Why This Blog?
Why This Blog?
Why does this blog exist? Why debunk Thrive?
I am a steadfast and outspoken opponent of conspiracy theories. By “conspiracy theories” I mean, explanations for events or conditions that stress unsupported and unsupportable allegations of collusion or design by groups of persons or organizations to achieve a particular result. (See the FAQ for more on what I consider “conspiracy theories”). The advancement of conspiracy theories, in my view, results in the impairment of a person’s ability to think critically, to employ logic, and to evaluate information correctly. Conspiracy theories are corrosive to reason and intellect and they are extremely damaging to the type of reasoned and rationally-based discourse that is essential to the ability of the people to govern themselves in a democratic society.
The movie Thrive advances conspiracy theories. The makers of this film assert numerous conspiracies that simply do not exist—for example, a collusion of energy producers to suppress “free energy” technology, a supposed plot to fake the 9/11 attacks, and a “global elite” that secretly rules the world and conceals its true identity and motives. That’s not a comprehensive list, but those are just three examples of conspiracy theories advanced in the movie Thrive. None of these conspiracy theories, nor the others in the film, are supported by facts. I’m making this blog because I believe people should understand how and why the conspiracy theories advanced in Thrive are incorrect, and I believe they should be able to evaluate the arguments presented in Thrive while understanding the true facts behind the assertions made in the film.
Internet-based films with a “viral” marketing approach that advance conspiracy theories—as Thrive takes—are particularly important to analyze and expose, in my view. History has shown that belief in particular conspiracy theories has grown as a direct result of “viral” Internet-distributed films advancing them. The two paradigm examples are Loose Change (2005) and Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007). Both of these films attracted large and devoted followings of people who believed the conspiracy theories that the movies advanced. It is my hope that by presenting factual information about Thrive, fewer people will be tempted to believe its claims unquestioningly.
I believe Internet conspiracy movies are especially problematic for the following reasons:
1. They present their assertions in a compelling, visually interesting and emotionally engaging manner that simply can’t be matched by another medium.
2. The medium of film offers very little time or opportunity to present detailed explanations of extremely complex or nuanced events. Consequently, the assertions made are usually conclusory and not well-explained.
3. Being promoted primarily on the Internet, these films are specifically targeted to command attention in an arena where information is generally not vetted or subjected to any sort of rigorous gatekeeping standard. As a result, assertions made in films like these, even egregiously incorrect assertions, are unlikely to be challenged.
This blog is not intended to do any of the following.
- Defend a particular economic system or theory (such as capitalism).
- Assert that “the government is always right.” (It isn’t).
- Accuse the makers of Thrive of being occultist, part of the “New World Order” or participants in other conspiracy theories. (Remember, I oppose conspiracy theories, including ones that Thrive might be accused of being a part of).
See the FAQ for more information.