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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:55 AM
Original message
Remember way back when there were no conspiracy theories?
I do, fondly, I even waited about 20 years after Kennedy was murdered before I saw the Zapruder film before there was any general talk about weird theories.

I also remember when we didn't automatically put on tin foil at every news cycle, but let's face it, we've been programmed to look for theories because that's all we've got, we have to come up with theories as to why things are so fucked up.

It's too bad really, but that's the way it is in bush world, in the so called post nine eleven world. The people running things are such secretive, congenital liars that we have to resort to theoretical scenarios all the time to try to make sense of it.

It's sad because many of us are at each other's throats over it. We insult each other a lot over it. We get angry because we see each other as someone who just doesn't get it.

This keeps us polarized to an extent, but theoretical thinking wont' go away unfortunately, when you have a major crime family running the world.

Now you have one headline that launches a thousand conspiracy theories almost every day. The poisoned Russian ex spy for instance, Princess Diana's death for another. We can't help it, we are inquisitive and suspicious people, and frankly, I'm glad there are a few crackpots around willing to postulate theories.

But I admit, as a conspiracy theorist, one does draw the ire and insults of those who are less inquisitive or suspicious. I don't see myself as blindly seeking out weird theories on every subject, but others see it that way.

The thing about a theory is that it can't be proven to some folks. Like the theory of evolution, millions refuse to believe it, you'll never convince them it's real. Some call gravity a theory.

I will always be a suspicious person, and I will take all conspiracy theories with a grain of salt. Generally, what you see is what it is, or so it was till bush showed up.

I remember when a child could walk down the streets of East St. Louis to buy candy at night, alone, and be perfectly safe, and I remember when there were NO conspiracy theories about our government. Those were the days.

If this thread needs locked, I'll understand. I appreciate the mods and their hard work, and I don't want to be a pain in the ass, believe it or not.

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magellan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. BushCo's antics have made us all paranoid
Maybe it's a form of PTSD. I used to roll my eyes at conspiracy theories, but after six years of Bush** I look at almost every major event with suspicion.

I suppose the good thing about this is that less people trust the government now than before Bush**. And that's how it should be.
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roguenkatz Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. Whatever is the most likely scenario
based on the evidence is probably what happened. When you hear hoofbeats you don't automatically think "zebra." But when you hear hoofbeats and someone tells you it's a big lion, the bullshit alarms tend to sound.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. We should be inquisitive or suspicious.
Those who are not are republican and believe that the government is doing all this for our own good.

One question, how old are you if you remember being able to walk down the streets E. St. Louis? For as long as I can remember, that was considered dangerous. The joke we used to tell was that they would steal your hubcaps while the car was moving.
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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. 55
The kid was me, and my wife too. Born in St. Louis, but lived on the east side in Cahokia, Belleville, etc. East St. Louis for the most part back in those days was fairly sane, but most folks didn't go there at night, for various reasons.

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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. I am sure a lot changed from why you were a kid until I was about 8 years
You have about 10 on me and I would not have learned about E. St. Louis until I was about 10. My oldest brother moved to St. Louis when I was 10 and I remember him talking about the other side of the river. When I lived in Missouri, the people I knew from St. Louis all joked about East St. Louis and the hubcap thing.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
4. There was a time, in the 19th century, when the wealthy ruled openly...
but our grandfathers didn't want the Robber Barons (or child labor, 12 hr wk days, etc.) and they fought for and created a middle class.

That worked for a while, but they just didn't see that an America-Only middle class was doomed, so the Robber Barons got themselves PR fronts, bought politicians, shrank from view and reestablished their reign through Globalization.

What the New Robber Barons don't understand is that the military might to extend their new empire comes from the middle class that they just destroyed. This grab for Oil is really a clutching for straws of an American/Saudi ruling elite that's doomed for History's dustbin of former empires.
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
6. No I don't
Maybe we just traveled in different circles, I dunno. I remember conspiracy theories thriving for as far back as my memory goes. A lot of people had theories about the JFK assassination right after it happened. The same goes for RFK, and King, and Malcolm X, and Lennon, and Bob Marley.

Other incidents occurred where people were immediately distrustful of the reported story, including the USS Liberty attack, the Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, the moon landing, Roswell, and the Bay of Pigs.

