The Devil in Mr. Jones

As pathologically twisted as many on the lunatic left are, there are many on the far-far-right who are just as cognitively challenged. The term that best describes this persistent worldview is conspiracism. A definition of which is a willingness to believe almost any kind of stranger-than-truth fiction as long as the evidence is lacking and it adds up to world events being manipulated by a devil worshipping global secret society engaged in a history-long conspiracy to control the world.

Enter Alex Jones and prisonplanet.com. Possibly the most visible and popular conspiracy peddler I've come across recently besides the progenitors of conspiracy on the right, the John Birch Society. It's easy to dismiss these kinds of fanciful stories as harmless entertainment. They are entertaining. But what concerns me is that I know people are not just entertained by these wacky ideas, some seem to ardently believe them.

Not too long ago, a old friend handed me a CD with a 'documentary' produced by Alex Jones. It was all about the Bush family's Nazi ties. This was followed up by a several hour conversation about the 'evidence' contained therein.

Nazi treasure has been used by the globalists to take over the United States and they are setting up a Fourth Reich right here in America. Sounds amazing but if you look at the evidence, any good investigator would tell you that there is no other conclusion. ~infowars
I see numerous similarities between the conspiracism of the far-left and the far-right. In fact, they share some of the same theories-- as well as a hatred of Bush. Greg Palast and Alex Jones seem to have some affinity to each other.

Dark Secrets Inside Bohemian Grove is an enchanting tale of the global elite worshipping the devil out in a Californian Redwood grove.

Jones' Dark Secrets: Inside the Bohemian Grove documented the first ever hidden camera incursion into the Grove and the bizzare pagan ritual, the Cremation of Care, practiced by its members, all men, including both Presidents Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell, and Henry Kissenger to name but a few.

The Order of Death picks up where Dark Secrets leaves off. This new work exposes the connections between the Bohemian Club and Skull and Bones and other occult secret societies. Jones explores the roots of the Grove and its links to occult networks dating back to ancient Egypt and Babylon.  ~infowars.com

Did you know that 9/11 was perpetrated by our own government to create a police state? 9-11 The Road To Tyranny is an engaging overview of how the 9/11 truth movement believes that Bush and the New World Order funded and trained Al Qaeda-- committed the 9/11 tragedy in order to create a police state.

Everything happens for a reason. Ask yourself, who had the most to gain from 9/11? Bush of course. He was President. The fact that he worships the devil and the fact that he is a member of the Skull and Bones Society makes it all but certain that Bush not only knew about 9/11 -- he planned it! For instance, Police State 3: Total Enslavement lays out the facts in a way you cannot fail to understand!

Why would anyone actually believe this stuff? I ask myself this question about the likes of Cindy Sheehan and Harry Belefonte as well. Wikipedia has a great entry about conspiracism including a reason why.

Psychologists believe that the search for meaningfulness features largely in conspiracism and the development of conspiracy theories. That desire alone may be powerful enough to lead to the initial formulation of the idea. Once cognized, confirmation bias and avoidance of cognitive dissonance may reinforce the belief. In a context where a conspiracy theory has become popular within a social group, communal reinforcement may equally play a part.

Evolutionary psychology may also play a significant role. Paranoid tendencies are associated with an animal's ability to recognize danger. Higher animals attempt to construct mental models of the thought processes of both rivals and predators in order to read their hidden intentions and to predict their future behavior. Such an ability is extremely valuable in sensing and avoiding danger in an animal community. If this danger-sensing ability should begin making false predictions, or be triggered by benign evidence, or otherwise become pathological, the result is paranoid delusions.  ~wikipedia

Posted by Eric Simonson at July 12, 2006 3:41 PM
Comments
Comment #166854

Classic Eric. Explore some wierd fringe element then snap backto comparatively moderate targets with little explanation of the connection.

With 300 million people in this country, there’s plenty of room for the paranoid on both sides. Does that mean there aren’t any conspiracies on the left or the right? No. But almost always, they’re much more mundane and fallible than their imagined counterparts. The Watergate Burglars were supposed to get in an out of one of their previous jobs without a trace. Instead, they ransacked the place and opened things with crowbars. Real life conspirators are mortals just like us. That’s what gets them caught.

Bush inspires a great deal of paranoia (though not usually equal to Alex Jones’ variety) because he is a rather conspiratorial guy. That’s not to say that Bush is the presidential equivalent of the Cigarette Smoking Man.

No, Bush simply keeps a lot of secrets, tries to wield a great deal of power that doesn’t belong to him, associates mostly with a select bubble of advisors and friends, aggressively pursues his political enemies, and doesn’t have a great track record on his honesty. Secretive, dishonest, partisan, bubbled off and constantly seeking greater power- It’s only to be expected that Bush scares people and gathers little trust. The impression most people are left with is: this is a man who will lie to you so he can pursue his own agenda beneath the cover of your ignorance.

