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Conspiracy Theories...

I have a acquaintance that I met thorough work - nice guy, a little ADHD, but nice. I don't think he's very educated, but I had always thought of him as at least average intelligence. He seems to have a lot of drive and ambition, some great ideas and follow-through.

We were chatting one day and, though I can't remember how, the conversation turned to various conspiracies... It started rather tame; the media (social media/internet included) only feed us what they want us to know, that large agencies dictate what should be offered for 'public consumption'. At this point, on a certain level, a agreed. But then it turned to the Apollo missions and Moon Landings, 911, JFK, whatever. He does a lot of online reading and seems to believe all of these conspiracies, that the 'truth' can be found on the internet.

The kicker was when he told me that the Earth was really Flat.

I was speechless. I tried to bring up the fact that we have photographic proof that the world is not flat, but he seemed to firmly believe that NASA was basically a 'Conspiracy Machine' who's only purpose is to fool the earth's population and guard the giant 'Ice Walls' at the edge of the Flat Earth. Governments, Space Agencies and Private Companies are all in on the lies that we've been fed by media and backed up by science - all in on the lies.

I've tried not to let that day's conversations influence my dealings with this guy, but now I question everything he says, I question his judgment and sanity...

I'm not sure I can, or should, get past this. I have NO idea how to deal with this. I can't really ignore it.

Thoughts?

scurry 8 Apr 12

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6

Flat Earthers have one purpose and that is to give Scientologists someone to laugh at šŸ™‚

Ha ha - Ya - I suppose.
But is it right to laugh at someone's beliefs?
Is it right to laugh at someone who doesn't have the ability to think clearly?
Maybe it is... but mostly it just makes me sad.
(sigh)

4

i can see questioning his intelligence, judgment, stuff like that. and i can understand being cautious in your dealings with him. but unless it somehow impacts your life, i would just not talk to him about the subject if it makes you uncomfortable. it doesnt mean you can't say hi when you see each other in the office or something. i do think that people with beliefs as far fetched as that could become dangerous. but i say could because i know plenty of people who believe things like that and still end up being good people, they help a little old lady across the street, they pay for a strangers meal, they ask if youre ok when you look bummed out. my point is, inless it becomes a problem, i wouldnt make it one. but thats just me

Byrd Level 7 Apr 12, 2018

I agree. It would be like finding out someone has a disability you didn't know about then withdrawing your friendship with them. Unless the person has shown violent tendencies then changing your behavior towards them would be cruel.

Yes, so far that's how I've handled it. He's a nice guy and he has some good ideas pertaining to business. So far, I don't consider him dangerous or a threat... questionable for sure, but not mean or anything like that.
It makes me uncomfortable to discuss it only because it drops my opinion of this guy with every bit of 'proof' he comes up with. I feel a little embarrassed for him and wish I could just shake his head clear of this silliness.

'I do think that people with beliefs as far fetched as that could become dangerous". We are living in those times already and these kinds of erroneous beliefs are dangerous. I call it the National Enquirer mentality.

@patchoullijulie i agree that we are indeed living in those times, but that still doesnt mean every person who believes these things is dangerous. like i said, i know plenty of them who are pretty much like the rest of the people i know, just they believe some weird stuff as well. they don't go around eating peoples faces and sacrificing babies, they just think differently

I agree. Not my intention to imply they are all dangerous. I also know some very nice, decent people with views that I would consider to be strange or unrealistic.

@patchoullijulie some of the super pushy ones tho can be a bit much, and its always good to be careful. also sorry if that came out wrong, i wasnt trying to say you think they are all bad, i just wanted to be clear that my point was that there are good and bad in most groups, rather than that there was nothing to worry about at all. btw i love how on this site, things like this don't seem to turn into an argument, i like that we can just explain our stance and be cool

@Byrd I couldn't agree more. Cool is the word I would use to describe this site.

4

Perhaps, you should introduce new conspiracy theories. Make them up and share them with him. Entertain yourself. That's all that can be done with this relationship.

OH!!! I like this idea!!!
Hmmm - will have to give this some thought. šŸ˜‰

4

You see thats how I feel when someone tells me they are Christian.

Yes... me too,
...to a slightly lesser degree.
This guy went looking for his fairytale and didn't just believe the one he was spoon-fed.

4

((groan))
I can't help you because I would feel exactly the same way.

I can offer my deepest condolences because it's always very disappointing when you think you've found an intelligent person...only for them to prove you wrong.

Conspiracy theorists should take Mark Twain's advice, "It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt."

