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Atheist Experience
Conspiracy Theories

*WARNING: This Thread Contains Rambling. While this trait was made quaint & famous by Mark Twain, many studies have linked this southern flavor to interbreeding, preaching, and cancer.

I get my Conspiracy Gene honest. I'm an Agnostic, philosophically, and socially I'm an Atheist. I approach anything that costs me in some way (financially, mentally, emotionally, etcetera) with an appropriate level of skepticism.

I remember my father telling me his theories of the universe. Specifically, he knew that the first Chain-Letters were created by the U.S. Post Office to increase stamp sales. This Government Stamp Conspiracy resurged when email became popular. He had tickets on a million other dark plots. I enjoy spreading these entertaining antidotes when the opportunity naturally arises.

Anytime I come across something new I play at tracing the string of events back to some stratagem. As a historian I enjoy the research, although it's rare to find objectionable-dirt, I always learn something interesting.

A friend of mine is an Alien Conspiracy theorist, so we make a good pair. He believes that Aliens are among us, and that The Government is hiding it at Area 51. My response is generally, 'That's what they want you to think, since Area 51 is where The Government faked the moon landing.' ;)

I don't have any faith in Conspiracy theories, but some of them effectively stir up my skepticism.

When I was in the military, I hung out with the eggheads; I'm a jock that finds librarians sexy. I'm a genus, but not the kind I want to be. I'm a killer-calculator; give me a sharp stick and a target and I'll find a clear path through the odds.

It was at a particular post that I drove for a fellow Trekie; I was the red-shirt and he the gold. On the way back to base, he and his landing party wanted *coffee and invited me to sit with them.

Over coffee we discussed the various aliens, spaceships, and physics of Star Trek(c), and ended up talking about current technologies and prospects. This is when they hit me with the FAKE MOON LANDING Conspiracy.

I'm still not sure if they were jerking my chain, or if they really believed it. They knew all kinds of contradictions and cover-ups. By the time I reached the bottom of my second cup, I was no longer a Moon Landing believer. However! I am still not a Moon Landing Denier.

I find that the anti-evidence (while much of it weak) presents a course of history that is not particularly extraordinary.

I'm a historian these days ("Historians Can Always Find A Date"), with a military history focus. I am a "USS Maine" Denier (Government Conspiracy that instigated the Spanish-American War through popular support and 'yellow journalism').

There are a thousand other aspects of history that are not exactly in alignment with the memory of modern civilizations. Considering the climate during the Kennedy Era. Nations were on the verge of chaos because they feared "the other guys" were going to get Missiles into space first. I don't think it blasphemous to say that governments, like individuals, act in their own perceived best interests (correct or otherwise). If I were locked in a room with hostiles, then I would feel justified in lies that gave advantage.

[takes deep breath] Kennedy almost started WWIII because he put missiles in Turkey, which made the Russians put missiles in Cuba, which lead to a War Countdown, which made JFK pull the missiles out of Turkey, which obligated the Russians to pull theirs out of Cuba, which inspired the people to celebrate the abilities of the President to get them out of danger even though he got them in the danger. So I don't trust the word of Presidents, just because they're president.

Therefore, I honestly call myself a skeptic on many aspects of modern history. Yes, I want to believe humans landed on the moon, because I'm a Geek at heart. I don't necessarily believe there's any justifiable evidence on either side, but I won't panic if another country makes it back to the moon (China) and finds/does-not-find our stuff.

9-11 Conspiracy; well, it reminds me of the Spanish-American War Conspiracy. Americans had to have their Coffee Sugared, just as we need our gas-guzzlers. If it's true, which I don't think it is, then it's one of a number of examples in which leaders destroyed their stuff and blamed it on "the other guys."

While I am shamed by the abilities and embarrassments of our Commander and Chief, I like to think optimistically. Most people are not aware of themselves or their honest motivations, but we want to be good and productive (whether achieved or not). So I don't think that anyone planned the Twin Tower attack except Religious Fundamentalists. But, I won't be in a panic if the 2075 American History Textbook (grades 9-10) says that it was a Government Conspiracy. However, I will be VERY surprised if it turned out to be Jewish Reptilian Aliens.

Kings of History are famous for pulling wool with style and ineptitude.

[enter stage right]Tricky-Dick "I'm not a Crook" Nixon's Plumbers…[exit stage left]

Anyway, I think the guys on the Atheist Experience (Conspiracy : *Episode 534) were too hard on the Moon Landing & 9-11 Deniers. I'm now an Agnostic about these things. My friends think I'm a Moon-Landing denier, but I'm not. Nor am I a Bush-Basher; as when the tide turned I went from being a president basher to a president upholder. I stayed neutral on the abilities of "W," such that; he not bright or articulate and he's one of the top-10 worst American presidents.

