Conspiracies: April 2007 Archives

April 30, 2007

More Virginia Tech conspiracies

United States: More and more conspiracy theorists have been hard at work coming up with their interpretation of the Virginia Tech shootings. After all, mentally ill person goes over the edge is far too simple to be the Truth. Salvador Astucia even manages to link it in with dead Wiccan soldiers being allowed to have a symbol of their religion on their gravestones.

There appears to be a great deal of occult activity in the Roanoke/Blacksburg area of Virginia... Have the police investigated the possibility that the slayings may have been ritualistic killings associated with satanic cults? Were any of the victims or their friends followers of Wicca, which is another term for witchcraft?...

Why did the Bush Administration endorse witchcraft within the military shortly after the slayings? Unbelievable as it sounds, the Bush Administration suddenly recognized Wicca (witchcraft) as a religion within the military less than one week after the Virginia Tech slayings... How is it possible that a conservative Republican and born-again Christian like George W. Bush would suddenly allow witchcraft to be a bona fide religion within the U.S. military? This happened just a few days after Bush spoke to students, faculty members, friends and relatives of shooting victims at Virginia Tech. If the situation weren't so tragic, it would make a funny comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live. I can just picture a Bush imitator saying, You young people have endured a great tragedy, and in times like this, we need to look to the Lord for guidance. And if that doesn't work, try witchcraft! This is unreal. Is it possible the Bush Administration's capitulation on Wiccans in the military was a quid pro quo of some sort–a payment to the true killers?

Of course, this particular hypothesis ignores the fact that there have been Wiccan (and, gasp, even Satanist) military chaplains in the US forces for about 20 years now.

Not so much a conspiracy theory, and more like hate speech aimed at an already demonised minority group, one of the American tabloids has decided that Cho did it because he was a poof. Of course, it makes complete sense! Pooves always go around stalking and harassing women to have sex with them.

April 21, 2007

Evolution of a conspiracy

United States: The Virginia Tech shootings have given us an interesting insight into the way conspiracy theories, and other alternative viewpoints, develop.

On April 18th, Debbie Schlussel posted a picture she'd found on Flickr to her blog. It showed a young Korean man with glasses who bears no other resemblance to Cho Seung Hui, except that his name is Cho Seung Hoo - which apparently is quite different to a Korean. The young man is a computing teacher in Indonesia, and a Christian, and took the name Ismail while there because it's easier for the locals to pronounce. The picture showed him with this name written on his arm.

Schlussel suggested that this picture was of the murderer and that he was some kind of Islamist terrorist. When it was pointed out that this was not Cho Seung Hui, but a very different man living on the other side of the world, she took the post down, replacing it with an explanation this is not the guy, so I'm removing it. The photographer's explanation can be found near the bottom of this Boing Boing post. A less polite version of events can be found at The Agitator.

Anyway, case closed. Mistaken identity, everything's in the clear now, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, some people did not see the correction, and the story took off, fuelled by some good old-fashioned ethnic and religious hatred.

There are many theories being proposed as to the meaning of the words—ISMAIL AX found written in red ink on the inside of one of Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old senior's arms, the gunman suspected of carrying out the Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 people dead. [The Followers of ISMAIL, David Johnsson]

A story that he put the name A. Ishmael on the package he sent to NBC and scrawled the name on his own arm just adds to the confusion, though the Daily Mirror did point out some explanations for the name, including one that makes more sense for an English student:

DERANGED Cho Seung-Hui may have seen himself as the lonely Ishmael character from the classic 19th century novel Moby Dick...

The novel by Herman Melville describes the voyage of a ship as it hunts for the great whale Moby Dick. The narrator introduces himself saying Call me Ishmael.

He tells the reader of his feeling of alienation from human society. Another theory is that Cho's reference is from the Bible. Ishmael was the son of the prophet Abraham.

We've already noted that Cho was clearly inspired by the Bible. Also, on the night the video was released, BBC News 24 reported that it included anti-Islam hate speech (no link, alas, but it was repeated during the non-stop coverage the channel was giving to the story) But the loons are still in denial, desperately trying to find some link to Islam, and heavily promoting the idea that he was a Muslim. The American Muslim explains, and also notes the hypocrisy that, these days, any criminal who might be Muslim is considered to be a terrorist:

Yet, the speculation over whether Cho had any connections to Islam continued because of the words Ismael Ax that were tattooed on one of his arms. What do these words mean? In the April 18 edition of the Chicago Tribune, Eric Benderoff wrote: In Islam, Ibrahim is the father of the prophets and, upset that people in his hometown still worshiped idols and not Allah, he smashed all but one statue in a local temple with an ax. Ibrahim's son is Ismail, who also became a prophet. He continued, This theory picked up speed because many bloggers wondered if the actions at Virginia Tech could be related to terrorism.

Once again, because of extremely dubious connections to Islam, Poof!...Cho Seung Hui becomes a terrorist. Once again, the moment someone who is Muslim commits a crime, it automatically becomes an act of terrorism. Never mind that Muslims, too, can be simple criminals and not lone jihadists ready to die (and kill) for Allah.

April 18, 2007

Irregular round up

Feeling lazy again. Here are some recent stories I missed:

  • Three Central American governments have banned a man claiming to be the Antichrist from entering their countries. Wear pants, Pope, says banned 'Antichrist', 15th April 2007.
  • A fight between nuns has ended with two injuries and two arrests. The violence broke out between two rival factions residing in a convent in Avdellero, Cyprus.. Nuns come to blows over rights to conventEkklesia, 17th April 2007.
  • Three people have been killed at a publishing house in Turkey that produced bibles, in an apparent attack on the country's Christian minority.. Three killed at Turkish publisherBBC News, 18th April 2007.
  • We have a problem with teenage Goths who go into graveyards at night. Vandals cause £15,000 of damage to two famous capital graveyardsThe Herald, April 2007. Other newspapers blame generic bored, pissed teenagers, rather than those who would simply wallow pretentiously in the dark romance of the graveyards.
  • Disappointment as pundits unable to blame massacre on goths. Trench Coat Mafias, Loners and GunsHuffington Post, 17th April 2007. (and not much sign that we'll have to start a Great Virginia Tech Conspiracy List, either. Oh no, I spoke too soon.)
  • European newspapers are ... implying that Charlton Heston is indirectly responsible for the scope of the killings.. Blaming Charlton Hestonalt.politics.republicans, 17th April 2007.
  • Virginia Tech assassin alive?alt.conspiracy, 17th April 2007.
  • Was VT Mass Murderer Cho Taking Paxil Anti-Depressant?alt.true-crime, 18th April 2007.
  • Early details about the horrific school shooting at Virginia Tech strongly indicate that these events represent a Columbine-style black- op that will be exploited in the coming days to push for mass gun control and further turning our schools into prisons.. Virginia School Shooting: Another Government Black-Op?alt.conspiracy, 16th April 2007.
  • We live in an era when public high schools and colleges have all but banned God from science classes. In these classrooms, students are taught that the whole universe, including plants and animals—and humans—arose by natural processes. Naturalism (in essence, atheism) has become the religion of the day and has become the foundation of the education system (and Western culture as a whole). The more such a philosophy permeates the culture, the more we would expect to see a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness that pervades people's thinking.. How Could a Loving God ... ?Answers in Genesis, 16th April 2007.

April 2, 2007


England: There are some stories I wish were April Fools' Day jokes, but this one is dated 2nd April, so it can't be:

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Government backed study has revealed.

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

I am lost for words.

Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending MuslimsLondon Evening Standard, 2nd April 2007.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Conspiracies category from April 2007.

Conspiracies: March 2007 is the previous archive.

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