The brief guide to conspiracy theories

I’ll present my take on popular conspiracy theories, cutting out as much of the BS as I can.  These are short capsule summaries; although I could spend a lot more time proving and disproving things, I’ll keep it short and to the point.  It’s the truth that people without power want to acquire it; those rich and influential enough are in a position to attempt this and form alliances with others who wish to do so.  Meanwhile, those in power want to hang onto it.  Some conspiracy theories are baloney, but others turn out to be the real deal.  Quite famously, this includes Watergate, which in the beginning was called a “caper” and seemed just a third rate burglary.  Even so, it would be a mistake to attribute every damn thing going on in the world to puppet masters pulling the strings behind the scene.  There are influential people outside the power blocs, and random stuff happens.  Interestingly, the term “conspiracy theory” was invented by the CIA to discredit these!  For our purposes, “threat assessment” given below means how much potential damage to society they can cause if it’s true, and “verdict” means my opinion on whether or not it’s real.  So here we go in alphabetical order.

9/11 false flag allegations

Okay, Occam’s Razor time.  Nineteen Muslims from Saudi Arabia and Yemen killed themselves – taking 3000 others with them – because A) they wanted to help get the Patriot Act signed and give Bush and Cheney more power, or B) they wanted to get 70 virgins in heaven.  I say they bought into the “70 virgins” fairy tale, though I’m quite certain that heaven wasn’t their final destination!  Also, Bin Laden himself bragged about it later.  So allegations that Bush the Younger orchestrated 9/11 are baloney.  The most that can be claimed with much plausibility is that warnings weren’t taken seriously enough.  Threat assessment:  Yellow.  Verdict:  Not guilty.

Apollo moon landing hoax

This one is popular amongst people who don’t understand science, and I’ve had the misfortune of debating this one with a True Believer.  The major hoopla began as a movie about a fake Mars shot – fiction, but some people kinda sorta took it as a documentary reflecting on the Apollo mission.  As the theory goes, the claim is that the moon landings never took place, and all the footage was done on a movie set.  There were some cinematic portrayals of what the moon looked like before the Apollo missions took place; 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best example.  You’ll note that in the Hollywood version, the highly craggy depiction of the moon’s surface looks a good bit different from what it turned out to be, as photos consistently show.  Much can be done with special effects these days, but it just wasn’t sophisticated enough in the late ’60s to depict an environment with no air and low gravity.  The actual Apollo footage showed astronauts shuffling along in low gravity, and dust trails from the moon buggy behaves as it would in a low-gravity airless environment.  Really, faking a moon landing would have been a bigger effort than actually sending a rocket to the moon!  There would have to be hundreds, if not thousands, in on the secret – people in Mission Control watching dials, and other people somewhere else generating fake data, some other guys making up false telemetry readings to beam from satellites for benefit of people listening in on shortwave, the movie crew, etc.  Nobody from NASA has written any tell-all books alleging that, or even any deathbed confessions.  Remember also that this took place in the same Presidency that couldn’t cover up that third-rate burglary!  Finally, an Indian satellite imaged the landing sites, where the landers themselves are bright dots casting a long shadow.  Threat assessment:  Green.  (Even assuming it’s true for the sake of argument, so freaking what?)  Verdict:  Not guilty.  This one is just loony.

Black helicopters

I used to think it was all baloney until I actually saw one.  My first sighting was when I was visiting a friend over in the Texas Bay Area.  One was hovering right over NASA headquarters the day after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.  The second one was in flight while I was taking a trip to Austin some years later.  Unfortunately, my cell phone was being too slow for me to capture it on camera, or I’d have a picture for you.  As far as the theory goes, they’re operated by the government (or maybe the UN, as some say) and whoever is operating them is up to no good.  My take is that they are indeed operated by the government, but might simply be helicopters that happen to be painted black.  (They could always paint them some other color if they get too notorious.)  Maybe they’re for transporting high-level officials, maybe they’re military, maybe they’re for spying on the public; hard to say there.  Threat assessment:  Hell if I know.  Verdict:  Guilty, but hard to say what the significance is.

