Friday, December 19, 2014

#1242: Jay Weidner

Some time after the death of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, people started, with the help of an array of well-known tools such as pareidolia, confirmation bias, selection bias and motivated reasoning, to find a variety of esoteric images (from circles to triangles) and connections in his films, and a variety of conspiracy theories, from the ridiculous to the unhinged, has predictably appeared.

Among the most prominent promoters of Stanley Kubrick-related conspiracies is Jay Weidner, called by Wired Magazine an “authority on the hermetic and alchemical traditions,” “erudite conspiracy hunter,” and “considered to be a ‘modern-day Indiana Jones’ for his ongoing worldwide quests to find clues to mankind’s spiritual destiny via ancient societies and artifacts.” At least Jesse Ventura and History Channel treat him as an authority, and the latter featured him as such in their “documentary” on The Lost Book of Nostradamus and as a producer in Nostradamus 2012. But he remains most famous for his Kubrick-related work. Notably, Weidner argues that Kubrick was hired to direct the fake Apollo moon landing and for some reason hid a coded confession in The Shining (featured in his documentaries here, and here - he actually takes endorsement by David Icke to be a selling point). The clues are, suffice to say, pretty weak (the Grady twins resemble the Gemini sign, the typewritten “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” should be read as “A-11” rather than “All”, and there is a scene where Danny wears an “Apollo-11 USA” shirt). Weidner did, however, make an appearance in the entertainingly stupid Room 237.

At the core of the Kubrick conspiracies is of course the idea that Kubrick was part of a Freemason-Illuminati conspiracy and devoted his film career to hide clues of its existence in his films (the purpose of that remains abundantly unclear). Eventually the Illuminati decided he had crossed the line with his final film Eyes Wide Shut (for apparently exploring trauma-based mind control) and went on to assassinate him (here, for instance).

Weidner is also the co-author of The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye (that would be this item); Alchemy and the End of Time, and A Monument to the End of Time (with Vincent Bridges), as well as a contributor to the book The Mystery of 2012 (Sounds True).

Diagnosis: Although a monstrously delusional conspiracy theorist, Weidner is a decent craftsman and is able to make even the most egregious bullshit sound plausible to the weak of mind. As such he has managed to garner quite a bit of an audience for his ridiculous claims. Worth keeping an eye on.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#1241: Alfred Lambremont Webre

Alfred Lambremont Webre is an almost legendary UFO crank, 9/11 truther and conspiracy nut, and one of those people that really justify the existence of places like or Red Ice Creations. Webre claims to have been a co-architect of the Space Preservation Treaty and the Space Preservation Act, and is, with one Stephen Bassett, the co-drafter of the Citizen Hearing, a proposed public forum to create a fact-finding process surrounding extraterrestrial phenomena and alleged government suppression of such facts from the public. Of course, all the facts are ostensibly already on the table, but Webre would not in a million years accept facts that don’t line up with what he already “knows”. He is also on the Board of Advisers for the New Energy Movement, a free energy lunacy group, and congressional coordinator for The Disclosure Project (I am not completely sure what that is, but with Webre as a coordinator I sort of have some idea).

The brouhaha over his Wikipedia entry is rather illustrative. When it was proposed for deletion, Webre’s fans, well, went nuts (a figure of speech, of course – none of his fans were ever but), culminating in Webre’s own, pithy assessment of the situation: “My view is that Wikipedia’s action continues to be part of the CIA time travel controlled US Presidency's retaliation against me for having exposed Soetoro/Obama’s participation in a 1980–83 secret CIA jumproom project.” Indeed, such is his view.

Not very surprisingly Webre thinks that the events of September 11, 2001, were a false flag operation, but he has his own spin. According to Webre the powers that be were employing secret exotic technologies developed by DARPA and CIA, including Tesla-based time travel that permitted Donald Rumsfeld to have images of the events at the World Trade Center on 9/11 30 years in advance in 1971. In 2006 he therefore submitted a Memorandum to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor under Article II of the US Constitution, the Treason Article. His time travel hypothesis has earned him the respect of a number of truthers through his participation at various truther conferences. He also participated in Joan Ocean’s 2011 Dolphins and Teleportation Symposium together with e.g. Andrew Basiago and Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, though the truthers rarely emphasize that.

Interestingly, Webre has enjoyed a rather impressive international career. Until Nov. 2010, Webre was – due to his impeccable credentials – an international war crimes correspondent for Iran’s PressTV. It was on Iran’s PressTV that he for instance accused Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for being an “out and out Zionist,” going on to describe a conspiracy between Vancouver police and serial killer Robert Pickton “to commit ritual Satanic murders with high-ranking politicians” and claiming that the Queen of England abducted 10 Aboriginal children in 1964 to have them killed. Concluding his comments, Webre described Canada as “the ultimate Zionist state under the British Crown and under Israel.”

