Monday, August 31, 2009

The Conspiracy Skeptic Unplugged Episode 7

A different type of conspiracy:

This week's episode was different for an odd reason. The guest was Charles "Chuck" Morrison co-host of "Irreligiosphy." The worst title for a podcast ever, but one that I have already downloaded and plan to listen to tonight when I go pick my wife up from choir practice at the local Brethren Church. (No. -before you ask).

As always Karl strikes into a easy banter with the guest relates the details of some wacky conspiracy, and as always Karl has done his homework and guides the conversation in an enlightened manner. (Spoiler Alert) This week's episode revolved around a young fallen Mormon, Mark Hoffman, who faked a bunch of "lost" Mormon founding documents to sell to the Church of Later Day Saints to pay off investors whom he owed money. These investors fronted the money for the forged documents. Finally, after a number of successful sales to the LDS he tried to fool the U.S. Library of Congress with some faked documents and his plans began to fall apart. In desperation Hoffman exploded two bombs killing two people in the LDS to buy some time until he could come up with new forgeries to pay his backers. Unfortunately for him a third bomb detonated at the wrong time for Hoffman injuring him, and causing the authorities to figure out that he was a forger and now a murderer. Fortunately for him the Mormon hierarchy embarrassed by the prospect of a public trial revealing what chumps the LDSers could be, were able to ward off a trial with a plea deal. Hoffman instead of finding himself convicted by a jury of his peers and at the wrong end of a firing squad, instead found himself quietly secluded away, but alive, in a prison cell.

Got all that? That's all just crazy stupid, maybe not as crazy stupid as Lizard people living beneath Denver International Airport, but still pretty nutty. This conspiracy unlike all of the other Conspiracies featured on CS is that this tale actually occurred. The first thing I could compare it to was the Hitler Diaries "found" in the early 1980's, right after I said it to myself in my car, Karl brought that event up to in the conversation. (Karl can read minds even though he's a Canadian and a subject of her Majesty.) Once again, I enjoyed the show a great deal. I recommend it to the reader.

Maybe next week Karl will cover Watergate or the Zimmerman Telegram some other real conspiracies.

--Skeptoid just ran an episode covering the Mormon Book of Abraham. I suspect that the conspiracy types will see a pattern of conspiracy against the Church of Later Day Saints, or it just could be that it is a religion full of wackiness.


On a different note: During the Skeptics Guide to the Universe: Episode 214 a discussion was begun about what is the goal, or at least what is a reasonable attainable goal for skeptics to strive for in society. In my mind, some exemplified by Richard Dawkins would like to see all superstition, religion, and magical thinking expunged from the Earth. Others, I believe represented by Steven Novella, (I have not heard him give an opinion directly on this topic) desire to have a less lofty goal of just increasing the amount of rational thought and science education and understanding in the world and to only confront religion only when it makes claims in the science realm. I have been working on a treatment of this topic, but keep writing in circles on it. If anyone would like to give me their two cents in the comments it would be appreciated. --NSW

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I just wanted to add a voice of encouragement. A statement of intent for skepticism, even if it is personal, strikes me as being a noble, useful, and interesting goal. Good luck!


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