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    Are conspiracy theories destroying democracy?

    Or are many theories the truth, but are rubbished by govts,companies to cover up they have been caught out

    conspiracy theories destroying democracy?
    COMMENTS (1508)
    By Brian Wheeler
    Politics reporter, BBC News
    Conspiracy theories
    Continue reading the main story
    Related Stories

    Is it OK to call someone a conspiracy theorist?
    Would you want to be a Freemason?
    The evolution of the 9/11 conspiracy theories
    The more information we have about what governments and corporations are up to the less we seem to trust them. Will conspiracy theories eventually destroy democracy?

    What if I told you I had conclusive proof that the moon landings were faked, but I had been told to keep it under wraps by my BBC bosses acting under orders from the CIA, NSA and MI6. Most of you would think I had finally lost my mind.

    But, for some, that scenario - a journalist working for a mainstream media organisation being manipulated by shadowy forces to keep vital information from the public - would seem entirely plausible, or even likely.

    We live in a golden age for conspiracy theories. There is a growing assumption that everything we are told by the authorities is wrong, or not quite as it seems. That the truth is being manipulated or obscured by powerful vested interests.

    And, in some cases, it is.

    'Inside job'
    "The reason we have conspiracy theories is that sometimes governments and organisations do conspire," says Observer columnist and academic John Naughton.

    It would be wrong to write off all conspiracy theorists as "swivel-eyed loons," with "poor personal hygiene and halitosis," he told a Cambridge University Festival of Ideas debate.

    They are not all "crazy". The difficult part, for those of us trying to make sense of a complex world, is working out which parts of the conspiracy theory to keep and which to throw away.

    Continue reading the main story
    Conspiracy theories through the ages

    Benjamin Disraeli
    'Secret societies': Paranoia was rife in the 19th Century in the wake of the French revolution. British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (pictured) warned of "secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments' plans"
    Freemasons: A secret society tracing its roots back to the 14th century, freemasonry has been accused of everything from controlling the judiciary to faking the moon landings
    Illuminati: Initially referred to the Bavarian Illumaniti, a secret society founded in 1776 to oppose religious influence over public life. Outlawed in 1785 but name now linked to alleged conspiracies to create New World Order
    Dreyfus affair: A young artillery officer of Jewish extraction, Alfred Dreyfus, was wrongly convicted in 1894 of treason and sent to Devil's Island in a case that divided France. Nationalists believed there was a Jewish conspiracy against Catholicism
    Protocols of the elders of Zion: An anti-semitic hoax supposedly describing Jewish plans for world domination. Publicised by the Nazis despite already being exposed as fraudulent
    McCarthyism: Named after Senator Joseph McCarthy who led a witch-hunt against suspected communists in American public life in the first half of the 1950s
    Mr Naughton is one of three lead investigators in a major new Cambridge University project to investigate the impact of conspiracy theories on democracy.

    The internet is generally assumed to be the main driving force behind the growth in conspiracy theories but, says Mr Naughton, there has been little research into whether that is really the case.

    He plans to compare internet theories on 9/11 with pre-internet theories about John F Kennedy's assassination.

    Like the other researchers, he is wary, or perhaps that should be weary, of delving into the darker recesses of the conspiracy world.

    "The minute you get into the JFK stuff, and the minute you sniff at the 9/11 stuff, you begin to lose the will to live," he told the audience in Cambridge.

    Like Sir Richard Evans, who heads the five-year Conspiracy and Democracy project, he is at pains to stress that the aim is not to prove or disprove particular theories, simply to study their impact on culture and society.

    Why are we so fascinated by them? Are they undermining trust in democratic institutions?

    David Runciman, professor of politics at Cambridge University, the third principal investigator, is keen to explode the idea that most conspiracies are actually "cock-ups".

    "The line between cock-up, conspiracy and conspiracy theory are much more blurred than the conventional view that you have got to choose between them," he told the Festival of Ideas.

    "There's a conventional view that you get these conspirators, who are these kind of sinister, malign people who know what they are doing, and the conspiracy theorists, who occasionally stumble upon the truth but who are on the whole paranoid and crazy.


    Sir Richard Evans: What constitutes a conspiracy theory?
    "Actually the conspirators are often the paranoid and crazy conspiracy theorists, because in their attempt to cover up the cock-up they get drawn into a web in which their self-justification posits some giant conspiracy trying to expose their conspiracy.

