I decided that Benjamin Radford‘s Discovery News article “The 5 Most Outrageous Hoaxes” deserved some commentary by me.
- Flight of the Balloon Boy: This is one of those things that makes me wonder why the cops have to investigate everything that comes there way. It’s a silly world in which people are so driven to be on reality TV that they’ll lie like that. All you have to do to get on reality TV is curse a lot and be bizarre. Then you’re good to go.
- Protocols of the Elders of Zion: It’s amazing how pervasive forged books and documents can be. It’s also stunning how much work people are willing to do to attack religions that they wish to defame. and how people can look straight into the face of facts and still deny them. I want badly to believe in many things, but when the facts decide it’s impossible, I let it go.
- Tawana Brawley Attack: This is why people don’t get taken seriously when true horrible incidents happen. This hurt not just everyone involved directly, but also hurt those whose cases didn’t get the attention deserved because investigators were tied up in lies.
- Innocence of Muslims: Why is it that people don’t understand that with free speech comes responsibility to exercise that speech in a way that doesn’t cause riots? People died not for this speech, but because of it. And even worse, no one knows for sure if the film even exists! and the actors who were involved had the inflammatory speech dubbed over the actual words they used. This is hate of the highest order.
- Satanic Panic: This one is out and out amazing. I’ve even suffered at the hands of this one, because most of the anti-Dungeons-and-Dragons stuff stems directly from the Satanic Panic! This is another case of people not checking facts and assuming that any book that’s put on the non-fiction shelves must be completely true. Factchecks, people. Factchecks!