All in the Mind Computing Power Dynamics

Confessions of a Twitter Addict

I may be able to keep my New Year's resolution not to waste so much time trying to engage with other-minded people on Twitter. Following a short reply to a minor account on medical malpractice, my account has been suspended.

My appeal to Twitter's support team will probably fall on deaf ears. The woke enforcers of progressive technofascism do not do debate. They are only concerned with discussing how to roll out their vision of our Brave New World and how to deal with dissidents.

Censorship is real.

I would like to thank you for clarifying your opposition to democracy, which as you know cannot function without free speech and open debate on all key ethical and scientific issues of the day. Nobody has a monopoly on truth.

You claimed that I spread "misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19." In Mid 2021 I had a one-week suspension with the same justification for a reply to a user with a small following alluding to tried and tested therapeutics for viral infections currently known loosely as covid-19. The keywords that attract the attention of your censors are ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. We have over 60 years of data on the latter and around 30 years for the former. As I have stated in many other comments, these drugs should only be used at moderate doses in combination with other treatments. I have personally taken HCQ in Africa and am very familiar with its mild side effects (drowsiness). It may alleviate symptoms and reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation. As stated in the offending tweet, Ivermectin has been widely deployed in India, Japan and Iran to treat sars-cov-2 symptoms. There are numerous abstracts on PubMed discussing its efficacy:

As in most medical controversies, other studies have reached different conclusions, but I invite you to find evidence that early treatment with ivermectin at moderate doses can cause significant harm compared to "no treatment" followed by dangerous antiviral drugs such as remsdisivir accompanied by ventilation.

I suggest you censored my minor account for ideological reasons. The ball is in your court. If you persist in suspending accounts that counter the narrow covid narrative preferred by your partners in the biotech industry, then we can only conclude your organisation is opposed to liberal democracy and UNESCO’s Universal Declaration Code on Bioethetics and Human Rights.

If your platform cannot accommodate vigorous debate on such matters, its relevance will wane. It will be little more than a virtue-signalling echo chamber tolerating only controversies that do not challenge your biotech partners. One may debate whether the Earth is flat or whether Elvis Presley lives on the far side of the Moon, but one may not question the alleged "science" that regimes around the world exploit to justify growing authoritarianism.

You have recently purged many other accounts such as that of Dr Robert D Malone, the inventor of mRNA injections that you seem so keen not just to promote but to mandate as a condition for participation in society.

Prove me wrong and unsuspend my account. I welcome anyone to challenge my assertions. I have always been respectful and enjoy interacting with others who hold different views. Without open debate in the public sphere, our society will descend into authoritarianism.

Future historians will not treat tech giants like Twitter kindly if you persist with this attitude.

All in the Mind Power Dynamics

Corporate Censors and Fact Fabricators

Every Little Thing is Going to be Alright

If you get your news from the likes of the BBC and the Guardian, billing themselves as bastions of liberal progressivism, you might be forgiven for knowing little about the biggest anti-establishment protest in London since the massive February 2003 demonstration against the invasion of Iraq. No doubt, if such a large anti-government protest had taken place in Minsk or Moscow, this would have been headline news. You may have just heard that a few thousand demented antivaxxers staged a super-spreader event, undermining our collective struggle against the virus, and attacked brave police officers whose sole mission was to protect public safety.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds of thousands of people travelled from all over the UK to stand up for basic civil liberties, scientific truth and humanity as we have known it for countless generations. I feel guilty only because I could not take time off to join the crowds. Many ethical issues may divide us, but the prospect of a permanent bio-security state should horrify anyone concerned about society’s steady drift towards a technocratic dystopia.

