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33 Responses

  1. Steven says:

    Good article.

    Would you share your discoveries about Plandemic?

  2. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    If someone else were POTUS 45 the people who take plandemic seriously would probably be even more paranoid, if only in the sense that conspiracy theories about that family have abounded on the right for decades.

  3. Michael says:

    Steven ,

    Theres a bunch of stuff on my Facebook page…

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/scientist-vaccine-jailed/?fbclid=IwAR2CBtAdqgS73S9SGbNe1vh18zlWgVHHRDu6xT9kAH4cvKuAuX6u7l7bw9Q

    “I have no interest in getting into debates with those of you who are posting all the conspiracy theories. You’re going to do what you’re going to do. And I’m not interested in arguing, because you will believe what you want to, regardless of evidence

    . But for those who are wondering what’s wrong with these theories, here’s some information someone has put together on this “Plandemic.” Also, you may have to copy and paste some of the links below due to formatting issues.

    “Hi friends, some of you have I’m sure seen the video circulating about SARS-CoV2 being “planned”. There are a ton of false claims in the video, some of which I’ve outlined and fact checked below. Normally I try to stay out of this stuff, but I felt compelled to refute her outrageous lies. She’s endangering lives with that video.

    Claim 1: Judy Mikovits worked for Dr. Anthony Fauci
    Fact check: She was a research fellow with Francis “Frank” Ruscetti and Dr. David Derse, both at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). While NCI and NIAID are both institutes within the NIH (National Institutes of Health), she was certainly NOT an employee of Tony Fauci.

    Claim 2: She was jailed
    Fact check: She was in fact jailed for 5 days related to charges that she removed lab notebooks from her institute (WPI), see below for details.

    Claim 3: “Her 1991 doctorial (sic) thesis revolutionized the treatment of HIV-AIDS”
    Fact check: Okay, it’s doctoral not doctorial, but we’ll leave that aside. Her thesis has not done anything for the treatment of HIV-AIDS. That would be anti-retroviral therapies, which she had nothing to do with. In fact, it was first published in the Lancet in 1986 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2869302). She did her thesis on developing a cell-line to study HIV—not exactly a miracle cure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/…/PMC2187891/pdf/je17151705.pdf). While it’s great thesis work, it did not revolutionize the care of HIV-infected individuals.

    Claim 3: “Animal and human fetal tissue use unleashed devastating plagues on humanity”
    Fact check: The paper in question allegedly found DNA from a virus (XMRV—xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) in their samples from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and control samples. Attempts to replicate the finding were unsuccessful. Robert Silverman, a co-author on the study, later found contamination with the viral DNA in the samples, which explains why other labs were unable to replicate the findings. Mikovits and others went on to find no association between the virus and CFS (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22991430).
    See the retraction below:
    Science issued a full retraction of the study:
    “Science is fully retracting the Report “Detection of an infectious retrovirus, XMRV, in blood cells of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome” (1). Multiple laboratories, including those of the original authors (2), have failed to reliably detect xenotropic murine leukemia virus– related virus (XMRV) or other murine leukemia virus (MLV)–related viruses in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients. In addition, there is evidence of poor quality control in a number of specific experiments in the Report. Fig. 1, table S1, and fig. S2 have been retracted by the authors (3). In response to concerns expressed about Fig. 2C [summarized in (4)], the authors acknowledged to Science that they omitted important information from the legend of this figure panel. Specifically, they failed to indicate that the CFS patient– derived peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) shown in Fig. 2C had been treated with azacytidine as well as phytohemagglutinin and interleukin-2. This was in contrast to the CFS samples shown in Figs. 2A and 2B, which had not been treated with azacytidine. Given all of these issues, Science has lost confidence in the Report and the validity of its conclusions. We note that the majority of the authors have agreed in principle to retract the Report but they have been unable to agree on the wording of their statement. It is Science’s opinion that a retraction signed by all the authors is unlikely to be forthcoming. We are therefore editorially retracting the Report. We regret the time and resources that the scientific community has devoted to unsuccessful attempts to replicate these results.” -Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief
    References
    1. V. C. Lombardi et al., Science 326, 585 (2009); 10.1126/science.1179052.
    2. G. Simmons et al., Science 334, 814 (2011); 10.1126/science.1213841.
    3. R. H. Silverman et al., Science 334, 176 (2011); 10.1126/science.1212182. 4. J. Cohen, ScienceInsider (4 October 2011); http://scim.ag/_Mikovits.

