It seems Webster Griffin Tarporley really has outgrown Lyndon LaRouche, as this tweet on the alleged perpetrators of the Boston bombings illustrates:
It seems Webster Griffin Tarporley really has outgrown Lyndon LaRouche, as this tweet on the alleged perpetrators of the Boston bombings illustrates:
The Boston terrorist attacks and their dramatic aftermath has demonstrated that truth activists, when in situ, are still capable of taking the ball and running with it. In this case, in ever decreasing circles.
This brief article will focus on one example of this - the linking of private security company Craft International to the attacks, most prominently on the Info Wars website run by arch American conspiracist Alex Jones. This appears to be conducted solely on one tenuous strand - that two men were seen in the crowd at the Boston Marathon carrying rucksacks and one is wearing a logo on his clothing of Craft International.
Alex Gucciardi, who wrote the 18 April 2013 Infowars piece, produces within it pictures of two men carrying rucksacks in this notorious article. A plain white skull on a black background is apparently seen on one of the men's caps:
The first problem with this approach is that it is not exactly the same logo as that of Craft International. Here is their logo:
Perhaps anticipating this, Gucciardi also informs us that Craft International's Chris Kyle sports the exact same logo in this picture from the Craft International website:
It is not exactly the same, but even if he does. So what?
Just to show that Twitter can be used for countering, as well as spreading nonsense, I am grateful to @tanith for informing me that the logo on the man's cap is that of The Punisher comic book hero. Here is The Punisher logo:
Something very similar is also used by several figures in the music business. Consider Underground Resistance or Metalheadz:
We might even add video game Resistance 3:
Of course Infowars does not state that Craft International carried out the Boston bombings. They do not need to - the inference is enough, in conspiracist circles, to set that particular hare running. And all the evidence needed to do this?
One man, carrying a large backpack, wearing a logo that is similar to Craft International's. And Resistance 3. And Metalheadz. And Underground Resistance. But that is actually the logo of The Punisher.
The Times today ran a front page, editorial and page 4 article on Labour peer Baron Ahmed of Rotherham.
In an interview with a Pakistani TV station, Lord Ahmed has allegedly blamed his prison sentence for dangerous driving in 2009 on a Jewish conspiracy, brought about because of his work in support of the Palestinians. He appears to have believed a Judge was sent from London to sentence him as a result of pressure from Jews.
As so often with such arguments, the facts are somewhat different. The judge who sentenced Ahmed, Mr Justice Wilkie, was the Presiding Judge of the North East Circuit. Encouragingly, in its editorial The Times demonstrates that it actually grasps that what often appears to be merely conspiracist nonsense actually has a political impact :
"There will not be lasting peace in the Middle East with a just settlement between a sovereign Palestine and a secure Israel while conspiracy theories about the Jews are disseminated. Inoculating young and impressionable British Muslims from the theocratic hatreds of al-Qaeda requires the confronting of hoary anti-semitic myths. How shameful, how scandalous that a British parliamentarian should be promoting them."
............and I feel fine.
Come on all you Mayan conspiracy buffs, do you worst!
If it were just people talking about UFO's, it would not really matter. But conspiracy theories can be a serious business, especially when they effect the take up of immunisation programmes, or medical treatment.
On Tuesday 13 November the London School of Economics hosts a discussion "Conspiracies, Distrust and Suspicions of Health Programmes in Africa". The event is free, and is scheduled from 6.30 - 8pm in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House. The suggested twitter hashtag for the evening is #LSEAfrica.
Can anyone spot what is wrong in the following sentence, from the Sunday Times Culture magazine?
In a preview of Monday evening's Conspiracy Road Trip: UFO's on BBC3 at 9pm, we are told about a Swindon man storing food in case of alien invasion:
"He is one of five Brits here who believe in extra-terrestorial encounters, conspiracy theories or official cover-ups about monsters. Will a journey to America and reasoned argument change their minds?"
With the probable exception of Pakistan, no country in the world is as receptive to conspiracy theories as the United States. What I don't get about conspiracy road trip is that in this series they look to challenge and/or debate the beliefs of those who accept creationism, 9/11 conspiracy theories or UFO's. And they do that by taking adherents to ................ the home of those belief systems, where they are more likely to be reinforced than critically discussed.
Still, it's a nice trip for the BBC staff involved.
The email below was posted to my University of East Anglia account on the 31 July 2012, from the email address email@example.com
You can find out more about the ostensibly useful work of the Freeanons website here.
Needless to say, the predicted false flag attack during the Olympics did not happen, although the amount of times the word 'may' appears at key stages below indicates this individual was rather hedging their bets. Some may be relieved that the alleged G4S plans to evacuate London did not need to be enacted!
Hopefully, 9/11 Cultwatch's publication of this email will give 'anonymous' the posterity their work deserves:
Multiple indicators suggest
that the 2012 London Olympics may be used as a stage for false flag
operations: the environment is primed for insider attacks, the security
plans are flawed, and the threat indicators match other false flag
Large amounts of troops, contractors, and weapons may provide cover for insider agents to carry out attacks at the 2012 London Olympics. Excessive amounts of force and materiel combined with the last minute changes provide a chaotic environment in which equipment may be staged to carry out terrorist attacks. Such a chaotic environment is also ideal for subversive agents that have security credentials to operate in, because it provides them with cover stories for their activities and possible inconsistencies in their behavior.
Security plans for the 2012 London Olympics are flawed. An independent investigation of the G4S security contractor by Ben Fellows has revealed that the company is implementing measures that are inconsistent with their stated security objectives. G4S is reported to have 200000 casket linings on standby - a measure that indicates a plan to fail at security. G4S is reported to have plans for evacuating London - another indicator of planned failure. G4S is well documented as failing to provide adequate security staff. The combination of these factors suggests that instead of providing qualified security staff to prevent attacks, G4S has been focusing on controlling the effects of an attack. Mitigating large scale disasters is usually handled by the government. It is suspicious that a company that fails at its direct responsibilities expends its limited resources on measures that are outside of its competence and stated objectives. These indicators are especially alarming, since!
security contractors have privileged access and are therefore well placed to carry out large scale terrorist operations, to plant false evidence, and to destroy real evidence.
