The Week in Conspiracy, 28th March 2016

Red Ice Radio completes its journey from the left wing spirituality to right wing racial politics, via conspiracy theories, with an episode interviewing former BNP leader Nick Griffin and Jack Sen, who was thrown out of UKIP for antisemitism. http://rediceradio.net/radio/2016/RIR-160325-nickgriffin-jacksen-hr1.mp3

Richard D. Hall has released the third part of his series of documentaries on the disappearance of Madeline McCann – this one clocking in at four hours – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70oo2-Sj7to

Is Mark Millar working on a comic with David Icke? Probably not, but they’re up to something… http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/03/30/could-david-icke-be-reborn-with-mark-millar-or-is-it-another-conspiracy-theory/

Just for fun: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Conspiracies (Web Exclusive) – https://youtu.be/fNS4lecOaAc

Meanwhile, a couple for the “Some truth to this stuff after all” File:

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2016/02/22/the-government-has-announced-the-outlawing-of-intellectual-opposition/

LA Times – “In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA” – http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html

 

The week in conspiracy

Via xkcd.com – Thanks Krittika

 

Donald Trump says he will attempt to release redacted information on 9-11 if elected – “Americans deserve answers and I would definitely request a new investigation so that this horrible tragedy never happens again”.

David Icke appears on the Richie Allen Show – a show that he funds – and gets a positive response. He talks mostly about his new book, The Phantom Self. Then, again, the next week, following Terry Wogan’s death. 

Meanwhile, the first episode of the new series of the X-Files uses Icke’s “problem-reaction-solution”, coming from the mouth of a character based on Alex Jones and Glenn Beck. Which is ironic as Glenn Beck is essentially a character based on Alex Jones.

The Week in Conspiracy Theories

Lizzard Warning
Via DGM Live

A draft of Dame Janet Smith’s report from the inquiry into Jimmy Savile and the BBC is leaked by Exaro News. This is a particularly troubling situation, because while a great deal of the conspiracist material surrounding Savile and the broader “institutional paedophilia” scare is hysterically exaggerated and speculative, and at worst – such as the case of the supposed witness “Nick” – based on what is either mental illness or outright fraud, there is plenty that is true and highly disturbing in this case.

David Icke has a new book coming out and a “world tour” later this year, so we can expect a run of new interviews across the alternative media. Here he talks to Alex Jones about “how the Public Is Programmed To Become Slaves”. I find his Infowars appearances particularly interesting because we get to see clearly how he selectively chooses his topic to suit his audience, in this case, politically right, Christian and pro-gun, in stark contrast to Icke’s own position.

Tila Tequila joins the growing flat earth revival with a wonderful Twitter rant. She demands scientific evidence! She blames the resistance to Flat Earth Theory arguments on brain damage caused by vaccines. Take that, Haterz!

On a more serious note, over at Disinfo.com, there’s an interesting take on conspiracism’s relationship to partisan politics, reminding us that there is more than one “orthodoxy”:

How can you believe that the government would not conspire against the people, when you obviously believe to the point of constant accusation that the other party you are not in, is constantly conspiring against your party and it’s leader?

Meanwhile, Rob Brotherton contributes an excellent op-ed for the LA Times, outlining the psychological and cognitive systems and biases that mean that conspiracy theorising is perfectly normal. Still, I would have liked to have seen him twist the knife a little more by pointing out that these same systems also produce religion…

Dismissing all conspiracy theories (and theorists) as crazy is just as intellectually lazy as credulously accepting every wild allegation. The tricky part is figuring out what’s reasonable and what’s ridiculous, and we can do that only by honestly scrutinizing why we believe what we believe.

The Week in Conspiracy Theories

The revived X-Files TV show features a character based on Alex Jones and Glenn Beck (the irony there being that Glenn Beck seems to be a character based on Alex Jones also). Looks like this is going to be essential viewing for me:

O’Malley eventually sways Mulder and Scully to adopt a new conspiracy that lays a framework for the six-episode revival. The theory involves global warming, war in the Middle East, NSA spying, chem-trails (here called “aerial contaminants”), police militarization, supposed FEMA prison camps, and the eventual military “takeover of America” by a UN-like group of “multinational elites.” The conspiracy theory plays a bit like Oliver Stone during his JFK fever pitch — only if his source material was Infowars instead of UFO lore.

Is Myra Hindley really dead? Coleman thinks not. What strikes me most is his ability to link everything by insinuation to child abuse. Thatcher met Savile, Savile knew the Royals, thatcher didn’t investigate Hindley, therefore Hindley and Savile procured children for the elite. And, these speculations are built upon other unproven allegations, treating collusion between the royals and Savile as fact, for example. On the other hand, I do like all the newspaper images he uses, showing how involved the popular right tabloids are in this kind of fear porn.

Only five years ago, Sweden’s Red Ice Radio was focused on a mix of new age, UFOs and conspiracy theories, what I would call millennial conspiracism. Today, their content is right wing, apocalyptic and openly anti-Semitic. Sadly, I feel this is typical of the milieu as a whole.

There’s a good article by Rob Brotherton over at the Daily Beast about the Illuminati conspiracy theories circling around the hip-hop world since the mid-1990s:

Have you noticed how a lot of musicians have been covering one eye when posing for photos? Or making some kind of triangle with their hands? Or both? And what’s up with all the occult imagery in videos for Jay Z’s “On to the Next One” and Kanye’s “Power”? Is it just because it looks cool and mysterious? The conspiracy-minded say there’s something more sinister to it. This is evidence, they say, of a vast, nefarious secret society—the Illuminati—and its plan to institute a New World Order.

