Conspiracy Theories

Assassins, Witches, Secret Societies, and Skepticism: Jesse Walker Discusses Conspiracy Theories With the National Capital Area Skeptics

A talk recorded in Bethesda on April 5.


On April 5 in Bethesda, Maryland, I gave a talk to the National Capital Area Skeptics about conspiracy theories:

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  1. But what of the secret Republicans lurking amongst the Reason commentariat? Surely Mr. Walker is as devoted as I am to sniffing out those who are clearly flying false colors.

    /Bo Cara

    1. All you have to do is ask shreek. He has a list.

  2. The Founders may have been paranoid, but the British *were* out to get them. The Brits were indeed trying to tighten their grip on the colonies.

  3. So the Derpbook prog has brought up the Raw Story headline about 100 homicides “linked” to stormfront. He wants to censor the website. So much for free speech.

    I wonder if he wants to censor George Carlin’s comedy since he is also linked to stormfront.

    1. The highlight of that thread is the guy who says, “I’m sure he was a jew-puppet but he was funny.”

      1. I like this one

        To hell with Carlin…he brought more filth and four lettered words into our homes than a fleet of sailors.

        Guy sounds like he’s a lot of fun at parties.

        1. “to Hell” he says.

          *May he burn in Heck for that*

        2. And sounds like he hates sailors too.

    2. I have never looked at that shit before. I made a deliberate attempt not to. I clicked on that link and I see that I was not wrong to avoid it in the past.

      Derpetologist, you must be bullet proof. I only read halfway down that page and had to leave.

      I feel sorry for those people. How small and weak one must be to glom onto that. They remind me of the Juggalos.

      1. I feel sorry for those people. How small and weak one must be to glom onto that. They remind me of the Juggalos.

        Stormfront has always reminded me of any of the progressive discussion boards, both in rhetoric and board policies. The only difference is who the Kulaks and wreckers are. Stormfronters are almost universally big fans of socialism (Hell, a significant number of the members, unsurprisingly, admit to being dependent on social services), they just don’t want those “others” getting them because they’ll wreck it. They also loathe the rich with an intensity that would make them perfectly at home on DUh/ThinkProgress/HuffPo/DailyKOS.

  4. I’m reading ‘Savage Harvest’ by Hoffman. Interesting fodder in the view of conspiratorial cover-ups. It’s been a story that has occupied my mind for a long time because I guess because I’ve known about the case for so long and I visit strange places like Asmat not infrequently. It’s an annoying book at the same time that it is interesting and questions itself.
    Anyone else read it?

    1. I read a synopsis just now.

      No thanks.

  5. I’ve never understood the “skeptic” community. Their mission boils down to defending the boring mainstream view about anything mysterious or controversial–Bigfoot, UFOs, miracles, Illuminati, or whatever.

    This is what they’re saying: “Nothing really cool ever happens. Anyone who says otherwise is full of it. Now let’s get excited about a new species of moss.”

    Why do that? Why create an organization devoted to ruining everyone’s fun? What make these people tick?

    1. Even more confusing:

      “National Capital Area Skeptics”

      Are they ‘skeptical’ of the *national capital*? – ie. our asset base? Our money supply? Or are they people organized around an investment bank known as *National Capital*?

      And are they skeptical of the Area’s arbitrary definition of itself? (I’ve always been more of a ‘vicinity’ kind of guy, personally)

      Enquiring minds want to know.

    2. What make these people tick?

      Oh, you have to go to the meetings to find out.

      note: wear something you don’t mind spilling blood on. Virgin-blood stains are the worst.

    3. Because a lot of that ‘fun’ are people like Sylvia Brown, John Edward, people pimping homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropracty.

      People who are ‘putting curses’ on people and extorting money to lift them.

      People who are getting the sick to throw away their actual medicine and give money to the snake oil salesman because ‘ha has a real cure’.

      1. I admit = I get where the guy is coming from, and its not about “stop picking on the Faux-Science scams!”

        its the “Aren’t We Fucking Clever-Club” aspect of these ‘skeptics societies’.

        its something of an elevation of ‘common sense’ to a faux-philosophy used in aid of a bunch of moral-intellectual narcissism.

        So they can sit around, drink their decidedly non-herbal tea (its a scam!) and talk about what Rubes the greater mass of humanity is. Or blog, or whatever; all the same forms of ‘community creation’ that the non-skeptics engage in, just without as much ritual and incense etc.

        I think the nicest thing to say about them are a) they’re mostly harmless, and b) at least they don’t call themselves “Brights”.

        oh, wait. Fuck.

  6. The human minds that came up ad hoc with science will one day be embraced. In the mean time, business as usual as they are ignored by the many who scurry about oblivious. This is why democracy is untenable.

    1. A+B/=D


      1. oops

        Indeed. A+B isn’t an lvalue, accordingly no assignment to it is possible.

        1. But *monatomic gold* man!

      2. Thanks for reminding me not to post while intoxicated.

  7. Gilmore,
    I’m wondering if heck is worse than hell. The devil kicked me out of hell, because when he said “you will be shoveling coal into those boilers every day” I was all excited. Dude was totally pissed.

    I happened to see American socialist down there. I tried waving, but he was too busy licking boots and being on the receiving end of a massive sex train. Probably didn’t see me through those tears, nor hear me through those bloodcurdling screams of his.

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