It’s true. The government, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, big banks and aliens really are out to get you!
As an author, I deal in conspiracy theories. The more far-fetched and imaginative the conspiracy, the more entertaining the novel. Conspiracies make compulsive reading and elicit a reader response of open mouthed incredulity, anger and disgust. Only occasionally will a few smart readers recognise that their credibility is being tested to the limit. Conspiracies sell books by the truck load. I am not sure I would stretch reader credibility so far as to write a novel that explored why thirty percent of all Utah residents believe they have been abducted by aliens or that twenty percent of those had been subject to anal probes! But most other conspiracy theories are fair game.
My first novel ‘The Sleepwalker Legacy’ suggested that the US government was strong-arming a failing pharmaceutical company into supplying a drug called Berserker to its armed forces. The soldiers who took the drug would become ferocious warriors who would fight to the death and believe they could be harmed by neither fire nor iron. In the novel, Berserker’s deadly side effects turned those soldiers into permanent killers with acute post-traumatic stress disorder. A bit too far-fetched? Maybe a tad implausible even for a conspiracy thriller?
Not so. Last week I stumbled on a press article entitled ‘the tiny pill making fighters in Syria feel like superhuman soldiers’. http://www.smh.com.au/world/the-tiny-pill-making-fighters-in-syrias-war-feel-like-superhuman-soldiers-20151119-gl3fs8.html It reported how fighters who used ‘Captagon’ felt they had a ‘power nobody else has’ and ‘there was no fear anymore’. Syria’s fighters would kill with a ‘numb, reckless abandon.’ One fighter was quoted as saying ‘if there were 10 people in front of you, you could catch and kill them’. More worryingly ‘the drug produces dangerous side effects including psychosis and brain damage.’ The difference of course is that this is no western government would knowingly prescribe drugs to its armed forces that led to nightmares, depression, suicidal thoughts and paranoia. Or would they?
In fact the governments of the US, Canada, Britain and Australia have been prescribing the antimalarial drug Mefloquine for over two decades. Mefloquine has been reported to be the cause of many cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. One Australian veteran said that the drug made his tour of duty feel “like living in a heavily armed lunatic asylum”. Mefloquine has been withdrawn from use by the US Special Forces since 2013. However it is still issued to about 2,500 military personnel every year in the UK and is subject to a Defence Select Committee enquiry. In Australia over 2,000 personnel have been prescribed the drug. http://www.smh.com.au/national/soldiers-fear-drug-program-has-scarred-them-with-depression-anxiety-nightmares-20151125-gl8350.html
My second novel ‘The Nocnista Agenda’ preyed on the fear that the information we freely divulge in our social media accounts will be used by unscrupulous characters to bring about our own downfall. In the novel, the sociopathic media tycoon Leo Wulff buys a social media data base and uses the information to go on a killing spree of those whose profiles runs counter to his own warped sense of moral values.
Earlier this year a group of hackers known as the Impact Team hacked into the dating site Ashley Maddison. Setting themselves up as self-styled moral guardians they released information on 36 million subscriber accounts including names, height, weight, gender, addresses, email addresses, email address, GPS co-ordinates, credit card transaction details and sexual preferences. Just as Leo Wulff felt morally justified in ordering his hits, the Impact Team justified their illegal activities by suggesting that victims should ‘learn your lessons and make amends”. One can almost imagine the pompous and Leo Wulff in the Nocnista Agenda smugly suggesting something similar to justify his murderous activities. http://www.bustle.com/articles/105183-what-is-the-impact-team-the-ashley-madison-hackers-delivered-on-their-promises
In my next book I will be exploring the so-called conspiracies within the energy industry to shock, anger and disgust my readers. The novel will hint that the global powers manipulate and strong-arm innocent middle-eastern nations to control their oil wealth. The plot will cast ‘big oil’ as villain crushing developing alternative energy industries to keep their profits flowing. I will create shadowy energy lobbyists who, with their money and influence control the voting intentions of US government members.
Pure fiction? Don’t you believe it! Behind every good conspiracy theory is a solid base of fact. Just think yourself lucky my next book is not about aliens and flying saucers. The next time you holiday on the back roads of Utah you really could be due for an anal probe!