Saturday, May 9, 2020

Conspiracy: Establishment Theorists

Establishment Theorists A Taxonomy - A Case Study

For Ted Gunderson.  

Before beginning, I want to emphasize how complicated this subject is.  In terms of specific conspiracies, I always try to make every effort to make measured statements based on hard evidence, (non-alternative) facts, science, corroboration, and first-person testimony from reliable individuals.  The fact remains that we as a culture - as a thinking collective - are shifting our views on conspiracies.  Our minds are opening.  And yet, we cannot engage in stupidity, carelessness, insensitivity, credulity, and any form of vulgar skullduggery or disrespect of others.  I was listening to an episode of This American Life and a story on Leon Pozner.  I was moved.  I was saddened.  I was humbled.  I do believe conspiracy abound on this planet.  And yet we must study them as academics or jurists and unpackage them with care.*

I was introduced to Ted Gunderson by a friend at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles in early 2010.  My friend had met Gunderson as a producer on a tv show on conspiracies.  Ted handed my friend and me two sets of notes and documentation on ritual murder and sacrifice.  As I read it over the following days, it was too troubled to keep it near me.  I put it in the garbage.  I regret that deeply.  I wish I had put it in storage.  I dedicate this blog entry to him and many, many others who have risked their livelihood, position, and lives to share profoundly troubling evidence of various forms of systematic, coordinated, and even ritualistic misbehavior and malfeasance to control the lives of people here and abroad. 


There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
        Gore Vidal

Bin Laden didn't blow up the projects,
It was you, nigga,
Tell the truth, nigga,
Bush knocked down the towers,
Tell the truth, nigga,
Bush knocked down the towers,
Tell the truth, nigga.
        Immortal Technique featuring Mos Def, Bin Laden**

Today, conspiracy is mainstage.  From Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear in 1944 to the Wachowskis' The Matrix in 1999, conspiracy has become a premier concern for Westerners.  Conspiracy is no longer parlor talk.  It is a more commonplace policy question that concerns many highly intelligent artists and researchers.  Not only is conspiracy coming into vogue in popular terms, it has an academic legacy throughout the 20th century.

The first substantive notion of conspiracy I considered originated in the film JFK in 1991.  What makes Oliver Stone so important is that, regardless of his politics, he does his homework.  JFK was nominated for 8 Oscars for a reason.  It offered a clear thesis: that people conspired to assassinate President Kennedy to prevent him from ending the Viet Nam War and altering components of the military-industrial complex of which President Eisenhower himself had warned.  Another important and even more ambitious piece of conspiracy-themed art was X Files, which started in 1993.  Both had an impact on me.

In the late 1990s, back when newsstands existed, I recall seeing small circulation, non-academic journals that covered issues such as urban warfare simulations and police militarization.  These independent journalism analyses was where I was formally introduced to real-world conspiracy journalism.  For the most part, I forgot about this material until about 2003 or 2004.

Around that time, I saw a 911 conspiracy documentary on channel 36 in the SF Bay Area; I simply watched it and did not fully commit to any specific view.  About a year later, I came across the above piece by Immortal Technique.  That was a watershed moment; it shifted my thinking for whatever reason.  Soon I read at Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert and 9/11 Synthetic Terror by Webster Tarpley.  The rest is history.  Pun intended.

Establishment Theorists

The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers.
        Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope1966

[T]he university is really under the control of a small and active group of trustees who have no standing in the world of education, who are reactionary and visionless in politics, narrow and medieval in religion.
        Charles Beard, upon resigning Columbia University (emphasis added)

Conspiracy research is not, however, simply the work of independent journalists in the 1990's.  Quigley is a slippery figure.  He was interested in secret society no doubt.  But his motivations and the motivations of those who allowed him to study their institutions are not clear.  He was a Harvard-trained, Georgetown professor of history.  His work helps us to establish that the mainstream narrative of Left versus Right in the Unites States is a deep, subtle, and complicated drama, meant to occlude the real nature of political life in Western nations.

Charles Beard and Anthony Sutton are not so slippery.  Beard was a highly influential Oxford-trained, Columbia professor of history, who studied much of America's political history and foreign policy.  According to Professor Lance DeHaven-Smith, discussed below, Beard went so far as to argue that the field of history is itself the study of conspiracy.  Sutton was an English-trained economist (I believe) and Stanford University researcher, whose work deeply complicates conventional understandings of both WWII and the Cold War - especially with regard to international bankers influence on Nazis and the Bolshevik Revolution. 

Lance DeHaven-Smith is perhaps the leading figure in academic conspiracy research today.***  Consider his book Conspiracy Theory In America.  DeHaven-Smith coined the term 'state crimes against democracy'.  He served in the US Army and fought in the Vietnam War.  He earned a PhD from Ohio State University and teaches public administration at Florida State University.

These four people are nontrivial, academically trained researchers.  I don't discount citizen journalists, independent journalism, or even highly intelligent ranters online.  But IMO it's important people know about this category of conventional academics discussing what otherwise appears unconventional and even taboo.

* If it matters, I never took the Sandy Hook conspiracy very seriously.  At the risk of muddying the waters early in this discussion, I like Alex Jones.  I also think 'crisis actor' is a valuable analytical concept.  And yet, we must be more careful than Jones so as to not have to retract our views, which Jones eventually did.

** Although I enjoy sharing the Immortal Technique track, I am not blaming Bush explicitly for 911 at this time.   

*** I would discuss David Ray Griffin more but I do not know his work well.  I also do not mention him in this entry as these academics are not 911 academics but rather conspiracy academics in a wider sense.

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