Conspiracy Theory vs Truth & Perceptions of Reality.
Truth. What is truth and who tells the truth? We all think we know what truth is, but what is it really? In recent years we have heard the phrase “your truth” tossed around by celebrities and as usual, it has filtered down into society where now truth can be subjective. Subjective truth is truth based off of a person’s perspective, feelings, or opinions. Everything we know is based on our input – our senses, our perception. Thus, everything we know is subjective. So in a sense, all truths are subjective. When we look at events in our lives at whatever level, we look at the truth we know to be valid as indisputable fact based on our interpretation of events. We have all heard variations of the saying there are two sides to every story like his side and her side. My favorite is the three sided variant, his side, her side and the truth is in the middle.
However in reality, truth is not based on perception or senses, truth is based on the way things are in actuality. The definition of truth is:
Lets focus specifically on number 3, verified or indisputable fact… When we think of truth, this is what most people consider to be the accurate definition. For the purposes of this article, I will be using this as the basis for discussing truth.
Diving even deeper, let’s define fact.
With these definitions in mind, do we view events in our world based on fact? I believe we all do, but who gives us the facts?
I have a good friend who uses the example of three people in a room, person 1 speaks one language, person 2 speaks another and person 3 speaks both. Who has the power in the confines of that relationship? Obviously person 3. Person 1 and person 2 must have trust that person 3 is relaying a factual interpretation of the words spoken. But if person 3 does not translate accurately, yet person 1 and 2 believe he has, are person 1 and 2 held accountable for being misled? Is what they believe fact?
Who are the main interpreters in our world? I would argue there are four, in general terms, government, media, academia and ecclesiastical. Regardless of who we are or where we are in the world, we derive our historical, spiritual or cultural views and perceptions of world events based on information provided to us by these four entities. We trust they give us truthful information, so that we may make informed decisions and they shape our beliefs on issues which are deeply personal. The key word used when discussing truth in this context is trust. We trust the sources providing us information, so basically truth is not based on facts, truth is based on what we believe to be fact. Whether the source is a newspaper, a textbook, the television or a person delivering the message.
All actual truth passes through three stages. The first stage is denial, the second stage is violent opposition and the third is acceptance as common knowledge. Whoever you are reading this article, you fall into one of those three stages. This applies to every aspect of our lives… what one person believes as common knowledge, others deny or attack and vice versa. However there is only one truth. What we believe to be true may not be true, it is just our belief that it’s true based on life experience or information intake.
In society and nature, we have laws that govern us. In society, we have a government that enacts laws which may or may be negotiable, depending on each respective government. However, in nature, we have physical laws which are not subject to negotiation, such as the laws of gravity, motion, and supply and demand.
In our society, anyone who questions what is delivered as truth by supposed trusted sources, by and large is considered to be engaging in conspiracy theory.
What is a conspiracy theory? Let’s go back to the dictionary and define both terms:
However, when you put these words together back to back, you get a completely different definition:
Why do these words in combination drastically diverge from the individual meanings? The difference is not insignificant, and in fact is quite staggering.
Many believe the term conspiracy theory was cultivated by the CIA as a derogatory term used to define those who questioned the assassination of John F Kennedy. In truth, the term goes back much farther, but I have no doubt it was re-branded by the CIA for the very purpose of a derogatory label.
Why is it such a taboo in our modern world to question things? When logic does not match reality, it causes suspicion, and rightfully so. At our core, the spirit of the American people has always been rebellious in the sense we have not wanted to be told what to do or how to think. Our yearning for freedom is stronger here than anywhere in the world. When did that yearning to question authority wane? Since the end of World War II, I would argue the American spirit, while still maintaining the appearance of rebelliousness, for the most part has lost that true sense of questioning authority… but NOT because we don’t question authority. Yes, we still question things but the basis we use to question has been deliberately twisted. Our perception of reality and what we believe to be true based on the trust we have given to the handlers of information has failed us.
