Wednesday, October 29, 2008

D'oh! to "Our wacky, outrageous, factually-bereft beliefs should never be confused with their wacky, outrageous, factually bereft beliefs!"

Scholars for 9-11 Truth & Justice Misrepresented in Draft Bill Sent to 8 House Members

Contact: Victoria Ashley, STJ911 committee member
Phone: 510-769-5109

Scholars for 9-11 Truth & Justice Misrepresented in Draft Bill Sent to 8 House Members

Berkeley, CA, October 22, 2008
-- On October 18, 2008, an OpEdNews article titled, "8 House Members View Draft Bill on Independent Science/Tech Probe of WTC 1, 2, 7 Collapses," was published by four members of the group Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice ( The authors of the article and draft bill are not spokespersons for Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice, and therefore are individually responsible for it.

Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice does not endorse the draft bill due to the inclusion of numerous unscientific claims and misrepresentations, and condemns in the strongest of terms any associations between the organization and the claims presented by the authors of this bill. As stated at the front page of their website, Scholars for 9-11 Truth and Justice "take[s] care to present the strongest, most credible research available..." [Editor's note: *Hysterical laughter*]

While in agreement with the authors of this bill that a new investigation into the tragic events of September 11, 2001 is warranted, representatives of the Scholars group note that the draft bill and article lack basic scientific rigor and credibility, with statements such as, "the entire WTC [complex] was destroyed by directed energy weaponry (DEW)," and the ideas that "nuclear materials, missiles or DEW weapons were used." The sister publication of the Scholars group, The Journal of 9/11 Studies (, has numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles refuting such claims. [Sic; a "Letter" and an "article" are different things, and we've only seen one that has been since refuted]

Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice believes that a much better bill can be crafted using the strong analysis in articles by its members, several of which are recently published in scientific journals, including The Open Civil Engineering Journal, The Environmentalist, and the Journal of Engineering Mechanics.[Editor's note: This is actually one article published twice, besides the now-infamous Letter. Read it, and try and see if you can find out what exactly it has to do with 9/11 denier theories. When you fail, try to figure out why these guys deliberately weaseled their own theories out of existence to get published]

Kevin Ryan, a former Underwriters Laboratories (UL) manager who was fired in 2004 for publicly questioning the NIST report [sic], and a committee member of the Scholars' group, says the bill is harmful to the cause of exposing the truth. "Basically," he said, "asking Congress to investigate many poorly defined, and highly implausible hypotheses minimizes the chances that Congress would be willing or able to investigate the actual evidence for the demolition of three WTC buildings." In fact, the bill also omits any mention of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee, which provided hundreds of questions left unanswered by the 9/11 Commission [sic].

Scholars' member Dr. Steven E. Jones, a Professor of Physics, also notes that statements attributed to him in the bill are "errors . . . misrepresenting my published statements." Dr. Jones goes on to say, "It is unacceptable to misrepresent my views, as is done in this document by Ellis et al., and to ignore my published technical papers in established journals."

Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice is a non-partisan organization of over 500 independent researchers [sic, probably]analyzing the September 11, 2001 attacks with a strong emphasis on the scientific method.

I'm reminded vaguely of listening to a famous argument between two effete anarchist pseudo-intellectuals wherein both parties spend the entire evening shouting about the trivial, minute, hair-thin differences between anarchists/anarcho-syndicalists/anarcho-pacifists/anarcho-capitalists/anarcho-left-libertarians/autarchists/crypto-anarchists/anarcha-feminists/green anarchists/primitivists/insurrectionists/Christian anarchists/panarchists/autonomists/DIYs/Makhonivists/infoanarchists/paleolibertarians/agorists/consequentialists/deontologists/geolibertarians/minarchists/neolibertarians/propertarianists/voluntarists/Objectivists/civil libertarians/Constitutionalists/libertarian conservatives/thick and thinnists and ultra-liberals. Though I suppose that giving them even the "pseudo-" would be a bit of a stretch.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who's ready for some facepalm?

So they've proven they aren't good at argumentation, logic, reasoning, PowerPoint, or any of the other fundamentals of intellectual life.

And now it seems has presented the pinnacle of terrible, obnoxious, squeaky, grainy, proof that 9/11 deniers have even less creative talent than intellectual talent. Presenting what we here would (like to call "My First Conspiracy Theory Video," made by someone who probably has a YouTube account that includes one of the following phrases in its name: "Ron Paul," "Illuminati Killer," or "Ganja4LYFE." Just a guess.

We here at CRNU usually don't like to give Troofers the trackback time of day, but in this case, we're pretty sure that this is going to scare off and horrify more people than it inspires (though that's circumspect given what we know about the opposition). Are we having bursting capillaries yet?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Are there any 9/11 deniers who are not closet racists?

So there's this guy, these guys and these ones as well.

Taking a quick look around the other side you see these guys, people like this (yeah, that's the eugenics guy, who also routinely makes racist statements about both Jews and Muslims, whom he considers to be all "one race") and people like this who make YouTube videos like these.


...And they cry and whine about being "dismissed" when shown their own words.

When you're asked to show your evidence for your pet theory, and your reply is that "Philip Zelikow is a Jew," that is a racist statement. When your argument against the bailout bill is that it gives more power to "the Jew Banksters," sorry, you're a racist. When you argue that 9/11 was an inside job because it "helped Israel," you're at the very least race-baiting.

And if you're going to argue that water fluoridation is a mind-control conspiracy and that the government kidnaps children to push RFID technology, don't whine about not being taken seriously. You're a credulous, gullible dupe who has sold out every ounce of your reason and your skepticism to a growing army of t-shirt and DVD peddlers looking to make a quick buck.

If you are or act even close to any of these people, sorry, you've surrendered your ability to think and, hence, your right to be taken seriously.

Friday, October 17, 2008

“Top 25 Most Censored Stories” actually appeared in almost every conceivable mainstream media outlet

I often speculate about “the Kristol Effect:” the idea that, if FOX News’s talking head Bill Kristol makes a prediction, you may be safe a statistically significant number of times by guessing that the exact opposite of what he says will occur. His worldview is so routinely wrong that one is only half-joking when one says that he would be a good predictor of how fantastically victorious one side is in a war by his boasting about the overwhelming success of the other side.

This effect appears to be replicable over at Either via common sense or by perusing this Blog one can get a good feel for the fact that the people running are either stunningly incompetent or deliberately fraudulent, or both, with few acceptable answers besides. Even when they’re reporting on someone else’s story, it seems, they manage to tell the most bald-faced and obvious lies on their behalf. Their latest concerns “The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2007-08,” which they describe thus:

Project Censored, the media research group at Sonoma State University (SSU), has just released it's annual report on the top stories that didn't make the corporate mainstream news from the past year. The book is published by Seven Stories Press. Censored 2009, edited by director Dr. Peter Phillips with Dr. Andrew Roth, exposes the major stories Americans should know and care about that the "free press" just doesn't deliver.

Lets go down through the first three in the list, typing their own version of the headlines into a Google search, and see where these “censored” stories that “didn’t make the corporate mainstream news” can be found:

• #1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
The LA Times, The Guardian, Reuters, CNN

• # 2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
CNN, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post
• # 3 InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
CNN, ABC News, Washington Business Journal

It’s also important to note that many of their headlines are simply inaccurate. Number twenty-three, “FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs,” is untrue, even as their own version of events shows:

Claiming lack of funds and resources necessary to impose effective regulations on drug marketing, the FDA is asking Congress to charge drug companies fees in order to fund FDA review of advertisements before they go public as part of renewing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA). PDUFA has come under fire from consumer advocates who say it gives the pharmaceutical industry too much leverage over the FDA and has resulted in rushing drugs to market. But the FDA hopes that if Congress approves the plan, it will raise more than $6 million annually through “user fees” to review advertisements.

The FDA does not “push” drugs. In fact, due to the regulatory thoroughness of developing pharmaceutical drugs, on average about fifteen of the twenty-five years or so of a drug’s legal patent are spent in R&D, an implicit measure designed to free up medicine to competition in the generic market. Almost everyone agrees that this is a good system, even the pharmaceutical companies, which get implicit liability safeguards in exchange. Never mind that the 9/11 denier movement is riddled with homeopaths, an unregulated juggernaut of snake-oil peddlers, frauds, and con artists.

The rest range from overt speculation – its piece on one of my favorite politicians despite his disgusting personal life, Elliot Spitzer - to pure alarmism: “NUCLEAR WASTE [might] BE KILLING YOU [but probably isn’t] AS YOU SPEAK! [or not]

What does when it doesn’t have any outright garbage to push on a given day? It digs some up from somebody else!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some sample true believer responses to the “Ring of Power” debunking

Thanks for the overwhelmingly positive responses to the “Ring of Power” bit, everybody – now let’s hear from the other side. Without commentary – as, for most of us, the profoundly paranoid and racist Facebook troller using the pseudonym “Bruce Lee needs no introduction – and as the lunatic from the second conversation’s beliefs are so clearly dissonant with what he ends up professing he believes in addition to the sorts of hysteria presented in “Ring of Power,” I will simply post the conversations for your enjoyment – atrocious spelling and overt racism and all. About halfway down each conversation you can see me starting to play psychologist because I’m literally trying to find out of these people are insane.

The views of the respondents presented here do not represent the views of the authors of this Blog.

Note that in both cases, after cussing me out extensively both of these people end up blocking the thread.


Bruce Lee
October 5 at 8:58pm
The Truth is the truth and you are doing a shitty job at covering it up
You and your Zionist friends will rot in hell

October 5 at 9:10pm
I didn't, but I suspect that whichever of that group's admins did was simply tired of your overt bigotry and the fact that your entire belief system was refuted, yet you refused to engage the facts in any way.

I'd like you to consider the fact that every 9/11 denying, anti-Semitic, anti-Western civilization crony of yours skulked out of our group after you entered. You evidently embarrassed all of them. You're an open racist, a terrible arguer, and a desperate, effete child craving attention from whoever will give it to you. On some fundamental level it is clear that you have weakened your own little cargo cult with your sheer lunacy and the ease with which you were completely refuted.

Enjoy! :D

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 2:45am
Ya right you didn't.

I was exposing you Zionists and you got all pissy cause you worked so hard to try and steer my thoughts on Ring Of Power and you clearly didn't haha

That group was a waist of time anyway.

It Holds me back when i could be exposing the (EXPOSING THE ZIONIST INVOLVEMENT IN 9/11)
Never forget the Zionists Control a lot, including all the Main Media's , Banks , etc in America, including the WTC's that got attacked. Half the World Believes Zionists were behind 9/11.

I know Isaac is a Zionist and i am pretty sure you and your buddies are also.

That Ring Of Power is mostly all truth man from what me and many others think.

You better turn your ways around John

Good Luck Lier

John Ray
October 7 at 10:03am
Congratulations on basically admitting that your entire life philosophy has been refuted. Once again, address the facts, or slink away in shame like the rest of your fellow cultists have.

I honestly don't see the appeal of this movie. As I proved, it deliberately lied to you on literally hundreds of occasions throughout. It insults your intelligence and relies wholly on deceit to push its agenda. Under any other circumstances, were you not so dogmatically inclined, you wouldn't defend this tripe with an ounce of your breath.

And no, I didn't ban you from that group - which has, of course, more than one admin and several officers. Not too difficult to figure out there.

And once again, you're only embarrassing yourself and your fellow cultists with your continued insistence that anyone and everyone who disagrees with you is a "Zionist," which is completely fraudulent. I know you're paranoid and delusional, but now you're just making yourself look, well, dumb. Grow up, and wake up. Without wanting to state the obvious, you're a credulous dupe who believes anything and everything said by anyone who even remotely agrees with you, it appears. Just something to think about. I have given you the facts and you have openly decided to reject the truth in favor of your faith. Good luck to you.


