This post makes a simple argument, which I want to make clear from the beginning: some — NOT ALL — conspiracy theories are real. There really are conspiracies in which people conspire to get money and power and sometimes even commit murder as part of the conspiracy.
This does not mean that EVERY claim of a conspiracy theory is true. In fact, you could safely argue that most conspiracy theories are not true. Just to cite one example, I don’t buy that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” perpetrated by the U.S. government. I have looked at the evidence, and it just doesn’t seem likely to me.
The reason I am writing this post is that I hear smart people, both inside the Church and out, dismiss something as a “conspiracy theory” as if that ends the argument. That is simply an ad hominem claim and a logical fallacy. And the problem is that many people dismiss “conspiracy theories” that don’t fit their paradigms without ever considering the evidence. This is a dangerous tendency and completely against Latter-day Saint — and indeed all Christian — orthodoxy.
The central event in Christian history was the Atonement. In a worldly sense, the Atonement was the result of a conspiracy by the leading religious authorities in Jerusalem who conspired to kill an innocent man to protect their power. The entire thing was a classic secret combination.
Of course Latter-day Saint scriptures point out that secret combinations have been around since the days of Abel and Cain. Moses 5:51: “For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.”
The secret combinations continued in every society: “And they did reject all the words of the prophets, because of their secret society and wicked abominations.” (Ether 11:22) “For behold, they murdered all the prophets of the Lord who came among them to declare unto them concerning their iniquities; and the blood of those whom they murdered did cry unto the Lord their God for vengeance upon those who were their murderers; and thus the judgments of God did come upon these workers of darkness and secret combinations.” (Alma 37:30) “And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.” (2 Nephi 9:9).
I am going to make this very clear: it is impossible to honestly read LDS scriptures without coming to the conclusion that secret combinations (ie conspiracies) 1)happen throughout history 2)are inspired by Satan 3)are more pervasive than we think and 4)are going to be common in the Latter days.
Given that we are in the latter days, what are the conspiracies around us?
The first point I want to drive home, and this is essential it seems to me, is that there really are conspiracies in the latter days. I am not saying I know what they all are (if I did they would not be secret combinations). But there clearly ARE cases in which powerful people conspire to get money and power.
I want to quickly discuss one case from the 1990s because it is essential to understanding how people in power will try to dismiss something as a “conspiracy theory” when it clearly is not. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal first started with President Clinton, nearly all of the Clinton supporters called it a conspiracy. Hillary Clinton even used the phrase “vast right-wing conspiracy” to dismiss the entire situation. As the scandal continued, Lewinsky turned over one of her dresses that she said was stained with Bill Clinton’s semen to the FBI, which tested the semen and confirmed it was Bill Clinton’s semen. So, clearly the charges of a “conspiracy theory” were false at least when it came Bill Clinton engaging in some kind of sexual relationship with Lewinsky.
We are seeing the same kind of obfuscation today regarding many of the conspiracies that are clearly taking place.
So, how can we tell if a conspiracy or secret combination is happening? I am going to propose a few rules.
1)Groups of powerful people, either in business or government or both, will be involved.
2)There must be a pathway for these people to either make a lot of money or get a lot of power through the conspiracy.
3)They will deny the conspiracy as part of the coverup.
4)But people with basic common sense will be able to see that there is “something fishy going on.”
5)You do not need to know all of the details of the conspiracy to nevertheless know it is a conspiracy.
Now, let me make this clear: we will never know about the vast majority of conspiracies, which will take place in the dark with oaths of secrecy. But there will nevertheless be signs of a potential conspiracy that are pretty obvious to neutral observers.
Let’s take a look at one of the biggest conspiracies today: the conspiracy in favor of mass vaccination of everybody in the world for COVID.
Are there powerful people, both in private industry and in the government, involved? Obviously yes.
Is there a potential to make a lot of money and consolidate power? Obviously yes.
Is there an attempt to cover up the conspiracy? When you consider that discussing the conspiracy is now not allowed on the vast majority of social media platforms, uh, yes, there is a coverup.
Is there “something fishy going on?” Well, given that the survival rate from COVID-19 is 99.7 percent for everybody and much higher than that (approaching 100 percent) for children and young adults, there is definitely something fishy going on. People with eyes to see will see. Why the non-stop push to vaccinate kids and young people when they are not at risk from COVID and when the vaccine does nothing to stop transmission of the virus? Why are politicians and health authorities ignoring the obvious role of natural immunity in stopping the virus, when in fact natural immunity is significantly more effective than the vaccine? Why the constant attempts to suppress other treatments for the virus, everything from Vitamin D to hydroxychloroquine to ivermectin? Why were we not told from the beginning that the vaccines would lose effectiveness and that boosters would be needed? Why are public health officials now saying you are not fully vaccinated unless you get a booster shot, and implying that future booster shots may be necessary in another six months? Why are health officials impugning or ignoring the adverse reactions to the COVID vaccines in the VAERS database when just two years ago the VAERS database was well-respected (before it started reporting negative things about the vaccines)? Why did public health officials pull out all of the stops to cover up the origin of the virus in Wuhan, China and the potential funding of gain of function research at the Wuhan facility? Why the totalitarian moves to segregate the vaccinated from the unvaccinated, including concentration camps, when the science clearly shows that the unvaccinated are not a threat to the vaccinated? Why is the FDA insisting that it will take 55 years to release details about the Pfizer vaccine trials?
Do I know all of the details of the SARS-Cov2 vaccine conspiracy? Of course not. I am not part of the conspiracy so I don’t know the details.
But there is clearly something going on. The broad facts of the conspiracy are these: powerful people are conspiring to push an unproven and even potentially dangerous vaccine upon people around the world to get gain. The “gain” for the pharmaceutical companies is obvious as is the “gain” for the politicians who are using the pandemic to further their own power. Although nobody knows the exact details, it is reasonable to believe that certain politicians and public officials are being paid off to promote the vaccines.
This conspiracy theory may be one of the most believable ever. Does anybody really believe that all of the politicians, public officials and pharmaceutical executives involved are not motivated by power and money? Is anybody naive enough to think all of these people with long histories of corruption are suddenly moved entirely by good will?
As for the results in the coming months, I am most concerned for my friends and family members who may be the victims of these vaccines. It is true that the vaccines are safe and effective for some people like the elderly and others at high risk. But for so many younger people, and so many pregnant women, the vaccines are much more dangerous than COVID itself. Here is what I would propose to those who are “conspiracy theory hesitant:” take a look around you at people you know who may have had an adverse reaction to the vaccine. If you have had an adverse reaction yourself, please keep track of your symptoms. There will be more and more adverse reactions in the coming months. You will hear of children who have been vaccinated getting heart conditions or other health problems just a day or two after getting the jab. Some of these people may be your own children or your own grandchildren. (Just as an example, my own daughter is suffering adverse reactions to the vax that have lasted for months now). And of course remember that you will never be “fully vaccinated,” according to public officials, unless you get booster shots in the coming months and years, and who knows how your body will react to these booster shots. Remember, no long term studies on booster shots have been performed.
As I say, keep track of these adverse reactions and then count them up six months or a year from now. I think you will be shocked.
I hope I am wrong and that these things do not happen to you or the people you love. But unfortunately my predictions on COVID-19 and the reaction to the pandemic have been spot on from the beginning. Yes, there are conspiracies and secret combinations, and we are living through a very big one right now.
Note: The Church has urged members to get vaccinated, but has also encouraged freedom of choice. Having studied this issue, I believe many people who are older and/or at high risk to COVID should get vaccinated. The Church is not part of the conspiracy, and the Church is not at fault for encouraging vaccination, which is clearly beneficial to some people. You can believe two things at the same time: there is a high-level and pervasive conspiracy going on with the COVID vaccines, and the Church is acting in good faith to try to navigate the situation. I believe both of those things and I support the Brethren.
If you can purchase Ivermectin 12 mg from a pharmacy in India, do so. Otherwise, use the product formulated by Dr. Zelenko who was the first to offer a non-vaccine over-the-counter formulation: “Zinc Quercetin 500mg with Vitamin C Vitamin D3 Bromelain Immune Support” which can be purchased from a vitamin store, Amazon, or Dr. Zelenko’s “Z-Stack”. Here is Dr. Zelenko’s website which details the conspiracy:
Good points and food for thought. Your note at the end seems to ignore the fact that the Church is indeed mandating vaccines for missionaries. Those young men and women who want to serve do not have a choice on whether to get vaccinated.
