Reasons to love conspiracy theorists

Sometimes I wonder how conspiracy theorists got by in the pre-Internet age. This can be said of any group, large or small, without continual and untrammeled access to mass media (television or radio) 15 or 20 years ago and hankering to spread a unique or outlandish message. But conspiracy theorists are a special breed not only for the astounding reach of their complexly puzzling ideas, but also because of the sheer amount of material they produce. Their fingers are as tireless as their minds, and their writing often give the impression that they can somehow operate on planet Earth (at least physically) while enjoying 40-hour days. And nights.

So it is fair to assume that before the Internet became a nexus for anyone in possession of a concept or belief to meet like-minded souls and propagate their claims free of charge, unfettered by limitations of snail-mail, the FCC, and prevailing sanity, cranks were able to distribute only a tiny fraction of their ideas to one another. I imagine that in the main they were forced to stick to theories that were already popular in the mainstream and either not particularly far-fetched (aspects of the JFK assassination) or so nutty as to have fallen into the dustbin of ridicule long ago (moon landings as hoaxes, itself an idea typically borne of its raving, bedwetting stepfather, flat-earthism).

Such isolation is no longer the case. It’s now possible to be in full rip-roaring flight in the conspiracy world without ever leaving your home or even speaking in person to another human being for months at a time, which I suspect is not uncommon. Years ago I discovered a true marvel of unhinged blather, Outer Secrets. Note that the scroll bar on the main page is an all-but-invisible sliver. This is because this page alone contains about 32,000 words, or the equivalent of over 100 pages of a trade paperback. The “Bible codes” page checks in at a comparatively modest 15,200 words, but this one must have taken, I daresay, an unholy amount of work to produce, because it’s not just 50-plus pages’ worth of disjointed rambling–there are calculations and permutations and heroic salvos into cryptological mayhem that only a dedicated fifth-degree crankbot could labor to complete. Of course, the introduction to this bombastic mass of declarations is the assertion that dismissing the content without reading every word of it is simply unscholarly, which neatly insulates the writer from any criticism he would bother to entertain. There is also the usual reminder that a lot of ideas once deemed crazy are mow in the mainstream, which only in the plainest misapplication of basic logic implies that the majority of monkeyfuck insane ideas are meritorious, but it’s enough to keep this fellow’s candle burning at at least 666 ends.

But Outer Limits, once you get beyond appreciating the essence of its structure, is boring and tedious. A far more entertaining brand of paranoiac is exemplified by Vigilant Citizen, which thrives not on imparting timeless and dire meaning to ancient religious texts, but on assigning a suspicious and powerful They to every institution and pop-culture zeitgeist from the career of Briney Spears to the construction of the Denver International Airport. Focusing on the former is instructive (not to mention that BS is currently the subject of the “latest article” on the site) as it seems to touch on every element of the general strategy, such as it is, that these tireless sorts employ in painting the world as an extremely unsafe place for anyone not in possession of a personal fortified subterranean bunker.

I am, thankfully, not an expert on the life and times of Britney Spears, but since I have spent much of the past dozen years being exposes to exogenous noises and and images of various sorts, I have a basic familiarity with her. She is a former Mouseketeer from Louisiana who was groomed for stardom very early and reached it as an underage pop-belting sex symbol, with cleverly crafted lyrics such as “Oops! I did it again.” She was briefly married to a thoroughgoing but ambitious hillbilly who tried, with limited success, to capitalize on his tailcoating his way into tabloid fame by releasing some of the most banal “songs” ever to become coupled to “music” videos. She ultimately had a child or two and developed a substance-abuse problem, probably not in that order. Now that she’s an adult, her weight fluctuations and bikini shots have kept busy a great many slack-jawed E! addicts and lowbrow, albeit well-compensated, photogs. I do not know if she has appeared in any straight-to-DVD movies or found Jesus yet, but if not, one or both of these are surely in the script. She may be both wealthy and bankrupt, as a lot of very famous people seem to be. In summary, there is hardly anything worth noting here from the standpoint of anyone looking for a conspiracy angle, for the same reason people don’t blink when a Tour de France rider is found with banned drugs in his system. It’s the way of the world. Right?

Not so fast. Enter the Illuminati into the fray. (And wouldn’t you know, my inline Firefox spell-checker recognizes that word. Hmmm…) I’m not quite sure exactly what this group is responsible for or how and where members are recruited, but evidently they are very secretive and are ass-deep in everything from the CIA to Freemasonry to NORAD to the very colonization of the planet, which makes sense since they’re also going to be at the epicenter of either Armageddon or the Apocalypse. It’s convenient to scapegoat these rascals for everything, because they are so smart, so good at what they do, that no one has ever seen them. And lo and behold, they have taken a great interest in the entertainment industry–and why not? They operate the media from top to bottom for purposes of ultimate mind control–and with it, Britney Spears. And the Firefox Web browser.

With that in mind, what seems like a straightforward case of too much fame and money and flagrant flaunting of sexuality, too soon, is actually revealed as an intricate and sinister bastardization of show business and the very purity of music itself, with Britney serving as the unwitting and tortured puppet of the Illuminati. You probably knew that much already, but what probably flew under your radar is just how far-flung this conspiracy is. This is no fly-by-night hijacking of the pop starlet’s well-being. Nay, the I-team has been molding her into a dangerous standard-bearer since her earliest days, in no small part owing to the infiltration of the Walt Disney Corporation with CIA agents, rogue and otherwise. Her music videos are all orchestrated in such a way as to convey a flurry dark messages into the subconscious of observers, who are mostly young and therefore even more susceptible to mind control than others. when she shaved her head a few years ago without warning, it was a symbolic effort to purge her head of the demonic influence she had come to understand had her on the ropes. She is also the victim of something known as Monarch programming, which involves the IV administration of nefarious toxins.

That’s only the fun part, though. The under-girding of all of this is the instructive aspect. You’ll note that cranks share a few colossal reasoning errors, which can be hard to detect thanks to the insistent and often verbally adroit manner in which they are draped. To a conspiracy theorist, any time item A can be associated with result B, it means that item A implies result B, even when item A is used routinely for innocuous purposes and result B is either statistically rare or something no one has evidence to support. For example, Britney has a tattoo of a butterfly. There are probably thousands of women with similar tattoos who are leading unremarkable lives. However, in her case it is a cardinal sign of being a Monarch princess, even though no one knows just what that is beyond supposition and lazy word games.

The conspiracy theorist also likes to play shell games with his sources of information. He’ll mention “decades of accumulated of research,” but won’t say who did the work or whether anyone corroborated it. Or they’ll offer long, florid expositions about how foul mind-control and the many minions behind it are, yet won’t provide anything approaching evidence in the form of, say, confessions or leaked documents. It’s the consummate “if-you-only-knew-the-truth” scheme, with certain panicked observers somehow privy to despicable truths despite their own exhortations about how brilliantly secretive the operatives are.

I’m holding out for the possibility that the site’s creator is a bored, out-of-work wannabe sci-fi novelist who is honing his skills and getting a lot of laughs from his cavalcade of dangerously lunatic commenters. Those folks alone make the site worth a trip.