Bruce Lee
October 7 at 2:18pm
Dude get a life man

I believe the truth and you believe the original 9/11 commission report haha.

That report has so many lies and you believe them clearly which means you are among some of the biggest idiots on earth

peace out

John Ray
October 7 at 7:19pm
That's not quite an argument, and you haven't yet been able to provide a single argument to my refutation of Ring of Power, so yes, "peace out" indeed.

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 7:26pm
Report Message

I am not here to ague with you and waist my time with your lies John

Wake up you Zionist

John Ray
October 7 at 7:28pm

Okay, so trying to convince me that all of history is a vast, bizarre, paranoid conspiracy against a mountain of evidence and facts is not "arguing." Right. That would explain many of your habits. Look man, that video is deliberately fraudulent on many occasions and I'm trying to help people like you wake up to that fact. The people who made that Internet vid are simply not honest. Why doesn't that bother you?

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 7:38pm

haha you are soooo brainwashed.

Your evidence lies in the original 9/11 commission report done by Zionists and spouted through their Zionist owned medias.

Any sane person that is caught in the middle, that investigates all this would believe the Zionist involvement before your lies and a Muslim involvement.

Zionists gained everything and nobody can deny that

John Ray
October 7 at 7:40pm

See, telling me that the facts are "brainwashed" (a)isn't an argument and (b)makes you sound incredibly paranoid - as if I didn't know that already.

The facts that I believe can be tested and replicated - as they were, in the case of the NIST models that were carefully assembled by hundreds of independent experts across the public, private, and academic spheres.

Oh, nice cui bono fallacy. It usually helps if its at least true.

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 7:44pm

John we clearly do not see eye to eye so lets leave it at that.

I am the good guy and you are the Zionist supporter bad guy

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 7:44pm


Bruce Lee
October 7 at 7:44pm

don't bother replying

John Ray
October 7 at 7:46pm

Congratulations, you just made yourself a poster child of irrationality, gullibility, and refusal to look at the evidence. You've been lied to and duped by people who want to take advantage of you, and you bought it, hook, line, and sinker. Buh bye.

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 7:59pm

Noooooo you are the one that bought the Zionist lies dip shit.

I know you are a Zionist John. The evidence in all your posts is sooo clear.

You are not Gods chosen people

You Zionists are the scum of the Earth and God will punish you all for your crimes against humanity and the Earth

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 8:00pm

Just get lost

I do not care to hear your lies no more

John Ray
October 7 at 8:03pm

See, now that's the kind of fraud that people spew that makes them just get laughed at. I just gave you a fifty-page document proving that Ring of Power is a deliberate fraud by its makers, who openly insult and lie to you to push their personal agenda. You're a willing dupe, and frankly, that's just shameful.

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 8:09pm

You didn't prove nothing man. I am clearly not gullible like you think.

I do not care if your Zionist friends laugh at me. They are not my friends, they are my enemies clearly if they support lies and evil

Since i posted all the Zionist stuff in your pathetic group 6 people messaged me saying basically they believe Zionists were involved in 9/11 and thanking me for saying the truth. Not many people like you guys i hope you know that.

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 8:10pm

haha good stuff
Between You and Aken Aton

Aken Aton
Add as Friend
Today at 11:18am
Report Message
Seems to me like you are starting to understand the scope of this thing. Soon you will eliminate the word Zionist when you realize this problem has been going on long before that movement was invented. If you haven't read any quotes from the Talmud, you should do so.
[editor’s note: Not sure what the above is doing here:]

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 8:10pm

Above Example

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 8:11pm

You lose i WIN

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 8:11pm


John Ray
October 7 at 8:11pm

You just openly admitted that you buy hook, line and sinker something that is essentially six hours of complete fraud. Then you actively dodge any sort of argument and basically admit that your faith can't be defended against the truth. So far, everything you blindly obey without question and with utter servility has been shown to have absolutely nothing to do with "truth."

Bruce Lee
October 7 at 8:16pm
Report Message

bla bla bla bla

Give up

You can not beat the truth

It is now spreading like wild fire

stop harassing me with your lies please

all i see now is bla bla bla

you lost really bad John

John Ray
October 7 at 8:20pm

How is anything I have said a lie?

Think about why you are both unwilling and unable to answer that question. I hope you'll think about who has convinced you to write and think the way you do, and why. And what level of reasoning goes into it. You know in your heart that the truth is more important than the blind obedience pushed by the people you have willfully adopted faith in because they've told you to.

Also try to think about why you refuse to read contravening information. Think about who has told you not to listen to truth, and why. Think about what it used to be like, when you actually listened to facts and held your own opinions rather than the ones forced on you by those who you wanted to be like. Just try.

Bruce Lee
October 8 at 4:18am


I see the wall is back up haha

Funny how you attack me when i can't defend myself cause i am kicked out of the group cause i busted you Zionist fucks.

You are a worm and thats all you will ever be.

You will get yours one day when i hope you Zionist puke ;)

John Ray
October 8 at 5:47pm

Just to be clear, you attacked me, then messaged me privately just to attack me. And whoever kicked you out is probably as fed up with your overt bigotry as I am.

Like I said, please, try to think for yourself and get all the sides of the issue. Try to think about why you can't support the arguments you've been trained to support in a 1-on-1 setting, and try to remember who it is that trained you to bellow "ZIONIST!" when it becomes clear that the beliefs you're being told to have become indefensible. Try to think back to when you still thought independently, not how the anti-truth crowd taught you how to think, to treat the whole world as your enemy, which is pitiful and sad. Just try to get the facts. Please.

Bruce Lee
October 8 at 7:03pm

Omg you are pathetic

I am showing facts

Not lies like you spread like the original 9/11 commission report or reports done by Zionists spouted all over their corrupt media outlets

Man you can not shake me with your long ass posts full of lies.

I see right through them and your Zionist friends in that group

Bruce Lee
October 8 at 7:08pm

Off to a Different topic cause i clearly exposed your lies and beat your pathetic disinformation game.

What do you think about the VENUS PROJECT?

Jacque Fresco is a great man that you should look up to.

Who do you look up to anyway besides the leaders of the Zionist Mafia?

John Ray
October 8 at 7:15pm

No, you're trying to run away again. You're staying on this topic because I think you're finally starting to realize that you've just been saying what you're trained to say. Do you realize that you haven't made one single factual argument yet? Do you seriously think that bellowing "ZIONIST" is a factual argument? Are you so far gone? What have I said that is a "lie?" According to what evidence? Do you know what evidence is?

There might still be something of an independent, rational mind in there. Try to think back to when evidence still mattered to you. Look past what you've been commanded to say and pressured into believing by conspiracy theorists. Think about facts, think about the real world. I've proved to you that the people who are trying to take away your sense of reality deliberately lied to you and that they want you to just be their unthinking dupe. Break through the propaganda wall. You know perfectly well the vast flaws in their thinking; you've just been obedient enough to their convenient mindset to not do anything about it. Come on. You can do it.

Bruce Lee
October 8 at 7:35pm

lol you are screwed up man.

I am not running from shit. I am just sick of you lying on that topic so i wanted to switch it up to see if you are in favor of the Venus Project to change the whole system for the better of all or to see if your in favor of your Zionist elites pals and the Bilderberg Group etc New World Order plans for us and OUR world.

[Editor’s note: This looks an awful lot like how Scientology got started]

John Ray
October 8 at 8:30pm

You're dodging. Explain to me how, where, and when I lied; specifically, and according to what evidence, did I do so? See? You have absolutely nothing backing up what you've been trained to believe. You're just engaging in knee-jerk rejection of facts because you've spent so long being trained not to listen to reality. You know this as well as I. You've noticed as well as I that you have completely failed to make any argument of any kind. Come on. Explain to yourself why this is so.

Bruce Lee
October 9 at 3:06am

No now you are dodging

John everything i throw at you, all you do is deny it.

I know it is possible to deny some things but you deny everything lol.

You need a good slap in the head man for the way you go around and do what you do. Same goes for those few Zionist losers in that group.

I caught onto you fools and now others see it. To bad you censored me and some of my posts in that group. Just shows who won :). That group is DONE. It was only a matter of time johnny Zionist Ray.

What sealed it was when i researched Zionist Jew names and found out a couple popular Zionist names were the main people spouting off a bunch of shit . That Zionist Isaac in the group was agreeing with everything you said before he even read it. His name was on that Zionist list i pulled off of google you fool and you can not deny that.

When you wrote that pathetic Ring Of Power debunking and he comments saying he agrees with you then he said he never read it all that was a total give away.

You can not trick me John i know you guys too good now to trust anything you say.

You better wake up John

Karma is a bitch

John Ray
October 9 at 10:38am

You've dodged the same challenge I've issued every time: how, when, and where has anything I've said been inaccurate? According to what evidence?

Do you see why you can't answer these questions? "Ring of Power" is indefensible - it's a fraud from top to bottom, as I proved. Think to yourself about why you can't answer these questions - and what mental processes you've trained yourself to have so that you can simply pretend that they don't need to be answered. Think about why you pretend to yourself that everything is alright, that there's no evidence out there, that everything is the kind of paranoid fantasy you obediently believe in because some frauds in an Internet video told you to.

I have shot down the "Zionists control history" hypothesis of "Ring of Power" completely and utterly... and you pretend that nothing happened. You have reached a depth of mental servitude that is tragic and terrifying. The beliefs that you have are based on complete fraud, as I proved - yet you do nothing to challenge your own beliefs.

And by the way, rattling off a list of "Jewish-sounding" last names is not "research."

How, when, and where has anything I've said been inaccurate? According to what evidence?

[Respondent blocks author at this point]
[Editor’s note: The first half of this conversation is no longer available. It took place on this bizarre Facebook group.]
Chris Horlacher
October 9 at 10:25pm
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Banning comments? tsk tsk, I thought free speech was treasured by Americans. Here is your proof, make the effort.

John Ray
October 9 at 10:29pm

Banning comments? I don't have authority to do that on any group where I posted my refutation of Ring of Power and sections of Zeitgeist. Are your comments not allowed on that group? Blame the conspiracy theorists, I guess.

And like I said, I'm not amused by the attempted use of jargon to beef up a failed argument. And, like I already said, I took at look at that pamphlet so you're spinning a broken record.

Address my challenges: explain, in your own words, where, when, and why you think the Fed prints money. Also, explain why you think that disallowing asset spending will not reduce investment from asset spending.

Chris Horlacher
October 9 at 10:59pm
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Why are you afraid of reading through the Federal Reserves own manual on how they make money??? They explain it to you exactly as how I would.

Or are you are a hopeless cause?

John Ray
October 9 at 11:10pm

I just told you that I have. This itself proves the fundamental incoherence of your argument because it demonstrates where and when the Fed prints new money - in response to "the uneving timing of credit demands," etc. - while the sort of pseudotheory you've got going requires there to be a bloat of hard money in the system at all times, which is demonstrably false. And of course this .pdf also points out that banks have lagged reserve banking, not pure "fractional reserve banking," per Fed regulations. You still haven't accounted for the fact that there is no demonstrable relationship between the rate of inflation and the money supply, and you're still running and ducking from having to dare put the facts into your own words.

You're the third conspiracy theorist today to regurgitate the same bunk you've trained yourself to believe to me - and, like clockwork, when pressed to demonstrate a causal mechanism, you simply pretend that nothing happened, that "I'm" the one ducking out of this argument, when all I'm doing is trying to get you to actually have one, because you're not listening to me and it doesn't even appear that you're reading what you write.

