The Truth Agenda
Making Sense of Unexplained Mysteries,
Global Cover-ups & Visions for a New Era
by Andy Thomas
Extract from Chapter 1: Making Sense of Our World
Is the somewhat fractured world we live in today just a result of random developments - or a deliberate ploy? And is the picture we are presented with in the mainstream an accurate one? Given that so often it appears not to be, it is inevitable that many have begun to question the very foundations of the society in which they live.
When a recent poll claimed to have found that a large majority of British people considered themselves to be ‘happy’, it came as something of a surprise to much of the population. From the evidence of everyday conversation not many people, in the West at least, really seem to be happy with the world we live in today. Perhaps it was just the way the questions were asked, or perhaps the whole poll was some kind of Orwellian exercise in social conditioning, but overall the fair majority of citizens generally appear to hold negative views on the state of things. Notably, the coverage glossed over the not-insignificant finding that over one in four put themselves in the ‘anxious’ category.
For all our scientific achievements, great discoveries and the many convenience comforts of the modern Western world, there remains a pervading sense that civilisation has taken a wrong turn somewhere down the line. Secrets and lies seem rife within governments and institutions, countries go to war on very shaky grounds, and an agenda of control and surveillance appears to have replaced the relative freedom the West once knew. Fear of climate change, fear of terrorism, fear of flu pandemics, fear of poverty, fear of immigrants and outsiders, fear of almost everything; all these threats seemingly dangled above our heads and actively inflated by media shock merchants mean we increasingly act from a place of threatened security rather than from expansion and joy.
The prevailing impression is that we are poised on the brink of political, economic, spiritual and social breakdown as the family unit dissolves and the old foundations of respect and a sense of the sacred dwindle away into disorder, systemic corruption and crime. Meanwhile, the savage austerity measures seen in several countries amidst the current economic turmoil have focused many minds on loss (or, in some cases, simply the fear of loss), rather than abundance.
Positive thinking, then - a vital commodity in unstable times - is currently dwarfed by the seeming enormity of the problems that face us and the coverage given to them. Yet, despite the unquestionable reality of big issues to be dealt with, there is strong evidence that we are being disproportionately presented with a negative view of a world that may in truth be much brighter than we are being allowed to see. The version of society we perceive through our screens and newspapers almost unfailingly promotes fear and darkness, and tempts us to give our freedom away, almost as if encouraging hope and liberty would be an irresponsible thing to do. Almost as if there is an agenda.
The dark things are sometimes real enough - but so is hope and positivity. Yet the latter are without question downplayed as if, to those in control, a divided and unhappy society is far more preferable. Either way, little in our world quite seems to make sense anymore - that is, if one assumes that the world is being run for the benefit of us. What if that is not the case?
Some say the current state of our civilisation is the result of a series of giant mistakes, the product of error built upon error and rebounds from endless corrective manoeuvres born of desperation, as humankind evolves with depressing slowness. However, an increasing number of people believe that life has become the way it is because a hidden strata of our society wants it to be that way. After all, are we really so incompetent as a species? Have we learnt nothing? Many individuals and groups seem enlightened and intelligent, living positive lives and trying constantly to create positive change; yet society as a whole stubbornly refuses to move on from its litany of mistakes, continually repeating the faults of the past.
Understanding Conspiracy Theory
This is where we enter the world of ‘conspiracy theory’. It has become an abusive term in recent times, applied by the establishment to marginalise anyone who questions the status quo. An encouraged contempt for conspiracy theorists has allowed these questioners to be pushed neatly to the fringes as sad characters to be shunned, ridiculed or even feared. Books by mainstream journalists (like David Aaronovitch’s Voodoo Histories), which exist to knock down alternative views on recent history and falsely present all conspiracy theorists as far-right or even anti-Semitic extremists, are given massive media coverage, while the actual evidence presented by those being marginalised is given little or no airing and kept out of polite society. At the same time, fragile ‘strawman’ theories are forever pushed into the public eye via the tabloids and built up hugely, only to be quickly despatched.
Mohammed Al Fayed’s clearly doomed attempt - whatever the ultimate truth - to prove in the British High Court in 2008 that Princess Diana was murdered on the orders of Prince Philip provides a good example [pages 91 & 341]. With such an extreme accusation, and with important evidence oddly unpresented or deliberately withheld, it was clear from early on that a verdict to support the conspiracy view would be unlikely; yet certain tabloid newspapers screamed each new clue as sensational fact, before the predictable climbdown - or subsequent silence. By loudly fanfaring weaker cases before the inevitable public demolition, all conspiracy theories are brought into disrepute by simple association. Yet the theories for which there is substantial evidence, such as the anomalies surrounding 9/11 [Chapter VIII], are largely ignored or singled out for ignorant dismissal by sneering columnists - usually by failing to address the evidence itself and personally attacking or stereotyping the researchers instead.
