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    In defence of conspiracy theorists

    by Kismet hardy on 14th June, 2006 at 3:24 pm    

    Granted, they drive you to tedium during any conversation other than ones made around a sparked joint, but are conspiracy theorists really just a bunch of nutbars spouting paranoid nonsense, or are we actually helping to grease the secret propaganda machine by dismissing them so readily?

    Without wanting to get lost in the folds of CRAP (Claim, reasoning, assumption and proof), let’s get one thing straight first: People believe what makes sense to them. Whether you believe Allah likes to stamp his presence inside aubergines, Jim Morrison swapped his leathers for Pringle jumpers to become David Icke, or that the Saudis packed bombs inside the underpants of known trouble makers then duped them into thinking they were off for a jolly to Disneyland on the 11th of September - every ‘truth’ we accept comes from our own belief structure.

    This applies to religion, politics, world events, even the gossip you hear about your colleague’s sexuality over a fag break. We believe what we want to believe.

    Now, if we’re to respect a man in a silly hat when he says it was man who first created woman with a few spare ribs, why can’t we extend the same suspension of disbelief to someone who suggests the royal family might have wanted to bump off a slapper that was bringing such shame upon the family?

    No one here can possibly argue that the powers that be don’t lie to us. From the day man convinced women that they needed protection from us, to the rich convincing the poor that they needed to give their money to the privileged to survive, to every leader that fooled his subjects into believing they needed to fight and die to be live in safety - history is made up of what we are told, by those who only tell us what they want us to know.

    How convenient it must be for the powers that be to have a term as universally reviled as ‘conspiracy theory’ at their disposal. We landed on the moon, we didn’t kill Malcolm X, the Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich and not his cook - question us and you’re nothing but a conspiracy theorist nut.

    You can almost picture the spin doctors at the CIA: Let’s blame it all on the Al-Qaeda, make ‘em out to be this huge global organisation and bomb the fuck out of lots of Muslims in lots of places. When Muslims get pissed off about it, we can say a-ha. See, Al-Qaedas everywhere. It worked for us during the cold war with the communists, didn’t it? Who’s gonna argue with us? Conspiracy theorists? Ha ha.

    The reason conspiracy theorists get it wrong, other than the fact that they don’t have any facts, is the belief that everyone is in on it. If we take 7/7 as an example, it would be ludicrous to think Thamselink and the London Underground were in on it, that the police and ambulance knew about it, or even Tony Blair or the M15 saw it coming.

    But if an elite force guarding American government wanted to show America’s success in the War on Terror as opposed to their pathetic track record on poverty and the environment during the G8 Summit - is it really so outrageous to think they wouldn’t be able to organise a few explosions, set up a few known freaks and, more importantly, cover it up? In a time of war, you don’t think a highly skilled cloak-and-dagger organisation doesn’t have the power to pull strings to ensure they’re seen as the protectors?

    The government, the media, your mate down the pub, all of us, can only respond to the facts that are presented. It’s only when the truth comes to light - as with the Americans and Vietnam, the Germans and Hitler and the trigger-happy terrorist cops and a poor Brazilian sod - that we admit we were, in fact, taken for fools.

    Some facts will never arise because those who designed them knew better than to leave a trace. You can carry on believing every piece of ‘fact’ you’re fed, or you can stop and think: hang on… what information am I not being given here?

    God bless the conspiracy theorist I say for standing up and questioning everything. I, for one, always have the time of day for them. But only when holding a sparked joint, mind…

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    1. NorahJones — on 14th June, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

      Have you heard the one about the Oyster card?

    2. Don — on 14th June, 2006 at 3:49 pm  

      The problem I have with most of your everyday conspiracy theorists is not they lack facts, but they have too many facts, great tottering piles of facts, enough facts to furnish twenty theories for every conspiracy. Let someone’s driver trwist their knee playing footy, let a water-main burst in Berkley Square and it is added to the pile.

      Then they demand you explain it.

      Anyway, surely the first thing a decent conspiracy does is get itself a suitably bug-eyed theorist to deflect attention from the real thing.

