Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Men in black, men in brown

It is a curious feature of woo-woo that the purveyors of such ideas feel driven to add layer upon layer of complexity to their theories, as if slathering more craziness upon an idea that was kind of ridiculous to begin with will make people sit up and say, "dear god, you're right!"  It's almost like some kind of strange parody of the scientific process, where experimentation, analysis, and insight lead to clarification.  Here, there's a sense of adding more mud to already muddy waters.

Our first example of this comes from the world of the conspiracy theorists.  I've devoted a number of posts to such issues as the Illuminati, HAARP, the Bilderberg Group, and secret societies, and how some subset of the above is responsible for (1) controlling world governments, (2) spying on innocent citizens with nefarious ends in mind, and (3) causing natural disasters.  The individuals running the conspiracy are always portrayed as evil, superpowerful arch-villains, who are untouchable by normal means, and who pull everyone else's strings for their own mysterious purposes.

Basically, the worldview is that we live inside a David Lynch movie.

In any case, it's kind of a dismal way to look at life.  So, it is not any real surprise to me that there has now been a revelation of a new conspiracy, a nice conspiracy, that will sweep down and get rid of the old, nasty, evil conspiracy.  (Source)

This claim states that "very soon" there will be a mass arrest of banking executives by a group of world leaders who are fed up with corporate corruption, removing the "Illuminati banking cartel" and returning "power back to the people."  Plans are already in place to "cut off... international calling" and stop international travel; at that point, "the pro-humanity forces will sweep through and arrest MASS AMOUNTS of bankers and corrupt financial execs as they complete their task to bring freedom to the world from these financial terrorists."

Well, that sounds hopeful enough, as far as it goes, but how do we know it's true?  The writer states:
The part of this story that makes it believable is that it is actually backed by Real Names and Real People who can be researched. The majority of the information comes from Benjamin Fulford.  Benjamin Fulford was Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief for Forbes magazine for seven years, until 2005 when he quit because of the "extensive corporate censorship and mingling of advertising and editorial at the magazine."
Oh.  Benjamin Fulford, eh?  The originator of the HAARP conspiracy theory?  The man who claimed that "the American government, in cooperation with [the] Federal Reserve, the Rockefellers, and other powerful groups" were going to cause Mt. Fuji to erupt on April 11, 2011, and who has continued to pontificate undaunted despite the lack of cooperation by the actual volcano?  The guy who says Bill Gates is going to be arrested as one of the lead conspirators, and that the pope is going to resign on April 15?  We're supposed to consider this guy a credible source?

It's not only the conspiracy nuts that have this regrettable tendency to elaborate themselves to death; the same is true of other branches of woo-woo.  Take, for example, this recent story from the world of aliens and crop circles.

In case you are understandably reluctant to read the article itself, the whole thing adds a new dimension to the idea that aliens are responsible for crop circles; the author claims that aliens are now being spotted hanging around the crop circles, as if waiting for something significant to happen.  And these are not easily identifiable aliens, i.e little gray guys with enormous eyes; no, these aliens are smarter than that.  They are cleverly disguised as tall blond guys wearing brown clothes.

There are several accounts of contact with these dudes recounted in the article, but the following is my favorite:
(A)n anonymous woman called the operator to the Air Force in the UK... in Suffolk and reported a strange episode that occurred when she was walking with his dog.  She saw a man dressed in a light brown suit... who spoke with a “Scandinavian accent.”  He asked if she had not heard about the large flat circles that appear on the wheat fields.  During the ten-minute conversation the man told me that he was from another planet similar to the Earth, and that his relatives have visited Earth, and made such education.  Guests arrived here on a friendly target, but “they were told not to come into contact with people for fear that their visit can be regarded as a threat.”  Apparently, he did not say who told them not to come into contact with us.  The woman was “very scared”, and while she ran to the house, she heard of a “loud buzzing sound,” and saw the trees soared a large spherical object, glowing orange-white light. BBC statement said the woman told me about an hour and had no doubt that she wrote about a real event.
So, now we not only have the crop circles to puzzle over, we have blond guys with Swedish accents coming up to innocent dog-walkers and saying, "Say, how about that crop circle over there?  Pretty nice one, eh?   Oh, by the way, I'm an alien, but don't be afraid.  Later."  And then they take off in their spaceships.

Then, to make matters worse, the author throws in his two favorite theories for what the crop circles are for.  I reproduce those here, verbatim:
(T)he location of crop circles – referencing a crop circle ‘database’ – near ancient formations indicate a connection between ancient extraterrestrial visitors and modern day crop circles. Crop circles that contain messages that will “help usher mankind into the Golden Age.”  ... Also, crop circles can be used as a reference point for time travel in the source field.  They often appear right next to the ancient monuments of the vortex points, and that to this day can serve as portals for time travel in space.
Oh, okay, that makes perfect sense.  Vortex points and time travel in the source field.  And also, don't forget frequency resonant vibration energy dimensions!  In space!

In any case, that's our dose of woo-woo lunacy for today.  Men in black (or brown, as the case may be), and how they either will be taken down by the People's Revolution or else use messages in corn fields to usher us into the Golden Age.  Either way, I suppose I should be happy that the outlook is good.  It certainly is preferable to some previous forecasts, such as a massive eruption of Mt. Fuji.  That would have sucked.

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