The Dentith Files – The Incidence of Historical Conspiracy Theories

Between 2008 and 2010, Matthew Dentith first joined 95bFM’s Simon Pound, then José Barbosa, on Sunday mornings to talk about conspiracy theories. Listen, as they say, again!

Well, that went well. I wrote a paper on the topic of Historical Conspiracies vs. Contemporary Conspiracy Theories. I’m not going to link to it (a draft thereof) because I’m hoping my new ‘Similar Posts’ plugin will do that for me. If it doesn’t, then, well, you can always use the search function of the blog to satisfy any curiousity you might have over the matter.

Next time; the EU and Conspiracy Theories thereof. The time after that, JFK. I like JFK; it allows me to talk about another love of my life, the Principia Discordia and one of its authors, Kevin Thornley.

This week Matthew takes a look at historic conspiracies and contemporary conspiracy theories. He compares the two and makes some conclusions about that can tell us about modern society.


Surely you mean “Kerry Thornley”? Don’t mean to nitpick, but some people might say you’re probably not that big a fan if you make so basic an error.

admin says:

How embarrassing. I probably need the humility so the error stays, along with this admission that I’ve managed to complete misremember (and it would seem for some time) Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst’s other name.

The Qantas plane that had an explosion – decompression – emergency landing last week was (so I hear) the same plane that carried the Pope a week earlier.

For conspiracy theories, an opportunity missed.

admin says:

If this is true, and I’m not doubting you, then that’s possibly the greatest story never actually actualised.

What is it about Pontiffs and vehicles, eh?

bi -- IJI says:

But… but Caesar was assassinated by a conspiracy! 🙂 I guess an example a historical conspiracy theory that wasn’t will be the “Jews were behind the Black Death” myth… the sentiment behind which might perhaps be traced all the way back to, I don’t know, the First Crusade?

admin says:

Did I say he wasn’t? Because if I did, then that’s a slip of the tongue. As my new round of students will attest to, I use the Caesar example as one of an actual Conspiracy (as well as the various theories surrounding the question of why the co-conspirators did what they did).

As to the ‘Jews doing it…’ I can think of several 1st Century ACE examples of anti-semiticism in Alexandria that suggests it’s a very, very, very old (and irrational) prejudice.

bi -- IJI says:

“Did I say he wasn’t?”

No, that wasn’t what I meant… I was just surprised that you’d pick examples of conspiracy theories which turned out to be true.

“I can think of several 1st Century ACE examples of anti-semiticism in Alexandria that suggests it’s a very, very, very old (and irrational) prejudice.”