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This is a question Conspiracy theory nutters

I keep getting collared by a bloke who says that the war in Afghanistan is a cover for our Illuminati Freemason Shapeshifting Lizard masters to corner the market in mind-bending drugs. "It's true," he says, "I heard it on TalkSport". Tell us your stories of encounters with tinfoil hatters.

Thanks to Davros' Granddad

(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 13:52)
Pages: Popular, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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Not many people know this...
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(, Sat 29 Aug 2009, 9:35, 2 replies)
No conflicts of interest declared...
In my line of work, you can encounter a lot of conspiracy theorists who think nothing of ruining my evening and causing my arteries to clang shut by invoking the classic…

“But hasn’t the Pharmaceutical Industry got cures for pretty much all diseases these days; they just choose to suppress them as they make more money from people being sick. That’s why they’re so against alternative medicine; it can cure people cheaply and cut into their massive profits.”

…gambit.

To which my short answer is,

“No.”

My long answer is, however;

No. It takes on average $900 million to develop a single drug. Think about it. $900 million. That’s an amount of money that even Bill Gates would have trouble finding down the back of the sofa on a regular basis. Of the drugs that get out of pre-clinical testing, 70% will fail at Phase 1 trial stage. One of the reasons that drug discovery is so expensive is that (apart from the fact that it’s difficult), the pharmaceutical industry is so heavily regulated.

Now I’m not defending Big Pharma. Far from it. Frankly, they’re a bunch of cunts. Their price fixing and handling of off-patent drugs in the 3rd world is criminal, they aren’t always transparent with their methods and data and when they fuck up, people die. But they exist to make money and if, for example, 1 in 3 people in the Western world will get cancer in their lifetime do you not think that they would exploit a cure, any cure and have us over a barrel to make money from it? Not to mention the kudos, the plaudits, the Nobel Prizes that any scientist would receive if they managed to cure the potentially incurable? The idea that they would regularly piss away close to a billion dollars while sitting on possibly one of the most lucrative ideas of all time is laughable. The there's the sheer number of people, in the thousands, they would have to pay to slap gagging orders on.

Furthermore, the failings of Big Pharma do not in any way vindicate the tofu weaving approaches of untested, unproven and unregulated alternative treatments. Of course they’re going to appear cheaper, they don’t have to be rigorously tested, they can get around all current licensing because they’re NOT MEDICINE.

And if I have to listen once more to some patchouli oil wearing twig muncher bleat on about harmful chemicals or ancient Chinese meridians or the memory of water, whilst ignoring the 50 billion dollars that the spurious nutritional supplement industry generates each year then I’m going to take my copy of Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science and ram it in their gaping maw. Then let’s see how well reiki works in getting their circulation going again, shall we?

I’m lucky enough to live in a country that gives me a choice; I have free healthcare (no matter how much it needs an over haul); I can buy all manner of magic sugar pills to help me convince myself I feel better. I can even listen to a pinched faced harridan with a degree in Unicorn Science from the University of Fabricationsville tell me that eating pine cones will help me live till I’m 205, but the second this type of magical thinking extends to using people in the 3rd world suffering from HIV, TB and malaria as guinea pigs for their Fisher Price “my first alternative therapist” play set, then, as you may be able to tell, I get angry.

Ideally I’d like to see the Pfizers and GlaxosmithKlines of this world act like they have a social responsibility. It’s unlikely to happen. But what I’d really like is for those well meaning, but ultimately deluded individuals who would have us all back in the Dark Ages to shut the fuck up, or get a fucking science degree. And leave me the hell alone when I’m trying to kick back and have a beer.

*awaits knock on door from secret cabal of lizard overlord vitamin salesmen*
(, Tue 1 Sep 2009, 11:33, 34 replies)
The Great Coal Disappearance of 1954
Barely on-topic, but this story deserves to be told...

My father was born in a small village in Northamptonshire just before the end of the second world war. The eldest child of the family, he fondly remembers the following tale, the events of which were recounted to him, and then to me by my grandfather and great-uncle, a pair of cynical, hard-working Scots who had moved to the region to work in the then-burgeoning steel industry.

After the war ended, fuel rationing stayed in effect for many years. This often led to shortages, especially during the colder months. The winter of 1954 was particularly harsh and many families in my father's village had used their coal rations before the year was out, leaving the coldest months of January and February still to come. This meant finding and gathering huge amounts of dry firewood became necessary, which was extremely hard work in the cold, wet weather.

Around this time, a new link road was being built between the closest towns of Kettering and Corby. It would run right past my father's village and had been scheduled for completion by the autumn but had run into several delays. The inclement weather hampered things further, but not for the reasons you might expect. The road-rolling machines all ran on steam at the time, which was fuelled by coal. Plenty of it, too. The coal bunkers for the rollers were located about 2 miles from my dad's village, roughly in the middle of the two nearby towns, but otherwise isolated.

As the winter months drew in, reports began to appear in the local news of break-ins at the road building site. It was unclear at first as to what had been taken, so the local police initially put it down to errant youths. However, the nature of the break-ins soon revealed itself. The bounty was coal, and it was being stolen to the extent that work on the road had to be postponed until fresh deliveries could be made. This enraged the local councilors, who demanded a full and proper police investigation.

Inevitably, the local village policeman, a portly, ruddy-faced chap who knew everyone well, came round asking if anyone had heard anything about the coal thefts. My grandfather said he'd heard of a gang who were stealing to order in Kettering. My great-uncle, on the other hand, thought it was actually a bunch of gypsies who were staying near Corby, as they had the horse and cart needed to move it. This seemed to intrigue the local bobby, who made detailed notes in his little notebook. It corroborated stories from a couple of the other villagers, so with that he pushed his squeaky bicycle back to the road and cycled back to the station.

The next day, the newspaper stated that the search had widened for the thieves and lo', the suspects were spread across Kettering and Corby. Stunning police work, I think you will agree. The following days saw a reward posted, plus job adverts for a night watchmen on the site and so my grandfather signed up to make a bit of extra money. Upon starting work that evening, he suggested to the foreman that the coal should be moved to the steamrollers themselves and hidden under their protective tarpaulins. That way, if any was stolen from the bunker site, the rollers could still work in the morning, giving time to refill the bunkers. The foreman agreed that this was a good plan, and most of the coal was quickly shoveled onto a truck and moved to the steamrollers, to be hidden as suggested, while my grandfather patrolled the bunker site itself.

Early the next morning, on his way home from his uneventful shift, my grandfather passed the labourers who had arrived to fire up their boilers so work could resume. When the site foreman arrived, he found the drivers standing around chatting and waiting for the coal delivery, as they hadn't been told it had been secretly moved. Presumably chuckling to himself, the foreman peeled back the tarpaulin on the first roller to reveal... an empty coal basket. Confused, he did the same on the rest of the machines. All of them were empty. I'm told that his face turned a rare shade of red and steam could be seen hissing from his ears at this development.

