Closed-Mindedness and the Phrase ‘Conspiracy Theory’

by Lex Fisher

In American culture, variations of the phrase conspiracy theory are often used to discourage investigations of possible American government complicity in crimes.  The common response of most Americans to conversations questioning governmental involvement in 9/11 or other crimes is that this is just conspiracy theory.  It is this rush to judgment in American culture that is very self-defeating toward our ability to protect our own freedoms.  If anyone who questions the possible guilt of a powerful person is labeled a conspiracy theorist, then it follows that powerful people are therefore free to commit any crimes they wish.

Labeling someone a conspiracy theorist allows the labeler to immediately cut off all thoughts that might entertain the possibility that the suspicious view they’re encountering might just be right.  I believe this rush to closed-mindedness is symbolic of an epidemic unwillingness of Americans to use their common sense, to scrutinize information, and to aggressively pursue the truth, whatever that truth may be.  The same denial that lies behind a person’s willingness to label another person as a conspiracy theorist without considering the merits of what that person is saying also spills over into our educational system and our overall intellectual climate.

A perfect example of this closed-mindedness is the average American’s view toward the official story behind the events of 9/11.  It is common knowledge to anyone who has taken a serious look into the plethora of documentation on the events that occurred before, during, and after 9/11, that there is ample ground for suspicion of a conspiracy on the part of many people with inside access to governmental agencies.  It is well documented that scores of government officials had various forms of prior knowledge that attacks were imminent, and at least lied about that foreknowledge.  It simply cannot be argued by anyone with intellectual self-respect that the bodies which investigated the 9/11 attacks – NIST and the 9/11 Commission – were truthful and gave an honest appraisal of the evidence that was available.  It is public knowledge that directly after the attacks on the World Trade Center, evidence was removed and destroyed at a phenomenal pace, in a manner that blatantly violates fire and arson investigation standards.  Yet somehow, it is socially acceptable for anyone who looks at this mountain of puzzling information on the biggest crime ever perpetrated on American soil… to be labeled a conspiracy theorist.

So how come it’s not socially acceptable to entertain the possibility of a 9/11 inside job?  How come the 9/11 truth movement has not made its way into mainstream acceptability?

The answer is two-fold.   The first and most obvious answer is that the media and news machine that the average American is hooked on is owned at the very top by the same power interests that have an interest in ensuring that Americans don’t discuss 9/11 or its true perpetrators.   But the other answer is our own closed-mindedness.  There is an intellectual epidemic that begins with the candy-coated version of history we learn in school, is kept alive by our school system’s reliance on multiple-choice testing as opposed to an emphasis on critical thinking, is fueled by censorship in the mass media, and spills over into the subconscious reactions that are enabled by certain words in our language, such as the phrase conspiracy theory.

The power of language to aid the agendas of certain groups is unquestionable.  In Episode 50 of the Corbett Report, James Corbett discussed the campaign of Jerry Brown against Bill Clinton for the 1992 democratic nomination for president, and Brown’s support of wind energy and satellite conference calls to save governmental travel expenses.  Brown’s proposal to enable government employees to use satellite conference calls turned out to be way ahead of its time, since it’s now standard fare in corporate America.  However in the early 1990’s, Brown’s detractors labeled him ‘Governor Moonbeam.’  The implicit assumption that involving satellites in your political recommendations made you a tin-hat wearing space-kook was evoked every time the name ‘Governor Moonbeam’ was used.  Corbett uses the labeling of Brown as an example of how certain words and phrases can be used to discredit somebody’s ideas before they’re even launched. (29:04)

Another person who was ahead of his time is the late former Georgia Congressman, Larry MacDonald.  Before dying in a plane crash in 1983, MacDonald was appointed the director of the John Birch Society, a group which has experienced its share of conspiratorial allegations.  The society advocates the protection of individual freedoms, and contends that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group and other organizations combine to form the invisible or shadow government conspiring to erode individual liberties and bring about an authoritarian single-world-government.  The group has also stood in opposition to civil rights legislation on the grounds that it erodes civil liberties, which is a controversial stance even in 2012.  Larry MacDonald argued that there was a move to discredit the John Birch society during the ‘60’s, using it’s anti civil rights views to label it as racist, and therefore discredit its unrelated views on shadow governmental organizations.

Before his death in 1983, MacDonald appeared on CNN’s debate program, Crossfire, with Tom Braden and Pat Buchanan. (37:08)  On the program, Council on Foreign Relations member Tom Braden aggressiveness in defending MacDonald’s allegations with accusations of conspiratorial thinking.  First Braden prompted MacDonald, saying, “Newsweek says that the John Birch Society considers communism only one arm of a master conspiracy in which socialist American insiders are plotting to establish world government.”