I'm really hoping he's just confused, that it's a phase he's going through.
Otherwise, he's a nice guy...
((groan)) indeed.

@scurry I hope do, as well.

4

The guys a wackjob. Keep your distance.

JimG Level 8 Apr 12, 2018

I hear ya!! He seems pretty harmless so far - and I can't completely avoid him - at least not at work.. <sigh>

I don't think it is fair to call him a "wackjob". Being misinformed and/or uneducated does not qualify anyone for that title.

@Betty He is a little wacky, but he's mostly just a nice guy who has some very wacky ideas.

@Betty I have seen a few people like this, although not to this extreme. I know a couple of people who are 9/11 conspiracy theorists, or UFO cover up conspiracy theorists. The problem with someone being misinformed now is that, you almost have to choose ignorance to maintain a belief. You also have to be extremely paranoid. I don't think that term is out of line unless the person you refer to has a mental impairment, and that doesn't sound like the case here.

@JimG

Being uninformed and/or of lower intelligence only means that the potential to learn is possible. Without knowing the personal history of this person I think assigning him an unflattering name is uncalled for.

The only problem I have is with the choice of the word "wackjob". To me, it implies a mental deficiency (insanity). I have no problem with the word "wacky" because to me it implies over the top (extreme).

Since neither of us knows this young man, assigning him a title seams unfair and judgemental.

3

I like that ice wall thing. never heard of that

@AMGT havent seen that

3

Does it really mean this person is less intelligent ? Does intelligence always guarantee the correct choices ? Might he simply be someone who, while reasonably together, simply isn't curious enough - or inclined to research things ? Isn't it possible to just avoid such topics with him, and enjoy your common ground ? Maybe ?

I believe I stated that I've "always thought of him as at least average intelligence", and have gone on to say that he has good ideas and follow through. I'm not saying he's not intelligent.

Regarding being curious and doing research, he is, as I eluded to, and what he's researching is leading him to believe that the earth is flat.

Not that I'm even remotely suggesting that he believes it's ok skin puppies alive to appease the Cat Gods, but if he did, would you also suggest that I mealy "just avoid such topics with him, and enjoy your common ground"?

Interesting that your entire comment is composed of questions.

Depends on how overt it is doesn't - some people are all too keen to share.

@scurry Based on some other comments I read here, I was asking questions that might inspire some deeper thought - not challenging you to answer them all, or justify in any way. But yes - often posts will stir up all sorts of questions. We're thinkers after all - yes ? Peace.

@evergreen
Questions are challenges... No?
I prefer thinkers to non-thinkers.
Yes, peace. ā˜®

@scurry while questions can be challenges, I don't see them all that way - I often ask questions simply because it's a great way to learn, and see other viewpoints. And yes - those who use their brains are interesting and fun - sexy even !

3

Damn not that intelligent then lol

Did that come with a caption? I would love to read it.

Holy Turtle-Earth! The Myth is REAL!!!
šŸ˜®šŸ˜®

yes @buzz13 something about the flat earth bullshit

@LeighShelton Oh, I thought maybe a joke or something, now It'll take the rest of the afternoon to think of one.

keeps you on your toes @buzz13

3

Politely end your relationship with this guy.He will contribute nothing to your life but dismay and frustration. There is nothing that you can do to enlighten such an irrational mind.

2

It's hard to cure and/or fix stupid.

2

Sounds kind of delusional. General rule of thumb is not to challenge delusions. Change the subject back to whatever you have talked about in the past that seemed safe

2

There are a lot of people out there with connotations that the facts do not add up. Talking to some family members and clergy made me realize how big the misinformation theory is. I have talked to people that actually think Muslims are this big terrorist problem. There are a billion Muslims, of course, some are going to be mentally challenged. If you look at the facts there are more America terrorist and we only have 300 million people here. The neo-nazi, bloods and crypts, skinheads, biker gangs just to point out a few.

Truth!

I agree that misinformation is like a plague, and the internet is one of the main carriers. I even agree that the Media can play a part in reinforcing misconceptions and half-truths.
It's crazy what bullocks can make headlines and get accepted as truth.And just because a lot of people believe it, doesn't make it so...

Pretty sure we can all agree on that one point.
(sigh)

@scurry The reminded me of the pandemic hysterias the media had created SARS the bird flu and the most recent Ebola.

2

You're asking for our thoughts, right? Here is one... Stop talking to him altogether. I wish I could come up with a better way to say this but....

2

It's hard to comprehend the level of stupidity that is needed to discount reality. I honestly don't even know how the "flat earth argument" is a thing. Maybe we just don't have enough globes in schools anymore.....or maybe the quality of education has actually deteriorated to this point. The mind boggles....

Ha ha!!! Love that picture!
Yaaaa - I don't know what the problem is or how to fix it.

I love how stupid it is .. and the memes it inspires mainly lol !!

2

Sounds like a nutter to me!

Little bit for sure.

1

The world is full of gullible and ignorant people.

1

People in McD's and Walmart love to tell me this stuff.

1

Apparently it tends to be linked to the feeling of impotence in your life: [nytimes.com]
They feel others are pulling the strings as they are feeling powerlessness themselves. If you would like to keep being friends it would be good if you could point out all the things in life he does have control over. Might help him? But your friend; so your call.

That makes sense... I'll have to think about that.
Thanks for the link.

1

I am ina similar situation. but thing is this has beena good friend of mine. I truly appreciated him. never cared that he was a christian because he didnt care I am an atheist. we could have awesome debates but would never be disrespectful to each other. lately I have noticed that he really isnt honest with me. he pretends to be open minded with me but to the rest of the world he is an ignorant bigoted asshole and uses his "godliness" to manipulate people. I have xome to the conclusion that he only keeps me around because "god has great plans for me" and whenever i"come to my senses" god will reward him for it. he has gotten mean really, maybe he gets mad aboit how dismissive I am of his god.

Oh boy - sounds like the friendship is taking a bad turn.
It's upsetting when good friendships are torn apart by stuff like this.
Friends shouldn't lie to each other or be dishonest, and certainly shouldn't disrespect one another. And if he's becoming mean... that's no good either.
Don't put yourself in danger - physical or mental.
šŸ˜Ÿ

@scurry ive been thinking about it a lot these days. it sucks twice because we work together and he is my superior. my job is not in jeopardy. but it sure is uncomfortable when he is in one of his moods. im trying to get some stuff in order and when the time comes i will ask either for a promotion or to be moved to a different property (we work for an apartment complex). as sad as loosing his friendship makes me, he underestimates how little shame i have and none of his petty games will break me.

@scurry damn. i didnt realize i had so much to say lol

@dianahdz88 say it all!! It helps to let it out. šŸ™‚
You seem like you've got it under control, so good on you for not letting him get the better if you!
These situations are never easy.
Best of luck!

1

My experience is generally they miss the real issues and worry about the wrong ones.. HAd a big discussion this week about the coreolis effect in avation condensing water on wing tips causing vapour trails.. I also posted the whole set of weather seeding "chemtrial" patents and links to show that only ran a tiny time.

The reason so many clouds is wing tip vapour.. A lot more planes lol. So when deisel fumes have carcinogens linked to cancer / or pesticides and people are telling me we are being sprayed by the aviation industry i have little time for most conspiracy theroists.. Like none of them have ever heard of "Operation Suzannah" or "The USS Liberty" and try to educate me about things that clearly are a crock lol .. If they knew the truth they would melt. I do try and point out truth to them though.

1

Two things we know about conspiracies and paranoics are, 1. There are such things as conspiracies. 2. That if a conspiracy is going to be spotted, the paranoic is going to be the first to see it. They are almost like the radar units of our creaturehood; our natural early warning system. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be able to distinguish what's significant from what is debris.

I'm glad we have them, even though listening to 'wooluf, wooluf!' can be a bit annoying.

You have a very valid point; every member of society seems to have a place...

1

In this day and age of social media platforms sptting out anything and everything to keep you addicted, I've learned to have measured compassion for those sucked into the vortex (often unknowingly). I regularly sit around with Trump supporters, even listening to a bit of their media diet with them. We are not on the same page, but it helps that I also more or less keep tabs on what is on their radar at any one time (though watching progressive shows rip apart those same segments lol).

A lot of people simply put up a wall, refusing to even listen to such stuff. Those people annoy me, frankly.

Having some knowledge of what makes them tick can be helpful. Alternativly, you can stick to other topics. Something that makes up likley 85% of most of our coffee conversations anyhow.

1

My own 22 yr old daughter believes in many of these conspiracy theories. She gets them from the internet as well. I do my best to dissuade her. I'd just ignore this guy.

I think it's a thing with some of the younger folks and their trust (maybe) with the older generations. That we're not telling them everything, that we've pulled the wool over their eyes...
And now that anyone can post anything on the internet and make it sound 'true' that someone out there is bound to jump on board.
I hope it's a phase that both he and your daughter grow out of.
(sigh)

0

Tell him that I called him a worthless kook.

Thanks for the comment, but I probably won't pass along the message.
?

@scurry Iā€™m sure lol

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