Friday, June 29, 2012

5 Traits of a Cult

For a while now I have been examining cults and certain practices on how they conduct themselves, and how the leadership in cults controls their members.

Below is a list of five traits that many cults tend to have:
(It should be noted that not all cults contain all five of these traits, but many do, and most other cults contain at least four out of five of these traits)

5. Isolation

Perhaps one of the most well known traits of a cult is the isolation of it's members. Isolation can include things such as encouraging, or even enforcing it's members to lessen, or have no contact at all with people who criticize the cult, including friends and even family.

Some of this is even more extreme, in which cults not only encourage isolation from friends and family, but from society itself. This can include anything from just having only contact with other members of the cult, and having as little contact with anyone else as much as possible, to living away from society in compounds.

Another form of isolation that cults sometimes engage in is to make it's members act in such an obscene, hostile, annoying, or even forceful manner, that no one wants to be near them.

4. Financial

Cult leaders often times encourage their members to give up large sums of money, usually through either fraud programs that makes a person believe they will advance in the cult, or as a form of donation to help advance the cult itself, or in some cases, both.

One of the other ways cult's get money from their members, and even non-members who may just have an interest in the cult's teachings, is to sell overpriced products, such as books that promote the cult's teachings, or overpriced services that really do nothing. Sometimes it is not even cult members and people who are interested in the cult that buy these things, but sometimes it's just ordinary people who get scammed into buying stuff from these cults.

Other ways cult leaders control people through finical means is to "encourage", or more often times try to force it's members to do work for the cult, usually for either little, or no pay. The difference between this and volunteering is that with volunteering is that you can leave whenever you want. With a cult, this might not be an actual option, and they might try to prevent you from leaving, and can include anything from being threatened, to being physically kept from leaving.

3. Extreme Negative Reaction to Criticism

Many cult members react very negatively toward criticism. Most often times this reaction to criticism comes in the form of insults, threats, or long, sometimes copied and pasted posts on internet message boards and comment sections, usually as an attempt to silence a critic through either fear, or posts of attrition. Also this is sometimes done as a way to spread their cult's propaganda.

Other types of reactions include much more hostile, and many times, illegal forms of negative reactions, such as harassment, slander, theft, vandalism, blackmail, and filling frivolous lawsuits. Sometimes this can even include violent actions, such as assault, and even in some rare cases, murder.

2. Engaging in Dangerous, Destructive, or Illegal Behaviors

One of the most common things cult leaders often encourage their members to do is to engage in actions and behaviors that can be considered dangerous, destructive, and even illegal. Many of these behaviors include greatly encouraging, or intimidating members into not engaging in certain medical practices that are often times life saving, or to engage in certain medical practices that are unnecessary, or to engage in alternative types medical practices that often times do nothing, or does more harm then good. Often times these programs that offer such medical practices are run by the cult itself, or members of the cult.

Another type of dangerous behavior often times encouraged by cults, is for members to tell their secrets to other member. Most of the time this is claimed as a way to "cleanse" ones self. What this is actually used for, most of the time, is to gain information about a member that can be later used to blackmail them, if need be.

Other types of destructive and illegal actions and behaviors also sometimes include forcibly isolating members, and holding them against their will, usually when they're showing signs of mental illness, or just wanting leave the cult. Still, some other types of illegal actions can include cult sanctioned abuse, both physical and sexual. In the most extreme cases, cult leaders sometimes talk about having their members commit suicide, or commit murder.

1. Secretiveness

Most cults are very secretive, and many cult members are "encouraged", or forced, not to reveal certain teaching, or practices, within the cult to outsiders, or they don't want certain illegal activities to catch the attention of authorities. Threats of lawsuits, being kicked out of the cult, and violence, are often very common.

Many times it's not just the teachings and practices cult leaders don't want revealed, it's the actions of members within the cult itself, and usually it's illegal actions they want to cover up.