The threat indicators present at the 2012 London Olympics are consistent with the false flag terrorism operations carried out in the past. The film "7/7 Ripple Effect 2" provides a thorough analysis of a recent false flag operation in London and provides a publically available primer of some of the tradecraft that may be used for other false flag operations. Some examples of documented tradecraft include using security credentials to manage subversive agents, using security operations to stage equipment for attacks, using security credentials to place false evidence, using security credentials to destroy real evidence, and fabricating public reports. These examples of tradecraft match the threat indicators present at the 2012 London Olympics and support the concerns for the safety of the public.
False flag operations are typically conducted to manipulate public opinion. False flag operations are frequently used as pretext for war. It might be too late to provide an effective deterrent for the possible attacks at the London Olympics at this point. Even if it is too late to prevent such attacks, vigilance is needed to mitigate the risk of false flag operations being used as pretext for even greater bloodshed and to bring the responsible parties to justice if such attacks take place.
Writing about 9/11 truth, and its offshoots, has always produced a consistent response from 'truth' activists.
Larry O'Hara, Heidi Svenson and myself have all at some stage encountered 'truthers' who have drawn a whole series of conclusions about our politics from the fact we disagree with their interpretation of 9/11. The most common of these is to assume that we are pro-war - my email exchange with David Rose of Goldsmiths University, reproduced in the current Notes From the Borderland, is a recent example of this phenomenon. To hold the position that attacking Iraq and Afganistan was a poor idea, but that Al Qaeda carried out 9/11, appears to be inconceivable.
There are some signs that a similar absolutism has begun to infect some of those who support Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Owen Jones' article in The Independent that Assange should go back to Sweden and face the music produced a whole series of over the top responses from the Australian's supporters, including accusations Jones might be working for the security services. Is it not possible for Jones to innocently dissent from their position? The Blog That Peter Wrote has travelled similar ground to Jones, where comment on Wikileaks has been followed by an avalanche of bizarre claims and unfounded assertions. The term 'Assange Cultism' is used to describe the response.
These are worrying developments, and a sign of the 'truth' approach to politics beginning to infect not just issues around terrorism and counter-terrorism, but questions such as extradition law and the prosecution of sexual offences. This blog has always taken a consistent approach to the dangers posed by the truth movement - if unchallenged, its method and its ideas will spread. Don't say you were not warned...........
Like all good conspiracy theorists, Max is an all-rounder. Whilst mostly concerned with trashing the western financial system (whilst saying nothing too critical about Russian gangster-capitalism, he who pays this piper buys his tune) Max does like to swerve into other areas, especially when he is on Twitter. This week this has included being possibly the first person to describe the Burgas attack on Israeli tourists as a false flag attack, plus suggesting HSBC 'funded' the 9/11 attacks. Sometimes Keiser appears to try to disguise his points as humour, although as we all know, many a true word is said in jest. How many in his audience think he is joking?
Discussing the cinema shooting in Colorado, Max today posted this gem:
"American libertarian race-based crypto-fascism encourages mass shootings at movie theaters if it helps media conglomerates make money"
I have read it. I have re-read it. I have carried on re-reading it. The meaning still escapes me. Is there anyone out there who speaks Keiser? If so - help!
CALL FOR PAPERS: Conspiracy theories in international politics Panels for the ISA's annual convention, San Fransisco 2013 Theme: The Politics of International Diffusion: Regional and Global Dimensions Co-convenors: Stefanie Ortmann (University of Sussex) and John Heathershaw (University of Exeter) Conspiracy theories have been identified as an increasingly prevalent mode of social and political discourse which seem to have important transnational and international dimensions. Research has shown that they have proliferated in American society and politics through the twentieth century, and can be found in all regions of world politics, perhaps especially in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Early analyses suggested that conspiracy theories were pathologies, evidence of a 'paranoid style' of politics or dysfunctions of pubic discourse found particularly in totaliterian societies, subject to social psychological explanations. However, the emergence of Conspiracy Theory Studies since about 2000 has been dominated from scholars in History, Humanities and Cultural Studies. This research embarks from the premise that CTs can be understood in sociological terms as the expression of an increasing lack of autonomy in the face of uncontrollable forces, such as globalization, narratives of terrorist threats etc. In spite of this obvious link to themes of international politics, conspiracy theories have recevied little or no attention from scholars in Political Science and International Relations. We intend to submit up to two panels on conspiracy theories to address the conference theme of international diffusion, focusing particularly on a comparative study of conspiracy theories in different regions of world politics and considering their transational forms and international diffusions. On the other hand we are interested in the workings of conspiracy theories in Europe and the US, relating to globalization, terrorism, the fall-out from the global economic crisis and similar themes. These are preliminary suggestions: We would like to here from potential presenters interested in submitting a paper on any aspect of conspiracy theories in international politics. Please contact: John Heathershaw (firstname.lastname@example.org) Stefanie Ortmann (email@example.com) Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 25 May, 2012 Deadline for full abstracts: Tuesday 29 May, 2012
April 3-6, 2013, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square; San Francisco, California, USA
CALL FOR PAPERS: Conspiracy theories in international politics
Panels for the ISA's annual convention, San Fransisco 2013
Theme: The Politics of International Diffusion: Regional and Global Dimensions
Co-convenors: Stefanie Ortmann (University of Sussex) and John Heathershaw (University of Exeter)
Conspiracy theories have been identified as an increasingly prevalent mode of social and political discourse which seem to have important transnational and international dimensions. Research has shown that they have proliferated in American society and politics through the twentieth century, and can be found in all regions of world politics, perhaps especially in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. Early analyses suggested that conspiracy theories were pathologies, evidence of a 'paranoid style' of politics or dysfunctions of pubic discourse found particularly in totaliterian societies, subject to social psychological explanations. However, the emergence of Conspiracy Theory Studies since about 2000 has been dominated from scholars in History, Humanities and Cultural Studies. This research embarks from the premise that CTs can be understood in sociological terms as the expression of an increasing lack of autonomy in the face of uncontrollable forces, such as globalization, narratives of terrorist threats etc. In spite of this obvious link to themes of international politics, conspiracy theories have recevied little or no attention from scholars in Political Science and International Relations.
