Fashionable Nonesense: Postmodern Intellectual Buffoonery

By: Bill Crouse

Some­time around the mid­dle of the last cen­tu­ry there were those with enough fore­sight to per­ceive what would hap­pen to seri­ous think­ing giv­en the nature of the trends at the end of the Nine­teenth. As the ideas of men like Dar­win, Marx, and Niet­zsche, and lat­er the exis­ten­tial­ists, leav­ened the lump of acad­e­mia, a few schol­ars with insight and a tinge of the prophet­ic, began to respond with rig­or­ous rebut­tals and pre­dic­tions as to what would be the fruition of these ideas. As a col­lege stu­dent in the 60’s I did­n’t have the where­with­al to grap­ple with these ideas on my own. By God’s prov­i­dence I dis­cov­ered a book by a Chris­t­ian philoso­pher which took me by the hand and instruct­ed me how to approach and cri­tique ideas alien to my Chris­t­ian faith. That book was: A Chris­t­ian View of Men and Things by Gor­don H. Clark (1952). Anoth­er book that was exceed­ing­ly help­ful was: The Decline of the Intel­lec­tu­al by Thomas Mol­nar (1960). Need­less to say, nei­ther of these made any best­seller lists. They were read by rel­a­tive­ly few peo­ple.? I still rec­om­mend them if you can find them; they are worth the search. Lat­er in the 70’s I dis­cov­ered The God Who is There (1968) by Fran­cis Scha­ef­fer, and The Dust of Death (1973) by Os Gui­ness. Both of these books show a lot of wear and tear as they’ve had great impact on my think­ing.

Today the ideas of nihilism, nat­u­ral­ism, irra­tional­ism, and rel­a­tivism, spawned from the above-not­ed men and their prog­e­ny, have come to full bloom and affect all of us at the street lev­el and dic­tate the direc­tion of our cul­ture. It may be risky on my part to voice the opin­ion that we may be bot­tom­ing out with post­mod­ernism, not that it?s going away tomor­row, but there are signs of both a spir­i­tu­al revival and pub­lic reac­tion against PM. What do you have in mind, Herr Crouse?

Judg­ing by the pop­u­lar­i­ty of con­ser­v­a­tive talk­shows and some of the books cur­rent­ly being pub­lished, there is evi­dence of deep oppo­si­tion to PM and its pop cul­ture. Back in the 60’s as a stu­dent, as I not­ed above, I did­n’t find much help in cri­tiquing the pre­vail­ing philoso­phies and pop­u­lar cul­ture. Back then cri­tiques of the estab­lish­ment very rarely got pub­lished in the main­stream media out­lets. Capa­ble schol­ars were dis­cour­aged from doing so. That fil­i­buster was bro­ken, I believe, with the advent of the inter­net and talk radio. The sce­nario goes some­thing like this: A gad­fly pub­lish­es a pow­er­ful cri­tique of our PM cul­ture; pop­u­lar talk­show hosts inter­view the author; the author broad­casts the address of his web­site and announces his next appear­ance at Barnes and Noble; the result is pre­dictable.? There is no longer an aca­d­e­m­ic and media block­ade.

Where­as the books I men­tioned above were obscure, this new genre of cri­tique often makes best­seller lists much to the cha­grin of the oppo­si­tion. These books are hard-hit­ting as they attack and counter the utter­ly zany think­ing pro­duced by PM pseu­do-intel­lec­tu­als and celebri­ties. For the most part, these new authors accom­plish this refu­ta­tion with humor, sar­casm, and by mere­ly bring­ing to light some of the more crazy quotes of these would be elit­ists and intel­lec­tu­al wannabes. I cur­rent­ly have about a dozen of these books on my desk for review.? One of the newest of this genre: 100 Peo­ple Who Are Screw­ing Up Amer­i­ca by best-sell­ing, for­mer old media reporter, Bernard Gold­berg (see Vol. 2, #6). Most of the peo­ple Gold­berg names and quotes are not ivy-tow­er thinkers, with the excep­tion of one or two (Singer and Chom­sky).? All of them would like to think that their celebri­ty sta­tus puts them above the hoi pol­loi (us com­mon­ers) and gives them the right to advise and dic­tate such things as: eco­nom­ics, pol­i­tics, per­son­al val­ues, and for­eign pol­i­cy. For exam­ple, singer and actress Bar­bara Streisand (#91 accord­ing to Gold­berg) advis­es on her web­site that peo­ple should aban­don clothes dry­ers and go back to hang­ing their clothes on an out­door line to save ener­gy. She was also invit­ed to give a major address at Har­vard on U.S. For­eign pol­i­cy. Enter­tain­ers are but one of Gold­berg’s cat­e­gories sin­gled out for weird and dan­ger­ous ideas most hav­ing their roots in the rad­i­cal left and PM view of the real­i­ty. There are aca­d­e­mics, jour­nal­ists, politi­cians (Carter #6, Kennedy #3), one tele-evan­ge­list, a few lit­er­ary fig­ures, and some busi­ness­men. As far as I can tell, all men­tioned are liv­ing, U.S. cit­i­zens, and are cur­rent­ly pop­u­lar fig­ures in the old media. I found myself laugh­ing fre­quent­ly as I read the book, but also felt guilty in doing so, because these peo­ple are very seri­ous. I not only agreed with his choic­es (not nec­es­sar­i­ly the order) but I want­ed to add about 20 – 30 to his list (Nor­man Lear, Ram­sey Clark, Ed Asner, Mar­tin Sheen, Shire­ly McClain, Frank Rich, Mau­reen Down, et. al.), and any num­ber from the U.S. Sen­ate on both sides of the aisle. One crit­i­cism I have of the book is the author’s incon­sis­ten­cy. He right­ly crit­i­cizes the coarse­ness of con­tem­po­rary soci­ety but in doing do, he uses some pret­ty coarse lan­guage!

Anoth­er book in the same vein is Sur­round­ed by Idiots: Fight­ing Lib­er­al Luna­cy in Amer­i­ca by talk-show host, Mike Gal­lagher.? Gal­lagher picks such tar­gets as the Dix­ie Chicks and peo­ple from PETA (People for an Ethi­cal Treat­ment of Animals) and Dan Rather.? From what I’ve read, this talk­er is becom­ing very pop­u­lar, and his book will undoubt­ed­ly be anoth­er best­seller.? Now you have to ask your­self, why is he pop­u­lar? And why is his book sell­ing? I think you would have to con­clude that the riv­er of pub­lic sen­ti­ment is flow­ing in the same direc­tion.? What you have to remem­ber is, that none of these talk­shows would have been legal under the old Fair­ness Doc­trine that was negat­ed dur­ing the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion. This law, if you recall, stat­ed that if a broad­cast­ing medi­um dared broad­cast some­thing con­tro­ver­sial, that sta­tion had to pro­vide free and equal time to the oppos­ing view. This law was very effec­tive in squelch­ing free­dom of speech. (By the way, who do you think decid­ed what was con­tro­ver­sial?)

A book that spares no punch­es to acad­e­mia is: Intel­lec­tu­al Morons: How Ide­ol­o­gy Makes Smart Peo­ple Fall for Stu­pid Ideas by Daniel J. Fly­nn. His top­ics are envi­ron­men­tal­ism, fem­i­nism, the sex­u­al rev­o­lu­tion, U. S. For­eign pol­i­cy, and oth­ers. If you’re a par­ent and look­ing for a book to inform you about the intel­lec­tu­al cli­mate at your son or daugh­ter’s uni­ver­si­ty, you will appre­ci­ate this book. It’s also well-foot­not­ed and indexed. Sim­i­lar to Fly­n­n’s work, is the new book: Hood­winked: How Intel­lec­tu­al Huck­sters Have Hijacked Amer­i­can Cul­ture by Jack Cashill. What this book does is doc­u­ment aca­d­e­m­ic and media dis­hon­esty and fraud like no oth­er book I have yet seen under one cov­er. Cashill is an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist of the high­est order. It is also inter­est­ing in that it is pub­lished by the well-known Chris­t­ian pub­lish­er, Thomas Nel­son. Cashill divides the book into major areas of out­right fraud, pla­gia­riz­ing, and media sup­pres­sion. For instance, the sec­ond chap­ter (95 pages) con­cerns major cov­er-ups in the media such as The New York Times cov­er-up of Stal­in’s mas­sacres, Cas­tro’s true iden­ti­ty as a com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion­ary, and the cov­er-up of Hiss as a com­mu­nist spy. He also devotes many pages to aca­d­e­m­ic fraud in sci­ence. I believe this is a sig­nif­i­cant book. After read­ing it, you are forced to ask: Why? And why is aca­d­e­m­ic fraud on the increase? We’ve labored in the past in RRR to inform that in a PM world it should be expect­ed. When the con­cept of truth and the laws of log­ic are spurned, then how do you decide things? Cer­tain­ly not by care­ful argu­men­ta­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion of evi­dence. Truth becomes trib­al or polit­i­cal, and ulti­mate­ly is decid­ed by jihad. Remem­ber, as we’ve said count­less times here: In a PM world all life is polit­i­cal. That’s exact­ly why we must be so dis­trust­ing of what claims to be mod­ern sci­ence. Best-sell­ing author, Michael Crich­ton, has writ­ten an entire nov­el (State of Fear) devot­ed to the theme of ide­o­log­i­cal­ly dri­ven sci­ence. Crich­ton con­firms in my mind some­thing I have been fol­low­ing now for sev­er­al years, and that is: one of the biggest lies being foist­ed on the cur­rent pub­lic is the myth of the cause of glob­al warm­ing. It’s a polit­i­cal issue, and its true goal is a polit­i­cal out­come: mass re-dis­tri­b­u­tion of the world’s wealth. I hope to doc­u­ment this in more detail in a future issue.

