Cass Sunstein is a law professor from Harvard who has earned a reputation as quite the authoritative "Mr. Manners" for all proper American-minded individuals. He has written books and held positions in government, most notably that of top administrator of the federal government's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
One of his tasks was to discover as much as he could about conspiracy theories and those who propound them. With fellow professor Adrian Vermeule he wrote a published paper about them with the presumed intention to persuade readers of such thinking's absurdity.
Below is the abstract for the piece, and while the entirety of the work can be read online, it can be found in his book Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. I've taken that abstract and excised key parts of it for pertinent questions. The abstract is the essence of the entire work; the piece itself is really not much more than a mildly eloquent "Conspiracy Theorists are kooks so just don't believe what they say" blithering.
The questions are designed not as much to highlight the brazen assumptions made by conspiracy theorist debunkers but to elucidate the ways World Operatives mold and shape the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual substance of a viciously Catholicized population, indeed as the very legitimate public service dutiful officers like Sunstein are sworn to achieve.
I consider the whole point of the "Conspiracy theorists are kooks" program is not to prosecute conspiracy theorists per se, but to so ruthlessly marginalize anyone who doesn't intellectually assent to the official version of things. It is pure intimidation for the purpose of keeping one from pursuing truth in these matters, and an indoctrination using the very best propaganda seven-fold power can afford.
Let's face it though, some conspiracy theories are stupid, fanciful, incredible. Parts of some fine ones are embarrassingly make-believe. Does this mean all of them must be censored? This is another gross logical fallacy in all of this. The very clear suggestion: "Since some theories are preposterous means all theories are preposterous." This tactic is employed all the time to discount the genuinely truthful things some people want to know about.
A critically important part of all this is indeed to stoke the flames of rebellion from people who are being harmed by the disinformation and to get them to get out and be violent. "Ooo we hate these conspiracy theory detractors!" Essentially, Sunstein is the Great Provocateur here. This also must be understood: Sunstein is perfectly correct, some people who acknowledge the government's role in deceit and murder do want to remonstrate violently against that government. Again, Sunstein is perfectly within the bounds of his sworn duty to bring attention to it in preparation for the summary and wholly justified prosecution of such actions. Sunstein is a vibrant part of the massive heaving and wretching, waves and waves of it among all evildoers and evilcrushers, swelling and abating, swelling and abating over and over again.
It is the essence of human sacrifice on the large scale, and note it isn't just coming from provocative government. There is truly a conspiracy of humanity. In my newspaper this morning there was a story about the U.S. attorney general working out provisions for better 4th Amendment protections against civil forfeiture, the confiscation of money and property if government believes it was taken illegally. I don't believe government is the only one guilty in this, for it wouldn't be happening if people weren't actually engaged in their own conspiracies appropriating for themselves what isn't theirs. The very best value extracting bankers, investment firm managers, financial gurus of all stripes can imaginatively bend the rules until they almost shatter (if there are any rules to begin with), and the reason they never get prosecuted is because people are in the mix of the conspiracy themselves. After all, they too need their return on investment for a sound retirement.
In fact, it is these much more important conspiracies that are happening right in front of our eyes and nobody blinks because so many are scooping up the product of the conspiracies themselves. Much of Sunstein's work and the people's conversation about "conspiracy theories" involves who really shot Kennedy and which UFO sightings are legit. These aren't just partial hangouts, they are partial hangout conventions. So much attention there! Very little attention to the fomenting of the rebellion and to government's covert but wholly justified response, which includes maintaining concentrations camps and arranging internment procedures.
All ultimately designed to keep people's eyes from The One Who Would Save Them.
I should note that Sunstein does do his work in defining some of the things introduced in the abstract. For instance "reputational influences" are people accepting what others say at face value without the requisite examination, and when it reaches critical mass a theory tends to stick. This brings up yet another question. Why aren't the things Sunstein hears about, from whatever sources, considered themselves to be "reputational influences" that may be just as disreputable?
By the way, it should be mentioned that Sunstein cleverly plays up the animosity directed at his work as a tack to appear above it all. For instance the back of his referenced book is full of vitriolic quotes from those who revile him. (An example: "Sunstein is evil, pure evil.") For my part I commend him for his industrious work in fulfilling Cain's charge, he is faithfully doing what he is supposed to be doing, and the quotes only amplify that principle.
What is the truth about conspiracy theories? It is not as complicated as it is made to be, by either Sunstein or the theorists. It starts with immersion in Scripture as a foundation for understanding, then prayerfully talking about it with others who desire God's wisdom in these things and examining history and current events in that setting. If you do that, you'll get it.
Then, safely in the embrace of The One who Himself has all authority over all powers and principalities, you'll know how to respond. You'll know.
For a more comprehensive response to the conspiracy theory anxiety, here is a page with the definition of what I call a world system factualist.
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on December 29, 2014