We intend to submit up to two panels on conspiracy theories to address the conference theme of international diffusion, focusing particularly on a comparative study of conspiracy theories in different regions of world politics and considering their transational forms and international diffusions. On the other hand we are interested in the workings of conspiracy theories in Europe and the US, relating to globalization, terrorism, the fall-out from the global economic crisis and similar themes. These are preliminary suggestions: We would like to here from potential presenters interested in submitting a paper on any aspect of conspiracy theories in international politics.
John Heathershaw (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stefanie Ortmann (email@example.com)
Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 25 May, 2012
Deadline for full abstracts: Tuesday 29 May, 2012
Yesterday's Sun newspaper had a different variation on the Mayan 2012 end of the world claims.
Two whole pages were devoted to Michael Carroll's feature on Cornish computer repair man Larry Peters, who is stockpiling food and attempting to live self-sufficiently in readiness for a giant solar flare striking the earth. The term sometimes used for survivalists like Mr Peters is preppers. Here is an insight into his thinking:
"By the end of 2012 a huge flare is predicted that will wipe all this out. It will be a total breakdown of society, complete anarchy. Lots of people are going to die. The government and the super-rich know this is going to happen and they are prepared. That leaves the rest of us to fend for ourselves".
Several problems emerge. Firstly no evidence is offered that the British government and the rich actually do know that the world is going to end this year, and no insights into changes in their behaviour or practices are offered. No scientific evidence is presented as to the likelihood of such a strike on earth. Rather like many 9/11 'truthers' it does emerge where Peters is getting his information from:
"Once he opens his computer repair shop, Larry spends three hours checking for solar flare updates, looks on You Tube for new conspiracy theory videos and catches up with preppers from across the world"
Clearly business is far from booming in the computer repairs world! Interestingly we also gain an insight into how Larry Peters reached the views he has - from reading a web posting on solar flares by US conspiracist Jessie Ventura. Then
"I watched his documentary and conducted my own research online"
And that sums up so much. No need to read a book, journal or speak to an expert in the field of solar flares, we can all do it ourselves on line. We are all experts. They only problem is, a lot of people aren't.
As lovers of all things conspiratorial and apocalyptic should be aware, 2012 may be the biggie.
Certain interpretations of the Mayan calendar appear to suggest there is no ‘time’ after 21 December 2012. Good news if you have a bank loan you don’t want to pay back, or you want to wriggle out of buying lots of Christmas presents, bad news if you rather like life and want to make the most of it in 2013. So, in excitement not known since the millennium bug failed to interfere with the working of one single computer, this is the year the Mayan calendar allegedly predicts will be our last. For those looking to battle through the various conspiracy theories, scam artists and genuine believers of this, I recommend the March 2012 issue of Fortean Times, which devotes its front cover and no less than 14 pages to doomsday 2012.
Former BBC Religious Affairs correspondent Ted Harrison gives us a good summary of how the Maya calculation was apparently reached, whilst also looking at some of the other attempts made to predict the end of the world. Special mention here must go to US evangelist Harold Camping who made a fool of himself not once but twice in 2011 by predicting the end of the world. Rather unsatisfactorily Harrison tells us Camping’s supporters have made a further prediction for 2012, but then ruins things by not telling us the date they have suggested. What a tease! For the record, it seems on-line sources are placing this third date as 21 October 2012. Perhaps Camping and his supporters are work on the old 'bullseye' approach - throw enough darts, and you will hit the bullseye eventually!
Joseph Gelfer takes a more political stance by considering the manner in which 2012 prophecies may hijack elements from indigenous cultures in a way new age activists have been doing for some time (often at considerable financial benefit to themselves) Jose Arguelles and his ‘Dreamspell Calendar' and Drunvalo Melchizedek’s use of Maori culture are both critiqued. Much to my delight John W Hoopes “The Hidden History of 2012” suggests that the big day may not be 21 December at all but the 23rd, before he takes us through some of the variations 2012 theorists have adopted. It is worth quoting one sentence from his article in full:
“2012 has become a vehicle for new mythologies, from the liberation of information to the Occupy movement. There are serious problems in the world, from global warming to revolution, but the idea that the ancient Maya prophesised change in our time is ludicrous.”
Kevin Whitesides is possibly being a tad wordy when he takes on Terence McKenna’s concept of a “balkanisation of epistemology” taking place, but he is probably on the right lines. We increasingly have a world where ‘experts’ attempt to use their theories to prove virtually anything – and in the process prove nothing. This tactic can even be adapted to suggest the exact opposite of a particular discourse – Whiteside’s article is illustrated by an apocalyptic drawing marked “The Beginning Is Near”. Ever the salesman David Icke has talked of 2012 as not the end of the world, but the beginning…… (provided of course you adopt his approach to life!
For some reason placed many pages back in the magazine, Richard Stanley relates how the small French village of Bugarach, lying below Mount Bugarach, is the reluctant home to scores of new age visitors who believe the mountain is a UFO base. Fortean Times illustrates this article with a picture of a new age group meeting in the shadow of the mountain, with most the delegates dressed in white – how long until our very own David Shayler pops up in south west France?
Jokers like Shayler aside, there can be a serious angle to such developments. As the end of 1999 approached, Israeli police in particular were on edge concerning US Christians entering the holy land who it was feared may be involved in either mass suicides or acts of terrorism. A French civil servant from its anti-cult body, one Georges Fenech, is reportedly prepared to take preventative measures should similar issues arise in Bugarach in the run up to 21 December 2012.
The Winter Solstice has rarely been as exciting – or as profitable. Whether it is actually dangerous or not is another matter entirely.
I have just completed a one hour lecture on Terrorism and Conspiracy Theory, and followed it up with three seminars to undergraduates on the same subject.
The main things I wanted to get across to students were the historical scale of conspiracy theories, that they can be accelerated by secrecy, government dishonesty and incompetence and that the Internet has allowed them to go in a thousand and one different directions. I then focused on the 9/11 Truth Movement, looking at some of its core beliefs, MIHOP (that the US government made the attacks happen on purpose) and LIHOP (let it happen on purpose) and the uses that are made of the following quote from the neo-Cons Project For A New American Century:
"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbour" (2000, 51).
This of course 'proves' that the Bush administration either allowed 9/11 to happen or arranged it! I also covered some issues around race, religion and conspiracy theory, and that whilst black American groups such as the Nation of Islam may be paranoid, that has not always meant that in the past that no one was out to 'get' black Americans!
