News Review - 29 May 2020
ConspiracyTheories

2,000 years ago, Pontius Pilate asked the question… “what is truth?” That question is still valid today, because now we live in the age of…

Conspiracy Theories

Definition: Conspiracy Theory

“…a theory that rejects the standard explanation for an event and instead credits a covert group or organization with carrying out a secret plot: One popular conspiracy theory accuses environmentalists of sabotage in last year’s mine collapse.

…the idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of deceptive plots that are largely unknown to the general public: The more I learn about the activities of intelligence agencies, the less far-fetched I find many geopolitical conspiracy theories .” ( dictionary.com)

Did The CIA Invent The Term ‘Conspiracy Theory’?

“Conspiracy theories have a long history, but the actual term ‘conspiracy theory’ emerged much more recently. It was only a few decades ago that the term took on the derogatory connotations it has today, where to call someone a conspiracy theorist functions as an insult.

So it may come as no surprise that there is even a conspiracy theory about the origins of the label. This conspiracy theory claims that the CIA invented the term in 1967 to disqualify those who questioned the official version of John F Kennedy’s assassination and doubted that his killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had acted alone.

There are even two versions of this conspiracy theory. The more extreme version claims that the CIA literally invented the term in the sense that the words ‘conspiracy’ and ‘theory’ had never been used before in combination. A more moderate version acknowledges that the term existed before, but claims that the CIA intentionally created its negative connotations and so turned the label into a tool of political propaganda.

Another side-effect of this new stigma was that the label conspiracy theory or theorist became a pejorative term. The Kennedy assassination was the first major instance in which conspiracy theorists accused the state of secretly plotting evil and provided alternative accounts that were then labelled conspiracy theories, as in the 1967 CIA document. So it is hardly surprising that conspiracy theorists – who blame events on the intentional actions of evil people – retrospectively see the emergence of the term as a deliberate attempt to uphold the official version of the Kennedy assassination.” ( snopes.com)

A Classic Conspiracy Theory…

“As the COVID-19 crisis worsens, the world also faces a global misinformation pandemic. Conspiracy theories that behave like viruses themselves are spreading just as rapidly online as SARS-CoV-2 does offline.

…Blaming 5G

This conspiracy theory should be easy to debunk: it is biologically impossible for viruses to spread using the electromagnetic spectrum. The latter are waves/photons, while the former are biological particles composed of proteins and nucleic acids. But that isn’t really the point — conspiracy theories are enticing because they often link two things which at first might appear to be correlated; in this case, the rapid rollout of 5G networks was taking place at the same time the pandemic hit. Cue a viral meme linking the two, avidly promoted by anti-vaccine activists who have long been spreading fears about electromagnetic radiation, egged on by the Kremlin.

It’s worth repeating, as the World Health Organization (WHO) points out, that viruses cannot travel on mobile networks, and that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in many countries that do not have 5G networks. Even so, this conspiracy theory — after being spread by celebrities with big social media followings — has led to cellphone towers being set on fire in the UK and elsewhere.

Here are a few more examples… Bill Gates as scapegoat… The virus escaped from a Chinese lab… COVID was created as a biological weapon… The US military imported COVID into China… GMOs are somehow to blame… COVID-19 doesn’t actually exist… The pandemic is being manipulated by the ‘deep state’… COVID is a plot by Big Pharma… COVID death rates are inflated…( allianceforscience.cornell.edu)

Crazy Conspiracy Theories That Actually Turned Out To Be True

Big Tobacco knew that cigarettes caused cancer

“Conspiracy: For decades, tobacco companies buried evidence that smoking is deadly.

The truth: At the beginning of the 1950s, research was showing an indisputable statistical link between smoking and lung cancer, but it wasn’t until the late 1990s that Philip Morris even admitted that smoking could cause cancer.

Government mind control

Conspiracy: The CIA was testing LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs on Americans in a top-secret experiment on behavior modification.

The truth: The program was known as MK-ULTRA, and it was real.

The CIA started by using volunteers – the novelist Ken Kesey was one notable subject. But the program heads soon began dosing people without their knowledge; MK-ULTRA left many victims permanently mentally disabled. At the present time, another drug that alters food and perception and is causing great public concern because of its harmful effects is meth.

John Lennon was under government surveillance

Conspiracy: The FBI was spying on former Beatle John Lennon.

The truth: They most certainly were. Like many counter-culture heroes, Lennon was considered a threat: ‘Anti-war songs, like “Give Peace a Chance” didn’t exactly endear former Beatle John Lennon to the Nixon administration,’ NPR reported in 2010.

In 1971, the FBI put Lennon under surveillance, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service tried to deport him a year later.

In 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met at a party in Woolton. Just yards away from their meeting place was the grave of Eleanor Rigby. A bizarre coincidence, or not?

The government is spying on you

Conspiracy: With the advances in technology, the government is using its vast resources to track citizens.

The truth: In 2016, government agencies sent 49,868 requests for user data to Facebook, 27,850 to Google, and 9,076 to Apple, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (the EFF), a major nonprofit organisation that defends civil liberties in the digital world and advises the public on matters of internet privacy.

Fake battle, real war

Conspiracy: The Gulf of Tonkin incident on August 2, 1964, was faked to provoke American support for the Vietnam War

The truth: By the time news reached American ears, the facts surrounding the North Vietnamese attack on the American Naval ship Maddox were already fuzzy.

Declassified intelligence documents have since revealed that the Maddox had provided support for South Vietnamese attacks on a nearby island and that the North Vietnamese were responding in kind, according to the US Naval Institute. The event ‘opened the floodgates for direct American military involvement in Vietnam.’

Canada tried to develop ‘gaydar’

Conspiracy: The Canada government was so paranoid about homosexuality that it developed a ‘gaydar’ machine.

