I wasn’t going to post today about conspiracy theories, but I wanted to share a recommendation I got in my email for an academic paper titled:
Hidden Knowledge, Hidden Power. Esotericism and Conspiracy Culture (Contemporary Esotericism, Equinox 2013)
The paper talks about the esoteric worldview of the conspiracy theorists who’ve built an entire fact-fiction reversal around everything and so have created their own occult society claiming to know the whole truth about occult societies. David Icke and his “shapeshifting reptilians from the lower fourth dimension” is of course one of the examples given.
It’s bad enough that I’ve come to believe in some of the awful truths that these people claim to know the real truth about, related to “mind control” in particular, but I want to be clear that I don’t, and have never, bought into the “everything the MSM says is a lie and you’re being programmed to be a good sheeple by sinister forces” worldview that Icke and others are preaching.
Or rather, I do believe there’s an evil sinister force operating in the world today, and it’s called neoliberalism. While David Icke proclaims falsehoods like that COVID-19 is a hoax and the vaccines are poison, millions of people actually died directly because of neoliberalism’s response to COVID-19. As the paper I linked notes, it’s neoliberalism, and not “reptilians”, that’s the real banality of evil today.
I did learn from that 2013 paper that there are conspiracy theorists who took The Illuminatus! Trilogy literally, not realizing the concepts of satire and parody. I mean, those books are closer to reality than a lot of readers probably realized, but if you’re taking a work of fiction as your new Bible, that’s pretty psychotic.
The other thing I want to reiterate about David Icke’s milieu is that they’ve gotten really obsessed with this notion that acceptance of transgender people is some sinister plot that’s being pushed on them, and just say the most hateful and hurtful things intentionally, because they don’t see trans people as human, apparently. Shame on them all for that. They claim to be the “freedom community”, but suddenly they’ve all sided with the hateful voices of the far-right on trans rights, just to spite the hated “corporate-controlled media”.
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