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rocala
30 May 20, 22:29
I have a very dear friend. She is smart, a science graduate, caring, a life long health care professional and great fun. This however is beginning to change thanks to conspiracy theories.

She always has had a soft spot for fringe areas. It was not a problem when it was UFO's or crop circles. Now she is anti vaccination, a denier of climate change and worse of all a holocaust denier.

As soon as something is a conspiracy theory, she loses all critical ability. She is a woman with many opinions and considerable knowledge but the conspiracy theories unlike her other interests, crop up continually in virtually any conversation.

I am dreading the next time we meet as I am sure that it will be 'covid 19 is a hoax'.

Aloka
31 May 20, 00:36
Hi rocala,

I know exactly what you mean, because a year or so ago, an old friend of mine (who I hadn't seen for a long time because he had moved out of the area where I live), came to visit me, because he was staying with someone locally for the weekend.

I was astonished to discover that he had become totally obsessed by the conspiracy theories of David Icke and his "lizard people", and others like him, and was actually attending lectures and weekend events given by these people. He was also keen for me to watch conspiracy videos on the internet.

I tried to tell him gently that I wasn't interested in that sort of thing and also tried to point out to him that a lot of it appeared to be completely illogical nonsense and scaremongering, but sadly it put a strain on our friendship and I haven't heard from him for quite a while. At the present time I wish him good health and happiness from a distance and just get on with my own life.

I guess some people are friends for life and others drift away for one reason or another. I definately don't think its wise to just put up with listening to that sort of thing though. I think its better to be honest about not wanting to hear it, in a friendly way, because conspiracy theories just seem to feed negative emotions and anxiety for oneself and others - and things are difficult enough already for many of us in these troubled times around the world.



:peace:

justusryans
01 Jun 20, 02:56
Rocala It is a sad time when people fall for these strange conspiracy theories. There are many all around the the U.S. as well.

You can’t get them to realize that it’s not based on any logic, as Aloka points out.

You would think a Scientist and someone who worked as a lifelong healthcare professional would be immune to this kind of thinking, after all, there profession is built around logic.

All you can do is wish them well and move on, also as Aloka points out.

:peace:

rocala
01 Jun 20, 08:14
I forgot about David Icke, she is a big fan. Thankfully she has not mentioned the lizard people. Thank you both for replying.

Element
01 Jun 20, 13:18
As soon as something is a conspiracy theory, she loses all critical ability.

It appears it is not her that has lost all critical ability. Also, you appear to be judging or dreading her for the most superficial worldly reasons. Regards :peace:

rocala
01 Jun 20, 18:39
Really, so you know her so much better than I do?. Telling me that the Nazi's were not such bad people and that all jews who survived the camps are liars is superficial is it?

trusolo
01 Jun 20, 20:29
I have spent quite a bit of time reviewing various conspiracy theories (out of curiosity and sometimes necessity). The issue has very little to do with intellectual capacity, training, or background. It is a mental and emotional issue. Common to all followers of any kind of conspiracy theory is a feeling of lonliness, isolation and fear, irrespective of how much loudmouth bravado they put up in arguing their cause. All of them also concoct a nebulous, nefarious, shadowy global entity or puppet masters. It is because of fear and sadness at being too insignifant in the grand scheme of things.

If you want to find intellectual fault, a common trait is that they will usually take a small exception or unexplained facet and claim a general rule based on that. Anti-vax is a classic example of going from someone having a bad reaction to someone is deliberately pumping poisons into us. The rest of the edifice is person dependent - some will blame big pharma, some government, some will cling to “my body is a temple” etc.. There are also other common features like constantly claiming that we are “the sheep” and they have somehow broken through a veil of illusion.

There are two main options. If you don’t have to maintain the relashionship, follow Aloka’s suggestion. If you must for some reason maintain the relashionship, try the empathy, loving-kindness approach and see if you can do something or suggest something to reduce their feelings of “being left out”. Logical arguments are futile.

