To reiterate a point that should be clear to the more astute reader, my goal in this series (part 1, part 2) has not been to defend “Pizzagate” as such. My goal has been to defend the people who want to investigate it against specific accusations levied against them by people who think Pizzagate has revealed no intriguing information at all—for a specific reason, which I will be honing in and focusing on much more directly in this closing entry.
Whereas the mainstream critics of Pizzagate would have you believe that the dividing line is between paranoid conspiracy theorist followers of “fake news” and level-headed people who follow trustworthy news sources and rely on cold, hard reason to determine the truth, my goal has been to show that—whatever is or is not happening with Pizzagate itself—thisframing of the issue is arrogant, insulting, and the product of extremely narrow tunnel vision.
When I have referred to what I see as the more compelling pieces of evidence uncovered by the crowd-sourced investigation into Pizzagate, my point has not been to use these to say “Pizzagate is true and every single person looking into it is a hero,” but to say “the people investigating it are not idiots, and the facts they’ve been uncovering are not all worthless. Reasonable people could very well look at this and think that it gives us reason to be concerned that there may be something behind it. And if the media is telling you only about the most bizarre, reaching accusations without telling you any of the more interesting points that have been uncovered (which it is), it is not doing its proper job.”
The evidence [in Pizzagate] is of wildly varying levels of quality . . . [and much of it is] the pareidolia of “Jesus is appearing to me in my toast” . . . many of these claims arewild speculation over coincidences . . . Could [this evidence] have an innocent explanation? Sure, maybe. . . . some of the supposed “codewords” people have claimed to have identified in Pizzagate appear to be made up . . . Could all of this turn out to be nothing? Of course it could. . . . Have we identified [evidence of a high–level sex ring] here? Only time will tell. . . . Am I trying to make the argument that if one conspiracy theory is true, all the others must be, too? No . . .
Clearly, anyone who thinks my purpose in any of these essays has simply been to try to validate the truth of every conspiratorial speculation anyone has made around Pizzagate is not paying any attention to my actual words at all. They’ve completely missed the real point, and the problem is not that I haven’t expressed my argument clearly, because words can’t get much clearer than these.
However, I do want to dedicate this final entry to refining and adding bulk to a key step in the core of that argument: namely, the step that emphasizes that no matter how compelling any of the evidence that turns up in Pizzagate in particular may or may not be, we know that high-level sex abuse is in fact a thing that happens in the upper echelons of power, and we know that it gets covered up when it occurs, and we know that the media is often complicit in the cover-up as well. This is why I introduced my first entry to the series with a discussion of the Rotherham child abuse scandal, and the second entry to the series with a brief discussion of MK Ultra, a program that was publicly confirmed to have gone on for some twenty years and involved the highest halls of power subjecting innocent civilians and mentally disabled children to the worst kinds of psychological abuse and manipulation without consent before any public evidence ever even emerged. Part of the point in these examples is to demonstrate that the basic mistrust of our elitesthat people investigating Pizzagate are demonstrating is entirely justified by facts that are known.
Now, my other point in including these cases in the conversation is that there is a drasticdifference between someone who believes he has reason to think something has happened that is unprecedented—say, that there are aliens in Area 51—and someone who believes he has reason to think something has happened that we know for a fact has happened, and that we know for a fact continues to happen, where—if they had found evidence of it happening, it would indeed look very much like what they’ve found.
Imagine you are walking down the street in a quiet small town, and a stranger tells you that the way someone has his handkerchief stuffed into his pocket is a sign that he’s just killed someone. But you investigate that individual, and it turns out that he’s entirely clean and that the handkerchief has a perfectly innocent explanation. You might have valid grounds to infer that the accuser could just be a paranoid schizophrenic who sees demonic symbolism everywhere, even when none exists.
But if a detective is working in a gang-infested area, and he has identified people using handkerchiefs to signify that they’ve just killed members of rival gangs, and he tells you that he thinks the way a certain individual has a handkerchief stuffed in his pocket might be evidence he’s just killed someone, then even if you investigate that individual and he turns out to be innocent, it would not be legitimate to suspect the detective of insanity just because he got it wrong. In fact, the reasoning he followed would be entirely legitimate, even though he turned out to be wrong in this particular case.
