Tag Archives | Conspiracy Theories

The Americans are coming! Some in a Texas county fear an Obama-led U.S. military invasion

Remember all the fuss about JADE HELM 15? Well some Texans aren’t buying the claims of innocence from the Federal Government, per the Washington Post:

 The office of the Bastrop County Republican Party is in an old lumber mill on Main Street, with peeling brown paint and a sign out front that captures the party’s feelings about the Obama administration: “WISE UP AMERICA!”

640px-Texas_in_United_States.svg

Inside, county Chairman Albert Ellison pulled out a yellow legal pad on which he had handwritten page after page of reasons why many Texans distrust President Obama, including the fact that, “in the minds of some, he was raised by communists and mentored by terrorists.”

So it should come as no surprise, Ellison said, that as the U.S. military prepares to launch one of the largest training exercises in history later this month, many Bastrop residents might suspect a secret Obama plot to spy on them, confiscate their guns and ultimately establish martial law in one of America’s proudly free conservative states.

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The Montauk Project Is The Basis For New Winona Ryder Netflix Series

The Montauk Project is many a disinfonaut’s favorite old chestnut of a conspiracy theory. Who can forget Alexandra “Chica” Bruce’s haunting presentation of the nuttiness on Eastern Long Island in the pilot for the Disinformation TV series, after all?

Sixteen years on from when we shot that segment on a micro-budget for the UK’s Channel Four TV, Netflix has commissioned an original series featuring Winona Ryder supposedly based on the very same Montauk Project, per SlashFilm:

Winona Ryder is Netflix’s newest star. Along with David Harbour, she’s just signed on to lead a supernatural drama series brewing at the company. Formerly titled Montauk, the show comes from Matt and Ross Duffer (Wayward Pines). Karl Gadjusek (Last Resort) serves as showrunner and Shawn Levy executive produces. Find all the details on the Winona Ryder Netflix project after the jump.

The untitled series begins with the disappearance of a 12-year-old boy in 1980 Montauk, Long Island.

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These Cartoon Conspiracy Theories Will Ruin Your Childhood

Depending on your age, different kids’  TV cartoons will likely have been seminal influences on your childhood. Now if the cartoons were really leeching subversive ideas into the consciousness of those kids, what’s the long term effect? Could we attribute the emergence of hallucinogenic rave culture in ’90s UK to all those acid-themed episodes of The Magic Roundabout?

magic roundabout

VH1’s Christopher Rosa suggests that a whole slew of conspiracy theories might just ruin your favorite cartoons. Maybe it explains the explosion of conspiracy theory stories in all sorts of unlikely places … like VH1!

If you’re a late ’80s/early ’90s baby, then you’re probably familiar with the golden age of cartoons; the RugratsHey Arnold!, and Scooby Doo weren’t just TV shows, but ways of life. But of course Internet trolls have to crap all over our childhoods and publish conspiracy theories that suggest our favorite cartoons weren’t as innocent as we thought.

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Asteroid Impact Will Destroy Civilization This September

Coast Impact“Asteroid Impact Will Destroy Civilization This September”: That’s the headline from UK tabloid The Mirror, attributing it to “conspiracy theorists, ” making sure to drop in key words like “illuminati” and “New World Order”:

Conspiracy theorists are predicting a cataclysmic climate event which will destroy civilisation – in just three months’ time.

End-of-time predictors on various blogs and websites have come up with the period between September 22-28 as the likely time frame for the impending catastrophe.

Many biblical theorists maintain the events will trigger the Rapture and the start of a seven-year-tribulation.

These theories, which are restricted to tiny minority of churches and groups, have been dismissed by scientists and are thought to be well wide of the mark.

Fortunately for us, almost all asteroids are destroyed due to the extreme atmospheric friction heating they receive, breaking up into harmless shards that burn up before hitting the ground.

NASA has made asteroid detection a high priority.

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Pseudoscience and conspiracy theory are not victimless crimes against science

Pseudoscience: we should know better by now.

Pseudoscience: we should know better by now.

Eduardo Nicolas Schulz, University of Birmingham

News of anti-vaxxer movements, demands to teach creationism in schools as science, and dubious claims for the health-giving properties of strange diets is enough to make you wonder if some people have forgotten or forsaken the scientific method entirely.

Astronomer Carl Sagan once said:

In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.

Despite the progress of education and living standards, the world must seem like a scary place for many people – full of chemicals in the sky, aliens trying to abduct us, and government or corporate conspiracies. As Stephen Hawking drily remarked: “If governments are involved in a cover-up, they are doing a much better job of it than they seem to do at anything else.”

