What Lies Below, Day Thirty Five
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
Hello again! Today wraps up the Sixth Tier of the Iceberg with a good solid mix, including one thing I genuinely got stumped by! Feel free to yell at me for that, or share if you know what it is.
PLEROMA — It’s a term that appears in Christianity to reference the totality of God’s power, but also appears a lot in Gnosticism as a bit of a larger concept. In that context, it is basically the entire spiritual world — which may or may not be this one, or tied to it, depending on who you talk to. Gnosticism has gotten fairly fashionable in recent years but this has led to a bit of a diffusion of some of the terminology and teachings, insofar as they get bandied about on imageboards without much depth and tend to evolve or mutate as a result.
TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONES — I’ve seen this appear in two contexts. One is an Anarchist concept(there’s a book by Hakim Bey about it) of creating such zones as an exercise in educating people and eroding the various hierarchies and controls usually in place. The other is a more nebulous idea in which governments or those that control them will manifest such things in a legal sense so as to allow those within the zone to operate without any possible ramifications — i.e. when a government is doing tortures and war crimes, or when powerful people are doing very yucky sexual things or other crimes. The recent ‘CHAZ’ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) in Seattle is kinnnnd of an example of the first variety? It had some of the spirit, though in practice it was iffy. It also ran into a lot of trouble when it tried to make itself more permanent, which is why the ‘Temporary’ part of the term is very important to proponents of such zones.
CODEX GIGAS — This is a huge manuscript in a a literal sense. It’s about three feet ‘tall’, hence the spooky sounding name that just means “big book”. It is real, and is on display in Stockholm. It’s unfortunately not some kind of ancient occult tome, but rather a compilation of known works including both Testaments of the Bible. It is very beautifully scripted, with lots of coloring and images throughout. There’s two primary weird things about it, the first just being a huge illustration of the devil that sometimes leads to the Codex being called the “Devil’s Bible”.
The second thing about the Codex is the alleged origin of it. A monk who broke his vows was to be sealed in a room until death as punishment, but claimed he could create a sort of book of wonders containing all knowledge if he’d be spared. They gave him a single night to do this and as a result, he made a pact with Lucifer(hence the giant picture) and the book was created. Experts believe it would take quite a few years to actually write such a text. Historians are a stuffy bunch so obviously they think it was painstakingly created over years or decades with careful attention paid to making sure it never changed in style, but I like the mysterious legend better.
DISNEY CRUISE TRAFFICKING — This seems like it’s based piecemeal on all various issues Disney Cruises have experienced. A young woman crew member went missing from one of the vessels a while back, with some conjecture suggesting she’d been somehow delivered into trafficking via the ship. Another issue involves a crew member found guilty of molesting children on the ship, which brought forth suggestions(including from other former crew) that this practice was a bit more widespread than just the isolated incident. I think what most of it comes from, though, is that Disney Cruises at one time brought passengers to Little Saint James Island: the infamous “Epstein Island”. There was popular snorkeling territory nearby and this wasn’t particularly unusual. Then again, Epstein allegedly had connections to high-ups at Disney. I haven’t seen much that actually bridges the ‘the ships stopped near the island’ to ‘people on them were trafficked’ gap, however.
BERINGERS LYING STONES — This is another one that I’m unfortunately going to have to say is pretty clearly a hoax. These are chunks of limestone found in the 1720s that were carved to look like fossils, and I guess at a glance they do. Suspiciously perfect ones at that. The people who made them even wrote various names of God on them and this Beringer dude believed it was REAL.
Anyway this is pretty funny because eventually the guys doing the hoax thought they’d trolled Beringer enough and tried to confess, but Beringer was so sure that he thought they were lying! It eventually ruined his career and he even tried to sue the hoaxers lmao.
I’ve seen a Creationist or two mention these seriously but even that crowd doesn’t lend them much credit.
XENOFEMINISM — The name of a book, perspective, and movement(albeit small) that have a somewhat futurist outlook on the ways technology will impact reproduction and gender; with the general gist being that we’ll eventually deconstruct and do away with most or all of our current concepts of gender(and maybe even gender itself). This is a pretty niche thing; interesting in a sociological and academic sense.
OJ’S BAG — Robert Kardashian(if you weren’t aware, yes of those Kardashians) was a friend of OJ and wound up being part of his defense team. OJ had left town the night of the murders, been contacted by police, and returned home the next day. When he returned, he met Robert. Now, this was all being observed because he was already a suspect — so what happened is caught on tape; it just apparently didn’t raise any eyebrows at the time. During this meetup, OJ’s assistant hands Robert a large Louis Vuitton bag which Robert took to his car. Eventually, journalists asked about this and he said he lost it. Seems like something that should have been looked into! A lot of people suspect that the bloody clothes and knife that would have convicted OJ were in that bag, and wound up being destroyed.
