WARNING: WALL OF TEXT INCOMING
If you’re in this sub and reading this post, you likely already are skeptic and have probably come to conclusions about topics most people would find odd or downright “crazy”. Now, if you’re like me, after doing research and realizing how corrupt and upside down things are that are hidden in plain sight, you may feel compelled to try and do something, anything to change this path that we are on. For most of us who are living on meager wages and working 8 hours a day, it’s nearly impossible to do something material to stop corruption, even at the local level. So what can we do? Educate.
To teach someone something about a topic that is new to them, you must first know the material yourself, which leads me to my first technique:
- Know what you’re talking about
This may seem like common sense, but I am constantly running into people (I was one) that are just starting down the rabbit hole and are missing many pieces to the puzzle that get too excited and start to spew information that can easily be debunked or information that they don’t fully understand and can’t answer any further questions on the matter. Know what you’re talking about or people won’t give you the time of day. That brings me to the next point…
- Be prepared to stand up to scrutiny
This is why it is crucial to understand your material. ‘Conspiracy theorist’ is already a pejorative term to many people that implies that you lack critical thinking skills and believe anything you hear. It is important to be able to stand your ground and to be able to defend your position regardless of the attacks coming your way. This means avoiding blogspasm on alternative media sites that lack sourcing and gravitating towards primary source documentation. .gov websites are great for sources and are, ironically, the most respected as proof to most debaters on this subject. Knowing every single detail is not necessarily important as I will illustrate later, but having a solid knowledge of your topic will ensure that you will not fall to any internet troll that comes your way.
The first two techniques are pretty self explanatory and pretty instinctual to the majority of people who are ‘awake’. The next few techniques touch on how to actually make someone aware, and more importantly, engaged in continual research and, likewise, the spreading of awareness to others.
First things first…
- Develop a philosophy based on principles
When I first started researching, I asked myself, “what is the actual definition of government?” At the time, I was in college taking computer and political science classes and would routinely survey my peers and professors as to their definition of what government was. For as many people as I asked, I received that many different answers. Most people were ambiguous and gave answers like “the people” or “people acting on an ideology”. This wasn’t sufficient for me. I went on a journey to understand the nature of government and tried to find a definition that people from any side of the political spectrum could agree with. For me, I found that the most non-controversial and concrete definition I could find was:
The government is a monopoly on law and jurisdiction in a certain geographical area
Disregarding the conclusions you may draw from this definition, it is applicable to any type of government anywhere in the world. The fact that, depending on what country you live in, that nation’s government is the only agency in that area who is allowed to establish courts and interpret laws, in my eyes, was undeniable. This led me to ask many other questions and helped put me on track to have a reference point to judge political and economic goings on without having to rely on someone else’s interpretation on the matter. It is up to you to find your own philosophy that you identify with and use that as your foundation to deepen your understanding which will lead to you being more confident in presenting your opinion. Use your own philosophy and principles to help make you more adaptable and malleable in conversations, not to make you rigid and narrow minded in one set belief system or world view. As Bruce Lee once aptly phrased it, be water my friend.. With that in mind, we move on to the next technique:
- Humble yourself
Now, I don’t expect everyone to come to the conclusions that I have or to share the same principles I do. However, I find far too often that people who are trying to present their case on whatever the topic may be come off as extremely hostile and condescending to people that may actually be interested in learning more. Constantly calling people ‘shills’ because they disagree with you gets us no where and further dissuades people from researching these topics on their own. Be prepared to be presented with information you have not come across before and don’t be afraid to admit that you have not seen that bit of information before. It’s a learning experience and doesn’t make you seem so stubborn to others who may be looking to you as a model ‘rational conspiracy theorist’. However, this does not mean that you cower away from the argument, it merely means that you are open to researching new information because you are confident that your main point is still valid. Don’t shy away from challenges, embrace them.
