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zerinus

Secret Combinations Vs. Conspiracy Theories:

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And it was Elder Benson who made it a best seller.: Now that I find hard to believe! Even in his role as former Secretary that is hard to believe that he alone inspired millions of purchases.

I don’t find that hard to believe. It is such a poor quality book that very few people would have been interested in reading it otherwise.

The Book of Mormon people appear to have had a problem only with “secret combinations,” not with “conspiracy theories”: I think "rumors of wars," a subset of conspiracy theory, was a major issue for them, particularly if the prophecies in 1 Nephi 12 came to pass, which I believe they did. Also a subset of conspiracy theory: the lies against Alma and Amulek (Ether 8 and Helaman 4 also talk about coordinated lies; 3 Nephi 2:2 talks about imagining vain thins to stir people up); Korihor accusing the religious establishment of a conspiracy to glut themselves on the labors of the people.

I think you are stretching that a bit too far. I think that Satan is just very clever, and can deceive almost “the very elect” unless one is careful (Matthew 24:24).

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It was your choice to use the abbreviated word: vs. in the title of this thread, which means: in opposition to. Maybe a poor choice on your part, eh?

I meant to contrast one with the other. I accept the first, and reject the second.

You are obviously stuck on the loaded meaning attached to the phrase ‘conspiracy theories’, neglecting the possibility that there may be very valid conspiracy theories with adequate and sufficient reasons to give them a range of credibility.

If a “conspiracy theory” is “valid” and has “credibility,” then it falls outside my definition of “conspiracy theory,” and become a “secret combination” as defined in the Book of Mormon.

Actually the definitions you supplied imply nothing of the sort that I can see. Re-read them. Disagree? Parse the statements and show where they imply what you say they do.

Well, that is how I understand them.

This argument can be turned on its head, of course. If you neglect to identify very powerful, real conspiracies, you won’t be able to combat them or prepare for what they may have prepared for you. Exactly what measures if implemented by many people who subscribe to a particular conspiracy theory, “would be the surest way of destroying the Constitution”?? Give me some examples, if you would.

I already did in a previous thread here and here, and also in my previous post in reply to Lehi in this thread.

From my point of view, you seem to be handicapping yourself. After all, a secret combination IS a conspiracy by definition. Why take the position that theorizing, or better, hypothesizing about such things is taboo? You have to start somewhere. It’s called research. Of course you want it to be backed up by as much evidence as possible. But remember, we are dealing with secret combinations, and probably aren’t going to be privy to many of their secrets. You can still look at things they may do that are observable; and that point to them and their intentions, etc.

I have nothing against theorizing and hypothesizing. It is when you start taking your hypothesis to far, and start treating it as though it were reality, and become obsessive about it which tend to feed on itself, and keep on spinning it out of the realm of reality into the stratosphere of fantasy, that I become alarmed.

Zerinus, these are reports of what allegedly happened. You might suspect that they may contain inaccuracies, including exaggerations and spin. Actually, the one from Greg Szymanski is quite accurate. I had little problem with it. And it does NOT cast Dr. Jones in a bad light, so scratch it from your list.

I’ll have to say, Mormon Dialogue and Discussion Board has some rabid anti-Jones posters if the locked-down thread: ‘Steven Jones’ “Last Lecture” is any example. This is an indicated of how controversial and emotion-driven this topic is and how it sticks in the craw of so many LDS.

* * *

I think you are now engaging in wishful thinking and burying your head in the sand. The first article I quoted was sympathetic to Dr. Jones, and gave a direct quote form BYU:

Brigham Young University (BYU) issued a public statement this week, discrediting and distancing itself from physics Professor Steven E. Jones for publicly claiming the WTC was brought down by explosives not jet fuel like the government contends.

* * *

Finding a way to discredit Jones in a subtle way, BYU issued the following public statement about Jones’ controversial 9/11 views:

“Brigham Young University has a policy of academic freedom that supports the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and ideas. Through the academic process, ideas should be advanced, challenged, and debated by peer-review in credible venues. We believe in the integrity of the academic review process and that, when it is followed properly, peer-review is valuable for evaluating the validity of ideas and conclusions.

“The university is aware that Professor Steven Jones’ hypotheses and interpretations of evidence regarding the collapse of World Trade Center buildings are being questioned by a number of scholars and practitioners, including many of BYU’s own faculty members.
Professor Jones’ department and college administrators are not convinced that his analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review
.”

The second article gives the following direct quote form BYU:

BYU made this statement last night:

“Physics Professor Steven Jones has made numerous statements about the collapse of the World Trade Center. BYU has repeatedly said that it does not endorse assertions made by individual faculty.

We are, however, concerned about the increasingly speculative and accusatory nature of these statements by Dr. Jones.

The university added, “
BYU remains concerned that Dr. Jones’ works on this topic has not been published in appropriate scientific venues.

It is obvious that BYU both disagreed with his scholarship, as well as disapproved of his conduct.

Your last comment about the article implicating the LDS Church with the ‘conspiracy’ is a real stretch. It simply paraphrases Fetzer and Barrett’s suggestion that Bush may have brought pressure on the Church to let Steve go. That doesn’t implicate the Church in anything that I can see, except maybe the higher ups may have had a hand in putting Prof. Jones on administrative leave. But I actually doubt that.

I think that it does, especially the last line:

If anything, Jones’s paid leave will only add to the conspiracy theorists’ sense that the establishment is out to get them. James Fetzer, the cofounder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, noted that President Bush met with Gordon Hinckley, head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Utah on August 31, and both Fetzer and Barrett suggested government involvement in the decision to stop Jones’s teaching.

It’s well known that there is a certain Mormon presence in the FBI and the CIA,
” Barrett says.

It is obvious that he is trying to insinuate some kind of “collusion” between the LDS Church and CIA and FBI, thus implying LDS involvement with the “conspiracies”.

Incidentally, Professor Jones was NOT fired. There was some pressure to force him into early retirement and Dr. Jones accepted in order to avoid the school further embarrassment over the controversy. He could have stayed and forced a review of his 9/11 research by the school, which they had said they were going to do, but really wanted to avoid. He was allowed to stay on for over two and-a-half years doing the research that led to at least two more papers. The final paper on nano-thermite was reviewed by the school and was published with their OK after making changes they suggested, in April of 2009.

So you have to ask yourself, zerinus, why did the school allow this? Could it be because they thought it was good science? With your last comment you are mixing up science with conspiracy theory. However, it is true that the science indicates a larger circle of conspiracy hardly touched by the official theory.

I’m posting a link to where interested readers can get Dr. Jones’ latest paper. You can then judge for yourself about Dr. Jones' credibility. It is called Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe:

http://www.diexx88blog.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/activethermitic_911.pdf

Unfortunately I don’t have time or the necessary expertise to judge that. I would rather trust the opinion of other trusted individuals or bodies, such as BYU.

Here is a video narrated by David Chandler of the North Tower showing very clear evidence of the explosive fronts cascading down the faces of the building and numerous explosive squibs errupting an various points below this moving front. Especially notice how the upper building largely disintegrates in mid-air. If you have eyes to see, you will begin to understand, if you don’t, you won’t (its being trapped by your own model, kind of thing, in my strongly held view; ref. Thomas Kuhn):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgN080yySe0

I am not impressed. The observed phenomena could be caused by other factors which I do not have the expertise to judge. It does however appear suspect because of the unlikelihood of it having taken place. The various floors of the WTC were hired or rented or owned by all kinds of different businesses and organizations who had complete control over their bit of the property. To be able to put explosives so uniformly throughout that structure (especially over such a length of time as it would have taken to do it) without anybody finding out; and to know of and be able to time it so precisely with the plane dives, is so farfetched that it simply is not credible.

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I meant to contrast one with the other. I accept the first, and reject the second.

If a “conspiracy theory” is “valid” and has “credibility,” then it falls outside my definition of “conspiracy theory,” and become a “secret combination” as defined in the Book of Mormon.

Well, that is how I understand them.

