This week we take a break from
the serialization of Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of
Transition to present an article inspired by the recent anniversary of 9/11. We will
resume with Chapter 11 of Sacred Economics next Thursday.
Looking out upon the horrid
ruin we seem to have made of the planet, in spite of the kind hearts and good
intentions of the vast majority of human beings, it is hard to avoid the
conclusion that some nefarious force has hijacked civilization, driving it
towards ends that serve almost no one.
If we are headed for a future
that no one would consciously choose, it stands to reason, some say, that we
are not choosing; that something else, unfriendly to human welfare, is
choosing for us.
Deeper study of certain pivotal
events in history strengthens this conclusion. The official explanations of the
Kennedy assassination or 9/11 are riddled with contradictions that are
difficult to explain. Ominous coincidences pile up and make patterns, pointing
toward a conscious agency orchestrating these events toward sinister goals.
Diving deeper, one discovers patterns of patterns that ultimately coalesce into
an alternate history of the world.
The alternate history explains
world events as resulting from the machinations of a powerful, dark cabal of
secret organizations comprising the global elite: the banks, wealthy families
like the Rockefellers and Rothschilds, non-official organizations like the
Bilderburg Council, organized crime, shadowy agencies within the government,
secret societies like Skull and Bones and the Freemasons, and so on. Behind
them all is a group even more secret, comprising the true rulers of earth, who
count even prime ministers and presidents among their puppets. Some theorist
say that these Illuminati who hold the reins of power are human beings; others
say that they have extraterrestrial allies, or that this group is controlled
by, or consists of, ETs. Their goal, it is said, is to impose a New World Order
(NWO) in which their dominion is complete.
In addition, the dark cabal
that rules the earth is purported to have powerful secret technologies at its
disposal. Weather control, mind control, energy weapons, artificially created
diseases like Lyme and Swine Flu, and other near-magical technologies enable
them to destroy any opposition and control us in ways we barely suspect. Always
they are seeking to impose new forms of tyranny, to extend their dominion over
mind and matter.
The purpose of this essay is not
to debunk conspiracy theories or uphold the dominant historical narrative.
Rather, I will advance a third explanation that respects and transcends both.
Most critiques of conspiracy theories dispute the author's evidence, logic, and
sources, and impugn his sanity, intelligence, or integrity. I will not do that.
While such critiques often have merit, they tend to go after the low-hanging
fruit: the sloppiest authors, the weakest points of their theses, the most
easily explained of their evidence. Giving the best of the genre a fair
reading, however, the impartial reader realizes that something strange is going
Moreover, the NWO conspiracy
theory, whatever its flaws, bears some important truths. For one thing, it
speaks to our sense that there is something deeply wrong in the world,
something that is right in front of our faces yet that we are too blind to see.
The NWO hypothesis feels validating and liberating. In the end, though, many
people find it to be disempowering; as I shall describe, it subtly feeds into
the mentality behind the very same conditions that it aspires to change. It
robs us of our power and helps maintain the status quo. How does this happen,
and how can its liberating potential be realized? To answer this question, let
us begin with a meta-level critique of the NWO thesis, and conspiracism in
general, a critique that opens the door toward integrating both the NWO and the
dominant narrative into a larger framework.
The Futility of Control
Are there really
ultra-intelligent, ultra-competent people on top whose plans actually work and
whose technologies actually succeed in molding the world to their plans? Or are
the elites of our civilization as confused and scared as the rest of us,
responding to events that, at every turn, take on a life of their own? The
futility of control is written into the fabric of reality. Complex non-linear
systems such as a body or a society are inherently unpredictable. Of course,
those in power try to maintain control and often wreak awful damage in so doing,
but generally speaking it is events that control them, and not the other way
Conspiracy theories ascribe a
degree of competence, foresight, and efficiency to the controlling
organizations that is generally foreign to human institutions. We live in a civilization built on
control, on the idea that we can order the world through material and social
technology and, once we perfect those technologies, win the war against nature,
against disorder, against uncertainty. But in fact, the world is messy,
chaotic, and unpredictable, and no matter how tightly we attempt to orchestrate
events, control slips through our grasp like mud through a clenched fist. We
are immersed in an ideology that says that with the next technological
revolution, with next medical innovation, or the next set of comprehensive
regulations, finally we will get all the messy variables under control and live
in an orderly, secure world.
