25/9/2008

Alberto Rivera and Unassailable Claims

Filed under: — Bravus @ 7:34 am

Alberto Rivera is a guy who came out in the 70s – initially in the (in)famous Jack Chick Christian comics – and claimed that he had been a Jesuit priest (sometimes upgraded to bishop) specifically tasked with infiltrating and destroying Protestant churches. His ‘testimony’ sparked quite the panic among evangelicals, some of whom started finding a Jesuit behind every bush.

This article looks at Rivera’s life and claims: http://web.archive.org/web/20051202084221/http://www.cornerstonemag.com/pages/show_page.asp?228

The part of it that I find most interesting is that Rivera simply claims that (a) anything illegal or immoral he did was done at the order of the Jesuits and (b) any apparent negative information about him is false evidence planted by the Jesuits.

It’s a perfectly closed system, in the sense that from his perspective there is no possible evidence that can disprove his claims, since his claims subsume such evidence and explain it away within the terms of the system.

This is a feature it shares with most conspiracy theories, from the more extreme forms of climate change ‘skepticism’ to World Trade Towers Building 7. Any evidence that apparently invalidates the conspiracy is explained as having been planted by the conspirators. For a believer, such a system is unassailable.

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