understand this change, which has created greener pastures for
fabricated news and conspiracytheories. There is doubtless a need
for research geared to contributing to increased knowledge and
awareness of the moral issues and problem complexes that follow
in the wake of the transformed opportunities for gossip, the spreading
of rumours, talk-in-text hybrids, and other types of orality in the
digital media environment.
It should be added that scandal audiences have been given far
too little attention so far. In order to understand mediated scandals
in depth, we must
process, he writes, is one ‘which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement
procedures outside as well as inside those publicly sanctioned by law and society’. Deep
political analysis, because its object is shrouded in secrecy, ‘enlarges traditional structuralist analysis to include indeterminacies analogous to those which are studied in chaos
Too often, consideration of the political netherworld is dismissed as conspiracytheory. But the fact that there is an abundant supply of simplistic conspiracytheories
cannot be an excuse for not
– which have received generally positive reviews, at least from readers on Amazon – suggest, in their order of publication, Templar involvement in almost every American fabulist tale and conspiracytheory imaginable, including claims for the true location of the Ark of the Covenant and for the lost continent of Atlantis somewhere in North America. 31
Based on this novel and co-written by Brody and Michael Carr, the 2013 film The American Templars examines (according to blurb Carr supplied to IMDb)
the possibility that a group of Knights Templar explored New
, 1979 ); Clare Asquith, Shadowplay: The
Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
(New York: Public Affairs, 2005 ); Gerald M.
Pinciss, Forbidden Matter: Religion in the Drama of Shakespeare
and his Contemporaries (Newark: University of Deleware
Press, 2000 ), and one
less familiar and little but dandy psychological/conspiracytheory
more sceptical than McNamee’s of the value or legitimacy of paranoia in the contemporary period, even as they recognise the enduring
currency of conspiracytheories for popular understandings of the
Troubles: ‘Someone had once quipped to Avery that Northern Ireland
divided into two camps, those who believed conspiracytheories and
those who thought they were being put around to make us all paranoid.’38 The humorous deflation involved here accords with Avery’s
matter-of-fact conviction regarding moral certainties – his favourite
biblical quotation is from Romans 14
. This is
not, for the conspiracy theorist, the straightforward hate figure of the
left. Rather, it is a character, or more importantly a group, to which all
western governments are secretly in hock: unbelievably rich and powerful,
and dedicated unswervingly to its own project, which is nothing less than
the complete control of the world. Yes: Zionists are basically Spectre.
(David Baddiel, ‘Short of a ConspiracyTheory? You
Film, television drama and the Northern Irish conflict in Britain
to his death as a result of an Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
car-bomb in 1979. Neave was widely credited with masterminding
the election of Margaret Thatcher as Conservative leader and, due
to his secret service connections, his name was also associated with
an alleged plot to overthrow Harold Wilson’s Labour government
(alluded to, for example, in Ken Loach’s 1990 film Hidden Agenda in
which the political conspirator Alec Nevin represents a thinly disguised
version of Neave). Utopia, however, draws upon rather different conspiracytheories relating to
both 23 March 2004.
9/11 Commission Report, paras 6.4–6.5.
G. Arney, ‘US “planned attack on Taleban”’, BBC News, 18 September 2001; J.
Steele, E. MacAskill, R. Norton-Taylor and E. Harriman, ‘Threat of US strikes passed
to Taliban weeks before NY attack’, Guardian, 22 September 2001; D. Cave, ‘The
conspiracytheory that wouldn’t die’, 15 August 2002, http://dir.salon.com, accessed
9 November 2010.
D. Cave, ‘The conspiracytheory that wouldn’t die’, 15 August 2002, http://dir.salon.
com, accessed 9 November 2010.
J-C. Brisard and D. Corn, ‘Debating September 11’, The
Hannah Jones, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, William Davies, Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Emma Jackson and Roiyah Saltus
-makers we interviewed remarked, ‘while the Treasury
might be believed on its growth figures, it will never be believed on its
economic impacts of immigration’. A study conducted on belief in
conspiracytheories across the UK population found that 55 per cent of people
believe the statement ‘UK Government is hiding the truth about the number
of immigrants living here’ is probably or definitely true, compared to
only 25 per cent believing it is
not merely willing agents and allies of the Guise and
zealous Catholics, willing to risk everything in order to rescue their country
from heresy and Mary from prison, to conspirators as ludicrous as Dr Parry
and unlikely as Dr Lopez.
What was at stake in these exchanges was not a theoretical, freestanding
debate about the rights and wrongs, the proper limits on and privileges of,
‘free speech’ but rather the use of the allegedly pressing threats represented
by these rival conspiracytheories, as legitimations for orgies of truth-telling
designed to persuade a series