I’m not making any claims in this column about JFK. Not a peep about RFK or MLK. 9/11? Nein. No claims, or definitive claims about the effects mercury in injections. Nothing about whether electronic voting, or the Moon landing. No specific claims about any specific conspiracy, even the accepted ones, like Osama and his pilots. No conspiracy at all, except a casual one that politicians and pundits surely take advantage of…
…the Conspiracy Conspiracy.
A few years ago a column of mine was published on thimerisol/thiomersal and questions about using it in injections for children, in regards to autism, specifically: mercury. For a while mercury was used in minute portions as a preservative in inoculations. I’d heard the arguments, sat by and watched it debated by people with graphs and stats from both sides. Blood/brain/placenta barriers? Less mercury than one would find in a single flake of tuna? Heard it all.
After all that I took what I thought was a logical stance: after reviewing claims on both sides I declared since mercury does have a record that includes being dangerous to human life that, since there were other preservatives, it would be best to drop thimerosal and use other means. Just to be safe. Not because I bought into every claim, or wanted children not to get injections, or some weird religious/anti-medicine or anti-science bent.
No: even in small quantities, if another means to keep the serum safe other than mercury… I thought “others means” best. Playing it safe as possible with inoculations was what I thought was the most logical and sensible approach.
All hell broke loose.
The pattern should be familiar to all who question what official stories and “facts” as told by those in power, those with influence. Suddenly I was some religious anti-injection, anti-science nutcake. Being a Unitarian Universalist and a theist with agnostic tendencies, I think fellow UUs would be surprised. I would respond by saying: “Just remember this the next time you question ‘wisdom’ that society is damn determined to keep unquestioned. You too will get hit by the conspiracy, conspiracy.
I think anyone who really feels something about some official story that’s being told just doesn’t seem right or, in my case, might not indicate the safest/best path to take, should understand. Yet I’ve known those who question the 9/11 story that will join together to mock those who even mildly question the events of Dallas 63. And those who flip that equation around. Those who simply question events get lumped in with those who think JFK and Elvis are alive and living in luxury on Phobos. And as much as I question their “logic,” I’ll include the fake moon landing folks. I don’t buy into pretty anything they say, but hey, the right to question should be met with at least some civilized discourse.
The Conspiracy, Conspiracy appeals to the bully in folks. Gives them a high. Join in the gang bang. Say you think 9/11 might have happened in a small part because enough attention wasn’t being paid by the President and, why, of course, that means you must buy into everything about Building 7, a missile to the Pentagon, planned demolition and Dick Cheney with hidden WMD in the form of a candlestick up his… in one of the tower’s Men’s Room. Now you see I do believe the first, but the only other one I think might have some validity is Dick Cheney, but I won’t go around promoting my theory regarding what Cheney and his henchman did. So, Don Knotts, if you can hear me, your wide stance for Dick in a public restroom secret is safe with me.
Back away from the joke. Back to thimerosal…
No matter how many I typed the words that I felt inoculations were important, I just wanted to make sure they were safe, those words were ignored. I was a “fundamentalist who rejected science.”
Anyone who has ever read almost every damn thing I’ve written on religion know I consider myself a theist with agnostic tendencies. Read that as, “Something out, probably will never be sure what it is, but willing to admit: there may be nothing.” On debate boards like Volconvo I spend more time on the religion board defending atheists and agnostics than anything else.
I’m sure some of them are convinced I actually am an atheist and, of course, nothing I will ever say or type will convince them otherwise.
Over the years at Volconvo, the debate board I love to visit, I have seem this pattern again and again on different topics. Posters told me I believed in some huge conspiracy. Wait, what “huge conspiracy?” I never wrote about any conspiracy. I wrote, for safety’s sake we’d best pull thimerosol out of our inoculations and use something else, just in case. The stuff wasn’t necessary.
Here the main point…
Whenever you have those who question common wisdom, yes, you have some nuts, semi-nuts and those who simply think we should be more careful or there may be more to the story. Lumping them all together as one may be fun, but the only true insult is to the intelligence of those who insist on doing so instead of actually reading and listening to points being made.
This is the Conspiracy, Conspiracy. The conspiracy to lump all together and humiliate anyone into silence. It’s the attempt to make damn sure whatever story you accept is the only one told, or at least the only one listened to with an ounce of respect.
But if it is true that a “conspiracy theorist” can be “out there,” and I do, couldn’t a “conspiracy conspiracy theorist” be at least doubly “out there?”
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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