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Medicine United States

Survey Finds Nearly 50% In US Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories 395

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-what-they-want-you-to-think dept.
cold fjord writes in with some bad news for the people using water fluoridation to pacify the public and install a new world government. "About half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory, according to new survey results. (paywalled, first page viewable) Some conspiracy theories have much more traction than others ... three times as many people believe U.S. regulators prevent people from getting natural cures as believe that a U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). J. Eric Oliver, the study's lead author from University of Chicago, said people may believe in conspiracy theories because they're easier to understand than complex medical information. ... Some 49 percent of the survey participants agreed with at least one of the conspiracies. In fact, in addition to the 37 percent of respondents who fully agreed that U.S. regulators are suppressing access to natural cures, less than a third were willing to say they actively disagreed with the theory. — One of the conspiracy theories, that the U.S. created HIV, was created for an active disinformation campaign by the Soviet Union against the U.S. as a form of political warfare during the Cold War, and still gets repeated."
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Survey Finds Nearly 50% In US Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories

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  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @07:51PM (#46529329) Homepage Journal

    That says it all.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:02PM (#46529417) Homepage Journal

      Stupidity is on the rise.

      Seems there was a Far Side cartoon about imbeciles marching with an upside-down banner or such. It's pretty much what I expect to see some times "we r teh stoopids - and we voat"

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        I learned recently that the wife of the quarterback of my beloved Chicago Bears is one of these anti-vaccine people, based on the notion that vaccines have "chemicals" in them. So they don't get their kids vaccinated, endangering the lives of others.

        Here, if you really want to be scared, is an interview with noted genius Kristin Cavallari, explaining that the reason she doesn't get her kids vaccinated is because she's "read too many books".

        No kidding, you've got to see this:

        http://youtu.be/7WzE0qO7tzY?t=.. [youtu.be]

        • by hermitdev (2792385) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:46PM (#46529793)
          I love her (I've also a Bear's fan) argument that "We didn't used to have this problem". Yeah, we also used to die by 40. We also didn't even know what the hell cancer is. We also didn't smoke. We also didn't use to drive. We also didn't use to send our kids to school. We also didn't use to mandate our kids go to school. We also didn't use to send people to the moon. We also didn't use to stick our head up our ass because it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.
          • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @10:17PM (#46530455)

            As the parent of a child with autism (and someone who is likely on the spectrum as well - albeit undiagnosed), I'm insulted when people imply they'd rather their child get a deadly disease than get autism. Like Penn and Teller said [youtube.com], even if vaccines caused autism - WHICH THEY DON'T - it would be better to get your child vaccinated and risk autism than go unvaccinated.

            The real reason for the "rise" in autism is better detection. When I was a kid, I was pegged as "shy", "weird", and my parents were told (while I was in elementary school, mind you) "he won't feel comfortable socially until he is in college." There was no diagnosis as to what was going on with me and definitely no help. I was just not like the other kids and that was it. With my son, we had a doctor spend six hours observing him (3 hours in class and 3 hours one-on-one observation) before getting the Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis. Once we had that, there were a lot of resources for us to draw upon to help him out. (Adults can get diagnosed too, but in my case money is tight and a diagnosis wouldn't help me or my son.)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463)

        Stupidity is on the rise.

        Or cynicism. Just because a lot of crackpots believe something, that is no guarantee that it is not true. There was a conspiracy theory, dismissed by most rational people, that the government was monitoring our email and phone calls. Then it turned out to be true.

        Some of these medical conspiracy theories may be true as well. The one about the CIA causing HIV is unlikely to be true, because it would required the government to have an unreasonably high level of competence. But the theory that the governm

        • by Sique (173459)

          But the theory that the government is "suppressing access to natural cures" is very likely to be true.

          Actually, that's very likely to be false. If they are "natural cures", everyone could get them, they wouldn't be medication in a legal sense and thus not regulated by the government.

          • by oscrivellodds (1124383) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:42PM (#46529765)

            The feds have been suppressing weed for a long time. It's a natural cure, and as they say, it's da healin' of da nation!

          • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:55PM (#46529867)

            Actually, that's very likely to be false. If they are "natural cures", everyone could get them

            They can get them only if they can afford them. Under Obamacare, not every natural/alternative treatment is covered. In addition the government funds medical research that suppresses "natural cures" by exposing them as ineffective frauds. I really don't see why this is considered a "conspiracy theory", since it is something that the government is clearly doing, and doing in an open and transparent process.

          • by sjames (1099)

            Magic mushrooms are known to greatly reduce the frequency and severity of cluster headache and migraine. A session with ibogaine (also a hallucinogen) is thought to greatly reduce the chances of relapse in addicts trying to abstain. Good luck getting either prescription filled!

            One by one, the states are rebelling against the fed's ban on marijuana. You might get that one filled if you're in the right state.

        • by dnavid (2842431)

          Or cynicism. Just because a lot of crackpots believe something, that is no guarantee that it is not true. There was a conspiracy theory, dismissed by most rational people, that the government was monitoring our email and phone calls. Then it turned out to be true.

          Since there's a million conspiracy theories, some will end up being at least partially true by random chance. Even here its hard to give credit to the conspiracy nuts, because very few of them believed the government monitoring was specifically of the character revealed by the Snowden leaks.

          I'm pretty sure if you try hard enough, you can find a Nostradamus quatrain that predicts the NSA monitoring. That doesn't add credibility to Nostradamus, it just means when that many monkeys bang on keyboards, eventua

        • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:5, Interesting)

          by plover (150551) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:01PM (#46529911) Homepage Journal

          Q: You know what they call a "natural cure" that has been tested and found to work?

          A: Medicine.

        • But the theory that the government is "suppressing access to natural cures" is very likely to be true.

          The problem here is how are many governments working together to suppress a natural cure. Let's say that someone claimed that grape juice cured cancer but that the federal government was suppressing the research. The USA is not the only country in the world. Is this research being suppressed in England, France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Australia, and every other country as well? Wouldn't any of these cou

      • Many people are stupid, but it wasn't that long ago that doctors did pretend to treat black people so that they could observe how untreated syphilis develops.....
    • Jenny McCarthy doesn't exist! She's just a hologram! My friend send me an e-mail forwarded from his 2nd cousin's Xanga page that linked to an archived tripod page that linked to a Myspace account that had a Turkish video that PROVED her birth certificate is actually a fake printed on the back of a Lucky Charms cereal box. That's true! It's even on wikipedia. She's just there to discredit anti-vaxers and stuff lol.

      By the way, you'd have to be stupid to not believe that drug companies actively seek non
  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @07:53PM (#46529345)

    Statistically speaking some conspiracies are true.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @07:54PM (#46529359)
    Operation Whitecoat [wikipedia.org] it was called. If you were a Conscientious Objector you did this instead of shooting people.

    There's lots and lots of conspiracies out there. All a conspiracy means is that two or more people get together to do something. Banking is rife with them. So is the software industry (and the hardware, anyone remember when flat panels suddenly got cheap? Conspiracy among vendors to keep prices high...).

    Yes, there are crack pots out there. But that doesn't mean organized groups of people aren't doing bad things...
    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      Hundreds of Black soldiers at Tuskegee during WWII were deliberately infected with Syphilis and then not told and deliberately not treated as an experiment to understand the long term impacts of Syphilis. There is also evidence that the CIA facilitated the smuggling and sale of crack cocaine in black neighborhoods to finance covert projects during the 80's.

      Given that it's not hard to understand why there are conspiracy theories involving this.

      • by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:26PM (#46529611)

        They weren't deliberately infected, they weren't soldiers, (they were sharecroppers, and they were provided with free medical cares, meals and burial insurance as compensation), and for the first decade of the study, there was no verified cure for syphilis [wikipedia.org] (the efficacy of penicillin wasn't verified until the 1940s; the study began in 1932). It's hard to blame the architects of the study for studying an incurable disease to chart its progress, though obviously their successors lacked any moral compass.

        The facts of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment were bad enough, but you're making it seem even worse. This is the part of the problem. Actual malfeasance gets exaggerated even further; it changes from failure to take action (treat patients like they should have) to deliberate malevolence (intentionally infecting patients). If you reinterpret the world as one in which everything is explained by deliberate malice, of course you'll believe in conspiracy theories.

