Tweet of the Day, Post-Soviet Occultism Can Be Freaky-Interesting* edition.

Ken Hite retweeted this out…

…and the link is, indeed, ‘fascinatingly bizarre.’ Total conspiracy thinking, of course – but it’s post-Soviet Russian conspiracy thinking, which means that it’s mainlining on the more esoteric Russian Orthodoxy fringe beliefs.  I hope somebody has written, or is going to write, a good, accessible account of exactly what was going on with Christianity in the Soviet Union: the churches seem to have weathered the Commie years quite ably.

Anyhoo… if you wanted to mine this for material for an occult spy RPG campaign – and why wouldn’t you want to do that? It’s an awesome concept – I suggest that you check out Tim Power’s book Declare and the Russian film Night Watch. Not that Night Watch is particularly ‘occult spy,’ but it’s a good, solid ‘post-Soviet occult secret history’ flick, and nobody’s done a movie or TV version of Declare yet.  And dear GOD but I wish that somebody would.

Moe Lane

*I was going to add “…until they start talking about the Jews:” but that’s a common problem in conspiracy theories. And theorists. Besides, there was nothing about the Jews in this article anyway so the link is at least safe (I haven’t looked at the rest of the site).


Ah, the lovely smell of conspiracy theorizing. For those unwilling to click on the crazy, it’s Alternet: and they’re convinced that the GOP Establishment somehow managed to hack into the Kentucky gubernatorial elections and hand Matt Bevin the win without leaving any evidence at all.  That this would imply that Kentucky Democrats have no idea what they’re doing is quietly passed over; then again, so is the fact that the GOP Establishment wasn’t really thrilled with Bevin getting the nod in the first place. Seriously, if you’re going to commit election fraud, why stop at the general election? Bevin won that primary by the skin of his teeth; a hypothetical corrupt GOP could have easily rigged it so he didn’t.

Then again, a hypothetical corrupt GOP could have also rigged the 2012 election ballots in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin and there’s the election right there.  It’s not so much that these people think that I’m working for an evil conspiracy: it’s that they can’t make up their mind about whether I’m working for a competent evil conspiracy. I mean, geez, pick one, all right?

Moe Lane

PS: On the bright side: Alternet managed to get through another article without blaming it all on the Jews!  Huzzah!

Mark Kleiman* shows classic tertiary stage of [runaway conspiracy theorizing~].

[~It’s too nice a day to be that mean.]

Basically, [runaway conspiracy theorizing] – which is my (non-professional**) term for the condition – follows three stages:

  1. OK, [insert conspiracy theory here] obviously isn’t completely true, but there’s some stuff here that suggests that they have a point.
  2. [stunned look]  My God. It all makes sense, now.  This explains every mystery of human society, ever. I was blind before, blind!
  3. Yeah, it’s all because of the Joooooooooooooooooooooos.

You can function more or less indefinitely at Stage 1, but once you hit Stage 2 it’s really, really difficult to keep from hitting Stage 3.  So, anyway… Mark Kleiman.  Notably known for taking far too seriously the notion that asking people to show a picture ID when they vote*** is actually a Republican conspiracy.  So he’s a high-risk candidate. Continue reading Mark Kleiman* shows classic tertiary stage of [runaway conspiracy theorizing~].

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comes close to a Truth, but not *quite*.

This is not quite correct, alas: “Fun fact: conspiracy theories are just fan theories about real life.”  It’s very close, but there’s one somewhat problematic wrinkle: there’s always a risk that eventually any particular conspiracy theory will decide to use And it’s all because of the Jooooooos to buttress its argument.  This happens a lot in the relevant literature, unfortunately.

Still, decent insight there.


How the Daily Kos did NOT sanitize its Weinergate coverage.

And why you should care.

It all started when I decided to drink some of the pain of the Activist Left.

I was reading Mickey Kaus – who himself is no slouch when it comes to despising the activists that have essentially destroyed his current and my former party – when he linked to this in-retrospect-unfortunate Tweet by Kos referencing dKos’ rather embarrassingly wrong conspiracy theory about what was going on with Anthony Weiner and pictures of his genitalia*. Tasty, tasty spinning of what was in the end a straightforward, if sordid situation involving a Congressman with too much of a sense of entitlement… but I kind of wanted to see some more wrongheadedness. I freely admit it: there is schadenfreude involved here; I’m not yet a Buddha.

Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of tags you can do things like search for related stories, so I clicked on the #twitterhoax tag. No entries show up. So I scroll down to the search function, punch in ‘twitterhoax,’ and discover that ‘#twitterhoax’ brings back 14 entries, and ‘twitterhoax‘ brings back 1. But none of the ‘#twitterhoax’ entries can actually be called up, while the ‘twitterhoax’ one can be. In other words, an entire set of (embarrassingly wrong) stories just happen to have had their tags not working. Continue reading How the Daily Kos did NOT sanitize its Weinergate coverage.

#rsrh QotD, It’s all because of the Jews Edition.

Well, not yet – but when you start blaming shadowy conspiracies for your problems (which is what the Left is doing right now), you’re going to eventually end up talking about the Jooooooooooooos.  It’s the tertiary stage of conspiracy thinking, and once you reach that point, there’s more or less no hope for you.

Anyway.  Here’s Michael Gerson, with his quote:

When an ideology stumbles, its adherents can always turn to alcohol – or to conspiracy theories. It is easier to recover from alcohol.

Mostly because very few people actually want alcoholics to stay on the sauce.  But you can always find a group ready and willing to enable conspiracy thinking –  particularly, again, if they can get you on the path of blaming it all on the Joooooooooooooos.

Via somebody or other; there was a conspiracy today to feed me decaf, so I’ve lost track.

Moe Lane

Alternatively, it could be your next campaign.

You could actually run a pretty good Conspiracy X one off of this basic concept. Or maybe even Unknown Armies. Admittedly, you’d have to run either one more lighthearted than the average GM would, but that’s not so bad.  If nothing else, it’d be novel.

Via @allahpundit.

Did you know that Jews control the Washington Post?

No, really.  Just ask Andrew Sullivan (see also The Weekly Standard and Legal Insurrection).

This is the curse of every person who enjoys conspiracy theories (as opposed to believing in them). You’ll be going on, enjoying the creativity that results when people impose pattern-recognition on patternless situations; watching the steadily-more baroque reasoning used, Ptolemaic-like, to justify a marvelous theory; and grooving to the excellent nonsense, and then – WHAMM! The person you’re reading brings up the Jews. And then you realize that the author has reached the tertiary stage of conspiracy thinking*, and is now useless to you as an intellectual diversion.

It doesn’t always happen, thank God, but it happens too often.

Moe Lane Continue reading Did you know that Jews control the Washington Post?

Dennis Blair does not learn his lesson on Chas Freeman.

Hi, I am one of those scary bloggers that attacked Freeman.


Glenn Reynolds reminds me of something I saw a few days ago, but forgot about. I just wanted to note that while I’m flattered that DNI Dennis Blair thinks that we in the blogosphere are powerful enough – or notorious enough – to blame for the way that Chas Freeman got steamrollered:

On the Charles – on the Chas Freeman appointment, I am happy to say that looking around this room, there was pretty responsible reporting on Chas, but apparently you guys aren’t bloggers, as – (laughter) – or you guys aren’t as powerful bloggers as some that I discovered when I made the announcement. I thought he was a good pick, I still think he’s a – still think he would have made a great National Intelligence Council Chairman, but it wasn’t to be, and so we’re – lesson learned, moving on.

…I’m afraid that it’s simply not true. It wasn’t us, and it wasn’t this “Israel lobby” that so exercises the pseudo-intellectual mind. One person torpedoed Charles Freeman’s nomination… and it was Charles Freeman himself. The guy was simply far too gone an apologist for too far broad a spectrum of unpleasant regimes to be tolerable, Right or Left.

That being said, I was exceptionally happy to help. I think that we can safely take at least some credit for helping.

Moe Lane

PS: I don’t think that you’ve really learned the lesson, DNI Blair. The lesson isn’t don’t be more proactive in getting your notorious apologists for unpleasant regimes through the nomination process: it’s supposed to be don’t appoint notorious apologists for unpleasant regimes in the first place. Just in case nobody’s mentioned.

Crossposted to RedState.