The reason why most cults are so secretive is most likely because if any negative things get revealed, then this tends brings a lot of negative attention to a cult, and sometimes it can bring down a cult and destroy it, either by authorities, or by members leaving.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: BP Oil Spill

As everyone knows, in 2010 a BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico blew up, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in history. While almost everyone admits, including BP it self, that BP is solely responsible for this disaster, there are some people who believe that this wasn't an accident caused by BP's unwillingness improve safety. They believe that this was intentional.

One of the claims is that the oil rig was bombed by environmentalist, or by the government itself. The reason behind these claims is that it is believed that the disaster was caused in order to become a catalysis for enacting much more broad and harsher environmental laws.

The problem with this is that besides the fact that this would be more counter-productive, since the oil spill caused huge amounts of environmental harm to the region, it also ignores the fact that BP has had one of the worst safety records of any oil companies out there.

BP has paid tens of millions of dollars for safety violations, sometimes even multiple times for the same safety violation. Also, no environmental terrorist groups, or any other terrorist groups, has ever claimed responsibly, as terrorist groups tend to do. Plus, there has never been any evidence that a bomb even caused the explosion.

Other theories claim that foreign governments, usually either Russia or North Korea, destroyed the oil rig as a way to cause economic and environmental turmoil to the US. Besides the fact that again, there is no evidence that the explosion was caused by anything other then an accident, if evidence turned up that any nation intentionally caused this, we would have gone to war with that nation.

Some other theories speculate that BP intentionally cause the oil spill in order to reap in the profits from the clean up. Besides the fact that there is no evidence of this, no company would ever have done such a thing, because there is no profit in it what so ever. BP didn't make any money from this, they lost huge amounts.

Still other theories also include that the spill was caused by both the government and BP, and that it is part of a secret depopulation program, and that the chemicals that were sprayed on the oil caused some of the people working in the clean up area to get sick.

It is true that people who were working in the clean-up efforts did sometimes get sick, but it's much more likely that the crude oil caused them to get sick, and not the stuff that was used to try to break the oil up.

The fact is that there is just no proof that anything other then poor safety caused this disaster, and most people who claim this was caused by the government, or environmentalist, also tend to be global warming denialist, who believe that global warming is a hoax intended to bilk people out of money, and to kill certain industries, or as some people believe, to enact laws and kill off people so that this will help bring about a so called "New World Order".

The fact is, is that this is nothing more then an accident.

Friday, June 22, 2012

5 Tools of the Conspiracy Theorist Trade

Conspiracy theorists often preform certain actions, or certain "tools" of their trade to help promote the conspiracy theories they believe in. These "tools" tend to be mostly annoying, usually unethical, and in some cases, even illegal.

This is a list of the five "tools" conspiracy theorists tend to use:

5. Artificiality
 Inflating Stats

Often times conspiracy theorists will constantly and repeatedly go back and forth to conspiracy theory websites, or web videos. They do this in order to artificiality inflate the stats of the site, or the video, as a both a way to help promote what ever conspiracy theories they believe, but also as a way to make people believe that these theories they promote is more accepted, or at least more popular, then they really are.

This practice is very common, and is often times even encouraged by the people who run these conspiracy theory websites, and by those that post conspiracy theory videos. In fact, Alex Jones, a radio host who owes his career to conspiracy theories, not only encourages his followers to basically artificially inflate the stats of his websites, he praises his followers for doing so.

4. Posts of Attrition
Often times conspiracy theorists will post long and enormous comments, or just multiple comments, in news articles, or blog posts (usually debunking blogs) that might indirectly, or directly related to what ever conspiracy theory they promote and/or believe in. Sometimes these comments are even longer then the articles or blog posts themselves, and often times it's just the same thing, just worded differently.

Sometimes these posts are nothing more then spam that's been copy and pasted multiple times on multiple sites, or just a sentence or two that's repeated over and over again in the same post, and that the actual poster never even shows up at the site again, unless they come back to re-post the exact same thing.

