Mike Renzulli

More About: Conspiracies

Myths and Facts of Conspiracy Theories

While browsing through a local bookstore the other day I happened upon a copy of Robert Anton Wilson's book Everything is Under Control: Conspiracies, Cults and Coverups. Wilson's book is literally an encyclopedia of conspiracy theories and other speculative subjects.
 
It is obviously a way for readers to understand the foundation of his best-selling Illuminatus! trilogy which is still in print. The trilogy is centered on an ancient, secretive criminal organization, The Illuminati, bent on global domination.
 
As I skimmed through it, I happened upon the explanation of The Bavarian Illuminati. Wilson's book states that they were a secretive organization founded in Bavaria, Germany by a gentleman named Adam Weishaupt. He goes on to say that Weishaupt delved into certain occult practices and ended up having ties with the Freemasons.
 
Despite his encyclopedia of conspiracies being fiction too, unfortunately, Wilson's description of The Illuminati is the same one seen in other conspiracy theory texts.
 
The definition is accurate in terms of pointing out where The Illuminati originated but the overall description of the group is wrong. Aside from his being schooled by Jesuits, I have not found any evidence that the group's founder, Adam Weishaupt, delved into the occult.
 
The Illuminati
 
The Order of the Illuminati was an actual organization but their purpose was not to take over Germany's government by any means. They were a group of free thinkers founded in 18th century Bavaria, Germany to spread the ideas of the Enlightenment in reaction to the country's ancien regime.
 
The term Illuminati is a pluralized version of illuminatus which is latin for to enlighten. The organization originally was able to legally operate for many years in which they attracted a number of high-profile German intellectuals.
 
The most notable of them was classical liberal author and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who is known for his famous statement:
 
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
 
The Illuminati even went so far as to attract German nobles and, admittedly, support from some Masonic lodges. They thrived until internal conflicts occured and the Bavarian government simultaneously oultawed the group's existence in 1784 which lead to it's unfortunate demise.
 
During their existence, the Illuminati did remain secretive. This was mainly due to their efforts to subvert the feudalistic system of rule and official sanction given to the Lutheran and Catholic Churches by the German monarchy that existed by educational means.
 
The group itself was the subject of a book published in 1797 by Scottish physicist John Robison titled Proofs of a Conspiracy. In his book, Robison alleged that The Illuminati had infiltrated the Freemasons and were conducting clandestine acts to subvert the religions and governments of all of Europe.
 
Robison's book also inspired a rumor started thanks to the publication of a book by French Catholic priest Abbé Augustin Barruel alleging The Illuminati were behind the French Revolution. No evidence has ever been found linking the Illuminists to the French uprising and one Illuminati leader denied any involvement.
 
Anti-Semitic Resurrection
 
In 1903, The Illuminati was resurrected but not for the enlightended purposes of its original founder(s).
 
Supporters of the Czar in Russia resurrected a, then, little-known anti-Semitic pamphlet titled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which they hoped to be able to link to the Communists in order to discredit them. The interpretation intended by The Protocols' anonymous author is that if one removes the layers of the Masonic and Illuminati conspiracy, one finds Jews as the masterminds of it.
 
Interest in conspiracies as told by The Protocols came to Europe thanks to books authored by a woman named Nesta Helen Webster who built and expanded upon the document.
 
She was an historian who authored a book on the French Revolution in which she claimed that the Illuminati was behind the French uprising after all.
 
In the 1920's Webster would later publish: World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilisation. This book and it's sequels, claims that Communism was part of a much older and more secret, self-perpetuating conspiracy. She described three possible sources for this conspiracy: Zionism, Pan-Germanism, or the occult power.
 
In her writings, which were also inspired by Robison, Webster stated that the Illuminati falsified it's demise and continued with the help of Freemasons. She claimed that The Illumninati was actually a vehicle for a Jewish plot to lay the groundwork for world domination.
 
In addition to being an avowed anti-Semite, Nesta Webster delved into occult practices herself. The granddaughter of an Anglican priest, Webster dumped Christianity for Asian and Hindu mysticism. While immersing herself in her new found faiths Webster became convinced that she lead a past life as a wealthy woman in 18th century France.
 
Nesta Webster became active in British Fascist groups, such as the British Union of Fascists and The Link. She would also become the leading writer of an anti-Semitic paper The Patriot where she openly endorsed the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.
 
Though not intended as a chonology on international conspiracies, author Carol Quigley outlines what looks like one in his book Tragedy and Hope.
 
