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Conspiracy Theories and Paralysis

Written by Gary North on July 23, 2016

I am a conspiracy theorist. I have been since 1958, when I began to research the question of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I have never accepted the official explanation that the government had no advance warning of the attack.

I was the only conspiracy theorist I knew of while a graduate student in history. I was unique. I have kept at it over the years. But, I learned long ago that in order to retain your sanity, and in order to remain productive, you have to accept the official story most of the time unless there is strong evidence to the contrary. If you don’t accept this, you will find yourself in a sea of chaos. You will have no concept of historical cause-and-effect.

One of the major problems of conspiracy theory is that the conspiracy theorist can use his conspiracy theories to separate himself from all cause-and-effect in history.

Someone who believes that a conspiracy is behind everything, and therefore believes that all official stories are corrupted by special interests or the desire to deceive, is in a position of never being able to understand any aspect of history. That is to say, visible cause-and-effect in history has no effect on his thinking. He cannot come to grips with causality in history, because he interprets all history, whether written or unwritten, as the outcome of hidden forces that never reveal the truth to anyone outside the conspiracy.

What if there is more than one conspiracy? Which one was the one behind an event? This creates havoc for conspiracy theorists.

This chaos is one of the great pitfalls of all spy networks. They see all truth as a deception. This is what brought down the famous CIA spy, James Jesus Angleton. He was always convinced there was a mole in the CIA, and he could never find who it was. I’m sure there were more than one, but in most cases, the information that a mole would have had access to was really not that important. The CIA never figured out that the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse. What good is a spy network that cannot detect the biggest trend of all?

If a person’s instinctive reaction is to assume that whatever he is being told is incorrect, and that causality is fundamentally different from everything that he has read in the media, he spends his life in the deepest recesses of the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland. If he assumes that everything has been dropped down the memory hole, there is no truth on which to base intelligent decisions.

I think for some people, the desire to see all of life as a conspiracy is an attempt on their part to disengage themselves from responsible decision-making. They assume that they have no responsibility in history, because all of history is a grand deception. This is the reigning outlook of Eastern mysticism. All perception of history is maya, and maya is a delusion.

In short, turn on, tune in, drop out.

The classic sign of somebody who has drunk the Kool-Aid of conspiracy theory to the point of paralysis is someone who never has a functional theory of what really happened, in terms of a rival set of historical documents and historical evidence. In other words, a particular event could not possibly have happened in the way we have been told, the conspiracy theorist says, but he is unwilling to devote months and even years of study to find out what really did happen. In other words, his acceptance of the conspiracy theory is not a preliminary to figuring out what really did happen. On the contrary, it is his self-justification for taking no action to change any aspect of history.

This is futile, both personally and socially. It is the acceptance of the principle that you can beat something with nothing. But, of course, you cannot beat something with nothing. So, if you have no counter explanation, and you are not actively involved in researching possible rival explanations, then you have adopted paralysis in the name of realism. You’ve adopted a theory of cause-and-effect that will always remain hidden.

(For the rest of my article, clink the link.)

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