Conspiracy On the Buses

Just a further thought on the idiotic hysteria over the “evacuation bus” which is being fanned by WorldNetDaily and Janet Porter, and which has been decisively debunked by RightWingWatch. Here’s the video that set it off:

This sums up quite nicely the vacuous vanity which leads so many people to jump on the most absurd conspiracy bandwagons. The driver sees an unusual vehicle. He hasn’t seen such a thing before. But for some reason he doesn’t feel any need to find out what it is or what it’s for – instead, he thinks that he can simply deduce what it must be for by running it through the limited information in his head already; in this case, probably culled from fringe crank websites.  There’s no need for any actual research or to consider the evidence – indeed, any explanation which subsequently comes to light can be dismissed as fodder for the “sheeple”.

Some say that conspiracy theories are attractive because they put an end to uncertainty, but I think there’s another factor: the smug sense of superiority that embracing  a conspiracy can endow. As Candide observes,

“is there not a pleasure…in criticising everything, in pointing out faults where others see nothing but beauties?”

Most people might think that a large ambulance capable of carrying up to 40 people in wheelchairs is a potentially useful thing to have around, and that Americans can be proud to have developed such an item. But that’s because most people are stupid: in fact, it’s a sign that the usurper Kenyan Muslim president of the USA is planning to transport conservatives into special camps on the pretext that they won’t accept a killer vaccine.

And the cheap glow of lazy self-satisfaction doubtless grows brighter with the increasing grandiosity of any conspiracy theory accepted.  Imagine: billions of people think that something is true – be it the Apollo moon landings, Islamic extremist responsibility for 9/11, the theory of evolution, or whatever – but I know better. Does this not mean that I enjoy sharper critical skills than almost everyone else on the planet? Does this not mean that when I come across subject I don’t really understand I can just dismiss most of the serious literature in favour of some crank pseudo-interpretation?

(PS: how exactly is that clown safely driving a car while waving a camera around?)

Level Six Stupidity: Conspiracy Mongering Now Pandemic

One of the earliest topics I blogged about, back in 2004, was opposition to the polio vaccine in nothern Nigeria, where Islamists spread conspiracy theories about how the vaccine either spreads AIDS or causes to genital malformation in boys. But it’s not just developing countries where demagogues use fear and uncertainty around disease and medicine to fan paranoia; here’s Janet Porter, former co-chair of Mike Huckabee’s Faith and Values Coalition, writing at (where else?) WorldNetDaily:

…Austrian investigative reporter Jane Burgermeister, on Wednesday’s Faith2Action radio program, said France is already responding to the Pandemic “Level 6” complete with military-enforced mandatory vaccinations. She added, “They are going to be mandatory throughout Europe.” But that’s not all.

Burgermeister reported:

According to the International Health Regulations of 2005, which has been incorporated into legislation also in The International Partnership on Avian Influenza of 2005 of the USA … the WHO and the U.N. become the controlling agencies of the U.S. in the event of a declared Level 6 Pandemic, and are entitled to control of this country under martial law … under the pretext of fighting a pandemic emergency.

Refusing a WHO-mandated vaccination has been criminalized; police can therefore use deadly force against “criminal suspects” refusing these vaccines.

Perhaps this is a reason why the Pentagon is preparing to “make troops available,” as Fox News reported, to work with FEMA. Fisher said Congress passed post 9/11 regulations, over the objections of the governors, granting the federal government the authority deploy the National Guard.

Last week, I reported about the ads the Army and National Guard are posting for “Internment/Resettlement Specialists” for “confinement,” “control,” “custody,” “supervision” and “counseling individual prisoners in rehabilitative programs.”

…Check out this YouTube video from a guy who spotted a “Mass Evacuation Bus.”

Who gets put on one of these huge government buses without windows?

In fact, as RightWingWatch notes,  the “huge government buses without windows” are in fact large-capacity ambulances for use in emergencies – the “Internment/Resettlement Specialists” conspiracy theory has also been debunked. There are no reports of “military-enforced mandatory vaccinations” being underway in France – in fact, the vaccine is not even being distributed yet. According to Roselyne Bachelot, the French Health Minister a couple of weeks ago:

Le passage au niveau d’alerte 6 engendre la gratuité des médicaments antiviraux, délivrés sur ordonnance. Ce niveau “ouvre une boîte, les outils permettant d’accélérer certaines démarches administratives en termes d’organisation et de réquisition, permettant par exemple une fermeture centralisée de certains établissements”, a-t-on expliqué au ministère de la Santé. Il correspond au Plan national de prévention et de lutte “Pandémie grippale” du gouvernement.

La ministre de la Santé a aussi indiqué mardi que la vaccination contre le virus “sera prise en charge par les systèmes de solidarité nationale”. “Nous avons 94 millions de doses qui sont achetées ferme, nous avons calculé qu’à peu près les trois quarts de nos compatriotes souhaiteraient se faire vacciner, puisque nous ne sommes pas dans une stratégie de vaccination obligatoire pour l’instant”…

In other words, enough vaccine will be available for those “trois quarts de nos compatriotes souhaiteraient se faire vacciner” – the three quarters of the population who want it. There is no “stratégie de vaccination obligatoire pour l’instant” – and if there were one, there is no evidence that it would involve anything as preposterous as the use of “deadly force” against those who refuse, or the handing over of sovereignty to the WHO. The site to which Porter links in relation to this last point begins thus:

There is evidence that shows that there presently exists an international corporate criminal syndicate that, in violation of the RICO Act (18 USC sec 1961-1969), is intent upon embarking upon a cascading event of genocide within the United States, in the UK, and in other countries around the world, most likely in Autumn 2009/Winter2010, using as their weapon an enforced program of toxic vaccines after a deliberate release of a virus to spark a pandemic could immensely profit vaccine companies.

The toxic vaccinations, classified as bioweapons by the US and EU governments’ own regulations.

…WHO has made a unilateral declaration of pandemic level 6 on the basis of a relatively harmless H1 N1 influenza, manipulating data and so misusing a provision designed for a deadly plague, in order to declare a pandemic level 6 and acquire new emergency powers throughout the globe. Cases of H1N1 influenza have been relatively mild, requiring little or no medical intervention. And deaths from the H1N1 virus remain extremely low, at less than one half of one percent of reported cases as of July 6, 2009. There is no sign of the virus mutating to become more deadly.

This is the view of Jane Burgermeister, who alleges a massive criminal conspiracy. Burgermeister runs a website which includes as part of its URL “birdflu666”, where she tells us:

I have filed criminal charges in Austria against Baxter and Avir Green Hills Biotechnology for producing and distributing contaminated bird flu vaccine material this winter, alleging that this was a deliberate act to cause a pandemic, and also to profit from that pandemic.

Furthermore, I present evidence to support the notion that Baxter is a smaller entity operating within a bigger aggregate of entities that belong to an international organised crime group, which I maintain can be identified with the group known informally as “The Illuminati”.

I allege there is evidence the US “Illuminati”-controlled government plans to release the bird flu on the US population in the near future, citing bird flu drills, FEMA camps, mass graves among other facts.

She also rails against other conspiracy theorists she has fallen out with, such as a certain JoAnne Cremer, who describes herself as an “Apostle” and who has a website here (Cremer in turn is a follower of Eric Vonanderseck, who mixes Christian apocalypticism with teachings about UFOs and crop circles and such). Burgermeister complains that  Cremer has “swung over to the WHO/UN side.”  Other opponents are noted on this conspiracy theory website:

Jane was also interviewed by Kerry Cassidy and Bill Ryan of Project Camelot, who are now caught in the crossfire bacause they have also been on friendly terms with and interviewed Dr Bill Deagle, who is currently claiming that Burgermeister is a fraud, and she is responding by taking legal action against him and Jeff Rense, True Ott, Arthur Evangelista and Devvy Kidd for defamation.

For the uninitiated, “Project Camelot” creates interviews with all kinds of conspiracy theorists; Bill Deagle runs “Clay and Iron Ministries“, which is “commissioned by the Most High God to bring the truth of the end of this secular age and prepare His People for spiritually and physically for the Times of Jacobs Trouble.” He tells us that (take a deep breath):

As a prolife messianic Christian physician, I expose the evils of abortion and genetically engineered designer babies, euthanasia – on demand, trans-human gene enhancement cyborg technology, RFID National and Global ID, Scalar Mind Control, GMO genetically modified and irradiated foods, toxins of Mercury and Fluoride, Depleted Uranium DNA Landmines, planned American Hiroshimas, NeoCon Iranian WWIII, World Trade Organization Codex Alimentarius, Illegal Immigration, End of the Age eschatology, classified above-government technologies, DUMB1 Deep Underground Military Bases One, Scalar Sacred Geometric Vortex Technologies, Zero Point Energy, SDI Strategic Defense Initiative ‘Star Wars’, ET “Doctrines of Devils”, apostasy in the church and the coming One World False Church and the weaponized Avian Flu Pandemic from a Biblical, scientific-logical and prophetic viewpoints.

True Ott, meanwhile, runs a health food store in Utah, but he also finds time to expose links between the Mormon Church and “the Knights of Malta, Freemasons, Jesuits, the Bush crime family and other top U.S. government officials.”

Burgermeister, incredibly, has a serious journalistic background; back in March she wrote a remarkably restrained piece on new energy technology in Europe for American Prospect.

Of course, as a player in the Christian Right, Porter (and WND editor Joseph Farah) has no qualms about promoting a conspiracy theory which will make more people hate science and regard Obama as a lethal danger (perhaps tipping some wackjob over the edge); if people die unnecessarily from swine flu as a result, why should they care? However, it should be remembered that despite a weakness for conspiracy theories, American Christianity has not always been so violently and opportunistically opposed to the public good. At the start of the eighteenth century, Cotton Mather and Benjamin Colman (grandfather of Jonathan Edwards) were early champions of innoculation against smallpox, facing down a bitter campaign against it led by a newspaper controlled by James Franklin (brother of Benjamin), which mocked inoculation as a worthless folk remedy.