Tag Archive | conspiracy theories

Are Those Who Seek the Truth Mentally Ill? (book review)

At one time, I don’t remember from where, I heard that the CIA or someone coined the term “conspiracy theory” in order to make those who question the official story, from the government or whoever, look crazy. The term is often used to discredit people who question official stories, or sometimes against people who just see things differently, and the media especially encourages the public to look at anyone labeled a “conspiracy theorist” as someone unstable and to avoid associating with. This has been done repeatedly over the years to questioners of the official stories of the JFK Assassination, shooter and terrorist attacks of all sorts, the attacks on 9/11/2001, and the like. “Conspiracy theory” is also a broad term encompassing topics on everything from flat earth and space aliens, to vaccines, to a New World Order, and, most recently, to Qanon. Sometimes these things involve speculations of people actually conspiring, sometimes it’s just a questioning of the mainstream narrative, whatever that may be.

As mental illness does sometimes involve paranoia and the idea that everyone is out to get you, it is prudent to be skeptical of someone exhibiting this paranoia, especially if they are seeing, say, people not actually there. However, it’s also good to remember that 1) conspiracy theorists aren’t always paranoid–they may be speculating about an event that doesn’t presently affect either their safely or well being, and their questions may be valid, 2) conspiracies do actually exist, and have existed all throughout time, and 3) sometimes they, whoever they are, are out to get you, your money, your influence, and even your life.

I am by no means an expert on mental illness, and cannot say offhand how often a person with mental illness is also someone who follows and is interested in conspiracy theories. I do really wonder, though, just why the media and society at large is always in such a rush to portray conspiracy theorists as having a mental illness. Aside from some symptoms that do manifest in some mental illnesses, like paranoia, the two things really aren’t connected. Isn’t questioning just a normal thing to do, something vital to holding those with power to account? And, when it’s obvious that the media in particular never tells the straight out truth, isn’t it crazier not to question things?

In Truthers, author Geoffrey Girard uses his story to plumb the depths of those questions. The book is YA genre about a teenager named Kate who’s father gets put in a mental institution for his wild claims and speculations about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In a brave move, even so many years after (it was published in 2017), the two towers now gone are portrayed in blue Matrix movie-like numbers on the front cover. Using a visual connection to the Matrix movies–about a conspiracy that is indeed true–Girard already tips his hat: He thinks the questions are vital.

Kate is sent to live with a foster family. Her father hasn’t been the best dad, but he’s still her dad, and she wants to help him get better and get free. For those readers who may have thought Truthers was going to be about dealing with mental illness, Kate’s next move is a definite step away from that: She starts to investigate the questions, speculations, and claims around 9/11 in the hope to have enough proof that there is good reason to question, so that a court will set her father free. The story pulled me in right away by connecting with what I’ve said above: The media and society at large encourage anyone questioning things to be seen as mentally unstable or really naive at best. It’s truly a fascinating form of gaslighting. Are you questioning too much? Well, it must not be that there are reasons to question, no, it must be that you are going insane or really dumb. See how it works?

Using Kate’s need to research, Girard takes his readers through some of the conspiracy theories about 9/11, from the thought that the government purposely dropped the ball in some way, to the idea that the government did it, that there were actually no planes, only missiles, and even to the idea that the people on the planes were taken somewhere else and executed there. In some ways, it’s concerning stuff, in others it shows just how far trust in our government has fallen. Many, many people don’t believe the official story. They believe they are purposely and even maliciously being lied to. Interestingly, the one person in Truthers who actually does seem crazy enough to go and kill someone is a person chillingly committed to the official story.

As painfully and also as callously as Truthers revels in speculations about 9/11, the author is just as quick to point out flaws in the “truthers” or conspiracy theorists. They are almost all men, most of whom are very paranoid indeed, using strange hacking measures to communicate with Kate, and having what seems to be an unnecessary amount of security set up around them. They jump to conclusions with little, concrete evidence. Kate goes back and forth, struggling, as we all would, with whom to trust. She gets frustrated with the lack of real evidence and real answers. Real, hard evidence is often difficult to come by, especially when considering an event from long ago. Even a recent event is tricky, as those in power have increasing technological tools to make sure their version of history is the only version future generations will know. The invention of the internet has made this difficult as of late, but corporations are now serving as the new gatekeepers by banning and canceling the accounts of people who refuse to toe the current PC line.

