Conspiracy theories abound in America. Though the mainstream media pays little or no attention to these theories, or to the figures who personally promote them, the theories are there and the people who promote them are armed and very aggressive. Most of these theorists proclaim to be Christians, a claim that is dubious in almost every serious sense of the name Christian. These same theories even exist in Great Britain and Canada according to the documentary film, New World Order.
According to these alarmists the Holocaust never happened, or at least it is vastly over-rated by serious historians. 9/11 was “an inside job” staged by a powerful group of global leaders who want to take America over and control the people. And the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives placed there by conspirators, not by the planes that were flown into the buildings by the terrorists. (I wondered how they explain the attack on the Pentagon? The film offered one street encounter where an answer was given that was so silly as to prove in itself how ridiculous this conspiracy business really is.) According to these conspiracy advocates your civil liberties and mine are going to be taken over by a cabal of leaders who want to throw out the U. S. Constitution. On and on it goes. The major force behind all these theories is something called the Bilderberg Group, a gathering of a little over 100 people who secretly run the world. Bilderberg, and the better known Tri-Lateral Commission, is made up of elites who are working to establish a "new world order." The great Satan for the conspiracy theorists is “the new world order” and those who promote it. It is somewhat ironic, I suppose, that I watched this 85-minute film the evening the House passed the new Health Care bill. I admit I am not a fan of this bill but I chose to ignore all the talkers over the weekend because the only thing I cared about was the news itself, not the opinions. To be truthful I think we have no idea what this bill will actually mean for most Americans until we see how it really works (changes will inevitably be made here and there). This is one of the reasons I am cautious and concerned at one and the same time. I am taking a “wait and see” attitude that seems to make me totally out-of-step with the majority of people on both sides of this debate. I am skeptical about the promises made for this bill, especially about paying for it since it appears that it will take us from 20% of our GDP going into the national treasury to 25% over the next few years. But I refuse to become cynical and I am surely not looking for a conspiracy theory to explain what is going at this point in our history.
The documentary New World Order is must viewing for serious Christians precisely because it offers an inside look at the people who dedicate their lives to spreading the word about conspiracy, much of it as I said in the name of religion and Christ.
Directors Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel focus primarily on Alex Jones. I only knew Jones from afar until this film. He is a documentary filmmaker and talk-radio host with a loud voice and a “fire and brimstone” style. He rants and rails and organizes to beat the band. His language is coarse, profane and he regularly takes God’s name in vain, as any thoughtful Christian will readily notice. I would like to ask conservative pastors, if they met this man, one simple question: “If this man applied for membership in your church what would you do?” Decide for yourself—watch the film.
Alex Jones is an intriguing person. I would love to see a group of counselors discuss his personality but leaving that aside he is sincere, dedicated, sometime funny and always intense, to varying degrees. His bullhorn is his favorite instrument, along with his radio broadcasts and films, which include Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement and Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove. His goal seems to be focused on revealing the secrets of the annual Bilderberg meeting, where world leaders meet in secret to talk about who knows what. Jones would lead you to believe he knows what is going on but there is no real evidence that he does. He has a lot of theories but few facts. This is the problem with conspiracy theories it seems to me. Once you accept the presupposition that there is a massive, global conspiracy then you follow the dots and preach the message. What I find particularly offensive about these “preachers” of fear and hate is the way they seek to link their actions to Jesus Christ. Again, this film will show any serious Christian how totally ridiculous this claim is in the end. Just listen to the words spoken by Jones and his followers. Jesus said, “By their fruit you shall know them.” The fruit of these preachers is fear and hate. They live for this stuff and they are driven by it night and day. One young man, who is prominent in his following of Alex Jones, talks about his quest and says it is not spiritual at all. He is profoundly right even if he doesn’t realize why. I actually felt deep sadness for these young men who were trapped by this hatred. By the way, almost all the people involved in this business are angry white men. The only exception seems to be the wives of a few older men who appear as support for their husbands.
The film takes you to the mountains of Idaho where a number of these folks live with their weapons and computers. Their whole existence is about the cause. Many have live simple, humble lives with little or nothing at all because of their cause. The whole scene is rather strange but it will help you understand Ruby Ridge and Randy Weaver, as well as Waco and the fiasco that took place there. (By the way, I think in the case of both Waco and Ruby Ridge the federal agents acted with undue and unnecessary force!)
The New World Order mostly follows Alex Jones. He is the star attraction of the whole movement. But his fellow conspiracy promoters are an important part of this story since a teacher is generally known by his disciples. One reviewer said, “ I believe Meyer and Neel have given us a very well done documentary. Documentaries are almost always statements about the beliefs of those who make them so I realize this has to be the case with New World Order. But Meyer and Neel truly allow Alex Jones and his people to speak for themselves. There is no commentary on Jones and his followers to be heard. I grant that the producers chose the film footage they wanted to show us but the story is pretty much there to be seen and interpreted by anyone who will watch it with an open mind. It does make for a fascinating look into the black hole of a small segment of America where people live for opposing the forces that they think are destroying our nation. But make no mistake about this, the world they live in is joyless, fearful and frenetic. The peace of Christ has nothing to do with the religion of these folks. It is thus a faith that has absolutely nothing to do with the good news of Jesus Christ. The real shame is that some rigidly conservative Christians are easily taken in by the kind of rhetoric employed by these guys. In the end, this is what the film clearly reveals. The facts these extremists use to make any case for their views are slim, but the rhetoric is intense and, at times, even powerful in a few instances. Now that the Democrats have passed health care I would think that we will only hear more of this kind of rhetoric. I expect, sadly, that more Christians will be taken in by it as well. There are real moral issues to debate within this culture and Christians should not shy away from earnest appeals for what is just, good and right. But remember, the right way to advance a moral point of view is in a morally honest way that does not employ the weapons of the flesh as St. Paul calls them. These angry white males are the masters of the weapons of the flesh, namely attacking “flesh and blood” (i.e. people and leaders). They do not deal with real ideas in reasonable and morally God-honoring ways. I recommend this film highly. As a Christian writer and leader I will never be quite the same for seeing it. My eyes were opened to dangers that threaten all of us. These dangers are not simply on the extreme left, as we saw in Oklahoma City. And they are not only found on the fanatical Muslim extremist side. We must understand that our way of life is threatened by religious zealots of all sorts, including some who threaten it while quoting the Bible and singing the songs of the faith along the way.
I believe Meyer and Neel have given us a very well done documentary. Documentaries are almost always statements about the beliefs of those who make them so I realize this has to be the case with New World Order. But Meyer and Neel truly allow Alex Jones and his people to speak for themselves. There is no commentary on Jones and his followers to be heard. I grant that the producers chose the film footage they wanted to show us but the story is pretty much there to be seen and interpreted by anyone who will watch it with an open mind. It does make for a fascinating look into the black hole of a small segment of America where people live for opposing the forces that they think are destroying our nation. But make no mistake about this, the world they live in is joyless, fearful and frenetic. The peace of Christ has nothing to do with the religion of these folks. It is thus a faith that has absolutely nothing to do with the good news of Jesus Christ. The real shame is that some rigidly conservative Christians are easily taken in by the kind of rhetoric employed by these guys. In the end, this is what the film clearly reveals. The facts these extremists use to make any case for their views are slim, but the rhetoric is intense and, at times, even powerful in a few instances.
Now that the Democrats have passed health care I would think that we will only hear more of this kind of rhetoric. I expect, sadly, that more Christians will be taken in by it as well. There are real moral issues to debate within this culture and Christians should not shy away from earnest appeals for what is just, good and right. But remember, the right way to advance a moral point of view is in a morally honest way that does not employ the weapons of the flesh as St. Paul calls them. These angry white males are the masters of the weapons of the flesh, namely attacking “flesh and blood” (i.e. people and leaders). They do not deal with real ideas in reasonable and morally God-honoring ways.
I recommend this film highly. As a Christian writer and leader I will never be quite the same for seeing it. My eyes were opened to dangers that threaten all of us. These dangers are not simply on the extreme left, as we saw in Oklahoma City. And they are not only found on the fanatical Muslim extremist side. We must understand that our way of life is threatened by religious zealots of all sorts, including some who threaten it while quoting the Bible and singing the songs of the faith along the way.
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Alex Jones is a Crackpot. I have heard him interviewed from time to time on Coast to Coast late at night when I have bouts of insomnia.
Yet, there is a danger of discounting everything that sounds like Alex Jones because it does.
We have to be very discerning. We must educate ourselves carefully using the most objective information possible. It’s a high tension balance. The news media inputs from both left (which is most of them) and right (which is far fewer) are mostly wrong. Make that assumption. They couch the news and information we depend on in language that supports a worldview.
So what is truth. It’s not from Jones,nor is it fully from these documentarians. It must be what we have revealed by the Spirit. I’m not getting weird, we must hear and then listen. This is not for the immature. It’s a real battle.
I was deeply critical and concerned by people who fell into line with Obama in the Christian community during the last election. I still am. That kind of lack of discernment will take us over a cliff.
We have big and going to get bigger problems in this state and nation and world. Wisdom will prevail if we don’t reject truth because is comes in unconventional even weird ways.
Walter Cronkite is dead and HE was wrong a great deal.
Thank you John for posting this though I suspect that many of your detractors will see it as further evidence that you have “gone to the other side.” This morning the recent discussion in the news about the Republican Party has become an arm of Fox News has been playing over in my head. I remember in 60’s there was an accusation that the Democratic Party was an arm of liberal news papers and certain college professors. There is probably some debatable degree of truth in both of these. What hit me this morining in particlar is the thought that “command and control” of any organization intent on social manipulation has been greatly increased by the internet and other digital sources. Everyone knows that social networking sites can be used to quickly organize anything from a snowball battle on the Washington Mall to street demonstrations in Iran. This is not the first time that emerging media has been used to make social change. Newspapers in former eras, radio (Voice of America, Tokyo Rose, etc). film in Germany in the Nazi era, etc. Of course these same forays into new media have worked for positive as well as negative change. The Kennedy/ Nixon debates forever changed politics in America simply because it was on TV. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” worked precisely because it was on the radio in front of which millions sat intently listening to nightly.
My concern as a Christian is the degree to which self identifying Christians often identify with media messages while never being involved in actual community. There is a constant diet of pontification with never an opportunity to get messy with the business of rubbing shoulders with other Christians. The traditional Creeds of the Church have been supplanted by bowing to party platforms (on both sides of the current debate) and membership is only a committment to watching the news sources of the elect. Does MSNBC really compete with Fox for audience among it’s most dedicated listeners- I doubt it. Do the televangelists or radio barkers really want dialogue and expect that there may be some middle ground? I doubt it.
So I think your call for a return to consideration of an ancient/future faith is most timely. Somehow our polestar must become something more than the latest missive from someone who’s veracity is never able to be determined. As Christians it behooves us to look back to those who were the closest to Jesus, look critically at what they had to say, and reconsider how their proximity and wisdom may have something to offer the current age.
Congratulations on your new book which I am reading and enjoying and hope will inform some of my thinking. I trust you and the thoughtful information you bring far more than I do any “birther”, or conspiracy theorist. There is a conspiracy and it is age old and began with a revolt in the heavenlies. The battle wages on.
One of the saddest things about all of the misinformation out there, from the quacks to more “mainstream” sources, is that it seems nobody seems to care as long as you vote their way or join their cause.
Even in the church there are very few times that I see or hear people trying to lead people towards making reasonable decision, but instead using all the tactics of propaganda and fear mongering.
There’s a difference between conspiracy and conspiracy theory. I’m convinced that conspiracies happen all the time. The bible records a number of government conspiracies against God’s people. We hear about them every once in a while in the news.
But the conspiracy theories you speak of are often very bizarre. I have a cirle of friends who are former Patriot group types, and the stories they tell about the years they spent in those groups are amazing. One friend of mine dedicated his life to uncovering these great conspiracies, only to find an onion skin type of connection between them all. Layer after layer. Men could not have executed these things in the detail necessary to be human conspiracies was his conclusion.
There are a number of things, though, about 9/11 that leave me wondering. How does a 47 story building (tower 7) not even hit collapse on itself like it did? I’ve never heard an explanation. And the “official” security camera video that caught the Pentagon attack. It wasn’t a commercial airliner I saw streaking across the screen. Maybe Elvis shot JFK.