Long story short (too late), I consider myself a rational individual about most things. I am reserved in varying degrees depending upon proclamations divided by the evidence. I therefore object to the portrayal of Conspiracies & their Deniers as 'touched.' Sure, most of them are, and the vast majority of their schemes are cracked. BUT! Sometimes, it pays to listen to the jester and/or the madman.

I'm not a Man of Science, but I'm a fan of that Man. If a guy in a lab coat tells me that because X, Y, & Z equal 3.14159 in Spandextivity (insert: Sci-talk), so therefore I should shave my head in combat scenarios to keep little particles of agent from tracking me back to sanctuary, then I would shave my head without further inquiry. While I shave, I might wonder if this is some sort of egg-head joke, but the cost/gain analysis errs on the side of my own best interests.

I think it's healthy to keep a skeptical eye on the governments of man. These Deniers serve us by producing a mad plethora of modern fairytales. Some of which may be based in actual events; Hollywoodized. They certainly produce more fruit than the religiously motivated, and with manna that is easier to swallow as well.

Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? Come on, stop parking. Puff-Puff-Pass…

Sinisterly,

GreenMagi

P.S. *Episode 534 - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=666395447802439117

*When the Crusaders introduced Coffee to Europe, the Church thought it the Drink of Satan. Generally, what do people do at Coffee Houses? They discuss Politics, Religion, and Philosophy; all three being judiciously guarded by the Church. But once they recognized that they could either change their position or be ignored, the Pope quickly denied the Devil its drink, and baptized Coffee in the name of our Lord. The End.

Matt Dillahunty?

Russell Glasser?

I just realized that I had responded in other areas to posts from the first part of this century. I'm not really expecting a comeback from a few of them.

I like to visit Richard Dawkins' site as well. It's like a fierce brotherhood. Ya'll should get on there and mix it up. You can even start a thread that links to this blog space. It would pump up the volume. Maybe you could frame it as a tourist attraction type-o'-thing that raises revenue for Austin; "looky at Austin, all ye Atheists looking for vacation spots, & come to a live showing of the Atheist Experience." Or some shticks like that.

I understand that you guys are centered in Austin, and as a non-profit you must adhere to specific rules. I too would like to open a non-profit. What? You think that because I'm an Atheist, I must not have morality? Oh, no, you guys wouldn't think that, because you understand what it's like to have logical, humanist based, morality.

I want to start my own non-profit business so that I can come out of the A closet again. I studied the codes and realized that churches were BAD non-profits. As much as they contribute, by comparison to what they take in, it would be more truthful to say that churches DO NOT contribute to their supporting community.

Sinisterly,

Greenmagi

P.S. I think Russell is a Trekie. Am I wrong? I believe I remember some Star Trek analogies from an episode, such that; 'Kirk says it, there for its true.' I may be confused.

GreenMagi, you said, "I think it's healthy to keep a skeptical eye on the governments of man. These Deniers serve us by producing a mad plethora of modern fairytales. Some of which may be based in actual events; Hollywoodized." Actually, I think you've got it backwards: Hollywood produces the mad plethora of fairytales, presents them as fact, and attacks anyone who questions their authority a "conspiracy nut." (And by the way, all governments are governments of man.) There are twenty five hundred architects and engineers who do not support the government's "official story" on 9-11, as well as group called "pilots for 911 truth." I do not know if their beliefs about what could have happened are correct or not, but I would not be arrogant enough to assume I know better. Just because Katie Couric or Bill Maher call someone "nuts" doesn't make it so. I think next time you should Pass instead of " Puff-Puff-Pass…" Emily

Greetings Emily,

You're probably right. The majority of todays conspiracy theorists are likely to be heavily influenced by Hollywood. But I don't think Hollywood is any more the source of conspiracy theories as I would claim it's the source of Kung-Fu.

Conspiracy is nothing new.

Ah, the sting of a Woman's wit. What is government? Is Mankind the architect of government? Are there any other species on this Earth that have governments?

Ants have queens, kings, soldiers, and drones. Apes have silverbacks and pecking orders. Lots of species on this planet have governments, empowered by the majority.

The only reason I said it is such a way, is that mankind is a vicious beast most of the time. Our governments are the wolves that have crawled into granny's bed. And my, what big eyes they have...