3. Intimidation

Intimidation is actually one of the most common tools of conspiracy theorists in order to try to scare someone into believing in the conspiracy theories they promote. Most of these actions are not direct threats, and actually make no real mention of violence, although this isn't the case sometimes, but that they insists that bad things will happen to you, and your family, if you don't start believing in their conspiracy theories.

While intimidation through fear mongering is far more common, actual harassment, and direct threats, do occur, often times against skeptics and debunkers, although sometimes just against ordinary people who express disbelief. Many times these threats are actually threats of violence, and even death threats, although usually it's just some vague statement in which the conspiracy theorist basically accuses the debunker of being a dis-info agent, and tells them that "their time will come".

Both forms of intimidation are meant for one of two purposes, if not both, and that's either scare someone into believing in the conspiracy theories they promote, or to intimidate someone in order to silencing them from speaking out against said conspiracy theories.

2. Deception

While conspiracy theorists tend to make outrageous claims, sometimes these claims are outright lies. Besides misquoting, or even posting quotes on the internet that some famous person allegedly made, but never did, many times they just make stuff up, like citing "evidence" that doesn't even exist, or saying that a conspiracy has been confirmed, when most often times it hasn't, and has even been disproved.

Often times they also make up fake stats to make it appear that more people, or that the majority of the population, or that a large amount of people in certain professions, believe in the conspiracy theories that they promote. A prime example of this would be Alex Jones claiming that 80% of the American population believes the government had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. Actually, the highest it has ever been is maybe a third of the population, and it's less then half of that now, maybe even as low as 12%.

1. Street Activism

This is actually the least commonly used tool that conspiracy theorists use.

Other then a few events that tend to attract only a handful of the most die hard conspiracy theorists, most of the time conspiracy theorists just don't bother to get off their butts and protest. They just stay home watching Youtube videos, or go about living their lives.

In fact, I live in a city with a population of over 97,000 people, I've never once seen, or even heard of, any type of any 9/11 truth, or anti-NWO protest here. The only type of street activism I've ever seen here was one of those sticky sided posters that's hard to get down, an it was stuck on the window of a store that never wanted it, or approved of it being posted there in the first place.

Despite the fact that this is considered a popular, and sometimes effective form of activism, conspiracy theorist just don't seem to employ it often, and those that do are considered to be annoying and sometimes very disrespectful by some people.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: Pearl Harbor

Perhaps one of the longest and most enduring conspiracy theories in this country is the belief that the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941 was known before hand, and was allowed to happen because Franklin Roosevelt wanted to go to war with Germany and Japan.

Besides the fact that there is no proof that FDR actually knew the attack was actually going to happen, he actually didn't want to go to war with anyone, but was very concerned with Germany and knew that the country may need to go to war with that country, which is why there was an arms build up in this country before we entered the war, which was supported by the Democrats and the Republicans, and why there was a "Europe First" battle plan, because Europe was considered more critical then the Pacific was.

Many people believe that plans for the attack were intercepted by the intelligence community and intentionally ignored. You have to understand that our intelligence agencies weren't very good back then, and often times did not communicate with each other. The reports were not ignored, they mishandled them, and nothing really gave a clear picture about what the Japanese military was planning, and so no one had any real reason to suspect they were going to attack Pearl Harbor, at least in the way they did.

One of the myths about this is that the planes were spotted on radar and intentionally ignored by the base commander, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. Yes, it is indeed true that the planes were picked up on radar, but they were thought to be US bombers that were coming in from the mainland, that were scheduled to come in that morning, and in fact did land during the attack itself. Also, one of the myths about this is that Adm. Kimmel was made aware of the incoming planes, and ignored them, but, this is not true. Adm. Kimmel didn't ignore them, he wasn't made aware of the planes coming in. It was a lieutenant who was made aware of the incoming planes, and believing they were the bombers that were suppose to come in, didn't bother to tell Adm. Kimmel, because it was most likely not important enough to bother him with.

