This journalist was first to report on the 2008 paper. In it, Sunstein and co-author Adrian Vermeule, a Harvard law professor, ask, “What can government do about conspiracy theories?”
“We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.”
The paper argues that the best government response to “conspiracy theories” is “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups.” Government agents “might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.”
A conspiracy theory is defined as “an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Among the “conspiracy theories” the paper recommends banning are:
● the CIA killed President John F. Kennedy
● a U.S. military missile caused the 1996 crash of TWA flight 800
● global warming is a deliberate fraud
● the Trilateral Commission is responsible for important movements of the international economy
● the moon landings were staged
● federal agents killed Martin Luther King Jr.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 7-9 p.m. His website is KleinOnline.com.