My grandfather was woken up a few hours later by a familiar knock at the door. The policeman stood there, a puzzled look on his face. "Did you hear anything last night?" he asked my tired grandfather. He replied that, being at the bunker site which was nowhere near the steamrollers, he hadn't heard anything all night. The policeman returned to question the day workers later that evening. The weather had turned bad, with snow falling in great chunks through the bitterly cold night air. The policeman was invited into the house to warm up and dry off and offered a cup of tea and some leftover stew, then he cheerfully asked the same questions to my great-uncle. He'd unfortunately slept soundly all night and heard nothing.

The bobby eventually put his helmet back on, thanked my father's family for their hospitality and trundled back down the garden path with his trusty, rusty bicycle. The deepening snow meant he'd need to walk back to the station. As he turned to wave goodbye, his head tilted skyward and he scanned left and right along the rooftops, standing in the blizzard for a couple of minutes and collecting a layer of snow on his thick winter cloak. He seemed transfixed by something in the sky above the houses. He scratched his chin, looked back at my ten year-old father at the window, who waved again, and scowled before stomping away with his bicycle at his side.

My father remembers running into the street to see what had captured the policeman's attention for so long. As he shivered, my dad looked up but all he could see was the normal sight of the village rooftops.... each one bearing a chimney... and from each of those chimneys, thick plumes of hot, white smoke poured out into the freezing night. Hmmm...

Upon arriving for his patrol job that evening, my grandfather was turned away as the foreman had decided to use a different coal storage site far away in Leicestershire in a final attempt to deter the wily coal-poachers, even though it meant adding even more delays. At this point though, it hardly mattered. Between my grandfather, my great-uncle and a couple of fellow villagers, they had shifted enough coal in a few evenings to last the entire village for at least the rest of this winter, perhaps the next one too. Every house in the village had a shed full to bursting with high-grade government-sponsored coal. The stroke of genius was convincing the foreman to move it all to the steamrollers, which had meant that it was close enough for the conspiring villagers to intercept the entire load in the dead of night. As my father recalls, it was the warmest Christmas ever that year, at least inside the house anyway. The village policeman never pursued his obvious suspicions, I like to think he was secretly impressed.

So, no nutters, one fairly solid police theory but the great coal conspiracy remains officially unsolved.
(, Sun 30 Aug 2009, 8:02, 10 replies)
Tramp Genius
Oxford, a hot summer's Day in 2002

I'm sitting on a wall having a can of coke, when a scruffy little Irish chappie comes and sits next to me.

He was obviously down and out and living on the streets, so I was a bit weary when he engaged me in conversation.

'Hullo there - are ye a student?'
'Yes, I am'
'Ah, right. Lucky lad - it's a very good university, so it is'
'Yep.'
'I was student meself, y'know?'
'Really?'
'Aye - University of London and then Cambridge.'
'Really?'
'Oh yeah - was doing my doctorate and everything, but they got rid of me, the bastards.'
'Why's that?'
'Well... I solved physics, and y'know, well...they didn't like that one bit.'
'You SOLVED physics?'
'Yes. But they got rid of me. Think about it: If someone solves the whole bloody thing - there's no jobs for all the scientists any more, are there?'
'Suppose not.'
'Aye, well... I've come here to try and find a physics student so I can get my ideas to the Faculty. Maybe if there's someone more trustworthy here, I can get it all published.'
'Right'
'You're not a physics student, I suppose?'
'Afraid not.'
'Ah, never mind.... have you got £1 for the bus?'

And, reader, I gave him a pound, because either he was a very good beggar, a nutcase, or a physics genius driven out of the academic establishment by a cabal of self-interested scientists worried they could be out of a job.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 14:40, 6 replies)
Tommy (the hairy little shit)
I met the strangest, weirdest, most fucked-up person in the world after about a week of living in London. (They seem to flock to me like flies round shit, or kiddie-fiddlers at a primary school). I pulled this teeny-tiny girl in Fabric and she took me back to her place for some horizontal tango, squishtastic, DNA-swapping related shenanigans. Her name was Kathy and she was, as I’ve said, bloody short. Just about came up to my tits. But she was also perfectly formed. I recall in the taxi going back to her’s God, I hope she isn’t fourteen.

But all that was forgotten when we ended up at her flat and she took me to her bedroom and got her kit off. I was presented with the finest most perfect set of knockers I have ever seen in my life. They were just... there... even after she'd removed her bra they remained in exactly the same position of perfect pert loveliness. I very nearly wept with joy before burying my face between them and trying my best to suffocate myself. Fastforward a bit - shagging. Trying my damdest not to spluff after fourty-five seconds. Failing miserably. Continuing anyway. Feeling a bit of beer sick stick in my throat. Holding in a monumental Stella fart. Etc...

It was the following morning when things started to get a little odd. For a start I woke up not having a fucking clue where I was in a massive new city. I panicked a bit. The entire Oystercard thing may as well have been written in Swahili and the tube map still resembled the splattered innards of Jeffrey Dhamers last house guest to me. I didn’t have a fucking clue how I was going to get home. Then I noticed the supple body of the girl lying next to me. Being a gent, I prodded her sleeping form in the back with my morning glory until she woke up, and we started on round two of hide the salami. No sooner had I sprayed my load over her pubes, Kathy sat bolt upright and said: “Oh my God! Tommy!”

Bugger... Tommy was either a) her boyfriend, b) her son, or c) her dad (shit! She REALLY IS FOURTEEN!!!)

As Kathy rushed to the bedroom door I was struggling into my cloths. She opened the door and Tommy swaggered in and jumped onto the bed and stared at me. I stared back. I considered introducing myself, but that would’ve been a bit too weird. Instead, Kathy introduced. We continued to stare at each other. My God, he was fucking ugly. Hairy little bastard. Demonic eyes... Tommy was a Highland terrier.

“What do you think?” Kathy asked. I started to speak but she cut me dead: “I wasn’t talking to you!” Tommy continued to stare. And stare. And stare. Then he let out a happy little bark and fucked off out of the room. “He likes you! Great! Now, what would you like to eat?”

Hmmm, breakfast. Fit naked girlie. No fucking clue where I was. Looks like I’ll be hanging round for a bit. So we had breakfast. It was then I realised Kathy was spending more time talking to the dog then me. Fair enough. She knew the dog better. But it was more the sort of thing she was saying: “Do you think my blue dress goes with my red shoes? Oh, I forgot to tell you - you’ll never guess what happened to me at work yesterday! That bastard Mark telephoned! Cheeky cunt!” And so on. And all the time Tommy sat there and, well, just acted like a dog.

Eventually, feeling my arsehole flutter and my weirdo detector go all the way up to red alert, I said: “He’s only a dog....”

And Kathy did a pretty good impression of a nuclear reactor hurtling into meltdown. I sat and gaped. And then, quite suddenly, she calmed down: "Dogs are people too," she said. Then she went on to explain how the shady 'powers that be' are keeping the supreme intelligence of canines a secret from the masses and only a select few 'dog people' truly understand how intelligent the little critters actually are. And - on account of her wearing only a flimsy vest top so I could see her erect nipples poking through the fabric - I sort of saw it from her perspective.