Many people also cite the fact that none of the three carriers that were stationed there were out at sea at the time of the attacks as proof that the Navy knew an attack was going to happen, and that the Navy sent them out in order to save them. The problem with is that carriers back then weren't considered the primary ships of the fleet as they are today. Battleships were the backbone and work horses of the fleet back then, and at the time, were considered more valuable then carriers, which had been untested in battle. Also, the Navy only had six carriers before we entered the war, and we had a lot more battleships, so it isn't surprising that some of them were in port at the time.

Besides the fact that the carriers were not the work horse of the fleet at that time in history, if the US Navy did know that an attack was coming, they would have most likely moved their ships out of the harbor and into open sea, rather then just let them sit around and get damaged or sunk, which not only weakened the Navy's power due to the lose of the ships, but also clogged up the ports with the damaged and destroyed ships. In fact two of those ship, the USS Utah and the USS Arizona, are still there, under the water, because they were to heavily damaged to move.

The fact is that even after over 70 years, there has never been any real proof what so ever that the US government knew ahead of time that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor. When you look at the evidence, this conspiracy theory is very logically faulty.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

ECT Follow-up: Chemtrails: Vinegar Warriors

I'm writing this follow up to my previous post about chemtrails because I feel that this information needs to be known about a certain myth about this myth, and that is that vinegar can remove chemtrail chemicals.

One of the claims is that if you spray a mixture of water and vinegar on concrete or asphalt, it will neutralize and clean off any chemtrail residue.

Let me give all of you a little bit of knowledge first.

Concrete and asphalt are both very porous materials, and both can and do absorb any mini and micro particles they come in contact with, which is why both materials change color over time, because they are absorbing stuff from their environments.

This being said, it should be noted that vinegar is an acetic acid. It's very good at cleaning. It reduces grease sinks drains, and is even used as a solvent for removing epoxy and rust.

Now, with this little bit of knowledge I will tell that what you are actually seeing when you spray down your driveway, or walkway, or what ever else you spray vinegar and water, is not chemtrail residue, it is in fact dust, dirt, ash, pollen, exhaust particles, air pollution particles, and if you're spraying it on a driveway, what ever fluids are dripping out of your car, and none of this is nothing out of the ordinary.

The reason why vinegar gets this stuff up better then soap is because being an acid, it dissolves stuff, where soap can only clean off top layer dirt and grime, and not stuff that is deeper down or has been bonded to the surface.

Another claim is that if you let a certain mixture of vinegar and water evaporate into the air, it will get rid of chemtrail stuff from the atmosphere.

Besides the fact that there is no evidence at all that chemtrails exist, it wouldn't work in the first place. You would need a very high concentration in order to rid the atmosphere around your house of chemtrail stuff, assuming it could get rid of it at all.

Not only is this a waste of time and money, and stinks up the place as well, with prolonged exposure, depending on the ph value, it can be harmful.

Despite the fact that vinegar is a relatively weak acid, it is still an acid, and can erode your nasal and breathing passages, and potentially damage your lungs.

To put it to a point, it is simply not worth your time, money, or health, to try to rid your home of something that doesn't even exist.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Five most Dangerous types of Medical Quackery

There are a lot of different types of medical quackery out there, and while some might be harmless, many tend to do more harm than good.

Here is a list of what is in my opinion to be the five most dangerous:

Five: Alternative Mental Health Treatments

While certain types of alternative mental health treatments might be useful, other types are not useful at all, and even harmful.

The particular ones that I'm most concerned with are exorcisms, conversion therapy, and vitamin therapy.

The reason why these therapies are so harmful is because it can keep a person from seeking real, legit mental health treatments. With exorcisms and vitamin therapy, it can cause a person's mental health problems to become worse due to the lack real mental health therapy, and it can leave a person reluctant to use actual legit therapies, or, like with conversion therapy, which is mainly used to attempt to "rid" a person of homosexuality, can actually cause mental illness, like depression.

Because these therapies simply don't work, and can even cause mental illness to get worse, it might cause a person commit suicide, or even cause a person to become violent.

Four: Spiritual Healing

This basically comes in two forms: Faith healing and energy healing.