    She has also made claims that XMRV has associations with Parkinson’s Disease, autism spectrum disorder, and multiple sclerosis; however, there is no research supporting these claims.
    Literally no idea how this relates to animal and human fetal tissue, but hey, let’s use buzz words!

    Claim 4: “The minions of big pharma waged war on Mikovits”
    Fact check: The institute she worked for (Whittemore Peterson Institute, or WPI) filed charges against her alleging she removed lab notebooks and proprietary information from WPI. This is standard policy for every research institute. We’re not allowed to remove our lab notebooks from the lab. For one thing, she could fake data in it while it’s gone. For another, it’s not HER research—it belongs to whomever funded the research—in this case WPI. WPI is not “big pharma” (https://www.sciencemag.org/…/criminal-charges-dropped-again…#)
    Whew—only 40 seconds in and it’s already full of fake claims. Let’s keep on going!

    Claim 5: “She was arrested and put under a gag order because her ‘discovery’ went against the agreed upon narrative”
    Fact check: For questions about her arrest, see Claim 2 and 7 (arrested for stealing lab notebooks—which is in fact, illegal). For the gag order bit—what is this gag order against? What was her “discovery” that went against the narrative? If she’s referring to her now retracted 2009 Science paper, SHE HERSELF went on to confirm that her paper was incorrect—there is no association between XMRV and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    Claim 6: “Heads of HHS (Health and Human Services) colluded and destroyed her reputation.”
    Fact check: What does HHS have to do with her paper retraction and her taking her lab notebooks from WPI? She’s just throwing in every government agency she can to fire people up against “the institution”. Let’s throw in the department of agriculture, the DNR, heck, let’s blame the DMV! Also, why would they bother to destroy her reputation when she had done it herself by continuing to defend her retracted study?

    Claim 7: “They charged her with nothing, but held her in jail.”
    Fact check: She was charged with two felonies: “possession of stolen property and unlawful taking of computer data, equipment, supplies and other computer-related property” (https://www.chicagotribune.com/…/ct-met-mikovits-charges-ma…)
    Also really loving the dramatic SWAT footage and saying she was “drug from her house”…yeah…she turned herself in (http://mynews4.com/news/local/judy-mikovits-turns-herself-in).

    Claim 8: She has no constitution rights or freedoms
    Fact check: Last I checked, Health and Human Services couldn’t take away someone’s constitutional rights. I know you can lose some rights if you’re a prisoner (i.e. the right to bear arms, etc), but yeah…this is super unclear to me.

    Claim 9: Dr. Anthony Fauci directed a “cover-up”
    Fact check: Cover-up of what, exactly? There is ZERO evidence that he took part in any cover-up. Her paper was retracted, and she was accused of taking WPI property from her lab. What did Tony Fauci have to do with any of this? She was at WPI at the time—not NIAID. She’s never even worked at NIAID…

    Claim 10: “Dr. Fauci is only saying propaganda during coronavirus briefings”
    Fact check: Dr. Fauci is giving the best advice possible given available data. Give me one example of him saying propaganda. Go ahead, I’ll wait… He is telling us to wash our hands, wear face masks, and avoid large gatherings. These are all things you should do when we have a highly infectious respiratory virus on the loose, one for which we have no vaccine.

    Claim 11: “Tony Fauci tried to silence her work and fire her for ‘insubordination’”
    Fact check: A paper “In press” has already been accepted for publication. So…how on earth would Tony Fauci hold up publication of it? The date of publication after acceptance is up to the journal editors, not other scientists. That’s just not how publication works. Also, has Dr. Ruscetti (her former advisor) made a statement on this? Even if they were beaten to submission to publication by Gallo (it’s called getting scooped), there would still be a paper from her and Ruscetti, maybe in a “lower impact” journal than they were hoping for—but there’s not. It just doesn’t make logical sense.
    As to him threatening her job, Tony Fauci was not and has never been her boss, and had no authority to fire her. He is the head of NIAID, not NCI.