    "And I think that's consistently true through a lot of political scandals, Watergate included."

    'Curry house plot'
    It may also be true, he argues, of the "vicious" in-fighting and plotting that characterised New Labour's years in power, as recently exposed in the memoirs of Gordon Brown's former spin doctor Damian McBride.

    The Brownite conspiracies to remove Tony Blair were "pathetically ineffectual" - with the exception of the 2006 "curry house" plot that forced Blair to name a departure date - but the picture painted by Mr McBride of a "paranoid" and "chaotic" inner circle has the ring of truth about it, he claims.

    Gordon Brown
    Gordon Brown was a keen student of conspiracy theories
    And Mr Brown - said to be a keen student of the JFK assassination - knew a conspiracy when he saw one.

    "You feel he sees conspiracies out there because he has a mindset that is not dissimilar to the conspiracy theorists," said Prof Runciman.

    He is also examining whether the push for greater openness and transparency in public life will fuel, rather than kill off, conspiracy theories.

    "It may be that one of the things conspiracy theories feed on as well as silence, is a surfeit of information. And when there is a mass of information out there, it becomes easier for people to find their way through to come to the conclusion they want to come to.

    "Plus, you don't have to be an especial cynic to believe that, in the age of open government, governments will be even more careful to keep secret the things they want to keep secret.

    "The demand for openness always produces, as well as more openness, more secrecy."

    Which brings us back to the moon landings. I should state, for the avoidance of any doubt, and to kill off any internet speculation, that I am not in possession of any classified information about whether they were faked or not. My contacts at Nasa are not that good.

    But then I would say that wouldn't I?


    BBC News - Are conspiracy theories destroying democracy?
    Last edited by Yasojack; 31-10-2013 at 11:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Well done, OP. Another conspiracy thread. Guaranteed success. Cue the lunatics to put on their tinfoil hats and get to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    Cue the lunatics to put on their tinfoil hats and get to it.






    "Procure a rectangular piece of tin foil twice as long as it is wide. (Note: You must use genuine tin foil, as the Homeland Security Act is forcing a phase-out of tin in favor of aluminum in order to make it harder for us to block their spy beams)."

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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Well done, OP. Another conspiracy thread. Guaranteed success. Cue the lunatics to put on their tinfoil hats and get to it.

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    Not really- but grubby conspiracies are threatening to destroy democracy.
    Grubby conspiracies built on naked, shortsighted greed, and utterly profound irresponsibility.
    The fabled Conspiracy theorists with their tinfoil hats, only serve to obscure the real conspiracies.

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    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Saw Elvis leaving Paragon this morning with a couple of stunners - one on each arm.

    Elvis Lives!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee
    Saw Elvis leaving Paragon this morning with a couple of stunners - one on each arm. Elvis Lives!
    Thank fuck for that - i thought i was the only one.



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    In the US, the problem is out-of-control spending and ever increasing debt coupled with an ever increasing number of citizens (and illegal immigrants) demanding more and more entitlements thereby taking more out than they will ever put in.

    Smarter people than I have stated that Democracy is always doomed to fail as the number of have-nots exceed the number of haves.

    Greece is a good example of that happening in Europe as well.

    RickThai

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    think you need to look at stats in your own country you are totally off your fekking rocker.

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    Rick not sure what your post had to do with the OP, heres some info on your own country.

    Gap between US rich and poor reaches record width
    America's top 1 percent of earners control 19.3 percent of total household income, a gap wider even than in 1927.
    income inequality recordENLARGE
    Income inequality in the US reached record levels in 2012, new research has found. (Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images)
    The current gap between America's rich and poor is the widest in history, new research using Internal Revenue Service data reveals, as the country continues to struggle to recover from a crippling economic downturn.

    The new report, entitled "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States," analyzed IRS data from 2012 all the way back to 1913 to come to some striking conclusions about America's increasingly severe income disparity.

    Researchers found that while the incomes of the so-called 1 percent of earners have almost made a full recovery from the bust years, those in the bottom 99 percent have only just begun to bounce back.

    That's not all: the top 10 percent of US households controlled 50.4 percent of total income in 2012, the highest figures seen since 1917, the tail-end of the prosperous Progressive Era.