In the closing part of the lecture I covered some of the responses to 'truth' activism - the papers of groups such as Demos, writers like Jon Ronson, David Aaronovitch and Damian Thompson, and the belated responses by the US government. Concluding comments centred on whether there is a 'template' of conspiracist ideals - core elements that can be found in all arguments, and whether we can see in this, glimpses of future conspiracy theories. Most of all I hope students took away the impression that the Internet, as well as being a tool for good, can also retard debate. Look around some workplaces at lunch or break times, and instead of talking to workmates, many people are sat there playing with their I-Phones and Blackberrys. What happens when most people, get most of their news, most of time, from the Internet?
In the seminars, I asked students to consider two things. What questions did they have outstanding with regards to 9/11, and to what extent should opinion formers, polticians and government seek to respond to 'truth' theories. To stimulate some debate I distributed photocopies of an A5 'truth' leaflet from 2006 "It's 5 Years Since the Attacks on 9/11" - this largely focused on the argument controlled demolition brought down WTC 1, 2 and 7, plus provided suggestions witnesses heard explosions before the towers came down.
Some of the 'celebrity' supporters of 9/11 truth that were listed - Charlie Sheen and David Shayler - had not stood the test of time very well, all three groups roared with laughter at the mention of Mr Sheen. Answers on the first question were few and far between (most student's were clearly sheeple, as they seemed to broadly agree Bin Laden did it) whilst the second brought more mixed answers.
The difficulty of 'responding' to truth arguments was stressed, as was the lack of any named sources for the 'scientific' evidence presented. On one level I was left feeling slightly more optimistic than I had expected to be - students appear to want to discuss evidence and to see named sources for claims that are made - freeze framed pictures of 'premature' explosions did not seem to impress them.
This may be a protest generation. But on this evidence at least, it is unlikely to go up the blind alley of 'truth' activism.
I spent this morning at the annual Fortean Times covention - Uncon 2011, held at the Camden Centre in London.
The last time I was at the Camden Centre was in the days the London Anarchist Bookfair was held there. I have to say that event probably rather spoiled me - Uncon has considerably less going on, and at £32.35 including booking fee for a one day ticket, the pricing structure is also somewhat different. Todays session had a room with a coffee bar and six stalls, and then in the main arena six one hour talks on the big stage. Of these the only one that really floated my boat was Jon Ronson, discussing his book The Psychopath Test.
I have apparently met Ronson before (he wrote a sarcastic report for Time Out on a Class War public meeting in Brixton in 1993) but was pleasantly surprised by just how funny he was and how capably he dealt with a thirty minute Q&A session. Ronson's talk took in the Scientologists, a Broadmoor inmate who says he faked mental illness to avoid a long prison sentence, and his experience meeting some of the leading figures in mental health such as Robert Hare. Ronson attended Hare's classes so as to be able to use his psychopath checklist. From Hare, Ronson took the idea that many corporate CEO's display psychopathic tendencies, and indeed that these ideals are actually a boon for business careers. A lack of empathy, remorselessness and a superficial charm are benefits in corporate life. Hare estimates that whilst only 1 person in 100 is a psychopath, 4 in 100 CEOs are. More recently both George Monbiot and Horizon have adapted these arguments.
Before we all rush to work and ask our boss if he minds sitting through the PCL-R test before his first meeting of the morning, Ronson did offer a clear warning of the dangers of untrained amateurs rushing about in the this field, plus secondly the obvious problems with labelling people. Throwing the floor open for questions, this point was again re-emphasised, with Ronson arguing he hopes the first half of the book may allow the reader to become power crazed, the second half to realise the error of their ways.
Ronson expressed relief that his work on conspiracy theorists was conducted before 9/11. He takes the view that he was the first person outside of the 'conspiratorial left or right' to look at the Bilderberg meetings, and that these events now get serious press coverage. Ronson was scathing about the 9/11 'truth' movement, arguing its humourless nature meant it was impossible to empathise with them (and presumeably to make good television out of them!)
Those expecting Jon Ronson to use his platform to criticise the pharmaceutical industry, or the health industry may have been disappointed. His position here is, he insists, evidence based. The only trend he is aware of that lacks any evidence for it is childhood bi-polar disorder. Here children 2-3 years old are being labelled as bi-polar because of what are in effect temper tantrums - with the pharmaceutical lobby and pushy parents happy to revel in 'treatments' for this condition.
More generally in the questions Ronson praised The Guardian for its high moral stance, something that suggests he is unaware of the more critical literature about The Guardian/Observer to emerge in recent years, or the treatment of certain Guardian journalists such as Michael Gillard and Laurie Flynn. He ended by pointing out pyschopathic tendencies are ideal for some of the business practices that have proved so damaging to the economy in recent years - the sub-prime market and asset stripping need a short term, get rich quick and never mind the consequences mentality. The long term businessman behaves in exactly the opposite way.
Uncon 2011 continues today and tomorrow. If the prices are held, or come down, I may well attend next year, but the organisers should throw the event open to Fortean Times subscribers a lot more. Until they do, Uncon won't achieve what it could.
This weekend, I will be one of many punters attending the 2011 Fortean Times gathering in central London.
Held on Saturday and Sunday, with tickets at £30 a pop (plus booking fee) I can only afford to go to Uncon 2011 on the Saturday, which does have Jon Ronson speaking at 1000 on the Psycopath Test. No I have not tried it yet.
If you are a reader of 9/11 Cultwatch or Notes From the Borderland and you see me wondering about - do stop me and say hello.
Spencer Sunshine has written an interesting summary of the occupy movement and some of the less savoury characters which have appeared in its slipstream.
Focusing on events in the United States, and placing them in an historical context, occupied with conspiracy theories appears courtesy of the ever informative Shift magazine.
The conviction today of Vincent Tabak for the murder of his neighbour, Joanna Yeates, brings to some closure a very sorry affair.
Back at Christmas 2010, when Ms Yeates went missing, one of the leading 9/11 truth activists, Tony Gosling, found he had the UK's biggest news story on his doorstep. He reacted by posting on the Internet a series of ever more lurid explanations for her murder. These included speculations about black magic, the involvement of freemasons, the full moon, corrupt police officers, and links to unsolved killings in the area.
Whilst Gosling and his associates were ensuring the Internet was full of mindless rubbish, the tabloids took on a similar role with regards to the newspaper industry. Here speculation was almost as wild, but considerably more cruel, focusing on Ms Yeates entirely innocent landlord, Chris Jeffries. He has since received substantial compensation for his treatment at the hands of the press.
Tony Gosling, for all his radical pretensions, is no better than The Sun, Daily Express or The Scotsman, waffling idly about matters he knows nothing about, for his own titillation, profit and influence. Instead of selling newspapers and impressing advertisers, Gosling hoped to find evidence for his own curious theories, and improve his standing in the 'alternative' media. It is to be hoped that his corner of the Internet is so obscure, that those who held Joanna Yeates dear did not come across any of this nonsense.
One final point to close on: If Mr Gosling is so wrong on this case, why should anyone listen to him when he is pontificating about 9/11, 7/7 or the Bilderberg's?
Recent reports suggest that the CIA set up a fake immunisation programme in Pakistan, in order to get the DNA of Bin Laden family members from his Abbottabad compound.
Of all the CIA's actions in Pakistan, this may prove to be the most stupid, and in terms of its effect on Pakistanis, the most damaging. Pakistan's many Islamists have frequently attempted to convince people that immunisation programmes against polio are in fact American plots to sterilise expanding Muslim populations. Similar campaigns have been found in Afghanistan and Muslim areas of Nigeria. The work of those striving to undermine such attitudes has been undermined, perhaps for a generation, by this ill-considered approach.
In the West it is now fashionable, in liberal circles, to rediscover the past contribution of Arabs to science and medicine. This is often, although not always, cast as demonstrating evidence of the advanced nature of Islam at a time of Western stagnation. Such commentators however are less comfortable with discussing contemporary reality, where certain Islamists are attempting to re-position knowledge in a manner which will be familiar to anyone who has dipped into the debate surrounding creationism in American eduction. With Saudi money on their side, opposing voices face a struggle to be heard.
Here, all knowledge originally comes from the Qu'ran - what need is there for medical or scientific developments from outside the Muslim world? Indeed as such trends are outside of Islam, how can they not be an attempt to damage Islam, and Muslims?
Whatever the CIA gained by getting a sample of DNA in Abbottabad, they have boosted the type of attitudes set out above. And that could lead to many more deaths, and much more suffering, than Bin Laden himself could have dreamed of.
A court hearing has today set a provisional trial date of October 4, for Vincent Tabak, who is accused of murdering the Bristol architect, Joanna Yeates.
The disappearence of Ms Yeates was the dominant news story in the UK last Christmas. It also proved to be, rather sadly given the circumstances, another example of how conspiracy theorists can always find something to focus their 'expertise' on, even in a story that ostensibly has nothing of interest to the likes of 9/11 truth seekers.
Bristol's Tony Gosling, for example, was unable to contain himself when he had the hottest news story of the holiday season on his doorstep. The solution to this 'whodunnit' had of course, to be a conspiracy, this time involving Satanists and Freemasons. Robin Ramsay's Konspiracy Korner in the May issue of Fortean Times relays this Gosling classic, although Ramsay incorrectly sources it to The People's United Community forum. Instead it was the 9/11 Truth Forum Gosling edits where the great Bristol 'journalist' wrote:
If Joanna died on the night of (correction Tuesday 21st *) December it may have been a ritual killing. That night was the nearest full moon to the winter solstice and arguably the big satanic night of the year.
There is strong evidence that occultists believe the taking of life to be necessary at their black masses and that the most valuable life to take would be that of an innocent woman or man. In their sick minds, preferably someone of faith.
The use of may here, as Robin Ramsay points out, tells us nothing. Except of course, that those with the conspriracy mindset see the world very differently, and make connections in a manner most do not.
No doubt by the time of Karnak's trial, Gosling and his small band of followers will have moved on to another issue, and will be constructing further 'maybe's'. If so, it is important those of us with slightly longer memories do attempt to mitigate the influence of such characters. After all, if they can cut so loose and free on an issue such as this, why should anyone listen to them when they discuss substantial political issues such as 9/11 or the Bilderberg conferences?
This is the link to Barack Obama's birth certificate, which has today been published on the White House website.
Now that's over, is it possible you can either:
A. Shut up
B. Criticise the guy from his politics, not his race?
From the editorial in the Feb-March 2011 issue of Nexus:
"Meanwhile, rumours are on the rise that the Chinese have entered into a relationship with an alien race and that this involves game-changing technology. One thing that's not clear is whether this means conquest or cooperation by and with China. I also hope to have more information about this next time. The signs are there for all to see that the geopolitical landscape has changed dramatically, with China emerging on top. Many insiders say that war with China is coming soon, but is likely to be piggybacked on a major Earth-changing event."
It is noticeable that Nexus editor Duncan M Roads gives us no source for these 'rumours', nor any indication of who the 'insiders' are predicting war. Encouragingly - or perhaps not - he hopes to have more next time.
Astonishingly Nexus is now available nationally at WH Smiths, and I have even spotted it in small local newsagents in Manchester and Norwich. This appears to be the result of the efforts of its distributor, Seymour, based in Smithfield Market in London. When I tried to interest Seymour in taking parapolitical magazine Notes From the Borderland, I never even got a reply. It is a common lament of 'conspiracy' currents that they do not get a hearing, and that the 'mainstream' works to keep them out. In this instance at least, the opposite seems to be the case.
Amongst the political currents to emerge over the past decade, the 9/11 truth movement is not alone in taking a conspiracist approach to politics.
On 8th March several hundred supporters of Roger Hayes of the British Constitution Group (BCG)demonstrated at Birkenhead County Court. Mr Hayes was facing bankruptcy proceedings for non-payment of council tax. In the ensuing disturbances an attempt was made to arrest the judge considering the case, and several arrests were actually made in clashes with the police and court security guards. These included the North West organiser of the fascist British National Party.
Hayes argument is that he is exempt from council tax (and indeed that we all are) as no contract exists between him and the council. This is accompanied by a rather lengthy critique that the UK constitution has been usurped and that we need to return to the Magna Carta. Until we do, all rebellion in the UK is lawful. Similar arguments have appeared before - go back 15 years and they were to be found, in an American context, in the rhetoric of the US militia groups, and bodies such as the Posse Comitatus. More recently the Britain and Ireland 9/11 Truth Campaign officially dissolved, in part to promote the Make Wars History group, who argue all war has been illegal since the Kellog-Briand pact of 1928. Sadly Mr Hitler, and many subsequent politicians, appear to have disagreed. For all the effort that has been put into it, legal sophistry appears to butter few parsnips.
The 'freeman on the land' concept has been pushed for some time in right wing and conspirarcist circles, most notably in the US, on the David Icke forum and by the BCG over here. Blackpool's Exhbition of the Universe has long promoted the BCG's UK Column newspaper, which combines a virulent hatred of the EU and support for personal freedom with focus on a long term concern of certain conspiracists - 'Common Purpose'. Incidentally Blackpool is not the only place to have seen a crossover between 9/11 truth circles and the British Constitution Group - as this 2009 report from Leeds shows.
As for further reports on events in Birkenhead, here is Lancaster UAF, and this is how UK Column reports it. The BNP's North West organiser, Mike Whitby, has been jailed having been arrested at the court. The BNP's perspective on this is here.
Thanks to the March 2011 issue of Fortean Times for this little gem:
"Ed Dames, a former member of the military remote viewing unit who is now a fixture on late-night panormal orientated talk radio, claimed recently, on the basis of his remote vieweing data, that President Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii; that the Antichrist - a male politician - is alive today; and that Israel will attack Iran by ....October 2009."
Oh well - 0 out of 3 is not so bad.
The Screw Loose Change bloggers have been doing their sums.
They have added up the amount of gun attacks mounted by those influenced by 'truth' theories since 9/11, and compared them to successful Al Qaeda attacks in the United States.
The 'truthers' win hands down.........
As well as noting the danger from the forces Sarah Palin has been stirring up in the United States, we also need to consider some of the broader political currents the alleged Tuscon gunman Jared Loughner may have been influenced by.
Early indications are Ms Giffords shooter was concerned with currency issues, the loss of the gold standard, poor grammar and America having 'lost' its first constitution. Much of this is standard conspiracy theory belief, and the US has now seen several incidents where gunmen, seemingly influenced by on-line conspiracy theorists, have carried out attacks. Other reports have suggested the possibility of a fascist link, via the American Renaissance group.
Spend 5 minutes on the David Icke forums today, and you will see the usual response to a terrorist attack of this type - it is an 'inside job', the attack has been carried out by Zionists, it all a put up job etc etc. Perhaps the sickest comments focus on the death of a 9 year old girl in the attack, Christina Taylor Green, - the fact she was born on the day of the September 11th attacks leads to the inference this whole incident has been staged.
Leading 'Truth' activists such as David Icke and Alex Jones appear incapable of recognising the effects that their world views can have - particularly on damaged or isolated individuals. The view that all answers to virtually all political problems can be found on the Internet, and that society, rather than being a complex series of class and economic relations, is instead manipulated by a handful of hidden figures, is sadly getting stronger, not weaker.
Until these ideas are not only challenged but refuted, there is every indication that we will see more Jared Loughner's. And that can only end badly.
Over at Sky News, Foreign Correspondent Tim Marshall brings us news of the disturbing use of vultures by Zionist Israel against peace loving Saudi Arabia.
Worse, this is part of a series of similar crimes involving squirrels, pigeons and perhaps appropriately rats. As yet I am aware of no 'truth' theories concerning the use of animals on 9/11 - but there must be some, surely?
This blog has covered before one of America's fastest growing 'truth' movements - the birthers.
Put simply the birthers do not believe Barack Obama should be American President, claiming he is not eligible on the bizarre grounds that they do not believe he was born in the United States. The right wing nature of this movement is perhaps self-evident - oddly whenever America has had a white President no such movement has emerged.....
Such a pattern continues with US Army Doctor Lt Col Terrence Lakin. There are many grounds by which a soldier may decide to refuse service in Afghanistan - invading other nations is generally a questionable act, the government of Hamid Karzai is both corrupt and disreputable, and US soldiers have been involved in scores of unsavory incidents in the country. Lt Col Lakin has however found a novel reason not to travel to Afghanistan - that Barack Obama has no right to be Commander in Chief on the grounds he is not a natural born US citizen.
Just as the birthers usually fail to convince anyone outside of the rabid right, so Lt Col Lakin failed to impress his court martial - he now faces a military prison and dismissal from the US Army. Here he is in action on You Tube:
Sadly we have probably not heard the last of Terrence Lakin.
One of the first 9/11 truthers was the long term US right winger Lyndon Larouche, and amongst the most prominent of truth 'heavyweights' has been a former follower of Larouche, Webster Griffin Tarpley.
One case you won't find too many 'truth' activists digging into is the 2003 death of a young Londoner from Golders Green, Jeremiah Duggan, who was killed in extremely suspicious circumstances following his attendance at a Larouche event in Germany. The current Jewish Chronicle covers, both in an article and an editorial, the inability of both German and UK police to make progress on this case.
We await similar coverage from Larouche and WGT disciples in the UK and Germany..........
In the meantime, the Justice for Jeremiah website can be viewed here.
Despite 9/11 Cultwatch's impeccable Republican credentials, we were delighted to see the date set for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton - Friday 29th April 2011.
By a strange stroke of coincidence - or not - that date is David Icke's birthday. What is going on here? A deliberate provocation by the shape shifting royals, mocking their greatest opponent? Mr Icke - the gauntlet is in your corner - pick it up!
Touring the stalls at the Anarchist Bookfair in London on Saturday, several thoughts emerged.
Firstly, that for all its faults, the Anarchist movement remains vibrant, and in far ruder health than the last century left. As new struggles and debates emerge during the Con-Dem years, Anarchist ideas and agitation will present an alternative, both here and abroad.
For nearly a decade now this blog, Notes from the Borderland magazine and a small group of supporters, has worked to reduce, and where possible eliminate the influence and presence of 9/11 and 7/7 'truth' activists in progressive politics. Conspiracy theory weakens the alternatives we are trying to build to the existing system, and worse encourages a world view based not around the reality of the domination of the class system, corporations, political elites or global capital, but instead a world view that is irrational, illogical and all too often racist.