Luckily, the event was livestreamed on alternative media. Unlike other large gatherings in the English capital over the years, the mainstream media did not publicise it at all, in stark contrast with the mass-marketed pro-EU and anti-Trump demos. Despite coronavirus restrictions last year, the venerable BBC gave favourable live coverage of the much smaller Black Lives Matter protests. They downplayed the scale of violence against police who had earlier taken the knee, while completely ignoring regular episodes of police violence against peaceful anti-lockdown protesters. The only minor skirmishes at yesterday’s demonstration occurred after the police attempted to break up crowds of youngsters playing live music in Hyde Park. The police were massively outnumbered and unwisely attempted a baton charge against hundreds of fit young men and women, who did little more than hurl food scraps at retreating officers. I feel sorry for the police forced to wear face nappies on a sunny day and enforce scientifically flawed public safety measures detrimental to people’s emotional and physical health.

Ministries of Truth

As my week-long Twitter suspension neared its end, I checked reactions to yesterday’s events. Two stood out. One from BBC’s notorious Marianna Spring would not look out of place in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, effectively denouncing hundreds of thousands of ordinary working people as dangerous conspiracy theorists intent on undermining the UK’s glorious mass vaccination campaign.

We may note Ms Spring’s obsession with the QAnon phenomenon and her constant reference to false claims. The adjective false is meaningless unless you can refute an assertion you claim is false. Just because the government and the BBC’s corporate partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation claim that an assertion is false does not make it true. Tony Blair dismissed any suggestion that his government supported the occupation of Iraq to retain control of the oil supply as wild conjecture you may read on the Internet, which was still in its infancy back in 2003. Subsequent events proved the so-called conspiracy theorists right, although keeping the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency also played a role. Caitlin Johnstone and Wikileaks have exposed how the QAnon movement was most likely a CIA-driven pied piper operation, focusing on claims that Trump had someone code-named Q embedded in the Deep State to expose the cabal’s widespread ritual satanic sexual abuse. Back in the real world, Trump not only appointed war hawks to the highest levels of his administration, but he also collaborated with the biotech industrial complex in the roll-out of experimental mRNA injections going so far as to claim credit for Operation Warp Speed. However, most disturbingly Marianna Spring has lent her rhetorical weight to calls for the censorship of any means of communication that big corporations cannot control. She disparagingly refers to Telegram as an encrypted channel that facilitates conspiracy theories. Both Labour and Tory politicians have already called on the government to take tougher action against vaccine misinformation. Yet even the government’s own Yellow Card reporting system has detailed over 160,000 serious adverse reactions as of 14th April 2021 and admits elsewhere this accounts for fewer than 10% of actual adverse events. We do not know how many of the excess deaths of frail nursing home residents in January and February this year, assigned to covid-19 were expedited by adverse reactions to the Astra Zeneca or Pfizer injections. However, testimonials by nurses and carers would suggest much higher numbers than those revealed in the Yellow Card reporting system.

Classic smear tactics

Another message retweeted by the NHA Party (who amazingly still follows me) accuses protesters of antisemitism because they likened the prospect of medical apartheid via vaccine passports with the plight of Jews forced to wear yellow stars in Nazi Germany. If Christine Williams had done her homework, she would know mainly Jewish protesters in Tel Aviv made the same comparison. Are they antisemitic too? More important many prominent scientists, such as Dr Mike Yeadon and Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi, have warned us of the prospect of death on an unprecedented scale as corporate forces take full control of every aspect of our private lives and are busy building a new urban landscape clearly designed for fewer people. All the warning signs are there, discrimination, dehumanisation and polarisation.

Manufacturing Reality

Well-funded fact-checkers, as promoted by the mainstream media, academia and establishment politicians, employ a simple modus operandi. They focus on a few obvious falsehoods, which may have enjoyed some limited currency in the alternative media space, while either dismissing or ignoring the big questions. Once they have impressed the gullible with their cogent debunking of a claim of little consequence (e.g. do facemasks contain worms?), they proceed to cite peer-reviewed research favourable to the interests of their corporate funders. Very occasionally, fact-checkers will try to win public trust by highlighting a few cases of genuine corporate malfeasance or political corruption, but usually only to distract us from larger crimes or to discredit outmoded practices or expendable politicians.

Free speech, as in intellectual freedom, logically lets anyone make any claims about current and historical events. Many conscientious political activists may make claims based on limited knowledge or second-hand sources. Few of us can employ researchers to verify each claim we make. However, we can report what we see and hear with our own eyes and ears. Once we go down the road of subjecting all pronouncements to moderation by official experts or artificial intelligence, we will have no way to verify if the official experts are lying.

All in the Mind Power Dynamics

Another Twitter Suspension

The tech media giants started with easy high-profile targets, either genuine white supremacists, à la Red Ice, or sensationalist purveyors of American Exceptionalism and half-truths à la Infowars. They knew blocking these channels would only annoy a small subset of their customers. Few politicians would dare speak up in defence of these fringe outlets. Next, they targeted the likes of Stefan Molyneux, with nearly 1 million Youtube subscribers, former President Trump with over 50 million followers and last week the Corbett Report. I find this unsurprising, but also rather perverse. I never subscribed to Stefan Molyneux, but YouTube algorithms would keep suggesting his videos. Before I figured out how to disable auto-play, his videos would often follow other videos on the free speech theme by the likes of Jordan Peterson and Gad Saad. I long suspected Stefan was controlled opposition. His philosophical videos targeted a huge reservoir of dissent among the disenfranchised working classes. If you were not paying attention, you may have dismissed the core precept of his belief system: the fundamental importance of genetics in determining intelligence and success, both within and between racial groups. Such opinions have been rather unfashionable in the public discourse since the end of WW2. However, it’s now becoming glaringly obvious that the elites have public and private opinions on many controversies. Superficially, they pretend to side with the people but behind the scenes, they work to sow the seeds of new divisions and prepare the public psyche for future policy shifts.

Now the likes of Twitter are targeting anyone who challenges the official covid narrative, even those of us with a modest following in the lower thousands responding to someone with fewer than 30 followers. It seems you may hurl all sorts of gratuitous insults and spout some of the wildest scientifically illiterate theories on Twitter, as long as you do not challenge narratives of strategic importance. I’ve read messages supportive of paedophilia. Indeed, one message contained a preview image of a pornographic scene involving a child. I blocked its sender immediately. I admit this represents a grey area in the debate on the bounds of free speech, but I always stress intellectual freedom rather than absolute freedom of expression. I’ve lost count of the number of flat earthers and moon landing deniers active on social media, but their accounts never seem to get blocked.

The usual excuse is to protect community guidelines. You may naïvely think this is just about good social etiquette in the digital space. Some may have worried that such guidelines prevented open debate on issues such as unsustainable migratory flows or the promotion of transgenderism in schools for fear of offending vocal lobbies or vulnerable individuals. Now the assault on free speech has extended to anyone critical of the biotech industrial complex. The covid scare has unmasked our ruling classes, who still hide behind the façade of saving lives. Big Pharma lobbyists have been very active for many decades. Since the advent of social media, they’ve employed people to counteract any claims they do not like. I recall a long thread about the massive over-prescription of antidepressants. This could potentially offend people dependent on such psychoactive meds. By the same warped logic vegans may not highlight the horrors of slaughterhouses for fear of offending meat eaters. Initially the thread involved genuine users with a range of views. The next morning, I received a deluge of unfavourable replies with all the hallmarks of professional copywriters and was stupid enough to waste valuable time interacting with someone who could almost immediately respond to any first-hand evidence I gave with peer-reviewed reports on the safety and benefits of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as Prozac). These people always claim to be mental healthcare professionals. None of these tweets were flagged as abusive. I first encountered the Twitter thought police in 2019 about a misinterpreted sarcastic reply with the trigger word “kill” I had forgotten about. My comment paraphrased someone’s illogical statement (Do you want us to kill ourselves?). I gladly deleted it to restore my access. Lesson learned: avoid certain trigger words unless you make the context abundantly clear. Now what kind of gratuitous offence could earn me a one-week suspension? Threatening to kill someone? Overt racism? Denying that anyone has ever died as a result of covid-19? Nope. I merely claimed that numerous trials have proven ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are safe and effective treatments for the kind of respiratory illnesses associated with sars-cov-2. Whom exactly is this offending? I can only suspect that my interlocutor, going by the handle of Justin Time, works for the social media monitoring arm of the biotech industrial complex. They want to suppress any suggestion that the new experimental gene-therapy injections, marketed as covid-19 vaccines, do more harm than good. If alternative treatments are proven to be safe and effective, then the new injections will lose their emergency use authorisation and the whole case for authoritarian bio-security measures, with its lockdowns, mandatory masking, antisocial policing and digital health certificates, collapses.

All in the Mind Power Dynamics

Censorship is a Licence to Kill

Free speech saves lives

The ultimate irony of ironies is that we should rely on the government, the mainstream media and social media giants to protect us against dangerous misinformation for the greater good. Allegedly such misleading information could discourage impressionable people from following official guidelines. This paternalistic attitude relies on the flawed assumption that our rulers have our best interests at heart in the same way as most parents set boundaries on their children’s behaviour. Our new guardians of truth, masquerading as fact-checkers, would have us believe that we can still hold our administrators to account, but only if we choose safe candidates of which the mainstream media approves.

If we have learned nothing since the outbreak of the covid scare in March 2020, it’s that politicians, including prime ministers and presidents, play second fiddle to a global network of technocrats. Out of the blue, scientific advisers appear on TV to promote radical solutions to perceived emergencies that would otherwise be very unpopular. Medical emergencies may justify almost anything. Even the spectre of suicide bombers killing innocent commuters, shoppers, revellers and concertgoers failed to persuade the public to forgo basic civil liberties such as the freedom to walk around one’s neighbourhood and mingle informally in public spaces.

All of a sudden, every aspect of our public and private lives is under the scrutiny of remote experts, whose wisdom we may no longer challenge for fear of being smeared as miscreants. The message we get from our middle managers could not be clearer. They do not trust us to look after ourselves without their endless guidance. No doubt, most human operatives within our mushrooming people management apparatus sincerely believe they have our best interests at heart. However, behind their apparent good intentions lies an assumption of moral and intellectual superiority. Most disturbingly the notional political left, once known as the liberal intelligentsia, have called on the state to tackle the perceived scourge of misinformation from dangerous covid deniers and anti-vaxxers, often likened by mental association with Holocaust deniers and Luddites. Those who claim to stand up for disadvantaged communities no longer trust commoners to think independently, manage their private affairs or even retain full bodily autonomy. Our representatives act like teachers debating how to deal with troublemakers in their classes. They do not fear ruffians, whose ill-tempered antics may justify more surveillance and psychiatric screening, as much as they loathe free-thinkers who challenge them intellectually. Over the last nine months, we’ve witnessed the police crack down not just on peaceful protesters opposed to creeping technofascism, but on birthday parties, weddings and small businesses such as gyms, shops selling non-essential goods, restaurants, pubs and hairdressers. One may wonder whether police officers have any time left to investigate burglaries, muggings, rapes or murders.

The professional classes seem relatively unaffected by the rollout of harsher corona-containment measures. They can retreat to their comfortable townhouses and country villas and continue working remotely on full pay. They may virtue-signal their compliance with the latest health and safety edicts by dutifully wearing designer face-masks and observing antisocial distancing guidelines in public spaces. Their gut instinct is to side with the experts that their favourite media outlets and employers promote. The chattering classes suffer from an early 21st-century variant of cognitive dissonance. All objective reality is filtered through the lens of manufactured emergencies and virtuous campaigns for endless social engineering. Yet their priorities mutate so fast that yesterday’s heroes may become today’s villains and yesterday’s solutions can easily turn into today’s problems. Once upon a time, the bourgeois left adored the home-grown working classes who powered the industrial revolution. They were the salt of the earth. By the 1960s steady improvements in education, housing, healthcare and general living standards had enabled millions of people from humble working-class backgrounds to join the growing middle classes. After this brief golden age of growing social equality and upwards mobility, the left has shifted its focus away from the working classes to disadvantaged identity groups. At different times they have championed the rights of immigrants, ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians, disabled people, single mothers, female professionals, religious minorities and more recently transgender individuals. Many of these campaigns may be worthy causes, at least those that pertain to natural groups of human beings, but often sow the seeds of new divisions by creating new categories whose interests may appear at variance with those of society as a whole.  Social engineers may exploit conflicting interests between subgroups to educate and regulate the ignorant masses. When immigrants clash with angry natives or Muslims are at loggerheads with the gay community, the managerial classes relish the opportunity to intervene for the common good. The authoritarian right differs only in its traditional emphasis on God, queen and country, which appear outmoded in today’s technologically advanced world empire. We may have mega-billionaires instead of monarchs and scientific advisors instead of deities, but the commoners must show the same deference to their superiors.

With the fusion of large corporations, banks, charities and supranational governments, the old left-right schism has lost any true meaning. It’s now more an expression of one’s cultural allegiance than a coherent political platform.  A charity or non-governmental organisation may pose on the left, while a large commercial concern such as Walmart may appear the ultimate manifestation of capitalism and thus be deemed right-wing. Yet both types of organisations seem totally on board with our Brave New Abnormal, championing draconian restrictions on social behaviour. Big supermarkets, hospitals and TV stations work in unison to promote a new more regimented lifestyle, in which any indulgences are carefully monitored. Once all entertainment, informal socialising and dating moves online, remote organisations can keep tabs on our moods, habits and innermost thoughts. We may have briefly harboured the illusion of a permissive society where anything goes. Yet as our expressions of personal freedom migrated to the digital world via our smartphones and social media outlets, the state began to interfere more and more in our private and social lives. Increasingly you could let all hell loose online via first-person shooter games or hardcore porn but had to mind your language in real life. Youngsters may no longer have feared social opprobrium or arrest if they experimented with risky sexual practices or recreational drugs. Instead, they came under concerted pressure from peers, teachers and the mainstream media to conform to a new politically correct normal that demonised traditions and championed disruption of viable societies.

Once we may no longer investigate and openly debate the veracity of official claims, the authorities may easily manipulate facts to suit their narrative. This empowers them to hide any evidence that links their policies with mass murder. Several studies have shown that lockdown policies, even in countries with advanced infrastructure and welfare systems, may lead to significantly higher mortality than could be caused by mutant viruses.

According to research by Prof. Philip Thomas of Bristol University, lockdowns may claim more than 500,000 lives in the UK projected over a year once we take into account the social, economic and health impacts of long-term worklessness and diminished possibilities for personal development. Dr. Ari Joffe, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases and a clinical professor at the University of Alberta, reached a similar conclusion. In a paper titled COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink he finds lockdowns do ten times more than than good.

Lockdowns do not just stop many people, better suited to hands-on practical jobs, from working, they make it much harder to form new friendships. People’s emotional and physical health depend on complex family and community networks. It’s hard to measure the health benefits of enjoying a meal with friends, having a neighbour pop around to check everything is okay or playing cards or dominoes at a local club. Yet police officers have prevented such activities in the name of public health rather than focusing on crimes. The health service has been transformed beyond recognition with direct access to emergency departments and general practitioners denied without first making an appointment online. Sick people are thus left to languish at home. The criteria for attributing deaths to covid-19 are so lax that in recent weeks covid has been mentioned as many as two thirds of death certificates without any statistically significant increase in the seasonally adjusted mortality rate. Only last week Debbie Hicks was arrested for filming empty corridors and wards in a large Gloucestershire hospital. Similar footage has been captured in the UK and overseas. Security guards prevent the public from approaching or filming hospitals, effectively out of bounds to citizen journalists. While the media focus on a few busy intensive care units, we may no longer verify their claims in person with new restrictions on free movement around towns and cities. We’re at the mercy of official reports, occasional whistle-blowers and anecdotal evidence. We have no way to prove whether someone died of covid, with a related viral infection that may have hastened their death or from medical neglect exacerbated by lockdown measures. If early reports of adverse reactions to the new generation of mRNA (messenger RiboNucleic Acid) are correct, we may soon expect our new technocratic establishment to cover up the extent of any resulting deaths.

Technofascism represents a much bigger threat to humanity than any novel mutant genetic sequence.

Power Dynamics

Blair’s Big Brother Binge

Blair's Big Brother Binge

If you thought genuine concerns over security and welfare motivated the deceptively named bills in Tony Blair's final Queen's speech, in all likelihood you believed him when he reassured us of his noble aims to rid the world of the genocidal threat presented by Slobodan Milosevic, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. With one dead, another at large and the third awaiting his fate in death row, Blair's speech writers have had to find some new daemons to justify even more surveillance of our everyday lives. A double whammy of new anti-terrorism legislation and a revised Mental Health Act empowering the authorities to detain emotionally disturbed citizens before they commit a heinous crime. On cue the corporate and state media highlight the case of a paranoid schizophrenic allegedly failed by mental health services and let loose only to brutally murder an innocent cyclist. The only conclusions the establishment media lets us draw is that we must pour even more funds into the burgeoning mental health sector to ensure vulnerable individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders take their medication and are kept well out of harm's way through 24/7 surveillance. One need merely join the dots by comparing this with recent legislation purportedly crafted to defend young children from the spectre of Internet paedophiles, but conveniently enabling the police to enter any dwelling to confiscate computer equipment. Do we seriously believe that the same government that deregulates gambling, allows 24 hour boozing and praises entrepreneurs responsible for a culture of mindless hedonism would only use these newly acquired powers against a handful of psychopathic killers and child molesters? The UK already has the world's highest density of CCTV cameras (bar a few densely populated city states), the highest psychiatric disorder diagnosis rate in Europe and the highest spending on mental health services (12.5% of total health expenditure in 2002 compared to 5% in Italy and France and 10% in Germany).

The psychiatric model absolves individuals with personality disorders of responsibility for their antisocial, self-harming, obsessive, abusive, murderous or otherwise dysfunctional actions, turning misfits into victims suffering from neurological diseases rather than citizens responsible for their actions. Rather we should empower people to get meaningful jobs to fend for themselves, but if they commit a crime, they should bear the consequences. Simultaneously we hear calls for universal screening of all children for all personality disorders, allegedly to help the undiagnosed victims or keep tabs on future criminals. By focussing narrowly on genetic markers that may make people more susceptible to the expression of psychotic symptoms, they completely ignore the social context, e.g. over 50% of Londoners diagnosed with schizoid disorders have a history of drug abuse, including the widely publicised psychopathic murderer. Someone who has endured years of illegal drug abuse, followed by years of psychoactive drugs and confinement is extremely vulnerable to violent mood swings, putting a lie to the myth that lack of medication caused a murder. It would be more accurate to say that failure to offset the combined effects of legal and illegal drugs and a background of emotional abuse in a consumerist society obsessed with virtual violence triggered a killing spree. Sadly the potential for this kind of behaviour is much more prevalent than we might like to think. numerous wars soldiers, especially in times of economic hardship, social upheaval and forced abstinence, have abused their new-found power by raping and pillaging the indigenous population. Yet the same soldiers back home in more prosperous times might seem exemplary fathers and members of their communities. Besides within just one month in England alone we have witnessed two cases of fathers on SSRIs murder two or more members of their family, yet in neither case did the media highlight medication as the cause.

The real agenda is to set a precedent for preventive detention, empowering the authorities to lock up emotionally unstable citizens considered at high risk of committing murder. If this power were only used sparingly against a handful of individuals there might seem little to worry about, but recent experience with the implementation of anti-terrorism legislation would suggest otherwise. Most murders in the UK are committed either as a result of domestic disputes or by the hitmen of self-confident gangsters. To even be sure of saving a single human life a year we would need to detain thousands of citizens. Current estimates show as many 500,000 with schizoid disorders (just under 1%), a similar number for bipolar disorder (1%), Autistic Spectrum Disorders (1%), OCD (1% again) and some estimates of the controversial ADHD label as high as 3-4%. If we begin to enter the hilly territory of manic depression, now shamelessly promoted by celebrities, then well over 10% of the population could be claimed to suffer from psychiatric problems likely to require medication and/or monitoring just in case they harm themselves. All could now be at risk of arrest, all to save one or two individuals killed by madmen on the loose. Most amusing of all, Camilla Cavendish reported in the Times of London (They're getting away with murder 23/11/2006) that "... between 55 and 63 people are killed every year by people who have recently been in contact with mental health services. At about 10 per cent of the total murder count, dare I say this is quite a lot?". Sadly that is very close to the percentage of the general population who've been in touch with mental health services in the last year.

All in the Mind

Conspiracy Theory Slur

  1. act of working in secret to obtain some goal, usually understood with negative connotations.
  2. Conspiracy (crime) and conspiracy (civil), an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future
  3. Conspiracy (political), a plot to overthrow a government or other powers
  4. Conspiracy theory, attempts to explain the cause of an event as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance

Many defenders of orthodoxy can simply shrug off all challenges to their sacrosanct worldview by dismissing them as conspiracy theories or urban myths. Recently a flurry of books have appeared to debunk conspiracy theories in totem by painting both empirically researched critiques of mainstream thinking and conjectural fantasies with the same brush, thus equating the belief that reptilian blood rules the world peddled by David Icke with those who doubt the safety of vaccines or are unconvinced of the purported benefits of adding fluoride to the water supply. They're all labelled quacks or extremists in contrast with establishment pundits who are inevitably portrayed as beacons of sound mindedness and moderation. Thus if you doubt the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center could collapse vertically without a controlled demolition, you may soon be cast in the same light as xenophobic deniers of the Nazi holocaust or quaint nonbelievers in the success of the Apollo mission for the human exploration of the Moon. Facts simply don't matter, only an official seal of approval in the form of peer-reviewed research. On this basis we should conclude that David Kelly committed suicide because a BBC play and Lord Hutton's inquiry claimed he did.

If we take the term literally, then deniers of conspiracies would have to explain millions of murderous crimes stealthily committed by small cliques well-connected with a local power base and hidden from the general population throughout history. In this regard the Nazi holocaust was a conspiracy, because only a small elite of the general German population were aware of the full scale and systematicity of the slaughter. Although most had been exposed to vehement antisemitic propaganda, few knew in any detail what was going on in the concentration camps, thus requiring a conspiracy of silence by the perpetrators and their collaborators.

In a TV debate with handpicked opponents of the imminent invasion of Iraq, Tony Blair denied his support for the US-led occupation had anything to do with oil by simply writing it off as an Internet conspiracy theory. His actual words were "You read all sorts of conpiracy theories in the Internet, but if we wanted Iraq's oil, we could just strike a deal with Saddam". It didn't dawn on the erstwhile lawyer that he had used the word conspiracy completely out of context. How could the well-known existence of billions of barrels of crude oil under Iraq's sands, the US's voracious demand for fossil fuels and the very public connections of leading US politicians and government advisors with the oil industry be construed as a secret plot? The Iraq/Oil connection is not a conspiracy theory, but an economic theory, which theoretically could be wrong, but few pro-war activists choose to counter this theory on an economic basis preferring instead to appeal to our emotions by raising the spectre of genocidal dictators. Compare and contrast this with the notion that Osama Bin Laden had conspired with 19 hijackers of mainly Saudi Arabian descent to fly four planes into strategic symbols of US financial and military might. If true, that would be one hell of a conspiracy theory.

Moral Panics

In mid 2006 British bookstores began prominently displaying Panic Nation: Unpicking the Myths We're Told About Food and Health by Stanley A. Feldman and Vincent Marks as featured on the Richard and Judy show with rave reviews in the Daily Telegraph. If one agreed with the ill-documented conclusions and recommendations, then we should trust the food scientists of our beloved supermarket chains and pharmaceutical multinationals to deliver safe and healthy food and despise the green fascists who frequent health food stores and avoid all things unnatural. They claim fruits are bad (well too much may be, but that's hardly an issue in modern Britain) and the tooth-rotting effects of refined sugar can be offset by adding fluoride not to tooth paste, but to the water supply, a practice discredited outside the UK, Ireland US, India and a handful of other countries. A few valid points about obsession with salt and sugar levels (some salt and some sugar are not bad for us if part of a balanced diet) are counterbalanced by vitriolic attacks on all critics of technocratic food and drug production. A little research reveals that co-author Stanley Feldman regularly contributes to Spiked Online, the latest reincarnation of Frank Füredi's ertswhile Revolutionary Communist Party, a cult that once posed on the far left but now wines and dines with its corporate friends in the media and biotech industry. More at Source Watch and Evolution of (British) RCP. Indeed the last chapter on the MMR Autism link is penned by one Michael Fitzpatrick. He may be correct in disputing the MMR triple vaccine/autism link (except for the possible side effects of mercury, which has long been added to vaccines in the form of thimerasol), but it is not the absence of a hard empirical link that motivates extreme technocrats. They seize any opportunity to promote mass medication as a solution to our problems and in this respect go on the offensive against any scare stories that may hinder their vision of the future. They delight in pointing out when the naysayers get it wrong.

Human Nature

History is rife with conspiracies, but owing to their secretive nature most theories relating to their veracity are likely to prove either misleading or off track. The suggestion that prosperous capitalist countries that call themselves liberal democracies are in fact run by a cabal of multinational corporations and bankers can be supported with much hard evidence, but when we make claims about their ethno-religious composition or their power to programme our minds, we are said to enter conspiracy theory territory because we are allegedly motivated by paranoia or deep-seated prejudices. However, unlike the corporate and state media dissident thinkers cannot desensitise the masses to their bias. A perspective only carries the status of conspiracy theory when an enforcer or gatekeeper within the establishment has labelled it thus, but clearly many such labelled theories are so absurd as to insult the intelligence of any but the most gullible people.

Disinformation Overload

Our minds are deluged day in day out with fictitious conpiracies in high-profile movies and TV series (the X Files or the Matrix come to mind). No wonder so many US citizens believe all flying objects that they cannot immediately identify must hail from an extraterrestrial civilisation that has travelled thousands of lightyears to reach a suburban housing development somewhere in Alabama. If we are constantly mesmerised with so much utter nonsense, we will find it hard to sort the wheat from the chaff and have to rely on media-appointed experts to advise us which bits are true. To many aficionados of conspiracy movies and virtual reality games, Loose Change, a documentary on the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center, available on YouTube may seem temporarily compelling, but their brains are programmed to view this alternate reality as mere fantasy, unworthy of further investigation. Ruling classes have always sought to manipulate information and discredit critical thinkers. In the early 21st century they have just refined the art of psychoanalysis. If they can't respond to dissident accusations, they indulge in a little behind the scenes character assassination. What kind of person would believe that CIA would engage in psyops (psychological operations) to prepare public opinion for policies they would otherwise not support? The truth is in so many news events it is almost impossible to verify more than the undeniable physical evidence beamed onto our screens. Maybe rather than confidently asserting that MI5 carried out the 7th July 2005 bombings in London, without any immediate supporting evidence, we should do a little psychoanalysis ourselves with a clear focus on the establishment's behaviour. Sure, they'd prefer everyone to return World of Warcraft fantasies and debate whether a UFO landed in Roswell, New Mexico. As a rule a good understanding of economics, hard environmental reality and human nature should help us explain most events, but only the extremely naive would swallow all information diseminated from the mainstream uncritically.