Conspiracy Theories

Like a few recent commentators, I too believe that there is a good deal more to history than what the court historians report. Like the poor, conspirators will always be with us. Augustine reminds us that history is to understood as a battle between two cities. One uses the power of the Word and Spirit to advance its kingdom, the other is apt to cheat, steal, rape, kill and blunder. But the City of Man’s main method of warfare is not force, but dissimulation and secrecy. Christendom seems to have forgotten that our enemy is the deceiver of the nations.

The fact that there have been conspiracies and secret movements has been too well documented to deny. The works of important historians such as Carroll Quigley (Tragedy and Hope), James Billington (Fire in the Minds of Men), Antony Sutton (America’s Secret Establishment), and Frances Yates (especially her, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment and The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age) is testimony to this.

There are two general problems with most “conspiracy” books, though. The first is that they approach conspiracies from a non-Christian theory of history and the second is they tend to play into the hands of the conspirators themselves by leaving the impression that the men behind the curtain are all-powerful and nothing can been done to stop them. The first fault tends to produce confusion, the second, fear and paralysis.

Like the Apostle, we should not be ignorant of our Enemy’s schemes. But our attention should not be riveted to these things. Our job is not to expose the plots the Evil One and his minions (at least this is not our most important job), but to intelligently persist in deeds of faith and charity.

Aside from The City of God, the best book written on conspiracies is C.S. Lewis’, That Hideous Strength. Not only does is unveil the nature of the conspiracy of those who oppose Christ’s Church, but offers the strategy to overcome it. His strategy is not original. Milton was aware of it as well, as are all but the most obtuse commentators on Psalm 2.

4 thoughts on “Conspiracy Theories

  1. I would like to echo MRB’s acclaim for “That Hideous Strength” by allowing the inimitable Fairy Hardcastle to have her say: “Isn’t it absolutely essential to keep a fierce Left and a fierce Right, both on their toes and each terrified of the other? That’s how we get things done. Any opposition to the N.I.C.E.[National Institute for Controlled Experiments] is represented as a Left racket in the Right papers and a Right racket in the Left papers. It it’s properly done, you get each side outbidding the other in support of us-to refute the enemy slanders. Of course we’re non-political. The real power always is.” That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis, p. 97.

    This principle has a host of applications in the contemporary scene, but one that comes to mind is Israel. Any criticism of the master State is deemed incipient Nazism by the Left and naive bleeding-heart pacifism by the Right. And if you calmly note that Central banksters are the ones who really profit from our wars you are labeled a “conspiracy theorist” by both sides. End of conversation.

    The modern political scene should remind one of nothing so much as professional wrestling. Like the reporter doing a story on Hulk Hogan who famously wandered into the locker room looking for the merciless behemoth only to find him having a smoke and a chat with his arch-nemesis the Iron Sheik, the American populace, especially the “Christian Right,” is in for a surprise.

  2. As I mentioned in the original post, one of the best conspiracy books is Lewis’, That Hideous Strength. For those who have not read it or for those who wish to re-read it, note how Lewis develops the following themes.

    The inner ring (Here is an essay that Lewis wrote about the lure of being an insider.)
    The role of skepticism
    Distinction between science and scientism
    Technology and nature
    Science and the state
    Knowledge and control
    Relation between the occult and scientisim (esp. in the characters of Frost and Wither)
    The “soft” sciences (sociology and the police state)
    The nature of conspiracies
    How to defeat conspiracies
    The role of symbolism
    The nature of mind control
    Man as ruler of earth vs. man as ruler of the planets
    Man and his relation with the beasts
    The male and female archetypes
    Physical and spiritual realms

    Lewis also explores the theme of “news” and propaganda in the novel. In a letter he confessed, “I never read the papers. Why does anyone? They’re nearly all lies, and one has to wade thru’ such reams of verbiage and “write up” to find out even what they’re saying.” This was written in the golden age of newspapers. Just image what Lewis would have thought about Fox News.

  3. MRB/TJH: I have seen Lewis’ That Hideous Strength recommended numerous times on your site which has inspired me to read it. Would I get more out of it by reading the first two novels of the trilogy first or should I go straight to THS?

  4. Josh — I wd definitely recommend you dive right in to THS. The other two add a bit of richness in understanding Ransom and Feverstone, but not at all necessary. However, do add the other two to your reading list, as they are also very important in their own right.

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