        Sadly, in this particular case, despite being completely off base about Tuskegee, there were in fact acts of active evil perpetrated in Guatemala [wikipedia.org]. Unlike Tuskegee, the experiments weren't on U.S. citizens, only lasted three years, not forty, and the subjects were treated for the conditions they were infected with (though some still died). Doesn't excuse it, but again, it's not a good basis for proving the existence of long term, actively malevolent policies.

        • by AK Marc (707885)

          They weren't deliberately infected, they weren't soldiers,

          Everyone knows the Tuskegee Blacks were in the military. They were airmen.

          (they were sharecroppers, and they were provided with free medical cares,

          What good is "medical care" when there's a deliberate lie about the care?

          • by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:35PM (#46530141)

            They weren't deliberately infected, they weren't soldiers,

            Everyone knows the Tuskegee Blacks were in the military. They were airmen.

            You're confusing the Tuskegee airmen [wikipedia.org] with the Tuskegee syphilis experiments. They have nothing in common besides being trained (the airmen) and conducted (the experiments) in proximity to Tuskegee, AL. Tuskegee is an almost exclusively Black/African American city, so most things that are associated with Tuskegee are also associated with black people.

            (they were sharecroppers, and they were provided with free medical cares,

            What good is "medical care" when there's a deliberate lie about the care?

            If you read another sentence or two, you'd note that there was no verified treatment for syphilis for the first decade of the experiments. Providing palliative care to those with incurable diseases is a net good; there are legitimate philosophical arguments over how much information a doctor should provide when the information cannot be understood or acted upon in a meaningful way.

            Clearly this was unethical, but recall, this was Jim Crow era. A lot of people considered black people sub-human. Sure, the doctors didn't tell them they had syphilis. But the South made it nigh impossible for them to vote, hold elected office, get a meaningful education, buy property, use public services, receive a fair trial, etc. We were kind of awful in general; the Tuskegee experiments weren't that much more awful when compared to everything else we did.

      • by tmosley (996283)
        Those are just crazy conspiracy theories, and if you believe anything like that then you are a terrorist who hates freedom.

        More and more, we find that conspiracy theories become conspiracy facts. Our government has destroyed its credibility, and as a result, it is no longer a stretch to apply ANY horrible action to their list of monstrous deeds. The next global empire could learn from these failings. But they won't.
      • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:46PM (#46529791)

        Hundreds of Black soldiers at Tuskegee during WWII were deliberately infected with Syphilis

        No they weren't. What acutally happened [wikipedia.org] is bad enough. You don't have to embellish it with made up nonsense. No one was deliberately infected. They were just left untreated. They were mostly sharecroppers (farmers). They were not soldiers. The study began in 1932, nearly a decade before WWII. At the time, penicillin was still experimental, and not used to treat syphilis. There was no effective treatment before antibiotics became available after 1943, so at least when the study was conceived, it was not quite as unethical as it appears in hindsight, since there weren't a lot of good treatment options at the time anyway. Leaving the subjects untreated until 1972 was, of course, appallingly unethical.

      • by flyneye (84093)

        I think theyve learned from their mistakes and now conduct cheap research on the general public with no regard to race, religion or political affiliation.
        The CIA funds themselves. No tax dollars there. So you can imagine when Geo.Bush Sr. went to fund his boys, he set them up with a no brainer. Set up the Coke trade and control South Am. politics, make money and oh, yeah, need some customers, plentiful , stupid and predisposed to.....

    • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:12PM (#46529511) Homepage

      Even just restricting that to full blown government conspiracies. It is amazing the absolutely crazy things the government has been forced to admit to 40+ years after the fact. Stuff every bit as crazy as any of those conspiracy nuts come up with. And that is just the stuff that leaks out. If the government can keep huge completely illegal and immoral projects a secret for 40+ years, by then half the people involved at already dead, then who knows what never comes to light, or what is kept so off the official record that there could never be any proof.

      Unfortunately, we know that the government is not completely unwilling to perform secret medical tests on their own unwitting and unconsenting civilians.

    • by Aighearach (97333)

      From wikipedia:

      The volunteers were allowed to consult with outside sources, such as family and clergy members, before deciding to participate. The participants were required to sign consent forms after discussing the risks and treatments with a medical officer. Of the soldiers who were approached about participating, 20% declined. ...
      No Whitecoats died during the test period. ... at least one subject claims to have serious health problems as a result of the experiments.

