I think there are 2 things to do. I like following the French model, though the French are smaller & more absolutist, so an action like that may not completely fly, for a number of reasons...
I suggest this second way:
Keeping track of when the local meetings are. Posting anti LM (etc) links on community web pages (craigslist, myspace, etc) the week leading UP to any meeting, before the new recruits are taken in and preogrammed...
This may mean posting every week... whatever...
I think one of the best links to post is one that explains that once you make an emotional decision about something (such as what LM strives to do), it's difficult to revise your beliefs later, even when true facts are presented that totally refute your (false, emotional) belief. Here are two links re that:
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Illusory causation is a term that came up on NPR news this morning, and it caught my ear as something worth discussing in detail. Illusory causation is probably the root of belief in a lot of worthless alternative medicine products that you can find on the market today.
Illusory causation occurs when someone attributes a specific event to the wrong cause. In the story on NPR, for example, they explained how many people credit the herb echinacea with curing their colds. They believe the herb cured their condition because they started taking it when their cold symptoms started, and the symptoms went away soon afterward. However, three separate clinical trials have shown that echinacea doesn't make a cold go away any faster. The echinacea users believe that the cause of their relief is the herb, when the true cause is simply the human immune system, which can usually eliminate cold viruses given a little time. The belief in echinacea is an illusion, but the users want to believe it, and repeated association of echinacea with cold relief simply reinforces the illusion. They build up strong personal, anecdotal evidence for their beliefs.
Illusory causation can be attributed to numerous alternative medicines. Homeopathic remedies like Similisan are obvious candidates. As I noted in my previous article, Similisan makes a remedy for pink eye. Pink eye can have at least three causes, one of which is a virus. The human immune system will defeat viral pink eye after a few weeks, much as it will defeat the common cold. A person who uses Similisan during that time might easily assume that the homeopathic product cured the condition, when it really did nothing at all. Such a person would see Similisan as the illusory cause of his or her relief.
But as I said, pink eye can have more than one cause. There is also a bacterial form of pink eye, and this form doesn't easily go away on its own. Those who contract bacterial pink eye often need antibiotic eyedrops to cure the disease, and Similisan won't do a thing to help it. That's why Similisan has a disclaimer telling users to see a doctor if their symptoms don't improve within a few days (the time it normally takes for viral pink eye to start going away).
It's easy to believe in illusions and false causes, but they won't help you in a real emergency. Evidence-based medicine doesn't offer a cure for everything, but at least you can feel secure in the knowledge that evidence-based medical treatments really will deliver the effects that they claim to have.
Illusory causation (a type of superstition) and ingroup bias:
The best example of Ingroup Bias deals with something that took place years ago. In fifth grade, a few girlfriends and I established The Bra Club. This club was exclusive to those girls who had already received their first bra. We planned all sorts of recess activities for our members. It was amazing (looking back) how quickly we all identified with the group. The boundaries setup extremely fast. ** You were in or out no -- in between.**
<<We in the bra club began to see those without a bra as something less than us.>> We also attributed non-related things, like saying something stupid to not having a bra. This ** illusion of causation** became quite a habit. "Look she tripped. Oh, that's cause she doesn't have a bra."
Stereotypes were also set up within the group. We associated the non-bras to things such as unintelligent, strange, clumsy, etc. At that time, the bra club also fell victim to false consensus. We thought that everybody thought that having a bra was the thing that made the world spin! Needless to say, my chapter of the bra club is now defunct. I'm sure somewhere the bra club exists and they are victimizing that poor non-bra, outgroup as we did!
I went to an afternoon meeting with dinner after. When we arrived, name tags were given out. Some people had green dots by their names, but some had red dots. No one could really figure out why one had any particular color over the other. When we finally sat down to dinner it became clear that the dot signified your meal choice (pre-selected). It was interesting how the 10 tables of people (12 per table) had literally grouped themselves by color code. For instance our table had only one green tag meaning that person had ordered prime rib rather than orange roughy. Before all were served and knew the color reasons, one person at our table even joked to Larry calling him our "token green," so obviously we somehow gave ourselves some identity via the codes. It was also interesting that as dinner went on most of us finally had to admit that we were just conforming to the perceived norm of "healthy eating" with the fish and Larry's prime rib really did look much better to us. We had not chosen what we wanted but what we thought we should want to eat at a company function.
Also, I suggest posting links to soem of rick ross's pages, but don't overwhelm... try various ones in rotatin, and see what sorts of responses come in... and I would suggest staying anonymous, since they DO attack anyone who criticizes LM / etc...