The Infantile Psychology of Conspiracy Deniers

#1
This essay provides a good explanation for the bizarre phenomena of Conspiracy Deniers.



https://reportingforbeauty.substack.com/p/on-the-psychology-of-the-conspiracy-7ff


On The Psychology Of The Conspiracy Denier
A closer look at the class that mocks.

Tim Foyle
, March 5th, 2021

Why is it that otherwise perfectly intelligent, thoughtful and rationally minded people baulk at the suggestion that sociopaths are conspiring to manipulate and deceive them? And why will they defend this ill-founded position with such vehemence?

History catalogues the machinations of liars, thieves, bullies and narcissists and their devastating effects. In modern times too, evidence of corruption and extraordinary deceptions abound. We know, without question, that politicians lie and hide their connections and that corporations routinely display utter contempt for moral norms - that corruption surrounds us. We know that revolving doors between the corporate and political spheres, the lobbying system, corrupt regulators, the media and judiciary mean that wrongdoing is practically never brought to any semblance of genuine justice. We know that the press makes noise about these matters occasionally but never pursues them with true vigour. We know that in the intelligence services and law enforcement wrongdoing on a breathtaking scale is commonplace and that, again, justice is never forthcoming. We know that governments repeatedly ignore or trample on the rights of the people, and actively abuse and mistreat the people.

None of this is controversial.

So exactly what is it that conspiracy deniers refuse to acknowledge with such fervour, righteousness and condescension? Why, against all the evidence, do they sneeringly and contemptuously defend the crumbling illusion that 'the great and good' are up there somewhere, have everything in hand, have only our best interests at heart, and are scrupulous, wise and sincere? That the press serves the people and truth rather than the crooks? That injustice after injustice result from mistakes and oversights, and never from that dread word: conspiracy? What reasonable person would continue to inhabit such a fantasy world? The point of disagreement here is only on the matter of scale. Someone who is genuinely curious about the plans of powerful sociopaths won't limit the scope of their curiosity to, for example, one corporation, or one nation. Why would they? Such a person assumes that the same patterns on display locally are likely to be found all the way up the power food chain. But the conspiracy denier insists this is preposterous. Why?

It is painfully obvious that the pyramidical societal and legal structures that humanity has allowed to develop are exactly the kind of dominance hierarchies that undoubtedly favour the sociopath. A humane being operating with a normal and healthy cooperative mindset has little inclination to take part in the combat necessary to climb a corporate or political ladder. So what do conspiracy deniers imagine the 70 million or more sociopaths in the world do all day, born into a 'game', in which all the wealth and power are at the top of the pyramid, while the most effective attributes for 'winning' are ruthlessness and amorality? Have they never played Monopoly?

Sociopaths do not choose their worldview consciously, and are simply unable to comprehend why normal people would put themselves at such an incredible disadvantage by limiting themselves with conscientiousness and empathy, which are as beyond the understanding of the sociopath as a world without them are to the humane being. All the sociopath need do to win in the game is lie publicly whilst conspiring privately. What could be simpler? In 2021, to continue to imagine that the world we inhabit is not largely driven by this dynamic amounts to reckless naivete bordering on insanity. Where does such an inadvertently destructive impulse originate?

The infant child places an innate trust in those it finds itself with - a trust which is, for the most part, essentially justified. The infant could not survive otherwise. In a sane and healthy society, this deep instinct would evolve as the psyche developed. As self-awareness, the cognitive and reasoning abilities and scepticism evolved in the individual, this innate trust impulse would continue to be understood as a central need of the psyche. Shared belief systems would exist to consciously evolve and develop this childish impulse in order to place this faith somewhere consciously - in values and beliefs of lasting meaning and worth to the society, the individual, or, ideally, both. Reverence and respect for tradition, natural forces, ancestors, for reason, truth, beauty, liberty, the innate value of life, or the initiating spirit of all things, might all be considered valid resting places in which to consciously place our trust and faith - as well as those derived from more formalised belief systems.

Regardless of the path taken to evolve and develop a personal faith, it is the bringing of one's own consciousness and cognition to this innate impulse that is relevant here. I believe this is a profound responsibility - to develop and cultivate a mature faith - which many are, understandably, unaware of. What occurs when there is a childish need within us which has never evolved beyond its original survival function of trusting those in our environment who are, simply, the most powerful; the most present and active? When we have never truly explored our own psyches, and deeply interrogated what we truly believe and why? When our motivation for trusting anything or anyone goes unchallenged? When philosophy is left to the philosophers?

