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The Fallacy of Belief Revisited

 -- Published: Monday, 28 November 2016 | Print  | Disqus 

Presented at the Capitalism and Morality Symposium, Vancouver, B.C., July 2016

November 28, 2016


By Mickey Fulp


For as long as I can remember (and I have a very good memory), it started with Santa Claus and it will never end until the day I die: Somehow someone somewhere in some position of authority is telling me to believe in this, that, or the other.


I hate the word “belief”. I cringe when someone says, “I believe”, or “I’m a believer in…”, or “It is my belief”.


Yada, yada, yada …blah, blah, blah.


My favorite American author, Mark Twain, hated the concept, too. He said: “Faith is believin’ what you know ain’t so.


Personally, I refuse to use both the verb and the noun in their various forms. They are never parts of my vocabulary.


To the faith and belief mongers I pose this question:


What in American culture demands that our parents, our teachers, and the politicians who become our “leaders” constantly and continuously invent mythical creatures and promulgate outright lies to us, those who they obviously view as their serfs, subordinates, underlings, and minions?


At one time or another in our lives, the authority figures have tried to make us believe in the following:


Santa Claus; the Easter Bunny; the Tooth Fairy; a monotheistic God; the Russians are coming; we are winning the war that Obama is waging to make peace; gold is going to $4000; and the Boogie-Man is going to get us if we don’t get him first.


With that as introduction, I will now examine each blatant falsehood in detail:



Belief #1:  Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.


My rebellion against belief (and authority) started at age six when I was eavesdropping from the bedroom hallway into the living room. I overheard my mother tell her friend about hiding the candy that the “Easter Bunny” had brought for my brother and me.


I had already figured out that the “Tooth Fairy” who exchanged a tooth under your pillow for a shiny Mercury dime was bogus. I didn’t tell my mom because I wanted to get more silver dimes. Now I own about 20,000 of them (in two bags of junk silver).


I didn’t really give a rat’s ass for a stuffed rabbit, bright yellow baby chickens, hardboiled eggs colored with red dye #40, and those egg- and bunny-shaped candies made out of bad chocolate.


But it got me thinking…If the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny were fakes made up by my parents, then where did “Santa Claus” fit into this new world of non-make-believe?


Now all of a sudden we were talking about real serious stuff:


For chris’-sakes, this was the jolly old St. Nick who zipped around the world on Xmas Eve in an airborne sled with flying reindeer, climbed down our six inch-wide chimney complete with gas flame and fake log, and ate the hot cookies and cold milk my brother and I left out for him while we slept. That good ol’ bewhiskered fat guy delivered plastic pearl-handled cap guns, bows with rubber tipped arrows, three-inch tall, green plastic Army men complete with one shooting a big bazooka, and bright red shiny Schwinn bicycles.


Unholy moly! Was Santa Claus my parents, too? If I couldn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore, then what was left to believe in? Was my bounty of toys on Xmas mornings going to up and disappear?


Never one to beat around the bush, I asked directly and to my parents credit, I was told directly: The Santa who rode a mile down Broadway in a red fire engine at the annual Xmas parade was really just the big fat Buick dealer who lived in a ritzy neighborhood on the other side of town.


My brother, five at the time, cried for an entire afternoon when I told him the truth.



Belief #2:  There is an Invisible Man Who Lives in the Sky.


The whole religious thing took a whole lot longer to ferret out.


I was quite the evangelical Southern Baptist Christian from age eight to eleven. I even conned Jesus into forgiving me for being a hyperactive little boy who got all A’s in school but bad marks for “does not work well with others”; “does not like to follow directions”; “talks back to his teachers”; does not respect authority; and/or “daydreams in class”.


Here’s how it worked:


I got forgiven for all these sins and shortcomings by getting myself “saved” or “born again” or some such silly nonsense. It required getting my head dunked underwater so then I could become a ritualistic cannibal and eat some dry-as-a-bone, flat crackers washed down with Welch’s grape juice (Baptists couldn’t drink wine; that was a really really bad sin), all blessed by the local fire and brimstone preacher-man to become the flesh and blood of Jesus Cristo.