The anti-war, Green and Anarchist movements have all been targeted by truth activists in the UK in recent years. Walking around the Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday the scale of their defeat, in the Anarchist movement at least, became apparent. There ideas have no resonance, no presence and no influence.
This blog is proud to have played a small part in bringing that about. Thank you to everyone who has helped us, especially our informants in both the 9/11 and 7/7 'truth' movements. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
Posted on October 25, 2010 in Exposing Anti-Semitism , Make Wars History, Notes From The Borderland, Other Conspiracy Theories, Reinvestigate 9/11, UK Truth Activists, We Are Change | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)
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This week I have been reading Imtiaz Gul's excellent "The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier".
Gul has this to say about those In Pakistan who believe in an Indo-Israeli-American conspiracy against all Muslim countries:
"This conspiracy theory appeals to millions of disgruntled Pakistanis, those who buy into what the ruling elite - politicians, landlords, generals and industrialists - tell them to deflect their attention from pressing issues of governance, corruption and service delivery, conveniently passing the buck and blaming external factors for the miseries of Pakistan. Scapegoatism has a long history in Pakistan and sadly fits into an insensitive ruling elite's scheme of things"
Imtiaz Gul "The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier". (London: Penguin, 2010) p.174.
Once the Shankhill Road in Belfast was known as the heartland of working class Ulster Unionism, Protestantism and everything that put a very large no, into No Surrender!
What are we to make then of the news that on Saturday 25th September the Spectrum Centre on the Shankhill plays host to 'Belfast Wake Up Call'. This is a whole day of 9/11 'truth' activism, 2012 prophesies, analysis of state mind control and exposure of 'global elite paedophilia'. With speakers including Jim Corr and music from Gareth Icke (yes the son of the turquoise one) this promises to be something different from the narrow minded, right wing, conspiracy based view of the world that so often used to pass for politics on the Shankhill?
Welcome to the politics of change.
But what of the balance and cross border initiatives that we have come to expect in the new Northern Ireland?
I am pleased to announce that next week Belfast Wake Up Call will relocate to the Falls Road, with the following speakers booked:
Annie Machon "The Need for a Modernised and Fit For Purpose MI5"
David Shayler "Were The Jews behind The Northern Ireland Troubles?"
Chris Bovey alias Dr Hemp "Why Republicans have nothing to fear from drugs in their communities"
Reinvestigate 9/11 (Speaker tbc) "The Path To Truth: Lobbying MP's at Westminster"
All talks will be simultaneously translated into Gaelic, with Ulster-Scots also available upon written request.
Turn to More 4 at 9pm this evening, for the ever combative Richard Dawkins examining The Enemies of Reason.
I have not seen anything more than the reviews of this, but Dawkins apparently gets his teeth stuck into alternative therapies on the NHS, online conspiracy theories and psychic forecasting.
The extent to which 9/11 'truth' theories have infested discourse on Jihadist terrorism becomes ever more apparent.
Consider the responses to this article (from Monday's Independent) on the Taiba mosque in Germany, attended by many of the 9/11 hi-jackers before they moved to Germany. Just take a read at the comments below the piece - a depressing combination of bigotry, paranoia and conspiracy theory, with the odd Islamist ostrich also taking part.
Such currents reinforce the need for this blog, and others like it.
American truther Webster Griffin Tarpley has carved himself a profitable little niche on Russia Today, where he is a regular talking head.
Whilst keen to have a platform there, visitors to Webster's website will find that once he has given us one of his pearls of wisdom, he tends to pull up his drawbridge - all comments are closed.
What are you scared of Webster?
It is encouraging to hear that David Cameron has raised the issue of Gary McKinnon's extradition with President Obama.
McKinnon may well be a rather damaged individual, a conspiracy theorist with odd beliefs on 9/11, UFO's and extra terrestrials. That is up to him. He certainly does not deserve to face the rough end of American justice. He should be allowed to stay in the UK.
It is always nice to see a good act endure.
David Shayler has reprised his role as the messiah in a National Geographic documentary, The Second Coming. Two rivals - from Siberia and the Phillipines - also feature. Can they all be the messiah? Produced by the UK based Wild Dream Films, the programme is not yet listed on the UK listings for the National Geographic channel.
I have just started reading David Alexander's 2002 book "Conspiracies and Cover-Ups: What The Government Isn't Telling You".
I'm only a couple of chapters in, but two things struck me. Firstly Alexander can't seem to make up his mind as to whether this is a debunking book or his own research into government cover-ups. The second is that for a book that appears in 2002, there is hardly anything on 9/11, reminding us of the somewhat slow build up in 9/11 'truth' theories, especially in the western world.
This line from Alexander certainly hit home:
"In a lot of ways the more far-out and fringe conspiracy spiels remind me of the relentless process of dismantling reality used by cults to brainwash recruits and keep indoctrinated members in line. The whole feel and flavour of many theories, taken as a whole, is distinctly cultish" p.6
More on this book - and others - later.
Satellite channel Russia Today really is proving the best television for conspiracy spotters.
Yesterday evening it had a nice little feature on the Bilderberg group conference in Sitges, Spain. Reporter Laura Emmett did not manage to breach the Bilderberg's usually tight security, but did interview, straight faced, some of those protesting outside. These included A list Bilderberg obsessive Daniel Estulin, and a spokesman from the fascist American Free Press. Several placards calling for 9/11, 3/11 and 7/7 truth were prominent.
Is the irony of calling for truth not lost on these people, when they are standing next to the American Free Press?
Well you can't get a good man down (or woman, lets not forget Delores!).
David Shayler, the poor man's David Icke, has popped up in the general election campaign down in one of his old stomping grounds - Totnes in Devon. Yesterdays Guardian spotted the white coated one campaigning for an 'independent' candidate Stephen Hopwood. In a move that could have been designed to remind us all of the importance of the National Health Service, Mr Hopwood is apparently a practitioner of complimentary medicine.
Hopwood's website announces he is standing on a single issue - truth. Given the trouble David Shayler has had with the concept over the years, it is perhaps a good idea for the two men to get together! Only a few weeks ago Hopwood was to be found speaking with another former MI5 officer (is a pattern emerging here) Annie Machon at the Totnes truth festival. Well you will certainly get a form of truth out of Agent Annie Dr Hopwood, the trouble is there is usually another, entirely different truth along half an hour later!
