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Sometimes the public doesn’t believe what we are told to believe. Join the discussion and explore the historical events, and public state of mind, that influenced the appeal and popularity of the most enduring conspiracy theories and alternative beliefs out there.

Conspiracy Theoryology Ryan Nelson

    • Philosophie

Sometimes the public doesn’t believe what we are told to believe. Join the discussion and explore the historical events, and public state of mind, that influenced the appeal and popularity of the most enduring conspiracy theories and alternative beliefs out there.

    Bones of Tyranny - Operational Contingency and Continuity of Government

    Bones of Tyranny - Operational Contingency and Continuity of Government

    Episode 50
    In 2006, the United States Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which, among other things, allowed for the president to declare martial law, take command of National Guard Units without state governor consent, and use military force to address domestic disturbance, acts of terrorism, insurrection, and civil unrest. The drastic expansion of powers this handed to a President of the US did not go unnoticed, and in 2008, the Act was revised in an attempt to reign in the potential abuse of such broad powers. Even with revision, the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, more commonly known as Executive Directive 51, has not been rescinded. With it, the approach to maintaining a functioning federal government, known under the term “continuity of government”,  in the event of catastrophic social unrest, civic breakdown, and outside attack or disaster was centralized and militarized. With all this, the specter of martial law has since permeated the public consciousness, and since this time, the fear and accusations of tyrannical intent and potential of martial law have followed each successive administration. 
    At the time of recording this episode, the current president, Donald Trump, along with the first lady, and a cadre of staff and ranking personnel were tested positive for COVID-19 infection. Because of media focus on discussions of presidential succession plans and impacts on election debate schedules, the real question was not given attention. What happens if a substantial portion of government infrastructure becomes unable to function? And, if the public can be convinced to accept that their way of life was in jeopardy, would they be willing to concede their personal freedoms and liberties to a presumptively temporary martial structure of government to protect the future? 
    This time, as we begin our series titled “Bones of Tyranny”, we address Continuity of Government contingency operations.
     
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    Links:
    Exclusive: Inside The Military's Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples the Government
    Martial law
    Tyrant
    United States federal government continuity of operations
    Top Secret Pentagon Operation "Granite Shadow" revealed. Today in DC: Commandos in the Streets?
    Operation 'Granite Shadow' - The US Military's Above-To-Secret Plans If COVID-19 Cripples Government
    NORTHCOM Operational Plans, Pandemic and Endemic
    Continuity of Government
    https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/defenseissues/cog/ADA518896.pdf

    • 1 Std. 10 Min.
    Flu Shots and Face Masks - Moral Panic and Social Control Theory

    Flu Shots and Face Masks - Moral Panic and Social Control Theory

    Episode 49
     
    Question: Do you think there is merit to the idea that governments and societal authorities use social control theory and moral panic to shape public behavior at the expense of personal freedoms and liberties?
    We have previously discussed the psychology of masks and the impact on social interaction, empathy, and personal inhibition. This time the discussion focuses on the sociology of these issues, and the use of social controls to establish, implement, and normalize desired behaviors within the population. 
    In order to discuss the relationship between the issues of vaccination and face masks, and understand the current divide in public opinion on both topics, we must understand the terms and tools being used to execute this shaping of social norms.
    This time, on Conspiracy Theoryology, we discussion Social Control Theory and Moral Panic. Two concepts that may just help us to understand the public fascination, and social divide occurring over the issues of mandatory vaccination and face mask policies.
     
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    Links:
    Stop Smoker-Shaming
    Background of Smoking Bans
    Secondhand smoke isn't as bad as we thought.
    Secondhand Smoke and Cancer
    Forms Of Social Control | Informal Social Control | Social Control | Social Control Theory | Social Control Definition
    How Sociologists Define Social Control
    Moral panic
    Moral Panic: Who Benefits From Public Fear?
    A Sociological Understanding of Moral Panic
    Moral Panics and the Media – ReviseSociology
    Self-Deception I: Rationalization
    Vaccines Protect Everyone