Catholic plots

I’m afraid I’m going to have to pick on some religions here.  Please don’t take any of this personally, though.  For centuries, Catholicism was the only game in town over in Europe, and there are those who think of this as the good old days.  The Jesuits – formally known as the Society of Jesus, were basically the vanguard of counter-reformation efforts back in the Renaissance, and perfected lawyerly evasion to a fine art.  The Jesuits were a fairly big deal back in the day,  but they aren’t any more.  There was still a lot of talk of ultramontanism – Papal influence abroad, basically – which sort of fizzled out after JFK got elected and didn’t ban fish on Fridays.  Moreover, the Inquisition hasn’t exactly been burning heretics for a good while.  I’m not a Catholic myself, but I do see the Church as overall a force for good in the world, even though I quibble about some items.  (The Vatican seriously dropped the ball lately by not cracking down on pedophile priests, but all that’s another matter.)  As for now, Catholicism is struggling to hold on in its European birthplace – not because of Protestantism, but rather atheism.  Threat assessment:  yellow in the Renaissance, green now.  Verdict:  Guilty, but not as much as they’ve been made out to be.

Communism

Back in the early 1800s, Karl Marx – nearly a bum and hadn’t worked a day in his life – invented a totalitarian ideology.  Awesome, huh?  The short version of the idea is that the world will be wonderful if everybody shared everything.  Some small, tightly-knit tribal societies do have communal ownership of property, and some religious communes have gotten it to work, but it turns into an utter disaster when you roll it out on a large scale.  They staged a successful coup in Russia and ended up ruling the largest country in the world.  They planned to take over Europe up to the English channel, but Hitler got the drop on them and the Soviets had to settle for taking over Eastern Europe.  China was captured by the Communists soon after, and Chairman Mao became one of the biggest fuck-ups in world history.  Following that, the USA ended up getting lassoed into a couple of spit-in-your-eye wars in Asia.  Meanwhile, Communism (both the Marxist-Leninist and the Maoist brands) made inroads into the Third World, most notably Cuba, Nicaragua, Afghanistan (we’re still cleaning up the aftermath from that mess), and several African kleptocracies, as well as spawning terrorist groups all over the place.  KGB insiders such as Yuri Bezmenov and Vasili Mitrokhin confirm what they were up to.  There are some other spinoffs as well.  One of them is the Trotskyites; not even the real Commies can stand them.  Then there are those fruit loops in North Korea, who unfortunately have nukes now.  Finally, there’s cultural Marxism, about which I’ve ranted elsewhere.  The good news is that most Communist countries said “hell with this” back in the early 1990s.  The bad news is that cultural Marxism is still going on, wrecking our society, and even spreading into Eastern Europe.  Threat assessment:  Red in the 20th Century, but a shadow of its former self on the world scene now.  As for cultural Marxism, still red.  Verdict:  Guilty as sin.  The real Communists wanted to take over the world.  The cultural Marxists, if they get their way, want to turn Western civilization into a dysfunctional Third World hellhole.

Domestic spying

This includes the Carnivore program that reads everybody’s emails, that NSA server farm in Utah where all our phone calls get recorded, and so forth.  All that seemed like tinfoil hat stuff, until Edward Snowden blew the lid on it.  Because of this, he got himself on top of the government’s shit list and had to flee to Russia, sort of a reverse scenario of KGB insiders who defected to the West way back in the day.  Yes, your Internet activity really is logged; that’s the law.  The Fourth Amendment, which limits the government from unreasonable search and seizure, is basically a joke these days.  The “right of privacy” implied by the Fourth Amendment is used by the Supreme Court for things that have nothing to do with privacy; meanwhile real privacy got lost in the shuffle.  But if you have nothing to hide, surely you don’t mind the government monitoring your communications, now do you???  Threat assessment:  Yellow for now (will become red if there’s a serious challenge to the status quo).  Verdict:  Guilty.  Since they’re apparently not cracking down on drug lords, human traffickers, and the like, consider this a manifestation of anarcho-tyranny.

