Saturday, October 15, 2016
Alex Jones: A Conspiracy Clown? His Show Could Also Be An Ongoing POE
Did you hear that Infowars' Alex Jones' latest "conspiracy" brain fart is that Obama and Hillary are both "demon possessed"? Obama because it has been noted "how many flies stick around his face even indoors". More on this in a bit, but first let's get some overall perspective on conspiracy, in particular the difference between conspiracy theorists and conspiracy analysts. These as separate from the unique category of bat shit crazy, conspiracy looneytune rambling as exemplified by Jones' rants on his radio show.
In a previous blog post I noted Barbadian psychologist Pat Bannister's categorization of those who invoke conspiracies and how she differentiated them. As part of her construction of a theory of mind, specifically showing the role of lying in young children, she also noted adeptness at detecting lies was linked to accurate detection of real conspiracies.
Bannister published papers, mainly appearing in university symposiums, showing that conspiracy investigation arose as an evolutionary adaptation to the (earlier evolved) ability to lie. In her conception, if conspiracy is among the most sophisticated forms of lying (entailing misdirecting actions as well as words) then an evolutionary "equalizer" was needed in order to expose it so this advanced lying would not be to the total future detriment of a tribe, community or nation.
Think of it: effective conspiracy (a surreptitious plan to alter outside events to a group's advantage) is not merely a simple matter of bending the truth, but bending it - usually in an extended manner over time - to achieve a specific end or manifestation in the real world. It requires not only the awareness of what's in the minds of those one conspires against and those who might try to detect the plan, but also predicting in advance how they might act or respond to prevent the conspiracy from being executed in the first place. And also predicting how future inquirers might be impeded from exposing it decades later.
Thus, as Bannister pointed out in a 1972 UWI symposium, the Kennedy assassination conspirators would have to know not only how the normal law enforcement structure would respond, but also the official paraphernalia needed to misdirect it in the case of an accidental encounter while the plot was unfolding. (Thus, years later, with the publication of Abraham Bolden's 'The Echo From Dealey Plaza', we learned about the role of the stolen Secret Service Commission books, and the crucial role they played in misdirecting authorities from the actual plan, locations of the real assassins.)
The conspirators would also have to be able to predict where the biggest potential threats might lurk, odd citizens with movie cameras (like Abraham Zapruder and Orville Nix) or with still cameras (like Mary Moorman). Thus, they had to have special teams ready to confiscate them. The greatest level of forward planning and cognition was reserved for the autopsy - which had to be carried out in a secure venue under full government control (not Dallas' Parkland Hospital) so that the actual entry and egress points for the bullets could be manipulated as well as x-rays, regular photographs.
In other words, in concert it amounted to one of the most sophisticated lies in history, fooling a generation almost totally (other than a few original skeptics like Mark Lane) until at least the JFK Records Act required long stored documents, files be released to the public.. Bannister didn't accept any of this was hopeless, and whatever the conspiracy, there would always be 'x' other minds capable of detecting its mechanisms ex post facto from clues that the conspirators left behind. (They would not able to erase everything, after all, though this did not - as she emphasized - mean any future prosecutions, i.e. for which a chief executive might be involved and able to oversee the investigation that ensued- like LBJ in the Kennedy case.)
In Bannister's mode of thought then, the conspiracy alert sounder had to possess a theory of mind at least equal to the conspiracy planner's, certainly in finally exposing it. Yes, there could be missteps - especially given the conspiracy planning side would inevitably add further layers of lies ex post facto to throw off conspiracy investigators. These would be in the form of misinformation and disinformation (e.g. inventing whacky conspiracy theories to circulate and get many to bite then ridicule them as 'buff-based') or simply ridiculing any person that even conceives of conspiracy - no matter how well -versed or grounded the formulation is.
It was basically a race between successful gaming of the public via actual conspiratorial actions (in cover ups) and exposing it at a deeper cognitive level by those with conspiracy awareness.
Given Prof. Bannister's theory of mind, conspiracy awareness leading to rational investigation and coherent research, would be a natural response to this mammoth lie, and it has been. This has led to the implication of the CIA in the Kennedy killing, under the direction of Allen Dulles as well as William Harvey, via the Staff D operation discussed at length by researcher Peter Dale Scott. (See also David Talbot's recent book, 'The Devil's Chessboard'.)
