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Do You Believe in “Conspiracy Theories?” An FBI Report Says You’re a Potential Domestic Terrorist

Do You Believe in “Conspiracy Theories?” An FBI Report Says You’re a Potential Domestic Terrorist

The FBI has released a 15-page document warning of the dangers of “anti-government, identity-based, and fringe conspiracy theories.” The law enforcement agency says that these are “very likely to motivate some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity.” The document seems to recommend increased social media and web censorship.

The FBI assesses anti-government, identity-based, and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to commit criminal and sometimes violent activity. The FBI further assesses in some cases these conspiracy theories very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places, and organizations, thereby increasing the Iikelihood of violence against these targets. These assessments are made with high confidenced, based on information from other law enforcement agencies, open-source information, court documents, human sources with varying degrees of access and corroboration, and FBI investigations.

One key assumption driving these assessments is that certain conspiracy theory narratives tacitly support or legitimize violent action. The FBI also assumes some, but not all individuals or domestic extremists who hold such beliefs will act on them. The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modem information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts. Indicators that may lead to revised judgements or cause a change in the confidence level assoc iated with this assessment include a lack of conspiracy theory-driven criminal or violent activity in the near to long term or significant efforts by major social media companies and websites to remove, regulate, or counter potentially harmful conspiratorial content.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

YouTube Bans Dave Collum’s “Conspiracy Theory” Podcast For “Violating Its Hate Speech Policy”

YouTube Bans Dave Collum’s “Conspiracy Theory” Podcast For “Violating Its Hate Speech Policy”

Over the weekend, we published a write-up about Cornell professor and long time Zero Hedge friend Dave Collum appearing on the Quoth the Raven podcast to share his views about a wide range of conspiracy theories, ranging from 9/11 to the Las Vegas shooting.

The appearance was prompted by a recent tweet Collum put out, in defense of being a conspiracy theorist. The Tweet sparked a massive social media response and outpouring of reactions, both pro and con.

I am a “conspiracy theorist”. I believe men and women of wealth and power conspire. . If you don’t think so, then you are what is called “an idiot”. If you believe stuff but fear the label, you are what is called “a coward”.

On the podcast, Collum and host Chris Irons tapped into every major conspiracy theory over the last couple of decades, as well as several current events and the world of finance. Topics included, but weren’t limited to:

  • Why Collum thought Jeffrey Epstein could have been working for “powerful people” and “setting people up”
  • Why Collum didn’t buy the mainstream 9/11 narrative
  • The Las Vegas shooting details and questions about whether there was only one shooter
  • Negative interest rate policy across the globe and central banking effects on the global economy

The article and the interview challenged the mainstream consensus on a number of items, which is why it should surprise absolutely nobody that, by Tuesday morning, YouTube had removed the video because – as it said with little certainty – it thought the video violated the company’s hate speech policy.”

Collum himself responded jokingly in a Tweet Tuesday morning:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are “Conspiracy Theories” Tearing Society Apart Or Saving Us From Destruction?

Are “Conspiracy Theories” Tearing Society Apart Or Saving Us From Destruction?

The phrase “conspiracy theory” is often used by establishment agencies, the mainstream media and useful idiots as a tool to dismiss legitimate evidence or viewpoints that disagree with their predetermined version of events. This method of propaganda was not always as widespread as it is today. The phrase was not “created” by the CIA, but it was in fact weaponized by them in the 1960’s after the assassination of John F. Kennedy with the express purpose of shutting down rational debate.

CIA memo 1035-960, circulated within the CIA in 1967 and exposed through a freedom of information act request by the New York Times in 1976, outlines strategies the agency would use to shut down critics of the Warren Commission Report. Specifically, they suggested the accusation of “conspiracy” with negative connotations attached, predominantly in mainstream books and articles. This was indeed done through the CIA’s many puppets in the media, and the concept of “conspiracy theory” as a pejorative was born.

Through the use of strawman arguments, red herring fallacies and sophistry, the incredible scale of evidence (exposed by investigators like New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison) suggesting the Warren Commission was either corrupt or ignorant in its findings was buried in a flurry of hatchet jobs and hit pieces. And this was the goal, of course; to attack the messenger and silence the truth without having to go through the ugly process of directly confronting the truth.

Until recently, this strategy was highly effective. Attacking a person as a “conspiracy theorist” was the only tool critics really needed to keep a piece of evidence or a concrete viewpoint from going viral. Conspiracy theory is equated to insanity, or stupidity, or buffoonery. Everyone knows a conspiracy theorist is not to be taken seriously, so why waste time listening to what they have to say in the first place?