I also write this way as an ATTEMPT to be entertaining. It's a way I like to play. Why can't we be friends?

>"Are there any other species on this Earth that have governments?"

There are other species that have very structured societies and they only choose the most excellent for their leaders. The leaders act in the best interest of the group.

Green fellow the point is this sounds like a mediocre version of tent-revival mockery. The government is man made therefore it is basically evil (based on the premise that man is evil.) The corporate proselytizers are persuading the fools to destroy their own government in favor of a fascist (One God Order Government.) The (god-awful truth) is that we are no longer electing our leaders, and the government is owned by corporate interest. The political decisions that are being made are not (what people want) and are not in the people's interest (but in theirs only.) A candidate that can't be seen or heard has no change of getting elected. This means that the media has incredible power (the media is the largest lobbing group in Washington.) The 'truth' lies with those who own it. They report who won the election; most of the media outlets are Republican owned outright or subsidiaries of them. Although there are more alternatives they are owned by a small group that reflect their interests. (Don't relying on mainstream media for your information.) As it cost a fortune to get a message broadcast some candidates were never heard (there was a bill to give candidates free airtime) that did not pass. If our leaders have to answer to this evil then society including (the media and Hollywood) will have to as well, and people affected by a malicious government will start acting like them. We have lost our democracy and therefore it does not matter much what candidate wins any election. I am also aware of the un-religion/religion referring to those who believe they are shedding their ignorance by stating that they don't embrace any religion they just have 'faith.' The un-religion is a lot like the un-cola or the un-elected President.

If you are not prepared to face the truth (reality) at the cost of losing your 'faith' you will never find the truth. Reality (truth) can stand up to any test. Reality is what's there when you stop believing and start thinking for yourself.

Ah, Green fellow the foolishness of men.

There are fact-based conspiracies that rarely see the light of day, and then there are the 'conspiracy theories' promoted and originated by extreme right wing wackos. They range from the Y2K the (computer conspiracy) a plot to declare martial law and reduce us to living in the dark-ages. The entirely fabricated "war on Christmas." It's hardly a 'conspiracy theory' when you created it out of thin air. Of coarse the best way to fight ignorance is with facts: However there has is a powerful corporate conspiracy working against this. One method of discrediting or vilifying a messenger with verifiable conspiracies is to put them together with other idiotic ideas. They do this by putting out huge quantities of stupid unreliable conspiracy stories themselves and then pronounce it a conspiracy theory or urban myth of the public's making. The flying saucers and alien bodies kept underground at Area 51, alien abductions, we never went to the moon…and Elvis is still alive. All garbage mostly right wing inspired. It helps to have all this junk out there in order to vilify anyone who writes about a real fact based conspiracy. Most right wing stuff is usually dumb and boring… even their conspiracies are boring.

George Orwell (in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four) gave examples of governmental techniques to exploit the people with 'Newspeak' a method of depriving the public of real information. The Ministry of Truth's purpose was to propagate misinformation in 'Newspeak' and the Ministry of Peace's purpose was the prosecution of war. There was extreme persecution of people who were not dull drones. But even so, in his story some of them still wanted to think, and know what was really true.

So, they drop their lies all over the place and cause a lot of confusion to drown out the important stuff. The public always finds out about their stupid lies after it's too late to fight whatever they were doing that they didn't want you to know about. We have a few truth seekers left in this country, very few. Of coarse they will never be on primetime or any other time. However, they can still write books.

The 'Overton Window' is a concept in political theory named after the late vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. (He was killed in a plan crash.) He came up with a technique to make more acceptable to the public certain ideas. They got them to accept the ideas that they wanted them to accept by putting them together with other ideas that they knew were unacceptable, but which make the real target ideas seem more acceptable by comparison. This may be confusing, but what it comes down to is manipulation and misinformation. The "vast right-wing conspiracy" is a matter of documented record. Deregulation, Privatization, and Diebold Electronic Voting (without a receipt) has taken our voice, freedom, destiny and country away from the American people.

Gore Vidal (a brilliant writer) thinks that the real motive for the Afghanistan war was to control the gateway to Eurasia and Central Asia's energy riches. He quotes extensively from a 1997 analysis of the region by Zgibniew Brzezinski, formerly national security adviser to President Carter, in support of this theory. But, Vidal argues, Democrat Republican and US administrations were aware that the American public would resist any war in Afghanistan without a truly massive and widely perceived external threat.

