Robert Forte, The Softer Side of CIA Psychedelic Mind Control |407|

#81
What if it was a life or two in the gutter choking on your own alcohol-stained vomit, David?

If 'the wheel' is the way it is best find a way out as fast as possible I think. Jesus, who wants to live in material existence, it's the pits. Well, at least I think it is.
Well I'm not totally convinced about anything in this area, and the reincarnation data does suggest that people generally reincarnate close by. I mean reincarnation doesn't seem to follow fair play rules - although the data may be biassed by the fact that distant reincarnations might be harder to verify.

I doubt whether the intention is for this life to be miserable. I honestly don't know what the purpose of life is.

David
 
#82
And...before you say it....I do not think that the Syria stuff is a conspiracy. It's right there in the open and plenty of people, from the military boots on the ground to members of the intelligence community (IC) know all about it and talk about it. It's just that our news media doesn't report it (or distorts the reporting if they do cover it).
Yes, but what you describe is a conspiracy - just one that you were in on! I mean this was a most awful conspiracy to persuade Americans and others to acquiesce to a very dangerous war on completely false pretenses! The fact that something extremely important can be hidden from most people because the media have been persuaded not to report it or investigate it, is terrible in a democracy.

Indeed, without the ready cooperation of the news media, most of the conspiracies - including that to destabilise President Trump - could never have got off the ground!

Perhaps this is only a semantic argument?

David
 
#83
Should have mentioned that at some points during the psychotic phases I was occasionally experiencing auditory hallucinations. for example, small groups of small 'things' (demons, though some of the demons were large, bigger than a human) laughing at me in a very malignant way, very occasional tactile hallucinations, for example the sensation of being touched or poked, and very, very occasional olfactory hallucinations, for example, the sense of smelling burning flesh.
This does sound like a distressing NDE
 
#84
Yes, but what you describe is a conspiracy - just one that you were in on! I mean this was a most awful conspiracy to persuade Americans and others to acquiesce to a very dangerous war on completely false pretenses! The fact that something extremely important can be hidden from most people because the media have been persuaded not to report it or investigate it, is terrible in a democracy.

Indeed, without the ready cooperation of the news media, most of the conspiracies - including that to destabilise President Trump - could never have got off the ground!

Perhaps this is only a semantic argument?

David
David,

Yeah. Maybe there is some semantics involved, but there's more to the argument than that, IMO.

Looking at the dictionary definitions of "conspiracy" the trend is to define it as a secret plot to do something that is unlawful or harmful.

1. For national security reasons, lots of things the government does are, out of necessity, "secret". So it really isn't fair to assign the label of "conspiracy" to activities, that by their very nature, must be secret. Sometimes I get the sense that people think that there should be no secrets. Well, that is impossible. Should the govt have told the press and the world that on June 6, 1944 troops are going to hit the beaches in Normandy? How about the capabilities of our spy satellites? How about the names and methods of our intelligence operatives that are penetrating Islamic terrorist networks? How about the true long term goals and bottom lines of diplomatic negotiations? Of course not.

2. That qualifier of unlawful leaves a lot of grey areas in the picture. If the govt wanted to promote the mass use of psychedelics (which I am highly skeptical of) it wouldn't have been unlawful because LSD wasn't illegal at the time. Certainly studying psychedelics wasn't a crime per se. Giving aid to jihadi groups in Syria was actually unlawful because there are laws against aiding and abetting terrorists. Is a little white lie about an enemy torpedo boat to help nudge the public to accepting a war to stop the spread of communism a crime? If a govt agency wants to help dairy farmers and, to do so, promotes a food pyramid that suggests that consuming more milk and cheese is beneficial, is it a crime? Or is it just a form of advertising? I said up-thread that I only think that a legal definition of criminal conspiracy makes sense.

3. If the govt is doing something that many people know about and the media fails to report it to a wider swath of the population, is that a crime? Or, more generally, is controlling the flow of information a crime? What responsibility does the citizenry have for informing itself? There is nothing in the Constitution or the body of law that I am aware of that says the media must report fairly and accurately on each and every topic that might be of interest to anyone. If the media does a sloppy job is that a crime? If the media cooperates with govt agencies and insiders to only report on certain stories and in certain ways so as to maintain connections and info flow, is that a crime? It might stink and be suboptimal for the populace, but is it a crime? If some media outlets have ideological bias and they allow it to leak through into their reporting, is that a crime? How would you remove bias from humans? How would you remove sloth and stupidity? Maybe you'd let the free market function and let people decide to access alternative sources of "news" (which is what is happening today). Where is the crime? Again, people just being people is not a conspiracy; even if you wish people could be a little more stellar in their conduct.

4. Since conspiracies must be unlawful by definition, then shouldn't legal standards of evidence and proof be required before we decide that a conspiracy has occurred? But I don't hear that from all the promoters of conspiracy theories. It's all rumor, innuendo and conjecture that would never pass the "beyond the shadow of doubt" or "Beyond reasonable" standards of the court room.

5. Many laws have an intent component. Is simply falling into a classic group think situation participating in a conspiracy? If people really believe something, even if it isn't real, and then act on what they think is in the best interest of the country and it all screws up and creates a real problem, it that a crime?

6. If a group of people - say wealthy power brokers - gets together and decides that the world be a better place (or more profitable for the group) if governments would do certain things and then they ask people in governments to do those things, is that a crime? What if the governments generally agree that the group has come up with some good ideas and the governments actually more or less go along with the plans the group promoted? Is that a crime? Or is it just people being people?

An example would AIPAC and America's dedication to Israel. Yes, AIPAC spreads a lot of money around Washington ("It's all about the Benjamens" a mean double entendre said by a nasty sort in Congress recently). But does anyone seriously think that the USA would abandon Israel if not for the money? What with all of the Christian conservatives? I think not.

