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Pnoid ufo related online zine issue #2
THE PARANOID NEWS. An On-Line Newsletter.
Issue #2. April 2, 1994.
-----> "The Enemy is Ourselves." <-----
Written, published and copyrighted by email@example.com.
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In this issue...
[Note: This file ends with "#####". Check for truncation.]
----- THE FLUORIDATION PLOT -----
In the movie "Dr. Strangelove," rogue Air Force General Jack D.
Ripper tries to explain to a British officer why he committed his
bomb wing to a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union.
"Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled
water or rain water and only pure grain alcohol? Have you ever
heard of a thing called fluoridation, fluoridation of water?
Well, do you know what it is? Do you realize that fluoridation is
the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we've
ever had to face?"
General Ripper sees himself as a man of principal, taking action
against a global threat that the President and military Joint
Chiefs refuse to acknowledge. The Communists are attacking the
free world not with bombs and guns but with a subtle and far
reaching plot to corrupt our "precious bodily fluids." The
General decides that, as a responsible American, he cannot sit by
and let the subversion continue. If his superiors will not act,
then his duty is to lead them. On his own authority as Wing
Commander, he launches a first strike against the Soviet Union to
commit the United States to war and to destroying the enemy once
and for all.
We may call the general "mad," but how do we prove it? Is he
hearing voices? Is he losing control of himself? Is he acting
"irrationally"--in the sense of doing things without a logical-
sounding reason? On the surface, the general seems as sane as you
and I. He exhibits no difficulty in communicating, caring for
himself or performing his day-to-day duties. It is only after we
get to know him and hear his private thoughts that we begin to
realize that something isn't quite right.
The general has developed a certain theory about the world: The
Communists are seeking to control the rest of us by fluoridating
our water. The goal of their evil scheme is not made clear, but
apparently General Ripper has it all worked out. He reports to
Mandrake that he first recognized the plot "during the physical
act of love." He says he experienced a "profound sense of
fatigue, a feeling of emptiness" following the encounter and
attributed this sensation to the loss of precious bodily fluids.
Perhaps the Communist fluoridation of our water supply might
induce similar fatigue in the entire nation. Further "proof" of
the general's theory comes from his observation that Communists
are never seen drinking water, only Vodka.
You may call his theory absurd, but try convincing him of that.
If you could engage him in a debate, the general could probably
supply a logical-sounding response to any objection you could
raise. You may protest that Communists do drink water: Not long
ago, the Soviet Premier visited the United Nations, and while
listening through headphones to another speaker, he drank from a
clear glass. It wasn't water, the general would counter. It was
You could present the general with scientific studies indicating
no health effect from fluoridation, aside from a long-term
decrease in tooth decay. A sham, he would say; the studies were
conducted by scientists secretly working for the Soviets. You
provide specific examples illustrating that citizens whose water
is fluoridated exhibit no greater fatigue or less vitality than
anyone else.... But by now the general would begin to weary of
your protests and wonder if you, too, were a party to the
conspiracy. Recognizing that the enemy could be anywhere, he
might stop answering questions and hold his theory to himself.
The frustration of dealing with the general's "absurd" notion is
that it seems to be supported by logic. The general believes in
his theory so completely that to him it isn't a theory at all. As
he sees it, the dire Communist plot to corrupt our fluids is the
only conclusion a "sane" person could make given the evidence
available. Nothing you can say can convince him of any other
possibility, and if you spend enough time with him, you may even
begin to recognize the plot yourself.
That's paranoia. Paranoid theories seem logical and possible--at
least on the surface. The Communists could indeed be attempting
to poison our water supply. Although the notion may seem far-
fetched, there is no way we can prove it isn't so. There are so
many different ways they could be doing it that no matter what
approach you manage to disprove there will always be others that
remain technically possible, or at least plausible enough to
sustain an argument.
No matter what the crime may be, there are a thousand plausible
theories to account for it. Look at America's most popular
conspiracy fodder, the JFK assassination. Countless books have
been written offering the "real" story behind that day in Dallas.
General Ripper, had he lived, might have written one of his own.
Each book presents a seemingly flawless body of evidence which
neatly confirms the theory set forth by the author. Who was
really responsible for Kennedy's death? It was the Mob, the
Teamsters, the KGB, the CIA, big business, a secret world
government, psychic manipulators, space aliens.... Some people
even contend that Kennedy did not die at all but went into hiding,
as proven by photographs recently published in the Weekly World
You may or may not believe that Oswald killed Kennedy and was
acting on his own. Only one thing is certain: All the theories
can't be right. There can be only one truth, even if it is
unknown to us, so most of those other logical sounding
conspiracies have to be wrong.
The question is, if all such theories seem logical and appear to
be supported by an irrefutable body of evidence, how do we know
which ones to believe and which to discard? Of all the people
promoting their theories, how do we know who to listen to and who,
like General Ripper, are dangerous and need to be removed from any
position of power? How can we predict which theories and
theorists might lead us, in pursuit of their imaginary enemies, to
a real Armageddon?
----- THE NATURE OF THEORIES -----
No one has a complete grasp of "reality"; the best we can do is
catch a piece of it. The tapestry of real life is so complex and
noisy that we cannot pay attention to it all at once. In life, as
in a crowded train station, there are so many different things
happening at once that we can't possibly absorb everything.
Instead, we focus on whatever agenda we are currently engaged in
and block out anything that isn't relevant to it. In a train
station, our agenda is to get somewhere; most of the other
journeys, conflicts, crimes and dramas taking place on the
concourse are lost to us unless they happen to delay our train.
We deal with a complex world by distilling it into an idealized
cartoon or moral melodrama that tells us what is important and
what we should do next.
To navigate the complexities of life, we come up with a set of
simplified theories about how the world works. One simple theory
is that people are motivated only by money, sex and power. This
notion may lead to fairly successful interactions in the fields of
commerce, war and show business, but it doesn't predict everything
people do. More subtle and sophisticated theories will lead to
more accurate predictions of human behavior.
No theory is "right" or "wrong," but some theories are certainly
better than others. The notion that the world is round may not
explain everything, but it leads to more accurate navigation than
the flat world model. If people were entirely rational, they
would select and reject theories based only on their utility. If
Darwin's theory of evolution leads to more accurate predictions
about the forms of plants and animals than creationism does, then
Darwin's is the one we should obey, at least until something
better comes along.
Of course, people are not entirely rational, and that is why
creationism and other objectively impractical theories will not
die. People can select and defend theories for reasons other than
utility. They also seek to maintain an internal emotional
If, for example, you have already invested your life in the
pursuit of money, sex and power, it is unlikely you will be open
to any other theory. To accept the existence of a round world
when you have already invested in the flat one is tantamount to
admitting, "My life has been a waste." Acceptance of the new
theory would seem to take away everything you have spent your life
fighting for, so when an excuse comes to reject it, you may prefer
to return to the impractical status quo.
Theories can also create the illusion of pride and power when you
otherwise have none. They can alleviate feelings of inferiority,
guilt and self-reproach by placing the blame for ones failures on
some outside entity. An impractical and self-destructive theory
may be cherished and vigorously defended if it provides an excuse
to the holder for his own personal failures.
This could be the true source of General Ripper's fluoridation
theory. There could be more than one explanation for his feelings
of emptiness and fatigue following sex. Maybe his relationship
with the other party had something to do with it. Rather than
accept that the feelings were a result of his own inadequacies, it
is much easier to blame the Communists. They made an ideal
scapegoat during the Cold War because they were a closed and
mysterious society that provided unconstrained ground for the
Once grasping the theory that the Communists were somehow
responsible for his personal void, General Ripper needed evidence.
He looked around him, selectively, for ways that the Communists
could be implementing the heinous scheme he already knew existed.
Fluoridation was an easy target. Indeed, this was a popular topic
among real conspiracy enthusiasts for years after it was first
introduced. Fluoridation was a systematic government effort to
introduce a foreign substance into the nation's water supply. If
you needed to find a conspiracy and did not fully understand the
technical process of fluoridation, it would seem to provide an
ideal opportunity for a worldwide plot.
Being able to see the conspiracy when no one else could may have
given the general a sense of purpose and a desperately needed
feeling of superiority. Becoming Commander at Burpleson Air Force
Base may have been the final promotion for this anonymous, mid-
level bureaucrat. He was little more than an errand boy to the
generals above him. General Turgidson had trouble even
remembering his name. They did not consult with him on important
issues and did not care what he thought about the Communist
threat. His special knowledge of the hidden fluoridation plot
gave him the right and moral imperative to overrule his superiors
and assume the position of leadership he may have felt entitled
Ripper's theory could have been correct. Maybe the Communists
were indeed poisoning the free world's water supply. However, it
is also possible the theory was a delusion, motivated only by the
general's private emotional needs. It could have afforded him
face-saving escape from his private internal demons, even as it
lead to his own death and the destruction of humanity.
----- THE CONSPIRACY CULTURE -----
At this moment, working in isolation, countless theorists are on
the verge of putting it all together. All they need is one or two
elusive pieces, then the puzzle will be complete, and the world
will be forced to admit the truth. A number of these crusaders
are still working on the JFK murder, while others have broken free
into new, yet suspiciously familiar territory.
Did you think the President and Congress were running the United
States? Not true. It is the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds,
banded together in a secret society called, in various guises, the
Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the One
World Government and the New World Order. Members or agents of
this secret committee can be found on the boards of directors of
every major international corporation. The committee tells the
President of the United States what to do, and he has to obey
because he is a member also, albeit a low ranking one. The
committee uses a combination of fear and monetary influence to
enforce its directives and keep all the major political, business
and military leaders under its control.
No major political event in the world happens by chance or without
consent of the committee. If Clinton beat Bush in the 1992
elections, that was a decision passed down from above. So-called
"free elections" are a sham because the secret government controls
all the TV networks and news outlets and can thereby manipulate
what the populace feels and believes. Keeping the people under
control is a major concern of the committee. With its
representatives on the Federal Reserve Board, it controls the
money supply and hence the ups and downs of the world economy.
Recessions are not random but are carefully engineered the keep
the average citizen reeling and prevent him from gaining too much
The disease AIDS is part of the plan, invented to reduce the world
population. Gun control is an evil aspect of the plot, intended
to render the American people helpless against invading troops
from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The Holocaust,
World War II, the fall of Communism and the fire at Waco could not
possibly have happened without collusion at the highest levels of
world power. In some cases--as with the Holocaust and the fall of
Communism--the perceived event may not have happened at all; it
was a massive media hoax to manipulate public opinions and advance
the nefarious aims of the controlling elite.
UFOs, if they exist, are also part of the conspiracy. In one
theory, the secret world government is working hand-in-glove with
the evil aliens; the committee permits the Grays to mutilate our
cows and abduct our citizens in exchange for extraterrestrial
technology and technical assistance in dominating the world. Or,
if you choose to believe an alternative theory, all UFOs are
human-built craft invented and tested by the secret world
government in preparation for yet another massive hoax. Imagine
if the people of Earth thought they were being attacked from
space. The planet could then be drawn together under a single,
all-powerful New World Order which could thereby enslave the
people without significant protest.
It's all part of the plan. Nothing is coincidence. Most of the
population is too naive and subservient to recognize what is going
on, but a few diligent researchers have put it all together. Most
of them agree that there is a far-reaching conspiracy at the
highest levels of government, media and business to dupe and
control the population. Unfortunately, these researchers have
difficulty agreeing on the exact details of the conspiracy and how
it is being implemented. Gatherings and conventions of conspiracy
buffs rarely seem to go well because they tend to fight among
themselves and accuse each other of being government agents.
----- REVERSE LOGIC -----
The difference between a constructive, "rational" theory and a
self-destructive, "paranoid" one is that the first is formed by
connected reasoning while the other is created by emotional needs.
Although both may appear solid and logical, the paranoid theory is
an impulsive reaction only draped in logic as an afterthought,
like frosting on a cake. In the paranoid theory, the conclusion
comes first, based on a private need to enhance ones self-
importance and escape blame. It is layered over with carefully
edited evidence and rational sounding arguments as a way to make
the whole confection seem more palatable both to the maker and to
the others he wants to convince of his wisdom.
