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Weird Stuff/Unexplained
See other Weird Stuff/Unexplained Articles

Title: Why So Many People Believe Conspiracy Theories
Source: Time
URL Source: http://time.com/4965093/conspiracy-theories-beliefs/
Published: Oct 15, 2017
Author: Jeffrey Kluger
Post Date: 2017-10-15 22:42:50 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 362
Comments: 46

William of Occam would have hated conspiracy theories. A 14th-century philosopher and Franciscan friar, William is celebrated for developing the "law of parsimony," better known today as "Occam's razor." According to the razor principle, the simplest explanation for an event is almost always the best; shave away any extraneous assumptions, and what you've got left is usually the truth.

That's not exactly the way conspiracy theorists think. Either Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii, or an international plot unfolded over multiple decades to conceal his Kenyan birthplace and install him in the presidency. Either vaccines are safe and effective, or every major hospital and health organization in the world is covering up the fact that they actually cause autism. Never mind the razor — conspiracy theories are nothing but extraneous assumptions.

The question is, Why do so many people believe in them? Why do even the most preposterous theories — the Nazis survived but they fled to the moon; the world is secretly being run by a reptilian elite — have fiercely loyal adherents? There are nearly as many explanations for conspiracy theories as there are theories themselves, but some patterns do appear again and again.

The most common theories are the ones that follow the eddies of politics. As a broad rule, a party or group that's out of power will be more inclined to believe in conspiracies than a group that's in power.

"Conspiracy theories are for losers," says Joseph Uscinski, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami and co-author of the 2014 book American Conspiracy Theories. Uscinski stresses that he uses the term literally, not pejoratively. "People who have lost an election, money or influence look for something to explain that loss."

So consistent and predictable is this phenomenon that in the U.S. at least, leading conspiracy theories flip almost the moment the presidency does. When Bill Clinton was President, the principle conspiracy tales involved stories of Clintonian cocaine dealing in Arkansas and the alleged murder of Presidential friend and confidante Vince Foster. Once George W. Bush took over, so too did new conspiracy fables, this time involving Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton energy and the Blackwater protection company masterminding the Iraq war in order to seize the nation's oil.

Certainly, not all disgruntled members of the out-party believe or traffic in the prevailing conspiracy tales. A lot also depends on demographics, with belief in the theories generally inversely related to education and wealth. One survey showed that about 42% of people without a high school education believe in at least one conspiracy theory, compared to 23% of people with a post-graduate degree. A 2017 study found a household income average of $47,193 among people who were inclined to believe in conspiracy theories and $63,824 among those who weren't.

"In this case, conspiracy theories can be like emotional poultices," says Joseph Parent, a professor of political science at Notre Dame University and Uscinski's co-author. "You don't want to blame yourself for things you may lack, so you blame anonymous forces instead."

Just as important in fostering conspiracies is a desire to be special or different — and that's a need that cuts across demographic lines. In a study published in May 2017 in the European Journal of Social Psychology, provocatively titled "Too Special to Be Duped," subjects either took a survey designed to measure their desire for uniqueness or wrote an essay on the importance of independent thought. By significant margins, those who tested high on the need to be special or were primed to feel that way by writing the essay were also more inclined to believe in various conspiracy theories.

"A small part in motivating the endorsement of...irrational beliefs," the researchers wrote, "is the desire to stick out from the crowd."

That partly explains why evidence that refutes the theories rarely changes any conspiracy theorists' minds, since surrendering the belief means surrendering the specialness too. When President Obama tried to put a stop to the rumors about where he was born by releasing his short form birth certificate, the conspiracy mongers demanded the long form. When he released that, they insisted that it had to be a forgery. "They just move the goal posts," says Uscinski.

In some cases, the very nonsense of conspiracy theories may actually be an attempt to make the world make more sense. After a national trauma — the assassination of President Kennedy, say — something called the "proportionality bias" may take hold, as the mind recoils at the idea of small causes leading to such massive effects. So the fiction of a CIA or Mafia conspiracy takes the place of a lone gunman who was able to get to the President. The more people who join the circle of believers, the less likely any one of them is to break away.

"Group affiliation becomes central," says Parent, the Notre Dame professor. "The beliefs almost become like gang tattoos."

