Why does God Allow Evil? Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm
Should God’s existence be proven? /Apologeticshtml/Should the Bible and God Be Proven Fideism vs WCG.htm
Does the Bible teach blind faith? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Gospel of John Theory of Knowledge.htm
Is There a Giant Secret Conspiracy Controlling the World?
Do paranoids have real enemies? Is there a giant conspiracy of this nation’s or this world’s mighty that aims to deceive us, to enslave us, and/or to destroy us? Should Christians be concerned? Are we routinely accusing people who are different than us in race, political party, religion, political ideology, social class, etc., of conspiring against us? Many decades ago the historian Richard Hofstadter in “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” (1964) discussed this running theme in our political history. Many decades ago, people feared that the Freemasons were engaged in a conspiracy to control others, a view that still affects some analyses of the French Revolution of 1789. Diehard anti-Semites will still trot out that old creation of the Czarist secret police, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” to prove that the Jews are in a giant conspiracy to take over the world. Conspiracy theories about, say, the moon landing’s being faked, which seems to be inspired by the faked Mars land in the movie “Capricorn One,” which I saw as a child, are relatively politically neutral. Let’s examine briefly why secret giant conspiracy theories aren’t plausible.
More recently, many on the right have believed in some version of the John Birch Society’s “Insider” conspiracy theory, such as proclaimed famously in Gary Allen’s “None Dare Call It Conspiracy.” This theory maintains, depending on the variations, that the Rockefellers and/or the Rothschilds, i.e., super rich capitalists, controlled the Communist leaders of the Soviet Union. They also supposedly are seeking to impose a fascist dictatorship on the United States (and/or other nations) in order to crush competition against the companies that they control and/or own. They are using or used such organizations as the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and/or the Bilderbergers as part of this process. Others in the right’s fevered swamps will say that Timothy McVeigh’s terrorist action in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people was a set up to strip Americans of their right to own guns or strip them of other civil liberties. The debate about President Obama’s birth certificate come from the same kind of source.
When we see all the constantly poor or bad decisions made by government leaders, do we really believe that the same people are hiding a super-powerful conspiracy that aims to control everyone and everything so completely? Gary North, in this brilliant opinion piece https://www.garynorth.com/public/10681.cfm) discusses why these conspiracy theories can’t be true. If the elite was so smart and had so much power, they wouldn't be dumb enough to REALLY believe in Keynesian economics. Yet they do. They sure aren't Austrians. The $2 trillion stimulus measure passed by Congress and signed into law by Trump during the Wuhan virus crisis is great proof. And that's how we're going to get an economic crisis when the bond markets deem most of the West's advanced welfare states to be bankrupt. They are intellectually empowered to spend like drunken sailors by Keynesian economists like the New York Times’ well-known columnist Paul Krugman. Many of them used this last financial crisis in 2008-2009 as an excuse to absurdly inflate their currency's money supply through “quantitative easing” even after “the great recession’s” immediate crisis had just ended. Are these people so smart yet so dumb at the same time? North explains why we shouldn't think that the Bilderburgers, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, etc., control America and/or the Western world ultimately. They will be undone by their own belief in political liberalism, especially by their belief in Keynesian economics, which preaches that we can spend our way into prosperity regardless of the debt incurred in the process. The world's governments need to learn to live within their means in order to declare their independence of the bond market vigilantes who drive up the interest rates on risky government bonds. Otherwise, they will all end up like Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Japan, the USA, and Britain may well be next to join them. They will hit the wall as their aging populations demand more government services and fewer workers are around to pay for them. They will enter a collective debt crisis that will destroy the U.S. dollar, the Japanese yen, the British pound, and probably the euro as well, as presently configured. It's about as predictable as the sun's rising, except for the exact timing. The coronavirus crisis merely has sped up the day of ultimate collapse by several years compared to the old trajectory, in which Trump’s administration was merely sinking a trillion dollars a year into the financial hole.
