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Can you see the Fnords?

August 10, 2006

Terror alert danger critical Allah president jihad bomb airport plot threat Lebanon level kill Iraq security murder illegal immigrant devices Islam atrocity nuclear explosive scare paedophile share prices chaos blow up child porn police oil detonate war strike death chemical Israel covert weapons of mass destruction attack without warning heightened readiness authorities fear.

Robert Anton Wilson, in his book on conspiracy theories The Illuminatus! Trilogy, introduces a concept which he calls “fnords“. Fnords are bits of subliminal disinformation designed to produce a particular response, usually fear. The usually take the form of ‘trigger words’ that we are subconsciously programmed – at school, and in the media – to respond to, like Pavlov’s dog. The theory is that when we see a fnord – a trigger word or image – we won’t realise it’s a trigger, but will respond in the way we have been programmed to, something along the lines of fear: trust authority: consume.

Hearing about the alleged terrorist plot to blow up transatlantic flights using liquid explosives hidden in baby’s bottles – you couldn’t make it up – brought old RAW’s wise words to mind. I put on the TV this morning to threats of terror and death, and a very grave looking John Reid warning of “critical threats” and “imminent attacks”.

I don’t know. I all makes me very suspicious, because we have only The Authorities’ word to take on this, as with all other terror alerts. They say there’s a threat, and we all jump. Maybe there is, and maybe there isn’t, but there’s no transparency.

And we all know about the mistakes they make, and how they try to cover them up. Like when Charles de Menezes was executed, and they claimed that he had overstayed his visa, as if that made it OK to gun him down in a tube station. Or the Scottish man who was shot because police thought the table leg he was carrying – he was a carpenter – was a shotgun. Or when 250 polis raided a home in Forest Gate, and shot a man, and after a massive operation had to concede they had found no evidence of terror.

Then, a little while later they announced they had found child porn – there’s a fnord for you – on one of the victims’ computer. If you can’t get them for terrorism, get them for child porn. Yeah, right. Like the police have never planted evidence before.

Once again, we are expected to take their word for it.

What makes me doubly suspicious is that Reid has been sabre-rattling about “fascist individuals threatening democratic states” since he was made Home Secretary, and talking about the need to sacrifice privacy for security. This terror alert looks like just the sort of Reichstag fire he needs to get his way.

Reid – who, with Tony Blair, is a member of Labour Friends of Israel – is also notorious for his friendship with Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic. And we should trust this man?

If it is a genuine terror threat, it’s all very apt, isn’t it, that airports are involved. Since the UK government has allowed the US military to ship arms to Israel through UK airports, it’s hardly surprising that they would come under attack. British airports are complicit in the murder of Lebanon, as well as in CIA extraordinary rendition.

So why don’t we root out the causes of terror – Western attempts to assert control over the valuable oil resources of the Middle East – instead of getting wound up over Muslims. Join the dots, Tony Blair.

The solution is not to get swept away in the climate of fear. We need to see the fnords, and be agnostic about what The Authorities tell us. And we need to act differently. Instead of getting caught up in the fear, we need to jam the war effort, like the Israeli soldiers who are refusing to serve in Lebanon.

If it’s that serious a threat, why is Blair still sunning himself in the Carribean?

And if you haven’t done so yet, do yourself a favour and read The Illuminatus! Trilogy.

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