posted on May, 23 2009 @ 09:41 AM
I've been doing reading on conspiracies, the occult, paranormal, esoterica, "fringe" topics, alt history, edge and extreme politics -- in short,
the topics basically covered on ATS -- for what seems to me like a long time now...about 30 years, all told.
I spent many of these years trying to figure out what ideas were "correct" and what were "wrong." When you start to explore these things, you are
at first faced with a bizzare, tangled mess. You are confronted with a number of concepts that different authors/theorists/geniuses/madmen are
constantly tossing around and using in different ways. For example, take the word/concept "Illuminati." A quick Google search will turn up several
dozen different screeds on the illuminati -- all of them different from each other, all of them extrordinarily complex. They may mostly agree in
several ways (almost all will mention Adam Weishaupt, for example), and some theories will be closer each other to others. Some will be just simply
nuts or incoherent, while some will come across as scholarly and rigorously academic. Some will have a specific axe to grind: anti-Catholic,
anti-Semitic, Anti-Masonic, etc. Some will be very political in tone, others will be more religious. And so on and so forth.
I picked the Iluminati as an example, but of course the same is true of any other "fringe" or conspiracy concept: the Annunaki, the NWO, various
"end-time" or apocalyptic religious scenarios, alien encounters, governement secrets, ancient pseudo-histories, etc etc etc.
So the question becomes: How does one even begin to sift through all this? In the early years it was tough going. Bushwacking, cutting through the
dense undergrowth, going down a lot of dead ends before finding easier paths.
Then, at some point, after decades of ploughing my way through this material and reading tens of thousands of different theories ranging from the
sublime to the ridiculous, somewhere in there I stopped looking for the "correct" answer. Rather, I started thinking of these things as "clumps"
or, perhaps more spiffy-sounding, "constellations."
Just as a constellation is a shape formed by a group of related but different stars, I started thinking of all these related-yet-subtly different
ideas as mutually co-existing and fleshing out a wider conceptual space. So, to take our illuminati example, we can speak of an "illuminati
conceptual constellation" made up of a number of different key themes that interlock to form a bigger pattern. As in a real constellation, some stars
are brighter and more promient, some are weaker, and some so faint you need a very powerful telescope to see...just as to find the "fringe of the
fringe" theories you've got to "drill down" five or ten google pages and start sifting through luridly-colored, badly-designed geocities sites set
up in the mid-90s by clinically insane people yet somehow still surviving, winking dimly out there in the dusty gloom of cyberspace.
So, to extend the metaphor: You have the "Illuminati Constellation" of ideas here, the "Annunaki/Mesopotamian Mythos Constellaton" overt there
(close by the "Reptoid Group", perhaps), the "NWO cluster" in another part of this wide conceptual night-sky, the "End Times" set of ideas, the
"Atlantis Clump," etc, etc. Within each of these groups are different theories, some stronger and more prominent than others. Some line up clearly
for all to see, the way Orion's Belt or the Big Dipper are easy to find in the night sky. Other clumps of ideas seem messier and less clearly
related/coherant, just like it takes a trained astronomer to be able to identify some of the more obscure night constellations.
With this way of thinking, the question stops being: "Which one, single theory about the Illuminati (or whatever topic) is correct?" Rather, it
becomes: "How do all of these theories interlock and what kind of conceptual space do they create? What kind of larger mental shape are these various
and often contradicting ideas making?"
Once you have soaked up enough info, it is my belief you just naturally start to think this way. And just as one can marvel at the awesome beauty of
the night sky, one can stand back and admire these "clumps" or "constellations" of vaguely related ideas, even if they don't all resolve or fit
perfectly with one another. We don't ask "which is the "really true star" of Orion?" Rather, we see the whole thing as a shape.
In a way, it strikes me, as long last, as the only way to think about conspiracy and fringe topics.