Santa Clara, CA – 26th-27th May, 2001
It is perhaps appropriate that at the same time as the Bilderberg Group, those notorious bastions of the New World Order, were holding their annual get-together in Sweden, on the other side of the planet Conspiracy Con took place in Santa Clara, California. Quite possibly, some of the same topics were covered – only, here, it was from the outside…
Equally auspiciously (or suspiciously, depending on your point of view) the event shared convention facilities with another group whose initials were CC – the Charismatic Catholics, to be precise. The layout, with our lecture theater at the opposite end of the building from registration and the dealers’ room, required a substantial trek through enemy territory, and I imagine much peering around doors went on by both groups. I know we certainly were tempted to engage in a spot of infiltration, but suspect that the standard issue Trash City “nekkid babe with weaponry” T-shirt might tip them off. We had visions of pointing and shrieking – see Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the sort of thing we imagined. On our arrival, there seemed to be very few attendees, but it seems you’ve got to get up early to be a conspiracy theorist. We meandered in at about 10am, only to discover events had started at 8:30 am, and so most of our co-conspirators were already listening to the first talk.
We hurried back to the theater, just in time to catch professional victim Cathy O’Brien and her “mentor” Mark Phillips. They were practically begging the audience to buy their book, so I strongly suspect they trotted out their usual lurid (and utterly unproven) tales of her sexual exploitation by everyone up to and including Ronald Reagan. Having just eaten breakfast, I feel kinda grateful to have missed it. I’d already ordered the book from Borders – hell, I like pornolibel as much as the next man – but the Thursday after the con, got the following email from them: “After researching your special order, we have found that we will be unable to obtain the title you requested. As a result, we have canceled your order for this item.” Hmmm… Was this merely innocent out-of-printness – hard to believe, given the piles on sale in the dealers’ room – OR SOMETHING MORE MALEVOLENT???!!!
11 am – Willam Lyne. Lyne’s specialist field is supposed to be the inventions of Nicolas Tesla, a scientist of the early 20th century who showed the thin line between genius and madness. But this was mostly a rambling, if not uninteresting, biographical essay, in which Lyne saw flying saucers, discovered a Soviet spy cell, was harassed by intelligence sources before being recruited by them, and had prior knowledge of JFK’s assassination. I think it was about the last of these which convinced me to stop looking for any useful information, and just sit back and enjoy the entertainment. This approach proved far more satisfactory. Rating: D+
Each speaker was given two hours, which is actually a good bit of time – I personally would have preferred one-hour slots, and this might have helped some of the speakers who were inclined to drift, with iceberg-like relentlessness, off-topic, as well as allowing for more viewpoints (including perhaps some sceptical ones). But at least they had the good sense to break for half-an-hour between speakers, giving the audience a chance to browse in the dealers’ room, stretch their legs and acquire more food and drink to be smuggled, thanks to the “no refreshments” policy into the lecture hall.
2:30 – Jordan Maxwell. Government – Religion – Commerce. In Maxwell’s eyes, none of them much good. This was refreshing and thought-provoking, stoning every sacred cow within reach via a mix of lexicography and sarcastic cynicism. We learned about the pagan origins of Christianity, what “holocaust” actually means, and how America became a literal corporate state not long after the Civil War, as well as techniques for avoiding speeding tickets. Probably the most widely-ranging talk of the convention, the audience left more world-weary than before, having spent time with a very interesting man. A-
Most of the speakers had tables in the dealers’ room to sell their books, etc. and there were also a number of independent traders, magazine publishers, and so on. These covered virtually the entire spectrum of views, from hippy New Age (getting your aura read, and some holistic technique which seemed to involve having a candle stuck in your ear) to neo-fascist (I spotted copies of both The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford’s The International Jew). A refreshing burst of humor was provided by Mr. Mystic and his Alien Abduction Survival Kit. We bought two.
5:00 – David Icke. As if two hours weren’t enough – keynote speaker Icke got 150 minutes each day to expound his philosophy, which gives some idea of how all-encompassing it is. Having ripped into him last TC, we opted to sit towards the back, just in case he recognised us. He’s certainly an entertaining speaker, and a lot of what he said here made sense, not least because in this part, he steered well clear of reptilian shape-shifting members of the Royal Family. Powerful bloodlines run through history, there seems little doubt – whether this proves anything beyond “if your Dad was powerful, you probably will be too”, I am less certain. The suggestion that Antz is a thinly-veiled New World Order tale was nice though. B+
The final event was an “all you can eat, meet your speaker” party, which really failed on both counts. Tickets were $30, which for two beers and a selection of hors d’oeuvres didn’t really cut it. And we never met any of the speakers, though we did chat to some other con-goers. Going by them, conspiracy seems to be largely a white, middle-class activity – presumably working-class people are too busy to worry about it, while the upper-class are in on the whole plan.
