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Conspiracy Theories

Cover ups, secret agendas, agents, shadowy figures, smoke-filled rooms, clandestine organisations and the real terrifying truth. Together these ingredients make an exciting combination that goes some way to explaining the enduring attraction of conspiracy theories.
Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy Theories
I get a phone call at midnight and go to meet my handler in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of a nearby town.

He has a message straight from the top. Silently, they hand over a sheet of paper with a message composed of words cut out of newspaper articles.

Silently I read it, "You must write an article on conspiracy theorists, they are getting too close to the truth. We must stop them".

I nodded to show that I accepted the assignment and the piece of paper crumbled into dust.

Cover ups, secret agendas, agents, shadowy figures, smoke-filled rooms, clandestine organisations and the real terrifying truth. Together these ingredients make an exciting combination that goes some way to explaining the enduring attraction of conspiracy theories.

They've been around for centuries and show no sign of disappearing. On the contrary, the advent of the internet has only caused them to multiply and mutate into ever-stranger views of the world. In recent years both the anti-globalisation and the anti-war movement have proved fertile ground for the growth of conspiracy theories. When groups like the G8 are holding closed meetings to decide the policy of major governments it isn't hard to believe that there are secret groups engaged in conspiracies all over the world.

The current conspiracy theories gaining currency are those surrounding the events of September 11th 2001. These vary from arguing that the US government, or elements within it, allowed 9/11 to happen or that they orchestrated and carried out the attacks themselves. Following on from this are ever more bizarre arguments that there were no planes, the twin towers were hit by a missile, there were no Jews at work that day, etc. All of these are encapsulated in a variety of organisations that comprise the 9/11 truth movement who are united on little apart from a refusal to accept the official account of events and an unshakeable conviction they alone know the truth.

The UK branch of this movement is the 9/11 Truth Campaign. It's a slick, increasingly high-profile organisation with films that neatly explain world events and appeals to vague anarchist ideas of opposition to the state. Piggy-backing on the anti-war movement 9/11 conspiracy theories have been gaining adherents all across the country and organisations promoting these theories now have a regular presence at radical events. A good indicator of the size of any radical group is whether they have a group in Cumbria, where little political ever happens, and the 9/11 Truth Campaign do have a well-established group here.

It's an organisation that is frequently labelled by its critics as being a 'cult'. Notes from the Borderland Magazine, who are behind '9/11 Cultwatch', accuse it of having a rigid belief system, aggressive proselytising, hostility to outsiders, intimidation of critics and near devotion to charismatic leaders. All of this is behaviour characteristic of a cult organisation.

My own experiences of the 9/11 Truth Campaign has done little to dent the impression that they are becoming an odd cult.

I've always had my suspicions of the campaign. Much of their arguments, particularly on the internet, focus on simply listing links to other 9/11 truth campaigns, links to videos. Finally there are the exhortations to 'challenge authority', as if the radical left doesn't aim to do that anyway, and 'wake up'.

Having been told that they make regular appearances at anti-war events on the anti-war march February 24th me and a mate handed out about a dozen leaflets from '9/11 Cultwatch' to anyone who appeared to be from the campaign.

Let's examine how they react when they meet with anyone questioning the movement.

While at the time they accepted and read the leaflets carefully a few days later I was emailed a link to an internet thread on their website discussing what had occurred at the march. Apparently some, "brain-washed", "spotty youth" who was probably in the pay of MI5 had been handing them leaflets. Furthermore, there will be, "BIG TROUBLE", if the same teenager does it again. Charming aren't they?

It is baffling that such a small gesture of opposition and questioning generates such a reaction. One poster even ridiculed the leaflets as being from, "a small group of ultra-paranoid loons". This coming from people who think teenagers handing them leaflets are being paid to do it by the intelligence services.

Reading through their website what is disturbing is the zeal with which they carry out their self-appointed task. They imagine they are battling a gargantuan conspiracy unprecedented in human history and anyone who offers the slightest criticism of this is condemned with ridiculous, baseless accusations. Even a couple of teenagers handing out leaflets is seized upon as yet more evidence of the evil secret state battling these nobles paragons of truth when in actual fact I imagine MI5 think the 9/11 Truth Campaigners are harmless idiots.