It doesn’t help that the theme of this administration has been “the ends justify the means”. That’s not the most reassuring message you can send to people.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 12, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #166869

Not every negative is a conspiracy Eric.
Jones himself tells you to not believe a single word he says, but to research the information he gathers and come to your own conclusions.
Have you taken the time to research his site with an open mind and are able to prove him wrong?
Simply dismissing a message because you disagree with its target, is why our country is in such a mess.

Posted by: kctim at July 12, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #166873

Interesting this came up. In the new issue of GQ that hit my mailbox last week, there is a bit about secret retreats of the rich and powerful, and wouldn’t you know Bohemian Grove was one of them. While my nature forces me to be dubious of any gathering of high-powered individuals in any non-transparent setting, I doubt things are ever as bad as the wackos would have you believe.

Posted by: David S at July 12, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #166876

Stephen,

Classic Eric. Explore some wierd fringe element then snap back to comparatively moderate targets with little explanation of the connection.

Which moderate target are you speaking of? Cindy Sheehan or Harry Bellefonte? Or Hugo Chavez perhaps? Greg Palast is a certifiable kook.

I’m not saying all democrats are conspiracists in this post. I’m saying that everyone who believes that Bush is responsible for 9/11 is a conspiracist. There is a common ground between elements of the far-left and far-right in this case— and I promise future posts will have more details elucidating these connections.

Truthfully I am a little concerned about the number of people who seem to buy into these conspiracy theories.

I know two people intimately who believe in this type of thing. That’s two ‘conservative-minded’ folks, and also a few acquiantences who at least voice the same things on the left. How serious do they believe these things? I don’t know. All I know is what people write and say.

Posted by: esimonson at July 12, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #166879

kctim,

Not every negative is a conspiracy Eric. Jones himself tells you to not believe a single word he says, but to research the information he gathers and come to your own conclusions. Have you taken the time to research his site with an open mind and are able to prove him wrong? Simply dismissing a message because you disagree with its target, is why our country is in such a mess.

The problem is that virtually all of Jones’s assertions fall within well known logical fallacies. (There is a reason Jones appears on the Art Bell radio show after all.)

The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or argument by lack of imagination, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false, or that a premise is false only because it has not been proven true. ~wikipedia

Believe me kc I’ve gone around and around about several issues Jones puts forward. There is no evidence.

For instance, does Bush have Nazi connections?

Posted by: esimonson at July 12, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #166889

You can probably link any powerful peson in the world over the last 70 years and find a Nazi connection if you look hard enough. Six degrees, y’know.

Posted by: David S at July 12, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #166895

- The mainstream media is out to get us
- There is no evidence for evolution
- Global warming is controversial
- Reagan proved debts don’t matter
- Wealth trickles down

Posted by: Max at July 12, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #166906

So. We are meant to take the word of superstitious conspiritors with a grain or a shaker of salt, but are meant to endure religious beliefs based on as few reliable truths? Beliefs that people are actively attempting to form legislation with?

Yeah. Sounds just about “Right”.

Posted by: DOC at July 12, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #166909

I suppose on the opposite end of “conspiracism” is that little emotion called denial, something the right seems to have mastered with uncanny stubborness.
By the way ,anybody who disagrees with what I just said is in a vast rightwing conspiracy to bury the truth and take over the world.
Remember,just because you are paranoid doesnt mean they are not out to get you.

Posted by: john doe at July 12, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #166914

Without engaging in left and right wackoism, it is important to note the answer to the following question. What is the ideal system for selfish, greedy, power mongers in world history? The answer has to be Feudalism. Selfish, greedy, power mongers never had it so good as during the Feudalist period of Europe, where Feudal lords made up the laws, the taxes, as they went in return for some modest identity by the manor’s servants and military protection for the countryside’s population.

Now, ask yourself, has human nature changed and evolved significantly in the last 5 hundred years? If the answer is no, there is room for very real and potentially very dangerous conspiracy theories centering on the very selfish, very wealty, very powerful brokers of globalization.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 12, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #166934

David, good point, well said.

Eric:
“Greg Palast is a certifiable kook.”

No, he isn’t. You attack him because of what he writes about our highly questionable and unverifiable elections (because the GOP faithful don’t want to discuss that issue, since it’s been working so well in their favor), but Palast is a very good investigative reporter, who goes after corruption wherever he finds it, both on the right, and the left. He is in no way, shape, or form, some kind of left-lunatic conspiracy nut as you’ve always tried to claim.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 12, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #166941

Eric,

Truthfully I am a little concerned about the number of people who seem to buy into these conspiracy theories.
Then perhaps you should stop spreading them.

Posted by: ElliottBay at July 12, 2006 10:12 PM
Comment #166949

Harry Belafonte may be a socialist, and Cindy Sheehan a staunch opponent of the war, but that doesn’t make them kooks.

As for Bush’s responsibility (or lack of same) for 9/11, it all depends on the use of that word. I would offer that Bush failed to take seriously the threat of al-Qaeda style international terrorism before it smacked him right in the face. Reasonable enough, given his lack of action, and his disregard of Clinton’s polices on the subject. He vastly prefered going after the rogue states and everything. He might have missed opportunities to stop 9/11 from happening. But it’s indirect responsibility, and Bush’s two predecessors deserve their share of “credit” for different things that went wrong.

As much as I like to make comparisons of the Bush administration to the Dark Lords of the Sith, I don’t think the War on Terrorism is the Clone Wars. I don’t think Bush is like Palpatine, playing both sides of the game. It would take extraordinary evidence to convince me of that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 12, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #166968

I have a conspiracy theory.
In my conspiracy theory, white Europeans conspired to enslave Africans to profit from their labor. These white devils espoused freedom to wrest control of a nation from the natives and English. They fought off the French and Spanish. They slaughtered the Native Americans and rounded them up into concentration camps known as reservations. They used the military to wrest the west from the Mexicans.

They built their nation on this enslavement and the use of immigrants which they treated as second class citizens. They used war to spread their empire and influence throughout the world until they were the only superpower.

The conspiracy is the Americn Dream. Well, at least, for some. Others see a nightmare.

Posted by: gergle at July 13, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #166972

Eric,

You nailed a few people on this site … kinda funny seeing them defending their extemist “the Boogie Man is out to get me” conspiracy theories.

And Mr. Daugherty,

Being an opponent to the war doesn’t make you a kook but Belafonte and Sheehan are definitely kooks. Sheehan’s son dies in Iraq then she calls the insurgents, the same people who killed her son, “Freedom Fighters”. Yes, if you believe “Freedom” means that women are servile and destined to harems, women don’t need schooling, only one extreme version of religion is necessary and you WILL practice it, then by God the Iraqi insurgents are indeed “Freedom Fighters”. If you have half a brain and you think otherwise, then Sheehan’s a kook.

Then there’s the Hugo Chavez visits from both these nut jobs. Oh yes, I’m sure you can speak out against Chavez in the town square or in a newspaper. Hell, you can do anything once! What a wonderful, sane person to go visit. I’m sure Chavez is right and our aircraft carriers are launching attacks on Venezuela (giggle) as we speak.

Thanks again Eric for outing the wackos from both sides.

Posted by: Ken Strong at July 13, 2006 12:23 AM
Comment #166983

gergle - Oh. No. That is not a conspiracy theory, you mistake that for “History”….. Sorry, you don’t get a conspiritor badge today. Perhaps a “BIG HISTORY BADGE”, but not conspiracy.

Sorry,

Posted by: DOC at July 13, 2006 1:47 AM
Comment #166991

I read an interesting OPED in the Stars and Stripes about a month back dealing with the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11. To the author, whose name I unfortunately do not recall, the true danger of these conspiracy theories is how they oversimplify things to satisfy the weakminded. If 9/11 was all just a big conspiracy led by George Bush, then it would logically follow that to resolve our current problem with terrorists, we need only get rid of Bush. This sort of nonsense appeals to fools who are in denial about the nature of our enemies and it raises serious questions about our will to fight and win this war. Conspiracy theories offer nothing more than a cop-out to weak-willed people who lack the resolve to take neccesary actions in defense of the nation.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 13, 2006 2:58 AM
Comment #167013

Now if the President says it’s true would you believe him. MMM how many have said Me Lie?
Let see Bush, Bush, Clinton, Nixon.
Yes there are wacko’s on both end of the lines both ultra-ultra liberals and ultra-ultra conservatives, but if people don’t question the government, then Nixon would have never gotten caught, Monica’s blue dress would have never shown up, and WMD would be found.

Posted by: KT at July 13, 2006 7:27 AM
Comment #167015

1LT B said: “and it raises serious questions about our will to fight and win this war.”

The fact that we have not long ago won the war in Iraq raises serious questions in my mind about the will and ability on the part of this administration to win any war, anywhere ! Iraq was a nothing country compared to Germany and Japan of WWII. Our abject failure to get out after toppling Hussien’s regime, is what displays to the world our inability to win any war anywhere under this administration.

