This denial culture is getting a little silly now

So I made a little joke on Facebook earlier and it went like this…

image

It was a reference to a status I saw earlier, a status where someone asserted, quite seriously, that the testing for coronavirus is causing the disease, apparently because Donald Trump said something to that effect and she believed him. I don’t even know if that’s the right quote, because I interpret his statement differently, but maybe innuendo is all his supporters need and he knows just what to say to lead them to those conclusions.

Anyway, the status hung around for most of the day, and then quite suddenly, with another from recently that also mocked conspiracy theories, it got picked up by a believer.

This:

image

Here’s a closeup of the image RaSun attached:

104588271_312162626468902_54226777118904878_n

Um, I hope I don’t have to explain why just about any 3 digit number will result in equally “meaningful” results… I replied with this:

104289158_3553828204627980_6781535744892233761_n

I don’t really have much to add – just sharing this for a laugh. It amazes me that somebody not only sees this meaning that isn’t there, but that he calls me and everybody else who agrees with me (surely most people on the planet) stupid because we don’t believe the outright nonsense that he believes. Not sure what he thinks is significant about 322, but I don’t really care to find out.

Update…

Then I shared this:

17-06-2020 9-18-06 PM

And now I see he wrote his own status, this:

17-06-2020 9-19-01 PM

The guy seems really upset so I’m going to back off now. I do wonder how it is that he manages to cherry pick the wacky conspiracies but fails to see when there might be real conspiracies, that don’t support his narrative.

Urgh. Pandemic deniers are doubling down on the stupid

You’ll have to excuse the excessive quantity but not necessarily quality of blog posts from me lately. I’m going slightly mad, cooped up here at home. I wrote three or four posts over the weekend and only published two of them, because I try to keep some semblance of quality here. Oh well…

Still A Facebook ghost, I lurk and read the shit on my wall. Amazed. Let me show you two posts that showed up right now:

Retardation

That one isn’t in my friends list but was screen grabbed by a friend.

As annoying as that one is, I find this one even worse:

EarLoopMaskBullshit

Shared by a friend who is also an atheist and critical thinker, it doesn’t look like she exercised her critical thinking so well to me. That label is highly implausible. I mean, it is obvious bullshit. Why would you make masks with a label informing everyone not to use them? For fuck’s sake, think, people!

I wear a mask not to protect myself, but in the hope that, should I become infected and not know it, as long as I don’t sneeze or cough really hard, it should be effective enough at protecting the people around me. It should prevent droplets containing the virus being released by me. That’s why I wear a mask… It’s not all about me.

If we all take reasonable precautions, maybe we can slow the spread of the virus. So far we do seem to be doing a good job of keeping the rate of mortality down. I’m no expert, but I’m going to go with whatever seems best.

Some comic relief: I have a nutcase in my friends list and here’s a link to his profile

Loony fucking tunes, this guy:

Loon

The link in the first line points to his Facebook profile. Not sure what’s going on because I see we have 696 mutual friends and I never noticed him before. Maybe the poor guy had a breakdown or something, but everything he posts is baffling. Multiple conspiracy theories, coronavirus denial, and so on…

Wow, this pandemic sure brings out the stupid

I’m on a a Facebook ban again, because I posted a Jesus fucking Christ image to a certain group, and apparently that counts as nudity and sexual activity. But mind you… a loving Christian posting there claiming that immigrants are dirty and that’s why they get sick, and homosexuals are sinful and should thus die… does not count as hate speech. Go figure.

Anyway, this was one of the last statuses I posted before the ban:

image

But what I’m really interested in highlighting is these two responses from Cyn Carpenter and RaSun Heli Soter.

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Ignore Nico… He’s being sarcastic and does agree with me.

  • A “family of physicians”. Woot woot! Are they born with liddle widdle stethoscopes? Maybe their first words are “take two aspirin and call me in the morning”?
  • “Do some research.”  What, on YouTube I suppose?
  • “Read an insert.” Um, I always read the inserts. I’m not sure why this anti-vaxxer thinks that inserts printed by the pharmaceutical companies would reveal their deep dark secrets.

Seriously?

Here’s the thing: I have one actual doctor among my friends, that I know of. Maybe one or two others lurking there somewhere, as I vaguely remember a post by a doctor from some time back. And one pharmacist. I almost forgot about him. Heck, I don’t ask everybody what they do for a living, but I do have some smart friends because smart people write things worth reading. Getting back to the doc, we’re not exactly close or anything, but she has better things to do than point out that my posts about vaccines are correct. Which they are. Also I follow the science. The real science.

