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Con Man

It’s been a doozie!

I saw my buddy, Cain, while I was East in the Land of Nod. I was frightened out by this hellacious spaghetti monster so I headed off to Damascus where I was struck blind by a light and I met a nice angel. I got a ride to Jerusalem by a mysterious bird whose name sounded presidential. After came a huge rain, forty days and nights! I got washed out to sea where I was swallowed by a huge fish, not a whale, but a fish. I spent three stinking nights in its belly when it finally puked me up on the beach (after the waters from the flood receded, of course). My angel later showed up again with some gold plates with a language only I could translate, upon which the angel flew the plates back up to Heaven.

That’s where I’ve been all this time.

Now those plates, well, they’ve given me the key to all that is good and evil. They are a source of wisdom and make me an arbiter of justice. I’m setting up our temple to share it all with the world. All of mankind will one day recognize me a the legitimate heir in a long line of prophets. And Thursday will be our new holy day as Friday, Saturday and Sunday are taken. Since it is your duty to help me spread the word we except you to pitch in your share of cash when I pass the plate around.

You follow me?

If you won’t then you can burn in Hell with the rest of the infidels and sinners. As for my followers? I’m more than sure we’ll be able to find some who will drink my Kool-Aid.

I had to think about the title for a while on this posting.  I was very tempted to call it:
Thomas Richards and his incredibly shrinking credibility…
Thomas Richards of SpirituallySmart.com

Thomas Richards, the dupe behind SpirituallySmart.com

Thomas Richards of Spiritually Smart, whom I have questioned in past posts as having been intellectually stupid on his support of an idiotic conspiracty theory, has recently changed his tune on our good old neighborhood cult leader Bernie Hoffman, er…, Tony Alamo, who is facing a plethora of federal charges back in Arkansas mostly stemming from issues revolving around child molestation allegations.  Thomas Richards put the “I ain’t the one to blame” back peddaling in his statement when he used an interesting, almost non-committal choice of words:  “…it seems I was wrong…

It seems you were wrong…? Only seems that you were wrong?

Well, Thomas, it more than seems that you were wrong.  In fact, you’ve been looking cheesy on this one, and many others, for a while.

Bernard LaZar Hoffman, AKA "Tony Alamo", AKA "The Accused"

Bernard LaZar Hoffman, AKA "Tony Alamo", AKA "The Accused"

Unfortunately, Mr. Richards tends to favor making such errors in logic and common sense when it comes to the fringe of whacky religious groups and conspiracy theories.  Just have a look at his website or YouTube channel and you can see that if there is a pothole full of goofballs in his path he’s sure going to fall in.  The crazier the conspiracies are are the more our boy Thomas tends to gravitate to them.  But Tommy isn’t satisfied to simply hover around like a moth magnetized by a burning light bulb though.  No, Thomas Richards thinks it is somehow his job to bring people closer to the mindsets of these morons like Tony Alamo and Alberto Rivera.  It is sad, to tell the truth, at how whacked out and cuckoo Thomas Richards likes his gurus.

Each to his own I guess.

Alberto Rivera, Religious Fraud

Alberto Rivera, Religious Fraud

But Thomas Richards tried to appear to do the honorable thing by publicly admitting that it “seems” he made a mistake, you say?  I would love to give Thomas Richards lots of kudos for admitting this mistake, this gross error in judgment, but when I read back over his many web postings and YouTube videos, many with himself being the sole narrator, and am forced to ponder at how Thomas Richards defended these creeps for so long I really get the distinct feeling that the proverbial shit has hit the fan, the inevitable has set in, and our boy is only trying to distance himself from the splattered stench.  When taking into consideration the fact that Thomas Richards whole heartedly supported this goon Tony Alamo for so long and that he has the same steadfast support for the religious fraudster Alberto Rivera who’s main testimony concocting the Vatican Islam Conspiracy is published in a comic book that has been thoroughly and utterly discredited by, you guessed it, research into history, well, ya gotta just wonder where Thomas Richards’ head is.  I for one don’t have to wonder so much about where Thomas Richards’ head is because I have seen the muck he’s been spewing out over and over.

Want a hint?

Okay, here’s a big hint…!

Have you found your head finally, Thomas Richards?

Have you found your head finally, Thomas Richards?

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“The secret of being a top-notch con man is being able to know what the mark wants, and how to make him think he’s getting it.” Ken Kesey

This is one sentence by Ken Kesey is possibly the best quotation I have ever seen regarding con men and how they operate.  This also holds true, I have seen, with the conspiracy theory crowd, whether it be with Alex Jones, David Icke or the likes of the religious conspiracy ilk.

People who are familiar with my any of my blogs or my books will know that I spend considerable effort debunking these bogus myths thrust upon the masses by what I like to call the “Cons-Piracy Mafia“.  My first book even dealt directly with all the points that one religious fraudster, Alberto Rivera, claimed in his Vatican Islam Conspiracy.  But since the book’s publication in 2006 I have had lots of mail from people condemning me for debunking Rivera and the shots over my bow mainly come from the direction of the very dupes who refuse to even open the book.  When I consider who my main critics have been over these years it becomes extremely apparent that Jack Chick and Alberto Rivera are giving their audience what they want to see and hear:  That the Roman Catholic Church schemed to create Islam in order to subjugate true Christians.

I can’t but help see the psychological parallels in those who follow these conspiracy theories and the victims who get caught up in the Nigerian 419 advance fee scams (as I am currently reading McMafia by Misha Glenny.)

In each case the victims were drawn closer and closer into the scam until in many cases they have allowed themselves to be fleeced of all their money and then some.  Of course, in the case of the Nigerian scams people put this crime down to greed but it goes to a level even beyond.  You see, the greed in the 419 scam comes from both sides, from both the perpetrator and the victim as well.  And I find that this is exactly the same when we look into conspiracy theories.  Both the originator of the theory as well as the follower are both “believers” in conspiracy.  The follower, the more they are drawn in, become increasingly self-delusional in their acceptance of the lie.  The followers begin to lose their free will to judge in these matters, much like a hypnotized person, like the proverbial zombie.

This is definitely true in the Vatican Islam Conspiracy, though I believe that the roles of Alberto Rivera and Jack Chick were initially quite different.  Rivera on one hand, I believe was actually a scoundrel.  Rivera found the audience and spun the tales to suit what the audience hungered for.  It could be very possible that he suffered the fate of many habitual liars – that Rivera eventually began to believe his own lies.  Jack Chick on the other hand, in my opinion, was one of the zombies.  Chick was predisposed to the type bullshit that Rivera was selling because it fit in with his theological beliefs that were already in place.  Chick was a willing dupe who has in turn become the vehicle of this lie.

Part of the art of spinning these conspiratorial tales is the ability of throwing out facts, quasi-facts and disinformation in a way that is either very difficult to check, beyond the education and background knowledge of the audience or preferably both.  The well spun conspiracy yarn is certain to leave their heads in a spin.  A general feeling of doubt is created from which distrust of the truth in general is created and the Cons-Piracy Mafia feeds on this scenario.  For example, think about the last time you watched a movie such as JFK.  For the casual viewer so many facts were thrown out to the viewer as “true” that even a clear headed person would be likely to leave the cinema with no idea of what really happened in the assassination of John Kennedy, but he would be fairly convinced that there was indeed a government cover up.

And the people who went into the movie already expecting a government cover up?  Well, the got what they paid for!

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