Kevin Ryan, The CIA’s Influence Over the Media: Use of the “Conspiracy Theorist” Slur

Kevin Ryan

“Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th.”—George W. Bush, November 10, 2001

[Editor’s note: While Kevin Ryan and I have had profound differences in relation to 9/11 research (where he propounds the nanothermite theory that T. Mark Hightower and I dispatched in a series of three articles in 2011, including “Is 9/11 Truth based upon a false theory?”, “Nanothermite: If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. and (more recently) “On C-SPAN, Richard Gage leaves 9/11 Truth in a time warp”, in this case, he’s right over the target. My own introduction regarding “conspiracy theories” may be found at “Thinking about ‘Conspiracy Theories’: 9/11 and JFK”.]

In April of 1967, a CIA official sent a memorandum dispatch to agency chiefs and stations. This memo described a strategy for discrediting critics of the Warren Report, the official account for the assassination of President Kennedy released in 1964. At the time of the memo, polls showed that 46% of Americans did not think that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, in contradiction to the official finding. To counter such criticisms, the memo proposed labeling critics as “conspiracy theorists” and proposed that the CIA’s “propaganda assets” in media begin to use the slur and other, related techniques to marginalize critics.

Classified as Secret but finally released in 1998, the memo stated, “Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit circulation of such claims.”

The memo instructed media assets to discredit those questioning government reports by saying the critics should be depicted as “wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, hasty or inaccurate in their research, or infatuated with their own theories.”

The approach laid out by the memo was adopted by many in the American media. That’s not a surprise given that Operation Mockingbird, a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at promoting the views of the CIA within the media, was in full swing at the time. And despite official claims that the CIA’s influence of American media was halted in 1976, after the Church Committee findings, the continued use of the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” indicates that the practice has continued.

A few years ago, I tested this by checking how many times the phrase “conspiracy theory” had appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times in the 45 years before and after the CIA memo.

Before the memo was issued, “conspiracy theory” was a phrase used 50 times, or about once per year, in the Times or the Post. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, these newspapers used the term 2,630 times, or about once per week.

Before the CIA memo came out, the Washington Post and New York Times had never used the phrase “conspiracy theorist.” After the CIA memo came out, they have used the phrase “conspiracy theorist” 1,118 times.

The continued use of terms such as “conspiracy theorist” suggests that the CIA still controls the mainstream media. With regard to the crimes of 9/11, The New York Times has led the way in terms of support for official propaganda. Moreover, many “alternative” media sources use these slurs as frequently, or more, than mainstream media do.

Jim Fetzer, “9/11: Who was responsible and why”. To watch, click here.

An example was in August 2011, when I was a guest on National Public Radio’s ‘On Point” talk show to discuss 9/11 skepticism. Interestingly, I was the only 9/11 skeptic invited to appear on this show about 9/11 skeptics. The other two guests were Jim Meigs from Popular Mechanics and dubious “truther expert” Jonathan Kay. During the show, I answered questions from the host for about 5 minutes, until it became clear that my skepticism of 9/11 sounded rational. After I was dismissed—for the remaining 42 minutes of the show—Meigs, Kay, and the substitute host rambled on about the evils of conspiracy theories, using some form of the phrase conspiracy theory a total of 85 times. That’s more than once every 30 seconds.

The use of “conspiracy theory” to deter citizens from investigating historic events is paradoxical, to be sure. It suggests that those who commit criminal conspiracies can only be relatively powerless people who happen to live on the most strategically important lands, and conspiracies among rich, powerful people are impossible or absurd. It’s just that kind of doublethink mindset that has led us to where we are today as a nation.

Of course, 9/11 was a conspiracy. The only question is was it a conspiracy of people who could not possibly pull it off and who would only suffer as a result or was it a conspiracy of the people who benefited and had the power to accomplish it? The first option presents many problems. Common sense suggests the latter.

These days, it seems that you can tell who is working for the CIA simply by the way they use “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” in attempts to belittle others. An example might be when a lawyer for gold mining companies was presented by the corporate media as a public servant/truth teller based on stolen documents that were never shared with the public. That lawyer and his colleagues at The Intercept use the conspiracy theorist slur as much as any other media source, and often when they are questioned about their dubious rise to fame.