So, you see, by the criminal/unlawful standard that the dictionary says must be present for something to be a conspiracy, most topics that conspiracy theorists like to discuss, really aren't conspiracies. Rather, just people being people. True that maybe a lot of other people don't like what they are doing, but nowhere in the definitions of "conspiracy" is there anything about the interaction not being liked by a critical mass of people.

In other instances the "secret" standard is met, but not necessarily the criminal aspect. The government, by definition in matters of national security, must maintain secrecy.

But mostly I object to the poor standards of evidence that conspiracy theorists apply. IMO, a good idea would be for some wealthy donors to establish a mock court. Get lawyers to take on these conspiracy theories, pro and con. Put them before randomly select juries. Call in expert witnesses. Really do it. Then let an impartial jury decide.

Oh...ever notice that these conspiracy theorists never take their cases to court. I mean if you really believe the govt was behind 9/11 and blew up the World Trade Towers (f'ing idiotic, btw), then why the hell haven't you gone to court with all your proof? You could at least bring action in civil court on behalf of one or more of the victims families. Right? So? Where is the case? Not one single case? Yeah, because no one thinks that their stupid conspiracy theory would hold up under legal standards........so much better to just keep quacking away to zombified true believers on the internet than to put up or shut up.

Sometimes the theories do end up in court and are soundly defeated, yet they persist - for example the idea that law enforcement is committing a genocide against African Americans (despite there having only been around 12 unarmed blacks killed each year by law enforcement nationwide and most of those involved an attack on officers). When these cases go to court, the court rules in favor of Law enforcement and, in many instances, the "racist" system is run by black mayors and black police chiefs and some of the officers directly involved are black. Conspiracy theories are resistant to contrary evidence.

Here we run into another problematic aspect of conspiracy theories. If the theory was ruled against in a court of law, then the theorists would just say that the court was in on the conspiracy. These "theories" are in violation of Popper's rules; they are unfalsifiable. Any contrary evidence just becomes part of the conspiracy.

Also, in fairness, I think there is a pure entertainment aspect to the conspiracy theories. They're the camp fire stories of the modern age. So let's enjoy, but not get too serious about them
 
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#85
It is a synthetic chemical, and if it is produced in backstreet laboratories, I would be seriously concerned that it might be impure.
We certainly knew the difference between 'dirty' and 'clean' acid. Its not an issue of whether it was pure or not when made but what was added later. Amphetamines and strychnine were added, apparently, to keep the user conscious. I quit using LSD after two very unpleasant experiences of 'dirty' acid - just nasty sensations (teeth tingling for hours as the dominant sensation) and very low trippy effect.

If the balance of additives is okay the the effect is great. My favourite was called Orange Barrel - very clean and very colourful. The really unpleasant stuff arrived after the market had become debased, pretty much the same way cannabis went from being a really decent spirit to gross head-banging skunk. I quit smoking as well.

From my experience the early scene, in Australia at least, had good quality gear - clean and good spirits. Once things went seriously commercial the quality nose dived and what was available was crude and nasty. The transition was a shift from wanting an 'experience' just wanting to 'get out if it'.

For me difference between commercial cannabis and what I would say is good stuff is the difference between commercial mass produced veg and organic. If your sense of distinction has not been completely ruined you can taste and feel the difference.

I think the same applies to LSD in a slightly different sense. Pure LSD apparently doesn't support body consciousness. So adding stuff that does is essential. Get the mix right and the quality of the experience is good. Get it wrong and you have a crap 'trip'.

I think the market for getting out if it was stronger than the market for transcendental experiences. There was more interest in tuning out than tuning in - so tune out and drop out became the dominant theme - or tune out and stay in.

That's still the issue today - use drugs to manage experience by enhancing or dulling a sense of self awareness. Dulling has a stronger market share.

So any argument that the CIA or FBI or any other power wanted to exert social control via drugs fails on this point. What killed the 'liberating' side of drugs was no more than most folk don't want liberating, they want dulling. My experience was that the liberating side of drugs succumbed to commercial interest and the imperative of the market place - deliver tune out, because that's where the demand is - and then money.

That's hardly control of a culture. You don't need deep state actors, just normal market forces. Drugs didn't turn radicals into zombies. To the contrary, once you know there is an alternative that never leaves you. You don't have to become a radical to cease to conform. The 60s and 70s drug culture transformed Western civilisation in subtle ways - but it was not alone in doing so - rather part of a mix of influences. And these subtle ways were potent.

I get the government interest in psychedelics. But attributing to any government agency the power to manage an intentional intervention in favour of a desired outcome is fanciful. Its not that governments are stupid or incompetent, rather the task involves complexity beyond their capacity. There's too much ill-informed opinion on this subject in my view - none coming from folk who do actually understand what is possible.

I think yes, government is interested in psychedelics and concerned to know what it needs to know, and use that knowledge for purposes relevant to government. That includes a desire to influence culture while retaining a commitment to freedom. Efforts at such influence may be adverse, but hardly complete or effective.

I don't see that government interest in psychedelics included control or influence of a culture in general. I have seen no evidence to suggest that - at least nothing that seems either plausible or reasonable on closer examination. I am happy to entertain counter arguments that are cemented in credible evidence.
 
#86
We certainly knew the difference between 'dirty' and 'clean' acid. Its not an issue of whether it was pure or not when made but what was added later. Amphetamines and strychnine were added, apparently, to keep the user conscious. I quit using LSD after two very unpleasant experiences of 'dirty' acid - just nasty sensations (teeth tingling for hours as the dominant sensation) and very low trippy effect.

If the balance of additives is okay the the effect is great. My favourite was called Orange Barrel - very clean and very colourful. The really unpleasant stuff arrived after the market had become debased, pretty much the same way cannabis went from being a really decent spirit to gross head-banging skunk. I quit smoking as well.

From my experience the early scene, in Australia at least, had good quality gear - clean and good spirits. Once things went seriously commercial the quality nose dived and what was available was crude and nasty. The transition was a shift from wanting an 'experience' just wanting to 'get out if it'.

