For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Conscience of a Conspiracy Theorist
  • Robert Lockwood Mills
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Conscience of a Conspiracy Theorist.
Sound Bite
"Conspiracy theories" are nothing new. Any shocking, mysterious event generates concern and speculation, and when the event is man-made it is not uncommon to find that a conspiracy, that is, a complex and covert plan serving interests that are far from obvious, was behind it. In fact, many events in American history have fascinated the public for just that reason. Why, then, is it considered "wacky" to wonder about possible conspiracies?

Conscience of a Conspiracy Theorist seeks to show how governmental deceit and (corporate-controlled) media silence have combined to keep the public misinformed about important events in American history. In the process, skeptics who question the “official accounts” are labeled “conspiracy theorists,” a pejorative term that carries with it suggestions of  foolishness and a lack of patriotism.

About the Author

Robert Lockwood Mills is author of It Didn't Happen the Way You Think, The Lindbergh Syndrome: Heroes and Celebrities in a New Gilded Age, and four other nonfiction books. Mr. Mills was also co-author of the Illustrated History of Stamford CT. He has been Project Editor for five books on historical topics published by Reader's Digest. His docudrama The Trial of John Wilkes Booth was broadcast on Connecticut Public Radio.

For this book, he has researched major historical events and the selective way in which such complex stories are presented in mainstream information outlets. He looks at several outstanding dramas in US history and discusses whose interests are served by skewed reportage and by discrediting those readers who can see that the equations do not add up.

About the Book
The book examines critical moments in American history, with particular focus on the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, and the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. It exposes flaws in the conventional wisdom in each case, in a non-partisan manner that...
The book examines critical moments in American history, with particular focus on the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, and the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. It exposes flaws in the conventional wisdom in each case, in a non-partisan manner that separates political ideology from an objective analysis of the facts.

The author’s style is at once objective and academic, utilizing historical background information (often neglected by other historians and the media) to illuminate current circumstances. The author takes the mainstream media to task for abandoning its watchdog role over governmental misconduct, and goes where other authors, most major publishers, and the mainstream media have consistently refuse to go…into direct criticism of government leaders and their cronies.

The term “false-flag event” isn’t well understood, but it has been a valuable tool for corrupt leaders and tyrants since the first century AD. Until the reader understands what a false-flag event is, he or she is incapable of recognizing the difference between a conspiracy theorist and an honest skeptic.


Table of Contents
Chapter 1: It’s Dangerous to Shave with Occam’s Razor: William of Ockham, a monk living in the 14th century, devises principle suggesting that among competing theories, the simplest is best. Latter-da
Chapter 1: It’s Dangerous to Shave with Occam’s Razor: William of Ockham, a monk living in the 14th century, devises principle suggesting that among competing theories, the simplest is best. Latter-day conspiracy debunkers use Occam’s Razor in their arguments. The principle works in some cases, not in others.

Chapter 2: Of Mergers, Acquisitions, and News Blackouts: Beginning in 1733 the press had assumed a watchdog role over governmental lies and misconduct. But in late 20th century, media mergers shrink volume of newspapers and broadcast networks. Those that survive adopt the corporate culture, avoiding controversy. They fail to investigate stolen elections and ignore possible conspiracy angles regarding 9/11/01.

Chapter 3: The Internet Becomes the Fifth Estate: Mainstream media belittle clear evidence of fraud in 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. Internet sites fill the void and establish themselves as the new watchdog over government.

Chapter 4: Academic Conspiracy Theorists and Mindless Debunkers: Mainstream media ignore 9/11 truth movement, which is comprised of physicists, architects, engineers, firefighters, intelligence officers, lawyers, clergymen, and government officials. Official account of 9/11 is called into question. Evidence contradicts government’s version.

Chapter 5: The Press Maintains Its Own Patriot Act: Possible conspiracy angle in Lincoln assassination ignored by press and historians. False sense of patriotism disallows investigation of government involvement in wake of Civil War. Similarly, objections to conspiracy theories in re 9/11 are phrased in pseudo-patriotic language.

