By Michael Barkun
What do alien craft believers, Christian millennialists, and right-wing conspiracy theorists have in universal? in accordance with Michael Barkun during this attention-grabbing but traumatic ebook, rather a lot. it truly is renowned that a few americans are passionate about conspiracies. The Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma urban bombing, and the 2001 terrorist assaults have all generated problematic tales of hidden plots. what's a ways much less identified is the level to which conspiracist worldviews have lately turn into associated in unusual and unpredictable methods with different "fringe" notions reminiscent of a trust in UFOs, Nostradamus, and the Illuminati. Unraveling the intense genealogies and diversifications of those more and more frequent rules, Barkun indicates how this net of city legends has unfold between subcultures on the net and during mass media, how a brand new variety of conspiracy considering has lately arisen, and the way this phenomenon pertains to greater alterations in American tradition. This publication, written by way of a number one specialist at the topic, is the main accomplished and authoritative exam of latest American conspiracism so far.
Barkun discusses more than a few material--involving inner-earth caves, executive black helicopters, alien abductions, mystery New international Order cabals, and masses more--that few detect exists in our tradition. having a look heavily on the manifestions of those principles in a variety of literature and resource fabric from spiritual and political literature, to New Age and flying saucers courses, to pop culture phenomena equivalent to The X-Files, and to web content, radio courses, and extra, Barkun reveals that the United States is within the throes of an unequalled interval of millennarian job. His e-book underscores the significance of knowing why this phenomenon is now spreading into extra mainstream segments of yank tradition.
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Additional info for A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)
The film, which grossed $150 million worldwide, joined T-shirts and a veritable library of books and magazines as part of the industry generated by the original television series. While the film contains the expected quota of references to black helicopters and alien abduction, its most striking characteristic is its demonization of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Since the 1970s, FEMA has been a target of conspiracy theorists. The film’s principal conspiracy theorist, the ill-fated Dr.
3 While it may seem that ideology has died out in a post–Cold War world, islands of secular millennialism remain. They appear in the resurgence of ethnic nationalism in many parts of the world, notably the Balkans, the Caucasus, and South Asia. They also appear in the racist and xenophobic movements that are prominent in Western and Central Europe and, to a lesser degree, in North America. Finally, they emerge in some antiglobalization rhetoric, with its implied nostalgia for a lost golden age of small, self-sufficient communities.
As ideas pass across the border that separates the world of the stigmatized from the world of the accepted, the world of the stigmatized must be reinforced with new additions. If the past is any guide, the cultic milieu provides a seemingly bottomless reservoir from which new knowledge claims can be drawn. Thus the attractions of the taboo and proscribed can always be met by visions of ever darker plots and ever more shocking revelations. The existence of a self-perpetuating domain of stigmatized knowledge means that the raw material for improvisational millennialism will remain plentiful.