For me difference between commercial cannabis and what I would say is good stuff is the difference between commercial mass produced veg and organic. If your sense of distinction has not been completely ruined you can taste and feel the difference.

I think the same applies to LSD in a slightly different sense. Pure LSD apparently doesn't support body consciousness. So adding stuff that does is essential. Get the mix right and the quality of the experience is good. Get it wrong and you have a crap 'trip'.

I think the market for getting out if it was stronger than the market for transcendental experiences. There was more interest in tuning out than tuning in - so tune out and drop out became the dominant theme - or tune out and stay in.

That's still the issue today - use drugs to manage experience by enhancing or dulling a sense of self awareness. Dulling has a stronger market share.

So any argument that the CIA or FBI or any other power wanted to exert social control via drugs fails on this point. What killed the 'liberating' side of drugs was no more than most folk don't want liberating, they want dulling. My experience was that the liberating side of drugs succumbed to commercial interest and the imperative of the market place - deliver tune out, because that's where the demand is - and then money.

That's hardly control of a culture. You don't need deep state actors, just normal market forces. Drugs didn't turn radicals into zombies. To the contrary, once you know there is an alternative that never leaves you. You don't have to become a radical to cease to conform. The 60s and 70s drug culture transformed Western civilisation in subtle ways - but it was not alone in doing so - rather part of a mix of influences. And these subtle ways were potent.

I get the government interest in psychedelics. But attributing to any government agency the power to manage an intentional intervention in favour of a desired outcome is fanciful. Its not that governments are stupid or incompetent, rather the task involves complexity beyond their capacity. There's too much ill-informed opinion on this subject in my view - none coming from folk who do actually understand what is possible.

I think yes, government is interested in psychedelics and concerned to know what it needs to know, and use that knowledge for purposes relevant to government. That includes a desire to influence culture while retaining a commitment to freedom. Efforts at such influence may be adverse, but hardly complete or effective.

I don't see that government interest in psychedelics included control or influence of a culture in general. I have seen no evidence to suggest that - at least nothing that seems either plausible or reasonable on closer examination. I am happy to entertain counter arguments that are cemented in credible evidence.
I'm tellin' ya, strychnine was never added to LSD. If you're taking blotter, there isn't enough paper to hold enough speed to have an effect. Pure LSD does have a speedy quality to it and it keeps you awake and conscious; no additives are required. I've had doses from the same vial of pure LSD and it had different qualitative effects on different occasions. It's a mental thing (set/setting) and it is dose related.

Here's a link to support my statement: https://erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd_article3.shtml

Notice that a lot of the doses are on the low to very low side. IMO, at least 100 micrograms are needed to have a mind expanding effect and it's really not until you consume 200 micrograms that you are becoming fully psychedelic. LSD is not sold in high doses like it was in the 1960s. A low dose of LSD isn't all that mind expanding and the primary effect notice is physical, like jitters and mental confusion. It takes a higher dose to push past that and get into the psychedelic trance state wherein the body relaxes and the mind becomes prominent, focused, clear and stretched.

Otherwise, I agree with what you say.
 
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#87
Oh...ever notice that these conspiracy theorists never take their cases to court. I mean if you really believe the govt was behind 9/11 and blew up the World Trade Towers (f'ing idiotic, btw), then why the hell haven't you gone to court with all your proof? You could at least bring action in civil court on behalf of one or more of the victims families. Right? So? Where is the case? Not one single case? Yeah, because no one thinks that their stupid conspiracy theory would hold up under legal standards........so much better to just keep quacking away to zombified true believers on the internet than to put up or shut up.
https://www.ae911truth.org/news/506...interview-with-the-lawyers-who-made-it-happen

It has been taken to court.

It is stupid to think "the government" did it - but is it stupid to think people who have held government positions would use their positions of influence in the public and private worlds to facilitate or at least allow for it to happen? An inside job isn't one where the entity/corporation the perpetrators of the crime are inside commits the crime itself.
 
#88
https://www.ae911truth.org/news/506...interview-with-the-lawyers-who-made-it-happen

It has been taken to court.

It is stupid to think "the government" did it - but is it stupid to think people who have held government positions would use their positions of influence in the public and private worlds to facilitate or at least allow for it to happen? An inside job isn't one where the entity/corporation the perpetrators of the crime are inside commits the crime itself.
Ok. This is a new development. They are going to a grand jury, who will decide if there's enough evidence to justify the suspicion that a crime was committed and that the case should go to court.

We don't know the outcome of the grand jury hearing yet, let alone the court hearing (should it ever happen).

I see you are already moving the goal posts - maybe the govt didn't blow up the buildings, but maybe they allowed the terrorist plot to move forward. That proposition will never be proven one way or the other. Never attribute to conspiracy what is explained by incompetence. The federal bureaucracy doesn't have God like powers. They are just people in a bureaucracy with all of the incompetencies that bureaucracies typically exhibit.

Of course, if the grand jury fails to return a true bill (says no reason to go forward to trial), the conspiracy theorists will start connecting dots and explaining how the grand jury was compromised by "the govt" and, thus, in on the conspiracy.
 
#89
I see you are already moving the goal posts - maybe the govt didn't blow up the buildings, but maybe they allowed the terrorist plot to move forward. That proposition will never be proven one way or the other. Never attribute to conspiracy what is explained by incompetence. The federal bureaucracy doesn't have God like powers. They are just people in a bureaucracy with all of the incompetencies that bureaucracies typically exhibit.

Of course, if the grand jury fails to return a true bill (says no reason to go forward to trial), the conspiracy theorists will start connecting dots and explaining how the grand jury was compromised by "the govt" and, thus, in on the conspiracy.
Moving the goal posts from your gross generalization/misrepresentation of what the majority of 9/11 "truthers" think, sure. As a skeptic of this particular "conspiracy theory" I don't think its fair that you set the initial goal posts and presume to be able to represent what "truthers" thinks. "The government did it," is extremely lazy and not the viewpoint of any "conspiracy" researcher/journalist/activist etc. that speaks on 9/11 that I have ever heard, and I've heard A LOT of them.

