Election years bring out the crazy in the American media-politic the way the rain brings out the smell of urine on Chicago Avenue. And maybe not just election years, God bless our crazy hearts; conspiracy theories are a national passtime.
I thought it'd be fun to do a Top Ten of the conspiracy theories I find most entertaining. Mind you I neither endorse nor dismiss anything below; this is all for entertainment purposes/ Halloween fun only. Personally I am a confirmed skeptic and disinclined to believe most things I read or hear, whether they are fringe theories (Illuminati! Lizard people!) or mainstream ones (Vaccines! Monsanto! The Republicans want to put black people in chains! The Democrats want to put ISIS in your kindergarten! The NRA / Hillary has blood on their hands!).
Go on with your bad crazy selves, America, I stand before you today only in a Cryptkeeper capacity.
Two things I will endorse up front are Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley and The Mitrokhin Archive by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin. The former is often mentioned in certain conspiracy corners while the latter is curiously off-the-radar. Both are non-fiction and exhaustive - Tragedy and Hope is over 1000 pages and Mitrokhin about 700) - and are perhaps best stored as PDFs on your hard drive. That way, you can search them for any phrase or name you ever come across and see for yourself how they fit into the information matrix of the twentieth century. Want to understand why I believe so many of the crazy things I do? Keep these books at the ready. Neither were written to blow the lid off anything - Quigley was Bill Clinton's mentor, for example, and very much a supporter of everything he wrote about in Tragedy and Hope - but both should be on the actual or virtual shelf of anyone who wishes to speak beyond a superficial level to the Anglo-American century.
Also? Propaganda by Ed Bernays. And maybe Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley.
Before we begin, this isn't an exhaustive list - good lord, how could it be? Way back in the pre-internet days, I was a big fan of the Church of the Sub-Genius' Catalog of Weird and Wondrous Groups and Conspiracies. That wasn't the official name of it, I'm just having some trouble finding a link to what I'm talking about. It was essentially an annotated list, separated by category (Alien, Government, Religious, etc.) of all the wack-a-doo groups that published a newsletter or had stuff available for purchase. I don't think I ever availed myself of anything in there, but I used to love flipping through it. Anyway, to even approach an exhaustive list, you'd need something book length, for sure, and these days, probably several volumes.
I decided not to include anything that could be termed "black conspiracy." It's too broad a topic, for one, on either side. I do, however, think a key and ongoing component of population control is keeping people divided along racial lines. What that used to mean vs. how it plays out now (see MSNBC, Vox, Daily Kos, etc.) is instructive.
See Ye Olde Zen Axiom - you are attached to what you attack. Amen.
Mystery Babylon by William Cooper
Ah, good ol' Bill Cooper, the former host of The Hour of the Time. Bill Clinton called him "the most dangerous man in America," and he was killed by the feds under mysterious circumstances outside of his home in Arizona.
So what did Former President Clinton find so dangerous about Bill Cooper? All the usual stuff, I guess - just a general purveyor of anti-government / false flag / Illuminati conspiracy theories. Cooper (and his listeners) wore the President's anti-endorsement as a badge of pride, and rightly so. It's doubtful, though, that Clinton or any of his people ever sat down and made their way through all 41 parts of "Mystery Babylon," as your humble narrator did in the winter of 2008/2009. (After doing so, I wrote the current caretakers of the Hour of the Time and asked if there was some kind of badge or bumper sticker for completing it. No reply.)
The basic gist of Mystery Babylon is that since the time of Ancient Egypt - and right on down through the ages, as preserved in the secret societies, particularly the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians - a high priest class has ruled over humanity, and they've done so through symbols and ritual. The great thing about this series is that some episodes are simply Bill reading from other things (such as all the Assassins and Templars stuff, all of which led me to the source material, John J. Robinson's Dungeon Fire and Sword, a fantastic read) or just holding the microphone up to the television as it plays The Occult and the Third Reich. (Pre-internet, man! It was wild back there!) So some scholarly work does indeed filter down through the program.
Other episodes are interrupted by Bill's dog whimpering to be let out or Bill screaming "WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!" into the microphone. In the finest paranoid schizophrenic tradition, he refers often to his lonely and heroic quest, (i.e. all the martyrdom he endures on our ungrateful behalf) and he devotes several episodes to Bette Midler's "The Rose." If you've ever wanted to hear a man in his 50s wax religious about that song, repeatedly, you're in for a treat.)
In other words, it's a wild ride all over the map. The "Mystery Babylon" legacy lives on at sites like Vigilant Citizen or in more scholarly works such as Mark Booth's The Secret History of the World. Booth is the pseudonym of the publisher of Graham Hancock's many works. I suppose I should consider Hancock's work to be conspiracy theory of a sort, as well, but not quite in the same manner as any of the other books on this list. If I were to shoehorn Hancock's work into things, though, I'd put Fingerprints of the Gods right up there at number one. One of the most engrossing books I've ever read. Some of the info has since been updated in Magicians of the Gods, but of the two, Fingerprints is the better read.
