American Conspiracies

#953: The Moment I Dumped Conspiracy Theories

RECORD STORE TALES #953: The Moment I Dumped Conspiracy Theories

With a lot more free reading time on hand after quitting the Record Store, I dove back into one of my favourite childhood topics:  UFOs.

It was Canadian nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman who re-convinced me there was something legitimate about the subject.   Described as a “genius” by those who knew him, Friedman spent 50 years as a ufologist.  He often said, “Most sightings can be easily explained.  We’re not interested in those.”  His point being there is a small but baffling number of contenders, that have yet to be fully debunked.  I began buying up his books, and found his stance as a “facts and figures” man quite convincing.  He was quite convinced that the United States and other governments had engaged in a “cosmic watergate” to cover up certain unexplained events.  He went to great lengths to find and verify documents in US archives, going so far as to find out if certain typewriters were used in certain offices.  If they were not, then the document was a forgery and he discarded it.  He put a tremendous amount of time into his research.  After seeing him speak in a documentary called Out of the Blue, I was intrigued.

I bought every book by Friedman that I could get my hands on.  To balance it out, I also read The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan.  It is important to read the view of the sceptic, but even so I thought Carl overlooked some things.  Then I bought Jesse Ventura’s book called American Conspiracies, which expanded the field into JFK, 9/11 and more.  Only one chapter on UFOs, but Ventura’s experiences were interesting at least.  Finally, I misguidedly bought a highly reviewed book by Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara in which they presented for evidence a number of photos of “glass domes” on the moon.  Suddenly and unwittingly, I had crossed the Conspiracy Threshold.

The Conspiracy Theshold is the line between the conceivable and the asinine.  It’s subjective, but exists for all who delve into the world of conspiracies, just as certain and invisible as the air in their lungs.  Much like the line between clever and stupid, it is a fine line that differs from person to person.  Glass domes on the moon was way, way past my threshold.

What happens if you go further?  In my experience, all conspiracies eventually flow to a weird, apocalyptic religious end.  How far you go is up to you, but that’s where all roads lead.  For example, when I followed UFO conspiracies too far on the way to the top…Barack Obama ended up a being satanist lizard alien.

Q Anon are now the latest who believe in lizard aliens.  Cool story.  Hey, you know what, I saw “V” as a kid too.

There are variations of the lizard alien theory, with the Queen, the Pope, the Clintons and the wealthiest families in the world all secretly running things in their lizardly ways.  You’ve heard of the Bilderbergers?  They’re the head honchos, when it’s not the military-industrial complex or the Pentaverate.  They’re all aliens, demons or both.  It’s a fine line — some who believe that the concept of aliens violates the Bible say that aliens and demons are the same thing.  Whatever the finer nuances of a given conspiracy theory, this is where they all lead, if you follow the breadcrumbs all the way.

By that time you’ve either realized you’ve gone too far and need to take a step back, or you’re too far gone to be reasoned with.  Not surprisingly, today’s “Pandemic Conspiracies” ultimately take you back to…lizard people and the End of Days.  Go far enough down the rabbit hole and eventually you become the rabbit.

These people have sucked the fun out of conspiracy theories.  With just a hint of sadness, I for one will never travel that aisle of the bookstore again.

 

BOOK REVIEW: Jesse Ventura – American Conspiracies (2010)

Cheers to this article at the KeepsMeAlive site for the inspiration!


 

VENTURAAMERICAN CONSPIRACIES: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies That the Government Tells Us by Jesse Ventura (2010 Skyhorse)

I’ll admit that I was a Jesse Ventura fan as a kid, so this book was not too hard to like. Ventura is an afficianado of conspiracy theories. Not so much the really fringe stuff such as UFO’s and Roswell, but the stuff that most people in this day and age have their doubts about. Stuff like the assassinations of JFK and Malcolm X. Stuff like 9/11.

The writing style can be a bit rough at times, but by and large this is an interesting read and a potential launch point to pick up some of the sources Ventura mentions in the book (and there are a lot). Ventura supplements his research with his own personal anecdotes and experiences as Governor of Minnesota and a former Navy SEAL. For example, Ventura once had a face-to-face one hour meeting with Fidel Castro, and could not resist asking him what he knew about JFK….

American Conspiracies will not make a believer out of a hard core debunker (nothing will). It will however allow you the chance to read possibly for the first time a lot of vintage news stories and testimonies that have since been buried. Some of Ventura’s arguments are very well drawn and cogent. Others are not as convincing. Ventura’s personal encounters with personnel from the CIA however are seldom friendly and usually foreboding.

I think most people today believe that our governments lie to us on a daily basis. Nobody believes a politician anymore. So why read a book by the former Governor of Minnesota? Because he was an independant outside of the political structure. His perspective is different from the rest.

If you want some not-light but not-too-heavy summer reading, I would recommend American Conspiracies by Jesse Ventura. I plowed through this one in a weekend, I didn’t want to put it down.

4/5 stars

JESSE