I already did in a previous thread here and here, and also in my previous post in reply to Lehi in this thread.

I have nothing against theorizing and hypothesizing. It is when you start taking your hypothesis to far, and start treating it as though it were reality, and become obsessive about it which tend to feed on itself, and keep on spinning it out of the realm of reality into the stratosphere of fantasy, that I become alarmed.

I think you are now engaging in wishful thinking and burying your head in the sand. The first article I quoted was sympathetic to Dr. Jones, and gave a direct quote form BYU:

Brigham Young University (BYU) issued a public statement this week, discrediting and distancing itself from physics Professor Steven E. Jones for publicly claiming the WTC was brought down by explosives not jet fuel like the government contends.

* * *

Finding a way to discredit Jones in a subtle way, BYU issued the following public statement about Jones’ controversial 9/11 views:

“Brigham Young University has a policy of academic freedom that supports the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and ideas. Through the academic process, ideas should be advanced, challenged, and debated by peer-review in credible venues. We believe in the integrity of the academic review process and that, when it is followed properly, peer-review is valuable for evaluating the validity of ideas and conclusions.

“The university is aware that Professor Steven Jones’ hypotheses and interpretations of evidence regarding the collapse of World Trade Center buildings are being questioned by a number of scholars and practitioners, including many of BYU’s own faculty members.
Professor Jones’ department and college administrators are not convinced that his analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review
.”

The second article gives the following direct quote form BYU:

BYU made this statement last night:

“Physics Professor Steven Jones has made numerous statements about the collapse of the World Trade Center. BYU has repeatedly said that it does not endorse assertions made by individual faculty.

We are, however, concerned about the increasingly speculative and accusatory nature of these statements by Dr. Jones.

The university added, “
BYU remains concerned that Dr. Jones’ works on this topic has not been published in appropriate scientific venues.

It is obvious that BYU both disagreed with his scholarship, as well as disapproved of his conduct.

I think that it does, especially the last line:

If anything, Jones’s paid leave will only add to the conspiracy theorists’ sense that the establishment is out to get them. James Fetzer, the cofounder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, noted that President Bush met with Gordon Hinckley, head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Utah on August 31, and both Fetzer and Barrett suggested government involvement in the decision to stop Jones’s teaching.

It’s well known that there is a certain Mormon presence in the FBI and the CIA,
” Barrett says.

It is obvious that he is trying to insinuate some kind of “collusion” between the LDS Church and CIA and FBI, thus implying LDS involvement with the “conspiracies”.

Unfortunately I don’t have time or the necessary expertise to judge that. I would rather trust the opinion of other trusted individuals or bodies, such as BYU.

I am not impressed. The observed phenomena could be caused by other factors which I do not have the expertise to judge. It does however appear suspect because of the unlikelihood of it having taken place. The various floors of the WTC were hired or rented or owned by all kinds of different businesses and organizations who had complete control over their bit of the property. To be able to put explosives so uniformly throughout that structure (especially over such a length of time as it would have taken to do it) without anybody finding out; and to know of and be able to time it so precisely with the plane dives, is so farfetched that it simply is not credible.

If a “conspiracy theory” is “valid” and has “credibility,” then it falls outside my definition of “conspiracy theory,” and become a “secret combination” as defined in the Book of Mormon.

Good. I think I can see progress in our discussion, then. But it’s unfortunate, in my view, that you buy into the corruption of a perfectly good descriptive term. You buy into the idea that ‘conspiracy theory’ is ONLY an invalid, unsubstantiated ‘theory’ not allowing it to be used for one that may be valid and very well substantiated.

I don’t like this usage because too many people use it to express ridicule and contempt, thereby ending any further discussion of anything so labeled. In other words, even if I have a valid, substantiated theory about a conspiracy, in most cases I will not be allowed to present the case for it being so, as soon as someone pipes up with: Conspiracy Theory!!! Everyone then scatters like scared rabbits away from the topic.

Incidentally, a theory about anything is not the thing itself. In other words, it’s not very clear usage to call a valid, substantiated conspiracy theory an actual secret combination or conspiracy, because the sc/conspiracy has a ‘ding an sich’ reality, wholly independent from any theory about it.

From my point of view, any discussion of conspiracies and secret combinations would be better served by using descriptive qualifiers to differentiate between good conspiracy theories and bad ones; phrases like: ‘that particular conspiracy theory is totally unsubstantiated ’, being an example of what I’m talking about. Then we have something to discuss; namely, why the particular conspiracy theory is unsubstantiated or not.

Well, that is how I understand them.

That’s what I said in the first place. Your personal interpolation.

I already did in a previous thread, and also in my previous post in reply to Lehi in this thread.

Your first example, based on LeSellers post, strikes me as almost a complete misreading of what LeSellers was saying, which was that the Federal government should be limited to those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution, leaving the rest to the States. This is simply a restatement of the 10th Amendment. He also points out a few areas where the Feds have encroached on areas originally left to the States. He sounds very much like someone who appreciates ‘original intent’, which we have discussed before. I happen to agree with him. You don’t, apparently. So all we are doing here is demarking our political differences.

I think it is incredible that you stretch his meaning to: him wanting to destroy the Constitution, etc. You also attribute the same motivation to me. That would be my definition of an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory, which means you seem to be indulging in spinning out what you have said you basically hate: a ‘conspiracy theory’ (using your definition). Unless of course, you can really make a case for your claims. Go to it. But I detect the whiff of psychological projection here.

In your second example, you conflate LeSeller’s desire to return to the original intent of the Constitution with two things: 1) groups/individuals who espouse ‘conspiracy theories’ (your definition of term) and 2) ‘Secret Combinations’ bent on destroying the government, a la 3 Nephi 6:27-28 (who in this case, were made up of lawyers, judges and high priests and their kindred, not robbers, per se) .

In the first case, you are going to have to demonstrate or give good argument as to just how unsubstantiated conspiracy theories will achieve the goal of destroying our Constitutional government; otherwise this is just an empty assertion. But additionally, you are going to have to demonstrate how anything LeSeller’s has said amounts to your definition of a conspiracy theory. You will also have to demonstrate where LeSellers has expressed any desire to do away with the central government or Constitution. I don’t see it. Seems like another unsubstantiated assertion or claim to me.

By the way, the judges, lawyers, high priests and their numerous kindreds in 3 Nephi 6:27-28, were not bent on doing away with the government; they simply wanted to change it into a kingship. They wanted ‘ruler’s law’, which would be a lot stronger, draconian and arbitrary than the judgeship-type of government they wanted to replace. Bye, bye freedom. Unfortunately, it blew up in their face, mainly because they upset an already disintegrating situation due to the unrighteousness of the general population, which resorted to tribal grouping.

What I fear in our present day, and I think LeSellers would agree with me, is that the Federal Government is and will continue accruing unConstitutional power along with whittling away our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties, in effect, moving closer and closer towards ‘rulers law’. And this will eventually lead to our Federal government being incorporated into an even broader, regional and finally world-wide despotism. This is what I see our latter day Gadiantons (LDGs) doing. They are aiming at essentially obtaining the sole management of the government, with only token freedom remaining for the majority of citizens (see Helaman 6:38-39).

And I totally agree with LeSellers where he says attempts at pooh-poohing conspiracy theories is the same as the devil pooh-poohing his existence or the reality of hell, as in 2 Nephi 28:21-25, especially 22. Right on the money, LeSellers! Wow!

You could recast verse 22, thusly: And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none; and he sayeth further: there are no viable conspiracy theories except from those wearing tinfoil hats. And thus he helps convinces the people that his favorite tool in overthrowing nations and peoples, conspiracies and secret combinations, do not exist; that they need not think about such things, that the whole concept of conspiracies and conspiracy theories is ridiculous; and all is well in Zion.”

Now, I know you don’t really believe that, but I do believe that your buying into the ridicule associated with these terms contributes to this kind of attitude.