Freemasonry

According to the Freemasons themselves, they all started out as the builders of Solomon’s Temple.  Personally, I think that much is baloney, and there’s no supporting evidence for this, thus it was something they came up with to give them a cool history.  They first appeared on the scene – where supporting evidence begins – during the High Middle Ages.  Interestingly, they appeared soon after the Knights Templar got themselves in hot water and were suppressed for getting a little too wealthy (via international banking) and a little too influential.  So, there’s some speculation that the Masons started out as rebranded Knights Templar – believe it if you will.  In any event, they were basically an international guild for stonemasons back in the High Middle Ages, the guys who built all those cool cathedrals.  They didn’t have union cards back then, so they used secret handshakes.  Later on, they took in non-stonemasons too; thus the “accepted” part of “free and accepted”.  Back in the day, they did seem to get involved in the Western mystery tradition of mysticism, so maybe there’s something to the Knights Templar theory.  Later on, they got wrapped up in Age of Enlightenment politics a bit (including a brief brush with the Illuminati).  That part of it seemed threatening to the interests of absolutist monarchy at the time.  Also, they got in a mutual snit with the Catholic Church.  (The Catholics have an alternate social group, the Knights of Columbus.)  These days, relations have simmered down between the Masons and the Catholics, as well as the Mormons; a man believing in any religion can join the Masons these days.  As for the political angle, that shouldn’t be too threatening; the only major country with absolutist monarchy these days is Saudi Arabia.  Most of the US Founding Fathers were Masons, and all Presidents with the possible exception of the last two were involved to some degree or another.  So they were in a position to make the USA whatever they wanted; in other words, they’re as American as apple pie.  It was hugely popular amongst the American public back in the 1800s, though now much less so.  Today, they’re a charitable fraternal organization and don’t do much bricklaying.  Dan Brown’s books helped perk up some interest, leading to guys joining to see what it’s all about – good deal!  If you want to join them too, by all means do so and keep this fine tradition alive.  Threat assessment:  Green.  Verdict:  Not guilty, though not proven during the Age of Enlightenment.

Globalist clubs

This includes the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bohemian Grove, and a few others.  Membership in these includes a good number of world leaders and the ultra-wealthy.  The way they tell it, these are foreign policy think tanks, though the Bohemian Grove is more like a party out in the woods.  According to others, they’re globalist elites manipulating world politics to enrich themselves and restructure society against the public’s wishes.  They keep their activities a secret, and have done a very good job observing the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” rule.  So whether they’ve set themselves up as a global oligarchy, or whether they’re knocking back cognac with their friends and watching strippers, is anyone’s guess.  Since we don’t know what they talk about in their meetings until they start letting reporters in – and we certainly don’t have access to their email servers either – who the hell knows what they’re doing or not doing?  There are also rumors of devil worship and weird orgies, most especially at the Bohemian Grove.  Perhaps that one is a modern day Hellfire Club, but JPEGs or it’s not real.  Threat assessment:  Red.  Verdict:  Not proven.  Fnord fnord fnord.

GMO foods

Selective breeding has been done to crops since antiquity.  However, these days, we have the technology to change DNA itself, which has raised concerns even in people who really do understand science.  One time, this almost caused a global catastrophe with the potential to wipe out the biosphere.  It’s true that modern foods are pretty crappy compared to what we ate a century ago, but the data isn’t out yet about how harmless or bad genetic modification is.  What certainly is bad is trans fats – partially hydrogenated grease – read labels and avoid this like the plague.  You can still get organic foods; unfortunately, though, it’s roughly twice as expensive.  Even so, what really grinds my gears the most is the destruction of family farming by agribusinessThreat assessment:  Yellow.  Verdict:  Not proven.  The exception is that vegetation-eating bacterium that almost got released and would have caused a global extinction event.  Had the problem not been discovered in time, that would have kind of sucked.