Why? Because he would know that there are in fact gangs operating in this area, and he would know that they have in fact used handkerchiefs to signal their recent killings, and he would know that if indeed this were someone committing an act that he knows has occurred before and that he knows in fact continues to occur, then this is exactly what the evidence for it would look like.
The point of this analogy is not to say that everyone looking at Pizzagate is just like a detective—but it is to say that the upper levels of our government are a gang-infested area. And that is why I have entered the arena, not to say “Pizzagate is obviously real!!!” but to say “The people investigating Pizzagate do not deserve to be treated like kooks. They do not deserve to be called idiots or paranoid freaks. Because in fact even if they are wrong, the instincts they are demonstrating are clearly instincts our political situation calls for in general whether something is happening in this particular instance or not.”
If any compelling evidence were to come out of Pizzagate—and, as I have said in this series, I do think at least some of it is—who would catch on and express concern about it first? The record very clearly shows that it would not be the mainstream media. As the first article made a clear effort to point out, it was the far-Right blogosphere that caught wind of the Rotherham scandal well before the mainstream media did; and during his time at the BBC, Mark Thompson was credibly accused of lying to cover up evidence of the Jimmy Savile sex scandal. Jimmy Savile managed to abuse hundreds of young children, and associates and friends were accused of acting in complicity with the rapes and even sentenced for raping the very same victims. And that same Mark Thompson who helped cover up the Savile scandal now runs the New York Times which was so quick to dismiss Pizzagate in its entirety as a hoax as well.
Liberal feminists claim to be concerned about “rape culture” (on which, see my essay on “Diversity & The Rape of Justice”), yet we have actual hard solid evidence here of a “child rape culture” within the upper echelons of power—which targets young boys at least as often as young girls—and their voices can barely be heard, even as they heap scorn upon the “conspiracy theorists” in cases like this one. Yet, the evidence they want us to believe holds true for rape across society in general as a whole (where, generally, it doesn’t) actually does hold for child rape in positions of power.
In what follows, I’m simply going to give overviews of some known, documented cases of this in haphazard order. I’m going to set my search bar in the right direction, spend an hour or two compiling sources that stand out to me, and list everything I find simply from looking around for a few minutes. So this won’t even be anywhere near the most compelling research on the topic that I could do. The brevity of these research methods should only serve to highlight even more clearly how pervasive this problem really is, if I can find this much with so little effort. It also underscores the irresponsibility and dishonesty of the mainstream media, who either have not done even cursory investigation or are simply shills trying to cover up the truth.
The OIG conducted an investigation concerning allegations that an AUSA [Assistant United States Attorney under Eric Holder] was using his government computer to view inappropriate material on his government computer. The investigation determined that the AUSA routinely viewed adult content during official duty hours, and that there was at least one image of child pornography recovered on the AUSA’s government computer. The AUSA acknowledged that he had spent a significant amount of time each day viewing pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office [Eric Holder] declined prosecution.
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa sent a letter to Eric Holder asking why the lawyer was not punished, and why he remained on the taxpayer dime for at least two months after being caught. I was able to find a copy through the Internet Wayback machine.
In 2006, the DHS’s Department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ran an internationally cooperative investigation into the purchase of subscriptions of child pornography online. Code-named Project Flicker, the investigation uncovered the identities of 30,000 child porn subscribers in 132 different nations. Some 250 of these identities belonged to civilian and military employees of the U.S. Defense Department, who gave their real names and purchased the porn with government .mil email addresses—some with the highest security clearances available. In response, the Pentagon’s Department of Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) cross-referenced ICE’s list with current employment roles and began a series of prosecutions.
A DCIS report from July 2010 shows that 30 of these individuals were investigated, despite uncovering a new total of 264 Defense employees and contractors who had purchased child pornography online. 13 had Top Secret security clearance. 8 had NATO Secret security clearance. 42 had Secret security clearance. 4 had Interim Secret security clearance. A total of 76 individuals had Secret security clearance or higher.
