Episode 191: A Tool for Testing Conspiracy Theories – Interview Jeannie Banks Thomas

Episode 191: A Tool for Testing Conspiracy Theories – Interview Jeannie Banks Thomas

I don’t know about you, but every day my husband comes home and informs me of the latest conspiracy theory he’s heard around the water cooler at work. About how the government is collapsing, the political parties are behind any number of heinous crimes, and of course that the constitution is hanging by a thread. Corona virus was created to get us all chipped through vaccines, and the powers that be are scheduled to shut down all business they don’t agree with through a manipulation of social media and the world’s banking structure. This was just last week…

So, when I attended a lecture this past week, by Jeannie Banks Thomas, a professor of Folklore at Utah State University, and she provided a tool for honing in on Your Legend, Rumor, and Conspiracy Theory Detectors, I thought I’d get her on the show so the general public could use this acronym she calls SLAP – S L A P to determine the likelihood that the rumor is true.

Stay tuned for some very helpful talk about legends, rumors and conspiracy theory’s during a time where we have more of these than we can begin to process.


Jeannie Banks Thomas is a folklorist and a Fellow of the American Folklore Society. She is the author or co-author of several books including Putting the Supernatural in Its Place (2015); Haunting Experiences (2007); Naked Barbies, Warrior Joes, and Other Forms of Visible Gender (2003); and Featherless Chickens, Laughing Women, and Serious Stories (1997). Two of her books have won international prizes. She is the co-director of USU’s Digital Folklore Project, which names the #DigitalTrendoftheYear, and she is an award-winning teacher. Additionally, her scholarly work has appeared in the Journal of American Folklore, Western Folklore, Journal of Folklore Research, Midwestern Folklore, and Contemporary Legend, among other journals. She is a professor at Utah State University.

Welcome Jeannie to the Love Your Story podcast

Listen in to the audio program for my discussion with Jeannie.

1. Why is a folklorist such a good person to address this topic?

2. What brought you to this area of research recently?

3. You have a tool for rapidly getting a sense of the veracity of legends, rumors and conspiracy theories, tell us what it is.


-S is for “Scare” Test

L is for “Logistics” Test A is for “A-List” Test

P is for “Prejudice” Test

4. What websites can people check


Sooooo timely. With all the fake news and the open rumor venue of the internet, with all the dissension politically and the fear and rumor about sickness and apocalyptic revving, this voice of reason is a tool to help you not get pulled into false stories – which of course, the human race is famous for. It’s a tool to help you sort.

Your challenge this week is to apply it to one of the rumors you hear and see how well it works.

If you’re interested in signing your group up for the 21 Challenges….here’s a word from our sponsor….Insert

See you in two weeks for the Love Your Story podcast.

About the author, Lori

Lori is the host and producer of the Love Your Story podcast, a podcast dedicated to sharing candid interviews and conversations about living our best life stories on purpose. Lori pulls no punches in capturing interviews that shine a light on how we make it through the hard stuff – stress, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, rape, the death of children, abuse, divorce and the real stuff we have to deal with. But, she also shares interviews with Olympians and incredible athletes, life coaches, therapists, and people who are changing the world – most often these two categories are one and the same. She has a master’s degree in Folklore--her research focuses on the personal narrative. She is the author of six books and over 100 magazine and newspaper articles, including her latest, L.I.F.E. – Living Intentional and Fearless Every Day. She consults with individuals on a personal and business level in helping them find their stories, reframe the ones that are holding them back, and manage the stories they currently tell themselves in order to create the story they personally want to live.

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