I suggest the answer is simple, and that the evidence of this phenomenon and the havoc it is wreaking is all around us: the innate impulse to trust the mother never evolves, never encounters and engages with its counterbalance of reason (or mature faith), and remains forever on its 'default' infant setting. While the immature psyche no longer depends on parents for its well-being, the powerful and motivating core tenet I have described remains intact: unchallenged, unconsidered and undeveloped. And, in a world in which stability and security are distant memories, these survival instincts, rather than being well-honed, considered, relevant, discerning and up to date, remain, quite literally, those of a baby. Trust is placed in the biggest, loudest, most present and undeniable force around, because instinct decrees that survival depends on it. And, in this great 'world nursery', the most omnipresent force is the network of institutions which consistently project an unearned image of power, calm, expertise, concern and stability.

In my view, this is how conspiracy deniers are able to cling to and aggressively defend the utterly illogical fantasy that somehow - above a certain undefined level of the societal hierarchy - corruption, deceit, malevolence and narcissism mysteriously evaporate. That, contrary to the maxim, the more power a person has, the more integrity they will inevitably exhibit. These poor deluded souls essentially believe that where personal experience and prior knowledge cannot fill in the gaps in their worldview - in short, where there is a barred door - mummy and daddy are behind it, working out how best to ensure that their little precious will be comfortable, happy and safe forever. This is the core, comforting illusion at the root of the conspiracy denier's mindset, the decrepit foundation upon which they build a towering castle of justification from which to pompously jeer at and mock those who see otherwise.

This explains why it is that the conspiracy denier will attack any suggestion that the caregiving archetype is no longer present - that sociopaths are behind the barred door, who hold us all in utter contempt or disregard us completely. The conspiracy denier will attack any such suggestion as viciously as if their survival depended on it - which, in a way, within the makeup of their unconscious and precarious psyche, it does. Their sense of well-being, of security, of comfort, even of a future at all, is completely (and completely unconsciously) invested in this fantasy. The infant has never matured, and, because they are not conscious of this, other than as a deep attachment to their personal security, they will fiercely attack any threat to this unconscious and central aspect of their worldview.

The tediously common refrain from the conspiracy denier is, 'there couldn't be a conspiracy that big'. The simple retort to such a self-professed expert on conspiracies is obvious: how big? The biggest 'medical' corporations in the world can go for decades treating the settling of court cases as mere business expenses, for crimes ranging from the suppressing of adverse test events to multiple murders resulting from undeclared testing to colossal environmental crimes. Governments perform the vilest and most unthinkable 'experiments' (crimes) on their own people without consequence. Politicians habitually lie to our faces, without consequence. And on and on. At what point, exactly, does a conspiracy become so big that 'they' just couldn't get away with it, and why?

I suggest it's at the point where the cognitive ability of the conspiracy denier falters, and their unconscious survival instinct kicks in. The point at which the intellect becomes overwhelmed with the scope of events and the instinct is to settle back into the familiar comforting faith known and cultivated since the first moment one’s lips found the nipple. The faith that someone else is dealing with it - that where the world becomes unknown to us, a powerful and benevolent human authority exists in which we have only to place our faith unconditionally in order to guarantee eternal emotional security. This dangerous delusion may be the central factor placing humanity's physical security and future in the hands of sociopaths.

To anyone in the habit of dismissing people who are questioning, investigative and sceptical as tin foil hat wearing, paranoid, science-denying Trump supporters, the question is: what do you believe in? Where have you placed your faith and why? How is it that while no one trusts governments, you appear to trust nascent global governance organisations without question? How is this rational? If you are placing faith in such organisations, consider that in the modern global age, these organisations, as extraordinarily well presented as they are, are simply grander manifestations of the local versions we know we can't trust. They are not our parents and demonstrate no loyalty to humane values. There is no reason to place any faith whatsoever in any of them. If you haven't consciously developed a faith or questioned why you believe as you do to some depth, such a position might seem misanthropic, but in truth, it is the opposite. These organisations have not earned your trust with anything other than PR money and glossy lies. True power remains, as ever, with the people.

There is a reason why Buddhists strongly advise the placing of one's faith in the Dharma, or the natural law of life, rather than in persons, and that similar refrains are common in other belief systems. Power corrupts. And, in the world today, misplaced and unfounded trust could well be one of the greatest sources of power there is.