Yet, the investigations were halted entirely after only some 50 total names were investigated at all, and just 10 were prosecuted. A full 212 of the individuals on ICE’s list were never even given the most cursory investigation at all. (Note: The number 5200 keeps popping up in sources covering this—for instance, see here—and I’m not sure what that number is for: American subscribers? Pentagon email addresses that weren’t confirmed to have actually been used by Pentagon employees, but still may have been? I’ll leave it to anyone interested enough to pursue these individual leads to see if they can figure that out and get back to us.)
In 2011, the story resurfaced when Anderson Cooper covered it with (again) Senator Chuck Grassley on CNN. After this, the story appears to have sunk straight back down into the memory hole yet again. Neither Anderson Cooper nor CNN appear to have given a follow–up in the five years since the story of the failed investigation first aired—why not? And why wasn’t the first airing enough to lead to mass outrage and calls for action anyway? See here for another summary of the squashed investigation from 2014.
Here’s a headline from The Washington Times dated June 29, 1989: “Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush.” From the article:
A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and U.S. and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington’s political elite, documents obtained by The Washington Times reveal. One of the ring’s high-profile clients was so well-connected, in fact, that he could arrange a middle-of-the-night tour of the White House for his friends on Sunday, July 3, of last year. Among the six persons on the extraordinary 1 a.m. tour were two male prostitutes.
In the infamous Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal in Britain, we now know that Savile’s coworkers at the BBC knew that Savile was committing many of his sexual offenses right on BBC campuses. Paul Gamboccini, who worked next door to him, said “The expression which I came to associate with Savile’s sex partners was . . . the now politically incorrect ‘under-age subnormals’. He targeted the institutionalized, the hospitalized – and this was known. Why did Jimmy Savile go to hospitals? That’s where the patients were.”
Yet, the BBC’s official statement was that there was “no evidence” of misconduct, and they even dismissed claims that there was a cover-up. But now that Savile’s offenses have been confirmed, we know that indeed there was.
Significantly, victims claimed that Savile was not just an isolated abuser, but part of an organized—and Satanically-themed—ring.
And victims in the Jerry Sandusky case also claimed that Sandusky was not just an isolated abuser, but part of an organized ring, as well.
Come to think of it, it does make sense that if there were rings operating, they would have reason to designate “fallboys” to take the blame if enough evidence of abuse ever began to emerge (or perhaps they would end up choosing their fallboys in the moment, for whatever reason, to the same effect).
Many people refer to the so–called “Satanic Panic” from the late 80’s and early 90’s to claim that the probability of hysteria around false allegations is more likely, and an even greater threat to society, than actual ritualized sexual abuse. However, this appears to be rather convenient for actual pedophiles—because according to Kenneth Lanning, an FBI expert on both cult crime and child abuse, often child sex offenders “introduce occult into the abuse so the kids won’t be believed . . . That is their M.O. (mode of operation) . . . People are getting away with molesting children because we can’t prove there are satanic devil worshippers eating people. Pretty soon it becomes unprosecutable.”
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation gained prominence thanks in large part to the “Satanic Panic” (it’s members were even involved in the legal defense of individuals accused during the Satanic Panic). In 1993 Ralph Underwager, a key member of its “scientific advisory board”, was forced to resign after making the following statement in an interview with Paidika: The Journal of Pedophilia:
What I have been struck by as I have come to know more about and understand people who choose paedophilia is that they let themselves be too much defined by other people. That is usually an essentially negative definition. Paedophiles spend a lot of time and energy defending their choice. I don’t think that a paedophile needs to do that. Paedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose. They can say that what they want is to find the best way to love. I am also a theologian and as a theologian, I believe it is God’s will that there be closeness and intimacy, unity of the flesh, between people. A paedophile can say: “This closeness is possible for me within the choices that I’ve made.”
