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What makes conspiracy theorists tick and what is the best way to combat their beliefs?

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Too often, CTs rely on anti-Semitic tropes. This has its roots in the disgusting and widely debunked hoax of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. From that complete fabrication, you got the pogroms in Russia, which eventually swept the world.

The best ways to combat them is to keep reminding them that tropes like New World Order and latterly, Globalists are inherently anti-Semitic.

If they chose to ignore the overwhelming evidence, I'm not sure what the answer is. That lies with companies who allow CTs to use their product as platforms for their despicable beliefs.

I know one Moderator (on another site) who came up with a simple but effective response - a permanent ban for those who continued to espouse such repellent views.

At the end of the day, though, it's difficult to deprogram someone with fiercely entrenched views.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Mental illness; Mental institutions.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Call them out for "fear mongering" and then totally ignore them. Or you could troll them a bit.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Lack of transparency of official institutions, known cover-ups, covert operations and general secrecy of governing bodies around the world I would say is what most fuels the fire. An obvious example would be how the US gov't handled the killing of JFK. That one seed in particular probably grew thousands of conspiracy flowers. Whistleblowers like wikileaks tends to validate a great deal of that mindset as well, for better or worse.

Best way to combat? Make transparency a priority.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The above question suggests that conspiracy theorists are wrong; many of them aren't.

It is obvious that we are being lied to by the MSM and governments. Some people just want to understand what is truly going on. And then there are also those like Alex Jones who just spew nonsense to make all of them look bad, that is why the MSM help popularize him, they will never talk about the rational ones.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Well let me see ...

If the media would stop carrying water for political parties and the popular flavor of the day politician. If the media would stop telling the public what they must think or they are a/an (insert insult here).

If elected politicians would see their role is to represent the people and nation that elect them and not lobbyists, corporate, and personal pork barrell interests. If local leaders would see their role is governing the local community and not the entire nation.

If the alphabet police and government agencies had some transparency instead of covering up and insisting it is none of the public's business.

If academics would separate their politics from their teaching.

If corporations would invest in safe products (ahem ... big pharma) and see people as the end not the means to the end.

If we the public would hold all accountable instead of sticking our heads in the sand allowing all of this to happen. We are the power.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Mentally challenged, ignore.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

What makes conspiracy theorists tick

CNNMSNBCFOXBBC et al selling war after war while ignoring the ones (Yemen) their mast read tell them to.

and what is the best way to combat their beliefs?

Easy peasy, watch, listen and read CNNMSNBCFOXBBC and follow the taking points.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Ignorance. In my experience, they aren't very educated. I would like to ignore them but I can't resist shooting them down in a debate, because they'Re such easy targets.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Not all conspiracy theoretici are false prophets and they often expose an inconvenient truth for the powers that be who then try to isolate these people and make them out like a madmen or fear mongerers.

This is a tactic the so called 1% who own 23% of the world's wealth have been practcing for years.

Of course there are people that base there beliefs on fake news but certainly not all of them, a little bit of nuance is much needed in this debate.

tropes like New World Order and latterly, Globalists are inherently anti-Semitic.

New World Order and Globalist are not anti-Semitic words, this is a dangerous new way of trying to frame people by lobbyists employed by firms which respresent the multi-nationals.

Globalists like Shinzo Abe, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau,...are actively trying to create a unified market in which they can shift cheap labor how they please and create trade agreements that give multi-nationals carte blanche.

I know one Moderator (on another site) who came up with a simple but effective response - a permanent ban for those who continued to espouse such repellent views.

Yes let's completely silence those people who have a different opinion, sounds an awful lot like something a dictator would to...

1 ( +8 / -7 )

they will never talk about the rational ones.

Exactly why you’ll never see the likes of Noam Chomsky on CNNMSNBCFOXBBC.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

New World Order and Globalist are not anti-Semitic words, this is a dangerous new way of trying to frame people by lobbyists employed by firms which respresent the multi-nationals.

Those who continue to use those terms, despite knowing very well what they refer to, are the dangerous ones who perpetuate the hatred.

If you really have an issue with Capitalism and multi-nationals, that's brilliant. But perhaps you should think twice before using certain tropes.

Yes let's completely silence those people who have a different opinion, sounds an awful lot like something a dictator would to...