MacDonald replied to Braden, “Well I think that being a long-standing member of the Rockefeller apparatus, and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, long-standing, you are fully aware that there is an elitist core in this country that has seen value in subsidizing communism or protecting communism.”  He later continued, “The trilateral commission, the council on Foreign Relations… well let’s face it, they’ve dominated the state department for 40 years, and pretty much openly… Their objective is to try and bring about a gradual transition in our society, a dissolving of sovereignty, and a moving steadily to the left on the political spectrum.”

Braden asked, “Is the International Monetary Fund part of it?”

MacDonald replied, “Well you can say the International Monetary Fund has certainly been set up for the purpose of facilitating that transfer of sovereignty and that transfer of wealth… but you are looking at a group that has worked to bring about a dissolution of national sovereignty on the road to world government.  And certainly you are familiar with local professor Carroll Quigley who has been part of the club, to which he admitted all of this, and he said in his book “Tragedy and Hope,” the only thing I disagree is that we’ve worked to keep it a secret. And we see (unintelligible author name) writing back in 1947, he said yes, this is the hidden policy of America, but we can’t tell the American public because they’re too unsophisticated to see the value.”

Braden replied, “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.  Are you saying that there’s a conspiracy to promote communism?”

After hearing to MacDonald’s reply to his question, Braden asked, “Is NATO part of the conspiracy?”

Braden and MacDonald continued debating, and Braden asked MacDonald how he would grade Reagan’s presidency.  MacDonald responded that he would give Reagan’s speeches an ‘A’, but not his actions, to which Braden asked, “Do you think that’s a result of the conspiracy?”

Pat Buchanan went on to observe that over the course of the conversation, Braden had used the word conspiracy 47 times.

If you listen to the audio of the actual Crossfire interview, you can hear the accusatory and condescending tone with Braden throws out the word ‘conspiracy’ as a defensive tactic, to provide a smokescreen that just might rescue him from having to sincerely discuss the CFR. (37:08)

Another example of a variation of the phrase conspiracy theory being used as a smokescreen comes from Tony Blair.  In Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Ruppert mentions Tony Blair’s participation in the rhetoric leading up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Britain’s Foreign Secretary had addressed concerns that the impetus to invade Iraq was not Weapons of Mass Destruction but oil, and a World Socialist Website published an article documenting that the motive for war was in fact securing oil supplies.  Ruppert concluded, “A day after that story was published, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was reported on CNN as saying that anyone who suggested that the war was about oil was a ‘conspiracy theorist.’” (Crossing the Rubicon, pg 528)

According to Corbett, Americans journalists started using the phrase conspiracy theory regularly after a CIA Memo used the phrase. (32:03)  The declassified memo, entitled Instructions to Media Assets, was released in the late 1960’s, and discussed a growing suspicion among the American public about whether the government was behind John F. Kennedy’s Assassination.  The memo was addressed to CIA assets who were embedded in positions at mainstream news outlets. It labeled the thoughts Americans were having, saying “Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization.”  It also labeled the purveyors of those ideas, saying “The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.”

It’s widely believed in the alternative media that the intention of this memo was to plant the two phrases conspiracy theory and conspiracy theorist into the terminology of American culture.  If that was the intent, the memo did a great job of doing it in a subtle fashion, because it didn’t overtly come out and say that its intent was to plant the phrases into American English.  Regardless of intent, following the memo, the phrases began to appear in America’s newspapers, editorials and magazines.  From then onward, it became normal for a person to label any discussion of whether the government was behind a crime as simply conspiracy theory.

Political Activist Barry Zwicker says the phrase conspiracy theory is a “thought-stopper,” intended to stop people from questioning who did certain things.  He says it’s used negatively, as a put-down, and when a person has a suspicion that a reputable group of people is guilty of a crime, the suspicious person is labeled and the investigation is over.  On the other hand, Zwicker says that it’s a detective’s job to use clues to come up with a theory, and then look for evidence to back up that theory.  He also says scientists are lauded for developing a theory to explain something, and then testing out that theory.  Zwicker says that when this method is used in science, it’s called the scientific method, but when it’s used in political analysis, it’s often called conspiracy theory. (14:48)

Banking executive turned government whistleblower Indira Singh came across some suspicious information when performing due diligence on a software company with ties to multiple US government agencies, and this led her to question possible government involvement behind the terrorist organizations.  Singh claims “People might say ‘oh, this is all conspiracy theory,’ but I would like to remind people that conspiracy is very much recognized by the United States Federal Code and it is called RICO Racketeering and Influence.”  (Transcript)