Paedophiles are too defensive. They go around saying, “You people out there are saying that what I choose is bad, that it’s no good. You’re putting me in prison, you’re doing all these terrible things to me. I have to define my love as being in some way or other illicit.” What I think is that paedophiles can make the assertion that the pursuit of intimacy and love is what they choose. With boldness, they can say, “I believe this is in fact part of God’s will.” They have the right to make these statements for themselves as personal choices. Now whether or not they can persuade other people they are right is another matter. (laughs)
Jennifer Freyd, daughter of the foundation’s founder Peter Freyd, continues to maintain that she was sexually abused by him, and has even published works on the topic of memories of child abuse herself. While the FMSF maintains that a full 65% of allegations of abuse are unsubstantiated, other research reported, for instance, in the Harvard Mental Health Letter finds that false abuse allegations by children “are rare, in the range of 2-8% of reported cases. False retractions of true complaints are far more common, especially when the victim is not sufficiently protected after disclosure and therefore succumbs to intimidation by the perpetrator or other family members who feel that they must preserve secrecy.”
Throughout this series, I’ve mentioned the Franklin Scandal, at the center of which was Larry King—leader of the Black Republican Caucus, who sang the national anthem at the Republican convention in 1984, and worked heavily with a charity called Boys Town. I had planned to write a whole essay on this scandal, but having now read Nick Bryant’s book there is so much information that it’s hard to even fathom where to begin—and there’s a fine line between not giving enough compelling evidence and copying and pasting the entire book. So the best way to learn about this incident is to watch the Conspiracy of Silence documentary and then contact me at www.zombiemeditations.com if you need help obtaining a copy of Nick Bryant’s book.
The one most striking line of evidence in the case I will mention is this: the head of the investigative Franklin committee, Gary Carodori, was convinced that the victim’s allegations of rampant child abuse were true. You can see his interviews with the victims here. On the way to Chicago to reopen evidence, Carodori met an untimely death when his plane crashed, and his briefcase of evidence vanished without a trace. According to the Omaha World-Herald, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the “scattered wreckage pattern . . . certainly demonstrates that [the plane] did break up in flight,” which in other words means that it didn’t fall apart on impact because of a crash—the plane crashed because it fell apart.
“A small plane is the perfect thing to use to get at someone. . . . They tend to burn when they crash, and things get burned, destroyed, scattered. You don’t need a bomb. A fuel line could be tampered with. Any number of possibilities are there.”
. . . Scott Caradori of Ralston told the World-Herald that his brother was a careful flier of more than 15 years who would not take chances, especially with his son on board, and had never had a mishap.
John DeCamp is the man who appears along with the victims in the Conspiracy of Silence documentary. He’s the author of The Franklin Coverup, the most thorough book on the Franklin case to appear in print before Nick Bryant’s more recently published update. DeCamp is a former state Senator, listed as one of eight ‘outstanding’ Vietnam veterans (he helped Operation Baby Lift, which evacuated thousands of Vietnamese children from the war-torn area), and now in his work as a lawyer has, among other things, provided legal representation to the children in the Columbine shooting.
Though Jerry Sandusky’s criminal trial did not begin until 2012, John DeCamp began discussing how he was contacted by victims and was linking the figures involved in the Franklin case to the sex abuse happening at Penn State all the way back in 2004.
“I had done something back then [when I wrote the original book on Franklin] linking the football coach [Jerry Sandusky] with Franklin . . . [and] I got call after call after call from Pennsylvania . . .”
Speaking of Sandusky, few people are aware that Sandusky was actually first charged with sexual abuse of a minor all the way back in 1998. The Centre County’s District Attorney Ray Gricar at first refused to press charges. In 2005, Gricar disappeared under bizarre circumstances. “. . . After telling his girlfriend he was going for a drive . . . His body was never found, only his abandoned car and his laptop which had been tossed in the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania without its hard drive.”
