Conspiracy Theories

Briefly Noted: Cracking the Conspiracy

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How do we know what we know? This is the meta-question probed in a new collection of conspiratorial investigations and speculations, Secret and Suppressed II, edited by Adam Parfrey and Kenn Thomas of the imaginative-fringe publisher Feral House.

Some of the specific questions explored: Are Western elites pursuing a centuries-long scheme of mass murder in the name of population control? Are alien technologies in the hands of the U.S. military, and can that military secretly control the weather? What really went down at Jim Jones' People's Temple? Has a neglected scientist already perfected cheap nuclear fusion reactions?"

One essay, which reveals that its insights derive from someone stalking '80s pop start Tiffany, might be earnest—or might be pranksterishly kicking the props out from under our gullibility. The book as a whole, whether you find it believable or not, makes you wonder how such gullibility shapes our understanding of the world.