I have nothing against theorizing and hypothesizing. It is when you start taking your hypothesis to far, and start treating it as though it were reality, and become obsessive about it which tend to feed on itself, and keep on spinning it out of the realm of reality into the stratosphere of fantasy, that I become alarmed.

And well you should, in my view. If belief in a particular conspiracy, whether well substantiated or not contributes to destructive behavior or actions, or wheel-spinning actions, it’s time to draw back and reassess. However, if your hypothesis/theory hits close to describing reality, it gives you great power to adjust your thinking and actions for protection for you and your family. For instance, you may have a clearer notion about who to vote for; you may have a clearer view of how information from the media or elsewhere may be misleading, distorted and even false, you may have a clearer understanding whether entering into a particular war is a good thing or not, etc., etc.

I think you are now engaging in wishful thinking and burying your head in the sand. The first article I quoted was sympathetic to Dr. Jones, and gave a direct quote form BYU:

Me, engaging in wishful thinking and burying my head in the sand?? That gave me a chuckle. Sorry, zerinus, I simply know quite a bit about the behind-the-scenes situation and maneuvering involved with all this. But Szymanski is quite right when he says BYU was “trying to find a way to discredit Jones in a subtle way”. They were desperate to distance themselves from what he was doing for what should be fairly obvious reasons.

Why? Because the whole subject is an extremely hot potato, politically and otherwise: it could affect BYU’s standing with the government and ability to get government funding and grants for their students, it could cast a chill on existing and potential donors; it could even alienate many LDS members, maybe including you, and so on.

So when they come up with statements about concerns regarding rigorous peer-review of his work or the work not being submitted to relevant scientific views, or claims that BYU faculty and other scholars are questioning his conclusions, what would you expect them to do? They had to say something that would “discredit Jones”.

As a matter of fact, the head of the BYU Physics department had told Prof. Jones about a week before Jones’ suspension, that he could not find anything wrong with his scientific work.

Also, the statements made by BYU did not come from any identified individual, though they were made by a particular spokesperson. Nor did they identify what scholars or what members of their faculty objected to Jones’ conclusions. This is actually a no-no, in academia. And remember, a year earlier, he had presented his initial work to about 60 faculty who came to agree that the questions he raised warranted more research and investigation.

The same type of blanket, unattributed accusations were published by the BYU Engineering Dept., in about March of 2006 on a web page of their Engineering web site, claiming members of their administration and faculty disagreed with Jones’ conclusions and took great issue with them. However, they did not identify which administrators or faculty made these accusations NOR did they say in any detail what it was that they took issue with. This was in direct violation of the rules of the professional engineering organization they belonged to, which played a role in accrediting them nationally. This violation was pointed out to them rather quickly, and the web page was yanked from their web site probably the same day, never to be seen again, except in anti-9/11 Truth (also known as untruthers) web sites who were able to capture it.

Do you think Prof. Jones would not make every attempt to get his work published in relevant scientific venues? How many of these venues would even touch it? In fact, his papers have undergone quite rigorous review, especially his last one. And I could elaborate on this quite a bit.

It is obvious that BYU both disagreed with his scholarship, as well as disapproved of his conduct.

What I’ve just written above, should cover this claim. Generic BYU had nothing to say about the actual scientific work he did outside of blanket generalizations like this. Like I mentioned, meaningless in the academic world.

It is obvious that he [barrett] is trying to insinuate some kind of “collusion” between the LDS Church and CIA and FBI, thus implying LDS involvement with the “conspiracies”.

I’m actually disinterested in all this. Attribution of evil to the Church is rampant anymore, and much of it far removed from anything having to do with 9/11. And by that time, Fetzer and Barrett had parted company with Jonesand his group of scientists, with Jones’ starting his own web site concentrating on science. Fetzer, Judy Woods and Morgan Reynolds had really gone off into wild theorizing, very much akin to your usage of conspiracy theories; of these, only Woods was science/engineering trained.

Jones' paper: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe: http://www.diexx88bl...ermitic_911.pdf

Unfortunately I don’t have time or the necessary expertise to judge that. I would rather trust the opinion of other trusted individuals or bodies, such as BYU.

BYU has expressed no public opinion of this paper, so you’re putting your trust in nothing with that regard. However, as I mentioned, the paper was reviewed by people in the physics department, AND by the administration and they could find no objection to publishing it, outside of a few recommendations by the administration review. These changes were incorporated into the paper. So zerinus, do you trust their judgment in this??

And as far as being able to trust other individuals or bodies judging the paper, you would do well to confine yourself to peer-reviewed papers dealing with it, if you can find any. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of people telling you anything they want or that you think sounds reasonable, and you’re apt to believe it, especially if it is discrediting in some way. Lots of luck. A really slippery slope.

David Chandler video: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EgN080yySe0

I am not impressed. The observed phenomena could be caused by other factors which I do not have the expertise to judge. It does however appear suspect because of the unlikelihood of it having taken place. The various floors of the WTC were hired or rented or owned by all kinds of different businesses and organizations who had complete control over their bit of the property. To be able to put explosives so uniformly throughout that structure (especially over such a length of time as it would have taken to do it) without anybody finding out; and to know of and be able to time it so precisely with the plane dives, is so farfetched that it simply is not credible.

It was predictable you would not be impressed. Your model of 9/11 events precludes the explosive/incendiary hypothesis. This was presented to those who have eyes to see.

To answer how the explosive were placed, etc., is precisely why Jones and most 9/11 ‘Truthers’ want a truly independent investigation into the events of 9/11. It is hoped such an investigation will reveal how all this was done and especially who all the higher level perpetrators were and are.

And since I’m a kind of witness to what I believe is an iron-clad fact that the WTC buildings were brought down by explosives/incendiaries, I publish these links again:

Dr. Jones’ latest paper. You can then judge for yourself about Dr. Jones' credibility. It is called Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe:

http://www.diexx88bl...ermitic_911.pdf

A video narrated by David Chandler of the North Tower showing very clear evidence of the explosive fronts cascading down the faces of the building and numerous explosive squibs erupting an various points below this moving front. Especially notice how the upper building largely disintegrates in mid-air. If you have eyes to see, you will begin to understand, if you don’t, you won’t (its being trapped by-your-own-model, kind of thing, in my strongly held view; ref. Thomas Kuhn):

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EgN080yySe0

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Good. I think I can see progress in our discussion, then. But it’s unfortunate, in my view, that you buy into the corruption of a perfectly good descriptive term. You buy into the idea that ‘conspiracy theory’ is ONLY an invalid, unsubstantiated ‘theory’ not allowing it to be used for one that may be valid and very well substantiated.

I don’t like this usage because too many people use it to express ridicule and contempt, thereby ending any further discussion of anything so labeled. In other words, even if I have a valid, substantiated theory about a conspiracy, in most cases I will not be allowed to present the case for it being so, as soon as someone pipes up with: Conspiracy Theory!!! Everyone then scatters like scared rabbits away from the topic.

Incidentally, a theory about anything is not the thing itself. In other words, it’s not very clear usage to call a valid, substantiated conspiracy theory an actual secret combination or conspiracy, because the sc/conspiracy has a ‘ding an sich’ reality, wholly independent from any theory about it.

From my point of view, any discussion of conspiracies and secret combinations would be better served by using descriptive qualifiers to differentiate between good conspiracy theories and bad ones; phrases like: ‘that particular conspiracy theory is totally unsubstantiated ’, being an example of what I’m talking about. Then we have something to discuss; namely, why the particular conspiracy theory is unsubstantiated or not.

You are playing with words here. You can call it what you like. I can tell the difference between what is credible and what is not; and I accept the first, and reject the second.

That’s what I said in the first place. Your personal interpolation.

Yours I think. A theory by definition is something that is yet unproven.

Your first example, based on LeSellers post, strikes me as almost a complete misreading of what LeSellers was saying, which was that the Federal government should be limited to those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution, leaving the rest to the States. This is simply a restatement of the 10th Amendment. He also points out a few areas where the Feds have encroached on areas originally left to the States. He sounds very much like someone who appreciates ‘original intent’, which we have discussed before. I happen to agree with him. You don’t, apparently. So all we are doing here is demarking our political differences.

