| "Conspiracy theorist"|
|An enemy image used for ad hominem attacks on people as a way of misdirecting attention away from their arguments|
"Conspiracy Theorists" are people who subscribe to "conspiracy theories". The term is used as an enemy image by commercially-controlled media such as Wikipedia. As with other enemy images, it is not used outside quotation marks on this site.
Usage by corporate media
A 2013 BBC article by Jon Kelly was entitled Is it OK to call someone a conspiracy theorist?, and observed that because Norman Baker expressed "doubts" about the death of Robin Cook Aaronovitch termed him "a conspiracy theorist".
The following is extracted from Peter Lavenda's Prologue to The Most Dangerous Book in the World: 9/11 as Mass Ritual a 2012 book by SK Bain.  To the extent that the terms "Conspiracy Theorist" and "conspiracy theory" have acquired a validity distinct from both their original dictionary definitions and the pejorative usage outlined above, this extract nails it:
“They have one foot in the world of mainstream history and culture, what Robert Anton Wilson used to call “consensus reality”. That’s the world where most of us live. We are all products of that world, and of the ideas and worldview it represents. We are trained in this world virtually from birth: school, church, government, media all conspire to present an image - a picture - of reality that will result in the development of perfect citizens in an easily-managed society. There is a social contract:
we contribute to this society with the expectation that we will receive goods and services in return. We obey the laws that are created by other people, believing that our best interests are being addressed thereby. We fight in wars declared by our governments in order to preserve our society - this carefully-structured, albeit artificial, society.
And all is right with the world.
But conspiracy theorists have their other foot ... well, somewhere else. Not everyone is asleep to the darker mechanisms of reality. In fact, everyone becomes aware of them at some point in their lives. Everyone questions. The very nature of reality itself is at times so hostile to human life that human institutions must be challenged for their inadequate protection of their constituents. Conspiracy theorists seize on this inadequacy as evidence of the tenuousness of consensus reality. There are other forces at work, forces that are unacknowledged by the state, the church, the media because to admit their existence is to admit failure. Thus, when things go wrong, terrorists are blamed, or communists, or witches. This serves to rally the citizens around the government once again, instead of stopping to insist that explanations be given, that evidence is properly analyzed, that the guilty are apprehended and punished. And we once more go to war, against … someone, somewhere.
Paranoia becomes institutionalised. It is appropriated by the government as its own prerogative. The state determines the nature and quality of the paranoia: it creates intelligence agencies whose sole purpose is to give a form to paranoia, to enshrine paranoia as one of the necessary qualities of an observant and caring state. To prove that paranoia is an acceptable characteristic of the paternalistic regime.
The citizens are not allowed to become paranoid unless it is at government direction and sanction. Individual cases of paranoia are frowned upon. The state tells us that if we are not paranoid the way it is paranoid—and about the same things—it’s because we don’t have all the facts: about "terrorism", fundamentalism, communism, foreign countries, weapons of mass destruction, sleeper cells. The state has all the facts: classified documents, wire-tap transcripts, intelligence feeds, high-altitude reconnaissance images, none of which the citizen is permitted to see.
It does not realise that the logical conclusion of all this paranoia is suspicion of the state apparatus itself.
What the conspiracy theorist often fails to realise, however, is that those working for the state are often just as clueless as the average citizen when it comes to the origin and function of the forces at work to subvert it. The strength of a conspiracy, after all, rests in the limited number of persons who are aware of its existence and parameters. No one has the entire picture. Each member of the state apparatus only has possession of a single piece of an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Putting together all these disparate pieces—particularly when one does not have the original picture to work from—is a soul-destroying enterprise that consumes decades of work and years of one’s life. This is especially true when the state has in its arsenal of lies the techniques of disinformation and misdirection, of false testimony and planted documents.
Anyone who works with this material eventually comes to that realisation. But the motivation to keep digging is still alive; the urge to uncover one more piece of the puzzle, one more document, is perhaps a central characteristic not only of the conspiracy theorist but of human nature itself. The more intelligent of the theorists soon come to realize that Hansel and Gretel have left breadcrumbs everywhere, in no discernible pattern. Thus, the inclination among some of the best to stop looking for the children and start looking for the Witch.
The deeper one delves into the conspiracy literature, the more one is struck by the tendency of some theorists to look beyond the documents and the tangible evidence of government malfeasance or political conspiracy to more transcendental sources of power. One begins with the government agents, the spies, the politicians, the military, and soon gravitates towards the secret societies: the Freemasons and the Illuminati (among so many others). This involves studying their texts, their social structures, their stated goals, their secret conclaves, their antinomian beliefs and practices.”
|Document:Countering Criticism of the Warren Report||memo||19 July 1968||CIA|
- The Most Dangerous Book in the World: 9/11 as Mass Ritual by SK Bain. Trine Day Books ISBN 9781937584177