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Monday, June 13, 2011

Rage! Conspiracy Conspirators have Conspired to Conspire Against Me!

This last week or so has been a fascinating one for climate change debate. Two notable things happened. Firstly, just in the last couple of days a Sydney Morning Herald columnist wrote a good humoured piece mocking the stupidity of extreme climate skepticism (sorry, I can’t track it down!). Somehow the article was circulated amongst a United States audience, and the columnist awoke the next day to find three thousand rather nasty emails in his inbox threatening all kinds of injury, including annihilation.

This incident followed just days after another with a similar narrative. The same newspaper revealed that climate scientists at the Australian National University in Canberra had received a large number of emails with threatening and abusive language, including death threats. One email read:

You will be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung from your fucking neck until you are dead, dead, dead.
We heard you the first time, thanks. Just lovely.

As a result, some of the scientists have had to be moved to a safer location.

The Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, Professor Ian Young, noted:

"Obviously, climate research is an emotive issue at the present time, but these are issues where we should have a logical public debate. In fact it's completely intolerable that people be subjected to this sort of abuse and to threats like this."
Exactly, but logic is absolutely not what climate change “debate” is really about, is it? In fact within public discourse on the internet, climate change ceased being a debate a long time ago, and instead became a battle for worldviews: for pseudo-religion.

I am certainly not the first person to suggest that in the modern age a personal worldview effectively becomes many people’s religion. For example, the idea of “scientism” – the unshakable belief in modern science to deliver us from evil – has been around a while now. And many have compared overzealous environmental activists to religious zealots. This is perhaps not so surprising given the roots of the latter movement can be traced back to the spiritual and often pagan roots of the 1960s flower power movement.

Climate skeptics are part of a greater “religious” movement: conspiracy theorists.

I was browsing the web the other day and came across a few web sites dedicated to conspiracies. There is of course the highly imaginative David Icke. Icke is perhaps the most famous of the conspiracy theorists in the modern age, and, as far as I can tell, for Icke there is a conspiracy behind everything, including the shape of your cornflakes. I read one of his books years ago, and – speaking of flakes - I was surprised how flaky his evidence was. In one chapter he presented evidence for the idea that shape-shifting reptiles are ruling the earth (George Bush Sr is really a reptile, as is Prince Phillip – no wonder the Queen looks so perky). And does anyone really believe that Lady Dianna’s death was an accident? Well, it’s hard to know, as Icke’s question is stated in the rhetorical mode, and apparently requires no answer. The query is enough to settle the “debate”.

Then there are other web sites by conspiracy theorists who are convinced that Icke is in on the conspiracy, so they have started up their own web site. One I opened featured moderators and posters attempting to strangle each other, with posters ranting that the mods were out to get them, to silence them. Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

Now, you’d think that with Wikileaks putting more and more stuff out in the public eye, that some mention of the Reptiles and the government’s hand in 911 would have emerged. Or is that another conspiracy? On the China Daily discussion forum some time ago, a Chinese, anti-American, anti-Western Anti-“Anglo” hater wrote that” “the Anglos has killed 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq!”  I don’t normally comment on that forum as it is basically an insane asylum for zealots of “glorious China” nationalism, but on this occasion I couldn’t help myself. I responded, referring the poster to the Wikileaks document which indicated that collateral damage by Allied forces in the two countries totaled about two and a half thousand deaths. To this, the Chinese poster spewed forth a barrage of clumsy alliteration (centred upon repetition of the “F” sound), stating that Wikileaks was part of the Anglo-Jewish New World Order.

So, the conspiracy leaks are really another conspiracy. But only when they contravene your worldview, of course. Only when they threaten your “pseudo-religion’.

It should not surprise that I am not a great fan of conspiracy theories. Regardless of who is pulling the strings and how, the essence of your personal power does not lie in government cover-ups and lies.

I am an advocate of a very simple spiritual journey, which involves coming into correct relationship with the ego – the mind. Conspiracy fixations and paranoia are evidence of a mind that refuses to accept responsibility for its “issues”. It is a mind that projects its unresolved, hurt, anger, fear blame and fear out onto an external force. Behind the conspiracy theorist is a pervasive rage against parental figures, especially fathers, and often includes unprocessed soul issues from past lives.

Don’t get me wrong. By all means, identify corruption and injustice where it affects you, and make the world a better place with positive actions. But the reality is that your power to change the system is probably very limited. You genuine power comes from within. The simple act of bringing the mind into silent presence produces a joy that contributes more to the world than a billion hate-filled rants on the internet, screaming about injustice. Yes, act where necessary, but the “energy” that lies behind the action is crucial. Empowered action emerges from a balanced mind assuming responsibility for  itself. Such a mind acts from strength, wisdom and genuine courage, not from fear and rage, spraying hate out into the world.

Just think. There’s no need to rant and rave, no need to threaten death and annihilation to those who hold a different belief structure from you. The truth is that joy is yours today with nothing more than a decision to be responsible for your mind and its projections, and by bringing yourself into presence. Nobody can take that away from you. Not even the Reptiles. And therein lies your greatest power.



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