In any case, our entire legal system is based on the idea of conspiracy. Yet despite this fact we have been conditioned by the government and the media to blindly accept official reports and to treat anyone questioning those reports as conspiracy theorists. That is, you are a conspiracy theorist if you don’t believe the government’s conspiracy theory.

This technique is easy to see. Next time you read an article that uses these slurs, look more closely at the author and where he or she is trying to lead you.

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25 thoughts on “Kevin Ryan, The CIA’s Influence Over the Media: Use of the “Conspiracy Theorist” Slur”

  1. I THINK this may be good news…just published on Jim Stone……

    Two fire districts in New York are demanding a re-opening of the 911 investigation
    To sum it up: They know explosives were used and are demanding a real investigation that has every incident and every crime called to account. This is new news, they just released the following statement:
    Here it is folks, read it and CLAP!!!

    The Franklin Square and Munson Fire District 9/11 Resolution
    Whereas, the attacks of September 11, 2001, are inextricably and forever tied to the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department;

    Whereas, on September 11, 2001, while operating at the World Trade Center in New York City, firefighter Thomas J. Hetzel, badge #290 of Hook and Ladder Company #1, Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department of New York, was killed in performance of his duties, along with 2, 976 other emergency responders and civilians;

    Whereas, members of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department were called upon to assist in the subsequent rescue and recovery operations and cleanup of the World Trade Center site, afflicting many of them with life-threatening illnesses as a result of breathing the deadly toxins present at the site;

    Whereas, the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District recognizes the significant and compelling nature of the petition before the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York reporting un-prosecuted federal crimes at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and calling upon the United States Attorney to present that petition to a Special Grand Jury pursuant to the United States Constitution and 18 U.S.C. SS 3332(A);

    Whereas, the overwhelming evidence presented in said petition demonstrates beyond any doubt that pre-planted explosives and/or incendiaries – not just airplanes and the ensuing fires – caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings, killing the vast majority of the victims who perished that day;

    Whereas, the victims of 9/11, their families, the people of New York City, and our nation deserve that every crime related to the attacks of September 11, 2001, be investigated to the fullest and that every person who was responsible face justice;

    NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District fully supports a comprehensive federal grand jury investigation and prosecution of every crime related to the attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as any and all efforts by other government entities to investigate and uncover the full truth surrounding the events of that horrible day.

    My comment: I don’t think Trump is going to miss this. This cannot be buried, and is not click bait. They probably did it as a wake up call, having known all along that the buildings were indeed demolished and that the federal government did it.

    They know damn well they cannot answer to what these two fire departments just released, which confirms that not only was 911 an inside job, but also that they damn well know it. Let’s see if Trump handles this, or if the newly led FBI will handle this. My guess is NOPE to one or both, it is too big to touch.

    1. So, this may or may not be a good development for the truth movement. The idea they are still stuck with PLANES hitting the towers gives me pause, but at this point, we’ll take what we can get and deal with the details as they arise…IF they can get a proper hearing without being raided by the FBI as conspiracy theorists.

  2. So Kevin Ryan is going to tell long-time students of 9-11-01 about “conspiracy theories”?

    “Ryan’s book … confirm(s) my impression that Steve Jones, Kevin Ryan and Richard Gage are the core of a limited hang-out designed to contain the breadth and depth of 9/11 research”–Jim Fetzer 2014

    A “limited hangout” is a conspiracy.

  3. The CIA did not halt Operation Mockingbird [and its many other names] in 1976…on the contrary, it got much bigger and with more billions of secret funding with black budget allocations. Even Congress does not know how the billions of CIA black budget money is used.

    The sadly ignorant American public is funding their own demise. They are paying for the rope to hang themselves.

    Once a nation lets a secret government organization control its internal operations….its a guarantee that subject nation will descend into a hell of unimaginable proportions.

      1. Mockingbird made the election of BHO possible, the 911 nuclear event and all of the fake shootings about gun control, etc.
        Its a drip drip drip of constant fake chaos designed to wear down the population and make them demand a police state to insure their hoped for illusionary safety.
        Yes, its been almost 75 years. Its the frog in the hot water syndrome…..before he’s really aware of it, he’s fatally cooked.

