Getting Past Anecdotes


February 1, 2021-

In explaining both conspiracy theory and compliance theory, there is a tendency to rely upon anecdotes, strung together, to form a pattern. Some of the anecdotes are true; others have tendrils of truth that are mixed with the worst of people’s fears. For example, it is true that a wealthy entrepreneur, who has controlling interest in a railroad, contributed to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, and very likely made his thoughts about the XL Pipeline ( a competitor to the railroad) very clear to his beneficiary. It is also true that, BEFORE the contribution was made, both Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris made their opposition to the Pipeline known, and that this was largely based on what was going on at Standing Rock Reservation, in North and South Dakota-as well as on the opposition of several farmers and ranchers in Nebraska’s Sand Hills region. The truth, in most controversial matters, is complicated.

The truth in other matters is less so. For example, there is no question that it is ALWAYS wrong to expect sexual favours from an underage child. The corrupt and emotionally immature, among us, offer excuses for such behaviour, though, and cry out for “understanding” towards abusers. In my humble opinion, it is a hollow cry-to the extent that it negates or minimizes the harm done to the child victim. Yes, there is a common thread of truth to the notion that molested children can become child molesters. This happens when the cult of secrecy has kept them from getting proper help and treatment-as soon after the assault as possible. As a fractured bone, that is not properly set, will heal in a contorted manner, so does a fractured psyche find its own wayward path- often mimicking the very behaviour which led to its trauma.

There is the twisted feature of being stuck in denial, at the news of something seemingly too horrific to process. Thus, there are still those who sincerely believe that no child has been killed by gunfire at a school, since Jonesboro and Columbine- over two decades ago. Their denial, which ought to have been processed, and from which they should have moved on, remains because it is being nurtured and validated, by persons whose interests lie at the very fringes of the public weal.

As someone said, earlier today, in another context. follow the money. Good research never relies totally, or much at all, on anecdotes.