Location visible to members
Grand conspiracy ideology is the belief that many different aspects of society are controlled by an alleged evil cabal, e.g. "the Illuminati" or "the Elders of Zion." Grand conspiracy ideology is the subset of "conspiracy theory" that has actually harmed the most people. Examples include:
Anti-Jewish panics of the early 1900's, culminating in Nazism, fueled in part by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was proven to be a forgery but still endorsed by many Jew-haters worldwide.
The Hamas Charter, which, to this day, endorses The protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare of the 1980's and early 1990's (http://theisticsatanism.com/asp/sra.html), in which many ordinary people were convicted of horrible cirmes that most likely never happened, and in which many other families were torn apart due to "recovered memories." Although the SRA mythology has been largely discredited in law-enforcement circles, it still resurfaces occasionally, and many grand conspiracy ideologists have worked hard to keep it alive. And belief in "the Illuminati" was a standard part of "Satanism" scare mythology even before the 1980's.
Today's Christian religious right wing, many of whose more prominent leaders (e.g. Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, and John Hagee) are believers in "the Illuminati" and have used grand conspiracy claims to whip up fervor amongst their troops.
The perpetrators of violent hate crimes are, in many cases, believers in grand conspiracy ideology. (Recent examples include Scott Roeder and James W. von Brunn.)
Although ignored by most of the mainstream media, grand conspiracy ideology seems to be growing rapidly in popularity these days, via alternative media and within the Pentecostal/evangelical Christian subculture, and even via some popular radio talk shows. But hardly anyone is making any effort to counteract the spread of this particular kind of hate-mongering.
We do not want to limit anyone's freedom of speech, including the grand conspiracy ideologists'. But we do call on journalists and relevant scholars, especially historians, to educate the public, and we call on activists against all kinds of bigotry to be aware of grand conspiracy ideology and to speak out against it and point people to refutations.
For more information, see NYARBB's position on "conspiracy theories" (http://nyarbb.com/positions/conspiracy.html) and NYARBB's position against "Illuminati" claims (http://nyarbb.com/positions/illuminati.html). See also Project: Against Grand Conspiracy Ideology - links page (http://nyarbb.com/pagci/links-agci.html)..
Location and how to find us: We'll be meeting at a Chinese restaurant on 7th Avenue, near Rockefeller Center. (The exact address, and other details, will be visible to you once you join this Meetup group.) The nearest subway stop is 49th Street on the N, R, and W lines (7th Avenue). Other nearby subway stops are 50th Street on the 1 line (Broadway), 50th Street on the E and C lines (8th Avenue), 47th to 50th Street on the B, D, F, and V lines (6th Avenue), and 7th Avenue on the B, D, and E lines (53rd Street). For those coming from outside the city, Pearls is also approximately a 15-minute walk from Penn Station.
Ask a waiter for "New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry."
We'll be at a table in the UPSTAIRS part of the restaurant. There will be some NYARBB literature on the table.