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Conspire This!

Psychic Vibrations

Robert Sheaffer

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 25.6, November / December 2001

On most days, the Santa Clara Convention Center, adjacent to the Santa Clara Westin Hotel and the Technology Mart, is abuzz with the schmoozing of high-tech millionaires, former millionaires, and wannabe-millionaires. But for two days of the Memorial Day weekend, it served as the world headquarters to a little-known resistance movement: the forces (such as they were) that had assembled to oppose the machinations of the Illuminati, the New World Order, MK Ultra, and numerous other shadowy organizations, some of which may even exist.

Paranoia was the mantra, and the late-night radio talk show maven Art Bell the high priest. The world in which these people live is a truly frightening place. Mind control assaults us, and chemtrails poison us from above. Supposedly health-giving vaccines are deliberately poisoned, the energy crisis is a sinister fraud, and even microwave ovens are dangerous. Worst of all, some shadowy, sinister group is doing everything for its own selfish gain.

Mark Philips and Cathy O'Brien started the conference with a bang, giving their talks on MK-Ultra Mind Control (see Philips told how this type of sinister mind control was first studied, then perfected, by the Third Reich under the direct orders of Hitler. The Nazis found that it was possible to create robotlike people with superhuman powers using a sinister program of early childhood sexual abuse. Not only would these people obey orders unquestioningly, they developed “forty-four times” visual acuity. After the war, ex-Nazi psychiatrists and psychologists came to the U.S. to work for the CIA, where the evil work continued. O'Brien explained that she was one of those unfortunate victims. Her father, who allegedly had abused her since infancy, cooperated with congressman (and future president) Gerald Ford and the governor of Michigan to deliver her up to the MK-Ultra Mind Control group. Her “owner” within this group was a still-prominent U.S. senator. She was controlled on a day-to-day basis by the “harmonics” in the music she was given to listen to, and by TV shows she was made to watch, such as Disney programs and the Wizard of Oz, which contained subliminal messages.

She explained that “my sexuality had been enhanced,” a statement that did not inspire disbelief. She had allegedly spent years as a robotic sex slave for the conspiracy. Nobody asked her if she had developed forty-four times visual acuity. Mark saved her in 1988, and just in the nick of time, because at age thirty the conspiracy was preparing her for “elimination.” Around that age, you see, mind controlees begin to spontaneously recover the “repressed” memories of their abuse, and so they are pre-programmed for self-destruction. Nothing so dramatic as a cyanide capsule is needed: MK-Ultra programs into its victims a capability to go into “respiratory failure” upon receiving the proper signal. Fortunately, Mark rescued her and whisked her off to safety in Alaska. Apparently Alaska is so far away that even MK-Ultra couldn't find her.

After those exciting talks, William Lyne was a big disappointment. He was supposed to talk about “Tesla’s Secret Technologies and Government Suppression,” but he rambled on about a lot of things, mostly about himself. He claims to have led an extremely exciting life, encountering government agents at every turn, who were responsible for things happening to him that might otherwise be interpreted as failures, such as losing a job, his wife leaving, or getting booted out of the armed forces. He says he discovered a Soviet spy ring running the career counseling office at the Lackland Air Force base in Texas. One would have expected that a Soviet spy ring would have concentrated on getting information on weapons and codes, but they apparently thought they could do more damage to U.S. interests by misdirecting Air Force enlistees into inappropriate training programs. However, Lyne’s brilliant discovery upset General Curtis LeMay, who feared that if word leaked out it could endanger Eisenhower’s re-election. This led to Lyne being booted out of the Air Force.

Lyne was the first to find out about the Soviet missiles in Cuba and he warned the CIA, but they didn't tell JFK about it until six months later. He “predicted” the assassination of JFK as soon as he saw the motorcade route in the newspaper the day before. He had met Oswald, who was working for the CIA and was “robotic.” Oswald was actually a right-winger and not a Marxist. One thing Lyne did not spell out was whether or not he believes that Oswald actually did kill Kennedy. If so, he must have been the only person there (besides me) who did. As for Tesla, all we learned was that some Nazi U-boats were powered by Tesla devices, a fact confirmed by a man who claimed to have been a Nazi U-boat commander. We also learned that the real reason that Rommel’s Afrika Korps went into the desert was not to fight the British, but actually to test a neutron bomb. Apparently to test such a thing requires entire armies and thousands of armored vehicles, rather than just a few key scientists and technicians.

