Jan 10 2013

Sandy Hook Conspiracy

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22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Sandy Hook Conspiracy”

  1. gammidgyon 10 Jan 2013 at 9:09 am

    The idea that the government is able and willing to stage such a hoax is a meme that seems to be popular in the US but far less so in other English-speaking countries. At least, that is how it appears from where I am sitting in the UK. Have any students of conspiracy psychology studied this? It would be fascinating to know what features of the cultural/historical landscape contribute to such a meme.

  2. champenoiseon 10 Jan 2013 at 9:25 am

    I totally think conspiracy theorists are useful. To rake the park, for example. Or to teach communications at the university, I don’t care what they teach my kids, even if it’s a never ending Andy Kaufman act.

  3. SARAon 10 Jan 2013 at 9:39 am

    I wonder why we evolved this insatiable desire for immediacy in our answers to questions. Why it takes such a mental discipline to say “We don’t know yet” and just leave it there until we do know.

    If we had a natural tendency to accept mystery, religions would never have become to prevalent. And I imagine science would have developed a great deal sooner.

  4. tmac57on 10 Jan 2013 at 11:05 am

    A lot of this is being driven by a growing group of paranoid gun owners that are being whipped into a frenzy by various loosely knit groups that are convinced that every incident that raises public concern about gun violence is automatically suspect,and the anomaly hunting begin.The whole thing has a confirmation bias engine that picks up steam,and popular sites such as info-wars and natural news chime in,and the snowball picks up steam filtering out through the dark channels of fearful,misinformed people who spread the ‘inside information’ in emails and social media until it becomes received wisdom that has a life of it’s own,and may die down,but never goes away,only to rise again,and attach itself to some new conspiracy.
    Their motto is “Wake up!!!”…kind of ironic,isn’t it?

  5. eiskrystalon 10 Jan 2013 at 11:12 am

    If we had a natural tendency to accept mystery…

    I suppose an unattended mystery is a possible threat. Also the longer a question is left unanswered the more time any information on it has to degrade.

    I would have to wonder though that if we weren’t bothered by mystery, maybe science might never have developed.

  6. nybgruson 10 Jan 2013 at 11:51 am

    Does he run such a course because he is a conspiracy theorist, or is his conspiracy theorist persona (including his blog) all part of a radical teaching strategy? What better way to teach about conspiracy theories than to simulate one yourself (a meta-conspiracy)? If the latter, I wonder how long he plans to keep up the charade before revealing what he is doing.

    Reminds me of Mother Night by Vonnegut. Likely just as dangerous as well.

    I would have to wonder though that if we weren’t bothered by mystery, maybe science might never have developed

    Accept and be bothered by are two different things for me. I accept I will never live to know many answers about our universe and as such feel no need to fill them in with anything I can willy nilly. It also bothers me that I won’t know these things and so strive to find actual answers when and where I can.

    In fact, some conspiracy theorists have accused other conspiracy theorists of being part of a meta-conspiracy to discredit conspiracy theorists.

    How meta!

    Interesting point about the role of CTs though. I’d rather just have critical thinking skeptics since they would do the same job but better. Though perhaps they wouldn’t be as motivated to do it for certain topics. Interesting thought anyways.

  7. bluedevilRAon 10 Jan 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Saw this circulating on facebook among people I would not consider my friends and Tracey also has a hyperlink to “crisis actors”:


    What disgusts me is that the loved ones of the victims and the victims themselves have to see such rubbish. I can’t imagine experiencing such a tragedy only to be mocked and accused of being fake by a bunch of conspiracy idiots. Almost as bad as Fred Phelps in my opinion.

  8. starskepticon 10 Jan 2013 at 2:46 pm

    “If we had a natural tendency to accept mystery, religions would never have become to prevalent.”

    I think ‘accept uncertainty’ is probably more in line with the point you were making, SARA – religions not only accept mystery, they wallow in it.

  9. rezistnzisfutlon 10 Jan 2013 at 5:50 pm

    It’s an interesting point that conspiracy theorists play a role in a democracy. I do agree there should be whistle blowers and watch dogs.

    I consider myself an environmental conservationist. I advocate for the preservation of wildlands, responsible resource harvesting that minimized environmental impacts, and resource and land management that’s based on the latest science. So, when I see environmentalists who use dishonesty, threats, and pseudoscience, I get upset because I feel that they are actually undermining the cause.

    The same goes with conspiracy theorists, or any other activist organization. I’m all for questioning and demands for greater transparency. I just wish they did it honestly and used actual evidence to draw conclusions.

    An unfortunate side-effect to activist pseudoscience is that too often those who are undecided on the sidelines and don’t know any better are often persuaded by them.

  10. locutusbrgon 10 Jan 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Why would anyone think that a kindergarten massacre video needs to be in the public record. Sick and ridiculous.

