A couple of months ago I ended up in a conversation about conspiracies. Some of what I heard seemed possible, some unadulterated BS. So I went a lookin’. I fell into a morass ranging from true conspiracies to suspicious behaviors to utter nonsense and silliness. Distinctions between it all were not always clear because they often mixed together.
“A conspiracy theory explains an important social, political, or economic event as being caused or covered up by a covert group or organization.”
“The political scientist Michael Barkun discussing the usage of this term in contemporary American culture holds that a conspiracy theory is a belief which explains an event as the result of a secret plot by exceptionally powerful and cunning conspirators to achieve a malevolent end. According to Barkun, the appeal of conspiracism is threefold: First, conspiracy theories claim to explain what institutional analysis cannot. They appear to make sense out of a world that is otherwise confusing. Second, they do so in an appealingly simple way, by dividing the world sharply between the forces of light, and the forces of darkness. They trace all evil back to a single source, the conspirators and their agents. Third, conspiracy theories are often presented as special, secret knowledge unknown or unappreciated by others. For conspiracy theorists, the masses are a brainwashed herd, while the conspiracy theorists in the know can congratulate themselves on penetrating the plotters' deceptions.”
. . . positioning an explanation as a ‘conspiracy theory’ serves to legitimize the competing one as rational, reasonable and evidence-based.” Byford, Jovan. 2011. Conspiracy Theories: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. N.Y. Pg 21.
“. . . Furthermore, conspiracy theorizing is perceived not just as crazy, paranoid or absurd but also as politically suspect and antithetical to ‘proper’ democratic politics. It is believed to be the sanctuary for kooks and extremists and therefore beyond the limits of respectable enquiry and legitimate political dissent.
Conspiracy theory operates as a resource for delegitimation not only at the individual level . . . Whole societies, communities or religions can be presented as ‘paranoid’ or as subscribing to absurd or politically discredited beliefs” Byford, Jovan. 2011. Conspiracy Theories: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. N.Y. pg. 23
“. . . Those who feel dispossessed, alienated and disenchanted with politics are believed to be attracted to conspiracy theories because such beliefs confirm the person’s sense that the world is beyond their control, while also protecting self-esteem by offering a simple explanation for existential and status-related problems. It has also been found that susceptibility to conspiracy theorizing is not related to gender, education level or occupation, but is linked to minority status: members of minority groups tend to be more susceptible to conspiracy theorizing. . . .” Pg. 129-130
Byford, Jovan. 2011. Conspiracy Theories: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. N.Y.
The Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group, The Trilateral Commission and the Masons are some of the “offending” groups. John Kennedy’s assassination, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Martin Luther King’s assassination, and Paul Wellstone’s death, are just a small number of the possibilities. There are nasty fakes like “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”; this is a known fiction yet still believed by the die-hard conspiratists. Unberto Eco wrote a wonderful fictional account - The Prague Cemetery, 2011).
The big three are the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group and The Trilateral Commission. These are groups of the ultra-wealthy along with media people (who also aren’t hurting for money) and politicians (who also aren’t hurting) who meet in secret to thrash out ideas of how to create a one-world government with “them” in control. After their secret conclaves they then ostensibly put out papers and make it known what their overt designs are. They usually don’t reveal how all of their designs will be accomplished.
Let’s have a quick segue:
With conspiracy theorists, they see nested boxes of manipulation that can never be resolved. Even with hard evidence or a confession by a conspiracy participant, theorists see this as a diversion, manufactured to protect the many underlying participants and manipulation. With this approach, a conspiracy theory is a quasi-living thing. I would guess that they would be sure that the Cain and Abel story was a front for a deeper conspiracy.
For real conspiracy theorists the Illuminati is behind many if not most things.
The Illuminati (plural of Latin illuminatus, "enlightened") is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically the name refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776, to oppose superstition, prejudice, religious influence over public life, abuses of state power, and to support women's education and gender equality. Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830) was the founder of the Bavarian Illuminati. The Illuminati were outlawed along with other secret societies by the Bavarian government leadership with the encouragement of the Roman Catholic Church, and permanently disbanded in 1785. In the several years following, the group was vilified by conservative and religious critics who claimed they had regrouped and were responsible for the French Revolution.
The nested boxes and the Illuminati are so ubiquitous that they probably wouldn’t buy the aforementioned Cain and Abel story. They just know that underlying this, the Illuminati have pulled a quick one.