Why is there such a stigma against those who question the establishment view? Is it because they are, in fact, asking pertinent questions no-one else dares to about the mysteries and cover-ups that seem to surround us? Even a superficial glance at both history and the patterns of today confirms that such things have long been indelible components of our world, yet we live in a culture of denial. Indeed, conspiracies and a wide belief in supernatural forces may be underpinning the society we live in to a much greater degree than anyone suspects.
For all the scorn regularly poured upon it, conspiracy theory seems to become perfectly mainstream when it suits a purpose; when British traditions see effigies of Guy Fawkes burnt or exploded each November 5th, for instance, we commemorate ‘The Gunpowder Plot’, one of the best-known historical conspiracies, which nearly saw the assassination of King James I. At the other end of the spectrum, the widely accepted - and promoted - belief that bin Laden and Al Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks is a modern conspiracy theory writ large (yet is never presented as such). And how many people today really believe that John F Kennedy was killed on the whim of a single fanatic with a personal agenda? Conspiracy theory only becomes a pariah when it’s turned around and focused on the very people who want us to believe it of someone else.
The Collins English Dictionary defines ‘conspiracy theory’ as:
‘The belief that the government or a covert organisation is responsible for an event that is unusual or unexplained, especially when any such involvement is denied’.
Given this definition and the lessons that history, both ancient and modern, have to tell us about global deception, who can seriously deny that conspiracies are rife and very real? Theorising about conspiracies is therefore a perfectly legitimate line of enquiry, and the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ is interchanged throughout this text with (the sometimes preferred) ‘truthseeker’ in a firmly non-abusive sense.
However, it is usually the conspiracy theorists that are held up to be the warped components of society, as far as the intellectuals we mysteriously appoint as our moral guardians in the media are concerned. Time and again we read cod-psychological treatise on the inherent dysfunctionality of conspiracy believers, often characterised as stupid ‘deniers’ or ‘anoraks’ with few social skills and probably troubled backgrounds - unlike journalists, of course, who must all, by implication, be impeccable bastions of wisdom. Typical of such scathing negation is this entry from British columnist Polly Toynbee, who writes:
‘Conspiracy theory journalism... abounds, assuming anything gleaned through a keyhole or leaked document reveals more truth than the big picture staring you in the face. Healthy scepticism easily tips into the conspiracy mindset, where dark motives lie behind everything... If no fact, history or official record can be trusted, then anything might be true and the world ceases to make sense or to be governable by common consent. It is a growing state of mind that, once it takes hold, spreads easily from small things to big beliefs. It needs a firm rebuttal, even when it invades relatively unimportant-seeming things - such as was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?’
...The subtext of which would appear to be ‘don’t dare to ask questions about anything that isn’t obvious’. We clearly shouldn’t trouble our undeveloped minds about such things. But why not? Why shouldn’t we be curious as to whether Shakespeare really wrote his own plays or whether they were ghost-written, or collaborations? Why wouldn’t we want to know why something as huge as the Moon landings appears to have such shaky evidence to support it? Why can’t we ask why overt occult symbolism appears in so much architecture and iconography? Why shouldn’t it be questioned as to how nearly 3,000 people died so easily on 9/11 when normal security procedures should have prevented it? Is the asking of these questions proof of a personality defect? If so, why is it that the people who are now calling society to account come from such a wide cross-section of class and education? Anoraks and fanatics we will always have with us, and they can be loud and undiscerning sometimes, but in recent years the ranks of the challengers have been swelled by a quiet and largely sensible majority.
Toynbee does make an important point to express that if ‘anything might be true’ then ‘the world ceases to make sense or to be governable by common consent’. Many people believe this to be precisely the case, but are not allowed to express it. Suppressing debate isn’t healthy and can lead to extremism - something the world has too much of. Toynbee’s typical journalistic contempt implies that nothing requires evidence to support it in the conspiracy world and that all who question official dogmas are agitating fantasists. But most self-respecting truthseekers accept the need for clear presentation of reasoned evidence, and it is this approach that we will take here. Much of that evidence is persuasive enough that it deserves a fuller examination.
[Interestingly, when this author attended a lecture by Polly Toynbee - renowned for her acerbic pen - and held up 9/11 as an area worthy of more serious study, in the flesh she proved far less willing to defend her views on conspiracy theorists and made vaguely conciliatory noises to avoid a conflict.]
From people tired of such lazy media dismissal, a world of ‘truth movements’ and campaigns has proliferated in these obvious days of global deception and political obfuscation - a sure sign that we have collectively lost faith in those making the big decisions on our behalf.
