The German design studio Kurzgesagt believe they have the perfect sharpening stone for your Ockham's razor, so you can cut through the B.S. of illogical conspiracies.
Don't agree with them? Put on your tinfoil gloves and type your refutation in the Comments section!
If you search the word 'parapolitics' in the website of the Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the query will throw no results. Doing the same on Google first finds an old political scandal involving the Colombian paramilitary forces.
The truth is the term was (probably) coined by the late Peter Dale Scott as a way to describe the obscured inner workings behind political developments and historical events, which transpire beneath the surface of public perception. Nowadays that kind of investigative journalism is derided with the 'weaponized' term 'Conspiracy Theory' by mainstream media. Ironically enough, those same mainstream outlets are seeing their Monopoly of Truth severely eroded by alternative news websites which are favored by the younger audience.
These alt-news digital sites owe a huge debt to the analog zines of prior decades, which relied on such things as 'snail mail', carbon paper and photocopiers --Google those, kids!-- to allow the dissenting writing of their authors reach a small yet-faithful readership. Standing tall above many of those raw publications was Steamshovel Press, the brainchild of Kenn Thomas --who has also distinguished himself for his books involving the grandaddy of all conspiracy theories: The JFK assassination-- and which saw the contributions of writers like Jim Keith, Alan Cantwell, Alexandra 'Chica' Bruce and, of course, my dear friend Greg Bishop, who for a while also ran his own 'zine' called The Excluded Middle (Greg has also contributed for our own Darklore Anthology with an essay about his late friend Dr. Mario Pazzaglini, a clinical psychologist who was greatly interested in the subject of 'alien writing').
After some years of trying to adapt to the new digital frontier of the World Wide Web, many of the old 'zines went the way of the dodo. Same was true with Steamshovel Press, but now comes the news that Kenn Thomas is re-launching the publication with the help of Olav Phillips as the new publisher, both as a Kindle version AND a hard copy made with real paper and color illustrations, which will certainly appeal those of us who still have a fetish for paper and the smell of fresh ink.
Steamshovel Press Issue 24 features:
- Ezekiel’s Wheel within a Wheel Revealed
- Ti West, Jownstown and the Big Lie
- Publish and Perish: The Mysterious Body Count of UFOlogy and the Darker Side of Conspiracy Research
- Kerry Thornley’s FBI Files
- Pulling the Cosmic Trigger: The Contact Experiences of Philip K. Dick and Robert Anton Wilson
- The Devil and Dr. Perry
- ET Go Home: Let's Retire the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis
- An Interview with S. Miles Lewis
- The Legacy of John Judge
- Transhumanism: The Wingmakers Perspective
- The 9-9 Phone Intercepts and the 9-11 War Games
Some of the articles, like ET Go Home --written by Greg Bishop-- can be read for free online. Here's a little excerpt which no doubt will make a few heads in MUFON spin out of control:
The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis or ETH as it is known, is a viable, logical theory, but does not account for all the data, and if you are looking for a hypothesis that stands up to objective scrutiny, you must let the theory fit the data and not the other way around. Unbeknownst to most UFO fans and luminaries, there are relatively new ideas in physics (known collectively as “m-brane” theory) that actually support the idea that beings can travel almost instantaneously to the Earth from distant planets, but they are only theories with no experimental evidence as yet to back them up, and once again, they do not fit much of the reported data spanning decades or centuries, at least not in any way that makes logical sense.
Full steam ahead! Next stop: Conspiracy Station.
Osama Bin Laden's Bookshelf: MK-ULTRA, the Illuminati, Manly Hall's 'Secret Teachings of all Ages', and 9/11 Conspiracy LiteraturePosted by Greg at 01:58, 21 May 2015
The U.S. Government this week released a list of the books and documents that were found on Osama Bin Laden's 'bookshelf' (a number were actually digital) when special forces soldiers killed the terrorist leader at his Pakistan hideout in 2011.
Surprisingly, among the 39 English-language books in Bin Laden's possession were a number of 9/11 conspiracy books and other books about powerful secret cabals, including:
- The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11, by David Ray Griffin
- Crossing the Rubicon by the late Michael C. Ruppert
- Conspirator's Hierarchy : The Committee of 300, by John Coleman
- Bloodlines of the Illuminati, by Fritz Springmeier
Also in this tranche of documents was a webpage discussing how game designer Steven Jackson (the American one, not the British one) seemed to have predicted the Twin Towers catastrophe in his game Illuminati: New World Order (which took its inspiration from the Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shae). Not to mention also in OBL's collection were documents about the CIA's 'mind control' project MK-ULTRA!
Perhaps the book that surprised me most to see was Manly P. Hall's classic of esoterica, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, the content of which seems very much at odds with Al-Qaeda's terrorist agenda. Perhaps Bin Laden's interest was simply in the chapter on Islam, in which Mohammed is described as having "a knowledge of that secret doctrine which must needs constitute the core of every great philosophical, religious, or ethical institution". Or was his interest once again in the idea of secret groups steering history and religion from behind the scenes?
What do we make of all this? Basically, we have the (alleged?) mastermind behind 9/11, reading about how his attack was predicted before it happened in a game about the Illuminati; reading Manly Hall's masterwork about secret teachings and esoteric societies; reading other books about the Illuminati and powerful secret cabals; and also reading 9/11 'truther' material about how *he* didn't actually commit the crime!
Was he simply fascinated by the weird things people saw in the attack? Was he wondering how to take advantage of the multiple mythoses growing around 9/11 and the Bush 'New World Order'? Was he just setting us all up for a massive troll when he did eventually get caught? Or did he not actually do it and thought it may truly have been an Illuminati conspiracy?
How deep does this rabbit hole get?!
Link: Bin Laden's Bookshelf
Want to understand the Machiavellian schemes by which the Illuminati keeps us all enslaved? You could either read David Icke's entire bibliography, and pay some 35 quid to listen to the Reptilians' nemesis speak live on Wembley; OR just listen to Juice Rap News' latest clip, which lays it all out with rhyme and reason:
BTW is it just me, or does the Illuminati spokesman Bill de Berg look A LOT like certain charismatic British entrepreneur?
[H/T RT News]
Want to debunk or dismiss points of view and theories that go against your own beliefs, but are just too under-informed and/or lazy to do it properly? No problem! You just simply have to label your adversary as a 'conspiracy theorist' and Voilà! That poor tinfoil-hatter will be seen as a kook faster than he can yell "Trilateral Commission."
Srsly though, we Grailers know that there are many stories and news which get covered in this site, and the fact that we link to them does *not* necessarily mean we endorse them or agree with them 100% of the time. TDG trusts in the intelligence of our members, yet we always remind them of our Caveat lector policy. We may end up agreeing to disagree, but that doesn't give us the right to belittle people of different opinions.
Yet the fact of the matter is that recently the term 'conspiracy theory' has been weaponized by mainstream media, or even websites aspiring to go mainstream, because it's easy to make fun of dissent than to give rational rebuttals.
Thus 'conspiracy theory' has turned into a blanket term in which EVERY dissenting or alternative thinking is piled up. So for example, if you have reasons to think genetically modified foods might not be as safe for consumption as the US Dept. of Health would have you believe, then by default you must also think all the governments in the world are controlled by shape-shifting Reptilians who used beam weapons and holograms of airplanes to take down the World Trade Center in 9/11, and are planning to deceive Humanity with a fake alien invasion designed to impose the New World OrderZOMGStartStockingUpTheBunker!!!
Maybe the way to stop this trend has to start with US in the alternative circles. We need to refrain of thinking that every. Single. Person! Who doesn't happen to agree with us is a complete fool or a brain-washed drone. There's a time for proselytizing, and there's a time when you need to move to better things.
Always remember: Those in power will NEVER admit that they were ever wrong about anything --they'll just quietly re-change their position hoping no-one ever noticed...
Conspiracy message boards have gone into overdrive with the revelation that the infamous Georgia Guidestones have a new addition: a mysterious niche at the top of one of the monoliths has been filled with a small cube/cornerstone with the numbers '20' and '14' carved into adjacent faces. Naturally, there has been some speculation on these messageboards that the block is a message - from the secret society behind the Guidestones - that the apocalypse supposedly predicted by the modern megaliths will occur this year.
As might be expected, the truth of the situation is difficult to pin down, although it may not necessarily involve Illuminati overlords. In 2013, the person who originally cut the notch out of the Guidestones (apparently on September 11, 2009) was apprehended by authorities upon returning to the site with two other men, with the missing granite cube in tow:
“Deputies got a call to go out there, and there was a gentleman there from Alabama that had the piece of granite that was taken almost four years ago”, said Investigator Darren Scarborough with the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office. “Told the officers that he had it, and he had been out there in 2009 and took the small piece of granite off.”
Scarborough says the whole incident has the sheriff’s office scratching their heads a little bit.
“We don’t know what their intentions were with the piece of granite or why they were back out there late Friday night/early Saturday morning”, said Scarborough. “We have talked to the gentleman, who is in charge of the guidestones, and we have the piece of granite back, but we are not sure what will be done with it.”
So perhaps the '2014' cube is simply an official replacement for the piece of stone that was cut out? Not so, according to this article. And in the comments, someone notes that they called Elbert county officials about the situation, and "was told that the 2014 cube was considered to be vandalism, and will be replaced with the actual missing piece".
A strange situation, compounded by the sad news that the Guidestones were once again recently defaced with graffiti. For anybody buying into the ridiculous paranoia about the Guidestones being a threat from the Illuminati to exterminate a large proportion of the world's population, make sure you read my Darklore essay on the traditions behind the monument, titled "Beyond the Apocalypse".
(h/t Chris Skelton)
The cube has now been removed - and found to be engraved on every side (20, 14, 16, 8, MM, JAM). Here's footage of the removal:
(Thanks to @Eastonwordsmith for the heads up.)
You are being watched. The government has a secret system —a machine— that spies on you every hour of every day. I know, because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror, but it sees everything.
So begins the opening monologue on the CBS television show Person of Interest, spoken by the designer of 'The Machine', technology genius and billionaire, Harold Finch. The Machine is a mass surveillance computer system, monitoring data input from just about every electronic source in the world (phones, cameras, computers etc), which it analyzes in order to predict violent acts. But given its omnipotence, there are far too many predictions to act on, and so instead it is programmed to only pass on 'relevant' threats - ie. major terrorist events - to the government.
The procedural element of the show is that Finch has a software backdoor that sends him the 'irrelevant' predictions so that he can try to stop that violent act occurring as well: each episode, he and his small team of law enforcement officers and former government agents are given the social security number of an individual connected to the threat, though the team do not know if the individual is the victim or the perpetrator.
The larger story arc, however, is all about the Machine – how Harold came to build it and the effect of doing so on both him and those around him; the power that such surveillance hands to whomever controls it, and the lengths some would go to in order to have that control; and what might happen if such a powerful 'intelligence' became sentient. And of course, the question that hangs over the entire storyline, is the debate between how surveillance can be used to keep people safe, versus how it can be used in corrupt ways.
The show is science fiction, but given the news stories listed below, we might say only barely – the Person of Interest future doesn't seem that far off at all.
Surveillance via your own smartphone
We already know that smartphones can track everywhere you go via the built-in GPS, and the Person of Interest team certainly utilise that function to their advantage. But in the show, Finch's team also often take advantage of ... Read More »
We all love some Weird Al here at the Grail Tower, so there were a few laughs today when we came across his latest parody music video, 'Foil', a take-off of New Zealand singer Lorde's 'Royals'. The title gives away the link to conspiracy theories, but I'll leave you to check it out without any more spoilers...
I was recently alerted via a tweet by Dr. Jeffrey Kaye of a declassified CIA memo I found interesting. Kaye is a San Francisco Bay area psychologist and writer who focuses upon human rights issues, the intelligence community and related circumstances.
The 5 May 1955 memo is titled, "Hypnotism and Covert Operations". Its author is not identified. The memo contains such ominous observations as how the potential of hypnosis as a covert weapon would be more thoroughly understood if field experiments, that could not be conducted by what was termed a 'laboratory worker', were carried out.
Such CIA documents are unfortunately not unusual for the era. What caught my eye about this particular memo, however, was a reference to an unspecified legal case in which a hypnotist was apparently convicted for the actions of their hypnosis subject. After you take a moment to let that settle in, please consider, and I quote:
Currently there is a murder trial in [redacted] in which the murderer has been judged to have been under hypnosis at the time of the crime. He has been retried, released and the hypnotist tried and convicted. The case is now under appeal. The comment of the three knowledgeable informants was that the hypnotist must have been a rank amateur to have been found out since any experienced operator would have known how to suggest away the fact that he had arranged the crime.
Wow. Is that the voice of experience, or just speculation, one might be inclined to ask?
Initial research of such circumstances revealed an 1895 New York Times article titled "Hypnotism as a Defense". While the Kansas case explored is obviously not the case referenced in the 1955 CIA memo, it is indeed interesting.
Matters of money seemed to result in a person named Anderson Gray wanting to murder a rival. He apparently used his study of hypnosis to persuade a subject to attempt, unsuccessfully, to carry out the crime. However, the greedy man's fate - and the fate of his rival - were sealed when he tried a second time!
The evil doer was accused of hypnotizing yet another subject and framing the circumstances in a manner that would justify the subject killing the target, which took place. Given the court's interpretation of the circumstances and the bizarre history, Gray was convicted of a murder committed by another man, his hypnosis subject.
A more likely candidate for the case mentioned in the CIA memo was a 1950s-era chain of events occurring in Denmark involving two individuals, Bjorn Nielsen and Palle Hardrup. Sources include The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X, among others. In a complex series of trials, retrials and reversals surrounding bank robbery and murder, hypnotist Nielsen was convicted for the actions of his hypnosis subject, Hardrup.
Key personnel during the CIA venture into hypnosis included a number of prominent professionals. Alden Sears conducted work in MKUltra Subprojects 5, 25, 29 and 49. CIA consultant, New York psychologist and former president of the American Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis Milton Kline told groundbreaking writer/researcher John Marks that he could create a patsy in three months and an assassin in six.
Psychiatrist Martin Orne conducted hypnosis-related research within MKULTRA Subproject 84. He published many papers on the subject of hypnosis and was considered a leading expert. Orne explained to the Agency and on a number of occasions that persuading someone to do something while hypnotized was not entirely different from encouraging a person not hypnotized to carry out a desired action, in that the circumstances had to be framed in manners of which the subject would approve and agree. For instance, whether killing a person is atrocious or heroic is a matter of context, and possibly as understood by Anderson Gray in 1890's Kansas.
Edward F. Deshere, in his now declassified CIA report, "Hypnosis in Interrogation", referenced the work of Orne several times. Deshere wrote:
Orne has shown that the demand characteristics of an experimental situation may greatly influence a subject's hypnotic behavior. It is clear that at some level any cooperative subject wishes an experiment to "work out," wishes to help fulfill the experimenter's expectations. If he grasps the purpose of the experiment or the bias of the experimenter, he is disposed toward producing behavior which will confirm the experimenter's hypothesis. This is particularly true in a hypnotic relationship.
Orne was featured in an article written by Dr. Patricia Greenfield, the sister of John Marks, published in the December 1977 edition of the American Psychological Association Monitor. Commenting on medical professionals acting as MKUltra consultants and the liabilities inherent to conducting such research, Orne told Greenfield, "We are sufficiently ineffective so that our findings can be published."
(This article originally appeared on The UFO Trail, and is reproduced with permission)
“You are being watched... The government has a secret system, which spies on you every hour of every day.”
-Opening credits, Person Of Interest
Yesterday marked the end of the first year of the Edward Snowden revelations about the horrifying, beyond-the-ravings-of-the-worst-tin-hat-wearing-paranoid extent of American high-tech surveillance, particularly by the National Security Agency. The latest release tells of the extent to which the NSA is researching facial recognition - specifically, the Identity Intelligence project, which harvests millions of pictures of faces online in order to provide data to train their facial recognition algorithms.
In one of the more striking cases of fact and fiction intertwining, this scenario could have been taken wholesale from the CBS TV show, Person Of Interest. Created by Jonathan Nolan a couple of years before the Snowden revelations, the show initially tells of the efforts of the reclusive designer of The Machine (an artificial intelligence computer bought by the government for post-9/11 surveillance, deliberately restricted by its creator to only provide the social security numbers of those about to be involved in violent crime) to aid those who are deemed by The Machine ‘irrelevant’ to national security but still endangered.
Effectively splitting the concept of Batman between two people (the Inventor/Billionaire, portrayed by Lost’s Michael Emerson and The Warrior, in this case an ex-CIA wetworks specialist needing a new, less bloody purpose, played by Jim Caviezel), it brought a clever very-near-future science fictional edge to the idea of the vigilante hero. The show rapidly evolved - not unlike The Machine itself - from an entertaining weekly action/procedural show to one of the best examinations of the effect AI may have on humanity ever shown and a sly commentary on the modern surveillance state.
The Snowden revelations broke during the writing of the second season of the show, and influenced the series considerably. For their Season 3 Comic-Con presentation last year, the show gave away key fobs with the image pictured at right on them.
Nolan and fellow showrunner Greg Plageman have often spoken in interviews about how little fiction their technology actually has - Nolan in particular has often talked about how Google and other firms have spent billions on researching Artificial General Intelligence, whose algorithms can be put to many uses, both fair and foul. (One such interview is here - NB some spoilers for the series.)
Season 3 ended last month with a deepening of the government’s use of AI to detect possible terrorists, plunging headlong into a dystopian world where police and the military locate, detain and even kill those whose metadata is deemed Relevant by an unseen computer algorithm. And frankly, the show looks less and less like science fiction as it goes on.
In commemoration of the Snowden anniversary, a world-wide group of activists established the Reset The Net initiative, offering people free and open-source tools to better protect their identity. I use these tools - so should you.
And, as for facial recognition? Here the options are more limited - especially in the wake of anti-mask legislation which has appeared in several countries (restricting the rights of everyone from devout Muslim women to V-For-Vendetta-mask wearing Anonymous protesters). Possibilities include the CV Dazzle technique of using a combination of asymmetrical make-up and hairstyles to confuse the algorithms that detect faces, and these nifty Infrared LED caps which blind CCTV cameras. And, of course, the awareness that we are watched... the modern pantechnicon surrounds us, and it matters that we remember to look back. Though always, to remember the risks.
Person of Interest returns to TV in September. I cannot recommend it highly enough.