That's why I'm challenging you to explain federal monetary policy in your own words: to point out that You Can Not Do It. You haven't the foggiest idea, so you slap out a 40-page .pdf argument, load up your posts with the fallacious use of jargon, and hope that nobody knows any better. As with every other dime-a-dozen, The-Fed-Causes-All-The-World's-Problems wannabe-theorists out there, you can scarcely even spit out a Cliff's Notes version of the Mises Institute's homepage, much less walk any sort of walk. You don't know the underlying principles and you don't know the causal mechanisms, and you're betting on the ol' baffling with BS tactic and it's fallen through every time.

Once again I've been eating this sort of terrible argumentation for breakfast from people who have absolutely no idea what their text-walls are saying, so please, if you aren't going to even pretend you can make an argument, stop wasting my time, there's a line behind you.

Chris Horlacher
October 9 at 11:16pm
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You honestly don't think that the SUPPLY of currency has ANY effect on its value in a marketplace???

Are you delusional?

This is the only thing you're hiding behind!!! Talk about a thin argument!

You ARE a lost cause.

Apparently you're the pseudo-economist here. You haven't even taken first year economics.

John Ray
October 9 at 11:22pm

Number of times you have dodged having to make an argument that a high schooler could make: 7, counting comments on posted items.

As soon as you understand where, when, and why the Fed prints money - and right now it is transparently obvious that you don't - you will understand why the fact that the Fed prints money as it does doesn't make it a significant contributor to inflation. In fact, given the graphs I used earlier to refute your entire worldview, it doesn't appear that there's a significant relationship, but I can run the regression analysis if you want.

Once again,
Number of times you have dodged having to make an argument that a high schooler could make: 7, counting comments on posted items.

Chris Horlacher
October 9 at 11:29pm
Report Message

I think this is a little more age appropriate for you:

Rising prices are a SYMPTOM of inflation, NOT THE CAUSE.

Just because you call it 'money' doesn't mean that it's immune to the effects of supply and demand.

How can you not even know the most fundamental concept to economics?

Answer that. And then try explaining to me why 'money' is immune to it.

John Ray
October 9 at 11:34pm

Number of times you have dodged having to make an argument that a high schooler could make: 8, counting comments on posted items.

When, where, and why, in your own words, does the Fed print money?

Well twenty-three skiddoo, now you're the third conspiracy theorist to message me with *that exact same link today!*

When, where, and why, in your own words, does the Fed print money?

You don't even seem to realize that sliding up and down the supply or demand curve tends to slow or stop once you've reached an equilibrium point, but then again it is transparently obvious that you haven't the foggiest what you're tryign to talk about in any way. Answer my simple challenge or stop wasting my time.

Once again,
Number of times you have dodged having to make an argument that a high schooler could make: 8, counting comments on posted items.

When, where, and why, in your own words, does the Fed print money?

Answer my simple challenge, or stop wasting my time.

Answer my simple challenge, or stop wasting my time.

Copy and paste the above two lines into your next hysterically ignorant post that I will refute in two minutes with ease once again so that I know you understand. I don't even think you're all there at this point. Do you understand what I mean when I use words like, "answer?" Do you realize that to "answer" generally involves a coherent response of some kind?

Once again,
Number of times you have dodged having to make an argument that a high schooler could make: 8, counting comments on posted items.

When, where, and why, in your own words, does the Fed print money?

Chris Horlacher
Today at 11:25am
Report Message

"When, where, and why, in your own words, does the Fed print money?"

Banks accept promissory notes in exchange for credits to the borrower's accounts. This isn't a hard thing to understand. It's explained in vivid detail in the manual I sent you, but you're either funtionally illiterate, or didn't read it. Money creation is simply an accounting fraud, take it from an accountant. I know BS when I see it.

Either way I'm sick of your strawmen and laziness.

Number of times you've refused to look at evidence = 8 times and counting. Being dense isn't an argument.

This isn't a conspiracy, this is basic double entry bookkeeping so stop using bullshit as a defense. I guess basic accounting isn't part of the curriculum at Carnegie-Mellon.

So you can keep refusing to look at the evidence, while continually asking for evidence. But that just makes you look insane and quite frankly dumb as a post.
[Would have responded if not for respondent blocking author.]

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ring of Power - refuted

A brief introduction

“Ring of Power” is a six-hour perversion. Its claims are bizarre, farcical, ridiculous – and believed by thousands.

Its claims so rapidly spiral outside the realm of remote plausibility – all in the name of overwhelming hatred and appalling ignorance – that someone watching with an objective mind is simultaneously infuriated and confounded by its producers’ mindset. Much of this video’s content is overtly racist and all of it is permeated with paranoia. Even a piecemeal checking of the facts rips this work to shred on contact. And, thus, this series is to be undone.

Episode One
Part one of “Ring of Power” is a Gish gallop of false claims and outdated conspiracy theories (warning: “melted steel” ahead) that barely warrant addressing. Those who have actually been reading up on the literature may wish to skip over the refutation of episode one, simply because much of it is laughably outdated.

What is new, however, is its narrator’s new height of arrogance. Mispronouncing or awkwardly pronouncing every word with a thick Canadian accent, the narrator illustrates the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as if it were the preview for a summer blockbuster in such a cynical, sarcastic way that this tactic alone makes this movie worth slamming down. She reads that 9/11

“Looks so much like a formula, action-packed Hollywood movie that it had ‘made in the USA’ written all over it…”

Which is (a)a fallacy from incredulity, and (b)an incredibly stupid statement. This casual arrogance will define the narrator’s persona throughout the show.

The contradictions also get off to a good start as, in the course of dolling up one of the worst tragedies in U.S. history to create its pulpy narrative, “Ring of Power” claims that on 9/11

“Well-positioned cameras shot the action-packed drama from every conceivable angle…”

yet, mere minutes later, the narrator will be whining about a lack of corroborating evidence (video, perhaps?) behind claims that the hijackers were seen in bars in Florida on the night of September 10, 2001.

“The timing, the title, and the eerie advertisement for Harvey Weinstein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie called ‘The Two Towers’ was a prophetic and disturbing coincidence…”

Hey, wait a minute…”The Two Towers” wasn’t “Harvey Weinstein’s” movie. It was directed by Peter Jackson and had nine primary producers, one of which was Mr. Weinstein. Why does the narrator go out of her way to find somebody with the last name “Weinstein” to mention in her pun on the 9/11 attacks?

During the first week, the 911 producers made a fantastic fortune just on the stock market alone. How? Just by knowing in advance that the stocks in airlines and insurance companies associated with the 911 crash[es] would fall in value. Using that inside information, they made negative bets on the stock market called ‘put options.’ ‘Put options’ are bets that a certain stock will fall in value…

First off, this is not what a put option is. A “put option” is a security you can place on a purchase of stock so that, within a certain time period, you can sell that stock at the price you bought it. This is a normal feature of stock trades and, as noted elsewhere, were bought and sold over 30,000 times in the sixth months prior to 9/11 on the airlines whose planes were hijacked, meaning over 30,000 investors (most of them chump change, apparently) would have to be “in on” the attacks.

Of course, it also means that your net gain is zero dollars. If you sell stock at a given price, and that price is the same amount at which you purchased it, your difference is zero. What an “insider investor” would actually do would be to (1)cash out stock without put options the day before 9/11 to maximize profit, then (2)buy up all the free-floating shares in the crash that ensued, once again maximizing profits (because such “insider traders” would presumably know that the government would bail out many of the bigger airlines, as they did ). So almost right off the bat the makers of “Ring of Power” have made an error that a first-year business major couldn’t make. They even call put optioning “high-risk gambling,” even though it’s clearly the exact opposite of high-risk gambling. So far, no 9/11 denier has ever been able to do better than the SEC – that is, to find that the number of put options bought and sold prior to 9/11 was no greater than you would expect to normally happen in the course of a year.

They then run through a list of usual complaints against the Bush family:

-Members of the bin Laden family were co-investors in Bush’s failed energy company.
-One of the bin Laden family was in the Ritz-Carlton hotel having “a business meeting” on 9/11
-The bin Laden construction company engaged in rebuilding after the U.S. embassy bombing.

Perhaps no 9/11 deniers have ever read a word on the actual history of the bin Laden family. Steven Coll, a Pulitzer-winning journalist, has written two fantastic books that deal with the subject, Ghost Wars and The bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. Lawrence Wright also wrote extensively of Osama bin Laden’s relationship to his family in The Looming Tower. He writes:

…on March 5, 1994, [King] Fahd personally decided to revoke bin Laden’s Saudi citizenship.

Saudi Arabia is an intimate nation, with large families and tribes complexly knitted together. To be expelled from the country was to be banished from these intricate relationships that are so much a part of every Saudi’s identity. Citizenship is a closely guarded property, rarely awarded to foreigners, and the fact that the bin Laden family, of Yemeni origin, were full members of Saudi society indicated the honored – but vulnerable – place they held. Immediately after the king canceled bin Laden’s citizenship, Bakr bin Laden, the eldest brother, publicly condemned Osama, turning the family’s back to him. Many of bin Laden’s countrymen date the moment of his total radicalization to the announcement of the king’s decision. An emissary traveled to Sudan to formally deliver the news and demand bin Laden’s passport. Bin Laden threw it at the man. “Take it, if having it dictates anything on my behalf!” he declared.

Anyone who presumes that a connection with the bin Laden family (the patriarch of which, Mohammed bin Laden, is a hero in Saudi Arabia for building the highway that connected the two disparate halves of the country) means a connection to Osama bin Laden is not worth taking seriously.

FBi debputy director John O’Neill quit his job when his investigation of Osama bin Laden was blocked.

This is far from the truth. O’Neill resigned because he had hit the twenty year mark (known as “KMA,” the point where an FBI agent can take his pension and his experience and take on a cushy private-sector consulting or security job – to tell the bureau to “kiss my ass”), because the double life he was living was being investigated, and because he was, like many in the FBI, fed up with the difficulty in obtaining interdepartmental contact lines in the pre-USAPATRIOT ACT era. See Wright, pp. 389-400.

Top Pentagon officials canceled their travel plans for 911, citing security concerns.

No one has ever offered any actual, concrete evidence of this, but even if it were true…do any 9/11 deniers know career military personnel? They do more moving around, perhaps, than anyone on earth. If the net you’re casting is this video’s – that is, to look for any “political, military, and corporate VIPs” who were “kept out of harm’s way” – then to only be able to find a couple of generals who had travel plans moved to, from, or around on 9/11 is rather a sign of laziness on the part of conspiracy theorists than anything else. Yes, the people who fly most are likely to have had travel plans on a given day of the week. Yes, a certain percentage of those flights get canceled in advance.

As barely even an aside, the video then goes on to say that the flight school where two of the hijackers trained at Ruddi Dekkers-Hoffman Aviation,

is linked to CIA drug smuggling…through [two aviation companies (the narrator does not say their names clearly)] which shared the same small Venice airport with Dekkers.

Just to be clear, sharing an airport with a company does not make you an inbred interest of that company. Is there any actual “link?” Heck, is there any actual evidence that the CIA engages in “drug smuggling?” If there is, this video fails to mention it.

Then come the usual claims about the hijackers being whoremongers who visited “local strip clubs.” All of these claims are based solely on witness recollections from years ex post. None of them are reliable and almost all are directly refuted by the actual evidence – interviews with the hijackers roommates, interrogations of captured co-conspirators, etc. Ironically, the narrator asks,

Would devoted and highly secretive Muslim hijackers publicly risk their mission…and why were they in Florida instead of Boston the night before their suicide mission?

The first part is simply a contradiction – this movie will soon go on to talk about Larry Silverstein and “pull it” - wondering why those particular conspirators would be so secretive when it expects you to believe that this conspirator would blurt out his roll in the attacks on national television. It also claims that the hijackings “went off without a hitch,” even though 25% of the hijacked “missiles” missed.