You need to understand, if you are anti-vaccine, you are anti-science. Mainstream doctors are not on your side. The scientific consensus, the evidence, is against you. As pointed out in the last few paragraphs of my last post, if your view contradicts the consensus, if it goes against the evidence-based position, your view is wrong. No appeal to authority, not even a fucking “family of physicians” changes that.

Furthermore, the whole anti-vaccine movement was started by Andrew Wakefield, disgraced doctor whose paper committed fraud and was retracted. The man is hailed as a hero by the anti-vaccine movement, but that’s just among suckers who fall for that same trope mentioned in my last post: Lone wolf, maverick hero has the answer, but is being suppressed by Big Whatever. Except your hero is a crook who got caught and the anti-vaccine movement is all bullshit. All he can do now is give speeches and write anti-vax books because he isn’t allowed to practice medicine.

If you want a window into not only science based medicine but also a brilliant surgeon who writes why the quacks are wrong in great detail, look no further than the Respectful Insolence blog. That blog is written by Dr David Gorski under the pseudonym, Orac. But I am going to go against the advice I normally give people reading articles anywhere else, and suggest you go ahead and read the comments there. Orac’s target audience is not your average lay person like me. Most of his readers are also doctors and scientists. So I’m gonna go ahead and trust him and the science rather than a bunch of unnamed made up quacks in some whackadoodle “family of physicians”.

For fuck’s sake people: If the evidence goes against you, it means you are wrong. Not the evidence. This is not difficult to understand.


Also I’m posting this as a reminder to myself to unfriend that other guy who commented but doesn’t know how to use commas. Can’t unfriend while on a ban.

Conspiracy theories and ad hoc reasoning

I’ve been fascinated with conspiracy theories for some time. It started back around 2012 when I was still an actively using meth addict, and watched various YouTube videos about the so-called “Nibiru Cataclysm”, where people believed that NASA had covered up knowledge, since the 1980’s, of a rogue planet that was going to either crash into Earth or pass close by, causing catastrophe. Some still believe it and this conspiracy has become part of the greater “End Times” paranoia. At the time, my fascination was rooted in trying to understand why people develop such delusions, and then cling to them despite evidence that the conspiracies are untrue, but in relation to my own mental struggles at the time, due to meth and my hearing voices and tendency towards being delusional myself – even though I knew at the time that the voices weren’t real. (See the parallel? I heard voices, knew that they weren’t real, but tended to believe them anyway. Likewise people believe in conspiracies despite facts that prove the conspiracies to be false. Seems to me the common factor is the psychology that drives us to use motivated reasoning, in this case ad hoc reasoning, so that we can dupe ourselves into continuing to believe what we already believe.)

Since then, and even though I haven’t heard voices for several years and am not near to being delusional myself (not any more) I remain fascinated with all such psychology, and my interest has also expanded to other conspiracies, which seem to involve the same kind of motivated reasoning such that conspiracists play mental gymnastics and continue to believe long after the conspiracies have been widely debunked.

Right now, with the world in the grip of a global pandemic, there are several conspiracies around the virus, and it has been interesting to observe their spread in real-time over the last two or three months. I don’t have a timeline and this is just off the top of my head, but to list the ones I know of:

  • The idea that the latest coronavirus causing COVID-19 was developed in a lab.
  • The idea that COVID-19 is no more dangerous than flu.
  • The idea that the virus is a hoax.
  • Then the idea that not the virus but the response to it is a hoax.
  • The idea that certain pseudoscientific cures are effective and this information is being suppressed.
  • And lastly, the idea that deaths attributed to COVID-19 are really caused by something else but the numbers have been inflated.
  • Let’s not get into “Plandemic”, OK? I’m going to assume the readers here aren’t absolute fucking morons.

