What is a kook?
[This had disappeared from the web, but I think it needs a permanent
First and foremost, kooks believe really weird stuff. But simply
holding weird beliefs isn't enough to make someone a kook. It's the
tactics they use to spread their beliefs that separates kooks from the
merely eccentric. Below is a list of common kook distinguishing
characteristics. The average Usenet kook will possess at least several
of these traits. über Kooks will possess most or all of them.
- Kooks make lists of their enemies. Anyone who
maintains a list of enemies is almost certainly a kook. Anyone who
appears on one or more kook enemy lists probably isn't a kook.
- Kooks are control freaks. Kooks try to moderate the
NG and try to force people to only talk about certain subjects and/or
conduct themselves only in what the kooky wannabe moderator sees as
the correct manner. Kooks will even complain to the ISPs of other NG
posters whose views they don't agree with in an attempt to have them
removed from Usenet.
- Kooks are paranoid. Most kooks are big believers in
conspiracies large and small. They seem to think everyone is out to
harm them or at least silence them (because they alone know the truth,
(see d). From the mighty New World Order, to various three letter
agencies of the Federal Government to anyone on the NG who disagrees
with them, kooks see enemies everywhere and make lists of them (see
- Kooks are always right. They have had the absolute
"TRUTH" bestowed upon them by god or the aliens or by the voices in
their heads or whatever. They are utterly convinced that they, and
only they, know the "TRUTH." No matter how many times their beliefs
are proven wrong, they continue to cling to them like grim death and
will never, EVER admit to being wrong about ANYTHING.
- KOOKS LIKE TO SHOUT IN ALL CAPS. THEY SEE THEIR
MESSAGES AS BEING SO IMPORTANT THAT THEY NEED TO SHOUT THEM OUT. THEY
WANT TO MAKE SURE *EVERYONE* NOTICES WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY.
- Kooks are obsessed. They are obsessed with certain
subjects and certain other users of the NG, even to the point of
stalking them. But above all, they are obsessed with spreading their
message and keeping it in discussion at all times on their favorite
NGs. Kooks rarely let anyone else get in the last word in any
discussion that touches even remotely on one of their obsessions.
- Kooks will create sock puppets and use them to
attack their enemies and/or post positive responses to the kook's own
posts (since no one else will).
- Kooks are incapable of intellectual debate. Kooks
believe they are in possession of the absolute TRUTH on a given
subject or subjects and they are here to share that truth, not debate
it. Since kooks are always right and will never ever admit to being
wrong (see d), they refuse to debate their beliefs and tolerate no
skepticism toward them. To a kook, anyone who disagrees with them MUST
be either ignorant, insane or a paid disinformation agent out to
discredit them (see c).
- Kooks don't have a sense of humor, especially in
regards to the subjects they are obsessed with. They are always deadly
serious about their pet issues and often berate other NG users for not
taking them seriously enough. Kooks are perpetual straight men. Their
lack of humor is ironically one of the kook's most amusing
- Kooks lie. Kooks lie about their backgrounds, their
qualifications, their achievements, their level of education, their
experiences, etc., etc. Kooks see their message as being so important
that they are willing to do whatever it takes (especially lying) to
get that message out and make it look like it came from a credible
source, rather than from a mere kooky nobody who can be safely
ignored. Kooks however aren't generally smart enough to lie well or be
consistent in their lying, so they are easily caught and their lies
are often exposed. However, even when presented with absolute proof of
lying, a true kook will never admit to it (see 4) and usually either
ignore the evidence or claim it was manufactured by some "conspiracy"
that is out to discredit them (see c).
- Kooks tend to be hypocrites. For example, they will
rage against others for posting off topic material but still do it
themselves regularly, and they take great offense when someone else
points out that they are off topic. When this is pointed out, they
will go to great lengths to try to justify *their* off topic posts as
being so important that topical considerations are irrelevant. Another
example of kook hypocrisy is name calling. A kook will rage against
others for name calling but be completely oblivious to their own
continual name calling and ad hominem attacks on others. Kooks tend to
live by the motto of "Do as I say, not as I do."
- Kooks don't play well with others. Since kooks are
paranoid, always think they are right on every issue, tolerate no
skepticism or differing views and always want to be the one in
control, kooks just don't get along with other people, not even other
kooks. Every kook is an island unto itself of strange beliefs and
weird psychoses. Kooks are very lonely people, and it shows.
© Copyright 2001 Michael Davis
All rights reserved.