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How to Effectively Communicate about Conspiracy Hypotheses

If you were to approach ten random people on the street and outright claim with extreme certainty that the government was the perpetrator of the Boston Bombings, nine of those people would not take you seriously or even consider your perspective. The single person that may listen or have an active conversation with you likely already agreed with you. In other words, no minds are typically changed by taking the above approach. How then can individuals increase their odds of winning others over to their own ways of thinking on these controversial subjects? Please consider these guidelines.

1. Avoid Absolute Certainty – Prefacing statements with phrases such as “I know it must have happened like this…” or “The official story must be complete BS because…” is not an effective way to get your point across. Why? Such phrases declare that your version of the story is provable to a high degree of certainty. As a result, if the other fellow disagrees with a single detail of what you say, your entire discourse becomes unbelievable, and the only thing which is fairly certain is that the interest of the other person will be completely lost.

Conspiracy “theories” are actually conspiracy hypotheses. Unfortunately, the distinction between a theory and a hypothesis is typically only made in the scientific fields; however, it is very relevant in this particular case and needs to be made. A hypothesis is an educated guess that is based on observation and that can be tested given all the details that are known to be true. Only after a hypothesis has stood up to exhaustive scrutiny can it be dubbed a theory. A theory has a very high probability of being correct while that of a hypothesis is lower. For instance, I am 99.9999% certain that the Theory of General Relativity is correct while I am not nearly as certain about the correctness of any particular hypothesis attempting to explain the events that occurred on September 11th, including the official government hypothesis.

Avoid absolute certainty.

2. Ask “Yes” Questions – A very effective tool to use in winning people to your way of thinking is to ask questions that you are fairly certain will invoke a "yes" response from the other individual while avoiding questions that will likely invoke a "no." Consider the following hypothetical dialogue:

You: Have you heard anything about the Boston Bombings?

Person: Yes. What about it?

You: Did you hear that they believe it was two Chechnyan brothers?

Person: Yeah.

You: Have you seen pictures of the men on the news?

Person: Sure have.

You: Well, take a look at this picture I have here. Doesn’t this guy here look like the older of the brothers?

Person: Yeah.

You: For a moment, let’s suppose that is the older brother. Wouldn’t it have been difficult for him to plant the bomb over there if he was actually here?

Person: Yeah. It would have taken some fancy foot work.

You: The official story seems to be getting fuzzier and fuzzier by the day. Don’t you think?

Person: It certainly seems to be getting thinner.

You: Well, I appreciate you talking with me. Let me know if you hear anything new and interesting about this whole mess.

In the above, the other person never had a good opportunity to say no. How do you suppose the conversation would have went if the first statement was, “Have you heard about Alex Jones’ latest findings on the discrepancies between the official story of the Boston Bombings and the available photographic evidence?” I would venture to say not as good.

Ask “yes” questions to lead the other person through your train of thought.

3. Create Doubt About the Official Story (Instead of Bloviating About Yours) – It is not necessary to prove or even mention what you think happened. The most effective way to win others away from the official story is to create doubt in their minds. You have at least one major advantage on your side; namely, the official story must violate our first guideline. By its nature, the official story does not avoid certainty. Accordingly, you only need to create doubt about one detail to place the entire storyline into question.

Here, it is best to find what is most unbelievable about the web the state has spun and bring it up. For example, “Don’t you think it’s strange that the falling of WTC 7 was largely avoided during the coverage of 9/11? Yeah. There was a whole other building that fell that was rarely if ever mentioned by people in government or the mainstream media. Sometimes I wonder if what they are telling us is entirely truthful.” There is no need for statements like, “My best friend’s uncle’s friend swears he saw one of the accused hijackers that morning buying a large coffee and a McMuffin at his local McDonalds in Chicago. The government and media are lying to us. I’m sure of it.”

Create doubt about the official story. Save your version for a later conversation if you feel you must tell it.

4. Leave the Other Person Thinking – This part is simple. Once you inject doubt, close the conversation with something similar to the last couple of statements in the hypothetical dialogue covered earlier. There are two parts: a) Having the other person verbally state that they have doubts about the official story; b) Letting them know that you would like them to keep their eyes open and tell you if they hear anything new. For part b, you may even say something like, “I wonder if there is anything good on YouTube about this? Certainly, I’m going to keep my eyes on the media’s version.” In the off chance, the person may later get bored and search YouTube. Even if everything they find is junk, it will still bolster their doubt. Further, by them knowing that you will be keeping tabs on the official story, they may later come to you with discrepancies they believe that they have uncovered. People love finding things out for themselves.

Leave the other person thinking.

I urge you to try this method the next time you communicate to someone about a conspiracy hypothesis. Some people may still take a defensive posture, but a greater portion will consider what you have to say. The name of the game is increasing our numbers. Only being able to communicate with those that already agree will do little if any good. Let’s grow the movement. Let’s learn to communicate more effectively about controversial topics.

1. Avoid Absolute Certainty.
2. Ask “Yes” Questions.
3. Create Doubt About the Official Story.
4. Leave the Other Person Thinking.

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4 thought.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm- What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks
Strike The Root: There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.

bumping for useful and relevant . . .


Bookmarking, too, for later; I didn't get past the first paragraph, but I will.

Spouse will read it even more thoroughly.


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Excellent post

It is not that these issues should never be discussed, but the method and manner in which we discuss them should be thoughtful and inquisitive, not forceful and aggressive.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*



No.7's picture

bump. +1

So many people here need to read this

The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson


I do not believe most of the nonsense Alex Jones is spouting, but if it were you, I would have listened closer. This is definitely a more powerful wayto convey a message, especially the message of liberty,

Larry pratt, not alex jones

"Truth is Treason in an Empire that lies" - Ron Paul

Educate the masses, and win in the end.



This is like a religion to you people

Seriously, it's creepy. You want to "convert" people by using sophistry? What's wrong with you?

Fortune Favors the Bold

If you don't believe in God, why would it matter?

If you do believe in God, Jesus said, "be wise as serpents and harmless as doves"--

effective communication is both.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

No, he's telling "those people"

to pull their heads out of their asses, and how to reach people in a non-crazy way, at least that's how I read it.

A signature used to be here!


There is nothing misleading or fallacious about getting people to question what the government says. If nothing else, what I've advocated in this post is to get people to think for themselves.

It is the government that tends to engage in sophistry.

From Merriam-Webster:

Sophistry - subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation

I think

This is a heads up to all the Alex Jones Followers here that their way will not work, while not offending them

"Truth is Treason in an Empire that lies" - Ron Paul

Educate the masses, and win in the end.

A man convinced against his will...

is of the same opinion still.

(a handy little rhyme to remind ourselves the best way to win an argument is not to have one.)

Chris Indeedski!

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.