Hello, I'm the Editor-in-Chief of VICE UK. I never get to write because I'm too busy walking around noisily criticising others. But, in an attempt to change that, here's Alex Miller's New Column. I asked Twitter to help me decide on a name and someone pointed out that this was a good one because it's a joke that only gets funny as it gets old.
ALEX MILLER'S NEW COLUMN #1: FAMOUS CONSPIRACY THEORISTS I HAVE KNOWN
I spent last year surrounded by conspiracy theorists: I spent time at David Icke’s house. I met the whistleblowing messiah David Shayler and admired his graffiti Union Jack-print tee. I exchanged emails with Annie Machon, trying to get her to take me to the spot where, she believes, Princess Diana had been murdered. I got a heads up about the impending alien Olympic invasion conspiracies from Dr Joye Pugh and Ian R Crane (though the conspiracies themselves impended and then clearly imploded). Speaking to these people became a hobby of mine.
Recently, though, I was thinking about the time I rubbed shoulders with a whole angry rabble of them. I was at Southwark Crown Court and they were there to defend an idiot who’d tried and failed to rip apart the killuminati's 7/7 bombings plot with some homemade DVDs.
I’m reminded of this because I have just finished Foucault’s Pendulum, by Umberto Eco. Which is fucking brilliant. Seriously, it’s 600 thick doorstops of brilliant, held together by a blubbery paste of genius and generously heaped with lumps of profundity so profoundly profound that it took me about three years to finish. Basically, it's an ironical study of conspiracy theory through the ages, from the Templars to European anti-Semites and contemporary tools like Dan Brown. The line that struck me most was: “There exists a secret society with branches throughout the world, and its plot is to spread the rumour that a universal plot exists.”
Back in 2011, I had some dealings with the jovial anarchist Charlie Veitch. He wasn’t exactly a badass in a mask; he attended marches in Lycra, armed with a megaphone, shouting words like "sheeple", generally attempting to mischievously tweak the nose of ignorance and authority. It was pretty annoying, but back then, he was a celebrity within the conspiracy community.
Charlie had recently been banned from Central London after getting dawn-raided and arrested before the Royal Wedding. But, because he don’t give no shit about The Man, he met me at Southwark Crown Court to take me to the trial of Muad’Dib.
Muad'Dib, Charlie explained to me, is the pseudonym (nicked from Dune) of John Hill. Hill’s an old man with a long white beard who lives in a small town in Ireland. He’s best known as the creator of 7/7 Ripple Effect, a film blaming the London terrorist attacks not, of course, on the four vicious arseholes I naively blamed, but the UK government and the complicit British Broadcasting Corporation. It’s an unbelievably stupid movie. Seriously, it’s like if Innocence of the Muslims was a mockumentary directed by M. Night Shayayayayaylan – it’s that bad.
“He’s a very spiritual man,” Charlie reassured me as we walked inside. Muad’Dib had already suffered 150 days incarceration in Wandsworth Prison for sending copies of his film to the jury foreman on a trial linked to the 7/7 suicide bombings – which was moronic. Yes, it was a moronic move from a paranoid imbecile with iMovie and a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to post shit like that to a jury, but it was also a moronically punitive move by a paranoid state with lots of prisons and no sense of perspective.
A whole gang of conspiracy-theorist dorks had also arrived at court. They were cautiously approaching Charlie, who, in their world, had clearly become Dean Martin or something since his arrest. They shook his hand, patted his back and laughed at his jokes.
The visitor’s gallery was full of John Hill’s supporters. I sat with them as Charlie scored lols by mocking the lawyers’ wigs and pointing out the Zionist implications of the courtroom crest. At one point, he jogged out of the room, returning with a copy of 7/7 Ripple Effect and pressed it into my hand, urging me to watch it.
“When the judge comes in, we shouldn’t stand up,” someone said. Everyone around me chuckled in agreement.
“I’m going to stand up, I’m afraid,” I whispered to Charlie.
The judge came in. We all stood up.
After a couple of hours, I snuck from the courtroom and realised that the halls outside were full. There were tonnes of people who couldn’t fit into the court – conspiracists excited that their heroes, Charlie Veitch and Muad’Dib, were just beyond these doors. And fair enough to be excited; this was a day out for a group of people who rarely interacted beyond the confines of certain websites. They'd taken their opportunity to venture inside the belly of the New World Order and, now that they were there, they weren't going to miss the chance to literally throw literature exposing the dark powers who run the world at doubters like me.
Looking back at that gang, it reminds me of that Eco quote: “There exists a secret society with branches throughout the world, and its plot is to spread the rumour that a universal plot exists.” I wonder if the conspiracists ever consider that perhaps they are the secret society constructing the ultimate plot? Probs not.
Follow Alex on Twitter: @terriblesoup
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