T Nation

Conspiracy Theories


ok people. Yet another 9/11* thread has popped up as have a few others that are all conspiracy theories. (Yes it was a conspiracy -- by al Qaeda. We only get to have conspiracies sometimes I think because we are Americans and have all the best of everything. You guys think you have poverty in Africa? Well in Texas we have people who can't afford McDonald's regularly. So there.)

Now I don't normally get too agitated about these but I think that conspiracy is going mainstream. What I mean is that it used to be that nutjobs were treated as such, but now this crap is showing up in the schools.

Case in point, my kid recently had a US history class and part of it was a look at the JFK assassination. Fine so far. What was their intro to this topic? The Oliver Stone film. Hell he couldn't even tell me the first thing about the Warren Commission. It is one thing to have a well-supported alternate viewpoint and quite another to simply parrot pop schlock. He had no idea for instance that Oswald was a marine who went to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Does anyone under 40 know how momentous a change that was? That would be like a marine deciding to move to North Korea today because its a worker's paradise. Nor did he know that Kennedy was seen as a rabid anti-communist who brought the Soviets to heel over Cuba. Being a critic means you know the other guy's argument well enough to punch holes in it, not just that you are in your own negative feedback loop.

It used to be that pop schlock was the standard history. When did it start to happen that the alternative crowd became pop schlock? And why can't they step up to the plate and admit that they are now the dreaded Establishment? One of my students (remember that I teach at a University) who is starting a degree in Architecture no less told me about his views on 9-11. After questioning all I could really get out of him was that we should endorse conspiracy theories rather than run the risk of being "unfair". Unfair to whom? The officials who are accused of mass murder with no evidence (and what would you do if we accused you of even killing one person???) Very, very weird.

Is it just me? Have I just run into some statistical oddity with this and found these people or is this cropping up generally?

-- jj

* For the achingly minority view, try this site: http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/911NutPhysics.HTM


I hate conspiracy theories.


I really just don't know anymore. One of the nuts just told me "my culture" was inferior to the West, despite self identification with the "West" on my part and that my mind needed to "evolve" to begin to understand why 9/11 was clearly an inside job despite mountains of evidence pointing the other way.

Nuts are found everywhere it would seem.


We do know though that conspiracies happen.

And some were spectacularly successful-

So while there is an incredible amount of nutjobs out there if someone has a version that includes stuff that all other governments would do but certainly not yours I would not automatically dismiss it.


if you don't like it tell the school board, maybe they think the holocaust never happened either.


OK here is where we come to the nuts and bolts of the issue... Examples? Where has there ever been a conspiracy of the scope, complexity and deviousness of what 9-11-ers assume? I don't mean other conspiracy theories, but actual conspiracies that worked? The ones that I know of have been very small in scope (a few people) or short-lived.

Pretty much every large-scale bit of planning (especially by the government) has limped along as a self-parody. Why should they suddenly and miraculously get it right?

-- jj


Now here is a funny one



The conspiracy of certain ideas are all around us. The actions that result from these ideas need not lead to intentional damage; however, when a large segment of society believe bad ideas are true -- and when intentionally acted upon -- the results can be horrific.

History is ripe with examples of this phenomenon.

edited for punctuation and readability.


Hello? Nazi Germany?!

And that is the first one off the top of my head.


Right, LOL jesus it's like these people believe that just because the US was once great, nothing or no-one can ever change that fact and to even suggest it might be possible would make once certifiably insane. The fucking Germans tricked thier entire population into thinking another group of people would destroy them (the jews). Hitler used several false flag attacks along with misinformation to get the people behind him, and what was his ultimate goal? To get rid of the jews? Or was it world domination.

Now in the US we have this common enemy who will destroy us if left unchecked, the terrorist muslims. The government needs us the citizenry to pledge blind allegience, and make gigantic sacrifices so that our way of life remains intact. Every single day something gets posted on this very message board showing one more example of our US gavernment following these exact blueprints, furthuring our dependance on them for our own wellbeing, all while taking our rights to do anything to them away. We the people have very little power left, the next election or two might be it. I mean we already get to choose between the lesser of two evils, so it is kind of all phony anyways, but just look at the machine that came up against the ron paul campaign. The reason there is no whistle blowers is because the power elite are all in on this, the Powers that be have brainwashed millions of ultra rich and powerful people. You seriously think you could brainwash some germans to torture and gas jews the way they did but somehow haveing some bad apples sut up and run with a 9-11 type attack is rediculous? I mean it's hardly even the worst behavior humankind has witnessed, and now somehow a gavernment could never do it to it's own people?

I simply just give up. At least football season is here so I can take my mind off reality and distract myself.



Where was the conspiracy there? The Nazis were public as Hell from the get go about wanting to do away with the Weimar Republic and even went so far as to stage the famous Beer Hall Putsch.

For a conspiracy along the lines of 9-11-ers I think we need

  • Massive scale. Not just a couple dozen cronies but thousands
  • Absolute secrecy. Not merely did nobody know about it at the time, but years later everyone involved is still mum

My point is that the examples of real conspiracies, such as the Gunpowder Plot, Iran-Contra were completely muddled affairs and everyone involved was ratted out by the other perpetrators. I am not saying that conspiracies don't happen, I am looking for a precedent of the same scale as we are supposed to believe took place.

