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The Red Placebo: Confessions of a Former Conspiracy Dabbler

Take Alice Walker for example. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple -- which was adapted to film by none other than Steven Spielberg and launched the careers of both Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey -- stands enthralled by the conspiratorial revelations of Icke. She writes in her blog:

Earlier I wrote that David Icke reminded me of Malcolm X.  I was thinking especially of Malcolm’s fearlessness.  A fearlessness that made him seem cold, actually, though we know he wasn’t really.  All that love of us that kept driving him to improve our lot; often into quite the wrong direction, but I need not go into that.  What I was remembering was how he called our oppressors “blue eyed devils.” Now who could that have been?  Well, we see them here in David Icke’s book as the descendants of the reptilian race that landed on our sweet planet the moment they could get a glimpse of it through the mist that used to cover it (before there was a moon).  No kidding.  Deep breath!  Yes, before there was a moon! (Oh, I love the moon; can I keep it? Please?).  Anyway, there they came, these space beings (we’re space beings too, of course, not to forget that).  But they looked…. different than us.  And they were.

Like I said, psychotic. Walker’s fixation upon the moon springs from a belief propagated by Icke that the natural satellite is actually an artificial creation of the alien reptilians which bombards us with a signal to control our minds. Indeed, that’s no moon. It’s a space station!

Such notions are bolstered in popular culture by conspiracy narratives like those found throughout The X-Files franchise which popularized the phrase “the truth is out there,” which is to say it’s not right here in front of you. You can’t trust what you see. You can’t trust any of your senses. You certainly can’t trust any claim of authority.

Sometimes the conspiracist mindset lurks subtly in the background of our entertainment. Such was the case in the 1996 Michael Bey actioner The Rock, starring Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, and Ed Harris among an array of recognizable character actors portraying the seizure of Alcatraz as a base for launching an attack on San Francisco. Connery’s long-imprisoned British spy earned his sentence by stealing and hiding a microfilm record documenting many conspiratorial secrets, such as what really happened at Roswell in 1947 and who killed JFK.