The conspiracists agree with a
defining precept of our civilization: that the world is fundamentally amenable
to control. They think that this power to control has been turned toward evil,
but do not dispute the technocratic doctrine that society and the material
world can be endlessly improved through the methods of science: gathering
information, making plans, eliminating variables, applying force, and so on. To
believe that the NWO conspiracy is even possible is to conform to one of the
primary motivating and justifying beliefs underlying totalitarianism. The NWO
believers are not as radical as they think.
We have been betrayed. After
centuries of sacrifice on the altar of technological development, we harbor a
deep disappointment and anger. We export that anger onto the Illuminati, or
whoever it is that has robbed us of The Future. Surely this technological
utopia exists – it has only been withheld from us, and the technologies of
paradise turned toward nefarious ends. But the real problem is deeper than
that. It is the paradigm of control itself that causes us to sacrifice
everything in pursuit of a mirage.
The Dynamics of Command
A staple of conspiracy theories
is the idea that "President Obama is a puppet" or that, "Even
David Rockefeller is taking orders from higher up." So let us look into
the social dynamics of hierarchies. For someone to obey orders, either the
command-giver must have direct physical power over the subordinate (for
example, a literal gun to the head), or both commander and commandee must be
embedded in a social institution that legitimizes and enforces the command. An
obvious example of the latter is the army. When a colonel gives an order to a
major, the latter obeys not because he is afraid the colonel will beat him up
if he refuses, but because both are part of a web of (mostly implicit)
agreements. Ultimately, if he doesn't comply with the order, someone
(say military police) might beat him up or imprison him, but that happens as
well because the web of agreements includes consequences for violating them. We
could say that colonel, major, military police, and the rest all share a common
"story of the army".
What about the global
conspiracy? What social institution exists that would legitimize orders issued
to David Rockefeller or Barack Obama? The story of the army is embedded in
larger legitimizing stories that ultimately encompass the legitimacy of the
government, the value of money, an interpretation of history, a system a values
and morals, and more. What infrastructure exists that would allow direct
hierarchical control over Obama or Rockefeller? Hierarchies cannot exist in a
social vacuum. They require a system of indoctrination and acculturation along
with numerous supporting institutions.
Consider, for example, the idea
that the World Trade Center towers fell due to demolition charges placed inside
the buildings by government operatives. For them to be willing to do this, they
would have to exist nearly in a separate social universe, inculcated with
values very different from those of the rest of society. Contrary to the
impression given by Hollywood movies, people don't commit acts like this out of
pure unreasoning evil. They do so in conformity to a culturally-embedded
world-view. I could see how Islamic Jihadists, inflamed by radical imams and
outraged by the devastation that American imperialism has wreaked on their society,
could hatch a plot to strike a blow at the "Great Satan". But what
would it take for American demolitions experts to commit mass murder against
their own compatriots? What would it take for you, dear reader, to do
it? What kind of alternate education, acculturation, indoctrination would you
have to go through to commit and then keep secret such an act? Who would administer this education?
How would the operation, and the whole educational and support infrastructure
around it, be kept secret from the rest of society? Are the low-paid works in
building security, or the majority of decent folks at the CIA or NSA in on it
too? Basically, for a conspiracy of this scale to exist, there would have to be
an entire parallel society hidden within our own, complete with a full set of
parallel institutions to create people with a very different culture among us.
Reread that last sentence
through a metaphoric lens for a hint of where this essay is headed.
I have noticed that conspiracy
theories have a very strong emotional appeal — at least to some people.
Believers like to think that they are impartially choosing their belief because
they are more rational, more intelligent, or more open-minded than all those
benighted, deluded "sheeple" out there. Two people look at the same
set of facts and draw different conclusions. Is that choice a function of
intelligence and reason? Or could it be that we choose interpretations to meet
psychological and emotional needs?
One indication of the emotional
appeal of conspiracy theories is their addictive nature. When I visited the
conspiracy state of being some time ago, I found myself constantly checking
certain websites, and feeling a kind of gratification at each discovery of some
new outrage. Other than that, it
was a very dark and heavy state of being that I visited, full of gloomy
cynicism and a superficial feeling of superiority that didn't even fool myself.
I've heard from people for whom this became a full-fledged addiction. They
spend hours every day reading about the machinations of the New World Order,
and go through intense withdrawal whenever they miss their
Believers spend lots of time
getting "informed", but do they really act upon that information?
Some do, I suppose: they move to an armed compound in Idaho or hide gold coins
in their basement. But most go on with life as usual. How are they any
different from their neighbors? Their eyeballs linger over Alex Jones' website
rather than NPR's, but to what end? They may believe themselves to be among the
canny, righteous few, fighting against evil on behalf of the ignorant masses,
but mostly they do nothing. Like any addiction, addiction to conspiracy
websites or the closely related end-of-the-world websites disempowers people,
and actually helps maintain the status quo.
Belief in conspiracy theories
is not one of several emotionally coequal world-view alternatives. It is part
and parcel of an emotional, psychological, and spiritual state of being. That
state of being is a victim state. The belief that events are controlled by
malevolent people far more powerful than ourselves, that any attempt at change
is futile in the face of the tremendous powers arrayed against us, leaves no
alternative but to carve out a small, safe realm of rebellion-in-private. If
there were indeed a global conspiracy, it would be quite happy with this
result. Paradoxically, then, we might say that the idea that there is a global
conspiracy is itself a lie propagated by the global conspiracy.
One of the most common
criticisms of conspiracy theories is that they are non-falsifiable, since any
contradictory evidence can be written off as a fabrication, a false trail, or
so forth. A conspiracy, moreover,
must be well-hidden — lack of evidence is itself evidence! What is less
frequently acknowledged is that the alternatives to conspiracy theories are
very nearly non-falsifiable as well. Anyone who comes forth to expose a
conspiracy can be labeled a fraud or a madman, and nearly anything can be written
off as coincidence. We are faced, as we are so often in life, with two
narratives that can, with perhaps a bit of stretching, account for all of the
facts. How then to choose?
Much as we would like to think
otherwise, evidence and logic cannot bring certainty. Nor, as numerous social
psychology experiments demonstrate, are they the primary determinants of our
judgments and choices. Despite the epithets hurled back and forth, neither side
of, say, the 9/11 conspiracy issue is stupid. Critics of conspiracy theories
paint their proponents as naïve, unsophisticated, and guilty of obvious
selection biases and a host of elementary errors in research and logic. I have
found such critiques unsatisfactory. They certainly apply to the worst of the
genre, but not always to the best.
Reasonable people can,
depending on their vantage point and life situation, look at the same set of
events and form different beliefs about them. These beliefs then become a
filter that determines what they see and, indeed, what they look for. It is as
if they enter separate but parallel realities. As we shall see, there is more
to this appearance than meets the eye.
The War against Evil
psychological payoffs that it provides someone to blame, to hate, and perhaps
to fight in a world of otherwise incomprehensible injustice and horror.
Paradoxically, even though it casts us as victims of super-powerful
conspirators, it also provides a kind of control. After all, if the source of
evil in the world today is the conspirators, then the solution is quite clear:
expose and remove them. If there
is no conspiracy — if, for instance, evil is endemic to the world or an
emergent property of organizations — then we are even more helpless. Even if as
a practical matter we cannot hope to defeat the conspiracy, at least we understand
why things are the way they are. We know a solution, even if it be out of
That solution, to put it
succinctly, is to conquer evil. Conspiracism offers an external evil and
thereby exculpates us from our own complicity in the awful things happening on
earth today. We can think, "If only I were in charge, I would run things
very differently than the New World Order Illuminati, because I am a decent
person, not evil like they are."
The paradigm that sees human
affairs — and even cosmic processes — as a war between good and evil has deep
roots, originating with the first agricultural civilizations. It was then that
the concept of evil arose, mirroring the growing oppositional relationship to
nature implicit in the taming of the wild. Rather than being seen as integral
parts of the whole, such things as weeds, wolves, and locusts became threats to
human well-being and the object of extermination campaigns – campaigns that are
still with us today. The chaotic forces of nature were identified with evil,
while good was associated with the bringing of order to nature and to human
affairs. If only, someday, our control over nature and society could be
complete, the thinking goes, then good will reign on earth and suffering be
minimized or even, with nanotechnology and neuro-engineering, eliminated. Evil
will have been conquered.
When new political movements
come to power, they often bring with them the idea of eliminating evil. Whether
it is the Nazi Holocaust or the Stalinist purges, the result is usually bloody,
regardless of how evil is identified. In other words, the idea of evil begets
evil. We may add, then, a second paradox to the one above. In the war between
good and evil, a great weapon of the forces of evil is the notion that there is
a war between good and evil.
Conspiracism gives new guise to
a very old thoughtform (that the horror of our world is caused by forces of
evil) that is becoming obsolete. We can see its obsolescence both in our
changing attitudes toward nature, which no longer hold it as an object of
conquest and exploitation, and in newly ascendant spiritual beliefs that
emphasize the integration and transcendence of dualities. In social psychology
as well, a new movement called situationism contends that the totality of our
external and internalized circumstances, rather than some disposition toward
good or evil, determines our choices.
In fields as disparate as
physics, psychology, ecology, and spirituality, people are understanding that
what happens "out there" is intimately connected to what happens
"in here"; that self and world are interdependent and mutually
co-constructed. A dark conspiracy controlling world events mirrors the same
inside ourselves. When I say "ourselves" I don't mean some people and
not others and certainly not us good guys. I mean you, me, and everyone.
Herein may lie an important
truth encoded in conspiracy theories: not a factual truth, but a mythological
truth. There does seem to be a conspiracy running inside my psyche that
keeps me enslaved to fear and greed; that indeed possesses technologies of mind
control; that presents the whole world through a filter of lies; that is
associated somehow with the reptilian part of my brain; that manipulates me to
serve an agenda inimical to my authentic happiness. Everything that the
Illuminati are purported to do to the world, we do to ourselves. Could it be
that when we see an evil cabal controlling the world, we are actually seeing
the projection of our own egos?
And, because our collective
institutions mirror the prevailing psychodynamics of our time, could it be that
story of the New World Order conspiracy, despite its flaws, gives us a window
onto some important truths about our society?
The Matrix of Synchronicity
The aforementioned shortcomings
in the New World Order (NWO) hypothesis are not cause to dismiss it entirely,
for the nature of the flaws points to some deep truths. The conspiracists are
onto something, something that is actually even more radical — and far more
hopeful — than they imagine. So let us consider a riddle: If there is no
conspiracy in the normal sense, then how to explain the evidence pointing to
one? Let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. When you look into the
Kennedy assassination, or the history of suppression of unconventional energy
technologies, or the cancer industry and the criminalization of alternative
therapies, or any number of other issues, it sure can look like a conspiracy.
If there isn't one, then we must discover some third explanation that doesn't
turn a blind eye to some very incongruous events.
You may not think there is any
such evidence. You may think that the well-documented human capacity to make
meaning and perceive patterns where none exist is sufficient to explain the
conspiracists' conclusions. After having read a fair amount of the literature
with an open mind, I find that explanation too quickly dismissive. Even
discounting the considerable selection bias that filters the evidence presented
in conspiracy books, many of the coincidences remain striking. Moreover, there
is something uncanny about the facility with which certain events lend
themselves to conspiracy hypotheses. It is as if they are begging for it; for
example, Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald before he could talk in court
about his motive for assassinating President Kennedy. It looks like a
conspiracy. It smells like a conspiracy. But is it a conspiracy?
In the last section I suggested
that perhaps when we see conspiracies, we are seeing a reflection of something
inside ourselves, building stories and imposing patterns onto reality. But
perhaps there is more to the story: What if, in addition to predisposing us to
see patterns that aren't there, our emotions and beliefs actually attract
experiential data that fits them? What if, for example, the psychic energy
beneath conspiracism organizes events to fit into a conspiracy pattern, so that
it looks like a conspiracy even if there are no actual conspirators?
Consider some of the events
surrounding 9/11: numerous military exercises that very day that tied up and
confused a military response; blatant contradictions in official accounts in
the near aftermath of the attack; suppression of the air traffic control logs
for the flights; suppression of contradictory news broadcasts and their removal
from news site archives; the miraculously quick identification of the hijackers
despite the fact (at least according to some websites) that their names never
appeared on the passenger manifests; the subsequent anthrax attack using
anthrax from a government bioweapons lab; the 9/12 "Bin Laden
Airlift" that evacuated members of the family from the United States, and
so on. Each of these, on their own, admits to an innocent explanation. But to
say that their confluence is mere coincidence strains credibility. One is
tempted to conclude that these events must have been orchestrated somehow.
But what if they are
coincidence — but coincidence isn't what we think it is: Perhaps
coincidence is not random, but orchestrated (not by a conscious human agency)
into patterns that conform to certain belief systems and meet certain
psychological needs. As illustrated earlier, people with certain emotional or
psychological needs are attracted to conspiracy theories. Well, the reverse
might also be true: patterns of events that look like conspiracies are
attracted to needs that exist in human society. Together these form what we
might call a "matrix of synchronicity" that is grist to the
This possibility opens up even
deeper problems, however. For one thing, it inverts traditional scientific
notions of causality, resting wholly in the realm of the Aristotelian
"final cause," the teleological explanation of, "It happened in
order that…" That a constellation of events could just happen,
without design, yet accomplish something seemingly purposive, is profoundly
disturbing to the reductionism-steeped mind. For there to be design, we think,
there must be a designer. From this perspective, conspiracism is actually not
very radical at all. While appearing to occupy opposing poles of opinion,
conspiracy believers actually agree with their conventional counterparts on a
deeper issue: that overwhelming evidence of a conspiracy means there is
probably a conspiracy. They merely disagree whether such evidence exists. My
disagreement with conspiracism is of a different sort. I accept (at least more
than the skeptics do) much of their evidence, and I accept that it looks like
events have been orchestrated by a conspiracy. But for the reasons given, I
find the New World Order myth just as unsatisfying as the conventional point of
view it merely draws specious signals from random noise.
I want to emphasize just how
radically mind-twisting the matrix-of-synchronicity explanation really is. I am
saying: "These patterns of events are drawn to history because we need
them to flesh out conspiracy theories and give expression to the psychological
energies driving those theories." It is as if events organize themselves
around some kind of field that makes them appear to have a causal linkage even
when they do not.
A second and related problem
that the matrix of synchronicity opens up is, if anything, even more deeply
challenging to our way of thinking. For here is another thing on which skeptic
and conspiracist secretly agree: that there is an objective fact-of-the-matter
as to whether a conspiracy exists. One side thinks it does and the other thinks
it doesn't, but both agree that either it does or it doesn't. Both, in other words,
agree on the doctrine of objectivity: that there is a reality out there, a set
of events that actually happened, and that while our knowledge of them may be
incomplete, the events themselves happened or did not happen independent of our
knowledge of them. It is only a matter, then, of finding out the truth, the
That both skeptic and believer
share this doctrine is unsurprising, for it lies at the very foundation of the
scientific method. We try to find out the way things really are, what really
happened. Such locutions reveal the unquestioned assumption of objectivity. But
what if this assumption is false? What if there is no independently existing
reality "out there"; what if reality is a dialogic construct between
self and other? I will not go to
deeply into the philosophic history of this idea, except to say that I am not
propounding solipsism and am well familiar with the classic refutations of it.
For the present purpose, suffice it to say that perhaps conspiracies occupy an
intermediate ontologic state, what one might call a shadow reality. They exist
in a realm less real than, say, the U.S. Congress, but more real than Batman or
The realm in which the New
World Order (NWO) conspiracies exist has its own history, its own logic, its
own emotional complexes, its own experiences. The more one enters that belief
system, the more experience confirms it. These confirmations can be very
tangible: illness from chemtrails, sightings of black unmarked helicopters,
discoveries of unidentifiable implants, anonymous death threats, and so
I once had a conversation with
a leader in the 9-11 Truth movement, a very credible, emotionally stable,
down-to-earth woman, generous, broad-minded, intelligent, and full of good
humor. She related quite a few strange experiences that happened at the peak of
her activism. Once, she was pulled over on the highway by a squad of seven
police cars, taken into custody, and then released hours later with no charges,
no explanation, and subsequently no admission that it ever happened. She also
received a strange package in the mail filled with Russian documents. We would
like to think, either, that these events were orchestrated by some New World
Order operative as a warning, or, that she is confabulating or consciously
lying. What I'm saying here, however, is that perhaps these events were
attracted to her because she had entered quite deeply the reality in which such
Let's take it further: What of
the secret operative? Does he
exist or doesn't he? Well, perhaps he too has a shadow existence: he exists in
the shadow reality of the NWO, but not in the broadest consensus reality. What
if the operative is, say, an insurance agent, who sometimes blacks out or is
taken over by an alternate personality and does inexplicable things like take
his grandfather's Russian papers from his attic and mails them to a random
address that just so happens to be my friend's? A leading conspiracy writer,
David Icke, comes close to saying this when he states, "…often the most
significant operatives in the Illuminati hide behind apparently 'ordinary'
lives while dictating the agenda and attending human sacrifice rituals."
Could it be that these operatives are hidden, by their ordinary lives, even
What if you went to ask the
police officers who pulled her over, and they claimed with all apparent
sincerity to have no memory of it. But suppose one says, "That's funny,
something you said sounds familiar – I think I had a dream about this." Then,
under hypnotic regression, he recalls just the incident the woman describes. Is
this a "real" memory? You inquire further and find that several of
the officers had a "missing time" episode that day. It seems like
they pulled the woman over and then forgot about it. Was there some conscious
agency that compelled them to do so? Or was it just a piece of the
aforementioned matrix of synchronicity?
Following such questions, we
eventually might develop doubts about what it means to say that my friend
"really" was pulled over by seven police cars. We might look at the
police record — did such an incident happen? We find no record. Of course not –
it has been expunged. But maybe we do find a record, that disappears the next
time we check. Maybe we, as investigators, get sucked down the rabbit hole: the
more we investigate, the more evidence we find, but it is only ever enough to
confirm it to ourselves, not to others. When we try to convince others, the
documents we need are unavailable, key sources mysteriously disappear or change
their story… We begin to wonder about our own sanity. We seem to be living in
a world in which the conspiracy exists for us, but not for most other people.
Yet it is not all in our heads – real things are happening to us.
It is as if the events are
happening for you, but not for me; that in one universe, the police raid really
did happen, and in another universe it did not — and both these universes
coexist on earth. Steeped in the doctrine of objectivity, we would like to
think there is a "fact of the matter", an absolute reality in which
it either did or did not happen, independent of our knowledge. But perhaps
reality is not like that. Perhaps reality is relational, co-created, and never
just "out there."
The shadowy nature of these
down-the-rabbit-hole realities comes through in certain conspiracist writings
that refer to reptilian alien races, the true puppet masters, who control the
Illuminati from the fourth dimension. This reference to the "fourth
dimension" encodes an implicit acknowledgment that these beings don't
"exist" in the three-dimensional Cartesian matrix of our
objectivity-based worldview. They occupy an intermediate state, again,
somewhere between Michael Jordan and Santa Claus.
Another clue lies in the common
NWO belief that a gigantic network of tunnels, secret bases, and entire cities
lies beneath our own, a whole parallel world. Is their existence literally
subterranean, or is it, rather, subconscious? Or neither/both? When you go
looking for them, you find them; or perhaps they come looking for you if you
are in the right psychological state. You find mysterious maps, ominous
references, eerie stories from retired Department of Energy officials. But, if
you approach the matter from a different mindset and a different state of
being, you find nothing unexplainable. The maps have other interpretations, the
former officials seem not credible. For you, there is nothing to find.
You occupy a universe in which it doesn't exist. Paradoxically, the
conspiracists and the skeptics are both right.
In most organizations I have
encountered there is a conspiracy of silence that hides the organization's true
goals. This secret, shadow organization is nearly coextensive with its visible
constituency, meaning that we are each members of the conspiracy to enslave
humanity; we are victims and perpetrators both. At one time or another, all of
us have contributed to the "reptilian agenda" of maximizing power and
control over others. This agenda has a personal and a collective dimension.
Personally, it is the egoic, even psychpathic behavior projected onto the
secret rulers of the world. Collectively, it is the propensity of
organizations, even those founded with great and sincere idealism, to succumb
eventually to the service of their own survival interest. Their stated mission
becomes an afterthought, a justification for their secret purpose of
self-preservation. Certainly on a metaphorical level, the New World Order
hypothesis is true. Follow it down the rabbit hole and it becomes not only
true, but also real.
The divergence of reality and
truth is confusing to the objectivity-steeped mind. To further confuse matters,
shadow realities can have effects on each other. It is just like a quantum
experiment in which each possible state of a particle has an effect on
an observable system, even though when a measurement is taken, the particle is
found to occupy only one of those states. In other words, the mere possibility
of it occupying a certain state has physical effects.
In a similar way, perhaps our
world occupies a superposition of states, one of which is the NWO state, and we
can see the interference effects of that state even without its being
"real". Its reality, and that of the conventional explanation as
well, is indeterminate. It is only when we begin to investigate that we
collapse the wave function and enter into one or another shadow reality.
The Mythic Truth of the New
However rational and
evidence-based we like to imagine ourselves to be, ultimately our beliefs are
founded on faith. Few readers of David Icke actually do the footwork that would
be necessary to verify his sources, and his sources' sources, many of whom,
indeed, are already dead. If the NWO conspiracists are correct, then everything
we have been told is wrong. For some, this is profoundly liberating; for
others it is deeply disturbing. The former are predisposed to believe; the
latter to reject; this predisposition then clothes itself in facts and
evidence. Thus it is that facts and evidence rarely change anyone's mind – they
are symptoms and not causes of our beliefs. It is only when life-changing
events alter one's predisposition that room becomes available for new beliefs.
