Main Menu

When universes collide

Birtherverse meets the New World Order

The “Birtherverse” is a concept I sometimes use to talk about what the world would be like if the birthers were right. The Birtherverse has a very different set of laws that govern it and what I would call critical thinking is turned on its head. One of my articles on this theme: The Bizarro Wikipedia.

Long before there was a Birtherverse, there was another long-running alternate view of reality, where every major event in the world is manipulated by powerful international plotters, often thought to be Jewish bankers (or maybe reptoid aliens)1. Nowadays this alternative power center is called the New World Order.

The only new thing here is the prominence of the topic in my own thinking. It was inevitable that a conspiracy theory about the powers behind the governments of the world would include one of the most powerful persons in the world, the President of the United States. Certainly the Bushes and the Clintons have been prominent parts of conspiracy theories and it’s not credible that Barack Obama would get left out.

Classic conspiracy theories rely more on making spurious connections between unconnected events rather than factoids2. However, the two have come together. One early example was Orly Taitz, birther attorney and activist who held the view that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was preparing concentration camps to hold the birthers – something right out of the New World Order, UN World Government, black helicopter genre. More recently we see Chris Strunk blending Vatican New World Order theories into his lawsuit about determining presidential eligibility.

I started this blog because I saw many people believing demonstrably false nonsense – things like “a certification is not a certificate.” I care about misinformation parading as truth and I feel motivated to debunk it. However, there are other conspiracy theories that I find so totally incredible (Nazi UFO space aliens from the South Pole) that I am not motivated to debunk them. I am however a little interested in them and this is after a blog where I write about what interests me.


1There is actually a hybrid between the alien overlord theory and the International Jewish Conspiracy. Some Christian Identity preachers say that there are two races in the world, one descended from Adam and one descended from the Serpent in Garden of Eden. These latter are snake-like reptoids casually indistinguishable from humans, and are associated with some modern Jews.

2A factoid is something that appears to be a fact, but isn’t.

, , ,

34 Responses to When universes collide

  1. avatar
    Loren September 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    “However, there are other conspiracy theories that I find so totally incredible (Nazi UFO space aliens from the South Pole) that I am not motivated to debunk them.”

    I think it sometimes helps to remember that that’s how many people view Birtherism itself, and thus why they treat it the way they do. That’s part of why there’s not a bigger move to debunk them on the part of real experts. Birthers are the political equivalent of Neal Adams’ growing-earth theory, or Gene Ray’s Timecube.

    For instance, Brian Dunning’s “Skeptoid” podcast deals with pseudoscientific and conspiratorial claims on a weekly basis. I met him last year, and asked if he had plans for an episode on Birthers. His answer was no; even for his show, they’re not serious enough to merit examination.

    I, for one, of course think there’s a lot to be learned from Birthers. If nothing else, they’ve provided us with possibly the most perfect example of conspiracist goalpost-moving. They centered their whole ‘movement’ around the disclosure of a single document, regularly saying that its release would settle the issue. And when it was released? They plugged right on ahead.

  2. avatar
    misha September 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    “there was another long-running alternate view of reality, where every major event in the world is manipulated by powerful international plotters, often thought to be Jewish bankers”

    John Hagee: In another sermon, Hagee blamed American economic problems on the fact that the Federal Reserve System is controlled by “a group of Class A stockholders, including the Rothschilds.” In the same series, Hagee further asserted that the Rothschilds, who are Jewish, were part of a wide-ranging conspiracy of “international power brokers based in Europe.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagee

  3. avatar
    Keith September 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    “A factoid is something that appears to be a fact, but isn’t.”

    I’ve always considered a factoid as some small fact that has been completely removed from all context, freeing one to apply any context one wants to achieve the desired impression.

    For example:

    “December 7 is a day that will live in infamy”…

    * because that is the day the toilets backed up in the school.
    * because that is the day that Tommy kissed George behind the gym.
    * because that is the day the IRS started the audit of my taxes

    So Strunk is taking one factoid after another and adding in some made up subplots, then placing them all in the same lexical neighborhood he includes some invented correspondences, and imposes an imaginary context to connect them all.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    That’s another usage of the term. Unfortunately, the two usages are hard to distinguish in context and make the word mostly useless in my opinion.

    Keith: I’ve always considered a factoid as some small fact that has been completely removed from all context, freeing one to apply any context one wants to achieve the desired impression.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 28, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    The conspiracy theory connections to the Rothschilds are endless. They are considered the founders of the Illuminati and the instigators of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

    misha: Rothschilds, who are Jewish, were part of a wide-ranging conspiracy of “international power brokers based in Europe.

  6. avatar
    Keith September 29, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    The conspiracy theory connections to the Rothschilds are endless. They are considered the founders of the Illuminati and the instigators of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

    Scurrilous LIES.

    Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati in Bavaria, then went to America and murdered George Washington and took his place. It is Weishaupt that was the first POTUS, and his portrait on the one dollar note.

  7. avatar
    The Magic M September 29, 2011 at 5:48 am #

    misha: Rothschilds, who are Jewish, were part of a wide-ranging conspiracy of “international power brokers based in Europe

    And it never ceases to amaze to what lengths anti-semites go in trying to mask their intentions, replacing “Jews” with “international banksters” being just the simplest version.

    In my country, some neo-Nazi conspiracists claim that the people behind the conspiracy aren’t really Jews but “Khazars pretending to be Jews for centuries”. So they can say “we don’t hate Jews, we just hate those people who falsely claim to be Jews”.

    > If nothing else, they’ve provided us with possibly the most perfect example of conspiracist goalpost-moving.

    I think they plagiarized the “end of the world” prophecies quite openly. 😉

  8. avatar
    Paper September 29, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    This overlap, or nested conspiracy relationship (like a Russian nested doll) has been my experience of birtherism from the beginning, in large part because the people I know who go on and on about it make that the primary reason, rationale and means for all the nonsense about the birth certificate. Why? How? Who? All nicely wrapped up as the NWO, and specifically David Rockefeller and friends. Obama was chosen by the NWO, and now the NWO may be getting tired of him and are grooming Perry or Romney. The conspiracy-minded have all their bases covered; no matter what happens the NWO is behind it. The people I know hang on to the birth certificate b.s. because it allows them to say (I mean, verbalize, not logically argue) that Obama’s presidency is unconstitutional. The NWO conspiratorial plans are thus the motive that crime, and that crime in turns reflects the evil lengths to which the NWO will go.

    Take two fun-house mirrors and face them toward each other. Voila!

  9. avatar
    Horus September 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    “Some Christian Identity preachers say that there are two races in the world, one descended from Adam and one descended from the Serpent in Garden of Eden.”

    What I have read is that Eve was not the first woman, the very first woman was named Lillith.

    So the two races would the children of Eve, and the children of Lillith.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    That’s one version. The other is that Eve had sex with the serpent and Cain was their offspring.

    Horus: What I have read is that Eve was not the first woman, the very first woman was named Lillith.

  11. avatar
    Sef September 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Horus: the very first woman was named Lillith.

    Wasn’t she supposed to have been Mrs. God?

  12. avatar
    Majority Will September 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Sef: Wasn’t she supposed to have been Mrs. God?

    I thought she was married to Frasier.

  13. avatar
    Keith October 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I hope you can indulge me this vaguely on topic post about a factoid that almost reaches the heights of inane trivia. Its the Docs fault for reminding me of the Bizarro Wikipedia called the Metapedia, one of whose primary information sources is the ugliest of the ugly Anti-American organizations: StormFront.

    In a radio discussion the Australian Radio National about Barbershop Quartets, presumably spruiking this years world BQ championships, I learned that last year’s champion was the Storm Front Quartet.

    Connected, Coincidence, or Bizarro? You be the judge.

  14. avatar
    Majority Will October 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Keith:
    I hope you can indulge me this vaguely on topic post about a factoid that almost reaches the heights of inane trivia. Its the Docs fault for reminding me of the Bizarro Wikipedia called the Metapedia, one of whose primary information sources is the ugliest of the ugly Anti-American organizations: StormFront.

    In a radio discussion the Australian Radio National about Barbershop Quartets, presumably spruiking this years world BQ championships, I learned that last year’s champion was the Storm Front Quartet.

    Connected, Coincidence, or Bizarro? You be the judge.

    What was their winning ditty? The Kristallnacht Khorus?

  15. avatar
    Northland10 October 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Some Christian Identity preachers say that there are two races in the world, one descended from Adam and one descended from the Serpent in Garden of Eden.

    Earlier this year, I came across a blog radio show which had Darren Huff giving a three part talk. Part of it consisted of talking about different “seeds.” I had remembered reading comments from Georgia Militia members mentioning Darren and Christian Identity and was following up on the rumor. Unfortunately, I cannot remember exactly where I found the radio show but I was left with the impression that he, if not a full out adherent, leaned heavily to the two-seedline, serpent seed theory. I have wondered at times if this is where P&E’s interest in the “reptoid” was spawned.

  16. avatar
    Keith October 2, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Majority Will: What was their winning ditty? The Kristallnacht Khorus?

    I doubt it. Unless that is an alternate title for Lida Rose

  17. avatar
    Daniel October 3, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    How exactly do these “Christians” hold to a two bloodline idea, when everyone is supposed to be descended from Noah? How would this “Serpent Seed” bloodline have managed to cross the flood time when the Bible itself says everyone died?

  18. avatar
    Majority Will October 3, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    Daniel:
    How exactly do these “Christians” hold to a two bloodline idea, when everyone is supposed to be descended from Noah? How would this “Serpent Seed” bloodline have managed to cross the flood time when the Bible itself says everyone died?

    Eels?

  19. avatar
    misha October 3, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    Daniel: when everyone is supposed to be descended from Noah?

    The story of Noah and the flood is lifted from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

  20. avatar
    G October 3, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    There are many writings out there covering this very topic. Here is one of the most even-handed sources I’ve reviewed, which breaks it down in easy to read detail:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/noah_com.htm

    Just an excerpt from the intro:

    Comparison of the Babylonian and Noachian flood stories

    The Babylonian text “The Epic of Galgamesh” 1,8 and the Hebrew story are essentially identical with about 20 major points in common. Their texts are obviously linked in some way. Either:

    * Genesis was copied from an earlier Babylonian story, or
    * The Galgamesh myth was copied from an earlier Hebrew story, or
    * Both were copied from a common source that predates them both.

    misha: The story of Noah and the flood is lifted from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

  21. avatar
    Keith October 3, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    misha: The story of Noah and the flood is lifted from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

    And to the literalist that doesn’t matter. Everyone alive today is descended from Noah, the two bloodline discussion is moot.

  22. avatar
    G October 3, 2011 at 3:12 am #

    Well, considering that the Bible is rife with contradictory tellings of various events, it probably comes down to three primary factors:

    1) Most folks don’t read the Bible from cover to cover or even read an entire “book” of the Bible from end to end and therefore don’t even notice or realize the mulitple versions of events being recounted therein. Most usually just read particular passages…or worse, don’t even read it at all and only go by what they are told it says.

    2) Compartmentalized selective reading, where any contradictions or difficult questions are merely ignored. Folks grasp the elements they want to focus on and ignore the rest.

    3) Simple selective “belief” in what they are told without deeper thought or question. Heck, many Christians will hold on to certain quotes, stories or beliefs that they are sure originated from the Bible (because some religious figure they listen to told them that) and will never actually check to see if they are there themselves or look for their context or reflect upon what that statement means in relation to any of the other Bible stories they were already told.

    Many folks do sincere contemplation on how specific passages or Biblical references have meaning to their own lives, which is fine and often can be a good or helpful thing for certain people.

