Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Retangling the Spaghetti Theory of Conspiracy 1

In 1987, Robert Anton Wilson wrote "The Spaghetti Theory of Conspiracy" as an introduction to a work of fiction on alien conspiracies. In his essay, Wilson advances the view that conspiracies are ubiquitous and ever-present but at the same time the idea of One Big Conspiracy is a complete myth.

Contending In The Night

Wilson begins by clearly explaining the fact, now widely known, that the real power in this world does not lie with governments but with the international banks that provide them credit. He explains,

...governments cannot do anything—good or ill, wise or foolish—unless the banks first lend them the money for the project. The power is in the banks. The governments survive on the permission of the banks. If the banks cut off their credit, governments die. Any government that resists has its credit cut off and dies.

It is obvious that this form of financial control involves conspiracy. Bankers conspire to further their own interests and manipulate governments with credit and debt to do so. This blog has covered this process in depth in a previous post.

Wilson makes it clear that conspiracies are nothing new. In fact, conspiracy may be a major factor in evolution as a whole. Life itself is a conspiracy.

Conspiracy is the first manifestation of intelligent life.

The original organic molecules formed affinity groups and conspired to exploit the resources of this planet. Working in small cells originally, these DNA conquistadores quickly developed organizations of higher complexity and spread a network of hungry, predatory Life over the previously dead Earth. In less than 3,500,000,000 years this network has expanded from the ocean beds to the very peaks on the Himalayas. No square centimeter of Earth is uninfested.!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/hi-bacteria-852.jpg

RAW is kidding around here to some extent, but it is evident that he did seriously hold conspiracy to be a necessary factor of biology. This view, though, leads him to conclusions that are unpopular to dogmatic believers in One Big Conspiracy.

From this evolutionary perspective, every paranoid is partly right. The major error of the paranoid appears to be his characteristic belief in one jumbo Mega-Conspiracy that explains everything. This is impossible, because it violates basic laws of primate psychology. Domesticated primates like wild primates are mischievous, sly and have a keen sense of humor: the double-cross is their most characteristic invention.

As in every other level or niche of nature conspiracies are characterized by diversity. The multiplicity of life choices and strategies of competition and cooperation make any long-term conspiracy completely unstable. Power relations are fluid in nature and the wielders of political and economic power in human societies are certainly no exception to this. The "double-cross" is everywhere evident.

George Washington, who rose to power by conspiring against his king, said with blunt honesty, "Nations have no permanent allies, only permanent interests." This is why governments, corporations and other large-scale conspiracies all have a natural life-span, like other living systems. There is no government on this planet that has existed in its present form for more than 200 years; aside from the Dutch East India Company, most corporations rise and fall within 100 years (average). Outside of paranoid fantasy and Romantic fiction, most conspiracies collapse of their own"internal contradictions"within months or years.

It is as big a mistake, then, to claim that there no conspiracy as it is to assert that One Big Conspiracy controls everything. As Carl Oglesby puts it in The Yankee and Cowboy War,

... a multitude of conspiracies contend in the night.... Conspiracy is the normal continuation of normal politics by normal means . . . and where there is no limit to power, there is no limit to conspiracy.

The spaghetti theory brings us to a sort of shifting Middle Way position on conspiracies. It is opposed to the random, nihilist view of the daily headlines and the Official Story that there are no conspiracies, but it is equally against the absolutist assertion that One Evil Cabal controls the entirety of reality. Both the nihilist and absolutist extremes are too simplistic. It is much more accurate to take the kaleidoscopic view. Reality is complex and shifting, and mutating, evolving conspiracies exist at every level, sometimes cooperating and sometimes in deadly competition. 

Like spaghetti on a plate, there are many strands and layers of conspiracies all twisted together in a single mass. Some strands are connected and some are fractured, but it is very difficult to tell where one ends and another begins. In fact, it is more like a nest of copulating but cannibalistic snakes writhing, slithering, humping and devouring each other in constant upheaval. Certain serpents may appear dominant at times, rising to the top of the nest, but this is but a temporary illusion. All remain subject to the diversity and complexity of nature.


In his classic 1956 study on the US ruling class, The Power Elite, sociologist C. Wright Mills earlier reached the same conclusions as Wilson. While the elites of the US military, corporations and major political parties are entirely interwoven and incestuous it would be an analytical error to assert that they constitute a unified conspiracy

The conception of the power elite and of its unity rests upon the corresponding developments and the coincidence of interests among economic, political, and military organizations. It also rests upon the similarity of origin and outlook, and the social and personal intermingling of the top circles from each of these dominant hierarchies. 