    Claim 12: “Tony Fauci withheld her work so he could file for a patent”
    Fact check: While it is true that Tony Fauci and the government have a patent for an HIV therapy (IL-2) (http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser…(((FAUCI+AND+IL2)+AND+HIV)+AND+IMMUNOLOGIC)&OS=FAUCI+AND+IL2+AND+HIV+AND+IMMUNOLOGIC&RS=(((FAUCI+AND+IL2)+AND+HIV)+AND+IMMUNOLOGIC)), this is by law. “As a government employee, he was required by law to put his name on the patent for the development of IL-2, and was also required by law to receive part of the payment the government received for use of the patent.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC545012/)
    How withholding her work would have benefited him is seriously unclear to me.
    Fun fact: he donated the patent money to charity. So there’s that.

    Claim 13: “The entire continent of Africa lost a generation due to Tony Fauci delaying her publication”
    Fact check: First, 25% of the population of Africa did not die from HIV/AIDS in 1983, 84, and/or 85. Second, how would the publication of her “confirmatory study” have altered the outcome? There is nothing in any of those “competing” studies that would have miraculously stopped the spread of the virus. What was in her study that would have saved these people? She doesn’t say what was in this study.

    Claim 14: “Dr. Fauci’s patent is a conflict of interest for him advising on SARS-Cov2.”
    Fact check: See above about Fauci’s patent—IL-2 therapy has nothing to do with SARS-Cov2. So there’s that.

    Claim 15: “A SARS-Cov2 vaccine would kill millions, as they already have with their vaccines.”
    Fact check: Okay, this is a whole anti-vaccination can of worms here, but a few salient points below:
    Adverse reactions to vaccines, while extremely rare, do happen. Here’s a reference to get you started if you’re interested. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26004568
    Deaths following vaccination are essentially UNHEARD OF. It’s possible to have a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine, much like someone with a peanut allergy. That’s why they have you sit there for about 15 minutes after a vaccine to make sure you don’t go into anaphylactic shock.
    I want to note, if you’ve experienced redness, fever, swelling, and pain following vaccination—that’s completely NORMAL. A vaccine is designed to trigger your immune system—hence the symptoms some people experience following vaccination.
    If you’re still wondering about that one “study” that was retracted from a former doctor who lost his medical license, yeah, scientists tried over and over to repeat that one. They couldn’t—because the guy made up the data. Here’s a major study of 95,000 kids. Major finding: “In this large sample of privately insured children with older siblings, receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with increased risk of ASD, regardless of whether older siblings had ASD. These findings indicate no harmful association between MMR vaccine receipt and ASD even among children already at higher risk for ASD.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25898051)

    Claim 17: “This virus was manipulated in a lab”
    Fact check: Multiple groups have been investigating the origins of this virus. You can do this by studying the nucleotide sequence of the virus—among other ways. The authors found NO evidence that this was a purposefully manipulated or constructed virus. For one thing, the spike protein the virus uses to bind ACE-2 and get into cells is sub-optimal. If you were going to manipulate it, you’d make it better at binding ACE-2. (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9).
    There is ZERO evidence that this was released. She has no data to back up her claims. Let’s see the data please.

    Claim 18: “3.7 million dollars went from NIH to Wuhan lab in China”
    Fact check: EcoHealth Alliance in New York held an NIH grant worth 3.7 million, for which they obtained permission to send $76,000 annually to their collaborators in China, who were studying Coronaviruses. Here’s a link to the grant, and an article describing the collaboration.
    https://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cf…
    https://www.npr.org/…/why-the-u-s-government-stopped-fundin…

    Claim 19: “The Wuhan lab was already studying Coronavirus in the past, and Fauci hasn’t disclosed his association with them.”
    Fact check: The Wuhan lab studied this FAMILY of viruses, alongside the NIAID funded EcoHealth Alliance. They did not study the specific one we have circulating the globe now (SARS-CoV2). Coronavirus is a generic name for family of viruses that includes SARS-CoV2. So yes, the Wuhan lab studied that family of viruses, but not the one causing the pandemic. Also, Tony Fauci wasn’t secretly working with them—he’s in charge of the agency that gave the grant to EcoHealth Alliance, which had permission to collaborate with the lab in Wuhan.
    Note: Tony Fauci does not decide who gets NIAID money and who doesn’t. A grant is scored by a panel of expert scientists (not NIH people), and then the top scoring grants get funded. It’s not like Tony Fauci picks his favorites.