There are two oth­er books I will men­tion in pass­ing, since they are sim­i­lar to the above.? We all con­cede that the major pow­er in the art world today is: Hol­ly­wood rules! Occa­sion­al­ly, some good comes from there, but much is poor qual­i­ty, out­right pro­pa­gan­da, and raw sewage. These two books give much insight into the Hol­ly­wood jug­ger­naut: Tales From the Left Coast: True Sto­ries of Hol­ly­wood Stars, and Their Out­ra­geous Pol­i­tics by James Hirsen, and: Hol­ly­wood Par­ty: How Com­mu­nism Seduced The Amer­i­can Film Indus­try in the 1930’s and 1940’s, by Ken­neth Lloyd Billings­ley.

I’m still not through. If I may, I’d like to just to make a few more bib­li­o­graph­i­cal notes of a dif­fer­ent order. There are some oth­er cri­tiques that might inter­est our read­ers that are of a high­er and deep­er order than the above. These are more aca­d­e­m­ic, more thor­ough in their analy­sis of our con­tem­po­rary cul­ture, and have been very help­ful to me over the years. The first two were not­ed here in the past as well as quot­ed from. They are fre­quent­ly found on my desk: Slouch­ing Toward Gomor­rah, by Robert H. Bork.? This one is in my top ten. The oth­er is: Intel­lec­tu­als by Paul John­son. He gives bio­graph­i­cal sketch­es of: Rousseau, Shel­ley, Marx, Ibsen, Tol­stoy, Hem­ming­way, Brecht, Rus­sell, Sartre, Wil­son, Gol­lancz, and Hell­man, all peo­ple who have had great weight in the 20th Cen­tu­ry and beyond. There is also the excel­lent con­clud­ing chap­ter: The Flight from Rea­son.


Still more: On Look­ing into the Abyss, by Gertrude Him­mel­farb, one of the most astute crit­ics of post­mod­ernism; Fash­ion­able Non­sense: Post­mod­ern Intel­lec­tu­als Abuse of Sci­ence by Alan Sokal and Jean Bric­mont. (I stole my title from this book.) If you want doc­u­men­ta­tion about the cur­rent tur­moil and polit­i­cal nature of sci­ence, this is the one; The Bur­den of Bad Ideas: How Mod­ern Intel­lec­tu­als Mis­shape Our Soci­ety, by Heather Mac­Don­ald; and Ex-Friends, by Nor­man Pod­horetz. Once a part of the left-wing estab­lish­ment in New York?s elite intel­lec­tu­al cir­cle, Pod­horetz depart­ed from these views, and now cri­tiques his for­mer friends: Allen Gins­berg, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Lil­lan Hell­man, Han­nah Arendt, and Nor­man Mail­er. Pod­horetz lat­er became one of the founders (with Irv­ing Kris­tol) of the Neo-Con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment. Old­er but still rel­e­vant are: Trousered Apes: Sick Lit­er­a­ture in a Sick Soci­ety by Dun­can Williams, and Degen­er­ate Mod­erns, by E. Michael Jones. High­er Super­sti­tion: The Aca­d­e­m­ic Left and Its Quar­rels with Sci­ence, by Paul Gross and Nor­man Levitt, is a work in the same mode as the above: Fash­ion­able Non­sense.


Sam Storms has an excel­lent review of the above-men­tioned book: Hood­winked, by Jack Cashill. While you’re at his web­site, Enjoy­ing God Min­istries, stop and troll around and dis­cov­er the wealth of infor­ma­tion he has avail­able.

Hat­ing Amer­i­ca, Hat­ing Human­i­ty, by Paul John­son. Nation­al Review. John­son is also the author of Intel­lec­tu­als not­ed above. Ever won­der why there is such an anti-Amer­i­can cur­rent in old Europe? Or, why George Bush is one of the world’s most hat­ed men? John­son offers some good insight.

