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Date: Sep 08, 2013 at 19:27
A former Zeitgeister and follower of the Venus Project, who abandoned the group after doing his research that many of the ideals promised by the Venus Project are not capable to be done in this present day and age, despite the project leaders constantly saying otherwise. When attempting discussing their "facts" that are not exactly true, the leaders deemed the discussions as "a waste of time". He eventually left because of the group focusing fanaticism and having cult like tendencies, which led to the creation of his famous blog "Zeitgeist Is a Mind Heist" or also known as the "Anticultist Blog". He is also the reason to why Zeitgeist became a common subject on this website. Recently his blog went down due to conspiracy theorists being mad about it, but the blog was reuploaded onto Skeptic Project by contributor Burger King here.
Date: Sep 06, 2013 at 19:09
By Clock (with contributions by member The Burger King)
also known as Robert Dobbs
No longer active on main site, but still active on Skeptic Project Facebook under Robert Dobbs
He was never really a 'debunker' per say, but he was a skeptic, and was probably one of the only members on this website that would not shy away from telling a CT believer what he really thinks of him, and despite the fact that he would insult most of these CTers, he would back most of his claims with evidence, as any good skeptic would. A re-known practical joker. He is the perfect representation of the Skeptic Project 'About' page: The community's lax rules, yet ironically high standards for reviewed content, has helped it stand out in the broader skeptic and debunking communities, but also of course made it quite despised in conspiracy communities.
Note: He is even despised by some in the skeptic community, See the forum posts Character Profile: Ed
and Brian Dunning banned sp member Agent Matt for questioning him about his requests for donations.
He's an administrator of the Skeptic Project Facebook group.
Project Blue Beam
Starred Forum Posts (the best of the best)
Dear Edward: Where is my paycheck?
Congratulating Nanos on his solar car
I ate mcdonalds for lunch
I used to think drug legalization was a good thing
Zeitard wants to kill your dog and your grandma
macdonalds prices may rise
Character Profile: Ed
I actually have no clue how the hell Matt got 70 points... but it must be:
Quote from The Burger King
People get votes by points. Matt hasn't written any debunks but there are a few friends that stand out that he contributed various insults in that are note worthy. For instance when VTV came onto SP Agent Matt do some serious LULZ there.
Thanks for the info, King.
Date: Sep 03, 2013 at 16:08
By Clock (with contributions by member The Burger King)
Edward L. Winston
also known as President Camacho
and Special Ed.
He's the creator of the website. After being constantly pestered and pestered from members of the Conspiracy Science Facebook, he finally opened the website, known as ConspiracyScience.com. When it was first opened, it was entirely dedicated to the debunking of the first Zeitgeist movie. After many, many changes, he made Skeptic Project into a full blown community, by adding a forum, Facebook and other social media pages. He isn't around much anymore sadly, but you can catch him around once in awhile if you're lucky.
The Alex Jones Movies
S.773 - Cybersecurity Act of 2009
Charles Darwin Myths
Herpes / Fever Blisters / Cold Sores myths
Denver International Airport-Debunked!
A look at Microchipping
Obama conspiracies debunked!
American Currency!? You must have gone to community college.
An Interesting Video on 9/11
Well, where's the conspiracy?
Waste more time, help less people
Alex Jones rushes to cover his ass
Swine Flu is a secret plot to kill you
Europeans are not immune from spin
Zeitgeist page error fixed, shut up already
Jones' big announcement: a fake interview with the president.
Pat from Screw Loose Change challenges Charlie Sheen
What I've learned from conspiracy theorists
Economic collapse is coming really soon
Post-industrialism? More like anarcho-primitivism!
Military arrest at G20 protest not hoax and not military
Anti-Semite comedy goldmine
Prediction updates for October
Anti-vaccination hysteria and the danger to others
Canadian truther fundamentalist or genius troll?
How Alex Jones sees public policy
Ten new crazy predictions
Infowars experts try to figure out plane crash into IRS building
Generally includes having a variety of sources at hand in order to prove that the conspiracy believer or theorist is wrong. He will be nice if you are nice to him. Usually, conspiracy theorists tend to insult him which leads to an insult by Edwart to the CT. Lax rules in terms of socializing, and has high standards in order to prove his claims.
Most Articles on website
Most responses to Hate Mail on website
Hence, why he has 150 points.