It seems like your perception of "conspiracy theorists" has been warped and beaten by dullard "conspiritards" on the left of the bell curve.

Of course there will be those who come to the conclusion you suggest if the grand jury fails to return a true bill, so what? Why are you spending so much time focusing on the idiots and acting like there are no legitimate questions to be asked about the "official" narrative around this "conspiracy"?

Why are you so hung up on the legal/criminal definition of conspiracy? I agree that the use of the term is annoying and language matters, but at this point it is a colloquialism and I think most of us can handle inferring what is meant by it within context - yourself included.

Incompetence of bureaucracy and criminal conspiracy are not mutually exclusive. Why bother attributing either to the other? Just because the former could be the cause of something doesn't mean the latter isn't the actual cause. The latter relies on the former and takes advantage of it as often as it can.
 
#90
I thought this interview was great! Personally, I liked all the inside baseball... It's great to hear people who give credit where credit is due to Jan Irvin but also call him out on his shitty attitude and nitwittery. Fascinating stories and lovely personal touches to the complex stories of complex humans.
 
#91
Moving the goal posts from your gross generalization/misrepresentation of what the majority of 9/11 "truthers" think, sure. As a skeptic of this particular "conspiracy theory" I don't think its fair that you set the initial goal posts and presume to be able to represent what "truthers" thinks. "The government did it," is extremely lazy and not the viewpoint of any "conspiracy" researcher/journalist/activist etc. that speaks on 9/11 that I have ever heard, and I've heard A LOT of them.

It seems like your perception of "conspiracy theorists" has been warped and beaten by dullard "conspiritards" on the left of the bell curve.

Of course there will be those who come to the conclusion you suggest if the grand jury fails to return a true bill, so what? Why are you spending so much time focusing on the idiots and acting like there are no legitimate questions to be asked about the "official" narrative around this "conspiracy"?

Why are you so hung up on the legal/criminal definition of conspiracy? I agree that the use of the term is annoying and language matters, but at this point it is a colloquialism and I think most of us can handle inferring what is meant by it within context - yourself included.

Incompetence of bureaucracy and criminal conspiracy are not mutually exclusive. Why bother attributing either to the other? Just because the former could be the cause of something doesn't mean the latter isn't the actual cause. The latter relies on the former and takes advantage of it as often as it can.
Well, 9/11 has been investigated in depth and at length and there official reports. The only reason to doubt the official report is because one suffers from a psychological malady that makes one into a "conspiritard on the left of the bell curve".

If the event hadn't been thoroughly investigated, then you'd have a point.

To believe that the event was not thoroughly investigated and/or the resulting reports misrepresent what happened requires a very paranoid mindset and/or a very misinformed view of our intelligence services, their level of patriotism and ability.

Every conspiracy I have considered is based on pathological and/or stupid and/or merely misinformed analysis.

For example, myself. I am very familiar with small arms and their effects. Like everyone else, I saw the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination. I never had any problem that a lone wolf jerk like Oswald could kill the POTUS all on his own. However, based on the film I questioned why all of Kennedy's skull and brain matter flew back towards the shooter. I would expect some of it to do so, but not all of it. I had reason to think that it sure looked like the shot must have come from the front, in which case the official story was bunk. So for years whenever someone brought up a Kennedy conspiracy theory, I'd shrug and, "Yeah. Maybe".

But I was basing my position on incomplete/inaccurate information. One day just a few years ago I had the flu and was lying around in bed feeling cruddy with nothing to do. Something had recently gotten me thinking of the Kennedy thing. I started youtubing, etc on the topic. There was a vid with an interview with a Dallas cop that had guarded the presidential car after Kennedy had been taken to the hospital. He stated that there was brains, skull frags and blood all over the front of the car. ...Hmmmmm....I wondered if that was true.......then I saw another film of the event that we rarely see (it's out there on youtube somewhere), taken by someone else at the moment of the bullet hitting Kennedy's head. In that film one can clearly see lots of blood and other matter blowing out of the front of Kennedy's head (as expected if shot from behind). That settled the matter for me. I had been basing my earlier opinion on incomplete/inaccurate info., but, given new info I changed my position (something these conspiracy theorists will not do).

9/11 happened and suddenly a whole bunch of people become experts on explosives, demolitions, how the govt/IC works, terrorism, etc, etc, etc. Well they aren't experts. Not even close. They don't have the info necessary to make informed conclusions. Yet they go ahead anyhow.

Yes, it is possible to find people with seemingly relevant credentials to state that "buildings don't fall that way from fires". Or whatever. But each of those arguments is countered by experts that say that buildings do fall that way from fires, or whatever.

I know a guy who thinks the Pentagon was hit by a missile and not an airplane. He was at the Pentagon the day after the event (on official business). I also know a guy who saw the airplane hit the Pentagon from his window at the Naval Annex across the road. The first guy is very smart, definitely right side of the bell curve, but he has no expertise in aviation crashes and related physics. When I tell about the second guy he states that the second guy must have misinterpreted what he saw or might even be part of the cover-up. This is how crazy some people are. The first guy is now a disillusioned hippy living in Denver smoking a bunch of pot all the time and teaching at a university, The second guy is now honorably retired from a military career and is in the consulting business and doing quite well. There are certain personality types involved in this hardcore conspiracy theory stuff and it's not related to IQ....and that's one of the aspects that gets people sucked into these mindsets. Some smart people are pushing them due to psychological reasons, but they appear smart and are persuasive.

Of course some people push conspiracy theories because they sell.
 
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#92
David,

Yeah. Maybe there is some semantics involved, but there's more to the argument than that, IMO.

Looking at the dictionary definitions of "conspiracy" the trend is to define it as a secret plot to do something that is unlawful or harmful.

