In retrospect, the weeks before 9/11 are almost better defined by the things I didn’t know. I didn’t know, really, how much people in the Middle East disliked, hated America and Americans, sure. And then there are smaller knowledges that I didn’t know — details of events and of governmental decisions that would become clear after the fact.

But there is something else I didn’t know, about which I want to talk about here. And one of the ways I can talk about it is by reference to my own late adolescence.

As a kid, I incorrectly and intolerantly assumed that most of the magical thinking in the world was visible, in places I could see, because it was (for example) printed in the pages of the Weekly World News. I didn’t realize how much of it was invisible.

I mean, at some point, I discovered Art Bell and Coast to Coast, but still, that was nationally syndicated. The superstition was visible.

But there was a contingent of people who believed things I didn’t know about or understand.

Diagram from David Icke

From David Icke

The above diagram exemplifies the conspiracy thinking of David Icke, thinking which draws upon traditional conspiracy theories (and which integrates the Illuminati, for example, into its narratives) and goes further.

In brief: Icke believes that we, the people, live in a prison of our five senses. But the universe is not limited to these senses or the reality that they can detect. He loves radio waves as an example.

We are persistently bathed in radio waves. We might tune a radio to one channel, but that doesn’t mean that the waves broadcast by other stations on other frequencies have stopped. We are bathed in their waves even if we are not attuned to them. We are bathed in their waves even if the radio is off and we perceive nothing at all.

Our whole reality, Icke thinks, works like this — and the “real rulers” of this reality are therefore among us and yet invisible. This is how Wikipedia summarizes Icke’s theories:

According to … David Icke … tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis star system, now hiding in underground bases, are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy against humanity. He contends that most of the world’s ancient and modern leaders are related to these reptilians, including the Merovingian dynasty, the Rothschilds, the Bush family and the British Royal family. A poll of Americans in 2013 by Public Policy Polling indicated that 4% of registered voters (±2.8%) believed in David Icke’s ideas.

That is a lot of people, believing something at least as far fetched as anything I saw in the Weekly World News. The secular, rational culture I thought I knew had undercurrents of something less rational, irrational, that I would not see until after 9/11.

After 9/11, the intense torsions and transformations in global politics (two wars are just the beginning of talking about those changes) and in individual life (e.g. never being served silverware on a plane again, never unthinkingly believing that air travel is safe again) made it easier to believe that there were reptilian multidimensional overlords. These torsions and transformations made it easier to believe that these overlords fed on the fear that they created in what I thought was the most powerful nation on earth.

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