One of my earliest thoughts on 5gw was regarding conspiracy theories:
A 5GW operation will create conditions and contingencies to avoid detection by hiding among the crazies. I can see where parts of an operation might purposely be exposed and then linked with false information and crazy theories to discourage real investigation. All of this is aimed at the observation part of the OODA loop of the opponent.
Blogger Shrinkwrapped is a Psychiatrist and wrote this recently on Conspiracy Theories (but not directly on 5GW):
Human beings are prone to believe in nonsense. We typically find ways to use our rational thinking to support our nonsense theories, and usually the nonsense we believe in is harmless so long as it doesn’t interfere with our ability to work, love, and play (to use Freud’s old descriptor’s of mental health.) In The Value of Conspiracy Theories I described a relatively harmless conspiracy theory that is ascribed to by perhaps 40% of our British friends. JFK conspiracy theories have been a staple of the American zeitgeist for 45 years and have spawned a cottage industry and made many people quite wealthy. In these cases, the conspiracy theories reinforce some people’s existing anxiety about government and also reinforce the comforting idea that life is not completely random. Even if the “they” who are in control are evil, it is a comfort to know someone is in control and knows what is going on.
Other conspiracy theories are extraordinarily damaging to the holder. Those conspiracy theories are the ones that support the holder’s view that he or she is the victim of circumstances, forces, and people that are much more powerful than they, are inimical to them, and are beyond their control. Those beliefs lead to passivity and anger, and away from self reflection and responsibility.
Back in 2006 Shrinkwrapped wrote this on the subject:
For the non-psychotic, conspiracy theories can offer the same kind of balm. Our world is increasingly chaotic. At its best we experience the world rushing into the future sweeping us along in a rapidly changing dynamic equilibrium; those of us who are most adaptable can surf the bow front of the wave of change; many more are able to follow along just past the crest, but for those who have less agility, such rapid change is disorienting and anxiety producing. Because of the increasing complexity of the modern world we all are constantly at the mercy of strangers. We rely on strangers to keep our electric flowing and our lights on; we rely on strangers to get food to our markets and onto our tables; we rely on strangers not to kill us through inadvertence or malfeasance. We depend on strangers stopping at red lights! In such a complex world, we are as out of control as the most primitive and superstitious Caveman, whose life was at the mercy of events both large (storms, lightning bolts, earthquakes and tsunamis) and small (smilodons, infections, broken bones). In such a terrifying world, our anxiety leads us to imagine that some all-powerful individual (at one time thought to be God, but he has been devalued by modern, secular sophisticates who keep themselves unaware of the primitive nature of our minds) or individuals, are actually in control.
A random world is not only terrifying but poorly comprehensible; a world controlled by secret cabals of Jews, Americans, the CIA, multinationals, or some other nefarious grouping, may be frightening, but at least it is understandable. That Princess Diana, loved by so many, could be killed simply by the random vicissitudes of existence is too disturbing to contemplate. How much better to imagine she was killed by powerful, hidden forces? If the world is filled with uncertainty, we are all at risk; if there are hidden cabals controlling the world, we can feel safer by either staying out of their sights, or by attacking them as the cause of our problems. Either way, we can feel less anxious and uncertain.
Nonsense contaminates and warps the observational ability of an actor. A 5GWer can make use of that.
[Cross-posted to Dreaming5GW]
Update: Münzenberg at Soob has a thoughtful post with a different PoV that is worth reading.
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