Cautious that this is appropriate...
But there is a current article controversy in this area, Extreme Abuse Survey, that may form, at the least, background for some of this discussion.
There are special challenges for encyclopedic articles about conspiracy theories. If a hopefully neutral author or editor asks for sourcing, the theorist may respond that a government or large organization is conspiring to suppress it, so the activists simply have to be trusted. Alternatively, the description of the theory may be written in a way that it is almost impossible to ask a grammatical question that does not assume the truth of part of the theory — not, however, completely impossible.
As another aside, it becomes very hard (and resource intensive) to do a neutral response, when a subject matter expert might need to write a series of fairly extensive articles that neutrally present some underlying aspects that go into the theory. It can be difficult to do that without accepting, as a title, something that gives the impression of confirming the conspiracy (e.g., satanic ritual abuse), which, for a nonbeliever, produces the problem of proving a negative.
Within our particular expert-guided model, there are additional problems when an Editor may speak from direct experience, not necessarily something easily sourced. As a perhaps slightly silly example, there are many vague mentions of "black helicopters". Well, there really are helicopters that are used for military special operations, but they aren't quite black; they are a very dark matte gray. It was found, but I'm not sure how well I can dig up the military research in visual recognition, that a true black helicopter stands out (or apart from) a night sky more than one that is dark gray. So, when I start reading about generic black helicopters, as a subject matter expert, I am immediately more on guard than if someone wrote about a "very dark gray" MH-53 PAVE LOW or MH-6 Little Bird.
Anyway, any comments about writing/editing encyclopedia articles about conspiracy theories? Here and there, of course, a conspiracy theory actually may have elements of fact. Howard C. Berkowitz 13:31, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
"half-human, half-lizard shapeshifters"
Hissss....Howard C. Berkowitz 00:03, 28 May 2009 (UTC)