Category: Supernatural

History Channel, H2, and the Legitimation of Conspiracy Theories

History Channel History meme
History Channel History meme

Various television shows are  produced for niche markets. One example would be that of the programming of the History Channel and its sister network, H2. Owned by A&E, which is jointly owned by ABC, NBC Universal and The Hearst Corporation, History Channel and H2 have become synonymous with television programs that promote a conspiracist view of history, nature, and the origins of humanity.

Ancient Aliens

The show Ancient Aliens posits that aliens visited humans or prehistoric man in the distant past and modified human DNA to make the intelligent homo sapiens we are today. Episodes focus on large structures made in ancient human history and the contents of myths, legends, and holy texts as further evidence that extraterrestrials also visited humans throughout ancient times. The tone of these shows are generally full of conjecture; “What if it were true?” is a common tagline, but does not give an adequate counter argument such as “What if humans did all this on our own?”

Although the show is neither science, nor history, it is fun and is often a great way to discover the lore surrounding ancient ruins.

America’s Book of Secrets

America’s Book of Secrets first aired in 2012 and centers around the conjecture of a ‘book of secrets’ that the show’s producers posit may exist. The real purpose of the show is to give a detailed account of various American conspiracy theories involving the foundation of the United States, the lives and affiliations of America’s founding fathers, and the potential involvement of secret societies and secret knowledge which may have been at play. Unlike Ancient Aliens, America’s Book of Secrets often pits soundbites of conspiracy theorists and researchers with the authorities and experts that have in depth knowledge of the subject in question. The narration follows the same “What if?” stance quite often, but attempts are made to give accurate historic information when it is available. Airs in episodes but also has longer documentary-style shows attached to it as with the following video link.

Brad Meltzer’s Decoded

Novelist Brad Meltzer leads a group of researchers in an investigative reality history show (the easiest way to describe what this show is). This show does a lot to find out the facts of the real story behind the legends that have often been connected with various conspiracy theories. Even though the show attempts to find the truth rather than stew in the more ‘sexy’ plot conjectures of Ancient Aliens and America’s Book of Secrets but still keeps the show interesting and high energy.

America Unearthed

Premiering in 2013, America Unearthed‘s first episode sought the Holy Grail and started a series that is one part reality show, one part scavenger hunt, with a significant dose of conjecture included. The reality show surrounding real people hunting for, and often not finding; secret knowledge, mythical objects, or physical evidence of suspected secret societies. The series does a lot to show the lack evidence for the various subjects they investigate, but the series also seems to have inspired the next show.

The Curse of Oak Island

Oak Island, a small island in Nova Scotia, Canada, is the setting for this latest of History Channel series. A team of treasure hunters search for unknown (and perhaps non-existent) treasures. The series follows two brothers who invest tens of thousands of dollars of their own money in the hopes of finding what is suspected to pirate treasure, Templar gold, or perhaps the Holy Grail, in a shaft called the ‘Money Pit’ where several treasure hunters have sought the same. The curse refers to the various treasure seekers who had died in the hopes of finding the treasure (which, again, may not exist).

There may well be a cautionary tale inherently built into the plot of The Curse of Oak Island. May the various seekers of hidden knowledge, or proof of nefarious cabals continue to seek but, perhaps, be careful not to waste time or treasure in the pursuit.

Historic conjecture is the name of the game. Ratings seem to fuel a preference for reality shows such as American Pickers and Pawn Stars as well as spooky content such as Ancient Aliens and Roswell Files. The History Channel did once focus on history documentaries, but perhaps that is not what the History Channel is really about. One day, perhaps, when aliens have disclosed themselves to the people as humanity’s true progenitors, the vindicated History Channel may once again go on to more historically accurate fare. Until then, of course, I will continue to enjoy watching Ancient Aliens and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded while imagining the secret rites of America’s masonic founding fathers and planning my next trip to the Amhara church at Lalibella.



Social Construction of the Illuminati

Illuminati 1

The social construction of reality is the process of conceptualizing observations and experiences into a system of understanding, the resulting social construct is then adopted as a system of interpretation. Its a way of looking at our social world that is not inherent but rather the result of human decisions and judgment that is treated as real. In discussing  “the social construction of” there is often a considerable debate between essentialists in one camp or another who do believe in what can be called the “inherent self-evidence of” a given concept.

The Illuminati is one such concept. To view the constant echo-chamber of the internet on the subject of the Illuminati, this secret organization absolutely must be real. To my mind, the idea that elites would unify and form a cabal to control and manipulate sounds perfectly reasonable. Whether it seems likely, reasonable, or self-evident, the Illuminati is a social construct.

The first argument anyone could give against the social construction of the Illuminati is that the Illuminati exists in history.  Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati, a secret society in 1776 in Germany with the stated goal of using the “human foible” of secret societies for the “benefit of people.” After the society was banned in Bavaria, Weishaupt fled and the Illuminati was disbanded. This is the historical account (an abbreviated one). A few present day so-called secret societies (secret in name only) have adopted the term Illuminati to bolster their mystical credibility or otherwise promote themselves as older than they truly are. Several mock / parody websites have enjoyed the relative ease of appearing to be “the real Illuminati” and, as such, have been mistaken for or accused of being the real thing and cited as proof to the existence of the elite conspiracy. The transition from parody to truth in promoting the Illuminati is a theme that has existed since the modern belief in the group began.