But by age 12, when they tried to make me believe that Jonah got swallowed up whole by a whale and then was puked up on a white sand beach none the worse for wear, I thought: “That’s friggin’ ridiculous. That’s just another lie they expect me to buy.”


I didn’t dare say that out loud because the Sunday school teacher, some old bitty named Mrs. Jones, would tell my mom I was going to burn in Hell and that would for certain mean hell to pay with my mom. Of course, I would only go to Hell after I was already dead.




So because of some funky dude named Jonah, a really big fish that was not really a fish, and yet another teacher that I despised, I was soon shedding my religion.


From that day on I considered it a monumental waste of valuable free time to spend two hours of a precious two day break from school in this nonsensical endeavor. Unfortunately the parental units didn’t quite see it the same way and so I was forced to attend church. By age 16, my Sunday mornings were spent nodding off with another hangover in the church balcony. My only saving grace was the cute high school hotties who could barely sit on the hems of their short short miniskirts; after all, it was 1969. Rest assured, that helped ease the pain and boredom.


Now if you are one of the believers, I apologize. Please forgive my sin for not buying in.


There are many Americans who believe their nightly prayers to George Carlin’s “Invisible Man Who Lives in the Sky” will be answered. And that’s perfectly fine with me.


But as a scientist, I cannot fathom blind faith and unquestioning belief in anything that I cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or touch.


When it comes to religion, I say “each to his own”. Let’s all be content to live and let live. With all due respect to Robert Ripley, Believe It or Not!



Belief #3:  The Russians are Coming.


Another big part of the misguided belief of my childhood in the late ‘50s and ‘60s was “the Russians are coming.” American Cold War leaders starting with Nixon, followed by McCarthy, and succeeded by Kennedy claimed that the soulless, godless bastards from the unwashed East were infiltrating our everyday lives with Soviet spies.


I was in kindergarten in 1958 as our families reacted with fear and trepidation when two Sputniks satellites orbited over our heads in the Ozarks of Missouri. Meanwhile, three of America’s first four attempts failed to circle the globe. 


Khrushchev compounded our worries when he infamously said to a group of NATO ambassadors, “We will bury you.” He followed that up with an encore performance at the United Nations in 1960, angrily banging his shoe on a desk in protest of an anti-Soviet speech.

For sure that bald-headed old fart scared the be-jesus out of Middle America. And President Kennedy certainly did not help matters when posted a letter in Life magazine in 1961 promoting the building of bomb shelters.


Subsequently, America’s irrational fear of the game of dominoes led to a 14-year quagmire in the jungles of Southeast Asia; it was to become the first war the USA lost since 1812. Our military, elected, and appointed leaders kept encouraging us to believe, “We are winning the War”. But Walter Cronkite’s nightly news told otherwise; all we were doing was killing and maiming local peasants and orphaning the children of those on the wrong side of an unwinnable civil war.


That and shipping our boys back home with broken bodies, shell-shocked souls, and/or drug-addled minds … plus 58,220 in body bags.



Belief #4:  War is Peace.


One would think that our now lame duck, New-Age Left President would have studied, understood, and learned from the mistakes of the past in the putrid jungle and not continue to repeat them 40 years later in the hot stinking deserts of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. One would think…


But like Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Big Bush, Clinton, and Lil’ Bush before him, Barack Hussein Obama II kept the faith.


The faith, that is, in the economics of a military-industrial complex that a life-long military man, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned us about in 1960.


So what has Obama done? He re-started two of America’s never-ending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Should we actually be surprised by that?


Barack Obama, the 44nd President of the United States, was in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2009 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. In a 36-minute speech of classical 1984 Newspeak: The man said “war” 44 times; he said “peace” 32 times.


