I have decided, after seven years, to retire from debunking of conspiracy theories. This series of blogs, the bulk of which was written several months ago, is my attempt to assess my years of debunking and to say farewell to the debunking community. It is both a farewell and a “recovery piece.” If my experience can help anybody—CT’er or debunker alike—I offer it.
I credit that first conspiracy theorist I ever argued with on MySpace, IgnoraceIsntBliss, as launching my career as a full-fledged debunker. I never knew what his real name was, where he lived or anything about him. All I knew is that he was really, really nuts. Of course he believed in every conspiracy theory under the sun, but the thing that really got him going—his entire reason for taking to the Internet as a self-appointed infowarrior—was Google. Yes, that’s right, Google. He believed that the government, the New World Order and the Illuminati were building a worldwide network of sentient computers that would run the world, just like SkyNet in the Terminator movies. Google, supposedly, was the pilot project for this computer super-consciousness. I’m not making this up. He actually believed this.
This was my first experience with a deep-commitment conspiracy theorist. It astonished me how someone could actually believe some of the things he asserted as truth, such as the allegation that Google was technologically enhancing the brains of rats so they could fly military fighter jets. How did he start believing this crap? Did he not realize how ridiculous it was? No, he didn’t. He kept on blogging, day after day, week after week, conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory.
IgnoranceIsntBliss’s paranoia was my cornucopia. For several months we were a two-man show. He’d spout the crazy on his MySpace blog, and I’d respond with the truth—armed with links to the facts, which he would usually denounce as “disinformation” or “propaganda.” His conspiracy theorist friends would chime in, usually outraged that I refused to believe in the Illuminati, the New World Order, or 9/11 Truth. They’d start commenting on my blogs, spewing their toxic links to the main Truther sites in those days, like the infamous Killtown blog. Day by day, week by week, page views on our blogs—mine and IgnoranceIsntBliss’s—grew almost in tandem. I didn’t realize it yet, but I’d tapped into the perfectly symbiotic relationship that was beginning to develop between conspiracy theorists and debunkers.
You might think that, with as deeply as he believed in conspiracy theories and as committed as I was to debunking them, our relationship was acrimonious. It wasn’t. Actually he was quite friendly.
- Confessions of a Disinformation Agent: Introduction and Chapter I. (illuminutti.com)
- Architects Shy From Trutherism (illuminutti.com)
- Embarrassing Conspiracy Theories: 9/11 Controlled Demolition (illuminutti.com)
- 5 Reasons why People keep Believing in Debunked Conspiracy Theories (illuminutti.com)
- How to Debunk Chemtrails (illuminutti.com)