by Mary W Maxwell
Both science and the law get involved in “proving” things. In science one may want to prove a fact or a whole theory. A stated fact such as “Tomatoes ripen after they are picked” can be proved or disproved by observation and measurement. A theory such as “Pregnant women are happier than normal because their estrogen level is raised” – takes more effort to prove; it requires that other explanations be ruled out.
In law, we want to prove whether or not the accused person really did commit the crime. “No, Your Honor, here’s my alibi.” Or, in civil cases, the litigants may try to prove that the other’s claim is undeserving. “My car-repair shop cannot have given her a guarantee 18 months ago as my shop has existed for only 12 months.”
People lie all the time, both to get out of punishment, and to improve their chance of getting a financial benefit. The law takes that into consideration and registers skepticism, by asking for proof. The jury then looks at physical evidence and witness testimony — and since witnesses are only human, with a temptation to lie, skepticism is relevant here, too.
Gumshoe News is a news outlet, not a place where we are expected to do scientific experiments and come up with proof. And we don’t adjudicate legal disputes. Still, we may present articles that are critical of a particular scientific claim, such as about vaccines. And we often analyze court cases, especially those of Martin Bryant and Jahar Tsarnaev. (Hardly a week goes by….)
A real problem for us is the fact that “Science” nowadays does a lot of cheating, and “Law” can’t be trusted. Sure, they both have highly developed standards of proof, but who is available to uphold those standards? Um. I think journalists have an established role here.
Let’s air this question: what “standards” should Gumshoe be living up to? There is such a thing as “standards of good journalism” – that have been developing for decades. Its rules include such things as: Observe and report what is really happening; Give any person we criticize about a chance to rebut; and Act without fear or favor — for example try not to let a payer-piper call the journalist’s tune.
At Gumshoe we’re not having trouble with those rules, but we are having trouble with the “standards of proof of reality.” As I will ask below: Did Sandy Hook really happen? — and who are we to say whether it did or didn’t.
Is the Earth Flat?
In the last few months I was flabbergasted when three friends told me they believe the earth is flat. In fact one of them fully expected me to support that position, since I am a conspiracy theorist!
Indeed I am a conspiracy theorist. I theorize that powerful people, in a concealed manner, are doing bad things. I am proud to talk about the theory that – say – the FBI did the Oklahoma City bombing. (Defo they did.) But I don’t theorize that centuries of hard-won science are a joke. Surely the earth is spherical, not flat. That is easily proved.
How did these persons, age 20 to 40, come to think it’s flat? Probably by making a deduction from two premises. Premise #1: We have learned, by reading alternative websites, that government and media lie to us on a regular basis. Premise #2: Many earnest writers at alternative websites spew forth the real story (Gumshoe, I hope). Deduction: What we read on alternative websites must be true. Ergo, if they say the earth is flat it must be flat.
That is truly pathetic.
What about Hoaxes?
As recently as 48 hours ago I read, on two separate websites, that the 1996 Port Arthur massacre never took place, and that the 1996 Dunblane massacre never happened either. It’s my guess that the writers who wrote that (in each case) are not dumbbells, they are liars. I go further: I say they are paid liars.
“Who am I to judge”? Well, everybody must make a judgment. You can only do your best, trying to put two and two together. A glance at those two articles told me that the writer did not even bother to present anything to counteract the many pieces of evidence that have accepted in both those 1996 cases.
I’m not saying we should never hold “established” evidence up to re-analysis. (We should!) I’m saying those particular writers didn’t bother to do even that. How insulting can you get? The two offending websites assume that a reader can be persuaded to the idea that Dunblane and Port Arthur are “myths” — merely by assertion.
It can easily be proven that the Port Arthur massacre and the Dunblane massacre did take place. (As for 9-11 having “taken place,” anyone can see how the skyline of Manhattan changed in that year. If 9-11 did not take place you’ve got a lotta splainin’ to do, Lucy.)
The editor of GumshoeNews.com, Dee McLachlan, refuses to go down the hoax trail, as a general policy. This has to do with protecting our reputation as serious writers, and also as a way of keeping trolls out of the comments section. Many blogs get swamped with troll-fights.
There is also the matter of not letting the Disinformation troops win (some of them are literally troops, you know). In a video linked below, the star of Truther Girls makes the important point that as soon as you get down to saying “No one got hurt” you will soon be using the videos of the paid-hoax theorists.
Surely their mission is to make people reach the point where they say “We can’t judge anything anymore. There is no way to reason it out.” You will indeed become powerless if you feel there is no use thinking anymore.
There is a strategy that has developed at Gumshoe under the influence of myself and Josée Lépine. You will have noted that it is possible, in regard to many of the controversial cases, to examine the transcripts and see what each player is getting up to. (Many articles at this website, by Cheryl Dean, “go for the judgegular”; Dean also enjoys outing the Prosecutor.) In other words Gumshoe’s policy is to ransack the court cases for data.
