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davidk's avatar

Which revisionist theory of history do you find most offensive/objectionable?

Asked by davidk (1432points) December 6th, 2009

Each claim (see below) runs counter to the standard interpretation of a particular historic event/personage. Which three of these claims (if made by a historian) would you find most offensive, and why?

a.___JFK was murdered by the CIA.
b.___The US government faked the moon landings and continues to lie to us about the moon landings.
c.___Jesus as a single person never existed. Much historical proof exists showing that “Jesus” is actually a combination of three separate religious revolutionaries of the early 1st Century.
d.___Idi Amin was not responsible for the deaths of nearly 500,000 Ugandans. Rather, these people died as a result of the anarchy and civil war the plagued Uganda at the time.
e.___Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, despite the claims of Amnesty International and the US State Department, did not murder 1.4 million. At most, 5,000 died as a direct result of Pol Pot’s policies.
f.___There is plenty of historic evidence proving that the Prophet Muhammad was a child molester.
g.___Bin Ladin and al-Qaeda were not the masterminds of 9/11. 9/11 was an inside job carried out by collaborating elements of the US and Israeli governments.
h.___Many Jews (perhaps 300,000) died during WWII from disease, as casualties of war, or because they were caught perpetrating anti-German activities. But the Holocaust—the purposeful extermination of Jews in Death Camps—is a myth.
i.___Stalin and the NKVD did not murder 14 million in Ukraine by starvation that refused to submit to Soviet rule.
j.___The CSA (Confederate States of America) had every right, Constitutionally speaking, to declare independence from the USA.
k.___Martin Luther King , Jr. was an unwitting tool of non-African American communists, who used him to undermine the stability of the United States government.
l.___Barack Obama did not write the book that first brought attention to him as an up-and-coming political force. In fact, “Dreams from My Father” was written by Obama’s radical political ally, Bill Ayers.
m. ___Jesus married Mary Magdelene and had a daughter.
n.___The crimes against humanity that Mao Zedong has been accused of have been greatly exaggerated. The Chinese people that died under Mao’s rule were counterrevolutionaries that were the equivalent to terrorists.

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42 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

H- Holocaust deniers are a special kind of nutjob moron to me.
How can you possibly refute the evidence?

faye's avatar

The Germans kept very complete records of the holocaust. You have to be some kind of special stupid to deny it.

evegrimm's avatar

Does anyone else smell “homework”?

dpworkin's avatar

It is perfectly clear that Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung (to abuse pinyin) were all beasts, thugs and murderers, Stalin and Mao perhaps the most egregious, but Holocaust Denial is the larger offense.

ragingloli's avatar

i don’t find any of them “offensive”. but some of them are overly dumb.

jrpowell's avatar

Holocaust deniers are right above “homophobes” on the list of people that I wouldn’t allow to watch my kids.

filmfann's avatar

A is probably correct. JFK was the victim of a conspiracy at the highest levels.
Regarding the rest: they are all nonsense. As a Christian, I guess it should be M, but since we really can never know, I will go with the holocaust deniers. There is so much evidence! (and you left out the crap about Obama being born in Kenya).

deni's avatar

h. what even needs to be said? how can you doubt something like that?

janbb's avatar

Holocaust denial is tops on my list of egregious revisionist crap.

PretentiousArtist's avatar

Holocaust and the nanking massacre denials

TitsMcGhee's avatar

So many of these are infuriating simply because they are incorrect and untrue, which is offensive and disrespectful to the lives lost, for the most part. I think a lot of people will relate first to those that represent groups that they are a part of or are closely associated with (ie have been thoroughly educated about, have spouses that fit into that group, etc. etc). The less amount of reasonable, objective speculation about a subject, the more likely we are to balk at its denial. The Holocaust is a great example of that because of the endlessly detailed records that the Nazis kept during that time. Any one of these could be objectionable; it’s hard to quantify or qualify which would be most offensive.