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why the War on Conspiracy Theories Is Bad Public Policy

Why the War on Conspiracy Theories Is Bad Public Policy

A Review of Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas by Cass Sunstein (based on an earlier paper co-authored with Adrian Vermeule); In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Businessby Charlan Nemeth; and Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, edited by Joseph E. Uscinski

On January 25 2018 YouTube unleashed the latest salvo in the war on conspiracy theories, saying “we’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways—such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.”

At first glance that sounds reasonable. Nobody wants YouTube or anyone else to recommend bad information. And almost everyone agrees that phony miracle cures, flat earthism, and blatantly false claims about 9/11 and other historical events are undesirable.

But if we stop and seriously consider those words, we notice a couple of problems. First, the word “recommend” is not just misleading but mendacious. YouTube obviously doesn’t really recommend anything. When it says it does, it is lying.

When you watch YouTube videos, the YouTube search engine algorithm displays links to other videos that you are likely to be interested in. These obviously do not constitute “recommendations” by YouTube itself, which exercises no editorial oversight over content posted by users. (Or at least it didn’t until it joined the war on conspiracy theories.)

The second and larger problem is that while there may be near-universal agreement among reasonable people that flat-earthism is wrong, there is only modest agreement regarding which health approaches constitute “phony miracle cures” and which do not. Far less is there any agreement on “claims about 9/11 and other historical events.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ockham’s Razor as a Guide to Slicing Nonsense Away

Ockham's Razor as a Guide to Slicing Nonsense Away

Ockham’s Razor as a Guide to Slicing Nonsense Away

Why “razor”? Because it cuts away the unnecessary and redundant. Several Latin versions but this is the one I remember: noli multiplicare entia praeter necessitatem. Literally: “do not multiply essences without necessity” which is Medieval for “don’t make your theory any more complicated than it has to be” or “the simplest explanation is the best”. Or Newton (another Englishman, four centuries later): “Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes“. The modern American equivalent would be KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

On the anniversary of 9/11 we were again inundated with theories about “controlled explosions“. A great deal, if not almost all, of the “evidence” that 9/11 was an inside job is the presumed “free fall” of the buildings, jet fuel can’t melt steelthermite and many many other supposed “proofs” that the buildings were actually collapsed by a planned implosion. I have never found this convincing and am perplexed why so much energy is spent arguing back and forth.

A more productive approach is to turn the question upside down which is the practical application of “Ockham’s Razor”. “Turning the question upside down” is a technique I recommend. And there is much relevance to an intelligent and independent-minded assessment of the Western propaganda war: Litvinenko, Skripal, US election interference, Assad and chemical weapons. If the West really had evidence for its accusations, it wouldn’t be relying on Bellingcat. Ockham’s Razor slices off the nonsense.

The essence of the “conspiracy theory” conspiracy theory is that everyone is so busy arguing over minutiae that they never ask whether the fundamental assumption makes sense. Does it fundamentally make sense that Putin would try to kill Skripal years after he was traded? No it doesn’t; so why are we arguing about perfume bottles?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

First of Its Kind University Study Proves Without a Doubt that Your Phone is Spying On You

First of Its Kind University Study Proves Without a Doubt that Your Phone is Spying On You

For years, conspiracy theories about smart phones listening to users without their permission to show them advertisements have abounded. While some researchers have shown this could happen, a first of its kind study just found something far more insidious. Academics at Northeastern University have just proven that your phone is recording your screen—as in taking video—and uploading it to third parties.

For the last year, Elleen Pan, Jingjing Ren, Martina Lindorfer, Christo Wilson, and David Choffnes ran an experiment involving more than 17,000 of the most popular Android apps using ten different phones. Their findings were alarming, to say the least.

As Gizmodo points out, during the study, the researchers started to see that screenshots and video recordings of what people were doing in apps were being sent to third-party domains. For example, when one of the phones used an app from GoPuff, a delivery start-up for people who have sudden cravings for junk food, the interaction with the app was recorded and sent to a domain affiliated with Appsee, a mobile analytics company. The video included a screen where you could enter personal information—in this case, their zip code.

GoPuff did not disclose in its terms of use that its app was recording users screens and uploading this data to a third party. What’s more, when they were contacted by the researchers GoPuff merely added a disclosure to their policy acknowledging that “ApSee” might receive users PII.

