October 24, 2008
Over the past few decades, the CIA controlled mainstream media in America has achieved a significant PR objective: they have made it socially unacceptable to believe that there is a conspiracy operating at the highest levels of our government. This puts those of us who do know about the plot at high levels in an awkward position: either we pretend that we don’t know what we know, or we risk being ridiculed and marginalized as a pathetic joke.
He who defines the language defines the parameters of the debate, and so far the conspirators are winning. They have succeeded in imbuing the moniker “conspiracy theorist” with such intensely negative connotations that even most conspiracy theorists—such as 9/11 truth activists—tie themselves in knots to avoid earning that label.
Is there anything wrong with having theories? Of course not. Knowledge progresses through scientists proposing a certain hypothesis (or theory) and then testing to see if it holds up. It doesn’t mean they are flying blind, untethered by facts. They use the facts they already know to create theories about things that are still unknown.
Is there anything wrong with having theories about a conspiracy? Is it akin to having theories about leprechauns, poltergeists or Bigfoot? Do conspiracies exist only in the realm of fantasy or the occult?
Definitely not. There are dozens of vast conspiracies that have been validated by historians. Wikipedia lists 27 “proven conspiracies, some of which were not the subject of any widespread speculation until they were exposed.”
That is, they used to. The list of 27 proven conspiracies is in my article on the back page of the June issue of the Rock Creek Free Press, exactly as copied from Wikipedia in May 2008. That list of “proven historical conspiracies” was removed from Wikipedia on June 7, 2008, just a few days after the June issue of the Creek hit the streets of DC.
But I digress.
High level government conspiracies definitely happen. So what exactly is wrong with having a theory about a vast plot to deceive us?
From the point of view of the conspirators, plenty. They cannot succeed unless their under-handed dealings remain well out of sight. If the details of Operation Mockingbird became widely known, no one would read or watch any news from the mainstream media anymore, and their effort to control public opinion would fail.
Those in charge of the cover-ups had very good reasons for launching an all out attack on conspiracy theorists, and due to Operation Mockingbird, they are able to insert their memes into TV shows, news articles, books, movies, songs, greeting cards and comic books. Without quite realizing how it happened, the population adopts the belief desired by the conspirators: that those who suspect conspiracies are deficient human beings in every respect. Based on my own exposure to the MSM, I could easily conclude that conspiracy theorists are:
- lonely, socially inept losers;
- intellectually bankrupt, oblivious to evidence;
- immature, still living at home with their parents;
- unattractive to the opposite sex, unable to find love or sex;
- don’t bathe or change clothes regularly;
- have a tenuous grip on sanity, may be mentally ill;
No wonder no one wants to be considered a conspiracy theorist!
Many truth activists have reacted to this demonization by avoiding discussing theories, and insisting they are just asking questions. Fomer Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura gave a lengthy news conference in Arizona on 9/11/08 about the anomalies in the government’s story about 9/11, and he used this tactic. When asked his opinion about what was going on, he insisted he was just asking questions.
This approach is dishonest and ultimately unproductive. It is disingenuous to pretend you don’t have any theories just to avoid the dreaded “CT” label. It is also nearly impossible not to have theories about something you have studied extensively; I don’t know a single 9/11 truth activist who doesn’t.
It is also unproductive because we hold back from saying the things we know to be true. Why should we only ask questions when we know some of the answers? Questions require a lot of our audience. They require listeners to come up with the answers themselves, something not everyone has the time or inclination to do. We should state what we know with confidence.
Another defensive measure employed by some in the truth movement (such as author David Ray Griffin) is to point out that the government’s story is also a conspiracy theory. But that dog won’t hunt.
For although it is technically true that any crime involving more than one person is a conspiracy, in general vernacular a “conspiracy theorist” is someone who has a theory about a very specific kind of conspiracy: one operating at the highest levels of our government, or above and outside our government. No one would use the term about someone who suspects their neighbors of planning a bank heist. For all the symmetry and beauty of Griffin’s arguments, they are not persuasive to the man on the street.
The more destructive effect of Griffin’s efforts is that it gives tacit assent to the meme that to be a conspiracy theorist is a bad thing, something we want to paint our enemies as being. By trying to squirm away from the label, we only create the perception that we agree that it is a shameful thing to be, and can be hurt by that label.
Let’s look at how two other groups, who were victims of vicious stereotypes, reclaimed the words used to attack them. Those words are “nigger” and “queer,” and today those words no longer carry the punch they once did. African Americans reclaimed “nigger” by using it to refer to each other, as did homosexuals, who took back the epithet “queer.”
Borrowing from their example, I hereby announce: I AM A CONSPIRACY THEORIST! I’m proud to be one of the clear-eyed Americans who have woken up and see how badly we’ve been lied to. I’m part of a group that includes the smartest, most courageous, selfless, free-thinking and hard working people I’ve ever met. I reject those CIA engineered stereotypes that say that I and my fellow truthers are not the bold, brave, cutting edge change agents that we are.
Put it on a bumper sticker and shout it from the rooftops. Say it loud and say it proud.
There is a conspiracy and I have a theory about it!
Sheila Casey is a DC-based journalist. Her work has appeared in the Denver Post, Buzz Flash, Common Dreams and the Rock Creek Free Press. She also writes a blog where she can be reached. Read other articles by Sheila.