To return to conspiracy theories, our discussion wouldn’t be complete without talking about secret societies and their sinister plot to forge a one-world government.
One of the first historically significant secret societies was the Knights Templar, a Western Christian military order who amassed an enormous fortune and used it to wield political influence in Europe in the later Middle Ages. Around 1307 King Philip IV of France, who owed the Templars money, declared the group enemies of the state and eventually burned them at the stake. Conspiracists claim this wasn’t the end, that the Templars, or what remained of them, absconded to England where they created the first Grand Masonic Lodge, new home to what would become one of history’s most notorious secret societies, the Freemasons.
The Freemasons prided themselves on embodying the ideals of the Enlightenment, claiming to be benevolent do-gooders. Yet history has found them hated and feared time and time again. Autocratic kings and fascistic regimes alike condemn their secrecy and subversive ways; Britons gripe about the corrupt political and judicial influence the group has wielded in collusion with the Royal family; religious groups, especially Catholics and evangelical Christians, routinely indict the Masons as being part of a Satanic conspiracy; secular conspiracists say the Freemasons seek to bring about the New World Order.
They’re even accused of orchestrating the French Revolution. Of course the latter claim is made by catty Frenchmen who still feel awkward about having decapitated whole families in broad daylight.
The Freemasons are often linked together with the Templars, the Jews, and the Illuminati in a worldwide conspiracy. Oh yeah, the Illuminati. Don’t ever forget about them: they watch you while you poop. The secret society of the Illuminated Ones was founded by a mercurial Bavarian named Adam Weishaupt in 1776, an otherwise uneventful year. Not only did this secret society boast the coolest name ever, they sought to abolish the Christian church and overthrow all European monarchies, believing such a purifying sweep to be capable of bringing about happiness for the entire human race. Unfortunately, in 1784 a butt-hurt King Karl Theodor of Bavaria excommunicated both the Freemasons and the Illuminati, cracking down on all secret societies.
If you believe the conspiracies, this wasn’t the end to either group. In fact, they still operate behind the scenes of today’s society, controlling our wars, finances, and toilet paper manufacturing.
In addition to charges of Satanism and promulgation of the New World Order, the aforementioned groups have also been accused of practicing the occult, or black magic. Especially the Jews, so mystifyingly clever with money!
Historical revisionism breaks the seams with these secret societies. For example, if you believe what the conspiracists yell in your ear, there was no other purpose to World War 2 except to enrich the banking cartels, who hedged their bets by funding both sides of the conflict. In fact, throw out everything you know about the dangers of nationalism and ideological extremism: the wars of human history were waged merely to benefit bankers.
Scene—World War 2 reconstruction—whiny, war-torn countries coalesce into a beleaguered League of Nations, which, in 1945, forms the United Nations. Together with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, international regulatory bodies become the backbone of a new generation of conspiracy theories—the consolidation of financial institutions into a one-world government. Add to that the Federal Reserve! Those….b-bastards!
Which then leads us to the Mother Superior of secret societies: the Bilderberg Group. This clandestine cabal of royal leaders, political power brokers, industrial titans, and media magnates meets every 4 years to calibrate the world itinerary—conspiring to orchestrate everything from the war on Iraq to hikes on oil prices to the Trans Texas Corridor. That is, if you believe the conspiracists. But, I mean, members from both the Rockefellar and Rothchild families are perennial attendees. Doesn’t that fact alone prove something insidious is going on? Can I get a witness??
The basic plot behind the New World Order is that a group of elite masterminds is slowly but irrevocably centralizing power by carving the regions of the world into unions: the European Union, another post-WW2 League of Nations creation; the North American Union, consisting of the US, Canada, and Mexico, which is noodling ever closer to finalization; and eventually the Asian and African Unions. The purpose behind these mergers is to break down national borders and make the world’s populations subject to international law. The masterminds behind it all—the Bilderbergs, the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Rockefellars and Rothchilds, the CEO’s of Taco Bell and Subway—ultimately seek to reduce the Earth’s population to somewhere around 500 million. This will allow them to more effectively control the infrastructure of the planet.
In the meantime, they must keep the masses preoccupied, ignorant and innocuous. So they brainwash and poison us into subservience by spraying our skies with chemtrails, fluoridizing our water and toothpaste, and wilting our minds with pills and advertising.
Now, let’s face it, mind control on the scale of 6 billion is hard work, so to let off steam once a year the elite masterminds convene at the Bohemian Grove to get drunk, worship Satan, and piss on redwoods. They get to squeeze in some R&R while they take over the world.
Conspiracists who champion the the New World Order theory in its many permutations range from Zeitgeist left to right wing conservative televangelists and libertarians, such as Pat Robertson and Alex Jones. Even futurist Ray Kurzweil buys into the idea of a one-world government, albeit in the form of an advanced technocracy.
Notably, many of the New World Order theories are suspicious of and outright hostile to Jews. The anti-Semitic bent, while certainly owing to mankind’s historical legacy of Jewish oppression, may also have something to do with the heavy religious undertones, as the New World Order seems to represent the inception of the Christian apocalypse. Now, many evangelicals are supportive of Jews, as manifested by their obsessive nurturing of Israel, the latter being ground zero for the second coming of Christ, which, incidentally, might well be the oldest and wackiest conspiracy theory of them all.
The idea that a race of aliens—referred to by conspiracy theorists as the Anunnaki—is embedded among the human population is a belief held by author David Icke. He believes mankind is the result of prehistorical interbreeding between these reptilian aliens (also known as the Serpent-Gods) and humans, a babylonian orgy which created powerful and insidious hybrid bloodlines. Out of these bloodlines came the elite royal families of the world, the Illuminati, who have controlled all governments, banking systems and transnational corporations since.
Chosen ones from these bloodlines are culled by the Reptilians and groomed to be in positions of power—they are the Suits (politicians, executives, etc.), puppets essentially. Once they are established, their alien masters deploy them to carry out the master agenda of forging a one world government and enslaving the human race.
Effectively throwing a pie in the face of Ocham’s Razor, Icke points to historical documents such as ancient Summerian texts, which depict serpent worship as the oldest religion. And, ALSO, there is serpent symbolism on the coat of arms for the Knights Templar. This proves mankind’s intimate relationship with extraterrestrials.
The theory gets even more bizarre when Icke starts in on shape-shifters, or human descendants of the hybrid alien bloodline who momentarily shift in form and become visible to the observer as reptilians. There are numerous conspiracists who purport to have video clips of such shape-shifting. Remember, Icke cautions, it’s not a shape-shift from a physical body to another body, it’s a shifting of holograms—the perceptions of the observer have fundamentally changed and they are able to decode the energy field. You see, the hybrids have a vibrational affinity with their reptilian overlords and can be possessed by them.
Well why didn’t you say that in the first place? Here I was thinking that the hybrids didn’t have a vibrational affinity with the Reptilian overlords…This. Changes. Everything.
Like any intrepid explorer in search of the truth, I ended up watching YouTube videos. For several days in a row I burned the midnight oil watching footage alleging to have caught reptilian shape-shifters in the act of transformation. Cue videos, edited by albino gingers in Affliction t-shirts, set to music from System of a Down or Linkin Park, and featuring various CNN reporters, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Harrison Ford, Jesse Jackson, an aide to John Edwards, Drew Carey, Brad Pitt, Elvis, and of course Henry Kissinger.
What conspiracy theory would be complete without Henry Kissinger and his flapping turkey jowls?
Each of the videos contain some, if not all, of the following characteristics:
-Pupils momentarily appearing to transform into oblong slits.
-Faces suddenly impressed with scaly patterns.
-Over-active, fork-shaped tongues and jagged teeth; odd, sinister smiles.
I reached a few conclusions. One) YouTube should not be embraced as a step in the scientific method. Two) some people have really creepy eyes. Three) poor video compression results in scale-like pixelation.
Four) some people are weird-looking, to the point of looking lizard-like.
And five) Brad Pitt is infinitely more desirable to women than I am.
The following is a feverish, hamburger-inspired meditation on aliens, artificial intelligence, and the New World Order :
My gut instinct is that there are many advanced extraterrestrial civilizations flourishing beyond our solar system. In a universe containing billions of galaxies, each one containing billions of stars, to believe otherwise is an exercise in ignorant hubris.But it could take a while for us to meet ET. Centuries perhaps. Much sooner than that we’ll not only meet, but create, a new and dramatically different kind of advanced species: Artificial Intelligence. AI will be good to us….at least at first. AI might even introduce us to ET, like a friend of a friend at a party – (“Dude, you gotta meet this dude, he’s a great photographer!”). As AI integrates itself into our society, humans will use nanotechnology to upgrade ourselves to near-machine status. We’ll become post-humans, in that most of our day to day functions and pleasures will be heavily grounded in advanced technology. The foundation for this has already been laid. It’s all around us. Soon it will be within us.
Along these lines I agree with elements of Alex Jones’ New World Order theories. Note, elements. On other issues he’s just a wackadoodle. Somehow reptilian aliens controlling mankind is more plausible to him than than CO2 emissions destroying the atmosphere. Flanked by an armada of rabid libertarians, Alex Jones thinks the specter of global warming is nothing more than an elaborate ruse perpetrated by scientists and government officials in order to pave the way for a global carbon tax. Their main evidence disproving human-caused climate change is 1) Al Gore has a private jet, 2) Earth isn’t the only planet getting warmer, Mars is hot too, 3) cities during the medieval times were also hot, 3) Al Gore has a private limousine, and 4) Vikings grew crops in Greenland. Oh man, Vikings grew crops in Greenland?? Well fuck me running, let’s poison and vaporize the rest of our ozone, my bad, I didn’t know Vikings grew crops in Greenland!
You would be hard-pressed to find an assertion that makes me angrier than human-caused climate change denial. It’s the final sick-home for free market sociopaths, a rent-controlled insane asylum they sub-lease with creationists and teabaggers. I see nothing but dangerous insanity in the act of looking at a unanimously agreed-upon body of science and declaring it false, to the catastrophic detriment of global ecosystems and future generations of humans, simply because property taxes are a bummer. BUT–and here’s my hamartia–while I have trouble believing a small circle of elite masterminds controls the world, I do think it’s very possible that at some point in the future a class of post-humans, wielding advanced technology in dissonant collusion with AI societies—who (perhaps justly) believe humanity and its old world paradigms are a danger to Earth—could descend into absolute tyranny. Or, ascend, might be the better word. In “Adams in the Void” (a short story I haven’t written yet), I position this post-human/AI master race as taking over the surface of the planet, while old school humans are forced underground.
Alex Jones thinks the participants of this new class have already been chosen, and that in exchange for their complicity in forging the New World Order they have been promised vast powers of life augmentation and life extension. Frankly, my problem with the NWO is that I find it difficult to imagine a completely centralized global dictatorship when the trends behind technologies like the Internet lean overwhelmingly toward de-centralization—of knowledge, distribution, and even ownership. Jones’ theory also crumbles in one very important capacity: I don’t view AI as necessarily a danger to humanity. If the New World Order exists, AI will be the power that brings it down.
And if, like I believe, the phrase New World Order does not finger a singular group of tyrannical elites but rather exists as a metaphor for the widespread and historical lineage of human corruption itself, AI will be the revolutionary force that topples our dying regimes and restores parity to human consciousness. This will either be viewed as Armageddon or renaissance, depending on whose Twitter feed you follow.
I admit I harbor some fairly busy visions of the future. But I’m not married to them, and when push comes to shove I don’t believe in most conspiracy theories. I don’t believe that reptilian aliens inter-bred with humans. I don’t believe in crystal castles on the moon, or that Kennedy was killed by an emo hobgoblin who lives under a bridge. I don’t believe in ancient astronauts.
I feel the same disdain for conspiracy theories that I feel for celebrity gossip: intense guilt, for willfully distracting myself from the bigger problems of the world. And while I don’t personally dislike conspiracy theorists, they worry me…because I think they unwittingly make activists and whistle-blowers seem crazy, and by doing so distract the rest of us from the back-handed power plays of very real and very corrupt establishments. Corporations, seizing the infrastructure of the Earth, of the human body, of the particles that constitute matter. Corporations, who now own patents on our genes, on carbon nanotubes; who control the flow and substance of information; who influence what pills we take and what facts we believe; who hunt our young, on the streets and through social networking sites; who sell us culture before we’ve had a chance to decide if it’s just.
The theory of a New World Order is a displaced fear of plutocracy, privatization, and human existence turned to consumer fodder. It’s a healthy fear.