That indelibility is a problem. Nattering on about a reptilian elite may cost you dinner party invitations, but apart from that, it doesn't do anyone any harm. But if you buy into the fables about dangerous vaccines, you're less likely to vaccinate your own children, and that can be deadly.

Recent research suggests that the worst way to change the minds of the conspiracy crowd is to criticize or, worse, mock their beliefs. That only puts them on the defensive, making them less rather than more likely to change their minds. What may work better is non-judgmentally discussing the consequences of believing in conspiracy theories. In the case of vaccines, that can mean showing parents pictures of children with measles, or describing the deadly effects of preventable diseases.

Intervening early with facts can also make a difference. Children who learn the science behind vaccines or global warming are less likely to believe in conspiracies when they encounter them later in life. Catch the conspiracy bug first, and the infection can be hard to cure with even the heftiest later doses of science.

Ultimately, the human mind is a free and often irrational agent, and people will believe what they want to believe. Believing the truth may not be as much fun as believing the fables, but it makes for a better mind — and a better culture, too.


Poster Comment:

Kooks gotta kook.

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#1. To: Tooconservative (#0)

That partly explains why evidence that refutes the theories rarely changes any conspiracy theorists' minds, since surrendering the belief means surrendering the specialness too.

That is a real bright one you found there TC.

I wonder if your clown will give up his volcano global warming theory. I mean it is a theory for morons.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-10-15   23:16:14 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: A K A Stone (#1) (Edited)

I wonder if your clown will give up his volcano global warming theory. I mean it is a theory for morons.

As a writer, his big obsession is going to Mars and space topics in general. He's also pro-vaccination and life expectancy.

I am not interested in the writer's opinions as much as in the studies about CT kooks that he is citing. They are a textbook description of the CT kooks we see here at LF every single day.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-15   23:45:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Tooconservative, Part Time CT Freak (#2)

Ya, he's only a part-time global warming CT k0oK! The rest of the time he exposes the other CT freaks!

Oh yeah.

hondo68  posted on  2017-10-16   0:36:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Tooconservative (#0)

"Conspiracy theories are for losers," says Joseph Uscinski, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami and co-author of the 2014 book American Conspiracy Theories.

The official theory of the Lincoln assassination was a conspiracy.

The official theory for the World Trade Center bombing was a conspiracy.

If two or more people are involved, it's a consiracy.

nolu chan  posted on  2017-10-16   2:29:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Tooconservative (#0)

I'll apply Occams razor and say none of it is true

paraclete  posted on  2017-10-16   3:08:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Tooconservative (#0)

33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True

Scientific study reveals conspiracy theorists the most sane of all

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-16   5:47:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Tooconservative (#0) (Edited)

How To Spot A Disinformation Agent

“Information warfare” is being waged throughout the cybersphere. Whether they are CENTCOM disinfo government employees or ill-informed know-it-alls, there has been an ugly battle raging on the Internet for the minds of the public. As any 9/11 truth activist who uses the web regularly can tell you, truth obfuscaters are crawling around message boards like locusts, referring to 9/11 truthers as “fringe nutcases,” “ridiculous,” “…f**king conspiracy theorists” and the like, while simultaneously hijacking rational discussions by planting bogus information. And no, jet fuel fires can not melt steel.

Naturally, it is not just information about what really happened on 9/11 that is under attack, the infowar is evident in relation to other topics that governments have a vested interest in lying about, such as chemtrails, mercury in vaccines leading to autism, AIDS/HIV being man-made, “man-made global warming” and the health effects of fluoride and depleted uranium (DU).

The disinfo artists who work on the Internet, referred to as “trolls,” use a number of tried and tested means to mislead those who are trying to learn the truth about controversial issues, while attempting to make those disseminating the truth feel reluctant to continue. Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress The Truth -The Rules of Disinformation by H. Micheal Sweeney covers their methods in some detail.

Their dirty work does have some positive spin-offs for those who care about the truth however. For one thing, if they argue incessantly about a particular topic, they are waving a flag and telling you indirectly that this is an issue you should be particularly concerned about. And secondly, when they quarrel about a little-known area, they are often helping those they engage with gain more knowledge. Not because of the misleading information they post, but because arguing with them can lead people to do far more research than they would have done otherwise.