It then falsely implicates guilt in “how long” it took response planes to launch and then erroneously (duh) states that responses “typically” take less time.

The “Bush sat there chatting about goats” thing.

Look deep down into your hearts, friends. Ask yourselves, “but no, really, what would we all be thinking of Bush today if he scampered out of that room with smoking heels as soon as he heard about the 9/11 attacks?” We’d all be thinking, as we watched that classroom full of stunned, helpless youngsters, that Bush made the wrong decision. Why, how could he possibly leave all those defenseless youngsters behind? Shouldn’t our President be able to keep his calm? Bush did what is standard and sensible for a politician to do when alerted of a crisis: act restrainedly. You’d think the makers of this video would applaud one of the few times in Bush’s presidency when he has act with due restraint.

Also, raise your hand if you know it’s false that there was no video footage of the first plane impact available on the first day. Perhaps because this is a Canadian video they had difficulty accessing news archives, but I think the rest of us know better.

The video, never one to dwell on a subject long enough for its viewers to realize how absurd its claims are, skips right along to mention the “impossibility” of the hijackers piloting the planes.

The equipment [the hijackers] encountered in the Boeing cockpits on September 11 was similar to the simulators they had trained on in the months before the attacks. So, it’s not surprising that they operated the planes with some degree of competence. “When they took over the plane, it was already in flight,” says Brian marsh, a flight instructor at Airline Transport Professionals Flight School…”All they had to do was pretty much point and go. It’s even easier than driving a car because there are no roads.”

As part of their basic flight training, the hijackers were schooled in the use of the flight management systems and autopilot features. …Harrah purchased a portable Global Position System (GPS)…[Hani Hanjour] steered the plane manually for only the final eight minutes of the flight

See Dunbar & Reagan, 2006, p.6. Another interesting contradiction here: immediately after noting how “suspicious” it was that the hijackers could fly the planes “precisely” [sic] into the towers, they note how “suspicious” it was that the hijackers also foolishly missed the “commanders’ offices” in the Pentagon. Why, the hijackers were simply too competent/incompetent in hitting/missing the right/wrong targets!

Flight 93’s debris was not found as far away as claimed in this video. Yes, this video commits the MapQuester’s Fallacy.

If government agents knew nothing, how could they identify nineteen Muslim hijackers from fake passports and no DNA evidence?

Probably from their not faked passports and all that DNA evidence.

How could Mohammed Atta’s passport survive the explosion that supposedly cremated him…?

When a plane crashes, lots of energy is released from the wreck in the form of heat. This means that the air heated in and around the plane is seeking to equalize with the rest of the air around it (i.e., all the rest of the air on earth), so you have an enormous whoosh of air in all directions, a sudden vacuum being filled as quickly as possible. This is why you expect small objects like passports and wallets to survive plane crashes.

Just to let you know, most Americans learn this in eighth grade science class.

Why weren’t the planes’ voice recorders found?


Why weren’t the hijackers under surveillance?

Once again, see the books listed above. This is a textbook case of attributing to malice what should be read as CIA, FBI, VISA, etc. incompetence and difficulty in sharing information pre-9/11.

Why was Mohammed Atta’s suitcase conveniently left behind? Why would a hijacker about to die on a suicide mission pack a suitcase?

Wait, which of these complaints are you going to go with? The suspiciousness of one would necessarily exclude that of the other.

Why didn’t the terrorists take a taxi to the airport?

Why would this be less suspicious than driving there? What’s suspicious about driving to an airport, anyway? What is this picture doing in this video?

Here’s to high production value.

You start to get an even better feel for how outdated this movie is when it brings up the anthrax attacks as if they hadn’t been solved months ago.

There are no airport security videos of any of the Muslim hijackers boarding any of the planes.

If you board a plane in Portland, Maine – as Mohammed Atta did – that’s where you’re on video passing through security. Do you pass through security in a connecting flight airport? No. Nobody who has ever used an airport could legitimately be confused about this. How could anyone even remotely intellectually honest even claim that this is anything but a pseudo-question, based on a false premise and with false implications?

Bin Laden repeatedly denied being involved in 9/11, and said that Israeli Zionists were responsible.

Bin Laden has, of course admitted many, many times to being behind 9/11 and al-Qaeda specifically admonished Iran for spreading “the lie” that Israel was behind 9/11. There is zero video footage of Osama bin Laden saying that the Israeli government conducted 9/11.

…Then “the Jewish Zionists” come up again. Hm. This is getting weird.

Seven of the nineteen Muslims whose mugshots were flashed around the world are alive.

As warned, this video does put you in a bit of a time warp.

She picked up an Airfone and reported that four Middle-Eastern looking men. The fact is that Israeli men are Middle Eastern men who just happen to be Middle Eastern looking. The voice of the hijacker heard from the hijacked planes voice recorder reveals that the accent of the hijacker matches an Israel Hebrew accent.

First of all, no it doesn’t. Second of all, what? Where’s the evidence? Where’s the counter to the DNA evidence proving that it was nineteen Arab hijackers? Didn’t this video just say that there was a suspicion absence of flight recorder evidence? Oh, golly, here comes a ”Five Dancing Israelis” claim… the creative new spin put here is that this version of the Five Dancing Israelis has them “filming 911 from multiple angles,” when the guys usually accused of being “the Five Dancing Israelis” only had one camera. And it brings up a fringe claim among fringe claims, that of the supposed “Israeli art student spies…”

Marvin Bush just happened to be the director of Securicom, which provided electronic security for the World Trade Center…

(He wasn’t, and they didn’t). But this movie doesn’t seem to have any problem defrauding anybody, even American firefighters, in the name of pushing its own agenda, because as soon as its done lying about Marvin Bush’s position it starts immediately lying about a gentleman named Louie Cacchioli…

On September twenty-fourth, firefighter Louie Cacchioli told People magazine “we think there were bombs set in the building…”


As for those who believe bombs may have been planted in the buildings, one of the primary sources they cite is New York City firefighter Louie Cacchioli. Shortly after Cacchioli led 40 office workers out of the North Tower, the South Tower collapsed, enveloping him in a cloud of debris he thought would kill him. A People magazine reporter approached Cacchioli shortly after he was pulled out of the wreckage. “On the last trip, a bomb went off,” he said in the resulting article. “We think there was [sic] bombs set in the building.”

A 20-year department veteran whose photograph is on the cover of the Time-Life book, Faces of Ground Zero, Cacchioli is seemingly an unimpeachable source…According to Cacchioli, it is the conspiracy theorists who are twisting his words. “That was a misquote,” he tells Popular Mechanics, referring to the initial comment about believing there were bombs in the building. “It was in People magazine. They interviewed me when they finally got me out of the rubble. I said, ‘It sounded like a bomb.’ I tried to explain what I meant [after the fact] but it was already out there.”

Cacchioli, who retired from the fire department for health reasons originating on September 11, says he has been contacted repeatedly by people hoping he will say that there were bombs in the building, but he refuses to do so…he feels misrepresented by the media, and is distressed at the inaccurate use of his name in conjunction with conspiracy theories

(see Dunbar & Reagan, 35-36).

The steel-supported World Trade Centers were designed to withstand the impact of a jet-liner…

…According to one of the engineers of the buildings promoting them in the 1970s, when the heaviest jet liner was 200,000 pounds lighter than, and moved 100mph slower than, the commercial jets used on 9/11.

It’s impossible jet fuel, burning in combination with oxygen, to melt steel…

And there it is, folks. That’s the money quote. “Jet fuel can’t melt steel.” I’m flummoxed, too.

Why did Tower Two, that was hit second, fall first?

This one’s really just there for the laughs.

…And why did WTC 7 collapse?

Just to remind everyone of how outdated this one is.

Who controlled access to the buildings? The 30yr old WTC has always been publicly owned managed by the New York/New Jersey Port Authority; that is, until a Jewish businessman named Lewis Eisenberg became the chairman. Lewis Eisenberg is an active leader in Jewish Zionist organizations. He personally oversaw negotiations that put the publically owned World Trade Center into private hands. Those private hands belong to two Jewish pro-Zionist billionaires, named Larry Silverstein and Frank Lowy, even though their bid was lower than other bids. Lowy served as a commando in the Israeli army,and Silverstein just happens to be the former chairman of the United Jewish/Israel Appeal. With Eisenberg’s help, they landed the 99-year lease for half-price, 3.22 billion, even though its bid was lower than others.

The word “Jewish” appears four times in this claim. Evidence to back it up appears zero. Just something to think about. Also, Eisenberg did not “help” Silverstein acquire the property (and Lowy didn’t even acquire it at all…); his first choice was a firm called Vornado. Their bid was for $3.25 billion, compared to $3.22 billion from Silverstein Properties – but then Vornado said it wanted to change the contract ex post to be for only thirty-nine years and renewable up to ninety-nine after that point. In other words, they wanted to be able to sell it off. Business giants Charles Gargano and Tim Ryan were also informed that they could try to outbid Silverstein, but they didn’t attempt to do so.

Moving right along its new trend of trying to use the word “Jewish” as many times as possible in a sentence, it meanders over to Zim Israel Navigation Co., fraudulently claiming that that firm got out of the World Trade Center “just before the attacks,” another fringe claim among fringe claims. Suspicious because, of course, “it just happens to be owned by the government of Israel,” which is false.

And, of course, Silverstein has lost over a billion dollars in aggregate due to 9/11, so this particular “Jewish businessman,” who according to RoP demolished it to avoid “an 800 million dollar facelift” (there is no evidence that this was ever in the making). You couldn’t make a shoddier narrative out of Larry Silverstein than Ring of Power’s.

Before the first plane ever hit the first tower on 911, a massive military buildup was organized near Afghanistan, called operation “Swift Sword” and operation “Bright Star”…17,000 US and NATO troops gathered near the friendly country of Egypt.

So, it turns out Cairo and Kabul are 2,222 miles apart; meaning Egypt is closer to Paris, France; Chicago is closer to Houston, Texas; and Chicago is closer to Los Angeles. Yes, military forces are gathering in the Chicago suburbs for an imminent invasion of Texas. And by now it almost goes without saying but, of course, there’s no evidence for any such thing as “Operation Bright Star,” and “Operation Swift Sword” took place almost five years later. “Imminent,” indeed.

This frame appears right after the narrator asks, “so who exactly are the producers of the 911 reality disaster movie?” and right before the narrator tries to assure its audience that she’s not going to try to blame “practicing Jews.” No, seriously though.

So who exactly are the producers of the 911 reality disaster movie? …contrary to popular opinion…not practicing Jews [or] practicing Muslims. They are a secret network of international pirates who identify with no nation, no national flag, and no established religion. Their flag is the Skull and Crossbones and their God – GOD – spells “Gold, Oil, and Drugs.”

It is important to understand the difference between the term “Jews,” “Hebrews” and “Zionists.” The majority of the world’ Jewish population are honest, caring, honorable people who practice Judaism, follow religious tradition, and embrace good moral values. The term “Hebrew” refers to the Hebrew language. It also refers to the Hebrew people who are the ethnic descendants of the original Twelve Tribes of Israel. The term Zionist refers to political extremists. Zionists believe that Hebrews are God’s chosen people and that Hebrews have a right to the Muslim lands of the Palestinians. Why? Because according to the Bible, God says so. These Zionist extremists represent only a small minority of Jews and Hebrews. Christians who support Zionist theft of Palestinian lands are called “Zionist extremists.” Their goal is to help fulfill the prophecies of the Bible story.”

This closing quote of the episode is submitted for your consideration, and to warn you where this movie is heading.