Once again, a very well written essay. (apart from the split infinitive at the start of the 7th paragraph. Sorry, I have been proof-reading for high school reports and I’m in a cheeky mood)
You have covered the topic well, and I would struggle to find any disagreement with your points. So, what is to be done? Secret combinations are frightfully powerful and dangerous and the only policy forward is to exercise faith and build Zion. Thank you for your well considered efforts. Now, let me just proof-read my own writing here. I’ve made myself nervous!
For those who prefer to think that alleged conspiracies are really just screw-ups, that is a false dichotomy, as explained by Bruce Charlton here:
Essence: When “the system” puts the “like minded” people in place, they don’t have to conspire, they are already trained by the system (academia plus media) to think a certain way which already comports with the system’s goals, even when the individuals don’t consciously realize the system’s goals. Most of the individuals are honestly blind to the real-world ultimate consequences of their world-view.
Longtime Lurker, honest question: aren’t missionaries only forced to get the vaccine if they are going overseas to a country that requires vaccination? A friend of ours left on a domestic mission just a few months ago and did not get vaccinated before leaving. This is an honest question — I truly don’t know the answer.
I’m not going to criticize the Church’s policy on vaccinations or anything else. If all missionaries must be vaccinated, I will say I don’t understand why that would be, but I will add it to the list of other things I don’t understand.
David Bell, what is to be done? I think a lot of prayer, first of all. As you have seen me write before, I regularly pray for the people stuck in countries that were once free that have now become totalitarian lockdown states. I think it is important to speak out, which is why I am constantly writing about this. My conscience insists that I must speak out for freedom, regardless of how many people (and there are many) don’t like what I write. When I look back at the things I have written over the years, the posts that I am most proud of are the ones where I spoke out for other peoples’ liberty. (I live in a relatively free place myself, so I have not suffered as much as many others have suffered during this pandemic).
I think the First Presidency Statement was well intentioned but fundamentally untrue. The shots are proving unsafe for many and also not nearly as effective as purported. We still don’t know if there will be any long term negative effects either.
Admittedly this bothers me. It feels like the leadership has an unspoken partnership with the bad guys. I don’t believe the brethren are conspirators but I’m troubled that they seem to have bought into the narrative.
I have studied history for over 40 years with multiple degrees in the field. What I have found too often is the “official” narrative is not true and that powerful individuals have lied over and over again.
This is the pattern of the ages. The powerful lie and manipulate and attempt to silence all dissent. For over a century, this pattern has been compounded by modern psychological manipulation, especially beginning in WWI with Edward Bernays and the Creel commission.
As faithful disciples of Christ we can have the Holy Spirit help us to see truth and lies. Some have been gifted as well with gifts of discernment and perception.
We may not know the absolute truth of any given matter, but we can be guided to see the obvious lies and cover-ups. We can see that things are “off” and evil tries to pretend to be “good”.
I liken our day to that of Samuel the Lamanite. The Nephites, not withstanding their wickedness and embracing of the Gadianton Robbers, believed themselves to be “good” people. Likely many of the Nephites still attended church and pretended to be faithful, even as they engaged in murder and other crimes.
As to modern “conspiracy theory”, there are truths and falsehoods in them. Some of the falsehoods are designed to discredit the truths. We shouldn’t accept any alternative theory as fact without careful investigation, just like we shouldn’t accept the offical narrative as fact.
Geoff B., fair question. I can’t say with 100% certainty it’s mandated for domestic, but it certainly is for foreign missions. Anecdotally, I know a domestic sister missionary whose president imposed such severe limitations on activities and onerous testing requirements that he might as well have mandated the vaccine.
Here’s an official announcement on April 23 (updated April 30): “Missionaries who choose not to receive the required immunizations, which will now include the COVID-19 vaccination, will be assigned to a mission in their home country in accordance with long-standing existing Church policies. As the COVID-19 vaccination becomes more widely available in other countries, these missionaries will be asked to be vaccinated before leaving their home country.”
Sure seems to be a mandate rather than encouragement of freedom of choice. It’s also concerning to me that the Church in its announcements and mandates, like much of the government, does not seem to recognize natural immunity at all.
Such wonderful comments on this brilliant article!! I agree completely with everything you said. Something is definitely going on.
I for one am having trouble with my Church who calls this flu a pandemic, requires useless masks, and promotes deadly jabs. As someone mentioned above, when I don’t understand something in the Church, I am just patient.
Doug, Carolyn and others, thanks for your comments.
One of my biggest concerns is that people lose faith in the Church over its response to the pandemic. I think we need individually to ponder the reasons the Church is reacting to the pandemic the way it is, and we need to think about history.