I’m not really interested in the first one above and think that has been thoroughly debunked. One could apply the ad hoc reasoning description below to the “Plandemic” conspiracy too, but I didn’t bother to watch that video. I’m more interested in some of the others…

The pseudoscientific cure, for instance, was pushed by a doctor who initially called the virus a hoax, and then later changed his mind when he saw an opportunity for profit. (Mainstream science is wrong, but one maverick hero has the cure and is being suppressed by Big Whatever. It’s a tried and trusted trope and suckers fall for it all the time. Another example would be disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield who started the anti-vaccine movement.) Likewise it was embraced by Donald Trump, who also called the virus a hoax, and then later implied that he really meant the response to it was a hoax by his political enemies, claiming that it had been politized… while politicizing it himself. His latching on to the so-called cure was more about covering his own ass (because he’s stupid and believes in conspiracies himself) after his initial downplaying of the virus and failure to respond, but of course this was before he hit on the idea to deflect by blaming the WHO instead. At this point, by the way, you have to be more than merely stupid to support Donald Trump.

The one that really interests me is the claim that people are dying from something else which is being falsely claimed as COVID-19. This is classic ad hoc reasoning, and goes something like this:

Twat: The virus is a hoax!
Normal person: But look at the number of confirmed cases.
Twat: No wait, it’s real but not as serious as even the flu.
Normal person: People are dying, bru!
Twat: OK, I can’t deny people are dying, but they are dying from something else! It’s a conspiracy!

12774-TinFoilHat-May-Move02_800x

Notice what they’re done? They’ve made their belief unfalsifiable… Every time you refute it, they move the goalposts and add another layer onto the conspiracy. The latest is that doctors are somehow being incentivised to falsely diagnose COVID-19 to get money, or claim deaths due to other causes are caused by it. You can’t refute this because they will claim it is being covered up. Thus if you have actual expertise here, you are part of the conspiracy, and they can ignore your relevant authority, whereas a lay person like me has no relevant expertise here so they can ignore blog posts like this too. (But that’s OK, cunts. I’m fascinated by you but I’m not here to provide evidence that you’re idiots. You do that more than adequately on your own.) YouTube videos are acceptable though, as long as you say what they want to hear.

This is exactly how flat Earth believers work… Every time you disprove their nonsensical claims, they add another layer of ad hoc reasoning to explain why the previous layer of reasoning didn’t work. Eventually you end up with a bunch of mutually contradictory claims that can’t possibly work together, and also claims that satellites aren’t real and the whole outside of the flat Earth is being patrolled by military to prevent anyone seeing the edge of the world. (Why?) Also all airports must somehow be in on the conspiracy and fuck knows how time zones or GPS work but no two flat Earthers will give you the same answer.

Ad hoc reasoning works similarly to pathological lies. Fabrications (lies) that tell us a complex narrative tend to unravel under scrutiny, and require more lies to explain them. Layers and layers of lies to cover up previous lies. But the best lies, the lies that more people believe, are always the ones that mix in some truth. I’m seeing that now too, making the virus denier conspiracists more difficult to spot. Although they share copious amounts of misinformation to support their views, they now also share outdated information, that is information that was until recently thought to be true. And during this time, information does abruptly get outdated. For instance, at first in the USA, the CDC advised against wearing masks, with the argument that it was unnecessary to wear a mask unless you had symptoms. They have since changed their position, and now advise everybody going out to wear masks. But people who choose to believe conspiracies are still sharing articles from a month or two ago citing the CDC advising against wearing masks. Of course if you have an agenda, it’s easy to find articles supporting your confirmation bias, thus now more than ever it is imperative that we apply critical thinking and don’t share every article we see if it tells us what we want to hear.

By all means, read those articles that tell you what you want to hear – just don’t stop there. Read other articles. Seek a variety of points of view. But most importantly, find out what the accepted science based consensus is. If the view you have contradicts it, that view is almost certainly wrong. Always go with the mainstream scientific consensus. Always. The same goes for climate change. 97% of scientists agree with it and only 3% disagree, basing their conclusions on bad or biased science. Guess who the conspiracists believe…

At least, in times like this where we all suffer in the global pandemic, if nothing else the conspiracy theories provide us with some much needed entertainment.

There is another interesting angle to this: The relationship between religiosity and the tendency to believe the virus was created. Because, you know, things being random and chaotic goes against the idea of everything being guided by some sort of higher power, or at least someone being in charge. But that opens a can of worms and this blog post is already long enough and I don’t want to go there. Not today; maybe never.

Update: Astute readers may wonder if I don’t always follow my own advice when writing, “Always go with the mainstream scientific consensus. Always.” If you’ve read much of this blog, you know that I don’t agree with the way addiction is treated… Narcotics Anonymous, 12 step programs and all of that. And, no, this is not a contradiction. 12 step programs are not based on evidence or science. They are mainstream and that’s unfortunate, but addiction treatment is generally based on magical thinking and woo.