“Did the world’s wars, revolutions, and big events of human history evolve naturally? Or were they calculated and pre-planned? If they were planned then who planned them, and what do they plan for the future of humanity?”

Thus “Ring of Power” dives head-first down the rabbit hole into of a peculiar brand of conspiracy theories that I refer to in an upcoming Skeptical Inquirer article as Esoterics, after “Esoteric Agenda,” another popular documentary. “Esoterics” is a far-reaching term that refers to many conspiracy theories about ancient history; for example, if the Christian figure Jesus Christ was actually an Egyptian Pharaoh; if all royalty and all wealthy people are the results of incestuous inbreeding over 4,000 years; etc. In short: get ready for a wild ride.

The story begins by outlining the premise that the world is controlled from three cities:

“Washington, DC,which is not part of the city of Washington or the United States…The inner city of London, which is not part of London or England…and Vatican City, which is not part of Rome or Italy…”

Actually, until 1871 there was in fact a “City of Washington” that was a separate municipality from the District of Columbia, so this claim actually was once true… a hundred and thirty-seven years ago.

The London bit is the interesting one. London itself has a mayor and a Greater London Assembly (a city council), both of which are elected, and ground-level administrative duties are carried about by thirty-three smaller legislative authorities. One of these is called the City of London Corporation.

It is only a “corporation” insofar as it is something that was incorporated. In times and places like Medieval England, where land was divided up entirely among estate-holders into things like vassal provinces or duchies, everything can be considered “incorporated” in that it is or was territory granted to an estate-holder by whoever was higher up than him in the royal hierarchy. Because of the fact that the City of London is almost entirely businesses (there are only about 9,000 people actually living in the City of London), the people who vote in its elections include not just its residents, but prominent figures in the firms that operate in the City. For one of the supposed seats of a secret world government (spoiler alert), it’s a pretty open system.

Like much of British government, this arrangement is widely considered to be very silly. It is regarded as the embodiment of elitism, an “old-boys’ club” of sorts that only appears to maintain its peculiar delegation system for the sake of tradition. As this movie will do repeatedly down the line with clubs like Skull and Bones, it will confuse harmless, aging-frat-boy mentality with cold and calculated malice. The City of London is a “corporation” with its “own flag,” yes, but it is in fact governed by and part of the United Kingdom.

And yes, Vatican City is its own country, with its own government, postal service, etc. Why does the narrator save the least anomalous-seeming of the three cities for last, the exact opposite of what commonsense narrative rules would dictate?

So that it can begin a long, heated tirade against Catholicism and Christianity in general. Yes, for in Vatican City, “gracing the walls of St Peters Basilica is the Vatican-Approved Image of God, an angry bearded man in the sky... Cruel and violent images of God’s torturing son suffering, bleeding and dying… are on display throughout the Vatican. These images serve as reminders that God allowed his son to be tortured and killed… these explanations and scary images are especially difficult for children to understand.”

…And cut to a South Park scene about the Catholic Church. For about two straight minutes. It’s probably the most enjoyable two minutes of the movie, so enjoy it while it lasts.

The Vatican rules over approximately two billion of the world’s six point one billion people [Protestants are Catholics now? And since when does the Pope ‘control’ anybody?] … the colossal wealth of the Vatican includes investments with the Rothschilds in France, Britain and the USA, and with giant oil and weapons corporations like Shell and General Electric…gold [which is] stored by the Rothschild-controlled Bank of England and the Federal Reserve Bank...the Vatican is the greatest wealth accumulator…in existence.

Then after meandering on about the ancient Indulgences (“tickets out of Hell”) practices for a few moments, the Gish Gallop continues along its merry way, hitting pretty much every point someone would refer to if they wanted to build a comprehensive list of complaints against the Catholic Church, from “they kept the masses ignorant and in the dark by denying them a basic education” (how the Church deliberately denied anyone something that didn’t really exist yet is a question for saner people to ponder, evidently) on down.

Between 1095 and 1291 AD the Pope launched seven bloodbaths called the Christian Crusades, torturing, burning, beheading, and mass-murdering hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Jews in the name of God. The Pope’s brutal soldiers were called the Knights Templar, or Knights of the Temple of Solomon, and evolved into today’s secretive brotherhood called the Freemasons. Between 1450 and 1700AD, the Catholic Church followed up their Holy Terror with the Inquisition. Based on rumors… the Catholic Church… burned alive millions of innocent women at the stake.

Weasal words put in bold by the author. The narrator appears to be unaware of the atrocities that Muslims committed in their occupation of the Holy Land – the selling of boys and girls into slavery, the emptying towns of Jews, the imposing of the arrogant jizya on anyone and everyone in sight, and, of course – the classic sword-point conversion, or the act of what I call legislating the opposition out of existence – the act of enacting so many religiously-bigoted taxes, property and fashions laws (Jews were required to wear distinguishing robes in most of the Muslim Empire at that time) against non-Muslims that it becomes socially and economically infeasible to expect anyone to be able to follow their desired beliefs – all of which were the bread and butter of life in the Muslim Empire.

And it almost goes without saying that the narrator’s pulling her claims about the Knights Templar purely from thin air (or perhaps a Dan Brown novel). Not only were the Knights Templar not “The Pope’s brutal soldiers” (they were brutal soldiers, but independent ones at least) and not only did they do much more than fight – charity work and so on – but they were actually disbanded so that the kings of Europe wouldn’t have to pay them their war debts. At the end of the Crusades, Christendom basically sued itself for peace.

There is also absolutely zero evidence that anything of the Knights’ Templar survived the end of the organization. This makes intuitive sense – if all of a bank’s assets are taken, if most of its members move on to other things, and if new organizations fill in the vacuum, its chief executives don’t simply “go underground” to “carry on the tradition” with nothing in their pockets – they’ve got better things to do (like get jobs in the new niche firms, for example!). The Knights Templar was just one of countless charitable, mercenary, and/or financial organizations that rose in response t o the complex needs of managing an army of Crusaders.

This is a point that I think is lost on most conspiracy theorists, out of dishonesty or unfamiliarity with Medieval history. A bank in a time where most people didn’t use money and there was no internationally-recognized system of interest or currency (never mind that the idea of the “nation-state” itself didn’t really exist yet, either) could only really survive if it was financed by royalty, or by a massive war effort like the Crusades. Indeed, the Templars, who were only peripherally even involved in banking, were certainly not the most successful bank in the Crusader era (for example, the Leccocorvo bank and the banks of various Italian city-states almost certainly fared better) and in fact some historians don’t even bother mentioning them.

And in every case, as soon as a King takes your property, you’re done, for good – not to be magically resurrected in more powerful form some centuries later, as this movie will soon contend. The Knights Templar ‘banking system’ (what scant and cursory evidence of it exists) was a two-bit, one-time operation, nothing more. Outside of the fact that they used some pretty cool imagery, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a good reason to pick the Knights Templar as your first generation global dominators.

In fact, in the whole muckraking act against the Catholic Church, this movie conspicuously fails to expose perhaps its cardinal sin: its condemnation of usury. As will be seen, this movie basically becomes a tirade against interest rates so this deliberate misleading via obfuscation is understandable. The Catholic Church had loose, fractally-applied laws against charging interest on loans. As any economist worth her salt knows, a ban on interest is a one-way ticket to a zero-growth economy, with no consistent incentives for investment, and basically no profit to be made in long term projects of any kind. Obviously, this movie fails to mention its similar intent as the Medieval Catholic Church’s prehistoric conception of economics: to attack what it farcically refers to as “Fractional Reserve Banking,” that is, the system of interest and loans.

The phrase “fractional reserve banking” is a meme that does not appear in conventional financial literature except as a minute aside. All the phrase means is that banks use the money they receive in the form of accounts to invest elsewhere, rather than keep all of it on hand. Because what would happen if banks could not move any money around? They would be zero-growth firms. No business on earth operates in this fashion. No economy in history has operated in this fashion. The idea that an individual or firm can put money or assets somewhere with the expectation of return on investment is the principal motivator for perhaps every economic decision ever made. I cannot state with sufficient strength the fact that “fractional reserve banking” is the practice of banks making investments, period.

But of course, you could be so busy trying to compare the checklists of dirty deeds by two of the world’s main religions that you’d forget that nothing’s going on in this movie.

During world war two, the Vatican was criticized for supporting Hitler and his Nazi regime. To this day, the Vatican is still under investigation for plundering Nazi gold from Swiss bank accounts of Jewish Holocaust victims. Over the past five decades over 1,500 priests and bishops have been accounted in the assault of tens of thousands of boys and girls in their churches and orphanages…why has the Churhc fought and resisted the compensation claims of their sexually, emotionally, and spiritually traumatized victims?

After t he first sentence, that any of this would have to do with the point of the movie will surely soon be made evident…Oh, wait, it’s going back to the “Corporation of London” thing, never mind. It is now described as a “city state” that’s not “part of greater London or the United Kingdom…and does not pay its own taxes.” That doesn’t help explain why you have to fill out all these taxes every year, though. Once again, the movie is simply wrong. But this is intuitively obvious to the economics-savvy in the room: if the middle of London were a tax haven, it would be rather hard to keep quiet about, and would be much, much more densely-populated than it is currently.

The video then goes on to commit the same blatant error of thinking with the incorporated entity known as “The Crown” that it did with the “City of London Corporation:” looking at the word “corporation” and immediately going, “owned by the Jews – er, the ‘Zionists’ – in a dark shadow cabal scary evil…”

“The Crown” can have two meanings here: one, basically a euphemism for the modern British legal system. When you go to trial, you are tried by “The Crown,” which is a metonym for the judge presiding, the laws she’s trying you for violating, and the authority by which she does so. So when this movie says that

Contrary to popular belief, The Crown is not the royal family or the British monarch. The Crown is the private corporate city-state of London.

It is completely wrong, in the way that you would be completely wrong if you saw the headline of a case called, say, The State of Massachusetts v. Jones taking place in Westborough, Massachusetts and concluded that Westborough was actually the state of Massachusetts, and that the place usually known as Massachusetts was actually just “private property” of Westborough. So, the false claims all pour out of this fundamental error. There are so many errors that in this case I have simply hyperlinked from the claim to a refutation of it after it is made:

[The London Corporation] is also the headquarters of royal Freemasonry [not correct] and the organization known as The Crown [absurd]. The Crown [sic] has a council of twelve councilors who rule the corporation [not really] under a mayor, called the Lord Mayor. The Lord Mayor and his twelve-member councilors who sit in for thirteen of the world’s thirteen most powerful banking family [what?. This ring of thirteen families includes the Rothschild family, the Warburg family, the Oppenheimer family, and the Schiff family [no firms there are “owned” by any of these people, and nine of them are either political bureaucrats or representatives of publicly-held firms]. [They] hold land in ‘worldwide crown colonies like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand [this is specifically refuted in the basic principles of ’Crown ‘ law].

It’s difficult to offer a more in-depth refutation of something that has absolutely no basis in reality whatsoever. The very next sentence in the narration describes Parliament as a “public front” for the City of London, which is so wrong from so many angles the English language lacks the phrases to describe its magnitude.

Like the city-state of London and the Vatican, a third city-state was created was created in 1982. That city-state is known as the District of Columbia and is located on 10 square miles in the heart of Washington...

...If you’re scratching your head and trying not to laugh at anyone who believes that the District of Columbia didn’t exist until 1982, join the club.

