By Craig McKee
There is a reason why so many conspiracy “enthusiasts” connect with the concept behind The Matrix.
It shows us a world that most accept as being real. People have jobs, have friends, have lives, and they don’t ask questions. But Thomas Anderson/Neo has a different future ahead of him. We follow him as he takes the red pill, and we all find out “just how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
I’m currently reading a provocative new book that looks at 9/11 from a vantage point in the deepest recesses of the rabbit hole. The book is called The Most Dangerous Book in the World: 9/11 as Mass Ritual by S.K. Bain. I’ve got an interview lined up with the author as soon as I have finished; reading the book.
But in the meantime, I was particularly struck by the prologue of the book, entitled “Knock, knock” and written by Peter Levenda, author of Sinister Forces. Levenda offers more than just an introduction to Bain’s book, which contends that 9/11 was an elaborate occult ritual, he offers an insightful description of what it means to be a “conspiracy theorist” and what it means to be, well, everybody else.
With Bain’s kind permission, I am reproducing a major chunk of Levenda’s prologue below, leaving out the parts that deal directly with the book he is introducing (we’ll get to that in the interview piece). Levenda looks at how the majority of us live in a reality that has been constructed for us while those who are fascinated by secrets and conspiracies are determined to look at and understand the “darker mechanisms of reality.”
I am very conscious of the transition process from a state of accepting the surface reality we’re presented with to one of wanting to understand – and expose – the hidden and insidious manipulations of our world for the benefit of a few. Although I’ve always felt unsatisfied with the reality presented to us (I began obsessing about the Kennedy assassination in my early teens), that feeling has been brought to a new level since I got involved in the 9/11 Truth movement. Frankly, some of my long-time friends think I’ve gone off the deep end, seeing conspiracies everywhere. I, on the other hand, am increasingly frustrated at their resistance and denial of what I am now just starting to see.
As with Neo, there’s no going back for me. Once you’ve become a pickle, you can’t go back to being a cucumber. Perhaps, Mr. Levenda can put it better as he looks at what it means to be a conspiracy theorist:
“They have one foot in the world of mainstream history and culture, what Robert Anton Wilson used to call “consensus reality.” That’s the world where most of us live. We are all products of that world, and of the ideas and worldview it represents. We are trained in this world virtually from birth: school, church, government, media all conspire to present an image—a picture—of reality that will result in the development of perfect citizens in an easily-managed society. There is a social contract: we contribute to this society with the expectation that we will receive goods and services in return. We obey the laws that are created by other people, believing that our best interests are being addressed thereby. We fight in wars declared by our governments in order to preserve our society: this carefully-structured, albeit artificial, society.
And all is right with the world.
But conspiracy theorists have their other foot … well, somewhere else. Not everyone is asleep to the darker mechanisms of reality. In fact, everyone becomes aware of them at some point in their lives. Everyone questions. The very nature of reality itself is at times so hostile to human life that human institutions must be challenged for their inadequate protection of their constituents. Conspiracy theorists seize on this inadequacy as evidence of the tenuousness of consensus reality. There are other forces at work, forces that are unacknowledged by the state, the church, the media because to admit their existence is to admit failure. Thus, when things go wrong, terrorists are blamed, or communists, or witches. This serves to rally the citizens around the government once again, instead of stopping to insist that explanations be given, that evidence is properly analyzed, that the guilty are apprehended and punished. And we once more go to war, against … someone, somewhere.
Paranoia becomes institutionalized. It is appropriated by the government as its own prerogative. The state determines the nature and quality of the paranoia: it creates intelligence agencies whose sole purpose is to give a form to paranoia, to enshrine paranoia as one of the necessary qualities of an observant and caring state. To prove that paranoia is an acceptable characteristic of the paternalistic regime.
The citizens are not allowed to become paranoid unless it is at government direction and sanction. Individual cases of paranoia are frowned upon. The state tells us that if we are not paranoid the way it is paranoid—and about the same things—it’s because we don’t have all the facts: about terrorism, fundamentalism, communism, foreign countries, weapons of mass destruction, sleeper cells. The state has all the facts: classified documents, wire-tap transcripts, intelligence feeds, high-altitude reconnaissance images, none of which the citizen is permitted to see.
It does not realize that the logical conclusion of all this paranoia is suspicion of the state apparatus itself.
What the conspiracy theorist often fails to realize, however, is that those working for the state are often just as clueless as the average citizen when it comes to the origin and function of the forces at work to subvert it. The strength of a conspiracy, after all, rests in the limited number of persons who are aware of its existence and parameters. No one has the entire picture. Each member of the state apparatus only has possession of a single piece of an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Putting together all these disparate pieces—particularly when one does not have the original picture to work from—is a soul-destroying enterprise that consumes decades of work and years of one’s life. This is especially true when the state has in its arsenal of lies the techniques of disinformation and misdirection, of false testimony and planted documents.
Anyone who works with this material eventually comes to that realization. But the motivation to keep digging is still alive; the urge to uncover one more piece of the puzzle, one more document, is perhaps a central characteristic not only of the conspiracy theorist but of human nature itself. The more intelligent of the theorists soon come to realize that Hansel and Gretel have left breadcrumbs everywhere, in no discernible pattern. Thus, the inclination among some of the best to stop looking for the children and start looking for the Witch.
The deeper one delves into the conspiracy literature, the more one is struck by the tendency of some theorists to look beyond the documents and the tangible evidence of government malfeasance or political conspiracy to more transcendental sources of power. One begins with the government agents, the spies, the politicians, the military, and soon gravitates towards the secret societies: the Freemasons and the Illuminati (among so many others). This involves studying their texts, their social structures, their stated goals, their secret conclaves, their antinomian beliefs and practices.”
And that’s where Bain’s book comes in – a rabbit hole exploration for another day.