How Conspiracy Nuts Are Duping Well-Meaning Liberals

IMG_66829683434449As you know, I have a very low opinion of conspiracy nuts and the media personalities who cater to their delusions, like Alex Jones. And while many people on the left like to say that insane ideas like Obama is a time-traveling, shape-shifting reptile from another dimension are confined solely to the paranoid, right-wing fringe, they’re wrong.

Take, for example, the very popular Facebook page The Mind Unleashed, which has almost 2.5 million “likes,” and there’s nothing conservative about it at all. You won’t find racially tinged tirades against immigrants or dogwhistles about “urban people” and food stamps. You won’t see quotes from Sarah Palin, Allen West or even Alex Jones. Instead, these pages go with a subtle approach and draw people to them, then slowly slip in their agenda. Using images with quotes from John Lennon, Albert Einstein, George Carlin or Robin Williams that they’ve collected from around the Internet, The Mind Unleashed has built up a very large and devoted audience.

“So, what’s the deal with The Mind Unleashed?” you might ask. Well, when you have an audience and reach like this, there’s quite a bit of money to be made from advertising and merchandise by appealing to the left, which is exactly what they are doing.

The Mind Unleashed, NaturalNews and others like them pose as science and education pages when they actually disseminate pseudoscience and utter bullshit, for profit. Go to the links that they post and then search on those websites for articles concerning vaccines, fluoridated water, GMOs and if you’re feeling really adventurous, chemtrails. Yes, the batshit crazy idea that somehow our government has been spraying the US population with chemicals from jet engine exhausts to make them dumb and subservient for decades – they cover it, a lot.

Do the owners of the pages that publish these lunatic stories actually believe in what they’re posting? I’d venture to guess that they and people like Alex Jones really don’t. Chances are that they take the money made from advertising on their websites and spend it on non-organic food and modern medicine (including vaccines), all the while laughing at those who are gullible enough to take what they share as factual.

Unlike Infowars, which many people know makes little effort to hide their crackpot ideas, pages like The Mind Unleashed and are far more subtle, at least on the surface. But dig down a little deeper as I have suggested and you’ll find Holocaust denialism and other anti-Semitism in addition to the usual vaccine conspiracies or government mind control or weather control stories.

Instead of blaming the problems our country faces on gerrymandering, voter apathy and unlimited money in politics, these sites blame wacky conspiracies. They encourage people to open or free their minds which really means to abandon educated skepticism and critical thinking and embrace pseudoscience and fantasy instead. Again, these aren’t right-wing prepper sites trying to sell overpriced survivalist gear or books. Pages like The Mind Unleashed or are aimed firmly at the left and once they get you hooked on one kooky idea – like vaccines are plot to depopulate the planet – then they can introduce you to other insane stories and further line their pockets with advertising or merchandise dollars. Just think of it like a gateway drug to the world of anti-Semitism, chemtrails and lizard people.

It’s easy to point fingers at the some of the gun nuts and their crazy stories, but sadly, we see people on the left share stories based on utterly nonsensical, discredited hypotheses like the anecdotal “Amish don’t vaccinate” story and outright falsehoods like chemtrails all too often. You cannot claim Creationists are stupid for believing that the Earth is only 6,000 years old but then state that the flu vaccine gives you the flu, when in fact the injection contains dead viruses which have zero chance of causing an actual infection. You cannot say that conservatives are morons for believing that Obama is going to send UN special forces door to door to seize guns when you’re sharing false information from the left’s version of Infowars or yourself.

So what am I suggesting that you do? Be careful as to what you like or share on social media. Take a minute or two to see what a Facebook page is actually promoting instead of blindly sharing an image with a quote on it that you like. I’ve seen far too many large, otherwise reputable pages pass these pictures on without realizing they’re inadvertently advertising entities that are actually counter-productive to the liberal/progressive cause. And finally, if you or someone you know subscribes to these pages, clicking “unlike” or warning those who do is a great first step.


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