The basic assumption is that whatever opposition they face is not that people don't believe them but because they are being paid or forced to oppose them by people in positions of power who are becoming worried. Anyone who doesn't find their slim evidence utterly compelling are smeared as secret state agents.

The fearless investigators of dark secrets at the 9/11 Truth Campaign are so obsessed with seeing the hand of the security services behind any and every terrorist atrocity that they fail to pay any attention to the two ex-MI5 agents who are running their campaign! The word 'ironic' doesn't even come close.

The prominence of ex-MI5 agents David Shayler and Annie Machon, who is described as 'Secretary, UK & Ireland 9/11 Truth', in the campaign has never been explained properly. As late as early 2005 Machon was still blaming Al-Qaeda for carrying out the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Similarly in 2003 Shayler was blaming the failures of the intelligence services for 9/11 rather than blaming the intelligence services themselves for 9/11.

Going by the logic of conspiracy theorists surely if there was a movement very close to uncovering one of the greatest conspiracies of all time then the shadowy forces of the secret state would have infiltrated the movement. Completely co-incidentally the job of both Machon and Shayler at MI5 was infiltrating radical groups like the Socialist Workers' Party. Funny that.

That ex-spies who have never come clean about their past and spent their careers spying on the movement they now claim to be a part of are given prominent positions in the 9/11 Truth Campaign indicates how serious these people are about investigating the secret state.

Rather than 9/11 itself we need to be asking questions about 9/11 truth campaigns. If the American and British governments, 7/7 and 9/11 conspiracy theories go hand in hand, were really responsible for huge terrorist attacks against their own citizens then why have they behaved so nicely towards the 9/11 truth movement? No-one has been mysteriously silenced, the organisation hasn't been harassed and they carry out their activities largely unhindered. Surely if these people had uncovered a terrifying, gigantic plot then the state would be furiously attacking them and government experts would be wheeled out to desperately try and disprove their ideas.

That they haven't suggests that the people in positions of power consider the various 9/11 'truth' organisations to be harmless, to them at least.

The harm that they can do, and all conspiracy theorists can do, is to the anarchist and socialist left whose ideas are discredited by association. When we link up with organisations that admire David Icke, people who believe 'Zionists' attacked the twin towers or that the Freemasons run the world we look ridiculous. People simply laugh at us and it allows our opponents to dismiss us as hysterical cranks.

Apart from embarrassing us and discrediting our ideas conspiracy theories encourage ideas that are opposed to the radical political traditions of anarchism and Marxism.

Conspiracy theories like those peddled by the 9/11 Truth Campaign suggests that the state has an omnipotent power and that our rulers are almost super-human, capable of anything. This is a damaging myth. The most powerful state in the world, the US, couldn't cover up Watergate or the Iran-Contra scandal. The British government couldn't cover up the collaboration with loyalist terrorists in Northern Ireland. What is there to suggest they have the capability to carry out and cover up a huge terrorist attack on their own cities?

In reality our governments are incompetent. The British government can't even set up a computer system in the NHS without the project falling behind schedule, the budget spiralling upwards and all the embarrassing details leaked to the press. We can and must challenge our governments as they are not all-powerful behemoths against who all opposition is futile.

More importantly, conspiracy theories teach us that to change the world all we need to do is convert others and help them see the 'truth'. Once people have seen through the lies then the conspiracy will be overthrown. This is nonsense.

For example let's imagine it's true that the US government was responsible for the atrocities on 9/11. According to recent surveys cited by the 9/11 Truth Campaign 1 in 3 Americans already believes that this is the case. And what has happened? Has global capitalism been shaken to its foundations? Has the Bush administration been toppled? Has a secret cabal controlling world affairs been uncovered?