I think it is incredible that you stretch his meaning to: him wanting to destroy the Constitution, etc. You also attribute the same motivation to me. That would be my definition of an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory, which means you seem to be indulging in spinning out what you have said you basically hate: a ‘conspiracy theory’ (using your definition). Unless of course, you can really make a case for your claims. Go to it. But I detect the whiff of psychological projection here.

In your second example, you conflate LeSeller’s desire to return to the original intent of the Constitution with two things: 1) groups/individuals who espouse ‘conspiracy theories’ (your definition of term) and 2) ‘Secret Combinations’ bent on destroying the government, a la 3 Nephi 6:27-28 (who in this case, were made up of lawyers, judges and high priests and their kindred, not robbers, per se) .

In the first case, you are going to have to demonstrate or give good argument as to just how unsubstantiated conspiracy theories will achieve the goal of destroying our Constitutional government; otherwise this is just an empty assertion. But additionally, you are going to have to demonstrate how anything LeSeller’s has said amounts to your definition of a conspiracy theory. You will also have to demonstrate where LeSellers has expressed any desire to do away with the central government or Constitution. I don’t see it. Seems like another unsubstantiated assertion or claim to me.

Well I am not going to write you a term paper. But I stand by what I said. The policies and ideologies he is advocating (and you are supporting), if put into practice, would so weaken the central government as to destroy it—and with it the Constitution.

By the way, the judges, lawyers, high priests and their numerous kindreds in 3 Nephi 6:27-28, were not bent on doing away with the government; they simply wanted to change it into a kingship. They wanted ‘ruler’s law’, which would be a lot stronger, draconian and arbitrary than the judgeship-type of government they wanted to replace. Bye, bye freedom. Unfortunately, it blew up in their face, mainly because they upset an already disintegrating situation due to the unrighteousness of the general population, which resorted to tribal grouping.

The Book of Mormon says that they were responsible for destroying the government:

3 Nephi
:

6 And
the
regulations of the government
were destroyed,
because of the secret combination of the friends and kindreds of those who murdered the prophets.

3 Nephi 9
:

9 And behold, that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire because of their sins and their wickedness, which was
above all the wickedness of the whole earth,
because of their secret murders and combinations; for it was
they that did
destroy
the peace of my people
and the government
of the land;
therefore I did cause them to be burned, to destroy them from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up unto me any more against them.

What I fear in our present day, and I think LeSellers would agree with me, is that the Federal Government is and will continue accruing unConstitutional power along with whittling away our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties, in effect, moving closer and closer towards ‘rulers law’. And this will eventually lead to our Federal government being incorporated into an even broader, regional and finally world-wide despotism. This is what I see our latter day Gadiantons (LDGs) doing. They are aiming at essentially obtaining the sole management of the government, with only token freedom remaining for the majority of citizens (see Helaman 6:38-39).

I think the threat of the first is far greater. The checks and balances built into the Constitution are sufficient prevent that from happening. The people of the US would simply not put up with that, and through the electoral process put in place candidates that would prevent it from happening.

And I totally agree with LeSellers where he says attempts at pooh-poohing conspiracy theories is the same as the devil pooh-poohing his existence or the reality of hell, as in 2 Nephi 28:21-25, especially 22. Right on the money, LeSellers! Wow!

You could recast verse 22, thusly: And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none; and he sayeth further: there are no viable conspiracy theories except from those wearing tinfoil hats. And thus he helps convinces the people that his favorite tool in overthrowing nations and peoples, conspiracies and secret combinations, do not exist; that they need not think about such things, that the whole concept of conspiracies and conspiracy theories is ridiculous; and all is well in Zion.”

Now, I know you don’t really believe that, but I do believe that your buying into the ridicule associated with these terms contributes to this kind of attitude.

I don’t think so. I think that you guys are the ones who are falling into the deception.

And well you should, in my view. If belief in a particular conspiracy, whether well substantiated or not contributes to destructive behavior or actions, or wheel-spinning actions, it’s time to draw back and reassess. However, if your hypothesis/theory hits close to describing reality, it gives you great power to adjust your thinking and actions for protection for you and your family. For instance, you may have a clearer notion about who to vote for; you may have a clearer view of how information from the media or elsewhere may be misleading, distorted and even false, you may have a clearer understanding whether entering into a particular war is a good thing or not, etc., etc.

Building your future on guesswork is never going to be helpful. Only the real truth, and nothing but the truth can lead us to safety; and that is known by the Spirit of truth. That is why the Lord has given us spiritual gifts, to be able to discern between truth and error, and not be lead astray.

Me, engaging in wishful thinking and burying my head in the sand?? That gave me a chuckle. Sorry, zerinus, I simply know quite a bit about the behind-the-scenes situation and maneuvering involved with all this. But Szymanski is quite right when he says BYU was “trying to find a way to discredit Jones in a subtle way”. They were desperate to distance themselves from what he was doing for what should be fairly obvious reasons.

Why? Because the whole subject is an extremely hot potato, politically and otherwise: it could affect BYU’s standing with the government and ability to get government funding and grants for their students, it could cast a chill on existing and potential donors; it could even alienate many LDS members, maybe including you, and so on.

So when they come up with statements about concerns regarding rigorous peer-review of his work or the work not being submitted to relevant scientific views, or claims that BYU faculty and other scholars are questioning his conclusions, what would you expect them to do? They had to say something that would “discredit Jones”.

As a matter of fact, the head of the BYU Physics department had told Prof. Jones about a week before Jones’ suspension, that he could not find anything wrong with his scientific work.

Also, the statements made by BYU did not come from any identified individual, though they were made by a particular spokesperson. Nor did they identify what scholars or what members of their faculty objected to Jones’ conclusions. This is actually a no-no, in academia. And remember, a year earlier, he had presented his initial work to about 60 faculty who came to agree that the questions he raised warranted more research and investigation.

The same type of blanket, unattributed accusations were published by the BYU Engineering Dept., in about March of 2006 on a web page of their Engineering web site, claiming members of their administration and faculty disagreed with Jones’ conclusions and took great issue with them. However, they did not identify which administrators or faculty made these accusations NOR did they say in any detail what it was that they took issue with. This was in direct violation of the rules of the professional engineering organization they belonged to, which played a role in accrediting them nationally. This violation was pointed out to them rather quickly, and the web page was yanked from their web site probably the same day, never to be seen again, except in anti-9/11 Truth (also known as untruthers) web sites who were able to capture it.

Do you think Prof. Jones would not make every attempt to get his work published in relevant scientific venues? How many of these venues would even touch it? In fact, his papers have undergone quite rigorous review, especially his last one. And I could elaborate on this quite a bit.

What I’ve just written above, should cover this claim. Generic BYU had nothing to say about the actual scientific work he did outside of blanket generalizations like this. Like I mentioned, meaningless in the academic world.

Sorry, but I trust the board of directors of BYU more.

I’m actually disinterested in all this. Attribution of evil to the Church is rampant anymore, and much of it far removed from anything having to do with 9/11. And by that time, Fetzer and Barrett had parted company with Jonesand his group of scientists, with Jones’ starting his own web site concentrating on science. Fetzer, Judy Woods and Morgan Reynolds had really gone off into wild theorizing, very much akin to your usage of conspiracy theories; of these, only Woods was science/engineering trained.

That is strange. At first you denied that they were making insinuating remarks about the Church; but when I show you clear text, you are telling me that you are not interested in it? :rolleyes:

Jones' paper: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe: http://www.diexx88bl...ermitic_911.pdf

BYU has expressed no public opinion of this paper, so you’re putting your trust in nothing with that regard. However, as I mentioned, the paper was reviewed by people in the physics department, AND by the administration and they could find no objection to publishing it, outside of a few recommendations by the administration review. These changes were incorporated into the paper. So zerinus, do you trust their judgment in this??