  11. tmac57on 10 Jan 2013 at 8:07 pm

    locutusbrg- The reason is that (from their warped perspective) any evidence withheld from the public (no matter how valid the reason) is an unknown that can be spun into the web of paranoid intrigue that they find both fascinating and threatening. It’s like children telling ghost stories around a campfire…they like to scare each other,and themselves as well. They also like the feeling that they are the cognoscenti while everyone else are the sleeping ‘sheeple’.

  12. Khym Chanuron 11 Jan 2013 at 12:38 am

    When we discussed the event on the SGU we also criticized the media for their reporting of the event. What typically happens after an event like this (meaning a dramatic event that is likely to draw extreme public attention), the media are tripping over themselves to get the scoop, to report something and to justify why they are spending so much time focusing on this event. So any tidbit of information, even if preliminary and not well sourced, is reported.

    Eventually official information comes out, and the media have to backtrack on their previous error-ridden reports.

    I remember one 9/11 truther over on the JREF forums claiming that the information that comes out immediately after an big event is the most likely to be true, rather than the other way around.

    He does float some speculation about what might have actually happened. He speculates that perhaps it was a drill gone awry. He thinks that the school was running a drill to prepare children for such an event, including playing sounds of shooting and chaos over the intercom. I am not sure how this accounts for all the dead children and their families.

    To play devil’s advocate:

    1) The school is holding a drill on that day.

    2) Completely by coincidence, the shooter chooses that day and that school.

    3) The way the drill was held somehow disrupted security at the school in a manner that allowed the shooter into the school; if the drill had not been taking place, the shooter wouldn’t have been able to get into the school.

    4) If this was found out, the city government would be bankrupted by lawsuits, so the school district and police cooperate to do a cover up.

    Of course, by that logic, the school could have been doing anything that could have disrupted security.

  13. BillyJoe7on 11 Jan 2013 at 1:34 am

    Interesting tidbit…

    In the movie “Conspiracy Theory” with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts, a conspiracy theorist stumbles upon a real conspiracy. According to political scientist, Michael Barkun, this movie helped spread the idea of conspiracy theory from the lunatic right to the general population.

  14. SimonWon 11 Jan 2013 at 5:10 am

    “Tracey” or “Tracy”, my brain is being pedantic, and I was wondering who “Tracy” was and where she came into it, before I realized you meant the same person.

    Delete pedantic comments when done.

  15. SteveAon 11 Jan 2013 at 8:23 am

    BJ7: “According to political scientist, Michael Barkun, this movie helped spread the idea of conspiracy theory from the lunatic right to the general population.”

    My vote goes to the intertubes: like minds able to contact each other easily and share information that validates and underpins their warped view of the world.

  16. etatroon 11 Jan 2013 at 11:54 am

    I briefly glimpsed into a conspiracy theory rabbit hole this morning on facebook too. Someone was posting links to a “New World Order” site/podcast referencing a specific article about the US government and guns. Apparently the theory is that the government illegally distributed guns to mentally unstable people and started the “politically correct” movement to increase sensitivity toward the mentally ill, releasing them from insane asylums. The result is increased gun violence. Now the government has fomented violence and fear and the populace then willingly votes for gun laws to give up guns. There were some other theories like the government using webcams on computers and cameras on smart phones to spy on us. (I wonder what utility there would be in seeing someone’s face stare blankly). One theme I noticed with these particular conspiracies is that they were citing specific people as sources, “Former Sgt. William Riker talks about what he saw at the naval base …. etc.” and then tell the story. I remember in the mid 90′s pro-wrestling story-lines incorporated a “New World Order,” but I thought those guys were badass, but protagonist. I wonder if the NWO conspiracy theories of today are spinoff from pro-wrestling dramas of the 90′s.

  17. bewisetodayon 11 Jan 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I like others, am not a conspiracy theorist, but I simply do not believe the “official” version of the facts that the mainstream media has spoon-fed to us. There are way too many inconsistancies, and it would be refreshing if even one investigive reporter would do some fact checking on all of this.

    I’m no Columbo, but there are several things that simply don’t make sense. When this first started to unfold, the first question that came to my mind, is why would a White Wasp woman in Connecticut even have a Bushmaster assault rifle? All descriptions of Nancy Lanza is that she was generous, liked to drink wine and play Bunko with her friends. She does not sound like a survivialist” as has been portrayed.

    Why would Adam Lanza, who was by all who knew him, a painfully shy awkward kid who had trouble in social situations suddenly turn RAMBO, and be bold enough to break glass, get into the building and start shooting? Again, there is not the ring of truth to this.

    Our issue is that small independent papers have been taken over by major media chains, and on the day of the shooting, the same pictures, the same headlines, and the same content was distributed not just nationwide, but internationally as well.

    Some questions I would like answered:

    1. Why just the grainy black and white photo of Adam that makes him look like a psycopath, I’m sure there were plenty of other pictures where he looked like just a normal 110 lb kid that he is.

    2. Why no pictures of the school at all, no surveillance video, no autopsy reports, what happened to the adults who survived the shooting and could provide an eye-witness account for that day?

