Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Medicine United States

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

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • 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 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 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.
  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:22PM (#46529581)

    does current treatment for AIDS cure, or just alleviate? does current treatment for genital herpes cure, or just alleviate?

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:23PM (#46529595)

    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 government is "suppressing access to natural cures" is very likely to be true. I certainly hope so, since under Obamacare, my tax dollars would otherwise be paying for these "natural cures", which are mostly superstitious nonsense.

  • 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 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.
  • 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 Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:26PM (#46530079) Homepage

    Yes, it is true that the reason why it is such a small chance is because of vaccinations

    The problem with this is that the anti-vaccination folks are essentially relying on herd immunity to stay healthy. Previously, when it was just kids who were too young to be vaccinated or people with medical reasons (allergies, immune system issues, etc), herd immunity had no trouble keeping them safe. Measles was all but wiped out in the US. A few people started skipping the vaccines due to one scare or another (e.g. Wakefield's "MMR causes autism" which despite being debunked repeatedly still gets quoted), but they were fine because herd immunity protected them as well. However, when too many people jump on the anti-vax bandwagon and skip vaccinations, herd immunity breaks down and you begin to get outbreaks. This is where we are now. Outbreaks of disease preventable illnesses popping up because some people listen to Jenny McCarthy railing about toxins (just before she gets botox injected into her), listening to some other celebrity, or listening to "some stuff I read on a natural cures website" instead of listening to someone with actual medical experience.

    And when these diseases break out again, people will die [danamccaffery.com]. (Despite some anti-vaxxers - who obviously have never seen the diseases - claiming that whooping cough [wikipedia.org] and measles [wikipedia.org] not killing anyone.)

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:32PM (#46530127) Homepage

    I completely agree but would only add that herd immunity also covers people with actual valid reasons for not vaccinating. These include medical issues like allergies or immune system problems or age (too young to get the vaccine). A six week old baby shouldn't die of Whooping Cough because some idiot thinks it's their "personal right" to be a disease carrier.

    If not vaccinating meant that only you or your children would get sick, I'd say "it's your choice" (though I'd still argue for vaccinating being the better choice). However, when someone tries to claim that their actions (not vaccinating) that affect other people is their choice, I highly disagree. (I keep waiting for them to claim that it's their right to choose to drive drunk - railing against police enforcing driver sobriety and completely ignoring how many people are killed by drunk drivers.)

  • by Anguirel ( 58085 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:37PM (#46530161)

    Do we need deaths for a completely preventable outbreak of a disease due to lack of vaccination [nbcnewyork.com] to count as counter to the "ridiculous claim" that you should get vaccinated? Herd immunity breaks down pretty quickly. We're apparently just barely over the line on it. Every "very, very smart" person making that choice is putting us closer to the loss of that herd immunity, and also one step closer to allowing their child (and every child unable to be vaccinated due to complicating factors that have no other option) to suffer unnecessarily from a potentially devastating disease. Opting not to vaccinate when none of those complicating factors exist is not an "intelligent choice" in any way, shape, or form.

  • Pharma Lobby (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:47PM (#46530237)

    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.

  • 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.

  • by HatofPig ( 904660 ) <clintonthegeek@nOsPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @10:56PM (#46530659)

    Now if you argue that an unvaccinated child puts your vaccinated child at risk, aren't you whining that you don't believe the vaccine conferred immunity to your child?

    It's not about PopeRatzo's hypothetically vaccinated child. It's about anyone who had a legitimate medical reason to not be vaccinated whose only protection is through herd immunity. Maybe PopeRatzo confers his blessings onto other people's kids too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2014 @04:14AM (#46531725)

    There is zero connection between autism and vaccines.

    You proved a negative? Great, now please show the scientific community your proof, they would really like to be able to prove the anti-vaxers wrong once and for all.

    I hope you did, because if you didn't, you are just spreading lies, giving the anti-vaxers even more reason to not trust anyone that claims that vaccines are a good thing.

  • by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @05:12AM (#46531911)

    I didn't prove anything, I just stated a fact: There is no connection between autism and vaccines.

    That's it, and that is the absolute truth. All of the "supposed" connections have turned out to be false. Not only that, but the numbers are actually in for those who don't vaccinate, and guess what? They have autism at the same rates.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken