I had originally planned to title this post, “what is a conspiracy theory?” As the conspiracy theory has direct relevance that seems the place to start. In fact we, the readers, are asked to believe that a conspiracy theory is the precise opposite of an official statement. Propaganda profiling has presented symbolism akin to religious arguments persuading the course of good and evil. Official statement is everything noble, whereas its nemesis the conspiratorial is everything devilish. Yet, free from emotion and hype, it is easy to determine the flaw in this concept. For instance the latter comprises two words – conspiracy and theory. A conspiracy is a deliberate attempt to pervert truth. This is interesting as conspiracies are not accidental perversions of truth. Theories are assertions. Some assertions are without basis; correct or incorrect. Others are with basis to the point of undeniable truth. Therefore, within this scope it would be possible (in line with the concept) for a conspiracy theory to have exposed perversion and presented complete truth in its place. There are two problems with the term conspiracy theory. Inadvertent perversions of truth don’t count and clinically proven data is given the same status as untested junk. I have not heard of any valid refutes of official statement, for instance. There is simply (unblemished) official statement versus (dodgy) conspiracy theory.
Deconstructing the words official and statement, we also learn a valuable lesson as to why those particular words have been chosen. Official has a God-quality about it. It is both the package of authority and credential leveraged off belief and faith. That which is stated is a statement. This means an official statement is the voice of authority. It is presumed to be true or as true as possible for it has been issued by those who claim they act as the highest authority and backed by the highest credentials. Truth defies human nature, so it is important to define what is meant by the notion. For instance a statement can be completely true, whilst drawing erroneous wider conclusions. For instance the statement, “our network of ponds supports two thousand yellow toed tree frogs and the population is thriving” may be true relative to other frog populations. However, if we suppose an earlier survey had revealed the pond network had supported 50,000 yellow toed tree frogs. Then, far from thriving they are under intense attack and facing extinction. Simple errors of judgment can result in disastrous falsehoods. For the next example, let us consider the use of terminology. The United States of America is supporting the freedom fighters in Syria. Though the expression freedom fighter sounds like a clunky oxymoron and no one has successfully defined freedom, putting that aside how are freedom fighters any different to terrorists, for instance? I have yet to find United States of America using the term freedom fighters describing those they are attacking. Indeed, in the case, of Syria even official statement is not denying that some freedom fighters in Syria were “brand Al Qaeda” terrorists in Afghanistan.
Syria offers a particularly good control for truth variance in official statement. Recently a number of civilians (we are to assume) perished as a result of the use of chemical weapons. US official statement has pointed the finger at the legitimate Syrian government; a government being attacked by forces sponsored by US. Official statement rarely attempts to justify its claims thoroughly, but in this case its readership is expected to take the leap of faith. The issuers of official sentiment may actually be peddling third or fourth hand accounts, so genuinely may believe the Syrian government is to blame. It is not so much that this is the way those [terrible] people behave, but more along the lines that my side is beyond reproach so I need to see no evidence and can have confidence that my storyline is correct even though it is baseless. The power of patriotism in the commercial world was comprehensively revealed a couple of years back. An Italian inventor was preparing to release a new energy solution, but first his invention was subject to the scrutiny of industry experts. Scientists ran modelling to test the solution and ran extensive data reports. The experts analysing the data represented different commercial entities. Some welcomed success. Others required the opposite outcome and the rest were ambivalent. Not surprisingly, the interpretations of the data ranged from the invention being branded an undoubted failure to an overwhelming success and everything in between.
It is obvious to the impartial and unmoved truth-seeker that “official statement” should be renamed “political sentiment” as truth is merely incidental. By the same token “conspiracy theorists” could be renamed “sentiment testers”. That would, of course, remove all “kudos” from official spokespeople and experts. They would actually have to provide detailed evidence with cross references and “open them up” to impartial scrutiny. Their current high ground has reduced official statement to “what’s the catch”?