Oddly enough Quigley's book does not draw from Nesta Webster or John Robison's writings. His book states that the new world order had been partially accomplished by a series of front organizations known as Round Table Groups (such as the Council on Foreign Relations) starting in 1891 by diamond mogul Cecil Rhodes and English nobleman Alfred Milner (pp. 132, 491-493).
 
The groups would be a confederation of numerous country's central bank heads to form the Bank for International Settlements in order to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. (pp. 277-278)
 
Televangelist Pat Robertson cites Carol Quigley as his source in his book The New World Order while the John Birch Society cite Quigley and Nesta Webster as the sources of authority on the numerous conspiracy theories they have written about.
 
Author and conspiracist extraordinaire Jim Marrs would also cite Webster and Quigley (among other authors) in his book Rule By Secrecy.
 
Marrs' rant links the Milner Group with Skull and Bones, the Trilateral Commission, the Bavarian Illuminati, the Rothschild banks, the Knights Templar, and aliens who posed as the Sumerian gods thousands of years ago. (pp. 84, 86-89, 92, 99, 107 & 403)
 
Spin Doctors of Speculation
 
When reading literature and websites about conspiracy theories, one need only look at Robison, Webster, and Quigley as the fountainheads of this contemporary speculation.
 
Many people turn to religion to explain what they do not comprehend or events that happen in life. Likewise, people will subscribe to conspiracy theories to explain what they cannot comprehend or understand in politics or current events.
 
However, both are forms of mysticism if not outright irrationalism. And while not everyone who subcribes to or furthers conspiracy theories is an anti-Semite, one could embrace anti-Semitism if they are not mindful of it.
 
I admit it is tempting to think charlatans, quacks, and demagogues are in cahoots with like-minded politicians, bureaucrats, and academics who not only wish to dumb down the nation but also seek to rule the country and entire world via clandestine or Machiavellian means.
 
Yet conspiracy theories still thrive despite the obvious evidence (such as Watergate, the affairs of President Bill Clinton, and now ex-military analyist Daniel Ellsberg disclosing The Pentagon Papers) that secret, clandestine plots in an open society like ours is nearly impossible.
 
Worst of all, like anyone suffering from paranoid delusions, speculative mythologians go so far as to allege they are victims of conspiracies against them.
 
On the one hand they author books, articles, and host websites detailing various international conspiracies while describing the elite, all-powerful groups and the important people behind them. Then on the other hand claim they recieve death threats or harrassment alleging it is related to their activities.
 
If conspiracist gurus were on hit lists or subjected to persecution they would already be dead or imprisoned, and their books, websites, and articles would no longer be available.
 
Aside from present-day spin doctors of speculation (like Jim Marrs, David Icke, Mark Dice, and Alex Jones) peddling their polytheistic, fusion paranoia which have translated into lucrative careers by applying the Argument from Design meme to events that occur in society, most conspiracists culminate power plots because they assume the people in power are always competent.
 
Economist Thomas Sowell said it best when he observed:
 
One of the reasons for conspiracy theories is an assumption that people in high places always know what they are doing. When they do something that makes no sense, devious reasons are imagined by conspiracy theorists, when in fact it may be due to plain old ignorance and incompetence.
 
The Power Behind the Thrones?
 
The fact that conspriatorialists still cling to the idea that groups like the Illuminati and Freemasons are the shadowy figures behind the thrones of power are indicative of the irrationalism they purport. Especially the lies about the Illuminati since the group and their members are people libertarians could appreciate or admire.
 
Reason and logic, not determinism or mysticism, is the best way to explain the events in one's life and current events. Conspiracy theories are nothing more than subtle attacks on part of proponents on the ideas of the Enlightenment which translates into their hostility to people being able to think and reason for themselves.
 
The next time you come across books, websites, or periodicals purporting a conspiracy theory, think twice about giving your money since it will help the owners and authors perpetuate their primitive, childish, paranoid, long-winded mythology.
 
All conspiracy theorists can do is culminate their fairy tales based on actual events and link them by speculative means. They can't prove their simplistic, paranoid delusions any more than religionists can prove the existence of their god.
 
Conspiracy theories make for good movie and novel plots, but their proponent's intent is abundantly obvious when one takes account the history of the groups they demonize and the sources of their speculation.
 