Jordan Maxwell (see is a jolly sort of fellow who uses simple, folksy arguments to reach startling conclusions. He informed us that we Americans are still living under a system of government and religion that is “Druidic” in origin, and we are still being ruled by England. All of our law is based on maritime admiralty law. Because you were born from the water breaking in your mother’s womb, under maritime admiralty law this makes you a maritime “product.” We think we are American citizens, but in reality all of us “belong” (literally) to the United States, which is a foreign-owned corporation set up in 1868. When your mother signed your birth certificate, this gave ownership of you to the U.S. corporation. Our birth certificates are traded on the stock exchange, where they serve as collateral for the U.S. corporation’s loans from international bankers. (It’s odd, I have looked at many stock quotes over the years, but have yet to see my birth certificate listed.) Originally sold for $630,000, our birth certificates are now worth more than $1 million each. If you look at your name as it appears on official documents, you will find that it is always in capital letters, just like the letters on a tombstone. This indicates that you are dead, under the law: you belong to them.

There is a way to remedy this, of course, and “repatriate” yourself to become a citizen of “America” instead of a product belonging to the “United States.” You can also get your true name back, using both uppercase and lowercase letters. Among the advantages will be that you do not have to pay income taxes, and are no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the courts. Maxwell and his pals can help you to do this, but (as did not come out until the second day) it’s going to cost you. His “repatriation” package sells for a mere $995. A “mortgage cancellation” package costs $1,200, a true bargain considering the size of mortgages here in California. But not all his services are so expensive. Monetary judgments can be set aside for a mere $125.

Dubious etymology is a specialty of Maxwell’s. For example, the Christian worship of God’s “son,” who is risen, is clearly derived from Roman worship of the “sun,” which rises each morning. Son-sun, he repeats, it’s obvious. (Can his audience truly be so simplistic to believe that these words would sound the same to speakers of Latin, Greek, or Hebrew?) “Christ” is really “cristo” or “crisco,” which means “oil,” not anointed. The “Lord,” originally spelled “Lard,” is simply congealed “crisco.” Passover is when the sun “passes over” the equator which marks the beginning of spring. (According to his resume, Maxwell was an “On-screen Expert and Research Consultant” for the CBS pseudodocumentary series “Ancient Secrets of the Bible.” With “expertise” like his, no wonder that program had the real scholars howling!)

The British conspiracist David Icke (pronounced “Ike”), perhaps the best-known of all the speakers, swaggered out onto the stage, then proceeded to tell a lot of jokes. Eventually moving onto the serious matters, he explained how all hunger and poverty in the world is caused by the conspirators who keep people miserable to promote dependency on them. Multinational corporations are, of course, the cause of poverty in Africa, and not political instability, lack of education, or poor infrastructure.

The Atlantean-Lemurian civilizations were very advanced. Today’s royal bloodlines trace back to them (and indeed much further). The Merovignians, an ancient dynasty, founded Paris, and dug many tunnels and caves under it. One of them was the Pont d'Alma tunnel, where Princess Diana died (although it looks to me suspiciously like an urban traffic underpass of much more recent vintage).

Icke’s most amazing claim is that the bloodlines of Europe’s royal families, which some claim to trace back to a secret union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, are in fact derived from extraterrestrial lizards (see As proof of this, you need only look at the prevalence of gargoyles and dragons on all kinds of royal coats of arms. These people can be recognized by their ability to “shape shift” into reptilian form, then back again.

Cathy O'Brien claimed to have seen, during her days as a robotic White House sex slave, George Bush do a “lizard projection” using “harmonics.” Icke claims that the Illuminati lizards need to maintain a vast, global network of satanic cults to perform human sacrifice, sexual molestation, and cannibalism. He explains on his Web site that “to hold their human form, these entities need to drink human (mammalian) blood and access the energy it contains to maintain their DNA codes in their 'human' expression. If they don't, they manifest their reptilian codes and we would all see what they really look like. . . . From what I understand from former 'insiders,' the blood (energy) of babies and small children is the most effective for this, as are blond-haired, blue-eyed people.”

William Thomas, who spoke on “Responding to the Chemtrails Threat” (see, is the archetype of what a conspiracy theorist is expected to be like. Unlike many of the other speakers his mannerisms are paranoid and intense, his humor wry and unintended. (Maxwell’s delivery had been so light that I seriously wondered if his presentation was entirely farce, although the audience surely didn't think that. However, no one will ever question Thomas’ sincerity.) He lamented that his two-and-a-half-year pursuit of the chemtrails has “just about taken over my life, just about ruined my life.”

