It Ain’t Just a River in EgyptPosted: September 24, 2008 | |
Human behavior can be predicted with amazing accuracy. The more people involved the more depressingly accurate the prediction. This is how the Public Relations weasels turned the idiocy of Reagan’s administration into a success. This is how the Catholic Church managed to hide the pedophile priest problem for decades. People can be trusted to disbelieve anything they do not want to believe. The New Age thrived because people did not want to believe they were responsible for the world that we live in. This disbelief is called Denial, and it is actually an important survival mechanism.
When the human mind is confronted with something really horrible, it goes into a shut down. The mind does not acknowledge it. It takes the memory and puts it away in a closet and shuts the door. The memory stays in the closet until the mind is ready to deal with the memory. What happens for individuals can also happen to groups. Something really nasty happens to a group of people and people simply deny that it happens.
We have watched this happen with the Catholic Church. Entire parishes have turned their backs on pedophilia victims and their families rather than to acknowledge that it happened. Denial goes beyond that as well. I suspect that conspiracy theories come out of a mass denial that bad things can happen. I grew up on Kennedy conspiracy theories. The poor man has been dead for 44 years. It is certain that his assassination was a lone operation done by J. Edgar Hoover, because of Hoover’s racist paranoia. Yet to this day there are Kennedy Conspiracy theories going around. Worse, they are the same ones that have been discredited years ago.
We have the same problem with September 11th conspiracy theories. I think It’s because people cannot accept that this country is being run by morons. Rather than admit the government is being run by a bunch of crooks so stupid that they caused a world wide stock market crash, they come up with elaborate conspiracy theories. I suppose it gives people a sense of security to think that their government is being run by Goldfinger instead of Knucklehead Smith.
Be it September 11th or Evolution, everything is subject to denial. Religion is a massive denial mechanism used to fool ourselves into thinking that there is somebody in charge. Massive groups of people gather together under the pretended protection of a make-believe friend in the sky. They reassure themselves that the truth of their holy books is beyond question. They reinforce the idea that their adherence to their make-believe friend makes them morally superior to other people. There is no religion which is immune to this fallacy. One can be a rapture believing Christianoid or an neo-pagan dancing naked around a bonfire, denial is the thread they have in common.
Several years ago my wife was advocating for a girl who had been abused by her father and members of the neo-pagan cult her father belonged to. This cult is infamous for its friendship with serial killer Leonard Lake. Naturally all attempts to communicate with this cult met with deaf ears. All of them closed ranks to protect the father, just as a Catholic parish would close ranks around a pedophile priest. Denial is the one force we can depend on in an ever changing world. It is the number one method used by both salesmen and con men. To accept the truth about a terrible situation means that one has to do something about it. Religion places the responsibility into the hands of the make-believe friend. Conspiracy theories take power out of the hands of the public and into the hands of pretend conspirators. One wonders how we survived at all.