This can lead to a another problem I come across all the time with skeptics and is the next technique brings me to the next point:
- Avoid coming to conclusions you cannot conclusively prove
I find this problem mostly with (but not limited to) 9/11 truth activists. Of all people, conspiracy theorists should know that we simply are not presented with the full truth in almost every instance imaginable. We have to accept that there are closed door meetings, secret emails, anonymous phone calls, insiders trading on privileged information etc. that go on on a daily basis and admit that we simply cannot know the full story on anything. For example, when someone says they know that there were no planes that hit the first two towers, or they know that Cheney was involved (which he most likely was) in the attacks, it opens up the door for people to ask you to present proof, which you can’t. You can explain how Halliburton subsidiary KBR got a no-bid, cost-plus contract to rebuild in Iraq after we destroyed their infrastructure and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children, but the smoking gun link to Cheney being behind 9/11 is still elusive.
- Let them do most of the talking. Ask them questions
I don’t know about you, but this was (and still is) the hardest method to get used to. I know when I talk to others, I have so many facts and names and dates and everything else running through my head that I have to make a conscious effort to not jump in every 3 seconds. Let them talk become genuinely curious of their opinion of the topic at hand. Speak less and listen more. Become engaged in the conversation and don’t just wait for your turn to talk. Try to ask questions to make them contradict themselves. For example, I was once at a Newt Gingrich rally during the 2012 election cycle and brought signs that said “Newt Gingrich voted [x] times to raise the debt ceiling” and “Newt Gingrich has voted [x] times to have stricter gun laws”. I was quickly screamed at, pushed, called an ‘Obama supporter’ and a litany of other names. I began to gather a crowd around me and decided to field some questions. This is a paraphrased version of how it went down…
Me: You consider yourself conservative, right?
Me: So you generally want the government to spend less and for the government to stay out of your lives, right?
Them: Yes, what’s your point?
Me: Then why would you support someone who constantly votes for repealing of the debt ceiling which will ultimately lead to higher taxes? * *Them: …
Of course, this particular exchange is just an example on how to exercise the techniques and methods I have laid out so far. The next and last technique is, in my opinion, the most important…
- Don’t try to change people’s minds
This may seem counter-intuitive to everything I have been saying, but in actuality, it is the most useful technique to wake somebody up. My ‘wake up’ moment was when I was a freshman in college and came across the original Zeitgeist film. Today, I can confidently pick apart the film’s inaccuracies but at the time, this new information floored me. I was so intrigued at how clueless I was about things like fiat money and the Federal Reserve that were so intimately intertwined into the very nervous system of society that I had never even heard about before. I began to have an insatiable obsession for discovering the truth.
After a few weeks of research (lol), I thought I knew enough to share my new found wisdom to my friends and family. I would blurt out facts and have barely coherent thoughts from one sentence to the next. Needless to say, those days were a disaster in terms of waking people up. It quickly dawned on me that people are very reluctant to change their minds and that trying to do so simply made people shut down and refuse to continue to engage in a dialog. Those initial interactions forced me to reevaluate my entire approach. I recognized that the only reason I was so passionate about these things was because I had discovered them on my own. I saw that the only way to really make people ‘wake up’ was not by proving my position, but by making them realize that theirs was contradictory and/or not well thought out. As I mentioned before, I tried using leading questions to get them to come face to face with their own logical contradictions, and to my amazement, people became inquisitive and began to research on their own. I would constantly get text messages from friends who, before these conversations, would never spend a second reading or paying attention to news asking me what my take on a certain situation was. Some would even present me with information I had never come across before and were just as excited to share it with me as I was with them.
This should be the goal for us all and we should strive to ‘pay it forward’ and galvanize others to do the same.
Throughout time, the elites have always controlled the flow of information and the narratives by which that information is presented. We are living in an era in which, for the first time ever in human history, the bourgeoisie are able to directly communicate with each other instantaneously, bypassing the gatekeepers of the media and the sultans of spin. The internet is the tool by which an intellectual revolution can be catalyzed and real change can begin. For this to happen though, we need intellectual warriors ready to stand against the status quo and inspire others who will, in turn, embolden others to seek truth.
Use these techniques to recruit others into the fray and constantly strive to refine your own methods of rhetoric to intrigue others. People intuitively know something is wrong with the world but are so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation, they don’t even know where to start and thus, never do. Be the person that invigorates them to dive in.
I leave you with a quote by the American revolutionary Samuel Adams which encapsulates my drive and motivation for inspiring others much more eloquently than I ever could:
It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.