Channeling Orwell’s first slogan of the Party as displayed on the white facade of the Ministry of Truth, Obama has asked us to believe: “WAR IS PEACE”.



Belief #5:  Gold is Going to $4000.


Thirty-seven years ago, in early September 1979, I bought my first gold. The price had been going up steadily that year and hit an all-time high of $330 an ounce. Nevertheless, I decided it was time to own some gold so after a long day in the field, I stopped into a rock shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico and bought eleven gold-quartz specimens for ten bucks apiece. It was quite a good deal because the rocks were quite hot. No doubt they had been smuggled out of the infamous 16:1 stope of the Sunnyside mine in a lunch pail and the new owner (aka the fence) wanted to move them quickly.


Four months later, the price of gold spiked to $850 an ounce. For a very brief period of time, the gold bugs ruled the financial world. Of course, the price collapsed nearly as fast as it had risen. We all know any financial market that goes exponential will soon be parabolic.

The gold market from late 1979 to early 1980 was a speculative bubble, just like tulips and South Sea globalization.


However, the collapse of gold did nothing to curb the irrational exuberance of the gold bugs. We were told to believe that gold was going to $1000 an ounce soon. In December 1982, a popular newsletter team predicted $4000 gold by 1985.


Imagine if you would have followed their advice 33 years ago when gold traded at $445. These soothsayers advised putting up to 50% of your net assets into gold bullion. You would have been better off opening a savings account at the local hometown bank. Banks actually paid interest in those days to the tune of 12 percent on a one-year CD. Now they charge you fees for the privilege of keeping your devaluing fiat dollars on their electronic books.


From its high of $850 in January 1980, gold took 27 years to get to back to that price, 28 years to hit $1000, and 29 years to stick at four figures. Gold touched $1900 an ounce in September 2011; by last December, it had lost 45% of that US$ price.


Remember that principle of parabolas?


Gold is not a long-term financial investment. It serves only as an insurance policy, safe haven, and hedge against financial calamity. That said, and like many in this room, I’ve continued to accumulate gold over the years to maintain 10-20% of my net worth in physical bullion in my physical possession.


That said, how can anyone believe the buggy-brained newsletter writers’ never-ending predictions that gold is going to $2000, or $4000 or even $10,000 an ounce in the immediate future?


Have you ever considered that the yahoos promoting these ideas might be “talking their own books”?


It’s kind of like that well-known pundit who first predicted an imminent economic collapse in 1979 and parroted the same exact idea last decade, last year, last month and … last week. Eh?


If gold does go to $5000 or $10,000, you better own guns, gas, and goods, keep a bug-out bag by the door, and have a survival plan. Be careful what you wish for.



Belief #6:  Beware the Boogie-Man.


Our elected politicians and military leaders are determined to make the minions believe in a Boogie-Man that we can despise, fear, and hate.


This phenomenon arguably started with the aforementioned Khrushchev who was succeeded by the next man in line at the Kremlin. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, we also had his Commie comrades Chairman Mao and Ho Chi Minh. By the early‘80s, the Ayatollah played the lead part.


When the evil red empire collapsed in 1991, our attention was turned to the Middle East: Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and his underlings in al-Qaeda; then the Taliban. Now it’s a leaderless organization that our military armed and our foreign policy created, called ISIS, or ISIL if you are Secretary of State John Kerry, or Daesh if you are President Barack Obama.


The fear mongers continue to weave fairy tales that give our warriors excuse for waging a never-ending, “War on Terror” that allows an increasingly socio-fascist government to gradually and covertly erode our Constitutionally-guaranteed individual rights and freedoms under the guise of “international and domestic security”.


Because of this irrational belief, we Americans are permanently subjected to a terror alert of “orange”, whatever the hell that means. Every time we try to board an airplane we must shed our shoes and walk in bare or stocking feet on cold dirty floors, have our personal toiletries intensely inspected, choose between having our bodies scanned by millimeter wave machines or our privates groped, and buy $3 bottles of water from airport vendors instead of bringing a container of tap water from home that costs less than a penny.


