How to find the truth (in any situation)

September 17, 2019

conspiracy-theoryThe famous Occam’s Razor says that the simplest explanation is usually the best. And maybe back in the 1300s when Occam was alive, that was true. Sometimes, it can be, even today. But it’s not always the best explanation.

Sometimes, you can’t prove something. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out what is likely to have happened–or what DIDN’T happen.

Discerning the truth about anything, from a cheating spouse, a boss’ behavior or even the death of a public figure isn’t necessarily simple, but it isn’t hard, either. It takes the ability to do two things: 1) Connect the dots and 2) pay attention to inconsistencies or discontinuity.

Proof is not necessary.

conspiracy-theoryNot scientific or even legal proof. The truth is the truth, regardless. We are not scientists nor are we judge or jury. We are humans trying to make sense of the world.

I grew up in a northeastern city that was a Mafia stronghold. They were always knocking people off.  One year a family friend went missing. Never seen or heard from again. Everyone knew the Mafia killed him. There was no proof. But when all the dots were connected, it was obvious. And this was true in quite a few mob hits:  Jimmy Hoffa, for example, if you are old enough to remember him.

No one ever talked about “conspiracy theory” back then, because the event was obvious. Well, also because the term hadn’t come into popular usage. That happened after a 1967 CIA dispatch which weaponized it to discredit those who differed with the official narrative. Yep. It was a Psy Ops tactic.And an effective one. Because now you hear it all the time.

Red flag

conspiracy-theoryThat’s why I don’t use the term conspiracy theory and when I see it, a red flag goes up. Because things that are officially termed “conspiracy theories” are often “reality theories” –they come way too close to what really happened and are being covered up.

Let’s take Epstein, for example. He was a guy who had some serious goods on some important people. Powerful people. He was in a cell with paper sheets and no place to attach anything with which to hang himself. He had supposedly tried suicide and been put on suicide watch, then, oddly, taken off it. He had told people in prison and others that someone had tried to kill him.

If we connect the dots the most likely conclusion is that he’s been murdered. The dots include all the powerful people implicated in his heinous deeds. The inconsistencies speak loudly here–paper sheets, no place to attach a noose.  He’d spent most of every day closeted with his lawyers, which many people put down to him being wimpy about prison life but which I saw as out of fear of being knocked off.

Making sense of the world


We don’t have to prove it in a court of law. We are simply thinking people trying to figure out what’s going on. In this case, the dots connect easily. His murder is a likelihood to most thinking people, not a conspiracy theory. “Conspiracy” is just a way to discredit those who get too close to the truth.

But here’s the problem for most of us. When we test many high profile events with the connect-the-dots/look-for-inconsistencies method we begin to notice that many official stories discredited as “conspiracy theories” do not make sense. Once you apply that test to other big events, the ground beneath our feet begins to shift uncomfortably. What can we really count on? And what can we do about it?

Not much, is the horrible conclusion.

And that’s a tough way to live. It’s much easier to preserve our cognitive and emotional comfort by buying the official explanation.

This same method applies in our personal lives, too.

So my theory is this: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Almost always. And the facts usually catch up eventually.

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