Hope and Fear: Modern Myths, Conspiracy Theories and Pseudo History - Original PDF

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Author: Ronald H. Fritze

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Description: A myth-busting journey through the twilight world of fringe ideas and alternative facts. Is a secret and corrupt Illuminati conspiring to control world affairs and bring about a New World Order? Was Donald Trump a victim of massive voter fraud? Is Elizabeth II a shapeshifting reptilian alien? Who is doing all this plotting? In Hope and Fear, Ronald H. Fritze explores the fringe ideas and conspiracy theories people have turned to in order to make sense of the world around them, from myths about the Knights Templar and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, to Nazis and the occult, the Protocols of Zion and UFOs. As Fritze reveals, when conspiracy theories, myths, and pseudo-history dominate a society’s thinking, facts, reality, and truth fall by the wayside.

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7 Introduction The hardest things to understand about much of the past are its errors and delusions. j. m. roberts1 A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. saul bellow2 P eople will believe the strangest things. In the early decades of the twenty-first century, that seems to be distinctly true. Myth, pseudo- history, pseudoscience and conspiracy theories appear to be swelling up at a bewildering rate. Or maybe it just seems that way to the people living through it. The fact is that myths, meaning tales that people believe to be true but are not, have been around from the beginning of human history. Technology like the Internet has simply made it easier to create and to spread strange beliefs and modern myths. Queen Elizabeth ii of the United Kingdom is a victim of a var- iety of weird beliefs and conspiracy theories. The American right-wing extremist and conspiracist Lyndon LaRouche had long been anti-British and accused British financiers of all sorts of nefarious tricks and plots to manipulate the global economy. In 1980, he added the queen to his cast of villains and accused her of being a world-class drug dealer. It became a rant that LaRouche and his acolytes continued to repeat throughout the rest of the decade. Eventually LaRouche lost interest, but the queen’s prob- lems with conspiracy theories were not over.3 New Age guru and evolving conspiracist David Icke decided that Elizabeth ii was a shape-shifting reptilian alien. Icke is a former football player, sportscaster and Green Party politician. In 1994, his focus shifted from environmental issues to include conspiracy h o p e a n d f e a r8 theories. His initial ideas followed the standard New World Order con- spiracy script of a secret and corrupt elite trying to dominate the world. Within a few years, however, Icke took his conspiracy theory to a new level with his book The Biggest Secret (1999), which claimed that the New World Order conspiracies were actually being controlled by a super-elite of reptilian aliens whom he called the Archons. They most appropriately came to Earth from the constellation Draco and they have thoroughly infiltrated the leadership of human society. The reptilians are shape-shifters and can take on the appearance of humans. Many world leaders, such as George H. W. Bush, were reptilians. The ranks of the Archons, of course, included Elizabeth ii. One has to marvel at the tight-lipped discretion of the palace staff, who have ensured that this astonishing information has remained a secret. Maybe they are reptilians as well?4 The death of Princess Diana in 1997 resulted in a new flurry of conspir- acy theories, some of which included the royal family. LaRouche and his people quickly became involved. They accused the royals of having Diana killed to prevent her marrying Dodi Fayed because he was a Muslim. Predictably, Icke also developed in great detail his own conspiracy theory about Diana’s death in The Biggest Secret. According to Icke, the reptil- ian royal family need periodic infusions of human dna from approved bloodlines in order to maintain their ability to conceal themselves among humans. In Princess Diana’s case, her family, the Spencers, were descend- ants of the Merovingian dynasty made famous in popular culture by the books The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code. That royal pedigree made Princess Diana a perfect mate for Prince Charles. What she discovered was that she had married into a clan of humanoid lizards and her only purpose was to be a royal brood mare. Otherwise, her mar- riage was a sham. After the two little princes were born, Princess Diana became superfluous. Once she started to create problems, she needed to be eliminated. That set of circumstances led to her death, which was also a sort of ritualistic sacrifice.5 Obviously to most people these conspiracy theories postulating drug-dealing monarchs and covert reptilian elites are absurd. The implaus- ibility and preposterousness of this speculation does not stop people from believing it. LaRouche had a following and Icke’s is larger and more inter- national. Starting out as a sage of the New Age, Icke went on to fuse it with a version of New World Order conspiracism spiced up by the add- ition of a nasty reptilian elite. This combination allowed Icke to appeal to both generally leftist New Agers and normally right-wing conspiracists. Although the right-wing conspiracist Alex Jones initially disparaged Icke’s reptilian thesis, eventually he came to warmly embrace it. Icke became a

