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 A few words about conspiracy theories...

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PostSubject: A few words about conspiracy theories...   A few words about conspiracy theories... Icon_minitimeSun May 05, 2013 7:20 pm

I like movies and television shows that involve sinister, influential characters manipulating events and sending other, even more sinister characters out to impose mayhem upon the world. I find such movies and television shows to be very entertaining.

But it's only fiction and I don't take it seriously.

When I was a teenager I saw a movie titled, "Executive Action." It was about a group of fabulously wealthy men who orchestrated the assassination of President Kennedy. I've seen it a couple of times since then and I still find it entertaining, but I don't believe any of it and the reason for my incredulity is simple and familiar to just about everyone.

No one can keep a secret.

We all keep secrets about relatively unimportant, personal matters, especially if they're of a sexual or scatological nature. Secrets involving behavior motivated by a sense of fear or powerlessness are almost impossible to hold inside forever. One of the driving forces behind school shootings is the killer's sense of powerlessness. Someone who's being mistreated or simply being ignored or shunned has an overwhelming desire to correct the problem. And one's sense of powerlessness is not truly compensated for unless everyone knows you did it. What the killer really wants, to paraphrase Eric Harris, is to be respected. Simply killing a bunch of people, or a select group of people doesn't inspire anyone to respect you and treat you better if they don't know who you are.

This is why so many potential school shooters get caught before they shoot anyone. They're not really that interested in killing people. They just want to be treated in a manner more in line with the all too empty rhetoric of a civilized society and they mistakenly believe that the mere threat of committing a media worthy act of revenge will satisfy that need.

There was no conspiracy at Columbine. The fact that two teenagers were able to keep their plans secret for as long as they did is almost unbelievable. Three or more is ludicrous.
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PostSubject: Re: A few words about conspiracy theories...   A few words about conspiracy theories... Icon_minitimeSun May 05, 2013 7:50 pm

DrStrangelove wrote:
There was no conspiracy at Columbine. The fact that two teenagers were able to keep their plans secret for as long as they did is almost unbelievable. Three or more is ludicrous.

I have seen some very convincing conspiracy theories floating around, but I don't think or at least haven't seen anyone on this particular board saying that was the case. However, Eric and Dylan weren't too good at keeping the secret - they were leaking hints left and right, and by 4/19 they were being incredibly open about the whole thing. The other aspect of the situation that lends itself all too easily to conspiracy theorists is the behavior of Jefferson County authorities as a whole. It just reeks of "up to no good". Anyway, my two cents there...
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PostSubject: Re: A few words about conspiracy theories...   A few words about conspiracy theories... Icon_minitimeMon May 06, 2013 9:25 am

Conspiracies generally fall into three basic categories:

Front End Conspiracies form before the crime/incident/event takes place. An example of this would be if two or more individuals plan to murder the CEO of a corporation for financial or political reasons, and then they do it. Usually the conspirators expect to gain something tangible from the act, but it doesn't always have to make any sense to anyone but them. The two brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon is a real world example where the majority of the public can't imagine what they hoped to gain.

Back End Conspiracies form after an event takes place and a group of individuals suddenly realize that they either have something to gain or something to lose if they do not act. A good example of this is the Kennedy assassination cited above. Many individuals acted suspiciously after Kennedy was killed and this suggested that they were somehow involved. My personal belief is that they were either practicing the ancient art of inter-agency rivalry or simply covering their professional butts. The Secret Service, the FBI, and many other of our government's alphabet soup agencies are supposed to see things like that coming and prevent them from occurring. Instead, the President got his head shot off and a lot of prominent people were embarrassed about it.

Apparent Conspiracies aren't really conspiracies at all. When an event takes place and someone gains something from it, it's common for people to get suspicious and start spreading rumors. Imagine a man who's presiding over a business in decline. He employs a few dozen people including his wife whom he openly hates and is unfaithful to. He's also being sued by several of his employees for discrimination or some similar thing. Then...a miracle occurs. A deranged nut drives a truck bomb through the front door of his business one morning, kills everyone and completely destroys the building. The president of the company is suspiciously late to work that morning when he is known to have never been late in the history of the company. He collects the life insurance on his wife, the insurance on his business that was failing anyway, and all those lawsuits go away. He had nothing to do with it but you know there are going to be endless rumors.
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PostSubject: Re: A few words about conspiracy theories...   A few words about conspiracy theories... Icon_minitime

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