21. The value of “independent” research is vastly overrated.

It’s not uncommon for people to say things like, “Your guess is as good as mine,” or “How do we really know what’s true, anyway?” Yet these same people do not doubt that the earth is round or that the Holocaust happened. These same people trust that their cars, computers, iPhones, toasters, etc. will work consistently until broken. These same people go to doctors in search of a diagnosis and treatment, rather than injecting themselves with disinfectants or pretending they are not sick. Despite our cynical rhetoric, we have little doubt that we live in a reality governed by scientific laws and real facts. We also know that there is great value in work of experts.

Unfortunately, most conspiracy theorists I have interacted with seem to think their guesses are better than most everyones else and “the truth” that “they” (the Deep State, the Jews, the Illuminati, etc.) spoon feed us, is almost always a lie. These people place a great deal of value on, “independent research,” but one has to ask: Independent from what?

Conspiracy theorists can tell themselves that they are acting independently from those who allegedly control society, from, “the establishment,” but they are actually declaring their independence from the systems we need to separate fact from fiction. Searching obscure websites and forms, watching “documentaries” and reading “non-fiction” books that flat-out deny and contradict the “official story” at every turn, is not a research plan. It’s an escape from reality.

Conspiracy theorists, like medical quacks, pseudoscientists, and other conmen, have no peer-reviewed journals, no rigorous academic institutions, or institutionalized checks and balances, because their phony work cannot stand up to real examinations. At best, conspiracists might create conventions, like a wannabe Comic-Con, that cater to the preferences of their fans, but selling stories is a far cry from proving anything.

I know this kind of blunt talk enrages conspiracists, who don’t want to face the truth. They will jerk their knees and say things like, “Science isn’t always right,” “History is written by the winners,” and, “You’re so stupid if you think the government tells you the truth.” The problem with this mentality is that it pretends the alternative is better. When science gets something wrong, it is the scientific method that can demonstrate this. When history is overly biased, other histories can highlight the forgotten, or deliberately overlook facts and perspectives we need to hear from. When one part of the government lies or distorts the truth, other parts, along with a free press, can counter these claims. Abandoning these systems, or pretending like the conspiracy theorists’ non-system is better, is nonsensical.

To be clear, I am not saying that everything a conspiracy theorist finds or says if always wrong. They could file a freedom of information request and unearth something the public has never seen before, or do something similarly noteworthy, but that doesn’t make them a beacon of truth. So long as they want to remain, “independent researchers,” subject to no countervailing mechanisms, their work will be largely independent of the truth. And if you chose to, “make up your own mind,” by only looking at some disreputable sources, then you simply asking to be lied to. It doesn’t matter how many names, dates, and other alleged facts they can rattle off. Just because they sound extremely well informed does not make them right.

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Return to the complete list of 55 reasons to accept that Oswald acted alone.

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