Bannister coined the term "conspiracy culture" to distinguish it from "conspiracy research community". The latter she envisaged as the province of mature, rational adults. The former was the realm of adult children who fancied themselves adults but who really weren't. More technically, these regressed people could be called conspiracy theorists as opposed to conspiracy analysts - say like Mark Lane, e.g.
The main difference is that the conspiracy theorist puts forward conspiracies but doesn't advance adequate evidence or documents in support of them. For example, the lot who claim no men actually landed on the Moon and it was all filmed on a Hollywood lot. This, despite the fact we can actually use lunar ranging instruments - planted by Apollo astronauts, to make incredibly accurate measurements of lunar distance. (Including being able to predict the Moon's closest approach at perigee on Nov. 14th)
But if Dr. Bannister were alive today I warrant she'd also include another more debased category, the conspiracy clown. This is a person who not only lacks evidence for his claims, but who makes them in contradiction to all logic, mental coherence and existing documents. A perfect example is Donald J. Trump, who advanced the absurd notion that Ted Cruz' father was involved in the JFK assassination, e.g.
This jabberwocky doesn't even meet the minimum standard of a "theory" - by which I actually mean speculation without adequate evidence to support a firm claim. But I wouldn't even dignify Jones piffle as partially-informed speculation. It is rather clownish, Bozo-level blather designed to emotionally appall and enrage his Infowars' groupies and fan boys, girls.
In like manner one can regard most of the nonsense recited by Alex Jones at his "Info Wars" site as disingenuous balderdash more fit for a consumption and circulation by a conspiracy clown than either a theorist or analyst. For example, his off the wall bunkum that the Sandy Hook/Newtown massacre was a federal "false flag" operation. Those kids weren't really slain, they were merely actors- as well as the teachers- in an elaborate script to befuddle the public and make them demand gun confiscation across the land.
Trump also echoes some of Jones' clown conspiracies, including (now -as reported in the Washington Post) that he is the victim of a "global power structure" trying to take him down. This idiocy also factors into other regurgitated nutso crap such as the power structure being mainly staffed by an esoteric bunch of power mongers known as the ....wait for it...."Illuminati".
Again, using Bannister's standard, do Jones or Trump display a theory of mind at least equal to the conspiracy planners that they ramble on about? Hardly, it's more unhinged lunacy, especially Jones' recent whackadoodle nonsense about Obama and Hillary being "demon possessed". This lunatic actually said: "There are dozens of videos and photos of Obama having flies land on him, indoors at all times of the year. He could be next to a hundred people and no one else has flies on them. And people think he is demon possessed, I'm just gonna go ahead and say it, okay?"
Seriously? This crackpot actually believes this bilge? This puts him not in the league of any sincere conspiracy theorists even, but with the whackadoodle lot that buy into the bare bullshit like the Sandy Hook massacre being a false flag for the feds to seize guns. It even raises the potential for Jones' site to be the manifestation of a "Poe" for conspiracy, i.e. an ongoing parody of all conspiracies.
To paraphrase part of the definition of Poe from Wikipedia:
"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Conspiracist in such a way that someone won't mistake it for the genuine article.
And subsequently (ibid.):
However, the usage of the law has grown, and now the term "Poe" is almost synonymous with any parody on the internet. "
So are all of Jones' bilious effusions on this, that and the other merely manifestations of parodies, maybe of himself? Who knows? Only Alex can answer that.
It even pains me to say that trash mongers like Jones, because they are correct in at least one conspiracy identification (the JFK assassination, though he muddles the agents, bases), unfortunately tar it with their other lunatic conspiracies. Of course, this should not happen, because a serious thinker takes each case on its merits - and does not reject a conspiracy hypothesis merely because one advocate is himself bonkers.
The reason a crackpot (or Poe guy) like Jones ought to be on people's radar now is because he isn't just bloviating hot air conspiracy bunkum on his 'Infowars' site. No, he's announced a contest offering $1,000 to anyone who can get an Infowars "Bill Clinton Rape" shirt on television for at least five seconds. Or a $5,000 award is earmarked for anyone who can be vocally heard saying "Bill Clinton is a rapist" while wearing the shirt.
In other words, Jones is no longer content to spout deranged piffle, he is now attempting to project his crap into the election cycle. To do this he depends on gullible bozos who don't understand Bill Clinton is not running for President. (Ok, they are trying to tar Hillary by association using these pathetic displays, but the problem is Trump's own deranged sexual groping and molesting acts have basically "trumped" all of their efforts).
Jones would be better served to continue to produce conspiracy Poes, errr...parodies.