Abbott and Jade Helm 15
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Tue May 12, 2015 at 10:40:16 AM EST
The other day I stopped by Wal- Mart to pick up my medications.  Later on that day we heard a strange rumor that the super store was closing tomorrow.  Thinking it some strange gossip, few took it seriously until it hit the airways.  The store, with over 400 employees was closing until after Christmas.  The employees were not told until the day of the closing.  Rumor mills began waving all types of conspiracy banners.  One that gained a lot of momentum  was the idea this was connected with Jade Helm 15 and the store would be revamped to incarcerate Christians.
     Conspiracy theorists, often connected with apocalyptic  venues, have had a hey day with the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy.  The conspiracy is based on the belief the federal government is organizing a military exercise that will result in marshal law  being declared.  This will result in federal government intervention in the lives of U.S. citizens by use of the military.  
     One local proposal was that Wal-Mart has been working with the government on this secret conspiracy.  Of course the usual fear mongering has suggested the ideas that Obama will declare himself dictator for life, the government will confiscate guns, and Christian pastors who refuse to preform marriage ceremonies for gay couples will be fined and placed in prison.  One local minister  told me he was fully armed with assault weapons and refused to eat at a restaurant with his back to the door.  If the government, (or when) the government comes to take their weapons they will take out some government officers before they are taken in or killed.
     Adding to the hysteria are the actions of Texas Governor Gregg Abbott.  Abbott incited the riot by promising to call out the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercise to make sure these suspicions were not carried out.  Some of Abbott's supporters are claiming he did the right thing in an attempt to diffuse the situation and calm down the state, as well as nation.  Opponents of the governors snicker that he helps create further fear mongering by his actions.  
     Recently Michelle Obama gave the commencement address at Tuskegee University.  She lamented the fact that she and husband are constantly the blunt of some conspiracy theory.  She was deeply offended when some of the President's critics accused the couple of not loving their country.  The Southern Poverty Law Center claims the election of a Black President has helped to fan the flames of the right wing conspiracy theorists.
     Jerry Falwell warned followers that Clinton might use Y2K as an excuse to take away our weapons.  Our most recent U.S. Congressman warned readers that the Branch Davidian event was staged as an excuse to take guns away from Americans.  This type of mentality might help explain why every recent attempt to regulate guns in America has met with such an emotional outcry.  Factors like Texan Jon Hagee's media voice help to contribute to strange myths about government.  Any time there is not a GOP President Hagee tends to see the judgment of God upon the nation.
     Jade Helm 15 will come and go, but don't look for theories to die down.  Conspiracies are powerful items.  We found out in the Southern Baptist Convention that what was perceived as truth often was more powerful than the truth.   The great American dream will continue to believe that eventually  people will get it straight and truth will be more important than myth.  That is the basis of the hope we plan for in our Democracy.

I don't get it. Conducting military exercises is a common thing. Is it the fancy name Jade Helm that bothers them to the point of goofy conspiracy-mongering? Do these people imagine that it would be an easy thing to get American soldiers to intern white people of the same social background as the soldiers themselves? How can the government be totally incompetent and convincingly menacing at the same time? Why do people assume that Obama is suddenly going to declare martial law, since he didn't in 2012? (Yes, I know - the conspiracy-mongers think that he is a Scary Black Man Tm). How the H did we win WWII if so many of our citizens lack common sense?

by NancyP on Tue May 12, 2015 at 02:11:02 PM EST

Nancy, it is often like the church, it takes them often a long time  to get it and finally the light comes on.  Guys like Hagee and such are leaving a paper trail for future generations to follow.  In my own area, (probably congregation), Hagee, Lindsey, Van Impee and etc. are held in high regard.  Truth is that after Jade Helm 15, there will come another conspiracy theory for us to wonder and humor at.

by wilkyjr on Tue May 12, 2015 at 02:28:49 PM EST

I remember when the HAARP conspiracy theory came out... and people were fussing about that.  I made a few of them very unhappy with me when I pointed out that the sun provides over 5,400 KW per acre and that the value is much higher the closer you get to "space" - and that when a solar storm or other peak in solar output happens, that value could skyrocket (that's when you get long-distance communication aka 'skip').  They WANTED to believe that the US government was involved in some sort of underhanded conspiracy to control the weather (and hurt the conspiracy theory believers) - and didn't like any evidence that showed what was really going on (experimentation with long distance communication) and that they didn't know what they were talking about.

I've been thinking about the conspiracy stuff that I hear about around here (the most common I hear is that the move for marriage equality is "forcing Christian churches to marry gay couples" but I've also heard claims that "Libruls are trying to ban Christianity" - read properly as Others demanding separation of Church and State, and they don't like being told they can't force their religion on others). This new theory falls right in with the sort of things I've overheard, and I am expecting a major uptick in the incidences of the so-called "Lone Wolf" violence episodes along with the possibility of organized vigilante violence against the hated Other.  It's already unsafe for people in some areas (like where we live) to practice freedom of speech without suffering Christian "consequences for actions", and it does seem to be spreading.  

What really makes me angry and sad is that so many lies are being told by people who claim to follow and value Truth.

by ArchaeoBob on Tue May 12, 2015 at 02:41:10 PM EST

What I don't get is why these views are held so persistently. Surely these conspiracy lovers have sensible family members or friends who tell them to give it a rest already.

by NancyP on Tue May 12, 2015 at 08:31:24 PM EST

Alone wolf terrorists fired rounds into the Federal Building in Austin, Texas last Thanksgiving.  It happened that a police officer  got a lucky shot and took the man out.  He was after immigration agencies as well as what he considered an anti-God federal government.  Few know the story that was investigated by the SPLC.  
     Bill Maher did a take on Jade Helm 15 on his most recent show. Roots of these types of conspiracies can be found in the coming of JFK to Dallas.  It was proposed he would take away guns from Texans.  The real classic conspiracy buff is Texe Marrs from Austin.  

by wilkyjr on Wed May 13, 2015 at 09:14:48 AM EST

Common Core Conspiracy?

by irishdave3 on Sun May 17, 2015 at 10:00:35 PM EST

Ye are right, should be martial....thanks

by wilkyjr on Mon May 18, 2015 at 10:23:29 AM EST

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