Tin foil hattery goes back a long way, and in my mind for good reason. History is rife with examples of Machiavellian schemes and politically motivated murders. People suspect the official story because history tells us that quite often it is bullshit. That does NOT mean that every death or illness is the result of some scheme dreamed up by shadowy figures no one ever sees, but such things do happen.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
7. Within empires, conspiracies are normal
Look at Roman history - government was a conspiracy of competing conspiracies. Emperor vs. Senate. Patricians vs. Plebians. Equestrians vs, Freedmen. Native Romans vs. Colonials. Praetorian Guard vs. Legions. Why should we be any different? We are modeled on them, after all.
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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. New Rome
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. Imperium et fascisti
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Indeed...
Look at the back of a Mercury dime, you'll see Roman fasces...the original symbol of fascism!

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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. Look at any major event in history with a critical and skeptical eye...
and there is usually a conspiracy or an ulterior motive of some sort behind it.


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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. Month or so ago I was transferring old reel to reel tapes for a client
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 07:26 AM by johnnie
One of the tapes was from the day Oswald got shot. It was mainly live footage of JFK's memorial service or whatever it was. A few times the newscasters mentioned the fact that the police were saying that Oswald was friends with Ruby.

At one point, one of the newscasters said something about a conspiracy and the person who was recording the tape can be heard in the background saying "See, I told you so".

My point, I have it "documented" that it was considered a conspiracy right off the bat. I'm sure that not long after that, the powers to be got the word out that everyone who thought it was a conspiracy was a whack-job. Some things never change.
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Zensea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
9. Actually, no I don't
and I'm 50.
If you can remember when there were no conspiracy theories, I'm just inclined to think that you weren't paying attention at the time.
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
10. The first conspiracy theory book about the JFK assassination
came out in '66, IIRC.
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Crabby Appleton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. You are correct - Mark Lane - Rush to Judgment nt
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
12. I do remember when kids could play without fear
I grew up in the 50s in a small town and we had as kids complete run of the whole town if we had a bike. And no parent was afraid to let there kids out.
Then Eisenhower was president and even in the community that i lived in that was strongly democrat no one dised the president.

I lost my cherry when JFK was murdered in Dallas. And it was right from the start. I can remember seeing Oswald being brought out and him saying to the press "I am just a patsy" and thinking he sounded like he was telling the truth. And then when Ruby shot him on live TV it was hard for me to go back to believing in a lone nut case assassin.
Then the MLK and RFK Assignations sealed the deal for me. Frankly I can't understand how anyone would not be suspicious after living through those times, but some are more trusting than others.
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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. No one used the term 'conspiracy theory'.
They were all around of course, but now they are all lumped in together: UFO's, Alien babies, Moon landing, nine eleven, the loch ness monster, Osama, Elvis, and it's really more of a label for kooks and an insult than a real description.
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chimpymustgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #14
15.  "Conspiracy theory" is their magic bullet.
As more information becomes available to the masses, more questions asked, more need to tamp down "inquiring minds". The "powers that be" have always run their "agenda". The stakes are higher, it's more global, there's more money involved.

And now the great unwashed have the internets.

So for every question we raise, we must be shouted down, silenced quickly. CONSPIRACY THEORY!!
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
19. No.
I don't count the years when I would have been unaware of them.

By the time I was 10 I knew about the conspiracy to cover up UFOs.

When I was 11 I was accosted and insulted by Vietnam War protestors on the Mall in DC, and told that because I wasn't helping to unmask the conspiracies of the military-industrial complex and marching with them to end the war that I was personally responsible for the intentional killing of thousands of babies in Vietnam and the US plots to take over the world. I told them that I was a kid, they said I was stupid and brainwashed and turned away with a 'hmmph' of disgust. I turned away with a grimace because they smelled really, really bad.

When I was 16 I learned about the JFK conspiracies. Still haven't decided which one to believe it, they're like the megapack of Crayola crayons I once had.

When I was 18 I learned about Tesla's marvellous inventions, that the earth was hollow and inhabited by superior beings, that we had pills violating conservation of mass and energy that could convert water to gasoline but the big oil companies were keeping this wonderful knowledge hidden.

When I was 19 I learned that Jews were in charge of everything and conspiring to enslave us goyim.

When I was 20 I learned that the Jewish conspiracy was actually a socialist conspiracy.

Given the range of people I had to associate with, I assumed that these were right-wing conspiracies. I learned better a decade later (after learning about even more conspiracies).

