Halloween came early this year with television showing scary movies for at least three weeks, and the Internet showing a fascination for bizarre costumes. The Catholic Church is reminiscing about exorcisms, and evangelicals oppose Halloween because it represents demons.
The basis of Halloween in 21st-century culture is fear, and evangelical Christians don’t need the television movies to be afraid. Leaders use far-fetched stories to foment this fear among the followers as a method of control. In that way, people vote against their own best interests. That’s why we hear about the conspiracy theory of fluoridated drinking water and brainwashing in public schools.
YouTube is a popular place for all sorts of horror tales such as Sharia law taking over the country. That’s why conservative legislators keep trying to pass laws preventing Islamic law in the United States while they pass oppressive Christian laws. Browsing the Internet, however, reveals new—to me—conspiracy theories, for example the “FEMA camps.”
Supposedly the Federal Emergency Management Agency is building “concentration camps.” One visual purporting to be a camp in Wyoming is actually a North Korean detention center with changed headers, photo dates, and annotations. Another so-called camp Camp Grayling, a large National Guard training center in Michigan. The Beech Grove Amtrak facility for repairing railcars filmed 15 years ago is another footage that the wingnuts have used to prove these “camps.”
I had also missed the lizard people who are running the world. It appears that 12 million people believe that certain powerful people, such as George W. Bush and the British royals, are actually part of an alien race of shape-shifting lizard-people. That comes straight from onetime BBC reporter David Icke. Princess Diana confirmed this to one of her close friends, but, of course, she is no longer alive to tell us about it.
Most of the extremist conspiracy theories pass through Glenn Beck’s program, who created his version of Agenda 21, the purported plot to collectivize private property through the benign policy of “encouraging sustainability.” Beck expanded articles in his magazine, The Blaze, from early 2012 into a dystopian science fiction novel that exposes “the global scheme that has the potential to wipe out freedoms of all U.S. citizens.” Stanley Kurtz, another extremist, published an article in the National Review claiming that President Obama “intends to abolish” the suburbs and basing his argument on demographic shifts analyzed by Joel Kotkin.
Maybe the most far-fetched story—and that’s hard to do!—is the fear of the Illuminati. The super-secret society surfaced in Bavaria during the 18th century as an off-shoot of the Free Masons. Then, as now, people believe that the Illuminati are working for world domination through its penetration of governments, finance, science, business, and the entertainment industry. John 1 in the Bible discusses the coming of the Antichrist, who many people think is President Obama. Those fearful of the Illuminati have websites with mysterious symbols such as pyramids on paper money, Washington monuments, and other public places with the belief that knowing about these symbols remove their powers.
Far-right extremist objections to organizations such as the United Nations, European Union, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, G-20 Economic Group, the World Court, NATO, Council on Foreign Relations, World Council of Churches and various multinational corporations may have come from fear of the Illuminati. Ironically, there are far-right religious sects that believe in “dominionism” in their attempt to take over the religions of the world.
Illuminati conspiracy theories combine the best and worst of all others as they feature everything from demons to aliens. Clones, lost prophecies, invisible RFID chips, secret societies—all these appear in Illuminati stories. Your best video might be here, but Mak Jagger has put together more for your fearful delight.
Why do people believe in these conspiracies? Psychologists who explored the question defined a conspiracy theory as “a proposed plot by powerful people or organizations working together in secret to accomplish some (usually sinister) goal” that is “notoriously resistant to falsification … with new layers of conspiracy being added to rationalize each new piece of disconfirming evidence.”
Once you believe that “one massive, sinister conspiracy could be successfully executed in near-perfect secrecy, [it] suggests that many such plots are possible.” People who believe in one conspiracy find these to be “the default explanation for any given event—a unitary, closed-off worldview in which beliefs come together in a mutually supportive network known as a monological belief system.” Like potato chips, people can eat just one.
The same people who believe in many conspiracy theories also think authorities are fundamentally deceptive. Their distrust is so strong that they prefer alternative theories. The only requirement for believers is that officials disagree with them. As Alex Jones proclaimed in Conspiracy Rising: “No one is safe, do you understand that? Pure evil is running wild everywhere at the highest levels.”
Polling shows an amazing number of voters believe in these conspiracy theories:
- 28 percent believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda are conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or a New World Order.
- 13 percent think that President Obama is the Antichrist.
- 37 percent think global warming is a hoax.
- 28 percent of voters think Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11.
And these people pick the lawmakers who run our country! Now I’m afraid.