The growth of alternative media has required the development of a whole cottage industry to mentally diagnosis the burgeoning population of truthers, who are often labeled “conspiracy theorists” (a CIA term and invention).
Of course, conspiracy theories are not all created equal. In fact, some are deliberately created as a straw-man tactic to make truthers seem mental. You will see the dishonest tactic of bunching different “wild” or weak theories on the same page as legitimate theories. Also I have friends who are on the same page with me on many conspiracies and truths, but who seem out there on others. That goes with the territory. Do I dismiss them in general? Absolutely not.
Here is a discussion at Reddit on how to deal with “paranoid conspiracy theorists.” You will see advice on how to set boundaries. You will see advice on “seeking mental health treatment.” Frankly if I was treated in this manner I would burn bridges. Still this might be in part be understandable given that those of us who are passionate truthers find we can get into other’s spaces and faces. In part, this is because we are not dark-hearted or indifferent people. We have underlying decency and hold veritas in high esteem.
One of the wags at Reddit commented, “Our pattern loving brain has gotten so good at recognizing them that it is now able to see patterns that aren’t there, to imagine connections.” I find it curious that those who call conspiracy theorists “mental cases” rarely, if ever, bother to look through our lenses. Do they think this just all comes out of a vacuum? You would think they are some type of “experts” on the “theories.” In almost all instances that I have observed, not even remotely. Mostly this is gaslighting. Lately I have seen more of the appeal to authority scam, whereby some “expert” from “Yale” is hauled out to pontificate in front of a cadre of cheerleaders.
Another common tactic is the straw man fallacy, or shooting down or even inventing a weak anomaly and then victory dancing a debunking. Calling anomalies “superficial” is another common tactic. Therefore it is necessary to focus on large and quick hitting anomalies.
Therefore, truthers need to have our own set of boundaries to deal with this. If you are the one who is casting dispersion on a truther about “patterns that aren’t there,” then it is an essential exercise to objectively view visually to the end the sample short videos below. There are many, many, many more on these pages (TNN is a good archival resource), but start small with your short attention span doubters. Then, the skeptic needs to make a pronouncement or call about what they see to the truther. Can they objectively watch this without tuning out? Is an emotional response all they can muster. Do they have more than a 10-second attention span when viewing these? I wonder.
The difference is that so-called “conspiracy theorists” actually alertly and critically examine evidence. If you actually did critically view the sample videos below in their entirety, would you — with straight face — dismiss as “crazy” somebody who saw a pattern of lies and extreme deception- or something seriously out of kilter? Or would you be curious enough to examine other short-duration exercises or even longer, more time-consuming examples?
Forget the “conspiracy theorist” and “mental health” diagnosis for a moment and ask yourself what you are seeing here. Does it take “great imagination” or “pattern loving” to call a spade a spade? If you see nothing here and move along after a 10-second viewing, you might want to reconsider who is actually the mentally ill one. If you still don’t give a damn, then, at minimum, immediately cease the gaslighting and labeling of truthers as “mental.”
The top example may be viewed in the post “Video of Alleged ISIS Bombing in Baghdad Reveals a ‘Surprise.’” Follow on that with these next two videos. One doozy is more recent: The Use of Magical Bullets in Staged Deception Shooting Events. They are only three or four minutes each and some of your gaslighters or critics might be able to watch through them. For more advanced analysis to use with your critics who exhibit more than three-minute attention spans, the Trauma Surgeon’s Observations on the Boston Bombing’s Fraudulent Injuries is a good reference. Note that par for the course the video evidence in this prior article has now been scrubbed, but the points made are still valuable.