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A Culture of ConspiracyApocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America$
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Michael Barkun

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238053

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238053.001.0001

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UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats I

UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats I

Anti-Catholicism and Anti-Masonry

(p.126) Chapter 8 UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats I
A Culture of Conspiracy

Michael Barkun

University of California Press

New World Order adherents can either ignore or adopt racist and anti-Semitic ideas, but their constructs have spread rapidly. Some New World Order ideas in ufology have been free of any overt racial or religious bias. UFO conspiracists often reproduce the biases of nineteenth-century American nativism, concentrating on the malevolence of the three groups that obsessed nativists in that century: Catholics, Freemasons, and Jews. This chapter discusses the place Catholics, Freemasons, and Jews occupied in nativist thought, and the role they play in contemporary ufology. As conspiracy theories have become increasingly broad and multilayered, they have identified an ever-wider array of conspiratorial agents. Jesuits figure prominently in contemporary UFO conspiracy theories because, as a tightly structured order, they can be accommodated among the secret societies that obsess conspiracists.

Keywords:   UFO conspiracists, American nativism, New World Order, Catholics, Freemasons, Jews

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