Then started the weirdest week of my life. (I don't do one night stands, never have, can't ever seem to get away after doing the dirty deed without dragging the fuckers out to mini one or two week long relationships). Kathy proceeded to take me out and show me London. Tommy would come along. Infact, Kathy would ask Tommy where he'd like to show her new boyfriend, the dog would growl, raise a furry eyebrow, or generally just sit round and lick his balls, and in doing so would somehow communicate his desired location to Kathy.

She was absolutely fucking nuts. But it sort of worked on account of her being incredibly fucking hot and me being incredibly fucking shallow.

Then, after about a week of frantic canine-induced sightseeing and even more frantic semi-midget sexual intercourse, Kathy and I were lounging in bed one night and - as she reached for my boner - said: "Wouldn't it be nice to let Tommy in the bedroom?"

I had to think about this for a moment. Still didn't compute. Had to think for another moment. Then I said: "What? You want me to fuck your dog?"

And that was the end of that. Tossed out on the street with my sparse belongings in a Sainsburys carrier bag. Never to see Kathy again. It was only on the way back to Borough tube station (I'd learned the tubes by now, yay!), I realised she was probably going to be doing stuff with the mutt. And then on the Northern Line all the way back to Camden Town I sat with a semi-stiffy, trying to imagine how my crackpot newly ex-girlfriend of a week would probably be in her flat with her gorgeous perfect breasts just there, allowing herself to be violated by a fucking Highland terrier she really did treat as 'people'.

There's just no fucking justice in this world.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 16:54, 23 replies)
Mental illness runs in our family
This is going to sound like the start of a really bad Mother-in-Law joke, but it’s true.

My grandmother is a paranoid schizophrenic.

She hears voices, is convinced that the police are after her and has had to be sectioned twice for both her own safety and the safety of those around her. She is thus, through no other reason than faulty brain chemistry, Queen of the land known as Conspiracy Theory (Population: her).

However recently, she has also developed dementia.

When her psychiatrist, who is a touch humourless but an all round lovely bloke, told my Mother and I that sadly Gran’s mental health was likely to deteriorate much more rapidly than we’d anticipated due to her senility, I, without thinking (another trait that runs in our family) opened my mouth and said…

“Well, at least this way next time when the voices tell her to kill someone, she’ll have forgotten by the time she gets the kitchen knife out the drawer…”

My Mum looked aghast. Then later admitted that she was trying not to laugh as she thought a little bit of wee might come out.

At least that’s what I think she said…

*dons tinfoil hat*
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 17:52, 7 replies)
Angry Conspiracy nuts
I run an Australian forum. I do it as a hobby and have been doing it since the year 2000.

A few months ago a conspiracy nutter came to my site to pimp his book which claimed that nuclear bombs where used to destroy the twin towers and were also used in the Bali Bombings. These were special nukes. Ones that made no blast wave or left any radiation.
Now my site is full of geeks. Heavy on the science and very vocal on their opinions. Of course they all offered their opinions on this theory and a flame war started.

Being a busy site and me being a lazy boy I didn't notice it was going on until the conspiracy nutters posted a threat of legal action in the thread. Of course this just ramped up the flamewar. Eventually a moderator brought it to my attention and the thread was closed and the nutters banned from the site. I honestly through they where trolls considering none used the contact links to report any problems or send their legal threats.

Big mistake.

Seems this just made them madder. A few days later I got a letter from a lawyer demanding the thread be removed. Which I did. But regardless, now they are suing me for $42.5 million. No, I'm not joking. $42.5 million freaking dollars. We've had two court appearances so far, they tried to have the site closed by court order even though the material is removed and they've even put in a trademark application on my sites name to force it to close.

The reason they are suing me is because they had a mysterious Russian man funding a documentary they were going to make about the book. And according to them, a comment on my site caused the mysterious backer to pull out. Mind you, the same comment was also posted on two other forums and on their own blog (which still remains) by a person they’d pissed off.

So basically. If you do come across one of these nutters. Be careful, if you need further proof that this isn’t bullshit then go www.zgeek.com/index.php?page=legal I promise you I’m not making this up!
(, Wed 2 Sep 2009, 3:54, 35 replies)
cats in disguise
a friend of mine, a fellow b3tan, is a certified fruitloop. when i had a cat, he would occasionally turn to it and say "catface, pass the remote."
i pointed out to him that she was a cat and, therefore, unable to understand him, but he would say "one of these days, it'll slip up and pass me the remote, before realising its mistake."
now, i'm more than a bit freaked out by cats myself, but even i think he's weird.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 17:18, 10 replies)
It's worth remembering though...
...that governments love conspiracy theories. Can't get enough of 'em. The wackier the better.

Because if, for example, anyone who asks about petrochemical conglomerates, arms manufacturers and private defence contractors hiring teams of extremely expensive corporate lobbyists to push congress into supporting the Iraq invasion, thus allowing them to create a war for monetary gain, can be lumped in with those who claim that 9/11 was carried out by Jewish lizard people who use weather balloons to control their thoughts, it effectively discredits anyone who questions anything, allowing those in charge to neatly sidestep any line of inquiry that might lead the ordinary person to conclude that their elected leaders are, in fact, responsible for financially motivated genocide.

That is all.
(, Sun 30 Aug 2009, 11:52, 5 replies)
Irrational Rob
I work in the creative industry so you do meet a few interesting characters along they way ranging from 'colourful' to assumed to be 'constructing their own woman suit' at the weekend. Aside from the usual parade of certifiable bosses it was along this golden path I met Rob. Like so many of his type Rob seemed quite normal at first, if somewhat shy. I started to think Rob was a more than a bit strange when I tried to make arrangements to fly him down from Edinburgh to our London office for his induction, routine stuff. He looked utterly petrified.

“Oh noah! Can’t go on ‘t aeroplane” he droned in his thick Yorkshire accent.

He explained he could not fly as he ‘didn’t trust them’. I tried to convince him he would be safer on BA than in a sanctuary for unreasonable donkeys but he just looked at me like I was completely mad, muttering about crashes being 'hushed up all the time' – how you hush up a crash on the Edinburgh Glasgow shuttle service is quite beyond me. Nevertheless I went to considerable trouble to sort out a train ticket for him. When I came to give him the details of his trip he became quite agitated at the notion of travelling alone to ‘t' London’. I began to reassure him how simple it was to get from Paddington to our office in Kensington Village…

“Ok Rob so you get on the tube heading on the…”
“Oh noah! Can’t go on ‘t underground”

Again he looked at me like the Doc when Marty tells him all they need is a little plutonium. I ended up pinning a list on the wall of things that frightened Rob. It was a while back now and it was a long list but here are some of the items:

Planes (obviously)
Subways
Tunnels
Vampires
Beyonce’s thighs (i shit you not)
Loud noises
Silence
“Going too fast”
The wind
Electricity
Big dogs
Small dogs
Cats
Churches
Needles
Blood
And also many foodstuffs that were the subject of deep mistrust.

The list went on and on.