One more little seque
So we have a group of people with money and power that want to impose their beliefs on the world. They use various methods of influence to accomplish this. They have undermined existing cultures, societies, power structures and ultimately influence the economics of the places they invaded. They were imposing their beliefs and ultimately gained access to resources and cheap labor. No, this isn’t necessarily about the Council on Foreign Relations. This about many hundreds of years of Christianity in South America, Mexico, the Pacific, Africa and all points east-west, north-south. This is about crusades, witch burnings, book burnings and generalized war to impose “democracy”, their way of life by supposed Christian nations. The difference????
Back to the “big boys”
The Bilderberg 2005 meeting spoke about the depletion of petroleum and skyrocketing costs. Of course, they had top oil people there so this was not a ‘what if’ but a happening now.
Estulin, Daniel. 2009. The Bilderberg Group. Trine Day. Oregon. Pgs. 346-348.
The Bilderberg meeting was at odds over the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The point here is that this is not necessarily a unified front although the invasion, of course, did take place. Given the multiple public misinformation and the ultimate miscalculations of the results, I think this points to evidence that this group is not infallible in its decisions.
In reading about different takes on conspiracy, I found:
* There are overt manipulations politically and economically
* Lies of commission spread in mainstream media
* Lies of omission “spread” in mainstream media
* There are actions not directly linked to any group but suspicious like fortuitous deaths (Paul Wellstone – highly vocal opponent to the second Gulf War)
* There are cloaked actions that come to light (Iran-Contra)
* There are actions outside the public awareness (so-called black ops).
These ranges of activities make conspiracies possibly rife in the world and conspiracy theorists wallow in self-congratulations. This suspicion and doubt can lead to a jaundiced eye observing the world.
Here are two examples of manipulative behaviors that are real happenings.
Example1. From: Shoup, Laurence and Minter, William. 1977. Imperial Brain Trust: the Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy. Authors Choice Press. N.Y.
“The Council groups, meeting jointly in Mid-January 1941, produced memorandum E-B26, which recommended to the State Department that it was in the national interest of the United States to check Japan’s advance into Southeast Asia. Not only were the raw materials of that area very important to the United States in peace and war , but a Japanese takeover would greatly weaken the whole British position in Asia.” pg. 142
“President Roosevelt agreed with the State Department-Council on Foreign Relations view, stressing the danger to British and American raw material supplies which Japanese expansion posed. The president stated during the second half of 1941 that a Japanese attack on British and Dutch possession in the Far East would immediately threaten the vital interests of the nation and ‘should result in war with Japan.’” pg. 142
“In late July 1941 Japanese leaders decided to move into southern Indochina as a first step toward control of Southeast Asia. The American reaction was forceful: Japanese assets in the United States were frozen and a total economic embargo, including oil, was imposed. Britain and the Netherlands government-in-exile followed suit. The Council had recommended this policy in January 1941. The seriousness of this action was well known at the time. Many people had previously warned that it would provoke Japan into war, since it cut off many raw and finished materials, including oil, which that country had to have to survive as great power.” pg 144.
Example 2. From: Yant, Martin. 1991. Desert Mirage. Prometheus Books. N.Y. and other sources; all verifiable.
U.S. Conspiracy to Initiate the War Against Iraq http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-consp.htm
How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/06/17/how-reagan-armed-saddam-with-chemical-weapons/
* 1980: The incoming Reagan administration, seeing the Islamic revolution in Iran as a threat, encourages the subsequent Iraqi invasion of Iran, with promises of arms, money and intelligence.
* In addition to billions of dollars in arms, the Reagan Administration provides the Iraqi Regime with chemical and biological weapons.
One year after Iraq uses US-supplied chemical weapons against Iranian troops, the Reagan Administration resumes normal diplomatic relations with Iraq, and removes it from the list of countries that support terrorism.
* The Iran/Iraq War stretches on for 8 years, claims over a million lives and bankrupts Iraq.
* 1988: After the war ends, Iraq's erstwhile ally, Kuwait, floods the world oil market, lowering oil prices, worldwide.
* This undercuts Iraq's efforts to rebuild its war-ravaged economy and infrastructure.
After Hussein's pleas fall on deaf ears, he begins to consider military action against Kuwait.
* When he informs the US about his plans to invade Kuwait, US
Ambassador, April Glaspie tells him: "We (The United States) have no opinion on your border dispute with Kuwait. James Baker (then Secretary of State) has instructed our spokesmen to EMPHASIZE this instruction."