    • by flyneye (84093)

      Somewhere car dealers are conspiring to unload a fucked up Hyundai on you.
      Somewhere a store clerk is conspiring with a manager to replace your broken smart phone claim with a used phone from someone elses claim.
      Somewhere a panel of experts is conspiring to get you to eat a sandwich with less than 2 % real meat in it, more than 50% soy and 10% sawdust and 38% lips, intestines, eyeballs and assholes.
      Somewhere a politician is conspiring to tell you anything you want to hear, so he can do anything he wants to

  • by GodInHell (258915) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @07:57PM (#46529379) Homepage

    In fact, in addition to the 37 percent of respondents who fully agreed that U.S. regulators are suppressing access to natural cures, less than a third were willing to say they actively disagreed with the theory.

    Marijuana is still illegal, right? I mean, it's it a conspiracy theory if I can point to the status and rules at issue?

  • by the simurgh (1327825) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:06PM (#46529449)
    "Lesson number one: trust no one. The minute God crapped out the third caveman, a conspiracy was hatched against one of them. Welcome to earth, watch your back no one else will.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:06PM (#46529455)

    Red rice yeast is as effective as statins at lowering cholesterol, without liver side effects statin pills. Yet FDA bans sale of supplements calibrated to have enough active components.

    Pot has helped millions to get measurable relieve from debilitating conditions. Yet federal government still considers it to be highly addictive and without medical value.

    Countless food additives have been banned in most of the world outside US and most countries require clear labeling of genetically modified foods? Are our government scientists that much smarter?

    FDA review process denies potentially life saving treatments for many years, even to people who are about to die without them anyway.

    With this kind of track record, it's no wonder people are suspicious about other things. If a vaccine killed 10% of people compared to statistically saved lives, would YOU trust our government to admit to that?

    • by hedgemage (934558) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:15PM (#46529539)
      Cite sources please. Reputable journals only.

      Problem is that the US has made it nearly impossible to research the effects of marijuana/THC so there is a real lack of good data. Facing this lack of evidence, too many people are stating outrageous claims that pot will do everything from cure the common cold to cancer and everything in between.
      • Reputable journals? Seriously? Do you read the news at all?

        There are no reputable journals. There are no trustworthy labs, no trustworthy drug companies. There are salesmen, and there is money. That's all. Sucks, but it's how the world is today.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        And when they do allow tests, the burry any that doesn't show what they want. There was one I saw that was around smoking MJ and driving. The result was that driving high was *safer* than driving sober. The reason was that stoners over-estimate their impairment, while drunks under-estimate theirs. The stoners said "dude, I feel *soooo* high" and drove slower and more carefully when high than when sober.

        But I can't link to it. I had it bookmarked years ago, but it disappears from everywhere I've seen i
      • by s.petry (762400)

        Aspirin [wikipedia.org] a man made synthetic compound mimicking the pain relieving properties of willow bark? I believe that every anti-biotic we use today is also a mimicker of natural remedies. Numerous plants have known medicinal properties, such as coagulants, anti-coagulants, antiseptics, anti-fungus, anti-bacterial, numbing, etc.. etc..

        If you drink Milk purchased in a store you get Milk fortified with Vitamin A and Vitamin D. We are trying to fortify Rice with Vitamin A for mass consumption. Pregnant women are gi

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Red rice yeast is as effective as statins at lowering cholesterol, without liver side effects statin pills. Yet FDA bans sale of supplements calibrated to have enough active components.

      If people who believe vitamin supplements work were included in this study, that number would be a hell of a lot higher than "nearly 50%".

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Red rice yeast is as effective as statins at lowering cholesterol, without liver side effects statin pills. Yet FDA bans sale of supplements calibrated to have enough active components.

        If people who believe vitamin supplements work were included in this study, that number would be a hell of a lot higher than "nearly 50%".

        Psst. The FDA controls the import of Red Rice Yeast because it *contains a statin*. Any red rice yeast you can buy on the shelf has had the naturally occurring statin removed.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Red rice yeast is as effective as statins at lowering cholesterol, without liver side effects statin pills. Yet FDA bans sale of supplements calibrated to have enough active components.

          If people who believe vitamin supplements work were included in this study, that number would be a hell of a lot higher than "nearly 50%".

