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Conspiracy Convention

World’s Greatest Conspiracies

Conspiracy theorists gathered by the hundreds at a convention center in California. They were never seen by our reporter again.

The question, “How many here believe a mind can be controlled from an external source?” posed by Mark Phillips, a man who looks like an overfed Martin Sheen, is answered by 200 mostly male, mostly middle-aged hands thrust into the air. Mark is talking about the CIA’s MK-Ultra Project Monarch, a mind-control system that takes people and turns them into sex slaves. But the bad news, Mark says, is that his wife, Cathy O’Brien, whom he rescued from such enslavement, was made to service former president-and, according to Mark, huge heroin fiend—George Bush.

Listeners gasp in horror as Cathy gives vague details of life as a top-level intelligence agent and concubine, then applaud when she explains how she finally broke free of the mind-control grip. It was all thanks to the love of Mark, a man she learned to trust when she saw him hugging a raccoon.

It sounds like a routine production meeting at Jenny Jones, but in fact, it’s a Saturday morning session at Conspiracy Con 2001, the first-ever convention for conspiracy theorists and enthusiasts, held in Santa Clara, California. Organized by Brian Hall, the fluffy-haired coauthor of investigative UFO pieces for the Berkeley Psychic Reader, this two-day gathering of experts on such topics as the secret manipulation of the human race has been put together “to facilitate the sharing of suppressed knowledge with those who have a need to know… because we all have a need to know.”

But the question is: How much do we need to know? I found answers to that question scattered throughout the event, although few of them made sense. I had to read between the lines to really understand what was going on there—and what is going on out there.

Day 1

Theory: Oil Companies Are Plotting Against UFOs

As pan-flute music laced with antigovernment lyrics wafts over the darkened, half-full theater, the 200 or so people in the audience get chatty. A man sporting a massive blond afro confides, “I’ve seen alternate takes of Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon.” “Oh, yeah,” agrees a man wearing a cardigan and shorts. “The so-called moon landing. The whole thing was staged.” Nearby, a vastly large man who heals people over the telephone tells of his alien abduction in the fifth grade. They were “little blues” that “smelled like garbage and had massive square heads and little legs.”

William Lyne, an older man in a Hawaiian shirt, takes the stage, and the small talk evaporates. “The flying saucer, as man’s greatest invention, should be enjoyed by all,” his bio declares. Lyne takes the mic and unrolls the truth, sushi-style: Nikola Tesla invented the flying saucer, but his discoveries on UFO propulsion and free energy have been kept secret by the government on behalf of big-oil. Lyne knows all this because he once had top-secret clearance in Air Force intelligence and, as a child, used to watch squadrons of UFOs flying over his backyard.

Midway through his speech, dance music inexplicably starts pumping over the PA system. Undeterred, Lyne continues. What does dance music matter to a man who has fought against various agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping him quiet? One was a “butt-bumping buddy” of George Bush (senior, again), and another wore a shiny suit and looked like he was probably “a pasta eater.”

You might take umbrage at Lyne’s not-so-politically-correct terminology, but the man has been through a lot since that day in 1963 when, he says, “I saw JFK’s parade route published in a local Texas newspaper and shouted to everyone in the room, ‘They’re going to assassinate the president!’ I looked up and locked eyes with Lee Harvey Oswald, who dashed away. Three days later, they killed JFK.” Coincidence? Maybe.

There’s a question from the audience. Coincidentally, I am the one in the audience asking the question: “William, do you know the real reason Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are getting divorced?” He sputters a bit, then answers, “The same reason Cindy Crawford dumped Richard Gere.” And so ends the Q&A.

As the audience files out, a guy wearing a T-shirt that defines the word media as Mind-controlling Everyone’s Decisions and Ideology in America approaches me: “What were you alluding to with that question?” “Um, what do you think I was alluding to?” He doesn’t hesitate. “Oh, the global conspiracy of the satanic elite. They’re upset about Eyes Wide Shut.”

Later, a woman in a white fedora says she knows what my Cruise-Kidman question was all about. “The small circle of people who rule the world are still fuming over Top Gun. They don’t want the general population and the military feeling empowered.”

Theory: Aliens Love the Ladies

I have lunch with three women: Naomi, Christine and Donna. Naomi, 30, wears a pink crystal turtle on a necklace. She explains how an alien named Sal taught her his language. When the government learned of Sal’s visitations, they “made me move objects with my telekinetic powers.” She says her psychic abilities often let her know what kind of soda her friend wants without her even asking.

Christine is a public-school teacher whose abduction by aliens has caused triangle patterns to form on her body, fetuses to be stolen from her uterus and a mysterious ball bearing to turn up inside her tooth-and she’s tired of it all. She just wants to get married and have a baby that she can keep. So she does what she can to normalize her life: She put a necklace made of blood around her bedpost to help her stop dreaming about alien babies. Donna, the skeptical one, brought her own plate of spaghetti and plastic utensils to the restaurant.

Theory: The Air Is Poisoned

If MTV’s Kurt Loder were a bit more squat, he’d look a lot like William Thomas, an independent investigative journalist who believes that the government is making clouds. Called Chemtrails, these “clouds” are the long white puffs you sometimes see behind planes, which the less-enlightened call contrails. After decrying the debilitating effects of the aluminum oxide in these clouds, Thomas gives us a taste of life as a freedom fighter:

  • He lives on a boat.
  • He has lost the love of his life.
  • He doesn’t eat microwaved foods because they change your blood.
  • He takes pepper pills to raise the temperature of his blood to kill government-created germs.

