Staudenmaier defines conspiracy theories as a “tendency to hold specific and identifiable social groups responsible for what seem to be inexplicable aspects of the social world.” He sees conspiracy theories as a flattening of history, or a reducing of a complex institutional problem down to a simple problem of evil people.
AIDS denialism is one of several incarnations of denialism. All denialism is defined by rhetorical tactics designed to give the impression of a legitimate debate among experts when in fact there is none. Holocaust deniers claim that historians disagree about the evidence for Nazi mass gassings and systematic murder of Jews. Global warming denialists say that climatologists are torn by the evidence about climate change. 9/11 “Truth Seekers”, as clever a piece of branding as “pro-life”, say the collapse of the Twin Towers resulted from controlled demolition. Vaccine hysterics tell us that the science is split on whether vaccinations cause autism. And AIDS denialists say that scientists are in disagreement about whether HIV causes AIDS.
The Soviet mathematician Matest M. Agrest (1915-2005) sparked the Soviet ancient astronaut craze nearly a decade before the theory gained widespread popularity in the West. In 1959, he proposed that Sodom and Gomorrah had been destroyed by an extraterrestrial nuclear device (which conveniently also killed Lot’s wife in the presence of witnesses), and that the terrace of Baalbek in Lebanon was a launch pad for alien spacecraft. Because Agrest was a scientist, unlike earlier European and American writers, his work attained a spurious credibility, especially with Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels, who saw in it not the anti-religious propaganda it was but rather confirmation that H. P. Lovecraft and Charles Fort had been on to something. His work found its way into Morning of the Magicians (1960), through which it was disseminated to Erich von Daniken, Zecharia Sitchin, and countless others.
Between 1981 and 1983, Obama is supposed to have visited Mars twice, by way of a teleportation chamber called a “jump room.” Basiago, a fellow chrononaut, told the website Exopolitics that he saw Obama “walk back to the jump room from across the Martian terrain.” To acknowledge his comrade, Obama is said to have told Basiago, “We’re here” — apparently, “with some sense of fatalism.
In the Bible: An angry mob shows up at the door of a man’s home demanding gay sex. Rather than sacrifice himself to the desires of the angry, horny mob, the man heroically offers to throw a woman to them instead.
What is revealing is the extent to which many of the these apparently disparate campaigns all seem to have connections to each other and to figures on the far right of the US Republican Party. In the case of the climate change “deniers” a significant number seem to be funded by the US oil giant ExonMobile.
comme c’est souvent le cas des théories du complot— les meilleurs artisans de l’affaiblissement du mouvement de la «vérité sur le 11-Septembre» sont les «truthers» eux-mêmes. Pour la bonne raison qu’il n’est pas possible à des théoriciens du complot d’être en désaccord. Si l’on n’est pas d’accord avec un théoricien du complot, c’est qu’on fait partie du complot.