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The Aluminum Foil Hat Thread: Conspiracy Theories

Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
edited February 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
The History Channel had an interesting documentary on a few nights ago about the 9/11 Truther movement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Truth_movement

Even going on 10 years after the event, there are a number of people who still cling to the belief that the government was either behind the 9/11 attacks, or at that it allowed them to happen for some nefarious reasons.

A more recent conspiracy theory movement is the so-called birther movement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birther

Which consists of people who believe that Barrack Obama is not Constitutionally qualified to be President, and that there is a conspiracy to hide this fact.

I picked these two examples because they're the most current conspiracy theory movements in this country. But there are a number of older ones, such as theories around the attack on Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination and the Moon landings.

It seems that Americans have a soft spot for conspiracy theories, across the entire ideological spectrum (9/11 Truthers tend to come from a different place, politically, from Birthers). My belief is that conspiracy theories are attractive to people because they give the illusion of control and explain away events that people don't like. I guess for some people, believing that the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks in order to make their buddies in the military-industrial complex more rich is a more attractive answer than the real truth.

I've personally never had the misfortune to know any conspiracy theorists. Does anyone here know any such people personally?

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Posts

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There are a couple people in SE that apparently believe conspiracy theories as a matter of principle.

  • ImthebOHGODBEESImthebOHGODBEES Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I had a friend in highschool whose dad was heavily into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory. As an aerospace engineer who has done the math behind con-trails, it hurt my brain trying to talk to him.

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  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There's only one conspiracy theory that's even remotely plausible, and that's lizard people.

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I had a friend in highschool whose dad was heavily into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory. As an aerospace engineer who has done the math behind con-trails, it hurt my brain trying to talk to him.
    Okay, that one is really out there, even compared to other conspiracy theories.

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  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I love the illuminati-lizard people stuff. Because every time I start reading some conspiracy stuff and begin buying into it just a tad bit it always blows up all "AND THEY ARE LIZARD PEOPLE! LOOK AT THIS PHOTO OF AL GORE'S LIZARD EYES!"

    I laugh my ass off every time. Im always "ok, yeah that makes sense. Yeah, thats possible. Ok, im not so sure, but I see where you are coming from. Yeah, that does make sense there. Uh-huh, I see why they would do that. OMG LIZARD PEOPLE! FUCK! AGAIN!? Damnit!"

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  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm more of the opinion that belief in conspiracy theories comes from a need to feel smarter and in possession of secret knowledge as compared to the general public.

    What I find funny is the continued focus on Area 51. If I were trying to hide something big somewhere else, drawing peoples' attention to somewhere like that would be my first order of business.
    KalTorak wrote: »
    There are a couple people in SE that apparently believe conspiracy theories as a matter of principle.

    One of them started and was way more crazy in D&D, actually.



    My dad sort of believes the 9/11 shit because "that's not how that should look". Every time he mentions it I point out that he has no basis of knowledge to extrapolate what a 110 story building falling down "should" look like and so on, and he eventually concedes the argument (I don't usually push arguments with him to their conclusion) but then just makes another comment in six months or so. It's really annoying.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Disrupter wrote: »
    I love the illuminati-lizard people stuff. Because every time I start reading some conspiracy stuff and begin buying into it just a tad bit it always blows up all "AND THEY ARE LIZARD PEOPLE! LOOK AT THIS PHOTO OF AL GORE'S LIZARD EYES!"

    I laugh my ass off every time. Im always "ok, yeah that makes sense. Yeah, thats possible. Ok, im not so sure, but I see where you are coming from. Yeah, that does make sense there. Uh-huh, I see why they would do that. OMG LIZARD PEOPLE! FUCK! AGAIN!? Damnit!"

    Here we go. Proof that lizard-people are running everything:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj8741m2jLc

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  • ThesmileyemoThesmileyemo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I know a distressing number of 9/11 conspiracy theorists, including some of my best friends. They are normally reasonable and intelligent people, but for whatever reason they hold on to this insane belief. What I've noticed is that arguing with people over these matters is really pointless. No matter how good of a case you make you always lose. If you disprove 10 of their points, but don't have an answer for 1, then suddenly everything you say is wrong, and everything they have said must be right.