Short YouTube Clip about Disinformation Agents

“Conspiracy Theory”: Foundations of a Weaponized Term

Alternate text if image doesn't load

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-16   5:51:46 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Deckard, Tooconservative (#7)

Indeed, you've got Political Correctness down to a science! A very diplomatic response to TC's issues. .

hondo68  posted on  2017-10-16   6:14:15 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: hondo68 (#8)

Seems this article hit very close to home with LF's kook contingent.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-16   9:06:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Tooconservative, Liberator (#9)

Seems this article hit very close to home with LF's kook contingent.

Basically all we are doing is countering your disinformation with facts. You think you can post a laughable article like this and expect no one to point how transparent your agenda is?

"Conspiracy theory" is usually used as a pejorative label, meaning paranoid, nutty, marginal, and certainly untrue. The power of this pejorative is that it discounts a theory by attacking the motivations and mental competence of those who advocate the theory.

By labeling an explanation of events "conspiracy theory," evidence and argument are dismissed because they come from a mentally or morally deficient personality, not because they have been shown to be incorrect.

Calling an explanation of events "conspiracy theory" means, in effect, "We don't like you, and no one should listen to your explanation." In earlier eras other pejorative labels, such as "heresy," "witchery," and "communism" also worked like this. The charge of "conspiracy theory" is not so severe as these other labels, but in its way is many times worse.

Heresy, witchcraft, and communism at least retain some sense of potency. They designate ideas to be feared. "Conspiracy theory" implies that the ideas and their advocates are simple-minded or insane.

All such labels implicitly define a community of orthodox believers and try to banish or shun people who challenge orthodox beliefs. Members of the community who are sympathetic to new thoughts might shy away from the new thoughts and join in the shunning due to fear of being tainted by the pejorative label.

CONSPIRACY THEORY AS NAIVE DECONSTRUCTIVE HISTORY by Floyd Rudmin

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-16   9:42:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Deckard (#10)

This article describes your pathology to a T.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-16   9:50:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Tooconservative (#11)

TIME Magazine, huh?

I'd laugh at you if you weren't so pathetic.

Seriously man, TIME?

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-16   9:58:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Tooconservative (#0) (Edited)

Because...

 
 
psy·cho·sis
s+ÈkMsYs/
noun
  1. a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.
  2.  
  3. [The Architects of Western Decline:
  4. A Study on the Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism]


"According to my opinion, and the opinions of many defectors of my caliber, only about 15% of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage as such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either  ideological subversion ,  active measures, or  psychological warfare.  What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.
 
It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages.
 
The first stage being "demoralization". It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy exposed to the ideology of [their] enemy. In other words, Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least 3 generation of American students without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism; American patriotism.
 
Most of the activity of the department [KGB] was to compile huge amount / volume of information, on individuals who were instrumental in creating public opinion.  Publisher, editors, journalists, uh actors, educationalists, professors of political science.  Members of parliament, representatives of business circles. 
 
Most of these people were divided roughly into two groups:  those who would tow the Soviet foreign policy, they would be promoted to positions of power through media and public manipulation;  [and] those who refuse the Soviet influence in their own country would be character assassinated OR executed physically, come Revolution.  "
--KGB Defector Yuri Bezmenov
--Soviet Subversion of the Free Press (Ideological subversion, Destabilization, CRISIS - and the KGB)

 


VxH  posted on  2017-10-16   12:38:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: VxH (#13)

I'm not sure we can blame our modern CTers here in America on old Soviet subversion or on modern Russian propaganda. Seems to me we have plenty of moneygrubbing con-men right here in America who are ready to sell their snake oil to the rubes.

I thought the psychological profiles in the article did hit very close to home for those afflicted with what I call "Truther syndrome". LF and 4um are chock full of these CT dupes.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-16   13:48:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Tooconservative (#0)

Intervening early with facts can also make a difference.

Very rarely happens, correct?

One fact is usually clear early on in most of these incidents, --- someone is trying to cover up some damn thing or another.

I enjoy reading the counters to the cover-ups. It's also amusing to see you get upset about these 'conspiracy' theories.