These are important questions for all advocates of conspiracy theories. A significant minority of the population believes in a conspiracy theory that, if true, has enormous implication and surprise, surprise nothing has changed. Massive demonstrations haven't forced out the US government, the world isn't quaking with revolutions in the Western world. There hasn't even been another investigation into 9/11.

We must not be na´ve about the role of the British state and all capitalist governments. When threatened the British state reacts ruthlessly regardless of the niceties of modern liberal democracy, just ask the people of Northern Ireland. All states do. Even the famously neutral Swiss government operated Projekt 26 a secret 'stay-behind' army that operated outside governmental control and spied on Swiss citizens.

Investigating the actions of the secret state is conspiracy theory territory but it is a vital area of research. It badly needs rescuing from people who are willing to blame anything and everything on mysterious, hidden groups (or the Jews) without a shred of evidence that stands up to scrutiny. The dominance of conspiracy theorists in this area lets governments to dismiss any real revelations of their illegal, immoral and dodgy activities as precisely that, conspiracy theories to be ignored or laughed at.

Conspiracy theories are very damaging for opponents to capitalism and for this reason are ultimately reactionary politics. They help foster the illusion that there's nothing really wrong with our system. Things would be fine except that there is this secret group of people who manipulate things for their own benefit. All we need to do is expose this conspiracy and get rid of these people and everything will be alright.

The reality is that there is no-one in charge. No secret group masterminding world events. Powerful individuals and small groups do not control the forces of history. Under capitalism the working class is in thrall to the alienating power of capital that dominates our planet not the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Jews or even the Bush administration. The madness of capitalism is like a car accelerating towards a cliff edge, and there is no-one in the driving seat. This is our enemy not some ill-defined group controlling world events from behind the scenes.

But don't take the word of a spotty brainwashed MI5 agent for it. Ask questions of conspiracy theorists. Ask them what will change if we all believe their theory, ask them how devoting your time to spreading it will bring about a better world and ask them if poverty, war, oppression, inequality and exploitation will be ended if everyone believes this theory.

Remember, question everything.

go here instead 14.Jun.2008 09:47

rAT

 http://www.question911.com free movie downloads discover the real story about 911 ignore trolls like this guy

Linear and oversimplistic analysis complete with strawmen 14.Jun.2008 13:12

StevetheGreen

I have seen some overly simplistic linear analysis offered here before, but this one really takes the cake!
Let's dismantle it piece by piece.

Point #1) The definition of a conspiracy is 1: the act of conspiring together or 2 a: an agreement among conspirators.

In other words a conspiracy is nothing more than an agreement between two or more people. There are literally millions of conspiracies taking place on a daily basis. So let's stop treating this word differently than what it's definition actually is.

Point #2) The definition of a theory is "the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another"

The idea that a "conspiracy theory" is somehow a negative or something only the "tin foil hat crowd" and the "gullible" buy into is pure nonsense in every sense of the word. This is nothing more than Orwellian double speak of the worst kind. It is a direct attempt to use words to demean and diminish the points made without actually addressing them. Karl Rove would be proud of the author of this article.

But it IS intellectual cowardness.
It is an approach that utilizes ridiculous strawmen so that it can smugly defeat arguments that no reasonable person is making while ignoring the points it can't adequately speak to. It is accompanied by a consistent refusal to have a substantive debate based on the facts in evidence vs.. a consistent attempt to attack the messenger. This is done when they can't address critical points that the government conspiracy theory and the 9/11 commission either refused to or have failed to address.

If people really want to understand where the divide starts as it pertains to "UFO's and bigfoot" and false flag operations or powerful groups of people who hide in the shadows, they only need read the true history of the United States rather than the sanitized drivel they learned in the US public school system.

Once people understand what really happened in some of our country's most historical events, they would quickly realize that the United States has a long and clearly documented history of powerful people behind the scenes influencing policy and a long and clearly documented history of engaging in false flag operations.

I clearly remember people telling me I had been watching to many "spy movies" when there was some evidence of the CIA running drugs in the inner city and supplying weapons to our supposed enemy Iran to fund an illegal war in central America.

But guess what.
It was all true and it all came out in court.
But did the self proclaimed debunkers apologize and admit they were wrong?
Hell no. And they won't when the truth comes out about the depth of evil that criminal elements our government have engaged in.
They will just pretend that they knew it all along.

But why anyone would try and pretend that these things are "fantastic" or "out there" is simply evidence of their ignorance of history. What's worse than ignorance of our true history are the self proclaimed "debunkers" and their ever-changing criteria for what constitutes "proof".

The US government along with a host of government agencies have offered their "conspiracy theory" as it relates to 9/11.
They have told us that 19 Arab hijackers with box cutters pulled off the most spectacular plan that included defeating every US agency including the FBI, the CIA, the FAA, the INS, and Norad. They have not offered substantive evidence to back up this claim on far too many areas to go into here.

In fact, they changed their story to Norad over 8 times.
They carted off all of the evidence immediately and did not allow any independent analysis of any material that could of provided the answers or removed any doubt. They won't show us any of the dozen videos they have of what hit the pentagon and yet we are supposed to just trust from a government who has already been proven to lie beyond any liars in our short 230 year history as a county. How ridiculously gullible is that?

Bottom line if you buy into the government explanation you have exposed yourself as someone who has not even taken the time to do the cursory investigative work that would show beyond any doubt that the government explanation surrounding 9/11 is completely bogus. And that's because you have not assigned the same criteria to your lying government as you do to those you label conspiracy theorists.

A thorough no-holes barred substantive debate that investigates all aspects of the events of 9/11 would prove to even the biggest doubter that the US government explanation for what took place on 9/11 is a complete sham.
And that's all that matters.

Who believes what is irrelevant.
What matters is that the government explanation has been PROVEN to be false in far too many place to count.

Get that and the rest will follow.

here are a few more logical fallicies 15.Jun.2008 04:42

.

> The basic assumption is that whatever opposition they face is not that people don't believe them but because they are being paid or forced to oppose them by people in positions of power who are becoming worried. Anyone who doesn't find their slim evidence utterly compelling are smeared as secret state agents.

Of course, this can be said of many activists unfortunately.

> Surely if these people had uncovered a terrifying, gigantic plot then the state would be furiously attacking them and government experts would be wheeled out to desperately try and disprove their ideas.

Well certainly the state is busy wheeling out their experts to disprove the theories challenging the government theory. But as was posted above, the response may be quite subdued as was the case with the CIA's drug running.

> Conspiracy theories like those peddled by the 9/11 Truth Campaign suggests that the state has an omnipotent power and that our rulers are almost super-human, capable of anything. This is a damaging myth.

It is a damaging myth but it is not one believed by people challenging the government's tale. Central to the beliefs of those questioning the government story is that the government did not in fact get away with the cover-up.

> More importantly, conspiracy theories teach us that to change the world all we need to do is convert others and help them see the 'truth'. Once people have seen through the lies then the conspiracy will be overthrown. This is nonsense.

That is true, but again can be said for all forms of activist "awareness-raising" from 911-truth to Marxism and anarchism. Trying to change people's beliefs is not an effective means of creating social change.

> Things would be fine except that there is this secret group of people who manipulate things for their own benefit. All we need to do is expose this conspiracy and get rid of these people and everything will be alright.

Some people may believe that, but isn't that also Marxism in a nutshell? "Things would be fine except that there is this secret group of people (CAPITALISTS) who manipulate things for their own benefit. All we need to do is expose this conspiracy and get rid of these people and everything will be alright."

> The reality is that there is no-one in charge. No secret group masterminding world events. Powerful individuals and small groups do not control the forces of history. Under capitalism the working class is in thrall to the alienating power of capital that dominates our planet

According to the author apparently it is CAPITAL which is all powerful and operates in a vacuum devoid of humans. Well, I hate to tell you, there are such things as capitalists and they do work to shape events to keep themselves in power. But if someone can't grasp that there are individuals who benefit from capitalism and work to keep those benefits I guess there's really not a point from which to begin a meaningful dialogue.