More about Jared Loughner's politics, plus some conspiracy debunking resources
Diane Vera printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:31:23 PM EST
Very few commentators have noticed Loughner's interest in the rather arcane teachings of one David Wynn Miller, a leader in the "sovereign citizen" movenent, which is a branch of the so-called "Patriot" movement.  (For a collection of relevant links, including some debunking of "sovereign citizen" claims, see my earlier post Jared Lee Loughner and the "sovereign citizen" movement here on Talk To Action.)

More widely noted was his fondness for the popular conspiracy video Zeitgeist, which has been aptly described, on Boing Boing, as "the John Birch Society on acid" (Jay Kinney reviews Zeitgeist, the Movie, posted by Mark FrauenFelder, August 6, 2007).  It is a paradoxical blend of hippie attitudes and extreme right wing economic views, plus grand conspiracy claims derived from extreme right wing sources.


Part 3 of Zeitgeist (debunked here by Edward L Winston, November 29th, 2007) features a collection of standard right wing conspiracy claims involving the Federal Reserve and income tax, as commonly advocated by nearly everyone in the so-called "Patriot" movement.  The claims about the Federal Reserve (also debunked here by economist Edward Flaherty) are derived, in part, from the "Jewish banker" conspiracy allegations of various extreme anti-Jewish bigots, but presented in sanitized form, minus any overt animus against Jews.

But Zeitgeist differs from most of the right wing in its attitude toward religion.  These days, most American conservatives - and most "Patriots" too, as far as I can tell - promote Christian supremacy to one degree or another, whereas the first section of Zeitgeist denounces Christianity, and theistic religion in general, as mere tools of social control.  Zeitgeist also ends with love-and-peace platitudes that one does not normally expect to hear from right wingers of any kind.

Zeitgeist's blend of superficial hippyishness and right wing conspiracy claims is neither new nor unique.  Another example that has gotten quite a following is the writings of David Icke.  (See David Icke And The Politics Of Madness: Where The New Age Meets The Third Reich by Will Offley, Public Eye, February 29, 2000.)  Extreme right wing conspiracy claims have also gotten popularized to very large, politically mixed audiences on late-night radio shows such as Coast to Coast AM.  (See Conspiracy theories propel AM radio show into Top 10, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, November 12, 2006.)

Right wing grand conspiracy claims have long been a magnet for some left-leaning folks too.  On the Guardian (U.K.) website, Amanda Marcotte has written, in Austin, Texas: paranoid politics central, Friday 19 February 2010:

Austin and the surrounding areas of Texas are the cultural centre for a certain brand of paranoid politics that stretches far beyond partisanship and sees enemies and conspiracies around every corner. They hated Bill Clinton, but they hated George Bush, too. They're mostly very conservative, but they attract left-leaning paranoids, who share their affection for conspiracy theories.

...

The biggest media empire in the US for disseminating unhinged conspiracy theories is located in Austin. The website for this empire is Infowars, and the radio show that's broadcast to over 60 stations nationwide is called the Alex Jones Show. Jones's politics are ostensibly libertarian-conservative, but really, his ideology is paranoia. His empire sucks in rightwingers with conspiracy theories that feed the militia gun culture, but they also love conspiracy theories that appeal more to the left, such as the belief that 9/11 was an "inside job".

Actually, 9/11 inside job theories have always attracted some libertarians and extreme right wingers as well as some leftists.  9/11 inside job theories appeal to people of all stripes who are anti-government for whatever reason.  (As for debunking sites, the one I would recommend most highly, on most of the alleged evidence, is 9/11 Myths.)

Amanda Marcotte goes on to say:

And then there are unclassifiable ones, such as the belief that gatherings of elitist power players at the Bohemian Grove are actually Satanic rituals.

Actually, that last one is NOT politically "unclassifiable"; it is Christian supremacist.  Only a Christian who is paranoid about seeing demons, demons everywhere would (without prompting from someone like Alex Jones) see the Bohemian Grove's "Cremation of Care" ceremony as "Satanic."  To anyone not predisposed to see it that way, the "Cremation of Care" ceremony is just a goofy poetic skit about temporarily killing off one's own boring, everyday self ("Dull Care") so that one can focus on enjoying a two-week vacation.  (See Edward L Winston's debunking of Alex Jones's video Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove.  A transcript of the alleged "Satanic ritual" itself, interspersed with notes by by Edward L. Winston, begins on page 17.)

The idea that the world is controlled by an elite conspiracy of Satanists, occultists, and Pagans has become -- as far as I can tell -- the unifying grand conspiracy narrative of most of the "Patriot" movement.  Essentially it's the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with Satanists, occultists, and Pagans substituted for Jews.  Not everyone who advocates this claim is a Christian supremacist, but it clearly is of Christian supremacist origin and serves a Christian supremacist agenda.

Here is a large list of resources for debunking grand conspiracy claims.





Display:
A bit more information just came out through the SPLC regarding the Sovereign Citizen movement.

http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/event/article/id/49339/

by ArchaeoBob on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 12:40:01 PM EST


I tried to watch that movie, the truth is I couldn't handle it.  It was boring and more flashy than informative, as most conspiracy literature tends to be.  If I'm not mistaken, one of the versions starts out with a bunch of nonsense claims that I could not find any external sources for that Jesus came from the Egyptian Myth of Horace or something like that, even down to the supposed date of "December 25th."