    3. sonia — on 14th June, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

      good points in highlighting belief structures and our social psychology. i’d say i agree that the only problem is the paranoid quality that is often present ( note i do not say always present) is the assumption that ‘everyone is in on it except me..) though there is a tendency for the most paranoiac theories to receive the most media attention. it’s not hard to see that plenty of attempts at ‘conspiring’ - if we must use that word - are going on all the time, and since organization is such a difficult thing i personally am always surprised when some group manage to pull something or anything off. ( here i refer to all sorts of things -> not just ‘dodgy’ events - but simple things like ..running trains on time heh heh)

      fundamentally - it comes down to how much you’re prepared to ask questions and not accept something because it’s the status quo. and since asking question as ever is the spirit behind science - well then.

    4. matt_c — on 14th June, 2006 at 4:36 pm  

      Popper on Conspiracies: (bit long but I quote it because I think it’s almost 100% accurate:)

      I shall briefly describe a theory…; I call it the ‘conspiracy theory of society’. It is the view that an explanation of a social phenom¬enon consists in the discovery of the men or groups who are interested in the occurrence of this phenomenon (sometimes it is a hidden interest which has first to be revealed), and who have planned and conspired to bring it about.

      This view…arises, of course, from the mistaken theory that, whatever happens in society—especially happenings such as war, unemployment, poverty, shortages, which people as a rule dislike—is the result of direct design by some powerful individuals and groups. … In its modern forms it is, like modern historicism, and a certain modern attitude towards ‘natural laws’, a typical result of the secularization of a religious superstition. The belief in the Homeric gods whose conspiracies explain the history of the Trojan War is gone. The gods are abandoned. But their place is filled by powerful men or groups—sinister pressure groups whose wickedness is responsible for all the evils we suffer from—such as the Learned Elders of Zion, or the monopolists, or the capitalists, or the imperialists.

      I do not wish to imply that conspiracies never happen. On the con¬trary, they are typical social phenomena. They become important, for example, whenever people who believe in the conspiracy theory get into power. And people who sincerely believe that they know how to make heaven on earth are most likely to adopt the conspiracy theory, and to get involved in a counter-conspiracy against non-existing con¬spirators. For the only explanation of their failure to produce their heaven is the evil intention of the Devil, who has a vested interest in hell.

      Conspiracies occur, it must be admitted. But the striking fact which, in spite of their occurrence, disproves the conspiracy theory is that few of these conspiracies are ultimately successful. Conspirators rarely consummate their conspiracy. Why is this so? Why do achievements differ so widely from aspir¬ations? Because this is usually the case in social life, conspiracy or no conspiracy. Social life is not only a trial of strength between opposing groups: it is action within a more or less resilient or brittle framework of institutions and traditions, and it creates—apart from any conscious counter-action—many unforeseen reactions in this framework, some of them perhaps even unforeseeable.

    5. Leon — on 14th June, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

      Conspiracy theorists are the worst kinds of dissenters in my view. They propogate wild fact free fantasies that allow far too many people to dismiss real dissent as “just another conspiracy theory”…

    6. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:09 pm  

      I love conspiracy theories, but I hate conspiracy theorists.

      Anecdote: I made up a conspiracy theory at work. I noted a major disparity between what one of customers was saying to us and what they were doing with us on the ground. So I made a document outlining these discrepancies and produced theory that threaded them all to together. In short I argued that the management team where playing lip service to us while activity trying pushing out of the account.

      This document got circulated internally and from the theory we developed a strategy to bypass the people we were dealing and apply pressure to their bosses.

      I’ve no idea whether my theory was right, as I’m firm believer that you ought not put down to conspiracy what you can put down to incompetence (the customer is infamous for their incompetence) … but the theory motivated a change in attitude and it played a major role in turning around the account.

      Therefore I’d say that the conspiracy theories are often useful as, accurate or not, they swing the spot light on to specific issues. The problem with theorists is that they forget its a theory that needs to be weighted up against other theories, including incompetence.

      The government has be fairly honest about facts, it is desperately difficult for them to cover things up. Consider the Greenpeace boat blown up by the French, the world found out and they lost a lot of face. They don’t not lie to us because they are honest, it is just that they don’t want to get caught. Consider the exploding cigar, it made the US look like a laughing stock.

