From this Metafilter thread, mostly about the Grandaddy of Using Conspiracy for Profit, there is a link to a righteous rant by the blogger MightyGodKing. He, like myself, has lost all patience with the false-flagger conspiracy loons who blame all criminal malfeasance on subtle and unknowable government evil. He points out what I have as well many times, and quite frankly does it much better than I ever have. The 'Conspiracy Theorists' who scream "False Flag" over any and all tragic events are trying desperately to have an important place in the consequences of the horror. MGK writes:
"because yelling “false flag” doesn’t really have anything to do with the plausibility of a conspiracy theory, but instead relies on the desperate need of people – and, let’s be honest, generally white dudes, because it is white dudes who comprise the overwhelming majority of conspiracy theorists – to feel victimized when something bad had absolutely nothing to do with them."
That is the long and short of it. The point of engaging conspiracies has nothing to do with engagement at all. It is appropriating pain for personal self-importance. Frankly it is no different than the companies widely reviled who use tragic events to market their products. That's not engagement, but rather manipulation and as MGK notes, it's awfully assholish.
"falseflaggers don’t care because their theories aren’t about logic or reason or anything at all. Their theories are about making tragedies that happen to other people about them. It’s a fundamentally narcissistic response to tragedy – to not only ask “how does this affect me” but to twist the facts of the event to create a narrative so that you are more likely to be affected. It’s an asshole move, plain and simple, and falseflaggers deserve to be treated like assholes, because they’re assholes."
One of the most profound comments to the post is this, from The Unstoppable Gravy Express:
When government decides to do shady unethical stuff, typically the last thing they want to do is, y’know, call attention to it.
“I’ve drafted a new bill to give us complete control of all milk production in the country. But first, let’s blow up a few thousand cows so everyone’s attention will be firmly on the dairy industry. THEN we’ll sneak it by them. Heh, heh heh.”
More to the only point I would add to what MightyGodKing writes is what another commenter in his thread suggests:
Believing in conspiracies makes you smart. Any time you get an online discussion of this kind of thing, someone will announced that while the official story may fool the sheeple couch potatoes who accept whatever lies the mainstream media spoonfeed them, smart people look behind the lies and uncover the truth! As CS Lewis once observed, this is an awfully seductive delusion.
The idea that one is smarter than 'everyone else' is seductive, but also instructive. It clarifies to any rational person that False Flaggers don't want to engage but rather seek desperately to hide from any engagement. It is circular reasoning that shows disagreement is evidence of 'lesser thinking', and so should (must) not be taken seriously. The false flagger knows more, cares more, has more importance to reality and existence than the person who points out that they might be wrong. Of course they're not wrong; every breath or word of question and/or disagreement proves how right they are. It's a particular invulnerability to the truth, based solely on the need to be important.
Seriously, there are enough real conspiracies in the world to occupy our time. Cops acting illegally and hiding behind the 'thin blue line', Wall Street in general, the Republicant's desire to drown government in a bathtub and many Democrats desiring to help them, Obama's flawed "Grand Bargain", 'the Left's' betrayal of labor, the LDS Church opposition to the icky 'gays' being people, ALEC, the NRA, the Patriot Acts, the 'War On Drugs'. These things are not hidden; they're in your face every fricken day. BUT, they don't afford one a sense of being a superhero who sees what's *really* going on, and latching oneself like a remora to tragedy in order to feel important while being disengaged. Those common place conspiracies are just life that we all deal with in this 'bestest country EVAR!'
So, next time you encounter someone talking smack about 'free energy beam weapons', 'actors hired to play amputees' and people disappearing mysteriously from a tragedy, nod sagely and walk away (never losing eye contact until at a safe distance.) You won't convince them of the crazy they spout, and they won't help you in covering anything that is a real concern. They're in it for themselves, may they find their place in Heaven or build to good Karma. But it isn't about you, and never will be. It is about, to them, how the horrors of the world are theirs to own.