Conspiracy Round-up – End of 2015 Edition (Part 2)

The “Conspiracy and Democracy” project has a series of blogposts whereby the participants in the group answer questions like “Are Conspiracy Theories a Threat to Democracy?” Some of the answers are fairly interesting but others, I must say, just seem to reiterate without question what we’re always being told about conspiracy theories: that they are bad, mad and dangerous to know. It can be a little disheartening to see people trot out the same lines again and again without asking “Is the accepted wisdom actually based on good arguments or is is just an appeal to tradition?”

Which leads me to the next piece (something I really should have appended to the bit yesterday on how it’s not clear that conspiracy theories are increasingly popular at the moment): Jesse Walker summarises the best bits from an interview between the Washington Post and Joe Uscinski. The original story can be read here.

There was a “False Flag Islamophobia Conference” in Paris at about the same time as the Climate Conference. Some might argue you didn’t hear about it on the news because the media was told to suppress it; others might argue the Climate Conference in Paris simply dominated the news cycle because most people don’t think the Bataclan attack was a false flag event. Still, the real question is “Who decided on that very ambiguous name for the conference?”

Talking about false flags and Islamophobia, here’s a local example from Aotearoa of someone importing the fear of staged attacks.

NASA has Deep Space Warships, apparently.

Lord Christopher Monckton thinks Tony Abbott was just like Ghandi, and was toppled from the premiership of Australia by a UN-backed plot. My only question is “Why is Monckton so popular Downunder?”

Did the CIA invent the term “conspiracy theory”? We covered this on the podcast a few weeks ago. The evidence clearly shows that the answer to that question is “No!” This is one of the better pieces explaining why.

Is Richard Dawkins a conspiracist? Evidence points to “Yep”, particularly his views on Ahmed Mohamed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dawkins didn’t do an Alex Jones interview in a few years. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if I did an Alex Jones interview in a few years…

A similar take on Dawkins…

There’s an U.S. election next year, and people are still annoyed about that one time Al Gore lost to George W. Bush. Conspiracy theories abound as to how that Florida vote went in favour of the Republican, and the man whose statistical analysis was cited in support of Bush winning the election there is still haunted to this day about.

Meanwhile, another mathematician is getting into trouble for exposing what she thinks is evidence of voter fraud in Kansas…

Did the NSA stop spying on U.S. citizens when it said it did? No… And yet defenders of the Establishment wonder why people continue to believe conspiracy theories…

Not exactly a conspiracy, but Jeb Bush thinks you have to step up and kill baby Hitler. Hasn’t he read Stephen Fry’s “Making History”?

A local story, about the time an anarchist blew himself up whilst trying to damage New Zealand’s Big Brother computer system.


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.