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Room 101


When did I start to believe in this conspiracy stuff?

After a year of email correspondence Tim Binnall has been kind enough to give me the new job of BoA UK Correspondent and the opportunity to write my own column for binnallofamerica.com. I have plenty of ideas about the kind of topics I would like to write about, UFOs and parapolitics mainly, conspiracy theories about the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK, as well as Bush, 9/11 and the War on Terror. All I need is a name for the new column and I am ready to go. The only problem is that picking one is harder than it sounds.

I am sat at my disk listening to the Alex Jones Show struggling to pick a name, I am not short on ideas, Richard's Prison Island Britain, Richard's Animal Farm, Richard's Oceania, I just cannot pick one. I look down at the long list of names me and my bemused brothers have come up with, Richard's In The Year Of Our Ford, Richard's Orwell Was Right, studying the list I quickly realise that most of the names were inspired by George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and similar sci-fi dystopian texts. Why was this?

I had always been a sci-fi fan, but it was more than that. Perhaps I had simply been listening to Alex Jones too much, in his films and on his radio shows he constantly paints an ugly picture of the world, a prison planet straight out of Orwell's worst nightmares, where an evil predatory elite rule over and enslave the plebs of mankind (me and you). But why was I listening to Jones at all?

I never used to, a few years ago I thought the man was to put it bluntly a harmless enough nutcase, now I listened to his show almost every day and took most of it seriously. What had changed?

Had I woken up or simply began to lose touch with reality?

I think I should explain here that about four or five years ago I had a very different worldview to the one I have now. I always had an interest in UFOs and the paranormal, it was just that by the time I was a teenager I believed you could find rational down to earth explanations for them (this changed when I was about 17 and saw what might have been a UFO for myself), and when it came to alleged western government conspiracies I was very sceptical. I believed a mogul balloon crashed at Roswell, I believed Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who killed Kennedy, I believed Al qaeda were responsible for 9/11, I believed Saddam had WMDs, and I even believed in man made global warming before it was cool. In short I believed in the government and did not believe in conspiracy theories ... not anymore.

As naive as it sounds to me now there was a time when I would argue with friends that Bush and Blair were basically good guys. I really believed that our countries, the US and the UK, were fighting side by side, united together in common cause in a war against an Axis of Evil, just as they had been in WWII. The first time I heard Alex Jones I burst out in laughter, I was not laughing now, at least not as much as I was then, Alex still has his moments. So what had changed and when did I start to believe in this conspiracy stuff?

Perhaps the seeds of my metamorphosis in worldview were planted in the year 2000, when I watched a UK Channel Four documentary series called the "Secret Rulers Of The World" made by Jon Ronson. The series was about Ronson's encounters following conspiracy theorists and activists residing on the fringes of the political, religious, and sociological spectrum. The series introduced me to David Icke and the New World Order agenda, Alex Jones and the Bohemian Grove, and Jim Tucker and the Bilderberg Club. And for one hour a week for five weeks running I was rudely awaken to another reality before quickly going back to sleep again. It would be another four or five years before I woke up for good.

It was 2004/2005 and I was at university working hard to get my BA degree in American Studies, my once strong faith in my government and its allies in Washington had been shaken by the photos of US torture of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and no WMDs had been found. I did not know what to believe, if the government would lie to take us to war what else were they lying about?

One night after finishing my latest essay I flicked through the channels and stumbled upon Oliver Stone's masterpiece "JFK", at the very least the film convinced me that the Oswald lone gunman theory was questionable. However the next day in class one of my teachers in the middle of a lecture on the Cuban Missile Crisis pointed at us all and loudly proclaimed that: "JFK was killed by a nut, he was killed by a nut, it was as simple as that!". I was not so sure and I did not understand how he could be, this was the moment when I really realised for the first time that for whatever reason the mainstream academics did not have all the answers to life's questions, and if I really wanted to understand the real world I would have to use a much bigger net to search for knowledge with. That net, despite all its faults was the internet.

I began to comb the web looking for alternative news and history sites, eventually my search led me to Binnallofamerica.com, but first I came into contact with other gems, like americanantigravity.com, abovetopsecret.com and of course I would rediscover Alex Jones on his website infowars.com. I began to listen to Alex's show for kicks as much as anything else at first, but as time went on I began to realise that the man talked some sense between his ranting and raving. Jones would discuss real government documents such as the Operation Northwoods document, Operation Northwoods was a 1962 plan by the US Department of Defense to stage acts of terrorism on US soil and then put the blame for these acts on Cuba in order to generate U.S. public support for military action against Castro.

He also talked about something called Operation Gladio, which was admitably organised by western security services during the Cold War, Gladio would descend into a mad plan to kill innocent people in the west in order to blame it on communists and left wing groups. Also in "NATO's Secret Armies, Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe" Daniele Ganser chronicles terrorism ultimately sponsored by American and British intelligence throughout Western Europe and Turkey between 1945 and 1985.

The weapons originally intended for use against the Soviets were instead turned on fellow westerners, with the blame for the waves of terrorist atrocities placed on the Cold War enemy. This was important because it showed that the west had a long history of using terrorism against its own in order to to blame and blacken their political enemies. If they were doing this kind of thing back then, they were probably still doing similar things today, the only difference would be that instead of blaming communists they would now be blaming radical Muslims.

Alex Jones also had credentialled scientists and experts on his show such as Steven E. Jones, Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University, whose hypothesis was that the World Trade Center was destroyed by controlled demolition, not the impact of the airplanes that hit them or the fires that followed. He pointed to venting (smoke puffs) present around the collapsing structures as direct evidence of the use of pre-positioned explosives. He also noted that the way NASA infrared satellites and aircraft were able to take photographs of the burning wreckage and molten steel for weeks after the 9/11 attacks was evidence of a massive use of thermite in the structure.

After discovering all of this evidence and much more I had to concede that at the very least 9/11 needed to be reinvestigated. This was when I started believing in this conspiracy stuff, 9/11 could very well have been an inside job and if the US government was lying about 9/11, the most important and significant event in recent world history, then everything else from JFK to Roswell needed to be looked at again.

In future columns I hope to discuss all the above theories, films, texts, shows, personalities, websites and far more in greater detail. However, right now I still need a name, what am I going to call the new column?

I look down at my list for one last time and one name jumps out at me, Richard's Room 101. Room 101, Orwell's room in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" where: "the worst thing in the world" is kept, perfect. Also for anyone who has read "Nineteen Eighty-Four" or seen one of the films, my initials actually spell RAT, perhaps another good reason why Richard's Room 101 is the perfect name for my new column.

Richard Thomas, BoA UK Correspondent and Columnist.

Contact Richard :: boxstacker(at)aol.com