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7 مقدمه سخت ترین چیزها برای درک بیشتر گذشته، خطاها و توهمات آن است. j متر roberts1 وقتی نیاز به توهم عمیق است، می توان مقدار زیادی از هوش را در جهل سرمایه گذاری کرد. saul bellow2 P مردم عجیب ترین چیزها را باور خواهند کرد. در دهه‌های اولیه قرن بیست و یکم، به نظر می‌رسد که کاملاً درست است. به نظر می رسد افسانه، شبه تاریخ، شبه علم و تئوری های توطئه با سرعتی گیج کننده در حال افزایش هستند. یا شاید برای مردمی که در آن زندگی می کنند اینطور به نظر می رسد. واقعیت این است که اسطوره ها، به معنای داستان هایی که مردم معتقدند درست هستند اما حقیقت ندارند، از آغاز تاریخ بشر وجود داشته اند. فناوری مانند اینترنت به سادگی ایجاد و انتشار باورهای عجیب و غریب و افسانه های مدرن را آسان کرده است. ملکه الیزابت دوم پادشاهی متحده قربانی انواع باورهای عجیب و غریب و تئوری های توطئه است. لیندون لاروش، افراطی و توطئه‌گرای راست‌گرای آمریکایی، مدت‌هاست که ضد انگلیسی بوده و سرمایه‌داران انگلیسی را به انواع ترفندها و توطئه‌های پلید برای دستکاری اقتصاد جهانی متهم کرده است. در سال 1980، او ملکه را به گروه شروران خود اضافه کرد و او را متهم کرد که یک فروشنده مواد مخدر در سطح جهانی است. این سخنی بدل شد که لاروش و همراهانش در بقیه دهه به تکرار آن ادامه دادند. سرانجام لاروش علاقه خود را از دست داد، اما مشکلات ملکه با تئوری‌های توطئه تمام نشده بود. دیوید آیک، گورو عصر جدید و توطئه‌گرای در حال تکامل، به این نتیجه رسید که الیزابت دوم یک بیگانه خزنده در حال تغییر شکل است. آیک بازیکن سابق فوتبال، گوینده ورزش و سیاستمدار حزب سبز است. در سال 1994، تمرکز او از مسائل زیست محیطی به تئوری های توطئه تغییر یافت. ایده‌های اولیه او از متن استاندارد توطئه نظم نوین جهانی پیروی می‌کرد که یک نخبه مخفی و فاسد در تلاش برای تسلط بر جهان بود. با این حال، در عرض چند سال، آیک با کتاب خود به نام بزرگترین راز (1999) تئوری توطئه خود را به سطح جدیدی ارتقا داد، که ادعا می‌کرد توطئه‌های نظم نوین جهانی در واقع توسط یک فوق نخبه از بیگانگان خزنده کنترل می‌شوند که او آنها را خزندگان نامید. آرکون ها آنها به بهترین شکل از صورت فلکی دراکو به زمین آمدند و به طور کامل در رهبری جامعه بشری نفوذ کرده اند. خزنده ها تغییر شکل می دهند و می توانند ظاهر انسان را به خود بگیرند. بسیاری از رهبران جهان، مانند جورج اچ دبلیو بوش، خزنده بودند. صفوف آرکون ها البته شامل الیزابت دوم می شد. باید از صلاحدید صمیمانه کارکنان کاخ تعجب کرد، که اطمینان حاصل کردند که این اطلاعات شگفت‌انگیز راز باقی مانده است. شاید آنها خزنده هم باشند؟4 مرگ پرنسس دایانا در سال 1997 منجر به موج جدیدی از تئوری‌های توطئه شد که برخی از آنها شامل خانواده سلطنتی نیز می‌شد. لاروش و افرادش به سرعت درگیر شدند. آنها خانواده سلطنتی را متهم کردند که دایانا را به قتل رساندند تا از ازدواج او با دودی فاید به دلیل مسلمان بودن او جلوگیری کنند. به طور قابل پیش بینی، آیک همچنین با جزئیات زیادی تئوری توطئه خود را در مورد مرگ دایانا در بزرگترین راز توسعه داد. به گفته Icke، خانواده سلطنتی خزندگان به تزریق دوره‌ای DNA انسان از خطوط خونی تایید شده نیاز دارند تا توانایی خود را برای پنهان کردن خود در بین انسان‌ها حفظ کنند. در مورد پرنسس دایانا، خانواده او، اسپنسرها، از نوادگان سلسله مرووینگ بودند که با کتاب‌های خون مقدس و جام مقدس و رمز داوینچی در فرهنگ عامه مشهور شدند. آن شجره سلطنتی، پرنسس دایانا را به همسری عالی برای شاهزاده چارلز تبدیل کرد. چیزی که او کشف کرد این بود که با قبیله ای از مارمولک های انسان نما ازدواج کرده بود و تنها هدفش این بود که یک مادیان مولد سلطنتی باشد. در غیر این صورت، ازدواج او ساختگی بود. پس از به دنیا آمدن دو شازده کوچولو، پرنسس دایانا زائد شد. هنگامی که او شروع به ایجاد مشکلات کرد، باید حذف می شد. این مجموعه شرایط منجر به مرگ او شد، که آن نیز نوعی قربانی آیینی بود. بدیهی است که برای اکثر مردم این تئوری‌های توطئه که پادشاهان مواد مخدر و نخبگان خزنده پنهان را فرض می‌کنند، پوچ هستند. غیرقابل قبول بودن و مضحک بودن این حدس و گمان، مردم را از باور آن باز نمی دارد. LaRouche طرفدارانی داشت و Icke's بزرگتر و بین المللی تر است. آیک که به عنوان یک حکیم عصر جدید شروع کرد، آن را با نسخه‌ای از توطئه‌گرایی نظم نوین جهانی که با اضافه شدن نخبگان خزنده بداخلاق تند شده بود، ترکیب کرد. این ترکیب به ایک اجازه داد که هم به طور کلی چپ‌گرای جدید و هم توطئه‌گرایان راست‌گرا را جذب کند. اگرچه الکس جونز توطئه گر راست در ابتدا تز خزندگان آیک را تحقیر کرد، اما در نهایت به گرمی آن را پذیرفت. Icke به یک

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ادامه ...

