If you type the word ‘Conspiraloon’ into Google the first result takes you to a page entitled…
The page is written with absolutely no sense of irony whatsover. Which is unfortunate as all ten ‘characteristics’ display the peculiar quality of being equally as applicable to the kind of people who write pages called ‘Ten Characteristics of Conspiracy Theorists’ as to conspiracy theorists.
It’s difficult to pick a personal favourite Characteristic but, if pushed, I’d probably go for Number 9…
9. Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their claims. This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six, the Bologna station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded some weight (because it's “happened before”.) They do not pause to reflect that the conspiracies they are touting are almost always far more unlikely and complicated than the real-life conspiracies with which they make comparison, or that the fact that something might potentially happen does not, in and of itself, make it anything other than extremely unlikely.
The logic behind this is really quite special and seems to be saying ‘Just because something happened before that has no bearing whatsoever on the possibility of it ever happening again’
Total bollocks admittedly but nevertheless still interesting because it is a nice example of the kind of mental gymnastics people are willing to go through to sustain their personal world view.
Aside from the somewhat cavalier attitude to the significance of historical precedent I’m also not entirely convinced that the Bologna Bombing, Operation Gladio, Iran-Contra, Lockerbie or, more recently, the Litvinenko poisoning can really be described as being more probable and conceptually less complex than suspecting state complicity in, say, the Al Qaeda myth or the Afghan drugs business.
It has been said many times before but the kind of people who write pieces like ‘Ten Characteristics of Conspiracy Theorists’ are really talking about Unofficial Conspiracy Theories. Official conspiracy theories such as the Al Qaeda Myth or that the Russian Government has taken to bumping off dissidents by sprinkling radio-active isotopes all over London; endorsed, as they are, by our government and the media, are just peachy. And, provided those official conspiracy theories are endorsed by the establishment, they can be as insane and as improbable as you like.
But woe betide anyone who entertains any line of speculation, however rational, that is not pre-approved by the establishment
Whilst mindful of the ‘fact’ that past events carry no weight in demonstrating the predisposition of certain groups to engage in conspiratorial behaviour, here’s a link to a BBC Radio program on the subject of the 1933 Business Plot to overthrow Roosevelt’s administration by way of a coup…
The proposed coup never got past the preliminary planning stage for several reasons, not least because the general who was supposed to lead the military side of things wasn’t having anything to do with it and blabbed to Congress
The general in question, Smedley Butler aka The Fighting Quaker aka Old Gimlet Eye aka Snookywookylumps (to Mrs Butler) also wrote a small pamphlet entitled ‘War is a Racket’ (well worth a browse) and described his illustrious 33 year career in the United States Marine Corps as having involved being ‘a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers’.
It’s worth remembering that the alleged target of the Business Plot, Franklin Roosevelt, went on to do a outstanding job of lying and tricking his country into World War 2, in spite of strict promises to the contrary, which enriched the interests who allegedly plotted against him eight years previously immensely
What a funny old world it is
Fortunately, we live in enlightened times and, empowered by the sage wisdom contained in ‘Ten Characteristics of Conspiracy Theories’ Number 9, we know that the past is a different place that has no connection whatsoever with the here and now.
Because there’s every reason to believe that the kind of people behind the corporate sponsored coups of the past, successful and unsuccessful, don’t exist any more and even if they did they wouldn’t be foolish enough to plot any conspiracies because our newspapers would find out and report them.
Yes siree, yes they would.