      In this new weird, wired, always on, media drenched world are government know they are better off telling the truth, but using techniques spin and burying bad news is a better strategy than lying.

      Journalists on this board will be able to confirm that what is in the Reuters news database is much bigger than what we find in the papers, they have actively filtered what we are presented with. The internet is fixing this information asymmetry by giving us access to information sources that our journalists enjoy. We consumers need to get better at identifying the likely validity of facts and the relative quality of ideas / theories.

      One thing that is unfortunately true is that most of us are simply minded sheep that need protecting from the wolves that will exploit them. Watch Derren Browns The Heist to see how easily good people can be lead astray by a clever manipulator.

      Here’s a simple manipulative trick: Once someone has an idea in their head it is difficult to dislodge. I exploit this ‘feature’ of my fellow apes by ensuring that they hear my version of events first … the other opposing monkey will need to spend a lot more energy dislodging those ideas than I spend planting them. This is how gossip works, you generally people hang on to the thing they heard first.



    7. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

      Personally I think that most conspiracy theories are greatly improved with the addition of some Aliens, an anal probe and some UFO’s.


    8. Jai — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:19 pm  


      I hope you realise that post #7 probably sounds like a normal Saturday night on the town from the perspective of our friend Kismet…..

    9. Kismet Hardy — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:27 pm  

      So let me get this straight. Last Friday when that large biker chap named Angela had me bent over and greased to allow the insertion of that metal plug up my rectum… he was an alien?

    10. Don — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

      That bitch Angela said he was at his mum’s.

    11. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

      *TFI nods*

      Afraid so my man. That bike was a UFO, didn’t you notice the eery blue light and dry ice? Blatant clues to Alien involvement.

      Try putting your arse close to your TV and see if the reception goes wierd, if it does you might want Angela to remove, or at least retune, the device it left.


    12. Kismet Hardy — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:39 pm  

      Maybe it was Robbie William. He’s in league with the CIA (Crossdressers Into Asians).

      I used to be a good Asian boy

      He told me to love angela instead

    13. Leon — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:41 pm  

      Erm, have we started the weekend open thread a few days early!?:D

    14. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:44 pm  

      Erm, have we started the weekend open thread a few days early!?:D

      Its a conspiracy!

    15. Leon — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:49 pm  


    16. Don — on 14th June, 2006 at 5:49 pm  

      Lewis Morris: “It is a conspiracy of silence against me - a conspiracy of silence! What should I do?”

      Oscar Wilde: “Join it”

    17. justforfun — on 14th June, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

      Kismet - great article.

      I think some people are actually physically addicted to thinking up and rationalising “Conspiracy Theories” , in the same way some people are physically addicted to long distance running - when the brain secretes chemicals that provide a euphoric high. Why do I think this is actually happening in “Conspiracy Theorists” - well - when we see things with our eyes the brain loves to see patterns and make up patterns. When we hear things we process the information and make patterns, so why not with facts. I am convinced that for some people there is an actual euphoric high in metally linking facts together into a conspiracy.

      Has this theory got legs ? who knows.

      However - do you think the Forest gate two have been turned by MI5 - they were away for a week. We now know how good MI5 were at actually infiltrating the IRA - some even say the man with the beard in the IRA is the high level MI% agent. Has this theory got legs - would explain why the police let them go without planting anything on them.


    18. justforfun — on 14th June, 2006 at 7:40 pm  

      ….disproves the conspiracy theory is that few of these conspiracies are ultimately successful. Conspirators rarely consummate their conspiracy. Why is this so? Why do achievements differ so widely from aspir¬ations?

      This is a good proof for the non-existance of God.

      TFI - Journalists on this board will be able to confirm that what is in the Reuters news database is much bigger than what we find in the papers, they have actively filtered what we are presented with. The internet is fixing this information asymmetry by giving us access to information sources that our journalists enjoy. - too true. I feel that “anti-conspiracy” needs to be taught in the National Curriculum as the internet is just full of ‘rubbish’ - or am I just naive?

      Are there any Iranians out there who can entertain us with a few good conspiracies - Your the the best at it ! I can spend all night listening to Iranian conspiracy theories.


