So far my favourite video from Peter Hadfield. I liked that he categorised a whole range of unfounded conspiracies – including fluoridation. It’s enough, as he notes, to simply ask questions (typically ignorant of the topic at hand) to then jump to the conclusion that something is wrong and give birth to a conspiracy theory.
Merilyn Haines in her interview on “Fire Water” provides an excellent example of this: “What is it doing in the rest of the body?”
Merilyn would have the viewer believe this hasn’t been tested, when in fact, it has, but until such testing confirms a conclusion she feels is right, then all scientific literature to the contrary can be ignored (as Hadfield notes, if evidence doesn’t back up the conspiracy claim, it’s “in on the conspiracy”).
Unlike the bulk of conspiracy theories, fluoridation intrigues me because it is the only one that the true believers cannot provide a hard hitting motivator. They call it “marketing”, however, compared to industries known to deliberately undermined science, fossil fuels and tobacco, fluoridation is barely even loose change. WHO take its cheapness, alongside its effectiveness, as a benefit.
At one time, a naive audience may have gone as far as taken fluoridation as mind control, as appeared in sci-fi literature of the Cold War era… at least that would be interesting if it was the claim, if not completely bonkers. Yet it remains; fluoridation occurs and the anti-fluoride movement cannot give a coherent motivator for the root of this “conspiracy”. And so, even for a conspiracy theory, it is one of the weirder ones.