* Given this green light to invade Kuwait, Saddam Hussein does so.
* The Bush Administration immediately renegs on its assurances, and begins preparations for war.
* Iraqi offers to withdraw from Kuwait, in exchange for convening a Middle East peace summit are ignored.
These two - provoking Japan and manipulating Iraq – are examples of overt methods that could be called conspiracies and led to riches for war industries and deaths of millions of people.
Before moving on to a wet dream for conspiracy theorist’s, let me note that John Hancock, (yes, our John Hancock) signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a smuggler and rum runner extraordinaire.
Andreas, Peter. 2013. Smuggler Nation: how Illicit Trade Made America. Oxford. N.Y. pg. 239.
A happy Conspiracy Theorist
The Georgia Guidestones is a mysterious monument on which are carved ten commandments for a New Age of Reason. The Georgia Guidestones is an enigmatic granite monument situated in Elbert County, Georgia. Also known as the American Stonehedge, the gigantic structure is almost 20 feet high and is made of six granite slabs, weighing in total 240,000 pounds. The most astonishing detail of the monument is, however, not its size but the message engraved into it: Ten rules for an Age of Reason . These guides touch upon subjects that are associated with the New World Order, including massive depopulation, a single world government, the introduction of a new type of spirituality, etc. The authors of those rules have requested to remain totally anonymous and, until now, their anonymity has been duly preserved. However, this mysterious group left a text explaining the reasoning behind the rules, a text that was not discussed online before. With this new information, the purpose behind the Guidestones become very clear, leaving little room for hypotheses. The Guidestones describe the ideal world, as envisioned by occult Secret Societies. The monument is therefore proof of an existing link between secret societies, the world elite and the push for a New World Order.
Made of Pyramid blue granite, the Georgia Guidestones are meant to withstand the test of time and to communicate knowledge on several levels: philosophically, politically, astronomically, etc. It consists of four major stone blocks, which contain ten guides for living in eight languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. A shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient languages scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is important to note that those last four ancient languages are of a great importance in the teachings of occult mystery schools, such as the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians.
The four major stones are arranged in a giant paddlewheel configuration which are oriented to the limits of the migration of the sun during the course of the year and also show the extreme positions of the rising and setting of the sun in its 18.6 year cycle. The center stone has two special features: first, the North Star is always visible through a special hole drilled from the South to the North side of the center stone; second, another slot aligns with the positions of the rising sun at the time of the summer and winter solstices and at the equinox.
The ten guides for a new Age of Reason are as follows:
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion, faith, tradition and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth, beauty, love, seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth, Leave room for nature, Leave room for nature.
The first guide of population reduction is called elitist by the various conspiracy websites. This number of 5 hundred million is the low estimate of how many people the earth could feed without the fossil fuel endowment running machinery, providing fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, electrical irrigation, transportation, food processing and preservation. This is the approximate global population prior to the beginning of the industrial age - 500 million between years 1500 and 1650 AD. The upper limit that has been suggested is 2 billion - the world population around 1930. This is near the transition to industrial agriculture.
Most of these guides are wishful thinking. They seem reasonable to me, even wonderful. I am not sure what the threat is. I don’t believe they can take place because of the nature of being human.
What is interesting is the claim of the monument being occult. What is occult?
1. of or pertaining to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies.
2. beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious.
3. secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated.
4. hidden from view.
5. a. not apparent on mere inspection but discoverable by experimentation.
b. of a nature not understood, as physical qualities.
c. dealing with such qualities; experimental: occult science.
At Monte Alban near Oaxaca, Mexico, on a tall mesa is a beautiful structure. The wall and tiers are oriented to the lie of the mesa. The stones are positioned so well that you can sight down from one end to the other. In the middle of the courtyard is another building. It is oriented astronomically.
Is this the occult?
I am a skeptic. Show me evidence of actual occult behavior that cannot by explained by natural psychological influences/suggestions. Is walking on water occult? Rising from the dead after three days? Is virgin birth (a myth found in the Near East for 1000 of years before the present believed one)? Is talking to someone miles away on a little box?
It would seem that one person’s occult is another person’s religious belief. Or science.
A couple of leaving thoughts
After spending so much time trying to make heads of tails of this conspiracy theory stuff, I am curious the psychological history of some of the die-hards.
