Over at Orange Coast, Patrick J. Kiger has a fascinating piece on conspiracy theorists — and their theories — in Orange County. Kiger weaves a good weekend read, with a stop at a Huntington Beach Denny’s, where the disillusioned gather. Here is a sampling:
The 9/11 Truth movement is just one of many groups within the local conspiracy subculture that hold meetings at local restaurants, confront public officials, and stage rallies when they’re not trading incriminating documents and photographs, or analyzing the arcane nuances of alleged wrongdoing via the Internet. The most conspicuous contingent, perhaps, are the “birthers,” led by dentist-attorney-cable-TV celebrity Orly Taitz of Laguna Niguel, who charges that President Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate is a fake and that his hold on power is illegitimate.
I guess it should come as no surprise to me that ultra-conspiracist Taitz, who also says that the Federal Emergency Mangement Agency may create internment camps for those who dissent from Barack Obama’s policies, is from South County.
But others have comparably passionate beliefs-that the Federal Reserve System is a scam, that military aircraft are testing chemical warfare agents in the skies, that legally mandated vaccinations are spreading autism, or that fluoridation of drinking water is a hidden hazard. Some are “oath keepers,” eager to enlist pledges from law enforcement officers that they will refuse to obey any future orders to suppress citizens’ constitutional liberties.
The story also offers a peek into Jacques Derrida’s deconstructionism as, perhaps, one answer to why conspiracies are so prevalent. (Did you know that Derrida became president of the Humanities Department at UC Irvine in the 1980s and that his family is still in a legal dispute with the university over the philosopher’s archive? Sounds like a conspiracy to me.)
I’ll admit that I’m somewhat partial to the conspiratorial remote-viewing stories I’ve heard while listening to Art Bell and George Noory’s “Coast to Coast AM” late at night.
So what conspiracies do you lend credence to, Voice of OC readers? Or — if you prefer not to let anybody know (could be another conspiracy) — which ones are your neighbors trying to convince you are true? Comment away.
— MATT BALLINGER