The left has its own versions of this same explanatory phenomenon. That’s why a false belief in conspiracy theories is an American problem, not merely a left-wing or right-wing characteristic. For example, a number of hard left blacks believe that the World Health Organization created AIDS as a means to kill off the black race. Other liberals will discuss, say, the sales of drugs in poor communities by the FBI and/or CIA as having a similar goal. A liberal black conspiracy theory was central to how O.J. Simpson literally got away with murder, as if the LA police would aim to frame a previously non-political black (as opposed to, say, Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton) for the crime of murdering his ex-wife and her apparent lover. Other liberals (or perhaps libertarians) will argue that 9-11 was a conspiracy of Jews and/or the Bush administration to start a war in the Middle East to further Israel’s interests and/or to strip Americans of their civil liberties. Despite JFK ran as a solid Cold Warrior who outflanked Richard Nixon on the right in the 1960 campaign, Oliver Stone and others have long argued that the Vietnam War was the creation of a conspiracy in the CIA and elsewhere that had JFK killed in order to intervene in that war. (The truth is that JFK felt he might have to run against Goldwater in 1964, so he didn’t want Vietnam to collapse right around when he would be running for re-election, so he authorized the coup against Diem for this reason, since he was deemed to be an ineffective leader who was losing support within his own nation).
The real world simply doesn’t fit such categories well, especially after we realize the contradictions about how we perceive the power of the conspirators in the worlds of government, media, and business. Long ago, the journalist Jeff Greenfield pointed out that once someone knows the people at the top, one finds all sorts of dumb things done. His example concerned why the United States’ mistakenly bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Serbia: We had a bad map so it got bombed. The same government that supposedly can do anything and spy on everyone, in the spirit of the TV show “A Person of Interest,” can’t stop banal, routine street crime. The elites of America, despite giving Hillary Clinton an extra $500 million dollars for TV attack ads and political organizing and unaccountably more help through very biased media coverage from major TV networks and major newspapers, couldn’t stop Donald Trump from being elected. Instead of being nearly omnipotent, the purported conspirators are part of government bureaucracies that waste spectacular amounts of money, can’t fill in the potholes in the city streets, and who can’t fire bad government workers, such as incompetent school teachers and brutal police officers.
We think that the secret police of America, such as the FBI, are omnicompetent when in the hands of these conspirators, but in the real world, we see that they are often the gang that can’t shoot straight. They didn’t follow up on tips that the Florida school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was potentially dangerous. The CIA, like the other major spy agencies of the world, thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, just as Saddam’s own generals had thought before they surrendered and reported their beliefs to those who interviewed. The CIA also spent decades saying in their estimates of GDP that the USSR’s economy was going to surpass that of the United States in size. In reality, the omnicompetent rulers are a myth. In reality, they are like the Watergate burglars who got caught in part because they taped a door’s latch. Nixon couldn’t cover up something that trivial by comparison; why do we believe something much bigger and longer-lived involving many more people can remain successfully hidden? Wouldn’t someone possibly feel guilty and confess? Would someone foolishly boast when under the influence? In a world with camera phones and the internet, can anything really be hidden anymore for long? What happened when Romney said in a closed-door campaign event that half the population he didn’t care about convincing them to vote for him since they didn’t pay income taxes? It got around everywhere nevertheless.
The CFR, the Trilaterals, the Bilderbergers, the Davos set, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, etc., couldn’t prevent the election of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and (in the College of Cardinals) a Polish Pope John Paul II from being elected. They combined with others to bring down the iron curtain. Theoretically, if the John Bircher theory was right, David Rockefeller should have called up Gorbachev and ordered him to “Send in the tanks!” when the Solidarity Union’s forces were taking over Poland in 1989. Clearly that didn’t happen, which shows the obvious falsity of that conspiracy theory’s main claim.
Of course, for any claim that this or that set of conditions refute a conspiracy theory, it can be made non-falsifiable by its advocates. Hence, the John Birchers can assert, after the Iron Curtain fell in 1989 and the USSR imposed in 1991-1992, that the “Insiders” simply changed their tactics some. Instead of feeding the Communist Beast, they decided to destroy it. Why did they change their minds in 1989? Did they feel that the “Insiders” now could advance their cause of making the United States into a fascist dictatorship by another means instead? Why?
Sure, the establishment and the mighty of the world network with each other to give each other good jobs and lucrative contracts. Just look at the contents of John Podesta’s emails that the Russians phished successfully. He was like a one-man employment agency for the families of the well-connected while working for Hillary Clinton as a campaign manager.
