“They just can’t help themselves when they get excited.”
– Mark Pilkington. ‘Ere be Dragons’; 1998.
Let us contrast the researcher with the ‘conspirahypocrite’.
In my view, conspirahypocrites are the resident sociopaths of the culture. As said, they are also the ones I associate most heavily with being ‘conspiracy theorists’.
These individuals are rarely, if ever wrong, yet they often refuse to enter into well-moderated public debate.
And when they do defend their arguments, it is usually with the same lies they told in the first place.
Occasionally, their rhetoric includes the great caveat that their assessor is actually a ‘CIA plant’. The irony being that, in their tirades, they often unwittingly pump disinformation from the gods of Langley.
Thus, their imaginations conquer reason.
Some are quieter and less obvious than others. Indeed, these individuals may well disagree with known conspirahypocrites, passing themselves off as researchers. Do not be fooled.
Though capable of seemingly passable work, if one scratches the surface, examines the scenery and asks the hard questions, these individuals are often no less rabid at the altar of conspiravangelism.
Kenn Thomas and Richard Dolan are classic cases of this dilemma.
David Icke and Alex Jones
David Icke often makes the point that it’s fine if people don’t agree with him. Alex Jones makes the same claim.
Yet, this modest public persona is very much at odds with both men’s sales pitches, and the amount of merchandise that you can find on their websites.
Truth can be ‘purchased’ via books, DVD’s, tickets to public appearances, faith healers, gold sellers – the whole lot.
Alex Jones is even more unscrupulous.
Jon Ronson once asked Alex Jones for his opinions on Icke. Jones, never noting the irony of his own bombast, mentioned that Icke has some sound ideas, but he muddies the waters by making ‘asinine’ claims.
Jones then compares Icke’s “Reptilian Lizard” men concept as being akin to a “turd in a punch bowl”.
Yet Jones, seeing dollar signs around Icke, has since become more than willing to drink from that very punch bowl.
Hence, Icke the “turd” is regularly on his show!
People forget that the world of conspirachypocisy is a very competitive one. The bigger the noise, the more exposure one gets. The more exposure means more radio time, and of course more hits for those advertising on their sites.
It also means you attract the attention of intellectuals.
Where “Intellectuals” Fit In
Two key academic figures involved in lumping real researchers, journalists and neutrals in with the conspirahypocrites over the years have been Professors Michael Barkun and Daniel Pipes.
Barkun and Pipes are considered “experts” on conspiracists and their theories, and are referred to often in the mainstream.
This is another extremely sad indictment of the situation. Individuals like Dr Michael Parenti (though inaccurate with some details) understand the nature of conspiracies far more than both Barkun and Pipes, yet he is rarely if ever, picked up by the mainstream media.
Pipes is quite clearly psychotic (just visit his website), yet he provides a passable history of conspiracy theories. Some of Barkun’s writings (I say this with extreme reservation) also have the potential to be mildly useful.
For all of their credentials, Barkun and Pipes are ultimately of the opinion that conspiracy theories are essentially modern myths, cooked up by people to help explain away unexpected events in much the same way as the ancients believed the gods controlled the weather or the ocean.
Critiquing the Critiquers
While this view sounds soothing, and in many way’s it could easily sum up what Icke and Jones dish out, we have to wonder how Barkun and Pipes earned their PhD’s?
I find it entirely implausible that after all their years of study, they never once acknowledged the mass of evidence that U.S intelligence has in fact actively cultivated a number of powerful conspiracy myths.
They have been all over UFO’s since day one during the Blue Book years. They have circulated all manner of conspirators in the Kennedy case (not just Oswald). Many now suspect that it is they, who have been targeting the conspirahypocrite fraternity.
Thus, I shall use Barkun and Pipes as an example of the difference between careful researchers and their “theorist” imitators.
When writing this treatise I expected both to have many enemies in the ‘theorist’ camp. As, over the years, they have made a number of direct assaults on individuals like Icke and Jones.
Yet, Barkun and Pipes have very rarely faced any counter critique from their targets. In particular, critiques about their dubious theories about conspiracies being a form of ‘modern mythology’.
Individuals like Icke are a little less aggressive, while Alex Jones himself can be particularly rabid when pressed. Jones in particular is quite forceful when in pursuit of figures the he has deemed to have ‘dissed’ him.
Barkun and Pipes Government Connections
Just reading Wikipedia, you can see Barkun is an asset of the FBI. This, I dare say, is chicken feed compared to Pipes’ father.
Richard Pipes was head of the CIA’s notorious and paranoid ‘Team B’, set up by George Bush when he was head of the CIA in 1976.
According to a Slate article published in July of 2004, titled “Can the CIA be Saved”, by Fred Kaplan, he discussed the fact that Team B had been set up to discredit the estimates of CIA analysts in Team A, whom had supposedly been guilty of playing down the extent of the Soviet threat.
Craig Unger, wrote on pages 54-55 of the intriguing “American Armageddon” that during his time as head of Team B, Pipes senior was wined and dined around Washington by Richard Perle. Perle would later convince Pipes to bring Paul Wolfowitz on board.
These are all pretty significant connections that Barkun and Pipes possess.
Why Don’t Icke and Jones Respond?
In my experiences dealing with Icke and Jones, I assumed for a time that neither had heard of these fellows.
However, as it turned out, they have.
I recall seeing Pipes and Icke take opposing positions in a rather banal History Channel show entitled “Secret Societies” in about 2004.
After looking around, I found nothing much from Icke critiquing Pipes, bar a few Icke fans discussing how Icke had “owned him”.
On Jones’ score, I recently came across a piece featuring Pipes being criticised for endorsing a lightening invasion of Iran in early 2010 on an Alex Jones site.
Again, bar the odd complaint about Pipes being a ‘shill’, I saw nothing in terms of any investigations by Jones into Barkuns and Pipes backgrounds.
Yet, it was via Jones that I finally found a critique of Barkun.
In his 2005 documentary “The Order of Death”, Jones gleefully discussed the establishment’s reaction to his 2000 invasion of Bohemian Grove.
In doing so, he showed a clip of Barkun discussing the Grove and mentioning Jones.
Jones in-depth analysis of Barkun was that he was a “shifty-eyed professor they dug up, who appeared to be flashing Masonic hand signs”.
Jones, Icke and their fans incompetence in the conspiracy field, echoes that of their opponents.
What this creates (by accident or by design) is a symbiotic relationship of mutual benefit. By making sweeping generalisations about those involved in conspiracy circles, and in doing so paying close attention to individuals like Icke and Jones, Barkun and Pipes prove their limited thesis.
The irony is that while Icke and Jones decry the mainstream media, they also welcome the attention of it.
Ultimately, the joke is on us all.
Straw candidates like Icke and Jones are ‘tapped’, to express alternate viewpoints to the main stream, and do so loudly enough to drown out anyone else.
All the while, more rational voices – more than capable of single-handedly taking down types like Barkun and Pipes – have been denied the chance to do so.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com