But Will.I.Am calls bullshit on that:

IMG_20160118_114520

Sometimes a triangle is just a triangle, guys.

The week in Conspiracy Theories, 17/9/2015

Only two this week, but they go together so well. They just WORK:

Dinosaurs Never Existed – http://www.atlanteanconspiracy.com/2015/09/dinosaur-hoax-dinosaurs-never-existed.html

Why were dinosaurs never discovered before the evolutionist renaissance in the mid-19th century?  Why do paleontologists think they can reconstruct an entire species of ancient animal from a few teeth?  Why have so many dinosaur “discoveries” turned out to be hoaxes?  Why are all “authentic dinosaur fossils” kept under tight lock and key away from any independent analysis?  Why has erosion and weathering not destroyed all these supposed prints and fossils that are allegedly millions of years old?  If dinosaurs were supposedly wiped out by a meteor impact or other such global catastrophe, why is it that all the other various animal species that exist today were not similarly wiped out?  There are many more questions which need to be answered before anyone in their right-mind should consider the existence of dinosaurs anything but a convenient evolutionist myth.

Dinosaurs did exist – and they exist still! – http://www.strangeconspiracies.com/2015/09/extinct-dinosaurscould-some-still-be.html

My friend is not a liar…what she saw on the other side of the lake was unbelievable… it was a real life dinosaur. A brontosaurus to be exact, based on her description. It had a long elongated neck and it was an herbivore that was eating leaves, based on her description. When the girls saw this living thought to be extinct monster, they took off and told everyone in the village. Most of the villagers laughed at the girls, but the village elders knew better.

The Week in Conspiracy Theories – 31/8/2015

Via Music for Deep Meditation.

A new Australian documentary is being released which has the awesome title, Australien Skies. One of its main focuses seems to be the classic Men in Black narrative, along with its updated 1990s variant, Black Helicopters. So conspiracy and UFOs clearly still linked in the popular imagination. Some might make a connection between recent immigration policy and a fear of attack by aliens, but not me. Trailer below. (Thanks to David Pecotic).

David Clarke posted an extract from his recent book, How UFOs Conquered the World, describing a mid 1960s flap in Wiltshire, known as the “Warfield Thing”. I won’t steal any of Dr Clarke’s vivid account here, but I will link to this 1966 BBC documentary on the subject, entitled Pie in the Sky.

Harvey Proctor is the latest MP to be drawn into the Operation Yewtree paedophile scandal. His response to the accusations against him by an anonymous source (for which he has not been charged, but his name has been apparently given to the press by the police) should give pause to how the police and the UK press are handling such accusations. You can read his full statement here. He concludes:

In summary, the paranoid Police have pursued an homosexual witch hunt on this issue egged on by a motley crew of certain sections of the media and press and a number of Labour Members of Parliament and a ragbag of internet fantasists… Anonymity is given to anyone prepared to make untruthful accusations of child sexual abuse whilst the alleged accused are routinely fingered publicly without any credible evidence first being found. This is not justice. It is an abuse of power and authority.

The Week in Conspiracy Theories – 3/8/2015

Quassim Cassam contributed a piece to the Independent, announcing a survey to find out why “some are more ‘receptive'” to conspiracy theories. Cassam hhas softened his position a good deal since his last piece; he here states clearly that “conspiracy theorists” aren’t mad or mentally ill, merely “more vulnerable to “intellectual vices” such as dogmatism, gullibility and close mindedness”, which therefore “makes them more likely to listen to extreme “alternative” sources of information”. Presumably, Cassam doesn’t count the Independent as “alternative” media.

Nevertheless, there is no definition of what a “conspiracy theory” might be – rather there is the implication that we all know already. Those who don’t think like “us” have something wrong with the way they think. It’s the only possibility, right? We couldn’t be wrong. They are “extreme”, “overly dismissive”, “gullible” and “irrational”, because they believe things that “go against common wisdom”. Whose common wisdom? Because Cassam’s knowledge, of which he is so certain, would be challenged in many places, perhaps most places in the world.

In my opinion, Cassam commits two intellectual sins. Firstly, like the scholars of the colonial period, he assumes that there is something wrong with those who think differently from him, and sees his task as a scholar to correct them. Secondly, at the same time, he fails to follow up the implications of his argument, and challenge powerful groups who use the same styles of thought as the marginal groups he studies: Christians, Muslims, Jews and any large religious group – not to mention Republicans and Democrats. Isn’t that Cassam being “overly dissmissive” of evidence that goes against his own beliefs?

Meanwhile, over at the right-wing, populist Telegraph, Alex Proud opines that “conspiracy theorists may have had it right all along”. Surprisingly, he only makes passing mention of the EU, and his conclusion is rather odd for the Telegraph: “we need more regulation”:

This nice, cozy state of affairs lasted until the early 2000s. But then something changed. These days conspiracy theories don’t look so crazy and conspiracy theorists don’t look like crackpots. In fact, today’s conspiracy theory is tomorrow’s news headlines… Of course, our real-life conspiracies aren’t much like The X-Files – they’re disappointingly short on aliens and the supernatural. Rather, they’re more like John Le Carre books. Shady dealings by powerful people who want nothing more than to line their profits at the expense of others. The abuse of power. Crazy ideologues who try and create their own facts for fun and profit. Corporations supplanting governments via regulatory capture.

One for the “David Icke: Was he Right?” file: The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announce an investigation into claims that Wiltshire Police shelved a child abuse investigation to cover up links to Edward Heath. While Icke has often claimed to have named Jimmy Savile as a paedophile prior to his death, he did not do so publicly. Heath, on the other hand, he did, and Icke is not going to miss the opportunity to point  this out:

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