Conspiracy Theories — Do Your Homework!

I’ve talked before about conspiracy theories. It seems as though it might be time to revisit that topic again. I’ll never quite understand why so many preppers and survivalists cling to conspiracy theories. I mean, sure, I love reading about them. I find them interesting and entertaining. Buy why is it that a group of people who typically refuse to believe anything they read or see in the mainstream media will instead just swallow, hook, line and sinker, anything they read or see on a fringe website?

Case in point, H.R. 6566 – `Mass Fatality Planning and Religious
Considerations Act’

Several of the fringe websites have reported about this bill, saying it was recently passed and that it details the procedures for mass body disposal. That, coupled with the recent reports of several government agencies buying huge amounts of ammunition, was enough to put many bloggers into a frenzy.

The thing is though, the bill hasn’t passed. It was just introduced at the end of September. It is sponsored by a lone member of Congress, a Democrat from California. Odds are pretty good this bill will never leave committee. Yet, bloggers around the country are acting like it is the end of the world.

You can read the entire text of the bill here. The reading might take you five minutes at best.

My point is this. Any time you read or hear about some outlandish conspiracy theory, do your own homework instead of just jumping on the bandwagon. Just because someone has a blog or website, that doesn’t mean they really know what they are talking about. I mean, you do realize there are folks out there right now who vehemently believe the Earth is flat, right? Yep and the scary thing is, their vote counts just as much as yours and mine….

If you tell me a damaged nuclear reactor in Japan is about to make the entire Northern Hemisphere a radioactive wasteland, I’m going to ask you to back up that claim with some verifiable facts. If your first source is a guy who says the earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit Japan was man-made and intentional, yeah you’ve lost me as a convert right there. Don’t try to use one conspiracy theory to prove another.

Do your own research. Don’t take anything told to you at face value.

The movie Contagion made this point rather well, I thought. If you’ve not seen it yet, what follows is a spoiler.

In the movie, there is a blogger who helps break the story of the pandemic. Because of this, his site becomes very popular and he has tens of thousands of readers who follow every word as the pandemic rages across the country. At one point, there is news of a “miracle cure” of sorts and the blogger posts video of himself sick and taking this medicine. Within a short time, he’s made a miraculous recovery and people swarm stores trying to buy the cure.

Turns out though that the blogger had never been sick. He’d been paid a tidy sum by the manufacturer to dupe his fans into buying the product. Folks from across the country bought the story without thinking twice.

Do you really think that could never happen in real life?

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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