This conjunction of institutional and psychological forces, in turn, is revealed by the heavy personnel traffic within and between the big three institutional orders, as well as by the rise of go-betweens as in the high-level lobbying. The conception of the power elite, accordingly, does not rest upon the assumption that American history since the origins of World War II must be understood as a secret plot, or as a great and co-ordinated conspiracy of the members of this elite. The conception rests upon quite impersonal grounds.

With this, however, Mills does not fall into the nihilist camp. Of course, elite conspiracies happen. They happen all of the time. But this does mean that one shadowy group effectively manipulates and directs all of history. Mills is firmly in the middle way, spaghetti faction of conspiracy analysis.

There is, however, little doubt that the American power elite — which contains, we are told, some of ‘the greatest organizers in the world’ — has also planned and has plotted. The rise of the elite, as we have already made clear, was not and could not have been caused by a plot; and the tenability of the conception does not rest upon the existence of any secret or any publicly known organization. But, once the conjunction of structural trend and of the personal will to utilize it gave rise to the power elite, then plans and programs did occur to its members and indeed it is not possible to interpret many events and official policies of the fifth epoch without reference to the power elite. ‘There is a great difference,’ Richard Hofstadter has remarked, ‘between locating conspiracies in history and saying that history is, in effect, a conspiracy ...’ 

In Superclass -- The Global Power Elite And The World They Are Making, published in 2008, author David Rothkopf takes Mills's analysis to an international level. There is a power elite but now they are global. Rothkopf argues that there are about six to seven thousand cosmopolitan, elite individuals, intermingled and incestuous in the same way that Mills describes, who effectively call the shots in the world today. As in Mills's study these elites are star players in government, high finance, military, the entertainment industry, etc., but with the financial players at the head of the pack. They are the type of people who private jet into summits like the World Economic Forum in Davos and the yearly Bilderberg meetings.

This superclass is also called "the transnational capitalist class" in post-Marxist analysis, and "the 1%" by the Occupy movement. In truth, they consist of far, far fewer than one percent of the human population. They represent a fraction of fraction of a fraction of a percent.

Nowadays, it a common for even middle-class individuals, because of the Internet, easy mobility, intercultural sophistication, etc., to consider themselves "citizens of the world." How inconceivably more do these elites transcend national boundaries. How does lunch in Hawaii, dinner in Rome and an all-night trance party in Gokarna sound? The whole world is their playground and ashtray. Governments are their wind-up toys.

A 2011 Swiss study conclusively maps out the organizational structure that most of these elites operate within. Suitably titled, "The Network of Global Corporate Control," the paper explains that current corporate capitalism is a hydra-headed behemoth with a dense nucleus controlled by only 147 corporations, mutually owned and invested in by each other. This "super-entity" is in turn mostly made up of banks and other financial institutions.

The most high-performing and/or influential members of the super-entity is the superclass. Skimming through the "company overview" pages of Businessweek's website brings this all to light. Here we can look up US cabinet ministers who sit on the boards of Fortune 500 companies, are rectors of ivy league universities, are the chair persons of NGOs, etc. The whole rotten bowl of spaghetti is laid out right in front of us. These are the Masters of the Universe. Our freedom comes when their rule ends.

As Mills emphasized over and over, though, these people very rarely engage in what could be called specific conspiracies. Of course sinister plots happen quite often, but what is more significant, more valuable in terms of analysis, is the simple fact that these relatively few individuals are in constant communication.

They are peers in the broadest sense of the word. This has not changed from Mills's time to our own. These elites may not be in agreement about most things, but they are in lockstep consensus when it comes to protecting their own class interests. If this is conspiracy then it is fluid and continuous.


The global power elite, centred around financial interests, is indeed a network. As a network its flexibility is its strength. A network, though, also has a great weakness. It depends on trust. It is dependent on more or less reliable information between its nodes. If it doesn't have this, as in the "credit crunch" of 2008, it seizes up. It ceases to function effectively. This is precisely where the meta-monkeywrenchers sneak in to pour sand into the gas tank of the global corporate machine. Enter WikiLeaks.

Everyone is aware of WikiLeaks. We think of it as a pesky but plucky little organization that publishes documents, provided by whistle blowers like Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, containing embarrassing details that governments and corporations would very much not like the general public to know about.

If WikiLeaks was only this, assuming its sincerity, this would itself be a necessary and heroic service for the 99+%, but essays surfacing in 2010 and written by WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, show the organization to have vastly more profound and radical objectives in mind.

Assange's key essay, "State and Terrorist Conspiracies," is broken down very nicely on the Zunguzungu blog.  In this essay Assange explains that elite rule is protected and sustained through the authoritarian instruments of the state. The most successful authoritarian states keep these repressive instruments hidden as much as possible.

Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers. This is enough to define their behavior as conspiratorial.

Effective resistance must be prevented at all costs and the best way to ensure this is to keep the public in the dark. The societies with the least resistance are those who do not have any idea that they are being oppressed. This is the optimal condition for the ruling class, both nationally and globally.

As Assange and Zunguzungu go on to explain, though, the more that an authoritarian organization keeps its operations secret, the more its communications are closed. As Zunguzungu interprets Assange:

And his underlying insight is simple and, I think, compelling: while an organization structured by direct and open lines of communication will be much more vulnerable to outside penetration, the more opaque it becomes to itself (as a defense against the outside gaze), the less able it will be to “think” as a system, to communicate with itself. The more conspiratorial it becomes, in a certain sense, the less effective it will be as a conspiracy. The more closed the network is to outside intrusion, the less able it is to engage with that which is outside itself (true hacker theorizing).

An inescapable paradox is identified and pounced upon. As an institution increasingly tries to keep secrets it increasingly becomes less able to trust its own internal communications. It no longer knows if it is getting the full picture. It gets a classic case of paranoia. "Leaking" only accelerates this process. The more leaks that are discovered, the more communication has to be clamped down upon, and the less that can be definitively known.

He [Assange] decides, instead, that the most effective way to attack this kind of organization would be to make “leaks” a fundamental part of the conspiracy’s information environment. Which is why the point is not that particular leaks are specifically effective. Wikileaks does not leak something like the “Collateral Murder” video as a way of putting an end to that particular military tactic; that would be to target a specific leg of the hydra even as it grows two more. Instead, the idea is that increasing the porousness of the conspiracy’s information system will impede its functioning, that the conspiracy will turn against itself in self-defense, clamping down on its own information flows in ways that will then impede its own cognitive function. You destroy the conspiracy, in other words, by making it so paranoid of itself that it can no longer conspire.

This is the real point of all of the major leaks we've witnessed in recent years. The "Iraq War Logs," the U.S. State Department Diplomatic "cables," etc. all assist in creating an atmosphere of mistrust within the affected institutions. Edward Snowden's leaks on the vast NSA spy apparatus have the same effect. More than just making people aware of how their privacy is being constantly and minutely invaded it causes massive systemic mistrust.

All in all, diplomats are afraid to talk to other diplomats, spies are afraid to talk to other spies, governments are afraid to talk to other governments. No one knows what is going to get leaked, who is listening to whom, who is being set up for what. And so things begin to get even more cryptic to the point of total opacity, confusion, breakdown and silence. Or at least that's Assange's theory.

Platinum Blonde

But who is Assange anyway? Could it be, as many suggest, that both he and his organization are themselves conduits of disinformation and subversive tools of Empire? Why hasn't WikiLeaks, the argument goes, published any information about the 9/11 conspiracy? Why is Assange so dismissive of inquiries into 9/11? Is Julian Assange himself an intelligence agent?

Conspiracy theorists point to several things to support this claim. They are suspicious of the fact that Assange has been publicly dismissive of conspiracy research. They claim that the leaks that Assange and Co. have released have never really harmed Israel in particular. And they have special doubts about Assange's background.

Assange formed a hacking group called the International Subversives and was arrested in 1991 for a hack on the Nortel corporation. Assange's sentence was reduced and it was later revealed that Assange subsequently cooperated with Australian authorities in the Victoria Police Child Exploitation Unit. Conspiracy theorists suspect that Assange has never stopped being a police asset.

There is possible evidence, though, that Assange has been used and abused by the powers that be long before 1991. Theorists highlight the involvement of Assange's mother and her former boyfriend with the San­ti­nike­tan Park Asso­ci­a­tion, an Australian New Age cult also called the Family or the Great White Brotherhood. This group, led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne, reportedly

con­di­tioned chil­dren with drugs, sen­sory depri­va­tion, sleep depri­va­tion, torture and rit­ual sexual abuse in order to pro­duce sub­jects who bent to the will of the group’s leader.