I gave an example, that's all. This is a privately owned site, so if the Moderators banned you or I, it wouldn't be silencing, it would be a decision made because you or I posted offensive trash.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Exactly why you’ll never see the likes of Noam Chomsky on CNNMSNBCFOXBBC.

Presumably you're being sarcastic, as he's appeared on all those networks.

https://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/19/opinion/charlie-hebdo-noam-chomsky/index.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3080909/ns/community-msnbc_com_chat/t/noam-chomsky/

https://video.foxnews.com/v/2347339727001/#sp=show-clips

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qw5v8

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Like a few others have already said, this question is based on a, er, questionable premise: that everyone who is sceptical of the words, actions and motivations of governments, supranational organisations, the mainstream media, big corporations and NGOs etc is crazy, racist and whatever other brush they can be tarred with.

This conveniently serves to lump people asking legitimate questions about the above with the crazies in an attempt to discredit them right from the get-go.

I mean, who in their right mind would challenge the right of those big organisations to lie, cheat, steal and kill? That's just madness.

But doubting the official story behind 9/11 doesn't equate to claiming the moon landings were fake.

Casting a sceptical eye over connections between Jeffrey Epstein and certain so-called VIPs doesn't automatically mean you believe the royal family are lizards in disguise! Though it's amusing to see VIPs scurry out of the light like cockroaches now the sun's coming up, and the MSM is only focusing some weak links to Trump. And that it was mainly the work of Mike Cernovich who was pursuing evidence about Epstein for years (with later help from the Miami Herald), but the MSM, seemingly uncomfortable that is having to report on it at all, is completely ignoring Cernovich's role and giving all the Herald.

So yeah, if you really want to combat the conspiracy theories, do something to clean up the organisations that give rise to the theories.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A desire to feel special (because like the rest of us they are not, but can’t accept it). There is no cure for them as they do not wish to give up their delusions. That does not justify major corporations allowing them to propagate their delusions without identifying them as such.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

CNNMSNBCFOXBBC et al selling war after war while ignoring the ones (Yemen) their mast read tell them to.

We’ve had this conversation before. You kept saying the BBC didn’t report on the war in Yemen at all, and after being presented with clear evidence in the form of links, you ended up backpedaling to the opinion they didn’t cover it in the manner you wanted. You really are determined not to let his fake news go.

Toasted Heretic just shot down another one of your false claims. I don’t know why you do this when a 10-second google check can suffice to prove it to be fake news.

On a more general point, I find conspiracy theorists to be very predictable - they have a range of conspiracy theories which are on a spectrum ( flat earth an example of being right on the extreme of the spectrum ), they use the same buzzwords, tend to be libertarians and tend not to have a self-deprecating sense of humour.

The best way to deal with them is gentle mockery.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There is no cure for them as they do not wish to give up their delusions. 

I’m a bit more optimistic. I had a friend who was full-on fake moon landing/building 7/Illuminati, but is now more of a ‘you never know’ type.

He’s still a bit out there but better than before.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Toasted Heretic just shot down another one of your false claims. I don’t know why you do this when a 10-second google check can suffice to prove it to be fake news.

Oh, I know, Jimizo. Just like I know why you and I have both been downvoted.

Even more so than comments criticizing the Trump Administration, exposing the ugliness of CTs does not go down with some of our fellow posters here.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Here's more Jewish voices explaining the use of the term "globalist". I mean, I can post hundreds of these links & yet still, some will insist that it's not anti-Semitic, in the same way some will insist PotUS racist tweets are not racist. Go figure.

https://forward.com/scribe/412627/yes-ranting-against-globalism-is-anti-semitic/

Downvoters, I ask you to please actually read the article, for a change, before you hit your chosen button.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Holocaust denial is the perfect example of how you should not handle "conspiracy theories". Holocaust denial has been completely illegal for years in most of Europe. Five year jail terms have been given to some for saying they don't believe in some aspects of the story. Most forums (e.g., JT) also forbid holocaust denial.

Has that helped? No, this just emboldens revisionists. Instead, they should have open debates about the issue, that "is the best way to combat their beliefs".

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Has that helped? No, this just emboldens revisionists. Instead, they should have open debates about the issue, that "is the best way to combat their beliefs".

True. Holocaust deniers should be allowed to have their say and be dismantled in broad daylight as they have been. They need to be and deserve to be ridiculed rather than censored.