Our lives are monitored by video cameras everywhere except inside the privacy of our own homes; well, unless you fail to put a piece of electrical (not duct) tape over your laptop camera or are dumb enough to hook up a smart TV.


Our passports and driver’s licenses are embedded with microchips that allow the government to track us wherever we go.


Hitler branded Jews; today, some people get their pets microchipped; how long before the police state insists on embedding chips in our children, all in the name of safety and security? NBC News is actually promoting chips in children as quote, “inevitable, sooner or later” and says military testing is ongoing.


An American patriot, Ed Snowden, blew the whistle on all this crapola three years ago; the brave Mr. Snowden now lives in exile at the pleasure of another oppressive dictator in an even more fascist regime.


Folks, face the facts: Believing the lies of Big Brother permits us to be watched 24/7 … 32 years after the prescient Orwell predicted.



Concluding Remarks:


As an educated scientist, I am naturally skeptical. Present me with solid and concrete evidence if you want an idea seriously considered.


Belief, faith, doctrine, dogma, creed, and conviction are anathema to theory, hypothesis, evidence, fact, and proof.


All of us have been lied to since we were wee children: Cajoled, wheedled, coerced, intimidated, threatened, and forced into believing for longer than memory serves; in fact, from cradle to grave.


Nevertheless, it remains a matter of personal choice. I choose to be a free-thinking individual, not easily conned, connived, or convinced. I’m from Missouri and you have to show me.


I will never believe what they tell me to believe. I reject belief. Belief is fallacy.


All this said, I remain a live and let live guy: Do not tread on me and I will not tread on you.


In the name of science and reason: Amen. 


Ciao for now,


Mickey Fulp

Mercenary Geologist

The Mercenary Geologist Michael S. “Mickey” Fulp is a Certified Professional Geologist with a B.Sc. Earth Sciences with honor from the University of Tulsa, and M.Sc. Geology from the University of New Mexico. Mickey has 35 years experience as an exploration geologist and analyst searching for economic deposits of base and precious metals, industrial minerals, uranium, coal, oil and gas, and water in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Mickey worked for junior explorers, major mining companies, private companies, and investors as a consulting economic geologist for over 20 years, specializing in geological mapping, property evaluation, and business development.  In addition to Mickey’s professional credentials and experience, he is high-altitude proficient, and is bilingual in English and Spanish. From 2003 to 2006, he made four outcrop ore discoveries in Peru, Nevada, Chile, and British Columbia. 

Mickey is well-known and highly respected throughout the mining and exploration community due to his ongoing work as an analyst, writer, and speaker.



Disclaimer and Notice: I am not a certified financial analyst, broker, or professional qualified to offer investment advice. Nothing in any report, commentary, this website, interview, and other content constitutes or can be construed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation or advice to buy or sell stock or any asset or investment. All of my presentations should be considered an opinion and my opinions may be based upon information obtained from research of public documents and content available on the company’s website, regulatory filings, various stock exchange websites, and stock information services, through discussions with company representatives, agents, other professionals and investors, and field visits. My opinions are based upon information believed to be accurate and reliable, but my opinions are not guaranteed or implied to be so. The opinions presented may not be complete or correct; all information is provided without any legal responsibility or obligation to provide future updates. I accept no responsibility and no liability, whatsoever, for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, or consequential damages or loss arising from the use of my opinions or information. The information contained in a report, commentary, this website, interview, and other content is subject to change without notice, may become outdated, and may not be updated. A report, commentary, this website, interview, and other content reflect my personal opinions and views and nothing more. All content of this website is subject to international copyright protection and no part or portion of this website, report, commentary, interview, and other content may be altered, reproduced, copied, emailed, faxed, or distributed in any form without the express written consent of Michael S. (Mickey) Fulp, LLC.


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