    Claim 20: “In 1999, I was working…to teach Ebola how to infect human cells without killing them. Ebola couldn’t infect human cells until we took it in the laboratories and doctored it.”
    Fact check: There is ZERO evidence for this. I mean for starters, the first Ebola outbreak was in 1976, near the Ebola river (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/…/PM…/pdf/bullwho00439-0113.pdf). She claims she worked on this in 1999—to “teach Ebola how to infect human cells”.
    Yeah, this is just crazy.
    This feels like a good place to stop. Hopefully this is enough to convince you that she is not a credible source. She is trying to make money off of this crisis by peddling her ridiculous claims in this video and in her book. Her motives are clear: money and fame.
    Laura Beth”

    ?Yo I’m not going to watch your 25-minute YouTube conspiracy video. I’m not even going to watch your 5-minute conspiracy video. This isn’t because I don’t have an open mind. This is because video is a shitty way to transmit information, specifically geared towards emotional manipulation, and I hate it. I can read probably about five times as fast as people speak, so if you want me to look at a write-up, I’ll try to find a time when I have the emotional energy for it. One of my friends was nice enough to summarize parts of it for me, which I respond to below. This is another long one.

    I want to address, specifically, the first thirteen seconds of the “Plandemic Documentary” conspiracy video, because that’s all I watched. It starts by saying Dr. Judy Mikovits “has been called one of the most accomplished scientists of her generation”. Snopes did a good article on who she is: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/scientist-vaccine-jailed/

    Basically she had done some reasonable science at some point, some of it on HIV, and then published a paper in Science about XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome. The paper was retracted because nobody could replicate the findings, and it was concluded that the XMRV came entirely from laboratory contamination. Someone else wrote a poorly-sourced paper about how XMRV could have gotten into humans via vaccines, and the anti-vax/plague-enthusiast community jumped on this as a possible way that vaccines hurt people. Mikovits also ran into some troubles with the law for allegedly stealing lab equipment after being fired. She’s now basically off the deep end and popular in the anti-vax community. I would say that pretty much anything she says should be taken with SERIOUS skepticism.

    The problem with a lot of conspiracy theories/videos usually comes down to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gish_gallop
    It takes a lot more effort to refute and argue against false claims than it does to make them. I’m sure that somebody at some point will come up with a comprehensive point-by-point refutation of this video, it just takes a while. One of the bigger mistakes we’ve made as a scientific community (and keep making) is that we let shit like this go unchecked for too long. It can be pretty obvious to someone with a scientific background (like the Bakersfield doctors bullshit) and still spread widely in the population.

    -From what I can tell, a big claim in this video is that the pandemic isn’t that dangerous, and that the measures we’re taking are an overreaction. First off, I’d like to say that I have a very legitimate concern about the potential authoritarian consequences of what it’s going to take to track and treat patients. I have very serious concerns about the economic impact of what’s going on. I don’t think there’s a good way out of this, and I don’t think there are any completely good options. This shit sucks a LOT and it makes me really sad. What I don’t have time for is the infantile fantasy that those choices somehow don’t exist and that there’s some reason that this situation doesn’t actually suck as badly as it does. It’s possible that we’re overreacting as a society! It just really doesn’t seem likely. As I’ve said before, anyone claiming certainty about what to do here is somewhere between being overconfident and just plain lying. What I can say is that the overwhelming evidence so far indicates that the measures we’re taking are going to mean the American death toll of this disease being hundreds of thousands instead of millions.

    -SARS-CoV-2 wasn’t engineered in a lab: https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-not-human-made-in-l…
    People have been studying viruses for a long time. Part of that study involves manipulating them. There was a whole controversy a while back about making more lethal flu strains. That doesn’t mean SARS-CoV-2 wasn’t naturally occurring. It may seem suspicious that this pandemic is happening, but we as a scientific community have talked about this possibility for DECADES. SARS-CoV-1, MERS, recent flu pandemics, etc. weren’t this big just because we were lucky. Nobody is talking about how we made those in a lab (they weren’t) because nobody cares about them.

