Today, yet another news story portrayed the Mandela Effect as a conspiracy. (And – until they corrected their mistake – made it seem like one of my videos said things about Georgia O’Keeffe that I’ve never said.)
I’m about to rant, and I’ve said a lot of this before but, apparently, either people don’t know me, don’t listen to me, or what I say doesn’t convey well in text.
Here’s the recording of this article, and yes, it’s says “ghost hunting podcast” when it’s not, but it’s a busy day and I want to clarify this point as quickly as possible… so here it is.
In this four-minute podcast, Fiona replies to recent articles claiming the Mandela Effect is a conspiracy theory. And yes, it’s a rant, and it has nothing to do with ghost hunting. (Sorry about that.)
From the very beginning, back in 2009, I’ve tried to make it clear that – in my opinion – the Mandela Effect is not a conspiracy.
It’s something quirky. It’s a little bit sci-fi. Mostly, it’s baffling.
I believe that people’s alternate memories can be explained in a variety of ways. I’ve talked about that many times in the past, but if you’re new to the Mandela Effect, the top three on the list are:
- News reporting errors
- Simple mistakes
- And – for fun – perhaps parallel realities, which is where this wanders into sci-fi.
The Oxford Dictionary tells me that a conspiracy is “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.”
I had never taken seriously the idea that the Mandela Effect is part of a secret plan by anyone.
In addition, I don’t see how it’s unlawful.
The only harm could come from people who take it too seriously, or become unreasonably introspective, questioning all of their memories. When the latter happens, I always encourage people to speak with a professional in memory studies or the mental health field.
Back in 2009, when our conversations about the Mandala Effect started, the topic was fun. There was a lot of “wow, this is pretty weird,” when total strangers seemed to share almost identical memories that did not fit recorded history.
I’m sorry that whimsy does not convey well in text.
After a few years, the Mandela Effect went viral. I couldn’t keep up with all of the reports, pranks, spoofs, and trolling. (The latter is a side of the Internet that I find deeply disappointing, but I guess that’s human nature.)
A few years ago, I stepped back from the Mandela Effect website. Oh, it’s still online, most of the time. But there wasn’t a lot more that I could say.
The topic was in the wild, and others seem to be having fun with that – or not -and that was out of my control.
At this point, I’m having difficulty keeping the original Mandela Effect site online. Traffic spikes would require a level of website hosting at a cost that I just can’t justify.
Besides, plenty of other websites now document every possible addition to the Mandela Effect, and they seem to be having fun doing so.
Yes, people have suggested that I could put advertising on the site, but I find that abhorrent. I will not commercialize the Mandela Effect with jarring advertisements that have nothing to do with the topic and serve only to annoy website visitors.
So, I’ll admit that I’m a little bit irked when I’m misrepresented, and people are sent to the Mandela Effect website expecting some juicy conspiracies.
Instead, visitors will find about 8 – 10 years of light banter and whimsical speculation… and the occasional stunned visitor who stumbles onto a lot of memories he (or she) is now questioning.
Oh, I take people’s memories seriously. I never want it to seem as if I’m laughing up my sleeve when people report sincere alternative memories, and their theories about the Mandela Effect. I’m always interested in a fresh viewpoint on the subject.
But I do want made it clear that, from the very beginning, I have rejected conspiracy theories. I don’t believe that there is one unified explanation for the Mandela Effect.
And I certainly don’t think it is evidence of a secret plan by a group to do something harmful. In my opinion, it is not a conspiracy.
I hope that answers people’s questions, and I really hope journalists stop trying to turn the Mandela Effect into something sinister, when it all started out as a fun, engaging conversation… and a bit of a mystery.