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Conspiracy Theory As Distraction From Reality

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Cooper reported on Tracey on Friday and said that he rarely acknowledged such outrageous conspiracy theories, but did so because Tracey is a tenured professor at a public university. "These claims by him and others online have begun to cause deep distress to victims' families," Cooper said."

I should give a bit more attention to 911 Truthers. I was one of the people who signed the original 911 truth document, along with some pretty heavy hitters, like Van Jones, Thom Hartmann and many more. At the time, we were fresh off the 911 Commission report. That report was really bad-- incomplete, shrouded in secrecy, many unasked and unanswered questions. I still feel that to be true. That's why we, the signatories of that document signed on. Then, the Truther movement evolved. It went in places that most of the signatories never considered or supported. People started selling books, making money off the conspiracy theory. Truthers went further and further away from the original questions. They used the 911 attack as a reason to support all kinds of other biases and beliefs, like anti-Semites and the dancing Mossad spies who celebrated the attack.  I recently had a conversation with Jon Gold, the guy who coined the term "truther." I found that I agreed with pretty much all of what he had to say in a talk" and then I discovered that he is now reviled by the mainstream Truther movement because he doesn't buy their crazy theories. 

Bottom line, we live in a crazy world with a lot of real evil. We must remain vigilant because there are forces of evil that operate within government, within the military, on behalf of corporations and on behalf of nations and religions. Almost anything is possible. But it is also essential that we keep our eyes on the balls, not on the ghost balls, not on the mystical fantasy conspiracy balls. 

it is challenging to keep open to questions about potential new nefarious underlying explanations and narratives for big news cases that are presented by the mainstream media with what seem to be obvious causes. The challenge is, if you allow speculation then you risk being treated as a conspiracy site. That reduces your credibility for covering non-edgy, non- questionable stories. Aaron Swartz is dead. He was being pressured by the DOJ and MIT. Those are facts. When writers speculate, without any evidence, that he was actually, not metaphorically, murdered, are they engaging in responsible journalism? That is a question that may seem easy to answer to some. It's not for me. I, frankly, don't think that there's anything to the conjecture. But I do think that there are enough examples of cases where suspicion is warranted that we need to allow people to raise the questions. Even if the theories and questions about Swartz are total nonsense, they are emerging because there are a lot of people believe that the CIA, the FBI, even Obama, who now decides who to kill with drones, with no judicial consideration, all have the potential to do such bad things. 

I realize that writing this, I've made it clear  how I stand on some of the conspiracy theories. I know that some people say that the simple use of the term "conspiracy theory" was initiated to marginalize and weaken arguments for certain theories, like the JFK assassination theories. Now we know that even RFK did not trust the conclusions of the Warren Report on JFK's assassination, even though, before his death he publicly said he did. 

This is dicey stuff. I've had editors threaten to resign from their association with my website if certain topics are entertained. And I've banned some writers from the site because they submitted articles and comments promoting theories that our editorial staff had decided we didn't want to give oxygen to. I've been accused of censorship even though only governments do censorship. Publishers do curation and set editorial policies. Again, I'll say. It is challenging to attempt to maintain a responsible, credible, trusted open forum that allows and supports discussion of concerns about abuses by shadowy forces that we all know exist. Well, maybe not everyone knows. There are some who would attempt to attack those who question whether the government tortures, whether there have ever been false flag events. There are media who don't report on those truths. It's a sticky wicket that it's easier to deal with by avoiding the terrain altogether, safer to just report on the latest polls. 

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I am fortunate and cursed to not doing what I do alone. I say cursed because sometimes, there is not a consensus. Sometimes some of my advisors passionately believe one thing and others believe another. Sometimes, I disagree with them and there are more of them. And there are always people on both sides to accuse me of doing it wrong. It basically comes down to me making a decision. That flies in the face of my deeply held beliefs that bottom up approaches are the way to go. I tend to lean towards keeping the conversation as open as possible. We need places where people can express their concerns, even if they are crazy. I've been told I'm crazy, that things I've done could never be done. Many visionaries and inventors and leaders have been told they were crazy or criminal-- look at Mandela, at Galileo. So I will err on the side of openness, but sometimes make a call that some things are irresponsible or wrong-headed. Fortunately, the internet is big enough so if I make a call, or listen to and abide by my advisory team and make a group decision, there are other places  for the people whose ideas I no longer choose to give a forum to.

I realize this is going to really upset some readers. My response is that you have every right to believe what you want. But it is the role of every publisher to curate content, to make decisions on what to cover and what not to cover. Only governments censor. Here at Opednews we will continue to struggle daily with what we choose to cover. I can assure you that it is not something that just gets set as an edict. Even as I write this article, there is lively discussion among the members of the OEN senior team. 

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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Series: "Thoughts on Conspiracy Theories"

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Rob.... by Jon Gold on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 1:51:50 PM
I think you're both missing the point.It's not our... by Nick van Nes on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:52:12 PM
Rob, first I must say that your article is an exce... by Frank Legge on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:30:36 PM
That there are problems with the official account ... by Jon Gold on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 8:20:13 AM
Seems to me what goes on here with bottom up stuff... by Michael Dewey on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 2:39:10 PM
In sorts, the real doubters do not  doubt the... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 2:40:33 PM
I couldn't ever see myself concocting setting up e... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 2:54:37 PM
the camps  were not  a goal but a tool i... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 3:17:39 PM
Maybe we're just playing with different mental too... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:14:39 PM
The idea is though that if you  define a goal... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:35:41 PM
... then it really just doesn't work as an explana... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:50:14 PM
but  nothing works for everyone.  I cann... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:27:21 PM
Most of these are targets of opportunity to furthe... by Timothy O'Neil on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:00:09 PM
Things in 9/11 did go wrong like tower 7 falling f... by Adam Smith on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:37:05 PM
Plus, if you look really, really hard at some of t... by J. Edward Tremlett on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:26:02 AM
I offer up this tidbit:  the fact that you ne... by Alex Howard on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 10:48:33 AM
The greatest imperative for humanity seems to invo... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:37:38 PM
 We need to understand that we are very much ... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 6:07:43 PM
The great majority of people neither have nor seek... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 7:15:52 PM
Most of us would not  mind  being powerf... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 7:28:06 PM
First I need to make a comment on one thing you sa... by Kim Cassidy on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 8:39:59 PM
Violence is inherent in this culture because the n... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 9:13:34 PM
But, you are wrong! Humans are violent, not only a... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 9:17:44 PM
I don't want you to think I was singling you out, ... by Kim Cassidy on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 10:07:14 PM
This is a valuable thread, I was happy to see it b... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 10:18:11 PM
First, language. As one person above reframed the ... by Kim Cassidy on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 10:20:43 PM
I certainly hope so!And Karma evens everything out... by Alex Howard on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 10:53:23 AM
that violence is not the nature of human beings. O... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 2:14:41 AM
And a very small percentage (3% or 4%) of mammals ... by Paul Carline on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 6:38:29 AM
theory, and in general have been proven repeatedly... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 1:40:03 PM
(not picking on you, Daniel) And Darwin knew bette... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 4:08:43 PM
What you're suggesting isn't a make or break crite... by Maxwell on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 7:48:44 AM
and good to hear your perspective!... by Meryl Ann Butler on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 2:51:32 PM
Thanks, Rob.  I know it would be so much easi... by Sheila Samples on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 3:44:06 PM
'The only means to strengthen one's intellect is t... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 3:54:14 PM
We have to be careful not to be so open minded tha... by Maxwell on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 7:54:26 AM
What's your full name? I want to list it as a quot... by Rob Kall on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:38:04 AM
suggested: Take them out and dance on them periodi... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 10:55:53 AM
Unofficial motto of the CIA: "Remember, this has t... by Peter Duveen on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:06:55 PM
but rather a motto of an assassin.We should be car... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:13:37 PM
... by Deborah Dills on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:57:48 PM
are the rich and their corporations including thei... by zon moy on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 6:11:50 PM
"The only easy day is yesterday!"... by Alex Howard on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 10:58:17 AM
Hi Rob....i read your piece with great interest...... by DAVID HOUSE on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 4:34:53 PM
The observations by Rob Kall and the subsequent co... by Joan Mootry on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:58:16 PM
Yes, I too have a real knack for spotting minute i... by Kim Cassidy on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:39:30 AM
There are some sttong dynamics at work at the core... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:40:52 AM
summarized. I think both approaches are valuable, ... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 1:53:00 PM
Your military training - at least this aspect of i... by Paul Carline on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:54:53 AM
One thing you said: about judgements based on emot... by Kim Cassidy on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:47:21 PM