Anyway! Hancock is a distant cousin at best to Bill Cooper, and both would likely resent my associating them even with all these disclaimers.
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
I haven't, actually, read the Patriot's History book. Why include it? Because I've come to the opinion that the academe in this country (and the social media tablescraps that fall from its table) is entirely too monochromatic in its Marxist, Zinn-ian interpretation of all things Americana. The defense cites the endless stream of Peer Review word salad, the diminishing results of our educational system, and the demonstrable censorship and bullying that are by-products of this myopia.
Put another way, I saw Howard Zinn speak at Vassar in 2000 to a capacity crowd. I don't think you'd get the same for Larry and Michael, if they were even allowed on campus. Is it a question of the quality of information? Or popularity of narrative? Academics should ask these questions and examine the answers. All too often though, they just vote for Bernie Sanders. Thanks a whole bunch, guys and dolls.
I'm not anti-Zinn by any means. Nor even anti-Bernie. Everything I'm saying applies to any monochromatic narrative; Ron Paul fans come to mind, too. (And likewise, I'm not anti-Paul.) I think people should read People's History, too, and maybe Murray Rothbard and maybe Lenin and maybe any and all opposing viewpoints. Triangulate your opinion based on as many coordinates as you can. That's really the only effective antidote to viewpoint radiation.
You might have seen news of Jack Chick's passing in the media last week. I was kind of surprised to see so many people talking about him, though I shouldn't be. I've known since I read "Devil Doll" in an old issue of Eightball that there were others out there who got a big kick out of these things.
If any of you out there haven't ever come across a Chick tract, they are little Mao-style tracts that are left in public places or handed out by people on the street, which is how I came to know the man's work, when I was living in Dayton, OH, walking home from work one Saturday night.
Your mileage will undoubtedly vary with these things. I've never met anyone who takes these things as the literal word of truth (thankfully), but I've known many who can't see past the apocalyptic Christianity of them. An ex-girlfriend got so uncomfortable by these things that she was upset with me for having any in the house. After we broke up, I went and ordered a whole bunch of tracts and comics from their website. (That showed her!)
That Kurt Kursteiner essay aforelinked to speaks for me and probably many other Chick readers. There's a great tract-parody he wrote in The Art of Jack Chick called "The Collector," which I can't seem to find anywhere on the net, but it involves some hipster-looking dude who convinces a comics nerd to collect Chick Tracts "ironically." He does so, then after he dies, the hipster-looking dude reveals himself as none other than the Devil. "I lied to you, for your soul - for you see, I, too, am... THE COLLECTOR." Among my favorite things ever.
There's also a documentary, God's Cartoonist, which is very entertaining. If I die and discover it was all real and I'm on a special list for mocking God's Chick-Tract sleeper cell, man, I can't say I wasn't warned.
Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins
Unlike the Zionist Central Banker theory one occasionally sees floated around, the situation described here by Perkins, allegedly a former "economic hit man," i.e. one of those economic consultants who always seem to precede American military or corporate presence in "hot spots" around the globe, seems depressingly plausible. Ever hear about these single-lane accidents on deserted roads or plane crashes of prominent South American dissidents or reformists? Ever wonder why so many NGOs and not-for-profits seem so well-inserted behind the scenes in the "undeveloped" world? This book should come to mind.
There is a new edition out which I haven't read. I followed Perkins for awhile on twitter, but it proved too difficult to square the cynicism and cloak-and-dagger intrigue of Confessions with the more Green Party platitudes of his feed. He's free to believe what he likes, of course, but if a fraction of what he describes in his book is accurate, neither Green Party nor Mainstream Party platitudes amount to much.
I mentioned the Zionist Central Banker thing. It's amazing how many people still believe that crap. That said, I think the history of central banking/ fractional-reserve banking is worth studying. You'll quickly learn it has nothing to do with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is a work of fiction, folks. I recommend both The Money Masters and Money As Debt, two internet videos that occasionally veer into fantasy (particularly the former), but also bring a lot of facts to the table.
Neither of them directly link to Perkins' book. But having seen both of those many times prior to reading it, I had a lot of "A-ha" moments while reading it.
Pssst - the very rich conspire with the very rich. It ain't conspiracy; it's common sense. Wouldn't you? Not much you can do about it, but for the love of Pete, no point arguing otherwise. I'm amazed at how many people do, though, particularly during election years. (Pssst pt. 2: the very rich are not waiting to hear what the people decide at the polls before making their plans for the next fiscal year.) All I'm saying is, when it comes to economic conspiracies, one basic rules covers them all: the system is rigged for the ruling class, not for or by any one individual.
Crossing the Rubicon by Michael C. Ruppert
I read this one in 2008, as well. I was unemployed for many months that year and filled a lot of my time with conspiracy theory. This turned out to be useful research given my next job - bartender and manager at a VFW, where I heard a lot of the same theories slurred back at me in fits and starts. (Prompting me to ask one particularly bigoted WW2 vet exactly which side of the war he fought on.)
Of the many 9/11 conspiracy theories out there, this is my favorite. I'm not getting into any of it, just saying, this book asks some good questions and lays out a logical process beyond the typical InfoWars/ Loose Change / Zeitgeist sort of stuff you see. Full disclosure: I'm not a particular fan of InfoWars. Almost every time I've seen something crazy being floated in my newsfeed - Jade Helm, Killary, so many things - it almost always traces back to InfoWars. That makes it the sister-site of something like ThinkProgress or other sites which stage a similar psy-op campaign along different false premises.
Like Bill Cooper, Ruppert's research got him into trouble with the powers that be. Much of that is detailed in Crossing the Rubicon, but most of it is devoted to making a case for Dick Cheney being the Clay Shaw of the whole 9/11 cabal. The motive? Peak Oil.
An absolute page-turner, regardless of what you believe, and, if you entertain some of these Peak Oil ideas, it's easily the scariest book on this list.
The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin
In the conspiracy theory genre, few books have the reputation of this one. Griffin (a legendary figure in many different conspiracy theories, from cancer to Noah's Ark to global warming to the United Nations to the Federal Reserve, the focus of The Creature from Jekyll Island) is a polarizing figure, I guess, but I have to say, the Audio Archives of the Reality Zone (part of his web array) are endlessly entertaining. And much of its easily verifiable, even if it's history no one talks about.
Anyway, this book details the secretive origins and aims of the banking cartel that devised the Federal Reserve. Some debunking here and here. Of course, the debunkers have debunkers and so on down the mirror maze. God, I love this crap.
|My wife took me to Jekyll Island for my 37th birthday, God bless her.|
|Here I am - dig the Templars shirt! I synched that shit up - and Dawn, munching on "The JP Morgan."|
They actually sell this book in the Jekyll Island gift shop, which is either damn good sportsmanship or evidence of the Fed's arrogant contempt for us mere mortals. Regardless of how little or vast you find the nefariousness of the Fed, this is an addictive read/ line of inquiry. Again, I find it rather uncontroversial to suggest rich families intermarry, devise institutions to protect their wealth from public scrutiny, write laws that exempt themselves, etc. It's not especially shocking, therefore, to discover that all the fortune-families of America's Gilded Age did the same.
The Federal Reserve is for better or worse the legacy of America's brief and unprecedented successful experiment with free market capitalism, which worked so well it allowed those who profited the most from it to join forces and start policing the gate.
"Clocking in at over eight hours on five discs, this epic documentary covers not only the events in Dallas on November 22, 1963, but also the Robert Kennedy assassination, the Jonestown massacre, and the horrors of CIA covert MK-ULTRA mind-control programs."
Aw yeah! Man, this thing is a mind-warping masterpiece. I watched it over two days when I was stuck at home with a head full of flu. I recommend this approach should you take the plunge.
MK-ULTRA and the 60s assassination programs are their own conspiracy industries, of course, ranging from the outlandish (Beta Monarch Programming! It was all Vietnam!) to the empirically-proven (i.e. it/ they existed; people died.) The genius of Evidence of Revision, though, is that it painstakingly shows the viewer how a narrative was massaged into shape (with details curiously getting lost or changed via repetition along the way) in the pre-internet-echo-chamber age. It took longer and required different tactics then.
Cross-reference to Orwell Rolls In His Grave, a documentary that details (in pointedly undramatic and boring-old-journalism-without-agenda fashion) the 21st century consolidation of media and why that's a bad thing. In 2016, it's a fait d'accompli; in both Evidence and Orwell, though, cup your hand to your ear and hear the unheeded warnings from yesteryear.
The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills
If I had to name one book that describes precisely how and why things work the way they do, it would be The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills. Much as Quigley does in his books, Mills exhaustively describes the apparatus of power as it functioned in his lifetime. (And as it does, more or less, in our own.) It's important to note Mills was no conspiracy theorist but a rather conventional tenured professor of sociology. This book has its detractors, sure - all books do - but Mills is, of all those who have dared comment on such things, perhaps the most universally respected.
"The idea that the millionaire finds nothing but a sad, empty place at the top of this society; the idea that the rich do not know what to do with their money; the idea that the successful become filled up with futility, and that those born successful are poor and little as well as rich - the idea, in short, of the disconsolateness of the rich - is, in the main, merely a way by which those who are not rich reconcile themselves to the fact. Wealth in America is directly gratifying and directly leads to many further gratifications. To be truly rich is to possess the means of realizing in big ways one's little whims and fantasies and sicknesses."