Val123's avatar


fireinthepriory's avatar

Anything to do with refuting a genocide or mass murder is the most offensive to me, so D, E, H, I and N are all equally extremely offensive.

Next in line of offensiveness would be anything that is slandering a person (so F, K and L).

The rest I do not find offensive at all…

I’m not at all offended by conspiracy theories (A, B, C, and G). Hell, maybe they’re right. We’ll probably never know, but I don’t think it hurts to ask (UNLESS it includes slandering a person, since I guess K could count as a conspiracy theory, too).

J doesn’t offend me, because it seems like the kind of statement that is either the truth or a blatant lie… Wish I knew more about the constitution so I knew which it was. I guess it doesn’t matter anymore, huh?

Nor am I offended at all by M, which isn’t really a conspiracy theory, nor is it any kind of slander. In fact it sounds pretty probable to me.

galileogirl's avatar

@davidk The fact is that hundreds of thousands in the camps DID die from disease and starvation including Anne Frank and her sister. It is also true that their mother went to the gas chamber. If you think that saying people died from disease and starvatioon is revisionist than you know nothing about history. People also died at Aushwitz and Sorbibor in uprisings against camp guards. Innocent people died in every way evil minds could devise

What’s your point?

dpworkin's avatar

@galileogirl I think the OP was just a question. It didn’t seem to be making a point. Especially not in favor of Holocaust denial.

DominicX's avatar

B is just ass-stupid.

H is ridiculous. You’d have to be an anti-Semite to support it.

As far as I’m concerned, J is true. Doesn’t mean I agree with what they did.

M is a book by Dan Brown.

davidk's avatar

@evegrimm No, this is not homework. I’m 43 years old. And you got 5 “great answers” for that unwarranted assumption.

davidk's avatar

@galileogirl You obviously have difficulty reading. Why the hell do you ask what my point is? Read the question set-up, above.

DominicX's avatar

@davidk Yep, it’s called the “Anti-Homework Question Smugness” (AHQS). It’s a common Fluther phenomenon (expect it, but don’t let it faze you).

davidk's avatar

“Aushwitz and Sorbibor…” You mean: Auschwitz and Sobibor.

davidk's avatar

@pdworkin Thanks. Of course I’m not supporting Holocaust denial.

galileogirl's avatar

@davidk Obviously you do not understand what the term revisionism means. Or the difference between history and horseradish. There may be speculation about the figure referred to as Jesus, it doesn’t rise to anything like history. Also true revisionists are dangerous because they aren’t a bunch of pinheads who throw crap at the wall to see if it sticks like you did, There are some very sophisticated revisionists and there will be more in the future. It will take true history scholarship to deal with it, not siggling little pseudo-intellectuals.

By the way, I key with one hand behind and my formatting is still better than yours

davidk's avatar

You are the one who obviously does not understand. History, like archaeology, sociology, or any other study based on gathering evidence is always open to re-interpretation and revision. History is not written in stone. Rather it is our best attempt to faithfully reproduce what happened, based upon the best evidence available at the time. Every historian is a revisionist. Otherwise, they are simply a propagandist.

If you think that revisionism applies to the Holocaust and to the Holocaust alone, you expose your prejudice.

DominicX's avatar

I’m still confused as to how this became an angry argumentative question…but whatever, seems like every question here does that.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@DominicX: Certain users tend to bring that kinda attitude with them, yeah.

davidk's avatar

”...they aren’t a bunch of pinheads who throw crap at the wall to see if it sticks like you did, There are some very sophisticated revisionists and there will be more in the future. It will take true history scholarship to deal with it, not siggling little pseudo-intellectuals.”

Ad hominem attacks. Once again you assume that my question is actually revisionism, in and of itself.

davidk's avatar

I’m not sure either. My question was interpreted incorrectly, despite being very clear. It just goes to show that there are some questions that cannot even be asked without people going bonkers.

tb1570's avatar

I don’t find any of them “offensive,” people are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, no matter how foolish they may seem to me, but it seems several of them, at least, could be considered quite ignorant.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I think that the holocaust deniers are the craziest. I’ve been to the holocaust museum and was moved to vomit by the sheer craziness of the whole entire thing.

