I’ve been struggling to write a post about the Big Pharma Conspiracy. I’ve been finding it very hard to write and I think the reason is on displaying this comic. (By the way, if you don’t know XKCD, have a look. Sometimes obscure but usually insightful and funny.) A conspiracy theorist isn’t merely approaching an idea with flawed logic, though their logic is often horribly flawed, but they seem to have a mode of thinking that leads them to find conspiracies and evidence for them wherever they look. When you meet a conspiracy theorist, and we all have, you can be certain that they won’t believe in just one conspiracy, but a whole range of them.
There are many conspiracies about. From the Illuminati, to the Kennedy assassination, to 9/11, to Chemtrails, to the Moon Hoax, the list goes on and on. Mostly they tend to require “Grand Conspiracies” that involve thousands or millions of people who keep the secret flawlessly and forever. Most people (sheeple) can’t see anything at all, but the believers find evidence anywhere they look.
The grain of truth in the Big Pharma story is that you really can’t trust the industry. It has a lousy and well deserved reputation. It’s been known to trade the best interests of it’s customers for more dollars. So anyone who wants to think the worst of Big Pharma has plenty of ammunition to back up their argument. But there is big difference between that and the Big Pharma Conspiracy.
The conspiracy is vague but often involves knowingly keeping people sick and making them sick in order to increase profits, selling drugs and vaccines that don’t work and kill or maim people, controlling governments (perhaps all governments) to do their bidding about heath care, keeping secret cures for cancer and other diseases because they they don’t make money from heathy people, suppressing alternative medicine because it’s a threat to their profits. Some of the claims are outrageous exaggerations of what is known to be true, others are a case of making shit up.
The reason I’ve been struggling with writing about this is that I had the idea that I’d make a compelling argument. One that might just sway some people. But the more I wrote the more I realised that the idea of writing something that might sway a conspiracy theorist is pointless. I already know they are not swayed by hard evidence, why should argument make any difference at all? If you argue against the existence of a conspiracy, the theorist will simply decide that you are part of the conspiracy, or simply a dupe of the conspiracy. And that will be the end of the discussion.
Recently a friend on Facebook told me he believed that Big Pharma was doing bad things and that there was a massive media conspiracy to cover it up. He was talking about vaccines and how they didn’t work, caused autism and how much damage they were doing. I assume he meant that it was all fact, known by the Pharmaceutical Industry, government regulators, most doctors and heath care professionals and much of the media, but they were all covering it up. I did not reply. There is no feasible reply to something like that. Once you get to the point where you believe that thousands upon thousands of people are knowingly covering up the intentional hurting and/or killing of children, presumably including their own children, then I assume you’ve gone over to the dark side. You can wait for wikileaks to expose it all, but until then you’ll live in your certainty.
I still plan to publish that post one of these days. Maybe it’ll make sense to someone.