Some Americans are fearful of government control and awash in conspiracy theories.
- Many around the U.S. are protesting lockdown measures imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
- The choice between freedom and death was famously posed by Patrick Henry's speech in 1775.
- "Give me liberty or give me death" was the motto that launched the American Revolution that still resonates today.
People take part in a protest for "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 15, 2020.
Credit: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images<p>Thousands of cars participated in an <a href="https://wwjnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/furious-crowd-gathers-at-capitol-to-protest-stay-home-order" target="_blank">anti-quarantine rally in Michigan</a>, protesting against the restrictions imposed by the governor. Elsewhere, some experts have <a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/covid-19-checkpoints-targeting-out-of-state-residents-draw-complaints-and-legal-scrutiny/ar-BB12CWYu" target="_blank">warned</a> about the use of police or National Guard to set up checkpoints in places like Texas and Florida as possibly unconstitutional and certainly not something you would ever see in America. Of special concern is impeding movement by license plates, singling people out by states of residence, rather than posing the same requirements for all people traveling from the same direction. </p><p>The virus has also produced the need to keep track of the people who've been infected, in order to slow the spread. This has led to <a href="https://apnews.com/7f420983dfca013baf0914714c95272a" target="_blank">concerns</a> that the gathered data about the patient's health and location could violate people's privacy and, while useful now, could be used eventually as another tool of governmental control and surveillance.</p><p>More elaborate fears of this nature lead to veritable conspiracy theories, with people burning down 5G cellphone towers which they blame for causing the virus – a misinformation theory that is possibly spread by a foreign state, as has been <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-09/covid-19-link-to-5g-technology-fueled-by-coordinated-effort" target="_blank">recently reported.</a></p>
Protesters from REOPEN NC protests the coronavirus lockdown in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 14, 2020.
Credit: LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images
Hear Orson Welles read "Give me liberty or give me death"<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b14739cb18a374775d4c2dcb51a6d2f9"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/roERfqkjm4c?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
A volcano in California is a hot spot for conspiracy theorists.
- Unusual UFO-shaped formations were observed in the skies over Mount Shasta.
- These were actually lenticular clouds that often look like lenses or flying saucers.
- This volcano peak in California has long been the subject of conspiracy theories.
Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.
- Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
- The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
- If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.
Storm Area 51 raid<p>A majority of news organizations reporting on this situation are taking it with a hefty grain of salt and some light-hearted jokes. No doubt the creators of this event are reveling in the extended coverage, as the "event" isn't meant to go live until September 20th. </p><p>But that hasn't stopped the United States Airforce from issuing a very stern warning. </p><p>In an interview with <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/07/13/half-million-people-signed-up-storm-area-what-happens-if-they-actually-show-up/?utm_term=.e3d6f461c199" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post</em></a>, Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews informed the news agency that officials knew about the event. Although she didn't give any specifics on what would happen to any would-be trespassers, she stated: </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Area 51 is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces. The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets."</p><p>The facility was officially acknowledged by the U.S. Government in 2013 when the CIA confirmed its existence <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-area51-cia/cia-acknowledges-its-mysterious-area-51-test-site-for-first-time-idUSBRE97G01120130817" target="_blank">through public record.</a> Additionally, other reports have been released about that nature of Area 51 as <a href="https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2015-featured-story-archive/area-51-u-2-and-the-accidental-test-flight.html" target="_blank">just an aircraft testing facility</a>. But no amount of publicly-released data will ever quell conspiratorial theorists — or, by extension, good-natured humorists. </p><p>A number of celebrities have RSVP'd to the event or referenced the joke, among them are singer Kevin Jonas, Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham, and Jeffree Star. Expect more celebrities and "social media stars," to start cashing in on the memes in the coming months.</p>
Alert! Turn back, Area 51 raiders<p>Toward the end of Jackson Barnes' Facebook post is the message:</p><p>"P.S. Hello U.S. government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet. I'm not responsible if people decide to actually storm area 51."</p><p>Out of the millions who've either signed up or interacted with this internet joke, in some way or another, it's inevitable that some stooges will take this event seriously. </p><p>For instance, a hotel in Rachel, Nevada, called the Little A'Le'Inn, which has glommed onto the Area 51 hype throughout the years has just recently received an unusually high number of reservations for September 20th. </p><p>In a recent interview with the <em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/15/us/area-51-raid.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">New York Times</a></em>, Connie West, a co-owner of the establishment stated that, "My poor bartender today walked past me and said, 'I hate to tell you, but every phone call I've had is about Sept. 20," she then added, "They're pretty serious; they're coming. People are coming."</p><p>Many people that called had mentioned the Facebook post when reserving the rooms. The Facebook post had invited people to Amargosa Valley, which is actually a few hours away from Little A'Le'Inn and further from Area 51 on the opposite side. </p><p>There are multiple signs surrounding the Area 51 perimeter and border which state that not only "photography is prohibited," but the "use of deadly force is authorized." </p><p>But hey, the fool who persists in his folly will become wise. After all, who's to say the Ufologist persisting in his alien search won't find some. Maybe our Naruto running raiders can use this show of force as a bargaining chip with the officials for a tour of the facility. . . if the government officials really have nothing to hide that is.</p>
Elite organizations tend to get conspiracy theorists going.