He was also, it should be mentioned, a central participant at a 2007 conference in Kuala Lumpur as part of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s campaign to criminalize war and convict Bush and Blair of war crimes.

With one Dr. Carol Rosin he founded the Institute for Cooperation in Space (ICIS) in 2001, as an outgrowth of the previous ISCOS, Institute for Cooperation and Security in Space. Their mission is to educate decision-makers and others on why it is important to ban space weapons. With the help of former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the Space Preservation Act was originally introduced into the 107th Congress on October 2, 2001 (HR 2977) and included provisions banning “extraterrestrial” weapons, as well as chemtrails and “exotic weapons systems” such as HAARP. A revised Act was introduced to Congress in 2002. Webre himself apparently resigned from the Board of Directors of ICIS in 2011 to focus on a treaty to ban HAARP.

The reason why a ban on extraterrestrial weapons is important is, according to Webre, that although “we live in a populated universe,” Earth “has been quarantined.” Though “the quarantine was lifted in 1947, the year from which the UFO phenomenon began in full force around our planet,” according to Webre; “Earth’s humanity is not yet sufficiently evolved to be included in the universal society,” and the militarization of outer space by humans (who were “planted and cultivated here under the stewardship of more advanced societies”) is a main reason why the quarantine persists.

Webre has accordingly written a number of books on exopolitics, consistently taking a completely insane and evidence-free, speculative approach. In 2012, he launched, an “educational” entity offering online courses on exo-sciences, psi-sciences, and exopolitics, with an Earth Day forum entitled “An Introduction to Time Travel with an Emphasis on Teleportation.” Indeed – though it seemed impossible – Webre’s claims seem to have gotten even more bizarre lately. In 2011, for instance, he launched a boycott (of, it seems) to protest the CIA coverup of president Obama’s trips to Mars (the US government apparently has a secret base there where they meet with aliens).

Diagnosis: Deranged, unhingedly delusional madman. Nevertheless, Webre has managed to garner a surprising level of political clout, and several people of power around the world, from Dennis Kucinich to the Iranian government, seem to take him very seriously, thus making him – against all odds – an exception among the crowd in having actual detrimental influence on society.

Monday, December 15, 2014

#1240: Paul Joseph Watson

Paul Joseph Watson (no relation to the Sea Shepherd guy) is a versatile and tireless reporter for Alex Jones’s PrisonPlanet and InfoWars, and hence responsible for much of the bullshit to be found in rich supply on those websites. In other words, Watson is a staunch supporter of a variety of (mutually inconsistent) conspiracy theories (inconsistency doesn’t matter, apparently, since these people are mostly JAQing off anyways – a favorite trick for avoiding consistency expectations) and an impressive array of pseudoscience and denialist ridiculousness.

It’s difficult to paint a representative picture without giving him more space than he warrants, or to pick highlights, but Watson was for instance instrumental in promoting the conspiracy surrounding John Holdren’s alleged totalitarian global population control scheme (FEMA concentration camps wouldn’t be far behind). And don’t get him started on climate change, Bilderbergers or 9/11, though even Watson thinks the “no plane/hologram” theories are wrong.

At least there are people who think that Watson is an agent for the British royalty and the Knights of Malta (like George Bush) or a “direct descendant of eugenicist Bertrand Russell” (yes, some crucial confusions there), and they may, indeed, be worth a read if you like a break from coherence or appealing web designs.

Diagnosis: Amply paranoid addlebrain. He is pretty tireless, though, and has made some impressive contributions to clogging up the Internet with bullshit.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

#1239: Jean Watson

Jean Watson is a Distinguished Professor of Nursing at Colorado and head the National League for Nursing, the board that accredits nursing schools. Hers is, in other words, a position of genuine power and influence. Watson is also a supporter of a range forms of woo, quackery, and pseudoscience, which makes her very, very scary. For instance, Watson has been a defender of Therapeutic Touch (TT), a completely unfounded type of faith healing based on murky and fluffy musings rooted in medieval vitalism (though, of course, preferably mareted under an Eastern name such as “prana” or “chi”).

Now, at least at one point TT achieved notorious popularity among nurses, partially, one might suspect, because it contributed to a sense of empowerment among nurses through a way to feel they were participating more directly in the “healing” of the patient, rather than just passively carrying out doctor’s orders. Indeed, in Colorado defenders of TT, while heavily promoting the bullshit, were also desperately trying to keep science out of it, even trying to portray it as part of a feminist cause – during the Colorado panel investigation of the practice the panel was warned by the practitioners that a negative finding on TT would be viewed as male-dominated medical imperialism against female-dominated nursing. And Watson has been encouraging the bullshit. But how crazy is she? Well, in her speech heralding Colorado’s Center for Human Caring (a hotbed for TT training), she stated that this was “part of the universe turning, ushering in one of the seasonal ancient calendar revolutions … appeasing the gods and goddesses of the universe … this leave-taking from the Age of Pisces, after 2,000 years of the Mayan calendar, takes us away from the destruction, the violence, the technological, industrialized war and power into spirit-filled cosmology … commercial and machine entropy are being scattered to the universe and being replaced by guardians, angels in fact, of esthetic mystic and spiritual unification, of human and planetary evolution.”

