One of the most troubling things about wonky conspiracy theories is that they can, and do, have real-world impact.
On December 18, the religious conspiracy website Revelation Now.net – which specialized in Hollow Earth theories and Biblical prophecies – posted an article titled “The Next School Massacre Target?”. In it, the author embraced the theory that most – if not all – mass shootings are stage-managed by some shadowy cabal (in this case, the Illuminati). I’ve written a little bit about some of these recent theories at Leaving Alex Jonestown.
The Revelation Now article pointed out that a prop map briefly shown in The Dark Knight Rises featured Bane’s intended targets, and one of the target locations was labeled “Sandy Hook”. Another label on the map was “Narrows”. This means very little to the average viewer. “Sandy Hook” is an absurdly common name throughout the U.S., and the Narrows is a fictional ghetto located near the fictional Arkham Asylum in the D.C. comic universe.
But the Revelation Now author clearly accepts the theory of “predictive programming”, which says that the elite must tell us of their monstrous plans before putting them into action. As an Infowars article says of the Dark Knight map, “This definitely begins to tread into Satanic and occult territory, the purpose of which is known to only a select few in tight-knit circles at the very top branches of various secret societies.” An article at Before It’s News makes a similar comment about the Aurora massacre and the movie map: ““I was denying to myself that this shooting was staged by the deep state and the Illuminati just like the last one in the movie theatre in Colorado. But not anymore. It’s impossible to deny.”
Following these leads, the Revelation Now author connected the dots in typical conspiranoid fashion:
– Aurora, Colorado killer James Holmes liked The Dark Knight and costumed himself as the Joker before going on his rampage.
– This massacre was staged by the Illuminati. Holmes was a victim of mind control programming.
– Newtown, Connecticut killer Adam Lanza was also a mind-control victim. The Illuminati selected his target for him: Sandy Hook Elementary School.
– The Dark Knight Rises contains a map with the names “Sandy Hook” and “Narrows” on it. The Illuminati controls Hollywood, so this means something.
– Ergo, the next Illuminati school shooting will take place somewhere with Narrows in its name.
– There is a Narrows Elementary School in the town of Narrows, Virginia.
Normally, this kind of nuttery restricts itself to the conspiranoid community, social networking sites, and casual watercooler conversations. This time, however, officials in Giles County, Virginia, heard about the Revelation Now article and promptly decided to shut down all schools in the county this week. Giles County Sheriff Morgan Millirons told the press, “We have to take this as serious information.”
But do we? These crackpot massacre theories are nothing new, and every one of them seems less coherent than the last…
The Dunblane Massacre (1996): Freemasons and paedophiles arranged for Thomas Hamilton to kill 16 schoolchildren, to cover up a child-abuse ring and/or to usher in increased gun control in the UK.
The Port Arthur Massacre (1996): This was engineered as an excuse for the Australian government to ban automatic weapons. Martin Bryant was a mind-controlled assassin or a patsy.
Columbine (1999): There are numerous conspiracy theories about the massacre in Colorado. The most ridiculous comes from William K. Zabel, one of the most popular guests ever to appear on the Binnall of America podcast. He contends the massacre was stage-managed by the military-industrial complex, primarily as a ritual sacrifice, and that the parents of the victims knew all about it in advance.
Virginia Tech (2007): Mind control again. Some faculty members knew what was going to happen, and even participated in Seung-Hui Cho’s grooming.
The Norway Massacre: Anders Breivik stated that his rampage was motivated by his anger at liberals who were “ruining” Norway with their socialist and immigration-friendly politics. Yet conspiranoids continue to insist this was a false flag terror operation headed by globalists, as an excuse to crack down on anti-banking activists. Wayne Madsen, a frequent guest on The Alex Jones Show, declared Breivik could be an Isreali agent.
Sandy Hook: Jim Fetzer, a former professor, claims Adam Lanza was just a patsy for the real killers – Mossad “death squads”.
The alleged motives for these “elite” crimes are manifold. According to the conspiracy theorists, mass shootings are crafted to usher in repressive legislation like gun control laws, traumatize and destabilize the population so that we will submit to further abuses of our rights, make offerings to Satan, neutralize troublesome opponents, thin out the population, and/or distract us from “more important” things that are going on in the world.
Conspiracy theorists point only to massacres that occurred after 1980, in a feeble attempt to link mind control to SSRI antidepressants, and completely ignore massacres that occurred half a century or more before Prozac went on the market. Just one example: In 1975, Ottawa teenager Robert Poulin raped and murdered a neighbor girl, set fire to his house, then shot up a school.
[note: It has been brought to my attention that my previous example, South Pasadena Junior High principal Verlin Spencer, may have been under the influence of bromide at the time of his arrest in 1940. Spencer killed five of his colleagues, wounded a sixth, then non-fatally shot himself. The example has been removed pending further investigation.]
If such massacres have been occurring for decades (and they have; the first school shooting in America took place in the late eighteenth century), isn’t it reasonable to conclude that the petty gripes and mental problems that motivated those murders would also hold true for today’s mass killers? What makes a Brenda Spencer any different from a James Holmes, other than more thorough preparation?
The ironic thing is, conspiracy theories themselves may contribute to massacres. Byron Williams’ thwarted attack upon a small, nonprofit organization called the Tides Foundation was inspired, in part, by the rantings of Glenn Beck and Alex Jones, who insisted the foundation was wholly controlled by one of their bogeymen, George Soros. Williams was planning to murder at least a dozen Tides Foundation employees in protest of supposed left-wing world domination. The problem is, only about 5% of the foundation’s annual funding came from Soros, Soros had no role in the foundation’s operations, and it is a relatively small and obscure organization.
Canadian killer Marc Lepine considered himself the victim of some sort of feminist conspiracy to marginalize men. He claimed to believe he was denied entry to the engineering program at the École Polytechnique de Montréal because the university was admitting “too many” women. In reality, his substandard grades kept him out of the program.
The Symbionese Liberation Army shot Oakland’s first black school superintendent, Dr. Marcus Foster, eight times with cyanide-tipped bullets because they believed his (withdrawn) support for school ID cards was part of a sinister CIA plot to keep tabs on schoolchildren.
Revelation Now was quickly dismantled after the Giles County school shutdown hit the news, but it was just one of hundreds of sites that promote terrifying conspiracy theories spun from tenuous connections, suppositions, misinformation, and recycled nonsense. I doubt that all those webmasters out there are going to stop and think about the potential consequences before they commit the next baseless theory to the ‘Net.