Faith healing is basically the belief that God uses certain people to help heal the sick, and energy healing is the belief that a person can "channel" their energy to heal people.

Besides the fact that none of this has ever been proven to work, it's dangerous because it causes people to believe that they're being healed, or will be healed, by some outside energy force, and this belief causes people to forgo proven medical treatments, and instead, basically really do nothing and hope they will get better.

The reason why this is more dangerous then alternative mental health treatments is because you can usually get better if you start getting real mental health treatments, unlike with spiritual healing, where if you wait to long, whatever you have could kill you.

Three: Alternative Cancer Cures

Alternatives cancer cures are basically claims by some people claiming to be doctors, although usually they turn out to be con artists, that they can "cure" a person of cancer.

The reason why some people seek alternative cancer cures is because conventional cancer treatments can be pretty harsh, and because of this reason this is why some people seek alternative cures is because they don't want to go through harsher conventional treatments. The problem with these "cures" is that they just don't work, and sometimes even can make things worse, and while they may be less harsh then conventional cancer treatments, at least those treatments usually work.

The reason why this is more dangerous then spiritual healing is because sometimes it is better to do nothing then to do something that can cause more harm then good.

Two: AIDS Denial and Cures

Basically this is the belief that either HIV does not cause AIDS, but that conventional treatments causes AIDS, or that HIV can cured by simple means.

My problem with this is that not only are both completely false, it causes people who believe in this stuff to forgo proven medical treatments for HIV, and it also makes people not want to change their lifestyles which may have caused them to get HIV in the first place, so they end up spreading HIV to more people.

It should also be noted that several HIV positive AIDS denialists have died from AIDS related illnesses.

The reason why this is more dangerous then alternative cancer cures is because unlike cancer, HIV can be transmitted from person to person.

One: Anti-Vaccine

This is the belief that vaccines cause autism and other types of neurological disorders.

The problem with this belief is that every creditably study about this has shown that not only does vaccines not cause autism, or other neurological problem, getting vaccinated could actually prevent neurological disorders caused by certain diseases.

The reason why this is more dangerous then AIDS Denial, and in fact the most dangerous of all the different types if medical quackery is that not only is it so wide spread, but that it's harmful to other people, especially other children who's parents also didn't vaccinate their children, and infants who might be to young to receive certain vaccines, and the diseases that these vaccines are meant to prevent can kill a person allot faster then HIV, and is much more easily transmitted from person to person. This is why it is my opinion that anti-vaccine is the most dangerous form of medical quackery in the world.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: Chemtrails

There is a big time conspiracy theory about something called "chemtrails". This conspiracy theory is based on the belief that contrails coming out of a jet's exhaust are laced with chemicals that's propose is for population control.

There are several problems with this theory. First, there is no proof what so ever that what a person sees coming out of a jet exhaust is nothing more then a contrail, rather then the "chemtrail" that so many conspiracy theorist insists that they are. In fact, not one pilot, or any other person who would be involved in this alleged conspiracy, has ever even come forward and said that the government was spraying chemicals on the population.

Besides the fact there is no proof, spraying chemicals from two to three miles above the ground isn't a very effective way to disperse chemical or biological agents. The wind from that high up would disperse the chemicals and biological agents throughout the upper atmosphere, and it would become so disperse that when or if it ever did come down, there wouldn't be enough of the stuff to be effective. Take a look at crop dusting for instance. Crop dusting planes have to be very low to the ground to spray fertilizers and pesticides in order for them to get on the crops. It can't be done from thousands of feet in air, because the wind would just blow it away.

Another claim is that "chemtrails" are responsible for causing multiple health problems, mostly respiratory illnesses. The problem with this, is that there really is no way to prove that what is causing these respiratory illnesses is nothing more then either air pollution, or smoking, or an infection of some kind, or life style habits, or just something a person was born with.

