I mentioned in another post that studying sociology can open your eyes to the possibility that the official version of the truth might well not be the real truth! Groups in society have a vested interest in the majority accepting their version of how things are. In the past, it might have been ‘obvious’ that white people are superior to black people, it being equally obvious therefore that the former should enslave the latter.
Karl Marx wrote about ‘Ruling Class Ideology’ and included religion as an example. If the rich and powerful can make their social position seem ‘god-given’ rather than as just good old exploitation and dominance, they can keep in check any uprisings, demands and revolutions. There’s nothing quite like a ‘divine right’ of kings to persuade the peasants to obey.
There’s a danger here though! Too much awareness that the truth may be distorted leads to an increasingly popular collective paranoia known as ‘Conspiracy theory’. I think everyone has now heard that the 9/11 terrorist attack was really a cover story for the twin towers’ deliberate demolition by George Bush’s government. I have even seen a car sticker that reads ‘Bush knocked down the twin towers’. Did he really? Any scepticism for conspiracy theory is all part of the conspiracy. It was orchestrated to look incredibly unlikely and it’s the apparent unlikelihood that makes it the truth. Anyone who can’t see it hasn’t looked deeply enough.
Conspiracies seem to be addictive. I knew someone who ‘knew’ that Bush orchestrated 9/11 to justify invading Iraq, but he also ‘knew’ that the moon-landing in 1969 was faked. It was all done in a warehouse. You can see on TV footage a flag fluttering in a breeze when there is no breeze on the moon and you can see a manufacturer’s mark on one of the fake moon rocks. There are many other ‘giveaways’ that only those ‘in the know’ can detect. He also ‘knew’ details about several other conspiracies – that governments were planning to wipe out millions of people with contaminated vaccines, among others.
I’m not a great one for direct confrontation but I did once ask my friend if he accepted too that the Jewish Holocaust of the second world war was just propaganda – that it never happened. No, he told me, of course that happened. There was photographic evidence for it and eye-witnesses, yet there are those that deny the truth of what happened. It seems you can pick and choose your conspiracy.
I would like to share my careful tightrope walk between these extremes when it comes to the well-known ‘fact’ that having high cholesterol can lead to heart attacks. Officially, It is vital to bring cholesterol levels down to avoid health risks and to put people who are at risk on ‘statins’ – a drug that blocks the creation of cholesterol in the liver.
I have a higher than normal cholesterol level and doctors have advised me to take statins. I have researched the area a great deal now, read three or four books that rebel against the official view and I have been in contact with an author/nutritionist who has made a DVD about his evidence that cholesterol is NOT to blame for heart attacks. The most convincing piece of evidence for me is a study that took blood samples of every heart attack victim that was admitted to a large hospital. The one consistent finding was that heart attack victims had low cholesterol, not high cholesterol.
With much correspondence and reading, I have come to agree and accept the ‘conspiracy’ theory that it is in the drug companies’ interest to stick to the official version that high cholesterol causes heart attacks in order to protect their profits from drug sales. It is also in their interest to deny that many adverse and dreadful side-effects that patients on statins report. Doctors simply accept what they are told, and what they are told is to push drugs and make money. Doctors are the pawns of big business. There is also now an ‘industry’ of products that lower cholesterol – margarines and yoghurts. The companies that make these products would no doubt be reluctant to relinquish the official view on cholesterol.
Some ‘conspiracies’ are more credible than others. I am not totally convinced about the safety of vaccinations and I think it is possible that some children have been damaged by them, even though the official position is that there is absolutely no link between autism and vaccination. I acknowledge that I don’t know enough but it seems wise to be cautious about accepting everything we are told, whilst being careful not to see conspiracy where there might not be one.
There are lies and there are distortions of the truth in every area of society. It’s unlikely that society itself could survive without some lies. I try to be careful about what I believe and who I believe and to come to my own conclusions. These I hope are somewhere between blind acceptance and blind paranoia.