The creation of the District of Columbia is part of the U.S. Constitution:

[Article 1, Section 8]. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States; To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes; To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States; To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures; To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States; To establish post offices and post roads; To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries; To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court; To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations; To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water; To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; To provide and maintain a navy; To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces; To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be…

This claim, which is merely farcical, is just the first in a row of bizarreness that characterize this section (even among the previous sections). The narrator next claims that the laws of the District of Columbia (part of a “separate Constitution,” she claims, much in the same way that any other set of town codes would be characterized as ‘a separate Constitution’ – incorrectly) are “operating under a tyrannical Roman law known as Lex Fori [which wasn’t actually a Roman law],” for which she provides absolutely no evidence (and which are completely refuted by taking even a cursory look at Washington, DC’s laws. Then come the atomic bombs:

A sobering study of the signed treaties and charters between Britain and the united state exposes a shocking truth: the United States has always been and still is a British crown colony. King James I was famous for not just changing the bible into the King James Version but for singing the first charter of Virginia in 1606. That charter granted America’s British forefathers a license to settle and colonize America. The charter also guaranteed that future kings and queens of England would have sovereign authority over all the citizens and colonized land in America stolen from the Indians.

And don’t worry, before you can even remind yourself that the Continental Congress was established for a reason, and that whole five-year war of independence thing ending with British surrender actually happened for a reason the narrator has a truly daffy line of reasoning to counter historical fact with:

After America declared its independence from England the Treaty of 1783 was signed. That treaty specifically identifies the King of England as the “Prince of the United States and specifically contradicts the belief that America won the War of Independence... if America had really won the War of Independence it would never have agreed to pay debts and reparations to the King of England.

Here is the beginning of the Treaty of Paris (the so-called ‘Treat of 1783’), where Prince George the Third is identified – and yes, this is all one sentence:

It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, arch- treasurer and prince elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc., and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse , between the two countries upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony…

Let’s parse this carefully because it never refers to George III as “Prince of the United States.” George III is named “king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland,” “defender of the faith, duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg,” “arch-treasurer and prince elector” of the Holy Roman Empire “etc.” “and of the United States of America.” Why is there is parsing between the Holy Roman Empire and the United States of America? Why is “etc.” in there?

Because a “prince elector” is not a prince. A prince elector is a rank that only existed in the Holy Roman Empire at the time. There was no such thing as a “prince elector” in the thirteen colonies. That’s why George III is simply described as someone who is “of the United States of America,” that is, someone who has a relationship of some kind with those states, not a “prince” or “sovereign” over it – of course, the very first article of the treaty reads

Article 1:

His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states, that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.

This is the very first article of the treaty. No one even remotely intellectually honest could have made this error. The narrator of this movie is deliberately and openly lying to her audience. Doubly so when she ponders that “if America had won the war of independence, it would never have agreed to pay George III reparations” afterwards, as if the concept of suing for peace did not exist, whereby somebody doesn’t lose his personal assets over his engagement in activities to which he was legally bound. Never mind that this compromise was probably necessary to ensure that the war did not continue for another decade until every Royalist on the continent was dead, but absconding with George III’s private assets (his business investments) in retribution for him holding up the duties to which he was legally bound (advancing the agenda of his empire) would be not only nonsensical but probably legally impossible given the lack of legal infrastructure in the young United States – recall the Articles of Confederation disaster. Not that suing for peace was basically the only way that wars ended in the imperial age anyway, or anything.

And so, when the narrator ponders that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was designed to “make the president subservient to the King of England,” it should go without saying that this is complete fraud. The Thirteenth Amendment is the Amendment that outlaws slavery and reads thus:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The end.

In her rush to expound upon as many ludicrous conspiracy theories as she can in as little time as possible, the narrator forgot to mention that any reference to this “Titles of Nobility Amendment” is historically unsound and spits in the face of the fact that this version of an Amendment was shot down when it was proposed. Once again, this is a claim that someone who had actually done their research could not have honestly made, as is the subsequent claim that the costs of the American Revolution made Americans themselves “debt-slaves to the King of England,” as Continental Congress is the body that actually agreed to pay the soldiers who sacrificed for the birth of the United States.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a conspiracy movie without reference to the Federal Reserve Bank. The narrator begins by referring to the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank the “biggest theft in American history” that handed “total control of the economy to the Rothschild banksters [sic].” From here on until the end of the series, the narrator will use the word “bankster” for pretty much any person of Jewish descent or person who works in any part of the private sector. And as with most conspiracy theory movies this one seems to have no idea that there is not one “Federal Reserve Bank,” but that it’s a system of quasi-publicly-owned banks throughout the United States.

The makers of this video also seem to have no idea what the functions of the Fed are or why it was created in the first place. The idea of a nationally-chartered bank has been in and out of practice throughout U.S. history. The first Federal Bank existed from 1791-1811 to help stabilize currency values post-War of Independence, then lost public support and niche value after currency became stable; it was called back into existence during the Civil War to help manage Union war effort funding efficiently, then disappeared again as its usefulness was lost (reminiscent of why the Templar banks died out); then finally returned as a permanent fixture after two key events: the panic of 1893 and the panic of 1907.

In the first case, investors from Europe and North America under J.P. Morgan’s aegis came together to invest $65 million in the government entirely through private-sector means, to stabilize the dollar. In the second, United Copper had outlined an ambitious project to monopolize the copper industry that attracted large investments by many of the biggest banks; as the bid for monopoly fell, so fell the banks. After a night of last-minute negotiations, J.P. Morgan, George F. Baker, James Stillman, George Cortelyou, John D. Rockefeller, and many other prominent banking industry leaders agreed to invest enough in Federal and state banks to “keep American credit solvent.”

What’s important to note is that the average American did not want J.P. Morgan’s help. Though he and other titans of industry had essentially saved the country’s economy, they failed to convince anyone that they had done so for any reason other than personal long-term gain. Just like in today’s credit crisis, where the Fed is being perceived suspiciously for proposing to drop $700 billion into America’s bank and mortgage industry, people did not want the undue influence of the wealthy into their economy, for better or for worse.

That is why the fundamental result of the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank has a more than slightly ironic true meaning when compared with the wild hysteria of conspiracy theorists: its creation fundamentally weakened the positions of the same billionaires who had previously been relied on in times of panic. Every Federal Reserve Bank’s board is created through the elections of various regional banks, and has been since 1913. And, of course, as another federal agency, federal banks can be and often are regulated into a corner by Congress. For the “greatest theft in the history of the world,” this act did perhaps more than any prior in America’s history to make sure wealth stayed in the hands of the average American.

This is yet another point that I think is lost on conspiracy theorists. The creation of the Federal Reserve Bank was actually a mitigation of out-of-control risk-taking, and is still today the greatest guarantor of a functioning economy the American government can provide. It simply provides the oversight that the previously shrouded-in-darkness investment system had relied on to create the shaky and shady deals that led to the numerous panics that necessitated the Fed’s creation. The exact same problems exist today due to three decades of anti-regulatory spirit. However, considering many conspiracy theorists are libertarians, their own point is farcically contradictory: they oppose free market investment structures (as Ring of Power’s repeated hollow ad hominem attacks against the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, etc. will demonstrate), and oppose the standard, democratically-created and democratically-run Federal Banking System (which, by the way, is not privately owned). Some people simply cannot be pleased.

Ring of Power also states that the Fed is “never audited and never pays taxes,” which is also complete fraud, as “all Federal Reserve Banks and branches are audited and examined regularly,” and the Fed

The Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Banks, and the Federal Reserve System as a whole are all subject to several levels of audit and review. Under the Federal Banking Agency Audit Act (enacted in 1978 as Public Law 95-320), which authorizes the Comptroller General of the United States to audit the Federal Reserve System, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted numerous reviews of Federal Reserve activities. In addition, the Board's Office of Inspector General (OIG) audits and investigates Board programs and operations as well as those Board functions delegated to the Reserve Banks. Completed and active GAO reviews and completed OIG audits, reviews, and assessments are listed in the Board’s Annual Report (before 2002, the reviews were listed in the Board's Annual Report: Budget Review).

The Board's financial statements, and its compliance with laws and regulations affecting those statements, are audited annually by an outside auditor retained by the OIG. The financial statements of the Reserve Banks are also audited annually by an independent outside auditor. In addition, the Reserve Banks are subject to annual examination by the Board. The Board's financial statements and the combined financial statements for the Reserve Banks are published in the Board's Annual Report.

Not to mention the fact that whether or not “The Fed” paid taxes would be a moot point, as it would be absurd for the federal government to tax one particular federal asset. Federal agencies are funded by the federal budget, so to tax itself for the budget that was allocated to it would simply be a waste of time – Congress can and does accomplish a functionally identical but faster end to this question by simply limiting Fed funding. Its feasible to say that the person or people who made this movie don’t know how taxes work or how agency funding works, so this rather silly paragraph was necessary.

The narrator also speculates that the Fed is a “money cartel” designed to deliberately enrich the “banksters,” so it’s also time for a brief economics lesson.

Presenting the fundamental welfare theorem of economics. Suppliers have higher incentive to sell as their potential gains get higher, and demanders (consumers) have a higher incentive to buy as prices get lower towards their value preferences. At some point for every market, assuming rational actors and homogenous goods, there is an equilibrium point (Q*, P*). At that point, demanders have a maximum amount of utility gain as they would’ve been willing to pay any price between P* and the upper half of the demand curve – and vice versa for suppliers. Shifting the price up or down would result in some inefficiency, either for buyers, or for sellers.

But now let’s say that the supplying firms organize into a cartel, which is basically just a monopoly made up of lots of firms. If that happens, and the market is truly monopolized, the suppliers can set prices – and they’ll set them at the point where average variable costs intersect with the supply graph (which is where, purely from a suppliers’ perspective, every dollar being spent on variable costs is generating some level of profit):

As you can see, the consumer loses out but has no other options in this market because the market is monopolized. The suppliers are now making every possible dime that they can and getting the most possible bang for their buck, but the consumer has had her gains encroached upon and there’s now a deadweight loss area, which is an area where net gains are not realized. A monopoly works basically the same way.

But the economists in the room have already noticed that something’s up: the firm that breaks from the cartel stands to make enormous gains. If one firm breaks out of the cartel and moves forward even a tiny bit, to say, (Qm-1, Pm+1), it will be charging lower prices than any other firm on the market. And, assuming goods are more or less homogenous, that means that the cartel-breaker will corner the market. Then, in order to compete, the cartel firms will move down, to (Qm-2, Pm+2), (Qm-3, Pm+3)…(Q*, P*). If there were a “bankster cartel,” as this movie imagines, rather than a regulated market (to mitigate the various inefficiencies of information asymmetry, supplier power, etc.) as reality presents us with, every one of these “banksters” could maximize their wealth by simply wandering away from the fold.

To counter this argument, “Ring of Power” will have to move into absolute absurdity and bigotry, as will be shown shortly.

Meandering along, the narrator makes sure to mention that the Washington Monument was “designed by a Freemason” even though there’s no evidence that he was and this claim is circumspect in its implications because the Washington Monument was built as a winner of a contest, not by commission. Furthermore,

The construction of a monument to honor George Washington was first considered by the Continental Congress in 1783. At the time of his death, and during the next three decades, Congress neglected to take definite action on many additional proposals for the erection of a suitable memorial. In 1833, the Washington National Monument Society was organized by influential citizens of the National Capital who undertook the building of a "great National Monument to the memory of Washington at the seat of the Federal Government."

The progress of the society was slow at first. By 1847, however, $87,000 (including interest) had been collected by popular subscription. A design submitted by Robert Mills, a well-known architect, was selected. It provided for a decorated obelisk 600 feet high which was to rise from a circular colonnaded building 100 feet high and 250 feet in diameter. This temple was to be an American pantheon, a repository for statues of Presidents and national heroes, containing a colossal statue of George Washington.

The original design, however, was greatly altered in the course of construction and the present monument - a hollow shaft without decoration or embellishment - has little in common with Mills' elaborate plan. The proportions of Mills' shaft, which were at variance with traditional dimensions of obelisks, were altered to conform to the classical conception, thus producing an obelisk that for grace and delicacy of outline is unexcelled by any in Egypt.