Rob liked the ladies but was also plainly scared of them. There were a fair few hot women in the office which naturally raised the odd blokey comment; we all laughed somewhat uncomfortably when he started discussing the viability of placing Rohypnol in the water cooler. We had a brainer once for a Valentines promotion. When asked to suggest some words that invoked romance to him, he thought hard for a moment, furrowed his brow then offered the immortal phrase -

“release the beast”...

fair changed the mood in the room - you could hear the rustle of tights as legs were crossed. He also used to get very exited on the evenings ‘sexeh neeebur’ gave him a lift home literally rubbing his thighs but with not a hint of Vic Reeves irony. On one occasion when one of the guys was leaving it was decided we should have a night out. Rob never came to these affairs but as soon as he got wind of the fateful words ‘lap’ and ‘dancer’ he was in!

We tumbled into a brilliantly grotty joint in Edinburgh called the Burke and Hare - an old school, sweaty-clopper-in-the-face-as-soon-as-you-walk-in-the door establishment. Rob just stopped in front of the podium and that was him; completely transfixed. He stood there with his anorak zipped up to the throat clutching his satchel like it had the precious things in it. He wouldn’t even take his eyes of the girls to be handed a beer. They had to be pressed into his hand periodically. We left in the end because he was upsetting the dancers.

I made the mistake one day of revealing I had some porn DVD’s I had bought from nearby emporium of filth. He was enthralled with this.

“So you just walk in and buy them?”
“Yeah mate you should go along if your interested”

Rob made it clear this would be impossible – apparently buying goods from the grot shop saw you placed on some ‘list’. This however did stop him carping on with requests that I bring them in so he could copy them.

“Erm yeah, no worries mate”

I breezed in the following morning. There was Rob sitting there beaming. He had come in early and downloaded some DVD rip software.

“’ave you got them?”
“Eh?”
“T’ mucky filums”
“Er no Rob, sorry, I forgot”

He became a bit obsessed with this. I was quite relieved when he announced shortly afterwards he was leaving. All was well. Tales of Rob’s obsessions fears and general lunacy became the stuff of office lore. A few months later a group of us out for a Friday boozy lunch bumped into Rob on the street. I asked how the new job was going. Rob had no time for such frippery

“I've got new software”
“Eh”
“Software – software to burn your mucky DVD’s”

I swear he was salivating. In a flash of panic/genius I threw my arms open and proclaimed I had renounced such evils since I had found God. (I had to get rid of him somehow). He recoiled with genuine horror. I told him I was born again but he was most welcome to join me in small gathering later that week where I would be ceremonially burning my lascivious films and my debauched popular music CD’s. My workmates struggled to keep their faces straight. Rob looked panicked made some quick excuses and scuttled off.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon in the office with me sending invites to Rob for ‘religious gatherings’ then reading Rob’s frantic emails to the bloke who worked next to me warning him of the dangers of working with me “since I had joined 'them'”

24 carat nutter.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 20:25, 11 replies)
My gran's coal...
Grandad was a miner in the valleys, and grandma got free coal for life after he died. Eventually the Coal Board paid for her to switch to gas, but even into her seventies she still had a weekly delivery of coal and would head out to the coal shed and come back to the kitchen with a scuttle full of coal for the boiler.

One day, though, when we were staying with her, she went out on the morning to get some coal, and found the door open and (she reckoned) some coal gone. She was so shaken she woke my dad, who suggested she'd left the door unlocked the night before.

'Michael - I do NOT leave things unlocked!'

OK, so we played along and tried to calm her - maybe she thought she'd locked it and hadn't. Maybe kids were messing around. But no, she had her own theory - it was the binmen.

'Well, Michael, one of them was Gwen's boy who was thrown out of the social for fighting, and one of them was in school with your cousin and didn't turn up for his O-levels. They're a bad lot, and the bins are right next to the coal shed, see....'

We tried to reassure her it wasn't the binmen, but she didn't believe us.

Next week, when the binmen came round, she told them that she knew what they'd been up to and she wanted to be there whenever they came to empty her bins. They were confused, at best, but sure enough, every week from then on they'd turn up at the crack of dawn on collection day and find my gran waiting for them next to the bins, wearing her dressing gown and smoking a fag, to watch them unload her bins and make sure they stayed away from the coal shed.

As time went by, and she got older, she couldn't always be sure to be up in the morning to watch them, so she came up with a great idea - she got her "gentleman friend" Ron to padlock the bins to the wall. This now meant that if she'd slept through the alarm clock, the long-suffering binmen had to hammer on the door until she got up and threw the keys out from the bedroom window. They were then required to unlock the bins, empty them, re-padlock them, and post the keys back through the letter-box under grandma's watchful gaze from her bedroom window.

This went on until she went into a home aged 87. Even though by then there'd been no coal in the coal-shed for a decade. I'd like to think the binmen miss her...
(, Fri 28 Aug 2009, 12:28, Reply)
Ok, using this as a chance to clear a few things up:
1.) To those who ask, Yes, I am a Freemason.
2.) However, no, I am not part of any 'shadowy elite'.
3.) Evil Satan Worshippers? No, not us. We don't sacrifice Goats. The only reason creatures like Goats got brought into the whole 'evils of masonry' thing pursued by the anti-masonry brigade was because the acronym G.O.A.T. is often used in older texts to describe the 'God Of All Things'. The link to Goats is probably where all the 'satanic worhsip' guff started as well. (Look up 'Taxil Hoax' for further info. on that)
4.) And neither do we have anything to do with defiling naked virgins either, though not for want of trying on a Saturday night.
5.) Large amounts of the arguments against freemasonry are usually presented with 'proof' from older texts such as that of Albert Pike in his book 'Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry'. This book was published in 1871, yup 138 years ago. I can assure you that modern Freemasonry bears little resemblance to some of the 'assumed' points being made in that text. As with all things, it evolves with time to suit the time.
6.) Likewise, although we do have the handshakes and rolled up trouserlegs, we do not have any obligation to financially benefit other masons as a preference to others.
7.) Such is the modern nature of the organisation, it is made up of many individuals, from every part of the social, financial and political spectrum. When you meet up once a month, we're all on the same level, and it's a nice place to get to know different people well, pretty much in the same way as a Golf Club, a Women's Insitute meeting or similar.
8.) Each of us are prohibited from discussing Politics and Religion during a meeting evening, which would make it extrememly difficult for us to make plans to control the rest of the world's population since these two topics are probably the two most important in establishing any form of control over a population.
9.) Estimating, the average age of the British freemason is seriously pushing 60+. It's very difficult to entertain the notion that some of these people who are also part of the 'higher' degrees could seriously be part of a group in a position to manage and control the world when they can't even manage a bowl of tomato soup at the after meeting meal without spilling two thirds of it down their white shirts.
10.) It's surprisingly open these days, and certainly a world away from the writings of Pike (mentioned above) and the old attitudes that it was a preserve of the rich only. It really isn't. Many lodges often put on an 'open evening' when members of the public can walk in and have a look at a ceremony being performed, many times in full, and get a full Q & A session afterwards.
11.) Now the 'secrets' - Yes, as an organisation there are a few words etc which we don't reveal until someone comes in, but these are very few, and only applicable to the key parts of each ceremony. It really is no biggy. Anyone can become a mason, and as I've said before it's far more difficult to get into a Golf Club than it is to get into Masonry. Golf Clubs often resound with the clattering of many local high flying businessmen making deals, networking on the green, and the chink of money at the 19th hole. Nobody really knows what goes on in the selection process for new members of some of the more 'elite clubs' either, who knows what deals are being made in the safety and privacy of the clubhouse. See, when a spin is put on something like a golf club, they can sound sinister, which is exactly what happened with Freemasonry.
12.) Guided by the Devil? Am I a 'sheeple' Mason, only going along with it as a loyal follower of the higher up satan worshippers as I've been sucked in? No, I'm not ta, but thanks for the suggestion. I am a normal chap, with my own opinions, and have the benefit of making my own mind up on the organisation by getting the informaiton on the inside, and doing research into it, and discussing it in great (and accurate) depth. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't do it. I prefer this method of reasoning than relying on 140 year old writings of an organisation which bears no relation to the evolved organisation it is now, and also the endless half arsed and minimally researched ramblings on the internet when any 'opinion' can be stated as fact without full research or citation being given by the armchair avengers.
13.) Essentially, it is not a religion, nor any such part of one. It has never been promoted as one, and never will due to it's inherent belief that each member is entitled to an individual belief in their own god/spiritual progression as they see fit. The word allegory is often used in ceremonies to demonstrate this.
14.) You might remember The Goat. Now, as a few people may know, the Goat and I had a few run ins before he left, but despite our 'conversations' and rather heated differences of opinion on /links at times, he was a great chap for sticking to his guns, and /links was an interesting place for it, if not always the friendliest place because of the long threads. We both acknowledged that we can 'agree to disagree' and a mutual respect was good, and I really do hope he's doing well wherever he now is. Thought it may be nice to see a kind word for him this week, as he may get brought up a fair bit here.
15.) Errr, now, about those naked virgins...