The distrust in secret societies, whether with or without merit, is the subject of debate and is another subject that is socially constructed. Whether the historic Illuminati was egalitarian or not, the Illuminati became a construct that linked all secret societies, presumed a goal of elite control and manipulation, and is often suspected of being anti-religion (among a litany of other suspicions). The Illuminati also received a “historic totalization,” using the history of European secret societies to insinuate the Illuminati as being at least as old as the Knights Templar (some theorizing an ancient Egyptian origin). The Illuminati is also projected into the future through the fears and suspicions of those who hold that the group is currently in control of most (if not all) world government and intends to keep it that way.

One interesting aspect that this specific social construction has is that it is emergent. Unlike the social construction of race (a construct that has existed for millennia), the Illuminati has only recently been constructed. The history of belief in the Illuminati as a  real and modern entity starts in the Vietnam War Era and picks up right around the birth of the Internet and has had several concomitant social and pop culture forces combine to strengthen this social construct.

In some respects, the Illuminati is the joke that no one got. Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea wrote The Illuminatus Trilogy in the 1970s. Part sci-fi, part humor, part psychedelia, the book was understood as satire and stood as a seminal work of “conspiracy fiction.” This does not, however, mean that it was taken as fiction by all who read the book, or skimmed it, or heard about some of the contents of the book in certain contexts. The social climate in America had become highly skeptical of authority following the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Robert Kennedy. The Vietnam War continued on after years of protests, placing a rift between supporters of the war and the antiwar movement. Conspiracy theories that began to surround the JFK assassination began to snowball, picking up new connections with events. Suddenly, the possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone or that James Earl Ray was not the true killer of MLK began to morph into a generalized set of conspiracies that may have been J. Edgar Hoover, or the Mafia, or Lyndon B. Johnson’s doing (to name a few among dozens). The erosion of faith in central authority that was felt among those in the Anti-Vietnam War movement also bled into the social structure in many ways, reaching an apex upon the resignation of President Richard Nixon (and subsequent pardon). Was it all connected? This question was the one that The Illuminatus Trilogy thumbed its literary nose at. “Yes, there are conspiracies, but they are often initiated by men who are shortsighted and end up shooting themselves in the foot, so drop some acid and worship Satan” (rough approximation of The Illuminatus Trilogy‘s throughline). With time, and the 1980s economic boom and social conservative revival, the conspiracy theories went somewhat dormant. In the meantime, Robert Anton Wilson went on to write books and make speaking engagements that were largely comedic and his and Robert Shea’s book would go on to be read by a variety of readers, many of whom did not necessarily get the joke.

A 1990 speech by President George H, W. Bush perked the ears of those long dormant conspiracy theorists, including readers of The Illuminatus Trilogy for its use of the phrase “a New World Order.” The phrase sounded to many to be the totalitarian one world government feared by anti-government right-wing conservatives and Fundamentalist Christians, the former thought the “New World Order” as the ultimate goal of “Big Government” and the latter believing it the power from which the Antichrist would rise. The 1990s saw disparate groups coming to similar conclusions; Anti-war liberals, libertarians, Fundamentalist Christians, conservatives and anyone who feared or distrusted global governing entities (such as the United Nations) were all put on high alert.

Pop culture began to spread the brand of the New World Order; giving it name recognition if nothing else. One of the most unlikely sources of unintentional promotion of conspiracy theory, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) debuted the New World Order (nWo) wrestling group in 1996. Ministry’s 1992 industrial song New World Order sampled Bush’s speech in the intro and was states as being anti-Bush but was also had a more general lyrical message against complacency toward totalitarian hegemony.The Illuminati also received increasing notice in popular culture, in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, in Umberto Eco’s book Foucault’s Pendulum, Marvel Comics’ Illuminati, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Disney’s Gargoyles all have Illuminati characters and plot elements. The History Channel became one of the most prolific super-spreader of the Illuminati narrative in popular culture through the television show Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. Former wrestling star and former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura used his notoriety and public position to further the belief in an Illuminati that seeks global dominion via a New World Order, later parlaying this into a reality television show Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.

The Internet is the site in which the current incarnations of Illuminati narratives live an grow. I use plurals because there are several “Illuminati narratives” at work, all of them socially constructed. From the Fundamentalist Christians predominantly comes the Satanic Illuminati and its various bloodlines betraying dark occult roots. The largely agnostic anti-government camp promotes the One World Government Illuminati that uses fear to create an ever greater web of control; abolishing freedom, and creating false flag disasters to allow for ever greater governmental controls. There is a third Extraterrestial/Reptilian Illuminati is self-explanatory; controlling all humanity are non-human entities that often pose as heads of state or other important figures. Though these are different Illuminati narratives, they often interact and share interpretations on current events and Illuminati tactics. Almost all news stories are fictitious or covering up the true intentions of the shadowy overlords controlling who-knows-what.