1. For national security reasons, lots of things the government does are, out of necessity, "secret". So it really isn't fair to assign the label of "conspiracy" to activities, that by their very nature, must be secret. Sometimes I get the sense that people think that there should be no secrets. Well, that is impossible. Should the govt have told the press and the world that on June 6, 1944 troops are going to hit the beaches in Normandy? How about the capabilities of our spy satellites? How about the names and methods of our intelligence operatives that are penetrating Islamic terrorist networks? How about the true long term goals and bottom lines of diplomatic negotiations? Of course not.

2. That qualifier of unlawful leaves a lot of grey areas in the picture. If the govt wanted to promote the mass use of psychedelics (which I am highly skeptical of) it wouldn't have been unlawful because LSD wasn't illegal at the time. Certainly studying psychedelics wasn't a crime per se. Giving aid to jihadi groups in Syria was actually unlawful because there are laws against aiding and abetting terrorists. Is a little white lie about an enemy torpedo boat to help nudge the public to accepting a war to stop the spread of communism a crime? If a govt agency wants to help dairy farmers and, to do so, promotes a food pyramid that suggests that consuming more milk and cheese is beneficial, is it a crime? Or is it just a form of advertising? I said up-thread that I only think that a legal definition of criminal conspiracy makes sense.

3. If the govt is doing something that many people know about and the media fails to report it to a wider swath of the population, is that a crime? Or, more generally, is controlling the flow of information a crime? What responsibility does the citizenry have for informing itself? There is nothing in the Constitution or the body of law that I am aware of that says the media must report fairly and accurately on each and every topic that might be of interest to anyone. If the media does a sloppy job is that a crime? If the media cooperates with govt agencies and insiders to only report on certain stories and in certain ways so as to maintain connections and info flow, is that a crime? It might stink and be suboptimal for the populace, but is it a crime? If some media outlets have ideological bias and they allow it to leak through into their reporting, is that a crime? How would you remove bias from humans? How would you remove sloth and stupidity? Maybe you'd let the free market function and let people decide to access alternative sources of "news" (which is what is happening today). Where is the crime? Again, people just being people is not a conspiracy; even if you wish people could be a little more stellar in their conduct.

4. Since conspiracies must be unlawful by definition, then shouldn't legal standards of evidence and proof be required before we decide that a conspiracy has occurred? But I don't hear that from all the promoters of conspiracy theories. It's all rumor, innuendo and conjecture that would never pass the "beyond the shadow of doubt" or "Beyond reasonable" standards of the court room.

5. Many laws have an intent component. Is simply falling into a classic group think situation participating in a conspiracy? If people really believe something, even if it isn't real, and then act on what they think is in the best interest of the country and it all screws up and creates a real problem, it that a crime?

6. If a group of people - say wealthy power brokers - gets together and decides that the world be a better place (or more profitable for the group) if governments would do certain things and then they ask people in governments to do those things, is that a crime? What if the governments generally agree that the group has come up with some good ideas and the governments actually more or less go along with the plans the group promoted? Is that a crime? Or is it just people being people?

An example would AIPAC and America's dedication to Israel. Yes, AIPAC spreads a lot of money around Washington ("It's all about the Bejamens" a mean double entendre said by a nasty sort in Congress recently). But does anyone seriously think that the USA would abandon Israel if not for the money? What with all of the Christian conservatives? I think not.

So, you see, by the criminal/unlawful standard that the dictionary says must be present for something to be a conspiracy, most topics that conspiracy theorists like to discuss, really aren't conspiracies. Rather, just people being people. True that maybe a lot of other people don't like what they are doing, but nowhere in the definitions of "conspiracy" is there anything about the interaction not being liked by a critical mass of people.

In other instances the "secret" standard is met, but not necessarily the criminal aspect. The government, by definition in matters of national security, must maintain secrecy.

But mostly I object to the poor standards of evidence that conspiracy theorists apply. IMO, a good idea would be for some wealthy donors to establish a mock court. Get lawyers to take on these conspiracy theories, pro and con. Put them before randomly select juries. Call in expert witnesses. Really do it. Then let an impartial jury decide.

Oh...ever notice that these conspiracy theorists never take their cases to court. I mean if you really believe the govt was behind 9/11 and blew up the World Trade Towers (f'ing idiotic, btw), then why the hell haven't you gone to court with all your proof? You could at least bring action in civil court on behalf of one or more of the victims families. Right? So? Where is the case? Not one single case? Yeah, because no one thinks that their stupid conspiracy theory would hold up under legal standards........so much better to just keep quacking away to zombified true believers on the internet than to put up or shut up.

Sometimes the theories do end up in court and are soundly defeated, yet they persist - for example the idea that law enforcement is committing a genocide against African Americans (despite there having only been around 12 unarmed blacks killed each year by law enforcement nationwide and most of those involved an attack on officers). When these cases go to court, the court rules in favor of Law enforcement and, in many instances, the "racist" system is run by black mayors and black police chiefs and some of the officers directly involved are black. Conspiracy theories are resistant to contrary evidence.

Here we run into another problematic aspect of conspiracy theories. If the theory was ruled against in a court of law, then the theorists would just say that the court was in on the conspiracy. These "theories" are in violation of Popper's rules; they are unfalsifiable. Any contrary evidence just becomes part of the conspiracy.

Also, in fairness, I think there is a pure entertainment aspect to the conspiracy theories. They're the camp fire stories of the modern age. So let's enjoy, but not get too serious about them
Well isn't this splitting hairs? I mean how do you think the American population would react if they were present with unambiguous evidence that:

a) The US government at some level was involved in creating the fake gas attacks (some of which may well have been real gas attacks but but by the rebels with US help).

b) The fact that the media knew of these events but were told to shut up.

David
 
#93
Ok. This is a new development. They are going to a grand jury, who will decide if there's enough evidence to justify the suspicion that a crime was committed and that the case should go to court.

We don't know the outcome of the grand jury hearing yet, let alone the court hearing (should it ever happen).