    -I generally agree that nobody should profit off a vaccine. That’s a problem with capitalism, and the US specifically, and is true of everything in the medical community.

    -About MDs being incentivized to report coronavirus cases (from a prior comment of mine):
    This is a common conspiracy theory. People who claim physicians are over-reporting deaths typically point to the (true) fact that hospitals get paid a bonus for Covid patients, so there’s a financial incentive for claiming that a person died from Covid. This has a few major holes in it:

    1) Falsifying a medical record is illegal, hospitals get audited by CMS (Medicare) all the time to make sure the charts are accurate, and there are huge fines for lying.
    2) Hospitals do get paid extra, but physicians don’t, which is something people seem not to understand. This theory assumes that physicians are willing to put themselves at legal risk for the sake of a hospital (we almost always aren’t).
    3) There’s a huge list of conditions that allow hospitals to get paid more for admissions – low sodium, malnutrition, diabetes, etc. We don’t lie about these conditions either, because of 1 and 2 above.
    4) The extra money for Covid patients is for medical notes, not death certificates. This is a subtle distinction to people outside the medical field, but putting a cause of death on a certificate is a separate process from documenting in a note, and falsifying those is ALSO illegal.

    The other thing that I would say is that if you have Covid, it exacerbates underlying conditions. Literally almost any other cause of death would be worsened by having an infection that lowers your blood oxygen levels. It can trigger heart attacks, COPD exacerbations, asthma exacerbations, set your lungs up for pneumonia, and (yes actually) make you more likely to die from a trauma. If you have an infection and die from almost anything else, you died in part from Covid. Just like if you have a pneumonia and die from almost anything else, you died in part from pneumonia. That’s how medical causes of death work, and they always have.

    If people are coming at this from the perspective that physicians are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get more money, it feeds into their pre-existing biases, so it’s easy to see how that get amplified. I don’t know of any respectable scientists working on this project who think deaths are being over-counted – I’ve only seen it pushed by people who are already engaging in motivated reasoning to come to the conclusion that this epidemic isn’t as bad as we’ve been led to believe.

    -Hydroxychloroquine probably doesn’t work, no matter how much anyone wants to believe it does. It’s still being studied, but preliminary data aren’t positive. Not sure what to say about that except that we do studies on these things for a reason – the plural of anecdote is not data.

    -There’s some confusing claims in there about animals and the way vaccines are made. I’m going to chalk that up to crazy anti-vax bullshit and move on. If anyone has a better response, please feel free to jump in.

    -Apparently there’s a claim that people are holding off on developing effective therapies because they want to vaccinate everybody. The only way this thought begins to make sense is if you’re coming from a world view in which vaccination or the avoidance of a vaccination is a goal in and of itself. So again, anti-vax bullshit.

    -There’s some stuff in there about how masks don’t work, how we develop immune responses from exposure to our environment, that sheltering from the rest of the world will hurt our immune systems, etc. This is, again, standard anti-vaxxer bullshit and does not comport with reality. Staying inside for a few months isn’t going to nuke our immune systems.

    Like I said before, as far as I can tell this video is a tsunami of unrelated conspiracy theories and anti-vax talking points. Nobody is going to be able to address all of them satisfactorily. But if your position is “well 80% of this is clearly refutable but I wonder about that 20%”, at some point you’re going to have to realize that the most likely explanation for this entire video is that it’s politically motivated, written by anti-vaxxers, and that your baseline assumption should be that none of this is scientifically sensical. For example, there are no “good microbes” on beaches that we’re somehow specifically keeping people away from.

    Conspiracy theories don’t take hold if they don’t appeal to people. Since a lot of the claims being made can’t possibly be falsified in a way that people will listen to, the question is whether or not this fits into the listener’s worldview. And the truth is, as far as I can tell, that it’s more comforting for many people to believe that someone is in charge (even with malignant intentions) than it is to see the world as an essentially chaotic system in which horrible things happen for no good reason.

    Except there’s an actual reason this happened the way it did, at least in the US. It’s because we have the worst administration this country has ever seen, our president disbanded all the early warning systems, ignored everybody with relevant expertise, and as far as I can do has done very little on a national level besides steal hospital supplies from states.

