Forums > Personal > Why are Americans so attracted to conspiracy theories?

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John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 11:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is not meant as a racist or supremest comment.
Nor is it meant to be negative or insulting.
So if you want to kick-off something anti-American, this is the wrong thread for you.

This is a genuine question.

The internet is filled with conspiracy theories and theorists - and not all of them are nut-jobs.

Some of these guys raise legitimate questions.
For example in the JFK assassination case, considering the Harper fragment is real, who doctored the official autopsy photographs to make it look like the back of Kennedy's head was the result of a small entrance wound? Certainly, it could not have been Oswald, the mob, or the other usual suspects.
Therefore, the autopsy pictures could have been only doctored after the event - but by whom and why? But I digress...

The Apollo moon hoax, the 911 insiders, the illumanati, UFO's, the grey aliens, Area 51, secret New World Orders, JFK, RFK, all internet fodder - subscribed to by millions.

Now I am not saying Europeans, or Latin Americans have NO conspiracy theories - but I am asking why is it that so many Americans are willing to believe such stories?

Is it a cultural thing I am missing? Is it after Vietnam and Watergate - a great mistrust of US Governments? Is it because citizens of the US believe in a better world - and all that Hollywood promises of truth, justice and the American way?

As a non-US citizen, I am not being inflammatory - I just wonder why so many of these seem to be mainly US based and of US interest?






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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 11:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Here is a link to the JFK Harper fragment:

As can be seen it is roughly trapezoidal, and is almost three inches at the widest (bottom) point.
This fragment is taken from the back (parietal bone) of Kennedy's skull.
(Scroll to bottom for colour picture).

http://www.paulseaton.com/jfk/frags/bone_frags.htm

Here is a link to the official HSA JFK autopsy photograph with ruler:
(Click to enlarge)

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/images/7/73/Photo_hsca_ex_48.jpg

As both these pictures do not match, I do not know what they demonstrate, other than something odd AFTER the event.

My point is - that not all conspiracy points are invalid - but then again how is it possible to separate the information from disinformation - and why does this seem to be primarily a US preoccupation?


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 11:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'd say, that regardless of anyone's interests, they would find plenty of Americans with that same interest. [Wait. That sentence did not make any sense. But, I bet you know what I mean.] For example, I had to look up antique tractors on the internet last year to help my mother sell my Dad's old tractor. Of course(!), there were several sites dedicated to old tractors, and some just to the model I was interested in. There are plenty of Americans who think mainly of old tractors and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars buying them at auctions and traveling across the country to attend such auctions.

So ... I guess to answer your question ... it would be a matter of there being many many Americans.

This is a huge country, with many cultures all mixed together and many regional cultural differences as well. But there will always be certain people (in any large group) who think alike. That's why the FBI is able to put criminal profiles together, for example, because even when a person is criminally insane, there are others out there just like them.

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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 12:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

because the theories are true


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 12:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A - A .00001 chance that something might have happened will always lead to conspiracy theories. The events surrounding JFK's death, for instance, can be explained by conspiracy theories in the same believable fashion as the Warren Commission. Those individuals prone to theories will never be convinced otherwise.

B - The US is, like it or not, a majority presence in world affairs over the past 60 years. At the same time, an individual's connection to government, politics, national affairs, etc, has only increased due to the advances in communication and technology. I believe the two do go hand in hand - paranoia is always present, now more people know about it.

Let's not forget that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a conspiracy-laden attack on Jews from late-19th century Russia) was really an updating of attacks on Free Masons from a century before. Both occurred in the Old World of Europe at a time when Europe held a preeminence in Western Civilization (not that it doesn't now, but you get my point)


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 12:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Crazy conspiratorial Americans goes back further than JFK. It was wild conspiracy tales that fed the American Revolution, from fears of what the British Army might do, to worries about whether the CoE was going to be an established church in the Americas, or the fear that the brits' liberal treatment of French-canadian catholics might lead to a papish state as a neighbour. Americans feared they were tricked into entering the First World War (see Nye Commission), or they were terrified of reds (1919 palmer Raids), or negroes (Nat turner, malcolm x, mike tyson etc). In short, some of it is due to historical circumstances -- people escaping british society for the freedom that colonial society offered -- who then maintained that fear when the british starting to become more involved with the american colonies in the 1760s (after the french-indian war). Or it is fear of having their wealth taken away from them by commies, negroes, or possibly commie-negroes. plus, of course, many conspiracy theories are true -- it's just that Americans tend to focus on the wrong ones (eg fake moon landings) instead of real ones (PNAC).