The birther theory, which claims that Obama was not born in the United States, has never faded away, unlike the Antichrist or Muslim theories. It goes back to 2004 when the fringe conspiracist Andy Martin began questioning the origins of the rapidly rising young politician. Martin’s initial focus, however, was on Obama being a secret Muslim. It was not until 1 March 2008 that someone going by the handle fars published a post on the Webforum Free Republic that claimed Obama had taken his oath as a senator using the Koran. In addition, it asserted that Obama was not born in the United States and that his mother had flown him to Hawaii and registered his birth there. No evidence was offered to support these claims, but they were now loose on the Internet, where evidence is optional and indeed not preferred. fars’s claims quickly gained attention and a growing following. The Republican leadership was more responsible at that time and worried that such ludicrous claims could backfire on their party. Reflecting this concern, the mainstream conservative National Review Online published a column on birtherism by James Geraghty on 9 June 2008. It was titled ‘Obama Could Debunk Some Rumors by Releasing His Birth Certificate’. Geraghty was a birther sceptic and his column pointed out the trivial and implausible nature of the birther claim, urging the Obama campaign to spike it by releasing his birth certificate. The next day a second article appeared pointing out that there was little information on a birth certificate that could hurt Obama’s presidential campaign. In response, Obama’s campaign released his short- form birth certificate and Geraghty pronounced it to be valid proof of Obama’s birth in Hawaii.9 Unfortunately, the National Review’s debunking provided birtherism with much greater exposure and even a degree of legitimacy in the minds h o p e a n d f e a r10 of people looking for reasons to dislike and to discredit Obama. Some supporters of Hillary Clinton aggravated the situation by going rogue and sending out an anonymous email stating that Obama was born in Kenya and had been flown to Hawaii, where his mother registered his birth. Fringe Obama-haters proceeded to make a fairly clear situation murkier by filing multiple frivolous lawsuits seeking proof of Obama’s foreign birth, forging supposed Kenyan birth certificates or questioning the authenticity of his Hawaiian birth certificate. The situation became so ridiculous that judges began fining or threatening to fine people bringing these nuisance lawsuits to court. By 2009, mainstream Republicans began repudiating birtherism, with Michael Medved being the first conservative commentator to break with it publicly. Not being totally immune to the lure of conspiracy theories, Medved speculated that birtherism might be a conspiracy to make conservatives look crazy.10 Birtherism subsided for a time but never went away. It revived in 2011 as Obama’s first term as president was coming to an end and the presiden- tial election of 2012 was looming on the horizon. During February 2011, Donald Trump, known as a reality tv star and a flamboyant and controver- sial businessman, spoke to a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee (cpac) and raised the birther issue. It was a good choice of talking point for an audience with a large component of Obama-haters. When Trump took his birther theories to Fox News on the conserva- tive commentator Bill O’Reilly’s show, O’Reilly scoffed at the idea. Fox’s viewers, also a group with a significant proportion of Obama-haters, loved Trump’s promotion of birtherism. Other hosts of Fox News shows invited Trump to appear and promote it. One show even made him a weekly guest. At that time, Trump was attempting to gain the Republican Party’s nom- ination for the presidency. The time was not ripe for Trump, however. He had no chance of winning the nomination and dropped out so he could continue to make money with his reality television show The Apprentice. Birtherism, however, did get Trump a wider following.11 Trump revived birtherism. As Chuck Todd put it, ‘no one did more to vault the false issue to the cable news echo chamber than Donald Trump.’ Trump and his people continued to put out a lot of dubious informa- tion about Obama’s origins, as did others such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, and the author Jerome Corsi.12 Time after time, their claims were debunked thoroughly but to no avail. The result was that birtherism went mainstream, with majorities of seemingly rational Republicans starting to believe the birthers’ claims. Chuck Todd mocked the senseless gullibility of people believing that Obama was a plant to get a Muslim foreigner in the White House. As he put it, ‘Maybe if the

ادامه ...

contents Introduction 7 1 Thinking about Pseudoscience, Pseudo-History, Modern Myths and Conspiracy Theories 18 2 Why Do People Believe Strange Things? 36 3 The Many Journeys of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel 50 4 Templars, Secret Societies and Conspiracy Theories 97 5 A Road to Perdition: Germans, Nazis and a Culture of the Supernatural 138 6 The Myth of Roswell 174 Conclusion 220 References 231 select Bibliography 263 Acknowledgements 265 Index 26

ادامه ...
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