The new 21st century quackery (part 2)

One of the pillars for all these stories is the big conspiracy “theory”, an idea which, if properly analyzed, reveals a complete lack of logic.

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(Read the first part of this article here)

 

The big conspiracy, conditio sine qua non

The variety of stories and topics, as we have seen, is huge, but if there is some element unifying each and everyone of these lies, and all the charlatans in general by extension, is the fact that they always address their audience (and potential victims) as owners of an unknown truth shared by a very small number of people like them.

In some cases, this “monopoly” of information (or mysteries) is attributed to extremely unique characteristics only those fraudsters are supposed to have, as it is the case of the so called “seers” or “spiritualists”, who are able to predict the future, read the mind or contact with spirits thanks to a series of mental attributes obtained by birth, by training in occultist disciplines, or by some kind of traumatic life experience.

But, and aside from such quackery examples as old as humanity, in the case of those stories mentioned above, needed of a bigger degree of accuracy, the charlatan in question always argues the existence of a huge conspiracy “theory”, something which is absolutely required in order to justify the fact, quite curious, that his “thesis” is always so little known, and what is most important, that it usually contradicts any explanation given by mainstream thinking, media, public opinion, common sense, scientific or scholar community, governments or any other institution or entity he needs to disallow.

This conspiracy´s degree of complexity, alleged perpetrators, victims, methods or objectives might differ based on the specific “theory”, but the fact that this “theory” exists as the cornerstone of all their reasoning is the true and only common element to all these stories, it doesn’t really matter whether they end up talking about aliens, UFOs, fake drugs, mind control, super powerful weapons or secret societies.

(The curious They Live (John Carpenter 1988) mixes both conspiracy theories and a vicious criticism to consumer society)

 

The vast conspiracy, as ubiquitous as improbable

Considering the aforementioned, the enormous task of rebutting each and every one of these fables by revealing their countless internal inconsistencies or denouncing their absolute and rampant lack of evidence or rigour lacks sense or need, since it is enough just to simply analyse their common element, that of the great conspiracy “theory”, to seriously put them in doubt altogether.

According to a study published by psychologists from the University of Kent MichaelJ. Wood, Karen M. Douglas and Robbie M. Sutton, and entitled Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy, a conspiracy “theory” is, by definition, “a proposed plot by powerful people or organizations working together in secret to accomplish some (usually sinister) goal”. Cambridge Dictionary, without going any further, defines the word “conspiracy” as “the activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal”.

Therefore, the first element, and perhaps the most relevant of any conspiracy, is secrecy, a factor whose need is explained by the fact that any plot tends to be harmful for someone. The difficulty of keeping it hidden therefore (it is more than evident) would exponentially grow as it does the number of accomplices, targets, ambition, evilness and scope, and also if the intrigue has to remain active for a long time. Thus, it would be natural that those organizers of any conspiracy tried to always be the least possible in number, and do so that their plans could be put into practice as soon as possible and in the most simple way, as reflected, in fact, on every example of real conspiracies happened throughout history.

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(The Ides of March conspiracy, against Julius Caesar, is a good example of real historical conspiracy)

All those machinations proposed before, however, always and systematically mean the involvement of a huge amount of very diverse individuals, groups, plans, disciplines and areas of action that would make them, in practice, completely unviable due to their excessive complexity. Not to mention that, in some cases (as with UFOs), they are also supposed to have been going on for decades, with the added difficulty of constantly relieving their seniors accomplices by juniors ones in absolute and total secrecy, and this within each and every one of the various institutions, organizations, agencies, ranches, governments and others that these conspirators would need to control, in addition to the “snowball effect” that naturally comes from covering or hiding lies, any possible leaks, disagreements or even defections among those conspirators.

Apart from their necessary enormous complexity, a minimum of attention also reveals that their supposed members could not even behave as genuine human beings. Although it is well known that within any collective, no matter which type it is, there are always quarrels, sides, opposed interests, alliances and internal conflicts, those involved in these conspiracy “theories”, however, and despite belonging to very different areas, backgrounds, countries, religions, social classes and environments, should show a degree of secrecy, harmony, complicity, unity of thought, conviction, homogeneity, fidelity, cohesion, coordination and effectiveness almost unthinkable. And not only because they would also have to monopolize an almost superhuman power and influence, but because they should reflect an extremely simplistic role as absolute villains, lacking any kind of remorse (since there are never leaks or defections) while proving to be absolutely ruthless people capable of inflicting absolute evil on many others like them.

Regarding a risk-benefit analysis, all these “theories” also seem to defy common sense. Is not only that, as mentioned before, they would have to be so complex machinations that the cost of keeping them going on would be certainly higher than any benefits they could get (specially, and as it has already been said before, while they have to endure over time). It is also that the possible consequences of discovering or revealing such plots would probably be way worse than the possible short-term benefits of creating and nurturing them, considering the immense discredit and scandal it would mean.

On the other hand, and in addition to the fact that all their alleged evidences fit with their own explanations as well as with any others, their authors are always extremely wary of governmental institutions, academic world and scientific community while, at the same time, rely on them and on their materials, sources and discoveries when they conveniently need to bolster their “theories” with some “reliable” information. This practice of taking only some facets from science while ignoring others is what is commonly known as “pseudoscience”.

Finally, it is worth to consider another detail also quite surprising and no less significant, as it is the fact that all these stories always report and denounce the existence of a huge plot so incredibly powerful and influential that would have (presumably) been able to hide the truth from the bulk of the world´s population for a very long time, while this factor is apparently not a problem at all for all those who reveal this truth when it comes to expressing themselves publicly whenever , however and wherever they want, and not only, but also to monetize and get good profits from their dissemination activity, religiously charging and getting paid for every publication, conference or video they make.

(Just some more stupid conspiracies some people actually believe on)

 

(Read the second part of this article here)

(Lee este artículo en español aquí)

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3 responses to “The new 21st century quackery (part 2)

  1. Pingback: The new 21st century quackery | marcosmarconius·

  2. Pingback: La Nueva Charlatanería del Siglo XXI (parte 2) | marcosmarconius·

  3. Pingback: The new 21st century quackery (part 3) | marcosmarconius·

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