Friday, 2 March 2012
Researching Online - When the search for truth becomes rumour, gossip and propaganda
Dont believe everything you read... Seems like it goes without saying dosent it? But im seeing many people forget this simple common grounded advice, especially within the Truther movement and various spiritual communities.I would also think in this youtube centric world we now live in that id include also not to believe everything you are told either.
Google is not Research
What sparked this blog was recently I saw someone on Facebook post various links to sites exposing the real truth on some subject whch was being discussed on Facebook. As soon as the links were posted the topic changed and automatically people seemed to be put off by the pages and various thank yous were being said for the 'research' which they believed had saved them. The person said not to thank them just thank Google...
Dont get me wrong google and internet search engines are very usefull, all that info at your fingertips, its instant, but its also a minefield. I can find pros or cons on any subject depending what search words I use. What does it tell me? Well, its mostly peoples opinions and yes that includes sites such as wiki. I could ask some random people in the street what they think to this or that, but I really wouldnt call it research, same with youtube. Its a place to start your research and ok if you want an overview about things, a taster but you really have to dig deeper to understand a subject.
Have you noticed when you search lets say for the name of any alternative or spiritual speaker, teacher or authors name you get various google sugested search phrases, and how they always include the words 'fraud' 'scam' and 'debunked'? It never used to happen and it kind of shows peoples attitudes and ways they do their 'research'. If you search from your own personal bias, then the new god Google will chuck whatever your looking for right back at you. Looking to find flaws in someone and you will, there are conspiracies about everything and everyone these days.
Just because there are many websites, blogs and forums saying something about something or someone does not mean it is true. When your internet search comes up with hundreds of pages saying the same thing it can be due to a piece of info simply being mirrored on multiple sites, copied and pasted all over the place and basicly going viral. Soon the info passes from opinion to evidence to proof then it becomes fact. People who want something to be true will often embelish and change the details to suit their own agendas.
We are living in an era where gossip, rumour and hearsay spread faster than ever before. Make sure your opinions are your own and that you are not just being put off something because of bad press, character assasinations and black balling.
The Glass is Half Empty Crowd
This is something ive noticed and certain people seem to really get stuck in this line of thinking. If you tell people that lets say this type of fruit is really good for you, supported by various health gurus and many studies, over a number of years, then lets say someone comes along and releases a study claiming its all lies and in fact this fruit is really bad for you, which do you believe? Ive seen some people will always believe the negative side, oh its saying this is all disinfo or a conspiracy, so it must be true right? Same applies to countless subjects, its almost as if these people cant see why someone might want to actually put people off the truth, they think it is being clever but really they end up being manipulated to easily by propaganda and disinfo.
There is countless negatives, debunking and exposes on various teachers, authors, spiritual traditions, lifestyle choices, in fact if I found a subject which didnt id be more worried. If something has any real power to change who we are or the world you can guarantee someone will try and trash it. I think a good way to navigate this is to see what someone has to gain from discrediting someone or something.
Heres some examples. Is the first hand account exposing a spiritual teacher really reliable and not just an ex student or client who was a trouble maker and sour about something you will never know about? Is that bad review of a metaphysical book online really genuine or was it posted by a rival author or the fan or one perhaps? Is the article posted about the hidden dangers of this natural supplement really informing you or are they just trying to sell you a substitute product they have launched or invested in? Its not what they say its often what they dont say.
Watch Your Sources
I have a friend who was researching various claims about a certain celebrity who many seem to think is working for a dark group. They decided to trace back the first and most commonly reproduced article which first made these accusations. As they took the time to look around the original site and see who was behind the website itself it turned out to be a Christian fundamentalist owned and run site. Use some fresh and modern graphics and be subtle about your true motivations to save people souls before the end of the world and you can get your ideas out to the masses. The truth seeker movement is heavily infiltrated by religious fanatics, there is some serious high jacking going on from everything from ETs, 2012 to Ascension.
Always check your sources, no matter how much you respect the person saying this or if its from a friend who you think is very switched on. Posting links to various pages does not validate what they believe. Whos saying this, where did they find it and what kind of energy do you get from the source, what type of person is this and what level of understanding do they have?
If you enjoyed this blog please comment and subscribe or share. If sharing my blogs on your own blog, site or forums, please always include my web address as the original source of the writing.