This administration does not even know how to define victory or recognize it when it came and went. Now we are losing the very war we won months after invading, as civil war takes over. This is pure lunacy on a collossaly grand and expensive scale.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 13, 2006 7:53 AM
Comment #167281

eric,

Can I assume that it is only coincidence that in your profile you identify yourself as a Republi”con”?

Posted by: Rocky at July 13, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #167474

Man has always been susceptible to belief systems that bear no relation to reality. Some are silly and harmless; others are very dangerous and lead to holy war, suicide bombings, and venality cloaked in piousness.

Posted by: Trent at July 14, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #167496

David Remer,

Please review facts. If we wanted to “Dresden” Iraq we would’ve been outta there 2 years ago. We tried, much to the dismay of many, to be a tad more nobler than that. We are, better or for worse, nation building. We are fighting a counter-insurgency (CI) hiding among civilians. Argue it all you want, but on both a tactical and strategic level, CI is immensely different than total warfare. Indeed, the real “War” was over in 3 weeks.

Therefore, please stop inane timeline comparisons between Iraq and 1942 Germany. Thank you.

Posted by: Ken Strong at July 14, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #167498

Additionally, your persistent hopes for Iraqi civil war are noted. Of course, that sky has been falling for almost a year now.

Posted by: Ken Strong at July 14, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #167584

Ken Strong-
You can define freedom fighter in terms of freedom without considering what they do to be moral. I think Cindy Sheehan looks at Iraq like it’s a hornets nest. It’s neither moral nor immoral that the hornet’s sting you when you put your fist through their home. It’s only natural.

We could have gone in, like the Beekeeper with their smoke, and sedated Iraq with larger ground forces. We could have been better prepared for an insurgency, but Bush and his people wanted a quicker war than Iraq was prepared to give them.

People don’t come over to one side or another for no reason at all. Events and attitudes usually have prepared them in some what. What you Republicans fear about Cindy Sheehan is that you have missed the opportunity to make people like her irrelevant to popular culture. You’ve been battling to fight the seeds of dissent and disagreement by spin on top of spin, but then this woman comes along and captures the nation’s attentions. So, you’re going to do everything you can to take back the initiative from her.

Truth is, though, you lost it long ago, and can only now regain it by getting some policy in there on the ground that will actually lead to long term success.

The Democrats like myself have defined the consensus on the war, in large part because we have not tried to fight the facts on this. Denial on a regular basis becomes a sure sign that people know somethings wrong but are unwilling to be forthcoming about it. Such reticence reflects badly on motive and raises concerns of unaccountability.

The truth is, the opening battles of the Iraq war were over rather quickly. It is the painful, difficult, damaging aftermath that has been the real war. That didn’t have to be the case. After all, The European war was over about a year after D-Day. There, though, the people in charge were not looking to lowball the war, which would have extended the fighting by hamstringing our army’s ability to hold territory, but instead put more troops into battle than they really needed, ensuring that we wouldn’t have to regroup to turn the tide of battles, or spread ourselves too thin in order to cover the whole territory. Rumsfeld misunderstood an essential point about war: It is essentially the art of two sides trying to make things go badly wrong for the enemy. As such, the person who wins is the person who can absorb or prevent the most misfortune delivered from the enemy.

Here, though, the president and Rumsfeld underestimated the trouble they’d be given, even in the face of sage military advice. As a result, despite our technological advantages, we are in danger of losing the war, or at the very least leaving it with our goals in tatters.

Do I want this? I’ve never wanted it. I’ve had to watch in horror, though, as my government’s policies have led this to occur. That’s what many folks like me have been fighting.

In the case of Cindy Sheehan, what you have are people whose patience for the improvement in the war was stretched beyond the breaking point. That’s her appeal. Folks have become pessimistic about Iraq, due to our inability to get things straight.

Ultimately, the Best Republican decision here would not be to stay the course, but to improve it. Can we get that out of your people?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 14, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #167602

After reading all the above comments, I hope to one day hear all the anti-war Democrats talking about how “we” won the War on Terror.



Posted by: B.C. at July 14, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #167850

How does America justify committing geocide in Iraq, but coddling the people coming here to replace the American people? If that isn’t a conspiracy, there’s no such thing. And fyi; The rich call it a ‘plan’, not a conspiracy. A conspiracy is illegal.

Posted by: Zena at July 15, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #241886

Keep on lying you foul devil!The people are finding out the truth.As brainwashed as you heretics tried to make them,many have woken up.Youve gone too far.We know who the real terrorists are!And you cover for these lying,thieving,murderous thugs.Your day of judgment will come!WE KNOW! “If the people were ever to find out what we have done,they would chase us down the streets and lynch us.”G.W.Bush,1992—-sometimes the new world order does tell the truth.

Posted by: robert weaver at December 31, 2007 10:15 PM
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