    • 39 Min.
    Masking the Truth - Face Masks, Empathy and Dis-inhibition

    Masking the Truth - Face Masks, Empathy and Dis-inhibition

    Episode 48
    For many, the world seems to have lost its mind. For others, the world became a very threatening and scary place. Society is under attack and upheaval from both a  “natural” public health emergency and social unrest born of long-simmering civil rights concerns and race relations here in the US. Ultimately theories abound as to the cause, purpose, and even understanding of this all-out assault on society.
    I’m sure you are wondering if we are diverging from the typical format to voice concerns on either the public health emergency or to make a personal stand on the modern civil rights movement, in one way or another. Well, I prefer to think I have managed to stay true to the intent of Conspiracy Theoryology while making a timely episode addressing current events. In fact, there is a conspiracy for us to consider.
    Throughout the last 6-7 months, theories have surfaced in an attempt to explain events not only as they have occurred, but in relation to everything else preceding it this year. Attempts are being made at explaining the origins and distribution of the SARS-CoV2 virus at the heart of the COVID-19 outbreak. Questions abound as to the accuracy of testing, tracking, and reporting of infection and deaths. Then, when it felt like we had enough, a poor excuse for a police officer either with murderous intent or through sheer incompetence took aggressive and brutal action during a questionable arrest that led to the death of a black man in Minneapolis. We are all trying to understand why, and what it means for societal advancement. How much improvement has actually been made in race relations, if any, if something like this can happen? Well, there a lot of questions that can come out of everything that has happened in 2020, but most poignantly, why these events, in contrast to any other health emergency or civil rights violation that has occurred over the last several decades, have managed to ignite a powder keg of social unrest, demonstration, and resistance. I’m going to attempt to aggregate the various theories that have surfaced, connecting the dots into a single cohesive theory that seems to reflect the opinions of those questioning the narrative. Additionally, we can discuss some derivations from this to consider other narratives that might be more palatable for others.
    Something had to change public psychology to make these events feed each other. Whether a hand was at play every step of the way, or it’s been simply a series of unfortunate events, something was different. That difference, I think, was facemasks.
     
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    Links:
    The Story: An Overview of the Experiment
    Effect of facemasks on empathy and relational continuity: a randomised controlled trial in primary care
    How Masks Change Us: On Anonymity, Road Rage & Rituals
    A psychotherapist explains why you want to wear a face mask — even though it probably won't help you avoid illness
    Coronavirus: Why face masks are not very effective for prevention
    How Sunglasses and Masks Affect Moral Behavior
    Face Masks Can Be Deadly To Healthy People Says Neurologist
    Wearing Face Masks and Gloves Don't Really Prevent You From Getting Sick — and 6 Other Germ Myths to Know

    • 36 Min.
    Crisis Apparitions and Connectedness

    Crisis Apparitions and Connectedness

    Episode 47
    When life ends, tragically and suddenly, or perhaps even naturally in its due course, can those final moments provide an opportunity for a final goodbye, or a heartfelt thank you to those that mean the most to us, even if they are not with us at our last breath? Is there more connecting us to each other than we think, that may remove even death as a barrier to communication? These are the questions we will explore this episode.
    For those that are unfamiliar with this ghostly phenomenon, this critically-timed appearance of family and loved ones at the time of either death or near-death critical moments is aptly named as crisis apparition. I say aptly named because of what the phenomenon is not. These apparitions are not “ghosts” in the usual sense, though they can at times have a “ghostly” appearance. As well, this is not a “haunting”. These are not entities attached to a person or place or object, and they only occur once, for a varying period of time. This phenomenon is also not very well understood. The apparition itself does not provide much explanation, often not speaking at all in most examples. The focus is usually to convey some sort of emotional personal message through facial expression and gesture. Even in those cases where a spoken interchange is reported, it is not to provide exposition but rather a message of love or appreciation. At a minimum, these apparitions are there to announce their death at a personal, individual level. 
    Of course, with such an ambiguous description, while we may understand what this phenomenon looks like, it does not really tell us what they are? Let’s start with ideas as to the source. How is it created? If it’s not the ghost of a dead or dying loved one, and it is more than just the hopeful imagination of the experiencer, who made it? 
    Once that is answered, understanding what these apparitions may be, and how they might be created does certainly help us to grasp the phenomenon, giving some definition and description, but we are left with the question of why. Why might these individuals in crisis mode feel so compelled, even subconsciously, to create this telepathic image to someone else? Answering this question may give us an idea as to the basis of fascination for these crisis apparition experiences thus providing the core theoryology for the phenomenon.
    Some of the stories shared in this episode come from the CNN.com article referenced in the links below.
     
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    Links:
    https://www.cnn.com/2011/09/23/living/crisis-apparitions/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201611/connectedness
    https://www.stevenmtaylor.com/
    https://imaginespirit.com/what-are-crisis-apparitions/

    • 27 Min.
    The Dogs of Lore - Dogmen, Black Dogs, Werewolves and Dog Domestication Theory

