Monday, January 10, 2011

Further evidence that the paranormal and politics don't mix

A primary reason that I have hesitated embracing, and why I pass over many Coast To Coast episodes, is the strange intermingling of paranormal speculation with conspiracy theories ripped from the textbook of the extreme American right. The most blatant example of this is Jeff Rense, whose website is clearly anti-Semitic (at least, the last time I checked--haven't checked in a while). Although everyone is entitled to one's on political views (on paper, at least), the paranormal field seems particularly infested with strains of right-wing thought... and I don't know why. Ghosts, aliens, poltergeists and such tend not to express political views of any particular type. Then why should paranormal investigators and shows dabble with the extreme right?

It has all been brought home by the continuing disclosures of "alleged" shootist Jared Loughner's peculiar political views. While pundits are, for now, falling over themselves emphasizing that Loughner had no connection to any radical political groups, the New York Times today examined a couple of his beliefs ("Jared L. Loughner's Odd Behavior Caused Alarm"), which would not sound strange to any Coast To Coast listener: that the U.S. currency is worthless; that the Federal Reserve is a privately owned corporation that is stealing from the taxpayer. Unknowncountry, in fact, just recently posted an interview between Jim Marrs and Joseph Ferrell (whose ideology I question) asserting that something that really is self-evident, but not necessarily heinous: "Our Money Is NOT Real." Jerome Corsi, the Swiftboat partisan and all-round conspiracist, appeared on Coast To Coast on six separate occasions last year.

If there is anything positive that can come out of the Jared Loughner story, it will be that such peculiar beliefs will be outed, examined, and debated, as they should be. And perhaps producers of paranormal-themed programs will finally awaken to the dangers of extremism and dump politics from their lineup.

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