Massive criminal conspiracies exist. The evidence is overwhelming. The scope of those currently underway is unknown, but there is no reason to imagine, in the new global age, that the sociopathic quest for power or the possession of the resources required to move towards it is diminishing. Certainly not while dissent is mocked and censored into silence by gatekeepers, ‘useful idiots’, and conspiracy deniers, who are, in fact, directly colluding with the sociopathic agenda through their unrelenting attack on those who would shine a light on wrongdoing. It is every humane being's urgent responsibility to expose sociopathic agendas wherever they exist - never to attack those who seek to do so. Now, more than ever, it is time to put away childish things, and childish impulses, and to stand up as adults to protect the future of the actual children who have no choice but to trust us with their lives.

This essay has focussed on what I consider to be the deepest psychological driver of conspiracy denial. There are certainly others, such as the desire to be accepted; the avoidance of knowledge of, and engagement with, the internal and external shadow; the preservation of a positive and righteous self-image: a generalised version of the 'flying monkey' phenomenon, in which a self-interested and vicious class protect themselves by coalescing around the bully; the subtle unconscious adoption of the sociopathic worldview (e.g. 'humanity is the virus'); outrage addiction/ superiority complex/ status games; a stunted or unambitious intellect that finds validation through maintaining the status quo; the dissociative protective mechanism of imagining that crimes and horrors committed repeatedly within our lifetime are somehow not happening now, not 'here'; and plain old fashioned laziness and cowardice. My suggestion is that, to some degree, all of these build on the foundation of the primary cause I've outlined here.
 

Alex

Administrator
#2
This essay provides a good explanation for the bizarre phenomena of Conspiracy Deniers.



https://reportingforbeauty.substack.com/p/on-the-psychology-of-the-conspiracy-7ff


On The Psychology Of The Conspiracy Denier
A closer look at the class that mocks.

Tim Foyle
, March 5th, 2021

Why is it that otherwise perfectly intelligent, thoughtful and rationally minded people baulk at the suggestion that sociopaths are conspiring to manipulate and deceive them? And why will they defend this ill-founded position with such vehemence?

History catalogues the machinations of liars, thieves, bullies and narcissists and their devastating effects. In modern times too, evidence of corruption and extraordinary deceptions abound. We know, without question, that politicians lie and hide their connections and that corporations routinely display utter contempt for moral norms - that corruption surrounds us. We know that revolving doors between the corporate and political spheres, the lobbying system, corrupt regulators, the media and judiciary mean that wrongdoing is practically never brought to any semblance of genuine justice. We know that the press makes noise about these matters occasionally but never pursues them with true vigour. We know that in the intelligence services and law enforcement wrongdoing on a breathtaking scale is commonplace and that, again, justice is never forthcoming. We know that governments repeatedly ignore or trample on the rights of the people, and actively abuse and mistreat the people.

None of this is controversial.

So exactly what is it that conspiracy deniers refuse to acknowledge with such fervour, righteousness and condescension? Why, against all the evidence, do they sneeringly and contemptuously defend the crumbling illusion that 'the great and good' are up there somewhere, have everything in hand, have only our best interests at heart, and are scrupulous, wise and sincere? That the press serves the people and truth rather than the crooks? That injustice after injustice result from mistakes and oversights, and never from that dread word: conspiracy? What reasonable person would continue to inhabit such a fantasy world? The point of disagreement here is only on the matter of scale. Someone who is genuinely curious about the plans of powerful sociopaths won't limit the scope of their curiosity to, for example, one corporation, or one nation. Why would they? Such a person assumes that the same patterns on display locally are likely to be found all the way up the power food chain. But the conspiracy denier insists this is preposterous. Why?

It is painfully obvious that the pyramidical societal and legal structures that humanity has allowed to develop are exactly the kind of dominance hierarchies that undoubtedly favour the sociopath. A humane being operating with a normal and healthy cooperative mindset has little inclination to take part in the combat necessary to climb a corporate or political ladder. So what do conspiracy deniers imagine the 70 million or more sociopaths in the world do all day, born into a 'game', in which all the wealth and power are at the top of the pyramid, while the most effective attributes for 'winning' are ruthlessness and amorality? Have they never played Monopoly?