    The Dogs of Lore - Dogmen, Black Dogs, Werewolves and Dog Domestication Theory

    Episode 46
    Dogs play a role in all aspects of human history. They are part of our history, lore, our ancient belief systems, and our families. Dogmen, black dogs and hell hounds, werewolves, skinwalkers, shapeshifters, Ancient gods.. By no means, extensive, this short list provides a glimpse at the doglike creatures with which our imaginations and experiences are replete.  If you sniff around long enough, it’s easy to catch the scent of truth that canine-like creatures and cryptids permeate our history.
    Modern anthropology has often attributed this fascination with wolf and dog like creatures to be the mythologizing and anthropomorphizing of the dominant competing predator to ancient humans. Embracing what we fear to make sense of it. Archaeology has also weighed in on the role of dogs in advancing human civilization through evidence of domestication and interaction as far back at 16,000 years ago and perhaps even farther. This modern view creates a dichotomy of perspective. We simultaneously fear the canine for the threat it provides, while we also embrace it for the unique bond and relationship it holds with humans. This is all well and good, but can that strange balancing act of love and hate actually explain our fascination with these dog-like creatures that exist in every facet of our storytelling and experiences? Or, is there more to mankind’s history with our faithful four-legged companion than we realize? Something that might make us more connected and more alike than we readily acknowledge today.  One thing is certain, this episode has truly gone to the dogs.
     
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    Music is by adamhenrygarcia.bandcamp.com
    Links:
    https://www.thoughtco.com/how-and-why-dogs-were-domesticated-170656
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/animal-emotions/201811/dumping-the-dog-domestication-dump-theory-once-and-all
    https://www.dogbehavior.it/index.php?journal=dogbehavior&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=73&path%5B%5D=58
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-emotions/201712/the-first-domestication-how-wolves-and-humans-coevolved
    https://neuroanthropology.net/2010/08/23/the-dog-human-connection-in-evolution/
    http://www.blurryphotos.org/ep-220-dogman-tales-part-1/
    http://www.blurryphotos.org/ep-220-dogman-tales-part-2/
    https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/into-the-portal-609887/episodes/110-legend-of-the-dogman-part-49301190
    https://listverse.com/2016/12/23/10-species-that-are-evolving-right-now/
    https://phys.org/news/2018-11-human-evolution-possibly-faster.html

    • 57 Min.
    Pandemic Panic (Part 4) - Realities of the Spanish Flu

    Pandemic Panic (Part 4) - Realities of the Spanish Flu

    Episode 45
    This time on Conspiracy Theoryology, we wrap up on discussion of the Spanish Flu, exploring the medical knowledge of the time, what we now know to be true, and some other influences and conditions that may have attributed to the most lethal viral outbreak of the 20th century, and, in light of our recent events, how it really compares to the first truly global pandemic panic of the 21st century.
    The Spanish flu pandemic was certainly deadly but it did not kill 50 million people. Not without the help of its friends. You know, famine, malnutrition, and world war 1. Horrible roommates, all of them. 
    Up until this year, the effort to hyperbolize severity of the Spanish flu has been extremely popular, because fear is a great motivator. And that motivation ya been very profitable for the pharmaceutical industry for 40 year. The bogeyman of annual flu has led the charge into a vaccination mindset that makes a lot of money for the industry and gives a great deal of power to those that wield political influence. 
    Unfortunately, that same exaggeration is now yielding its fruits, and has caused the public to react in an irrational manner to the Covid19 pandemic. And when I say public, I mean everyone. Both sides of the opinion spectrum. 
    So, you have probably noticed that there was a large gap between part 3 of this series and this episode. In truth, I didn’t know how to frame this discussion, in light of current events. Up until March of 2020, research on the Spanish flu was academic and historical. There was very little reference to any modern context other than the oft repeated phrase “It’s not of, but when.”  A very convenient phrase to use to maintain fear and worry, without having to actually provide any real information proving the statement. 
    Now, though, I challenge you to go to your search engine of choice and find information on Spanish flu. The first page of results will undoubtedly be filled with recent articles comparing the Spanish flu to COVID 19. The two events have become entwined. I cannot present historical factors of Spanish flu, without now providing context for viewing the current pandemic. Likewise, we can better understand the true behavior of the Spanish flu pandemic given a current framework with which to compare.  To not do either of those things would be as irresponsible as those that have made the point to draw extreme views through comparison of the two events. That said, let’s first understand the death toll of the Spanish flu. After we explore the many factors that influenced the mortality rate, we can wrap up this discussion talking COVID. 
     
    Several Factors influenced and bolstered the severity of the pandemic. First being the approach to calculate the mortality impact. The number has grown steadily since early estimates in the 1990s. 20MM to 50MM in 2005, to upwards of 100MM (5% of the global population). But a reassessment in 2018 put a more realistic number at 15-17MM.
     
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    Links:
     
    https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/187/12/2561/5092383
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haemophilus_influenzae
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3109405/
    https://slate.com/technology/2012/12/spanish-flu-mystery-why-dont-scientists-understand-the-1918-flu-even-after-digging-up-its-victims.html
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2376985/
    https://i2.wp.com/www.compoundchem.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Chemical-Warfare-World-War-1-Poison-Gases1.png?ssl=1
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002132346.htm
    https://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/health/13aspirin.html

    • 1 Std. 9 Min.

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