New Times, Old Suspicions
Much of this book is necessarily focused on things past, concentrating on events which have shaped the world we live in now. But the temptation to think that new eras leave behind the suspicions of old should be avoided. When Barack Obama had to re-swear his inaugural oath of allegiance as the 44th President of the United States of America the day after fluffing a line during his first attempt in front of millions of viewers on 20th January 2009, this was done ‘out of an abundance of caution’ and to avoid ‘conspiracy theories’. This extraordinary action was a tacit acknowledgement of how widespread and influential conspiracy theorising has become in recent years.
Within hours of Obama’s inauguration, in amongst the joyous celebrations from those hailing his historical accession, the Internet was also awash with speculation from those less sure: as Obama hadn’t spoken the correct oath (the word ‘faithfully’ got transposed to a less solid place in a sentence), was he, in fact, really president? Was this a deliberate strategy so that he could not be held technically responsible for his actions if things went awry? With malicious rumours circulating that Obama’s birth certificate might have been faked to enable him to take office, unpleasant echoes of the events which marred George W Bush’s infamous 2001 presidential election ‘victory’, with its wide allegations of voting fraud, threatened to undermine the support of a minority, but clearly an influential one. If born outside the USA, Obama would not be eligible as president - some claim his real place of birth was Kenya, with not unreasonable grounds for their doubts given some of the anomalies in the ‘official’ certificate. The decision to re-take the inaugural oath illustrates that every action, no matter how small, is now under scrutiny from those who no longer trust authority - and those in power know it. Not that doing this in any way assuaged the doubts. If anything it raised further questions: Why was the second oath not filmed? Why did Obama not swear on a Bible this time? Were any of the first orders signed by Obama in the hours before the second oath legally binding? And so on.
Such is the climate of doubt we live in today. Let down so many times by a system that, well-meaning or not, appears so often to be corrupt, coldly authoritarian and not running to programmes that seem to benefit the common person, people have lost faith in their leaders and confidence is at an all-time low. The modern global financial disaster brought about by supposedly reckless bankers and negligent governments (but see page 73), together with events such as the 2009 British MPs’ expenses scandal, rudely awakened a new and more eclectic portion of the population to considering alternative views on the way the world is run. Those they thought they could trust have proved themselves unworthy of such faith, and the consequences of the betrayal have trickled into everyday lives in a very tangible way, as jobs, savings and pensions have tumbled.
The election of new leaders such as President Obama forever seems to raise touching hopes for real change, but rarely does it come, with nearly all politicians cast from the same flawed mould. The elevation of Obama saw supporting masses full of enthusiasm, which bucked the doubting trend for a short while, but the faith was wobbling in some just weeks after his inauguration, and the period since has seen a sharp decline in his popularity, despite his second-term election. Who could, after all, live up to such high expectations, argue pundits, especially in a climate where only hard decisions, not crowd-pleasers, can be made?
Yet many outside of the polite mainstream, which had bordered on drooling hagiography during his first presidential electioneering, quickly pointed out that those who helped Obama to power behind the scenes appeared to be precisely the same characters who had helped create previous messes (such as political ‘hawk’ Zbigniew Brzezinski, credited by some with actually creating Al Qaeda by masterminding the training of Afghan ‘freedom fighters’ following the 1979 Soviet invasion), and those Obama appointed to office were, predictably, the same breed of powermonger as before. Even George W Bush’s Defence Secretary Robert M Gates, a member of the opposition Republican party, was initially retained from the previous administration.
These observations raised legitimate fears: was this just the same old agenda as before? Were the strings still being pulled from mysterious levels above? Those without faith in a system that appears always to be the same behind the scenes, no matter who is in charge, remained unconvinced that a saviour had arrived. Indeed, some saw Obama as quite the opposite; a wolf in sheep’s clothing. His failure to close the highly contentious Guantanamo Bay detention centre [page 188], despite his many vocal promises to do so, for example, and the fact that within a single year he had sanctioned more assassinations in the Middle East than his predecessor had in two terms, only reinforced this view. The massive increase in drone attacks over the likes of Pakistan under Obama’s administration, with many resultant ‘collateral’ casualties, suggests to some that far from being over, the ‘War on Terror’ has simply entered a new and deadlier phase - but more surreptitious in its approach.
So the times we find ourselves in now seem no less prone to suspicion and conspiratorial musings than before. Indeed, as the global recession has continued on, resentment against politicians and, especially, bankers has grown, directly or indirectly encouraging civil unrest in countries such as Greece and also the UK, which saw student rioting in 2010 and an anarchic explosion of urban violence and looting in the summer of 2011 [page 305] - raising the question in some minds as to whether such responses might be actively stimulated for the purpose of justifying more social control, as we shall explore. Certainly, rather than attempt to understand some of the wider processes that might lead to unrest, not least the huge financial inequalities which have seen class divisions deepen massively, instead those at the bottom of the ladder have effectively been scapegoated as the cause of society’s woes, cheaply stereotyped as benefit cheats and skivers bringing down the economy. Executives at the top, meanwhile, continue to receive enormous bonuses, while everyday folk die from cold, afraid to put the heating on in a world of insane energy prices and falling savings. Such an imbalanced situation, combined with the ingrained culture of blatant political dishonesty, is bound to create a fractured culture. If authorities feel hurt that they are so often the target of conspiracy theories and mistrust, they only have themselves to blame.