The Illuminati narrative becomes a clearinghouse for all things that lie outside of an individual’s ideology. To a liberal or libertarian Illuminati believer, George W. Bush was the symbol of the Illuminati during his presidency. The election of Obama meant a swap of ideological focus on the Illuminati; now conservatives, Fundamentalist Christians and the like were on guard. The Catholic papacy is often implicated by nearly everyone who believes in the Illuminati. Any time a social demographic ceases to be subjugated and pushed to the periphery, that group is implicated in the conspiracy of the Illuminati. If you view all of the above hyperlinks and try to combine them all into one singular “Illuminati narrative” you would have to call the Illuminati a jewish, muslim group run by the Catholic Pope that controls a wide variety of leaders including Barack Obama and George W. Bush and is not only satanic and atheistic but homosexual to boot! This, of course, is not how any individual views the Illuminati, but they instead take what parts fit their ideological view of the world and their political concerns and chuck the rest, calling any contradictory information a simple misunderstanding or the Illuminati’s own trickery meant to implicate the true patriot, true Christian, or “only honest man in politics.”

As the social construction of the Illuminati is ongoing, but totalizing, all media must fit into the “Illuminati Agenda.” The concept that includes narrative fiction movies and science fiction is the belief that the Illuminati must hide their plots “in plane site.” As a point of honor, the Illuminati are required to tell the world of their plans before they can follow through. This is why any famous musician is taken at face value when they may say that they “sold their soul to the devil” and the Arther C. Clarke book 2010 is believed to outline an Illuminati plot to turn Saturn into a second sun. These ideas are spread online and in person, the arguments that seem to validate these claims only compound upon one another, and disconfirmation is a non-issue since failure to complete presumed plots in the (often numerologically derived) allotted timeline are concluded to be a successful exposé of Illuminati by internet “researchers.”

Still, within the conspiracy theory worldview, another plot always lie in wait and the next current event becomes the next Illuminati abomination. The 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and every Superbowl Halftime Show are actually satanic rituals of Illuminati power. The Illuminati suffer the conspiracy theorists because they actually become central to the pursuit of “one world government.”

The social construction of the Illuminati also gives prescriptive advice to prevent the success of the Satanic or Secular or Reptilian Illuminati and they are as bleak and nihilistic as anything that could ever be imagined. The following is taken entirely from (the website states that it was formerly and was written under the pen name Oiseau Bleu:

Find hope “beyond” information.  Information is a stepping-stone with some benefits and usefulness, but it will never set you free.

Tangible solutions for the truth movement –

#1. Recognize your vulnerability to mind-control techniques designed specifically for you.  Every person on planet Earth is subjected to an onslaught of satanic mind-control programming.  Understand that we are actually mind-controlled to further mind-control one another.  “Let’s go get a drink…” is just one simple example of that, though there are millions.

#2. Turn off your t.v.’s immediately and disconnect the cable service/connection.  This is obvious.

#3. Stop “enjoying” life (like the t.v. people), and replace that with genuine usefulness.  Worry when you are enjoying your-“Self” as just another consumer.

#4 Opt out of the System, instead of being beast-feeding busy.  Cancel credit cards/loans and stop paying taxes.  If done in mass, this would begin strangling the System.  Learning to Be calm, at peace, and passive is a prerequisite to effectiveness and harmful to the Beast.

#5 Watch the film “Revolver” (the rooftop scene – part 2 of 4  linked here) over and over till you’re certain you get this.

#6 Believe there will be no more chances after this one because God said so. This is final.

Live each moment knowing this, and act accordingly. The Fire is real and Satan is leading to it.

Don’t value information. Distrust others. Distrust your TV (but trust the Alternative news on the Internet). Resignation to, over enjoyment of, life. Don’t trust yourself: you are the enemy. There is only one option. Stay vigilant or be damned.

This is the end result of belief in the Illuminati.  A social construction that, when taken to its irrational extreme, prescribes absolute denial of all possible information outside of the belief in an absolute conspiracy. All conflicting information is to be regarded as deception. Apostasy is a death sentence. With this worldview, paranoia and fatalism are quite logical byproducts. The sad truth is that the several cases of individuals who believe in this socially constructed Illuminati who have killed themselves and/or others are immediately considered the casualties of their vigilance, marked for death by a secret cabal that knows all and sees all. There is no logic that can disprove the Illuminati. There is only the hope that the many susceptible individuals will go back to the work of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, The Illuminatus Trilogy, read it, read it again, and, hopefully, get the joke.

Immortal Celebrity Illuminati? Conflation and Conspiracy

The relative resemblance of some famous people and pictures of their unknown look-alikes from the past has been a source of increasing internet conjecture (as the internet has largely fueled such conjecture). The idea that people that look alike are really the same people has led to some further outlandish theories. Time travel, reincarnation and assuming a similar appearance, and immortality are three common ones.

This recent Facebook post ups the ante; “GMO Cloning.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.08.25 PMIf the resemblance between old photograph subjects and famous contemporaries have convinced you of the existence of time travel, then perhaps it is a good time to learn about the psychological concept of pareidolia.