Our beliefs, and the states of
being underlying them, do evolve and sometimes shift dramatically. This happens
especially when for one reason or another, one's world falls apart. Because we
live in a time of mounting crisis, the world is falling apart for more and more
people, and the unraveling of the old certainties will only accelerate in coming
years. At such times, we occasionally face a moment of choice, in which we can
decide what to believe. But, recognizing that evidence alone is insufficient to
guide belief, how are we to choose?
I suggest that we choose a
belief, and the corresponding psychological state accompanying it, based on how
well it aligns with who we truly are and who we want to become. This doesn't
mean to ignore evidence, for quite often anomalous events can show us that our
personal mythology is cracking apart, and that we are ready to moult. It does
mean to consider how each belief-state feels, what it implies about the world,
about human beings, and about oneself. How does it affect the answer to the
question, "Who am I?" What needs does it meet? How does it hurt? What
emotions does it evoke? You can take a few moments to sit with an article from
a conspiracy website like Project Camelot or 9/11 Truth, and then with a
debunking article from CSICOP, and notice the ways in which each feels
gratifying, offensive, reassuring, or threatening. Then I invite you to do the
same with the third alternative that I offer in the essay.
This third alternative
preserves the mythic truths of the New World Order hypothesis, truths that lie
outside its interpretive framework. Here are two of them:
(1) A nefarious power, inimical
to human well-being, manipulates the course of human events from behind the
scenes, seeking the total control of every human being.
Rather than an evil Illuminati,
could that power be money? Some say that a global elite controls humanity via
the money system, but could it be that it is rather the money system that
controls the global elite? I'm sure many of you have known the feeling of being
enslaved to money. The wealthy are not exempt, and indeed, possessing more of
it, are even more deeply enslaved to its logic. It is truly an "invisible
hand," a force that "makes the world go 'round." Moreover, the
end toward which money compels us is one of misery and ugliness: the
destruction of nature and culture, community and health, and all that is
beautiful on earth.
Even those we might consider
most culpable for the injustices and despoliation of our world act with little
awareness of what they are creating. Whether they are hedge fund managers
seeking to maximize a number (profit), or political leaders seeking to further
"American interests," the reality behind these symbols is obscure to
them. They are victims of their own propaganda, doing harm while sincerely
believing to be doing good. It is easy to believe this of people in the middle
and bottom of the pyramid, the ignorant and the duped. It is harder to
understand how it could apply to people at the top, yet it is equally true – if
not more true – of them. They are among the most hopeless dupes of all.
Money is not the only candidate
for the nefarious controlling power. Various ideologies and their corresponding
being-states, in particular those I call Separation and Ascent, are
even more deeply responsible. They create a culture, and a self, that seeks to
maximize security, predictability, and control; to measure and quantify the
world; to eliminate risk and establish liability; to extend property rights and
legal codes into every corner of life, and to monitor everyone and keep track
of every thing. The destination of such a program is none other than what the
conspiracists fear: a totalitarian "one world government."
We might say, then, that it is
not those at the top of the pyramid that control the rest; it is the pyramid
itself that controls all. But this pyramid, this Tower, built of the defining
myths of our civilization, is evidently crumbling before our eyes.
I am not necessarily saying,
"It isn't the Draconian races, it is the money system (or the myth of
Separation)." Rather, these refer to one and the same thing, viewed
through a different lens. In one reality, it is money, in another it is the
(2)We are subject to
technologies of mind control that hold us in thrall.
New World Order conspiracists
posit the existence of futuristic mind control based on alien technologies,
beamed from the communication infrastructure, riding upon cell phone towers,
television transmissions, and so on, or transmitted via occult symbology.
subliminal messages, and neuro-linguistic programming techniques. There is
truth in this, but the truth is deeper than the conspiracists realize.
Television stupifies us not only through its content, but through the ability
of the medium itself to usurp the image-making capacity of the brain and create
intellectual dependency. Advertising and, more subtly, the narratives of the
mass media condition our thoughts and desires, so that we become afraid of
freedom and nearly incapable of rebelling. But these technologies are rather
clumsy and overt compared with the way that institutions of our culture, by
their very logic, limit the range and manner of our thinking. Education,
science, religion, medicine, parenting, and the legal system all condition us
to think in certain ways. But the most pervasive and powerful mind control
technology, so ubiquitous as to be unnoticable, is undoubtedly the language
Can we overcome dualism, when
our language is rife with it? Can we transcend separation, when our language
assumes it in its very structure? By their very existence certain words limit
us to thoughts that subtly serve the status quo. For example, when I when I say
that reality isn't what we think it is, by using the word "is" I
reinforce the very independently-existing reality that I am trying to deny.
More generally, as a system of signs, language distances us from the reality it
is supposed to represent, allowing us to more easily treat the world as other.
Sometimes, during meditation or mystical experience, the veil of language lifts
and the richness of the unmediated world is revealed, and along with it the
depth of our thralldom.
Again, even as it reaches its
extreme, the system of mind control is crumbling. The devaluation of language
that I discuss in The
Ubiquitous Matrix of Lies has engendered a pervasive cynicism, a
discounting of all speech, that renders the tools of mind control increasingly
ineffective. So inured are we to a world of image and hype, that we believe
little of what we are told. Switching to the NWO lens, we might say that the
Illuminati are panicking, desperately ramping up their mind control efforts to
less and less effect.
A New Story
There are many other mythic
truths, and variants of these, that could be added to the list. To me, they
carry a resonance that transcends interpretation. Here are a few to play with:
"The institutions of power are carrying us toward a secret and horrible
destination." "Many among us have been programmed through trauma to
serve this end." "The servants of the conspiracy look and act as
normal people — you can never tell who they are." (And maybe you could be
one of them and not even know it.) "All that we think is real is an
illusion." "Invisible shadow institutions lie hidden within the
visible ones and serve purposes different from, or even opposed to, their
stated purpose." The New World Order story dresses these mythic truths in
its own language, and in so doing provides a valuable service, giving people
access to them.
At some point, however, the
story that was once enlightening becomes confining. As I have explained,
conspiracy theories eventually bring most people to a kind of despair, even
paralysis. When that happens, when the NWO story has run the course of its usefulness,
it helps to have a new, larger story to step into.
The new story says that the
abiding intuition that you have carried perhaps your whole life, and which drew
you to conspiracism in the first place, is true. The world is governed
by a secret power that holds us in bondage to no good end. But the conspirators
are not others, they are we, you and I and everyone. A secret agenda of
domination and control has existed in nearly everyone, and a world embodying
that agenda has congealed around us, attracted to the dark, reptilian energies
we have harbored. The good news is that these energies have nearly run their
course, as the world of control breaks down and the campaign to conquer and
dominate all other being founders on its own consequences. Just as Voldemort
was unable to possess Harry Potter because he couldn't abide the love within
him, so also is the ruling power of the world unable to abide our growing
realization of our connectedness. Love, the felt experience of oneness, is
spreading as the walls of separation come down. They never were sustainable.
Today, even the most deluded – the power elite – are beginning to recognize
that. The reign of the Illuminati is nearly over. That is seems to be reaching
unprecedented heights only bespeaks the imminence of its demise, the extreme of
yang giving birth to yin.
The war of good versus evil was
never anything but a lie. The concept of evil is perhaps the greatest servant
of evil. "Is there such a thing as evil?" I was once asked.
"Before you asked, the answer was no. After you asked, the answer is
yes." But ultimately, evil and its expression as the New World Order, or
as I would call it, the process of Separation, has like all other things its
purpose in this universe. We embark on a journey of separation in all its
forms, we reach its extreme, and we come back to Union at a higher level of
complexity, enriched by our journey. To adopt one last time the vocabulary of
the New World Order myth, we might say that the reptilian overlords or the
Illuminati have fulfilled their purpose. Though some might try to hold onto it
a little longer, sooner or later they will accept that their time is over, and
they will bow out of service.
The greater truth, though,
which contains but does not contradict the lesser, is that the Illuminati, the
Reptilians, are you and I. On this level too, what I have said is true. Can you
not feel the obsolescence of that part of you, the part that endlessly seeks to
control the world, to dominate others, to maximize egoic self-interest? Is it
not increasingly evident that its efforts have created only misery? Is it not
apparent that, no matter how hard you try to remedy its failure by intensifying
its efforts, its ultimate failure is assured? For all of us, the time is coming
for that part of ourselves to bow out, so that we can step into service, into
trust, and, collectively, into the more beautiful world our hearts know is
* Note to Santa and the Caped
Crusader: please don't take offense. I'm only invoking your names for rhetorical
effect, not because I actually doubt your existence.
Image by vasenka, courtesy of Creative Commons license.