By Michael Barkun
What do flying saucers believers, Christian millennialists, and right-wing conspiracy theorists have in universal? in line with Michael Barkun during this attention-grabbing but tense e-book, rather a lot. it's renowned that a few americans are enthusiastic about conspiracies. The Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma urban bombing, and the 2001 terrorist assaults have all generated complex tales of hidden plots. what's a long way much less recognized is the level to which conspiracist worldviews have lately turn into associated in unusual and unpredictable methods with different "fringe" notions resembling a trust in UFOs, Nostradamus, and the Illuminati. Unraveling the intense genealogies and diversifications of those more and more common principles, Barkun indicates how this net of city legends has unfold between subcultures on the net and during mass media, how a brand new sort of conspiracy pondering has lately arisen, and the way this phenomenon pertains to higher adjustments in American tradition. This booklet, written via a number one professional at the topic, is the main complete and authoritative exam of latest American conspiracism so far.
Barkun discusses various material--involving inner-earth caves, executive black helicopters, alien abductions, mystery New global Order cabals, and lots more and plenty more--that few discover exists in our tradition. taking a look heavily on the manifestions of those principles in a variety of literature and resource fabric from non secular and political literature, to New Age and alien craft courses, to pop culture phenomena reminiscent of The X-Files, and to web pages, radio courses, and extra, Barkun unearths that the USA is within the throes of an unequalled interval of millennarian task. His e-book underscores the significance of knowing why this phenomenon is now spreading into extra mainstream segments of yankee tradition.
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Additional info for A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society)
3 million five years earlier. Besides the sheer volume of material it can accommodate, the Internet is the first mass medium without gatekeepers. No intermediaries, such as editors, publishers, or producers, stand between the content provider and the distribution of the message. In addition, the creation and dissemination of content require only a modest financial investment. 7 One effect of the Internet is to obscure the distinction between mainstream and fringe sources; another is to bind together individuals who hold fringe views.
Stigm atized knowledge claims By stigmatized knowledge I mean claims to truth that the claimants regard as verified despite the marginalization of those claims by the institutions that conventionally distinguish between knowledge and error—universities, communities of scientific researchers, and the like. Although this definition encompasses rejected knowledge in both Webb’s G&S Typesetters PDF proof 02-C2713 6/13/03 12:46 PM Page 27 M I L L E N N I A L I S M A N D S T I G M AT I Z E D K N O W L E D G E 27 and Campbell’s senses, it also includes a broader range of outsider ideas.
This simple schema, however, does not work well any longer. The reason has little to do with the relative health of religious and secular millennialism. Both have flourished. Although it was once believed that forces for secularization would inevitably marginalize religion, the last three or four decades of the twentieth century demonstrated the vitality of many religious traditions. This is particularly evident in the growth of fundamentalisms—religious movements that seek to restore what believers consider a pristine, uncorrupted tradition.
A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society) by Michael Barkun