The sick and the nutty will always be with us.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

People are allowed to hold whatever views they like whether they are true or not. Some are amusing other are sort of scary. I think there are certain issues/conspiracies need some kind of control like the holocaust deniers or the revisionism of the history.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

People are allowed to hold whatever views they like whether they are true or not. Some are amusing other are sort of scary. I think there are certain issues/conspiracies need some kind of control like the holocaust deniers or the revisionism of the history.

I agree completely.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This question is based on a, er, questionable premise: that everyone who is sceptical of the words, actions and motivations of governments, supranational organisations, the mainstream media, big corporations and NGOs etc is crazy, racist and whatever other brush they can be tarred with.

That's not really a description of conspiracy theorists to start with. Conspiracy theorists aren't sceptics, they're people who concoct outlandish fantasies, and then build backwards from that a rickety structure of supposed evidence to support the fantasy. The final result, unsurprisingly, is garbage.

What their motivation is - well it's hard to care, but probably something to do with wanting to feel apart from the mainstream. Having something that the general run of other people don't have. That requires ideas that are wacky to start with. There's no point in a conspiracy theory that most people will listen to and say, Well that sounds reasonable.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Conspiracy theorists aren't sceptics, they're people who concoct outlandish fantasies, and then build backwards from that a rickety structure of supposed evidence to support the fantasy.

While there certainly are people like that amongst the conspiracy theoretici please refrain from generalization.

People like Julien Assange and Edward Snowden were also called conspiracy theoretici by the powers that be and look how that turned out...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The irony here is that many of the people tsk-tsking conspiracy theorists fully believe that Putin controls the White House as well as the presidential election. Pots and kettles come to mind.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Out of curiosity I did a search on the following: list of conspiracy theories that came true

Here is a small selection of what came up. All or most of these have been published in mainstream media and/or admitted to in official documents/Congress etc.

The U.S. Government poisoned alcohol during the prohibition.

The CIA secretly gave LSD to unsuspecting individuals to test mind control.

The Gulf of Tonkin attack never happened.

Tobacco companies hid evidence that smoking is deadly.

The U.S. Government employed Nazi scientists after World War II. (Operation Paper Clip)

The CIA spied on and controlled the American media. (Operation Mockingbird)

The U.S. government planned to commit domestic terrorism and blame Cuba. (Operation Northwoods)

Nayirah’s testimony leading up to the Gulf War was false. (Babies on the floor testimony)

Hard evidence of government false flag terrorism (Operation Gladio) which Italian PM, Giulio Andreotti, admitted he had been involved in and which he helped cover up.

https://bestlifeonline.com/true-conspiracy-theories/ (hyperlinks to corporate media or other mainstream sources like Wikipedia (authentic news, right?!)

Some of these incidents are now common knowledge and accepted as fact like the Gulf of Tonkin or tobacco companies hiding evidence. But before these crimes were uncovered they were of course "conspiracy theories" and people saying there was something nefarious going on were labeled 'crazy' or similar. So given the record of deception, why should anyone with a rational or even not so rational counter argument be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist or some other pejorative for simply challenging the official story, whatever it may be? Reading some of the posts on this site it's clear that having one's comfort zone challenged is uncomfortable and often brings out the worst in people; easy when they're anonymous.

Btw, the link below explains how 'conspiracy theory' and 'conspiracy theorist' supposedly came about, along with supporting documentation obtained by the NY Times through the FOIA.

https://www.coreysdigs.com/c-i-a-3-letter-agencies/cia-coined-weaponized-the-label-conspiracy-theory/

Conspiracy theory? Who knows but if it is then feel free to knock it down.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

People like Julien Assange and Edward Snowden were also called conspiracy theoretici

Everybody calls somebody something. We don't have to redefine words based on the fact that some people might have misused them.

Snowden wasn't called a conspiracy theory nut; he was hunted as a leaker and a criminal as soon as he left the country and passed classified intelligence agency information to journalists. There's rather a big difference.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everybody calls somebody something

That's true but my point is that a conspiracy theorist can be someone who has a valid case as well as someone who has made up a complete fabrication.

That's why I said this debate needed much more nuance because the title of the article only left room for a negative interpretation of the word and that according to me is not correct. 

Snowden wasn't called a conspiracy theory nut

He most certainly was at the beginning until the evidence become so staggering they could not deny it any longer, then like you said they treated him as a criminal

Julien Assange is still called a conspiracy theorist nut until this very day despite the thousand of legal documents his site wikileaks has provided to expose the dirty laundry of this world's elite.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The full house of JT conspiracy theorists.