The truth: It really happened: In the 1960s, the government hired a university professor to develop a way to detect homosexuality in federal employees.

He came up with a machine that measured pupil dilation in response to same-sex-erotic imagery; the Canadian government used it to exclude or fire more than 400 men from civil service, the military, and the Mounties.” ( readersdigest.com.au)

Return To Normal?

Often quoted these days… “when this is over, we can return to “normal”! Lets remind ourselves about this “normal” world in which we live. This is the world that we are watching… as it ends. All this pain and suffering is going to end once Jesus Christ takes control of the whole earth. This is the good news – it just hasn’t happened yet!

Here are a few truths about our “normal world”! Just this year so far… apart from around 350,000 dead from COVID-19…

125,000 mothers have died during childbirth

198,000 deaths from seasonal flu

375,012 deaths from malaria

548,300 deaths from traffic accidents

41,823,333 HIV/AIDS infected people

683,000 deaths caused by HIV/AIDS

436,000 deaths from suicide

1,017,000 deaths caused by alcohol

7,384,322,594 Cigarettes smoked today

2,000,000 deaths caused by smoking

$162,681,912,760 - Money spent on illegal drugs this year

3,000,000 deaths of children under 5

3,300,000 deaths caused by cancer

4,275,000 people have died of hunger

17,200,000 Abortions carried out

( worldometers.info)

Our Problem Today

As we watch world events fulfil prophecy, our job is complicated by having to operate in a sea of lies, half truths, all mixed up with “facts” from various sources that contradict each other. Once we keep in mind that the “god of this world” is a master liar – then we can start to understand what is going on.

When we refer to the main stream media [MSM], we get the “official” viewpoint. However, then come the alternative media with their version of events. Arguments rage, accusations follow, and the truth? The truth becomes irrelevant!

As the prophet Isaiah wrote:

“None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity [lawlessness]. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. (Isaiah 59:4, 14-15)

Why So Many Conspiracy Websites?

The short answer is money…
…the long answer is LOTS of money!

Although there are many conspiracy theorists out there, all with their own particular bias, they tend to follow the same model.

Although most have some sort of a product to sell - be it a book, the latest health supplement, or most recently a USB stick which the producer claims creates “An impenetrable shielding and harmonisation of your home and family from all harmful imbalanced electric radiation” which as it turns out is a cheap memory stick with a holographic sticker on it - the real money however comes from advertising.

The more exposure a website has, the higher the site can charge for advertising. Every visitor to the site, every link to the site and every email sent or forwarded on to others all add to how much the site can charge for advertising.

To generate traffic they tend to publish articles or headlines that mix common knowledge or medical/scientific advice along with pseudoscience in such a way that it’s hard for the reader to figure out which is which.

The Problem For Us

We need to keep our job in focus. Christ told us to stay alert to events as they happen, fulfilling prophecy. We don’t get involved in politics. We don’t become activists. We avoid forming opinions – taking one side or the other, because we are not qualified. It’s not a part of our job description.

Although we have quoted from several of these so called 'alternative news sites' from time to time - extreme caution must be taken to not get drawn into the activist mindset they try to stir up.

Again - we are to be observers and not activists.

We are Observers. That’s the key.

Our nations of the world are being attacked by a virus – which is killing people. As we watch the problem unfold, we observe that the measures taken by governments are destroying the nations’ economies. We see 38 million Americans unemployed. We see food shortages – and prices going higher. We see bankruptcies. It’s hard to see how both Britain and America can ever recover from this. This is a part of the destruction of modern day Israel, Britain and America – we are watching the prophecies of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 being fulfilled!

More important than any theorised aspect of Coronavirus is the sure guidance God gives His people:

“If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians.

For I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

Our Focus

We see people taking sides on matters none of them have proof for, people are suspicious of each other when shopping, neighbours are reporting each other to the police, the press make headline-grabbing accusations followed by tiny apologies buried on page 17, 3 days later. Politicians, health advisers, scientists, university lecturers lose their jobs on an almost daily basis as the media judge and castigate their latest scapegoat, presenting the public with their "facts" and little opportunity for their prey to explain or vindicate themselves.

What is truth?
Who are we to decide?
How are we to decide?

Take the assassination of JFK as an example. Unless you were there and were able to form your own first-hand impression of where the shots came from, how many there were and how the various key parties responded under fire, you cannot categorically state who did or did not kill President Kennedy. There are numerous documentaries, dramatisations, conspiracy theories - but without witnessing first-hand, everything you read and see is what whoever has produced it wishes you to know.

In short you cannot form an unbiased opinion, and an opinion would still be all you have.

Using the above example, we can no more discover the truth behind the assassination of JFK than we can any of the other questioned events "out there" including who was behind 9-11, the sinking of the Titanic or the origins and motives behind Coronavirus.

REMEMBER:

We are to be observers and not activists.

Who Do You Trust?

In asking “what is truth?” in today’s world, you are actually asking “who do you trust?”.

We are told to “trust no man”:

“Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.” (Psalms 146:3)

Instead we are instructed:

“It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.” (Psalms 118:8)

“Those who trust in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.” (Psalms 125:1-2)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

And the reward:

The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.(Nahum 1:7)

Mr Armstrong gave us this advice as the end of this age approaches:

You need not fear or worry over the things coming on the earth in the meantime. In this same prophecy of Jesus as reported by Luke, regarding the world disturbances now ahead – regarding the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The Lord – Jesus ended His Olivet prophecy with these assuring words:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. ” (Luke 21:36)

May God help you to be one of those studying the prophecies, watching world events as they fulfil them, and praying always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand before Christ at His coming!” ( Revelation Unveiled at last!)