Famous Last Words
It's been approximately a little over a year since I hung up my debunking hat and put on my full-time dad hat, so it seems a little overdue to post on my Facebook that I'm done. I did manage to meet some really cool people, hopefully taught a few people a few things, and most importantly learned a few things myself, but being active in the skeptic community just isn't for me. Though I obviously am still an atheist, still a skeptic, and still a freethinker.
Even after I went inactive on Conspiracy Science (now called Skeptic Project) I received many emails and Facebook messages -- that is up until about 6 months ago, and I've rarely received anything since. Furthermore I've noticed a general drop in so many jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon as they did with Zeitgeist. Films like Thrive have come out, but it all seems like the bubble has burst and it's all crowd preaching now.
I do want everyone to know that while I have absolutely no use for Facebook -- perhaps I'm too old or too boring -- I am still available at my email: email@example.com and am willing to discuss any topic at hand or answer any questions you may have, whether or not it's related to skeptical inquiry.
I don't plan on writing any more articles in the near future, but if I do, they will be for Skeptic Project, on my own terms, and on my own free time. I see absolutely no circumstance where I can be involved in the skeptic community full time as some of my more famous peers have been. I don't really feel like anything that's a hobby should make one feel obligated, and that's all the skeptic community really has ever made me feel -- there's a general atmosphere that once one has debunked one thing, one must keep the ball rolling indefinitely and debunk the world.
As I stated before, this is way overdue so I imagine this is a surprise to no one, but I felt like I should at least officially say something because I still sporadically get emails about when my next article will be released.
I realize this looks like a suicide note, but rest assured, you can email me any time and I'll respond as soon as I get a chance.
It's been great guys.
-Edward L. Winston
Date: Aug 12, 2013 at 21:24
Chapter VI: The Allegory of the Romper Room--When to Stop Debunking.
The most important lesson I learned about debunking was when to quit. It took me seven years, and I think I did a lot of good in those seven years. But now it's time to get out.
I'd been souring on debunking since at least mid-2011, but what really motivated me to get out was not the behavior of conspiracy nuts--even the frothy-mouthed fanatics defending Thrive--but what I learned from fellow debunkers who helped me see a little perspective. In his article The Great Internet Conspiracy, which came out in the fall of 2011, former JREF debunker Ryan Mackey had sobering words for debunkers, and even disdained them in some cases. He was amazed that, even though 9/11 Truth was dead and buried, some debunkers wished to continue arguing to the bitter end with what few Truthers were still out there. I thought a lot about this and ultimately decided he was right. Truthers were gaining no converts, and no one paid attention to them anymore. What was there to be gained by arguing with them? Ryan Mackey described Truthers in 2011 in exactly the same way I saw the few pitiful remaining adherents of the Zeitgeist cult: incorrigible dead-enders whose trite dogma the rest of the world had long ago learned to tune out. For the most part I had stopped arguing with Zeitgeisters in August 2011. But others continued the crusade, for reasons possibly more personal than rational.
The Zeitgeist Movement Exposed blog was a case in point. Aside from posting a few occasional comments I never had anything to do with that blog, though two or three of its frequent contributors were friends of mine on Twitter. The creators of this blog re-blogged a few articles of mine, but I was indifferent to them having done so; on at least one occasion I posted a comment clarifying for the regulars what I thought was an erroneous interpretation of an article I had written on my own blog. (Even though I had nothing to do with Zeitgeist Movement Exposed, Zeitgeist cultists continued to confuse me with those who did, evidently assuming that all criticism of the Zeitgeist cult stemmed from a single source). In the fall of 2011, a pro-Zeitgeist commenter who invariably signed his missives "Anonymous" began to post on Zeitgeist Movement Exposed, arguing with every article and rehashing the by-now well-known talking points of cult members. His rants were endless--thousands of words long--and he refused to concede even a single point that put the Zeitgeist Movement or its bizarre ideology in a negative light. The creator and frequent contributors of Zeitgeist Movement Exposed argued with him. Most of the argument concerned social science or economic theory rather than conspiracy theories, which ironically "Anonymous" didn't hit that hard. It went on, day after day, week after week, month after month.