We quit early, but still missed the first speaker on Sunday, William Thomas – who bears a strong resemblance to Roman Polanski (as the photos show). His subject was chemtrails: how the government are using planes to dose the population with…well, we bought the book, but haven’t had time to read it yet, so we don’t really know yet. It’s unlikely to be good, whatever it is. My sleep had been disturbed by a dream which ended with me being shot in the back of the head – a swelling pressure, and a descending cloak of darkness, though this does at least disprove the theory that if you die in your dream, you die in real life.
11 am – Leonard Horowitz. This was particularly freaky, as Horowitz started off by asking for his prayers; he was flying off to Africa, and he’d had people telling him to watch out for his life. This developed into an excruciating 50-minute religious rant, which left us wondering if he was an agent for the Charismatic Catholics, and we almost bolted before half-way. When he finally got onto his subject – evolving viruses – he had some good material, albeit laced with kabbalistic numerology, and it was great to see the murals at Denver Airport. These are bizarre, surreal and nightmarish paintings of death symbolism, most unsuitable for an airport…except one run, according to a floor plaque, by the New World Airport Commission… C-
2:30 pm – “Victor”. Didn’t catch – or at least, can’t spell – his surname; he was a mate of Jordan Maxwell, largely promoting a scheme to convert your citizenship of the United States of America into a citizenship of America – which would free you from the need to pay taxes. This felt dubious at best – if it really worked, they’d be changing the law – and was also touted as a way to escape credit-card debt. Here’s an even better way: don’t use the damn things to start with. Had it’s moments, such as more nice anecdotes involving speeding tickets (a little legal knowledge goes a long way!), but was too much of a sales pitch to be interesting, especially to this British citizen! D-
Fashion item of the convention has to be a T-shirt, parodying the Sex Pistols LP: “Never mind the filthy lucre, here come the reptiles”, with the famous picture of the Queen, doctored so as to give her lizard eyes. Someone was giving these away in exchange for “donations” in the dealers’ room: would have asked questions as to their agenda, but was too concerned with acquiring the shirts. Essential wear should we ever get invited to a garden-party at Buckingham Palace.
5 pm – David Icke again. As expected, while still good fun, this was rather less convincing, even though he soft-pedalled the reptiloids more than in some of his books. I’ve met Edward Heath too, and he didn’t seem the baby-eating personification of evil he struck David Icke as, on first impression. At the end, he drifted well into metaphysical territory (reality is a hologram, etc.) and his final message appeared to be that we have to love the reptiles – okay, Mr. Icke is clearly a clever double-agent working for them. It seems to me that wiping out the entire Windsor bloodline would be just as effective, and a good deal more fun. B-
We had been hoping to go and get some food after this one, but a late start, Icke’s verbal diarrhoea (he spoke for nearer 3 hours) and a decision to bring the question and answer session forward put a damper on that. Defeated by the blanket ban on the movement of food, it was thus tortilla chips and salsa for dinner… to follow up on the tortilla chips we’d had for lunch. It will be some time before I can face them again, I think.
9 pm – Q&A panel. We’d seen only one speaker taking questions after their lecture; here was a chance to catch up with five of them. Overseen with no small degree of wit by con organiser Brian Hall, Icke was the main target, and came up with a fabulous story of a barrister whose little daughter had seen a senior judge shape-shift into a reptiloid, and whose career and life were being threatened as a result. Hollywood, hire this man! What I want to know is, why “they” leave all these signals and symbols about for us to find; it’s a bit like Blofeld telling 007 his plan for world domination in great detail. Despite the presence of a dickhead from Stuff magazine, asking a question about hair, perhaps most affecting was actually one questioner – a woman from Seattle – with a tale of harassment and intimidation which certainly convinced me. B
That was the end of the convention: a fabulous trip through the outer edges of knowledge, and plans are already afoot for ConCon II next year – if the powers that be don’t clamp down on such subversive events. Certainly, for both education and entertainment, it was a weekend that was hard to beat and we staggered out into the darkness, our minds reeling from the torrent of information poured into it over the previous 36 hours. Picking the bones out of it all, separating the wheat from the chaff, was going to take some time, and I resolved that the next book I read would be one about fluffy bunny-rabbits, purely for a change of scenery. “Let’s do this again,” said Chris, adding with some conviction, “next year.” I nodded. Right then, I just needed to lie down in a dark room for a bit, but maybe that was just the tortilla chips.