Chapter 6: False Flags Have Flown Forever: Corrupt government leaders and tyrants have falsely used scapegoats to escape blame for criminal misconduct since the time of Emperor Nero. Operation Northwoods (1962) included plans to kill Fidel Castro and included certain false-flag stratagems that were not revealed until 2000. Project for New American Century (PNAC) suggests multiple foreign wars are necessary to fulfill American responsibilities, lacking only a “new Pearl Harbor” (such as 9/11) to justify unilateral action.

Chapter 7: Debunkers and Debunkers of Debunkers: Commonly offered objections to conspiracy theories, e.g., “Too many people would have had to keep the secret…” and “It would have been too difficult to execute…” are examined for their applicability to JFK assassination and 9/11. Fate of whistleblowers including Sibel Edmonds, an FBI translator who encountered fraud at high levels of government, shows that those in a position to reveal secrets can become victims of the system.

Chapter 8: Deaths of the Rich and Famous: Conspiracy theories surrounding possible foul play tend to flourish when the victim is rich, famous, or powerful. Assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy remain controversial, but reasonable conspiracy angles in the murders of Garfield and McKinley, lower-profile presidents, were never pursued. Deaths of Marilyn Monroe and Princess Grace of Monaco demonstrate the effect of celebrity on post-mortem analysis.

Chapter 9: The Peculiar Lexicon of Conspiracy Theorists and Debunkers: An imaginary conversation between two friends illustrates how unique language patterns inform the debate over possible conspiracies. One is a conspiracy theorist, the other a debunker, but both use a reflexive verbal approach in their arguments.

Chapter 10: Grand Conspiracy Theories with Questionable Motives: Large-scale, enduring conspiracy theories involve the Illuminati, Elders of Zion, Rothschild dynasty, and Catholic Church. How anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism influence the theories, and how the grand conspirators supposedly interact together.

Chapter 11: Sometimes Cops Are the Conspiracy Theorists: The 20-month-old son of aviation icon Charles A. Lindbergh is kidnapped in 1932. New Jersey and New York police suspect a gang is responsible, as do agents of the Bureau of Investigation and others connected to the case. Bruno Richard Hauptmann is arrested in 1934, indicted as a lone conspirator, and executed. The case is closed.

Chapter 12: When a Ruling Authority Becomes the Conspiracy Theorist: Examination of anti-Communist hysteria and Domino Theory. Nixon, HUAC, and Alger Hiss. Joseph R. McCarthy exposed by Edward R. Murrow. Vice President Cheney’s incoherent “Muslim Caliphate Theory,” and how it influenced Bush administration policy in the Middle East.

Chapter 13: Reinvestigating 9/11: Argument for new investigation, based on many unanswered questions. How patriotic fervor and Realpolitik have acted against full disclosure, beginning with Lincoln assassination and extending to 9/11. Chapter speculates on what future circumstances could bring the truth about 9/11 out, in spite of media indifference and governmental obstinacy.

Chapter 14: Dan Fool and Trey Cool Meet Again: An instant replay of Chapter 10. This time the argument is focused on governmental conspiracy theories (as illustrated in Chapter 12).

Chapter 15: Of Covert Activities and Paramilitary Operations: Discussion of CIA conduct and misconduct since 1947. In 1963 Former President Harry S Truman, who had signed the agency into law, laments CIA’s “cloak and dagger” operations. Mossad is Israel’s equivalent organization. Chapter shows how highly motivated secret organizations like the CIA and Mossad could have been involved in 9/11.

Chapter 16: What Did Ian Fleming Know, and When Did He Know It? Creator of James Bond worked for British Naval Intelligence during World War II. There he created quixotic schemes involving deliberate plane crashes and switched identities. Chapter examines similar tactics as studied by CIA and contemplated for Operation Northwoods, and observes that John F. Kennedy, who had praised Ian Fleming’s books publicly, pulled the plug on CIA activities and fired its leader, Allen Dulles.

Chapter 17: Would People in Our Government Do Something Like That? Applies the detective’s trinity, Means/Opportunity/Motive, to historical controversies, and uses the question, “Does the end justify the means?” and the rationale, “A greater good for a greater number” to intuit the likelihood of insider treachery in 9/11.