Most of the points above are areas I usually have to cover in pub conversations at the end of a long evening when someone has had a bit too much and questions me on it. Although not necessarily 'nutter's in the strictest sense, it's odd that 'most' people will always start off with the viewpoint that freemasons are inherently bad people when starting a conversation/argument about them, without actually knowing anything.

Still, that's enough rambling. I have trouser legs to iron and a new verse of the Stonecutters song to write.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 14:42, 77 replies)
The truth must be told
There are no such things as donkeys, they are all just ugly horses.
(, Fri 28 Aug 2009, 1:26, 2 replies)
Electricity
I don't believe all that silliness about electrons and Ben Franklin and such. (Have you ever seen a picture of him? if he really had caught a lightning bolt with his kite his hair would have been standing right up all over now wouldn't it?)

I personally subscribe to the Smoke Theory of "Electronics" (or "Smoketronics" if you're wise to it like I am).

All wires are filled with smoke, and the smoke is what makes everything work - not this "electricity" you never see which is just made up so they can bill you every month for nothing.

It's easy to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt ... Just watch when something "electronic" breaks - POOF - what comes out of this container full of "electricity"??? does electricity poor out? NO. SMOKE DOES.

All the smoke comes out in a big cloud and you can't get it back in anymore (I've tried) and then your thing won't work and there's never an electron to be seen.

I rest my case.
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 20:21, 6 replies)
All your boats are belong to us now.
My current boss is a chap from Ireland. Let us call him Connor, for 'tis his name. He works in London and regularly flies over to Dublin, where his family lives.

Now Connor has 2 cars: 1 in Ireland and 1 in the UK. Both BMW 3 series estates. Both black. Now I always used to assume that the reason he had the 2 cars is that it was a: some kind of tax dodge or b: it worked out cheaper. Well. No.

One day, Connor and I were in the office working away.

"Fecking tieving borstords" I heard from his desk.

"Con my dear man, what seems to be the problem?" I asked

"Aer Fecking Lingus want me to pay £200 return from London to Dobh this weekend. Fock that!"

"Well, why not take the ferry? It'll be cheaper."

"Well no....Oi cannat take the ferry."

"Why not?"

Well, it turns out that Connor's uncle was...how shall we delicately put this....involved in the troubles. It turns out that one of his best friends was once on board the Holyhead to Dun Laghoire ferry when a small boat of masked men (according to Con's uncle, British Special Forces) jumped on the ferry, grabbed this bloke and sailed off into the sunset. The fact that at the time, Connor's uncle was so pissed he was unable to count how many hands he had was beside the point. Anyway, he put the fear of God into Connor. Nobody else in the family cared, and realised Connor's uncle was just a bit too fond of the potato firewater.

Howver, Connor has convinced himself, and more worryingly his sensible (if somewhat dowdy) wife that if they go on the ferry, they are going to be abducted by the SAS dressed as pirates.

I took it seriously myself for a while, but now I realise that they are both just Con's piracy theory nutters.
(, Fri 28 Aug 2009, 10:40, 6 replies)
gnomes
have you seen the doctor who episode Blink? what you may not know is that it was based on gnomes. they have infiltrated our society in the guise of harmless garden ornaments, but what is their secret agenda? they want to mate with human women to produce a race of human-gnome hybrids, before taking over the fishing industry. just ask yourself, how many of the little fuckers have got fishing rods? you know they're eating your koi while you're asleep.
also, ladies beware: next time you're sunbathing in your gardens, keep an eye open for these plaster perverts. as soon as you close your eyes, they begin to inch closer. NEVER sunbathe naked. if you do, you'll soon be giving birth to a red-hatted midget baby.
how many of you have actually bought a gnome? how many of you have had gnomes already in residence when you've bought your house? they're the real reason the previous owner has sold you that house!
if you have a hedgehog in your garden, be sure to treat it well, they are the unsung heroes in the battle against gnomes. the hedgehogs are our friends.

BE WARNED.
(, Sun 30 Aug 2009, 0:28, 14 replies)
I work for an MP, so conspiracy theorists and assorted nutters are my stock in trade;
This one takes the biscuit though.


(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 17:35, 12 replies)
There are no conspiracies
There are no conspiracies
There are no conspiracies
There are no conspiracies

(, Tue 1 Sep 2009, 16:27, 13 replies)
The Conspiracy
The best well kept secret is this.
There is no Illuminati. Beliving that there is some kind of secret cabal that runs the civilised world is like beliving in some kind of omminescent being with a long flowing beard somehow runs the universe. The truth is far more terryfying. No one runs the world, its all a coalition of nations held together through mutual distrust and a dependence on fossil fuels. No one is in charge, the lynchpin of society is a spinning mass of greed and chaos.
(, Fri 28 Aug 2009, 0:02, 3 replies)
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you a revelation that will change your life
Technically this isn't a conspiracy theory. As I know its true. So its fact. The antichrist, as depicted and predicted in the bible is in fact among us. But not as an individual...no no no... it is far more devious... it is in fact a company, a company whose evil is only exceeded by its power…I am of course talking about…Apple!

Now, whilst many of you no doubt already harboured fears that this is the case, there will be some sceptics among you who are not convinced by my (in)sane accusations. Therefore I present to you the evidence that allowed me to reach the unavoidable conclusion that this is the case:

1. In the Garden of Eden, the reason for original sin (as depicted in the bible) was because Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge. What was the fruit from that tree? That’s right, an Apple. Coincidence?