Consider this, in a February 1981 meeting of the newly elected Reagan administration with cabinet members, Reagan asked all his cabinet members what they saw as the goal of their for the respective agency or department they oversaw, here is an excerpt of CIA Director William Casey’s remarks to Reagan; “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” That is quite a statement! When you add in the verifiable fact, the CIA, under the code name Mockingbird, infiltrated media going back to the 1950’s and there have been other documents declassified by CIA which detail the close relationship between the CIA and mainstream media and academia, this statement by Casey should cause serious alarm.
(6 minute video)
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” is an old phrase from 1836 originally attributed to John Wilkinson which was popularized by the fictional character Keyser Söze the 1995 movie “The Usual Suspects.” It’s very apropos for modern society… All we need to do is substitute the devil with the CIA. Clearly the CIA exists, but if we take into consideration the relationship the CIA has with the media and examine facts presented by the media and overlay them with laws that cannot be negotiated or we use logic as a baseline, there are events in recent history which are not truly able to stand up to scrutiny. The problem is, we have credible people in all aspects of our lives who we trust that have convinced us that black is white.
I would say virtually everyone has this underlying suspicion that something is just not right or that the facts don’t add up, so why do we not question?
We don’t question things because we have been conditioned NOT to step out of line by society. Society, whether by peer pressure or fear of ridicule or fear of going against the grain, puts an enormous amount of pressure on anyone who goes against what is accepted as fact by society, regardless of its veracity. It reminds me of the crab in the bucket mentality, if you start to climb out of the bucket (speaking truth), the other crabs will do what they can to pull you back in (using ridicule/slander), so stay inside the bucket with them.
It takes a great amount of courage to stand up for truth even if what is true is not what is accepted as true by the world at large because society is a powerful enemy. Society does not examine facts, society does not use logic, society relies on systemic belief otherwise known as herd mentality. Herd mentality is the inclination for individuals within a group to follow along with what the group at large thinks or does. This is where the second stage of truth comes into view, violent opposition. When anyone deviates from this, they are attacked or bullied, usually with derogatory terms which include but are not limited to; conspiracy theorist, twoofer, tin foil hat, extremist, ultra right wing, fringe, lunatic, paranoid or delusional. Everything thrown at the individual or group who questions what is commonly accepted is done with the express purpose of discrediting the messenger rather than listening to the message. Yet another form is the strawman argument, where the attacker argues that a person holds a view that is not what the person believes, but is actually a distorted version of what he/she believes, so instead of attacking the actual belief statement or belief, the distorted view is attacked. When we are able to rise above the fear of ridicule and examine evidence for ourselves, using logic, discernment and intellect free from preconceived bias, we will only then be able change the hearts and minds by changing the paradigm of society.
First, what is a paradigm?
If the paradigm of society as a whole is skewed in a particular direction or towards a belief whether true or not, it is very difficult to penetrate that commonly held belief. What is needed is a societal paradigm shift.
This is an example of a paradigm shift.
The following is a passage/video from “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey about a paradigm shift.
(4 minute video)
“I remember a mini-paradigm shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly – some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene.
Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed.
The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.
It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt like was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, “Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?”
The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, “Oh, you’re right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think or do, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either.”
Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, and because I saw differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. “Your wife just died? Oh I’m so sorry! Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?” Everything changed in an instant.”
That is a powerful short story about the power of how we think something is one way, when it may not be what we think. In that example, society almost demanded the rider do something about the man and his children… when he did, he discovered reality was not what it appeared to be. He had a paradigm shift.
I am sure you can easily see how this principle can be applied to issues in the world labeled as conspiracy theory. Its all about our paradigm… what we believe to be true, may in fact, not be true.
In talking about conspiracy theories, I love to use the example of the raffle. It’s yet another powerful metaphor. It goes like this… In theory, if I purchase a raffle ticket I could win a prize and as long as I don’t purchase a raffle ticket the win is nothing but theoretical. BUT!! The second I purchase a raffle ticket, the win no longer becomes theoretical, it now is in the realm of possibility. Not probable but certainly possible. If I purchase more raffle tickets though, my chances of winning increase and the more tickets I purchase, the more likely and in fact probable my chances of winning become. Conspiracy theories are similar. If there is no evidence to support a theory, it is exactly that, a theory. BUT!! If there is a piece of evidence, regardless of how flimsy or circumstantial it is, the theory enters the realm of possibility. The more evidence you have, the more possible and eventually probable that theory becomes.
