Conspiracy Theories: A New Religion?

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PostTue Dec 01, 2009 6:52 pm » by Cryptillian

The Illuminati encourage skepticism. We do not seek sheep. We seek those who can apply their critical faculties and see beyond the delusions and lies of the old, false religions. Illumination - the ancient religion of the Illuminati - is not for believers who place blind faith in absurd gods and prophets. Many of our members began their journey as skeptics, cynics and atheists. To bring such people to illumination is a vastly more difficult task than preaching to the herds and flocks who wish to spend their lives on their knees worshipping deities in which no rational person could possibly believe. Illumination is the most remarkable religion in history because it is the only one that convinces atheists that they are mistaken. The reason for that is simple. The True God of Illumination has nothing at all in common with Jehovah, Allah or Christ. When God is defined in absurd ways, absurd conclusions flow. When the real nature of God is understood, all the mysteries of life fall into place.

So, step one - doubt everything you have been told about religion and find as many faults and flaws as you can. Step two - doubt everything you have been told about conspiracy theories and find as many faults and flaws as you can. Step three - doubt everything you have been told about science and find as many faults as flaws as you can. Step four - doubt everything you have been told about philosophy and find as many faults and flaws as you can. Step five - now you are ready to open your mind to the truth.

Conspiracy Theories: A New Religion?

"Simulation is the situation created by any system of signs when it becomes sophisticated enough, autonomous enough, to abolish its own referent and to replace it with itself."

-- Jean Baudrillard

Baudrillard tells us that we've entered hyperreality, sometimes defined as the more real than real. It seems an odd concept, yet perhaps we can find a good illustration in the proliferation of conspiracy theories. 'RL' - Real Life - is often associated with accidents, cock-ups, laziness, ineptitude, bad luck, unforeseen circumstances, unintended consequences, coincidences…a miasma of mess, muddle, disorder, chaos, unconnectedness. Cause and effect exist, but not in a simple, satisfying way.

People don't like the unadorned real. We're always looking for patterns that make sense: easy-to-understand cause and effect. Even when we look at the clouds, we imagine we're seeing definite shapes (like faces or animals) rather than amorphous blobs. We can't help ourselves - our minds are wired that way. When we can't find obvious cause and effect, we're left baffled. Even distressed. But our anxiety is relatively easy to cure. We simply invent an appropriate cause and effect and impose it on the problematic situation. The more cause and effect we can cram in, the happier we are. We feel we are understanding the world. We resist the notion that the truth, in a form we can grasp, is not out there. There must be some comprehensible pattern of cause and effect that explains everything.

Enter conspiracy theories. Nothing's an accident. Nothing's a cock-up. There are no lone nutters with high-powered rifles. Mad people don't do mad things. Instead, everything is rationalised, put in a nice, tidy box and tied up in a lovely pink bow. The gift-wrapped parcel is presented to the world and everyone nods and smiles because now the world makes sense. Sanity restored. Everything does have a sensible cause.

Of course, there may be many inconvenient facts that don't support the various conspiracy theories. But isn't it those who are in on the conspiracy who manufacture those 'facts'? Six million died in the Holocaust. 'Who says?' the Holocaust deniers ask. 'Jews say,' is their answer. Why? To promote a Zionist agenda. And aren't the Jews secretly controlling the world? Weren't we told so in the secret protocols of the elders of Zion? Those were forged, of course. But by whom? Well, by the elders of Zion, naturally, to cunningly disguise the truth.

To tell the truth of the 'Jewish conspiracy' is, according to the Holocaust deniers, to be accused of believing in a 'proven' forgery, which was not forged at all, but deliberately distributed as a simulated forgery.

Nowadays, no one can ever discuss the 'Jewish conspiracy' for fear of being branded anti-Semitic, and credulously and perversely accepting forgeries…which was the whole point of the forgery in the first place. Except, as noted, it wasn't a forgery, but merely a simulation of a forgery. The genius behind this conspiracy!

Well, that's how some people see it, and there's nothing you can say or do to change their minds. And even to try is to demonstrate that you're part of the conspiracy.

There are those who claim that facts can dispel conspiracy theories. What planet are these people living on? As Nietzsche said, 'There are no facts, only interpretations.' He might have come up with an even more extreme formulation: 'There are no facts, only misinterpretations.'

Facts have long since stopped being objective, real things. (They are ultimately nothing but electrical signals in the human brain in any case, assuming we accept the facts of science.) Facts, we now realise, are beliefs. They can be used to support anything. People hold religious beliefs precisely because 'facts' are so malleable. You can pick your own from all those on offer. You can disregard every fact you dislike. It's a precondition of faith. (Was Jesus Christ the Son of God? The Son of Man? Did he raise people from the dead, and rise from the dead himself? Are these facts? Or was Jesus Christ actually Yehoshua ben Yosef, and didn't perform any miracles, and was an ordinary human being? Did he even exist?)

Conspiracy theories operate in the same territory. These are belief systems too. Nothing can overcome them. Indeed, it's a prediction of Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory that the more conclusively people's beliefs are refuted the more likely many of those people are to redouble their faith in their disproven beliefs.

You see, it's all hyperreal. Conspiracy theories, like religions, offer much more emotionally satisfying explanations. They close the big, scary, open-ended questions. Who, other than rational people, wants to believe that a drunk driver in a Paris tunnel killed Diana Spencer? Her followers won't accept that. So all hail the elaborate conspiracy theory. She died for specific reasons, for a rational agenda - not because of some cheap and vulgar automobile accident of the type that happens scores of times a day all over the world. No, that simply won't do.

The dinosaur thinkers who write books 'disproving' conspiracy theories better get real. Or rather hyperreal. Their ludicrous facts became extinct long ago, assuming they ever existed in the first place (which they didn't.) There's no point in discussing the truth or otherwise of conspiracy theories. It's as futile as trying to disprove religions.

Religious believers often say, 'But you can't prove that God doesn't exist.' They never tell you what they would accept as proof. And in fact, they would accept nothing. Same game with the conspiracy theorists.

Of course, we're all familiar with the very first human conspiracy - when the first woman talked the first man into stealing an apple from a special tree: the Tree of Knowledge. The facts never got in the way of that conspiracy, did they?
Yahweh is the moon .....setting on a fallen sun

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PostWed Dec 02, 2009 1:00 pm » by Electrobadgr

A very insightful post crypt, i would refute the claim that people WANT to believe conspiracy theories, speaking personally i always want to be proven wrong. Surely noone wants to believe their government is trying to kill them etc, people arrive at these beliefs through observation and through consumption of "evidence". I am obviously only speaking for myself, you only have to look around here to re-enforce your point, however surely if there was sufficient evidence to disprove a theory then people couldn't believe it?
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly. time-y wimey... stuff." - The Doctor

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PostWed Dec 02, 2009 1:03 pm » by Electrobadgr

Btw, what happened to poosyluvr? Batting for the other side now are we?... :D

How bout Coquelikr? :flop:
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly. time-y wimey... stuff." - The Doctor

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PostWed Dec 02, 2009 1:14 pm » by Cognoscenti

Very well-written Cryptillian!! Your description of Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance
Theory is especially applicable to this forum on a wide variety of topics. Cudos to your scholarly essay.

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PostWed Dec 02, 2009 1:21 pm » by Proto

actually it's taken from here :

I'm also wondering if Cryptillian got anything to do with this writing
because he posted allot of articles from that site (book?) , so whats
the deal crypto ? you wrote it or you just liked the way it's written
or what ?

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