    However, only a small subset really sit down and do any actual challenging holistic “scholarly” study of the Bible stories in a true sense of the term, where critical thinking and analysis of the stories and their origins is concerned.

    Daniel: How exactly do these “Christians” hold to a two bloodline idea, when everyone is supposed to be descended from Noah? How would this “Serpent Seed” bloodline have managed to cross the flood time when the Bible itself says everyone died?

  23. avatar
    charo October 3, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Knowing my own deficiencies, I prefer to look to the intellectual heavy weights, i.e. Aquinas:

    “Some defenders as well as critics of evolution, as we shall see later, think that belief in the Genesis account of creation is incompatible with evolutionary biology. Aquinas, however, did not think that the Book of Genesis presented any difficulties for the natural sciences, for the Bible is not a textbook in the sciences. What is essential to Christian faith, according to Aquinas is the “fact of creation,” not the manner or mode of the formation of the world. In commenting on different views concerning whether all things were created simultaneously and as distinct species, Aquinas remarks: “There are some things that are by their very nature the substance of faith, as to say of God that He is three and one. . . about which it is forbidden to think otherwise. . . . There are other things that relate to the faith only incidentally. . . and, with respect to these, Christian authors have different opinions, interpreting the Sacred Scripture in various ways. Thus with respect to the origin of the world, there is one point that is of the substance of faith, viz. , to know that it began by creation. . . . But the manner and the order according to which creation took place concerns the faith only incidentally.” Aquinas notes that although the interpretation regarding successive creation, or what we might call “episodic creation,” is “more common, and seems superficially to be more in accord with the letter,” still that of simultaneous creation is “more conformed to reason and better adapted to preserve Sacred Scripture from the mockery of infidels.”[24]

    Aquinas’ firm adherence to the truth of Scripture without falling into the trap of literalistic readings of the text offers valuable correction for exegesis of the Bible which concludes that one must choose between the literal interpretation of the Bible and modern science. For Aquinas, the literal meaning of the Bible is what God, its ultimate author, intends the words to mean. The literal sense of the text includes metaphors, similes, and other figures of speech useful to accommodate the truth of the Bible to the understanding of its readers. For example, when one reads in the Bible that God stretches out His hand, one ought not to think that God has a hand. The literal meaning of such passages concerns God’s power, not His anatomy. Nor ought one to think that the six days at the beginning of Genesis literally refer to God’s acting in time, for God’s creative act is instantaneous and eternal. …

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/science/sc0035.html

  24. avatar
    Keith October 3, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    charo: Knowing my own deficiencies, I prefer to look to the intellectual heavy weights, i.e. Aquinas:

    Thomas Aquinas was wise in many things, and this is indeed one of them. The knowledge contained in the Bible is psychological and philosophical, not scientific or literal. The surface stories are fairy tales, meant as entertainment for children. the underlying mythology is the knowledge carrier, meant to be understood by adults.

    The Church revers Aquinas greatly, yet 200 years after Aquinas, that same Church persecuted Galileo Galilei and thousands of others for the crime of taking Aquinas at his word.

  25. avatar
    charo October 3, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Keith: Thomas Aquinas was wise in many things, and this is indeed one of them. The knowledge contained in the Bible is psychological and philosophical, not scientific or literal. The surface stories are fairy tales, meant as entertainment for children. the underlying mythology is the knowledge carrier, meant to be understood by adults.

    The Church revers Aquinas greatly, yet 200 years after Aquinas, that same Church persecuted Galileo Galilei and thousands of others for the crime of taking Aquinas at his word.

    I don’t know if I would make the same characterizations as you, for example, there are literal events in the Bible: the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The Church itself is without stain; people are not.

  26. avatar
    misha October 3, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    G:
    * Genesis was copied from an earlier Babylonian story, or
    * The Galgamesh myth was copied from an earlier Hebrew story, or
    * Both were copied from a common source that predates them both.

    I’ll go with ‘C,’ Alex.

  27. avatar
    Daniel October 3, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    misha: The story of Noah and the flood is lifted from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

    Of course, but I’m not talking about anthropological studies here, I’m talking about people who claim to believe the Bible in it’s literal sense, as the infallible “Word of God”, not getting the simple fact that their beliefs are contradictory. You cannot believe literally in the Noah story, and literally believe in the “serpent seed” idea at the same time, in any reasonable sense.

  28. avatar
    Daniel October 3, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    G: However, only a small subset really sit down and do any actual challenging holistic “scholarly” study of the Bible stories in a true sense of the term, where critical thinking and analysis of the stories and their origins is concerned.

    Very true indeed, but you’d think that small subset would include the people actually doing the preaching, wouldn’t you?

    Then again I don’t know why I’m even surprised at all. All my formative years I was taught by preachers that the Bible forbids sex before marriage. It wasn’t until much later, during my time in seminary, that I discovered that the Bible teaches no such thing.

  29. avatar
    Daniel October 3, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    charo: Aquinas’ firm adherence to the truth of Scripture without falling into the trap of literalistic readings of the text offers valuable correction for exegesis of the Bible which concludes that one must choose between the literal interpretation of the Bible and modern science.

    Most Protestants don’t realize that literalism is a quite recent concept in the history of Christianity. For most of the 200 years of Christian history, the Bible was views as Divinely inspired allegory and metaphor.

    The Hebrew people referred to the process of gleaning Divine truth from allegorical scripture as “Midrash”.

  30. avatar
    misha October 3, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Daniel: The Hebrew people referred to the process of gleaning Divine truth from allegorical scripture as “Midrash”.

    Thank you. The Bible, or scriptures, is allegory like Greek mythology. Call it Jewish mythology.

    BTW, I spent my formative years at the Unitarian Church. That’s where the action was – wink, wink.

  31. avatar
    Keith October 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    charo: The Church itself is without stain; people are not.

    The Church IS the people.

    Kill them all, let God sort them out.

  32. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny October 3, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Keith: The Church IS the people.

    Kill them all, let God sort them out.

    That is of course a reference to the sack of Beziers in 1209, where the whole population, Cathars and Roman Catholics, was slaughtered.

    Though the account of tha Papal delegate to Rome is unbelievable (a euphemism if there ever was one: he claimed hundreds of unarmed civilian followers of the crusaders miraculously stormed the walls and removed all the heretics, men, women and children from the earth with divine assistance); most historians do not believe the version that a German monk wrote down 40 years later, and that has become so ominousand so widely quoted.

    Though what happened in Southern France in the 13th century was disgusting. But it would not have been possible without the support of the king of France, who was in it for money and land.

    Same thing with the Baltic crusades by the German knights and the actual crusades to the Holy Land. Ostensible for religious reasons, in reality for financial gain: the crusaders were primarily interested in the treasures they could rob from Byzantine churches.

    At the time the Baltics were attacked by German crusaders, most of the people there had already been converted to Christianity by Orthodox monks coming over from Russia and Finland.

    Paradoxically, a few centuries later, another king of France would go after the treasures of the Templars, who had become rich because of those crusades.

    George Bush may have used the word crusade one time too often, but the only Church that ever blessed these enterprises, was the Church of Rome.

    They did not produce the association of the Pope with the Beast of Babylon out of thin air.

  33. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny October 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Paul Pieniezny: Paradoxically, a few centuries later, another king of France would go after the treasures of the Templars, who had become rich because of those crusades.

    Oops, though that is correct as far as the crusades to the Holy Land and the Baltic are concerned, the Templars were of course purged (for once the Stalinist term is very appropriate) in 1307, less than one century after Beziers.

  34. avatar
    Keith October 4, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    Paul Pieniezny: Oops, though that is correct as far as the crusades to the Holy Land and the Baltic are concerned, the Templars were of course purged (for once the Stalinist term is very appropriate) in 1307, less than one century after Beziers.

    On Friday the 13th. It isn’t considered unlucky for nothing.