      2. I part from many here. I think the majority of Americans realize to some degree what has gone on, but out of frustration and not knowing what to do, they err on the side of Empire because as bad as it is, it does not disrupt their own reality. Many would call that cognitive dissonance…I call it burying your head in the sand and hoping it all disappears….little difference, but like the term. love,and conspiracy theory and many others…it has come to mean little more than an over-used phrase that rings hollow without substance and therefore minus inquiry.

  4. Unfortunately, the creation of that term was a work of genius. The number of citizens deterred from even considering alternate ideas in regard to any staged event is incalculable. Add to that, the Google and YT AI’s, and it’s becoming almost impossible to get anything resembling the truth to the general population in the numbers necessary to turn any tide to our favor:

    1. Neither “conspiracy” nor “theorist” are, singularly, genius words, per se. Put together, “theorist conspiracy” is probably not of genius caliber. However, in the right order, the words put together have the potential to project synergistic potential. Yet, without the broad scale, nationwide, constant drumbeat on various and numerous media stations utilizing well known personalities as mouthpieces, the simple two word combo became both well known and effective. Without the hammering repetitions, most likely the term would have become stillborn.

      1. It’s a fallacy of ambiguity. “Theory” in the weak sense means rumor, speculation or guess. “Theory” in the strong sense means empirically testable explanatory hypothesis. What I do in my collaborative research is bring together experts on different aspects of these events to take “conspiracy theories” about them from mere rumors, guesses or speculations to “conspiracy theories” as empirically testable explanatory hypotheses (with special attention to separating the authentic form the inauthentic evidence) to evaluated them objectively and scientifically, which I and my colleagues have now done dozens of times. See, for example, “How to Spot a False Flag: A Sampler of Representative Cases”,

      2. I respect what you and your colleagues have done and you have done it well….but as with all these false flags and these ingeniously created terms to discredit the truth, it’s the initial trauma that sets them in place and gives them the power from that moment forward to be used against We the People. They’re always a few steps ahead of us and we always find ourselves in a defensive position from which we can never claim victory with all the assaults against free speech put in place to further quell any descending voices.
        We have the numbers and refuse or lack the leadership and organization to utilize our greatest asset.

      3. Maybe you should watch the youtube video titled “how to hire an attorney in a defamation case”

      4. @ James Fetzer

        My family and I can’t thank you enough for you and your colleagues research it is ridiculously time consuming and emotionally enthralling .

        Excited to learn more as I’ve been predominantly focused on sandy hook .

        Mainly the idea that that’s the one we’re “not allowed” to speak about .


    2. Hey Will… I just got the conspiracy theorist slur today from my room mate when the 43 year anniversary of the Big Thompson River flood in Colorado was reported on local news today. The news barbie said a year’s worth of rain fell in just 7 hours. I said “sounds like a weather warfare experiment gone haywire”. He said “we don’t need any of your conspiracy theories”. I said “but there’s 160 patents on weather modification. They aren’t theories, you can look them up on the Patent office’s website”. He had no reply but stone wall silence. I have my own theory on the twin towers destruction. I think the towers were built to be destroyed and that the kitchen sink was thrown at them to totally confound our best effort to get a grip on it. Nano thermite = check, Cutting charges = check, a few big bombs thrown in for good measure = check. But what turned them to dust? = directed energy. I don’t need evidence to believe what I want. I can say for sure the planes had no role in the destruction, if they actually did crash. The plane crash explanation was for the sheeple masses who still subscribe to the moon landings fantasy

      1. @ Dave kraft .

        Its only a closed mind that could parrot an idealogy like that.

        Luckily those people are few and far between in my experience. Truth tends to win over.

        The only main issue is the perpetuation of the connotation “conspiracy theory “ holds to it

        For example we may feel fear to speak of something “sandy hook” for example .

        Thinking . Man everyone else is asleep .

        When 90 percent of us are thinking that no one bands together and that’s the point .

        Truth is most people intuitively know the falsities . People are waking up from works such as these and communities are being formed .

        I truthfully believe corruption cannot last . It will eventually consume itself

        Cheers !