2. One of the main product lines of Apple is the ipod touch, the iphone, the ipod shuffle, all I,I,I An element of Satanism is that you should look after yourself and fuel your excesses- also all I,I,I. Seem a bit too similar don’t they? Coincidence?

3. Continuing on the I theme, a rather famous logo is often associated with evil. That logo is the All Seeing Eye, pronounced the All Seeing I! Coincidence?

4. Apple spelt backwards is Elppa. Elppa is a Texan legal firm. It is obvious that Texan legal firms are probably evil. Coincidence?

5. Apple is an anagram of satan. Coincidence?

6. Apple begins with the letter ‘A’. A rather famous, evil internment camp called ‘Auschwitz’ also begins with ‘A’. Coincidence?

7. Typing in Apple UK into google gives 666,666,666 hits. Coincidence?

8. Apple contains no letters in common with the words ‘good’, ‘god’ or ‘fun’. However it does share letters with ‘bad’, ‘evil’ and ‘total global domination’. Coincidence?

So there my friends, now you know. Now you know the great evil that is sweeping the globe, but I fear it is too late. Even now as I sit here, in my lead lined basement, furiously writing by candlelight, I know they are coming for me, I am just waiting to hear the fateful knock on the door. I can’t hide forever, I am no fool, but if just one person heeds my warning and is prepared for the future then I am happy. So long my friends, and good luck!

this ramble was sponsored by B. Gates
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 15:21, 11 replies)
A friend of mine is convinced that there is a society of rich people
And if you are rich enough, you can get away with anything because all the rich people cover up for each other. Not such a huge leap of the imagination, but what do you think is his evidence for such a society? Is it OJ Simpson getting away with murdering his wife? Is it Ted Kennedy getting away with the Chappaquiddick incident? Perhaps it’s Mark Thatcher getting away with his attempted coup in Africa? No, it’s Paula Radcliffe doing a poo during the London marathon.

Idiot friend: “Paula Radcliffe should have been arrested for shitting in the street!”
Me: “She was running a marathon and couldn’t hold it any longer”
Idiot friend: “I don’t care, if I had done that I would have been arrested”
Me: “There’s only one way to find out”
Idiot friend: “No, I’m serious, the dirty bitch shits in the street ON TELIVISION and gets away with it. I don’t pay my licence fee to see a woman shitting in the street live on TV”
Me: “No, it’s what your internet connection is for”
Idiot friend: “And do you know why she got away with it? ‘Cos she’s rich and they all back each other up and [INSERT LONG RANT ABOUT HOW RICH PEOPLE GET AWAY WITH EVERYTHING]
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 16:00, 14 replies)
Wes and the Vegas laundrette
Laundry in Vegas is tricky because all the hotels want to charge you $3 to wash a pair of socks and so do all they can to allow laundromats to flourish. Our plan was to visit an outlet mall out of town and on the way drop off our washing. In a hugely seedy neighbourhood after walking around with big neon signs saying 'Lost tourists please rob us' we finally found our laundromat.

The owner was on duty - a big friendly black man called Wes who said he would take care of everything for us for a total of $2.75 and we could come back at six pm to collect. He even took us outside to show us how to get back to the laundrette. Being from Scotland I was instantly suspicious of why he was being so damn nice. I asked for some kind of receipt for the clothes but he didnt have anything but said everything would be ok. I left the shop with my rip-of radar still beeping away loudly. We got a taxi to an outlet mall and all the way there I was kicking myself and running through all the scenarios of how Wes was going to rip us off - steal our clothes, arrange for us to be mugged at 6pm, charge extra when we got back etc etc etc.

Our shopping trip over we had to come up with a plan to ensure our safety when visiting Wes's laundromat now that it was dark. The missus had all her jewellery on, loads of shopping and I was not keen that she came with me to pick up the laundry. I decided to leave her with all her valuables (and mine) at the Stratosphere Casino and walk the half an hour to the laundromat. I set off in the dark, crapping myself but made it to the door, which was locked. 'Oh here we go i thought. But from behind the counter popped Wes and he opened up the shop.
'You're early' he said.
'I always try to be' I replied light-heartedly, hiding my true intention to avoid the mass ranks of muggers he had probably lined up for my return at 6pm.
'You look cold.' said Wes
"I am alright, I'm from Scotland' I said, fulfilling a stereotype.
To my surprise Wes pulled out a little heater plugged it in and said 'Warm yourself up with this while I finish folding your clothes.'

I was humbled. All the time I had him down as a conman but really he was just scraping a living and being a lovely human being. I felt ashamed at the malice I had felt towards him.

'So you're from Scotland?' said Wes as he folded my boxers. 'I visit there often'
'Really?' I sounded surprised because I figured that he wouldnt be able to afford many trans-atlantic trips if he was only charging $2 per wash. ' Where abouts do you visit?'
'Oh all over' he said.
It was with his very next sentence I realised why Wes was being so nice.
'But I tend to only visit during the time of King James'
Wes was so nice because he was certifiably insane. Batshiat insane.

What followed (whilst my jaw continued to descend to the floor) was a tale so intricate and bizarre that I have trouble retelling it but basically Wes is part of a 'bird-tribe' of 3 men called talismen who use timepieces to travel through time and influence religion. They are waiting for a sign from Ugly Betty star (Amerika Ferrera) to re establish the Portugese Black Royal family and bring the true DaVinci Codes to the world. Wes exists on the Belarus-Minerva timeline and his interest in King James is because he edited a lot of stuff out of the bible that confirms his story. The two other Talismen are musicians and Wes is supposed to be learning the bagpipes to blend in. All the secrets to this can be gleaned from the film 'Flight of The Condor' starring Robert Redford where if you look closely it isn't seven people that died but 49. Apparently that is important.
I am not making this up. In fact this is an edited down linear version. Wes was slightly more erratic in his story telling.
He folded our laundry beautifully and showed me to the door. I gave him $5 for his trouble and as I left he told me to watch out for his grandmother who belonged to the 'Femme nikita' tribe and was a trained assasin but he would watch over me when he goes back to Scotland.'

I made the half hour walk back to the casino in about 5 minutes and breathlessly tried to retell the story to the other half. It didnt make sense when I told it either.

Something else that didn't make sense was all the effort to save a bit of cash by going to a launderette was entirely in vain, as the missus spent a fortune on the slots whilst I was away. Cest la vie.

(No apologies for length, girth or early finish)
(, Sat 29 Aug 2009, 19:51, 3 replies)
I've met a bunch of these people...
...and the one thing they've never been able to fully explain is this:

If the world really has for centuries been run by a shadowy cabal of financiers/illuminati/zionists/lizards, why the tapdancing fuck aren't they better at it? Considering the abject chaos that almost all of the world exists in, almost all of the time, if someone really is lurking in the background and pulling the strings, they're making a spectacularly cock-awful job of it. My advice to them would be to stay secret, otherwise a few billion people might have one or two questions for them.
(, Sun 30 Aug 2009, 11:32, 2 replies)
Test Message
Test message. Please ignore this. Nothing to see.