- More than a few powerful men throughout world history have been part of the Freemasons and elite Skull and Bones society.
- Organizations such as the Bilderberg Group and Trilateral Commission foster international cooperation, but stir discontent with the conspiratorial-minded populace.
- Famous leaders and executives have routinely engaged with these groups, fueling only more intrigue over the years.
Freemasons<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vbWVkaWEucmJsLm1zL2ltYWdlP3U9JTJGZ2V0bWVkaWElMkY0ZjRhOTE5YS02OTBmLTQ1NmUtOTc3Zi1mNDExZTUxZGNhMDElMkZHRU9SR0UtV0FTSElOR1RPTi1sYXlpbmctQ09STkVSU1RPTkUtZm9yLUNBUElUT0wuYXNweCZobz1odHRwJTNBJTJGJTJGd3d3LmhhbWlsdG9udmFsbGV5c2NvdHRpc2hyaXRlLmNvbSZzPTg5NiZoPWIyZjNmNWRmMGUzMDg1N2VjNTllMTI0YzgxNTAyNjM5OGQ5MWNmZDcwNjlhZjNhNTA0MDA2ODA3ZjhlMTFlY2Qmc2l6ZT05ODB4JmM9MTgzMDAyNzUwMiIsImV4cGlyZXNfYXQiOjE2NTA2NDgzNDR9.T4OcILjX67HHrpplASgz0IEszKpDt_ZO-vj3gB6wJOo/img.jpg" id="5e3c9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0b30b0479a52a7c45cc667cc4faaf13a" />
Mural of George Washington in Masonic National Memorial Hall — Allyn Cox. Creative Commons Wikimedia<p>The Freemasons encompass one of the largest secret fraternal organizations worldwide. Spread through the conquest and advancement of the British Empire throughout the last few centuries, Freemasonry remains popular in countries that were once under British rule. Estimates of membership in this group number anywhere from 2–6 million. Anyone is allowed to join. If you're an American, you've most likely passed a Freemason lodge in your town or even went to some kind of local event there. </p><p>Freemasonry evolved from the guild culture that was flourishing during the Middle ages. As the name implies, it was originally for stonemasons and church builders. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Masons began to take on a more religious and ritualistic role in their organization. It became a place for men to meet, philosophize, and deal with political issues. The first Grand Lodge opened up in England 1717. </p><p>There are numerous independent lodges around the world with millions of members. There is no controlling governance from a central lodge. While men like George Washington were Masons and held political sway back in the day, it's unlikely that the local boy scouts troop leader camped out in the lodge basement is involved with any elite plot of world domination.</p>
The Bohemian Club<p>There are very few public comments about the the Bohemian Club from its many members. Mostly old Republicans and other conservative men. The existence of the club and its members is no secret. Every Republican president since Herbert Hoover has either been a member or visited the summer camp — the Bohemian Grove. It was said that in 1942, J. Robert Oppenheimer who headed the Manhattan Project, led a meeting in one of the clubhouses just a few years before the atomic bomb was set off over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.</p><p>The Bohemian Club was founded in 1872 and, in its earlier days, had more of a liberal and artistic flair to it back then. Mark Twain and Jack London were members. Over the years it's turned into what we know commonly know it as — a gathering where rich conservative men can let loose <a href="https://gawker.com/my-summer-job-at-the-bohemian-grove-serving-milkshakes-1763551409" target="_blank">and put on bad theater…</a> Supposedly, a number of low-level employees of the summer camp gave their experiences on the innocuous and somewhat boring retreat for the rich and powerful.</p><p>Oscar Wilde, who once visited the camp, snarkily remarked: "I never saw so many well-dressed, well-fed, business-looking Bohemians in my life."</p>