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 13:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, but at least our conspiracy theories are WORTH being conspiracy theories.

The big one I don't understand is the Princess Diana conspiracy. Ok. So maybe it was a conspiracy. Let's say, for argument's sake, it was a conspiracy and someone DID have her killed. Big Deal. But all these Brits care.
Why?
What was her official position? Princess.
What governmental duties did that entail? Watering flowers and shopping for shoes.

At least, Kennedy was a relatively important figure in history. See the Bay Of Pigs incident. We might all owe him a "Thanks, I'm still here" handshake or something.

It is also interesting of note that most people that BELIEVE in the JFK conspiracy always pull out the "Back and to the left" theory with the trick bullet. This was an Oliver Stone creation!!! Total fiction!! Yet, most who believe in the 2nd shooter got suckered into that outrageous SuperBullet theory!!

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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 13:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

Yes, but at least our conspiracy theories are WORTH being conspiracy theories.

The big one I don't understand is the Princess Diana conspiracy. Ok. So maybe it was a conspiracy. Let's say, for argument's sake, it was a conspiracy and someone DID have her killed. Big Deal. But all these Brits care.
Why?


The funny thing about all the Princess Diana's death conspiracy theories is that every week there's a new one mentioned in the tabloids and all the sensationalist media, and they were the ones who killed her.


[QUOTE][QUOTENAME]Brandon wrote: [/QUOTENAME]... and now the "best you can offer is Mr. Jingles? HA! He's... just pathetic.[/QUOTE]
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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 13:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

Yes, but at least our conspiracy theories are WORTH being conspiracy theories.

The big one I don't understand is the Princess Diana conspiracy. Ok. So maybe it was a conspiracy. Let's say, for argument's sake, it was a conspiracy and someone DID have her killed. Big Deal. But all these Brits care.
Why? What was her official position? Princess. What governmental duties did that entail? Watering flowers and shopping for shoes.


AND SHAGGING WILL CARLING. SURELY THAT GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY.

Micrówave wrote:


At least, Kennedy was a relatively important figure in history. See the Bay Of Pigs incident. We might all owe him a "Thanks, I'm still here" handshake or something.


I AGREE. A POSTHUMOUS THANKS TO JFK FOR ALMOST GETTING US ALL KILLED. HIP HIP HOORAH!

Micrówave wrote:


It is also interesting of note that most people that BELIEVE in the JFK conspiracy always pull out the "Back and to the left" theory with the trick bullet. This was an Oliver Stone creation!!! Total fiction!! Yet, most who believe in the 2nd shooter got suckered into that outrageous SuperBullet theory!!


PLEASE EXPLAIN. I MAY BE INTERESTED IN SUBSCRIBING TO YOUR NEWSLETTER.


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 15:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:

Crazy conspiratorial Americans goes back further than JFK. It was wild conspiracy tales that fed the American Revolution, from fears of what the British Army might do, to worries about whether the CoE was going to be an established church in the Americas, or the fear that the brits' liberal treatment of French-canadian catholics might lead to a papish state as a neighbour. Americans feared they were tricked into entering the First World War (see Nye Commission), or they were terrified of reds (1919 palmer Raids), or negroes (Nat turner, malcolm x, mike tyson etc). In short, some of it is due to historical circumstances -- people escaping british society for the freedom that colonial society offered -- who then maintained that fear when the british starting to become more involved with the american colonies in the 1760s (after the french-indian war). Or it is fear of having their wealth taken away from them by commies, negroes, or possibly commie-negroes. plus, of course, many conspiracy theories are true -- it's just that Americans tend to focus on the wrong ones (eg fake moon landings) instead of real ones (PNAC).