Panic in their eyes, rise… Dead on Adrenochrome!

Stupid meme via Facebook page Shit Creationists Say.

Adrenochrome

I’m not going to analyse the meme. Seems andrenochrome has some meaning in conspiracy theory culture, and that’s enough for me to stop wondering what the fuck they’re thinking. “Satan bad; Jeebuzz good” is the gist of it, apparently.

Actually this reminds me of a great song, by Andrew Eldritch whose band is named the Sisters of Mercy. I’ve said it before, and I still maintain, if I had to choose between meth and whatever insanity this religious belief is, despite all the shit that happened to me in my years of addiction, I’d take the meth. It’s the lessor evil and amazingly the less batshit crazy addiction of the two. (Not that I have to make such a choice, obviously. It’s a deliberate false dichotomy for humour, and apparently I need to write this for that one twat who likes to use my writing against me.)

We’ll turn away in a passive decision
We’ll take the steps through the unmarked door
A look back for another collision
But the boys of the spires
Are boys no more

Not black and red boys
Frightened by the night
By the catholic monochrome
The catholic girls now
Stark in their dark and white
Dread in monochrome
The sisters of mercy
High tide
Wide eyed
Sped on adrenochrome
For the sisters of mercy
Filled with
Panic in their eyes
Rise
Dead on adrenochrome

We had the power
We had the space
We had a sense of time and place
We knew the words
We knew the score
We knew what we were fighting for
For the freedom
The time to choose
But time to think
Is time to lose
The signals clash
And disappear
The shade too loud
And the sound unclear
For the

High tide
Wide eyed
Dread in monochrome
Denied in spite
Disliked in monochrome
Panic in their eyes
Rise
Dead and monochrome
The sisters of mercy
Spite
On adrenochrome

The way is clear
The road is closed
The damage done
And the course
Imposed you

Reminder: The existence of patents is not evidence for anything other than the existence of patents (Mind control is not real)

People who believe in conspiracies fascinate me. And I cannot deny that I get a kick out of mocking them. It’s fun. But it’s not only the ones who believe in end times that intrigue me… One of my most popular posts is the one I wrote about the way meth voices start with pareidolia, and a surprise to me was that many of the comments on it were written by people who insist that the voices are real, and will continue to believe so no matter what anyone tells them.

So… voices in your head are always an hallucination. When you’re on meth, you’re high too, and may be paranoid. It’s normal in that state to be confused and be unsure whether or not the voices are real. I’m not attacking those people; I was one of them, and that has always been the foundation of my interest in the subject. But when you remain convinced that the voices are real even after the meth wears off, and worse yet even in sobriety, or you have another cause of the voices and believe that they’re real, that’s when you cross the line from someone experiencing hallucinations to someone who is delusional. Generally there are two delusions (that I’ve seen) held by people who believe that the voices in their heads are real:

  1. Demons/God is speaking to them.
  2. Their government or some other shady organization is trying to mind control them.

I see both cases as examples of the same underlying psychology. People believe in things for which no evidence exists. Be it gods or conspiracies, both are simply means to latch onto strongly held beliefs as excuses for assuming the voices are real rather than facing the fact that they are hallucinations. And in both cases, believers create this messed up cognitive loop where the subject of belief (assumed to be true) confirms that the voices are real, and the voices (assumed to be real) are evidence that the subject of belief is true.

Today I’m focusing on the latter. Mind control is not real. But that doesn’t matter to people who insist that it is. One of their most popular arguments is to mention that patents for mind control exist.

Yes, such patents do exist. So does this one:

Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force

US3216423-drawings-page-1

Click the heading to go to the actual patent.

Do you know anyone who was born by centrifugal force or anyone who gave birth by centrifugal force with such a device? Of course not – because this crazy device does not exist.

Many weird and not so wonderful patents exist. They are just ideas. Some of them are wacky; some are not. Oftentimes patents are filed by patent trolls who hope to cash in on future inventions. Companies file patents for technology that doesn’t exist, hoping to use patent law to their advantage… using litigation to obtain revenue from the intellectual property of others who at some point in future create those inventions. Millions of companies exist worldwide, companies whose entire business strategy is to rip off others without ever producing anything of their own. It’s so bad, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, file millions of patents of their own and have massive legal departments just to prevent being taken advantage of by patent trolls. Smaller companies sometimes get taken down completely by trolls using that strategy against them. There are many articles about patent trolls online. It’s unethical but legal to use the law in this way, taking advantage of the general misunderstanding most people have about patent law and of the fact that such laws exist in the first place.

