Saturday, November 24, 2018
New book on conspiracy theories
If your interest in conspiracy theories wasn't sated by reading Illuminatus!, or by reading Jesse Walker's excellent book The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory (a history of conspiracy theories in the U.S., including a chapter, "Operation Mindfuck," that discusses Robert Anton Wilson and Discordianism), there's a new book that might interest you.
Jesse reports on a new book, Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them, put out by Oxford University Press, an anthology that includes a contribution by Jesse.
Mr. Walker's contribution, "What We Mean When We Say 'Conspiracy Theory'," is available as a Reason magazine article.
Incidentally, in a section of the piece debunking a widely-believed newspaper report that described Osama bin Laden as having a lair in Afghanistan worthy of a James Bond villain, Jesse writes, "When American forces arrived at Osama's actual base, they found that the Independent report was a fantasy, something better suited for a legend about Hassan i Sabbah than a realistic assessment of bin Laden's methods and capabilities." Just another little test if you can spot the Robert Anton Wilson reference that creeps into many of Jesse's pieces, like a cameo from Alfred Hitchcock.