I guess I'd draw a distinction between mass hysteria of the Palmer Raids and conspiracy theories like the Fake Moon Landing or JFK.

The Palmer raids, Nye Commission, the KKK ferment and nativist rhetoric of the 1910s and 1920s, McCarthyism, or labor unrest of the late-nineteenth century were movements aimed at appealing to mass public fears. While destructive, they fed off of political, social, and cultural turmoil.

I see those examples as different from JFK, etc. I can't equate the Moon Landing theories (even with it's political symbolism at the time) with Mitchell Palmer feeding off public fears and predicting a communist uprising in the USA.

Some of your examples (ie Revolutionary War stories), to me, are most likely present in any region where warefare is possible. Was it not the English propagandists who promoted stories of the German rape of Belgium in World War 1?


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 16:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

this is NOT a conspiracy theory but FACT

we are heading towards a 1 world totalitarian government and we will all be slaves soon, monitored and controlled 24 hours.


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 17:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Treasure Moment wrote:

we are heading towards a 1 world totalitarian government and we will all be slaves soon, monitored and controlled 24 hours.


That's great, but it really doesn't apply to this thread at all.

Come back when you have something of substance to add or maybe start your own
TREASURE MOMENT CONSPIRACY THREAD #24



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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 17:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:

I AGREE. A POSTHUMOUS THANKS TO JFK FOR ALMOST GETTING US ALL KILLED. HIP HIP HOORAH!


Well, you kids are probably too young to remember it anyway, so now you've decided Kennedy was the catalyst, huh?

Exactly where did you get that belief from?
"Thirteen Days" was a movie. You might wanna research a little further into the matter.

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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 17:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

Holly2003 wrote:

I AGREE. A POSTHUMOUS THANKS TO JFK FOR ALMOST GETTING US ALL KILLED. HIP HIP HOORAH!


Well, you kids are probably too young to remember it anyway, so now you've decided Kennedy was the catalyst, huh?

Exactly where did you get that belief from?
"Thirteen Days" was a movie. You might wanna research a little further into the matter.


Who started it? I would say placing NATO missiles in Turkey was a catalyst. Or perhaps the previous US-backed invasion of Cuba had some impact on Castro and Kruschev? I don't really care. Both the US and the Russians almost destroyed us all. Thanks to both for their contribution to the almost-apocalypse.

As for 13 Weeks, I don't think it's among Matthew Lillard's best work. I prefer his Hamlet at the Globe. Still, Shannon Elizabeth's a right corker!


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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 17:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Maz wrote:

Holly2003 wrote:

Crazy conspiratorial Americans goes back further than JFK. It was wild conspiracy tales that fed the American Revolution, from fears of what the British Army might do, to worries about whether the CoE was going to be an established church in the Americas, or the fear that the brits' liberal treatment of French-canadian catholics might lead to a papish state as a neighbour. Americans feared they were tricked into entering the First World War (see Nye Commission), or they were terrified of reds (1919 palmer Raids), or negroes (Nat turner, malcolm x, mike tyson etc). In short, some of it is due to historical circumstances -- people escaping british society for the freedom that colonial society offered -- who then maintained that fear when the british starting to become more involved with the american colonies in the 1760s (after the french-indian war). Or it is fear of having their wealth taken away from them by commies, negroes, or possibly commie-negroes. plus, of course, many conspiracy theories are true -- it's just that Americans tend to focus on the wrong ones (eg fake moon landings) instead of real ones (PNAC).


I guess I'd draw a distinction between mass hysteria of the Palmer Raids and conspiracy theories like the Fake Moon Landing or JFK.

The Palmer raids, Nye Commission, the KKK ferment and nativist rhetoric of the 1910s and 1920s, McCarthyism, or labor unrest of the late-nineteenth century were movements aimed at appealing to mass public fears. While destructive, they fed off of political, social, and cultural turmoil.

I see those examples as different from JFK, etc. I can't equate the Moon Landing theories (even with it's political symbolism at the time) with Mitchell Palmer feeding off public fears and predicting a communist uprising in the USA.

