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The Sinfulness and Destructiveness of Conspiracy Theories

[16] Buckley, “Goldwater.”

[17] Ibid.

[18] See from the current John Birch Society website: The similarities between the John Birch Society and the Tea Party has been noted by various writers, see for example: Adam Gopnik, “The John Birchers’ Tea Party,” New Yorker, Posted, October 11, 2013.

[19] David Welch, “Where Have You Gone, Bill Buckley?” New York Times, Posted December 3, 2012

[20] Robert Stinnett, Day of Deceit: the Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000).

[21] For an authoritative, critical review of how Sinnett overstates his case and weaves improbable chains of conspiracy to involve such persons as General Marshall as well as dozens of others and confuses mistakes for purposeful actions, See Dr. Conrad Crane, Professor at the US Army Military College, “Book Reviews,” US Army War College Quarterly, 31 No. 1 (Spring 2001). Accessed, May 26, 2015. See also the more caustic review by Judith Greer, “Dive-bombing FDR,” Salon, Posted June 14, 200.

[22] Arthur J. Marder, From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Volume III: Jutland and After, May to December 1916 (London: Oxford University Press, 1966) 148-151.

[23] For a discussion of this, see William Manchester, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964 (New York: Little, Brown and Co., 1978), chapter 5, “To the Colors, 1941-1942.”

[24] Most scholars of the history of historical writings (“histiography”) would reverse this and say that the West’s’ robust appreciation of historical writings comes mainly from its Greco-Roman tradition. I plan to elaborate my view that the Biblical influence is preeminent in a future book, “The Wisdom of God in History” (forthcoming…with God’s help). For now I would refer the reader to the classic study of historical method and analysis: R.G. Collingwood’s The Idea of History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956) Part II. Collingwood shows that Christian historical writing introduced the concept of character development, or decline, a concept not found in the classical Greco-Roman writers who believed in set destiny and character.

[25] (New York: Harper Collins, 2003). See chapter 6, “Time, Space and Modernity.”

[26] Mark Ami-El, “The Destruction of the Temple Mount Antiquities,” Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints. Posted August 1, 2002.

[27] Arndt Graf, Schirin Fathi, and Ludwig Paul, eds., Orientalism and Conspiracy: Politics and Conspiracy Theory in the Islamic World (London: I. B. Tauris, 2011). The seminal study on the prevalence of conspiracy theory in Muslim thought.

[28] In this parable I am following the example of Collingwood, who used a parable of a detective solving a murder mystery as a way to demonstrate the principals of historical research. Idea of History, 270-273.

[29] Leftist are tempted to glamorize and excuse Mao’s reign – its propaganda was so effective and politically romantic. The antidote is real history. See Jung Chang, Mao, The Unknown Story (London Jonathan Cape, 2005) For my speculative and tentative understanding of historical tragedy, and God’s ultimate mercy, see my blog posting, “The Wrath of God in the Present Sunni-Shia War.” The posting mostly examines the wrath of God and His mercy on Germany in World War II. Posted June 20, 2014.

[30]Incidentally, this definitively proved the John Birch’s conspiracy theory that Truman, Eisenhower and other US presidents were presiding over a conscious conspiracy to turn the world over to the Communists. Rather, the policy of “containment,” first articulated by the diplomat George F. Kennan, which urged that the Communist nations be contained but not attacked, proved true. Kennan foresaw that Communist society would fall apart in time.

[31]Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History,” National Interest (Summer 1989).

[32]The causes of World War I were complex and tragic. See the classic study on this by Barbara Tuchman, The Guns of August (New York: Macmillian, 1962). In short, the usual suspects of a quest for revenge, a desire for domination, inflamed nationalism, Germanic racism, and Austrian diplomatic bumbling were all causes for the war.

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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2015

About the Author: William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major works include Quenching the Spirit: Discover the Real Spirit Behind the Charismatic Controversy (Creation House, 1992, 1996), Forgotten Power: The Significance of the Lord’s Supper in Revival (Zondervan, 2002), Agnes Sanford and Her Companions: The Assault on Cessationism and the Coming of the Charismatic Renewal (Wipf & Stock, 2015), and The Public Prayer Station: Taking Healing Prayer to the Streets and Evangelizing the Nones (Emeth Press, 2018). Bill pastored two Hispanic Anglican congregations in the Marietta, Georgia area, and is semi-retired. He continues in his healing, teaching and writing ministry and is the state chaplain of the Order of St. Luke, encouraging the ministry of healing in all Christian denominations. Facebook

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