          Psst. The FDA controls the import of Red Rice Yeast because it *contains a statin*. Any red rice yeast you can buy on the shelf has had the naturally occurring statin removed.

          Erm... that does not mean vitamin supplements work, in fact your own post says the FDA prohibits substances that have an active ingredient powerful enough to have an effect.

          It's like the morons who claim all gluten free foods are good for you whilst they ignore that polonium is gluten free.

          If people understood the science behind nutrition, they'd see things like vitamin supplement as the scam they are. You get more vitamins out of fruit and vegetables then supplements with 3-4 times the dosage.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Hang on, Red rice yeast is as effective as statins at lowering cholesterol, because red rice yeast contains a statin [wikipedia.org]. Lovastatin, in fact, which is a naturally occuring statin as opposed to a synthetic. (Some people think this is a good thing; personally I have a bad reaction to all statins, including lovastatin.)

      You should add Thiomersal [wikipedia.org] to the mix. The US is lagging behind a bit in that area. (Still in flu shots, and in animal vaccines.)

    • And in an unregulated industry how do you determine if your red rice yeast is authentic or the right strain? We can't even get real olive oil in grocery stores as most brands contain almost zero olive oil. So far the health food industry is a total scam with no assurance at all of any element of fairness or honesty.
    • by quantaman (517394)

      Red rice yeast is as effective as statins at lowering cholesterol, without liver side effects statin pills. Yet FDA bans sale of supplements calibrated to have enough active components.

      So I don't know a lot about the red rice yeast thing but I have to defend the FDA here. To be an 'active component' it means that the ingredient in question is actually having a biological effect. The moment you're taking something that has the potential to significantly affect your body chemistry you're taking something that has the ability to harm you. How do we figure out what that something is? We study it, we understand what the effect is, good things and bad things, for what people do the good or bad

      • by iamacat (583406)

        Nope, eating refined sugar by the spoon doesn't have the same effect as eating whole fruit, taking cholesterol pills doesn't have the same effect as eating eggs and apparently eating red yeast doesn't screw your liver. While pills have been tested for less than half a century, natural food has been tested by humans and our primate ancestors for millennia. Most importantly, it's not for FDA to ban and for private companies to patent stuff that people have been eating long before patents or regulations were c

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @10:08PM (#46530389) Homepage

      And though they're not a medical conspiracies, quite a few 'conspiracy theories' have turned out to be true in the past few decades. We've found out in recent years that our government *does* have secret prisons where they torture people. The NSA *does* read your email and tap your phone. People within the finance industry *do* apparently help to torpedo the economy so that they can make money from the collapse. Private prisons *do* raise money for candidates who support excessive prison terms and mandatory sentencing. The Republican party *does* have meetings where rich funders talk to the presidential nominee about how poor people are parasites and rich people deserve more money. Wasn't there something about the CIA selling crack?

      All of these conspiracy theories have turned out to be more or less real. It doesn't seem to crazy to think that the pharmaceutical industry has engaged in some kinds of similarly insane shenanigans.

  • Researchers messed up from the start using the "conspiracy theory" contextualization.

    Operation Northwoods [wikipedia.org] would certainly **sound** like a conspiracy theory, a US gov't plan investigating the use of false-flag actions on US population to manufacture consent, but follow the link to the official documents, declassified, proving the plan existed

    Or how about The Gulf of Tonkin Incident [wikipedia.org] which was a **all fake** and used to justify Vietnam intervention. Again...follow the link...the documents are declassified and it's true.

    Today's conspiracy "theory" is tomorrows class action settlement!

    By using the "conspiracy theory" contextualization, the researchers then biased **what theories they chose** and to go deeper **which variation of the theory to use**

    ex: Flouride. Some say flouride in the water table is for dumping toxic chemicals to cause their Pineal Gland to calcify...others don't think it's so devious...just a way to make money off of industrial waste (selling something uneccesary on decades-long contracts w/ governments) not actually ***hurt people***

    from TFA, here's the **versions** of various theories they chose:

    They include the theory that the government knows cell phones cause cancer but does nothing about it, that genetically modified organisms are being used to shrink the world's population, that routine vaccinations cause autism and that water fluoridation is a way for companies to dump dangerous chemicals into the environment.