The fact that these apps can record your screen without you knowing and use this data is chilling. It illustrates how easy it would be for a malicious actor to be able to look at your private messages, personal information, passwords, photos, and videos.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

 

 

People today spend a lot of time talking about conspiracy theories. These theories often do harm because they divert attention away from the facts and thereby allow real crimes and other harmful effects to continue. Such conspiracy theories can be spotted based on three basic characteristics.

  1. They lack evidence.
  2. They spread widely before the facts are examined.
  3. Much simpler alternatives are not considered.

For example, take the most popular conspiracy theory of recent times—the official account for the crimes of 9/11.

  1. This theory was produced by mythologist Philip Zelikow, who, before the investigation began, created an outline that was kept secret from his own Commission staff. Zelikow’s outline determined the outcome of the investigation before any facts were examined. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission claimed sixty-three times in its report that it could find “no evidence” related to important aspects of the crimes. Evidence that the Commission did rely on, as a basis for its report, was later found to be false. Similarly, the evidence collected and held secret by World Trade Center investigating agency NIST was later found to contradict the agency’s conclusions. Much of that evidence is still being held secret including the computer model data that NIST was forced to substitute for physical testing that contradicted its conclusions.
  2. The conspiracy theory reports provided by the 9/11 Commission and NIST spread quickly before anyone could examine them. Getting government representatives to commit to any explanation for what had happened on 9/11 took years but, once ready, news media sources were prepped in advance to allow rapid parroting of the official line. The timing of NIST’s reports coincided with political events, like each anniversary of the 9/11 crimes, so that media could quickly present the official story while public interest was high but critical review was not possible.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories

A CONSPIRACY THEORY ABOUT CONSPIRACY THEORIES

conspiracytheories

One of the funny things about conspiracy theories, including false flag attacks, is how often they are proven to be true. You have to wonder how long the shame-inducing slam, “That’s a conspiracy theory,” will keep working.

But that’s not my point for today. Today, I want to introduce a conspiracy theory of my own, a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories. Here it is:

The powers that be – the elite, the deep state, whomever – want wild conspiracy theories to spread. Because after these wild theories set the “outrage meter” very high, they can get away with almost anything below that line.

In other words, wild theories ensure that the “I’ll act if I see that” trigger is never reached and Joe Average remains docile, even as he is progressively abused.

I hope I haven’t given any nefarious people ideas, but I think this is already happening. And in any event, I’m fairly certain it’s worth pointing out.

A Second Theory

There is a second reason for the lords of the status quo to love conspiracy theories, which is that such theories make it easy to discredit troublesome ideas.

For example, we now know – thank you again, Edward Snowden – that government agents are infiltrating websites to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt, as well as to destroy reputations.

So, rather than just pulling out the usual manipulation to discredit a troublesome idea (“conspiracy theory!”), why not tie it to some really nasty racist crap?

Lots of people have avoided discussions of the Federal Reserve, for example, because trolls attached to the discussions demonize Jews. Disgusted by anti-Semitism, people turn away from the whole subject, and the central banking scam remains unquestioned.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

On Conspiracy Theories

On Conspiracy Theories

“In many nations, rational people end up believing crazy things, including (false) conspiracy theories. Those crazy thoughts can lead to violence, including terrorism. Many terrorist acts have been fueled by false conspiracy theories, and there is a good argument that some such acts would not have occurred in the absence of such theories. The key point—and, in a way, the most puzzling and disturbing one—is that the crazy thoughts are often held by people who are not crazy at all.”

Cass Sunstein- White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

If you don’t know who Cass Sunstein is, or what he does now would be a good time to do some research. Not only because of his position with the White House and the power that entails, but because he understands quite clearly what problems are posed by people who, in his own words are, “…neither ignorant, not ill-educated. On the contrary they can be spectacularly well informed…”

Conspiracy theories are, in short, the belief that others conspire in secret to commit criminal acts. They do, no secret there. In fact the majority of prisoners in Federal Penitentiaries are serving time not for a specific crime, but for conspiracy to commit a felony, more simply discussing their intentions with another person in secret. It must be difficult indeed to simultaneously prosecute large numbers of people for the very activity that you are assigned to debunk and then somehow explain to people that it’s dangerous to believe in them. Yes, yes, you can imagine them saying, other people do engage in conspiracies, but we never would and you’d have to be crazy to even consider it.

Point taken, Mr. Sunstein.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudis Claim Conspiracy Theorists, Not OPEC, To Blame For Oil Price Crash

Saudis Claim Conspiracy Theorists, Not OPEC, To Blame For Oil Price Crash

A top Saudi official said on March 15 that Thomas Friedman and other conspiracy theorists are to blame for the crash in oil prices.

