[Editor’s Note: AnonyMaker spends it seems considerable time evaluating the Jeffrey Epstein matter with an attention to logic and a focus on debunking hastily concluded conspiracy theories. I appreciate his efforts.]
Checking into latest developments in the Epstein case, there doesn’t seem to be anything significant except that another prestigious Boston-area school is now enmeshed in the donations controversy, and another of his odd supporters or apologists has come forward:
Harvard Reviewing Nearly $9 Million In Donations From Epstein
Famed Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Described Epstein Victims As ‘Entirely Willing’
MIT required that Epstein’s gifts to her lab be kept confidential, “so as to not enhance his reputation by association with MIT, and with the understanding that he would not be considered a sponsor of our group’s research or have any involvement in how the funds were spent.”’
My guess is that Epstein touted those supposedly “confidential” gifts to friends and acquaintances, in an effort to trade on them as social capital in what seems to have been his prime modus operandi, worming his way into circles of the ultra-wealthy and influential through often misrepresented credentials and accomplishments.
It probably got presented to Bill Gates, for instance, that Epstein was a behind-the-scenes major donor to MIT, framing it as that he was admirably publicity-adverse rather than that institutions dared not speak his name (MIT referred to him as “Voldemort”). It occurs to me that it also would have put him in a position where ultimately he could have claimed public credit for his net donations if it suited his purposes, and MIT would have had to just stand by.
That graphic sensationally titled “EPSTEIN GURNEY PHOTOS FAKED” is another example of shoddy, easily deconstructed conspiracy theorizing.
If you get into Google Street View for New York Downtown Hospital, now Lower Manhattan Hospital – New York Presbyterian, for the address that translates to their emergency receiving dock, 69 Gold St, New York, it’s easy to verify that is in fact the location – it’s a dirty mess, with a bunch of orange gurneys against the wall to the right of the door, and the blue “Restricted Access” signs (which at the bottom say “use Gold St. entrance” – another missed clue).
So whoever took the time to put together that graphic, didn’t bother to check Google Maps, or cross-reference the street references on the two big signs visible. Stupidity, delusion, or calculated disinformation? Maybe that’s what needs to be investigated, who is making up and spreading stuff like that, and why.
The assumption that an outside emergency room wall couldn’t be dirty, and therefore that proves something is wrong with the photograph, is an error of thinking and analysis typical to conspiracy theories, a version of the the Divine Fallacy, that involves arguing for a conclusion on the grounds that it is somehow unimaginable for it not to be otherwise (often tied to the presumption that the world is always neat and orderly, and if not that is necessarily a sign of something sinister at work):
“Because you found something difficult to understand, or are unaware of how it works, you made out like it’s probably not true.”
The assumption that emergency vehicles wouldn’t be prohibited from idling outside an emergency room – particularly when it’s in a sort of enclosed bay where exhaust fumes could accumulate dangerously, as is the case at NYP – is similar:
Idling of Emergency Vehicles
“The New York State and New York City laws limit the amount of time a truck or bus may idle….
Unless in emergency operation, ambulances and first response vehicles ARE NOT exempt from the provisions of these environment conservation laws.”
That’s also in part a form of the fallacy of jumping to conclusions, or hasty conclusions, without taking adequate time to reason, research or verify.
AnonyMaker refers to logic and the fallacy of making a hasty conclusion. Without presuming to teach any of our distinguished readers, of which I believe there are many, here is is a handy definition:
Also known as: argument from small numbers, statistics of small numbers, insufficient statistics, argument by generalization, faulty generalization, hasty induction, inductive generalization, insufficient sample, lonely fact fallacy, over generality, overgeneralization, unrepresentative sample) Description: Drawing a conclusion based on a small sample size, rather than looking at statistics that are much more in line with the typical or average situation.
I think AnonyMaker makes a good point about the emergency area of the hospital where Epstein was purportedly taken – and that logically we cannot conclude that the emergency scene was staged based on the evidence we have. [It might have been staged.]
Neither can we conclude that Epstein is definitely deceased – or that if he dead – that his death was by his own hand.
Until we have more evidence [which we may not ever have] we will have to doubt – both the conspiracy theories – and the government official version. That’s simply the logical thing to do.
I still think it is good to air these various views – if for no other reason than it likely helps some of us to realize that we live in a world of doubt – and that doubting may actually be a good thing and a healthy thing.
I think it is good to doubt conspiracy theories – but it is also good to listen to them and ask “Could it be true?”
I also think it is healthy to doubt what the government tells us. I think we should ask ourselves “Could the government lie to the governed?”
What might be their motive?
Of course I am coming from an ideology that asserts “it is better that the government fear the people than vice versa.” There seem to be many who believe the opposite.
Many thanks to AnonyMaker for sticking with logic.
Great collaborative article. I enjoyed it!
Parlato you are being played by this guy. He is not an expert on anything. He has an agenda. Too wrapped up in defending a lie.
