In response to those who have been conditioned to be "Conspiracy Theory Deniers", supporters of "Government Censorship" and those who suggest their "Facts" based rationale is a superior brand of logic to defend your complete disregard for the potential and existence of High Crime Conspiracies.... I would like to paraphrase for you the introduction of "Conspiracy Theory in America" written by Lance de Haven-Smith so you can add his work to your library of "Factual Information."
Most if not all of these ideas are from his writings, some of which I have copy and pasted word for word and others I have reorganized and paraphrased to process for myself and articulate his message to others more clearly.
A Conspiracy Theory Diagnostic Framework
A Conspiracy Theory is a belief that suspects an abuse of power over the people has taken place in an event or set of circumstances, that is the result of covert operations by a secret group of influential people or organizations.
This phrase Conspiracy Theory did not even exist in the American lexicon until 1964, which is the year that JFK was shot and was created as a catchall for the criticism's of the Warren commissions conclusion about the Kennedy assassination.
Initially, this term was not viewed in such a negative light but is now reflected as a cultural weakness in American society for carrying a tone of government distrust and is considered to be a symptom of impaired thinking akin to superstition and mental illness.
Let me rephrase that. Conspiracy theory is considered a way of thinking that means you are mentally ill because you happen to believe that it’s possible that elite organizations *might* secretly be planning things that are not in the interest of the people and then lie, deny and cover up their actions.
What this means is if you do not trust your government whole heartedly, you must be mentally ill.
This is Gaslighting, but we will get back to that.
Conspiracy Theory skeptics and deniers have replaced the logic of unbiased reasoning and objective observation with emotional sentiments for the tradition of American political leaders and institutions. For this reason, many people find the details of conspiracy theory claims to be emotionally triggering and offensive which makes their disdain and abhorrent reaction to these suggestions understandable at best, but completely illogical.
What this causes is a process where an uncontrolled emotional response interferes with the ability to reason without bias, causing thoughts to be technically "Insane" by definition. The absence of reason found within this type of emotional response blindly categorizes all conspiracy theories as ludicrous and insulting, when in fact they are not all that. A careless and quick dismissal of anti-government suspicions is not an attitude that should be expected from the realm of political opinion and ideology, but critics of conspiracy theories do it anyway by lumping together ALL kinds of anti-government intrigues, unsubstantiated claims and suspicions of elite political crimes as far fetched fantasies and destructive of public trust.
They don't realize what they are doing because "objective observation and analysis have been foreclosed upon by the very terms employed to frame and conceptualize the subject matter."
It is the TERM conspiracy theory that was used to FRAME anti-government trust as a symptom of superstition or mental illness.
Conspiracy deniers have taken the term conspiracy theorist for granted, deeming them so far fetched they won’t even go so far as responding to, let alone acknowledge their potential to be true which is actually in direct conflict with American political and legal traditions because political conspiracies in high office, DO actually happen, so if SOME conspiracy theories are TRUE, then it's nonsensical to dismiss all unsubstantiated suspicions of elite intrigue as false by definition.
From the beginning, Americans were fearful of secret plots by political insiders who would seek to subjugate the constitution. They forget that the nation was founded on a conspiracy theory that detailed the abuse's of the King of England's tyrannical design. What we are seeing now is that scholars and journalists don't even notice that their use of the term to ridicule suspicions of elite political criminality betrays the civic ethos inherited from our nation's founders. The constitution was written with consideration of political power being a corrupting influence that had the ability and potential to conspire against the people, so much so, that they believed it was almost inevitable so they explicitly and repeatedly called for popular vigilance against anti-democratic schemes in high office.
But then, in 2009 President Obama elected Cass Sunstein who co-authored an article called "Causes and Cures" about conspiracy theorists to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Considering that by 2012, a google search for the term "conspiracy theory" pulled up 21 million search returns, triple the number of returns for "abuse of power" and "war crime,” awareness of these kinds of facts become significant.
In the article Sunstein claims that once a person buys into a conspiracy theory, they are "self-sealing" because the theories themselves attribute extraordinary powers to elites to orchestrate events, keep secrets and avoid detection which causes the conspiracy theorist to obviously dismiss countervailing evidence as fabricated or planted. So, just the nature of what a conspiracy theorist believes creates a sort of closed loop system of self driven "paranoia".
Consider also that Sunstein argues that the decentralization of the internet has caused people to hyper-fixate on one subject and hyper-polarize in like-minded groups, without being exposed to information from opposing views that could be debated. For this reason, he believed that this type of polarization should be mitigated by government
and voluntary adopted norms, so that "those who hold conspiracy theories are exposed to credible counter-arguments and are not living in an echo chamber of their own design
So, what he did
was propose covert government action reminiscent of the FBI's actions against the civil rights and antiwar movements in the 1960's
. He considered a number of ways to counteract the influence of conspiracy theories including public information campaigns
and fines for internet service providers hosting conspiracy theory websites
, but ultimately rejected
these ideas because they would attract attention and reinforce the conspiracy ideas
, so he opted for something called "Cognitive Infiltration
" instead. This means, groups and networks of conspiracy theorists would be infiltrated and "disrupted".
The biggest problem with this is because “conspiracy theorist deniers ridicule the individual
but not the institutional
purveyor of conspiracy, with the latter
having been proved as far more dangerous
. Over the last 3 decades, the US Government has asserted the communists were trying to take over the world, US bureaucracy was riddled with Soviet spies, and that the civil rights movements were soviet influenced. They have more recently said that Iraq was complicit in 911, failed to dispose biological weapons and attempted to buy uranium from Niger for nuclear bombs. These theories were found NOT true and yet resulted in social panic and created massive destruction through wars.”
You must admit that there is something very hypocritical about people who want to 'fix' someone who does not share their opinions. Sunstein thinks conspiracy believers need to have their discussions disrupted because they are dangerous, but what is more dangerous than thinking you can mess with someone's thoughts?
That would have the government conspiring about citizens conspiring about government, which is the government doing precisely what the conspiracy theorists think that they do! The government produces the self driven system of paranoia, NOT the conspiracy theorists, like they are accusing.
So what conclusion can we draw from the introduction of Haven-Smith’s book?
If a government conspires to manipulate, control and distort the reality of citizens who believe the government might try to do that in the first place, they are using a psychological control weapon called Gaslighting which is a behavior frequently by those who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
By definition Gaslighting is “to manipulate by psychological means into questioning one’s own sanity" and it is a form of emotional and psychological abuse.
Therefore, Governments that secretly collude with intelligence agencies to identify, monitor and dismantle conspiracy theorist networks is a violation of both civil and criminal law and is arguably a grander Crime Against Humanity, itself and they should be held accountable for their accounts in a court of Law.