Yesterday, Dr. James White wrote a blog post that gave us a peak into the thinking of one who possesses a conspiratorial mindset. Aside from being a fascinating read, the post demonstrates how conspiratorialists will not – or maybe a better way to say it is, cannot – view evidence objectively and rationally. This then causes them to interpret every shred of evidence through the lens of conspiracy. On the one hand, the conspiratorialist will always accept proof that supports his conspiracy theory, no matter how flimsy the source. On the other, the conspiratorialist will automatically reject any evidence that challenges or disproves the conspiracy and, oftentimes, the conspiratorialist will retaliate against those who challenge his theory by casting suspicion on them and associating them with those whom the conspiratorialist believes are plotting the conspiracy.
A textbook example of this type of conspiratorialist retaliation was documented by Chris Rosebrough on the 29 August 2013 episode of the Fighting for the Faith radio program. In that episode, Rosebrough played audio from Chris Pinto’s Noise of Thunder Radio program, in which Pinto put forward a series of guilt by association (GBA) arguments against two of his critics, Alan Kurschner and Dr. James White. Because the conspiratorialist mindset always interprets data through the lens of conspiracy, the only plausible explanation in Pinto’s mind for Kurschner and White’s having criticized him is that they are theologically compromised and, either knowingly or unwittingly, working to promote liberal gay-affirming ecumenical apostasy. What was most fascinating about that program was that Rosebrough documented the fact that, more than a month prior to Pinto’s retaliation, he had engaged in an identical GBA argument against Alan Kurschner. At that time, Kurschner personally responded to Pinto’s allegations and answered every one of them by giving primary source testimony demonstrating conclusively that Pinto’s claims were patently false. However, conspiratorialists always reject evidence that does not fit the conspiracy. True to form, Pinto dismissed Kurschner’s evidence out of hand and re-employed the same GBA attacks one month later, expanding them to implicate Dr. James White and to cast doubt on his scholarship.
Noise of Thunder: The Lost Episode – A.K.A. Pinto’s Papal Pickle
Another fascinating piece of evidence that gives us a peak into the conspiratorialist mindset of Chris Pinto involves the missing 5 August 2013 episode of Noise of Thunder. In that episode, Pinto led off his program by reading and commenting on a news story that he believed was real, but which was in fact a satirical story from Newslo.com, a competitor to The Onion.
The satirical news story is entitled Pope Criminalizes the Reporting of Sex Crimes, and there are many offhandedly silly, off-color and outrageous statements within the piece that are clearly designed to elicit a chuckle from the reader. What is striking is the fact that these jokes were not seen as jokes by Chris Pinto, but instead as real news! Here is the audio of Chris Pinto reading this satirical story as if it were real:
Why would Chris Pinto fail to see that this was satire? Why didn’t he take the time to vet his news source and corroborate the story before going on air? If the jokes within the story weren’t obvious enough to identify the piece as satire, a simple glance at the right column of Newslo’s website reveals links to their most popular stories, including headlines such as Pat Robertson Unveils Gay-Repelling Necklace and Syrians Enjoy Day Off from Gas Attacks to Enjoy Miley Cyrus Twerk. The reason Pinto thought it was a real news story is because it fits his conspiracy. It was just one more piece of proof to add to his growing pile of carefully screened and highly selective evidence. It fit his conspiracy template, therefore it had to be true!
After Pinto posted this program, a listener alerted him to his error. As far as I’ve been able to gather, it looks as if Pinto – rather than issue a formal retraction and apologize to the Vatican for his false reporting – chose simply to delete the program.
More to come in my next article.
Postscript: Because it is highly unlikely that Chris Pinto will acknowledge his conspiratorialist mindset to be the driving force behind the slips and follies that I’m reporting, and because Pinto is most likely trying to figure out how to link me to the Roman Catholic ecumenical apostasy conspiracy, I feel compelled to inform my readers that I am not a Roman Catholic, a Jesuit, a homosexual, a pedophile, or a Mason. Neither am I a member of the Iluminati, the Democratic Party, the Teamsters, or the Council on Foreign Relations. I have never attended Harvard or any other liberal university. I am a dog lover, don’t trust cats, and have never been a vegan.