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The Forum > Article Comments > Questions and answers on conspiracy theory > Comments

Questions and answers on conspiracy theory : Comments

By Duncan Roads, published 20/6/2007

To prevent conspiricist ideas from gaining more influence there needs to be more accountability and transparency in all sectors of society.

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The author forgot another element of the conspiracy theory and that is the emotive element.

For example there are authors who write for Onlineopinion who make claims such as;

"fathers rights activists seek to erode all the gains made the by the women's movement."

Generalized claims that men have the ear of politicans, so are able to influence the political agenda. (if it were only that simple)

"The average weekly earnings for full-time women workers is still only 84.4 per cent of their male equivalents.
Mary Bryant

If this were really true, then why are not business and companies sacking the men and hiring women on the lower wages? Afterall it is according to Mary cheaper to employ women than men!

Afterall isn't it part of the great patriarchial conspiracy to keep women opposed.
Posted by JamesH, Wednesday, 20 June 2007 10:06:56 AM
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The author forgot another element of the conspiracy theory and that is the emotive element.

For example there are authors who write for Onlineopinion who make claims such as;

"fathers rights activists seek to erode all the gains made the by the women's movement."

Generalized claims that men have the ear of politicans, so are able to influence the political agenda. (if it were only that simple)

"The average weekly earnings for full-time women workers is still only 84.4 per cent of their male equivalents.
Mary Bryant

If this were really true, then why are not business and companies sacking the men and hiring women on the lower wages? Afterall it is according to Mary cheaper to employ women than men!

Afterall isn't it part of the great patriarchial conspiracy to keep women oppressed.
Posted by JamesH, Wednesday, 20 June 2007 10:08:18 AM
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So, if I say that public servants conspire to lose or "misunderstand" letters written by whistleblowers, is that a conspiracy theory or a fact?
Posted by Dealing With The Mob, Wednesday, 20 June 2007 10:41:46 AM
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JamesH:

I agree with you that a highly-charged context is part of a conspiracy.

However, not all emotionally-charged authors on OLO are engaged in conspiracies. Your example of OLO authors who make claims such as: "fathers rights activists seek to erode all the gains made the by the women's movement" strikes me as an exaggerated absurdity rather than a conspiracy.

Likewise Dealing With The Mob who asks:

'if I say that public servants conspire to lose or "misunderstand" letters written by whistleblowers, is that a conspiracy theory or a fact?'

First, we'd have to know whether what you say is true i.e. that they lose or misunderstand letters. Then, if it's true, we'd have to know the reasons they do that. Having had lengthy experience with public servants, I can say that it is not uncommon for them to lose and misunderstand letters (and other documents). Sometimes, this resulted from nothing more than carelessness or incompetence or systemic workload and inadequate accountabilities.

So we'd have to investigate the patterns of lost and misunderstood letters. e.g. How widespread? At what levels of the agency? Who stood to gain? Who did gain? Can an intention to deceive be identified and confirmed? Can a connection be drawn between the public servant and the people who gained?

Cockups and cover-ups sometimes look like conspiracies. It's important to nail the difference.
Posted by FrankGol, Wednesday, 20 June 2007 11:10:56 AM
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I do enjoy a good conspiracy. David Ray Griffin and the 9/11 controversy, for example: splendid, meaty stuff! The JFK assassination; the Bilderbergers and the Council for Foreign Relations - all have given many happy hours. Don't lets forget The da Vinci Code, because that tells us lots about why conspiracy theories flourish: we want them to be true. Whenever the truth is unsatisfying, there's a good conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. The wilder shores of skepticism?
Posted by Johntas, Wednesday, 20 June 2007 11:24:54 AM
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A popular though foxy leader like Howard has also used the conspiracy theory apparently to shut out genuine news that can do serious harm to a government.

As a retired sheep-breeder, can cite a case of a couple of years ago, when George Negus on an SBS programme gave a dramatic TV report about a shipment of Brazilian carcase meat, which our Aussie Bio-security said had to be destroyed because Brazil was banned as a meat exporter owing to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Now Negus might have got carried away talking about the meat shipment should not have been just buried at the NSW tip, but owing to burrowing reptiles, the meat should have been chemically destroyed.

Personally I decided to insert a commentary about it in our OLO, but got a couple of answers similar to what was told to me by an SBS official that a government rep had told him that it was better to keep quiet about it.

So old retired me was left with the feeling that I had committed some sort of conspiracy, at the same time increasing my hate for a government that had also helped to ruin a breeder's future by joining Dubya Bush in the bi-lateral trade agreement which by allowing the Brazilian shipment has certainly smeared Australia's Bio-security reputation as among the world's best
Posted by bushbred, Wednesday, 20 June 2007 1:46:25 PM
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