The Illuminati

Quite a bit of hoopla has been made about them.  The facts are that they were nasty nihilists hell-bent on revolution – as radical as it gets as far as Age of Enlightenment politics went.  They were pretty viciously suppressed, causing them to die out (though others will dispute that).  What got people spooked was that the French Revolution happened soon after.  My very short take on the French Revolution is that it occurred because the people were starving and the French monarchy made some missteps.  Then when a stinky demagogue named Marat came onto the scene and started exhorting the masses to kill the aristocracy, and a lawyer named Robespierre actually started doing that, things went to shit in a hurry.  No need for a conspiracy there!  Some say that the globalist clubs are fronts for the Illuminati, but I think that one’s a bit of a stretch; the ultra-wealthy can start up clubs on their own.  Threat assessment:  Red in 18th Century Bavaria, green now.  Verdict:  Guilty but extinct.  Ewige Blumenkraft, y’all.

Islamism

Most Muslims are okay folks, but it’s the fruit loops you have to worry about.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of fruit loops out there.  I’ve read a large part of the Quran, and there really is a lot of us-versus-them stuff in it.  If you put a fundamentalist interpretation on it, then the implications are that it’s their religious duty to fight the unbelievers, which the Quran certainly does say.  They’re cheesed off with us about American support for Israel, and Western presence in their countries.  Personally, I think the Israelis have been playing us for chumps, but still, we can make friends with whomever we want even if our choices aren’t always the wisest.  As for Western presence in the Middle East, I’d be fine with pulling out of there and letting them fight their own battles.  Personally, I think that Ataturk was on the right track, but if instead they want to bring their societies back to the 7th Century, that’s their problem.  (Once electric cars become more affordable and we can get off the OPEC tit, they’ll get back to the 7th Century a lot faster.)  In exchange, they’re going to have to take back their people now colonizing the Western world.  Then Americans would have to deal with much less terrorism, and Europeans wouldn’t have to deal with their rioting, street crime, and paying welfare checks to millions who stay home and breed.  That sounds like a fair deal to me.  Threat assessment:  Yellow here (for now), red in the camel countries.  Verdict:  Guilty.

JFK assassination conspiracy

This horrible tragedy has sparked theories all over the place.  Getting right down to business, it’s very possible that there was another shooter behind the grassy knoll, though the official Warren Commission version discounts it.  I doubt that LBJ was behind any of it; in fact, he was so rattled by it that he took the Oath of Office on board on board Air Force One, fearing that there were other assassins lurking out there.  There are a lot of things you can call LBJ, but chicken isn’t really one of them.  My take is that the New Orleans mob likely pulled off the hit; they had some grudges with the Kennedy family.  Lee Harvey Oswald was involved with them, and his Communist background was a good smokescreen.  Jack Ruby – who whacked Oswald before he could blab – was involved with them too.  The father of one of my former girlfriends was in the New Orleans mob as well; she doesn’t have anything solid, but does have some suspicions.  Unless one of them breaks the Omerta code of silence on his deathbed, this will remain shrouded in mystery.  Threat assessment:  Red, back in the day.  Verdict:  Not proven, but pretty hinky.