    Actually, it's basically the same as arguing with creationists.

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  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime "We're ready to believe you..." FireSideWizardRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Look up stuff about MK Ultra and the Monarch Slaves.

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  • ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
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  • Futt BuckerFutt Bucker Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    One thing I noticed about most conpsiracy theorists is that most of them believe the same things, but they stop at different levels.

    Lizard People? Bullshit.

    Chemtrails? I don't think so.

    Flouride Mind Control? Hahaha

    Bilderberg controlling the world? Get real.

    9/11 was in inside job? IT'S THE TRUTH, WATCH THESE YOUTUBE VIDEOS.

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  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The best part about birthers is that even if Obama was born in Kenya, the fact that his mother is an American citizen makes him a natural born citizen, no matter where in the world he was born.

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm sorely tempted to believe large corporations are purposefully holding back on hiring to give the GOP more power.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    When a video game developer can spin the history of the 20th century as a conspiracy with ease, is it really any wonder why people latch onto conspiracy theories?

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    ragesig.jpg

  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    uh, there was A LOT more damage than just a "fire in the basement"

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    The best part about birthers is that even if Obama was born in Kenya, the fact that his mother is an American citizen makes him a natural born citizen, no matter where in the world he was born.

    Since 'natural-born citizen' isn't really defined as a legal term, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference, but the theory accepted by non-crazy legal scholars is that one must be born on US soil (embassies and international military bases count).

  • AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I worked at restaraunt in Idyllwild, CA (in the San Jacinto mountains) in the late 90's. It's a small touristy town, and there was this guy who was the town crazy person. I was talking my meal break outside after the dinner rush and this fellow approached me. I started talking to him and the conversation basically turned to a 30 minute diatribe about how he thought the world works.

    His major points:

    The Illuminati control everything.
    We (the USA) had a giant magnet that could control the weather.
    In the 80's the Russians stole our weather magnet. This is why the weather was so screwy.

    I had to cut him off there because my break was over. A few weeks later he was caught on camera firing an assault rifle into one of the 2 ATMs in town. He was arrested, and from what I heard the authorities found a lot of weapons in his home. Then they started checking the yard and found tons more buried, along with some improvised mines.

    Crazy people are fun :)

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  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User
    edited February 2011
    And all the dudes who say "Man it's all coming down! Society's gonna collapse in 2 years!" seem grossly ignorant and unprepared for what that would entail. Excepting the guy's friend from H/A buying a bomb shelter.

    Which leads me to believe they're only saying it to feel smarter/more empowered. Otherwise they'd be buying bomb shelters and pallets of MREs, too.

    the GOP shouldn't give a rats ass about them since they won't vote for them. If someone won't vote for you they might as well not exist.
  • Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User
    edited February 2011
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that shouldn't just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    Rent wrote: »
    So that's what having no idea what you are talking about looks like
  • Z0reZ0re Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    The best part about birthers is that even if Obama was born in Kenya, the fact that his mother is an American citizen makes him a natural born citizen, no matter where in the world he was born.

    Since 'natural-born citizen' isn't really defined as a legal term, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference, but the theory accepted by non-crazy legal scholars is that one must be born on US soil (embassies and international military bases count).

    That's right of the soil, you are forgetting right of the blood. The child of an American citizen who lived in the US more than 5 years can claim American citizenship as well and be a natural citizen.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    MagicPrime wrote: »
    Look up stuff about MK Ultra and the Monarch Slaves.
    MKUltra always makes me shake my head in despair. That is not how LSD is supposed to be used, guys. In fact, government use of LSD for the purpose of mind control is pretty much the polar opposite of how the substance should be approached.

    Which is probably why the project was an idiotic failure, but still, what the hell, CIA? My favorite quote of the wiki article is
    The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense.

    No shit.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Z0re wrote: »
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    The best part about birthers is that even if Obama was born in Kenya, the fact that his mother is an American citizen makes him a natural born citizen, no matter where in the world he was born.

    Since 'natural-born citizen' isn't really defined as a legal term, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference, but the theory accepted by non-crazy legal scholars is that one must be born on US soil (embassies and international military bases count).

    That's right of the soil, you are forgetting right of the blood. The child of an American citizen who lived in the US more than 5 years can claim American citizenship as well and be a natural citizen.

    But at the time those five years had to be after the age of 16 and Dunham was 19 when she had Barack.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Torso Boy wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that shouldn't just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    If all buildings collapse when there are fires in them i think the concept of a skyscraper should be re-thought.

    ragesig.jpg

  • Z0reZ0re Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Z0re wrote: »
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    The best part about birthers is that even if Obama was born in Kenya, the fact that his mother is an American citizen makes him a natural born citizen, no matter where in the world he was born.

    Since 'natural-born citizen' isn't really defined as a legal term, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference, but the theory accepted by non-crazy legal scholars is that one must be born on US soil (embassies and international military bases count).

    That's right of the soil, you are forgetting right of the blood. The child of an American citizen who lived in the US more than 5 years can claim American citizenship as well and be a natural citizen.

    But at the time those five years had to be after the age of 16 and Dunham was 19 when she had Barack.

    Right, I know. I was just pointing out that if she had had Barack when she was 21 then there wouldn't even be an issue legally.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.
    Because it wasn't a 'fire in the basement,' it was a fire that was allowed to burn uncontrolled for hours, after the building had been hit by a great deal of falling debris from the other towers.

    Also, if I remember my architecture right, it was built with a cantilevered structure, where a very small number of beams support most of the weight. This usually isn't a problem because the vital support areas are places that are very difficult to damage without wrecking the building. However, if the are damaged or destroyed, the building loses a lot of it's interior support, and the redistribution of weight will stress the remaining vital supports beyond their tolerances in short order.

    *edit*
    Especially if the building is _still_ on fire.

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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Torso Boy wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that shouldn't just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    If all buildings collapse when there are fires in them i think the concept of a skyscraper should be re-thought.

    When the fire is caused by an enormous airplane carrying thousands of gallons of jet fuel, it shouldn't come as a surprise when the building falls down.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Birthers shouldn't even count, it's too mundane. Hollow earthers are conspiracy theorists. People who believe Truman added "under god" to the pledge of allegiance, not to distinguish us from the Soviets, but to thumb his nose at the alien diplomats who were trying to influence policy; these are consipiracy theorists.

    There is whimsy in that stuff, proper fantasy, and the ramifications of these "truths" are enormous.

    Birthers are just boring idiots, they don't deserve the title.

    Automata-Sg.png
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Kaputa wrote: »
    MagicPrime wrote: »
    Look up stuff about MK Ultra and the Monarch Slaves.
    MKUltra always makes me shake my head in despair. That is not how LSD is supposed to be used, guys. In fact, government use of LSD for the purpose of mind control is pretty much the polar opposite of how the substance should be approached.

    Which is probably why the project was an idiotic failure, but still, what the hell, CIA? My favorite quote of the wiki article is
    The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense.

    No shit.

    The idea that LSD has a way it is "supposed" to be used is silly.

    It is just a chemical. It has no inherent intent or purpose.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.
    Because it wasn't a 'fire in the basement,' it was a fire that was allowed to burn uncontrolled for hours, after the building had been hit by a great deal of falling debris from the other towers.

    Also, if I remember my architecture right, it was built with a cantilevered structure, where a very small number of beams support most of the weight. This usually isn't a problem because the vital support areas are places that are very difficult to damage without wrecking the building. However, if the are damaged or destroyed, the building loses a lot of it's interior support, and the redistribution of weight will stress the remaining vital supports beyond their tolerances in short order.

    Besides, it is quite a logical leap to make to go "I don't understand how this happened" to "It definitely was the ebil gubbmint!"

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    JebusUD wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.
    Because it wasn't a 'fire in the basement,' it was a fire that was allowed to burn uncontrolled for hours, after the building had been hit by a great deal of falling debris from the other towers.