So, don’t link to patents for whatever nonsense you believe in. Patents do not confirm that what you want to believe in is true. The existence of patents doesn’t prove that the ideas they patent are real. They are evidence only that somebody filed those patents.


Aside: There’s nothing stopping crackpots from filing patents too. The ones mentioned in the mind control article don’t look like ones created by patent trolls. They contain specific things like ridiculous circuit boards that somehow must then magically send a signal directly to your brain, making mad leaps of logic. They’re clearly pseudoscience and crackpottery at work.

Patent trolls’ patents are normally vague ideas that can be applied to lots of different technology, or obvious attempts at profiteering like the IBM attempt at patenting email in 2010. The ones linked seem dodgy, especially the one about using radio frequencies to make people hear voices, which seems suspiciously like something a delusional person would come up with. Since you now know that the ideas behind the patents need not exist, it should also be clear that many of them could simply be created by crazy people. Thus we have a situation where crazy people who believe in mind control file patents for mind control technology, and those patents are used by other crazy people to confirm the existence of mind control, leaving us with an ironic example of circular reasoning.

Here’s an example of one of the patents mentioned there:

Silent Subliminal Presentation System

A silent communications system in which nonaural carriers, in the very low or very high audio frequency range or in the adjacent ultrasonic frequency spectrum, are amplitude or frequency modulated with the desired intelligence and propagated acoustically or vibrationally, for inducement into the brain, typically through the use of loudspeakers, earphones or piezoelectric transducers. The modulated carriers may be transmitted directly in real time or may be conveniently recorded and stored on mechanical, magnetic or optical media for delayed or repeated transmission to the listener.

The patent (abstract quoted – click the header for the link to the full patent) assumes that somehow using speakers playing sounds outside of the range of human auditory perception, our brains will perceive them anyway, and then be affected by this information that we can’t hear. By this logic, we are getting bombarded all the time by machines that vibrate at ranges outside of our auditory perception range, and we should really be worried about the wavelengths of light that we can’t see. It seems to be reliant on our belief in and fear of subliminal messaging. Many do not know this, but the initial claims about “subliminal advertising” were admitted to being falsified, and that claim remains the go-to narrative when anyone argues that subliminal messaging works. And that applies to visuals “flashed” quickly but not outside of human perception. The patent is claiming that we are somehow affected by messages outside of our perception. (More recent studies have shown that “flash suppression” can unconsciously prime an image in subjects, which lasts only a few minutes, and that’s nowhere close to being mind control. Once again, this is about flashing an image too fast for your conscious awareness, not about magically getting you to perceive audio stimulus that your senses can not perceive.)

Meanwhile in reality, if you “expose” somebody to audio that they can’t hear, it doesn’t affect them, because they didn’t hear anything. And even if we assume the patented “technology” somehow works, presumably using magic as the delivery mechanism, it still relies on an assumption that people will be controlled somehow by random audio that they hear. This is not the case. The closest that recent studies have shown is that people exposed to flashed images called “flash suppression” will be primed to select corresponding images for a few minutes. No such studies have been done on audio, never mind audio that you can’t even hear. Bullshit baffles brains.

I’m low on patience and in a bad mood because my car is broken down while I’m broke and it’s stuck at work. Don’t come here to argue with me and comment that mind control is real. Unless your comment is highly entertaining I’ll probably just delete it.

Apparently I am a “scumbag” because I exposed some scumbags who believe we are living in “End Times”

Recently I wrote in bemusement about a certain End Times Facebook group. Well, somebody on the group found me out and screenshotted the Facebook share in a comment thread there, and called me a bunch of names, including “smug”, claiming I was taking advantage of suffering people. And one of them commented on the post, calling me a “scumbag”…

So listen up, nutjobs… You might be suffering but that’s on you. You’re not victims. If you so desperately need to believe the world is coming to an end, and you believe that you have “special knowledge” about it, and that everybody else in the world will die, I’m not the scumbag for exposing it. I’m not the smug one and I’m not the one who is arrogant. And it is not a case of schadenfreude, because you are not victims of misfortune, or anything else.

I am laughing at you. You got that right.