The paranoiac seizes upon a theory as a way to get himself out of
an emotional hole. He doesn't consciously think, "I am choosing
this theory to help my self-esteem," but certain theories just
feel right. As soon as the theorist lets the escapist ideas into
his mind, he feels better about himself. Conversely, abandoning
such theories would make him feel bad again, so if one line of
reasoning in support of the theory falls apart, he will
desperately seek others to try to preserve his existing
Each person has his own unique emotional needs; hence, there are
almost as many conspiracy theories as theorists. The common
features usually include a vast hoax or cover-up that has fooled
almost everyone except the theorist and a deliberate collusion
among the most powerful people on earth to subdue or humiliate the
average citizen, most notably the theorist himself. The exact
mechanism of this control is a matter of debate--or downright war
among some competing theorists--but the core scenario is
relatively constant. All the theorist's personal failures are the
result of the overwhelming government-sponsored armada arrayed
against him. The more powerful and intimidating the conspiracy,
the more easily the theorist can say, "My failures are not my
----- EVALUATING CONSPIRACIES -----
We cannot dismiss any theory simply because it draws
unconventional conclusions. At the frontiers of knowledge,
anything is possible, and a wildly speculative conspiracy story
could have a core of truth. Still, theories themselves are a dime
a dozen. Anyone can dream one up, and simply the fact that it
could be true doesn't mean that it is. To pull us away from a
more conventional set of ideas, the new theory has to both be
logically sound and actually work. It has to consistently
generate better predictions than any other theory currently
Revisionism will not do. Any theorist can look at the past and
show how a certain event was "inevitable" and "part of the plan."
Anyone can also proudly trumpet the accuracy of his past
predictions, but he may be recalling only his successes and
forgetting the times his predictions fell flat. The evidence and
predictive track record for any theory can only be judged in
context. Evidence presented by a theory's proponent is suspect;
it may not be a lie, but any past event, removed from its context,
can be made to support almost any conclusion. To judge the
evidence, we need to see all of it, not just the isolated parts
the theorist chooses to show us.
We can dismiss a theory if the logical connections within it are
weak and break down under stress. A paranoid theory is one that
usually sounds good when explained by its sponsor, but it cannot
tolerate rigorous cross examination. A emotionally-based theory,
with evidence and reasoning appended only later, is often riddled
with logical gaps. The theorist usually senses these weaknesses,
at least unconsciously, and tries his best to deflect attention
from them. If a theorist explodes in anger when asked a skeptical
question, this may be a sign that the underlying logic may be
flawed and the question indeed was a good one.
To evaluate conspiracies, or any other emotionally charged claims,
we must look not just at the evidence but at the personality and
intellectual discipline of the person making the charges. In
defense of a certain theory about the government's collusion with
aliens, the proponent may say that it is based on confidential
sources or some personal experience that cannot be corroborated.
In that case, evaluating the theory may be impossible, but the
theorist himself can still be reviewed. If you talk to him about
other topics and see signs of logical gaps and extravagant
thinking in unrelated areas, that may be a hint that the theory in
question is also flawed. His unreliable nature may not prove that
his theories are worthless, but it increases the noise-to-signal
ratio and may make the investigation too costly to pursue.
Real conspiracies can happen, but they are rarely as efficient and
far-reaching as the imaginary ones. Most of those exposed in the
past, like Watergate or Iran-Contra, seem little more than a
desperate attempt by incompetent officials to cover up a
politically damaging blunder. Real humans at the highest levels
of government, business and media never seem to be able to work
together to the extent that the theorists propose. The world's
most powerful people, like the rest of us, seem motivated more by
their own private emotional pressures than by any grand
Human society is, at best, a loosely structured chaos that mostly
governs itself. This notion, that no one is really in charge, is
what most terrifies the conspiracy theorists. Inside their
fragile emotional worlds, they feel like worthless ants. To know
that the CIA is bugging their telephone and the secret world
government is watching their every move at least confirms that
TO BE CONTINUED....
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