    19. Roger — on 14th June, 2006 at 8:58 pm  

      A friend of mine was rejected from a conspiracy theory group for two of his: one was for 9/11. Tony Blair was due to address the TUC that day and wasn’t expected to get a good reception. So, on the one hand, faced with all the horny-handed sons of toil being beastly to him and, on the other hand, killing a few thousand people, it was obvious what Tony and MI6 would do…
      The other was for President Kennedy. His theory was that Oswald did shoot kennedy, but the reason was that Kenedy had had it away with Oswald’s rather pretty wife. The whole conspiracy consisted of concealing that fact.
      Both of these were regarded by the conspiracy community as benot possibly true- an obvious conspiracy if ever there was…

    20. El Cid — on 14th June, 2006 at 10:43 pm  

      Nice piece Kismet.

    21. David T — on 14th June, 2006 at 11:36 pm  

      The best conspiracy theory is one for which there is absolutely no proof at all.

      This, in itself, is the best proof of all for the skill and power of the conspirators: for they are ones who are able to leave absolutely no evidence at all.

    22. Katy Newton — on 15th June, 2006 at 12:22 am  

      What I like is when you say to a conspiracy theorist, “There’s no evidence to support what you’re saying,” and they look at you scornfully and say, “Of course there’s no evidence…”

      The annoying this is that to a certain extent they have a point. If MI5 are in league with aliens armed with anal probes then they probably are in a position to make sure that there’s no evidence of their dastardly plans.

    23. Douglas Clark — on 15th June, 2006 at 1:56 am  

      Sorry to be serious for a moment.

      There is a conspiracy theory about 7/7 which basically says that the perpetrators couldn’t have done it because the train they had to catch from Luton (?) didn’t run, and consequently the alleged bombers couldn’t have done it.

      To be honest with you, I thought they had a point.

      Their mistake was to take on a victim of the bombing, who made complete mincemeat of their arguements.

      One of their beliefs was that the bomb had exploded under the train. They had the temerity to ask a victim: “did you really see him blow himself up?” “Tell us, tell us.” If you can see the problem here, a gratuitous little conspiracy theorist, and a genuine victim, the theory versus the reality, and the conspiracy theorist on a reach, well, it ain’t nice is it?

    24. shill4rent — on 15th June, 2006 at 9:17 am  

      put this in your denial pipe and Smoke it…


    25. shill4rent — on 15th June, 2006 at 9:22 am  

      “There is a conspiracy theory about 7/7 which basically says that the perpetrators couldn’t have done it because the train they had to catch from Luton (?) didn’t run, and consequently the alleged bombers couldn’t have done it.

      To be honest with you, I thought they had a point.

      Their mistake was to take on a victim of the bombing, who made complete mincemeat of their arguements.”

      Shame you weren’t there when Milan Rai got his ass handed to him on a roasting hot plate for spewing 7/7 disinfo and being a lacky….


    26. Douglas Clark — on 15th June, 2006 at 10:49 am  


      I’d be the first to admit the attraction of a good conspiracy theory. It’s a bit like good gossip isn’t it? Lets face it, an alien autopsy is a little more interesting than whether its going to rain today, or not. (Sunny / Cloudy?, couldn’t resist)

      Obviously you see it differently, but your link:


      left me cold. It is just a whole lot of people saying “we know the truth, and you’re too stupid to see it.” If you think otherwise, perhaps you could explain exactly how Milan Rai got his ass roasted. It wasn’t obvious to me. It just seemed like a lot of folk agreeing with themselves.

    27. shill4rent — on 15th June, 2006 at 10:54 am  

      Milan’s lies left me cold too, how could someone construct such a bare faced pile of bollox and not expect to have it rammed down his throat.

    28. Uncleji with those — on 15th June, 2006 at 11:02 am  

      I hate these consipary nutters constipating the airwaves with their bullshit.
      I was louche & lewd at a kitty party last week enjoying a Patiala Peg in one hand & a slip of a Ruritania au pair in the other when this crazy fella with this unblinking stare comes up to me and starts spouting some crazy raggy ass story of the Amerikan selling arms to the Iranians via the Israelis to pay for a war in South American. Now what kind of crazy liberal bedwetting fantasy it that…….

    29. shill4rent — on 15th June, 2006 at 11:04 am  

      uncleji just verbally shat himselF!

