Psychology Professor Demonstrates: “Conspiracy theorists” OK; government dupes clueless, humorless
Coast to Coast Radio just canceled its plans to broadcast a show tonight on my widely-read Press TV article on research suggesting that “conspiracy theorists” are saner than government dupes.
Here is the listing they just took down:
Note that they did not even link my article!!!
Apparently they had planned to give Michael Wood, the author of one of the studies I cited, a platform to attack my article – while refusing to even link the article, much less invite me on the air to defend it. When I protested, and asked that they allow me to defend my article, Coast to Coast decided to pull the show. They replaced it with a show on cetaceans:
You don’t have to be a “paranoid conspiracy theorist” to wonder why Coast to Coast is so averse to giving me a fair hearing.
Below is my new article rebutting Wood’s attack on my Press TV piece.
Psychology professor demonstrates: “Conspiracy theorists” OK; government dupes clueless, humorless
Are the people labeled “conspiracy theorists” saner than those who use such insulting terms to avoid real debate?
Psychologist Michael Wood offers evidence that the answer is “yes” – both in his research, and by way of personal example. Wood’s clueless, humorless response to my recent Press TV article about his research raises questions about his own psychology. Wood’s just-canceled stint on Coast to Coast radio tonight* – a show that reaches millions of listeners – suggests that my article touched a raw nerve, forcing the Operation Mockingbird operatives who control big media to “push back” against Press TV…then pull back their pushback plan when they realized I could make mincemeat of Wood.
Wood co-authored a recent study showing that people who reject “conspiracy theories” are more hostile, and more ardently convinced that they know the truth about disputed events, than the more open-minded people who question official wisdom.
These findings overturn received mainstream opinion. The mainstream media and academy have promoted a CIA-engineered negative stereotype of “conspiracy theorists” (a term coined by CIA psychological warfare experts).** According to the CIA-fabricated pejorative stereotype, the “conspiracy theorist” is a hostile crank adamantly wedded to his own interpretation of a disputed event, such as the JFK assassination or 9/11. In reality, it turns out that the opposite is the case: Opponents of “conspiracy theories” are the hostile fanatics who think that they are in full possession of the truth; while those who dispute official opinion, and question events like 9/11, are less hostile and more open-minded.
Wood and Douglas’s findings will come as no surprise to anyone who has participated in comment-section debates. But they are significant because nobody in the mainstream media or academy has ever officially admitted such a thing before.
My Press TV article publicizing Wood’s research was read by millions of people, in part due to my sly use of humor and irony. One would think Wood would be grateful, and that he would at least have a good laugh at the way his findings torpedo officially-sanctioned stereotypes. Instead, he launched a flimsy, deceptive, utterly humorless counter-attack against my article.***
Whence such ingratitude? Presumably Wood is afraid that my interpretation of his research will get him labeled “pro-conspiracy-theory” – the kiss of death in the Western academy.
I understand Wood’s concern. I lost two University of Wisconsin teaching jobs, including one as a tenure-track Arabic-Humanities professor, due to my research, publication, and activism questioning the official story of 9/11.**** My net financial losses totaled more than two million dollars in projected lifetime earnings. And I have been subjected to an orchestrated campaign of media vilification, covert harassment, and innumerable death threats.
No wonder Wood is scrambling to backtrack on his own findings.
In his lame attempt to discredit me, and save himself from career damage and harassment, Wood admits that I am right about his two key findings: “Conspiracy theorists” are less hostile and more open-minded than their opponents. But move along folks, nothing to see here! In a deceptive maneuver, Wood tries to shift attention away from those core findings and toward two peripheral issues: Are there really more “conspiracist” comments than “conventionalist” comments? And do “conspiracists” really discuss historical context more than “conventionalists”?
Yes, there are more “conspiracist” comments than “conventionalist” comments, if we are counting comments that explicitly argue a “conspiracist” or “conventionalist” position. Wood thinks that maybe if we counted comments that simply take a position for granted, there would be more “conventionalist” comments. Maybe so. Who cares? The point is that Wood only tallied the comments that explicitly argue a position, and found that “conspiracist” comments outnumbered “conventionalist” comments by more than two to one! Obviously, the on-line DEBATE is being dominated by the people Wood and the CIA pejoratively term “conspiracists.”
Wood’s final quibble with my article is correct but trivial. He says I was wrong in claiming that his study showed that “conspiracists” cite historical context more than “conventionalists.”
Wood is right; I was confused by a misleading Medical Xpress summary of Wood’s findings: “Comments promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories were more likely to promote unrelated conspiracy theories, such as those about the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana.” I took this to mean that “conspiracists” argue correctly that there is an obvious relationship between many of these unprosecuted high crimes – which, though it may be true, is not precisely what Wood’s data showed.
But once again, who cares? The bottom line of Wood’s study, as Wood himself admits, is that “conspiracy theorists” tend to be non-hostile and open-minded, while “conventionalists” tend to be hostile and narrowly wedded to a single perceived “truth.”
Wood’s deceptive attempt to obfuscate his own findings reveals that he is a propagandist, not a scientist. His uncritical use of the pejorative term “conspiracist” – the product and tool of a massive and ongoing CIA mind-control operation – shows that his real job is “manufacturing consent” rather than seeking the truth.
Please contact the Coast to Coast radio show http://www.coasttocoastam.com/pages/contact and ask host George Noory to let me debate Michael Wood on this issue.
* http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2013/07/28 (the conspiracy show has now been replaced by “whales and dolphins in captivity”)
** In his book Conspiracy Theory in America (U. of Texas Press, 2013) Professor Lance deHaven-Smith cites indisputable evidence that the CIA invented the term “conspiracy theorist” and forced it into widespread circulation in the 1960s in order to cover up its murder of President John F. Kennedy.
*** Wood’s counter-attack against my Press TV article is posted at: http://conspiracypsych.com/2013/07/13/setting-the-record-straight-on-wood-douglas-2013/
**** Former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Dean of Humanities Howard Ross has testified that I was turned down for a 2006 Arabic-Humanities job for purely political reasons due to my 9/11 research, after political pressure was exerted on the hiring committee. The position went unfilled, and a six-figure federal grant was returned.