Every anchor and talking head on TV “news” uses the term “conspiracy theory” to discredit the people and ideas of the one genuinely stupid political party…
That party is always the Democrats if you’re watching Fox “News,” and it’s always the Republicans if you’re watching any other TV “news” outlet. Of course, we each are fortunate enough to have landed in the political party of truth and goodness, probably since birth.
Talk about blind luck.
The two parties agree on very little, but they hold two fundamental truths in common: 1. the other party is flat wrong about everything. 2. the other party is a conspiracy of idiots.
Beyond that socially acceptable conspiracy theory (made kosher by Hilary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy” rhetoric) we’ve all been conditioned to feel embarrassment and shame if we find ourselves believing or even exploring a conspiracy theory.
Once a theory has been tarred and feathered with the voodoo adjective “conspiracy,” most intelligent people assume it’s a false theory. They make this leap of faith with absolute emotional certainty, knowing that only weak-minded, gullible people believe conspiracy theories.
Smart people don’t waste time looking at the bogus data behind a theoretical explanation that includes more than one person trying to do the same naughty, secretive thing at the same time. Naughty, secretive people always act independently and alone in the real world. Obviously.
This heuristic is so useful, efficient, and socially acceptable, we carry it around like a cell phone. “Conspiracy theory? Don’t insult my intelligence.”
Unfortunately, those intellectually uninformed PhD’s at Nature, the world’s top scientific journal, must have missed the memo.
Here they are with the audacity to expect us to believe that a theoretical conspiracy exists on the part of those government organizations who provide money to scientific researchers. We know this kind of stuff is impossible, but these gullible geeks at Nature think the research funders are censoring things and forcing researchers to change their results for reasons that are political and unscientific…
Health researchers report funder pressure to suppress results
A few quotes from the article in Nature:
A survey of public-health researchers has found numerous instances of trial results being suppressed on topics such as nutrition, sexual health, physical activity and substance use….
The survey, published in PLoS One1, involved 104 researchers from regions including North America, Europe and Oceania….
…the findings bolster those [findings] of previous studies, such as a 2006 survey of government-funded health research that also found many instances of requests to ‘sanitize’ results and block or delay their publication.
A 2016 inquiry into the delayed publication of research commissioned by UK government agencies identified cases in which publication was “manipulated to fit with political concerns”. More recently, the British Medical Journal reported four instances of politicization and suppression of science in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s all a bunch of conspiracy-theory hogwash, right? But I wonder if the CIA really did have anything to do with making the term “conspiracy theory” popular. Here’s how it really went down:
Imagine it’s 1964 and you’re 19, living in the USSR and working for the SVR, the Soviet’s equivalent of the CIA.
In colloquial English training class your eyes land on a strange new term, “conspiracy theory.” You look it up. An idea pops into your head.
You feel brilliant and powerful rushing to tell your boss.
“Comrade, I am thinking we must make the Westerners feel all the shame in this ‘conspiracy theory’ thing of theirs.”
“What you want, Boris? You see I’m buried here.”
After explaining yourself to the whiskered gnome, he loves your idea.
“Boris, you most brilliant monkey of everyone!” He brings out a shot glass, pours himself a finger of Vodka. “Our existence will be taboos for no discussion. The Americans will no dare thinking we are here — what you said — a real thing.” An iniquitous mirth comes over him. He chuckles and you beam at the floor between your feet.
The Spring brings your fifth field assignment, a big one. You jump a freighter, shiver in wet, cold darkness for almost 4 seasick weeks, then emerge squinting into the morning sunrise to jump the rail and swim past the Statue of Liberty toward your mission. You must infiltrate the CIA.
The ice in your young veins can do this. You can do anything for the great cause of the Motherland.
But it turns out that life is not so bad in the US. Thin-crusted Pizza. Ice cream. A person need not fear hunger in such an oddly selfish world.
You decide you must become a double agent. It’s the one way to be sure you will always have food… fit for a king!
During the second week of routine interrogation for the lowest security clearance, you spill the kidney beans and tell your new American Comrade, Nate, all about the Soviet’s nefarious plans to attach emotional disgrace and shame to the term “conspiracy theory.”
“They think it will help them remain invisible in the West,” you explain to the interrogator who must have cut himself shaving this morning and now has a piece of white toilet paper stuck to his pointy chin. The thinnest, softest paper imaginable. Everyone has it. No such paper ever wiped a bottom in the Motherla… in the USSR.
The door bursts open and the head of the CIA marches in, his eyes fixed on you. You look at Nate who seems frozen.
“You came up with that, did you, kid? What is it… Boris?”
Your head nods without consent.
“Comrade Boris…” The chief leans across the white table and puts a hand on your sweaty shoulder. “CB, we’ll call you, then.” He straightens back and folds his arms. “You’ve just earned yourself mid-level clearance, my boy.” He turns to the interrogator. “Nate, get CB some clothes fast and take him over to meet Smith at the Times. This morning. Tell agent Smith to make this man a reporter on the fast track. And tell him I want to see “conspiracy theory” plastered on every page that even remotely alludes to the Kennedy assignation. You got that?”
“Yes, Sir,” Nate says, then looks across the table at you with a brand new expression on his narrow face. Respect.
Lumping all conspiracy theories together in a trash can will obstruct your search for truth because no such binary heuristic can guide you accurately through a complex system like this world, a place where symbiosis dances with predation to a tune by Yin and Yang.
Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD