Monday, September 30, 2019

Conspiracy Theories

 One question I love to ask at parties as an ice breaker is, "What conspiracies do you believe in?"

...I don't get invited to a lot of parties.

Nearly everyone believes in a conspiracy or two.  Just ask anyone who really killed JFK; less than a third of Americans believe the official "lone gunman" story.  Or, if you'd like a more modern hot take on political scandal, ask anyone who really killed Jeffrey Epstein.

Personally I try to stay away from political conspiracy, preferring instead to highlight the lesser-loved and perhaps more likely conspiracies of pop culture, such as my belief that Loki is actually a teenager and Jar Jar Binks is a powerful Sith Lord.

However, recently, I mentioned my belief that the Unabomber was an unwelcome byproduct of the government's MK Ultra program.  My husband was flabbergasted; he had, apparently, never heard the pervasive arguments for this conspiracy theory.

Below are three non-political conspiracies I believe in, followed by my explanation of how MK Ultra was responsible for the creation of one of America's most notorious domestic terrorists.  If this post goes viral and I am mysteriously murdered, please do not attribute my death to a lone gunman.

PETA is a false flag operation funded by meat lobbyists to discredit vegans by making them look crazy.

Before I explain my reasoning here, I should add that I think many of PETA's advocates and donors are simply misinformed or misguided.  Back when I was a teenager, some of my friends were into PETA because they gave out free stickers that were kind of cute. As far as I can tell, a lot of PETA members are moronic teenagers who have an idea but lack the life experience to know how to be effective activists, which is where a lot of the PETA cringe comes from.  And there are also many people who are involved with PETA who are value-signaling dipshits who lack organizational experience, making them, again, ineffective activists.

 Lisa Simpson was canonically 8 years old.

That being said, I also believe in a conspiracy theory that, seeing how impressionable and easy to manipulate the average PETA member is, the upper management of PETA is now run (or backed) by meat lobbyists who are purposely directing PETA to look as unreasonable and extremist as possible with the intent of discrediting vegetarians and vegans.

A quick Google search of "PETA" and "crazy" reveals no single publicity stunt, but rather, compilations of all the stupid shit PETA has done and said over the years.  It's not just publicity stunts; they have also advocated for cat owners to put their pets on a vegetarian diet (this kills the cat), spoken out against the anime Pokemon, and condemned then-president Barack Obama for swatting a fly.

The hypocrisy?  Despite its outspoken stance on euthanasia, PETA has euthanized 95% or more of the pets it's "saved." Here's a HuffPo article explaining more, with links to PETA's website and some stats.

> "In 2014, PETA killed 2,324 of the 2,626 animals it acquired. It had a 1% adoption rate. In 2015, it killed another 1,494. Last year, 1,442 were put to death. The majority of the remainder were taken to local pounds where they were killed."

PETA's hypocrisy goes far beyond simply being ignorant, and I can't help but feel like they are very purposefully drumming up anti-vegetarian sentiment.  They're just too good at it for it not to be obvious to me that they're working for the other side.

Michael Jackson's weird behavior and strange health problems can all be attributed to his being chemically castrated. 

His whole thing about being a kid? Yeah, he was literally a kid. He was chemically castrated to keep his voice high-pitched. This explains his lack of secondary sex characteristics and wouldn't be all that strange considering all the other shit his father put him through to ensure the success of the Jackson 5. There have been multiple books written on this topic, and it seems very plausible to me.  His ex-doctor also supported this theory (though his credibility is questionable).

He ran a ranch called Neverland... why do you think he related so much to Peter Pan?

Mind you, this theory does not extend to the question of whether or not he molested any kids.  I believe that he did, but the molestation described seemed juvenile and weird, and the fact that it's non-penetrative and more masturbatory strikes me as further evidence of Jackson's extreme lack of sexual development, which goes back to my belief that he was chemically castrated.

Nasal vascoconstrictors (nasal sprays) put stuff in their products that keep you addicted to the product.

This is less of a conspiracy theory and more of a known fact.  Nasal sprays contain anti-inflammatories and blood vessel constrictors that offer near-instant relief for stuffy noses.  However, if used too often or for too long, the blood vessels can "rebound" (a condition known as  rhinitis medicamentosa) and become even more swollen than they were before the medication was used.  People then turn to the medication for relief, ending up in a positive feedback loop.

This phenomenon is well-documented by scientists and has been reported upon by the New York Times, but people still fall into nasal spray addiction because they are unaware of how habit-forming nasal sprays are.

I don't know whether or not nasal spray manufacturers are nefariously using ingredients that they know will "hook" people and cause them to become regular consumers of the product, but I'll say this: they sure as hell aren't trying to find any alternatives.

The Unabomber was a byproduct of the U.S. government's MKUltra mind control experiments.

Speaking of "known facts," did you know the U.S. government manufactured the Unabomber?

This is probably the craziest conspiracy theory that I believe whole-heartedly, and like the nasal spray thing, I consider it as something that is more fact than conjecture.  But it's, shocking, not common knowledge, and when you tell people about it, their reaction is one of incredulity, the type reserved for people wearing tin foil hats.

Before we discuss the Unabomber himself, it helps to know a little bit of background about MK Ultra.  MK Ultra was a CIA program undertaken in the U.S. government to "identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations in order to weaken the individual and force confessions through mind control."  It was notorious for performing illegal human experiments.  Sanctioned in 1953 and running through the mid-60s, MKUltra was never fully declassified.  In fact, in 1973 (during the height of Watergate), the then-CIA director Richard Helms ordered all of the files for MK Ultra to be destroyed.  About 20,000 documents survived the purge after being misfiled in a financial records building, and they were used in Senate Hearings of 1977 along with personal testimonies to try to uncover the scope of the crimes committed by the MK Ultra program.

We may never know the full extent of MK Ultra, but here's what we do know.  Over 80 institutions, including hospitals and universities, were involved, including Harvard.  The reason why Harvard is important is because of a psychology professor there named Henry Alexander Murray.  Murray took a break from his work at Harvard during WWII to work for the Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the CIA) as a lieutenant colonel.   After the war, he returned to Harvard as their chief researcher and helped establish the Psychological Clinic Annex.  Here, he conducted human experiments on 22 unwitting undergraduates between 1959 and 1962.    The experiments were basically designed to stress out the subjects by subjecting them to, quote, "vehement, sweeping and personally abusive" attacks.  The students were unaware of what was happening; they were told they would be "debating philosophy" with another student and asked to write deeply personal essays about their personal beliefs, hopes, and dreams.  Those essays were later used against them, with an authority figure tearing them down and trying to identify insecurities in long, several-hour humiliation sessions.

Artist's depiction.

Now, before you go thinking that Murray was a one-trick pony, I should also mention that, as the head researcher at Harvard, he also oversaw Timothy Leary's research on psychedelic drugs, which began in 1960.

Pay attention to the dates.

Enter impressionable sophomore Ted Kaczynski.  A brilliant kid who had gone off to college at the age of 16, he was interested in pursuing a doctorate in mathematics and was eager and willing to participate in a STEM study.  He ended up spending over 200 hours in Murray's lab being emotionally torn to shreds, attending weekly sessions for three years.  According to his brother, he was targeted by the researchers, or at least the program, for being highly intelligent but also "maladjusted and alienated," a perfect subject to try to mind control.

Kaczynski didn't tell anyone about his participation in this study; it didn't come to light until the 1990s, when Kaczynski ended up getting sentenced to life in prison for his crimes as the Unabomber.  One of the most famous domestic American terrorists of all time, the Unabomber operated for twenty years, sending 16 bombs (at least), killing three people, and injuring over twenty.

His defense attorneys tried to get ahold of the data from the study (a large part of their defense was that Kaczynski was a paranoid schizophrenic, and/or otherwise mentally unwell) but were unable to get anything aside from the raw data (things like subject's heart rate and logs of attendance), which was worthlessly coded without any identifying information.  Harvard refused to release the actual analysis of Murray's experiments and the researchers who participated in the study were told not to talk to Kaczynski's defense team.

While there's never been any confirmation that Murray's experiments were part of MK Ultra, or that it was MK Ultra's mind control attempts that made Kaczynski "crack," it's difficult to ignore the overwhelming signs that point to Murray's experiments playing a part in Kaczynski's fall into violent, politically-motivated domestic terrorism.

And Murray?  Well, he earned the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement from the America Psychological Foundation in '62.  He was widely lauded as one of the most brilliant psychoanalysis experts in the world, with his groundbreaking work on profiling and personality assessment being highly praised, even today.  A veteran decorated for his work in selecting undercover agents during WWII, he passed away peacefully at the age of 95.

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