Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's a Conspiracy! Or not...

Vaccine advocates love it when someone says vaccines cause damage and then goes on to say that the Holocaust and moon landing are hoaxes and the New World Order is out to get us. They can point to these people and say, “You can’t trust those anti-vaxers, they’re a bunch of gullible lunatics.” D and C 89 does say, however, that in the last days there will be conspiring men and that that is why we were given the Word of Wisdom. So I believe that there are conspiring men and therefore conspiracies pertaining to our health. However, I think most people tend to look for the most exotic answers rather than facing the threats that are in front of them. Is there some vast “New World Order” plotting the downfall of society? Well, I guess I can’t say that’s totally out of the realm of impossibility, but I think the news media, Hollywood, pharmaceutical companies, the food processing conglomerates, and the pesticide manufacturers are doing a pretty good job of ruining the world on their own and don’t need any help.

So for the record, the moon landing happened and it was one of mankind’s greatest technological achievements. (There is a great Mythbusters episode that takes on the anti-moonlanding arguments which I highly recommend watching.(1)) The Holocaust happened. The Twin Towers were felled on September 11 by Afghani terrorists from Al Quaeda. (Popular Mechanics has a great article on this.(2)) Why do I believe these things happened? Because there is abundant evidence.You’ll find that most bogus conspiracy theories have one thing in common: the people peddling them had nothing to do with the event in question. (That and a blatantly anti-Semitic agenda.) Most real cover-ups are marked by tortured souls who come forward confessing their part, inconvenient eyewitness testimonies, photographs, or other evidence, and often a too-good-to-be-true story denying that anything bad ever happened.

A good example of a real cover-up is the Nanking Massacre, one of the most unbelievably horrendous atrocities in world history. On December 13, 1937, the Chinese city of Nanking was captured by Japanese forces who proceeded to systematically rape, kill, and torture the city’s inhabitants for six weeks. Most textbooks in Japan do not mention this incident and some politicians have even denied that it ever happened. An accurate death toll is impossible to ascertain since the Japanese destroyed records pertaining to the massacre or kept them secret until shortly after their surrender to the Allies in 1945. Many of the men who participated in the bloodbath are still reverenced in Japan because they are former Imperial soldiers. In 2007 a documentary backed by certain Japanese officials debuted attempting to claim that the Nanking Massacre never happened.

In spite of the Japanese people’s and government’s attempts to cover up the Nanking Massacre, awareness of it has only grown. The evidence is there in the form of first person accounts from the citizens of Nanking who managed to escape, accounts from European and American businessmen, missionaries and journalists (whose rescue efforts on behalf of the people of Nanking were headed by a Nazi party official, ironically enough), and even a few admissions from Japanese soldiers. We have photographs of the atrocities and some records of people who were killed, journals detailing the events of Nanking, even a telegram from a reporter who was there. In 1997, Iris Chang wrote a bestselling book about the incident garnering international attention. Estimates of the numbers of victimized Chinese civilians vary widely including 20,000-80,000 women raped, 40,000 to 200,000 murdered, and 50,000 to 250,000 rescued, but even on the conservative end we are talking about a massive number of people involved, something too big to ever stay quiet. (3)

Contrast this with the allegations leveled at the Apollo moon landing program, which involved more than just a few astronauts. An estimated 400,000 people were involved, including rocket scientists, engineers who designed the spacecrafts, NASA officials, technicians, and skilled laborers who put all the equipment together. (4) On top of this you have families of all these people, prospective astronauts who didn’t make the cut, and the news media. None of these people have ever come forward to say it was all a hoax. We have no journal entries, records or press dispatches saying such. All we have are the words of people who have little to no training in photography, film, or aeronautics claiming that it never happened.

The Apollo program did come close to ending after a fire on the launchpad killed the three astronauts of Apollo 1. NASA was grilled like a cheese sandwich at the hearings for the disaster. The space program was allowed to continue, but a greater degree of transparency was demanded of NASA by the public and the government. If you read Lost Moon about the rescue of Apollo 13, you’ll find out that all radio communications from the astronauts went down to the media in real time after Apollo 1. Before that, NASA had taken a seven second delay to bleep out any profanities. (And the press proceeded to have a field day when they caught astronauts using blue language- even in perfectly justifiable situations like accidentally pressing the “abort” button in the middle of outer space.) In fact, if the moon landing was a hoax, we would have never heard anything about Apollo 1 or Apollo 13 because it would give the public reason to doubt that we ever did put a man on the moon. If it were all a hoax we would also have fake moon footage for Apollo 12, but we don’t because astronaut Alan Bean accidentally pointed the camera at the sun and burned the lens.

I believe things that are logical and have evidence to support them. The moon landing, the Nanking Massacre, and vaccination are not matters of faith; they are matters of evidence. There is abundant evidence (some of which I have already cited, more of which is coming) that vaccines are not healthy or necessary and that makes this stance neither conspiracy or theory.
(1) Mythbusters and the moon landing
(2) Popular Mechanics and 9/11
(4) Number of people involved in moon landing

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