    3. Think about it, the same pattern over and over again: 1. Assassination or Mass Tragedy 2. Lone Gun man 3. Gun man is either killed, commits suicide or “taken out” 4. No hard evidence, burial at sea….4. Official story goes out…leaving everyone scratching their heads, cause something aint’ right, here?

    4. Is that the new normal? I guess we know what will happens with James Holmes, he’ll be found incompetent to stand trial, so we will never know what really happened there either.

  18. Steven Novellaon 13 Jan 2013 at 8:10 am

    bewise – I live in CT. We have our share of people with more typical rural values, our share of gun owners. Apparently she liked target shooting, and that gun is popular for such purposes.

    Lanza’s scenario – quiet socially awkward kid goes Rambo, is not suspicious at all. It’s absolutely textbook. It’s become a cliche. After someone goes on a rampage, the neighbors are interviewed and they say something to the effect, “He was always a quiet kid, kept to himself, but no trouble.” That is the profile.

    People like this are quiet because they cannot socialize well. They are repressed. They keep their negative feeling bottled up until they become rage, and when they explode it’s dramatic.

    I completely agree with you about the problem of independents news outlets disappearing, and centralize news distributors taking over. This is a problem. But it’s not a conspiracy. It’s a result of the collapse of the journalist business model because of the internet. We are in transition – not sure to what.

    Regarding your questions:
    1 – I don’t know, but it probably has to do with the lack of independent reporting. Maybe he was camera shy, and his mother did not take pictures.

    2 – Respect for the privacy of the families, and because there is still an active investigation. With cases like this you have to maintain your interest after the new hubbub dies down. All the info will eventually come out.

    Adults were interviewed: http://www.katiecouric.com/features/one-familys-story-of-survival/ And I know them personally – they are not actors.

    3 – This is the pattern because this is what actually happens – a long gunman or a pair (like Columbine, or the DC snipers). They are not always killed (like the Batman shootings). So there are exceptions to everything you say, but this is a common pattern. This does not suggest anything other than this is the scenario that typically leads to a mass shooting.

    4 – Not sure what you are asking here.

  19. RickKon 17 Jan 2013 at 2:00 pm


    I went to a discussion about gun violence hosted by our local library in a town very near Newton, CT. There was a man in the audience explaining how awesome the “AR platform” is hunting and target practice. He was actively teaching his two boys to use it. The guy also said that yes, his boys play violent video games like Call of Duty. He said: “I’ve tried to limit how much they play, but you can’t stop them from playing them, can you?” So here’s a parent who is clearly unable to exercise control over his kids, and he’s teaching them how to use daddy’s assault rifle. Tell me those boys don’t know EXACTLY where to find the key to the gun cabinet.

    Why did Adam Lanza’s mother have guns? Because she was just another suburban Connecticut gun enthusiast, like so many others.

    As for the grand conspiracy – contrary to the self-aggrandizing beliefs of conspiracy theorists, people are not sheep. There are angry, grieving parents here in CT who have the sympathy of a nation. What POSSIBLE incentive could the government offer to keep some deep dark secret about why their children died? If our Secret Service can’t cover up the President diddling an intern in the Oval Office, what chance is there of an entire school administration or town keeping quiet about some nefarious conspiracy?

    People simply don’t act that way.

    But many WILL decide not to pour their hearts out to the press when they’ve just lost their children. And many WILL get really pissed off at press who try to interview other kids and PTSD-afflicted teachers.

    I hope you’re never the victim of some news-worthy family tragedy. But if you are, I really hope you’re not harassed by voyeuristic strangers with empty lives seeking some sick thrill from the details of your misery.

  20. Roberton 18 Jan 2013 at 4:21 am

    I find it interesting that conspiracy theorists will say it is a conspiracy because of the inconsistencies. I can equally imagine that if every person interviewed gave very similar accounts conspiracy theorists would also see this as a strange occurrence and say it was all too ‘scripted’ or something similar.

  21. ConspicuousCarlon 19 Jan 2013 at 5:18 pm

    bewisetoday on 11 Jan 2013 at 3:48 pm

    why would a White Wasp woman in Connecticut even have a Bushmaster assault rifle?

    1. Because she wanted a rifle, and the Bushmaster is a rifle. Probably chosen for the same reasons everyone buys iPhones. Oddly enough, a lot of people think AR15s are crap. But they look cool and all of your friends have one!

    2. It’s not an “assault rifle”.

    All descriptions of Nancy Lanza is that she was generous,

    Of course, generous people don’t own rifles. Instead of metal detectors at airports, the TSA should just ask every passenger to lend them a cup of flour.

  22. BillyJoe7on 19 Jan 2013 at 7:34 pm


    “if every person interviewed gave very similar accounts conspiracy theorists would also see this as a strange occurrence and say it was all too ‘scripted’ or something similar”

    They would probably be correct in that case. ;)

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