I wasn't involved in these debates except for maybe one or two comments, but sometimes I would click on the articles for Zeitgeist Movement Exposed just to see how long the comments had gotten. I was often shocked. They went on for hundreds upon hundreds of entries--thousands of words, tens of thousands of words, an entire novel-length dialogue of argument over talking points from a conspiracy cult that had been effectively dead for months. I began to wonder why the debunkers even continued to engage "Anonymous." Then in one of the comments I saw that one of the debunkers had discovered that "Anonymous" was a boy in his late teens or early twenties, evidently from Australia, who was unemployed and didn't even have a computer of his own. He would post these endless pro-Zeitgeist rants from a terminal in a public library. He wasn't a high-level member of the cult, a spokesman, theorist, publicist or chapter coordinator. He was just an unemployed kid in Australia. Arguing with debunkers on Zeitgeist Movement Exposed was his sole means of entertainment. For some reason it validated him. It seemed to validate the contributors to Zeitgeist Movement Exposed, too.
This wasn't the first time I'd felt sympathy for the poor deluded people I'd been arguing with for so many years. Zeitgeist in particular attracted high-commitment supporters who, once divorced from the ferocity of their dogma, turned out to be quite pitiable people. The cult's most identifiable spokesman was unemployed, lived in a trailer and routinely asked Zeitgeist supporters for money to keep his lights on and his Internet bills paid. Another particularly argumentative fellow--whom I debated at length, including on this very blog--also turned out to be unemployed, still living at home at age 25, and evidently collecting disability benefits. I remember being vaguely ashamed of myself for having argued with him so vociferously months before. These people were not random rank and file members of the Zeitgeist Movement. They were in positions of leadership in the Zeitgeist Movement. They were the stars. These were the people the Zeitgeisters had faith in to lead humanity to a bold new future.
But were they really any different than 9/11 Truthers, or devotees of David Icke, or believers in chemtrails or fans of Thrive? Did I even know who I'd been arguing with all this time? I never found out anything personal about IgnoranceIsntBliss, the MySpace blogger who I credited with launching my career as a debunker (see Chapter III), but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if his story turned out to be similar to these others. The people who shrieked at me through blog comments on Thrive Debunked, who thought CAPS LOCK was persuasive and couldn't figure out how apostrophes worked, were probably just kids. They latched on to conspiracy theories because they simply didn't know better, and they were not curious enough about the world to seek out the truth in any meaningful way. Refute them, yes--present the facts, show them where they're wrong--but once you've made your point, rubbing their noses in it seems at best mean-spirited, and at worst cruel.
I thought about the many 9/11 Truthers I'd debated over the years who had never read the 9/11 Commission Report, or any of the many books about September 11, including The Looming Tower, a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of Al-Qaeda. In October 2010 I challenged members of the Zeitgeist Movement to refute a book called Seeing Like a State, which explained the social and historical factors behind the spectacular failure of top-down world-transformational schemes like the "Resource Based Economy" that Zeitgeisters professed to believe in. Not a single member of Zeitgeist even cared enough to read the book. Not one.
On Thrive Debunked, I refuted Foster Gamble's erroneous claims about the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin affair being a "false flag" attack by quoting a book which included an account by the North Vietnamese naval official who ordered an attack on a U.S. destroyer in the Gulf, thus proving that at least one of the two alleged attacks did occur. (The second attack probably did not happen). It was obvious Foster Gamble had never read that book, nor had anyone involved with Thrive even cared enough to investigate the full testimony of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, whose out-of-context words are used in Thrive to support the erroneous conclusion that the Gulf of Tonkin affair was a fabrication. They simply pretended these documentary sources didn't exist, and they banked on Thrive's audience simply taking their word for it and not being interested enough to research the truth.
It was more than just the realization that conspiracy theorists are intellectually lazy, which I'd known since day one. It was that the real knowledge of the real world and how it worked was totally alien to them. No wonder they denounced every piece of real evidence I ever presented as being "disinformation"--they were totally unequipped to assimilate any real information, and totally unable to distinguish real information from misrepresentation, partial truth or outright fiction.
This marks the true difference between debunkers and conspiracy theorists. A conspiracy theorist who really is curious about how the world works, and who really does want to take meaningful action to evaluate it, will eventually shut off YouTube and walk into a library. Once they cross that threshold, then--only then--will they finally be competing in an arena where persuasion is possible, where facts mean something, and where words have consequences. In that arena, willingly entered on its own terms, the facts will defeat the woo every single time. And in that arena the facts won't need debunkers cheering them on. They can do just fine on their own.
