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The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories.

  1. OLYHOOCH profile image61
    OLYHOOCHposted 5 years ago

    No sooner had President Obama released his long-form birth certificate than Orly Taitz, the doyenne of the “birther” movement, found reason to doubt it.

    PULPIT Donald Trump took credit for the release of the president's birth certificate.

    In Trying to Debunk a Theory, the News Media Extended Its Life (April 28, 2011)

    “A step in the right direction,” she said, even though it was precisely the document that many birthers had been demanding of the president. And then she argued that it was still subject to authentication.

    Donald Trump, similarly bouffant, blond and politically inclined, likewise breezed past the new evidence of Mr. Obama’s citizenship, pausing only to take credit for forcing the release of the document before suggesting that the president was hiding something else — bad grades.

    So much for Mr. Obama’s hopes of stopping the “silliness.”

    To many, those who doubt Mr. Obama’s citizenship are driven simply by racial prejudice; they are unwilling to allow that America’s first black president could hold the office legitimately.

    Many scholars of conspiracy theory agree. But they also note that such theories are hardly unique to Mr. Obama; they have a long history in the United States and elsewhere, coming from left and right, covering all sorts of subjects, political and otherworldly (the twin towers were not hit by airplanes; Paul is dead). And those who doubt Mr. Obama’s citizenship fit the mold of other conspiracy theorists: they don’t loose their grip on their beliefs easily, if at all.

    “It almost becomes an article of faith, and as with any theological belief, you can’t confront it with facts,” said Kenneth D. Kitts, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke who has written extensively about presidential commissions that looked into events that have generated some of the biggest conspiracy theories of the last century — the attack on Pearl Harbor and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, among others.

    The fact that many Americans — and many Republicans in particular — have told pollsters that they doubt the president’s citizenship is less surprising when you consider the sizable percentages of Americans who subscribe to other conspiracy theories, said Robert Alan Goldberg, a history professor at the University of Utah and the author of “Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America.”

    Eighty percent of Americans, he said, believe that President Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, rather than a lone gunman, as a government commission affirmed. Thirty percent believe that the government covered up aliens’ landing in Roswell, N.M., and a third of American blacks believe that government scientists created AIDS as a weapon of black genocide. Sept. 11, of course, has inspired conspiracy theories — it was plotted, variously, by “the Jews,” the Bush administration or Saddam Hussein.

    By definition, Professor Goldberg said, a conspiracy theory is a belief that cunning forces are seeking to bend history to their will, provoking terror attacks or economic calamity to move the world in the direction they wish.

    “I look at this birther conspiracy as a typical example,” he said. “This is far beyond the issue of whether this is a legitimate president. The real issue for them is this belief that this is a ploy by this hidden group to get power, to move Americans toward socialism or globalism or multiculturalism using Barack Obama as a pawn.”

    Evidence that disproves a conspiracy is then scrubbed to provide new evidence — as with the Obama doubters who quickly claimed that the administration had used computer manipulation to create a false birth certificate. Of course the government says the conspiracy doesn’t exist, the doubters argue, because the government is complicit in the conspiracy.

    The Dreyfus affair is a concise example of the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t nature of conspiracy theories. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish artilleryman, was wrongly imprisoned in France in 1894 on accusations of treason.

    Military officers argued that his handwriting appeared on incriminating documents, writes Louis Begley in a book on the subject. When one expert doubted the handwritings’ similarity, the government produced another to argue that dissimilarity was proof of his guilt — Dreyfus had altered his writing to throw people off his trail.

    In a way, it is human nature to want to construct a narrative to resolve anxieties, to be drawn to mystery or the perception of it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/weeki … ntemail1=y

    1. canadawest99 profile image61
      canadawest99posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      OLY, you need to get out of the log cabin and smell some flowers or something.

      Why don't you chase a real conspiracy that matters, like exposing the real national debt of $100 trillion dollars and the shadow banking sector derivatives of $600 trillion.

  2. knolyourself profile image61
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    The New York Times is a conspiracy.

    1. tony0724 profile image60
      tony0724posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Agreed. All the news that is fit to line the catbox with. I hope I don't offend any cats.

  3. lovemychris profile image78
    lovemychrisposted 5 years ago

    Here's more: Orly Taitz's husband stands to lose a lot of money if Universal Healthcare were to pass.
    Bibi Netanyahu started the birther issue as a means to pressure Pres. Obama.
    George Bush senior is a Nazi from Germany, who was sent here to undermine the United States.
    Reagan didn't like HW Bush, didn't trust him.
    Some say the cabal had Reagan shot--turns out Reagan was not fond of the Federal Reserve either!
    Nor were Kennedy's 1 and 2.

    Just yesterday, it was revealed that Sirhan Sirhan was under hypnosis..that's why he doesn't remember anything...never did. MK Ultra.
    Mark David Chapman...same thing. Under mind-control.

    We know NOTHING about what goes on behind the scenes...that is no conspiracy,. that's the truth!!

    1. junko profile image78
      junkoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Oly, was this quote, or unquote, this post, your words?

  4. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image96
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 5 years ago

    I'm a large scale historical conspiracy believer in some cases.  Please don't ever lump me into the mix with the small minds of the birthers.

    1. OLYHOOCH profile image61
      OLYHOOCHposted 5 years ago in reply to this



      1. OLYHOOCH profile image61
        OLYHOOCHposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        There is nothing I can say, that has not been said already.

        When I write something in my OWN words, I will tell you.


    2. lovemychris profile image78
      lovemychrisposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you! Just becasue the Birthers suck wind, doesn't mean they all do.