A skeptic on the Conspira-Sea Cruise: Day 1

Colin is currently on the ConspiraSea Cruise doing research for a book on irrational beliefs. He is emailing summaries of each day’s experiences to me for posting here on Violent Metaphors. This is the first day’s report. You can find day 2 here, day 3 here, day 4 here, day 5 (part 1) here, and day 5 (part 2) here –Jennifer

Welcome to the first daily update on the ConspiraSea Cruise! This is the first full day of the cruise and we’re well underway. (That is a boat joke. I will make more. None of them will be very funny. That is how boat jokes work.) I’m going to try to write an update for every day of the cruise, with some final and more polished observations after I’m home. These updates will be relatively short given how much is happening simply because there’s not that much time to write. It’s well after midnight now, and since we cross a time zone and lose an hour tonight I’m not expecting much sleep. That’s OK, this isn’t a vacation!


Economy Cabin
The ship is luxurious. The cabin is not.

If you aren’t familiar with the ConspiraSea Cruise, the organizers still have their promotional site up here. I’m sure they’ll take it down eventually though, so for archival purposes you can check out my GoFundMe page or our prior coverage at Violent Metaphors. And before we go any further, THANK YOU to all the GoFundMe supporters! Your interest in the culture of conspiracy theories not only made this trip possible, it’s inspirational as I continue to make slow but steady progress on my book about the dissemination of and debate over irrational ideas. Continue reading

Anchors Aweigh! The Conspiracy Cruise Sails Soon.

Just a few more days until the Conspiracy Cruise sets sail! Thanks to the support of everyone who backed my crowdfunding campaign I’ll be on board to conduct interviews and attend lectures by people like Andrew Wakefield, Winston Shrout, Nick Begich and Sherri Tenpenny.

The seminar schedule includes panels like Whistleblowing in the Public Interest (Andy Wakefield), Are GMOs and Roundup Causing Disease in Millions?, Vaccinations: Do You Really Know What’s Coming Through That Needle?, Conspiracy of the Court System, Conspiracy to Steal Your Body and Soul, Divine Wizardry, Competing Theories of Autism: Vaccines vs. Glyphosate (Roundup) Herbicide, Astral Possession, Psychic Vampirism, and Exorcism, How to Control the World with Mind Machines, All That Glitters Is Not God: Dangers of Psychic Roulette, and a Controlled Opposition Panel Discussion: Solutions to Psyops and Censorship with Wakefield and others.

I’ll try to post a nightly summary of each day’s events, but the seminar schedule and connectivity issues might keep me from doing that. If so, I’ll just post the nightly summaries in a batch once we’re back on shore. And I’ll write up a longer piece summarizing my thoughts on the conference as a whole. I’ll be posting everything here, and I hope you’ll share the links and leave your comments! In the long run my aim is to start conversations about these ideas, and this is a great way to do it.

In the meantime, please drop me a line with any suggestions or questions. I’ve already had some great suggestions for questions to ask (things like, “What’s your research methodology?”) and I’m happy to hear more. You can email them directly to me, or leave it as a comment here. I won’t be very responsive next week, as the ship isn’t a very connected environment, but I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

Some people have asked about whether it’s OK to share these posts, and if the cruise organizers will figure out who I am and why I’m there. It’s absolutely OK! And of course they’ll figure it out–I’ve been totally honest about this all along, and I don’t intend to change that. There’s no cover identities or secret agendas. I doubt anyone will care; the whole point of the seminar is to talk about their beliefs, after all, and I’m not going to be doing anything disruptive or disrespectful.

So get ready to peek behind the curtain! Bring a friend by sharing a link to Violent Metaphors or the crowdfunding campaign (donations gratefully accepted through Sunday). The most helpful thing you can do is join the conversation once the seminar is underway and the updates start going up.

Deep (Conspira)Sea Fishing: A Fundraising Drive

A large, diverse conference of people with very unusual beliefs is coming up. I want to attend as research for my book and blog posts on Violent Metaphors. Tickets are expensive, so we’re trying to keep costs down with a little crowdfunding. Please visit http://www.gofundme.com/ss29jrfk to donate if you can. If you can’t donate, just sharing the link is incredibly helpful. Pitch in, and let’s lay the groundwork for a deep discussion of far-out ideas next year! The following post is our original crowdfunding appeal.

Do you believe in acupuncture, alien abductions, ancient aliens, chi, crop circles, entity possession, “forbidden archaeology” or “forbidden religion,” homeopathy, near-death experiences, occult Nazi super-weapons, Planet X, poisoned vaccines, spiritual channeling, the new world order, or illegal immigrants from Zeta Reticuli? Do you go to bed worrying about the New World Order, the Vatican, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, NASA, the WHO, the CDC, the UN, space aliens and/or demons conspiring against you and all right-thinking people? And are you convinced that the world is ruled from the Bohemian Grove, a secret bunker under the Denver airport, Bilderberg meetings, the Council on Foreign Relations, Buckingham Palace, alien worlds or other dimensions?

Probably not, or at least probably not all of it. But thousands of people do believe those things, and other things stranger than you can imagine. This January, dozens of experts these fields will gather together on a cruise ship called the Ruby Princess. It’s called, honestly and cleverly enough, the Conspira-Sea Cruise. They’ll spend seven days explaining, discussing, and even demonstrating their beliefs. Some of them are fairly famous, like Andy Wakefield and Sherri Tenpenny, who will be sharing their theories on vaccines. Others are relatively obscure, like Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, great-granddaughter of the former president, who claims to have been recruited for a secret Mars colonization effort and that stargates began opening around the Earth in 2012. For a full week, conspiracy theorists, dreamers, and snake-oil salesmen of every stripe will be preaching and peddling their wares.
I want to be there. You can help make that happen by visiting our Go Fund Me sitehttp://www.gofundme.com/ss29jrfk. We’re nearly halfway there!

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