What’s the harm in ‘alternative’ science?

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Seymour Hersh, Bin Laden, and Conspiracy Theories

As anyone who watched any kind of news outlet last week already knows, the big story was Seymour Hersh’s article alleging that the Obama administration’s story of the killing of Osama Bin Laden was a calculated lie. The theory has its critics and defenders in the mainstream media – okay, mostly critics.

But to me, the most interesting revelation raised by Hersh’s reporting, which his vociferous critics have written off as a crazy “conspiracy theory,” was not the surface level issues it raised about Middle East policy and torture. It was that the report revealed a fundamental truth about why we as humans, living under the rule of massive and impersonal governmental structures, are so fervently interested in conspiracy theories.

First of all, a bit of a breakdown of Hersh’s report is necessary.… Read the rest

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Conspiracy Theory as a Personality Disorder?

She's protected

Photo: John Allspaw (CC)

“The treatment of ‘conspiracy theories’ by the US intelligentsia is reminiscent of the Soviet commissions that labeled political dissidents mentally ill,” claims Kerry R Bolton at Foreign Policy Journal:

While psychiatry as a means of repressing political dissent was well-known for its use the USSR, this occurred no less and perhaps more so in the West, and particularly in the USA. While the case of Ezra Pound is comparatively well-known now, not so recognized is that during the Kennedy era in particular there were efforts to silence critics through psychiatry. The cases of General Edwin Walker, Fredrick Seelig, and Lucille Miller might come to mind.

As related by Seelig, the treatment meted out to political dissidents in psychiatric wards and institutions could be hellish. Over the past few decades however, such techniques against dissent have become passé, in favor of more subtle methods of social control.

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Pentagon Says Texas Should Not Fear JADE HELM

jade helmThe JADE HELM conspiracy theory keeps running and running, fueled now by the Pentagon insisting that Texas shouldn’t worry about it, reports McLatchy:

The Pentagon has a message for Texas: chill.

Defense officials Monday dismissed as “wild speculation” an Internet-fueled claim that a massive summertime exercise called Jade Helm 15 for special operations commandos is a covert operation by President Barack Obama to take over Texas.

That claim was given legitimacy by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott’s order last week for the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises.

“Operation Jade Helm poses no threat to any American’s civil liberties,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday. “Operation Jade Helm is being conducted by Americans – by, specifically, American special forces personnel.”

Jade Helm 15 will be one of the biggest peacetime military exercises in six decades. Starting July 15 and lasting two months, thousands of Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy SEALS and other special operations forces will simulate war missions in mainly remote areas of Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

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Texas Governor Implements Measures Against JADE HELM

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore (CC)

The latest on Operation JADE HELM conspiracy nuttiness: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, is listening to a certain Austin-based radio host and his fans’ fear of a federal government invasion, according to the Daily Beast:

Texas’s governor moved this week to protect his state from an Obama-led military takeover.

Governor Greg Abbott, who decisively beat Wendy Davis in the 2014 to take Rick Perry’s job, announced on Tuesday that he’s going to sic the Texas Rangers on the U.S. military.

Not really. But it sure sounds that way.

What’s actually going on is U.S. troops are doing training exercises—called Jade Helm 15—in several states throughout the Southwest, including Texas.

The mission will involve Special Operations forces moving through the Southwest and training for covert missions. A declassified map posted online in March (whose legitimacy The Washington Post confirmed) identified several of those states as “hostile” and “leaning hostile.” That isn’t particularly unusual, as Dan Lamothe explained at The Washington Post, but it has a small number of Texans—including, apparently, the governor—totally freaking out and (arguably) overreacting.

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Evil Conspiracies

John Michell by Richard Adams.jpg

John Michell by Richard Adams (CC)

When I was at school the history master warned us about conspiracy theories. These, he said, are adopted by weak-minded people who cannot accept that the stupid, unjust way of the world is a result of normal human confusion, and believe that a sinister group of plotters must be behind it all.

This was the first time I had heard of conspiracy theory, and the master’s warning had the natural effect of attracting me to it. Previously I had read that the non-existence of witches was a rumour put around for their own security by witches themselves, and this dubious information led me to suspect that our teacher was up to the same game. Why should he forbid us to seek out conspiracies unless he himself was involved in one?

Freed at last from the influence of academic opinions I went properly into the subject, beginning with the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a tract that has been held largely responsible for the persecution and murder of Jews in modern Europe.… Read the rest

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