Yes, you’re welcome. She was promptly elected president of the National League for nursing.

Diagnosis: A quack and a crackpot, yet Watson wields quite a scary amount of influence and power. A real threat to civilization.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

#1238: Terry Watkins

If you think Jack Chick is on the crazy side, you may not be familiar with the glorious antics of Dial-the-truth ministries, run by Terry Watkins. No, seriously; this is pretty much as insane as the Internet gets. The organization started up in 1990 as a telephone ministry with “inspirational” recorded messages (mostly incoherent hatred) for the caller. The organization, based in Pinson, Alabama, is notable for their King James Onlyism, and possibly most famous for their hardline stance on rock music – it’s evil, pure and simple (“tools of Satan”), and due to the Biblical instruction “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers" (II Corinthians 6:14), that verdict applies to Christian rock as much as mainstream rock (look at that webdesign! You can’t but take them seriously). Less surprisingly, the site criticizes Britney Spears as a “whorish woman” who provokes “youthful lusts” and parents who allow their children to listen to the Spice Girls as “co-conspirators in this cultural rape of their daughters.” No, they don’t really keep up with the “developments” in pop music, but I suppose that’s heartily unnecessary for their message. Lyndon Larouche associate Donald Phau’s classic The Satanic Roots of Rock makes an appearance on their site as well.

Interestingly, they also believe that Hell is a physical place. No, it’s not just a place, but geographically located down there, in the core of the Earth. One of Satan’s forms on Earth is Santa (I suppose even a kid should be able to figure out that anagram). He uses that form because he preys on the weak, such as children … and others – Watkins draws our attention to “The great German Reformer, Martin Luther writ[ing] in his Table Talks: ‘The devil plagues and torments us in the place where we are most tender and weak. In Paradise, he fell not upon Adam, but upon Eve’.” Watkins actually claims to prove that Santa is Satan. And yes, the proof is in that anagram (anagrams are heathen word magic). But Watkins somehow manages to make the argument even sillier than it initially sounds: “An internet Google search on ‘Satan Claus’ [not Santa Claus – but SATAN Claus] found over 1,700 hits!” Can’t argue with that. In fairness, he provides references. To Constance Cumbey and Texe Marrs, Madame Blavatsky and Gail Riplinger. And to clinch it, “[i]s ‘Claus’ another anagram for ‘Lucas’? It’s no secret ‘Lucas’ and ‘Lucis’ is a new-age ‘code word’ for ‘Lucifer’” (actually, it’s the real name of the Evangelist Luke, but that fact doesn’t fit so we disregard it.) And, not content with these observations, he also pulls the Jack Skellington inference “‘Claus’ sounds a lot like ‘claws’.” You can’t top this. Actually, Watkins does arguably top this. I strongly recommend you to check out the article yourself. And don’t get him started on Halloween.

(One interesting detail is that Watkins swallows whole everything ever written by Silver Ravenwolf or any other New Age witch – not a critical question asked – and then takes it as proof of the workings of Satan.)

He didn’t like the Da Vinci code, either (“the most blatant mainstream attack on the Lord Jesus Christ in modern times! Nothing comes close”), nor Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Both verdicts are by all means understandable, but you sort of get the feeling that to Watkins hatred is a default reaction. I am unfamiliar with the movie “Saved!” but according to Watkins it is “[o]ne of the most hateful and blatant attacks on Bible Believing Christians […] This is beyond belief!”

Dial-the-Truth Ministries has also written engagingly on the purported link between the number “11”, 9/11, and – you guessed it – the Endtimes (at least the end of “America the great” – just look at the Muslim atheist in the White House). You really have to check it out, and no – it’s not a Poe. The article on Hurricane Katrina is not without its moments either. And here he tackles environmentalism, pointing out the “scientific ignorance” of environmentalism and urging us to pollute as much as possible, since there is plenty of evidence that this is what Jesus would have done. At least he admits that the goal is, indeed, to destroy the world, and that this is the main reason why environmentalism is unchristian.

He also has a nice, elegant little proof of the historical accuracy of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The only premise you have to commit to is the literal accuracy of the Bible.

Diagnosis: Absolutely hysterical, in every sense. Though an abysmally unappealing character, the world would have been much the poorer without Terry Watkins.