The past can also be altered - The Cuban Missile Crisis - The crisis arose when the United States (CIA) determined, on the basis of aerial surveillance photos, that the Soviets were installing nuclear missiles in Cuba. It was a provocation to which President Kennedy had to respond but not so forcefully as to provoke a Soviet attack on the United States or its allies. The emergency was resolved peacefully after Kennedy ordered a naval "quarantine" (a less hostile name than a blockade) of Cuba and then made a deal with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev: To take Soviet missiles out of Cuba and the U.S. would take nuclear missiles out of Italy and Turkey. (Turkey became a member of this alliance at the same time as Greece in February 1952.) "As President Kennedy said, "history would regard that as a rather reasonable offer on Khrushchev's part." According to Ted Sorensen (former chief speechwriter and special counsel to President John F. Kennedy) Kennedy had long felt the Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Italy were obsolete anyway, and the Polaris nuclear submarine soon took over their deterrent function more effectively.

I think anyone would be considered a fool who not be unwilling to swap the obsolete Jupiters in Turkey for the Soviet missiles in Cuba.

Newspeak for the " poor people" that are redirected into asinine little consumers ...

Green Magi Says, "I also write this way as an ATTEMPT to be entertaining. It's a way I like to play. Why can't we be friends?" Well, since you capitalized the word Woman earlier in your post, I'll now consider you a friend, however.... I don't like seeing people call themselves "atheists" or "freethinkers" and then saying they dig using drugs,etc. I heard Tom Lykas say some interesting things about why he is an atheist on a radio show, but during the rest of the show he talked like a sadistic perv-it paints a negative, unfair picture of atheism. You don't have to ramble like a hobo living under the Congress Ave. bridge to be entertaining (although you can have some amazingly coherent and intelligent conversations with some hobos).

What's wrong with drugs? Coffee & Smokes & Beer are good for me. Each individual should have control of their lives, so long as they do no harm with their actions. A little puff-puff-pass would actually chill out society...and the jail houses. The governments of men like to make us argue for rights that they should have to argue away from us. I say the governments of men, when I really just mean those individuals that are supermotivated to take part in government (like fundamentalists), above and beyond the common citizen. Which is another reason that I'm not a big fan of democrazy. But, as I was saying, most Atheists I've met are a bit rough around the edges. Most of us have been pushed and 'poked with sticks.'

But what's all this have to do with the price of tea in china? Well, Marjuana (spell check) was made illegal through conspiracy. The Penn & Teller show Bullshit attacked "the War on Drugs," which was fantastic. Weed should be legal.

I actually don's smoke right now, but when I get old, I shall return to my Green Leafed Lover. ;)

Really, I think that Emily was referring to the (rambling, drinking *coffee and Puff-Puff-Pass… colloquy.) I agree with her that there is a definite false identification of minorities with all kinds of 'loose' behavior that is intentionally done to vilify them. The same thing goes for atheists and liberals, because many of us are far more moral than our right wing adversaries.

There are reasons for decriminalizing drugs, but drug use has nothing to do with this issue. It is a separate issue. I believe that they should decriminalize some drugs and tax the hell out of them unless they are prescribed. Marijuana like any other drug will take taxes and regulations to get the criminals out of the drug business.

The illicit drug trade (also referred to as drug trafficking) is one of the largest global businesses, and there should be a sensible policy of regulation and control. The most profitable sector of the market is the process of transporting the drugs internationally. Drug trafficking attracts criminal organizations because the potential profits are significantly more than from other criminal commodities. Unlike other merchandise, the drug supply is consumed each year and has to be continuously renewed. Decriminalizing and regulations would reduce crime, clear out prisons, and raise billions in tax revenues. All 'kinds' of people believe decriminalizing certain drugs, and regulating them would help tremendously in decreasing drug use and distribution. There is a big difference between that and advocating the use of drugs, and some people just don't get it.

I would think that (a historian that enjoy the research, although it's rare to find objectionable-dirt, and always learns something interesting) would know that Kennedy didn't put the missiles in Turkey and certainly didn't almost start WWIII. Actually Kennedy prevented a war with Cuba, resolved the conflict in Germany (with the Berlin wall). Like JFK said "a wall is better than a war." In addition to that, JFK was not going to continue with Vietnam, and we had been in Vietnam since 1945. The last statement JFK made on Vietnam was, "we can't win a war out there." There is proof that JFK planed to pull out of Vietnam in the national archives. People who are murdered do not write history, and most liberals know this. There is a reason why the Religious Reich and the Far Right Wing Nuts are history revisionists.

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