We just re-read D&C 134 for Come Follow Me. Go to D&C 134:12. The Church calls interfering with slaves and even preaching the Gospel to them against the wills of their masters “unlawful and unjust.” Wow, that is pretty strong language. Why would Joseph Smith and Church leaders feel this way? The statement was from 1835 in Kirtland, and the Church was active at that time in Missouri, which is a slave state. Meddling with slaves in any way in Missouri at the time was simply against all laws and condemned by slave-owning society.
We know that Heavenly Father wants people to be free. Why would He not direct His prophets to speak out against slavery and try to end it?
That was not the purpose of the Gospel at that time. The Church would never be allowed to operate in Missouri or many other places if it was known as the “anti-slavery church.”
The same thing applies today. We cannot be known as the “anti-mask church” or the “anti-vax church.” We would probably be blocked from operating in half of Europe and Australia and New Zealand and perhaps even places like Singapore if we became known as the “anti-vax church.”
So, the Church makes a relatively mild statement asking people to voluntarily wear masks and get vaccinated. This solves that problem — we can’t be called the “anti-vax church” because our official policy is to encourage people to get vaccinated.
A few other points from history: we were the “pro-polygamy church” for several decades until it became politically untenable to be the “pro-polygamy church.” We were the anti-fascist and anti-communist church for many decades (at least in the statements from the apostles and prophets), yet we found a way to keep churches open in 1930s Germany and in some Communist countries during the Cold War. And by the way, we are one of the few churches today operating in Communist China (where we are building a temple) and Communist Cuba (where we have at least two branches) and Muslim UAE (where we are building a temple).
To sum up: history shows the Church will adjust to political conditions to keep on preaching the Gospel. Does this means the vax is safe and effective for everybody and that there is no conspiracy theory regarding the vaccine? I say no, but I also say that I don’t blame the Church in any way for the statement supporting vaccination.
I actually teach workshops at my University Library where I compare some popular conspiracy theories with real world historical conspiracies (assassinations of Caesar & Lincoln, Lenin & the Bolsheviks being transported to Russia by the Germans in 1917)
Its interesting to note the differences between these (at least partially) successful conspiracies and their more paranoid cousins. One of the key things I’ve observed is that far from being all-powerful, all-embracing groups able to prepare for every eventuality, these groups were generally small, with short-term goals and were heavuly affected by unintended consequences.
Yes the Church has to adjust to allow them to function in certain areas.
Tell me though, great logical thinker, why a harmful poison should be put into me, an old lady? But not a young lady?
Sister Gibb, just to be clear, I don’t think you should do anything you are not comfortable doing. But from a logical standpoint, the older you are the more likely you are to be hospitalized or harmed from COVID. The vaccines do increase your antibodies and provide protection. Should you take it? That is completely up to you. My dad (82) took the vaccine and has been fine. My mom (78) did not take the vaccine and has been fine. She has no plan to be vaccinated. Just FYI.
Here are some of the primary conspiracists spreading the propaganda.
I disagree that the jab does anything useful!! But can fo great harm!!
Just watched for the first time tonight the movie Conspiracy (2001).
“We control events better when we control opinion.”
Regarding the church’s claims on the vaccine, they looked at the data and accurately concluded that the vaccines are effective at preventing severe disease or death. They never said anything about infection or sickness. Interesting considering that statement was made in the early stage of the vaccine when many claimed it was as good or better than natural immunity (some still do). But the church was correct in their assessment, it appears that the horizon for that effectiveness is not as long as any hoped and the studies couldn’t have shown that (or were manipulated).
But the church, it seems, does not ever call out big conspiracies. Why? Because the church is focused on Christ. If Pres. Nelson argued against pharmaceutical companies, suddenly that’s the focal point and contention will revolve around that. He says to focus on Christ, and submitt to the worldly authorities as He did.
Further the letter said this pandemic ends when most people are immunized. That’s vaccine based and natural based. If you’re immune, you’re immune. No vax needed. If you’re not immune, get the vaccine to prevent severe disease and death.
It’s not controversial. It’s only any issue for people who think everything the prophets says has to be implemented in a narrowly construed way with no nuance or adaptation.
I will say that when the vaccine walls finally fall; and like the walls of Jerusalem or the Kirtland Safety society, which was anything but safe, then many will be lost wandering down strange roads. This vaccine will end poorly as immune systems are eventually degraded and left helpless to variants.