    Just a few quick things to add since this blew up a bit:
    – I have a PhD in public health, I do research on antimicrobial resistance among bacteria. I’m not a virologist or epidemiologist, although I’ve taken classes in these disciplines.
    – I’m an ICU doctor, and I see people dying from this disease every day I’m at work these days.
    – I’m usually not interested in debating you or your friends on Facebook. This is a line I’ve set for my mental health.
    – If we don’t have any mutual friends, I almost definitely won’t accept your friend request.

    Thanks for being reasonable!”

  4. CM says:

    The best answer to conspiracy theories and reasons why people believe is to watch the South Park episode, “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce.”

    Here is a partial transcript that illustrates the WHY:

    <>

    Mr. Hardly: For a government to have power, they must appear to have complete control. What better way to make people fear them than to convince them they are capable of the most elaborate plan on earth?

    ….

    Bush [dropping the act]: Boys, you don’t understand. People need to think we are all-powerful. That we control the world. If they know we weren’t in charge of 9/11 then… we appear to control nothing.

    Kyle: Well why don’t you just tell people the truth?!

    Bush: We do that too. And most people believe the truth. But one fourth of the population is retarded. If they wanna believe we control everything with intricate plans, why not let them?

    <>

    For a look at the psychology of conspiracy theory belief:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/psychologist-explains-why-people-believe-conspiracy-theories-during-uncertain-times-2020-4

    Another reason:

  5. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    seasons 4 through 10 were the golden years of that show.

  6. CM says:

    Wenatchee,

    Agreed. Though it was still quite good before and for some years afterward.

    My take on the election of 2016 was that it was South Park in real life. A choice between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich. The 2020 election will be no different. Fortunately in 2016 I chose neither the Giant Douche nor the Turd Sandwich and I will do the same in 2020.

  7. Bill Barry says:

    I agree that extremism is always wrong. However, just to clarify, Calvary Chapel pastors were never told what they needed to do in reference to Social Security. We all knew that we had the choice to opt out or not. Some did some didn’t.

  8. CM says:

    Bill,

    Well they were taken in by a flawed eschatology. The same could be said about the Millerites in 1844.

    Those that opted out because Jesus didn’t come back in 1988 (according to them), then they should take whatever consequences as a result. I have about as much sympathy for them as I would a unblemished lamb salesman in March of AD 70. (right before Passover)

    Maybe they should have read things such as:

    Proverbs 21:5
    Proverbs 24:27
    1 Timothy 5:8

    and many others…

  9. Em says:

    People are fickle, changeable making it difficult to make blanket statements…. Besides we can’t out think the devil….
    We can only focus on the One Who can do that….
    As one who believes in the rapturing out of the Church and the millennial reign of Christ* before the new heavens and earth, i wonder how much longer…. but if we dispies are wrong and God brings the hammer down once for all next, I’ll take that…

    *there logic behind Dispensationalism, not just an unfounded grabbed from thin air theory… God is very thorough

    Now i’m done … God keep 🙏

  10. CM says:

    Em,

    As one of the more rational dispies, I don’t have a problem at all with your most recent comment (nor with the more rational and open-minded dispies in general).

    My biggest beef is the with all Chuck Smiths, Hal Lindsays, John Hagees, Tim Lahayes and their like of the world. They do a book, sermon, conference, newsletter, sermon, TV show, teaching series, etc. and push the Rapture will have by X or on Y. If they are smart, they conveniently add some fine print (much like “your mileage may vary”) somewhere to add plausible deniability when confronted. All the while they still hype X or Y to no end. And lots of people pay money, time, and attention on all their stuff.

    Then nothing happens by X or on Y. All the previous stuff they pushed conveniently goes down the memory hole and when pressed on it, they show the fine print. Then they push a new Rapture by A or on B (or the second iteration or revision). Repeat what they did before. Then A or on B doesn’t happen either.

    Rinse and repeat ad nauseam. Even worse, many of their followers do the exact same thing.

    You see very little criticism within the dispy camp on this.

    Ironically, the intensity of the noise from the dispy camp is directly correlated to the social, economic, and political conditions in the US at the time and whether TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE is in charge.

    And dispies wonder why they are not taken seriously or held in high regards.

  11. Patty says:

    Curious: Do many of the Calvary Chapel pastors read this blog? I know that Don McClure does and Bill Barry….