    30. Uncleji laying the law — on 15th June, 2006 at 11:24 am  

      Have some respect for your elders ! Or feel the force of my heat seeking day-glo chappals !
      Fellow Picklers free yourself from the punishment of Punctuation !

    31. sonia — on 15th June, 2006 at 11:47 am  

      In any case what i find interesting about all of this is that the bashing ‘conspiracy theorists’ receive is actually very selective.

      there are plenty of what i call ‘majority’ conspiracy theories that function as the bedrock of societies we live in - and you won’t find too many people pointing at them and saying ah ‘ conspiracy theory alert’. i’ve noticed that it’s always ‘unpopular’ speculation that are referred to as ‘conspiracy theories’. whilst there is definitely a ’scale’ and range of Cons. Theories about - ranging from the extremely wild to fairly sensible everyone gets lumped with the same ‘badge’ of ‘nonsensicalness’ - and this sort of thing is consciously used by detractors of any particular argument. I have to say personally this process is what i find interesting, also the self-fulfilling nature of conspiracy theories..( Foucault’s Pendulum by Eco is a fantastic study of that)

      So for example- why isn’t it popularly deemed a ‘conspiracy theory’ that al-qaeda is this huge wonderfully organized group that has managed to ‘network’ all ‘radical muslims’ who are wonderfully efficient and all have exactly the same aims and don’t quibble and fight. ( at the same time we’re always hearing ‘western’ commentators on their surprise at all how oh all these third world countries/communties who can’t agree with ‘each other’ and ‘infighting’ ( as if they ought not to because they’re seen as a homogenous unit and of course homogenous units don’t feature ‘infighting’ ) And similarly a lot of people imagine somehow the ‘West’ is one thing and united in it’s desire to ‘annihilate’ them etc. etc. - though of course that particular idea is more often dismissed than the former. If we’re going to criticize ‘conspiracy theories’ for imagining everyone is against you and united in the conspiracy and that they want to take over the world etc…well then there are lots of things that seem to fall into that category! ( hmm come to think - that sounds like just about all of the ‘us vs. them fear your enemy’ campaigns that various governments and regimes across the world come up with to scare their populace into accepting.

      i personally find the fact that for the most part societies across the world think that someone is ‘in charge’ aka the government is the most hilarious conspiracy theory around. incompetence has been mentioned a few times - and i think that’s the crux of it all - the reality of incompetence and disorganization that’s around makes me think how surprising it is when anything actually works!

    32. sonia — on 15th June, 2006 at 12:06 pm  

      aNd the other key question is why do so-called conspiracy theories flourish? whilst they are accused of ‘disinformation’ the point is that if we actually had an open society with more information then it would be far easier to separate the wheat from the chaff. at the end of the day governments keep lots of things to themselves, dont’ give out details that can be openly debated or evaluated accordingly, then blame some convenient person for ’spreading disinformation’.
      Hello and what exactly do you call government propaganda? the focus tends too often to slag off the conspiracy theorists - sorry but in a non-open society they’re going to be a by-product, no question about that.

    33. sonia — on 15th June, 2006 at 12:13 pm  

      So what’s happening with the train that didn’t run? if it didn’t run then perhaps they caught an earlier train? a simple enough suggestion i suppose. positing that in itself doesn’t seem to be a ‘conspiracy theory’ why should it => more like scientific questioning.

    34. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 15th June, 2006 at 12:33 pm  

      What is the different between a conspiracy theory and a religion?

      Both serious and silly answers welcome :)


    35. shill4rent — on 15th June, 2006 at 1:01 pm  

      Good post sonia, I can see how people would rather take comfort from believing their government is incompetent than having to face the the outrageous Truth.

      The PTB didn’t hesitate to show us footage of the no bomb bombers in London on 21/7 but haven’t shown us a shred of proof the Leeds guys were in London on 7/7.
      If you want to know who I think is responsible then find out who released the FAKE photo of the accused outside Luton station on 7/7 before they got a train that didn’t run.

    36. Roger — on 15th June, 2006 at 1:04 pm  

      What is the difference between a conspiracy and a religion?