Val123's avatar

@jamielynn2328 The Holocaust has been the #1 answer, probably because there are people still alive today who literally lived through it and to try and tell them their memories ’“didn’t happen…” that is most outrageous…..

dannyc's avatar

Often what people put as good answer are, in my opinion, extremely bad answers. This is a major flaw in fluther and why I rarely visit much anymore. It trivializes what in general could be a good site and I suggest the moderators put their brains to work to alleviate this. Davidk ‘s question was very specific and the arrogance of some of the answers that received high votes is evidence of my concern. This is true of almost every question really. Of course, people that don’t like this observation are free to disagree. But I have seen this so often it really belittles the possibilities of true dialogue with high level analysis. It becomes a case of one upmanship and general banality. Perhaps a counterbalancing “Bad answer” might take the steam out of this trend to triteness.

DominicX's avatar


While I agree, I just don’t attach much significance to the Great Answers. Sure, I feel good when someone gives me one, but I don’t make a deal out of it. However, a “bad answer” would be a really bad idea…it doesn’t work. Other sites have done it. It’s all people talk about. Believe me, it’s better to have a reply you don’t like get upvoted than it is to have your own reply downvoted. People get pissy about it really fast.

I wouldn’t want to do away with the Great Answer, though, because to me that’s a way of signifying that people read my reply. Also, ones with lots of GAs might draw attention to themselves and lead more people to read them.

But I definitely get what you’re saying about one-upmanship. I’ve seen tons of arguments here where the GAs tell who is on who’s side. I’ve also seen personal insults get upvoted. That’s even more clear as to who wins the popularity contests around here.

mattbrowne's avatar

Holocaust denial.

Here’s a less-known example:

Armenian genocide denial by Turkey
(one of the reason it’s not ready for the EU yet).

davidk's avatar

Thanks for the thoughtful answer.

davidk's avatar

My sentiments, exactly.

davidk's avatar

I want everyone to see what making an attempt to reach out and make peace with some people can result in.

A certain someone’s message to me:
“Someone who tries to engage me with onoriginal dreck, please tell me you’re not trying to engage me”

My Response:
“I don’t wish to engage you, except to say that I’m sorry for whatever I’ve already written. I don’t wish to live with the anger that our disagreement has generated. Life’s too short.
By the way, the only reason I continued to argue was because you seemed to be suggesting that I was promoting Holocaust denial. Truth is, I lost my grandfather on my mother’s side. The Germans occupied my home city (Grenoble) and all of the south of France, to stave off the coming Allied invasion. I’m Jewish, and, of course, he was a Jewish partisan that took part in sabotage operations that were conducted to hamper the German efforts to defend the territory. He was captured and sent off to die at Buchenwald. He’s a hero in my estimation, and died helping pave the way for Operation Dragoon.”

Her response:
“Another unwelcome attempt at engagement, your actions belie your claims.”

My Final Comment: You (you know who you are) are the scum of the earth. I tried to be reasonable.

dannyc's avatar

@DominicX . I see your point, and I will ponder on making a suggestion that might help. Thanks for your input.

Nullo's avatar

I don’t like revisionist history on general principles. The ones that bother me the least are F (since I have no stock in Muhammad’s image and stories that support the claim), J (since, AFAIK, there was nothing in the Constitution to prevent a given state from leaving the Union, and because I don’t much like big government, and because I’ve romanticized the idea of a confederation), and L, since I have no stock in Barry’s image and haven’t read the book anyway.

lukenuke87's avatar

To me it’s Civil-War revisionists who try to deny States’s rights not slavery was the main-cause of the civil-war. when in fact it just was slavery, and the states’s rights that played a role in the war was none other than the State’s rights to own black-people

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