To renounce the pains and penalties of exhaustive research is to remain a victim of ill-informed and designing writers, and to authorities that have worked for ages to build up the vast tradition of conventional mandacity. - Lord Acton

9 Comments in Response to

Comment by Freed Radical
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Right on Die Daily & Rockster! Mike's article attempts to cast doubt on the facts surrounding all conspiracies by dredging up the straw men of the Illuminati and the Freemasons from ancient history. Whether these groups engaged in any NWO type conspiracies hundreds of years ago I can't say, but I am VERY interested in the facts surrounding the potential conspiracies of the past 5 minutes to the past 50 years that are affecting my life today and for which ample evidence exists. If one were to take Mike's article to its logical conclusion, there have never been any false flag attacks throughout history (despite this being a standard tool of kings/tyrants/politicians for thousands of years), the lamestream media and standard version of history you are taught in the government skools is correct, and anyone who disagrees is smeared as a wild-eyed "conspiracy theorist." The ad hominem attack is quite clearly implied in the "conspiracy theorist" label.

The argument that conspiracies simply cannot be hidden in the modern age is absurd on its face. Certainly a few were well publicized when the conspirators were caught (Watergate, Pentagon Papers, etc.), but this is like saying that one can't possibly get away with a crime because so many other criminals are caught. (Only 50% of murders are ever solved, and the rate is much less for all other felonies.) It is tantamount to saying that unless there is some "official" government authority acknowledges the conspiracy, it is nothing more than a crackpot theory. Hence, the ridiculous finding of special cover-up commissions like the Warren Commission and 911 Commission (which was delayed and fought every step of the way by the Bush administration). In addition, consider that the "black budgets" for the CIA and the Pentagon are off the charts into the many billions (not counting profits from drug sales), vast amounts of information is "classified" or "top secret," and the people in charge of the money and information do indeed have the ability to imprison or murder anyone who exposes their evil deeds. The facts surrounding many conspiracies are such that they often come to light (or are publicized by lamestream historians) many years after they occur and when many of the participants are gone from this world (the Lusitania, Reichstag FIre--Hitler's 911, Operation Northwoods, Gulf of Tonkin, Weapons of Mass Confusion, ad imfinitum, come to mind). If one views current events through the lens of history, it becomes much more clear that there are many facts about conspiracies which can be uncovered as today's tyrants and warmongers work to undermine peace and seize control of everything they can.

In the words of our esteemed publisher Ernest Hancock, "If the bad guys CAN do something, the ARE doing it!"

ERIC NEW  
Comment by Rocky Frisco
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The problem with articles such as this one is that they deride the possibility of conspiracies. If you have two humans in a room, you have at least one conspiracy, since that's human nature. The most utterly ridiculous conspiracy theory of all about 9/11 is the official government story.

Comment by TL Winslow
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At least the ease with which conspiracy theorists can publish their theories on the Internet shows that a One World Government conspiracy, even if it exists, isn't working too good yet :) Too bad, if/when it does, we probably won't be in a position to complain :) Maybe the OWG conspirators are behind the conspiracy scares to condition our minds so they can come above ground :)

The ultimate conspiracy is the Bible, which claims to rewrite secular history in terms of supernatural beings and miracles, and was enormously successful in gaining true believers. If you claim to be educated and haven't spent at least a decade studying its pros and cons, you're a piker. Check out my free site full of links on the subject to show you how well I've done my homework at http://jehovahswitless.weebly.com

Comment by Anonymous
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       Conspiracy Theory is the thinking of cranks or group of people believe to be lunatic.  This is where I disagree.  In any conspiracy theory, all is fair and square.

 

       Dan Brown’s The  Da Vinci Code  portrays  this hypothetical religious “truth” that Jesus Christ was a sexual acrobat amongst women who left a community of bastards now living in Europe.  It is an attack against Christ as God.  But isn’t the Christian Faith in itself, a conspiracy theory of those who wrote the Holy Bible?  In this game of truth and consequence, proof is but in the eyes of the beholder.  Theoretically, Brown is as good as the whole Vatican itself, or the Illuminati that in a conspiracy is attempting to subvert it.

 

         Let’s be specific about Conspiracy Theory [CT] that bedevils all of us today the most.  Systemic CT is about “alleged machination of Jews, Freemasons, and the Illuminati, as well as theories centered on international communism or international capitalists”.  This is a broken record played for centuries over and over again  it no longer scares the heck out of us although it used to make disturbed Americans wet in bed.  Superconspiracy theory pertains to our government secretly involved in establishing a New World Order.  I don’t believe for a second that you and I are inferior conspiratorial actors to be manipulated by an “all-powerful evil force” to form a world system of order that is contrary to individual freedom. Our founding fathers would stir in their grave in total disagreement.