  12. Em says:

    CM, thank you… I was never caught up in the “Left Behind ” pandemonium… had i been burned by that, would i drop the Dispensation view? dunno… From my human viewpoint it seems very plausible, logical…. I’m just ready for all this running in circles, pointing fingers to sunside 😇

  13. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    Michael–I believe what you are writing is a prophetic word and warning to the church. The word from Isaiah is wonderful truth. I have always been a deep skeptic about conspiracy theories. I’m not sure why, I just don’t believe them. I’m thankful for that propensity. The people of God are in mortal spiritual danger. We have succumbed to the ways of antichrist, the ruler of this world. God forbid, this may be a prophetic word also, from our Lord: “They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” John 16:2

  14. Em says:

    “Sunside? ” No – subside. 😕

  15. Em says:

    Mike has a point!

  16. DavidM says:

    Conspiracy theories are like a drug: they enable people to cope with the tragic circumstances around them. It enables them to make sense of what doesn’t make sense. So they cling to something that gives structure (albeit phantom structure) and helps them to say, “this means that, that means this, and it is all a part of God’s plan”.

    What saddens me is that so many friends and relatives are embracing this crap and seem to have become medical and health experts in the process. It has all served to divide friends and families. In their minds, there is only one way to view all of this. I mean, it truly breaks my heart. I have shed tears over this as I watch the chasm deepen between long-time friends.

    It also breaks my heart that life will most likely never in my lifetime return to what it was. I hope that I am wrong. I have come to grips with the changes in air travel in the wake of 9/11. I travel a great deal internationally and am OK with all the security checks, etc. But the immediate future doesn’t look so good. When my wife and I pray that God would have mercy on us all and life this pandemic, or allow a vaccine to be developed, I feel as if my prayer is so puny. I mean, one voice out of 7 billion: what difference will my prayer make? But we continue to persevere in our prayers. My wife and I are very fortunate and want to do what we can to help others, home and abroad. There is not a lot of “coping” for us, as we are OK at this point. It is more difficult to cope with the breakdown in relationships, especially in the church. It would be great to wake up from this bad dream one day and realize it was a dream. But, for now, I am just thankful to wale up in the morning at all!

  17. Michael says:

    Mike,

    “They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” John 16:2

    That is what scares me…

  18. Michael says:

    Well said DavidM!

  19. DavidM says:

    Sorry for the couple of typos. Meant “lift” instead of life, “wake” instead of wale.

  20. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    Michael—indeed. Scares me too. Partly because I do not see it as that far off. May God have mercy on us all!

  21. CM says:

    David and Michael,

    What David said very ties in the link I referenced in my earlier post. Psychologists have determined several reasons why people cling to conspiracy theories.

    Here is another link:

    https://www.verywellmind.com/why-people-believe-in-conspiracy-theories-4690335

    From the link above:

    Researchers suggest that there are a number of different reasons why people believe in conspiracy theories. Many of these explanations boil down to three key driving factors:

    A need for understanding and consistency (epistemic)
    A need for control (existential)
    A need to belong or feel special (social)

  22. CM says:

    Another thing about conspiracy theories, is that to weave the theory the Principle of Occam’s Razor is ignored. Also, one needs to keep in mind another principle:

    Hanlon’s Razor: “Never to attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity (or incompetence).”

    Robert A. Heinlein had a similar saying in his novella Logic of Empire. “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.”

  23. Em says:

    Conspiracies shouldn’t be ruled out…. Long years ago part of my job was expediting classified material from one place to another using a standard wrapping procedure that hid contents. I worked with a couple young women who intensely disliked me and made their feelings known to all… One of them requested a transfer to another plant. Odd as it was a “step down….” Her new boss had requested a batch of classified drawings and upon receipt of the package, they were not all there, even though listed on the packing slip and i was in Trouble! Guess who had signed for the bundle? … long story short, they launched an investigation and found the missing drawings in the air intake vent in the women’s restroom at their destination. Someone got fired, but it wasn’t me. 🙏
    Conspiracies do exist… But it is best not to fly off the handle without evidence

  24. CM says:

    Em,

    That is the effect from office political BS. Somehow I don’t think anyone else other than the 2 (or maybe one) people who disliked you in the office were involved. Second, the SOP I assume is to look at the entire chain of possession and filing and work their way back (of which there is plenty of evidence). Also, it is not out of the reasonableness to believe that if it was not you, but someone who was in the historical possession chain that misplaced the documents.