Then there’s the Dutroux Affair—a perfect example of the capacity of high–level pedophiles to destroy investigations by placing the right people in the right positions of power to protect themselves. In Belgium, a nation of just 10 million people, 350,000 people took to the streets in an event known as the White March to protest the handling of the case (in other words, that’s approximately 1 out of every 30 citizens of Belgium, including the elderly and children). Around 1995, multiple young girls began disappearing around the municipality of Bertrix. Headway in the investigation was finally made when a white van was reported that the police were able to trace back to Marc Dutroux. Marc Dutroux was a previously convicted pedophile who was released after serving just a third of his sentence despite the fact that his own mother had testified to the parole board that he would unquestionably offend again. Though unemployed and receiving welfare, Dutroux was able to live quite lavishly thanks to selling children—he owned seven homes, and used four of them as bases for kidnappings.
But the most disturbing part of this case isn’t even the offenses—it’s how deliberately inept the prosecution was. Police not only investigated Dutroux repeatedly without pressing charges, they even reported hearing voices —and accepted Dutroux’s story that the voices came from the street outside. They ignored a tip from an informant claiming Dutroux offered him thousands of dollars to participate in a kidnapping. They even sat on a video tape showing Dutroux building a makeshift dungeon in his basement, and could have saved the lives of the two girls who were then being tortured there had they acted on it.
Once the case was transferred from police to the courts, the initiative of lead prosecutor Jean-Marc Conorrette led to the rescue of two girls and the discovery of four bodies. Conorrette was inexplicably dumped from the case, and later broke down in tears in court describing the constant death threats he received while still on the case. Obviously there were other interested parties, some at least with influence in the government.
When a parliamentary panel revealed the names of 30 government officials who were complicit in hiding the misdeeds, none were punished. Nine police officers were eventually detained, but though a full 100 people in government, finance, and the media were accused of involvement, no one other than Dutroux ever made it to jail. (Edit 6:40PM EST 12/24: A friend with connections to intelligence agencies sent me a message in response to this article to tell me that that this post is a solid summary of the amount of coverup involved in the Dutroux Affair, despite the overall conspiratorial leanings of the site itself. He also tells me that the case of Peter Scully is one that’s too little known that has well–documented evidence of institutional involvement and cover–up.)
In Italy, Alfredo Ormanni who led an investigation into child porn claimed that a “paedophile lobby that acts in broad daylight and probably with the support, which”—he politely added—he “could consider unwitting, of certain political parties” was actively disrupting the efforts of his investigation.
The severity of the trauma for children at the Presidio was immediately manifest in clear cut symptoms. Before the abuse was exposed, parents had already noticed the following changes in their children: vaginal discharge, genital soreness, rashes, fear of the dark, sleep disturbances, nightmares, sexually provocative language, and sexually inappropriate behavior. In addition, the children were exhibiting other radical changes in behavior, including temper outbursts, sudden mood shifts, and poor impulse control. All these behavioral symptoms are to be expected in preschool children who have been molested.
Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, who ended up at the center of the investigation, had previously appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss his views on Satanism (Aquino founded a group called The Temple of Set). Records showed that the children were taken on unannounced trips outside the center.
One child positively identified Aquino and his wife, Lilith (known to the kids as ‘Mikey’ and ‘Shamby’), and was also able to identify the Aquinos’ private home and to describe with considerable accuracy the distinctively satanic interior décor of the house. The young witness claimed to have been photographed at the Aquinos’ home. On August 14, 1987, a search warrant was served on the house. Confiscated in the raid were numerous videotapes, photographs, photo albums, photographic negatives, cassette tapes, and name and address books. Also observed was what appeared to be a soundproof room.
Perhaps uncoincidentally, Cathy O’Brien—who claims to have been a victim of MK Ultra programming as a child, and who I mentioned in the second entry to the series—also claims Aquino was involved in her brainwashing. I have no idea whether O’Brien is a credible witness or not. But her allegations do line up with a striking amount of consistency with other evidence. Given Aquino’s known involvement in mind control programs—here is the full text of his “From PSYOP to Mind War”—this isn’t inherently implausible.
