The world is changing Fast.

To believe in Climate Change or to Not believe in Climate Change is such a small thing.
He has been a good man? He has been a intelligent man? A kind and fair Father?

He did not believe in Naked Blue Men from OuterSpace with a Taste for Midwestern Women and Desert Rats?
If you can live with that, Not believing in climate change is, just, as charming.

Climate Change is so interesting. So are Bugs. Some people don't like bugs.
Don't even talk about Bugs with those people. I, kind of, like Bugs.

I found myself standing on a chair in a dining room. They explained 'things' to me. There were Scorpions raining from ceiling.
I did not believe it, at first. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would have not believed it.

It was true, anyway. I did not get hit.
With any Luck at all, your Father will not get hit, either.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Family and Friends: Dealing with conspiracy theorists

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:34 am UTC

Realizing the people you look(ed) up to are (extremely) flawed can be tricky.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.


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