According to this theory, Assange at an early age was subjected to a wide array of MK Ultra-style mind control techniques and is even now an active Manchurian Candidate, however conscious he may be of this fact. Conspiracy theorists point to Assange's monotone voice and even his platinum colored hair, syncing with Hamilton-Byrne's preference for "Aryan" looking children, to support these claims.

Assange himself, in an interview with the New Yorker, has only spoken of being "on the run" from his mother's ex-boyfriend whom he suspected was a member of the cult:

Assange recalled her [his mother] saying, “Now we need to disappear,” and he lived on the run with her from the age of eleven to sixteen. When I asked him about the experience, he told me that there was evidence that the man belonged to a powerful cult called the Family—its motto was “Unseen, Unknown, and Unheard.” Some members were doctors who persuaded mothers to give up their newborn children to the cult’s leader, Anne Hamilton-Byrne. The cult had moles in government, Assange suspected, who provided the musician with leads on Claire’s whereabouts.

Whatever the real extent of Assange's connection to this cult it is sufficient, in the minds of many conspiracy theorists, to cast a dark shadow of suspicion on the entire WikiLeaks project. Surely, they argue, it is nothing but an advanced disinformation campaign.

Bumstead's Word

And disinformation, for the elite conspirators, is the name of the game. Provide just enough truth to make a story plausible and then tweak the facts so that anybody who looks into it is led astray. On this subject Ex-CIA director William Casey, in a quote that widely circulates the net, stated the objective of the Agency very explicitly back in 1981:

We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the US public believes is false.

This is a pretty terrifying statement and one wonders, observing both mainstream and "alternative" media, if the program has been completed. The only problem is that there is no real evidence that Casey ever said these words. Is the statement itself disinformation? Is it designed and disseminated in order to project a false image of CIA omniscience? How would it be possible to know one way or the other?

It is easy to imagine, though, that something like this program is in effect. Certainly it would be in the interest of an intelligence organization to keep the public disinformed. If so, however, how could the CIA protect its own agents from being disinformed? Presumably they would be provided with the real information. But how would they be sure that this information was real?

If, as we are led to believe, there are competing national intelligence organizations then wouldn't they all be trying to disinform each other? Wouldn't similar agencies in Russia, China, Israel, etc. be likewise attempting to totally disinform? And isn't this really just another facet of Assange's own theory?

Even if Assange, unwittingly or not, is an agent of disinformation his theory still stands to reason. The more closed and paranoid an organization is, and the more unsure it is of receiving real information and protecting its secrets, the less effective it will be in dealing with real world problems. This seems axiomatic and it reveals and even greater meta-level to the spaghetti theory of conspiracy. No one can be entirely certain of anything that is presented as being real.

Robert Anton Wilson wrote of another aspect of this conundrum which he called the SNAFU Principle:

It’s what I call the “snafu principle.” Communication only occurs
between equals–real communication, that is–because when you are
dealing with people above you in a hierarchy, you learn not to tell
them anything they don’t want to hear. If you tell them anything
they don’t want to hear, the response is, “One more word Bumstead
and I’ll fire you!” Or in the military, “One more word and you’re
court-martialed.” It’s throughout the whole system.

So the higher up in the hierarchy you go, the more lies are being
told to flatter those above them. So those at the top have no idea
what is going on at all. Those at the bottom have to adjust to the
rules made by those at the top who don’t know what’s going on.
Those at the top can write rules about this, that and the other,
while those at the bottom have got to adjust reality to fit the rules
as much as they can.

The SNAFU Principle is a problem primarily of misinformation, individuals at the lower rungs of the hierarchy telling their superiors what they think their bosses want to hear, instead of disinformation but even this is not certain. How many workers willfully and maliciously tell lies to their employers?

If we combine Wilson's SNAFU Principle with Assange's theories and with the competing total disinformation campaigns, which may not exist but very plausibly do, of various intelligence agencies then the probability is very great that less and less people have any idea of what is really going on.

These kinds of conclusions are anathema to the believers in One Big Conspiracy. An assertion that the elite controllers of the System are basically as confused and mis/disinformed as the rest of us itself smacks of the worst type of disinformation. It causes us, they argue, to underestimate our rulers and it "muddies the water." It makes clear analysis impossible and therefore, as designed, it preempts effective resistance.

The Intentional Structure Of Turd

One Big Conspiracy theorists do not like contradictions. Only one consistent theory should be able to encompass all available facts. Details that do not conform to the emerging picture of absolute domination are rejected as being a part of the conspiracy, as being disinformation.