Nonetheless, the case was “quietly closed” after suspected offenders, including Aquino, were simply moved to different facilities
And yet again, the leads in these supposedly separate cases come full circle: Michael Aquino was also linked to the kidnapping of Johnny Gosch in the case of the Franklin scandal (according to an interview with the boy’s mother, Noreen Gosch).
- In the UK, MP Tom Watson confronts PM Cameron in Parliament with evidence of an elite pedophile ring at high levels (Video of speech).
- British pedophile ring ‘protected by Parliament and Downing Street’ (Belfast Telegraph)
- Panic among UK leaders as high-level pedophile network is covered up: BBC Newsnight program suspended for naming senior Conservative pedophile (The Guardian)
- Wikileaks cables reveal DynCorp employees purchased child prostitutes in Afghanistan and the US State Department helped cover it up (Huffington Post)
- Savile ‘had accomplice who would supply girls to sex ring inside BBC’ (The Sun)
- Jimmy Savile is the Tip of the Iceberg (This one is a blog, but it references several worthwhile mainstream sources)
- France’s most notorious serial killer has claimed that he murdered at least one victim on the orders of highly placed personalities in Toulouse because of a blackmail threat linked to sadomasochistic orgies involving politicians, judges and police. (The Guardian)
- Tebbit hints at sex abuse cover-up as pressure over missing files intensifies (The Guardian)
- My Name Is Anneke Lucas and I Was a Sex Slave to Europe’s Elite at Age 6 (Global Citizen)
For more sources like these, there are collections here and here and here — I share these with the caveat, as always, that I don’t necessarily endorse everything there, but I have found plenty that is useful within them.
To repeat the conclusion I reached earlier: child sex abuse is, without question, a rampant, institutional, and high-level phenomena. It occurs on a large scale in the highest levels of power—in the fields of entertainment, government, and law enforcement—and members of these rings have been well-known to gain handles on the relevant positions of power to ensure their actions are successfully covered up. Whether anything unique or original comes out of Pizzagate or not, then, my take is that the basic spirit of concern and distrust towards the elite halls of power that Pizzagaters have demonstrated is their general disposition is still far closer to the spirit of the truth than the basic attitude of dismissiveness that such a thing could even occur being demonstrated by those who find it too quick and easy to dismiss all of Pizzagate in its entirety as nothing more than a hoax—and I would stand by this statement even if it turned out that the latter were right.
Given that we know how rampant the problem of institutionalized child sex abuse in upper levels of power really is, with mounds of unquestioned public evidence stretching back decades across the world, the amount of evidence it takes to justify suspicion of people in positions of power drops.
But some question whether it is even appropriate to use words like “evidence” when speaking of cases like these in reference to Pizzagate. The answer is yes. Logicians call cases like this “background evidence,” which means facts that raise the prior probability that a thing being alleged could happen, by showing that it does happen, and therefore increasing the plausibility—to whatever extent—that it could have happened in this particular case. If things like Pizzagate have already happened, then Pizzagate is at least possibly true as well. If something is actual, that proves that things like it are possible and thus cannot be simply dismissed as impossible or implausible.
It is important to understand that “evidence” is not the same thing as “proof.” For example, if we know that a man molested every child he had prior to this one, that doesn’t prove that he molested this one. But we would absolutely be interested in knowing that in a court of law, and specifically it would count as “background evidence” that raises the prior probability that the claim that he molested this child could be true.
To continue the example, here’s what background evidence does: if we know the man has molested all of his previous children, then we are justified to give increased weight to whatever direct evidence exists indicating he may have molested this one. If we know the man has never molested a previous child, then we are justified to give less weight to whatever direct evidence exists indicating he may have molested this one.
On the other hand, if we knew the child had a history of lying for various reasons, that wouldn’t prove they were lying for those reasons this time too, but it would count as “background evidence”: relatively speaking, it would cause us to give less evidentiary weight to the child’s statements alone, if those were all we had as evidence.
If the father also molested every child he had previously, those two pieces of background evidence might basically cancel out. But if we knew the father had never molested any previous child (background evidence), and we knew the child had a strong history of lying about similar claims (background evidence), then the two facts put together would suddenly become enough to make a pretty compelling legal argument all by themselves, even though they have nothing to do with the specific facts at stake in this specific case, and they do nothing to deductively refute whatever claims against the father the child might have made.
