There seems to be good evidence that pro-Russian conspiracy theorists often utilize what I call “weaponized suicide”. As I think of it in ‘information warfare’, it is not like someone who walks into a crowded market with a bomb vest and detonates it. It is rather how actual suicides of controversial figures associated with sex crimes can be turned into populist conspiracy narratives which undermine the political establishment (in this case, the US government).
I think these kinds of conspiracies have interesting features to discuss because the ones I’ve observed affect both ‘left’ and ‘right’ political conspiracism. This is the kind of ‘divide and conquer’ or ‘schizowarfare‘ approach to conspiracy I often observe with Russia and their useful idiots.
Although I suppose this theoretical tactic of weaponized suicide would not be limited to an association with sex crimes (such as the case of Vince Foster, which would be more associated with financial conspiracy), perhaps in a Freudian sense in the modern day, the sex-linked conspiracies have better potential for mainstream virality and mass-appeal.
Here, I’ll touch on three examples, two of which I have previously written on. 1.) The case of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called DC Madame, 2.) the case of Anthony Bourdain, and 3.) the case of Jeffrey Epstein.
The Konami game company’s Metal Gear games are awesome. They’re kind of the reason I was thinking of impractical doomsday weapons the other day which Russia might create to terrorize earth. The name ‘Metal Gear’ is referential to a nuclear-powered walking battle tank which forms a core story element in the games. The games are notable for their visionary takes on the information age, weaponized genetics, and military technology; built on a foundation of great gameplay, visuals, and music. But they are also rife with crazy conspiracy theories.
By the time you complete playing a Metal Gear game, you probably: 1. feel like a badass, but 2. may be convinced that series creator Hideo Kojima is something of a mad genius. Maybe you might even go a little crazy.
After giving up on trying to integrate some Metal Gear music into the blog yesterday, this morning I coincidentally Googled ‘metal gear russia‘ and was surprised to see that the top results referenced June 2019 stories about Russian Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kartapolov who told a Duma panel that [translation]:
“The American intelligence agencies are widely implementing projects on the Internet, such as Graphics, Metal Gear, Echo of the Runet, aimed at directly manipulating the public consciousness and above all young people… A number of programs are being implemented aimed at creating active protest activity and dissatisfaction among the authorities of the country among young people“.
This is a bit of a silly post, and I guess it would be foolish to underestimate the bounds of human poor judgement when applied to weapons system design. That being said, to me, all the Russian weapons like hypersonic nuclear cruise missiles, megabombs, pollution-causing tsunami torpedoes, and earthquake weapons seem like something a little boy in the 5th grade would dream up. So I do have it on good authority that the next major innovative weapons system chosen for development as the result of the national Russia Weapon Design Bureau Competition is the:
Great Patriotic Shark Atomic Bomb Cannon Entering Service 2028 Designed by Alexei, Age 11, Krasnoyarsk
Runners up (which may still be considered for future development) were announced as:
Giant Robot Dinosaur (with Laser)
AIDS Gas Cloud Printer
Nuclear Bomb Teleporter
Asteroid Tractor Beam
On some level I have a hard time believing this stuff even exists; and even if it does you’re better off pretending it doesn’t.
I couldn’t use the first two graphics on this page in a recent paper I completed due to space limitations. However, I think they are useful for highlighting the correspondence between Nostradamus conspiracies and Papal issues and how they may be perceived in primarily Catholic countries. Each of these was made from a 5 day average of CSV files downloaded from Google Trends. (Although there tends to be quite a good amount of variability in the reported proportions of day to day samples, the ranks don’t change so much, so I just stuck with those. )
Compare with the first 9 months of 2019. There is no ‘aftershock’ in Nostradamus interest corresponding to a second event (the naming of a new Pope in the prior 2005 and 2013 examples). Also note specifically how North Macedonia corresponded to an apparent disinformation operation directed at the Pope which may coincide with Russian Orthodox Nationalist ideas (and how that attack may have been launched from Serbia).
There may not be a connection but I think it is worth noting that the “shape” of the 2019 spike is more similar to the 2010 spike related to the Polish government crash at Smolensk than the 2005 or 2013 spikes related to the Papal issues. This may be significant to the Catholic theme in as much that Russian Nationalists may have hostile feelings towards Poland as the result of perceived historical trespasses and its status as a Catholic Slavic nation which is counter to ideas of ‘pan-Slavic’ Orthodoxy.