On July 4, 1848, the cornerstone was laid with elaborate Masonic ceremonies. The trowel used by Washington at the laying of the cornerstone of the Capitol in 1793 was used on this occasion.

So in order for the monuments of Washington, DC to be part of a “grand conspiracy,” we need:
(1)Over a century of concerted effort by a Freemasonic elite specifically to build a pointy tower in Washington, DC.
(1a)A reason to potentially expose their, er, millennia-long occupation of the global seats of power (see below) in the name of a tourist attraction.
(1b)The ability to rule the world but the inability to keep TourOfDC.Org from announcing that your plans were touched off by “elaborate Masonic rituals.
(2)The deliberate twisting of the designs of a guy who was probably not a Freemason over the course of a century to make it, er, more Ancient-Egypt-ey (sort of, see below).

We also need to basically forget why obelisks and pyramids are popular designs in early architecture.

It is a popular meme that “nobody knows” how the oldest obelisk structures were built, but this is plainly untrue, as many accounts of their construction remain. As one would intuitively guess, the easiest way to hoist up an obelisk is with opposing teams of rope-bearers on either side slowly lifting it up. While the term “obelisk” is generally used to describe the religious icons spread throughout the Egyptian empire from modern Ethiopia to Israel, the Mayans, Rome (almost certainly independently of stealing them from Egypt), Byzantium, and virtually any other place with the materials to build them. The same with pyramid-shaped structures, which are found the world over. Why?

The answer is, as usual, the one that makes the most intuitive sense, best fits the evidence, and is most loathed by conspiracy theorists: it’s the easiest. A pyramid shape, whereby each successive floor weighs less and is smaller than the previous one, was pretty much the only shape that primitive, not-very-good building materials could accommodate (and even then, many obelisks crumbled when their builders tried to raise them up). This would also happen to explain why pyramids went out of fashion as soon as new ways of building large buildings were found.

So, unfortunately for the makers of this video, arguing that every obelisk on earth is somehow interconnected by a parent civilization is like arguing that every pointed weapon or fishing rod originated within one mind rather than independently in many places, as the evidence dictates. This metaphor is also overly generous because most cultures pyramids were shaped differently from each other, from elaborate stone-carved step pyramids in Chichan Itza to big freakin’ piles of hay in Nordic lands.

And it doesn’t help just how deep they carry this error, either.

"What exactly is an obelisk? Obelisks are phallic-shaped monuments honoring the pagan god of ancient Egyptian called Amun-Ra. The spirit of this pagan god is said to reside in this obelisk."

This is all part of what I call cargo cult history but most will better recognize as Da Vinci Code History or ‘pseudohistory.’ It’s a bit of a parse game to discern history from fake history, but basically, pseudohistory is an unfounded even if plausible narrative of history that, as a general rule, causally links people and events in ways that mainstream, academic historical study would consider extreme. It’s one of these things you know when you see, and you will see it here like you’ve never seen it anywhere.

It’s demonstrably false from the sources above that obelisks were designed to honor the Egyptian “deity” Amun-Ra as most were built either in honor of Pharaohs themselves, to other deities, or not by Egyptians. In fact, it isn’t even really correct to refer to “Amun-Ra” as “Amun-Ra” because first and foremost Amun was originally an anthropomorphic concept, vaguely akin to Tien in Chinese theosophical history. By the time Amun was merged with the sun “deity” (similar story there), Ra, obelisks had already been built to other deities. It goes without saying that no record survives of Amun’s soul supposing to be trapped in about thirty places.

Then, as with the transition from the previous episode, this one decides to end on a swing for the bleachers of woo-woo. It jumps quite suddenly to a farcical take on Hebrew etymology and claims:

Vowels were interchangeable in the Biblical Hebrew language…[so] Amum can be spelled Amen, Amon, Amun, Omon, or Amun… Today, "Amen" is one of the most popularly used words in the world…Without realizing it, people all over the world are praising Amun.

The mind is indeed boggled. In Ancient Hebrew vowels were not interchangeable, in fact, the demonstrable differences between them were integral to much of the language, Never mind that, of course, you would not spell Amen “A-M-E-N” in Ancient Hebrew (as those letters don’t even exist outside of the Roman alphabet).

Because I’ve heard this claim about vowels before I looked into it, and it seems that this argument is generally only made by conspiracy theorists and people trying to confirm the historicity of the Bible prior to the advent of modern historical study. One website makes the perhaps hyperbolic claim that it is “one of the biggest scams of all time is that ancient Hebrew had no vowel-letters.”

Oh, plus this claim is absolutely silly. The entire etymology of much of Western religious language is a deliberate lie to fool people into praising an Egyptian spirit? “Ring of Power” anticipates the laughter of its saner viewers and counters that in Kings 1:36 in the Bible (some translation not based on King James’s, of course), the line

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king and said, "Amen! Thus may the LORD, the God of my lord the king, say.

demonstrates that the word “Amen” means “the Lord of my lord,” using the lower-case “the lord” here to mean, you know, the upper-case one (ironically, in the video they do indeed use the King James Version). Putting the phrase into even an ounce of Biblical context:

28 Then King David said, "Call in Bathsheba." So she came into the king's presence and stood before him.

29 The king then took an oath: "As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, 30 I will surely carry out today what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place."

31 Then Bathsheba bowed low with her face to the ground and, kneeling before the king, said, "May my lord King David live forever!"

32 King David said, "Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada." When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: "Take your lord's servants with you and set Solomon my son on my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, 'Long live King Solomon!' 35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah."

36 Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, "Amen! May the LORD, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. 37 As the LORD was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!"

laughs this claim out of the room. (Disclaimer: this Blog does not endorse any particular religion, or even religion in general)

But the narrator of this video can’t seem to avoid throwing out every absurd pun in the name of her junk hypothesis as possible, and so this is where we end up:

…No foolin.’ Given what you’re already seen here, and given the previous references to The Da Vinci Code, guess who they’re going to talk about next?

Episode three in the video series opens with a pointless montage playing angry music and showing pictures possibly pertaining to the various wars between Israel and the Arab world and flashing the words “7,000 SETTLERS” several times. This once again is presumably building towards some point, but none is explicitly given. Until, of course, it decides that

Israel has written human history, and it is also writing the future of humanity.

It wouldn’t be a conspiracy theory video without not-so-veiled threats against the freest nation in the Middle East. But as shown this one takes pseudohistory to new depths, so the narrator moves along, deciding that there was a band of roving warriors that entered Egypt known as the “Habarus” – how the maker of this video singlehandedly reached consensus on an old archeological argument that does not in fact align with most of the evidence is not given, and ”most scholars do not now support this view.“

Oh, and the Habarus were also the Hyksos (or not, or even the exact opposite), and they conquered Canaan (which may or may not have even existed at the time), and then “changed its name to Israel,” while they were also the Pharaohs of Hyksos-dominated Egypt. (…You don’t say.)

In 135AD the name was once again changed to Palestine after the Romans conquered the land. As recently as 1948 the name was officially changed back to Israel again by the Hebrew Zionists who slaughtered and drove the Palestinian people from their homes, land and villages after WW2.

You are left to decide for yourself why this factually-inaccurate break in narrative flow is here.

The best way to understand what’s really going on in the world today is to journey back in time and dig up the ancient secrets of the past. Those ancient secrets have been hidden by the ruling class beneath the shifting sands of Egypt for more than 4,000 years.

Historian travel guides like Josephus [edited posthumously by 1st-century Christians, but saying absolutely nothing about ancient Egypt aside from some specious commentary on the Habarus], Herodotus [oops, wrong half of the Middle East]…as well as writers like [incomprehensible], Ralph Ellis [who wrote, King Jesus: from Kam to Camelot: King Jesus of Judaea was King Arthur of England…no, seriously] and Neils Peter Lemke [who actually appears to have some quite interesting things to say but few that would pertain to (spoiler alert) Jesus Christ being a Pharaoh (I warned you)] provide flashlights into the past.

Then, after going on about how the “Hebrews” were supposedly “in charge” of a series of shifting, bloodily-replaced Pharaohs throughout all of history, the narrator states

Archeology experts have found absolutely no evidence whatsoever of Hebrew Jews ever living in slavery in Egypt or their exodus… There is not one shred of archeological evidence for Moses or any of the Bible's cast of Hebrew characters. There is however plenty of evidence for the existence of Pharaohs whom these Biblical characters are based on.

First off, as shall be shown, whichever direction you try to go with this conclusion you will be wrong. It’s also a complete contradiction of what the entire episode until now has been about. Did the Hebrews exist, or didn’t they?

Later on, the video is going to claim that these insidious Jews have been controlling all of history from “behind the scenes” because their religion leads them to believe that they must bring on the “war of Revelations” (…from that book of the Bible not ascribed to Jewish beliefs) and that this will bring them, er, a One-World Communist Government, but also the Apocalypse…you’ll see. So which came first, their religious beliefs, or their retrofitted religious beliefs designed to mask the fact that they were once Pharaohs? Without their religious identity, what drove them to see world conquest in the first place?

Please note that the implications of the preceding paragraph refute this entire series.

"The Hebrews were not a race of people as once thought,” the movie continues, without irony. “They were a Semitic and Asiatic class of foreign workers who migrated into Egyptian lands as craftsmen and builders.” A Semitic “class?” This claims is as usual completely false because it is well established genetically, historically, and ethnographically that not only is there a basic “Semitic” group, but that this group has splintered off into distinct groups of people that include Jews and Arabs. Furthermore, it is well established that “Semitic” is a family of language that lexically parses Akkadian, Aramaic, Ugaritic, and Phoenician. This parsing includes some interesting distinctions between the Jews and the “Canaanites:”

Hebrew is the surviving member of North Central Semitic languages, the language “of Israel today, Aramaic, Ugaritic, and Phoenician, where the two latter no longer exists.” But the real beef of the refutation of this movie comes when we look into how the Phoenician Canaanites (who this movie calls just the Canaanites…who are really the Hyksos…who are really the Habarus…who are really the Jews…who are really the Canaanites…):

The people of Phoenicia, are now referred to as Phoenicians, even if before 1200 BCE we see that there are no distinctions in descriptions or names between them and the Canaanites. We do no[t] know if they represented one ethnic unity, or several. But from all sources, we see that they used one language, belonging to the Semitic family, now referred to as Phoenician.
According to one theory the Phoenicians were immigrants coming to the region around 3000 BCE. If this theory is true, it is furthermore possible that their origin was in the Persian Gulf, as this is stated in older traditions. But there are no forms of historical or archaeological evidence for this.

More likely however, is that the ancestors of the Phoenicians were the original population of the area. Yet it is room for the theory of immigration, as this could have involved a limited immigration, with the change of language and some traditions as a result.
If the first theory is correct, upon their arrival in Lebanon, it is quite likely that they mixed with an indigenous people. And it is quite likely that the original Phoenicians mixed with neighbour people, as well as other trading peoples. In general, one could say that today's Lebanese are direct descendants of the Phoenicians, but migrations and mixing of ethnic groups have been a part history ever since the decline of the Phoenicia.

In every Phoenician city, the wealthy merchant aristocrats had certain rights protecting them from the full strength of the law. Under the aristocracy, were the lesser businessmen, craftsmen, dealers, shopkeepers and entrepreneurs. Below this group in social standing were the normal working man, and at the bottom, slaves. Still, slaves were protected to some extent by the law, and could earn money and even buy their own freedom.

Two very important inventions are ascribed to the Phoenicians, glass and the alphabet. However, both were techniques imported from others — glass from the Egyptians and the alphabet from the more southern Canaanites. But it was the Phoenicians who invented the glass blowing technique, and who stated mass production and exports of glass.