    Notice that ****corporate conspiracies**** are not mentioned!!!

    The health care industry profits from **artificial scarcity**...and lobbying to get unsafe, easily abusable drugs approved by the FDA over objections (see: Rudy Guilianni's early career as an attorney ;)

    Artificial Scarcity & corporate cronyism is not a "conspiracy theory"...in fact, if you toss out the craziness, just about all "conspiracy theories" can be explained by unscrupulous people doing criminal behavior on a large scale.

  • It is understandable when people see something that they don't like, then proceed to create an opinion without informing themselves in even the most basic manner.

  • When people start getting wise to something, one way to discredit them is to just label their understanding of the problem as a "conspiracy". Clearly then they are just the lunatic fringe, and can still be called the lunatic fringe even after they become the majority.
  • I see my conspiracy to make people believe in conspiracies is proceeding according to plan ...

    • by n6kuy (172098)

      Yes, but we know that it's really a conspiracy to make people believe that people believe in conspiracies.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        In which case, if people know it's a conspiracy to do that, people would stop believing in conspiracies. Which is phase two of my conspiracy.

        There, I've run rings around you. ;-)

  • 50% of the population suffer from some level of paranoia and delusion, we have a public health issue.
    With the amount of marketing, PR and publicity (aka lies and false stories) everyone is bombarded with, it's hard for the average person not to go nuts. added to that, quite a few true stories are just so twisted it becomes hard to believe in.
    Yes, we have a public health issue with too many people losing their mind. plus, many of them have lots of guns.
    A large section of the population has mental issues an

  • I believe they conspire with physicians to not emphasize cures. There is no long term profit in a cure.
  • well they have to some thing with the 1000% markup

  • Underling pulls some stupid shit. Boss gets word, but it's political suicide to divulge the mess. Voila! A conspiracy is born.

  • but there are a lot of cheaper, better therapies that are ignored or attacked by pharmaceutical, medical interests, whether natural substances or generic drugs used off label. The FDA essentially promotes expensive, less effective, often dangerous therapies that are officially blessed. I've saved $40,000+ a month recognizing this situation the last several years, with better research and results in my family when the doctors themselves said no real hope several years ago.
  • Vocabulary Tar-pit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:31PM (#46529665) Homepage Journal

    "Conspiracy" is a vague word. In an industry as large and complex as medical care, I can almost guarantee that underhanded manipulation is going on, and have heard about such directly from acquaintances who worked or are working in it.

    Whether one can label underhanded manipulation a "conspiracy" is tricky one. Multiple people of power work together to manipulate for selfish reasons. But often they use "gray lies" so that they have a fall-back argument such as "It's a matter of interpretation".

    I'd generally call such "coordinated bullshit" and reserve "conspiracy" for outright coordinated lies or clear-cut criminal acts.

    The largest volume of BS in the world is done at the grey borders of "truth", not so much dead people in car trunks or planted microscope slides. If you want to clean up corruption and BS, then going after manipulation of grey areas is probably the biggest bang for the buck.

    The word "conspiracy" has kind of been diluted similar to how we use "robbed" to mean "burglarized". "Robbed" technically usually means you were approached and threatened in person by the thief. Taking your TV while you are on vacation doesn't count. That's "burglarized", not "robbed". But humans like to add drama to their speech such that the embellishment causes a kind of "severity deflation" of meaning over time. Thus "robbed" grew weaker in perceived meaning.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      The word "conspiracy" has kind of been diluted similar to how we use "robbed" to mean "burglarized".

      Words change meaning. Which you (likely by accident) illustrate quite well by writing "burglarized" instead of "burgled". "Burlgarized" would originally have meant turning someone into a burglar, but has now become a synonym for "burgled", and here in the US, you hardly ever hear "burgled" anymore.

      The -ized words seem particularly prone to the effect. "Ruggedized" has been used instead of "rugged" to the point that it takes on the meaning of rugged.
      "Mesmerized" instead of mesmered.
      "Specialized" instead of

  • The survey shows that 49% of the population believes the government lies. When in fact, more like 90% of the population believes the government lies to us. The problem is we are not sure when the government is telling the truth.

  • ... to seek patterns in what are random events.

