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

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  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @07:54PM (#46529359)
    Operation Whitecoat [] 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 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 globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @08:08PM (#46529459) Journal

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

    Operation Northwoods [] 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 [] 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" 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.

  • Vocabulary Tar-pit (Score:5, Interesting)

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

  • 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.

  • Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:11PM (#46529963)

    Strange, I working in a University in a microbiology department no less and the department pays for the staff to have flu vaccines. I would suspect the staff know a damn sight more about vaccines that you do and I can guarantee they are probably a lot smarter than you too.

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

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

    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 [], 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.)

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard