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Crackpot Chronicles: Van Jones, Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, Rorschach, the Truthers, And Me Part IV

Posted on October 7 2009 1:00 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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Conspiracy Nuts found their own superhero in Rorschach, from Alan Moore's graphic novel and the recent film adaptation "Watchmen."

We cannot confront the fallacies of conspiracy thinking in our political culture if we do not understand it. In recent weeks Van Jones, the President’s Green Jobs Czar, lost his job because of his embrace of conspiracy thinking. More recently popular talker Glenn Beck has been smeared by his opponents as a conspiracy nut. We can only decipher these issues and win these intellectual fights if we know just what kind of thinking needs to be isolated from political life.

I had not responded to the 9/11 Truther Crackpot’s last email but he felt inclined to email me again. He knew what buttons to push:


“How fortunate for governments, that people do not think”

A. Hitler

But, since there aren’t any conspiracies, some crazy moron probably made up that whole Nazi germany thing.

Thanks for the enlightenment.


I never said there weren’t conspiracies. Conspiracists are absolutist in their thinking, unable to see nuance or ambiguity.

We further see a recurring motif in Conspiracist Crackpot thinking: an obsession with Nazism.

dave small

Comparing the United States to Nazi Germany is a common trope of whack-job conspiracy theorists. Everyone from Alex Jones to David Icke to Noam Chomsky does it. It only makes you look like more of an uneducated, conspiracy-indoctrinated moron by bringing it up. Try producing something original instead of just vomiting up garbage that’s been out circulating for decades.



You merely prove the point. Do you really think that “human nature” has changed? Maybe instead of Nazi Germany, Communist Russia would be more understandable for you? How about N. Korea? Cuba? You Pick a government, now or in the past. What makes those people any different from you? “There are none so blind as those who “won’t” see”.

Probably the reason people keep bringing certain subjects up again and again is because “Those who forget the lessons of history, are condemned to repeat them”.. What concept is it that you cannot grasp? Do you know what a sociopath is? This “is not” the best of all possible worlds Pangloss. A word of advice.

You should be very careful with respect to confidence games. You are a perfect mark.


Have you noticed how frequently he’s resorted to quoting aphorisms?

Now he was starting to behave like a troll.

dave small

“You should be very careful with respect to confidence games. You are a perfect mark.”

Funny, looks like you’re the one who’s fallen for the conspiracists’ shell game.

I’m a big fan of the phrase “shell game.” I almost like it as much as “crackpot.”


How so? Just saying so does not make it so.


dave small

Read up a bit on conspiracy theory — from the theorists themselves, from those who study them, and those who refute them — and you’ll understand.

The more one knows about conspiracy theories the less one can believe in any of them as the absolute truth. And the more one will understand the logical fallacies that concpiracist thinkers make. Conspiracies emerge from what people either want to be true or what they fear is true.

In addition to Illuminatus!:

  1. The Biggest Secret by David Icke, a British conspiracy theorist who thinks that lizard creatures secretly control the world
  2. Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson – the documentary that the previous clip is from
  3. Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati by Robert Anton Wilson – the first part of Wilson’s series of memoirs
  4. Them: Adventures With Extremists by Jon Ronson – A book by a British journalist about conspiracy theorists.
  5. Endgame – Just one of Alex Jones’ many crackpot conspiracy videos
  6. Rise of the Fourth Reich by Jim Marrs – One of the most popular conspiracy theorists. His book Crossfire was one of the inspirations for Oliver Stone’s JFK. See the Nazi fascination?
  7. Everything Is Under Control by Robert Anton Wilson – Wilson’s encyclopedia of conspiracy theories.


Attacking the messenger. Lazy. Foolish. A distraction. But very beneficial for those who wish to remain in the dark. It is said that the greatest accompilisment of the devil was to convince the world that “he” did not exist.

You still cling to the fallacy that conspiracies do not exist.


It’s not some coincidence that he’s talking in the same clipped fashion as Rorschach, the conspiracy nutjob from Watchmen.

Again, I didn’t respond. But he came back for more, knowing an even better line of argument to use to dry and draw my attention.

Come back tomorrow for the concluding installment of “Crackpot Chronicles: Van Jones, Glenn Beck,  Ron Paul, Rorschach, the Truthers, And Me” in which I finally lose my patience with the 9/11 Truther Crackpot.

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