Thanks.

tpaine  posted on  2017-10-16   13:53:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: tpaine (#15) (Edited)

It's also amusing to see you get upset about these 'conspiracy' theories.

I'm not upset. Look at how these kooks respond when someone (accurately) describes them as kooks.

We're not talking about the occasional CT theory like a JFK assassination. These people are fully engaged in a Truther lifestyle, a constant kookarama. They have a Standard Total View and it is always some combination of their own homespun CT theory combined with some crap they pick up from Savage or Noory or Alex Jones or some lesser known nutjob off Teh Interwebs.

Of course, this is a free country and they do have a right to be kooks.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-16   14:20:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: Tooconservative (#0)

The only only conspiracy theory I have ever taken credence in is about TWA flight 800. There is so much about that has never made any sense.

no gnu taxes  posted on  2017-10-16   14:46:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Tooconservative (#16)

amusing to see you get upset about these 'conspiracy' theories.

I'm not upset.

You sure spend a of of time and effort on being 'not upset'.

But whatever, life is too short to be worrying about 'These people', as you do. Why bother?

tpaine  posted on  2017-10-16   14:57:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: no gnu taxes (#17)

The only only conspiracy theory I have ever taken credence in is about TWA flight 800. There is so much about that has never made any sense.

An interesting example. I don't go for the wilder theories but that one relied on technical info and never seemed settled.

If you're wondering what my standard is, I'll pretty much consider anyone might have a CT or two or a few lingering suspicions. I only start calling out kooks when it is apparent that everything is a conspiracy against the public by Them (and don't even ask who Them is).

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-16   15:59:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Tooconservative (#14) (Edited)

I'm not sure we can blame our modern CTers here in America on old Soviet subversion

It's the predictability of human nature that makes it so profitably gullible .

Sans being armed/educated with Logic, Reason and Science: "COMMERCE BETWEEN MASTER AND SLAVE IS DESPOTISM"

Same ol'. The technocratic smoke and mirrors might've evolved since Akhenaten's eunuchs were propping him/her/it up atop the state-establishing pyramid scheme - but the underlying flaws in human nature have not.

VxH  posted on  2017-10-16   16:05:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: tpaine, Tooconservative, NWO ignramus cult (#18)

life is too short to be worrying about 'These people', as you do. Why bother?

TC seems to be an evangelical ignoramus, preaching the gospel of -- The Less You Know, The Better! Don't rock the boat.

hondo68  posted on  2017-10-16   16:23:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: hondo68 (#21) (Edited)

To a mindless hammer

everyThing looks like

a shiny nail - quickie fix - brillianT soluTion

love
boris

If you ... don't use exclamation points --- you should't be typeing ! Commas - semicolons - question marks are for girlie boys !

BorisY  posted on  2017-10-16   16:32:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: hondo68 (#21)

TC seems to be an evangelical ignoramus, preaching the gospel of -- The Less You Know, The Better! Don't rock the boat.

You're blathering like a crackpot. You never seem to make any substantive posts on any topic any more. You're almost as useless as Boris.

You seem to have some kind of advancing dementia. You should see your doctor.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-17   10:09:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: hondo68 (#21)

TC seems to be an evangelical ignoramus, preaching the gospel of -- The Less You Know, The Better! Don't rock the boat.

More like "The government and MSM wouldn't lie to you so don't ask questions".

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-10-17   10:37:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: Tooconservative, Pajama Boy (#23)

see your doctor

OK, Pajama Boy.

hondo68  posted on  2017-10-17   11:14:14 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: Tooconservative, hondo68, boris (#23)

You're blathering like a crackpot. You never seem to make any substantive posts on any topic any more. You're almost as useless as Boris.

Hondo may be paranoid, and more wrong than right, but perhaps for good reason. He obviously recognizes that things just aren't right; Same of Boris for all his hieroglyphic writings.

I worry about people who believe definitively in the mantra, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

So did that famous CTer, The Gipper, whose full quote you may remember: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" ~ President Reagan Aug. 12, 1986

No wonder the Globalist Faction Within hated America-Firster Reagan. AND Trump. AND Thatcher.

