Sunday, June 14, 2009

Conspiracy as Prophecy

Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 03:58:13 PM EST

What is New World Order conspiracy theory and how is it spreading through our society?

A few weeks ago I spoke at an event sponsored by one of the local chapters of the American Jewish Committee and emphasized the growing dangers of New World Order Conspiracy theories. Included in my presentation were video clips and examples of the rapid mainstreaming of this conspiracy storyline. However, my presentation was not focused on white supremacist groups but Christian Zionist leaders who freely and openly disseminate this paranoid conspiracy to millions worldwide in the guise of end times prophecy.

The press is focusing on the manifestations of hatred by white supremacist groups as opposed to the narrative through which they teach their hateful obsession with Jews. This "New World Order" narrative, as well as the process through which this narrative is transmitted to others, is an important part of understanding the growing epidemic of paranoid conspiracy theories. The narrative is not just about indulging in hatred of "the other" but a cohesive storyline about the battle between good and evil in society. This narrative can be disseminated in religious or secular versions, and can be told in an anti-Semitic or "philo-Semitic" millennial frame. But the basic storyline of world control by an interconnected and demonic cabal remains the same. Understanding this narrative can help to explain a question that numerous commentators posed this week, as they wondered why the election of our first African American president could bring about an increase in anti-Semitic violence.

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