Truthers ends up going all spy-on-spy mode at the end, which kind of took away some of the realism it had going, but I liked the ending, and I liked this key scene: Kate and her friend Max are talking. He’s skeptical of a 9/11 Truther’s claims and says that anyone can hop online and think they’re an expert on something in just a few minutes. Before that capability, Max says, people who researched, say, JFK, had to do more due diligence. They earned their theories and their right to question. Max goes on to say that he doesn’t believe the USA is some evil country that did its own citizens in, although it’s certainly made mistakes. He says the cliche of “the USA is the worst country in the world, except for all the rest.”

Kate responds by listing off some very real ways in which the USA has historically done things not in the best interest of either their citizens or other people, and at times even harming them. She tells Max that he is very smart guy, but has a blind spot in his view. She tells him the country she just described could easily have masterminded 9/11. Next in the argument, Kate asks, what if it wasn’t the government that did it, but a powerful corporation?

Again, Max is skeptical, saying she’s really only researched this stuff for a few weeks, and it’s “easy to get swept up in it all.” “Half of the information you need for the truth is deemed too classified to see, and the other half is more info than any one person could possibly wrap their head around.” Kate asks Max if he thinks she would think differently if she spent more time on the subject, ‘earned it’ in his eyes. She then asks him a very profound question that anyone searching for truth should ask those who stubbornly stick to the official story: “Have you ‘earned’ it? Your views on this subject?” Max only grumbles at this, because of course he hasn’t, yet he’s so certain that the Truthers are wrong and off base. The certainty of ignorance works so well to discourage people from really doing their due diligence.

Truthers is an interesting book with much food for thought about questioners, truthers, or conspiracy theorists, whatever you want to call them. It grazes the surface on dealing with mental illness, so if you’re looking for a good book on that issue, this would not be it. This book is also definitely not for someone very emotionally connected to what happened on 9/11. A lot of the theories do sound loony, for some it may seem like Girard is stepping on people’s graves, and it may be traumatizing to read. But Girard’s intention is not to dishonor the dead, but to point to real questions and aspects about 9/11 that need to and should be answered by our government and those in power. He also indicates it is our civic duty to hold our government and those in power to account. Questioning doesn’t do this in and of itself, but it’s a start.

A person can have a mental illness and also have legitimate questions about horrific events like 9/11. This is what I took from the book: First and foremost, do your due diligence. Don’t write off things as crazy simply because they don’t fit either the mainstream narrative or your own personal worldview. The world is complicated and humans are fundamentally dishonest, conspiring against each other in hurtful ways all the time. The more questions, the better. Good thing is, with enough time, the truth often does come out. Truthers has a second good lesson as well: Conspiracy theorists may be asking the right questions, but they don’t often have concrete answers or proof, and one may disappointed they don’t have them. But if indeed those in power are hiding the truth, actual proof will be hard to come by. It’s simply the nature of the beast. I think that if enough people choose to hold those in power to account, therein lies opportunities to get real answers. Maybe someday there will be an American generation that does this. That would be amazing to see.

This Is for All the Marbles

This week’s been a bit tiring, so I didn’t get in as much reading and/or watching as I wanted to in order to post a review. After 2+ years I am still reading War & Peace, but I am still reading! It’s a sad story so far, and so…human. People are awful to themselves and to each other, and this causes so much unnecessary conflict and heartache in the world. I am also almost halfway through Silence by Shusaku Endo. The missionary life is so unique no matter what country you’re in. It’s at once so much easier to witness to the truth of Christ, but so much harder. Anyway, more on that when I finish reading it. As for Kdramas: I am almost done with Devilish Joy (odd title) and hope to have a review up soon.

