Saturday, May 9, 2015

Conspiracies for Stupid People

Lately it seems like conspiracies are in the news. From the Masonic Police to Walmart martial law to attempts to revive the "Satanic panic," people all over seem to be losing their shit. And understand, I'm not talking about smart people here. I am aware of the complicated history of the "conspiracy theory" designator, which has often been used to discredit critics of the status quo and shield real covert operations such as the Iran-Contra affair and current NSA surveillance activities. It's just that the conspiracies that many of these folks are pushing are so damn stupid.

Over the last week or so Operation Jade Helm, part of the aforementioned Walmart martial law conspiracy, has been getting all sorts of press. Apparently the idea is that the United States Army plans to invade Texas and confine its citizens to the Walmarts that recently closed without warning. Last I checked, Texas was part of the United States, so an invasion makes absolutely no sense. Likewise, why would the military bother confining a bunch of Texans to closed Walmarts? As representatives of the military have explained, repeatedly and at length, Jade Helm is simply a training exercise that will be taking place in Texas and several other southwestern states.

Now if the military really were planning some big operation, it's true that they probably would insist up to the end that it wasn't what they were really doing. But just because you don't trust the government, that doesn't mean that everything they say is automatically a lie. What a lot of conspiracy enthusiasts miss is that there has to be some sort of goal that the perpetrators of said conspiracies are trying to pursue - and that goal has to make at least a little bit of sense. But just like with "Satanic abuse," there never seems to be any point.

As another example, the "New World Order" appears to be a conspiracy put in motion by the people who currently control the world to... control the world. Why said people would waste any effort on doing something that they already have accomplished is beyond me, except perhaps to prove how extra-evil they are. And as I've said before, that simply isn't a real motivation that you find outside of Hollywood melodramas and pulp novels. Clearly whoever scrawled the message above has put great thought into the question, and managed to show little more than their own lack of thinking skills.

Finally, the Illuminati Agenda is another one of those conspiracies that just won't die, in part because it has recently turned into something of a joke in the entertainment industry. There really was an Illuminati order back in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and if you want to read about the real historical group, here's a scholarly account of their rituals and doctrines. But the group died out more than two hundred years ago, aside from a brief attempt to revive it in the late 1800's by Ordo Templi Orientis founder Theodor Reuss.

Now according to its founding documents, Ordo Templi Orientis incorporates the wisdom of the Illuminati order, and I'm an Ordo Templi Orientis initiate. So that probably makes me the closest thing to an Illuminati member you're likely to come across. And one thing I can tell you is that the "global elite" who are often cited as part of the group don't have anything to do with OTO or even occultism. As should be completely unsurprising, their focus is on making and accumulating money. Why cast a spell to make something more likely to happen, when you can just click a few buttons on a screen and pay for it outright?

The difference between the nonsense and real conspiracies like the NSA spying program, which thankfully was just ruled illegal by the US court of appeals, is that the NSA program makes sense. It also has historical precedent - the FBI's Carnivore in the late 1990's, Total Information Awareness following the 9/11 attacks, widespread deployment NarusInsight a few years after that, and so forth - as all the while computing power and storage kept increasing, which meant more and more data could be collected on the fly.

If you've never heard of any of those programs and think that mass online surveillance was first revealed to the public by Edward Snowden you really need to work on those research chops. I'm a big supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been following this issue for decades, first warning about the potential rise of an online surveillance state and then pointing out that following 9/11 these programs went into full swing and were basically capturing huge chunks of everyone's online activity. And it makes sense that the government would want all that information, especially given the panic over terrorism at that time which also gave the United States the Patriot Act.

The joke used to be that if you had a million monkeys with a million typewriters you would eventually get the works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know that even if that's true, you also wind up with a whole lot of crap. In the modern age of information abundance, critical thinking is more important than ever and it always seems to be in too short supply. It's especially important for occultists, who encounter all sorts of marginal and fringe ideas and need to be able to discern which merit further study and which can be safely discarded.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble


Nerd said...

I think what people don't get about this situation is that, these people don't view Jade Helm as a "training exercise." They view it as a show of force. As a form of intimidation. Many of these people are of the mentality that they are still fighting the Civil War, or as they call it, "The War of Northern Aggression."

These people identify on a personal level with the Branch Davidians and other groups that have come under scrutiny and in some cases investigation by federal authorities. Look up the "Knob Creek Declaration." There are times in recent memory when outright civil war hostilities have been threatened against the US government.

I personally do not believe that anyone should threaten violence against the government. Do I agree with federal authorities about everything? Of course not, but the answera to society's problems do not lie in the use of force.

These urban warfare drills have been going on since before 911. I personally do not like them, and for all I know they may indeed provide cover for unseemly activities. However I also believe that the world is much less stable than people generally believe, and if there is a greater world wide military conflict, I hope the brave men and women of our fightivg forces are ready to defend us on our home soil, if necessary.

Scott Stenwick said...

Well, it seems to me that just supports my initial thesis. Seeing as the civil war ended in 1865, the belief that it still is going on pretty much falls under the heading of "stupid." The bottom line is that the military needs to train somewhere, and generally speaking that's going to be somewhere in the United States. So it really doesn't help anyone to try and turn it into something that it's not. Especially when it makes no sense that the military would want to do that something.

Darth Darren said...

The whole Walmart conspiracy has got to be one of the most ridiculous things ever! These 5 Walmarts are just test markets. Walmart will introduce some new service or department in 6 months. That's it. No detention centres. Laying everyone off with 5 hours notice? Obviously a douchey manoeuvre. In 6 months time when the stores reopen and they do their recalls, 80% of the previous employees will have moved on, meaning Walmart gets to rehire at the starting wage. No end times coming. Walmart just doesn't care about their employees.

Scott Stenwick said...

Pretty much. I make a point of never attributing anything to some huge or bizarre conspiracy that can't be adequately explained by assholes.

Darth Darren said...

Well said, Scott.... Occam's Razor.