Faith­ful and True? The para­dox­i­cal State of Chris­t­ian Col­leges, by Gene Edward Vei­th. World. This arti­cle is based on a pan­el dis­cus­sion of for­mer and cur­rent pres­i­dents of Chris­t­ian col­leges. Some very inter­est­ing stud­ies are quot­ed.

Ear­li­er in the year I com­plet­ed a brief­ing out­line on con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. As you are prob­a­bly aware, the world, par­tic­u­lar the Mid­dle East, is rife with some of the most out­landish con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, and many are com­ing from the rad­i­cal left.? Some heard recent­ly: hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na was the result of Bush not sign­ing the Kyoto Treaty, the lev­ees were blown up to destroy black neigh­bor­hoods, and all these hur­ri­canes are caused by some elec­tro­mag­net­ic gad­get invent­ed by the Rus­sians dur­ing the cold war to con­trol the weath­er. This out­line: Con­spir­a­cies, Hid­den Agen­das, Secret Soci­eties, and World Gov­ern­ment (#68) is now avail­able at our web­site. In this study I trace the his­to­ry of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and spec­u­late as to their cur­rent pop­u­lar­i­ty.

Conspiracies, Hidden Agendas, Secret Societies, and World Government

by Bill Crouse

I. Introduction

Cur­rent­ly, the whole world seems rife with con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries.? Some exam­ples: the recent win­ner of the Nobel prize announced, as she received the award, that Aids was cre­at­ed to rid the world of the Black Race; the recent tsuna­mi in Asia was caused by the Jews and the U.S. set­ting off a nuclear bomb on the ocean floor; the Iraq War was con­coct­ed at the president?s Craw­ford Ranch to help his oil bud­dies; the U.S. gov­ern­ment is alter­ing the weath­er by shift­ing the jet streams in Alas­ka with secret giant jet fans.? These the­o­ries are not just being pro­mot­ed by the unwashed mass­es, but often by well-placed, high­ly-edu­cat­ed men and women.

Dur­ing the 60’s and 70’s most of the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries were held by peo­ple on the con­ser­v­a­tive side of the polit­i­cal spec­trum, and most cen­tered around the threat of com­mu­nism and a one-world gov­ern­ment.? Strange­ly enough, most of the new weird con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries today are com­ing from the polit­i­cal left.? Some promi­nent fig­ures of the left who have advo­cat­ed a con­spir­a­to­r­i­al expla­na­tion of events are: Paul Krug­man, Hillary Clin­ton, Made­line Albright, Michael Moore, Howard Dean, Eric Alter­man, Noam Chom­sky, Bob Wood­ward, Edward Kennedy, Cyn­thia McK­in­ney, and many more.

All con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, whether they come from the right or the left, have many things in com­mon.

II. Defining Terms

A. A con­spir­a­cy is a secret plot to car­ry out some deed against a rival by a few insid­ers.? Unless some­one from the inside leaks the plans, or the plot is some­how dis­cov­ered, by def­i­n­i­tion, con­spir­a­cies are not known until after the fact.? Hence they are vul­ner­a­ble as soon as they are exposed. Two exam­ples of recent con­spir­a­cies:

  1. Inter­na­tion­al com­mu­nism of the last cen­tu­ry was large­ly seen as s con­spir­a­cy since it used sub­ver­sive strate­gies to take over coun­tries and insti­tu­tions.
  2. More recent­ly the attack on the Twin Trade Tow­ers in New York City by Al-Qae­da on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001, was a con­spir­a­cy that had been years in plan­ning.

B. There are also bib­li­cal exam­ples of con­spir­a­cies: See Isa. 14; Rev. 12, and the death of Christ.

C. A con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry is a per­cep­tion of a pos­si­ble con­spir­a­cy.? It may be either true or false.? A con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry remains a the­o­ry until it is exposed and proven fac­tu­al.? In this brief­ing out­line we are not con­sid­er­ing small-scale con­spir­a­cies such as busi­ness rival­ries, but grand-scale con­spir­a­cies, i.e., those which are polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed as gov­ern­ment against gov­ern­ment, plots to take over the world, etc.

III. A History of Conspiracy Theory

A. The Roots of Con­spir­a­cy The­o­ries

The roots of most con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries extend back to the Cru­sades and the Knights Tem­plar (some even take it back to the mys­tery reli­gions).?? Seri­ous con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry, how­ev­er, began short­ly after the French Rev­o­lu­tion.? An over­throw of a tyran­ni­cal gov­ern­ment by the mass­es (as in the FR) was unique in world his­to­ry.? His­to­ri­ans and polit­i­cal sci­en­tists were baf­fled as to what exact­ly caused it.? Sev­er­al influ­en­tial his­to­ri­ans attrib­uted it to secret soci­eties.? The main sus­pects were the Freema­sons, the Bavar­i­an Illu­mi­nati, and the Knights Tem­plar.? One the­o­ry was:? the Masons and the Tem­plars insti­gat­ed the rev­o­lu­tion against the monar­chy as revenge for the mar­tyr­dom of Jacques de Molay, a Grand Mas­ter of the Knights Tem­plar.? Anoth­er ver­sion had the Bavar­i­an Illu­mi­nati as the per­pe­tra­tors.? In 1790 there was a del­uge of arti­cles and pam­phlets blam­ing this secret soci­ety for want­i­ng to abol­ish the monar­chy, reli­gion, the fam­i­ly, and pri­vate prop­er­ty.

Three of the most influ­en­tial works giv­ing details of this elab­o­rate plot were: Tri­umph of Phi­los­o­phy in the Eigh­teenth Cen­tu­ry, by Johann Star­ck (1741 – 1816), Proofs of a Con­spir­a­cy, by John Robi­son (1739 – 1805), and the mas­sive four vol­ume work: Mem­oirs Illus­trat­ing the His­to­ry of Jacobin­ism, by the French priest, Abbe De Bar­ru­el (1741 – 1820).? Accord­ing to this work, the Illu­mi­nati took con­trol of cer­tain French Mason­ic Lodges and spawned the rev­o­lu­tion.? This work by De Bar­ru­el became one of the most influ­en­tial and pop­u­lar books in Europe, and was trans­lat­ed into many lan­guages, and is still con­sid­ered the clas­sic work on con­spir­a­cy.? Accord­ing to Pipes …belief in plots became part of main­stream Euro­pean polit­i­cal life.? Togeth­er, Robi­son, de Bar­ru­el, and Star­ck cre­at­ed a secret soci­ety inter­pre­ta­tion of his­to­ry that remains influ­en­tial and lit­tle changed to this day (Con­spir­a­cy, p. 72).

The bot­tom line is this: Most of today?s con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, par­tic­u­lar­ly those from the con­ser­v­a­tive spec­trum, believe the secret soci­eties that pre­cip­i­tat­ed the FR con­tin­ue to con­trol world events today.? How­ev­er, not long after the FR a belief became wide­spread that pow­er­ful Jews con­trolled these orga­ni­za­tions, and the real con­spir­a­cy was Jew­ish.? In 1807 Napoleon referred to this cabal as The Great San­hedrin.? A cen­tu­ry lat­er, this idea that there was a secret coun­cil of Jews con­trol­ling every­thing, sur­faced in one of the most infa­mous books ever pub­lished: The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion.

B.?? Proof of a Real Con­spir­a­cy

The pub­lish­ing of The Pro­to­cols con­sti­tutes one of the most vile con­spir­a­cies ever hatched in the his­to­ry of mankind.? I first came upon this book when I was about 30 years old.? It was con­tained with­in anoth­er book about end-times prophe­cy.? I had nev­er heard of it before, but was imme­di­ate­ly smit­ten by how rel­e­vant it sound­ed with our decay­ing cul­ture, and how immi­nent the Lord?s return must be.?? It was so inter­est­ing that I con­tin­ued read­ing far into the night.? By morn­ing I was sim­ply dumb­found­ed.? Who wrote this book?? I began an inquiry that took sev­er­al years.? Here?s what I found: The book is about secret meet­ings of pow­er­ful Jew­ish lead­ers who plot world con­quest.? The plans involve: dis­rupt­ing tra­di­tion­al fam­i­lies, tak­ing over the edu­ca­tion­al sys­tems, the media, the banks, mass ter­ror, etc.

Need­less to say, this book, which sur­faced at the begin­ning of the 20th Cen­tu­ry, was dis­trib­uted all over Rus­sia by the Czar to prove to his peo­ple that the rev­o­lu­tion was being insti­gat­ed by Jews.? The book is a not only a forgery, it was pla­gia­rized from a French pam­phlet writ­ten in 1864 by Mau­rice Joly.? His work was a satire, enti­tled: Dia­logues in Hell Between Machi­avel­li and Mon­tesquieu. The dia­logues, which nev­er men­tion any­thing about Jews, attacked the polit­i­cal ambi­tions of Napoleon, III.? Lat­er, in 1868, a Ger­man anti-semi­te adapt­ed Joly?s dia­logues into a myth­i­cal tale of a Jew­ish plot.? This pla­gia­rism soon found its way into Rus­sia where it even­tu­al­ly evolved into The Pro­to­cols.? It was print­ed for the first time in 1897, but was not made pub­lic until a thor­ough­ly re-worked edi­tion by a mys­tic priest named Sergius Nilus pub­lished it in 1905.

From thence it became wide­ly known and was accept­ed as the truth by most of the intel­li­gentsia of Europe. In the Thir­ties it was pub­lished by the mil­lions in Ger­many and became one of Hitler?s main pro­pa­gan­da pieces.? In the Mid­dle East today it is also pub­lished by the mil­lions in Ara­bic and was recent­ly made into a TV series in Egypt.? The sad thing is, that until recent­ly, you could still buy this vile, insid­i­ous book at Walmart?s web­site!

Anti­semitism has nev­er been as high since WWII.? I believe much of this increase is ulti­mate­ly based on this satan­i­cal­ly inspired book, yet I am total­ly con­vinced that the ideas of this book are the foun­da­tion for much of the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries being pro­mot­ed in a pletho­ra of books by Chris­tians, even though The Pro­to­cols are sel­dom quot­ed direct­ly.

For exam­ple, to sup­port their the­o­ries, many quote from Secret Soci­eties and Sub­ver­sive Move­ments, by Nes­ta H. Web­ster, first pub­lished in 1924.? She was a British fas­cist and admir­er and defend­er of Hitler?s poli­cies.? For doc­u­men­ta­tion see: Fel­low-Trav­ellers of the Right: British Enthu­si­asts for Nazi Ger­many, by Richard Grif­fith, and A Study of British Fas­cism, by Robert Benewick.? Her belief was that there is a world-wide Jew­ish mas­ter con­spir­a­cy behind his­tor­i­cal events.? Some of the writ­ers who endorse her the­o­ries or quote exten­sive­ly from her work are: Ken Klein, Jack Chick, James Ward­ner, Don McAl­vany, Texe Marrs, Mar­lin Mad­dox, Chuck Missler, Pat Robert­son, Eustace Mullins, Ralph Epper­son, Willis Car­to, Gary Kah, William Guy Carr, Tim LaHaye, Robert Sessler, Jack Van Impe, etc.? What is iron­ic, is that many of the above are very pro-Israel.

For more doc­u­men­ta­tion, see the work of the forth­right Chris­t­ian researcher, Richard Abanes,? in his book: Defend­ing the Faith: A Beginner?s Guide to Cults and New Reli­gions. (We are not con­demn­ing whole­sale the min­istries of the above-named, only the fact that they are quot­ing and build­ing their con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries on faulty grounds.)

IV. Why the Increase in Conspiracy Theories?

One writer remarked that con­spir­a­cies are the new opi­ate of the mass­es (Mary Jacobs, writer for the Dal­las Morn­ing News).? There are many rea­sons why mul­ti­tudes resort to con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry:

  1. The Inter­net.? There are lit­er­al­ly hun­dreds of sites giv­en whol­ly to explain­ing world events by a pow­er­ful con­spir­a­cy (or con­spir­a­cies).? See for exam­ple:
  2. There is a new threat to West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion.? Since the col­lapse of com­mu­nism the vac­u­um has been filled by the rapid growth of world-wide Islam, and with mass immi­gra­tion it has become entrenched in West­ern Europe and even in many cities of the U.S.
  3. End times Spec­u­la­tion.? Some Chris­tians from the Protes­tant Mil­len­ni­al tra­di­tion see his­to­ry wind­ing down and the emer­gence of a one-world gov­ern­ment com­bined with a one-world reli­gion ulti­mate­ly ruled by The Antichrist.? Some Chris­t­ian lead­ers make pre­dict­ing events based on their con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries the focal point of their min­istries.? This is not to indict a the­o­log­i­cal per­spec­tive held by many believ­ers.? I believe the prop­er atti­tude is to avoid dog­ma­tism, need­less spec­u­la­tion, and the temp­ta­tion to engage in date-set­ting, or cre­at­ing a cli­mate of fear.
  4. The Com­plex­i­ty of the Times.? As the world was made small by trav­el and instant com­mu­ni­ca­tion world events loom large and affect all of us.? Epi­demics, weath­er events, wars, cat­a­stro­phes, polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions, and ter­ror­ism are seen night­ly on TV.? When peo­ple live in con­stant fear, con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries seem to make the com­plex and seem­ing­ly unex­plain­able world events more man­age­able.
  5. The Dis­trust of Mod­ern Gov­ern­ment.? As the gov­ern­ment grows larg­er and intrudes into every area of our lives it?s easy to attribute this growth and increase in pow­er to con­spir­a­cy.? Some­times it may be war­rant­ed.? I am not dis­count­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of con­spir­a­cies to achieve pow­er.? My con­cern here is see­ing every­thing as one mono­lith­ic cabal.
  6. Post­mod­ernism has been char­ac­ter­ized as an utter bank­rupt­cy of rea­son.? It also assumes that all life is pol­i­tics.? What­ev­er par­ty is out of pow­er tends to attribute the achieve­ment (polit­i­cal vic­to­ry) of their oppo­nent to con­spir­a­cies.? This is with­out a doubt why so many con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries now find their source on the left of the spec­trum.? Despite facts to the con­trary, there are still those who believe the cur­rent pres­i­dent con­spired to steal both elec­tions.? In the PM par­a­digm truth is not the utmost of impor­tance.
  7. Hol­ly­wood Movies and Con­tem­po­rary Fic­tion.? Some recent movies that con­tribute to end­less spec­u­la­tions about con­spir­a­cies are: JFK, Con­spir­a­cy, Fahren­heit 911, The Skulls,? The Firm, and, The Matrix.? The recent best-sell­ing nov­el, The DaVin­ci Code by Dan Brown, and his forth-com­ing book on Mason­ry are accord­ing to his claim, based on the truth.? (For you old­er read­ers:? see the book, Cap­tains and Kings, by Tay­lor Cald­well)

V.? Characteristics of Conspiracy Theories

A. They are often seen as invin­ci­ble, irre­sistible, super effi­cient, and sin­is­ter.? A vast super-secret cen­tral­ly direct­ed, fab­u­lous­ly well-fund­ed con­spir­a­cy with ten­ta­cles every­where? a vir­tu­al­ly omnipo­tent and omni­scient force.

B. The insid­ers, those at the top, often employ super tech­nol­o­gy not known on the street.

C. They have pow­er to con­trol every­one whether they are aware of it or not.? They always win.? Most con­spir­acists believe both polit­i­cal par­ties are con­trolled by the insid­ers, there­fore, who­ev­er wins is their man (or woman).

D. If a belief is wide­ly accept­ed it is auto­mat­i­cal­ly ruled as false, and if any evi­dence is pre­sent­ed against the the­o­ry it is seen as proof pos­i­tive as to how clever it is.? Only a few real­ly know the truth; those on the inside and those bril­liant enough to fig­ure out who is real­ly run­ning things.? There­fore, what­ev­er the estab­lish­ment spurns as false must be true.? The fact that the War­ren Com­mis­sion con­clud­ed that JFK?s death was not a con­spir­a­cy makes it cer­tain to be one.

E. Con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries are often pre­sent­ed with stag­ger­ing amounts of doc­u­men­ta­tion and charts.? The sheer amount of facts and data are sup­posed to con­vince you of its truth­ful­ness.? Often there is inces­tu­ous quot­ing.? Imag­ine a con­fer­ence of con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists all quot­ing each oth­er.

VI. The Psychology of Conspiracy Theorists

A. There is inor­di­nate para­noia about gov­ern­ment cov­er ups and secret oper­a­tions.? Noth­ing is as is seems.? The offi­cial expla­na­tion is nev­er the truth.? And of course, some­times there are gov­ern­ment cov­er-ups, but we need real whis­tle-blow­ers to know the truth.

B. A con­spir­acist sees all of life as explain­able by con­spir­a­cy, i.e., the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry of his­to­ry.? Today this describes a large pop­u­la­tion of the Mid­dle East, and mul­ti­tudes in old Europe and the U.S.

C. Those who don?t believe in their elab­o­rate con­spir­a­cies are con­sid­ered dupes, the gullible hoi pol­loi.

D. Iron­i­cal­ly, those who make a career out of writ­ing and lec­tur­ing about how they dis­cov­ered the machi­na­tions of a con­spir­a­cy are some­what elit­ists them­selves, and manip­u­late audi­ences by ped­dling fear.? Inter­est­ing­ly enough we only need to look at the recent Y2K scare for an exam­ple.? Many of these same peo­ple were also con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists.

E. With the use of ad hoc hypoth­e­sis it is almost impos­si­ble to rea­son with them.? In oth­er words, for every objec­tion one rais­es, they have an instant answer.? There is nev­er a pos­si­bil­i­ty for fal­si­fi­ca­tion.

F. They engage in end­less revi­sion of his­to­ry.? One of the most trou­bling exam­ples is those who deny the holo­caust.

VII. Types of Conspiracies and Secret Societies

As not­ed above, the grandad­dy of all con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries is the Mason­ic-Jew­ish cabal that began after the French rev­o­lu­tion.? There are always sub­sidiaries, e.g., com­mu­nism was just a tool of the inter­na­tion­al monop­oly cap­i­tal­ists, and, like­wise, the World Coun­cil of Church­es and the Unit­ed Nations.? Oth­er enti­ties con­trolled by the insid­ers at the top are such secret and semi-secret orga­ni­za­tions as: Skull and Bones, the CIA, the Tri­lat­er­al Com­mis­sion, the Coun­cil of For­eign Rela­tions, the Bilder­berg­ers, the Pil­grim Soci­ety, the Jesuits, the Fed­er­al Reserve Bank, the major media net­works, Hol­ly­wood, etc.? There are, of course vari­ants of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry, but I think I?ve cov­ered most of them.

Also, we might add that some of the orga­ni­za­tions men­tioned above are indeed con­spir­a­to­r­i­al.? Their mem­bers are elit­ists, they main­tain a tight secre­cy and they are for world gov­ern­ment.? What I object to, is that they are a mono­lith­ic, or a mas­ter con­spir­a­cy.? The Bilder­berg­ers and the Coun­cil of For­eign Rela­tions are two good exam­ples.? Their mem­bers are a group of pow­er­ful men and women and they would love even more pow­er.? I sin­cere­ly believe that the Unit­ed Nations was found­ed with the express pur­pose, that in time, it would lead to world gov­ern­ment.? As Casey Sten­gel said: You can look it up!? (See the orig­i­nal U. N Char­ter)

VIII. The Fruit of Conspiracy Theories are not Positive

A. The one sin­gle com­po­nent that keeps con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries alive and thriv­ing is fear.? This inor­di­nate fear often leads to racism, big­otry, with­draw­al from the cul­ture, and in extreme cas­es, scape-goat­ing of the worse kind, which can, as we are well aware, lead to geno­cide.

B. Con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries can wreak hav­oc in a local church.? I?ve heard of trag­ic exam­ples.? The John Todd saga comes to mind.? This man claimed he (along with the Rothchilds) was one of nine men who ruled the world.? He was a spell-bind­ing speak­er and was booked sol­id for about one year, speak­ing in church­es all over the coun­try.? He was a fraud, and was want­ed in sev­er­al states for var­i­ous crimes!? See also the Mike Warnke sto­ry and his book:? The Satan Sell­er, anoth­er tall tale.

C. Unproven con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries can lead to witch-hunts.? One of the nas­ti­est blots in the ear­ly his­to­ry of the church in New Eng­land was the Salem witch-hunts.

D. Con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries often result in sim­plis­tic reduc­tion­ism and a fun­da­men­tal lack of faith and trust in the sov­er­eign­ty and pow­er of God.? We don?t have to live in fear.

E. A per­son who is deeply involved in con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and secret soci­eties tends to be sus­pi­cious and trust­ing of no one.? They have fall­en into a deep per­sua­sion of an immi­nent takeover.? This is total­ly out of char­ac­ter as to the way the Bible describes the Body of Christ should be.

F. As pre­dic­tors they have a poor record.? This is an under­state­ment.? I have a whole shelf of books that make explic­it pre­dic­tions about the Antichrist, the col­lapse of the econ­o­my, and var­i­ous Armaged­don sce­nar­ios.? Remem­ber: 88 Rea­sons Why the Rap­ture Will Occur in ?88?? For an excel­lent sur­vey of this lit­er­a­ture by two Moody pro­fes­sors, see: Dooms­day Delu­sions: What?s Wrong With Pre­dic­tions About the End of the World.

IV. Conclusion

We would nev­er deny that con­spir­a­cies exist; they are as old as mankind and some­times they oppress mass­es of human­i­ty as in Sovi­et com­mu­nism.? We dai­ly see free­doms erod­ed.? Politi­cians do plot, but a con­spir­a­cy is not always nec­es­sary to explain the advance of evil.? As we are con­front­ed with numer­ous con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries crit­i­cal analy­sis is nec­es­sary, not lone-wolf exe­ge­sis.

X.? Bibliography

Barkun, Michael.? A Cul­ture of Con­spir­a­cy: Apoc­a­lyp­tic Visions in Con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­ca.

Bron­ner, Stephen Eric.? A Rumor About The Jews.

Camp, Gre­go­ry. Sell­ing Fear.

Couglin, Paul T.? Secret Plots, & Hid­den Agen­das. Rec­om­mend­ed as a first read.

Hof­s­tadter, Richard.? The Para­noid Style in Amer­i­can Pol­i­tics and Oth­er Essays.

Pipes, Daniel.? Con­spir­a­cy. This is the most schol­ar­ly and author­i­ta­tive.

Pipes, Daniel.? The Hid­den Hand.

Wil­gus, Neal.? The Illu­mi­noids- Secret Soci­eties and Polit­i­cal Para­noia.

On the web see: A list of over 1000 con­spir­a­cies!

For Christ and His King­dom