In the real world, we often don’t have access to the kind of information we would need to deductively prove or refute things one way or another, so background evidence is sometimes the only evidence we have to go on, and it is in fact defined as a form of evidence (again, in court, if you knew that the child had previously made very similar lies and that the father had never molested a previous child, you would submit that information to the court “as evidence”).
So, whether or not we know high-level sex rings exist, and whether or now we know that they get covered up, influences how we ought to evaluate the evidentiary relevance of things we do or do not know when it comes to Pizzagate in particular. You might find similarities between the way people respond, or in the particular people taking the effort to respond, to Pizzagate and the way coverups of other cases took place.
For instance, if someone we now know was very active in denying allegations about a case that later turned out to be true is doing the same in Pizzagate (and for instance, Mark Thompson of the BBC was credibly accused of helping cover up the Savile scandal, and now runs the NYT), then we have evidence in the form of recognizing that what’s in front of us fits a certain pattern. Previous cases establish the “patterns” that take place when one thing or another happen, and therefore influence how we ought to interpret the patterns we see in front of us in a given case. If the patterns start to match, then that qualifies as evidence.
So, do high-level sex trafficking rings or organized forms of pedophilia exist in upper levels of government? How prevalent does it appear to be? As best we can tell, how many of them are there? How do things tend to go at first when they’re exposed? Can we confirm with prior evidence that they can be and are successfully covered up? All of this directly influences the likelihood that Pizzagate could be on to something. The more prevalent these things are, the less overwhelming the direct evidence needs to be to justify concern. The less prevalent they are, the more overwhelming it needs to be. Just like the history of how many previous children a man has molested influences how we evaluate the evidence at play when someone claims he’s molesting this one: if he’s never done anything of the sort, you’re going to need a lot of evidence before you take the accusation seriously. If you know that he’s even had a history of glancing at child porn, the more of that kind of background evidence you get, the less direct evidence you need to say that the accusation that he molested this child should be taken seriously.
Thus, to close, there are two responses we could take to someone who has latched on to a particular claim involving child sex abuse that turns out not to be accurate: First, we can call them paranoid idiots and move on with our day, conveniently forgetting about all of the rampant evil that does in fact exist, comforted by the fact that we could shut someone up for making us feel uncomfortable—because, after all, it turns out they actually were wrong about this particular claim. This appears to be the standard mainstream approach. Second, we can appreciate the basic human concern that motivates their interest in the subject and point them in the direction of better evidence for the very thing they’re ultimately concerned about, because the basic thing they are concerned about—institutionalized child sex abuse in upper reaches of power—absolutely is, in fact, real, whether they have the exact details right or not.
The dry intelligence of skeptics is utterly and entirely useless if it isn’t paired with a natural human drive to care. But the passion of the concerned just might be invaluable if only it can be paired with a more accurate picture of the facts. And this is the basic reason why some people have misread the intentions behind this series, even despite the clarity of my direct words stating that—again:
The evidence [in Pizzagate] is of wildly varying levels of quality . . . [and much of it is] the pareidolia of “Jesus is appearing to me in my toast” . . . many of these claims are wild speculation over coincidences . . . Could [this evidence] have an innocent explanation? Sure, maybe. . . . some of the supposed “codewords” people have claimed to have identified in Pizzagate appear to be made up . . . Could all of this turn out to be nothing? Of course it could. . . . Have we identified [evidence of a high–level sex ring] here? Only time will tell. . . . Am I trying to make the argument that if one conspiracy theory is true, all the others must be, too? No . . .
I have found it less important to address myself in tone to the dry intelligence of dispassionate skeptics than to the passion of the concerned, because theirs is the only energy that even expresses the desire to do something about what is, one way or another, a real, serious, and massive problem. Only for those who have it within them by nature to recognize that there are problems, untrustworthy elites, and a need to take some kind of action is there any purpose in discussing where to aim.