Obama birth controversies

The official story is that The Lightworker was born in Hawaii; others (including his aunt) say he was born in Kenya.  The long form birth certificate has been a big controversy, especially since neither of the two hospitals in Honolulu could find it.  Later, someone came up with a PDF document; after that, someone else took apart the PDF and found that it was layered with somebody else’s information at the bottom – oopsie!  So the “official” version of his birth certificate is a JPEG of that, which doesn’t have the embarrassing telltale layering problem.  There was a birth announcement in the newspaper, though that doesn’t really don’t prove anything.  The way I see it, Obama’s mother came back to America soon after he was born and decided her kid would be better off as an American citizen; good call, since only a native-born citizen can be President.  Since she worked in Hawaii’s public records department for a while, she was in a good position to fix things up and get him fake ID.  Obama’s Social Security Number indicates an issuance in Connecticut; those who’ve looked into it found that this belonged to Harrison J. Bounel, a fellow born in Connecticut back in the 1880s and settled down in Hawaii when he was an old guy.  Other efforts have been made to whitewash (if you’ll pardon the term) his past.  For example, when he was a kid growing up in Indonesia, he was registered in school as a Muslim.  The papers still exist, but another version has this edited out.  Also, nobody really knows what the hell he was doing in his college years.  My speculation is that this involved large amounts of whacky weed.  My take is that he really was born in Kenya; airlines don’t fly near-term pregnant women, since air travel has been known to trigger premature labor, and birth on a transcontinental flight is a huge risk.  There is another version of the story that Obama’s father was actually a fellow named Frank Marshall Davis.  (Thus, his mom tried to pull a baby trap on BHO Sr.)  Davis is the guy he calls “Pops” in one of his autobiographies, and also in a poem he (or quite possibly Davis himself) wrote.  Unfortunately for Obama’s political prospects, Frank Marshall Davis was a prominent Communist Party USA member (as well as a bit of a perv).  If so, the citizenship controversy would be pretty much moot, since Davis was undeniably an American citizen, even if not a particularly loyal one.  Actually, the two look a lot alike, with much more resemblance than Barack Obama Sr.  So either Obama is a red diaper baby, or the son of a Kenyan; either way, probably born in Kenya.  Threat assessment:  Yellow, since the American public really doesn’t know who the hell the President actually is.  Verdict:  Depends on who his dad was.

The Patriarchy

This bears the same relationship to radical feminists as “The Establishment” did to the hippies.  Basically, it’s a catch-all boogeyman responsible for all that they don’t like about the world, including just about everything.  As they tell it, men hold all the power in society and are conspiring to hold women down.  I’m not sure if this even qualifies as a conspiracy theory, because there is no theory.  There’s no explanation as to how the patriarchs are pulling the levers behind the scenes, so we’re pretty much supposed to take it as a given that men just have it in for women and don’t want them to succeed.  Then again, we all know that radical feminists are a little loopy.  The truth is that most men – including Yours Truly – love women and have no desire to hold them back.  Hopefully one day the masses of women will tell the radical feminists to shut up and quit stirring up trouble in their name.  Threat assessment:  Yellow before women got the right to vote, green since 1920.  Verdict:  Not guilty.  The exception is in the camel countries, but few feminists pay much attention to that, because then it would make it pretty ridiculous to complain about how bad things are here.

Roswell UFO crash landing

The short version is that the military was doing some high-altitude radar research, and one of the balloons crashed.  This left some weird debris on the ground, it happened to be a slow news day over in New Mexico, and a legend was born.  There probably are aliens out there, somewhere in this vast universe of ours; whether or not they’ve visited Earth is another question entirely.  Reagan sort of dropped a hint once, and I got a second-hand confirmation from someone who would be in a very good position to know – but it’s unlikely that the Roswell incident was the real deal.  Threat assessment:  Yellow (assuming there really are UFOs spying on us).  Verdict:  Not guilty, at least as far as Roswell goes.  Mostly harmless.

Scientology

This one got started by L. Ron Hubbard, a second rate science fiction author and a first rate bullshit artist who wanted to make a heap of money by starting his own religion.  He stole bits and pieces of Thelema, Buddhism, and pop culture self-help, resulting in the strangest cult known to mankind.  It’s a revelatory mystery religion, and if you make it to the OT3 level (which will probably run you at least $150K, and long hours playing with an e-meter), you will learn about the evil galactic overlord Xenu and the volcano business.  It really is a money-grubbing mind control cult, and the less fortunate amongst them really are kept in conditions of near-slavery.  They’re also trying to take over Hollywood; actually I wish them luck in that, even though Battlefield Earth was pretty lame.  Most Scientologists are actually decent people, though their leaders are not.  As for the celebrities, they’re afraid to break ranks because of huge amounts of poop the Church has on file about them.  Threat assessment:  Yellow.  Verdict:  Guilty.  Poor little clams:  snap, snap, snap.

