Are conspiracy theories themselves part of a conspiracy to subvert democratic institutions and national economies for the benefit of a shadowy elite? According to a leading expert, all of the most popular conspiracy theories – many centering on the existence of a shadowy global elite manipulating world affairs from behind the scenes – are actually being disseminated by sinister figures hoping to profit from the uncertainty and chaos they cause by undermining public confidence in governments and institutions. “I’ve been studying these apparently crackpot conspiracies for decades now and seems quite obvious to me that they are part of a long-term plan to completely undermine public confidence in, well, reality itself.,” Bill Flusher, author of the forthcoming book Conspiracy of Conspiracy Theories told The Sleaze. “Let’s not forget, what conspiracy theories are designed to do: to question the veracity of accepted idea or historical event, suggesting that it has actually been fabricated by the establishment in order to hide the ‘real’ truth.” According to Flusher, they do this by highlighting supposed ‘anomalies’ in the accepted truth that somehow undermines that truth. The idea being that by sowing these seeds of doubt in peoples’ minds, they will eventually end up questioning the accepted version of events. In effect, they offer up ‘alternative facts’ in order to establish an ‘alternative truth’.

“The strategy has been to bombard the public with multiple theories which, collectively, undermine the confidence of sections of the public in their governments, schools, medical professionals, the scientific establishment and so on, making them believe that everything they are being told is a lie,” Flusher explains. “Once public trust in these institutions is broken, those behind the theories move in with their ‘alternative facts’, presenting themselves as the ‘true saviours’ of the people, even though their desire for power is entirely self-serving.” The idea that these conspiracy theories are the work of crackpots is, Flusher argues, part of their real creators’ strategy. “By having them initially appear on dodgy, poorly coded websites, they’ve managed to blindside the establishment, who don’t take the theories seriously until it is too late,” he says. “By the time they become aware of the threat being posed, the theory has become entrenched among sections of the public and started to gain credence as it begins to appear in the pages of right-wing tabloids.”

Flusher contends that the ‘Faked Moon Landings’ theory is a classic case in pint. Indeed, he believes that it was used by the elites to test the efficacy of their strategies. “According to the conspiracy theories, despite being established fact, these were in fact faked by the US in order to ‘win’ the space race with the USSR.” he says. “Now, at first, such theories were widely dismissed as being the products of cranks. But, over the decades, these cranks have persisted with their supposed ‘anomalies’ in the evidence of the moon landings’ reality, so that they have seeped into the public conciousness and taken root.” He points out that, over time, their spokesmen infiltrated even the respectable media, always looking and sounding, not like the cranks they were, but like respectable and rational suit wearing types. After a while, the rebuttals of their ‘evidence’ by NASA and other experts start to sound too trite, too glib, because they are unchanging, (because they are true) and, worst of all, because those relating them to the media are part of ‘the establishment’ with vested interests in maintaining the alleged falsehood. “Eventually, we end up with the current situation where we have a significant minority of apparently otherwise rational people who believe that the moon landings were faked, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary,” he opines. “Facts are no longer sufficient to establish truth. Particularly when they are presented by experts.”

When scrutinising conspiracy theories, Flusher believes, the most pertinent question to ask is who would actually benefit from the destabilisation of the institution at the centre of any given theory. “I mean, just look at some of the most popular conspiracy theories, that climate change and global warming are a ‘scam’ on the part of the elites to promote a ‘transnational government’, for instance. Quite obviously, the enactment of environmentally friendly policies would hurt the likes big oil and other carbon fuel producers and other polluting industries – all of them owned by a wealth super elite,” he declares. “Is it any wonder they want to discredit global warming with such theories. The same goes for the theory that banking and political systems are working together in an attempt to disband nation states. Clearly this is aimed at undermining institutions like the EU – and who would benefit from that? Obviously the wealthy elite of currency speculators and owners of industries that find it easier to bully and influence individual states into enacting legislation favourable to them. They fear organisations like the EU that give nations strength in numbers to enforce things like workers rights, taxes, environmental protections and the like.”

Equally significant is the question of who is promulgating these theories, with Flusher highlighting that, increasingly, such theories aren’t being just being pushed by fat buffoons broadcasting from their basements. “Lately we’ve seen public figures like Nigel Farage promoting the sort of stuff you’d ordinarily associate with the likes of Alex Jones and InfoWars,” he says. “Now, Farage might well be seen as some kind of right-wing buffoon by the UK establishment, but in many other places he is seen as a legitimate politician and the ‘brains’ behind Brexit.” Significantly, Flusher believes, Farage himself is a former finance industry figure and, as such, has a vested interest in undermining existing political and financial institutions. “He represents the ‘chaos capitalists’, the speculators and chancers behind hedge funds who believe that they can make money from the increased uncertainty in the markets that destabilising the EU and banking systems would engender,” Flusher argues. “Is it any wonder, then, that he has started pushing these conspiracy theories? He’s part of those elites, with his private education and city background, that he claims to despise” Ultimately, Flusher’s book contends, that is the master stroke of those behind the ‘Conspiracy of Conspiracy Theories’ – that they manage to hide in plain sight, pretending to be ‘common sense, ordinary guy populists’, setting themselves against an elite of which they are themselves actually members.