The ultimate conspiracy

The evolution of conspiracy theory management strategies in the last 100 years.

For almost any political or historical event there is an alternative explanation. Sometimes these explanations make more sense than the official version; sometimes they don’t make any sense at all. We all know what a conspiracy theory is; it’s like a big rumor that is circulated among people without ever being admitted as a true explanation of events by the public as a whole.

Like everything else in the world conspiracy theories evolve. Remember the assassination of Kennedy? He was murdered, and when the man who shot him was found he was shot too! This happened in a time when conspiracy theory handling was on the first stages. ‘They’ murdered the president, and then tried to hide the truth. This made people wonder about those who did it, and opened the door wide for speculations, rumors and all kinds of conspiracy theories.

Since then things changed. New approaches to handling such events were invented. One of them was to prepare not only for the event, but also prepare the alternative version. I call it the ‘state alibi’.  Think about the September 11th attacks on the USA. Official documents indicate that the US administration knew in advance that this will happen, and didn’t do anything about it because Bush and his ‘gang’ wanted to use it for their own purposes. Some suggest the World Trade Center could not have fallen like this from a simple plane crash, and that explosives were used to demolish them. There is also overwhelming evidence that the Pentagon was attacked with a missile, not a plane!

Briefly after the attacks, the US administration said that it was done by Al-Qaeda. Of course at that time everyone was very emotional and didn’t think clear. I mean the time that passed between the attacks and the declaration of war on terror was too short to figure out ‘from scratch’ that Al-Qaeda did it. Just think about this – the law that allowed Bush to use military force to fight Al-Qaeda, and to capture those guys who are now detained in Guantanamo was passed by the US Congress on September 18th 2001. Only one week after the attacks. They couldn’t have figured it out and came up with a war plan with this short time. They already knew.

So, what happened was an event that was carried out, while the alibi was already prepared. They allowed this to happen, and then directly after that they gave the alternative explanation for it.

This is a relatively new approach to handling conspiracy theories, a notable change from that with Kennedy assassination, where the door was left open for speculations. Now the event comes with a ready alternative explanation that should divert the public attention to a specific angle that served ‘their’ goals.

The development doesn’t stop here, however. One of the ways to manage conspiracy theories was actually invented by companies, not by states.

This method uses contradiction and distraction to target the credibility of conspiracy theories that threaten to reveal the real explanation of events. Great example of that is all the ‘studies and research’ that was funded by tobacco companies during the 20th century to ‘prove’ that smoking doesn’t cause cancer, or at least to maintain the state of doubt about it.  We also shouldn’t forget the recent efforts by oil companies to produce ‘research’ that ‘proved’ climate change is a myth. Now that we know the truth about these two cases, the tactics of the interested parties change, and their efforts shift to cover other parts of the arguments. For example, there are now ‘scientists’ who say that even if we stop producing carbon emissions now, climate will continue to change, and this will only bring a huge unjustified economic burden. They argue that ‘we should weigh the positive and negative before reducing emissions’!

This approach creates doubt about the truth by generating ‘facts’ that contradicts the real facts, making it difficult for people to make up their minds about the question in hand.

There is one last aspect in the conspiracy theory management strategies that we should mention – falsification. This is a very complicated and extremely devilish method that does not produce an alternative theory, nor tries to confront it with contradicting theory. Instead, it generates false parts within the real explanation of events, in order to prove that this explanation is just a conspiracy theory.

For example, some people argue that the Israeli Mossad knew about the attacks on New York, and that some of its members were sitting in a New York apartment and waiting to film the first attack. I am not sure if this is true, it could very well be, but that’s not the point here.

The point is if people will believe that, then they might find out that the US government knew about the attacks as well, which will undermine the official version of events. So, instead of coming up with a new tactic to ‘cover up’ this fact, what is done is a certain degree of exaggeration that would discredit it. This is done by adding details that superficially prove this version right, but while examined properly will be found to be false, which will result in people assuming that this whole version of events is false. It will add rumors to the true explanation to make it sound like a conspiracy theory.

Let’s say they will add to that version that Israeli Mossad even sent messages to all the Jews who work in World Trade Center telling them to stay home that day. This will appear to be supporting this version, but once you start digging deeper, and find that no such messages were sent that day, you will think that this whole version doesn’t make sense. You will think that the Mossad didn’t know, or didn’t film the first attack because these two pieces of information come in one version, and if one component of that version is false, then the whole version is false.

Of course there could be any number of false components added to any conspiracy theory to discredit it, not only one single false fact. And this is the newest addition to anti-conspiracy-theory tactics.

These are the major stages that conspiracy theory management went through over the last century according to my own humble knowledge. But given the fact that the management of conspiracy theory is becoming an essential part of every intelligence operation, I am sure that there are whole divisions devoted to that in all major intelligence agencies in the world, and that they are working to further develop their anti-conspiracy tactics. I am also sure that time will reveal these new tactics, but I only hope it won’t be too late.

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