New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile


In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist – a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory – accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it. Press TV Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:3AM GMT By Dr. Kevin Barrett Recent studies by psychologists and social scientists in the US and UK suggest that contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, those labeled “conspiracy theorists” appear to be saner than those who accept the official versions of contested events. truth of his own fringe theory – accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it. Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists. It also found that the so-called conspiracists do not like to be called “conspiracists” or “conspiracy theorists.” Both of these findings are amplified in the new book Conspiracy Theory in America by political scientist Lance deHaven-Smith, published earlier this year by the University of Texas Press. Professor deHaven-Smith explains why people don’t like being called “conspiracy theorists”: The term was invented and put into wide circulation by the CIA to smear and defame people questioning the JFK assassination! “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.” In other words, people who use the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” as an insult are doing so as the result of a well-documented, undisputed, historically-real conspiracy by the CIA to cover up the JFK assassination. That campaign, by the way, was completely illegal, and the CIA officers involved were criminals; the CIA is barred from all domestic activities, yet routinely breaks the law to conduct domestic operations ranging from propaganda to assassinations. DeHaven-Smith also explains why those who doubt official explanations of high crimes are eager to discuss historical context. He points out that a very large number of conspiracy claims have turned out to be true, and that there appear to be strong relationships between many as-yet-unsolved “state crimes against democracy.” An obvious example is the link between the JFK and RFK assassinations, which both paved the way for presidencies that continued the Vietnam War. According to DeHaven-Smith, we should always discuss the “Kennedy assassinations” in the plural, because the two killings appear to have been aspects of the same larger crime. Psychologist Laurie Manwell of the University of Guelph agrees that the CIA-designed “conspiracy theory” label impedes cognitive function. She points out, in an article published in American Behavioral Scientist (2010), that anti-conspiracy people are unable to think clearly about such apparent state crimes against democracy as 9/11 due to their inability to process information that conflicts with pre-existing belief. In the same issue of ABS, University of Buffalo professor Steven Hoffman adds that anti-conspiracy people are typically prey to strong “confirmation bias” – that is, they seek out information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs, while using irrational mechanisms (such as the “conspiracy theory” label) to avoid conflicting information. The extreme irrationality of those who attack “conspiracy theories” has been ably exposed by Communications professors Ginna Husting and Martin Orr of Boise State University. In a 2007 peer-reviewed article entitled “Dangerous Machinery: ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ as a Transpersonal Strategy of Exclusion,” they wrote:

“If I call you a conspiracy theorist, it matters little whether you have actually claimed that a conspiracy exists or whether you have simply raised an issue that I would rather avoid… By labeling you, I strategically exclude you from the sphere where public speech, debate, and conflict occur.”

But now, thanks to the internet, people who doubt official stories are no longer excluded from public conversation; the CIA’s 44-year-old campaign to stifle debate using the “conspiracy theory” smear is nearly worn-out. In academic studies, as in comments on news articles, pro-conspiracy voices are now more numerous – and more rational – than anti-conspiracy ones. No wonder the anti-conspiracy people are sounding more and more like a bunch of hostile, paranoid cranks. KB/HSN

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America's best-known critics of the War on Terror. Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He is the co-founder of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance, and author of the books Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie (2007) and Questioning the War on Terror: A Primer for Obama Voters (2009). His website is More articles by Dr. Kevin Barrett
Learn more

9 Responses to New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile

  1. LSM says:

    As a Certified 1st Responder w/FEMA who dug thru the rubble for 19 days until Sept. 30 th at WTC, NYC 9/11 I did NOT find one single fragment of ANY aircraft, period.

  2. Brian Richards says:

    Kevin Barrett has hit many nails on many heads. An in-depth thinker.
    Interestingly, I believe the same thing is happening to the word ‘whistleblower’
    There was a time when a whistleblower was regarded with respect. Now it seems
    the personality is torn to shreds rather than dealing with the issues raised. A clever
    way to avoid the truth but immoral and unethical.

  3. sebring says:

    that makes total sense.

  4. YankeeFrank says:

    Can we get a link to the study itself?

  5. Stephanie Parks says:

    Taylor Caldwell wrote novels about the control over governments that has been exercised by the munitions manufacturers and the banks. I am beginning to believe that every president gets a warning from the real powers that be: we’ll let you do this, this and this, but… stray too far and we will take you out. Some strayed too far.

  6. CHERYL FOTIA says:

    JoeKerman> Host of “Squawk Box”is an avid climate denier; Calling Climate Science> “a bona fied cult”. His rant is in response to (Forecast The Facts) our campaign & members’ tweets, demanding he and CNBC’S other on-air personalities > start reporting the facts on the economic risks of fossil-fueled climate change. Kerman has sent over 100 tweets @ individuals calling us everything from “ALARMIST’S to the ECO -TALIBAN”….

    • Bruce Bethany says:

      If you want to see Joe Kernan squirm and mumble ask him directly why, as an economic journalist, he doesn’t tell his viewers that the Federal Reserve is a 100
      year old swindle run by a consortium of private bankers who are robbing Americans blind.

  7. greatstuff says:

    This is maybe one of the most important articles I have read to maybe bring to light many issues we face today. Until the general population can get past this idea that anything that is said that doesn’t come from mainstream media is just a bunch of “tinfoil hat wearing crazies” nothing will really change. But if this kind of information can become more widespread and accepted, maybe there is hope.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *