Portmaneau words can be such fun... is it Con-Spirituality or Conspiri-tuality? How about both? The world of "self-help" and pop spirituality has been infiltrated by conspiracy thinking for a long time, of course. That's basically what any bog standard cult is about, combining spiritual concepts and conspiracy thinking. But this is the age of QAnon and this like everything else has been cranked up to new intensities.
The social journalism/blogging site Medium.com has an interesting recent analysis of the growing tendency of self-help and 'new age' gurus to spout conspiracy claptrap.
I want to talk about trying to make sense when things are breaking down.
The last few weeks, we’ve seen some conspiracy theories blooming out of the anxiety of the lockdown.
Sports-presenter turned conspiracy-theorist David Icke took centre-stage in April, appearing in a video for London Real, in which he suggested COVID19 was caused by 5G (perhaps as part of the global plot run by a secret order of alien lizards, which Icke has consistently described). The video was watched millions of times on YouTube and on LondonLive before YouTube and Ofcom stepped in to get it taken down.
The same week, a documentary appeared called Out of Shadows, recycling the 2016 ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theory that a secret order of Democrats and Hollywood celebrities run a paedophile ring centred on two Washington pizza restaurants. The documentary got two million views in a day.
We’ve also seen a conspiracy theory that COVID19 is part of a plot led by Bill Gates and the World Health Organisation to get the world to take his vaccine and implant his chip surveillance. Conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones of Infowars have claimed for over a decade that Gates’ huge funding for vaccines is actually a eugenicist plot to reduce the world’s population. This theory was taken up and enthusiastically spread this week by an anti-vaccine entrepreneur called Dr Shiva, who claims he invented email. A TV interview with him has been watched six million times in a week.
Now in some ways this is predictable. The pandemic has led to a breakdown in knowledge and certainty. We don’t know much about the virus or the best way of dealing with it, but we know it’s killing a lot of us and we’re afraid. This is happening to the entire human race at the same time, and we’re all connected on the internet.
If we look at the history of the occult (I recommend Gary Lachmann’s Secret Teachers of the Western World as a popular intro), ever since the Reformation there have been secret orders of spiritual-political ecstatic globalists dedicated to a Millennarian project of global transformation. That’s what Renaissance magi were into, and Rosicrucians, and the Masons, and the Illuminati — the foot-soldiers of the Enlightenment were positive conspiracy theorists. So was HG Wells and his ‘Open Conspiracy’— he was supposedly a rationalist, but really he was preaching a sort of occult-scientific polyamorous universalist new religion. So were Theosophists like Annie Besant. So were New Age pioneers in the 1960s like Marilyn Ferguson (author of The Aquarian Conspiracy, one of the best-selling books of the 1980s) and Barbara Marx Hubbard, champion of a globalist evolutionary spirituality. You can probably think of people into this sort of scene today — spiritual-political ecstatic globalists waiting for a golden New Age of global justice, perennial philosophy and polyamorous love.
On the other hand, you have paranoid conspiracy thinkers who are anti-globalists, like Infowars’ Alex Jones or evangelical Lee Keith (his book cover is below), who may see ecstatic globalists as an evil and demonic hidden order pulling the strings of global events. Anti-globalist paranoid conspiracy thinkers trace the very networks that ecstatic networkers like Barbara Marx Hubbard work through. ‘See!’, they say. ‘They all know each other through these think-tanks and informal organisations.’
Scientific authority can be awfully, horribly wrong sometimes — many ecstatic globalists in the 20th century really did support eugenics ( including HG Wells, Annie Besant, Julian Huxley, Alexis Carrel and Teillard de Chardin). They thought the world should be run by an elite of spiritually enlightened scientists who would decide who was enlightened and who was ‘unfit’ and therefore deserved to be sterilized, locked up, or exterminated. There was no secret conspiracy about this — they proudly declared their opinions. So you can see why paranoid anti-globalists might have their suspicions of secret eugenic plots today.
|Re: Conspirituality||92||Nolondil||04-Oct-20 20:14|
|Re: There are such things as conspiracies you know....||93||Sirius7237||05-Oct-20 05:26|
|Re: There are such things as conspiracies you know....||99||Nolondil||05-Oct-20 17:49|
|Re: There are such things as conspiracies you know....||166||Sirius7237||08-Oct-20 01:44|
|Re: There are such things as conspiracies you know....||147||Glass Jigsaw||16-Oct-20 12:42|
|Re: Conspirituality||88||Susan Doris||05-Oct-20 05:30|
|Re: Conspirituality||95||Nolondil||05-Oct-20 17:58|
|Re: Conspirituality||117||Archaic||10-Oct-20 22:44|