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Byron Shire
June 20, 2021

Bias confirmed

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Richard Hil, Former Convenor, Ngara

‘Turning Points Talks’ is the new Mullumbimby Politics in the Pub. It’s important to note that this has nothing to do with the previous iteration, organised by the Ngara Institute.

While public presentations are a vital tool for communicating ideas and engaging people in meaningful dialogue, and arriving at deeper truths, they need to be carefully thought through. They need to be more than bias confirmation within an existing echo-chamber.

It is therefore very concerning to witness the current Turning Point Talks platform being used to ventilate a number of highly questionable conspiracy theories. The next speaker, Max Igan, is well known for weaving together all manner of such theories that end up proposing a sinister takeover of the planet by various nefarious entities. The warnings are dire, the outlook dystopian, and the evidence and attributions never less than vague. This is a patchwork narrative sown together largely by circumstantial evidence and perverse reasoning. Igan’s website also includes links to notorious racist and fascist (anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying) organisations. Why then offer him a platform? What kind of ‘turning points’ are we considering here?

Surely the important thing now at a time of ‘post-truth’ and ‘fake news’ relativism is to try and sort out how we can make sense of anything, given the tsunami of information that confronts us. Reverting to obscurantist thinking that flies in the face of reason is the last thing we need. It’s also worrying that many of the conspiracy theories aired by so-called progressives in Mullumbimby and elsewhere are also peddled by the likes of Donald Trump et al – and look where that ends up!

May I suggest that it might be more helpful to invite speakers who can actively contribute to building a global justice movement capable of creating a new order rather than an impenetrable pea-soup fog?

For a more detailed commentary on ‘con theorising’, see: Conspiracy Theories – The Big Con.

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