 

        What concerns me the most is the danger attributed to “Event Conspiracy Theory”.  911 Conspiracy Theory [terror event] is quite disturbing for it makes a fool out of you and me. Our naked eyes, especially of those in ground zero, saw the two jetliners that terrorist hijackers rammed into the Twin Tower structures and Pentagon building and turned them into rubbles with more than six thousand lives buried under burning debris.  Theorists in the lunatic fringe wanted us to believe that a hidden group of government Illuminati-like conspirators had planted a demolition explosive under those buildings.  The building exploded then collapsed when those explosives were detonated, not because of the hijacked jetliners that rammed through them.  The next time around, they will make you and I believe that the mother that gave you birth was not human but just a tube, although it is a theory that is neither farfetched nor remote.

 

        This reminds me of the movie “Conspiracy Theory” [1997] starring Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts and Patrick Stewart, Taxi driver Jerry Fletcher, always griping against the government has a carload of conspiracy theories against every move of those in power that make the lives of people miserable. Although regarded as loco, he kept harping on conspiracy theory one after another until someone or some organizations wanted him dead. Whether or not one of his conspiracy theory hammering hit the nail on the head, is beside the point.

 

       When someone wants you dead, it is no longer healthy to indulge in such entertaining fantasy.

 

Comment by Doug Nusbaum
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The existence of these conspiracy theories is inevitable given the nature of humans:  1. as pattern recognition systems that often see patterns when there are none, 2 as authoritarians, that is having a strong desire to obey authority, and3. Our innate tendency to reject new information that conflicts with our existing beliefs.  Putting another way, a refusal to learn.  Yet another way.  Our innate built in STUPIDITY.  People with Hight IQ's can be very stupid.

If you want this laid out in detail go here:  factotum666.livejournal.com and visit orwell's boot.  There I give solid links, facts and logic that document all of the above, including a nice set of facts that show that even Einstein could demonstrate stupid.

To paraphrase Sun Tzu: If you do not understand the nature of the problem (Our human nature) you are toast.

Comment by Freed Radical
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 As the very wise Butler Shaffer said: "I am not interested in conspiracy theories; I am interested in the facts surrounding conspiracies." To dismiss anything other than government and lamestream media accounts of historical and current events as unfounded "conspiracy theories" is naive at best and really stupid at worst. Reason dictates that when hundreds of influential people in government and industry meet secretly behind closed doors every year (the Bilderberg Group is just one example), they are not simply having a tea party. When powerful people possess high political offices and sit on the boards of companies that stand to make billions on a war, I wouldn't call the rush to war a conspiracy "theory" but an obvious conflict of interest. When government schools spew socialist and statist propaganda at kids for 13 solid years, is it not by design that the kids grow up to be pathetic collectivist dolts? Would you suggest that nobody got together and planned this? Did it happen by accident? And the CIA has never murdered any foreign or domestic leaders, aided in any military coups, dealt any drugs, laundered any money or done anything remotely unconstitutional or illegal in the pursuit of the interests of American big business. This stuff is all just "conspiracy theory," right?

Also--Don't put David Icke and Alex Jones in the same category. Icke has put forth genuinely wacko conspiracy theories about shape-shifting reptilians ruling the earth (although he is fun to read if you like sci-fi). In contrast, Jones does a great deal of solid investigative reporting regarding the facts surrounding modern-day conspiracies. Much of Jones' research actually comes from very credible sources, including the statements of those directly involved in conspiracies to exercise even more control over the individual and rob us blind. And Jones' activist side is a refreshing change from lamestream media "journalists" who do nothing more than regurgitate the press releases of big government and the military/industrial/police state as "news."

Eric New
Comment by Die Daily
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Sure, there's a general rule for all conspiracies. Yep, one size fits all. In stupid land. Don't look at the facts. Just apply your little rule. Life's so simple that way.

Comment by Found Zero
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Yeah Renzulli you communist homosexual racist nazi illuminati reptillian from the Pliedes system out to rob our cows of DNA, we're onto your Cointel Pro mind control DARPA psychic disruption and your chem trails and your satanic rituals. Go ritually slaughter an innocent kitten and get a video of it while you do, you wouldn't believe it but there's a market for that shit.

Comment by Powell Gammill
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Rezulli's in on it! ;-)


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