Popular Mechanics did a great extensive piece a couple of years ago that went through each claim of the 9/11 conspiracy theories/questions (including the ones Steve mentions above) and offering scientific, rational evidence/answers. It’s still available online.
Even if there was a Bilderberg Group (which I highly doubt), scripture tells us, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” The underlying issue of the near hysteria of some Christians as it relates to current events (read “end times” for those of the pre-mill perspective) is that it denies God’s sovereignty in the history of men.
It wasn’t because Christians didn’t “get the vote out” and ensure their right to bear arms, that they were dragged to the colessium to be fed to the lions. The sovereign God of the universe, in His wisdom, allowed the blood of His saints to be spilled for His glory & for the glory of a Gospel that would spread around the world as a result.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be informed, that we shouldn’t exercise wisdom in how we vote, but at some point don’t we say, “Barak Obama’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” and sleep peacefully at night knowing whatever befalls our country or our world is subject to the God we serve?
Amen to this my brother, amen. The sovereign reigns in the heavens and does whatsoever he pleases in the earth. Of whom shall I be afraid since God reigns? The fear and near panic among Christians is alarming and sadly reveals the true weakness of the church in the U. S.
Ross you have identified the truth of the Gospel in that it is beholden to no man, no nation, no denomination or philosophy. History serves God’s purposes perfectly. You have reminded us of that. Thank you.
Your passing treatment of this topic in “The Coming Evangelical Crisis” was helpful for me. I read it at a time when I was closer to holding “conspiracy theories”, and Waco & Ruby Ridge solidified that in my mind. I don’t remember all the details, but your chapter made me rethink my understanding of those things. This seems to treat the conspiracy theorists as the conspiracy theorists treat “flesh and blood”.
Conspiracies are undeniable! There is no doubt that what transpired in DC over the past month was nothing short of a “conspiracy”. People met in secret, made deals, and plotted together to bring about a certain end. I think anyone would be a fool to think it was, even humanly speaking, a random event. No, those men and women conspired with one another.
“For Satanism, evil is power, and power is evil. Satanism is very prevalent today, not only in occultism, communism, and other movements, but it is also present in men who see the future as controlled by evil men who have the power to dominate the past, present and future. Many people, who believe they represent true righteousness, are still Satanists, because they firmly believe the past, present and future are controlled by a secret cabal of Jews, Germans, international bankers, secret societies or other similar groups of conspirators. To recognize the existence of conspiracies is one thing. To ascribe to conspiracies the power to determine history is another thing: it is blasphemy. The Biblical faith is that man’s conspiracies are a “vain thing” because God absolutely governs and predestines all history (Ps. 2; Rom. 8, etc.). To ascribe the government of history to a conspiracy is to renounce the triune God and to worship Satan. All history, including its conspiracies, move entirely in terms of God’s purposes.” – R.J. Rushdoony
You know, I understand where you are coming from when your’e talking about this fanaticism running their entire lives. It shouldn’t be the center of their lives, Christ should. But, the events he speaks of are anything but conspiracies. He shows more evidence for his theories than our own government does. I am very interested in the satanic influence of our political set up, and I believe that it will play a big part in the end times. Do you not believe in them? If you are a christian, there is no doubt that you believe in prophecy and the anti-christ, right? Then how should this beast get in the power of the entire world, without having a part of politics? And if satan is involved in all this, is he not big enough of a deceiver to do all of these things? Just a thought. But when all churches are getting shut down by Big Brother because they have a 501C3, and can no longer speak the evident truthes in the bible, homosexuality, etc, because its a hate crime towards others, because they are owned by the government, the mainstream church might feel different about everything. But then it will be too late. If you don’t believe 9/11 was an inside job I don’t know what to say. The towers feel at free fall speed, and had their infrastructure knocked out from under them. I have studied ALL of these theories for numerous hours, but at the same time, stayed in my Word. Not believing that 9/11 was set up, is like believing that global warming is actually real haha. But anyways, The King is returning, and if you agree with that, and you are led by the spirit, walking closer with God everyday, that’s what matters. Everything else can be pushed off to the side. But we still, definately, need to EDUCATE OURSELVES, and not be fooled by others. In Isaiah it says, ” For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.” I think that is a good reference for the world today, including america. But above all, lets keep praising God.