    What is actually at work in many cases is the invisible hand [wikipedia.org] of the marketplace. It doesn't take a bunch of industrialists plotting in smoke-filled rooms. The overall structure of the market and underlying regulations is set up to push things in the direction of higher profits for the major players.

    There's more profit in proprietary drugs. And the much of the FDA staff is involved with processing the trial results and paperwork. Everyone just works in their

  • I've got a friend who has always been well known (in our circle) for his conspiracy theories. Over the last 5 or 6 years, though, he hasn't been able to come up with anything outlandish enough, off the wall enough, invasive enough, impossible enough.Every time he comes up with something new he thinks the government is doing, all we can say is "Yep, they even admitted it on $NationalNewsNetwork last week."
  • I hear various connotations of the conspiracy of the government (or other agents such as collaborations between big pharma and the AMA) preventing people from accessing treatments to protect the profits they get from expensive drugs all the time. Frankly considering how often people allege that I am the crazy one for not believing in it, I really expected the percentage of people buying into that conspiracy would be much higher.

    Hell, that survey reports that conspiracy to be accepted at only around 37%
  • Pharma Lobby (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    One of the wealthiest lobbying groups in the world could in no way have any influence on government policy, now could they?

    Not all conspiracies are equal.

  • The conspiracy theories are always partially truth and the medical model does not have any method for scientifically proving the public wrong. They rather use discredidation tactics and speculation like calling it all a conspircy theory even though they do not really know if something is true or not. They generally overlook government abuse and classification of information that might prove the public right on things like the government or corporations withholding information about natural cures and functio

  • "said people may believe in conspiracy theories because they're easier to understand than complex medical information."

    I'd be willing to guess the reason people believe in conspiracy theories has more to do with content on talk radio and other mainstream media than an inability to understand complex medical information. Show me a mainstream media outlet that actually distributes sound complex medical information. There is zero profit in this information.

    I visited my cardiologist the other day. All he spoke

  • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @10:05PM (#46530377) Homepage

    Revealed: secret plan to push'happy' pills
    http://www.theguardian.com/soc... [theguardian.com]

    Big Pharma Could Win International Price Monopoly, Unlimited Profits in 'Free Trade' Deal
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

    US patent moves are 'profoundly bad' in leaked TPP treaty
    http://www.theverge.com/2013/1... [theverge.com]

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Leaked documents show the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is pressuring TPP countries to expand pharmaceutical monopoly protections and trade away access to medicines.
    http://www.citizen.org/TPPA [citizen.org]

    The medical industry the third-leading cause of death in the United States; after heart disease and cancer.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org]

    Big Pharma Shamelessly Shills Dangerous Bone Drugs You Don't Need
    http://www.alternet.org/story/... [alternet.org]

    The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: Manipulating the Data to Justify a Worldwide Public Health Emergency
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/t... [globalresearch.ca]

    "Somewhere in Rayong or Chon Buri on the coast of Thailand, a young woman may at this very moment be baring her arm for a shot of an experimental Aids vaccine that many of the leading scientists in the field say categorically has no hope at all of working.

    She will be one of 16,000 volunteers recruited for the second large-scale Aids vaccine trial, a $119m exercise many scientists believe is a farce."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/scie... [guardian.co.uk]

    Fraud has become so endemic in this country that it's woven its way into America’s DNA. 2). Big Pharma Fraud.
    http://www.alternet.org/story/... [alternet.org]

    Drug Makers New Targets for U.S. Fraud Inquiries, Report Says
    http://prescriptions.blogs.nyt... [nytimes.com]

    Merck drew up a "hit list" of doctors that needed to be "neutralized" because they criticized the now banned drug Vioxx.
    http://science.slashdot.org/st... [slashdot.org]

    Merck invents its own journal to publish bogus research findings to promote it's own products.
    http://blog.bioethics.net/2009... [bioethics.net]

    Why Aren't These Fraudulent Papers Retracted?
    http://truth-out.org/news/item... [truth-out.org]

    Doubts about Johns Hopkins research have gone unanswered, scientist says
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

    A National Survey of Physician–Industry Relationships
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/1... [nejm.org]

  • A survey on how many americans believe in the Easter Bunny

    The date of easter changes every year - thats got to be a conspiracy too.

You can do more with a kind word and a gun than with just a kind word. - Al Capone

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