Also, you can often get truths right from the horse’s mouth — albeit not in the way the horse intended. Consider, for example, what John-Avery horse said in an interview with Mike Willessee about having tricked Martin Bryant into pleading guilty (“Neighhh”).
Consider what Police Superintendent Bob-Fielding horse revealed to the media when he said “We were right in forcing the gunman [by fire] to come to us.” In other words, it was the police that set the Seascape cottage alight (Neighhh”).
Killer Bees, Bella Vista, and Maybe the Royal Show
Now I hear you asking, Where to draw the line? Aren’t there some occasions when government or media make up a story that did not happen at all? Didn’t the BBC once show a documentary on “harvesting the spaghetti crop from trees”? Wasn’t there a killer bee story in the Murdoch press many years ago?
Yes, the BBC hoaxed us about the spaghetti tree (in 1957) but soon admitted it, saying it was an April Fool’s joke. And apparently a Murdoch newspaper in Texas made up ta frightening story about the imminent arrival of killer bees.
In Australia last year there were reports – false reports I think – that violence had been threatened against venues scheduled to host Dr Sherri Tenpenny, a doctor who has criticized vaccinations. It was a killer-bee write up. Its purpose most likely was to put an end to Dr Sherri’s planned visit — as indeed it did!
I suspect that the story of a Malaysian tourist named Adelene Leung, age 8, who fell from the Airmax 360 ride at the Adelaide Royal Show in 2014, is likewise fictional. I haven’t got time to look into it. (Why would media make that up? Perhaps to augur the closing of the Show in a few years. There is amazing real estate potential in the showgrounds land.)
It can’t be Gumshoe’s job to record every killer-bee case. Dee McLachlan proved that the Bella Vista case was a hoax: the reported sailor did not get injured. And Dee – effectively – “proved” why the story was made up: to get new anti-terrorism laws passed.
What about Sandy Hook?
My belief is that the Sandy Hook School massacre of first-grade kids in New Town, Connecticut (OMG, OMG, same name of town that Martin Bryant hails from in Tasmania, OMG!!) did take place. I think it was government-organized — but that’s a matter than can be investigated separately from the question of whether it happened or not.
The Gumshoe policy on Sandy Hook was more or less set by me in several articles, including one about William Shanley’s lawsuit against the New York Times, which I consider to be a piece of disinformation in itself. (That suit has now been dismissed.)
Of course I could be wrong for ignoring the Sandy Hook hoax theory. One day I may “come around to it.” I know of two men whose research record is entirely admirable on other subjects who have declared, without any if’s and’s or maybe’s, that no children died at Sandy Hook.
One of the things they point to is the rather abnormal look on the face of a Dad of a deceased child. Such things are important clues. But the psy-op geniuses (or jerks if you prefer) are really getting good at messing up our thinking processes. They provide most of the Youtube videos intended to prove Sandy Hook a hoax.
Or the Marathon Bombing…
They may have “planted” the whole issue of a Dad who did not look like he was grieving. They may also have planted many of the videos of the Boston Marathon that seem to show fake blood poured on Boylston Street.
Note: the agencies that do this, in collusion with media, would probably do it along with some actual reality. Let’s say a certain percentage of the Marathon casualties are genuine and many are but hired actors. Now that’s a good mess-up!
If you can get absolute proof – say by a confession – from one amputee that he had been an amputee before 2013 and was hired to perform, what good would it do? As I said, Dee McLachlan proved that we were hoaxed here in Australia about the assault on a uniformed sailor in Bella Vista — and we have paid the consequences of it, via tyrannical new laws. Nevertheless, citizens don’t seem moved to take any action.
Many tricks that the Powers That Be committed on 9-11 are also proven, without this leading to apprehension of the miscreants. For instance someone falsely told the media that he or she found the passport of a hijacker Satam al Suqami, on the street near the World Trade center. No one has been called on the carpet about this.
So, to reiterate where Gumshoe News stands on the matter of hoaxes, I already said the editor wants to stay off that tack in order to maintain our reputation and to keep trolls out of the comments section. I now add a third reason: the staff of Gumshoe is very small and we need to put our effort into articles that can be positively useful, not just debunking the lies.
That said, if someone wants to contribute an article of high-quality reasoning and research, showing that “no child died at Sandy Hook,” please thrust it into Gumshoe’s letterbox. We will most likely publish it.
And now please watch this entertaining video:
— Mary W Maxwell and Dee McLachlan are co-authors of two books: Truth in Journalism, and Port Arthur: Enough Is Enough. The latter is a free download.
Photo credits: Newton – unrealfacts.com judge -- digitaljournal.com