And as far as being able to trust other individuals or bodies judging the paper, you would do well to confine yourself to peer-reviewed papers dealing with it, if you can find any. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of people telling you anything they want or that you think sounds reasonable, and you’re apt to believe it, especially if it is discrediting in some way. Lots of luck. A really slippery slope.

David Chandler video: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EgN080yySe0

It was predictable you would not be impressed. Your model of 9/11 events precludes the explosive/incendiary hypothesis. This was presented to those who have eyes to see.

To answer how the explosive were placed, etc., is precisely why Jones and most 9/11 ‘Truthers’ want a truly independent investigation into the events of 9/11. It is hoped such an investigation will reveal how all this was done and especially who all the higher level perpetrators were and are.

And since I’m a kind of witness to what I believe is an iron-clad fact that the WTC buildings were brought down by explosives/incendiaries, I publish these links again:

Dr. Jones’ latest paper. You can then judge for yourself about Dr. Jones' credibility. It is called Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe:

http://www.diexx88bl...ermitic_911.pdf

A video narrated by David Chandler of the North Tower showing very clear evidence of the explosive fronts cascading down the faces of the building and numerous explosive squibs erupting an various points below this moving front. Especially notice how the upper building largely disintegrates in mid-air. If you have eyes to see, you will begin to understand, if you don’t, you won’t (its being trapped by-your-own-model, kind of thing, in my strongly held view; ref. Thomas Kuhn):

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EgN080yySe0

More conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated claims. And none of your links work by the way.

Edited by zerinus

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I think you are stretching that a bit too far. I think that Satan is just very clever, and can deceive almost “the very elect” unless one is careful (Matthew 24:24).

Obviously anyone who does not believe that conspiracy theories cannot qualify as or have a role in rumors, false accusations, imagining vain things, or promoting lies and deceptions, as the book of Mormon treats these problems on both the personal and national scale, will not find the Book of Mormon helpful in addressing the inability to discern between false conspiracy theories, good ones, and secret combinations.

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One more plug for the book of Mormon in treating the subject of inaccurate or false conspiracy theories:

I consider Moroni to have been suffering from some aspect of conspiracy theory when he confronted Pahoran (Alma 60), and he described his theory.. Elements of his theory (the general dynamics involved) proved correct, but some not. The Lamanites operated under a false conspiracy theory in Mosiah 20 in attacking Limhi’s people, and this kind of thing was encouraged by tradition. Sarting with Laman and Lemuel against Nephi (2 Nephi 1:25), the intent of the Nephites against the Lamanites was still believed much later (Mosiah 10: 12-17; Alma 54:17). The Holy Spirit, level-headedness and the word of God countered the effects of these errors and improved the understanding of the situations at hand.

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Obviously anyone who does not believe that conspiracy theories cannot qualify as or have a role in rumors, false accusations, imagining vain things, or promoting lies and deceptions, as the book of Mormon treats these problems on both the personal and national scale, will not find the Book of Mormon helpful in addressing the inability to discern between false conspiracy theories, good ones, and secret combinations.

I agree that “conspiracy theories” fall into the same category as “false accusations, imagining vain things, or promoting lies and deceptions” (though not so much “rumors of wars”); but it is such a peculiar phenomenon of our time that it seems it needs to be treated almost as a category by itself, and dealt with specifically. “Conspiracy theories” are obviously a form of deception; and all scripture tells us that deception is bad, and suggests remedies for it—notably by spiritual gifts.

“Rumors of wars” however are a different thing. In old days when modern telecommunication facilities didn’t exist, and news didn’t travel fast, and there were in fact no “news outlets” of the kind that we are familiar with today (radio and television, not even newspapers), if there were wars in foreign lands (and one that might even potentially threaten your own land), the most you were likely to know about it was by rumors. The expression “wars and rumors of wars” occurs in scripture nearly always in connections with the troubles expected to precede the Second Coming of the Savior (also before His First Coming among the Nephites); and it does not necessarily mean a deception of some kind (although some of the “rumors” could obviously be false, or a mixture of fact and fiction). The expression “wars and rumors of wars” has now almost become a scriptural idiom referring to the troubles expected before the Second Coming of the Savior. I am not sure that “conspiracy theories” would fall into the same category.

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One more plug for the book of Mormon in treating the subject of inaccurate or false conspiracy theories:

I consider Moroni to have been suffering from some aspect of conspiracy theory when he confronted Pahoran (Alma 60), and he described his theory.. Elements of his theory (the general dynamics involved) proved correct, but some not.

I would classify that as a personal suspicion, rather than a “conspiracy theory”. He observed failures in the conduct of the war that aroused his suspicion, and he resolved it by writing a strong letter to chief leader of the land which clarified the situation for him. “Conspiracy theories” have different characteristics: (1) They are usually shared by a large number of people. (2) The underlying assumption is that the conspiracy is unsolvable except by the elimination of the (perceived) perpetrators. Let’s suppose that the conspiracy theory centers on the belief that the President of the United States is in cahoots with the Russians to turn the US into a Communist state! How is he going to convince you that he isn't? If you wrote him a letter and told him what you think he is up to, and he writes back and swears by heaven and earth that he isn’t, are you going to believe him? If you are a conspiracists, chances are that you won’t. You will see that as a part of the “conspiracy”. Conspiracy theories are inherently irrational and feed on themselves. There is no way that by reason you can get through a conspiracy minded person. Whatever argument you bring, he will simply expand his theory to swallow it up. That is why I consider it such a peculiar phenomenon of our time that it is hard to find an exact parallel to it in the Book of Mormon. The closest you can come to it might be Helaman 16; but even that can better be understood as “unbelief” and “hardening your heart” rather than a “conspiracy theory”.

The Lamanites operated under a false conspiracy theory in Mosiah 20 in attacking Limhi’s people, and this kind of thing was encouraged by tradition. Sarting with Laman and Lemuel against Nephi (2 Nephi 1:25), the intent of the Nephites against the Lamanites was still believed much later (Mosiah 10: 12-17; Alma 54:17). The Holy Spirit, level-headedness and the word of God countered the effects of these errors and improved the understanding of the situations at hand.

I am not sure that matches the conspiracy theorist mindset of the modern world either. The modern “conspirist” almost prefers to live in his own world fantasy and make belief rather than in the world of reality, and no matter how you try to help him out of it, he retrieves back into it again. They seem to describe two different phenomena.

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Zerinus,

You keep saying that what Benson said is not supported by history. That he was somehow obsessed with a conspiracy theory that didn't exist. The problem with your argument is that he was absolutely correct. Rather than provide a link to one of his talks (I've read them all already) why don't you provide some specific examples of where you think he was wrong. You may really want to walk his words back because you don't agree with them, but excuse me for saying that it's just not your prerogative to do so.

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here is what I consider a secret combination,

a non-religious, group that meets behind closed doors and requires oath of secrecy is a secret combination; SLC played host in 2008 to such a group - the CNP, a secret combination meeting of which Mitt Romney attended and the Editor for Deseret News.

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here is what I consider a secret combination,

a non-religious, group that meets behind closed doors and requires oath of secrecy is a secret combination; SLC played host in 2008 to such a group - the CNP, a secret combination meeting of which Mitt Romney attended and the Editor for Deseret News.

Just because an organization is secretive about its meetings and those who attend them, does not mean that it is a conspiracy. A lot already is known about the CNP (Council for National Policy). They hold annal and semi-annual meetings (like LDS conferences), and their speeches are published on their website. I looked at some of their talks, including one by Mike Huckabee. It is a kind of right wing, conservative group, which doesn't resonate with me a lot. I am neither right wing nor left wing. God is neither conservative nor liberal; and the gospel is neither right wing nor left wing. I am only interested in the truth. But I felt a bit depressed after looking through some of their talks. They are often intelligent folks; but it is obvious that they are also confused. They don't have a real answer to the world's difficult problems. Occasionally they show some insight, but for the most part they lack the necessary vision to move society forward. They lack the gospel in their lives. Only a gospel centered outlook can provide the needed insight to solve the problems they confront.