Steve Lazarides, my top suspect for the true identity of Banksy – who ironically has made a fortune through a capitalist commodification of a communist propaganda aesthetic (and populist political sentiment) – has been in the news again.
In the course of writing a conference paper, I accidentally found another surprising example of Nostradamus disinformation. In this case, I was reviewing 2019 Google Trends data (looking for Nostradamus interest related to the Notre Dame fire – or expecting to find that anyway) and found that North Macedonia was one of the highest areas for Nostradamus interest in 2019.
The biggest worldwide spike in Nostradamus interest since November 2016 (any guesses on Russian active measures centered on November 2016?) occurred following the Notre Dame fire on April 15, 2019. However, unlike most other regions which spiked in interest in mid-April, the North Macedonian spike occurred in early May. It seems to have been directly tied to Pope Francis’ visit to North Macedonia and Bulgaria and included an implicit assassination ‘threat’.
Once again, my self-imposed moratorium on Nostradamus conspiracy writing has failed, and on that note, I am back with another post touching on Nostradamus conspiracies as they relate to Russian active measures and Third Rome-style apocalypticism.
Today however, moving away from the Notre Dame fire, I am going to write a bit about the conspiracy theories which surrounded the April 26, 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, which also occur within the context of Third Rome. I was intrigued to see that in an article about the new HBO-Sky Atlantic show: Chernobyl, that one of the actors (a Brit)recalled a conspiracy theory about Nostradamus predicting the disaster that had circulated in 1986.
“There was a weird conspiracy theory about Nostradamus. Something to do with ‘Wormwood’. Apparently it translated into Russian somehow and [Nostradamus] predicted it. People come up with all sorts of crazy things when things like that happen.” – Jared Harris, Actor
From RT, to Veterans Today, to Infowars, to GlobalResearch, to UNZ, to the network of Mark Lane-connected L. Fletcher Prouty, and no doubt many lesser known outlets for conspiracism – there is a clear trend which emerges of information warfare around TWA Flight 800 that is connected to an Iranian and Russian/Soviet disinformation legacy. Despite their variations, in all cases, these narratives seem to be calculated to diminish faith and trust in the US government.
Perhaps the best place to start to explain this rationale is by demonstrating Russian proxy Iran’s semi-transparent motivations for creating a controversy around the TWA flight 800 disaster, which can be most plausibly found in reciprocation for the 1988 shootdown of Iran Air flight 655 on July 3, 1988 by the USS Vincennes cruiser. The US Navy ship mistakenly shot down an Iranian civilian Airbus A300 airliner from within Iran’s territorial waters in a case of mistaken identity, resulting in the deaths of 290 passengers – a majority of them Iranian. In Iran, this action had significant propaganda value and it has been generally portrayed as an intentional act by Americans, although there is little rational evidence to support this perspective.
My research has often relied on the use of webometric data like Google Trends in order to show quantifiable evidence that Nostradamus interest ‘spikes’ during periods of probable Russian Active Measures. (See my most recent and comprehensive report on the subject here.) There have been such spikes during the 9/11 terror attacks (2001), during the April 2010 crisis surrounding the crash of the Polish executive government in Smolensk Russia, during the February-March 2014 Russian invasion of the Ukrainian Crimea, and during the ISIS-fueled Syrian migrant crisis of August-September 2015 in Hungary. All of these events could be correlated to Russian Active Measures operations.
As you can see from the following representation, we are currently in the midst (of a likely subsiding) worldwide spike in Nostradamus interest related to the Notre Dame fire.
Based on what I’ve studied, I’d feel fairly confident to ascertain that Russia is also most likely behind this spike in Nostradamus interest as well. The question is: is Russia just opportunistically capitalizing on the Notre Dame fire?
So my self-imposed ban on Nostradamus writing hasn’t lasted a single posting cycle. (If you haven’t read my recent peer-reviewed report, check it out here.)
In the past week, the tragic fire which severely damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was linked to numerous instances of conspiracy theorizing; especially that it had been a deliberate arson or some kind of Islamist plot. Given France’s recent history of terrorism, such claims had surface plausibility. However, it seems at this time that those rumors are not true; or at least that those who continue to believe they are true will result in having themselves labeled conspiracists.
Interestingly however, the inferno happened to spawn another wave of viral Nostradamus hoaxes which can be traced indirectly to Russian influences.