The fact of the matter is, there is just no proof that these so call "chemtrails" are real. Every study ever conducted by any legit organization has concluded that what is being seen is nothing but contrails. Sometimes  these contrails just react differently depending on the atmospheric conditions. Besides, if they were spraying chemicals, as is so claimed, then they would have to fly a lot closer to the ground to make the stuff effective, and a lot more people would be getting sick, and the population would be shrinking. In fact, the population of this country, and the world, is growing. So if these "chemtrails" really are real, they're not effective at all...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Conspiracy Theorist Groups: The Cults of the 21st Century

In the 20th century, cults often times encouraged their members to believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, some of the core beliefs of many cults that were created in the 20th century are conspiracy theories.

In this century, so far very few cults have emerged. In fact, I really only know of two "major" cults that have emerged in this century so far.

The first is called Desteni, which, besides it's very bizarre beliefs, much of which can be read about on the Desteni Cult blog, is that also that many of their beliefs are also based on UFO conspiracy theories and New World Order conspiracy theories, and that they advocate a pseudo-economic system known as the "equal money system". It also encourages people to alter what they think, but how they think, and encourages members of the cult to be very hostile towards critics of the cult.

Besides Desteni, another cult that has emerged in this century, called the Zeitgeist Movement, is based entirely on conspiracy theories, and also advocating a pseudo-economic system known as the "resourced based economy". Plus, like Desteni, Zeitgeist not only encourages people to alter what they think, but how they actually think as well, and it's leaders encourages members to engage their critics in very hostile and volatile manners.

While Desteni it self might be considered stereotypical mind control cult, and Zeitgeist is also considered to be a cult as well, it seems that many conspiracy theorist groups also are cult like in the way they act. Not only do other members encourage follow members to believe what they advocate, but that they also encourage their follow members to distance and isolate themselves from people who might not believe what they believe, and to believe that those people are members of a group that is out to destroy them, and to engage critics in a hostile manner. Also, they are often encouraged to engage in actions that might cause others to distance themselves from them, such as badgering people to believe in what they believe.

Conspiracy theorist groups often times also encourage their members to engage in faulty, or even dangerous medical practices, or reject certain proven medical practices, because they have been told those practices are dangerous.

Also, many conspiracy theorist groups have a kind of "after the end" kind of belief, in which they believe the world will be allot better after these so called "shadow forces" that allegedly control the world are destroyed, and that their own beliefs on how the world should be run is the way to go.

So, are conspiracy theorist groups, cults? Not in all cases, but most do tend to have some cult-like behaviors and actions, and there is the chance such a group could become a cult.

Remember, the Zeitgeist Movement wasn't always considered a cult...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: Radical Conspiracy Theorist = Dis-information Agent

One of the most common claims by conspiracy theorists is that there are dis-information agents all over the place. Normally these accusations of being a dis-information agent are made against skeptics and debunkers, since skeptics and debunkers are the people who show just how faulty conspiracy theories really are. But sometimes, claims of being a dis-information agent are made by conspiracy theorists, against other conspiracy theorists.

In fact, it's actually quite common for some conspiracy theorists to accuse other conspiracy theorists of being dis-information agents, especially if those who are being accused promote conspiracy theories that are either so radical, or so strange, that other conspiracy theorists actually debunk them. Sometime it doesn't even have to be really weird, just very different from what another conspiracy theorist believes.

Because of this, and other actions, such as spamming the comments section on conspiracy theorists web sites, blogs, message boards, and skeptics and debunker web sites and blogs, with their extremely strange conspiracy theories, many "mainstream" conspiracy theorists have "concluded" that these people who promote these extremely strange conspiracy theories must be dis-information agents because... who else would promote such insane conspiracy theories.

There is a prime example of someone who believes in very strange conspiracy theories, and is often times accused of being a dis-information agent, and that example is a woman by the name of Judy Wood. She in fact happens to be a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, who promotes one of the strangest of the 9/11 conspiracy theories: that no planes hit the World Trade Center towers, what we saw on television were holograms, and that super lasers from satellites in space destroyed the towers. Because of these theories that she promotes, many other 9/11 conspiracy theorists believe that she, and others who promote her theories, are believed to be dis-information agents, instead of just people who are probably crazy and tend believe in, or at least more willing believe in, such weird conspiracy theories, as many skeptics and debunkers contend.