      2. Keef…WE need leadership and organization. Right now, orchestrated as such, all we have is discord and no one coming forth as a leader we can trust who would represent what most of us want. And I may be going out on a limb here, but what most of us want is for the CONgress and the rest to be dissolved and replaced …..or not….I mean, who still needs representatives with instant communication via the Internet, eh?
        All they serve are corporations who could give a damn about WE THE PEOPLE.

      3. Thank you.
        I can but agree. We differ on the size and placement of the nukes. Maybe not such a big deal. I would be curious as to where you part with Dmitri’s explanation.
        It makes sense to me in that all these skyscrapers need a way to come down with minimum damage to the surrounding real estate that would satisfy insurance companies. It also makes sense that in no way can the general public know about this arangement. ALTHOUGH, I believe Israel and the Zionists do know….hence more grist for their blackmail mill, eh?

      4. Dk..I have a wonderful friend who’s building on a few acres I sold him up here in northern Florida. He absolutely ascribes to most ‘conspiracy theories’, but no longer spends his time chasing them or spreading information. Like myself, he watches no TV. He does use the Internet to order supllies, as he’s a master carpenter (makes flutes, turns bowls etc.) and is always in need of tools and materials. We used to discuss various subjects, but no longer, since he sees no possibility of anything changing. At least he knows what’s going on. I see little hope myself, as I have said endless times on this blog, but for some reason, unlike Billy, I have yet to surrender totally. If hope is an opiate, I am addicted.

        I still stick to Khalezov’s ideas re nukes in the areas beneath the towers. In that, I differ with Fetzer, in that he thinks they were mini nukes brought in later. BUT, I have no doubt that nukes are the only energy that could have turned steel to dust. I have read “Where Did the Towers Go?” a couple times and have concluded DEW is a distraction.Thermite as an incendiary may have been used, again, just to take attention away from nukes… were set charges. BUT, these were not the main causes of the destruction of the towers. Khalezov, in a detailed explanation, has said far too many charges would have been needed, increasing the chances that one or many may have mis-fired. If i remember correctly, he estimated something in the range of 70,000 per tower.

      5. @Will, good that you comment on this blog….you, Fetzer and a few others are the informed people on here.!!! imo.

        Yes, myself & Klazlezov mostly agree. Micro nukes were used on 911. Micro nukes do very strange things. They can make disappear iron engine blocks, cause weird blue flames to burn [but with no heat], cause toilets-sinks and marble to turn to dust, cause steel to melt and dustify, also cause a human being to disappear, create gamma particles to cause many cancers in humans, etc…..

        I also have hope that things can change in the USA. But it can get much much worse before that happens….if ever.(( That place in Langley has caused the US to become a hell on earth….sad to say.
        Only about one percent or less, of the US population is aware of this. Their secret budgets are a knife in the back of the nation that created it.

      6. Hey Will, I forgot to mention nukes in my check list. You saw the Magazine cover from like 1967 of David Rockefeller with a watch with the hands on 9 and 11. And all the movie scenes with clocks or digital read outs with 9 and 11 on them. The sheer number is staggering much like the Clinton body count. I just saw another movie with a clock that had the hands on 9 and 11 just a few months ago. Nothing in the background of scenes is random. You’ve got Aaron Russo, producer of “from Freedom to Racism” saying Nick Rockefeller described an event that was going to happen where they would be looking in caves for the guy behind it. CNN had an artist rendering of the underground bunker…. like they would know! And the eventual result would be everyone having a chip with digital money on it. Mine is in my card but you know where that is heading. If you don’t go along with the program, your chip would simply be turned off. WOW! I ran into Madeline Allbright at a cafe in Basalt, Colorado about 7 years ago. Wasn’t she the one that said Bin Laden would be dug up and re-killed at a politically expedient time? Remember when that was? During the fake Obama birth certificate scam. When the news came over the tube I was at a bar. Everyone was cheering he was killed. Imagine about 75 people ecstatic as I jumped up and said “it’s all a scam, he was dead long ago” everyone looked at me like who’s this weird guy not believing the TV shitcaster!

      7. Dk…I appreciate all that info, but I would still like to discuss what it is in Khalezov’s explanation re underground nukes with which you do not agree.

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