So here's the deal--the final truth, the ultimate thing I learned from seven years of debunking.
Conspiracy theorists are children playing in a rubberized, hermetically-sealed Romper Room where all the words are small, the concepts bite-sized and easy to understand, and the toys are conveniently made of soft foam rubber. The world inside the Romper Room works differently, more simply and with far fewer ambiguities, but it is also a darker, scarier and more polarized universe. The tragedy is that the kids trapped in the Romper Room--the angry children who bash away at each other with Nerf toys, flinging YouTube videos and InfoWars links at the rubberized walls desperately hoping they'll stick--don't realize that they're trapped inside the Romper Room, and that there is a larger world out there. The misguided children who are angered and frightened by imaginary conspiracy theories scream and cry and pout and bang their Nerf mallets at the walls, desperately trying to change something, but they can never quite do it. The conspiracy Romper Room is Plato's Allegory of the Cave with Icketilian aliens and Libertarian political ideology. It is a hellish, chaotic and dispiriting place. In this sense the Romper Room is eerily like the digital false world of the movie The Matrix, a perennial favorite among conspiracy theorists.
Sometimes, adults like to play in the Romper Room too. You can't blame them. Most of the time they enter with good intentions. I certainly did. "It's okay, kids," I said. "You don't have to cry and scream and pout. This isn't the real universe. There's another whole world out there where things work differently." But the children wouldn't listen. Sometimes--too often, in fact--I would grab a Nerf mallet and hammer them back, hoping to knock some sense into them. "No, I'm telling you--this is not the real world! Quit pretending that it is!" And still they would ignore me. Then I would get angry and do my own share of bouncing against the rubberized walls, frustrated at the inability of the children to listen, to understand, to even want to understand.
There are bullies in the Romper Room. They seek to exploit the anger and fear of the misguided children who live there, because that makes the bullies important people, visionaries, and self-appointed saviors. The bullies of the Romper Room--the Peter Josephs, the Foster Gambles, the Bernard Poolmans, the David Ickes--would see me as a threat. They would fight back, trying to eliminate the threat. In the twisted world of the Romper Room, fighting back against the threat is rational, and it makes perfect sense why they did it. Sometimes their blows would hurt. My blows at them certainly hurt them back, probably more than I intended. But ultimately they were trapped too, just like the other children. They too were frightened, angry children, as most bullies are, and they lacked the ability to understand what lay outside the Romper Room.
Once in a while a lucky kid would slip out the door to the Romper Room that I'd left ajar. Those lucky people--the ones who sent me emails thanking me for pulling them out of conspiracy nonsense--would find themselves in that other world, and with a totally new perspective. They had broken out of the Matrix. But while I was in the Romper Room, frantically shouting and pointing at the door--"There it is! There's the door! You can leave any time you want to! All you have to do is go through it!"--the only ones who could reach the door were the ones who found it within themselves to look for it. I could not lead them. All I was doing, ultimately, was playing in the Romper Room for my own entertainment, like Ryan Mackey's friends who couldn't stop arguing with Truthers, like my own friends who couldn't resist replying to "Anonymous" just one more time. Perhaps they too sometimes tended to forget that the Romper Room wasn't reality. It's easy to do that. I did myself on more than one occasion.
Ultimately I just couldn't stay anymore. As much as I wanted to make the Romper Room like the real world, or to lead the angry and frightened children out of it, these were two tasks I realized I could never accomplish no matter how long I stayed, no matter how loud I shouted and no matter how many skulls I bashed with my Nerf mallet. Yes, I feel sorry for the kids still trapped there. As for the adults who like to play there, I cannot and do not disdain them; obviously I loved the Romper Room enough to spend seven years there, bouncing off its walls. But I've found the door again. And now I'm back out here, in the real world, and I left my Nerf mallet behind.
I've left the Romper Room for good. After seven years, I'm done. I'm Muertos, and I'm a recovering debunker.
Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. TWA 800 was an accident. 9/11 was not an inside job. The Egyptians build the pyramids with no help from aliens. Evil bankers do not rule the world. There is no such thing as the New World Order. Zeitgeist and Thrive are bullshit. Crop circles are created by human beings. Reptilian shape-shifting aliens do not exist. Global warming is real. These are the truths of the real world outside the Romper Room.
Thanks for reading. This is Muertos, signing off--for the last time.
Date: Aug 09, 2013 at 12:17