Is it all worth it? “You can break my heart,” he tells the audience, “but you can never break my spirit. Let’s love the heck out of each other and stand together.” He receives a standing ovation.

Theory: Everything Is Evil, Especially the Postal Service

The next speaker, Jordan Maxwell, is a pudgy man dressed in black pants, a black shirt, black sandals and blue socks. Brian Hall introduces him as his “personal Batman,” because Jordan changed the way Brian views the world forever, just as Batman changed the way Robin viewed adult males forever.

Jordan, an occult researcher/ writer, has a beef with organized religion. It is no coincidence, he says, that priests, rabbis, vampires and Darth Vader all wear black robes. What he’s getting at, I think, is that Luke Skywalker is the son of a priest or a rabbi.

He proclaims, “I’m not anti-Semitic—I’m antibullshit. The only thing holy in Israel is the stories coming out of it.” He details how the government is screwing us through the Postal Service (privately owned by someone in England) and tells us that the lawyers’ bar is a privately owned company. At this point, the room starts to take on a militia-like air. People are angrily shouting “those bastards!” and baa-ing like sheep. Jordan then informs us that he has put together a book that contains all the necessary forms to help you commit credit-card fraud and work it out so that you never have to pay taxes again. It only costs $100. People suddenly stop baa-ing and excitedly break out their checkbooks.

Theory: People in Plaid Are More Susceptible to Alien Visitation

During a break, two guys in almost identical plaid shirts discuss William Lyne’s morning presentation. “That guy was nuts,” says one. “Yeah,” nods the other. “The CIA had nothing to do with JFK’s assassination. It was the aliens’ doing. Mr. Lyne must be under some sort of mind control.”

The conversation ends as David Icke, a silver-haired Brit, takes the stage to explain how we sheeple-half sheep, half people-are being controlled through a pyramid of ignorance. “I call CNN a movie: Claptrap No News.” To illustrate exactly how the masses can be manipulated, he plays a scene from A Bug’s Life, then relates the strange predicament of an ex-CIA man he met with a pouch surgically attached to his chest. If his superiors fail to refill the pouch with a mysterious fluid every 72 hours, he will die. This, David says, is how they keep people from squealing.

David then discusses the satanic world of the Freemasons and their connection to Ronald Reagan. He finishes to a standing ovation, and the crowd files out as the PA system blares Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young.” The two men in the plaid shirts have vanished.

Day 2

Theory: Steven Seagal Can’t Be Trusted

Len Horowitz, M.D., the kind of tall, dark and slick fellow you see in ads for skin peels, is worried. He is supposed to travel to South Africa this afternoon, but six people dreamed he’d be assassinated there. As if that isn’t enough, he’s booked on flight 69. Which, evidently, is not good. Next he tells us how Jermaine Jackson asked for his assistance with a hepatitis B vaccination program.

Len refused because vaccinations kill people. This leads him to a discourse on the Bible, tumors that can be dissolved by thought and, finally, a trip to Busch Gardens with his daughter. Over the course of two hours, Dr. Horowitz also reveals how:

  • Steven Seagal stole a bunch of his ideas.
  • Toy stores have been made into alien-visitation clinics.
  • The Denver International Airport is a temple of evil.
  • Henry Kissinger’s name mathematically translates to 666.
  • “Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do” is a scam (there never used to be a “ti”).
  • The Satan-loving Rockefellers didn’t name America’s highway Route 66 for nothing, you know.

Theory: George W. Bush Really Is Evil

Icke, the Limey who called his audience sheeple yesterday, is onstage singing us a Donovan song (“He’s the universal soldier, and he really is to blame…”) to illustrate how foot soldiers are used by the elite. If people weren’t so bloody sheeplike, they’d understand that—and they’d also understand that there is no evidence that HIV causes AIDS and that the conflict in Bosnia was set up to push the U.N. as the world’s police force.

The real masterminds behind all of this are the Illuminati, the ruling class of planet Earth whose bloodlines can be traced from the pharaohs to George W. Bush. They are responsible for all of the cover-ups and all of the madness in the word, and this is why: They are the offspring of reptilian aliens who mated with ancient Egyptians, Sumarians and Babylonians thousands of years ago.

Icke has proof. He reveals a photo of an African necklace from which dangles a nonhuman figure and a flying saucer-plus he plays video of an African priest who explains that these reptilian creatures look exactly like Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace.

George Bush, a member of the Illuminati, is actually a shape-shifting reptile with connections to hideous child-abuse networks involving gobs and gobs of satanic worship. Icke shows a photo of George W. making a devil sign—which coincidentally resembles the “hook ’em, Horns” sign made by drunken Texas football fans—during a TV appearance with Regis. “And there is a very good chance,” Icke further explains, “that the world we live in is a 3-D holographic image. We are being manipulated by what the Illuminati want us to see.” Sound a little like a movie starring Keanu Reeves? Recognize the word Illuminati from this summer’s blockbuster hit Tomb Raider? Not a coincidence. Somebody knows something in Hollywood, he insists. Icke receives a 10-minute standing ovation.

Theory: Drinking Is a Waste

I scribbled my final thoughts on a cocktail napkin. The notes were highly detailed and contained information that they don’t want you to see. To get more napkins, I ordered more drinks. Then I got up to use the men’s room. When I returned, the napkins were gone. By the next morning, I couldn’t remember what I had written, aside from the fact that shape-shifters are leading us into an abyss and that blue aliens with little legs smell like garbage. A coincidence? Perhaps.

23 World’s Greatest Conspiracies. Stuff Magazine has ceased publication with the October 2007 issue. Stuff will now be a regular section within .

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