So when the video goes on to claim that the Canaanites/Hyksos/Habarus/Jews were all “migrant workers” who infested and "grew to positions of power and wealth in Egypt," it’s got history absolutely, 100% wrong. Most likely, Phoenician was absorbed into mainline Hebrew as indigenous Hebrew Palestinian culture grew its own merchant class, and trade with Egypt was the norm. To go back to the old “Who built the Pyramids” thing, most archeologists say it was indigenous Egyptian seasonal workers. So that throws out another key piece of this series: There is no plausible mechanism by which the Hebrews could have ‘taken over’ Egypt. Furthermore, it spits in the face of basic history to argue that this version of events could be even slightly reconciled with what we actually know about where the Hyksos, Hebrews, Phoenicians, and Egyptians came from and went to.

This video then begins to essentially refute itself by going along with an Old Testament historiography and arguing that "Abraham, who was born in the town of Ur in 2055BC" was originally named “Abram.” The movie contradicts itself here yet again because this is four hundred years before the supposed Hyksos invasion (which probably never even happened, confirming what we speculated on above). Anyway, “Abram…married his beautiful sister Sarai,” then changed their names to "Egyptian names," Abraham and Sarah (which are not Ancient Egyptian names). Then, "once they migrated to Egypt Abraham turned over his wife to the Pharaoh as a sex slave and was rewarded with gold and silver." This is a warping of Biblical narrative with, well, goofy speculation. For someone who goes at great lengths to essentially defraud the last two centuries of archeological study, this narrator appears to have no problem accepting the same myths that, uh, she once called completely false at face value.

Thus follows a rant against circumcision that insults the narrator’s sensibilities because its practice "implied that God made a mistake in design" and has "more to do with mark of Hebrew ownership than hygiene," which (yawn) isn’t really how cultural transmission works, and is simply junk theology. It’s also disingenuous, because of course the narrator spends ten minutes of the movie ranting against the moral hypocrisy of the Western version of a deity.

"Who was the Pharaoh that the Bible neglected to identify when Abraham and Sarah reached Egypt? His name was Amenemhet I and he ruled Egypt from 1991BC-1962BC" (around a century before the narrator says when she believe Abraham lived), she concludes, getting her dates wrong simultaneously. "Is there any other evidence connecting Amenemhet I to Abraham? According to Egyptian history Amenemhet is not of royal blood and his family origin is unknown," she states, then tries to back up her claims by offering “Egyptology experts believe he seized the throne after murdering Mentuhotep.”

All of this is simply untrue.

King of Ancient Egypt, founder of the 12th Dynasty, ruling 1985-1956, 31 years.
Amenemhet was vizier under King Mentuhotep 4, allowing him to build a strong position in the administration of Thebes. Upon Mentuhotep's death, there was no strong contender to the throne, and Amenemhet took power and had his opponents defeated.

During his reign the capital of Egypt was moved from Thebes to a new capital south of Memphis, which he named Itj-Tawny. Amenemhet brought prosperity back to a troubled Egypt, he limited the power of the nobility, and he had the government reorganized.

He was also active in neighbouring countries, like Libya, Sinai and Nubia. He secured the borders toward Asia by having built the Walls of the Prince. Many fortresses were built in Nubia, increasing his control over this region of rebellious tribes.

A number of monuments were erected in his name. A text possibly containing instructions he gave to his son Sesostris 1, has been found.

In the 20th year of his reign he made Sesostris co-regent, putting him in control of the army and foreign policy. The co-regency lasted 10 years. Sesostris could peacefully ascend the throne upon his father's death.

And then the video seals its own coffin. Sarcophagus?

In 1818 Antonio Lebolo made a revolutionary discovery that identified Abraham as an Eypgtian Pharaoh.

He exhumed eleven Egyptian mummies along with rolls of papyri inscrolled with hieroglyphic writings and drawings... One of those drawings was interpreted by Mormon Joseph Smith and his Egyptologists as Abraham sitting on the Pharaoh's throne. Abraham's name was also deciphered on a roll of papyrus. Joseph Smith published his controversial findings in the Book of Abraham in 1842 and was murdered two years later. Today the only Egyptian pyramid tomb forbidden to the public is the tomb of Pharaoh Amenemhet I who many Biblical experts now say is the Biblical Abraham."

"Their common remains are concealed inside the famous Ark of the Covenant."

The evidence shows that the ancestral patriarch is Amenemhet I and that his biblical name is Abraham.

Without meaning to offend our proud Mormon-believing constituency…this is absolutely false, ridiculous, wrong, and a sham.

"“It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith’s impudent fraud."
-Archibald Sayce, professor of Egyptology at Oxford.

As The Other SkepTwin writes:

At some point in the mid-1830s, about five years after "translating" the bogus "Book of Mormon" hoax, Joseph Smith finds himself in possession of what is basically a traveling sideshow of treasures from farthest Egypt. He finds some scrolls written in a version of low-to-high ancient Egyptian and sits down to translate them. It is to his benefit that the scrolls were not rediscovered by some curious curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, with the final piece not being available to the hands of professionals until it was discovered hidden away in an LDS archive in the 1960s.

Smith's "translation" tells a story about the patriarch of a long-extinct Mesopotamian theocracy, who went by the clever moniker "The Father we lift up" (Abraham). This is the part of Mormon canon that talks about this Abraham traveling to Egypt and learning all about that ridiculous Kolob gobbledygook you often hear brought up in many a mirthfully heartless critique of Mormon theology (even Jack Chick has picked up on that this is retarded; It opens with a neat little story about the barbaric Egyptian gentiles trying to ritually murder Abraham until an angel intervenes to save him (an unabashed, uncreative reprint of the Isaac story), and then the next three chapters are spent talking about how there are many gods, and that our God lives near a star called Kolob.

It is almost impossible to enumerate precisely what Smith's translation got wrong since there is literally nothing in his fanciful fairytale that is at all germane to the content of the so-called Joseph Smith Papyri. Taking the first facsimile, which depicts the scene from which Smith translated the pagans attacking Abraham:

-Smith has labeled Osiris's icon as the Holy Spirit, Osiris's physical body as Abraham's, and Anubis as some, previously unknown gentile priest. It may seem odd that someone with the traditional depiction of Anubis's body would have a human head (since Anubis had the head of a jackal), but it just magically happens to be the case that this off detail of the papyrus is one of the exact lacunae that Smith himself "restored" while making his translation. That means that he mistook Anubis's body for a human body and literally just drew in a human head where there should be a Jackal's.

-He has labeled the jars under Osiris's funerary bed (which Smith refers to as a sacrificial altar, even though in this picture Osiris is already dead) as "idolatrous gods," even though these jars contain GOOD things in the language of real Egyptologists: they are jars protecting the removed organs of the deceased so that he can still use them in the afterlife. Note that the "gentile priest" is holding a surgical instrument, though this is in a malformed lacuna of the image that Smith himself may have restored, so it is impossible to what was actually in this section of the picture.

-He has taken a perfectly lovely artistic device, which is purely for decoration, at the bottom of the image and mislabeled it as an Egyptian representation of the "pillars of heaven."

-Smith describes another ornamental device as the "Shauman," or, the Egyptian version of the One True God's heaven. "Shauman" is not a word known to exist in any Egyptian language, ancient or modern.

Then there is the second facsimile. It is a circular image that depicts a complicated set of instructions to be buried with the dead so that they would know what to say to this or that god when it came time to journey to the afterlife. Smith has completely invented a cosmology being dictated to Abraham by an angel. Again, saying what exactly he got wrong is difficult because literally no part of his "translation" matches anything in a real translation of the second Smith Papyrus made by someone who can actually speak Egyptian. Among the more glaring errors are:

-The entire plot.

-The sermon from the angel talks about a One True God and such, but the papyrus plainly depicts numerous Egyptian gods. The creator-god Chhm-Re is actually present in the picture, but Smith's translation knows nothing about this (or the names of any of the other gods in the picture).

-He misrepresents a depiction of Horus's four sons as "the four corners of the Earth."

-A supplication to the Egyptian creator-god is translated into some gobbledygook about whether or not humans will ever be able to figure out the scope of the numbers being used in the astronomical calculations used in locating Kolob.

-Much of the rest of the papyrus has been deliberately altered by Mormon meddlers. The only other legible section actually talks about the city Heliopolis, but Smith has translated it into some kind of utterly bogus Lord's Prayer.

The third facsimile supposedly depicts Abraham lecturing on the finer points of geometry and astronomy to the Egyptian high court. It talks about slaves and princes and so on, but there is nothing even plausibly mistakable for such figures in the actual third facsimile. Everyone in the picture is in fact an Egyptian god, and Smith has gotten quite literally the entire thing wrong.

Mormon apologists are often so embarrassed by this that they in some cases question its authenticity. The FLDS position seems to be that anything Smith translated without the assistance of Moroni's magic rocks is completely illegitimate and that only the Book of Mormon is the liturgically correct forgery for them. Other Mormon "scholars" waffle back and forth between attacking the "official version" of the Papyri, drawing such uselessly broad "parallels" between the real translation and Smith's that it is transparently obvious that they have no real comeback (one scholar goes so far as to say that the Book of Abraham can be trusted because it talks about One True God in facsimile 2, and the real translation also talks about a highest Creator-God, ignoring the fact that the real translation also mentions dozens of other Egyptian gods and a plot that is completely different).

(End transmission. Q’APLA.)

Surprisingly enough, this in fact refutes the entire series outright.

The overarching premise of this series is that a tiny group of Jewish “banksters” has for thousands of years controlled the world’s wealth from gaining mastery over Egypt, once the financial capital of the world, then up through Rome, then through the Knights Templar, and so on down to our old friends J.P. Morgan and Larry Silverstein. This is all predicated on the belief that such mastery actually exists – and we have refuted that. It’s also predicated on the belief that global domination is any sort of imperative in Jewish theosophy – which is absurd. It also requires us to believe that Abraham and Amenemhet I were the same people, which we now know to be false. It requires you to take the words of a religious con artist at face value. It requires you to not know a thing about basic economics. It rests on fundamentally distorting history, and deliberately lying about what happened on 9/11.

But it’s all supposed to begin here, “beneath the shifting sands of Egypt.” This is the point in “Ring of Power” where it’s supposed to begin – and it doesn’t. Given all of this production’s ridiculous and fraudulent statements, when you put all of its mishmashed pieces together, nothing happens. Its subsequent claims – about Jesus being an emperor, about Hitler being willing to commit the Holocaust “because his grandmother was a native Jew” – become stillborn. If it can’t defend its claims about the economic tactics of Jewish people, about where this grand conspiracy came from, and about its activities over the past 4,000 years, the rest of it simply slides into a pool of incoherence.

Point by point, “Ring of Power” is dead in the water. Nothing that it said about the past 4,000 years, the histories of the United States, Egypt, London, Israel, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, the Crusades, the Knights Templar, the Federal Reserve System, archeology, history, science, anything is true or correct.

“Ring of Power” is the product of insanity. Anyone who even momentarily fell for its bizarre claims about the American Revolution or 9/11 set foot on a dangerous path, to a world where evidence does not matter, truth does not matter, and profound, all-consuming paranoia governs every second of every day. The only reason anyone could even countenance this piece is because it is clear that its creator or creators have a tenuous at best grasp of reality. To them, I can only say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that no wakeup call has come. I’m sorry that this is where you are. I hope that this document might be a step forward.

To their viewers I cannot state with sufficient strength that you have been deluded and lied to. In no unequivocal terms, let us finally be certain: there is nothing in “Ring of Power,” and so it is no more.