I see you are already moving the goal posts - maybe the govt didn't blow up the buildings, but maybe they allowed the terrorist plot to move forward. That proposition will never be proven one way or the other. Never attribute to conspiracy what is explained by incompetence. The federal bureaucracy doesn't have God like powers. They are just people in a bureaucracy with all of the incompetencies that bureaucracies typically exhibit.

Of course, if the grand jury fails to return a true bill (says no reason to go forward to trial), the conspiracy theorists will start connecting dots and explaining how the grand jury was compromised by "the govt" and, thus, in on the conspiracy.
We're sympatico on a number of issues, Eric, but in this case, not so much. I'm a Brit and not so emotionally invested as many Americans in the events of 9/11, and I've seen a number of the "truther" videos. Until I looked at the site referenced in the podcast Runic posted, I wasn't aware of it, nor of the body of professional opinion from respected engineers, architects and lawyers, nor of the push for a grand jury examination presaging possible trial proceedings of some sort. My mind is open, and this site presents quite a lot of detailed evidence that building 7 was demolished in a pre-planned exercise. For what reason, I can't say, nor by whom, nor why the NIST report came to the conclusions it did.

Was 9/11 a conspiracy by the government or other powerful influences? I can't say. But I'm persuaded that there's at least a case for more investigation -- we owe that to the 3,000 people who lost their lives as well as their families, and if there's nothing to hide, why would anyone be inimical to it? How can anyone dismiss the possibility of some kind of nefarious activity occurring on that day?

The USA is a peculiar country. Arrogant, secretive and warlike, it's done plenty of things in the name of its people that those people wouldn't necessarily support. Sure, other countries might have done the same sorts of things had they been as wealthy, big and powerful, but the fact remains it's still the USA that is responsible for much mayhem and carnage that goes on on the world today. Whether it's by design, or through the largely unintended consequences of stupidity/paranoia (or, indeed, active conspiracy), I can't say. But I do think it's about time someone made honest attempts to making serious investigations for a change.
 
#94
Well isn't this splitting hairs? I mean how do you think the American population would react if they were present with unambiguous evidence that:

a) The US government at some level was involved in creating the fake gas attacks (some of which may well have been real gas attacks but but by the rebels with US help).

b) The fact that the media knew of these events but were told to shut up.

David
With regards to b) I don't know that media is aware that they were presenting an untrue story. They are not too bright parrots, you know.

With regards to a) That is sticky and not as simple as it seems. To answer your question directly, I imagine the public would be pretty pissed-off.

However, I don't how you say "The US Government" was doing this, as if the US govt is a unified hive mind. It isn't. Furthermore, my understanding is that it wasn't just elements of the US govt that were involved, but also elements of the Brit govt as well as the Israelis and Saudis.

So we have rogue hawkish elements within the spook agencies of various govts conspiring (because it is criminal to aid and abet terrorists). Yet we have other spooks informing Trump that a conspiracy was afoot and then Trump and Putin (and others) working to thwart the conspiracy.

Now the question is what to do about it. Does it make sense to go the press and reveal all these spook/intel networks? Reveal covert ops to the world with methods, sources and objectives? Or does it get quietly handled internally for the greater good? IMO, there is no way to keep an info release of this nature strictly in the realm of the immediate issue. It would quickly spiral out of control to related topics and national security would be compromised.

there is also diplomatic issues. We have to continue to work with these other govts on other matters. Getting them busted in the international press isn't diplomatic. It's a complex world out there.

There is a fine balance regarding information dissemination to the public that must be navigated when it comes to national security. Not everyone needs to know. That's my opinion, but it is shared by many. Maybe you think everyone single citizen should be aware of every covert activity and all of the internal conflicts in the various associated agencies.
 
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#95
We're sympatico on a number of issues, Eric, but in this case, not so much. I'm a Brit and not so emotionally invested as many Americans in the events of 9/11, and I've seen a number of the "truther" videos. Until I looked at the site referenced in the podcast Runic posted, I wasn't aware of it, nor of the body of professional opinion from respected engineers, architects and lawyers, nor of the push for a grand jury examination presaging possible trial proceedings of some sort. My mind is open, and this site presents quite a lot of detailed evidence that building 7 was demolished in a pre-planned exercise. For what reason, I can't say, nor by whom, nor why the NIST report came to the conclusions it did.

Was 9/11 a conspiracy by the government or other powerful influences? I can't say. But I'm persuaded that there's at least a case for more investigation -- we owe that to the 3,000 people who lost their lives as well as their families, and if there's nothing to hide, why would anyone be inimical to it? How can anyone dismiss the possibility of some kind of nefarious activity occurring on that day?

The USA is a peculiar country. Arrogant, secretive and warlike, it's done plenty of things in the name of its people that those people wouldn't necessarily support. Sure, other countries might have done the same sorts of things had they been as wealthy, big and powerful, but the fact remains it's still the USA that is responsible for much mayhem and carnage that goes on on the world today. Whether it's by design, or through the largely unintended consequences of stupidity/paranoia (or, indeed, active conspiracy), I can't say. But I do think it's about time someone made honest attempts to making serious investigations for a change.
Michael,
Hey. Investigate away! I have no problem with that.

I just don't like people stating things with certainty when they are lacking the background and knowledge or basing it on half-truths and incorrect facts; especially when it breeds societal discord.

I have seen explanations of building 7 that show how it caught fire immediately after - and because - the main building caught fire. It was hit by burning debris. 7 was burning all day. That is clear from film footage. It's not a "theory". The conspiracy theories almost never mention that fact and that concerns me. If the conspiracy theorists addressed that 7 was burning all day and then still offered something suggesting a controlled demolition, then I'd have more respect for them.

Yes. Something inimical happened that day. It's called Islamic terrorism. Happens all of the time. But yeah, again, knock yourself out investigating alternative theories. Just don't expect me to buy into them unless you have some solid evidence, which no one does 18 years later.