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Zerinus,

You keep saying that what Benson said is not supported by history.

Indeed, Benson was writing for the times he lived in. Communism here and abroad was a very real threat to our American values. The mistake people make is in quoting him today as if everything he said applied to our current world and then using what he says to denounce living prophets as not speaking out. It is a different world and though there are evil men and cabals present it is of a different nature and we need to listen to living prophets.

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One more plug for the book of Mormon in treating the subject of inaccurate or false conspiracy theories:

I consider Moroni to have been suffering from some aspect of conspiracy theory when he confronted Pahoran (Alma 60), and he described his theory.. Elements of his theory (the general dynamics involved) proved correct, but some not. The Lamanites operated under a false conspiracy theory in Mosiah 20 in attacking Limhi’s people, and this kind of thing was encouraged by tradition. Sarting with Laman and Lemuel against Nephi (2 Nephi 1:25), the intent of the Nephites against the Lamanites was still believed much later (Mosiah 10: 12-17; Alma 54:17). The Holy Spirit, level-headedness and the word of God countered the effects of these errors and improved the understanding of the situations at hand.

RIght.. Moroni had developed a false conspiracy theory about Pahoran's intentions, regarding why no supplies or men were forthcoming. He was obviously desperate to receive these things and went off half-cocked, not being able to conceive in the heat of the moment any other possibility.

But what if Pahoran really had been withholding men and supplies for the reasons Moroni thought? In this case, his 'conspiracy theory' would then have been a good conspiracy theory; but only because he lucked out. He really did not have adequate information for his particular hypothesis or 'conspiracy theory'. There are good conspiracy theories and bad ones. The worst have the least evidence to back them up.

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I agree that “conspiracy theories” fall into the same category as “false accusations, imagining vain things, or promoting lies and deceptions” (though not so much “rumors of wars”); but it is such a peculiar phenomenon of our time that it seems it needs to be treated almost as a category by itself, and dealt with specifically. “Conspiracy theories” are obviously a form of deception; and all scripture tells us that deception is bad, and suggests remedies for it—notably by spiritual gifts.

“Rumors of wars” however are a different thing. In old days when modern telecommunication facilities didn’t exist, and news didn’t travel fast, and there were in fact no “news outlets” of the kind that we are familiar with today (radio and television, not even newspapers), if there were wars in foreign lands (and one that might even potentially threaten your own land), the most you were likely to know about it was by rumors. The expression “wars and rumors of wars” occurs in scripture nearly always in connections with the troubles expected to precede the Second Coming of the Savior (also before His First Coming among the Nephites); and it does not necessarily mean a deception of some kind (although some of the “rumors” could obviously be false, or a mixture of fact and fiction). The expression “wars and rumors of wars” has now almost become a scriptural idiom referring to the troubles expected before the Second Coming of the Savior. I am not sure that “conspiracy theories” would fall into the same category.

Zerinus persists in narrowing his definition of 'conspiracy theories' down to just those that are false, wrong and wild fancies of imagination, apparently not caring that the 7 definitions he supplied for this term do no such thing. Likewise, the defnitions he supplied said nothing about the use of that term being a deliberate deception.

I would welcome him to show otherwise.

Confining the term 'conspiracy theory' to the zerinus-supplied meaning, casts a pall on any meaningful discussion about real conspiracies and real modern-day secret combinations. I think Lucifer is tickled pink when people don't believe in h*** or in the devil (2 Nephi 28:21:22) and I can't help but believe that Lucifer is also tickled pink at any ploy used to dampen consideration, thinking about, discussion and yes, theorizing about his most powerful tool in bringing down entire civililizations and peoples, secret combinations, AKA conspiracies. A very odd position to take, in view of the warnings from Moroni in Ether 8 and the attempt by Pres. Benson to alert people about our present-day situation.

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I would classify that as a personal suspicion, rather than a “conspiracy theory”. He observed failures in the conduct of the war that aroused his suspicion, and he resolved it by writing a strong letter to chief leader of the land which clarified the situation for him. “Conspiracy theories” have different characteristics: (1) They are usually shared by a large number of people. (2) The underlying assumption is that the conspiracy is unsolvable except by the elimination of the (perceived) perpetrators. Let’s suppose that the conspiracy theory centers on the belief that the President of the United States is in cahoots with the Russians to turn the US into a Communist state! How is he going to convince you that he isn't? If you wrote him a letter and told him what you think he is up to, and he writes back and swears by heaven and earth that he isn’t, are you going to believe him? If you are a conspiracists, chances are that you won’t. You will see that as a part of the “conspiracy”. Conspiracy theories are inherently irrational and feed on themselves. There is no way that by reason you can get through a conspiracy minded person. Whatever argument you bring, he will simply expand his theory to swallow it up. That is why I consider it such a peculiar phenomenon of our time that it is hard to find an exact parallel to it in the Book of Mormon. The closest you can come to it might be Helaman 16; but even that can better be understood as “unbelief” and “hardening your heart” rather than a “conspiracy theory”.

I am not sure that matches the conspiracy theorist mindset of the modern world either. The modern “conspirist” almost prefers to live in his own world fantasy and make belief rather than in the world of reality, and no matter how you try to help him out of it, he retrieves back into it again. They seem to describe two different phenomena.

Moroni's letter to Pahoran was much more than simply his personal suspicion. First, he put it in writing; second, he made several direct accusations in it; and third, he made direct threats against Pahoran and those supporting him in the case that Pahoran would still not come to his and Helaman's aide. Hardly a mere personal suspicion.

None of your definitions of 'conspiracy theory' say anything about them being necessarily believed by "large numbers of people'; A theory (or better, hypothesis), whether a good or a bad one, does not depend on how many people subscribe to it. And your comment about the "underlying assumption" of conspiracy theorists that a conspiracy is unsovable except by elimination of the perceived perpetrators doesn't say much and is certainly a black and white statement. I think you would have been more accurate to say the underlying assumption of people who see or discover conspiracies is that the conspiracy could be solved by the conspirators being blocked, stopped or neutralized and maybe eliminated if their crimes warrant it. All according to due process, of course.

The dictionary defines conspiracy as two or more people conspiring (breath with; breath together => act secretly) to commit evil or break the law. Why would people who discover a true conspiracy want to not stop the conspirators??

It is obvious, zerinus, you have had some very bad experiences with people who have gone overboard with erroneous conspiracy theories. Is this correct? But I think you make a grave mistake to hold on to your expanded definition of conspiracy theory, or conspiritorialist. Why not just call them 'bad, erroneus conspiray theories? Maybe you could also go on a campaign with the various dictionaries you've quoted for them to recognize your greatly expanded definition of the term 'conspiracy theory', maybe as a fourth or fifth definition.

I guess my peeve is that I hate to see the misuse of a perfectly good term, theory and see it used to stop dead any discussion or theorizing about very real conspiracies. Maybe it is because of my science background, AND seeing it misused so much against actual investigators of the events of 9/11.

Regarding your last statement in this post, one could justifiably say: The anti-'conspirist' amost prefers to live in his own world fantasy and make belief (sic) rather in the real world where real conspiracies abound (Ref. Pres. Benson's 'ITestify' General Conferance talk, Fall 1988).

Edited by blarsen

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Just because an organization is secretive about its meetings and those who attend them, does not mean that it is a conspiracy. A lot already is known about the CNP (Council for National Policy). They hold annal and semi-annual meetings (like LDS conferences), and their speeches are published on their website. I looked at some of their talks, including one by Mike Huckabee. It is a kind of right wing, conservative group, which doesn't resonate with me a lot. I am neither right wing nor left wing. God is neither conservative nor liberal; and the gospel is neither right wing nor left wing. I am only interested in the truth. But I felt a bit depressed after looking through some of their talks. They are often intelligent folks; but it is obvious that they are also confused. They don't have a real answer to the world's difficult problems. Occasionally they show some insight, but for the most part they lack the necessary vision to move society forward. They lack the gospel in their lives. Only a gospel centered outlook can provide the needed insight to solve the problems they confront.

what i have read only some of the talks are published, secondly requiring an oath of secrecy is a secret combination, so the LDS should be concerned about who is attending these oath bound meetings.