Bilderberg Group<p>Purported to be a wing of the shadowy world government, the Bilderberg Group is a secretive gathering where the elites of the world go to discuss a wider range of topics. An annual conference, the Bilderberg group was created in 1954 by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. The goal was to create a better connection between Europe and North America.</p><p>Big tech CEOs, heads of state and other powerful people of the world are routinely invited to the yearly conference.</p><p>Though members of the media are allegedly also invited, the inner dealings of the Bilderberg conference are largely private. This said, not much has been reported on their discussions in detail — including who said what. Though it seems little leaves the rooms of these conferences, we can get an idea of topics they discuss from their <em>public</em> agenda. For instance, the group's members purportedly talked about <a href="https://bilderbergmeetings.org/meeting_2018.html" target="_blank">populism in Europe, Russia, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and the future of work</a>, among other things, at last year's conference. </p><p>Bilderberg abides by the Chatham House Rule, which means that anyone attending the meeting can talk about the information gained there, but cannot disclose who said it. Aside from the usual run of the mill conspiracies, there have been some valid academic critiques of this kind of organization.</p>
Skull and Bones<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTM4NTA1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2Nzk4MzY2M30.l6RrM21pyiAa2SdvTxxhQanx5cQHiHgAgq718ha2JAI/img.jpg?width=980" id="5ceac" width="4570" height="3735" data-rm-shortcode-id="2131940c6e48ee986efbcbf8a0dcde2f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Yale University Secret Society Skull and Bones Tomb. Image source: Wikimedia Commons<p>This not-so-secret secret society goes a few levels deep in the elite cadre of the ruling plutocracy. First, it's only open up to undergraduates of Yale University. And it's only open to the best in class. . . or to those with an established tie to the group. Nepotism. </p><p>Founded in 1832, the Skull and Bones selects 15 members of the junior class to join. Once accepted, members are called "Bonesmen."<br></p><p>The late President George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush were members, as well as John Kerry and a number of <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/skull-and-bones-alumni-2011-2" target="_blank">other highly connected and powerful alumni.</a> Of course this has led to the reputation of the Skull and Bones being part of the Illuminati conspiracy. Some people believe that the Skull and Bones controls the CIA and others think it has some kind of connection to the Kennedy assassinations. </p><p>The club was also immortalized by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925 when some of his <a href="http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/skull-and-bones-or-7-fast-facts-about-yales-secret-society/" target="_blank">rich East Coast characters were described as belonging to the highly selective group</a>. </p><p>Adding to the intrigue, Skull and Bones members meet in a crypt-like building called the Tomb. The number "322" is part of their insignia and is said to represent the year 322 BCE, when Athens lost the Lamian War and their democracy was destroyed.</p>
Trilateral commission<p>The Trilateral commission was created by every conspiracist favorite scapegoat — David Rockefeller. Conspiracy theorists often lump this group together with the United Nations, Bilderberg Conference, and the aforementioned hoax — the Illuminati. These fronts or wings of the super conspiracy all help guide along the world controlled by a couple of elites. </p><p>Founded in 1973, David Rockefeller's initiative was to confront the challenges that grew from the new dependence on foreign allies that included the likes of Canada, Japan and Western Europe. Similar to the Bilderberg Group, the goal was to encourage greater international cooperation. </p><p>There are three regional chairs for Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Meetings are held throughout the year, with regional headquarters in Paris, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo. Its members includes influential statesmen, politicians, business executives, and intellectuals. Membership is, as you'd expect, by invite only.</p>
An MIT astronomer famously explained why aliens haven't contacted us yet.