Pipes on Conspiracy Theorists

Well, although the Wii holds the might of my attention I’m still managing to get some reading in between bouts of killing Space Pirates and playing with Rabbids. Daniel Pipes’ ‘Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From’ (New York: Free Press, 1997) has this lovely quote which could well be about our Celtic New Zealand scholars.

Conspiracy theorists parade academic titles (“Dr.,” “Professor”), earned or not. No less than conventional historians, they steep themselves in the literature of their subject and become expert in it. The difference lies in their methods; rather than piece together the past through the accumulation of facts, they plunder legitimate historical studies to build huge edifices out of odd and unrelated elements. (Pipes 1997 p. 3)

Back to Wi… work.

About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.


  1. Ah yes, but Pipes is Jewish and an academic, so he would say that. Independent researchers with qualifications gained from non-mainstream institutions are deliberately excluded, because their findings conflict with received opinion and upset hierarchies.

  2. But why are the hierarchies upset? Is it because the Internets keep claiming they are biased? Maybe the Hierarchies just need to get a grip.

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