Sociopaths do not choose their worldview consciously, and are simply unable to comprehend why normal people would put themselves at such an incredible disadvantage by limiting themselves with conscientiousness and empathy, which are as beyond the understanding of the sociopath as a world without them are to the humane being. All the sociopath need do to win in the game is lie publicly whilst conspiring privately. What could be simpler? In 2021, to continue to imagine that the world we inhabit is not largely driven by this dynamic amounts to reckless naivete bordering on insanity. Where does such an inadvertently destructive impulse originate?

The infant child places an innate trust in those it finds itself with - a trust which is, for the most part, essentially justified. The infant could not survive otherwise. In a sane and healthy society, this deep instinct would evolve as the psyche developed. As self-awareness, the cognitive and reasoning abilities and scepticism evolved in the individual, this innate trust impulse would continue to be understood as a central need of the psyche. Shared belief systems would exist to consciously evolve and develop this childish impulse in order to place this faith somewhere consciously - in values and beliefs of lasting meaning and worth to the society, the individual, or, ideally, both. Reverence and respect for tradition, natural forces, ancestors, for reason, truth, beauty, liberty, the innate value of life, or the initiating spirit of all things, might all be considered valid resting places in which to consciously place our trust and faith - as well as those derived from more formalised belief systems.

Regardless of the path taken to evolve and develop a personal faith, it is the bringing of one's own consciousness and cognition to this innate impulse that is relevant here. I believe this is a profound responsibility - to develop and cultivate a mature faith - which many are, understandably, unaware of. What occurs when there is a childish need within us which has never evolved beyond its original survival function of trusting those in our environment who are, simply, the most powerful; the most present and active? When we have never truly explored our own psyches, and deeply interrogated what we truly believe and why? When our motivation for trusting anything or anyone goes unchallenged? When philosophy is left to the philosophers?

I suggest the answer is simple, and that the evidence of this phenomenon and the havoc it is wreaking is all around us: the innate impulse to trust the mother never evolves, never encounters and engages with its counterbalance of reason (or mature faith), and remains forever on its 'default' infant setting. While the immature psyche no longer depends on parents for its well-being, the powerful and motivating core tenet I have described remains intact: unchallenged, unconsidered and undeveloped. And, in a world in which stability and security are distant memories, these survival instincts, rather than being well-honed, considered, relevant, discerning and up to date, remain, quite literally, those of a baby. Trust is placed in the biggest, loudest, most present and undeniable force around, because instinct decrees that survival depends on it. And, in this great 'world nursery', the most omnipresent force is the network of institutions which consistently project an unearned image of power, calm, expertise, concern and stability.

In my view, this is how conspiracy deniers are able to cling to and aggressively defend the utterly illogical fantasy that somehow - above a certain undefined level of the societal hierarchy - corruption, deceit, malevolence and narcissism mysteriously evaporate. That, contrary to the maxim, the more power a person has, the more integrity they will inevitably exhibit. These poor deluded souls essentially believe that where personal experience and prior knowledge cannot fill in the gaps in their worldview - in short, where there is a barred door - mummy and daddy are behind it, working out how best to ensure that their little precious will be comfortable, happy and safe forever. This is the core, comforting illusion at the root of the conspiracy denier's mindset, the decrepit foundation upon which they build a towering castle of justification from which to pompously jeer at and mock those who see otherwise.

This explains why it is that the conspiracy denier will attack any suggestion that the caregiving archetype is no longer present - that sociopaths are behind the barred door, who hold us all in utter contempt or disregard us completely. The conspiracy denier will attack any such suggestion as viciously as if their survival depended on it - which, in a way, within the makeup of their unconscious and precarious psyche, it does. Their sense of well-being, of security, of comfort, even of a future at all, is completely (and completely unconsciously) invested in this fantasy. The infant has never matured, and, because they are not conscious of this, other than as a deep attachment to their personal security, they will fiercely attack any threat to this unconscious and central aspect of their worldview.

The tediously common refrain from the conspiracy denier is, 'there couldn't be a conspiracy that big'. The simple retort to such a self-professed expert on conspiracies is obvious: how big? The biggest 'medical' corporations in the world can go for decades treating the settling of court cases as mere business expenses, for crimes ranging from the suppressing of adverse test events to multiple murders resulting from undeclared testing to colossal environmental crimes. Governments perform the vilest and most unthinkable 'experiments' (crimes) on their own people without consequence. Politicians habitually lie to our faces, without consequence. And on and on. At what point, exactly, does a conspiracy become so big that 'they' just couldn't get away with it, and why?

