I'm starting to become genuinely concerned about the time I'm letting slip by at the moment. I only really work weekends currently, aside from the occasional extra cover work which comes my way here and there. Initially I got stuck into writing a book but gradually this has gone by the wayside.
The book is about UFOs, conspiracy theory and the occult. It starts with a pretty well written chapter detailing the Edgar Mitchell incident. However, after that point it's a bit difficult to gather my thoughts on matters such as David Icke, occultism and other related topics. I've still not really worked out what to make of my David Icke period. He's an interesting guy but I never wholly bought into what he was saying. This is hard to explain to people without either seeming like you're knocking an easy target, a bloke who thinks shape shifting lizards control the world, or appearing as if you agree with him.
Furthermore I do not think looking into what he's got to say is an entirely fruitless escapade. I found it really beneficial to put on the paranoid conspiracy theory glasses for a bit. It's worth testing your beliefs like that.
That said, while I was wearing those spectacles I noticed people around me who were allowing that world view to damage them. It's a dangerous brew and intoxicated conspiracists still email me to this day with their unproven theories about weather control devices and Illuminati plots to destroy them via the local council.
As an example, the recent BP oil spill is, according to some people who sent me a barrage of emails last week, a big hoax designed to bring about World War 3. Surely logical thinking needs to come in somewhere?
The roots of conspiracy theory are deeply embedded in religious thinking. The oldest conspiracy of them all was that The Devil had the King's ear and he was pushing him to do evil. This figure of The Devil is then, over the years, replaced by Jews, communists, Catholics, Freemasons, the list stretches on to include extra terrestrials and ultimately Icke's shapeshifters.
This debt to religion is important because it accounts for the faith people tap into when confronting the lack of evidence for their particular conspiracy narrative. Without faith you can't really get behind Icke's lizards or indeed any of the other suggested conspirators.
With faith you rarely ask the question: what would prove this to be wrong? For example, even a full autopsy on The Queen (one of Icke's alleged Lizards) which revealed that she is in fact an old lady of human ancestry would not disprove claims to the contrary, in the mind of a true believer. The autopsy would be suspect, it's a trick, shapeshifting lizards don't work like that, it wasn't actually her body, etc, etc, etc. This lack of any potentially falsifying evidence is meat and bread to a religious mindset. You can only prove there is not a God to someone who lacks faith.
Also, thanks to religious thinking, the conspiracy theory mindset is able to condemn whole groups of people by association. This is common to someone who follows one of the Abrahamic religions (Christian/Jewish/Muslim) and so sees everyone who is not one of their number as being automatically condemned by God, regardless of their worth as a human being. You're in the wrong club, you fail!
How this works in conspiracy theory is as follows: all Freemasons/Jews/Catholics/Jesuits/whatever are guilty by association. If you discover, for example, that I'm a Freemason (which I'm not), or Jewish (which again, I'm not), everything I say is suspect because I might be in on it. You only need a little poison in the cup and the whole drink is a deadly toxin. People who do not have religious faith find it harder to think in this way than those who do. However, if you're deep down the conspiracy theory reality tunnel it might help you to notice how easily you are suspicious of someone simply because they're pictured with an occult symbol on their T-shirt.
Despite vacating the building (and a radio show which gave air time to some of these very far out ideas) it's impossible not to notice that belief in conspiracy theory is on the rise. Only recently I saw a privately produced newspaper left in a pub which claimed to expose 'the truth of 7/7' and the various nefarious plots which are allegedly playing out around the world. Recent stories about Muslims being upset by security cameras planted in Birmingham are fuelled, in part, by inflammatory leaflets which owe a debt to conspiracy theory rhetoric*. I also believe the recent rise in antisemitism we've seen is a further unpleasant symptom.
This brings me to my main concern, although I still believe that it's a good idea to question the people who are in power and those behind them who pull the strings I'm not sure it's a positive path for most people. For example, it's worthwhile to ask questions about 9/11 and conclude that it is not quite as it was reported. However, to go on to make the claim that this proves a secret cabal within the American Government organised it as a self inflicted wound to fuel a crazy agenda is beyond me and, more importantly, the available evidence. Furthermore, what do you do about it if that is your conclusion? How do you turn that into something positive?
In short: it's good not to trust people in power but it's damaging not to trust anyone.
Trying to get all this down into a cohesive but interesting book is proving a bit tricky. The above is, I guess, part of that process. I hope you enjoyed reading it**.
*I saw one of these leaflets before the news story broke, it asked how long until people in Birmingham would be asked to tolerate gun towers? Again, where are we headed if that's the path we choose to walk? The UK is many things but the Third Reich it ain't.
**I imagine there will be some people who will see this as further evidence that I have in some way sold out. Wish that were true. Maybe I'd have more money.