Nothing Like a Good Conspiracy

Good conspiracy theories spread like juicy gossip. Some fade, a few endure, others are  too silly to discuss. Lives are devoted to unearthing “truth”. Conspiracy web sites abound and television shows like Conspiracy Theory with Jessie Ventura or Brad Meltzer’s Decoded offer hours of mindless dribble.

The other day I stumbled upon an episode of Jessie Ventura”s conspiracy show. The subject was “humanzees” , a secret U.S. government research project aimed at designing ape-man hybrids. Ventura and his investigators took the matter seriously – in the end we had a lot of unanswered questions, no credible evidence, and one overly concerned Jessie Ventura.

Naturally I started pondering my list of favourite outrageous conspiracies, a task more difficult than it sounds. It would be easy to go to conspiracy sites and pick out the most ludicrous. Instead I’ve decided to pull them out of my head, approaching this like a game of telegraph. Far too preposterous to research, I settled on fantasises presented as fact.

Ancient Aliens – one of my guilty pleasures – is the source of spectacular nonsense. Hitler escaped in an alien time machine, bigfoot is an alien, an alien race genetically altered the evolution of man, and Joan of Arc was acting on behalf of alien guardians. Not to be out done, Scott Wolter on America Unearthed offers copper from the Great Lakes fuelled the bronze age, the Knights Templar hid the Holy Grail in America, and a possible ancient Maya site exists in Georgia. Conspiracy dwellers claim Fort Knox hasn’t contained any gold for decades, a massive secret government bunker was built beneath the airport in Denver, Freemasons secretly control America, and the Alaska Triangle gives Bermuda a run for its money. All of these fall into the rather silly category; but I have to admit Fort Knox conspiracies and secret bunkers haven’t been completely stricken from my mind. Nor do I believe Christopher Columbus “discovered” America – ancient history conspiracies should perhaps be given some other name.

The most well known conspiracy might be what happened at Roswell New Mexico. Area 51 has created a cult following of theorists; in my mind the fodder for the science fiction craze that followed. There are people who believe the moon landing was faked, 9/11 was orchestrated by the government, and the CIA assassinated Kennedy. Though little doubt lingers that governments orchestrate perception; look no farther than the weapons of mass destruction fiasco precipitating the  invasion of Iraq as an example – I’m more curious about an explosion of misinformation from news media.

Glenn Beck sits upon his Fox news throne proclaiming Obama is creating a “civilian security force” to enforce Marxism and socialism in America. Beck also came up with his theory of a secret “land based currency”, reporting a government plan to base American currency on land rather than gold. He claimed plans were in place to forcibly take land from citizens using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as their foot soldiers. As if that isn’t crazy enough, Beck claims the government would ask China to step in as muscle in exchange for oil, land, and mineral rights. Beck frequently speaks of Obama’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Most people easily discount alien intervention as belonging to the “tin foil hat” crowd. Television programs about conspiracies are taken with a grain of salt, nothing more than mild entertainment. The far greater concern is opinion dressed up as news. The Glenn Becks of this world are dangerous; planting seeds of fantasy, which translate into truth for far too many people, People who now stand unshakeable in their belief that Obama is Muslim with a secret agenda to destroy their way of life. It’s beyond crazy. We wonder why society is crumbling, fanaticism is out of control, and paranoia has replaced common sense.

Ponder mass media conspiracy theorists then ask yourself why we allow opinion to be dressed up as fact. This isn’t about freedom of speech ; when opinion presents itself as truth – a line has been crossed.

10 thoughts on “Nothing Like a Good Conspiracy

  1. Nice post, Notes. I always thought that the WMD ‘fiasco’ was a highly successful attempt at imploding the Middle East. Sadly, its Christian architect then went on to annex poor old Iraqistan and blew the world economy on a ridiculously expensive war in the process. But then, that’s an opinion and this post wasn’t about that 😉

  2. It might be that opinion gets presented as fact because there are too many egotistical entertainers who can’t fathom the concept that just because they personally believe something that it must not automatically be truth. Christians, Agnostics, and Atheists alike confuse dogma with truth.

    After all — dogmatic statements presented as truth are far more entertaining and get much more publicity than ‘umble opinions

    When I was young I thought I was a champion for Truth. Took me a long time to realize that my opinions were not; they were opinions. That notable TV character Dr. House made a common expression out of

    Everybody Lies

    and it seems that includes governments (in the plural sense). At least that’s the way current events seem to reveal what governments have told us about what’s happening in the world.

    But just think how boring the non-thinkers would be if they had no conspiracy opinions to argue about and (even) draw blood about.

    A retired Photographer looks at life
    Life Unscripted

  3. Lunatic Glenn Beck has an ulterior and very real motive: he is a leading proponent for gold and is heavily invested in numerous companies that thrive on peoples fear of a monetary collapse.

  4. Years ago a friend said to me, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you.”
    I think fear does get misplaced when we don’t have the mental resources to hear what is being said and see with more than just our eyes the news of the day.
    Political identity in which we get to tell ourselves what the scoop is, who are the good guys, and who the enemy is, are diversions from getting a metaview of the historical context in which we find ourselves.
    On the one hand, we live in the richest period of history, on the other hand having much comfort and wealth makes us vulnerable to loss and creates unrealistic expectations of comfort.
    I do think the US government has become paranoid and aims at protecting its claim to global assets at any cost, no matter the political party. We Americans help them by participating in the phony battle of left vs. right.
    Glenn Beck is just playing to the side of the battle that he identifies with. Ed Schultz plays the same game but comes to the battle from the other side.
    Elections change nothing.
    US government expands its reach into other countries, whether through monetary bribes to foreign leaders or arms to help eliminate those leaders it sees as threats.
    Conspiracy theories serve as caricatures to defend our sense of normalcy, unless of course you convince yourself their true.
    What a mess! Sorry for the long reply…

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