Skull and Bones society

It’s basically a fraternity at Yale that happens to have had lots of members who became influential later on – including both Bush the Younger and John Kerry, making the 2004 US Presidential Election an all Skull and Bones ticket.  The story goes that this group has Geronimo’s skull – now how’s that for skullduggery!  However, that one is baloney; any skull they happen to have was some other dude.  My own college experience was pretty boring in comparison.  Although fraternities provide oodles of networking opportunities, this one is small potatoes compared to the big globalist clubs.  Threat assessment:  Green.  Verdict:  Not guilty.

Social media censorship

Companies such as Fakebook and Twatter keep stories they don’t like off of their “trending” lists, or outright deleting them, as well as closing accounts of people who get too outspoken.  (Actually, this happened to one of my girlfriends.)  Yahoo News censors comments that they don’t like; it’s bad enough that their stories are so blatantly biased in the first place.  Some media companies have reacted to criticism of their slanted articles by shutting off the comments section.  They don’t like it too much when the public talks back!  Finally, that treasonous hypocrite Angela Merkel got caught on live microphone asking Suckerberg to censor criticism on Fakebook about the hordes of Syrian “refugees” she’s letting into the country, and Suckerberg replied that he was already on it.  Also, Wikipedia pages are monitored by Social Justice Weenies, causing countless edit wars (including deleting an article about them), as well as a team in Israel that likes to write history their own way.  Threat assessment:  Yellow; although social media might not seem very important, censorship doesn’t belong in a free society.  Verdict:  Guilty.

Vaccination controversies

This one is another popular with people who don’t understand science.  The way they tell it, vaccines are not intended to prevent diseases, but rather to turn us all into zombies.  Much has been made about trace amounts of mercury in vaccine production – far too small to hurt anyone, and they’re not even produced that way any more.  If you want your kids to catch diptheria or some other crap that terrified people during the pioneer days, go ahead and listen to these idiots.  Threat assessment:  Too silly to be anything other than green.  Verdict:  Not guilty.  Vaccines have saved countless lives.  Edward Jenner and Jonas Salk were great men, and so are others like them carrying on research.  What’s really turning kids into zombies is television.

Zionism

This has two meanings.  In the original sense, this was the movement to establish the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland.  This certainly did come to pass back in 1948.  I might add that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, said to be the meeting minutes of the convention that started it all, was bullshit fabricated in imperial Russia and got lots of people clobbered for no good reason.  In the expanded sense, Zionism refers to global Jewish power.  I’m not out to pick on anyone, though there’s no way to sugar-coat the following.  Unfortunately, many (though certainly not all) Jews got into the Communism fad – beginning with Karl Marx, the Big Kahuna himself – though this fell out of fashion in the 1950s for the most part.  Following that, many of them bought into the cultural Marxism fad which took off in the 1960s.  Anyway, they bought into these things believing it would be good for the Jews, a holdover from 17th Century us-versus-them mentality.  Unfortunately, they’re giving their own community a very bad name, and need to knock it off.  Are Jews really that powerful?  As far as the USA goes, they’re the 800 pound gorilla in the media (some of them even admit the obvious), the financial industry, Congress (via the Israeli lobby), foreign policy (for just one example, the Gulf War wasn’t really about cheap oil), academia, and they totally own the Hebrew National hot dog company.  Threat assessment:  Red, because of their disproportionate influence in politics and unfortunate continued involvement in the cultural Marxism fad.  Verdict:  Not guilty by reason of insanity.  Any of them pushing cultural Marxism are crazy to wreck the country that gave their forefathers refuge and granted them the liberty to prosper like nowhere else.  Whatever happens to the rest of us will happen to them too.  Still, I hasten to add that there are plenty of decent Jews horrified by what it’s doing to society, and for that matter, their community’s image.  If they can convince their brethren to knock it off, anti-Semitism would fade into obscurity.

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The brief guide to conspiracy theories

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