SELECT * from com.b3ta.questions.tbl where USER watchlist.txt|username INTO gov.cia.public.incoming.monitored.tbl JOIN isp_records.users.ip.tbl WHERE ipaddress = watchlist.txt|userip

\'; DROP TABLE users; --
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 16:05, 2 replies)
My next door neighbour is a conspiracy theorist.
He's a nice bloke, married, and has one son who's a smashing kid. He's a bit of a gamer, as is Sweary Jr, so the two of them often swap games and games magazines. It's fair to say that they get on well, and he is at heart a good bloke. It's just the conspiracy theory stuff.

He believes all of it. Every. Last. Sodding. Word.

9/11 was known about by the US government, who elected to do nothing about it for various nefarious reasons? Check. The moon landings were faked? Check. The Nazis during World War Two were heavily financed by a powerful and influential Jew? Check. Swine Flu? Check. World War Three will break out in 2012, resulting in a significant proportion of the world's population being wiped out? Oh yeah, baby. The Illuminati? Well, of course, dear chap. It's all there on the internet, you know. And so on.

Now, I'm not about to start trying to change people's beliefs. What they choose to believe in is up to them, frankly. However, what I do object to is having those beliefs forced upon me, or any member of my family. Such as a highly impressionable 13 year old boy, for example. Regardless of whether he asked you about all those conspiracy books lining your bookshelf, you do not take it upon yourself to enthusiastically launch into all of the above. Regardless of all the probing questions he's asking you about this stuff, you do not spoon feed his rapidly growing paranoia with more and more horrifying imagery until he's taken to sobbing in his bedroom with the light out and rocking gently back and forth, convinced that the world is a shitful and evil place which will more or less end in a couple of years time anyway.

No. You don't do this, and certainly not without checking with the parents first. Had we known about this we would have stamped on it before it got to the stage it did. But SJ was just inwardly digesting it all until it came to a point where the burden got too much for him and the above mentioned darkened bedroom scenario happened.

Believe what you want to believe by all means. But be careful who you share these things with is all I'm saying. Your mate down the pub is one thing; your next door neighbour's young teenage son is a different kettle of monkeys altogether; especially when you know that he quite looks up to you.

Six months on, and SJ still bangs on about this stuff (although not nearly as much as before), not helped by the fact that they are actually learning about conspiracy theories at bloody school. We had the neighbour round about six months ago to politely request him to stop feeding our boy with this stuff. When he's an adult, he can do what he likes, but at the moment, he's our responsibility and we're the ones who have to pick up aftershock of the emotional trauma. Having this shit to deal with two months before our wedding was not what we needed at that point in time either.

It is getting better, though. Neighbour has stopped talking to SJ about it, as per our request, and SJ seems to be opening up to the fact that the key word in all this is theories, thank fuck.

I couldn't believe it, however, when neighbour stated that he was dreading telling his son about all of this... Jesus, if you're so convinced that the world is run by aliens and is going to practically end in 2012, then WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BRING A CHILD INTO THIS WORLD IN THE FIRST PLACE???

He's still a nice bloke though, despite all of this. However, if the time comes where SJ needs psychiatric assistance because of this stuff, he's getting the bill...

EDIT/
To be continued above /\ - courtesy of my lovely, beautiful, witty, charming, norktastic, pert-clunged, nubile-cloppered missus, who has neither a hairy upper lip nor a skudge of orange peel on her thighs:

www.b3ta.com/questions/tinfoilhelmet/post510036

/Second Edit

That last bit had nothing to do with me...
(, Sat 29 Aug 2009, 17:48, 8 replies)
Conspiraloons
Something that has been occupying my thoughts of late is the endless lunacy of those special people who believe that there is a vast, all-encompassing and all powerful conspiracy of shadowy figures that run the world. I've talked about them before and termed them "conspiracy theorists". Last time out I was rather scathing about that broadly defined group. But a few conversations that I've had recently (that, and the excellent program "the conspiracy files") have got me thinking about conspiracy theorists again. Specifically, do any of them actually have a point? And was I wrong to dismiss them en masse?

I'll explain; someone asked me what conspiracies I actually believed in. And I found myself stating that I didn't believe in the official government line about the current Iraq occupation (which, as near as I can make out, is a mish-mash of "it's part of the War on Terror", "It was to stop Saddam getting weapons of Mass Destruction", and "we're improving the life of the people of Iraq"; depending on what day it is, you'll hear a different answer vomiting from the lips of an uncomfortable looking government spokesman) as evidence that I don't unquestioningly believe whatever the official version of events happens to be. I was a little surprised to be told that this shouldn't count as a conspiracy theory because "everyone knows that the Government version is a lie".

Up until then, I'd defined a conspiracy theory as something that differed from an official governmental version of events, and went on to provide it's own explanation of what "really" happened. So if we take the Iraqi land grab as an example, the most commonly accepted conspiracy theory surrounding that one is that the US used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq in order to secure their oil reserves. However, apparently this is not a conspiracy theory and the only reason given for that is because, apparently, everyone knows it. Does that mean then that a conspiracy theory has to be something known only to a select few? Does it have to be something that is rejected by the mainstream in order to qualify? And if that is the case, doesn't that mean I'm entirely correct in dismissing conspiracy theorists as a bunch of burnt out failures who conjure up elaborate fantasies about the way the world works in order to re-assure themselves that they actually have an important part in it?

It took a conversation with a fully fledged conspiracy theorist to demonstrate to me that, in fact, I'd been going about this all wrong. What defines a conspiracy theorist isn't so much their theory, but the way they feel about it. For example, I know of people who believe that JFK was not killed by Lee Harvey Oswald (and I count myself among those people). We all have our different theories about how he was killed and who killed him, and we all have differing degrees of evidence to back up our theories. What we don't have is conclusive proof and (most importantly) we acknowledge this. Oh, we can present a case in a convincing manner but the simple fact is that our belief that Oswald didn't kill JFK is just that; a belief. An article of faith. We’ll ask questions of the official version, but we don't try to tell someone that our belief is 100% incontrovertible fact, and it's there that the main difference lies.

In this same conversation, the conspiracy theorist put forward his belief that the world was being run by a group of Occultists who simultaneously had their roots in both the Nazi movement and ancient history. One of the starting points of his rather bizarre belief was that "the Nazis wanted to rule the world and set up a world government". Now this statement rang alarm bells with me (as opposed to his initial belief, which really should have triggered my "this man is a foaming idiot" bell), because being a bit of a History buff, I was under the impression that the Nazis actually opposed any sort of World Government as it was a "Jewish" concept. Basically, a forged document called the Elder Protocols of Zion together with a long-lived conspiracy theory about a mythical group called "The Illuminati" led many anti-Semites to take the view that any world government would be an organisation secretly run by the Jews.

Not only that, but Hitler himself had gone on record as saying that the Reich he wanted to create would be an organisation much like the British Empire. In other words, it would be the dominant influence on global politics, but not the sole influence. Yes, he wanted to dominate Europe, but he and the rest of the Nazi movement saw that European Empire as something to rival the British Empire. So I asked him to provide some evidence for his assertion that the Nazis wanted a world government.

