Whether you fear the state or just love to speculate, here are 5 books guaranteed to make you think.

It’s often said that “conspiracy theories” are a “threat to our democracy,” but isn’t this fear-mongering about conspiracy theories proof of a conspiracy? Why would the supposed guardians of democracy want to restrict open discussion? Isn’t open discussion the essence of democracy? How can people think for themselves if they aren’t allowed to hear all the arguments? And how can people hear all the arguments if some arguments are labeled “conspiracy theories” and disallowed?

And If conspiracy theories are the ravings of lunatics, why not just let the lunatics make fools of themselves?

Instead, the “lunatics” are deplatformed and slandered. But over time, many of their crazy ideas come to seem more plausible than the official stories they were challenging. The latest example is obviously the serious concerns that “conspiracy theorists” having been raising about the Covid vaccines for two years. As the vaccinated seem to be suffering mysterious, and often fatal, health problems at unusually high rates, one wonders where the “threat to our democracy” is really coming from.

Fortunately, some conspiracy theories have been put into book form and have broken through the lines of censorship. Here are five such books, in no particular order, that everyone who likes to look at things from new angles is sure to enjoy.

5. Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon by David McGowan

In Weird Scenes Inside The Canyon, the late David McGowan posits the theory that most of the popular music of the 1960s was actually a CIA mind-control operation. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, if you consider the connections McGowan makes, such as Jim Morrison’s father being at the center of the of the incident that blew the Vietnam conflict up into a full-scale war, and a long list of other “rebels” being strangely tied to the military intelligence community. According to McGowan, Laurel Canyon, in Los Angeles, was the epicenter of one of the weirdest, and evilest, government operations in history. Even if you don’t buy McGowan’s thesis, the numerous, factual “weird scenes” are worth the price of admission.

4. Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill

After interviewing Vincent Bugliosi, the elite lawyer who prosecuted the Manson Family and penned Helter-Skelter, the official account of the fabled Manson murders, magazine reporter Tom O’Neill developed profound doubts about Bugliosi’s character, and the story the man was telling. Chaos is O’Neill’s full investigation into the topic. As in so many other cases, O’Neill quickly concludes that the CIA is the actual culprit as he discovers that before he became a cult leader Charles Manson was involved in government LSD experiments, and as O’Neill turns up many bizarre, purported instances of government technicians using mind control. O’Neill’s skill as a writer and his dedication as an investigative reporter make the book consistently interesting.

3. The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin

In The Creature From Jekyll Island, G. Edward Griffin, a paternal figure in the conspiracy world, exposes the origins of the American money system since 1913. That was the year that the Federal Reserve—which as Griffin points out, is not federal, but private, and has no actual reserves of money, just the ability to create it endlessly—was put in charge of the US money supply. Apparently a set of sneaky men in top hats who already had more money than they could ever spend met in Jekyll Island, New York in 1910 to plot a takeover of the American, and then world, financial systems. Griffin’s thesis is that money is used as a tool to control entire economies, and those who can expand and contract its supply are the master of the universe. Who can argue with that?

2. Programmed to Kill by David McGowan

David McGowan gets another shout-out here because he was one of the best writers and most interesting thinkers in the conspiracy world. His thesis in Programmed to Kill is that the explosion of serial killer activity, and the wall-to-wall coverage of serial killers, in the 1980s, was yet another CIA operation. Again exposing surprising connections of various alleged serial killers to military intelligence agencies, McGowan argues that the serial killers were either patsies (people framed for crimes) or victims of the fabled MKULTRA mind-control program, or both. McGowan believed that the manufactured serial-killer hysteria was used to control the public through fear.

1. Behold a Pale Horse by Bill Cooper

This book and its author are legendary, and Behold a Pale Horse is the most popular conspiracy book in prisons across the United States. Milton William “Bill” Cooper was Alex Jones before Alex Jones was Alex Jones: a regular guy who had a lot of attitude, a restless mind, and endless theories about why everything was falling apart. Cooper started his own radio broadcast in the 1990s, before Jones, and in case you doubt his sincerity, he died in a shootout with the police in 2001, over his belief that Americans are not legally required to pay taxes. Behold a Pale Horse is Cooper’s only book, and it covers a wide array of disturbing topics that Cooper supposedly learned about when he saw a cache of secret documents as a young Naval Intelligence Officer.

Of course, there are many more conspiracy theories, and many more conspriacy books out there. These represent some of the most interesting and essential ones, and if you read them you will be left with very little faith in official stories or “experts.” Whether that makes you an informed citizen, or a threat to democracy, probably depends on which side of the conspiracy you are on.

By Alex S.

Lit Rebellion's technical advisor and staff writer.

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