I suggest it's at the point where the cognitive ability of the conspiracy denier falters, and their unconscious survival instinct kicks in. The point at which the intellect becomes overwhelmed with the scope of events and the instinct is to settle back into the familiar comforting faith known and cultivated since the first moment one’s lips found the nipple. The faith that someone else is dealing with it - that where the world becomes unknown to us, a powerful and benevolent human authority exists in which we have only to place our faith unconditionally in order to guarantee eternal emotional security. This dangerous delusion may be the central factor placing humanity's physical security and future in the hands of sociopaths.

To anyone in the habit of dismissing people who are questioning, investigative and sceptical as tin foil hat wearing, paranoid, science-denying Trump supporters, the question is: what do you believe in? Where have you placed your faith and why? How is it that while no one trusts governments, you appear to trust nascent global governance organisations without question? How is this rational? If you are placing faith in such organisations, consider that in the modern global age, these organisations, as extraordinarily well presented as they are, are simply grander manifestations of the local versions we know we can't trust. They are not our parents and demonstrate no loyalty to humane values. There is no reason to place any faith whatsoever in any of them. If you haven't consciously developed a faith or questioned why you believe as you do to some depth, such a position might seem misanthropic, but in truth, it is the opposite. These organisations have not earned your trust with anything other than PR money and glossy lies. True power remains, as ever, with the people.

There is a reason why Buddhists strongly advise the placing of one's faith in the Dharma, or the natural law of life, rather than in persons, and that similar refrains are common in other belief systems. Power corrupts. And, in the world today, misplaced and unfounded trust could well be one of the greatest sources of power there is.

Massive criminal conspiracies exist. The evidence is overwhelming. The scope of those currently underway is unknown, but there is no reason to imagine, in the new global age, that the sociopathic quest for power or the possession of the resources required to move towards it is diminishing. Certainly not while dissent is mocked and censored into silence by gatekeepers, ‘useful idiots’, and conspiracy deniers, who are, in fact, directly colluding with the sociopathic agenda through their unrelenting attack on those who would shine a light on wrongdoing. It is every humane being's urgent responsibility to expose sociopathic agendas wherever they exist - never to attack those who seek to do so. Now, more than ever, it is time to put away childish things, and childish impulses, and to stand up as adults to protect the future of the actual children who have no choice but to trust us with their lives.

This essay has focussed on what I consider to be the deepest psychological driver of conspiracy denial. There are certainly others, such as the desire to be accepted; the avoidance of knowledge of, and engagement with, the internal and external shadow; the preservation of a positive and righteous self-image: a generalised version of the 'flying monkey' phenomenon, in which a self-interested and vicious class protect themselves by coalescing around the bully; the subtle unconscious adoption of the sociopathic worldview (e.g. 'humanity is the virus'); outrage addiction/ superiority complex/ status games; a stunted or unambitious intellect that finds validation through maintaining the status quo; the dissociative protective mechanism of imagining that crimes and horrors committed repeatedly within our lifetime are somehow not happening now, not 'here'; and plain old fashioned laziness and cowardice. My suggestion is that, to some degree, all of these build on the foundation of the primary cause I've outlined here.
nice. why don't you see if he wants to come on Skeptiko
 
#5
This is where your problem - conspiracy mindedness - begins.

"It is painfully obvious that the pyramidical societal and legal structures that humanity has allowed to develop are exactly the kind of dominance hierarchies that undoubtedly favour the sociopath. A humane being operating with a normal and healthy cooperative mindset has little inclination to take part in the combat necessary to climb a corporate or political ladder. So what do conspiracy deniers imagine the 70 million or more sociopaths in the world do all day, born into a 'game', in which all the wealth and power are at the top of the pyramid, while the most effective attributes for 'winning' are ruthlessness and amorality? Have they never played Monopoly? "

As we discussed in the mask thread, sociopaths/psychopaths are not running any big shows because, by their nature, they can't. They can't maintain in a group, even a cabal, because they are antisocial to the marrow. They must break the rules. They must harm those around them. Their inflated ego demands they not "play the game" like the "suckers". Psychopaths are not leaders. They are destroyers. If everyone at the top of the pyramids was a psychopath, humanity would have died out Millennia ago.

Now I really get it. A bunch of losers think that the pyramid is based on dominance hierarchies arising from ever more refined levels of evil. I note more than a touch of Marxism in the quote as well. Marxism being one of the pseudointellectual's fall back ideologies when he feels that he deserves more recognition and material success in life than he has obtained.

