Monday, July 4, 2016

Of cosmic truths and related content

This week the world celebrates World Disclosure Day, a focal point for people and organizations to come together to assert their right to know and demand cosmic truths being withheld from them by their governments regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race. I know this because of a Facebook post shared by someone who added me this week.

Like most people, when I get a friend request from a stranger I quickly check their timeline to see what kind of human they are. Now it may be the vagaries of shared friendships and Facebook algorithms, or an impression produced by personal bias, but the percentage of people sharing this sort of story is staggeringly high. Yet sometimes I click on a particularly egregious link. And then sometimes I click on the related stories that are listed beside and under the first story. It is always a perplexing and fascinating journey, with some recurring features.

On this occasion, World Disclosure Day leads me to the former Italian oncologist Tullio Simoncini, who claims that cancer is a fungus, called Candida albicans, and that it can be treated using sodium bicarbonate. From there I learn of the 13 most influential families on Earth and how they orchestrate the New World Order, or NWO. The next article is a perfectly reasonable summary of news report on the massive drawing of water from Lake Michigan to replenish municipal aquifers, but it’s only an interlude. It’s time to learn about the six secrets that ‘they’ don’t want you (that is to say, ‘us’) to know. These are as follows (in descending order):

6. ‘They’ Control the Earth’s Environment (by manipulating the ionosphere, ‘the place where free electrons exist’)

5. Tap Water Makes You Poor (on account of the fluoride, that makes you slovenly and apathetic)

4. Chemtrails Spray Us With Fluoride (as well as: aluminium, arsenic, barium and boron)

3. GMOs Are Destroying All Humanity (by causing ‘the greatest disbalance’ nature has ever seen)

2. Sacred Geometry is The Language of The Universe and Beauty (‘they’ don’t want you to know about the golden ratio)

1. Music Makes You Competitive (This one is actually great. In 1955 the International Organization for Standardization set 440 Hz – that is to say, the A above middle C – as the general tuning standard for musical pitch. This in the past had been 432 Hz, which ‘makes the sound of music more harmonious, calm, promotes happiness and deep understanding’, while 440 Hz is ‘440 Hz is more energetic, faster, it is almost like racing’. This leads to over-activity and competitiveness. And yes I know the guy just said they were giving us fluoride to make us lethargic.)

No time to ponder about any of that: it’s time to learn about galactic cosmic rays gushing out of supermassive black holes in an article quoting a number of actual physicists about actual cosmological research after having alluded to ‘the source of Light and life for this Galaxy, the Galactic Goddess, the Pleroma, the Galactic Central Sun’ supposedly sitting at the centre of the Milky Way. And while the story about the five pains you should never ignore – on account of the fact they could point to serious illness – seems entirely legitimate, it segues straight to the ‘Complete List of BANKS Owned or Controlled by the Rothschild Family’, which is anything but. Stretching the notorious pseudo-factoid that the United States Federal Reserve is a privately owned company, the article claims that ‘the United States of America is a corporation ruled from abroad’, and more precisely by the Vatican and the British Crown, who the US Presidents serve as appointed CEOs.

Appropriately enough, the next article declares that the European Union is a conspiracy by the CIA, but by now I’ve had enough, and so I save it for later.

I don’t know if my hunch is true, and if the sharing of this kind of stories is on the rise among people who wish to friend me on Facebook. I also hesitate to see it as a sign of the rise of full-blown conspiracism. I see plenty of that in the social media output connected to left wing movements and causes, but not all people who share these stories are actual conspiracists. It’s more that conspiracism is the same shape as the internet. Hyperlinks connect disparate topics and ideas in a way that is analogous – if only by accident – to conspiracist thinking. One thing follows another, therefore one must cause the other.

You can see how some of these ideas germinate and spread. It is true that in 1955 the International Organization for Standardization set 440 Hz as the general tuning standard for musical pitch, and if that day you happen to have been reading about the New World Order or even the Great Financial Crisis you might be conditioned to believe that this was because of a sinister reason. And then someone else might read the story and then share it simply because they found it curious, or didn’t quite think it through. Besides, claims to truth formulated in a certain way, using the language of science reporting or even just a web page template that resembles that of a respectable newspaper, are surprisingly believable. I know a number of intelligent people who shared the story of the great toxic rains poised to destroy North America believing it to be, if not true, at least plausible. And here the shape of our information systems matches the increasingly fractured patterns of everyday life, in which reading about world affairs and potential cataclysms happens or the bus, or in between work tasks, and one often lacks the time not just to investigate the validity of a set of claims but also to think before sharing. Most of us will have done that, at some point. We are all potential accidental conspiracists.

Yet I stay away from people on Facebook who share those stories. Casual conspiracism is also casual anti-semitism – it never takes more than three jumps to find the first mention of the Rothschild family – and a lot of other bad things besides. Few of the stories are harmless, and certainly not the one of the former oncologist who claims that cancer is a fungus and that you can cure it with bicarbonate of soda: Tullio Simoncini is a real person, and has faced criminal proceedings in two countries for manslaughter and fraud. People have quite literally died for believing him. But I’m not even saying that these dangerous falsehoods are more easily believed than they ever were. I simply don’t know. Maybe they are just more accessible and visible. Besides, the crisis of the traditional systems for validating knowledge is not altogether a bad thing – they could certainly use a shake-up. I just wonder, sometimes, about the cumulative effects of all those apparently innocent acts of reading, and if some day I’ll turn around and ask in earnest: ‘Wait a minute – why are they keeping the golden ratio hidden from us?’

Pictured at the top of the post is the stairwell of the Torre dei Lamberti, Verona, photographed by Lorenzo Caretta

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