At the same time, I can't help but look at men like Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, Jack Coe, and wonder if they're not onto something with this "the heathen elite" theory.  Though it's not been removed from YouTube, there's a video of Benny Hinn in South Africa telling a 12 year old with Cystic Fibrosis in front of at least 10,000 people that God has completely healed him.  His evidence?  The kid thinks he's been healed, and so Hinn is off the hook for providing any evidence of the healing.  Yet, the general consensus of the non-ill audience is that the man is truly imbued by God to bring this kind of healing to terminally ill children.  Needless to say, assuming the child was sick in the first place, he is not actually healed of Cystic Fibrosis which is a horrific genetic mutation.  I wonder in my heart what kind of empty-hearted person could lie so viciously and callously in front of so many people in the name of what is, in print, a very benevolent Messiah.

I can't say I've moved beyond thinking that every conspiracy theory is without merit.  After having read things like "The Franklin Coverup" by former Senator John DeCamp, "The Enemy Within" by Robert F. Kennedy, "Morals and Dogma," and a great deal of political, rhetorical, and theological theory, one really starts thinking that the top is a little more evil than they present themselves, and a little less benevolent than people think.  I, of course, do not confine my distrust to government, and am more concerned about Christian Reconstructionists seizing government by turning the masses against the government through bunk conspiracy theories.  I mean to read "The Family" as well.

As for 9/11, I've not seen much evidence to indicate that most of the supposed "evidence" for conspiracies put forward is accurate.  Most people are eager to believe what they want to believe about it anyway, that works both ways, for anti-government and pro-government sentiments.  I've never quite got over the fact that the Assistant Director of the FBI, John O'Neill, who prosecuted Abortion Clinic Bombings and White Collar Crime, and was the first to heavily lobby the brass about the dangers Bin Laden posed, managed to get fired a few weeks before 9/11, and ended up starting his job as chief of security at the World Trade Center 2 days before 9/11, and how he managed to die there.  Things like that are creepy.

In addition, after reading "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright, I really felt the government and media had seriously glossed over the fact that Osama Bin Laden was one of the children of the founder of one of the most powerful and wealthy construction firms in Saudi Arabia, that his father was once appointed "royal builder" by the former King of Saudi Arabia.  I felt someone had seriously held back critical information in trying to understand the politics and motivations in these wars.

I don't know what to think about the Satanist claims.  Mostly it plays to Conservative Christian propanganda, and likely streams mostly from the panic in the 80's of "Satanic Ritual Abuse."  Having actually been a victim of documented Christian-themed ritualized group molestation, I don't know what to make of those claims.  John DeCamp's book has some compelling points to make, though I really think "Satanism" is the wrong term and represents the same kind of evil men such as Benny Hinn trying to keep invisible Shepard dogs biting at the heals of their flock.

I know it's not healthy for a Democratic Republic to have a group of highly powerful men from government and business taking retreats together and discussing matters of public importance in private away from stenographers and the eyes of the public, and being annoyed about that is justified.

I don't think debunking conspiracy theories would have prevented Loughner from doing what he did.  Anyone who is serious about understanding the world looks closely at things, and he did not.  He had little insight and apparently couldn't even handle basic algebra.

I most certainly see the "Christian Supremacist" dogma circulating behind most of the Conspiracy Theories one hears, it seems to be their goal to turn as many people against the Federal Government as possible, and once that happens, I have no clue where this country will wind up.

by OldChaosoftheSun on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 02:52:50 AM EST



WWW Talk To Action


The President's Faith: A Matter Of Choice, Not Compulsion
Today President Barack Obama, who is the world's worst Muslim - he drinks alcohol and eats bacon - will do something many Muslims do......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Voting For Jesus?: Candidates Seek To Outdo One Another With Religiosity
The Iowa caucuses are today, and, despite what you may have heard, Jesus Christ is not appearing on the ballot.Several of his close friends......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Conventional Wisdom Watch: Getting it Wrong about the Religious Right
It is a case of the more things change the more things stay the same. I wrote a short post in 2008 about how......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Club Fight: Tenn. Residents Complain About High School's Gay-Straight Alliance
At public schools around the country, students, mostly high schoolers, are forming Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. Fundamentalist Christians often freak out over the existence of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Zionism and Eschatology
The church I attend just had a member place a display at the back of a Sunday morning Bible class.  The display called for......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Save The Day: Celebrating Real Religious Freedom
Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it's not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn't be overlooked. Our country......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Warning of Theocratic Zones of Control
This week, I published a report -- months in the making --  titled, When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Moore Grandstanding: Ala. Chief Justice Tries Again To Block Marriage Equality
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore last week tried, once again, to block marriage equality in that state.There is no case pending before......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Mullarkey Share the 2015 Coughlin Award!
Yes, folks it's that time of the year again. It's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As it is every......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
All Quiet on the War on Christmas Front
It is time for my annual response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a War on Christmas.......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Christian Right: Inviting Cruz or Trump to Tea?
With Republican candidate Ben Carson dropping like a stone in a pool of confusion, who gets invited to the tea party? Tea Party activists......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
A Plethora Of Pulpit Politicking Problems?: Far-Right Pastors Prepare For Electoral Bids
The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Trump: An Apocalyptic Messenger for the Christian Right
We stand in the overflow crowd of some 300 in the small town of Tyngsborough near the New Hampshire border. Several thousand people are......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Trump's Demagoguery Threatens Democracy Itself
Now is the time for blunt talk. Donald Trump is a dangerous demagogue generating "scripted violence." Trumpism threatens not just the First Amendment but......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Irony Implosion: Pat Robertson Opposes Politics Masquerading As Religion
TV preacher Pat Robertson and I go way back. In 1996, I wrote a book about him, and I've followed his career since.I long......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (4 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (1 comment)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (6 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.