Among Boston Bombing Conspiracy Theorists, Who Had Chechnya?

Will actual identified suspects stop crazy theories? Probably not.

After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, it took me about three days to find my first full-blown conspiracy theory about the specifics surrounding the event online.  The way the World Trade Center towers collapsed, the story went, clearly indicated a controlled demolition planned by none other than our very own government. It was, in effect, the moment that the national paranoia bubble burst.

Fast-forward 12 years later to our most recent national tragedy, the horrific Boston Marathon bombings, and it’s clear that not only has our countrywide conspiracy machine been running fine, but it’s actually gotten more efficient in its output. After all, it only took about a half hour from the second bomb’s explosion for notorious shouting head Alex Jones to declare the bombings a ”false flag” operation intent on stripping Americans of their rights. That’s gangbusters compared to a couple days.

But Jones, an undisputed juggernaut of spinning tales out of horseshit online, isn’t the only one spewing disinformation while accusing the “lamestream” media of doing the same. Also onboard is David Icke, the man behind the hilariously over-the-top Reptilians theory, along with thousands of faceless, nameless trolls who have theorized everything from Seth MacFarlane’s involvement to preemptive memorial Facebook pages. Among the cream of the conspiracy crop:

  • The “False Flag” Special: In which our heroes, the underdog conspiracy theorists, expose the tyrannical government’s plans to institute a police state by staging national tragedies. And it takes a pro wrestler to do it. As if terrorists blowing up a leisurely spectator sport gathering at the finish line isn’t conspiracy enough.
  • Family Guy? More like Family Die: Seth MacFarlane moves on from terrorizing celebrities at the Oscars to terrorizing Americans generally with prophetic episodes of his hit show. Because if the government’s going to program you for future events, they’re going to have Seth MacFarlane do it with dick and fart jokes.
  • Fake Facebook Follies: In which the government’s dirty, false-flagging deeds get unearthed by Internet commenters who noticed Facebook pages in memorial of the Boston Marathon bombings were created before the bombings themselves. It’s all so obvious now!
  • Terror Goes Hollywood: Seems the big, bad government isn’t so bad. Just look, they hired actors and applied incredible prosthetic makeup to fake gruesome injuries without all that messy collateral damage in the bombing’s wake. As it turns out, pretending you don’t have any legs isn’t that hard in front of countless cameras and journalists.
  • A Fantastic Fordicidia: Where it’s revealed that the Boston Bombings took place on the same day as the Roman sacrificial festival in honor of the goddess Tellus, presumably in some sort of neo-Roman fashion. We are, after all, really concerned that our crops do well this season.

All that (and much more) was invented in a matter of minutes or hours after the initial attack. That’s compared to days or weeks with 9/11 more than a decade ago. And I shouldn’t have to go through these theories line-by-line to tell you why they’re patently untrue (if I do, you’re reading the wrong post). But what’s interesting here, moreso than that people believe these at all, is the speed at which these conspiracies were generated and how quickly they entered the national consciousness. It’s almost as if 9/11 inspired so much widespread paranoia that we’re primed to publicly lose our shit in a fit of fear and vulnerability.

How else do you explain a total rejection of reality before that reality is even investigated and reported on? Sure, conspiracy theorists have been around since the dawn of human events, but precious few of them dress up like Elvis and mail ricin to the President, which is kind of representative of the level of misguided fact-making and dedication we’re seeing in today’s conspiracy theorists. Couple that with a national consciousness that’s rife for distrust of its government and paranoid delusions, and there’s no way news of a Newtown-related conspiracy (however untrue) won’t go viral.

That two suspects have been identified in Boston will unfortunately do very little to satisfy the suspicions of those among us who question the official story. If this was some type of false flag operation, or Roman ritual sacrifice (seriously?), or whatever, it doesn’t do too much good to have the suspects images; there are much darker, powerful forces at play to make that seem relevant. No amount of logic is going to combat that type of paranoia, especially when healing the psychic wounds caused by this event, and the countless others like it, is a long way off. The best we can seem to do in the face of these fables, which seem to multiply daily, is hope that the endless stream of photos, video, and eyewitness accounts from the event can help squelch any further baseless theory generation by self-styled online sleuths.

Oh, wait.