:hands:

Aloka
01 Jun 20, 21:29
Really, so you know her so much better than I do?. Telling me that the Nazi's were not such bad people and that all jews who survived the camps are liars is superficial is it?



Hi rocala,

This little booklet by Ajahn Amaro "I'm Right, you're Wrong" is worth reading:

https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/im-right-youre-wrong/


:peace:

Element
02 Jun 20, 02:59
Telling me that the Nazi's were not such bad people and that all jews who survived the camps are liars is superficial is it?The above is not really relevant because what happened in WW2 is unrelated to climate change & Covid-19
.

Really, so you know her so much better than I do?.
I imagine she does research, albeit not perfectly. Where you, similar to what often happened in Nazi Germany, probably just believe the State Media Propaganda.

The Buddha did not instruct blind belief but instructed examining causes & conditions and knowing for oneself.

Kind regards & best wishes :peace:

rocala
02 Jun 20, 09:18
"I imagine" You do a lot of imagining don't you. That and making sweeping generalizations about people that you do not know. She does not do "research" quite the reverse. I do not "just believe state media", again quite the reverse. In fact if I was that type, my friend and I would ever have met, let alone stayed in touch for many years.

You write about what is related. The point is that to her, all of these things are related. They are the work of one organization.

Just because you dress your remarks up with "kind regards & best wishes" does not make them any the less rude, ignorant and insulting. Do not bother replying, I wish no further communication with you.

Aloka
02 Jun 20, 10:04
"I imagine" You do a lot of imagining don't you





Just because you dress your remarks up with "kind regards & best wishes" does not make them any the less rude, ignorant and insulting. Do not bother replying, I wish no further communication with you.

You are beginning to echo your own accusations, rocala. Please pause for a while and try to take a few calming breaths. This video "How can we let go of anger" with Ven Thich Nhat Hahn might help:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0WaXnH37uI&feature=emb_title


:hands:

rocala
02 Jun 20, 10:22
The best way to overcome anger is to be treated decently.

Aloka
02 Jun 20, 11:48
The best way to overcome anger is to be treated decently

No, its not up to other people, if you're a serious practitioner then its up to you, friend.

(A post from 11.07 am on 2nd june has been deleted because it contravenes Code of Conduct no.11)

Here's the section about anger from the Dhammapada.



Dhp XVII PTS: Dhp 221-234 :Kodhavagga: Anger

translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita


221. One should give up anger, renounce pride, and overcome all fetters. Suffering never befalls him who clings not to mind and body and is detached.

222. He who checks rising anger as a charioteer checks a rolling chariot, him I call a true charioteer. Others only hold the reins.

223. Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth.

224. Speak the truth; yield not to anger; when asked, give even if you only have a little. By these three means can one reach the presence of the gods.

225. Those sages who are inoffensive and ever restrained in body, go to the Deathless State, where, having gone, they grieve no more.

226. Those who are ever vigilant, who discipline themselves day and night, and are ever intent upon Nibbana — their defilements fade away.

227. O Atula! Indeed, this is an ancient practice, not one only of today: they blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in the world who is not blamed.

228. There never was, there never will be, nor is there now, a person who is wholly blamed or wholly praised.

229. But the man whom the wise praise, after observing him day after day, is one of flawless character, wise, and endowed with knowledge and virtue.

230. Who can blame such a one, as worthy as a coin of refined gold? Even the gods praise him; by Brahma, too, is he praised.

231. Let a man guard himself against irritability in bodily action; let him be controlled in deed. Abandoning bodily misconduct, let him practice good conduct in deed.

232. Let a man guard himself against irritability in speech; let him be controlled in speech. Abandoning verbal misconduct, let him practice good conduct in speech.

233. Let a man guard himself against irritability in thought; let him be controlled in mind. Abandoning mental misconduct, let him practice good conduct in thought.

234. The wise are controlled in bodily action, controlled in speech and controlled in thought. They are truly well-controlled.



Topic closed. :hands: