6. THE CONSPIRATORIAL APOCALYPSE
The conspiratorial apocalypse is a part of the larger phenomenon of conspiracy theory. The expression “conspiracy theory” is frequently used in popular culture to describe secret military, economic or political actions meant to steal power, money or the freedom of the majority. Conspiracy theories are based on the notion that major events are the products of plans unknown to the general public, emanated by an elite which, depending on fears and the level of understanding, is identified with Freemasonry, the Illuminati, New Age occultists, aliens or other imaginary or real groups. As in the case of aliens, there is an entire literary and documentary universe dedicated to conspiracy theory.
While the expression “conspiracy theory” is a modern creation, the idea of conspiracy exists ever since the world has the image of the invisible supernatural battle between good and evil. Conspiracy is seen as a perfidious method through which evil is trying to undermine good. Conspiracy theory is used to blame someone or something every time there is a feeling of a crisis. Each historical context has its conspirators. In the first centuries the Romans saw the secret practice of Christianity as a conspiracy meant to destroy the empire. In the Middle Ages the devil constantly conspired to corrupt Christians or it cooperated with the Jews to undermine the religion of Christ. During the Reformation, when the Papacy was demonized, Protestants portrayed a conspiring Antichrist, who rises from within society through subversive means. On the other hand, Catholics saw the Reformation as a great devilish conspiracy meant to destroy the institution of God. The Puritans feared popish conspiracies. The Salem witch trials is one the first examples of conspiracy theories in the history of America. After the American Revolution there were fears of British conspiracies or satanic conspiracies. Theologians such as Darby claimed that elite groups sold their soul to Satan to gain power and money, becoming the pawns in a supernatural game of chess. Through these agents mankind was pushed to accept a global government, based on the spiritual foundations of a false religion in which the Unholy Trinity – the Antichrist, Satan and the False Prophet – would be adored.1345 During the Second World War Nazi and Neo-Nazi conspiracies circulated. During the Cold War the Americans saw Soviet conspiracies. Aliens conspire ever since they came to public attention, while other current Christian theories state that the False Prophet will be a pope or a New Age guru, and the Antichrist will be the president of the world or a Muslim caliph.