Amazingly I’m still in the group. I have been kicked out before, after I responded to photos of clouds that they claimed to show Jesus, with photos of clouds that looked like penises. (Pareidolia, loons.) But they let me right back in. So I will continue to mock them, “troll” them with facts, and share content outside of the group.

(I had another post about echo chambers in mind, but wrote this in response to the idiot’s comment.)

The fascinating belief in the Nibiru cataclysm conspiracy theory

Have a look at these two screenshots I grabbed last night…

Screenshot_20190513-213603

Screenshot_20190513-213629

Besides the fact that these people seem batshit crazy, there are a few things I find fascinating about this…

First, some background info for those who have never heard of the Nibiru cataclysm. (Read that Wikipedia link for the long version.) A man named Zecharia Sitchin left us with some fanciful mistranslations of Sumerian cuneiform (ancient carvings on stone tablets). And when I write “fanciful mistranslations”, what I mean is he couldn’t read the ancient glyphs at all, so he made up his own translations based on what he thought the pictures looked like. And… Tada! Ancient Aliens was born. He wasn’t the only one but let’s stick with him. So ancient mythical gods, the Annunaki, became aliens on a mysterious planet, called Planet X or Nibiru, which, on a 3600 year elliptical orbit, passes very close to us every once in a while and causes all kinds of chaos. Also the aliens were the ones who seeded life on earth, or something like that.

Of course all of that is pure bullshit, and real translations of the Sumerian cuneiform exist and are even indexed online so anyone can read them. (Start here.) No planets or aliens or any of that stuff can be found in the real translations but that doesn’t stop people from believing.

The basic premise of the cataclysmic conspiracy theory is that Nibiru has been on a collision course with us since the 1980’s and this was somehow covered up by [insert shady government or NASA or New World Order here]. And now, it is here, even though it failed to end the world in 2003 and 2012 and other dates. And even though nobody can detect it, and a rogue planet (or sun depending on which variant of the conspiracy you believe) would be easy to detect in the solar system. Note that the Nemesis sun theory, also mentioned in the screenshot comments, is another belief in a hypothetical companion or “twin” to our sun. Some people seem to have conflated the Nibiru and Nemesis conspiracies, so for some it’s a planet, while for others it’s a star, and then there are those who believe in an entire solar system.

Anyway, I became fascinated with the conspiracy back in 2012, and I thought that when the world failed to end, people would stop believing. But they didn’t. Instead, they adjusted their beliefs to explain why they couldn’t see Planet X (like the fake sun claims in the screenshot), or saw “signs” of it in other things. (Just like people who believe in Jesus/God, et al, see signs to confirm what they want to see.)

But there are a couple of interesting things to take out of this:

  1. Fundamentally, this is a conspiracy with a base of racism. White people who refuse to accept that ancient people built amazing structures such as the pyramids (because to them everybody who isn’t white is stupid, inferior, and incompetent), so therefore those structures were built by aliens.
  2. Aliens here is just a synonym for god/magic. It’s the same as any other magical thinking where the unknown gets replaced by a placeholder: God, aliens, magic… all amount to the same thing.

Thus what we have here is the birth of a new religion. It’s not called a religion… not yet. But it’s only a matter of time. Of course that means debating these people is pointless as they have an unfalsifiable hypothesis, just like god/Jesus, et al. But it is interesting to see a new religion forming before our very eyes.

Update: (worth mentioning) This is a right wing conspiracy, in much the same sense as evangelical Christianity is generally right wing or “conservative”. So belief in other conservative conspiracies is common. In other words, these are mostly white people, many are American and Donald Trump supporters, as well as fascists. Other conspiracies like chemtrails, New World Order, Obama “birthers”… are all thrown into the mix. Religion is often regressive, even this new one.

Update two: Confession… I believed in this conspiracy myself overnight some time in 2012. It was, after all, a year before I stopped using methamphetamine. I read about it while I was high on meth and in my paranoia, I believed it at first. The idea of a conspiracy and scientists knowing the truth but hiding it to avoid mass panic didn’t seem so crazy, until I came down. Then I read up about it properly, looking from all angles, but mostly with the hilarious realization that these people had about as much sense as I did while out of my mind on amphetamines…. except they are like that all the time. And thus my interest in conspiratorial belief was born. I was obsessed with it back then as it was something to “tweak” on, and I have remained fascinated, though no longer obsessed, ever since.