Problematically, the age-old response from our leaders to a doubting population seems to be to distract them with bigger events elsewhere. Numerous truthseekers believe, for instance, that the multiple revolutions that have swept the likes of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria, amongst other Arab states, with uncertain long-term outcomes, have been manipulated from behind the scenes by Western powers either keen to increase their influence or provide useful diversions from problems at home.
Applying the Truth Agenda
If one turns around the naive assumption that the world is run for our collective benefit, and starts to consider just for a moment that it might, in fact, be run instead for the needs of an elite few, with their own murky plans, the uncomfortable effect is that everything begins to make a horrible kind of sense and some of the unexplained mysteries and many dark cover-ups begin to form a pattern. Some things are mysteries through the simple absence of an answer. But certain areas may remain obscure because somebody prefers it to be that way. The purpose of this book is to explore the possible patterns that might be falling into place before our very eyes in these times of growing doubt and subterfuge. Many thinkers believe we stand at a pivotal moment in human history. Understanding the shape of it all could hold the key to unlocking the cell of ignorance which has perhaps held us imprisoned for far too long.
If there is, then, an underlying global agenda that does not have our best interests at heart, how do we identify and expose it so that mass-awareness and subsequent action might dispel its worst effects? Perhaps, in response, we need to create our own agenda - a ‘truth agenda’ - a process which simply looks again at the world as presented to us and asks whether the surface glamour and veneer of philanthropic intent holds up to logical scrutiny.
Applying the Truth Agenda is a straightforward method of selecting significant events that have shaped our modern world, and starkly and methodically peering just under the veneer to see what lies beneath. In so doing, different underlying motivations to usual surface appearances often present themselves, and many underexposed details are revealed, as this book demonstrates. Such analysis is not original - many other concerned individuals share the task today, and others will doubtless join in. But we appear to live in times where getting to the heart of what is really going on seems to matter more than ever, especially with such sweeping global means of communication, blatant economic manipulation and technological influence now available to those who may have ambitious plans for centralisation and concentration of power.
The 2010 WikiLeaks controversy, in which thousands of previously classified international diplomatic and miltary documents were released without permission on the Internet (and through selected newspapers), caused outrage amongst authorities, but conclusively demonstrated that dishonesty underpins almost every level of decision-making around the world. Yet the WikiLeaks information was merely scratching the surface. Indeed, aside from the doubts and legal complexities surrounding the curious figure of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, many conspiracy believers suspect the organisation to be either a victim of, or party to, a manipulation in itself, pointing to the rather selective nature of the subjects exposed.
So far, for example, there has been a strange absence of even a sliver of information that might shed light on any aspect of 9/11, either to confirm or deny the official account [see Chapter VIII]. However, WikiLeaks has at least served the purpose of further flagging up a different way of looking at the world to a previously dormant public. The more souls who can raise awareness of what might be occurring to our collective detriment, the more chance there is of creating a positive collective solution. This book is but one more small contribution to the process, but the hope here is to encapsulate in an accessible and coherent way many of the key issues, as identified by the world of truthseeking, that can seem confusing and overwhelming to the uninitiated.
Over the years, investigation by many intrepid researchers (including this author) into unexplained phenomena have revealed how a systemic underlying belief in the supernatural and esoterica, and, indeed, participation in conspiracies, has shaped our civilisation. This is denied, of course, and paradoxically a veneer of logical scientism is generally presented to us as the foundation of modern society - but the reality is that deeper scrutiny reveals something else altogether. By applying the Truth Agenda to a series of what may at first appear to be unrelated elements, it becomes apparent that there is a linking thread connecting many of the power and belief structures that shape the civilisation we live in today. These, in turn, almost certainly play a part in fuelling the control issues that increasingly bind us, as the unfolding of the subsequent chapters will hopefully demonstrate.
Doubts about the way the world is being run today are leading an increasing number of people to reconsider ‘conspiracy theories’ in a new light. If the world is not being run for our benefit, then whose? Changes of political administrations briefly raise hopes for new eras, but the continued policies and inherent dishonesties of old mean that doubts among the public and probing enquiries from truthseekers remain legitimate. Applying a simple process of analysis to the key events of recent history may reveal important hidden layers, offering clues to the real agendas motivating our society.