Liberator  posted on  2017-10-17   12:59:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: Deckard, hondo68 (#24) (Edited)

More like "The government and MSM wouldn't lie to you so don't ask questions".

True dat.

It's unfathomable that "savvy" political observers continue to discount the ongoing collusion of lies, fixes, and PsyOps between the gubmint and MSM. EVEN AFTER proof of this collusion between the DNC and MSM was fully exposed during the Presidential debates between Herr Hitlery and the eventual President.

*NOTE: Edited to put quotation marked around "savvy."

Liberator  posted on  2017-10-17   13:03:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: Tooconservative, Deckard, nolu chan (#0)

So consistent and predictable is this phenomenon [of believing in Gubmint cover-ups, collusion with the MSM, and out-right blatant deception rooted in PsyOps] that in the U.S. at least, leading conspiracy theories flip almost the moment the presidency does.

When Bill Clinton was President, the principle conspiracy tales involved stories of Clintonian cocaine dealing in Arkansas and the alleged murder of Presidential friend and confidante Vince Foster.

Author: Jeffrey Kluger, TIME MAGAZINE

Are you punkin' us? If it's not a joke, it's curious as to why you would toss out such an obvious raw piece of red meat and invite ridicule. But then you DID do it purposely to evoke what you "knew" would be THE reaction. Oh, lookie -- TC is playing his own PsyOp game!

Naah, take back your piece of red meat. It's too ridiculous. Next time try to be bit more subtle.

FOR OTHERS: There are TWO very informative books that tie together 20 years worth of three Presidents (NOT including America's first openly Commie-Muzzie-Homosexual CiC) whose subversiveness is off the chart.

Great reading material:

Boy Clinton: by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. (written BEFORE MonicaGate btw)

House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties - by Craig Unger

Liberator  posted on  2017-10-17   13:41:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#29. To: Liberator (#28)

I live in your head rent-free.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-17   14:20:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#30. To: Tooconservative (#29)

I live in your head rent-free.

Thanks for the compliment. And projection.

Btw, which Bush is your favorite? (Yes, I'm including Jeb.)

Liberator  posted on  2017-10-18   17:48:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#31. To: Tooconservative (#0)

Kooks gotta kook.

But don't forget the CIA weaponized calling people conspiracy theorists as a means of defending the indefensible JFK Assassination Report.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/conspiracy-theory-foundations-of-a-weaponized-term/5319708

“Conspiracy Theory”: Foundations of a Weaponized Term

Subtle and Deceptive Tactics to Discredit Truth in Media and Research

By James F. Tracy
Global Research, March 24, 2017

First published by Global Research in 2013, this pathbreaking analysis by Professor James Tracy shows how the term “conspiracy theory” is being used to label critical analysis and dissenting viewpoints.

“Conspiracy theory” is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs.

Conspiracy theory’s acutely negative connotations may be traced to liberal historian Richard Hofstadter’s well-known fusillades against the “New Right.” Yet it was the Central Intelligence Agency that likely played the greatest role in effectively “weaponizing” the term. In the groundswell of public skepticism toward the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA sent a detailed directive to all of its bureaus. Titled “Countering Criticism of the Warren Commission Report,” the dispatch played a definitive role in making the “conspiracy theory” term a weapon to be wielded against almost any individual or group calling the government’s increasingly clandestine programs and activities into question.

This important memorandum and its broad implications for American politics and public discourse are detailed in a forthcoming book by Florida State University political scientist Lance de-Haven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America. Dr. de-Haven-Smith devised the state crimes against democracy concept to interpret and explain potential government complicity in events such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the major political assassinations of the 1960s, and 9/11.

“CIA Document 1035-960” was released in response to a 1976 FOIA request by the New York Times. The directive is especially significant because it outlines the CIA’s concern regarding “the whole reputation of the American government” vis-à-vis the Warren Commission Report. The agency was especially interested in maintaining its own image and role as it “contributed information to the [Warren] investigation.”

The memorandum lays out a detailed series of actions and techniques for “countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.” For example, approaching “friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)” to remind them of the Warren Commission’s integrity and soundness should be prioritized. “[T]he charges of the critics are without serious foundation,” the document reads, and “further speculative discussion only plays in to the hands of the [Communist] opposition.”

