Paul Joseph Watson
September 3, 2010
One of the authors of a report which called for the authorities to infiltrate conspiracy websites in a bid to “increase trust in the government” has responded to an online backlash by claiming conspiracy theories, and not the government, are responsible for spreading lies and distrust which ultimately lead to violence.
As we highlighted on Monday, a report published by the UK think tank Demos called The Power of Unreason encouraged the government to “fight back” against conspiracy theories by infiltrating websites in an effort to restore confidence in the state and discredit evidence of government complicity in the 7/7 and 9/11 terror attacks.
Appearing on a website for activists involved in the Liberal Democrat Party, one of the members of the new coalition government in Britain, an article by Demos’ Carl Miller attempts to diffuse criticism of the report by belittling the backlash as “an interesting micro-study” into how dangerous “conspiracy theories” have a harmful social influence.
Miller characterizes “conspiracy theories” as dangerous ideas that “demolish trust between government and communities”. He later claims that conspiracy theories spread, “lies, distrust, bigotry, intolerance and ultimately violence.”
The delicious irony about this is that Miller’s terms of reference do not fit the “conspiracy theory” mould whatsoever, and yet they characterize precisely the effect that government lies and propaganda, the type that Demos routinely helps transmit, have on society.
For it was government lies about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction and his mythical 45 minute strike capability that spread distrust between Tony Blair’s Labour government, which was riddled with Demos cronies, and the people of Britain. And it was that same lie that ultimately led to the violence of a million dead Iraqis.
Miller’s claim that “conspiracy theories are used to justify acts of violence” is particularly ill-timed in its inaccuracy, given the fact that just two days ago it was a crazed gunman acting on a top-down political doctrine, that of environmentalism and overpopulation, as a motivation for his taking hostages at gunpoint at the Discovery Channel building in Silver Spring, Maryland.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
James Jay Lee wasn’t motivated by “conspiracy theories” in his pursuit of violence, he was motivated by the very extremist belief system – eugenics – that so-called “conspiracy theorists” like Alex Jones have been attempting to discredit for years.
Indeed, the only notable individual to cite conspiracy theories as a justification for violence in recent times was radio talk show host Hal Turner – who also happened to be paid by the FBI to do so. Turner conspired with the FBI to spout violent rhetoric in an effort to entrap “conspiracy theorists”.
Miller and Demos’ obvious intention is to use the pejorative term “conspiracy theory” as a veil behind which to hide the true target of their ideological assault – dissent against government and healthy suspicion of authority.
As one of the respondents to Miller’s article points out, “Calling something a “conspiracy theory” is a powerful rhetorical device. It has the immediate effect of shutting down inquiry and debate, and of anathematising the advocate as mentally ill, a danger to civlisation, a social pariah.”
This is dangerous, pernicious nonsense, and deeply corrosive of freedom of speech and free inquiry.
What is a “conspiracy theory”? I ask, because those who make it their business to decry such things and anathematise those who propound them, never give us a definition.
So, I will provide a definition which I think fits pretty well. A “conspiracy theory” is an interpretation of a historical event or concatenation of events that the decrier does not like and/or considers ideologically unacceptable.
If someone makes a claim about a historic event that conflicts with “official” or orthodox understandings, the first only only inquiry should be: “Is the claim true?”
But Carl Miller and his friends reject this procedure. To them, any such claims are heresies and cannot be entertained on purely a priori grounds.
Liberals must surely see the extreme dangers in what Carl Miller and his friends are doing.
About a week ago, the UK government admitted that the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the RUC colluded with the Roman Catholic Church to protect an IRA murderer, Father John Chesney, in order to obviate embarrassment to the Church. If David Icke had said this, his claim would be dismissed with haughty smugness and anyone taking it seriously would be called feeble-minded or deranged. Yet it happens to be true.
Miller soon dispenses with mental gymnastics and snidey semantics and just settles for outright falsehoods in rubbishing the claim that Demos is a “marxist” front group, despite the fact that the organization was founded by Martin Jacques and Geoff Mulgan, former editors of Marxism Today, which was the theoretical journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain.
In addition, Demos became notorious in the late 1990’s as a mouthpiece for the marxist factions within Blair’s Labour Party, people like former Home Secretary John Reid, another ex-Communist, who gave a speech at a Demos function in 2006 calling for Britons to Britons “modify their notion of freedom.”
Miller scoffs at the apparently ludicrous charge that the Demos report itself was “government-sponsored disinformation,” while failing entirely to mention the fact that not only did Demos cosy up to the Blair government at every available opportunity, but they also worked with current Prime Minister David Cameron on their “Progressive Conservatism” project on numerous different occasions.
How can Miller attempt to cast Demos as an independent organization when Cameron is a regular speaker at their events?
Demos is nothing more than a PR firm for the British government, and dutifully serves the agenda whether a liberal or a tory is in office.
Miller is just like the hundreds of other elitist lackeys that hide their disdain for healthy distrust of authority behind the cloak of faux-intellectual reasoning. What he has completely failed to grasp is the fact that the establishment is now so utterly discredited that his call to “confront conspiracy theories” has no audience.
Just look at the comments below Miller’s article. Almost every one demolishes his thinly-veiled assault on free speech for what it is.
The vast majority of people have no interest in ‘confronting conspiracy theories’ because they are too busy confronting propagandists like Miller and Demos, who continue to spew the most dangerous anti-freedom rhetoric in service of the lying, corrupt and pernicious state for whom they operate.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also an fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show. Watson has been interviewed by many publications and radio shows, including Vanity Fair and Coast to Coast AM, America’s most listened to late night talk show.