This is in direct opposition to the structuralist analysis of people like Noam Chomsky. Chomsky bases his criticism of the System on the available records -- media reports, publicly accessible government and corporate documents, eye witness accounts, historical texts, etc. These documents tend to shed light on the structure of institutions instead of the elite individuals who are manipulating and benefiting from these structures from behind the scenes and off the record.

Other serious thinkers like Peter Dale Scott take a different approach. Scott, by no means a One Big Conspiracy believer, asserts that analysts and critics must look into the deep politics that are always present behind and beyond what we find in the public record.

Chomsky, and as an MIT professor dismissed as a "gatekeeper" by conspiracy theorists, will not speculate on what really happened on 9/11, during the Kennedy assassination, in the alleged CIA involvement in the drug trade, etc. because there is not enough textual evidence, he asserts, to support such speculation. Scott, in contrast, argues that of course such a record is lacking or hidden but by inference and with deep and informed research it is possible to discover the outlines of real conspiracy.

The problem with Scott's method is that speculation, if not rigorous and confined to strict limitations, is potentially endless. This is what is happening in the conspiracy theory milieu.

There seemed to be a time shortly after 9/11 when there were only two theories on what took place that day -- there was the official story and there was the conspiracy theory. The conspiracy theory, in brief, claimed that elements within the US government or ruling class, using Al Qaeda as either their dupe or scapegoat, purposely brought down the towers in New York and struck the Pentagon in order expand military operations and production and to implement a strict system of domestic surveillance.

9/11 Truthers are still pretty much in agreement with this broad theory, but splits in the ranks revealed themselves very early in speculation about just how these attacks were carried out, and exactly by who. Were the planes remote controlled? Were there any planes at all? Were the towers brought down in a controlled demolition using thermite-type explosives? Were the towers vaporized by advanced, top secret scalar technology? Was it the CIA that really carried out the attacks? Was it the Mossad? Was it the Jesuits? The Freemasons? An even more sinister group?

As time progressed and positions hardened, factions formed along these lines. The "9/11 Truth Movement" became less like a movement and more like a loose collection of warring sects and tendencies. Each now accuses the other groupuscule as being an active promoter of divisive disinformation. Once again the spaghetti theory entwines it all.

Post-9/11, conspiracy theories have proliferated about every possible issue but always within this same pattern. It is not uncommon now to have conspiracy theories presented on both sides. There are no more official stories. There is no single alternative story. To expand on Oglesby: a multitude of conspiracy theories contend in the night.

Some "Truthers" accuse the CIA as being behind the recent coup against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, others claim that it was a CIA-orchestrated pseudo-revolution that put the Brotherhood into power in the first place. Still others, perhaps paradoxically, argue that both of these positions are correct. Many researchers are now convinced of the use of "crisis actors" in heavily mediated events like the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Bombing. Others ardently argue that the whole theory of "crisis actors" is absurd and it is only promoted to make genuine researchers look ridiculous by association.

From the perspective of the conspiracy absolutists, however, this all makes sense. Of course those in power would do everything possible to confuse, waylay and disillusion sincere and spirited researchers. Disinformation plops the proverbial "turd in the punchbowl" and makes the entire scene seem pretty creepy. Instead of being presented with a clear case of elite corruption and foul play, an individual who has "woken up" will be sucked into a bewildering vortex of competing theories and personalities. There is a big temptation to roll over and go back to sleep.

There is really no doubt that such a strategy is taking place. Even if the disinformation campaign of intelligence organizations is not as total as the above quote by Casey suggests, it is in the best interest of those in power to keep a potentially informed opposition splintered and muddled. Is the absolutist position, therefore, correct? Are we being lied to literally about everything? Do only those at the very apex of the hierarchy have any idea what is truth?

Robert Anton Wilson certainly argues otherwise. There is a glaring contradiction at the heart of absolutist conspiracism. This can be illustrated in reference to the work of Alan Watt, found mostly at the website Cutting Through The Matrix.

Animal Farm

Alan Watt is arguably the most articulate and convincing proponent of the One Big Conspiracy theory on the net. Unlike David Icke, for instance, Watt does not insist that we are being ruled by shape-shifting reptilian overlords. Instead he tracks the objectives of the conspiracy, which consists of a bloodline of interbreeding elite families who have been the true power brokers of all the empires of history, through the writings of their own public intellectual representatives. These men include Carroll Quigley, H.G. Wells, Charles Galton Darwin, Bertrand Russell, etc. 

