Sometimes silence means you aren’t worth a reply

A community board stands strong against trolls.

Newtown school board greets Sandy Hook skeptics with silence – Connecticut Post.

A dozen or so self-described skeptics of official accounts of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting appeared Tuesday night at the Board of Education meeting, each taking the allotted three minutes to address pointed questions to board members.

Wolfgang Halbig, the most prominent member of the group, raised questions about everything from the scale of police response that day to their refusal to accept his expert help in analyzing the event.

But board members refused to take the bait, remaining silent throughout presentations by Halbig and several of his supporters who followed him to the microphone.

The audience also stayed silent. Until the last person noted it was a shame that the community had been turned into such a circus. That garnered some applause that was silenced.

The fringe theorists and critics were ignored in a show of solidarity from the board in support of their community still coming to grips with the unimaginable tragedy that occurred there. It sounded like a quite a scene. They refused to play into the hands of those who would criticize without constructive comments and speculate and accuse without foundation.

I so SO wish all such nonsense, thoughtless shit stirrers would be treated this way. They are not worthy of a dignified response.

20 children and 6 adults were shot in an attack on the school by a 20 year old man on Dec 14, 2012. How chastising the administrators and public servants helps at this point, I can’t fathom.

(Once again note that “skeptic” is used to describe an attitude of denial of evidence. That’s a shame but the use is what it is. Sound skepticism weighs the evidence to draw a reasoned conclusion.)


  20 comments for “Sometimes silence means you aren’t worth a reply

  1. May 9, 2014 at 4:45 AM

    There’s some deep irony here as well…

    If I remember correctly, the gut who did the shooting was mentally challenged and believed in the December 2012 doomsday conspiracy theory. In his alternate reality the world was going to end anyway, and so this shooting was also a tragic reminder of the awful harm that can be done by those who believe in conspiracies.

    Now these nutjobs are essentially denying what really happened, as well as trying to work it into their own imaginary conspiracy about gun control. (I’m not American, so I don’t know much of what their conspiracy entails.)

    The irony is that they have a similar mind-set, of conspiracy that is not based on reality, to the lunatic who shot those children in the first place. That they have the audacity to call themselves “skeptics” is an insult to those who consider evidence and intelligently apply critical thinking everywhere.

  2. Chris Howard
    May 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    The sad, and truly horrifying thing, in my mind, is that the conspiracy people truly believe that they are being virtuous in this whole tragic endeavor.

    Their crusade against “evil” has turned them into monsters, and they don’t even realize what they’ve become.

  3. Jim Speiser
    May 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    At the very deepest, most primal level, what these people are is terrified. I believe that most if not all forms of Denialism spring from a deep-seated belief or at least desire that “all is well with the world” and that human beings are not really capable of such profound evil (or of turning the Earth into a crock-pot). They are positively mortified to think that such things CAN happen, and so they give voice to their fears by denying them. It’s really a natural reaction. You’ve heard of the five stages: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance. These people just never get past denial. In a way, it makes them as human as you or me. They are to be ignored in the public marketplace of ideas, they are to be scorned in print…but, in the end, they are to be pitied and sympathized with. They’re in the same boat with the rest of us.

  4. May 9, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Dear Jim Fetzer:

    [ ]

  5. Count One
    May 9, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Brilliantly titled Sharon! Thanks for putting this up. I found your site via a link Fetzer put up at a virulently anti-semitic, bizarro conspiracy theory site. I’m going to add this to my favourites. Best to you in the future.

  6. May 9, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    Dear DK Wilson:

    [ ]

    Get the message. Go pound sand.

  7. Ben Radford
    May 9, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Great piece, Sharon. Thanks for the tip on this, I’m going to write this up soon. I’d do what I can to shame these callous conspiracy idiots, but they clearly have no shame.

  8. Chris Howard
    May 9, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Ouch. 😉

  9. Peebs
    May 10, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    This is why I don’t like the term ‘skeptic.
    . I much prefer to refer to what most of do here as critical thinking.