Also, sometimes bureaucrats say stupid things that bite them in the ass later on. Like maybe building 7 was burning all day and then someone decided to demolish it so it wouldn't fall willy nilly on yet other buildings. The decided to not mention that part because of conspiracy theorists getting ahold of it and running wild. Bad decision. But not indicative of a wide 9/11 conspiracy. I'm not saying that happened; just an illustrative hypothetical.
 
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#96
Michael,
Hey. Investigate away! I have no problem with that.

I just don't like people stating things with certainty when they are lacking the background and knowledge or basing it on half-truths and incorrect facts; especially when it breeds societal discord.

I have seen explanations of building 7 that show how it caught fire immediately after - and because - the main building caught fire. It was hit by burning debris. 7 was burning all day. That is clear from film footage. It's not a "theory". The conspiracy theories almost never mention that fact and that concerns me. If the conspiracy theorists addressed that 7 was burning all day and then still offered something suggesting a controlled demolition, then I'd have more respect for them.

Yes. Something inimical happened that day. It's called Islamic terrorism. Happens all of the time. But yeah, again, knock yourself out investigating alternative theories. Just don't expect me to buy into them unless you have some solid evidence, which no one does 18 years later.

Also, sometimes bureaucrats say stupid things that bite them in the ass later on. Like maybe building 7 was burning all day and then someone decided to demolish it so it wouldn't fall willy nilly on yet other buildings. The decided to not mention that part because of conspiracy theorists getting ahold of it and running wild. Bad decision. But not indicative of a wide 9/11 conspiracy. I'm not saying that happened; just an illustrative hypothetical.
Well, Eric, it's plain that in this matter you're implacable in your defence of the official story. Seemingly no amount of evidence will ever open up your mind to different possibilities. All I can say is that for me, a Brit with not too much of an axe to grind, I find the evidence on the site Runic posted to be at least worthy of consideration, and not to be put forward by conspiracy nutcases. On the contrary, the people on the site strike me as very credible, making measured responses, and the video evidence behind their commentary supports a quite different story from the one promulgated by NIST. Look for instance at this video from the site by an ex-NIST person:


Are you seriously trying to convince yourself that people like this are idiots? Are Islamic terrorists clever enough to have worked for weeks, possibly months, undetected, laying charges for an orderly demolition of very large buildings? Because if the 3 buildings were demolished and the plane attacks happened as a kind of distracting explanation, then it's extremely doubtful that Islamic terrorists would have been responsible. Why, in any case, if they were terrorists, would they bother to send planes as a cover-up? Why not blow up the buildings alone and have done with it?

The key evidence is how the buildings fell -- straight down in free-fall in their own footprints; and how they more or less disintegrated into dust in a very orderly fashion (something that mirrors exactly known controlled demolitions). Neither can be explained by the NIST exposition, which bears little relation to what ample video and audio evidence shows. To me, there's obviously something amiss with NIST's story, and the question is, how and why might such an organisation have been pressured into producing a report that doesn't fit the facts?
 
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#97
Well, Eric, it's plain that in this matter you're implacable in your defence of the official story. Seemingly no amount of evidence will ever open up your mind to different possibilities. All I can say is that for me, a Brit with not too much of an axe to grind, I find the evidence on the site Runic posted to be at least worthy of consideration, and not to be put forward by conspiracy nutcases. On the contrary, the people on the site strike me as very credible, making measured responses, and the video evidence behind their commentary supports a quite different story from the one promulgated by NIST. Look for instance at this video from the site by an ex-NIST person:


Are you seriously trying to convince yourself that people like this are idiots? Are Islamic terrorists clever enough to have worked for weeks, possibly months, undetected, laying charges for an orderly demolition of very large buildings? Because if the 3 buildings were demolished and the plane attacks happened as a kind of distracting explanation, then it's extremely doubtful that Islamic terrorists would have been responsible. Why, in any case, if they were terrorists, would they bother to send planes as a cover-up? Why not blow up the buildings alone and have done with it?

The key evidence is how the buildings fell -- straight down in free-fall in their own footprints; and how they more or less disintegrated into dust in a very orderly fashion (something that mirrors exactly known controlled demolitions). Neither can be explained by the NIST exposition, which bears little relation to what ample video and audio evidence shows. To me, there's obviously something amiss with NIST's story, and the question is, how and why might such an organisation have been pressured into producing a report that doesn't fit the facts?
Sorry, Michael, but that vid you posted contains misinformation in the first 10 seconds. yes. Other tall building have collapsed due to fire. Look it up. Here's just one of them:

I don't know what the guy in the video's problem is. Is he an idiot like scoring low on an IQ test kind of idiot? Probably not, but maybe. His style and words insult my intelligence. Does he have other motivations or issues? Yeah. No doubt.

There is also a logical fallacy immediately evident in that initial incorrect statement beyond its factual inaccuracy. To wit, the World Trade Towers were of unique architecture and construction. For the statement to be meaningful, we'd have to have a situation in which there was a large sample of buildings very similar in design and material to the towers and exposed to large amounts of burning jet fuel after a massive impact (the planes hitting and slashing through the building and its support infrastructure).

There is no such sample. The statement in the video is meaningless.

There are computer models built by experts that show exactly how the terrorist flown airplane crashes and resulting fires caused the buildings to fall exactly as they did. It makes a lot of sense to me. The pancaking floors as they collapsed, one after another, on top of each other explains what the conspiracy people say could only come from controlled demolition.

I am not desperate to uphold any particular narrative or world view. I go where the evidence points me. I have been analyzing data and things professionally for a long long time. And I'm good at it, evidenced by promotions, awards, etc.

Also, this topic gets me riled a bit because it assumes that there are actually military people - whole teams of them - that have no problem killing thousands of Americans and even attack their own HQ (The Pentagon) and that points to an absolutely ignorant (and, frankly retarded) perspective of what military people are like. Not only that, but they were working with Islamic terrorists to do the job (i.e. coordinating the explosions with the airplanes striking the buildings). Any military man (or woman) I've ever known would give their life to prevent an airplane full of Americans from being killed by terrorists.