Do send further sightings of 9/11 'truth' input in election campaigns in your area to us.
Tune in to Channel 4 tonight at 7.30pm for Unreported World, and an analysis of Lashkat-e-Taiba.
Anyone who spends five minutes delving into the arguments of the more conspiracy minded elements in the Muslim world will know that all terrorism in Pakistan is the responsibility of the United States/Blackwater India/Israel, the UK, MI6 (delete as appropriate)
Now - its just possible Unreported World will take that line, but here's hoping for a more substantive analysis.
Depressing news from Harry's Place, that a manual for journalists on terrorist incidents is to be written by - 9/11 truther and all round conspiracy theorist Tony Gosling.
Read the article here - and weep for any integrity the NUJ may ever have had.
The 9/11 and 7/7 'truth' movements are symptoms of a wider malaise.
Alternative knowledge, real history - call it what you will. The specifics change, but the cast of players, the approach and the arguments do not. For every US snakeoil salesman like Alex Jones, there is a British wannabe looking to make a quick buck. And nowhere do bucks matter more than at the the AV Four conference, fast approaching in London at the end of this month.
AV Four (Alternative View Four) is not backward at coming forward. Glossy advertising, including full page spreads in Nexus and Fortean Times, is accompanied by the usual high profile internet presence. Some big name (if ageing) speakers have been found in Johnny Ball and the ever eccentric David Bellamy, whilst several of the subjects that matter in this scene are covered - we have Danile Estulin on the Bilderbergers, F William Engdahl on bio-technology and Ian R Crane on Ian R Crane (sorry I made that last line up).
All of this is occuring on 26-28 March at The Thistle Hotel down at Heathrow. Now everyone in London knows that Heathrow is a pain in the arse to get to (unless you can afford the Heathrow Express from Paddington) but my research in this field matters to me, and even though I now get hissed and booed by truthers when I turn up at their events, I kind of enjoy going along and having the arguments. I really want to go along. Sadly, it appears that will not be possible at AV Four.
Put simply working class oiks, or even aspirant middle class one's who are skint, are not welcome at AV4. Take a look at the pricing and you will see what I mean. Having bought your all day travelcard to get to Heathrow, it will cost you a whopping £60 for access to the 'market' on Saturday, plus all the lectures. What if I choose to miss out on all the stalls, and go see Daniel Estulin talk on the Bilderbergers? That will still set you back £15. At those prices I want to meet a Bilderger, and shake hands with a shape shifter, not hear about them!
These are prices that only the committed, wealthy or just plain potty would pay. Even if you do, a further hierarchy is constructed - for £169 you can enjoy a premium ticket, which allows you to hobnob with some of the celebs, but only if you also pay for three nights hotel accomodation. Why not make it four? Five? Six?
Added together, these sums would probably feed a family in Haiti for six months. Gil Scott Heron once told us that the revolution will not be televised. If AVFour have anything to do with things it will be - only under their leadership it will pay per view.
Over in the States, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is seeing Jews conspiring everywhere - in this case conspiring against Barack Obama.
Perhaps in keeping with this viewpoint, Minister Farrakhan has also been traveling on UFO's, and sees the earthquake in Chile as a warning to America. He is also turning his attention to 9/11 - and heyho - it was an inside job.
With friends like this, does the truth movement need enemies?
The 2005 debate between these two 'heavyweights' can now be seen in full on You Tube. Here's an extract for you:
If you prefer to have the DVD rather than the somewhat fragmented structure of You Tube, it can still be ordered from Notes From The Borderland. For details of how, plus an over view of just why Shayler has commanded so much of NFB's attention, take a look at Notes From The Borderland on David Shayler.
Yesterday evening the BBC world service began a three part series looking at some of those opposing Barack Obama in the United States.
Gary Younge's programme concentrates on eight areas where the vote for the Republicans went up rather than down in 2008. Dominant here appears to be both economic and racial factors. A paranoid view of the world also features. In Jackson County, Arkansas one voter spoke of Obama as a Socialist, with a Communist and a Muslim background (busy guy!)
This blog has commented before on how easily certain right wing 9/11 conspiracy theorists, most noticeably Webster Griffin Tarpley, were able to reinvent themselves overnight as 'Birthers' - those convinced that the US President is not actually American. The effect of this mindset was outlined by an Obama camapign worker in Jackson County, who spoke of the "Fear tactics on the Internet made up by right wing people". We know exactly who she is talking about.
Younge's programme can be heard again on the link above for the next week, whilst part two of his series is on Monday 8 February at 8.05pm
Thank you to the comrades over at Freedom Press, for drawing my attention to a fascinating little piece which appeared in the Anarchist fortnightly Freedom on 21 November 2009.
"Ketamine: counter-revolutionary drug" looks at research carried out by the University College London into the horse tranquiliser, known as 'Special K' by its users.
And what does this have to do with a blog examining the dangers of 9/11 and 7/7 conspiracy theories?
"....all groups of ketamine users, according to the psychological questionnaires used, showed evidence of unusual beliefs or mild delusions such as conspiracy theories"
Is it time to bring in random drug testing in the truth movement?
E Karsh: Islamic Imperialism: A History
Former Israeli Defence Force adviser gives us the hardly startling revelation that Islam is an imperialist doctrine. Takes one to know one Efraim!
Hamid Enayat: Modern Islamic Political Thought
Useful background reader, especially on the Shia, and on Egyptian religious authorities.
Ian Henshall: 9.11: The New Evidence
Don't forget - this is about as rational as it gets with the 'Truth' movement.
Robert Schroeder: Cults: Secret Sects and Radical Religions
In search of context......
Abd Samad Moussaoui: Zacarias Moussaoui: The Making of a Terrorist
The brother of the '20th hijacker' puts his thoughts to paper.
Thomas H. Kean: 9/11 Report: National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the USA
It would be interesting to know what percentage of 'truthers' have actually read the report they object to so much. 10%? 5%?
Annie Machon: Spies,Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5 and the David Shayler Affair: M15, M16 and the Shayler Affair
Think 9/11 was an inside job? Not according to this book!
Yvonne Ridley: Ticket to Paradise
A book this particular 9/11 'truther' would rather forget having written........
Rudolph Giuliani: Leadership
What he says can sound impressive, but is the key what he does not comment upon?