Rather than an oversupply and weak demand causing an imbalance in global oil markets, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Muhanna, the advisor to Saudi Arabia’s Petroleum Minister, said that excessive speculation drove the oil bust.

“The recent price fall was due largely to expectation and perception about future supply and demand… and the ever-present – and incorrect – belief in conspiracy theories,” Al-Muhanna said at the Institute of International Finance Spring Membership Meeting on March 15.

Al-Muhanna admitted that supplies were building over the course of 2014, but said that demand “remained strong” and that the price fall was unjustified given market fundamentals. After prices started to fall, the media and market analysts drove the narrative to unfounded levels.

Related: Misleading IEA Statement Sends Oil Prices Crashing

In fact, Al-Muhanna said, in October 2014 when Saudi Arabia adjusted its price for oil heading for Asia – a conventional practice that occurs every month – western media began talking up Saudi Arabia’s “price war,” and he even singled out New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. “Then an article by Thomas Friedman suggested Saudi Arabia’s policy – in coordination with the Obama administration – was aimed at hurting Russia by lowering the oil price. This idea was a rehash of assumptions that first reasoned the oil fall of the 1980s. All complete fantasy.”

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As 1000s Mourn At Nemtsov’s Funeral, Seven Main Conspiracy Theories Emerge

As 1000s Mourn At Nemtsov’s Funeral, Seven Main Conspiracy Theories Emerge

Tens of thousands marched Sunday through Central Moscow to honor Boris Nemtsov, outspoken opposition critic of Vladimir Putin who was murdered Friday night and thousands more mourned today at his funeral (though notably not Putin himself) and more pointedly, The BBC reports, several EU politicians and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny were barred from attending the funeral. Hours later, Mr Navalny accused the Russian authorities of responsibility for the murder, adding to slew of competing theories involving everything from the CIA to Islamic militants and Ukrainian nationalists.

As The BBC Reports,

Thousands of Russians have bid farewell to murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov as his funeral took place in the capital Moscow.

They queued patiently to view his coffin before it began its solemn journey to a city cemetery.

Several EU politicians and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny were barred from attending the funeral.

Hours later, Mr Navalny accused the Russian authorities of responsibility for the murder.

In a statement (in Russian) from jail, where he is serving a 15-day sentence, he said: “I believe that Nemtsov was murdered by members of a government (special services) or pro-government organisation on the order of the country’s political leadership (including Vladimir Putin).”

The question, he said, was whether the order had been given to kill Nemtsov or “stage an action that would have a high impact”.

Alternatively, he alleged that Nemtsov had been killed on the order of officials in Yaroslavl region, where he had been investigating corruption.

No arrests have been made and no motive has been established for the crime.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Are Conspiracy Theorists Nuts?

Are Conspiracy Theorists Nuts?

Conspiracy Theorists USED TO Be Accepted As Normal

Democracy and free market capitalism were founded on conspiracy theories.

The Magna Carta, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and other  founding Western documents were based on conspiracy theories. Greek democracy and free market capitalism were also based on conspiracy theories.

But those were the bad old days …Things have now changed.

The CIA Coined the Term Conspiracy Theorist In 1967

That all changed in the 1960s.

Specifically, in April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch which coined the term “conspiracy theories” … and recommended methods for discrediting such theories.  The dispatch was marked “psych” –  short for “psychological operations” or disinformation –  and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit.

The dispatch was produced in responses to a Freedom of Information Act request by the New York Times in 1976.

The dispatch states:

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Danger of Conspiracy Theories | Armstrong Economics

Danger of Conspiracy Theories | Armstrong Economics.

Conspiracy

If you want to hide something in plain view, exaggerate it to the point it becomes extreme and convert it to a conspiracy theory. This is a very standard in how to create propaganda and if you keep saying a lie, its becomes the truth to many without ever having to prove anything. To uncover the truth, takes digging. This I have discovered both in politics as well as market fundamentals.

The two big conspiracy theories to be exaggerated that cover up the truth are the 911 WTC Attack and the Kennedy Assassination. With the former, people take it to the extreme and claim there was not even an attack by terrorists and the whole thing was made up. Sorry, there was an attack and the government knew it was coming and allowed it to for three purposes

  • (1) eliminate the evidence on many cases in WTC7 including all my evidence that documented EVERY  market manipulation up to 1999 by the investment banks et al for which they are getting fined all the time today
  • (2) wipe out the evidence that would have exposed the missing $2 trillion in the Pentagon budget, and
  • (3) generate more power for government by allowing Americans to be victims as originally proposed in Operation Northwoods.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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