    Also, if I remember my architecture right, it was built with a cantilevered structure, where a very small number of beams support most of the weight. This usually isn't a problem because the vital support areas are places that are very difficult to damage without wrecking the building. However, if the are damaged or destroyed, the building loses a lot of it's interior support, and the redistribution of weight will stress the remaining vital supports beyond their tolerances in short order.

    Besides, it is quite a logical leap to make to go "I don't understand how this happened" to "It definitely was the ebil gubbmint!"

    Yeah, thats been my problem with conspiracy theories.

    You get oddities or inconsistencies that are brought up.
    But the explanation is even less inconsistent than the original explanation.

    ragesig.jpg

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Is Entropykid one of the SE migrants who loves him some conspiracy theories? 'Cause that was his favorite line of thinking anytime the issue came up. Also, calling people 'sheeple' for laughing at 'Loose Change,' and disagreeing with him about, well, anything.

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  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Torso Boy wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that shouldn't just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    If all buildings collapse when there are fires in them i think the concept of a skyscraper should be re-thought.

    No one said that was what was happening. It is merely a matter of triage. You have two huge buildings on fire and one smaller building. You only have so many fire fighters. Then a few moments later half of them get killed.

    Understandable they pulled back from that building. Normally the fire fighters would have put the fire out, and there would be no resulting building collapse, however this was an extreme circumstance.

    You can't design every way you live for the most extreme possibilities imaginable.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Buttcleft wrote: »
    The best part about birthers is that even if Obama was born in Kenya, the fact that his mother is an American citizen makes him a natural born citizen, no matter where in the world he was born.

    Since 'natural-born citizen' isn't really defined as a legal term, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference, but the theory accepted by non-crazy legal scholars is that one must be born on US soil (embassies and international military bases count).
    Being born on embassy grounds or a military base doesn't automatically make you a NBC or even a citizen. Children of American diplomats abroad are rarely born in either of those two places. They are, however, NBC's because they were citizens at birth due to one or both parents' status as an American citizen. A number of Iraqi women gave birth in American military hospitals in Iraq, but their kids are not citizens of the US.

    It's my understanding that a NBC is someone who is a citizen at birth. Mitt Romney's dad ran for President back in the day, and he was born in Mexico (to two American citizens). No one batted an eye at that.

    The birthers want to move the goalposts to create a definition of NBC that will exclude only Obama. The "saner" ones agree that he was born in Hawaii, but that he's not a NBC because (a) his dad wasn't a US citizen and/or (b) he had the right to claim Kenyan and maybe UK citizenship.

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  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    This is cool. The military report on microwave heating weapons is an interesting read.

  • Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User
    edited February 2011
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Torso Boy wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    The one thing that bugs me about 9/11 is WTC 7. I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that should just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    I've never heard a good reason for why a building like that shouldn't just fall down because there was a fire in the basement.

    If all buildings collapse when there are fires in them i think the concept of a skyscraper should be re-thought.

    But my point was that making claims about the plausibility of an event that one knows little about is conjecture. I'm saying that I'm not an engineer and I know fuck all about this. For me to claim that one outcome is more likely than another requires a valid argument for why, and I must have some kind of knowledge to make that argument. Both our claims, in bold, are baseless.

    Rent wrote: »
    So that's what having no idea what you are talking about looks like
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The damage that the collapses did to the water system also played a big part. You can't fight fires very long when the only water available is what you've got in the truck.

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  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    AtomBomb wrote: »
    The Illuminati control everything.Crazy people are fun :)

    I actually work with 2 people who think the Stone Mason's control not only this town, but the AFB as well.

    Sadly, I work with a guy who has a ring and claims to be a Stone Mason. Which led me to ask why he was a GS-07 mail room clerk. His response, controlling the mail ensures they control the base.

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  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    There's a great documentary series on conspiracy theorists by an english fellow named Jon Ronson, called The Secret Rulers of the World.

    My personal favorite is the episode about David Icke(prominent lizard people theorist);
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2912878405399014351#

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Any fire that isn't put out by sprinklers being able to be controlled by firefighters seems like a reasonable assumption to make 9999/10000 of the time with skyskrapers.

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