Conspiracy Round-up – June 2016

Are these monthly? Roughly, although the urge to do them really only comes around every six weeks.

So, imagine you are an anti-Semite, and you want to track those dastardly Jews. Why not use a Chrome extension? Better yet, why not give it a completely innocuous name like ‘Coincidence Detector’?

To my mind a significant part of that story is the name. Calling something a ‘Coincidence Detector’ is a knowing nod to the whole ‘coincidence vs conspiracy theory’ debate; the author of the extension knows that critics label their particular views as being the product of misunderstood coincidence, whilst the ‘Coincidence Detector’ is presumably designed to prove otherwise.

In local (Aotearoa) conspiracy theory news: our sustainable fisheries system is a sham, and it’s being covered up by the very body which should be blowing the whistle on it. More here.

(Yes, potential visitors to our lovely shores, please be aware that ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ is just a marketing slogan. You can’t swim in our toxic waterways, you can’t really eat our kai moana (fish), and the government wants to put open cast mines in our nature reserves. Basically, just go visit Hobbiton.)

Oh, and then there’s the curious case of our 1080 poisoner. Not a conspiracy in any sense (it was just one person), but an interesting story nonetheless.

An interesting, libertarian analysis on why the cure for cancer probably isn’t being suppressed/covered-up.

Man wants to recreate 9/11 event to prove what happened either way.

Meanwhile, the CIA deletes its original torture… Sorry, ‘enhanced interrogation’ report ‘by accident’. And they wonder why people suspect them of getting up to no good.

Two conflicting stories about that Benghazi Committee. An explosive (and anonymous) source reveals all, and the chair admits its real purpose.

Brazil is having a bit of an electoral crisis at the moment; their president has been impeached, and the new president is having issues… He’s lost a minister who was found to be threatening an investigation into his own corruption and the new president now has been banned for running for political office for eight years. It all looks very much like a coup by the petroleum industry to cover up kickbacks and the like.

Also, was Hugo Chavez killed because of what he knew about HAARP?

Trump news

I feel Trump needs his own section, given how much Trump-related conspiracy theory news is out in the wilds these days. Indeed, I’ve had to create a new section in my archives to accomodate the fact that Trump is going away, and his theories are getting more and embedded with certain parts of the US electorate.

So, Trump is the presumptive nominee with all the votes need to be ordained King of the Republicans! People are scared about what this means about the support base for right-wing politics in the US, and the Republican Party membership specifically, and are blaming Trump’s rise on right-wing paranoia. More here.

Perhaps as evidence of the above, Trump did have some issues when it turned out delegates of his were white nationalists and Islamaphobic pastors.

I’m not so keen on a diagnosis of paranoia, but it does seem clear that a significant part of the Trump base are unreconstructed bigots, who delight in the idea of a USA best suited for WASPs. I’m not saying every Trump supporter is a bigot (in the same way I don’t think every Sanders supporter is a 22 year old hipster from Brooklyn), but it does seem that Trump is courting the dog whistle vote.

Still, could Trump win by appealing to Sanders’ voters? Some think Trump’s conspiracy theory of being the outsider candidate fighting a corrupt establishment pushes his rhetoric not to the Right, but to the Left. I guess it’s meant to be an instance of the whole ‘The extreme Left and Right don’t really look all that different to Centrists…’

According to Trump, Hillary Clinton is only running for President to avoid going to jail.

So, not so much a conspiracy theory than a worry based on Trump’s past performance; Trump will soon be briefed on top secret information and officials worry he’ll blab. This is a story which relies mostly on anonymous sources, but given Trump’s inability to follow his own narrative, one has to suspect he’d promise not to give away secrets, only to then hold a press conference to explain which secrets he has been sworn to keep from the citizens of the USA.

A month old, but still worth discussing: how Trump evolved on that Ted Cruz’s dad and Lee Harvey Oswald conspiracy theory. You see, if you are mean to Donald Trump, he will be mean to you. It doesn’t really matter if you’re being mean to him was caused by him being mean to you first, or he confused ‘legitimate criticism’ with ‘being nasty’; say something agin the glory of Donald Trump and you will be burned!

Meanwhile, Trump is bringing up talk of the mysterious death of Vince Foster as evidence that maybe the Clintons do have a kill list…

Hillary

Let’s not forget about the presumptive Democrat nominee, though!

Hillary and her optimistic view on UFOs. Basically, she and Bill think there might be something to UFO sightings, and that maybe the powers-that-be might be covering that ‘something’ up. Is this a feature of them growing up during the height of the UFO ‘craze’, the result of insider knowledge, or something else entirely. Whatever the case, I, for one, welcome our potential UFO-enthusiast POTUS!

Although maybe her husband should not have flown as frequently as he did with a pedophile.

Is the fact Clinton ran a private email server whilst Secretary of State really all that big a deal? Clinton supporters are telling us to ignore it, but some analyses indicate she probably does have something to hide and worry about.

More seriously though, the mystery of the email server gets ever deeper. Did you know that the person responsible for setting up then-Secretary of State Clinton’s private email server both has immunity from prosecution, and no record of sending emails to his boss?

All that being said, everyone seems to have forgotten about the time a sitting president lost five million private emails…

Finally…

‘The Da Vinci Code’ is being turned into a Young Adult novel. So. It. Can. Be. Taught. In. Schools. … Sigh.

Did you read the Berenstein Bears books as a kid? Or were you a Berenstain Bear reader? Has someone covered up a change in the timeline?

Chemtrails may protect against vaccine injuries [humour].

Although chemtrail conspiracy theories are proving to be quite the deciding factor as Senator John McCain fights to hold on to his seat. [More here.]

Kind of covered-up: the Soviet Union’s space cannon. Take that, Star Wars Programme!

And talking of Ronald Reagan, he and Gorbachev kind of agreed that if aliens ever invaded the Earth, the US and the USSR would work together to defeat them.

Finally, I always knew I would be vindicated in my dislike of ‘Smashing Pumpkins.


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.