“Neither can we conclude that Epstein is definitely deceased – or that if he dead – that his death was by his own hand.”
We have conclusive evidence that Epstein is dead: the coroner’s report. Doubting this fact involves constructing an elaborate conspiracy theory– based purely on speculation– involving multiple government agencies from Federal to local working smoothly together to pull the wool over the eyes of “the people”.
Of course, one is free to doubt away. Doubt that Apollo 11 landed on the moon, doubt that the world is round. All it involves is replacing multiple lines of evidence with personal speculation. All it involves is an overwhelming conviction that “They” are out to get us, that anything official is a lie.
It’s fine to doubt. I’m a proud skeptic myself. Mistakes do get made, and the official line sometimes turns out to be untrue (Saddam’s ephemeral weapons of mass destruction being a perfect example). There are people out there who would like to fool us for their own advantage (Raniere).
But there comes a time when refusing to accept evidence makes one look like a stubborn fool.
I see nothing convincing about any of these Epstein conspiracy theories. There’s not a shred of evidence for any of them. They’re based on the fallacy of personal incredulity (“isn’t it funny that…”) They are incoherent; these multiple “theories” contradict each other. They make no sense.
Let’s examine them. Supposedly, anonymous persons in positions of power had Epstein killed to shut him up. Or no, they didn’t have him killed, they smuggled him off to Israel. No, they switched bodies and planted fake pictures to cover up the crime. And on and on.
So, which is it? It’s not enough to have conspiracy theories, you’ve go to pick one and show how it makes more sense than the official account. Or does it even matter? Conspiracy theories seem to be mainly about paranoid distrust of “Them”, anti-gov’mint rage, and the sweet sense of being wiser than everyone else in having hermeneutic knowledge of the Real Truth.
These are the people who believe in chemtrails and don’t accept Evolution. These are the people who join cults. Might as well insist that Raniere is innocent. After all, his conviction is just the “official story”, and therefore dubious. Right?
Common sense tells me that it’s far more likely that the Epstein story is a simple one of a rich and unethical man who had a taste for young women, who egotistically thought he could get away with fooling around with jailbait, whose luck ran out, he got caught, prosecuted, and as is not uncommon killed himself rather than face spending the rest of his life in prison as a convicted child molester. Far more likely than any of the conspiracy theories.
Theories that run something like this: very powerful people wanted to get rid of Epstein to silence him. This secretive cabal runs the government(s) — everything from the CIA down the the NYC coroners office. Even the Israeli Mossad. The local police to the federal court system. Somehow, they coordinate it all. These very clever people snuffed one man… how? Stage a simple accident? No. First they had him arrested, charged with headline-grabbing offenses that extended to political scandal re. his prior conviction. After leaving that story to entertain the nation and indeed the entire world (the British royal family being involved), only then do they have him killed in his jail cell.
All very covert, no? I mean, if I were one of this secret all-powerful cabal, that’s how I’d arrange things. Much better than putting a bullet in the man’s head and burying the body in a ten foot deep hole.
No, these conspiracy theories involving Epstein are absurd. Look at how Epstein died, and compare it to how Jimmy Hoffa disappeared. When powerful, ruthless men want someone gone, they’d do it the way the mafia erased Hoffa. Even clumsy third world brutal “intelligence officers” know how to disappear someone.
Frank, thanks for featuring those comments.
I suppose I could say, being a centrist, that I think that government and the people should be sort of deadlocked – and I think that is in line with the thoughts of the Founders, particularly as elucidated in the Federalist Papers. It is good for people to question and even challenge, but such also needs to be done effectively.
We need to question the conspiracy theories, too, especially now that we know that state actors and proxies are even exploiting them as part of disinformation warfare.
No event is the subject of more conspiracy theories than the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
And for good reason.
The Warren Commission was more interested in covering up the truth about the events surrounding this crime than discovering the truth.
The Warren Commission even claimed that Oswald’s assassin Jack Ruby had no ties to organized crime.
Ruby spent his whole life in organized crime and most of his friends and associates were involved in organized crime.
One of the wildest conspiracy theories was that Lee Harvey Oswald was not killed in the basement of the Dallas Police Station.
It took the exhumation of Oswald’s grave and a DNA test to prove that Oswald was indeed buried in that grave.
The existence of wild conspiracy theories is the fault of a government that often has its own agenda.
That said I accept that Epstein is dead.
But there are still many unanswered questions about how he died:
Did Epstein die of his own hand?
Did someone help Epstein commit suicide?
Why were security protocols in the MCC violated?
Why was there not more supervision over Epstein seeing as there was a mysterious incident only a few weeks before?
Seeing as Epstein was associated with two American Presidents, (Clinton and Trump) why wasn’t there more supervision over him?
Why were the security cameras not functioning in a two hour window while Epstein committed suicide?
If the government offended by so many people doubting the official narrative, the government has no one to blame but itself.