Concerned Citizen or Crackpot Conspiracy Theorist? How What You Do Helps Draw The Line

One of the biggest hindrances to the conspiracy theorist community is an issue of  ‘image’.  Many people consider conspiracy theorists to be ill or uneducated, anti-social crackpots. When a Myspace, or other social media networking site, is constantly circulating what seems to be paranoid, not researched, unchecked re-posts, it’s easy to see why such an image is painted. Unfortunately, just because an article seems paranoid, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any elitist organizations actually out to do some damage, and maintain their positions. With that in mind, and out of sincere care, here are a few tips for any seriously concerned citizen or dissident in ensuring they are assisting the cause, not hindering it further.

The first and number one thing to make sure you do, is fact check.
It may seem silly, and blatantly obvious to some, but many don’t fact check what they read before they re-post. This is one of the major ways a disinformation agent can take advantage of an active vocal citizen, and reduce them to uneducated crack pot standing in the eyes of the masses. Worse still, is when a non-fact checked piece is distributed down the grape vine, it makes any and all theorists who re-post look as gullible as sheep- not the most efficient position for being taken seriously as a group. When it comes to fact checking, especially of quotes from alleged elitists, it’s important to manage to see the actual document first hand. For pork barreled laws, looking up the HR bill number, on Google or on THOMAS (Information on Current Congress bills, and the Current Congress’s passed legislation, http://thomas.loc.gov/) should yield legitimate results, be forewarned, at times even THOMAS is fallible, like I just noticed trying to pull up the full text of hr 4872, which while showing on other sites in full format, isn’t showing at the time of this writing (The final, passed version, that is). Upon locating the bill in question, you can use the “find” (ctrl+f)  option, or if it’s in .pdf form, the page number, to check the text. Should you notice a re-post in circulation that is a blatant distortion, it’s in your best interests to hunt down the facts and present them to the re-poster in a courteous manner, to prevent them from spreading false information.

A related danger to credibility, that is closely tied with the aforementioned paragraph, is the issue of stating opinions or likelihoods, as fact. Earlier this week I received a bulletin via Myspace that stated the recently passed health care bill, hr 3590, had opened the gate way for mandatory RFID chipping of any American citizen. This shocking threat to freedom, was fortunately in this case just a false alarm, based on a very liberal interpretation of a portion of the related bill hr 4782’s text, on page 1013. In the bill, they plan to make a “National Medical Device Registry”, which would require am assortment of implantable devices, such as pace makers, and any ” class II device that is implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining.”. The peculiar phrasing of Implantable, OR life-supporting, OR life sustaining, made people go up in arms, as apparently according to the Associated Press , a veri-chip implantable chip, classifies as such a device, under class 3, which is also covered by the bill. The issue is, just because this registry could be used down the road for nefarious purposes (I’d be a bit more concerned with South Carolina’s Subversive Registration act being used in conjunction to silently do away with dissidents, myself), doesn’t mean in the slightest that they paved the way for MANDATORY implants.  Many bloggers online have phrased this in such a way as to cause a multitude of re-posts, making a situation like the boy who cried wolf become a more distinct danger, in my opinion. Due to this blowing out of proportion, if the moral of the fable is correct, many readers in the future will be more likely to dismiss any future headline of roughly the same text as mere conservative spin, which would be exactly what I would want if  I intended to get shady laws passed. To make sure that the speculation portion of texts is clearly stated as such, and that the title is not a tabloid type, can assist making a person appear more as an actual concerned citizen, and less like a conspiracy theorist crack pot.

Another way to assist in credibility gaining with your target audience, should you be truly concerned, is to actually network with people, both online, and in your communities. Many people that I’ve seen online seem to like the idea of forwarding blog posts as bulletins, and that is the extent of their community actions. Re-posting a very informative blog or article entry is a decent way to spread information, but chances are you’ll only be reaching those who already are on the same page, and if none of you are fact checking, some serious issues can befall you, interfering with what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re trying to further awareness to the public, the best way to do so is to actually network with the public, preferably from a place of some authority. If you start an online organization, that actually generates information through first hand reporting, organizes protests, or is otherwise involved and prominent, you’ll have a lot more credibility than if you’re a single person out there, talking to a fire wall. If your neighbors see that you attend town hall meetings, and bring relevant and legitimate research and resources to the table, you’ll fare far better in trying to get your point across, than if all you do is is re-post, never talking to a living soul on the phone or in person. The general consensus I have gotten from conversing with people about the topic, is a conspiracy theorist is a weirdo paranoid loner, with pale skin and no friends. A concerned citizen, is someone that tries to watch out for their community, and their fellow country people, being capable of putting aside petty differences, and bringing real research and ideas to the table. A concerned citizen can carry some clout in their communities, online and off. How do you think people see you?

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