On to some fun stuff, if one considers politics fun: If one is winning, politics can be very, very fun. A few times I have mention Q or Q-anon. If you search for this person/team/phenomenon, you will find many, almost too many articles writing it off as a “conspiracy theory.” The older I get the more I realize that things are lumped into a category of conspiracy theory in order to get the questions to stop. Since the dawn of time those in power have been lying to those not in power, mostly to keep their power, but for various other reasons, and sometimes just because they can. Conspiracy theories actually have a lot of truth at the heart of them, one just has to get past the idea that the government or the media or whoever has been telling the truth this whole time. In many, many instances they have not been telling the truth. Sometimes it’s staggeringly because they don’t know, especially when it comes to truths about the natural world or what we call “science.” I don’t know what science actually is. I know what we’re taught it is, but what it actually is has nothing to do with the truth or seeking it out.

But I digress. Back to Q. Q, who says he/they are “military planning at his finest,” is starting to have a very, very good year. Q has been posting on 4-chan, and now 8-chan since the fall of 2017. The other anons or anonymous posters on the chans have been doing research on the information that Q drops. It’s a lot of info that is often expressed vaguely. This is understandable: Q is supposedly working in conjunction with President Trump to bring bad actors to justice, bad criminals whose only intent is harm to others and enrichment to ourselves. The information relayed has a lot to do with American national security and the security of other nations around the globe. Q isn’t a conspiracy theory at all, it’s one group of, probably military, people cryptically bringing information to light to those whom the media has failed (that would be all of us). It’s also a great way to reach people who would rarely watch the evening news even if it was truthful. Researching things for oneself can be very rewarding and eye opening. It can also be a joy to share the info one has found. Q is really training a whole lotta of people to be real journalists in pursuit of the truth.

I’ve been following Q since last summer. I’d heard about it from a controversial writer named Vox Day. He would mention in passing about something “Q” had posted and I always thought that it must be just some political insider. Eventually something sparked me to looking further into Q, but I can’t recall what. I think I thought that if someone as smart as Vox was following this person, maybe I should too. It was amazing to find out what a huge following Q has and that it was actually a plan to subvert the lying, mockingbird media. Since following Q posts, drops, and the anons, some not so anonymous, who decode them, my view of the world has been, well, turned upside down. Not so much in the sense that evil is always trying to dominate (aka the cabal behind the scenes), but that those on the side of good are fighting back in a spy vs. spy alternate reality that rivals any movie. I don’t know for sure if the Q team’s (essentially President Trump’s plan?) to save the world from criminality run rampant will ultimately succeed, but it appears that it just might. At least for a time. We can’t expect to keep evil in check permanently. Only God can do that.

Q has long indicated that President Trump will be using the Army Corp of Engineers (clues being Red Castle/Green Castle) to build the wall. This week it appears as if that will indeed be happening, although the president was careful to have exhausted every other effort first. Optics are important. Q has also long been saying that criminals like the Clintons will be brought to justice and that they can’t escape the pain that is coming. Q has said that the fake “Russia, Russia, Russia” investigation into Trump will soon be ending. As if on cue (Q?) the mockingbird media has begun squawking about not being disappointed if Mueller’s investigation doesn’t reveal collusion like they’d hoped. The media is setting the stage so they won’t look either stupid or like liars once all of the information about the true, treasonous collusion against the American people and their duly elected president, Donald J. Trump, comes to light. Q is being proved right faster and faster and it is clear, if one truly looks around, that thousands of people who were in power a couple of years ago are not now. They have either been arrested, fired, or stepped down from their positions. It is mostly the new, alternative media that has been reporting on these things, especially the staggering amount of human trafficking and pedophile rings that have been busted worldwide since Trump took office. Check that. It’s probably been since he started campaigning.

Why are Q and Trump succeeding? They know how to play the long game and they are playing for all the marbles. They are not in this halfway; they are all in because their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of their fellow countrymen depend on this plan working. This wasn’t just another four year election. This was about bringing back power truly to the people. By the grace of God, their plan is working, and both Q and Trump do acknowledge God, asking us to pray, pray, pray! There’s a Christian saying: Pray as if everything depends on God, and then act as if everything depends on you. This is exactly what Q and President Trump appear to be doing. And if they ultimately succeed, so do we, the American people, and also the nations of the world. It is an amazing time to be alive. This, this takedown of criminal power, is WW3 happening right before our eyes. Pray for good to win, and keep an eye on Q to find out what the media’s not telling you. Q drops are posted on various sites like qmap.pub