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Moroni's letter to Pahoran was much more than simply his personal suspicion. First, he put it in writing; second, he made several direct accusations in it; and third, he made direct threats against Pahoran and those supporting him in the case that Pahoran would still not come to his and Helaman's aide. Hardly a mere personal suspicion.

None of your definitions of 'conspiracy theory' say anything about them being necessarily believed by "large numbers of people'; A theory (or better, hypothesis), whether a good or a bad one, does not depend on how many people subscribe to it. And your comment about the "underlying assumption" of conspiracy theorists that a conspiracy is unsovable except by elimination of the perceived perpetrators doesn't say much and is certainly a black and white statement. I think you would have been more accurate to say the underlying assumption of people who see or discover conspiracies is that the conspiracy could be solved by the conspirators being blocked, stopped or neutralized and maybe eliminated if their crimes warrant it. All according to due process, of course.

The dictionary defines conspiracy as two or more people conspiring (breath with; breath together => act secretly) to commit evil or break the law. Why would people who discover a true conspiracy want to not stop the conspirators??

It is obvious, zerinus, you have had some very bad experiences with people who have gone overboard with erroneous conspiracy theories. Is this correct? But I think you make a grave mistake to hold on to your expanded definition of conspiracy theory, or conspiritorialist. Why not just call them 'bad, erroneus conspiray theories? Maybe you could also go on a campaign with the various dictionaries you've quoted for them to recognize your greatly expanded definition of the term 'conspiracy theory', maybe as a fourth or fifth definition.

I guess my peeve is that I hate to see the misuse of a perfectly good term, theory and see it used to stop dead any discussion or theorizing about very real conspiracies. Maybe it is because of my science background, AND seeing it misused so much against actual investigators of the events of 9/11.

Regarding your last statement in this post, one could justifiably say: The anti-'conspirist' amost prefers to live in his own world fantasy and make belief (sic) rather in the real world where real conspiracies abound (Ref. Pres. Benson's 'ITestify' General Conferance talk, Fall 1988).

The problem with all of this is that you are dealing most of the time with generalities. If you dealt with specifics, then the situation becomes clearer. For example, your beliefs about 9/11 is a perfect example of what I call a "conspiracy theory". That simply is not a credible belief. If that is the kind of thing that you are believing in, then in my view you are not living in the world of reality. You are a conspiracy theorist.

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what i have read only some of the talks are published, secondly requiring an oath of secrecy is a secret combination, so the LDS should be concerned about who is attending these oath bound meetings.

Swearing oaths of secrecy does not automatically make it into a secret combination. The Freemasons also swear oaths of secrecy, but they do not fall into the same category as a secret combination. I agree, however, that swearing oaths of secrecy raises the profile, and increases the suspicion that it might be so, or has the potential of evolving into such at some point in time. I also agree that taking a closer look at its membership and those who attend the meetings can help us better decide on the nature of the beast. If the membership includes a sizable number of people who are known to be men of integrity and independence of mind who wouldn’t want to sell their souls to a bunch of conspirators, that diminishes the likelihood of its being a secret combination.

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The problem with all of this is that you are dealing most of the time with generalities. If you dealt with specifics, then the situation becomes clearer. For example, your beliefs about 9/11 is a perfect example of what I call a "conspiracy theory". That simply is not a credible belief. If that is the kind of thing that you are believing in, then in my view you are not living in the world of reality. You are a conspiracy theorist.

This reply to you was very specific; why are you avoiding taking issue with it, if you are so inclined. Why are you avoiding my question about whether you have had bad experiences with people espousing bad conspiracy theories?

But above all, why are you making such a general assertion about my beliefs about 9/11? Give me some specifics about what you think I believe about the events of that day. You're just dealing in generalities, something you are accusing me of doing. Shame, shame.

I'll help you out zerinus. I believe that the official theory about how the WTC buildings collapsed (fire, damage by plane impact; or damage by falling debris in the case of Bldg 7) is wrong. I believe that they were brought down by explosives/indendiaries, and I have very good reasons (scientific) for believing so. I mentioned a scientific paper I am a co-author on, which you declined to pass comment on. Don't blame me for your unwillingness to do so. Not my fault. And it's also not my fault if you get confused about conspiracy theory and science. The paper says NOTHING about who the perpetrators are, which you have to have before you have a conspiracy theory. Neither does the David Chandler video say anything about who any of the perpetrators or those involved in setting charges/incendiaries are. So that isn't a conspiracy theory either.

I do believe, however, that this event has led us into illegal wars, has helped the State make serious inroads into our liberties, and I do believe the scientific evidence cries from the dust for an independent investigation of the events of that day, in order to root out the real perpetrators. Is that specific enough for you?

You inspire me to post the paper and the David Chandler video once again:

Incidentally, I’m posting a link to where interested readers can get Dr. Jones’ latest paper. It is called Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe:

http://www.diexx88blog.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/activethermitic_911.pdf

Here is a video narrated by David Chandler of the North Tower showing very clear evidence of the explosive fronts cascading down face of the building and numerous explosive squibs errupting an various points below this moving front. Especially notice how the upper building largely disintegrates in mid-air. If you have eyes to see, you will begin to understand, if you don’t, you won’t (its being trapped by your own model, kind-of-thing, in my strongly held view; ref. Thomas Kuhn):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgN080yySe0

Edited by blarsen

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This reply to you was very specific; why are you avoiding taking issue with it, if you are so inclined. Why are you avoiding my question about whether you have had bad experiences with people espousing bad conspiracy theories?

But above all, why are you making such a general assertion about my beliefs about 9/11? Give me some specifics about what you think I believe about the events of that day. You're just dealing in generalities, something you are accusing me of doing. Shame, shame.

You already told us what you believe about that. I don’t need to make any assumptions.

I'll help you out zerinus. I believe that the official theory about how the WTC buildings collapsed (fire, damage by plane impact; or damage by falling debris in the case of Bldg 7) is wrong. I believe that they were brought down by explosives/indendiaries, and I have very good reasons (scientific) for believing so. I mentioned a scientific paper I am a co-author on, which you declined to pass comment on. Don't blame me for your unwillingness to do so. Not my fault. And it's also not my fault if you get confused about conspiracy theory and science. The paper says NOTHING about who the perpetrators are, which you have to have before you have a conspiracy theory. Neither does the David Chandler video say anything about who any of the perpetrators or those involved in setting charges/incendiaries are. So that isn't a conspiracy theory either.

I do believe, however, that this event has led us into illegal wars, has helped the State make serious inroads into our liberties, and I do believe the scientific evidence cries from the dust for an independent investigation of the events of that day, in order to root out the real perpetrators. Is that specific enough for you?

You inspire me to post the paper and the David Chandler video once again:

And I think I have already said what I needed to say about that, including the paper and the and the video. There is no need to say any more.

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You already told us what you believe about that. I don’t need to make any assumptions.

And I think I have already said what I needed to say about that, including the paper and the and the video. There is no need to say any more.

OK, Zerinus. I guess I should thank you. You’ve provided excellent examples of the misuse of the terms ‘conspiracy theory and ‘conspiracy theorist’ and have thereby proved my case. Not once, not twice but three times, with a final confirmation in your last post, above.

Let me elaborate.

Here is what you said:

“More conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated claims.”

Then you said:

“For example, your beliefs about 9/11 is a perfect example of what I call a "conspiracy theory". That simply is not a credible belief. If that is the kind of thing that you are believing in, then in my view you are not living in the world of reality. You are a conspiracy theorist.”

Now here is what I said that elicited these responses:

[Regarding] Jones' paper: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe: http://www.diexx88blog.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/activethermitic_911.pdf

BYU has expressed no public opinion of this paper, so you’re putting your trust in nothing with that regard. However, as I mentioned, the paper was reviewed by people in the physics department, AND by the administration and they could find no objection to publishing it, outside of a few recommendations by the administration review. These changes were incorporated into the paper. So zerinus, do you trust their judgment in this??