The quote is not reality. The hierarchies are generally based on competence. Humans are not all born equal. The guys at the top are smart and driven, focused and highly organized. They work at what they do 24 hours a day, every day, and they work efficiently and intelligently. Also they think big. You're not there not because you are more righteous or a essentially a better person, but because you don't have the innate talent and psychological make-up to be there.

That is even true in physical activities, like professional athletics. Not everyone has the basic mental and physical talent to be a pro. Not everyone who has the basic talent puts in the time and dedication to realize his talents. A pro athlete super star is the apex of that sport's pyramid. Tiger Woods and Michel Jordan are psychopaths? Same with rock stars versus the millions of guitar players. Out of a couple million military members there just of handful of tier one operators (SEALs, Green Berets, MARSCOC). Same with anything. Do you call those people, as a class, psychopaths because they are at the top of a pyramid?

Well, it's no different in business, whether it be entrepreneurial ventures or corporate. Same with politics. Same with intellectual endeavors.

The second significant foundational error is this:
"History catalogues the machinations of liars, thieves, bullies and narcissists and their devastating effects. In modern times too, evidence of corruption and extraordinary deceptions abound. We know, without question, that politicians lie and hide their connections and that corporations routinely display utter contempt for moral norms - that corruption surrounds us."

Yeah? Guess what? Get to know life in a blue collar neighborhood. It's the same thing; people lying, cheating, screwing each other, having connections to criminals and on and on. Paying selective attention to these sins only when people at the top of hierarchies are involved shows that the conspiracy theorist has an axe to grind.

Politicians have connection to big business? No shit Captain Obvious. Who are they supposed to have connections to? The janitor at the 7-11? Let's see, big business employs people, might be involved in the security of the nation, is run by smart competent people that might have some useful ideas to share - and, yes, have money. The janitor?

So this conspiracy theory crap is just all sour grapes from people that think they are smarter than everyone else, but really aren't. So they call the people above them "psychopaths".

Very enlightening. I think I can leave Skeptiko now that I finally see what this conspiracy theory nonsense is all about.

Too bad, Skeptiko was a good forum when it was about NDEs, psi, etc.
 
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#7
Oh for god sake Eric. Woe is me, aye?

I've engaged with you and been open minded. I didn't agree with everything you had to say in that thread but you made me think about some stuff. But now you've left in a huff because of.......we don't all agree with your interpretation of how things are? Hell, even Silence and Malf stick around for fun and to fight with us. Perhaps we'll get to the truth one day that way too.

On one note, it's very strange how triggering this subject is for some people. I don't get it?
 
#8
Oh for god sake Eric. Woe is me, aye?

I've engaged with you and been open minded. I didn't agree with everything you had to say in that thread but you made me think about some stuff. But now you've left in a huff because of.......we all don't agree with your interpretation of how things are? Hell, even Silence and Malf stick around for fun and to fight with us. Perhaps we'll get to the truth one day that way too.

On one note, it's very strange how triggering this subject is for some people. I don't get it?
Why would I waste my time arguing with people who are living in a fantasy?
 
#11
I don't deny that there are conspiracies - some which have been uncovered, some which have not.

What I deny is that wildly fantastical flights of confirmation bias are a useful way to identify legitimate conspiracies. Especially when, as Eric points out, they run contrary to everything we've already seen about the nature of conspiracies and psychopathy. And especially when any evidence which disproves the idea is simply used to widen the scope of the conspiracy instead - the "Election Fraud conspiracy" as outlined in the "Trump Consciousness" thread is an excellent example of this.
 
#12
As we discussed in the mask thread, sociopaths/psychopaths are not running any big shows because, by their nature, they can't. They can't maintain in a group, even a cabal, because they are antisocial to the marrow. They must break the rules. They must harm those around them. Their inflated ego demands they not "play the game" like the "suckers". Psychopaths are not leaders. They are destroyers. If everyone at the top of the pyramids was a psychopath, humanity would have died out Millennia ago.
Gao, Yu; Raine, Adrian (March 2010). "Successful and unsuccessful psychopaths: a neurobiological model". Behavioral Sciences & the Law. 28 (2): 194–210. doi:10.1002/bsl.924