How do the Marines put it? Once is happenstance, ... by Derryl Hermanutz on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 7:08:06 PM
I also have been an analyst; you are spot on!The b... by Alex Howard on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 11:00:50 AM
For creating one of the best sites for discussion ... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:03:02 PM
Easy there, Paul.   That newspaper the Mast... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:54:33 PM
have never been censored even if they oppose or cr... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 7:03:03 PM
Paul:   I have the same problem with OEN th... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 7:16:07 PM
Did I see you on Star Trek?... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 5:57:04 PM
who said it on this site, but it has stuck with me... by intotheabyss on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 6:59:18 PM
I would rather be someone who questions all the ti... by Deborah Dills on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 10:05:51 PM
Important for people to know how difficult it is t... by Adam Smith on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 11:46:45 PM
I have utmost respect and trust in you, and am ent... by Kim Cassidy on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:17:07 AM
Mr. Kall, there is too much in the bundle. Not all... by Skyler Trombly on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 1:07:57 AM
Thanks Skyler, I was going to say something, but a... by Davey Jones on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 9:21:54 AM
I understand and agree with virtually all of what ... by Michael David Morrissey on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 3:22:56 AM
We have the impression that there are a lot of ran... by Josh Mitteldorf on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 4:29:59 AM
Man, if you are a senior editor here and can make ... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:15:57 AM
The story you link to is quite plausible. There is... by Michael David Morrissey on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 8:14:26 AM
Chomsky,Amy Goodman,Matt Taibbi,Greg Palast...Oh w... by Bill Mack on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 5:29:20 PM
Why does his ostrich-ism surprise you more than th... by Michael David Morrissey on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 6:16:05 AM
Good article, Rob.  Between the reflex doubts... by Ritt Goldstein on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 5:21:46 AM
As I have said, I considered the 9/11 as a hoax&nb... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:10:51 AM
Good morning, Mark.   Parallel universes do... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:25:04 AM
Sadly, we don't even try to elevate genius and sai... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 1:51:29 PM
What we're really seeing are the causes and effect... by Judy Palmer on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:42:50 AM
Where did the term spring from. and why does it ha... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 1:36:57 PM
"(Fostering) Conspiracy Theory as a Distraction fr... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 1:43:18 PM
Abraham Lincoln tells us:  "The money powe... by Don Caldarazzo on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 4:20:45 PM
There is absolutely no reason to disallow commente... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 6:54:43 PM
Who are you, and what have you done with Ned?That ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 10:17:48 AM
Yep. Yep.... by Don Caldarazzo on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 3:00:01 PM
After spending a quarter-century of my working lif... by Stephen Pizzo on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 4:42:13 PM
"Conspiracy buffs give the government way too much... by Bill Mack on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 5:46:53 PM
Without OpEdNews, news media would be a black hole... by John Rachel on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 5:30:51 PM
With the Newtown massacre of children, again, I fo... by Paul Rye on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 6:28:26 PM
P.S. - Sorry that my previous comment was so narro... by Paul Rye on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 6:49:56 PM
you've never heard of the Church Committee.  ... by Joe Giambrone on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 6:53:18 PM
Would former Senator Graham not fit neatly enough ... by Joe Giambrone on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 6:54:19 PM
I'm glad you brought up the celebrating Mossad age... by Joe Giambrone on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:04:42 PM
There is sufficient doubt about the omissions an... by Lance Ciepiela on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:43:51 AM
I think since Aaron's death in Internet real time ... by Sheila Dean on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:08:47 PM
 "In Iraq, all the lies we were told that tur... by Deborah Dills on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:01:21 PM
When are the people going to take this government ... by Deborah Dills on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:17:48 PM
I would argue that there are more serious questio... by Ross Brummet on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:26:17 AM
Well put. What you say and how you say it increase... by S. Juniper on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:31:11 AM
Thanks Rob,I've been enjoying interacting with at ... by paulvcassidy on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 4:42:17 AM
For one thing, by uncritically using government an... by Ernie Messerschmidt on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 11:58:01 AM
I agree with you about letting thought blossoms bl... by Rob Kall on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 1:10:09 PM
I appreciate the intense thought and intention tha... by Tsara Shelton on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 9:26:11 PM
'The ingredients are all here!!' No, they're n... by Ned Lud on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 6:07:22 AM
I consider all the ingredients to be here because ... by Tsara Shelton on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 1:04:58 PM
click here... by Jon Gold on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 9:02:23 AM
This article is exactly what is needed lately.As y... by Alex Howard on Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 at 10:16:00 AM
To my knowledge, Embassies, consulates, and diplom... by Matthew Peters on Sunday, Jan 27, 2013 at 6:26:33 AM