The fear of dissolving nations for a new world order has several reactions from me. There seems to be a belief that the nation state is the natural order of the world. It would be more reasonable to see it as one step of adjustment along humanities’ path of large populations and high amounts of fossil fuel energy use. From the gatherer/hunter band to tribes to chiefdoms to city-states to kingships to nations seems to be the unfolding. This may well be hitting a roadblock. It would take massive amounts of energy and non-fuel minerals to maintain a global order. Even the wishful wealthy ones are recognizing these limitations via resources. We are in overshoot as a species, having used the environmental resources to multiply as all life does. See: Catton, William. 1980. Overshoot.. University of Illinois Press. Chicago.
Through history there seems to be a distribution of wealth and privilege that looks something like:
0.1% Dynastic Oligarchs
1% Administrators (in today’s world - CEOs, Presidents, Fed chairman, etc.)
10 to 15% Functionary Workers (this would be most who are reading this now)
80 to 90% Peasants (Wage Slaves in debt-bondage)
[I had presented something like this to one of my mailing lists and it was modified close to what I am presenting by someone on the list. I did not keep their name. I thank them.]
If you are reading this you are most likely in the administrator or functionary worker groups. Whatever we think about conspiracies, there have been a goodly number of us that have inadvertently benefited.
Wanting to frame and influence the world from your point of view seems like a natural inclination. It is not a new one (Alexander the Great, Ghengis Khan, Ronald Reagan, Lenin, Mao). If you had the money and power, what would you do?
Is there stuff going on right now? Where did the Libyan revolutionaries get their weapons?
Their continual need for ammunition? Or the present Syrian civil war? Is there a weapons tree, an ammo garden? Are there huge monies trying to block science information that goes against beliefs or investments?
Are there conspiracies? Without a doubt. Nasty ones that enrich and give power to a few, enslave some and kill others.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
Andreas, Peter. 2013. Smuggler Nation: how Illicit Trade Made America. Oxford. N.Y.
Byford, Jovan. 2011. Conspiracy Theories: A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. N.Y.
Catton, William. 1980. Overshoot.. University of Illinois Press. Chicago.
Eco, Umberto. 2011. The Prague Cemetery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Boston.
Estulin, Daniel. 2009. The Bilderberg Group. Trine Day. Oregon.
Estulin, Daniel. 2010. Shadow Masters. IPG. Chicago.
Feinstein, Andrew. 2011. The Shadow World. Farrar, Straus. Giroux. N.Y.
Fonseca, Eduardo Giannetti da. 2000. Lies we live by : the art of self-deception. St. Martin’s Press. New York.
Grose, Peter. 1996. Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996. A Council on Foreign Relations Book. N.Y.
Hayden, Brian. 2007. “Richman, Poorman, Beggarman, Chief: The Dynamics of Social Inequality.” In Archaeology at the Millennium: A source book. Edited by Feinman, Gary and Price, T. Douglas. Springer. N.Y.
Hirstein, William. 2005. Brain fiction : self-deception and the riddle of confabulation. MIT Press. Cambridge, Mass. Keyes, Ralph. 2004. The Post-truth Era. St. Martin’s Press. N.Y.
Horowitz, Mitch. 2009, Occult America. Bantam. N.Y.
Jeffers, H. Paul. 2009. the Bilderberg Conspiracy. Citadel Press. Kensington. Almost true.
Kay, Jonathan. 2011. Among the Truthers. Harper. N.Y.
Keyes, Ralph. 2004. The Post-truth Era. St. Martin’s Press. N.Y.
Kurzban, Robert. 2010. Why everybody (else) is a hypocrite. Princeton.
Lockard, Joan S. and Paulhus, Delroy L. Editors. 1988. Self-Deception: An Adaptive Mechanism. Prentice Hall. New Jersey.
Makow, Henry. 2010. Illuminati 2. Silas Green. Winnepeg
Mele, Alfred R. 2001. Self-deception unmasked. Princeton University Press. Princeton, N.J.
Morey, Robert. 1993. The Truth About Masons. Harvest. Eugene, OR.
Perloff, James. 1989. The Shadows of Power. Western Island. WI.
Reinhart, Carmen and Rogoff, Kenneth. 2009. This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. Princeton U. Princeton.
Shoup, Laurence and Minter, William. 1977. Imperial Brain Trust: the Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy. Authors Choice Press. N.Y.
Tavris, Carol and Aronson, Elliot. 2007. Mistakes Were Made (but not by me). Harcourt. N.Y.