From there: "Despite increasing interest in psychopathy research, surprisingly little is known about the etiology of non‐incarcerated, successful psychopaths. This review provides an analysis of current knowledge on the similarities and differences between successful and unsuccessful psychopaths derived from five population sources: community samples, individuals from employment agencies, college students, industrial psychopaths, and serial killers. An initial neurobiological model of successful and unsuccessful psychopathy is outlined. It is hypothesized that successful psychopaths have intact or enhanced neurobiological functioning that underlies their normal or even superior cognitive functioning, which in turn helps them to achieve their goals using more covert and nonviolent methods." <end of quote>

It is probably true that the "diagnosis of mental disorders" has serious problems with objectivity. See Gary Greenberg (2013) The Book of WOE: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry. If so, one should doubt both the quote from the study above, as well as the more conventional views of psychopathy. Also, we shoulld take into account that the term "sociopathy," which is the one used in the article by Tim Foyle is often used to refer to phenomena exclusively borne out of social, rather than biological conditions.

Having said that, Tim Foyle's article is not to my taste: 1) wordy, 2) pathologizing those who view things differently, the lowest, commonest tactic 3) suffering from the same problem of objectivity as the DSM.

...

I just registered to say this. This is my first encounter with this website. How did I get here? I just happen to know Eric Newhill from Michael Prescott's blog, - Hi Eric - There, last spring I asked you about "the pandemic", and you gave me very good answers, and now it occurred to me that you might have more to say about it. It turns out to be true. All the best!
 
#13
This is where your problem - conspiracy mindedness - begins.

"It is painfully obvious that the pyramidical societal and legal structures that humanity has allowed to develop are exactly the kind of dominance hierarchies that undoubtedly favour the sociopath. A humane being operating with a normal and healthy cooperative mindset has little inclination to take part in the combat necessary to climb a corporate or political ladder. So what do conspiracy deniers imagine the 70 million or more sociopaths in the world do all day, born into a 'game', in which all the wealth and power are at the top of the pyramid, while the most effective attributes for 'winning' are ruthlessness and amorality? Have they never played Monopoly? "

As we discussed in the mask thread, sociopaths/psychopaths are not running any big shows because, by their nature, they can't. They can't maintain in a group, even a cabal, because they are antisocial to the marrow. They must break the rules. They must harm those around them. Their inflated ego demands they not "play the game" like the "suckers". Psychopaths are not leaders. They are destroyers. If everyone at the top of the pyramids was a psychopath, humanity would have died out Millennia ago.

Now I really get it. A bunch of losers think that the pyramid is based on dominance hierarchies arising from ever more refined levels of evil. I note more than a touch of Marxism in the quote as well. Marxism being one of the pseudointellectual's fall back ideologies when he feels that he deserves more recognition and material success in life than he has obtained.

The quote is not reality. The hierarchies are generally based on competence. Humans are not all born equal. The guys at the top are smart and driven, focused and highly organized. They work at what they do 24 hours a day, every day, and they work efficiently and intelligently. Also they think big. You're not there not because you are more righteous or a essentially a better person, but because you don't have the innate talent and psychological make-up to be there.

That is even true in physical activities, like professional athletics. Not everyone has the basic mental and physical talent to be a pro. Not everyone who has the basic talent puts in the time and dedication to realize his talents. A pro athlete super star is the apex of that sport's pyramid. Tiger Woods and Michel Jordan are psychopaths? Same with rock stars versus the millions of guitar players. Out of a couple million military members there just of handful of tier one operators (SEALs, Green Berets, MARSCOC). Same with anything. Do you call those people, as a class, psychopaths because they are at the top of a pyramid?

Well, it's no different in business, whether it be entrepreneurial ventures or corporate. Same with politics. Same with intellectual endeavors.

The second significant foundational error is this:
"History catalogues the machinations of liars, thieves, bullies and narcissists and their devastating effects. In modern times too, evidence of corruption and extraordinary deceptions abound. We know, without question, that politicians lie and hide their connections and that corporations routinely display utter contempt for moral norms - that corruption surrounds us."

Yeah? Guess what? Get to know life in a blue collar neighborhood. It's the same thing; people lying, cheating, screwing each other, having connections to criminals and on and on. Paying selective attention to these sins only when people at the top of hierarchies are involved shows that the conspiracy theorist has an axe to grind.

Politicians have connection to big business? No shit Captain Obvious. Who are they supposed to have connections to? The janitor at the 7-11? Let's see, big business employs people, might be involved in the security of the nation, is run by smart competent people that might have some useful ideas to share - and, yes, have money. The janitor?

