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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2013 > Oct > Oct 8

Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2013 15:25:19 -0500
Archived: Tue, 08 Oct 2013 05:31:55 -0400
Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing


>From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Mon, 07 Oct 2013 10:09:29 -0400
>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Sun, 6 Oct 2013 09:55:23 -0500
>>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>>I know that it's a standard talking point among conspiracy
>>theorists - whose ability to detect actual conspiracies is
>>minimal on its best days, though no one would question their
>>capacity to spot imaginary ones - that you have the right to
>>theorize about conspiracies, the wilder the better, without
>>being called a conspiracy theorist. The rest of us politely
>>disagree.

>Theorizing about conspiracies is part of human nature. Some
>theories attract public censure more than others.

>>My view is simple: if you don't want to be called a conspiracy
>>theorist, don't be one. An old friend of mine puts it best:

>>"In an odd way, the conspiracy nuts are more optimistic than I
>>am: if there were just a specific group rationally planning and
>>causing all the world's ills, theoretically it could be hunted
>>out and destroyed. On the other hand, I believe the world is
>>full of idiots and incompetents who will inevitably f*ck things
>>up."

>>In any event, I have now repeatedly violated my longstanding
>>personal belief, learned through hard experience, that it is
>>futile to argue with someone inclined to conspiracy theories. I
>>leave it to UpDates readers to judge who has the better of the
>>argument, and I move on. Meantime, whenever I read your UpDates
>>posts in the future, Ray, I will remember where you're coming
>>from.

>I've kept out of this discussion until now, perhaps because
>Jerry has already 'theorized' in an earlier exchange that I must
>be a CIA agent given my views on 9/11. I guess an officially
>sanctioned conspiracy theory is acceptable to the 'conspiracy
>theory' theory crowd, even if it requires violations of the laws
>of physics.

>I'm a little puzzled how Jerry is able to create a theory of
>experience anomalies, yet hides his head in the sand when it
>comes to the actions of possibly nefarious powers-that-be. I
>suppose there is some consistency. In both cases, he proposes
>one should accept the anomalies without trying to understand why
>they happened.

To think that I started this thread intending to protect the
good name of ufologists against the false charge that serious
interest in UFOs renders one a conspiracy theorist... I'd hate
to think I was wrong, but so far the evidence on UpDates -
though I realize from a very small percentage of Listfolk -
suggests I may have been excessively charitable.

I have no idea where William gets this crazy notion that I "hide
my head in the sand" about official misdeeds, which I have
mentioned in every posting I've made on this subject and which
anybody who knows me would recognize as beyond laughable. That's
why I make every effort not to debate conspiracy theorists -
they have trouble reading and comprehending, I've noticed.

That aside:

I will respond to the last quoted paragraph, where William
professes himself to be "a little puzzled." More attentive
reading would have solved the mystery. As I have written about
experience anomalies, I have observed in clear prose that the
answers are almost certainly unavailable to us because they lie
well beyond current knowledge; therefore, it's impossible at
present to explain their causation. We can only try to get some
sense of how they work on those who undergo their effects.
Unlike CTers, I make no claim to false knowledge. I can live
with uncertainty and ambiguity.

Conspiracy theorists engage in a different form of argument,
namely that complex, labyrinthian conspiracies - by their nature
invisible to the usual run of historians, social scientists,
journalists, and law enforcement - operate in this world and can
be exposed and understood by those who hold the key to the
secrets. The conspiracies are traditionally represented as human
political plots. (On the other hand, it is true, some students
of the phenomenon have argued that at least some can be traced
to older occult doctrines; see, for example, George Johnson's
illuminating 1983 book Architects of Fear. It's also possible to
recognize in CTs a secular variety of old-fashioned demonology.)

CTers further contend that the conspiracies are aided and
abetted by those who, owing to (fill in favorite sinister
motive, personality flaw, intellectual deficiency, or whatever),
remain brazenly critical and unconvinced. Perhaps they _want_ to
keep unsuspecting humanity in the dark..

In any event I feel more and more as if I've been pulled much
further into the rabbit hole than I'd imagined when I naively
set out to defend persons who wonder if the full truth about the
Roswell incident has been told. Actually, I think I could use a
drink.

Or maybe not. On second thought, that could place me
next to a conspiracy-exhaling barstool ranter...


Cheers,

Jerry Clark



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