Chapter 18: Opportunity, Means, and a Huge Dilemma: The official account of 9/11 is impossible to believe for a variety of reasons. But theories that purport to answer the difficult questions are also incomprehensible. Only a new investigation, unencumbered by political considerations, can resolve the conundrum.

Chapter 19: Did They Really Say That?: Owner of World Trade Center admitted on television that Building 7 was “pulled” (deliberately demolished by explosives). His spokesperson explains away his admission with ludicrous word play. Other comments about 9/11 from Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld suggest that contrary to popular belief, Osama bin Laden did not mastermind the terrorist attack.

Chapter 20: The Gospel According to the History Channel: Examination of History Channel’s account of Kennedy assassination. Network used same formula as the Warren Commission, i.e., it started with the assumption that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin, built a case around that mind-set, and ignored or dismissed contrary evidence.

Chapter 21: Conspiracy Theorists, Debunkers, and Anonymous Trolls: How Internet bloggers, who face none of the corporatist inhibitions or editorial filters that restrain the mainstream media, approach controversial cases. Tactics used to win arguments are highlighted, including ad hominem attacks by trolls on conspiracy theorists. Focus is on the Lindbergh Kidnapping Case and the 2004 presidential election.

Chapter 22: Gresham’s Law of Conspiracy Theories: Gresham’s Law (1558) posited that bad money drives good money out of circulation. Gresham’s Law (Revisited) argues that bad conspiracy theories compromise good theories. Thoughtful conspiracy theorists are penalized for the sins of careless theorists, and outlandish theories that emerge immediately after a horrific event tend to nullify logical theories that develop later.

Chapter 23: Conspiracies and One-Party Systems: American political system fails to allow for action against misconduct in either party. Corporate-controlled mainstream media refuse to investigate governmental wrongdoing, so as not to displease stockholders and advertisers. A one-party system has developed, not unlike banana republics and totalitarian states. President Obama, who brushed off 2004 election fraud allegations while a senator, was elected in 2008 on a platform of “change we can believe in,” but has proved to be even more obsessed with secrecy than the Bush administration was, especially regarding whistleblowers.

Chapter 24: Karl Popper and Conspiracy Theories, Scientific and Otherwise: Philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper posited that theories that cannot be disproved are unscientific. But whenever government officials offer an implausible explanation for a controversial event (in particular, 9/11), said explanation becomes a conspiracy theory in and of itself.

Chapter 25: Mrs. Fool Meets Mrs. Cool: The wives of Dan Fool and Trey Cool, who are old friends, meet for lunch. The discussion turns to conspiracy theories, as argued by their husbands. During the meal a surprising role reversal takes place.

Chapter 26: What Makes a Good Conspiracy Theorist? Qualities of persistence, a thick skin, and integrity separate the conscientious conspiracy theorist from the polemicist. Examples are given of men and women in public life who best exemplify those criteria.

Chapter 27: What Are the Mainstream Media Afraid of? Since 1982 technology and hybrid investment products (derivatives) have increased volatility in financial markets, exaggerating the effect of bad news. Corporate media avoid controversies like 9/11 and the 2004 presidential election for obvious and obscure reasons.

Chapter 28: The Invisible Smoking Gun: Bush administration Solicitor General Theodore Olson, whose wife Barbara was listed as a victim aboard Flight 77, appears twice on national television, three days after 9/11. Olson invents a story about two phone conversations he supposedly had with his wife while Flight 77 was airborne. FBI deposition at Moussaoui trial in 2006 exposes Olson’s lie, but it remains an unknown circumstance to most Americans because of a media blackout.

Chapter 29: A Presidential Report Card: Presidents who served during author’s lifetime are graded for their skill in balancing the need for governmental secrecy against the public’s right to know.

Postscript

Pages 244
Year: 2011
LC Classification: HV6275.M55 2011
Dewey code: 001.9--dc22
BISAC: HIS036000 HISTORY / United States / General
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ISBN: 978-0-87586-825-7
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