A primary issue with looking at evidence, is the evidence provided by the sources of information we are supposed to trust generally falls under the category of being socially believed regardless of its validity. The societal consensus is the media would never deliberately lie to perpetuate an even greater lie. I believe this is grossly naive. Consider this passage from Jim Marrs book Rule By Secrecy:
According to conspiracy researchers Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen the American public’s attitudes are shaped by a sanitized “Disney” view of both history and current events. “The ‘Disney version’ of history could just as easily be called the ‘New York Times version’ or the ‘TV news version’ or the ‘college textbook version,'” they wrote. “The main resistance to conspiracy theories comes not from people on the street but from the media, academia, and government—people who manage the national and global economy of information.”
Anthony C. Sutton, a London-born economics professor who was a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover institution, agreed that an “Establishment history” dominates textbooks, publishing, the media, and library shelves. “During the past one hundred years any theory of history or historical evidence that falls outside a pattern established by the American Historical Association and the major foundations with their grant making power has been attacked or rejected—not on the basis of any evidence presented, but on the basis of the acceptability of the arguments to the so-called Eastern Liberal Establishment, and its official historical line,” he commented. “Woe betide any book or author that falls outside the official guidelines. Foundation support is not there. Publishers get cold feet. Distribution is hit and miss, or non-existent.”
This refrain was echoed by President Bill Clinton’s academic mentor, Dr. Carroll Quigley. His 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, revealed his insider knowledge of modern secret societies. Quigley said it was withdrawn suddenly by a major New York publisher. “I am now quite sure that Tragedy and Hope was suppressed . . . ,” Quigley wrote in the mid-1970s.
Unfortunately, what is required to separate the false information from the valid information is discernment, which requires critical thinking… something our society lacks in a severe way. I find today that most people do not think. Everyone believes they know what truth is, but I fear they rely more upon bias, than actual facts and data. Or they hear someone they trust give their opinion or argument on an issue or know someone who has a strong opinion one way or the other, then the individual (without doing his/her own research) passes their trusted sources argument off as their own. It’s laziness and intellectually dishonest, but they fear not sounding knowledgeable and don’t give it a second thought. Moreover, if they are questioned, they resort to name calling to preserve their own sense of self worth.
To illustrate my point about the lack of thought, there was an educational study conducted where the subjects were given a new concept that went against something they already believed and asked to believe it (for example the 9/11 was an inside job, this is not the example, I am offering this AS an example).
- 50% believed it immediately — without thinking.
- 30% didn’t believe it, immediately — without thinking.
- 15% wanted to wait awhile while they made up their minds, but asked for no clarification and no further information.
- 5% analyzed all the details and finally came to a conclusion.
The results of the study went like this, It is estimated that 5% of the people think, 15% of the people think they think, and 80% of the people refuse to think.
In conclusion, as the Q phenomenon is gaining strength, we are approaching a critical mass in terms of changing the tide of beliefs in our society. It has been scientifically established that only 10% of the population is required to change what is accepted by society as a whole. According to a Pew Research poll of U.S. adults released in March of this year, 3% of those polled claimed to know a lot about Q, 20% knew a little 76% knew nothing and 2% did not respond. Keep in mind, only 3% of the population took up arms against the British during the revolution, so 3% is not an insignificant number. The United States has 330 M people, 3% is just over a million people.
It does not matter if you are a conservative or a liberal, a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent or a pink unicorn. Truth is truth, and we should all do our own research, free from bias. Even if we agree with whoever has political power now or those on the television are confirming our bias as we refuse to exit the comfort of our echo chamber, we owe it to ourselves to step out and do our own research and discover truth using logic, reasoning and discernment without influence of ideology or bias. Not to sound hyperbolic, but humanity’s existence relies upon it.