INCONVENIENT TRUTHS, COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, AND THE ALTERNATIVE ...July 16, 2012
Yesterday I blogged about Mr. Nick Pope's curious comments about the possibility of an extra-terrestrial "event" occurring during the London Olympic games. There I noted that his remarks were a form of cognitive dissonance, not only merely an example of it, but a parade of it. And I implied the possibility that, in the end, it was this cognitive dissonance which was the real motivation behind his making the remarks in the first place. In other words, I suggested that the intention of the remarks was to reinforce the cognitive dissonance in the UFOlogy community.
That dissonance is illustrated by the polarization within that community over the question of whether or not the putative ETs are "friendly and benign" or "unfriendly, aggressive, and warlike". This question has provoked a kind of "response" within the UFOlogy community, with whole taxonomies of "friendly" aliens vs. "unfriendly" ones, a veritable extra-terrestrial zoo, a pantheon, of "species" and "races" and "home planets or systems." In short, the attempts to answer a profoundly important question has itself been obfuscated, and the cognitive dissonance reinforced yet again.
Well, continuing in that vein, there is this analysis forthcoming from Jurriaan Maessen over at Alex Jones' Infowars:
As noted in the article, this blogger is not the only one seeing the cognitive dissonance in the alternative research community, nor who is ultimately behind it.
So why the cognitive dissonance in the first place? Why foster such a thing within a specific community (in this case, the alternative or "truth" community)? For two reasons, both of which I covered in more detail in Saucers, Swastikas, and Psyops. In the first instance, such dissonance serves as a distraction from real events, a kind of magician's sleight of hand to misdirect attention to one hand, while the card or coin or whatever, is palmed by the other. "Look up there," while they do something else down here.
But this does not explain the use of the cognitive dissonance. Regardless of where one stands on the interpretation of the Roswell Incident - and I rather suspect most readers of this site would be inclined toward the extra-terrestrial interpretation of the event - I suggested in my book Roswell and the Reich that one of the chief and most important things about the incident was the creation of what I called "the Roswell dialectic," i.e., two mutually contradictory and exclusive interpretations of the same data, being put forward from the same source(the US military). This dialectic was created, I argued, precisely in order to exclude other possible interpretations. In short, cognitive dissonance is used when investigators, for whatever reason, get too close to an inconvenient truth. And the Infowars article implies an important corollary of the use of this technique, namely, that the lamestream media are not interested in genuine research, but only in promoted one or the other pole of the cognitive dissonance. Another typical example is the way the lamestream media continues to treat of the Kennedy assassination: shows abound about proving the Warren Report with clever computer animations of the Lone Assassin theory, or, conversely, about the latest conspiracy theory.
The only way out of such cognitive dissonance is, as I see it, through research. Individual researchers may and will disagree over the interpretation of this, or that, fact or dataset, but such disagreements are not cognitive dissonance, but the reverse: they are the indications that a consensus is in the process of being formed, which is the exact OPPOSITE of the purpose behind cognitive dissonance.
See you on the flip side.