Some of your examples (ie Revolutionary War stories), to me, are most likely present in any region where warefare is possible. Was it not the English propagandists who promoted stories of the German rape of Belgium in World War 1?


Ooh you're just being clever again ;)


"With a population of 1.75 million, Northern Ireland should really be a footballing minnow. Instead, they could be better described as the piranhas of the international game" (FIFA.com)
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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 18:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:


Who started it? I would say placing NATO missiles in Turkey was a catalyst.


Well, that it was. But NATO is not the US, we may be President but we're also a member!

I gave one thing Kennedy did, there were quite a few more. But if you're dismissing him as being as important to the world as Princess Diana, c'mon... you can't be serious?

But even if Kennedy was a son of a bitch and murdered millions, would he not be more significant than Princess Diana as well?

My point was American conspiracies are much more exciting. We still wonder 'who killed Kennedy' because he mattered so much. I think the only people who care about the Diana tragedy sometimes is CNN or some other news agency.

I don't think just Americans are attracted to conspiracy theories, as John may be suggesting. I just think ours are better conspiracies.

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Posted: 26 Jun 08, 18:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

Holly2003 wrote:


Who started it? I would say placing NATO missiles in Turkey was a catalyst.


Well, that it was. But NATO is not the US, we may be President but we're also a member!

I gave one thing Kennedy did, there were quite a few more. But if you're dismissing him as being as important to the world as Princess Diana, c'mon... you can't be serious?


Your last four words ;)


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Posted: 27 Jun 08, 02:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mr.Jingles wrote:

Micrówave wrote:

Yes, but at least our conspiracy theories are WORTH being conspiracy theories.

The big one I don't understand is the Princess Diana conspiracy. Ok. So maybe it was a conspiracy. Let's say, for argument's sake, it was a conspiracy and someone DID have her killed. Big Deal. But all these Brits care.
Why?


The funny thing about all the Princess Diana's death conspiracy theories is that every week there's a new one mentioned in the tabloids and all the sensationalist media, and they were the ones who killed her.


actually,the Brits DONT care for the Diana conspiracy.its one man and ONE man only thats had the 'royal mafia' conspiracy and that is Mohammed Al Fayed.this silly sod wont let it rest and refuses to believe that his sons death and the death of Diana was caused by his hired drunk driver Henri Paul.so far his lunacy has cost the British tax payer around £10m in legal costs as his conspiracy theories ramble on day after day and year after year.it only gets press because of who she WAS.
however,just to give him some backing the Daily Express newspaper had bloody Diana on its front page EVERY day for YEARS claiming she was murdered until they realised [eventually] that all they were doing was alienating [and losing] its readers and making an ass out of itself.
hopefully now,after the recent Old Bailey Courtcase this sorry affair can now have a very big line drawn under it and the woman can be left to rest in peace.


isnt innuendo an italian suppository?

im gonna ride the wild wind!

its_a_hard_life wrote:you nutcase you rule!

joxer replies: but in a nice way :-]

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Posted: 27 Jun 08, 02:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think conspiracy theories always start when the public feel they are not informed correctly or they don't get an answer that satisfies them. In the JFK murder it was just not good enough that a simple killer was responsible for the death of someone so big and popular like Kennedy. Pretty much the same happened in the Diana case. Many people could not cope with the profanity of her death, so they wanted it to be a bigger plot. The Diana case was also the most astonishing case of mass hysteria I can remember. In the Jack The Ripper case people had a feeling that they were not told the truth - the victims were lowest class, so maybe the killer was protected by the police? Maybe a member of the Royal family? And did not papers disappear from the Ripper files, so when they were finally opened, not much was left? Even more fuel for suspicion.

In the 9/11 case the mistrust of the public in such cases was increased by obviously wrong answers given by the officials very quickly. There was never a proper criminal investigation and many answers proved wrong thus giving room for the explosion of more and more conspiracy theories. I don't think it's a specific American phenomenon, American conspiracy theories are just bigger and get more international attention.

In cases of big public interest the slightest mistake or misinformation can start a conspiracy theory and there is always *some* mistakes or misunderstandings and off they go.


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Posted: 27 Jun 08, 03:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Treasure Moment wrote:

because the theories are true



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