Let’s zero in on a typical kind of rumor based on conspiracy theories. Was the Wuhan virus a deliberate creation of scientists working in a lab? Or does it have a natural origin, such as from (say) someone's buying meat from a bat or pangolin at the "wet" market in Wuhan, China? The genetics of the virus, at least for objective scientists, point to its being a natural virus, not a "Frankenstein's monster" product of a lab geared for making (say) weapons for biological warfare. Of course, as it notorious, conspiracy theories are not really falsifiable hypotheses. Someone who believes in them, once confronted with evidence refuting them, simply says the new evidence is a product of the giant conspiracy as well. At some point, we need to be sensible instead. https://www.yahoo.com/gma/sorry-conspiracy-theorists-study-concludes-covid-19-not-090026698--abc-news-topstories.html
I predict all this 9-11 “truther” nonsense can be refuted easily once one grinds a sufficient number of details. Popular Mechanics has made a major effort to refute engineering analyses that claim the buildings couldn’t have collapsed because airplanes hit them. See https://www.popularmechanics.com/9-11-conspiracy-theories/. I simply don’t believe our establishment is that malicious, for all of their problems. We don’t live in Mao’s China or Stalin’s Russia. Furthermore, why don’t they organize another 9-11 hit job every year, every month, every week, even every day, if it suited their purposes so well? Remember, a lot of people for months, even years, after 9-11 were worried that another major terrorist hit would occur, but it didn’t.
For a similar example of this, we have all the conspiracies surrounding JFK’s assassination, including the Oliver Stone theory that comes from the same fever swamps that the 9-11 “truther” claims emerge that it was the result of a CIA-backed conspiracy to keep us in Vietnam. I still remember one of my professors at MSU considering it such nonsense because JFK had campaigned as such a cold warrior in the 1960 presidential election that he couldn’t have easily abandoned Vietnam. Furthermore, JFK knew that Vietnam would likely collapse in time for the 1964 election and that he would could be up against (well) Barry Goldwater, the supreme Cold Warrior of the right himself. Consider the 1612-page effort by Vincent Bugliosi, “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” which is a very systematic refutation of all and any conspiracy theories related to JFK’s death. I doubt that the 9-11 “truther” claims could really withstand a similar examination.
So can this conspiracy theory, or any other, be falsified, in the minds of its believers? I was willing to give up my belief in the Insider/John Bircher theory that the Rockefellers controlled the Communists after Gorbachev let the Iron Curtain fall. Likely a John Bircher, still believing in that theory, would simply say the Insiders changed their tactics and decided that Communism had to go after having had fed that beast for 70 plus years. Hence, the theory can’t be proven true or false and so lacks a proper scientific/historical status. (See the writings of the philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper if you aren’t familiar with this kind of reasoning about falsification). So I have given up my faith in conspiracy theories. They ultimately are non-falsifiable hypotheses.
As Christians, we should remember that the world’s destiny is in His hands, not humanity’s. Therefore, we shouldn’t worry about any conspiracy. The world is in His hands, not ours. God will send His Son, His kingdom will rule the world, and that’s the end of the matter. Therefore, there’s no need to be concerned or worried about conspiracies of the world’s mighty. God will take care of them, whether or not they are actually conspiring about anything or merely just scratching each other’s back.
Eric V. Snow
Click here to access essays that defend Christianity: /apologetics.html
Click here to access essays that explain Christian teachings: /doctrinal.html
Click here to access notes for sermonettes: /sermonettes.html
Why does God Allow Evil? Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm
May Christians work on Saturdays? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Protestant Rhetoric vs Sabbath Refuted.htm
Should Christians obey the Old Testament law? /doctrinalhtml/Does the New Covenant Abolish the OT Law.htm
Do you have an immortal soul? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Here and Hereafter.htm
Does the ministry have authority? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is There an Ordained Ministry vs Edwards.html
Is the United States the Beast? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Are We the Beast vs Collins.htm
Should you give 10% of your income to your church? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Does the Argument from Silence Abolish the Old Testament Law of Tithing 0205 Mokarow rebuttal.htm
Is Jesus God? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is Jesus God.htm
Will there be a third resurrection? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Will There Be a Third Resurrection.htm