It should also be noted that Judy Wood has also accused other 9/11 conspiracy theorists of being dis-information agents as well, because of their willingness to claim that she is a dis-information agent, and because of their un-willingness to promote her conspiracy theories, and also because she is so convinced of her own conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks, that in her mind all other conspiracy theories about the attack "must" be dis-information...

Sound familiar.

As I once said in a previous blog about how some conspiracy theorists believe that debunkers are dis-information agents, because many conspiracy theorists simply believe that no one else but a dis-information agent would take the time to spread, what would be in this case, even more radical conspiracy theories then what they themselves are advocating, because in their minds, who else but dis-information agent that would advocate a conspiracy theory that is so insane, it makes them look just as crazy as well?

Well, maybe someone who really is insane...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thrive: The Failure

Several months ago a conspiracy theory laden movie called "Thrive" premiered on the internet. One of the biggest claims that they made was that there were these designs for machines that could generate unlimited amounts of energy out of nothing. Basically, these were free energy machines. A week after the premier of this movie, I decided to send the website an email concerning these so called free energy machines. What I asked them for was blue prints and instructions on how to build one of these machines, what type of materials I should use to build such a machine, and a video of one being built until it's fully functional.

I assumed that because the free energy device, and the conspiracy theory that a small group of individuals were basically controlling the world and trying to suppress such technology, that they would be more then happy to show someone, like myself, how to build such a device.

The only email I ever received from them, so far, was an automated message basically telling me how to download the movie, and links to help promote the movie.

Apparently to the makers of this movie, it's more important to promote the movie it self, and the conspiracy theories within it, rather then to provide the actual proof that one of the devices it promotes, can be built.

On this part, and on so many others, Thrive has failed.

Most of the conspiracy theories and pseudo-sciences in this movie has either been debunked a long time ago, and even at the very best, are logically flawed, and with no real evidence what so ever to support the conspiracy theories and pseudo-science that is promoted in the film. In fact, several people who were interviewed in the film are now distancing themselves from the movie, and even denouncing it and it's creator, Foster Gamble, because of the conspiracy theories and pseudo-science that was promoted in the movie, and that they were mis-lead about what the film was truly about.

The movie also seems to have failed in the conspiracy theorist world as well. There isn't much talked about much among conspiracy theorist circles, unless they have very similar conspiracy theory beliefs to the Thrive movement itself. In fact some conspiracy theorists even believe that it's a dis-information movie. I've actually seen one such accusation myself from a member of the Zeitgeist movement, who accused it of being a dis-information movie created by the government and Scientology...

I speculate the reason why some conspiracy theorists believe this is a dis-information movie is because not only of some of the weird stuff it promotes, and sometimes even weirder people it attracts, but also because Foster Gamble was once an heir to Procter & Gamble, and because of this, some conspiracy theorists are just going to naturally believe that it must be a dis-information movie created by someone involved in a multi-national corporation.

It should also be noted that many people, both skeptics and supporters, see many similarities between Zeitgeist and Thrive, in that they both promote conspiracy theories, that they promote the belief that a group of elites are controlling the world through the banking system, that advanced technology will solve the world's ills, and that we must change our way of thinking. The only real differences between the two are that Zeitgeist doesn't promote UFO conspiracy theories, and Thrive doesn't promote Christ myth conspiracy theories.

Also, many supporters of Thrive are, or were, members of the Zeitgeist movement. Some skeptics and debunkers have even referred to Thrive as "Zeitgeist 2.0".

