I want to say this first – I have a huge experience in researching conspiracy theories. Having seen enough of it, I recognized especially one curious pattern – the influence of religious framework on apparently almost all of them. The far-right is one place which fuels it, deeply subjectively concerned religious people is another source, then there are those who do not want to affiliate with any religion, yet they are using its doctrines and symbolism anyway, althought in a more imaginative and subtle way. Let’s also do not forget how eager many of these theorists were to incorporate theme of 2012 predictions to somehow fit it in their work. One thing that stands out for me is the interpretation of political history in most of these theories. They tend to treat political history as a gradually directed process of preparing world for a planned ending. This ending is the absolute state that cannot be rendered obsolete, there is no coming back from it, it is a complete closed system, a great epilogue. The French Revolution, for instance, is seen as one of the milestones that helped to steer the world in the desired direction, while collapse of WTC is seen as yet another powerful move in the game. The rulers of the world are often depicted as satanists, or are directed by evil otherworldly beings or are immersed in dark occult ritualism or are Jewish or are greedy bankers. There is a tradition to portray Jews as servants of the devil and the freemasonry as the antithesis of the Christianity ( no wonder also that they are sometimes combined together as Judeo-Masonry ). Astrology is also condemned as is Tarot, spiritism or Kabbalah. The point is: so many of these ideas are rooted in religious framework. Why do the rulers of the world have to be satanic? Why do they have to be engaged in dark rituals? Why and how are these rituals so powerful? Why is this secret knowledge so enigmatic rather than empowering with clarity and usefulness? Why are beings from outer world included in this? Why do the Jews usually have to play a vital role in it? Why is this elite deep into astrology and magic? Beyond that, is there any comprehensive conspiracy theory that is not at all based on religious framework but built around non-religious metanarrative? Cannot a conspiracy be constructed from an agnostic perspective? Can anyone show a conspiracy theorist who does neither positively nor negatively reference and bring in any religion and doesn’t allow it to influence his work? Can anyone show a conspiracy theorist that has reached his knowledge and conclusions without joining the bandwagon, independently of the influence of religion, New Age and esotericism and prior to familiarizing himself with the sources that propagate conspiracy theories? And can anyone show a conspiracy theorist who is in big disagreement with the other researchers in his field and rejects at least 3/4 of what they claim because he has on his own come to very different conclusions? Is it not suspicious to you, how they are all accusing each other as being agents, liars or attention-seekers?
Case no. 1: Alex Jones
Alex Jones is a very good ( and famous ) example. I think he can be rightly associated with right-wing. He uses term ”social darwinism”, which is quite telling. It is also worth to note his attitude towards communism and a movie ”Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement” is a great embodiment of millenialism. There is this scenario in which there are ”good us” and ”evil them”, and the ”endgame” has a noticable resemblance to the timeless story of good versus evil and to the religious idea of Final Judgement or Apocalypse. However, what if the game has no end and no one is truly good or evil? Alex Jones is known for publishing a video of the ritual taking place in Bohemian Grove in California. The question is: does this ritual have to be viewed as something really wicked or is it really symbolic and ”no big deal” in accord with the formula ”weaving spiders come not here”?
Case no. 2: David Icke
David Icke distances himself from organized religion and claims that there will be no religion in the near future. Yet, his work obviously displays the theme of millenialism, he propagates the idea of dark rituals involving shapeshifting, child sacrifice, pedophilia and contact with interdimensional beings, his work is rich in New Age but also gnostic terms, he acknowledges Godhead, people used as a vehicles by evil spirits, astral plane etc. He also integrated the 2012 predictions into his work, like so many other conspiracy theorists. Why? Maybe because they all believe in an actual Final Judgement in global politics, that a day is coming near when everything in this world will be resolved and become crystal clear and perfectly judged. We tend to feel that our civilization is an unfinished project that can be steered in one or another direction, but authors like David Icke, think that there is either global enslavement or the triumph of an awakened race and no other option. David Icke created the whole metaphysical scheme in which he places the global conspiracy. This metaphysical scheme, it seems to me, is far from being not submissive to religious doctrine and symbolism.
Case no. 3: The Arrivals
This Youtube documentary series is made from islamic point of view, its creators were quite open-minded, but it is by no means free from religious narratives. Theory of evolution is mocked. The antichirist is expected to come, meaning there is a strong religious background to the theory presented in this series. Koran is held to be authoritative and there is a strong message of warning agaist occult practices that are used basically everywhere today. Pop culture is called satanic. One of the episodes’ name, ”Why Satanism Is Practised By Our Leaders”, sums up the prevailing narrative in this series. It’s a pity that its creators couldn’t go beyond it, while having so much passion.
Case no. 4: Rick Clay
This was quite mysterious man who suddenly emerged from the underground, only to be soon found dead. His theories concerned the 2012 Olympics in London. He predicted that this event would lead to the establishment of Zion ( or New Jerusalem ) in Britain and the coronation of the Antichrist as a world leader. The street plan of the place in which the sport event was set up was interpreted to purposefully reflect biblical names ( see the image on top of the post ). The design of the stadium was said to contain esoteric symbolism, such as the Eye of Providence.
Case no. 5: Satanic panic of the 60’s
This one is very meaningful as it could be one of the roots of religious influence on most of the succeeding conspiractional views. This gives an interesting glimpse into the fears that people had in that time, fears about disrupting traditional values and introducing new lifestyles and dimensions to social order. John Todd represents it best. He claimed to be a high-rank witchcraft priest and attributed to Illuminati quite a lot of credits that are given to them. It is from him that the idea of Ayn Rand’s ”Atlas Shrugged” being an Illuminati’s manual for world takeover and the idea of ”Necronomicon” as an original occult Bible, has originated. According to him, Illuminati was all about effective witchcraft.
Case no. 6: William Guy Carr
This particular person is of immense importance in regards to the development of contemporary conspiracy theories and should be spoke about more often. Bill Ellis called him ”the most influential source in creating the American Illuminati demonology”. He was anti-communist and ”promoted the anti-Semitic variant on conspiracism with books such as ”Pawns in the Game” and ”Red Fog over America”. Carr believes than an age-old Jewish Illuminati banking conspiracy used radio-transmitted mind control on behalf of Lucifer to construct a one world government”. Early works of 20th century conspiracy literature were often highly religious in spirit and content.
Now, after presenting these cases, do I have to even mention the infamous ”Protocols of the Elders of Zion”? Or Ezra Pound? Or Eustace Mullins? Or Henry Makow? Or is the influence of religious framework blatantly evident here?
Take a look at how frequently these words appear in conspiracy literature: ‘satanic’, ‘demonic’, ‘occult’, ‘antichrist’, ‘zion’, ‘cult’, ‘witchcraft’, ‘luciferian’, ‘final’ etc. The religious influence is all around there!
I think you can now see that the way communism, freemasonry, Jews and Judaism, occultism, materialism, pop culture, astrology, child abuse or historical political process is usually perceived in the body of conspiracy theories is powerfully influenced by religious doctrines, symbols and narratives. I have deemed it one of the biggest weak points of these theories, that they are deeply rooted in naively polarizing and absolutizing perspectives, blocking more ambitious, constructive and innovative approaches from fluorishing. However, I wish to make it clear that with this post I didn’t want to disprove any single conspiracy theory, instead I only wanted to highlight how submissive they are to the influence of religious culture ( and I don’t think it is a good thing ). I bet: the truth is subtler than all what has been told so far.