    37. El Cid — on 15th June, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

      conspiracy theories are the opium of the masses

    38. shill4rent — on 15th June, 2006 at 1:29 pm  

      “Lemminghood is not an intellectual phenomenon - it is psychological. As such, no socio-economic class is immune to its strangulating effect. A grant- seeking university scientist can be a lemming just as much as a fashion obsessed teen-age girl. One blindly follows the latest trendy theory while the other follows the latest clothing style. What’s the difference? Neither can resist the force of nature. The power to fit in with one’s social peers can be irresistible. To a human lemming, the logic behind an opinion doesn’t count as much as the power and popularity behind an opinion. Man, like lemming, behaves collectively. And it could be no other way. Naturally, the individual must be equipped with this trait. Otherwise, the smallest steps toward civilization could never have been made. Lemminghood is a necessary, sociological survival trait, an inborn instinct in the majority of people. However, as with all natural phenomena, this tendency can be manipulated and used for harmful purposes. The same lemming effect which enables the masses of a justly governed society to make progress all at the same time, can, in an unjustly governed society, cause the masses to lose their sense of judgment, all at the same time. “

    39. Sunny — on 15th June, 2006 at 1:59 pm  

      So for example- why isn’t it popularly deemed a ‘conspiracy theory’ that al-qaeda is this huge wonderfully organized group that has managed to ‘network’ all ‘radical muslims’ who are wonderfully efficient and all have exactly the same aims and don’t quibble and fight.

      The people who believe this are just downright ignorant and stupid. But then it isn’t a big conspiracy theory that Melanie Phillips/Michelle Malkin types are stupid and use the Al-Qaeda as this big bogeyman.

      Jason Burke has written some excellent books on the subject (I’m reading Road to Kandahar now) and has constantly said in the Observer that thinking al-qaeda is this super-organised and monolithic block is just downright silly.

      The funny thing is Tony Blair keeps on repeating this rubbish, which is why he has no confidence amongst those who know *taps nose* ;)

      but haven’t shown us a shred of proof the Leeds guys were in London

      People like you really piss me off! Have you spoken to Rachel North, who also blogs and was caught in the blasts? Have you spoken to any of the survivors?

      I’m not sure disinformation causes conspiracy theories. Snopes.com for example collects tons of urban myths and conspiracy theories that could be proven wrong within minutes if someone did their research. But people are lazy and believe what they want to believe.

    40. Don — on 15th June, 2006 at 2:33 pm  

      Could a variant of Gresham’s law apply to conspiracy theories? That bad currency drives out good? If for every disturbing event there are a dozen loopy theories advocated by people with little grasp of logic and evidence, then when something genuinely fishy goes on it can be overlooked because of the flood of ‘bad’ theories. And the ‘bad’ theories, being usually more spectacular, are more enthusiastically embraced.

      (Please, economists, I know that isn’t quite Gresham’s Law, but that was the nearest paralell I could think of.)

      Similarly for security services reactions to ‘intelligence’. If MI5 believe information has a 70% chance of being accurate, they are obliged to act. If it has a 30% or 10% chance they are also obliged to act in exactly the same way (i.e. as if it were 100%)
      Thus good intelligence is devalued by the mass of bad, and ends up being rejected by the public.

    41. shill4rent — on 15th June, 2006 at 2:42 pm  

      jason burke and rachel north are both repulsive lackys, I’m very familiar with them both, they are even worse than shills4rent in that they do it for free.

    42. Sunny — on 15th June, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

      Given the amount of times Rachel has criticised the govt, I’m not surprised you are saying that - after all anyone who doesn’t believe you must be a govt lackey.

    43. shill4rent — on 16th June, 2006 at 8:20 am  

      you seem to fit the lacy bill purfectly with the incesant lying and name calling whenever others expose the government.

    44. Douglas Clark — on 18th June, 2006 at 12:59 am  


      You have absolutely no grounds for describing rachel north as a lackey, note the spelling. Why would you choose to say that? What is your ridiculous agenda?

      I have read and admired Rachel North’s web site for quite some time. If you have grounds for criticism, lets see you try to make them there, You are frankly a troll.

    45. Don — on 18th June, 2006 at 1:13 am  

      Lemminghood is not … blah blah.


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