    More from GlobalPost: Things rich people do: Go to finishing school

    At very top of the heap, the richest 1 percent's share of total household income was a record 19.3 percent last year.

    The bad news for America's low-earning class just keeps coming: other data found that the top 1 percent saw their incomes recover by a respectable 31.4 percent during 2009 and 2012.

    That's 95 percent of the total gain recognized in the US. The bottom 99 percent had to content themselves with growth of only 0.4 percent.

    Berkeley researcher Emmanuel Saez suspects the even better-than-usual prosperity of the wealthy in 2012 may be in part explained by their rush to cash in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes, according to CBS.

    The paper notes that while the Great Depression saw sweeping policy changes that reduced income inequality, no such magic bullet appears to be imminent during our modern Great Recession — indicating that US income concentration is unlikely to decline much in the near future.

    Gap between US rich and poor reaches record width | GlobalPost

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    Many moons ago I was the top salesman at a company. This happened mostly by chance, but happened none the less.

    The boss was a freemason and wasn't around much.

    One time I was working, and got a ticket from a traffic warden who was obviously hiding behind a dustbin or something.

    Anyway, I gave him a bit of a slap.

    When I got back to work the boss called me in immediately and asked me if i'd just assaulted a traffic warden. I fessed up and told him the story. He told me to go back to work and he'd contact me.

    He called me later and told me to go and see a policeman he'd named at the local police station.

    When I got there, that policeman told me exactly what I had to say when he started recording the conversation.

    The next day the policeman called me and gave me a phone number and a name and told me i just had to call and apologise and the matter was over.

    And so it was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke;2600385/quote


    Teflon shirt right?

    Smart as fuck.

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    Are conspiracy theories destroying democracy?

    No, not in the least, since only a small lunatic fringe actually believes in such nonsense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke;2600385/quote


    Teflon shirt right?

    Smart as fuck.
    No ,it's Kevlar..

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    possibly the lunatics believe all there told to believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasojack
    all conspiracy theorists as "swivel-eyed loons," with "poor personal hygiene and halitosis,"
    Brilliant!



    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee
    Quote:
    Saw Elvis leaving Paragon this morning with a couple of stunners - one on each arm. Elvis Lives!
    Quote Originally Posted by withnallstoke
    Quote: Thank fuck for that - i thought i was the only one.






    Erm, he specifically said "stunners" I know, I read it.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaBorn
    Erm, he specifically said "stunners" I know, I read it.....
    True - but then again he also said Elvis.

    I tried to google "Elvis in Bangkok in 2013 with a stunning wench on each arm", and that photo was the best i could muster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickThai View Post
    In the US, the problem is out-of-control spending and ever increasing debt coupled with an ever increasing number of citizens (and illegal immigrants) demanding more and more entitlements thereby taking more out than they will ever put in.

    Smarter people than I have stated that Democracy is always doomed to fail as the number of have-nots exceed the number of haves.

    Greece is a good example of that happening in Europe as well.

    RickThai
    I think the underlying problem is that people's expectations of life are too high. We cannot all have a 5 bedroom house and 3 cars, and all the associated toys. Job for life? huge pension without lifting a finger? But we are told of course you can simply sign here...

    As for secret societies like the masons. Why not? If a bunch of guys want to get together and do stuff and have a vow of secrecy well...it is the element of secrecy that bonds them together. BTW women can't keep a secret that's why there are no female secret societies.

    With the advent of social networking people think if they know something ergo they are important...

    EDIT: Back to my social social networking, gossip , no secrets line of thinking. Society , in general, is becoming more female. Men are being emasculated et al.everything is supposed to be more safe, no one wants to take risks or to live on the edge or...sociey wants all citizens to be coy females. But then i suppose there might be nothing new there either?
    Last edited by VocalNeal; 01-11-2013 at 09:18 AM.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

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    heres a story is it a conspiracy theory or fact

    Who Owns The United States of America
    The Military-Industrial Complex
    The largest chunk of ownership in the USA is, not surprisingly, the military-industrial complex, including the Armed Services, taking in all the branches, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, numerous unnamed and invisible spy networks, the CIA, Haliburton and Boeing. Together, these groups own 81% of the United States of America.
    United States Armed Forces Seals Print Poster
    United States...

    Buy This at Allposters.com


    It's a good investment for them, too.