Watt, like all absolutists, believes that the elite conspiracy is behind every aspect of culture, every detail in history. The aim is total political, economic, biological, psychological and spiritual control of humanity.

Already, though, these elites reign in near omnipotence. Every item, every story, that appears in the media, including most of the internet, is only there because it has been carefully crafted to further their Agenda. While average individuals plan for the month or, at best, the year ahead, our "betters" plan in the span of decades and centuries. The secret technology that they employ against us is decades ahead of even the most state of the art devices available for public consumption. They truly are as gods. 

Week after week, in radio broadcasts and on his site, Watt is relentless and unwavering in his message -- we most resemble domesticated animals on a factory farm. We are bred ultimately for the slaughter. Any freedom that we imagine we have is deeply illusory. The best that we can hope for at this dismal moment is to keep ourselves informed of the extent and depth of the dark force that is sworn to extinguish the last sparks of our liberty and humanity. Through these recordings a future resistance may become possible, but there is no sign of this at present.

I first came across Alan Watt on the Sweet Liberty radio show back in 2005 or 2006. I became mesmerized. On Sweet Liberty, Watt would occasionally mention how the big "alternative" radio networks, most especially GCN and RBN, were essentially CIA operations. It was weird for me, then, when Watt began to host a show on RBN (which he has just recently given up) and became a frequent guest on Alex Jones' (someone who Watt earlier decried as being a disinformation agent) flagship show on GCN.

Why would Alan Watt join RBN? And more significantly why would a CIA-controlled radio network allow such a radical voice on their airwaves?

There are a few possibilities here but each of these deeply challenges the absolutist conspiracy narrative:

1) Watt sold out. For the sake of fame and a bit of cash he went over to the dark side. This appears very unlikely. Watt's message has not changed since he got his show on RBN and he has maintained his independent voice. His fame and influence has certainly grown but I seriously doubt he is getting rich off of this. He seems sincerely convinced of the utter importance of his message and took any opportunity to reach a wider audience.

2) Watt has always been an agent. Watt began as a caller to obscure radio shows like Sweet Liberty, slowly building up his street cred and expanding his sphere of influence, and is now one the most respected voices in the field. This to me is also highly doubtful. Once again, it is Watt's sincerity which is most convincing. Unlike many others he does not sensationalize and he is not pushing his own agenda. If he is an agent he's one of the best.

3) Watt is an unwitting tool to spread the myth of elite omnipotence. This is more probable. It could also be that Watt is fully aware that he is being used in this way but has concluded that it is the only way to reach a wider audience. In other words, he is using the system as it is using him.

4) Watt is wrong in his analysis -- we are not as controlled as he insists. Perhaps RBN and/or GCN are not controlled by the CIA or other nefarious organizations. Perhaps they are just what they claim to be.

The big problem with number 4 is if such large radio networks are essentially free of control, if Watt is wrong in this regard, then what else is outside of control? Certainly the conspiracy could not be total if this the case. If, on the other hand, numbers one, two or three are true, regardless of Watt's actual role, then the conspiracy may also not be as all-powerful as it lets on. Why would it need to promote a myth of omnipotence if it was truly god-like? Does it, like the Wizard of Oz, conclude that its power increases when the people believe it to be powerful?

Al Dente

The case of Alan Watt is really the whole of the absolutist position in a nutshell. The fact that conspiracy theorists exist either means that the control system is not as absolute as they insist or that their message is also being used as a device of control, which would indicate in turn that the system craves the omnipotence that it actually does not possess. In both cases the absolutist analysis falls short.

The nihilist position, that events are essentially random and coincidental, also fails. Conspiracies, in plural, are a fact. The only question is of their size and depth. What nihilists consider to be coincidences, conspiracy theorists take as being meaningful and intentional. The bigger the conspiracy is posited to be the more "coincidences" are resolved. When faced with coincidences the absolutist will simply absorb them into his theory. As coincidences are absorbed the conspiracy theory by necessity expands, often to seemingly absurd lengths.

To escape the endless complexity and groundlessness of the spaghetti theory of conspiracy, the absolutist needs to include more and more within his theory. The control system is viewed as being far beyond governments, intelligence agencies, elite families and even secret societies. The conspiracy moves beyond humanity, beyond this world, beyond this dimension. As RAW noted parenthetically in his essay:

(Thus, if there actually is one big jumbo-conspiracy governing this planet, it must be, as Donald Holmes wittily suggests in the following pages, of non-human origin.)

This is exactly where the spaghetti strand leads to next.