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Conspiracy? Not So Much


With this week’s 40th Anniversary of the moon landing, media discussions of a “hoax” were inevitable.

And so it came, in the form of The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg. In all seriousness, on air, she blurted, “Who shot the footage? … Why is the flag rippling? There’s no air,” voicing her doubts on the historic achievement.

Why are conspiracies so rampant these days? There are conspiracies surrounding 9/11, Iraq, Vietnam, JFK, RFK, MLK, Waco, Ruby Ridge, every election, Barack Obama’s birth certificate – I could go on, but you get the idea.

Fringe movements aren’t as fringy now that common thoughts and goals can be searched through Google and talked about in chat rooms with other conspiracists across the country or planet. But even the worst of these theories are nothing new and the worst things the right and left, for example, can say about each other can be found printed throughout history, and come from the same anti-Semitic ideas that have been circulating since forever.

In “The Unseen Hand: An Introduction to the Conspiratorial View of History”, author A. Ralph Epperson presents the difference between what he calls the “accidental view” of history, and the “conspiratorial view.” The accidental view says, “historical events occur by accident, for no apparent reason. Governmental rulers are powerless to prevent the event from happening.” The conspiratorial view sees historical events occurring “by design, for reasons that are not made known to the people.”

There are many conspiratorial views of history, but they’re all based on the people’s distrust of those in power – and there’s a lot to distrust, of course.

In his 1990 book “The New World Order”, Epperson alleges a secret plot to destroy all nations and religions, bringing about global tyranny, will occur in the following way: “Parents will not be allowed to raise their children…the private ownership of property will be outlawed; religion will be outlawed and believers will either be eliminated or imprisoned; there will be a new religion: the worship of man and his mind.” Once our values are destroyed, he says, we will become slaves to the leaders of our planet.

Epperson, known for his Anti-Masonic theories, believes that once all governments – working in unison with one another – destroy every traditional human institution, they will be able to restore a tyrannical New World Order, a one-world government, “upon the wreckage they have created.” In other words, this is bigger than one man, one party, one country, even one century. It’s about a plan world leaders have been focusing on since they realized they could so easily manipulate the masses.

Among the conspiracies presented by Epperson (which are doctrine in many conspiracy circles), is the idea of war existing so the poor can die to keep the New World Order rich and powerful. What’s tough is that this view isn’t far outside the mainstream, as most conspiracies need a hint of truth to exist in the realm of believability. Epperson’s “war examples” include the following:

The American Civil War was brought about by European bankers and agreed upon by Abraham Lincoln. The bankers wanted a central bank under their control in the U.S., and the North would need to borrow money to pay for such a war. After Lincoln issued the greenback, turning his back on the conspirators (likely members of the Rothschild banking family), he was assassinated.

World War I was a production, brought about by world leaders in order to create a League of Nations.

World War II was brought about in order to establish the U.N. (All world groups and unions bring us closer to a One World Government.)

In a more than five-hour long YouTube conspiracy movie titled Illuminati: Bloodlines of Power, the female narrator states the following is true:

* All world leaders and heads of state are related by blood.

* Jewish bankers gave Hitler (a former British secret agent) the green light on the Holocaust, arguing that Eastern European Jews weren’t Zionist (part of the original tribes of Israel), and therefore expendable. The Holocaust also helped create the rationale for a Jewish state.

* Peace activist leaders are government agents, inspiring peace movements in order to make these members of society more open to a one world government (with a one world nation, no two nations will exist to go to war with each other).

* The Beatles and Tim Leary were government agents, made popular to get teenagers and young adults addicted to drugs (which in turn makes them lazy and more able to submit to a one world government.)

* Celebrity culture is controlled by the New World Order and meant to take our attention off what’s “really going on.”

* Sports are also meant for this purpose.

* The New World Order have machines that control weather and create natural disasters.

Of the celebrity allegation, MTV reality television celebrity Spencer Pratt told radio host Alex Jones he regretted contributing to pop culture and vowed to use his celebrity to highlight issues concerning this New World Order. He told SPIN Magazine he intends to expose “how 9/11 was an inside job” on his upcoming rap album and on the fifth season of The Hills.

So why do some of us believe in the conspiratorial view of history? I’m sure there are a plethora of reasons. But at its base, I think people generally want to see themselves as above everyone else, understanding what others don’t. That’s why the “birthers” will never go away. It’s why the “Truthers” are here to stay and the Holocaust is still being denied. It’s why, 40 years later, television personalities are still talking about a moon landing hoax.

It doesn’t matter how much evidence there is. Conspiracy theorists believe all evidence is part of the conspiracy and fabricated, and only they have the power to understand. It’s frustrating. That’s probably why Buzz Aldrin entertainingly handled conspiracy reporter Bart Sibrel the way he did.

That still cracks me up.

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11:41 PM
Thu Jul 23 2009
Interesting, thoughtful article

I especially liked your insights concerning the connections among conspiracy theories, distrust of authority and "understanding what others don't."  And now we have CNN's Lou Dobbs asking to see Obama's birth certificate. Very interesting...


8:21 PM
Fri Jul 24 2009
Not sure what I find more

Not sure what I find more laughable-people trying to say the moon landing was done on a Hollywood movie set or that missles disguised as planes were launched into the Twin Towers. Take your pick.