The fact remains is that Thrive has not made any real impact anywhere. In fact, if it wasn't for a couple of fellow skeptics and debunkers, who created the Thrive Debunked blog, I would never have even heard of Thrive in the first place, because there just aren't that many people talking about it, besides maybe a few people who to seriously believe in some pretty weird stuff.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: Homosexual Agenda

There is this conspiracy theory that's being floated around by the Conservative Christian movement known as the "Homosexual Agenda". What this theory is based upon is the belief that homosexuals are actively trying to destroy what is consider traditional morals and values, and them remaking it into their own.

The reason for this conspiracy theory is probably because there is this continuing belief that homosexuality is a choice, and not something that someone is born with, as many psychologists and biologists contend. Because of this belief it is believed that homosexuals must "recruit" people into homosexuality, and that they target children for this, as they tend to be vulnerable. This has also led to the belief that homosexuals also have a higher rate of being or becoming pedophiles. This belief is not supported by any credible studies, and the only studies that do claim this are done by organizations that have a real anti-homosexual agenda, and are very biased in nature.

Because of this belief that homosexuality is a choice, in their minds, homosexuals must be actively trying to change society into something that is corrupt and perverted. It is believed that homosexuals are trying to do this through getting the government to legally recognize same-sex marriage and increasing legal protections under the law. From what I have seen, this isn't true at all. They just want society to accept them equals, rather then reject them simply because they're not sexually attracted to people of the opposite gender.

There is also this belief that homosexuals are trying to create laws that are aimed at destroying Christianity. This comes from the belief that homosexuals can not be Christians. Neither of these beliefs are true at all. In fact there are many homosexuals who are Christians, and in fact there are several homosexual, Christian preachers, who do preach in mainstream, Christian church denominations.

The biggest problems with these beliefs is that not only is there no proof that legally recognizing same-sex marriage and increasing legal protections is actually damaging to society, not doing so might actually be more damaging to a society which is changing it's attitudes towards homosexuals, not to mention the fact it's basically treating a certain group of people like second class citizens. This, and anti-homosexual propaganda spewed out by politicians, makes some homophobic people feel justified in committing acts of violence towards homosexuals, most especially homophobic teenagers, who might already live in a homophobic environment.

Homosexuals don't want to destroy society, and they don't want to destroy Christianity, they just want to be accepted and treated like equals, and not like second class citizens.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: Vaccine Autism Connection Coverup

One of the most prominent medical related conspiracy theories out there is that pharmaceutical companies are covering up an alleged connection between vaccines and autism. They claim that the reason why these pharmaceutical companies are allegedly covering up this alleged connection is because the pharmaceutical companies make to much money off of vaccine sales to take them off the market.

It's true, pharmaceutical companies do make money off of vaccines, but in terms of total profit of what these companies make off of other things, like pain medicine, or stuff to treat a cold, vaccines are only a small percentage of the total profit they make, which tends to happens when you mass produce a product that is not only cheap to produce, but also only needs to be taken two or three times in a life time.

The reason why so many people believe that vaccines cause autism is because of a highly discredited and fraudulent British medical article written by Andrew Wakefield. The medical article he published was so flawed, and so fraudulent, that Wakefield is no longer allowed to practice medicine in Great Britain, and many of his critics have even called for his arrest due to all the deaths caused by people not getting their children vaccinated because of the article he wrote. Yet still he asserts that there is a "cover up" and for some reason he claims that not as many children died of the measles as what has been reported, even though all the research on autism says vaccines are not the cause of autism.

The fact remains is that this is probably one of the most dangerous forms of medical quackery to date, and there have been thousands of children who have gotten sick, and even died from stuff that could have easily been prevented by a simple shot.

There is no proof that vaccines cause autism, in fact vaccine manufactures stopped putting mercury preservatives in their vaccines over 15 years ago, thus making them even safer. So far, all fingers point to genetics as being the cause for autism, which isn't very surprising, because certain genetics problems can also  be the cause of many other neurological problems and mental handicaps, and the reason why there is an increase of children being diagnosed with is because there is an increased awareness of autism, and an increase of what is considered symptoms of autism. In fact not vaccinating your child may cause them to get a disease that may leave them with neurological problems, or leave them mental handicapped, if it doesn't out right kill them.