  10. Leonard Johnson
    May 10, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    I’m trying to look at this whole thing from a critical perspective, maybe someone can humor me. I actually read some of those questions that the people raving about Sandy Hook asked, some seem pretty legit, in my opinion. I wondered why I didn’t see 600 kids being evacuated, or why there wasn’t any video or pics from the school cameras. There seems to be more questions the more I look into the shooting, and I’m no conspiracy theorist. Why don’t the officials just answer them, if for no other reason, to squash the skepticism? I haven’t seem this much skepticism since 9/11, yet nobody doubts that people died that die.

    God forbid I ever have to be part of such a tragedy, but I believe that the truth doesn’t mind honest questions.

  11. busmonitor
    May 12, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Leonard, whatever answers the officials gave wouldn’t satiate these people. It would just give them more data to cherry pick and anomaly hunt from.

  12. john
    May 12, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    You did not see them because you simply were not there. Conspiracy theorists love the access of youtube but erroneously believe that the footage one the site is the entirety of the footage, shot from every angle. Its an argument from ignorance. And really…the job of the school board is not to convince the naysayers, it is to run the school. Period.

  13. May 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Several people who are members of the “truthers” are attempting to hijack the comments. They have also now taken to emailing me.

    Notice that those comments will not appear here. To those commentators, I was relating the news story and my opinion that your methods are severely flawed, paranoid and NOT SOUND SKEPTICISM. Skepticism is based on evidence, logic and critical thinking, not rampant speculation and conspiracy theories. If you are truly concerned about the safety of students, you are doing exactly the opposite of being helpful with your current approach.

    You will not be allowed to use my site as a soapbox for your propaganda. I also note their support of the Veterans Today website, NOT a credible source of information. By our own research and recommendations from others more expert in veterans affairs, we do NOT recommend that website.

  14. May 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Also; resorting to name calling and insults is NOT the way to go if you want to convince us to approve of your comments.

  15. May 12, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    I really REALLY hate this “truther” idea that every damn thing is a hoax. You people are SICK.

    Peace Sign Stolen From Conn. Playground Honoring Sandy Hook Massacre Victim

  16. John Mark Hughes
    May 13, 2014 at 2:48 AM

    I agree with you in that VT is not a credible source.

    I also agree with your less than positive remarks about people getting there ‘evidence’ from … YouTube.

    People should get their evidence and facts from the 7106 page Investigative Report by the Connecticut State Police and the Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III.
    The State’s Attorney speaks for the people of Newtown when he says that “Adam Lanza was the sole perpetrator of this crime”. There’s obviously nothing to see here people, and if you think the reason that the final report is so redacted is to hide something – well that’s just plain nuts!

  17. Headless Unicorn Guy
    May 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Conspiracy theory appeals to what Lewis called “The Lure of the Inner Ring”, the Illuminated Ones with their Speshul Sekrit Knowledge (Occult Gnosis) of What’s REALLY Going On.

    And a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is literally impossible to shake. All evidence against The Conspiracy is Disinformation manufactured and planted by The Conspiracy. Lack of evidence for The Conspiracy is PROOF The Conspiracy is Vast Enough to suppress All Evidence and Silence Anyone (except the Speshul Illuminated, of course). Any who doubt the existence of The Conspiracy have proven themselves to be PART of The Conspiracy. In another passage from Lewis (originally written as a spoof on Skeptics):

    — Chronicles of Narnia: Volume 7, The Last Battle

  18. RoyGBiv
    May 24, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Thank you for this insightful article! I enjoy your approach to the “truther” community.

    I thought you might find these interviews interesting:
    A Closer Look at Wolf Halbig and Sandy Hook – Spingola Speaks 3-4-14
    Halbig, Smallstorm & Fetzer Involved in Sandy Hook Muddle-up

  19. RoyGBiv
    May 24, 2014 at 1:44 AM

    Thank you for this insightful article. I appreciate the way you deal with these “truthers.”

    I wonder why Wolfgang Halbig and Jim Fetzer go on radio show after radio show saying no children died, but when they are in front of the school board they will not say such things.

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