Since Majority Rights (MR) and The Occidental Observer (TOO) are two of the three blogsites that I advertise here, I find it a little embarrassing that, on the issue of the 9/11 attacks and the recent assassination of Osama bin Laden, quite a few commenters of those blogsites unabashedly embrace conspiracy theories.
I used to believe that those racially conscious were smarter than counter-jihadists. But on the topic of Al Qaeda, militant Muslims, bin Laden and 9/11 the curious reader will find much saner information in anti-Islamic sites, such as Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch.
Although I have elaborated a dense psychological theory that purports to explain the conspiracist mindset, for the moment I will limit myself to reproduce a couple of my recent comments at a Counter-Currents article:
I came to the racialist camp from the counter-jihad movement. But before I entered it I subscribed the Skeptical Inquirer magazine; read lots of books published by Prometheus, and learnt how to think critically about crank claims.
In my previous comment at another C-C thread I implied that Occidental Dissent (OD) was not a very sane site. But now that in recent MR and TOO threads 9/11 truthers seem to outnumber the skeptics, I find it rather comical that at least OD has not succumbed to this nonsense.
But this is not the place to explain why some psychologists believe that the search for meaning is common in conspiracism; and that the development of conspiracy theories (CTs) violate both Occam’s razor and falsifiability. Suffice it to say that the conspiracy paranoia I see among those nationalists who are also 9/11 truthers is analogous to the denial of the genocide perpetrated in 1942-45 (I’d never use the word “holocaust” because I tend to avoid newspeak terms). It is also analogous to other CTs such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy (Vincent Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History is must reading here), the “staged” Apollo Moon Landings, or the sightings of Elvis Presley—a CT suggesting that, like some CTs on bin Laden, he is still alive.
Yes: Western elites lie to us 24 hrs/day. There’s no question about that. However, instead of denying the genocide of Jews I prefer to point out how Stalin’s Jews murdered more civilians than Himmler. Similarly, instead of blaming Mossad for 9/11 I would criticize the US government, both Bush’s and Obama’s, for its deranged Judeophilia and Islamophilia.
If meta-politics is paramount at this stage of the struggle, I’d venture to say that we badly need lots of Bugliosis and books like Reclaiming History, but this time about 9/11, in our (still embryonic) movement…
Interpolated note for this blog: Responding to a comment (“The Onion ran a piece that cracked me up, because it described something that I did years ago. The story was about an open-minded guy who realized how many years of his life he has wasted putting up with other people’s bullshit. Life is too short, and the cause is too important, to suffer kooks”), I wrote:
Twenty years ago I subscribed parapsychology journals. Since the contributors to these journals are usually people with PhDs, you cannot imagine how difficult it is to address the scholarly claims and find holes in the parapsychologists’ methodology.
Debunking crank claims demands incredible amounts of research and energy. This is why I believe that CSICOP’s approach is worth reviewing.
Individual CSICOPers usually focus on single fields of fringe claims. For instance, there are one or two researchers who spend their time researching, say, the pseudoscience known as UFOlogy (when I attended CSICOP conferences they were Phil Klass and Robert Sheaffer). In the case of parapsychology, the skeptical researchers were Ray Hyman and James Alcock, both psychology professors.
The same could be said of conspiracy theories. Bugliosi spent twenty years of his life researching and debunking the John F. Kennedy CTs. Obviously, however smart Bugliosi is, he could not handle, in addition to that field, parapsychology—however pseudoscientific it may also be. The same with Klass or Hyman: they could not have handled JFK CTs: they used to focus on either UFOs or psi claims respectively. Sometimes it even takes a single researcher to debunk a single “paranormal” case, e.g., Joe Nickell on the Turin Shroud. In my own case, I spent my time researching the Bélmez Faces. I started as a believer in 1991 and ended skeptic in 1995 (see my research mentioned, e.g., here).
Noam Chomsky complained about the amount of energy that it would take to debunk 9/11 CTs. He simply, and wisely, dismisses the preposterous claims. Of course, nationalists cannot waste their precious time “putting up with other people’s bullshit”, as you say. When I wrote that we need lots of Bugliosis I meant that sooner or later it will be pretty handy to get, under a single cover—like Bugliosi’s book on JFK—, a comprehensive and definite account on how silly 9/11 CTs were in the past.
I look forward for a definite, skeptical book on it (the one by Popular Mechanics was published in 2006).