The famous (at the time) historical "conspiracies" that look like front runners are things like the Reichstag fire, McCarthy's Red Scare or the Soviet engineer trials. In these cases there was no actual conspiracy by the supposed suspects, but a huge propaganda blitz that argued for deeply hidden, unspeakably malevolent cabals. In short the conspiracies were just a pretext for witch hunts and even deeper government repression.

This, BTW, is where I see 9-11-ers heading if unchecked. After all, if you assume super-powers on the part of your adversary then a lack of evidence is proof of his deviousness. If Truthers control the debate, expect show trials, witch hunts and astonishingly deep cuts in your personal freedoms in the name of ferreting out the bad guys. See anger -- at a practical level -- is mostly about giving people permission to do things they aren't allowed to do otherwise. Getting all worked up means you can convince yourself that they started it so "hitting back" any which way you can is fair.

And as always, I might just be full of shit...

-- jj

"To commit atrocities you must believe absurdities"
-- Voltaire


OK, let me give you a little background. I lived in Germany for many years. I made it a point of tracking down people who were in the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS and asking them what the ^%## they were up to, ok?

Mostly Nazi Germany was about ... Social Justice. Yes, you read that right, Social Justice. (Socialism, as von Hayek pointed out, is applying the power of the State to social ends and the National Socialists were indeed Socialists.) Now, Marx thought that property was the source of all problems in the world but by about 1900 it was clear that his dire predictions were just plain wrong. He thought that the working classes were be all but slave labor with everyone but a few reduced to excruciating poverty. Nope, by 1900 the world had attained its highest standard of living ever.

Enter racism, which was a tidy pseudo-scientific explanation for everything. Pretty much every one who was educated by about 1920 was a racist and "knew" that Jews are greedy, Blacks are shiftless, etc., etc. The Nazis, rather than being a working class Socialist movement (like the older SPD, which is still active as a poltical party in Germany), were a largely middle class Socialism (for my money, spookily similar to people like a lot of affluent leftists in this country.) They replaced Marx's ideas on economics with racial ones. In that thinking, the Jews were the source of Capitalism, which was always officially referred to as "Jewish Capitalism". ("German Capitalism" on the other hand consisted mostly of what we call state capitalism.)

--> Nothing in Nazi ideology stated that Semites were alone inferior, and the all volunteer Arab Brigade (roughly 20,000 strong) fought along the German army in WW II. The point was that Jews were degenerate Semites, (like the Irish were considered degenerate Whites by a lot of Brits.)

The appropriation of Jewish property was a redistribution scheme to redress the supposed wrongs the Germans had suffered from Jewish moneygrubbers. That's right, the National Socialists were being good little Socialists when they did that and putting them in concentration camps was pretty standard too (viz., the Soviet Gulags).

There was no tricking of the German population at all. They all knew damn good and well Hitler was right and felt strongly that he was finally a go-getter enough to do something about it. Oh sure the brown shirts sure were enthusiastic, but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Look at Stalin's legacy. He killed off 35 million people and not merely do the Russians think of that as the good old days, but there is a movement to get him sainted in the Orthodox Church. WTF? Had Hitler died in 1939 his fate would have been pretty much the same, I suspect. What did Hitler in historically was losing the war so badly even the Germans could tell... (They weren't sure about losing the first one, if you recall.)

And as always, I might just be full of shit...

-- jj


Why cannot conspiracies be out in the open in plain sight? Wouldn't that alone make them worse that the intentional evil committed in secrecy?

No, conspiracies do not necessarily need to happen in secret to be conspiracies; though I do understand people like a good movie plot....


As a matter of legal definition (no, I'm not a lawyer, so somebody correct me if needed) a conspiracy need not take place in secret. However, a large part of all modern conspiracy theories is secrecy. Not merely are they done in secret but this secrecy is maintained by all parties even after the event has been exposed. The security restrictions alone to get this done boggle the mind. I mean c'mon, out of thousands of people involved in the 9-11 conspiracy nobody blabbed anything to a girlfriend or idiot cousin? All the real conspiracies were revealed fairly early on.

My comment about the Nazis is to counter the extremely pernicious rumor (one that an awful lot of Germans like these days) that Hitler pulled a fast one when nobody was looking. No, the Nazis had a genuine mass movement at the time and calling it a conspiracy is just plain goofy. Everyone ought to really grok this because this is probably the guideline for how an industrial state will fail.

And as always, I might just be full of shit...

-- jj

"Marxism and National Socialism are basically the same.
-- Adolph Hitler, party speech Feb. 1941


I agree with jj-dude.

The whole premise behind a conspiracy theory is that it is an alternate theory to the official explanation, hence it would take place in secret.


But that is just ignoring the definition of conspiracy. A "mass movement" of ideas is a conspiracy. And to me the conspiracies that are out in the open are far more interesting to study.

An other example that I use all the time is "political correct" thinking. This most certainly fits the definition of a conspiracy.


But that isn't strictly a conspiracy. Alternative theories are just that...alternatives.


conspiracy by definition is a secret plan to carry out an illegal or harmful act.

what happened in germany was anything but secret and was made legal by the people in germany.


Two words...

Milli Vanilli


Conspiracy theories are perhaps the best part of PWI