Fake moon landings , building 7...

Quack!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

He most certainly was at the beginning until the evidence become so staggering they could not deny it any longer

There was no at the beginning. Snowden was an internationally known fugitive the moment he went public. He gave classified documents to journalists - while still officially a CIA employee, and from foreign territory at that. He did so in early June, his identity was revealed at his request around the 9th of June, and Federal charges were filed on the 14th of June.

The official reaction from the White House concerning Snowden was that they would not comment on an ongoing investigation. There is no time when they called him a conspiracy fantasist; calling him a criminal was considerably easier and more effective.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Presumably you're being sarcastic, as he's appeared on all those networks.

https://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/19/opinion/charlie-hebdo-noam-chomsky/index.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3080909/ns/community-msnbc_com_chat/t/noam-chomsky/

https://video.foxnews.com/v/2347339727001/#sp=show-clips

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qw5v8

Aside from the BBC program and FOX, the other two are reposts of chats/interviews, and not directly sponsored by the corporations you're trying to spin into a positive light. The BBC which is all "anti-Trump", which by the way won't play for me, well, Chomsky is an anarchist so I would expect him to blast any and all of the past and future US presidents.

Nice research though. It sure doesn't compare to the daily barrage of military and political talkings heads that I see when I visit my folks.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

https://video.foxnews.com/v/2347339727001/#sp=show-clips

The FOX show was also a 2013 radio interview by deceased Alan Colmes, FOX's "liberal political commentator" if there can be such a thing, and again, hardly a Prime Time TV news interview. I don't know what shows were popular back then but I think it's safe to say many were watching FRIENDS reruns.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

We’ve had this conversation before. You kept saying the BBC didn’t report on the war in Yemen at all, and after being presented with clear evidence in the form of links, you ended up backpedaling to the opinion they didn’t cover it in the manner you wanted. You really are determined not to let his fake news go.

Backpedaling? Ha.

Sure, get your newscaster to travel to Yemen, make a report, but never ever mention the reason or justification, or any of the many countries involved, just show lots of women and children.

That's not news Jimizo, it's propaganda. Know the difference.

Walter Cronkite. Report from Vietnam. 1968

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn4w-ud-TyE

Toasted Heretic just shot down another one of your false claims. I don’t know why you do this when a 10-second google check can suffice to prove it to be fake news.

See above. Toasted Heretic tried but failed as none of his "10-second google check" links make the point he's attempting to make.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Backpedaling?

Yes, a dictionary definition of it.

We had this conversation before. It went as follows:

You claimed the MSM including the BBC didn’t mention the war in Yemen at all.

You were presented with links proving it did.

You then claimed they didn’t show the horrors.

You were presented with videos showing they did.

You claimed they didn’t have reporters on the ground.

You were presented with videos showing they did.

After all that, and on this very thread You claimed the BBC didn’t cover the war in Yemen.

Is this a pathological thing? I know you don’t like the MSM but facts do matter.

This is a problem with conspiracy theorists. Facts are of secondary importance to the pathology of conspiracy theorizing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

but probably something to do with wanting to feel apart from the mainstream.

'I've-Never-Seen-Game-of-Thrones-Syndrome'.

We're all supposed to be wowed by their insight and knowledge of supposedly restricted knowledge

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We're all supposed to be wowed by their insight and knowledge of supposedly restricted knowledge

In some ways it’s a lazy way to appear superior.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mister X, quote: "Julien Assange is still called a conspiracy theorist nut until this very day despite the thousand of legal documents his site wikileaks has provided to expose the dirty laundry of this world's elite."

Actually he only exposed the dirty laundry of one part of the world, giving a free ride to the other world powers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually he only exposed the dirty laundry of one part of the world, giving a free ride to the other world powers.

I don't think he or wikileaks wanted to give anyone a free pass but of course they can only work with the material that is provided to them and superpowers like China and Russia have a much tighter control on that kind of leaks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many are simple, poorly educated people with a gullibility streak. For the most part they are people who have not done well in life and their little nutty theories give them a bit of a rush and a feeling of superiority. They are looking down on the rest of us who in their eyes, "don't get it".

There are exceptions as always and mental health also has something to do with it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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