So many conspiracies ... if gullibility were a natural resource, its price per metric ton would be valued in the thousandths of a cent.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
21. Conspiracy theories date back (before) Phillip II's (Alexander's dad) assassination n/t
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 11:58 AM by UTUSN
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
22. The Book of Genesis was the first conspiracy theory.
Everything changes, and nothing changes.
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
23. I have a theory that a group of Nazis called Neo Conservative Republicans
hell bent on fleecing our national treasure and world domination, conspired with a bunch of very rich and greedy corporate elitist to buy off high ranking politicians, subvert the free press, stole the elections of 2000 and 2004, lied about 911, lied about WMDs and started an illegal war I believe there is more to the given than meets the eye Who will you believe me or your own eyes?
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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
24. Nope, don't remember.
I think there were always conspiracy theories and conspiracies.

Sen Joe McCarthy (sp?) in the early 1950's had pretty interesting theories about the Red menace in our society.

I'm sure there were some other theories about other Presidential assassinations, Lincoln, etc. One assassination might have even helped things - MkKinley was replaced by T.R. who did some interesting projects like Panama Canal and various National Parks.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
25. That would have been pre-11/22/1963 for me.
I was 14. Up to that time I didn't much concern myself with politics -- other than growing up in a family of dedicated Democrats -- but the JFK assassination was a big awakening.

When Ruby shot Oswald, my family, like millions of others, were all sitting together glued to the TV -- as we had been ever since Kennedy's murder -- so we saw it happen live. I will never forget what my Dad said then, "Well, I guess they've made sure now that we'll never know who really killed Kennedy."

I've never accepted the surface show as being the total reality ever since that day. When it comes to the ruling powers of the world, there is ALWAYS more beneath the surface and behind the curtain, ALWAYS.

sw
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
26. Back in the Pleistocene?
As long as there's been civilization (or some facsimile thereof) there've been conspiracy theories. Off the top of my head, there was Socrates corrupting Athenian youth, the new-fangled Christians wanting to burn down Rome during Nero's reign, Jews poisoning the water supply during much of the Middle Ages, Catholics trying to blow up Parliament and turn a good Protestant country back to Catholicism, etc. Some of them had a small kernel of truth, others were pure paranoia.

I got interested in conspiracy theories in the early 60s when I read a book about the conspiracy to murder Lincoln.

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
27. There Has Never Been Such A Time, Sir
This outlook has been a sturdy perennial throughout human history, and in the history of the United States as well. You might enjoy looking into the nineteenth century "Anti-Mason" Party, as well as the Know Nothings. The far right in this country peddled for decades, and still peddles, the idea that Communists are actually in control of the U.S. government: there were books published in the fifties claiming President Eisenhower was a Kremlin agent. Perhaps the only new development is that persons who consider themselves leftists have taken up some of these old rightist outlooks proclaiming a "hidden hand" behind events, rather than the play of economic and historical forces.
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BuyingThyme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
28. People have been completely brainwashed.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 02:20 PM by BuyingThyme
The word conspiracy has nothing to do with the word theory.

The reason people always associate the word conspiracy with the word theory is because they have been trained to bow to authoritarianism. People think they're being "suspicious," when they're actually being nothing more than obedient.

Evolution is a perfect example. Evolution is fact and creation is purely authoritarian fiction. But people have been brainwashed into viewing the truth (evolution) through a cloud of insanity (religion).

With Iraq, people are just now learning to start with the facts, instead of trusting authority. They're coming to understand that the whole war has been nothing but conspiracy.

Hopefully they'll eventually be able to apply this skill (intelligence) to other areas. That's what authoritarians fear most.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
29. Thanks Philosoraptor!
I appreciate your posts, as someone who never accepts the "official story" particularly where the government and the corporate media are concerned. I don't buy every crack pot theory that comes along, but history has shown us that people in power will do ANYTHING to keep it, get more of it and prevent others from having it, so it is perfectly sane to be suspicious of them.

Just in the last century alone we have seen the most heinous, diabolical, conspiratorial crimes perpetrated on various populations around the world, so it baffles me when people who have knowledge of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al. are so quick to anger when it is suggested that maybe our own government could be involved in similar activities.

Is it denial? A desire to believe that it can't happen here? I don't know, but I am always shocked by the vitriol of those who pounce upon anyone who questions the official story. What are they so afraid of? If they really just thought "conspiracy theorists" were nothing more than lunatics, then I would think they could just laugh it off and ignore them. However, their anger leads me to believe that it goes deeper than that.

Usually I think the truth lies somewhere between the "official story" and Area 51, ;) but for some of us, it is our nature to question EVERYTHING and I shudder to think where we would be if nobody ever challenged the establishment.
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