(At this point I should mention that, having read the last 2 paragraphs back to myself, it sounds like I was conversing with someone who is more than a few bricks short of a load. And I would absolutely agree with that assessment.)

He could provide none. And that's fair enough; as I've mentioned, I can't provide huge swathes of evidence for my belief about JFK being killed by someone other than Oswald. So I asked him to confirm that his assertion about Nazis and world government was an article of faith. And he refused. Not in a "I can't do that, and here is some evidence as to why not" way, but in a "I'm going to stamp my feet and hold my breath until I turn blue unless you believe me lalalalalalalalalalaI’mnotlisteninglalalalalalala!" sort of manner.

Obviously, that is just one example from a wide range of conspiracy theorists, and I hope you see the point I'm trying to make. If not, I'll make it explicit; the gentlemen I was talking to was trying to pass off a belief of his as a stone cold, copper-bottomed fact. The only evidence he was able to produce was "because I say so". And it's this feature of conspiracy theory that caused me to view the whole damned lot of them with suspicion.

They claim to be tellers of truth and guardians of the sacred flame of honesty. They claim that they oppose "them", the ones who are lying to you and trying to make you believe lies, and who condemn any who do not swallow their bullshit. Yet when one presses them for evidence, or even simply asks them a question about their pet theory, they will be evasive and dishonest. They will lie to you, try to make you believe their lie, and condemn you if you don't accept it. Worryingly, they don’t seem to see the irony in this.

This is in stark contrast to the type of conspiracy theorist who is actually interested in debate, and who is as honest about the flaws in their theory as they are its strengths. So I've started to differentiate between the two. Those people who will lie to you to try and convince you of their belief, I now term "Conspiraloons". It's a handy term, an accurate one, and it stops me from unfairly lumping in conspiracy theorists with them.

Of course, I say "condemn you". 9 times out of 10, their condemnation takes the form of the kind of insults one heard at school before one actually learned how to debate; "you're so naïve" is a popular retort by the conspiraloon on the back foot. As is "You're one of THEM!", and (for those conspiraloons who are also Bill Hicks fans) "Go back to bed [insert name here]. You just don't know what's really going on". Hardly the scathing wit and rapier-like intellect of someone who has somehow managed to find out the deepest secrets of a pervasive and omnipresent evil conspiracy and share that truth with the world at a risk to his own life and liberty. More the petulance of someone angry that his or her belief isn’t being unquestioningly accepted. And, I would suspect, the bitterness of one who has seen their life turn out rather worse than they were expecting, and wants to blame someone else for it (preferably a worldwide organisation so that they can also feel important) rather than take responsibility for their own poor decisions in life.

I think one of the reasons that I despise these conspiraloons so much is the same one that I abhor organised religion; they claim to be something they're not, and as such they are liars and hypocrites. Actually, conspiraloons share a lot of traits with evangelical Christians; both want everyone to believe what they do, both view their beliefs and faith as something self-evidently factual, both will go to any lengths to avoid honest debate, and both throw monstrous hissy fits whenever one points out a flaw in their statements.

However, the main reason that I have such a problem with them is their effect on honest debate. It's incredibly easy for any government to dismiss any questioning of their official versions, because that questioning is quickly co-opted by conspiraloons and used as part of the basis for their self-important flights of fancy masquerading as fact. Therefore most people, who may have quite reasonable reservations about just how honest their government is, will not take those doubts any further because it will seem to them that the alternative is a belief that the government are actually an secret cult of Sun Worshippers who want to rule in the name of the Elder Gods (a quick side note; every conspiraloon I have ever talked to, without exception, has a belief structure that reads like an HP Lovecraft or Grant Morrison story. Might I suggest these people look up the definitions of "fact" and "fiction"). And who in their right mind wants to believe that?

I think what I'm trying to say (in amongst all the faintly rationalised bile) is that I made a mistake in dismissing any and all people who could be termed "conspiracy theorists", and I would exhort you all to not make that same mistake. Don't dismiss a conspiracy theory out of hand just because of what it is, but treat with disdain those burnouts and failures who want you to accept their beliefs as fact purely to provide some sort of validation for their empty and wasted lives.
(, Fri 28 Aug 2009, 17:39, 6 replies)
Queen mum
The QM died in 1994. Ever since then she's been animatronic, and has gone through several revisions until the machinery finally gave up in 2002 and was retired. You can chart her progress and development of the animatronics from 1994-2002. The first model, QM01 had the realistic body shell, but the insides were quite rudimentary. Her public appearances were limited to car trips, and upper body displays. Main features included simple side to side head movements, simple waving, realistic blinking and mouth movements.

In 1997 she was conspicuously absent from public life, due to the upgrades. QM02 never made it to release, but QM03 was unveiled in late 1998. The most signficant development was of course the realistic walking action. Only ever appearing in public wearing knee length outfits to cover the complex leg machinery, QM03 was capable of unassisted walking for up to an hour. It took 16 people to remote control the finer facial movements, and the range of waving was drastically improved, with over 17 new hand gestures.

QM03 through to QM06 consisted of mainly software upgrades, and public appearances were gradually reduced until until 2001 to allow for maintenance, an increasing burden.

2002 saw the final release QM-NEXGEN1 and was a remarkable overhaul. New exoskeleton, servos, body kit, authentic hair, speech modules, AI, the works, and a fully functional, self aware, independant QM was rolled out in March 3rd in Windsor. Within 3 or 4 hours, the neural cells used to power the model had already started to overload. A frantic 20 days of tuning was unable to revive or repair the failed cells and the project was closed on March 28th. A public 'death' was announced on March 30th and the files were expunged.

All the above was leaked in 2004 by a former palace employee.
(, Fri 28 Aug 2009, 16:35, 7 replies)
One mate of mine...
...is convinced that he's part of special race of chosen saviours, and that most of the people in the world are part of a great gestalt of hostile enemies intent on destroying him because they either hate or are incapable of appreciating the righteousness of his path.

Americans, eh...
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 15:29, Reply)
H From Steps
I always had a theory that H sang every part of the songs released by Steps. All singing the different harmonies and octaves.

He was a talented boy who could sing the entire range.. sometimes sounding like a girl when he did it. But the industry couldn't just let him sing. He'd be a laughing stock. The record company thought people wouldn't like it.

So, they got three girls and another boy to stand around. They called this group "Steps", and it explains why Steps mimed all their concerts.

But then, Steps split up. Again, they want to make money.. but the company feels that the world can't handle H singing like a girl again.. so they got Claire from the old band to stand next to him and mime again. Thus, "H and Claire".

You may point out any holes in this theory. You will find there are none.
(, Tue 1 Sep 2009, 16:35, 6 replies)
Around 2003.
There was this nutter on UK TV a few years ago. Claimed that the president of Iraq was conspiring with Al-Qaeda to supply chemical weapons and could bomb London in 45 minutes. All total bollocks of course.
Think he was called Blair or something ...
(, Thu 27 Aug 2009, 18:11, Reply)

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