The political activist known as Splitting the Sky demonstrate how easy it is to reverse the psychological effects of the conspiracy theory label with regard to 9/11 when he says, “The greatest conspiracy theory is that 19 Saudis achieved the impossible, demolished buildings into hot crushed pulp, to dust…” (01:08:01)

Barry Zwicker says that despite the connotation of the phrase conspiracy theory, a conspiracy is when multiple people knowingly plan to commit a crime.  He says, “There are huge numbers of conspiracies, and some of them are top-knotch conspiracies, such as the conspiracy to kill JFK, this is why the CIA, which was involved in killing JFK, it’s propaganda arm came up with the idea of asking all of its media assets, people who were publishers and executives of tv stations back in late ’60’s, and people who were book reviewers, to begin calling people who questioned the Warren Commission findings of the lone gunmen, to begin calling them conspiracy theorists.” (14:48)

When discussing the closed-minded attitude of members of the so-called Skeptic movement toward automatically dismissing any suspicions of government members’ involvement in crimes, Corbett mentions the J.F.K. assassination.  He cites “E. Howard Hunt’s deathbed confession that he was part of plot to assassinate JFK and that the plot went up to Lyndon Johnson and was orchestrated by the CIA.” (09:50)  If J.F.K.’s assassination was an inside job, isn’t it incredibly unjust that to this day, some people will label you a conspiracy theorist just for bringing it up?

In the same episode, Corbett says the phrase conspiracy theory is a way to stop people from examining evidence.  He also says the phrase benefits the possible conspiracist, because it creates the idea that no one can possibly conspire to commit crimes.  Simply referring to the phrase conspiracy theory, and in-effect causing them to ponder the fear that the phrase evokes, is enough to keep people from thinking about the very things that the globalists want us to ignore.

Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy talked to James Corbett about new initiatives in educational research which seem intent on further disabling our ability to think critically about the world around us.  Frequently the research that goes into these kinds of sinister initiatives can appear to be philanthropic and for the common good.  In this vein, Tracy describes the Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teachers Project, which aims to measure students’ attention to teachers, utilizing biometric devices.  He says “The project overall essentially involves a dehumanization of what is essentially a human process, that is, cultivating individuals to recognize and aspire to a higher intellectual level.” (Interview)  Under the guise of measuring teacher’s ability to capture the attention spans of their students, such tactics can reduce education to a simple Pavlovian system of positive and negative responses, where students receive positive reinforcement for doing or thinking what the teacher wants them to, and negative for doing anything otherwise.  Although the need to ensure that students are engaged seems logical, and measuring this engagement can certainly help teachers figure out how to engage their students, this approach to education can also rule out creative thought.  It can move us toward a society where we are thinking exactly what we are being told to think, and nothing more.  I’d venture to say, for most Americans, that this wouldn’t be so far from what’s actually happening right now.

Tracy describes ways the current educational system has fostered a passive intellectual attitude among his students.  He says it’s not that his students are incapable of serious thought, it’s that they’re not used to being taken seriously or being challenged in the classroom.  He says they’ve “been put through cookie-cutter curricula and standardized testing,” and “what they’re reading is uninteresting or nonsense.”  Tracy says that the expressions that interested him during his own college days were things he discovered on his own, things like the writings of Edward S Herman, documentaries like The Panama Deception, and investigative journalism projects like Project Censored, the very kinds of things that many people would label as conspiratorial. (Interview)

For anyone who has found themselves open-minded and sympathetic toward the alternative view on world history and current events, the desire to share these beliefs with your friends and acquaintances never lies far behind.  If you haven’t worked up the nerve to discuss so-called conspiratorial views in public, who can blame you?  Who wants to be shunned by their friends, or feel like the evangelizer in the room?  If you share my belief that the globalists’ continual psychological manipulation of the public has enabled evil to prevail throughout the course of American history, than empowering people to overcome that manipulation is of the utmost importance.  And in the struggle to share what you know, the ability to diffuse the power of the phrase conspiracy theory may just be one of the most important tools in your bag.

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2 Responses to “Closed-Mindedness and the Phrase ‘Conspiracy Theory’”
  1. Thanks for compiling the information in this article. You’ve done a great job of synthesizing the information from numerous sources and putting it together into a readable article. I’ve Tweeted it to my audience.

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  1. […] strategy is every bit as effective as the term “conspiracy theory” in relegating facts, research, scientific papers and entire fields of study to the collective […]



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