There were investigations into explosives. The govt guy in the video even spoke to that. He said there was no evidence of explosive material. Sorry if the malcontent in the video doesn't think enough time and resources was dedicated to looking into explosives. Why waste resources on something that is shown to not be true? Actually, to be exact, the malcontent guy says only two pages in the report were dedicated to the explosive investigation. The people making the video are trying to conflate the number of pages in the report to the actual amount of work done. That is dishonest. You could spend months (which is the reality) looking for explosive trace and then it only takes two pages to say "We did x, y and z to look for explosive trace and we didn't find any". This video is pure BS for people willing to be duped.

The lack of parsimony is also staggering. Talk about a Rube Goldberg device!

If you really believe that, you are, at least in this instance, divorced from reality.

I believe that extraordinary claims require a high level of actual high quality evidence. I am convinced of the evidence of several paranormal phenomena because the evidence is really good and I have personally experienced it. Any individual claim is suspect though (e.g. "my house is haunted" - yeah? show me). That US military personnel killed thousands of Americans and no one is talking about it/confessing is ridiculous.
 
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#98
Also, this topic gets me riled a bit because it assumes that there are actually military people - whole teams of them - that have no problem killing thousands of Americans and even attack their own HQ (The Pentagon) and that points to an absolutely ignorant (and, frankly retarded) perspective of what military people are like. Not only that, but they were working with Islamic terrorists to do the job (i.e. coordinating the explosions with the airplanes striking the buildings)
And that's your tell, Eric. It may be not so much that you are convinced by the evidence on your side (which imo is pretty flimsy), as that a possible alternative explanation is so awful to contemplate. For a Brit, it's not so strange that in a country with a proven record of such deceit and depravity at the top levels as the USA, there should be people prepared to sacrifice thousands of their own countrymen in furtherance of their aims, whatever those might be.

My opinion of most ordinary military personnel is that they're most probably decent people; however, as the phrase has it, they're lions led by donkeys. Many of those at the top in all countries bray rather than genuinely lead with integrity. Let's just wait and see how this all turns out. Maybe one day, however reluctantly, you'll have to eat your words.

And just for the record, I can find no other example of a building that has fallen in this way other than through controlled demolition: indeed, NIST made a point of maintaining it was a newly-discovered phenomenon. If you can provide links to such evidence, please supply them.
 
#99
With regards to b) I don't know that media is aware that they were presenting an untrue story. They are not too bright parrots, you know.

With regards to a) That is sticky and not as simple as it seems. To answer your question directly, I imagine the public would be pretty pissed-off.

However, I don't how you say "The US Government" was doing this, as if the US govt is a unified hive mind. It isn't. Furthermore, my understanding is that it wasn't just elements of the US govt that were involved, but also elements of the Brit govt as well as the Israelis and Saudis.
I think a sizeable part of the population assume that the President is in control, and people lower down do as he explicitly or implicitly requests. Part of the real scandal is that there are rogue elements in the system - Brennan was almost certainly one.
So we have rogue hawkish elements within the spook agencies of various govts conspiring (because it is criminal to aid and abet terrorists). Yet we have other spooks informing Trump that a conspiracy was afoot and then Trump and Putin (and others) working to thwart the conspiracy.
Not only is it criminal to aid terrorists, but there must be scope for treason charges surrounding this as with so many other areas of recent events in Washington.

The media knew. I encountered a couple of occasions where the British media were interviewing someone and the truth started to emerge, and they shut the guy up. In one instance they broke in and declared there was to be a commercial break. Thet couldn't possibly not know - I mean reporters must know more than we do, and we knew. I am certain Trump knew what was going on, even while he was still a candidate - because remember, they had already tried to goad Obama into a big war over gas attacks. The media also knew that the Russia collusion thing was phony - that is why a CNN executive was filmed off guard describing it as a nothing-burger.
Now the question is what to do about it. Does it make sense to go the press and reveal all these spook/intel networks? Reveal covert ops to the world with methods, sources and objectives? Or does it get quietly handled internally for the greater good? IMO, there is no way to keep an info release of this nature strictly in the realm of the immediate issue. It would quickly spiral out of control to related topics and national security would be compromised.
I don't know - but after the way it has been totally abused, something should change.
there is also diplomatic issues. We have to continue to work with these other govts on other matters. Getting them busted in the international press isn't diplomatic. It's a complex world out there.

There is a fine balance regarding information dissemination to the public that must be navigated when it comes to national security. Not everyone needs to know. That's my opinion, but it is shared by many. Maybe you think everyone single citizen should be aware of every covert activity and all of the internal conflicts in the various associated agencies.
Clearly there is, but when the whole purpose of an action is to trick the public, and presumably the President, into war, a very thick red line has been crossed.

David
 
I think a sizeable part of the population assume that the President is in control, and people lower down do as he explicitly or implicitly requests. Part of the real scandal is that there are rogue elements in the system - Brennan was almost certainly one.

Not only is it criminal to aid terrorists, but there must be scope for treason charges surrounding this as with so many other areas of recent events in Washington.

The media knew. I encountered a couple of occasions where the British media were interviewing someone and the truth started to emerge, and they shut the guy up. In one instance they broke in and declared there was to be a commercial break. Thet couldn't possibly not know - I mean reporters must know more than we do, and we knew. I am certain Trump knew what was going on, even while he was still a candidate - because remember, they had already tried to goad Obama into a big war over gas attacks. The media also knew that the Russia collusion thing was phony - that is why a CNN executive was filmed off guard describing it as a nothing-burger.

I don't know - but after the way it has been totally abused, something should change.


Clearly there is, but when the whole purpose of an action is to trick the public, and presumably the President, into war, a very thick red line has been crossed.

David
Not positive it means the media knew. It could mean they just want everyone to stay on message. Almost all media I have met are pretty stupid, arrogant and ass kissing someone. Any event I have ever been involved that resulted in a media story, the media gets it wrong. I don't mean the opinion or slant (though that too). I mean material facts too.
 
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