And how! Although this is by no means just a populist screed against the acquisition of wealth. (See Lenin's State and Revolution for that.) It simply describes - with admirable precision, readability, and lack of Marxist fantasy - the facts of life.
I've never been able to tempt any hardcore liberals to read this book. I don't know why that is exactly. (Ditto for David Simon's Homicide.) It speaks to so many of the same things about which they always seem so agitated. Moreover, it (and Homicide too, certainly) would provide them with even more effective intellectual arms and ammunition against their ideological adversaries. (Shrugs) Liberals are a curious bunch. But hey. That's life in the big city.
Brought to Light by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz
Oh boy, this book! I defy you to name a better dialogue between a coke-snorting, whiskey-drinking, Sinatra-loving anthropomorphic CIA Eagle and a nameless narrator-visitor from a shadow-land of blank currency and endless assassination. Based on the revelations of the Christic Institute (which are of course officially disputed - partially because many of the witnesses died prior to trial), this is a fascinating narrative of a Central Intelligence Agency out of control, as depicted in Alan Moore's and Bill Sienkiewicz's unique styles.
"Nixon worked for Pepsi, goddamnit, ain't no better symbol of the American way than Pepsi. Ask anybody who was in Laos. All that smack we moved usin' that Pepsi factory in Laos, all those GIs and junkies the world over who got their habit from us? They're in the Pepsi Generation! HAHAHAHA! (pause) 'Course later, we decided things went better with Coke."
I have the spoken word performance of this by Alan Moore and David Lloyd - highly, highly recommended. This led me to a fascination with the Blonde Ghost, Ted Shackley. I've tried tracking down more about him (and some of the other cohorts mentioned here), but the tricky thing with trying to find anything about America's intelligence activities (or any country, really) is you're never sure if you're reading disinformation or not. And you never will be. Even Shackley probably wasn't.
Still. Harrowing stuff. Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. (Good lifehack in general.) As I wrote recently, it's curious to me that so many are so willing to believe anything they hear about the CIA (or the Mossad), yet try to get them to learn anything about what the KGB and GRU actually accomplished and they give you that tinfoil hat look.
But no - we don't live under a spell of Marxist brainwashing! Not at all!
On that note:
How the World Really Works by AB Jones
This is basically the only conspiracy book anyone ever needs. Here's how it describes itself at its website:
"More and more Americans are coming to feel that something has gone fundamentally wrong in our society. We have suffered repetitive wars, big and small, some won and some lost, but with the peace always lost. Our society has been drained of around $5 trillion in welfare costs since LBJ's War on Poverty was declared, but with no diminution in the incidence of "poverty." Our "War on Drugs" has also been lost, with its societal costs running around $500 billion per year. The cost of fixes for runaway environmentalism has reached about $1 trillion since the birth of the EPA in 1970. Our national debt is over $5 trillion and still going up. Two breadwinners per family has become normal, just to keep bread on the table.
Americans feel put upon, and they are right, but they don't know who's doing it to them or why. Such issues have been pondered by researchers for many years, but the historical facts are finally bringing the pieces of the puzzle together. This book paints a picture of that largely completed puzzle, and lays out who the culprits are, why they are doing what they are doing, and how they are managing to pull off what is probably the biggest mass robbery of wealth and individual freedom in human history.
The picture is one which you must understand if your efforts are ever to amount to anything. We paint that picture by presenting an ordered set of book reviews which identify our enemies and describe the primary strategies and actions which they have taken against us over the last 100 years or so. Our goal in writing the book was to provide an accurate portrayal of that picture within the covers of a single moderate- length book. The 12 chapter titles of How The World Really Works are listed below, and consist of the names of the books being reviewed."
The books reviewed include some of the ones covered above as well as The Politics of Heroin by Alfred McCoy and The Greening by Larry Abraham. The former is perhaps one of the most important books published by an American academic (perhaps even more than those published by Mills and Quigley) while the latter probably isn't. (I've never read it, only the overview of it here in HTWRW.) Familiarizing yourself with its arguments (as well as the ones made in The Tax-Exempt Foundations) serves you better than Voxsplaining, though, which is just as bad.
(If not worse. In fact, the existence and widespread acceptance of things like Vox makes me wonder if perhaps we weren't too hasty in writing off the warnings of people like the John Birch Society.)
Like everything on this list, I don't think it's a collection of verified truths. But interesting? Thought-provoking? Stimulating mental exercise? Absolutely.
"Will no one help the widow's son?"
There's ten of mine - how about you? Happy Halloween!
There's ten of mine - how about you? Happy Halloween!