The Origin Of Conspiracy Theory.

by Jerry Alatalo


Alphabet Professor of Media Studies at NYU Mark Crispin Miller gave a very interesting talk in the past days at the Left Forum in New York City. He describes how the Central Intelligence Agency in 1967 sent a memo to all of its station chiefs worldwide to use propaganda and media connections to discredit anyone disputing the findings of the Warren Commission on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as a “conspiracy theorist”. This was in response to a number of published books which questioned the “lone gunman theory” and became bestsellers. Before 1967, published media reports rarely used the term “conspiracy theorist”, but after that CIA memo Miller argues the derogatory term has become used to shut down credibility of left critiques or discussions of government misbehavior/crimes.

Professor Miller wonders why the left isn’t talking about 9/11, when there is “copious evidence that the official 9/11 story is preposterous.” He wonders “why aren’t we all talking about this, why aren’t the American people talking about this,  and why hasn’t another (9/11) commission been convened?” He shares a woman’s review of a film he appeared in where she discounts his contribution because he is a “9/11 truther”, although the film had nothing to do with the events of September 11, 2001.

Before 2007 and publication of Mr. Miller’s book “Fooled Again” where he makes the case that the 2004 presidential election victory by Bush/Cheney was stolen, Mark Crispin Miller was a regular on TV and radio talk shows. After the book came out, he says that he was effectively blacked out, and the phone became silent from those who invited him for discussions on-air. A friend helped him prepare advertisements for the book on the local National Public Radio affiliate, only to be told “We’re not going to advertise just any book. We wouldn’t publish Mein Kampf“. Miller was “stunned”, especially since the book was taken by a mainstream publisher, and he associated with the publicist of Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

The official truth is the truth, everything else is conspiracy theory

Professor Miller describes use of the conspiracy theorist meme as “the most effective propaganda campaign in American history – maybe even the history of the world”.  Unfortunately, the campaign has resulted in a “profound change in the worldview of the American people”, disrupting a centuries-old American tradition of natural, healthy suspicion of actions taken by powerful government officials, the executive branch,  and wealthy elites. The term conspiracy theorist has become weaponized as means to silence dissent, even though time and time again through history intentional provocations (false flags) were used to initiate wars of aggression.

He shares an exchange between American psychiatrist G.M. Gilbert and Nazi leader Hermann Goring at Nuremburg Prison after Goring was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity:

Gilbert: “In a democracy, the people have some say through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare war”.

Goring: “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders – that’s easy. All you have to do is tell them that they’re being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country”.

British Prime Minister David Cameron compared conspiracy theorists to ISIS at last year’s United Nations General Assembly meeting. French leader Francois Holland compared conspiracy theorists to the Nazis. Mr. Miller believes some people on the left aren’t really leftist, and pointed out that the founder of the influential democratic politics website Daily Kos was trained at the CIA, and refused to allow any editorial posts suggesting election fraud during the 2004 presidential election. The Nation and Progressive magazines have attacked those questioning the official 9/11 Commission Report, while the Nation, Mother Jones and Salon dismissed the analysis in Mark Crispin Miller’s book “Fooled Again”.

Lance deHaven-Smith invented a term for use instead of conspiracy theory: SCAD – State Crime Against Democracy.


“Fooled Again” (2007) by Mark Crispin Miller:

“Conspiracy Theory in America” (2014) by Lance deHaven-Smith:

(Thank you to johnmiglietta at YouTube)

4 thoughts on “The Origin Of Conspiracy Theory.

    1. Stuart,
      Yes, Mr. Miller notes the foundation funding factor as well. Of course, to complicate things and make discernment more difficult, how many alternative media groups send grant proposals to every foundation with the thought that they’ll take money wherever they can find it out of necessity, even though particular foundations aren’t in philosophical alignment. Before reading your comment and the article, was ready to post a Democracy Now segment on Barcelona’s first woman mayor, who really takes it to the bankers during the interview, even speaking of public banking’s importance for the people of Spain. Seems one’s intuition is the only tool to trust, and hope it’s on target in most instances. Did remove Daily Kos from the blogroll after hearing Mr. Miller’s statements.


    1. ASIC,
      Forgot the fellow’s name, but after Cameron compared “conspiracy theorists” to ISIS, a 9/11 researcher showed up at a Britsh police station to surrender. 🙂 It might have been Nick Kollerstrom.. maybe? If governments were decent and totally transparent, they’d give every legitimate man or woman academic who’d earned a doctorate degree to present their “theories” on a government run website. This would facilitate clarity and weed out the whack-jobs plus entail a genuine public service by exposing the truth and criminality, as well as setting citizens, especially young people, straight on facts – helping to eliminate false stories, rumor and concoctions that have serious, possibly dangerous consequences.


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