27 June 2006

Worldwide Conspiracies in Oz

Because The Wizard of Oz occupies such a big place in Americans' collective imagination, it's only natural for our conspiracy theorists to decide that it means even more. And of course the World Wide Web is a wonderful forum for people to express their theories about, well, worldwide webs.

I recently sampled some of the online conspiracist essays about Oz, and see some broad patterns:

  • Many of these theories trace The Wizard of Oz's role in their personal favorite conspiracy back to author L. Frank Baum, given his lively, if not detailed or consistent, opinions on religion and social movements.
  • However, none of the conspiratorial connections those theorists see were detected in Baum's lifetime or shortly afterwards. All these interpretations date from well after the MGM movie was televised annually.
  • Many theorists have a hard time differentiating between the book and the movie, crediting Baum with details that didn't appear until 1939 or seeing books and movie as all part of the same conspiracy.
  • Racism and bigotry of other sorts is never far below the surface of these theories.
  • Most enjoyably, conspiracy theorists have a wonderful way of splintering into smaller and smaller groups, each accusing others of being part of the conspiracy.
Here's one such essay, "L. Frank Baum and the Not-So-Wonderful Wizard of Oz," apparently a joint production of Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D., and Steve Van Nattan. The main text is said to come from Cuddy's book, the Biblical interpolations from Van Nattan.

Cuddy is an anti-New World Order crusader. His biography reassures us that he "has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education [and]...testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice." (No dates attached to those experiences.) Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) inserted various Cuddy writings into the Congressional Record during debate on an education bill in 1998.

Van Nattan is a Christian pastor who's written such things as, "Nor will I approve of the pulpit being used by those who are mere do-gooders or political hucksters, such as the Gideons. I know how to hand out Bibles without the help of Episcopalians." (Those aggressive Episcopalians.) The "Not-So-Wonderful" essay also appears on Van Nattan's old website, with every appearance of the phrase "New World Order" replaced with "piano casters." The ways of the world are mysterious, but an explanation may lie in the fact that Van Nattan has a piano supplies business. And, apparently, a hacked-up website.

Van Nattan has apparently angered another conspiracy theorist, Edward Hendrie, on the question of interracial marriage. Meanwhile, Hendrie and Cuddy and a lot of others are in agreement that the U.S. government knew about the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York in advance--but it's quite possible each has different explanations and therefore opposes the other.

But where in the Oz legend, you must be asking, are the Illuminati? According to "Wizard of Oz and Illuminati Mind Control", they were involved, too. That essay seems to come from Fritz Springmeier and Cisco Wheeler's book The Illuminati Formula to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave, and Deeper Insights. (Insights even deeper than undetectable mind control?) That book reveals, among so much more, that "At the Kennedy Space Center...Mind control testing is done, and base programming such as the Wizard of Oz programming is done here." Well, some people do think Oz is on another planet.

Springmeier presents himself as a minister, and Wheeler states that she is from "an Illuminati family." This webpage links them to other identities. In March 2001, the Portland Oregonian reported that Springmeier had been arrested on drug charges and found with "white supremacist literature." He replied by starting the charges were--what else?--a conspiracy. But in late 2003 Springmeier was sentenced to nine years in prison for helping to rob a bank in 1997.

Ken Vardon, maintainer of the webpage reprinting Springmeier and Wheeler's Wizard of Oz essay, has his own opponents among the conspiracy crowd who regard him with suspicion because of his military background.

Also reprinting material from Springmeier and Wheeler is this page from the "New Covenant Church of God" in Sweden, whose website tells us:
The theme inside the MGM is the Wizard of Oz which is for Monarch programming. (To understand the Wizard of Oz mind control programming the reader needs to get this author’s various writings on the Monarch Programming, which includes an Illustrated Guide To Monarch Programming and other writings.) Bob Hope, an MI-6 agent who was used extensively in W.W. II to trigger mind-controlled military men with the proper hypnotically embedded trigger words, received his own mind-controlled sex slaves after the war. . . .
Secret agents, word-triggered hypnosis, sex slaves--that definitely sounds like a Bob Hope movie from the early 1960s. Somewhere between Bachelor in Paradise and I'll Take Sweden. Pity it exists only in some fevered imaginations.

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