4.2 Healthy doubt versus misinformed paranoia

People who have no doubts that the Moon landings really happened often make the mistake of thinking that hoax theorists are all stupid and paranoid. This misconception is a frequent cause of embarrassment when it turns out that people whom they hold otherwise in high esteem are doubters or conspiracy believers.

Unquestionably, some of the hoax theory supporters are very paranoid: they believe not only in the Moon hoax but also in the many other conspiracy theories that are especially abundant on the Internet, such as “chemtrails”, 9/11, the Kennedy assassination, earthquakes controlled by the US military, alternative medical treatments suppressed by multinational pharmaceutical companies, contacts with extraterrestrials covered up by the world’s governments and all sorts of secret power cliques, from “international banking cartels” (a euphemism for Jews) to the Illuminati and the Reptilians.

However, not everyone who leans towards alternative theories regarding the Moon missions is like that. Many people are simply misinformed or not informed at all: they have only seen some of the many Internet sites and TV programs that support the Moon hoax theories and are unaware of the immense amount of information and evidence that debunks them. Part of the reason is that most of the in-depth evidence is only available in highly technical jargon.

There’s nothing stupid or paranoid in being seduced by the powerful, professionally packaged images of a biased television show designed to grab attention at any cost. We’re naturally inclined to assume that what we see in a documentary or a book is true and authoritative because it’s backed by a publisher or a national radio or TV network and it’s labeled as journalism. Sadly, that’s not always true.

There’s also nothing wrong in questioning any officially dispensed truth, at least until it is corroborated by reliable independent sources. After all, governments do lie and conspire, as was shown at the time of the Apollo flights by the Watergate scandal and the misinformation about the war in Vietnam.

The difference between a poorly informed or misinformed person who has doubts and a hardcore conspiracy theorist is very simple. The doubter, after being presented with all the facts, realizes that he or she has been misled and accepts those facts; the conspiracy theorist will deny the evidence, hold on to some trivial unexplained detail as if it were definitive evidence of the hoax, and often accuse those who argue that the Moon landings were real of being “sheeple” or paid shills of America or of the hidden forces that organized the conspiracy.

This kind of language is not an exaggeration: that’s actually what many Moon hoax believers says about me in their publications and personal emails to me.

Basically, a Moon hoax believer is someone who after being shown that two plus two is four, keeps on arguing that it’s actually five. Spending time in a debate with such people is therefore pointless. It is instead time well spent with doubters, who will often be grateful after seeing all the evidence that has dispelled their doubts. So if you decide to debate, choose your sparring partner wisely, and refer to the tips in Chapter 12.