    They receive as annual royalties, roughly, 65% of the federal discretionary budget, plus Haliburton and Boeing investments, all of it tax free. This wealth allows them to establish storefronts in over one-hundred countries, corrupt legitimate political process around the world, smirk at democratic reform, manage and, sometimes, censor the alleged free press here and elsewhere.

    You may have noticed that, in all the endless debates prior to the last presidential election, nobody questioned the dominance of this coalition or its influence on private lives. Guess why. The military-industrial complex may now have reached Sacred Cow status, immune from criticism and impossible to break down into digestible components.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasojack View Post
    Rick not sure what your post had to do with the OP, heres some info on your own country.
    Huh, the original topic was the question about whether conspiracy stories were destroying democracy and I replied that it was out-of-control spending and outrageous debt that was destroying democracy.

    I then went on and provided an historical comment on how democracy was doomed to fail and provide Greece as an example of a "destroyed democracy".

    How can that not be on topic?

    RickThai

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    To address conspiracy theories. They exist in every form of government, not just democracies.

    In a government with more freedom of speech, conspiracies spread faster, but are also generally rebutted much faster.

    IMO only the most gullible fool would make any major decisions based upon a conspiracy theory.

    Some are merely amusing and some are created and spread to be deliberately manipulative (i.e. Zimmerman shooting).

    RickThai

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yasojack View Post
    heres a story is it a conspiracy theory or fact

    Who Owns The United States of America
    The Military-Industrial Complex
    The largest chunk of ownership in the USA is, not surprisingly, the military-industrial complex, including the Armed Services, taking in all the branches, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, numerous unnamed and invisible spy networks, the CIA, Haliburton and Boeing. Together, these groups own 81% of the United States of America.
    United States Armed Forces Seals Print Poster
    United States...

    Buy This at Allposters.com


    It's a good investment for them, too.

    They receive as annual royalties, roughly, 65% of the federal discretionary budget, plus Haliburton and Boeing investments, all of it tax free. This wealth allows them to establish storefronts in over one-hundred countries, corrupt legitimate political process around the world, smirk at democratic reform, manage and, sometimes, censor the alleged free press here and elsewhere.

    You may have noticed that, in all the endless debates prior to the last presidential election, nobody questioned the dominance of this coalition or its influence on private lives. Guess why. The military-industrial complex may now have reached Sacred Cow status, immune from criticism and impossible to break down into digestible components.
    ^


    Ya know, if you're just going to copy and paste junk it'd be nice if you could at least clean up the formatting a bit and let us know where you rip it from.

    You plagiarised the above from squidoo:

    Who Owns America? Who Owns The United States? What You Don't Know

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBKK
    Ya know, if you're just going to copy and paste truth it'd be nice if you were nicer to my boss. It's not nice to tell the truth and if it's known how truly disgusting we truly are - then we'll be slaughtered. So please, hold it down and get back on the x factor
    fixed that for you CIA Tony

  24. #24
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    TY couldn't be arsed doing the link LOL,so if your going to post on the thread at least make a contribution

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBKK View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Yasojack View Post
    heres a story is it a conspiracy theory or fact

    Who Owns The United States of America
    The Military-Industrial Complex
    The largest chunk of ownership in the USA is, not surprisingly, the military-industrial complex, including the Armed Services, taking in all the branches, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, numerous unnamed and invisible spy networks, the CIA, Haliburton and Boeing. Together, these groups own 81% of the United States of America.
    United States Armed Forces Seals Print Poster
    United States...

    Buy This at Allposters.com


    It's a good investment for them, too.

    They receive as annual royalties, roughly, 65% of the federal discretionary budget, plus Haliburton and Boeing investments, all of it tax free. This wealth allows them to establish storefronts in over one-hundred countries, corrupt legitimate political process around the world, smirk at democratic reform, manage and, sometimes, censor the alleged free press here and elsewhere.

    You may have noticed that, in all the endless debates prior to the last presidential election, nobody questioned the dominance of this coalition or its influence on private lives. Guess why. The military-industrial complex may now have reached Sacred Cow status, immune from criticism and impossible to break down into digestible components.
    ^


    Ya know, if you're just going to copy and paste junk it'd be nice if you could at least clean up the formatting a bit and let us know where you rip it from.

    You plagiarised the above from squidoo:

    Who Owns America? Who Owns The United States? What You Don't Know

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