The agency also directed its members “[t]o employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.”

1035-960 further delineates specific techniques for countering “conspiratorial” arguments centering on the Warren Commission’s findings. Such responses and their coupling with the pejorative label have been routinely wheeled out in various guises by corporate media outlets, commentators and political leaders to this day against those demanding truth and accountability about momentous public events.

[...]

- - - - - - - - - -

http://www.jfklancer.com/CIA.html

CIA Document 1035-960
Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report

CIA Document #1035-960

RE: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report

1. Our Concern. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.

2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination.

Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.

3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:

a. To discuss the publicity problem with [?] and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.

b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher [?] article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing that Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)

4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:

a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)

b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent--and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.

c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.

d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.

e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator. He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service.

f. As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.

g. Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected. (When Penn Jones, one of the originators of the "ten mysterious deaths" line, appeared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)

5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission's Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.

nolu chan  posted on  2017-10-18   18:22:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#32. To: nolu chan, Deckard, TooConservative (#31)

Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report

CIA Document #1035-960

*snip*

3. Action.

We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:

a. To discuss the publicity problem with [?] and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition.

Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.

b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets.

Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher [?] article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing that Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)

4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:

a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)

Oh, that's gonna leave a mark.

Liberator  posted on  2017-10-18   18:33:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#33. To: Tooconservative (#29)

I live in your head rent-free.

You really think you're something special, don't you. It's hilarious.

Operation 40  posted on  2017-10-18   19:08:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#34. To: Tooconservative (#9)

with LF's kook contingent

This forum was birthed from rejected and banned posters... of course it will have a high percentage of kookary.

I might be the only poster from LP that wasn't a flushed FR turd.

lol

I'm the infidel... Allah warned you about. كافر المسلح

GrandIsland  posted on  2017-10-18   20:56:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#35. To: nolu chan (#31)

But don't forget the CIA weaponized calling people conspiracy theorists...

"Weaponized"?

It's a term for weak people to protest that someone is microagressing them by using words and stuff.

Words are not weapons. I own weapons. I use words. There's a big huge difference between the two.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-18   21:58:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#36. To: GrandIsland (#34)

I might be the only poster from LP that wasn't a flushed FR turd.

Well, then you can probably be trusted with the keys to the asylum.

I'm not sure if/when Stone got dumped off FR.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-10-18   22:00:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#37. To: Tooconservative (#35)

"Weaponized"?

It's a term for weak people to protest that someone is microagressing them by using words and stuff.

Yes. Deploying government propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of critics is the manly man stuff of a microaggressed CIA.

[CIA Document #1035-960] The agency also directed its members “[t]o employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.”

nolu chan  posted on  2017-10-19   1:31:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#38. To: Tooconservative (#0)

Once George W. Bush took over, so too did new conspiracy fables, this time involving Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton energy and the Blackwater protection company masterminding the Iraq war in order to seize the nation's oil.

Chyeah, right. "Fables." HA!!

If you can't trust Dubya and Cheney, then who can you trust??

ANYBODY who refers to Islam as a "Religion of Peace" has ZERO cred. Dubya's ENTIRE 8 years were a fraud.

Uh, yes, the Fake Multi-Trillion Dollar War in Iraq WAS "masterminded" -- but by whom remains a mystery. It siphoned wealth from the American middle class and maimed/killed thousands. FOR NOTHING. Unless YOU can provide ANY REAL reason whatsoever for the charade.

*tick-tick-tick*...

Btw, Dubya Bush couldn't "mastermind" a lemonade stand.

Liberator  posted on  2017-10-20   10:17:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#39. To: nolu chan, Tooconservative (#37)

Yes. Deploying government propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of critics is the manly man stuff of a microaggressed CIA.

Yes indeed: "WEAPONIZED."

You'll have to forgive TC for the apparent eye-squint and, "Say WHA......??!?" Jethro Bodine-like reaction. The feigned incredulity is cute.

You see, he's got a job to do here.

:-)

Liberator  posted on  2017-10-20   10:22:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#40. To: Liberator (#38)

Bush also declared Islamofascism as a serious threat.

no gnu taxes  posted on  2017-10-20   10:39:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  



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