So this conspiracy theory crap is just all sour grapes from people that think they are smarter than everyone else, but really aren't. So they call the people above them "psychopaths".

Very enlightening. I think I can leave Skeptiko now that I finally see what this conspiracy theory nonsense is all about.

Too bad, Skeptiko was a good forum when it was about NDEs, psi, etc.
Eric, if one's worldview - you worldview, in this case - is irreconcilably incompatible with the one of a group of others (most other Skeptiko forum members, partially including me, in this case), this means that polemics is totally pointless (no one will ever give up, neither you nor we) and irenics is simply impossible (there is no common ground on the substantial issues, which is necessary for successful irenics to happen).

So, there are three ways for you.

1) Infinite conflict. Happily, just intellectual and emotional, rather than physically violent, in our case. This means, we will just forever persisit in the hopeless attempts to dissuade each other, without result and without end. A stupid and distressing option.

2) Full secession. This means, you leave the forum completely and leave us conspiracists alone. A sad and disappointing scenario: despite your rage proneness, you are an interesting person to communicate with, concerning many issues - and we were interesting for you as well. But if your Will is such, so be it; in this case, we will part our ways from now on.

These two scenarios are bad ones, in my view; but there is a third one, which I consider to be the best...

3) Partial secession. You remain to participate in dicussions not concerning conspiracy theories, while leaving the ones concerning them alone. This is what I chose myself, once I faced a distressful dilemma: what should I do with the threads full with the "Satanic Panic" stuff and other manifestations of moral panics and witch hunts ignited by entrenched sexual prejudices and repressed sexual frustrations? There was no point in engaging in a debate around them, especially knowing that the real refutation of this nonsensical stuff required presenting certain unbearable (for the modern Western people) truths, thus causing the most extreme degree of emotional overdose in nearly everyone, preventing any chance of meaningful diuscussion, and putting the unlucky messenger - me - under a high risk of being banned. I value my membership here and thus has to remain silent. So, to prevent unnecessary distress, I never participate in such discussions and dedicate myself to the ones I find meaningful.

And I encourage you to follow my example.
 
#14
Wow - this thread had become incredibly obscure and rather aggressive.

Let me try to bring the issue down to earth.

I used to take the view that large-scale conspiracy theories were implausible, because as more people were drawn into the conspiracy - maybe with a bribe - the chance of something leaking to the press was going to increase to near 100%.

However, I now think that that need not necessarily be true because the press seems less and less interested in following all the threads in the stories they present. This need not necessarily be a conspiracy, it may simply be that stories involving Kim Kardashian attract more readers, and tend to push out long tedious explanations of who did what. If you accept that that is true, then clearly conspiracies become more plausible.

A second factor is that people with enough money hardly ever go to jail, but the companies or organisations for which they work get fined absurd amounts of money:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_pharmaceutical_settlements

This means that provided the fine is unlikely to wipe out the profits of a conspiratorial action, it is worth going ahead.

This means that in the present world, I think conspiracies are very plausible because the conspiracy only has to hold together for a short period of time.

David
 
#15
Wow - this thread had become incredibly obscure and rather aggressive.

David
David.

Eric went away in a huff because we didn't submit to his world view. Charlie posting this thread was enough for him to get triggered? I dunno. Maybe he thought it was about him?

But I will not bow down to anyone just because they believe they are right, and that I should agree with them or else they storm off. So if Eric can't handle that, then that is his choice to 'leave'.

Not sure how that is aggressive.
 
#17
Just wanted to add that, I believe this forum is at its best when there is a multitude of opinions and world views. I don't think people should leave just because they have differing opinions and they can't agree on anything. Half the fun is in arguing your piece, in my opinion. Maybe you'll get someone to think a bit differently about something. To reconsider their stance. Maybe not. And I appreciate that may be frustrating, I've certainly been very annoyed at others for some things and then others have been annoyed at me. But so what. Maybe that's just me though.

At the risk of sounding "holier than thou", what Vortex has posted on this thread may be something to think about ;;/?
 
#20
Well the question as to how people should dissent from the received wisdom is a serious question, and I tried to give a serious answer (above). There is no need for anyone to threaten to leave.

David
Perhaps it is a serious question, but the essay which opened this thread most certainly didn't give a serious answer. And neither have most posts in this thread. No surprise a person looking for a serious answer would object to what had been presented to that point.
 
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