But when they spread obvious falsehoods, you have to Question their motives.
By S.T. Patrick
“Conspiracy theorist!” is the bellowed cry of the modern era. It’s the new scarlet letter, the new “Treason!” Halfway through the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma,” the producers take a decidedly anti-conspiracy turn and the film morphs from a reasonable pro-privacy documentary into an establishment anti-conspiracy tirade. It’s the tale of two films uncomfortably tied into one, as if they drew you in with the horror stories of what Facebook is doing to track your every social whisper, and then they hit you over the head with the anti-conspiracy sledgehammer to make a point that you need to just trust and believe what the mainstream media establishment tells you to trust and believe.
To even suggest that a story didn’t unfold exactly the way the early media reports say it did is tantamount to social and political heresy. That’s the exile you face if you advocate for an alternative theory as a possibility. If the mainstream media suggests a conspiracy theory, such as Russiagate, then you’re asked to climb aboard the train until it derails, which it usually does and did regarding the claim that Donald Trump was controlled by Vladimir Putin and that Mr. Trump would never have won had Russia not rigged the 2016 election.
We forget that historiography (the study of historical research) includes a long line of stories about which the consensus has changed. The 1770 Boston Massacre is no longer considered a massacre, it wasn’t terrorists who attacked the Maine and ignited the Spanish-American War, and the Gulf of Tonkin incident consisted of no incident at all and was maybe the best example we have of a provable, documented false-flag operation, a means to hurl American soldiers deeper into the jungles of Southeast Asia. With every year that passes, it becomes clearer that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone.
In fact, it’s likely that he didn’t act at all in the assassination of President John Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. doesn’t believe that Sirhan Sirhan killed his father, and nearly the entire King family has long believed that James Earl Ray was not the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. None of these truths would have ever emerged in today’s censored environment; all of the researchers who laid out their evidence would have been silenced long ago. Note that several of these mischaracterized incidents actually led to bloody wars—yet the truth would never have been known had not “conspiracy researchers” investigated and discovered the truth about them.
It’s true that the QAnon phenomenon has taken “conspiracy theory” to a different level. It’s been labeled everything from the delusional internet peckings of a political troll to a full-fledged government disinformation psy-op to the world’s most followed purveyor of absolute truth. Maybe QAnon had some merit. It certainly had a few cornerstones that were worthy of investigation and action: the fight against the Deep State, the outing of the Hollywood and D.C. pedo-elite and the furtherance of the Jeffrey Epstein story, and exposing the blanket of propaganda perpetrated on American consumers by the mainstream media. Where Q-Nation went wrong—as any End Times evangelist will tell them—was naming dates and deadlines for incredible actions to take place. John F. Kennedy Jr., alive and well, just waiting to appear at a Trump campaign rally to expose the Deep State and send Mr. Trump back for a second term with JFK Jr. as vice president? Hillary Clinton imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay as a stunt double roams around America voluntarily pretending to be Bill Clinton’s wife? Tom Hanks running from international sex crimes law enforcers by hiding out in Greece, never again to be seen in America? The continued insistence that Mr. Trump would never leave the White House and was guaranteed a second term?
If QAnon was a psy-op, it was a chess move played wisely. Legitimate issues drew the Anons (those who interpret the cryptic clues of Q information posters) into the fold. Then, when the most ardent fighters of wrong in America were under one tent, they’d pull out the baby sacrifice stories and the imprisonment of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres to make them all seem crazy and unhinged. QAnon’s truest believers, then, would never just come out and show any kind of discernment. They were told to say nothing derogatory, just “trust the plan.” So they did, and here they are now, grasping onto the last remnants of valid political discourse they still have today.
But even that is in jeopardy as they now claim that Joe Biden is actually dead and is obviously not occupying the White House. His inauguration was filmed in Hollywood, not D.C. “Call the White House! No one will answer! No one is there! Try it!” this writer was told by one friend who still believes.
When the loudest voices of legitimate conspiracy in America are discredited—or discredit themselves, in the case of Q—everyone loses. Claiming babies are sacrificed by Hollywood celebrities in cult rituals to harvest their blood or claiming the Earth has always been flat actually hurts the case Sirhan Sirhan is trying to make to a parole board that he was not a lone shooter but a mind-controlled patsy. It hurts those trying to change the high school history curriculum to show that Oswald didn’t kill Kennedy all by himself or may not have been involved at all. It hurts those who just want to take longer than 48 hours to decide what the final narrative is for every event in America.
The term “conspiracy theory” has been around since the 19th century, yet it was weaponized by the CIA to limit the influence of early researchers like Mark Lane, who challenged the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of JFK. The intelligence agencies knew
they could brand academic dissidents as kooks in order to neutralize them. Operation Mockingbird was then released upon the mainstream media to enforce CIA compliance within the media. To dissent today is to become an outcast, and those working to correct the historical record find it an even more arduous task when they are forced to disown many with like minds.
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected]. He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication available from the AFP Online Store.