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  • Reverend James Squire

Taylor Swift


(Full disclosure) I have never listened to any of Taylor Swift’s songs. I also did not follow her Eras Tour. I do know that she was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and is one of the richest people alive who has made it based on her gifts of song from very early in her life. Although some on the conservative side of the ball said she had a lot of help. She didn’t! They are also frustrated because she seems to have issues that any normal person has. She doesn’t have any scandals associated with her.


I also know that she is not a deep state government agent who is dating Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs who has been receiving recognition for playing at a high level. This is where parents’ ethical counsel comes in as we have been bombarded by many conspiracy theories questioning her relationship with Kelce as a front for a deep state movement that would like to see Joe Biden be the next President. Somehow these conspiracy theorists either never received or ignored that great ethical maxim delivered by parents that “if you don’t have something nice to say about a person, don’t say anything.” It’s the parent version of the golden rule which is found in all cultures around the world. “Do unto others what you would want others to do unto you.”


I have attached two articles and a video including the most famous conspiracy in modern times which is the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  However, it is clear that there are certain pieces of scholarship that relate to our current dilemma. Conspiracy theories help powerless people defend themselves against the powerful. Conspiracy theories are believed so that they can make the unbelievable to be believable to fit their personal narrative. “I will be your revenge. No one cares for you more than I do. I will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it. I will protect you for from the danger of migrants.”


One of the best examples of how conspiracy theories flourish can be found as well at the individual level, one from counseling and another from gossip.


When I have a person in therapy, I pay attention to something called “injustice collections.”

This is a trait that all human beings have. This is when at some point in the counseling the client will begin to focus on the negative examples that are in their life which is normal. But people are like radio stations. What often occurs is that their antennae are out to just hear the negative rather than the positive. There is no balance in their perspective.


The other part of human nature is that we tend to like gossip for a number of reasons but usually it creates a bond with the person or persons sharing the gossip. We have a feeling of belonging which is very powerful. We can feel superior to the person who is the object of the gossip. We also get a vicarious boost in our self-esteem. This also creates confirmation bias which is at the heart of conspiracy theories and gossip where we feel validated by others for our thoughts or feelings. “I am not alone in this belief,” says the psyche. It is very powerful when two things, a sense of belonging and a boost in our self-esteem, come from one gesture. We remember how it feels and we continue to look for that feeling and gravitate to others with the same thoughts and feelings. It is like encountering a by one get one free in the grocery store.


When you live in a school community, you can see conspiracy theory known as gossip, for that is what gossip is. It is a form of conspiracy theory. I often indicated to people at EA that “you should only be sharing with others what is going to be helpful to the person who you are discussing.” That should be everyone’s guideline. I felt strongly about this because I also said that a good many of my problems that I handled would be reduced significantly if there was no gossip in our community. I also said, “You could drop a penny on one side of the school campus and people on the other side could hear it hit the ground.” I tried to model the importance of the harm gossip does, but I fell short of the standard myself. Gossip is like a hissing snake you can remember by the sound of two (s).


But there is a childhood game that can explain the spread of conspiracy theories as well. Remember when you played “whisper down the alley.” There was a kernel of truth that whispered in one person’s ear and as it was passed down the row, that kernel of truth became “alternative facts” although we didn’t express it that way.


The bigger the lie, the bigger the conspiracy theory would be. It shouldn’t surprise us that Trump’s Big Lie gave birth to conspiracy theories and belief by many people when the lie was proven wrong.


Conspiracy theories thrive when we don’t trust significant institutions in our lives. That is the water in which the fish of deception swim.


There is one more thing, Trevor Hughes wrote in USA Today on February 1. “Having the nerve to warn a younger woman, who is so much more rich and powerful than you are, that she needs to “think twice” about making a personal endorsement of Biden, is peak 2016 White Male Privilege.”


Miranda Findlay, a PH.D. candidate in women, gender, and sexuality studies at Oregon State said that it goes to this idea that “if the men are not enjoying something, it’s probably not worth enjoying.” This is why the anti-diversity, inclusion, and equity people go crazy because those programs are like holding a mirror in front of their faces of bias to see their prejudgments of others and do not honor equal justice actions which are a pillar of ethics.


Swift could fill a football stadium many times over with her fans. Trump’s focus on crowd size must have him shaking in his shoes as well as a lot of white supremacists.



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