[Regarding] the David Chandler video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgN080yySe0 , I said: A video narrated by David Chandler of the North Tower showing very clear evidence of the explosive fronts cascading down the faces of the building and numerous explosive squibs erupting an various points below this moving front. Especially notice how the upper building largely disintegrates in mid-air. If you have eyes to see, you will begin to understand, if you don’t, you won’t (its being trapped by-your-own-model, kind of thing, in my strongly held view; ref. Thomas Kuhn):

It was predictable you would not be impressed. Your model of 9/11 events precludes the explosive/incendiary hypothesis. This was presented to those who have eyes to see.

To answer how the explosive were placed, etc., is precisely why Jones and most 9/11 ‘Truthers’ want a truly independent investigation into the events of 9/11. It is hoped such an investigation will reveal how all this was done and especially who all the higher level perpetrators were and are.

You can even throw in what I said in my last post about this subject, for good measure.

I reiterate, there is nothing in what I’ve said above that can be construed as a conspiracy theory, using either the dictionary definition or your greatly expanded definition. And I already explained in my last post why this is the case. That explosives/incendiaries could have been used to bring down the 3 WTC towers, says nothing about who arranged for this to happen. It is a valid scientific hypothesis, which incidentally has a lot to back it up, not the least of which is the Harrit, Farrer, Jones et al., paper.

And I guess you are referring to my belief in this hypothesis when you say: “that is simply not a credible belief”. What are your reasons for making this assertion, especially in the light of your admission that you aren’t able to judge the merits of this paper, and because you apparently have no awareness of other evidence for this hypothesis? Kind of a contradictory position to be in, actually.

Certainly, if the explosives/incendiary hypothesis is correct, it begs for a more thorough investigation to find out who set the charges and how they did so. That is a given, but is NOT a conspiracy theory.

If you can’t demonstrate why what I’ve said above fits your definition of ‘conspiracy theory’ or conspiracy theorist, it is a misuse of the term on your part, and contributes nothing to a reasonable discussion.

For you it's apparently a show stopper, no more discussion needed, end of story, which is exactly one of the prime ways the terms are typically misused.

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OK, Zerinus. I guess I should thank you. You’ve provided excellent examples of the misuse of the terms ‘conspiracy theory and ‘conspiracy theorist’ and have thereby proved my case. Not once, not twice but three times, with a final confirmation in your last post, above.

Let me elaborate.

Here is what you said:

“More conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated claims.”

Then you said:

“For example, your beliefs about 9/11 is a perfect example of what I call a "conspiracy theory". That simply is not a credible belief. If that is the kind of thing that you are believing in, then in my view you are not living in the world of reality. You are a conspiracy theorist.”

Now here is what I said that elicited these responses:

You can even throw in what I said in my last post about this subject, for good measure.

I reiterate, there is nothing in what I’ve said above that can be construed as a conspiracy theory, using either the dictionary definition or your greatly expanded definition. And I already explained in my last post why this is the case. That explosives/incendiaries could have been used to bring down the 3 WTC towers, says nothing about who arranged for this to happen. It is a valid scientific hypothesis, which incidentally has a lot to back it up, not the least of which is the Harrit, Farrer, Jones et al., paper.

And I guess you are referring to my belief in this hypothesis when you say: “that is simply not a credible belief”. What are your reasons for making this assertion, especially in the light of your admission that you aren’t able to judge the merits of this paper, and because you apparently have no awareness of other evidence for this hypothesis? Kind of a contradictory position to be in, actually.

Certainly, if the explosives/incendiary hypothesis is correct, it begs for a more thorough investigation to find out who set the charges and how they did so. That is a given, but is NOT a conspiracy theory.

If you can’t demonstrate why what I’ve said above fits your definition of ‘conspiracy theory’ or conspiracy theorist, it is a misuse of the term on your part, and contributes nothing to a reasonable discussion.

For you it's apparently a show stopper, no more discussion needed, end of story, which is exactly one of the prime ways the terms are typically misused.

You can say what you like; I stick by what I said. Your belief regarding 9/11 (that it was a plot by the US government to start a foreign war, rather than a genuine terrorist attack) is fanciful and lacks credibility. You are living in a world of fantasy and make-belief. You have been deceived. The makers of that video you posted know what they are doing. They are skilful at their job, and know the story they are telling is not true. They are out to deceive; and you are giving in to their deception.

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I believe, based on all the evidence I have and the opinions of people I know and trust, that al Qaeda did it.

That said, when I read this kind of thing, I am a little disturbed, because it implies a far greater level of trust in government than power should invoke.

You can say what you like; I stick by what I said. Your belief regarding 9/11 (that it was a plot by the US government to start a foreign war, rather than a genuine terrorist attack) is fanciful and lacks credibility.

"Remember the Maine!" It's not just a slogan any more.

Lehi

All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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I believe bad things happen which the government uses to promote its agenda. I do not believe that the government is behind every evil thing that happens.

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You can say what you like; I stick by what I said. Your belief regarding 9/11 (that it was a plot by the US government to start a foreign war, rather than a genuine terrorist attack) is fanciful and lacks credibility. You are living in a world of fantasy and make-belief. You have been deceived. The makers of that video you posted know what they are doing. They are skilful at their job, and know the story they are telling is not true. They are out to deceive; and you are giving in to their deception.

You can stick by what you said all you want, but the fact remains that your attempt to label and dismiss what I said as 'conspiracy theory' (using either your definition or the actual definition), fails. Of course you can still try to redeem yourself by showing the linkage. I encourage you to do so. I'm really curious what you will come up with.

And where have I said: "that [9/11] was a plot by the US Government to start a foreign war"?? Show me the quote, please. What I did say was that I strongly believe the official theory explaining how the three WTC buildings collapsed is wrong, and further, that the collapses were highly likely due to explosives/incendiaries. Sorry, this is not a 'conspiracy theory'. You've been challenged to show that it is; you have not done so; most likely because you can't.

I did say that the government has used 9/11 as a pretext to start what I regard has illegal pre-emptive wars in 3 foreign nations. Do you dispute that 9/11 was used as the main pretext to start those wars?? If so, on what grounds?? Incidentally, I get my philosophy of a just war from the Book of Mormon and the D&C, which are very much against pre-emptive warfare (going up into other lands to start wars with them). But that is a topic for another thread.

That 9/11 was a genuine terror attack is beyond dispute (your use of a straw man argument). What I and many others dispute is exactly how the terrorists collapsed the three WTC buildings, etc., and we dearly want a very independent investigation with layers of oversight and review and subpoena power, all done in the light of day and in full publicity, to find out how all this was done and planned and all those involved.

You've made some rather drastic accusations about me having been deceived and living in a world of fantasy and make believe. But you need to make your case for why you think this. So far, you have not done so; other than resorting to what amounts to name calling (conspiracy theorist!, etc.). Heck, I'm open to why I may be deceived. But I only respond to good evidence and reasoning. Can you supply any, other than name calling and fanciful conjecture?? Waiting.

And your cavalier dismissal of David Chandler is actually laughable. Do you have any clue what David's major contribution is to discovering 9/11 truth? Any inkling? Even a tidbit? Now don't go out and google him; I'm saying off the top of your head. I dare say you know nothing about it; and even if you did, I doubt very much you could understand it.

So when I hear you accusing me of being deceived, living in a land of make believe and fantasy, once again (heaven help me), the little old word: PROJECTION, pops up in my head. You seem to have a strong tendency to project on to other people what you suffer from. Sorry, that' just the way you have come across to me, multiple times. For instance, you seem to think that people who want to move more in the direction of the original intent of the Constitution, are involved in a conspiracy to destroy the government. Or did I misread you?? Thus, you would be entertaining a, heaven forbid!!, genuine conspiracy theory, using your definition. At least explain the linkage. Don't leave me hanging. You just may have some ideas on this worth considering.

Edited by blarsen

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