    A conspiracy would involve someone setting you up because you ran into someone who once a blurry photocopy of a B & W that shows it was the space alien from Roswell who was the shooter on the Grassy Knoll. Also the conspiracy people would say that the investigation was a sham and the pettiness of your coworker was a ruse. The real reason is the one I had mentioned about Roswell and JFK.

  25. Em says:

    CM, i wasn’t thinking aliens from space conspiracies. 😊
    I shortened the story, but it was a conspiracy (i could have gone to jail) – placing the material in the return air duct wasn’t exactly “misplacing.” they underestimated my track record and some very savvy investigators. And God’s grace. 😇
    Nevertheless, a conspiracy requires solid evidence, not boogeymen, agreed

  26. billl barry says:

    cm and patty,I already said I don’t like extremism. All movements will have some extremists,but for the most part,CCCM was balanced Chuck treated us as adults urged us to use discernment.Patty, I follow pp to see how others in the Body of Christ think.Sometimes I agree,sometimes I don’t.

  27. bob1 says:

    Good article on conspiracies from a Xn viewpoint.

    Money quote:

    Conspiracy theories are a lot like Gnosticism.

    They claim that only an enlightened few know what is actually going on in the world and what almost everyone else knows is a lie; that the knowledge available to the average person on the street is unreliable.

    I cannot believe how many who trust in Christ are manipulated and misled in their daily lives by what is so often nonsense.

    And obsession with wild speculations steals energy from the sort of practical imitation that the Spirit empowers in us when we take time to contemplate the life of Jesus: care for the stranger, the prisoner, the sick, the hungry and thirsty, the naked, the sex slave, the widow, and the orphan. It’s sexier to tell others about a fearsome secret cabal that controls everything and everyone.

    The good news is that the Gospel — the things that God has done to make the world right again, what God has done to secure everyone’s future — is public information, available to everyone. And this Gospel, this Love, casts out fear.

    https://medium.com/@kennethtanner/love-rules-the-world-not-conspiracy-966423289329

  28. https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/5lhODHqqZHUCqwOZcw2liL/Umberto-Eco–A-theory-of-conspiracies.html

    “In practice, if I encounter someone who is convinced that world affairs are run by the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers or some other secret society, what do I do about it? I give up—and I worry. Every conspiracy theory steers the public psyche toward imaginary perils, thereby distracting it from genuine threats. ”

    There’s a quote by Eco about the conspiracy theory of history, but I can’t find it. As he touches upon in this short opinion piece, Dan Brown became famous by peddling the theory that The Holy Grail was a reference to the bloodline from Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Such theories tickle peoples’ preconceptions.

  29. Steven says:

    Thanks for the reply, Michael

  30. Jean says:

    It would be very helpful if the POTUS, who counts among his supporters the vast majority of conspiracy theory consumers, would come out and not only support his public health professionals but flat out disavow the conspiracy theories and their proponents. That would be stable leadership and putting our nation first.

  31. bob1 says:

    Jean,

    I’m in total agreement.

    But he’s not a leader. Look to the state governors for leadership.

    Unfortunately, as is so very clear by now, for Trump, it’s all and only about Trump — his reelection, etc.

  32. Jean says:

    bob1, regrettably, I think you’re right. However, I thought it appropriate to present for the readers what strong and faithful leadership in a situation such as this looks like.

    I remember the 2008 campaign, when the late John McCain called out a possessed woman who called then Candidate Barack Obama an Arab. Senator McCain gently, but firmly, replied: “No, ma’am, he’s a decent family man, citizen that just I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what the campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].”

    McCain could have let it go, or even endorse that woman (and may have gained a point or two in the polls among the conspiracy theorists), but instead, to his credit, he put his integrity and the integrity of his campaign, and the best interests of his country, as a country that values truth, above his own personal interest.

  33. bob1 says:

    Jean,

    Yes, I remember that incident like it was yesterday. McCain showed so much dignity and respect, and spoke out against prejudice and
    for truth.

    Sad to see how very far things have deteriorated.

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