Thomas got repeated laughter from the audience when, showing slides of broad, flat jet contrails crossing the skies, he recounted the official explanations he had been given that these are just “normal airline operations.” For the benefit of those who cannot tell chemtrails from contrails, he offered the following explanation: contrails are pencil-thin lines that disappear quite soon, usually within one minute: anything else is a chemtrail, which is both sinister and bad for your health. The chemtrail assault upon us was first noted in November 1998, and has been causing sickness ever since. Thomas does not agree with those who say that it’s a deliberate attempt by the U.S. government to poison us. Instead, he suspects it is a massive, covert government operation to delay global warming by increasing the amount of sunlight that is reflected back into space. (According to a ten-year study by the French climatologist Olivier Boucher, not only do jet contrails sometimes seed the growth of cirrus clouds that can grow to enormous size, but they appear to increase global temperatures by trapping in reradiated heat. See “Air traffic may increase cirrus cloudiness,” Nature 397:30, 7 January 1999). Unfortunately, the aluminum oxide that is allegedly being sprayed has bad health consequences: the particles are causing huge colonies all kinds of bad bacteria, molds, fungi, etc. to precipitate down from the upper regions (where they presumably cavort happily unless disturbed, subsisting on nothing but plain air). Thus people are getting sick wherever chemtrails are seen. “Basically, Chicken Little was right.”

Dr. Leonard Horowitz is an anti-vaccination activist who spoke on “The Toxic Warfare Against Humanity” (see He explained how vaccines are deliberately contaminated by the Rockefeller-Windsor-Bush cabal, who not only make money selling the killer vaccines, but also off the medical treatments resulting from the diseases the vaccines create. The Rockefellers have invented the American medical monopoly, the cancer industry, and eugenics. The Rockefellers control the Alfred P. Sloan philanthropic foundation, which has created many viruses, including AIDS. The Rockefellers are trying to slowly poison us to reduce the population, making profits all the way. The recent West Nile Virus outbreak in the U.S. was a hoax, concocted to sell vaccines. Alzheimer’s patients are actually suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of Mad Cow disease. The bacteria E. coli is being genetically engineered by the CIA to create killer germs. Wherever WASP-directed capitalism goes, there also goes genocide.

Horowitz takes very seriously the “Report from Iron Mountain” with its claims of a secret government plot to perpetuate war. But this “document” is actually a hoax, as its author has confessed: see Unlike many of the other speakers, Horowitz, a “Jew for Jesus,” is very religious, his talk interspersed with prayer making him sound much like a revivalist. (Most of the other speakers were quite hostile toward organized religion, viewing it as part of the conspiracy.) Today, he warns, vaccine-induced diseases are fulfilling the dreadful prophecies from the Book of Revelations.

Surprisingly, it never was decided just who is to blame for the mess we are in. The favorite villains were the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Bilderberger network, the Illuminati, the CIA, and according to at least some of the literature being promoted, the Jews. There are also international bankers, the British royal family, Jesuits, multinational corporations, and all the speakers’ favorite villains, the Republicans, especially George Bush the elder, who is imagined to have secretly been running the country for decades. Of course, if he were really as powerful as all that, it seems he would have at least engineered his own re-election, let alone arrange a better than razor-thin electoral college victory for his son and heir.

"Alternative medicine” seems part and parcel of conspiracy claims, here and elsewhere. The speakers and the literature tables refer endlessly to conspiracies promulgated by organized medicine, and I heard a number of people complain about conditions not recognized by mainstream medicine. Conspiracy apparently cannot thrive without hypochondria-presumably those who feel healthy do not look around for someone to blame for their condition, and those who are genuinely sick realize that nobody conspired to create their illness.

As it happened, the conference facility was being shared with the Northern California Conference of Charismatic Catholics. During the breaks, I could hear some people talking about messages they received from the Lord, while others told of receiving threats from the CIA. The Charismatic conference, by the way, had a much greater attendance.

Robert Sheaffer

Robert Sheaffer's "Psychic Vibrations" column has appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer for the past thirty years. He is also author of UFO Sightings: The Evidence (Prometheus 1998). He blogs at