Years later, upon realizing she’d not been in the spotlight for nearly one full hour, Kim Kardashian announced to the media that she found the bag “upstairs” at one of their 400 mansions and looked inside and it was just golf clothes. Make of that what you will.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE BONES/AUCILLA SINKHOLE — These are two distinct things, though both in Florida. I’m guessing they’re combined here because the same phenomenon has happened in both. As far as the lake goes, turn of the century settlers regularly reported seeing all sorts of skeletons and bones in shallow parts of the lake, fishermen reportedly tangled their lines in bones, and sandy small islands were supposedly found to have shallow graves. As time went on, many more remains were uncovered — but the area was thought to be sparsely populated prior to this time. There’s a lot of rumors and legends as to whether this is a burial ground, or maybe some sort of ritual place, or a mass-suicide, or who knows what. As a result, there’s a host of ghost stories surrounding the lake.
The Aucilla Sinkhole is a spot within a river of the same name, where a great number of bones and tools have turned up — some seeming to prove human activity in the area far earlier than what was originally thought to be their first arrival. This is all very real and legitimate, though it doesn’t definitively answer how or when the first people arrived or appeared in the Americas. Because of that, some lost civilization/ancient alien types grab at things like this to suggest that the established narrative is wrong. You see that in conspiracy theories a lot; science or medicine or history will correct something over time and conspiracy theorists will say “Ahah, see? You were wrong about one thing, which you corrected. This proves you are wrong about everything and my theory, which you are actively working to cover up, is correct”.
Anyway, things like the sinkhole and lake are very cool! It makes one wonder what other hidden caches of history are lurking under little ponds and paths in the rest of the US.
“EXTREME HAUNTED HOUSE ATTRACTIONS” — We touched on what is probably the most infamous of these already, McKiney Manor, much further up the Iceberg. There’s a lot of them and they vary in specific style and handling, but the gimmick is that it’s a haunted house(or often a much larger area) without any of the usual rules or restraints traditional ‘haunt’ attractions have. You sign a release of varying size and legitimacy, and then are subject to the actors touching or even harming you, to being trapped in places, forced to endure what amounts to torture, etc. These exist in a grey area of legality and most legitimate haunt attractions look down on them. There’s a lot of stories about them online, but it’s hard to parse what’s real and what’s fake. Tales of secret ‘underground’ ones float around, too, where people are actually killed and so forth. Probably not real, but who knows. These things are just edgy and popular enough to hold attention and make some money, but I imagine the official non-underground ones won’t be a phenomenon that lasts too long.
4CHAN MOSTLY BOTS — If you’re this deep, you know what 4Chan is. You may not have been there in a decade, but it’s basically the same deal. Go there right now, any time of the day or night, and there’s dozens of boards buzzing along — some too fast and chaotic to ever even follow. With so much of the once-infinite internet funneled into like five or six identical social media sites, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find any actual population outside of facebook/reddit/twitter/etc.
Yet 4chan is always populated. If you know your internet history, this shouldn’t really surprise you. But a mix of curious-but-naive onlookers and some good old fashioned trolling has created a theory anyway: bots! It’s mostly bots! Many of the posts are just a word or two, or something incomprehensible, or something that seems cut and pasted. Lots of the images are just random nonsense or memes. The behavior and moods of the boards can vary wildly, as can the way people there interact with one another. So it must be bots! Why are the bots there? That gets a little fuzzy. Maybe a trolling gimmick gone awry, maybe an advanced AI learning via a million iterations of itself interacting all day and night, maybe to create a government honeypot. I love this theory but I mean, it’s not true.
DOWLINGS LOST WRECKING BALL — In the mid-70s, a construction crew shut down for the night in Indianopolis. When they returned in the morning, they found the 5+ ton wrecking ball that had been dangling from a crane was gone. They never found the damn thing! No apparent sign of it having fallen and rolled somewhere was present. Most people who dig into this think it was probably stolen for scrap. That would be difficult and require a number of people in various places to keep a secret, but it would have been lucrative enough that I can see it happening.
WIKILEAKS NUMBERS — I’m not sure what this is referring to. You all surely know about Wikileaks; and I don’t think this is meant specifically about any one thing that’s been published there. It might refer to hash numbers that will appear on files and be sent out by WL itself to sort of verify things? Now and then people say there are Dead Man’s Switches tied to wikileaks, where enormous files are floating around out there just waiting for the right hash to decrypt them. It could be a lot of things.
OoO — I think I may be stumped on this one. I can’t find any symbols that match it out there, and I don’t think it’s supposed to stand for any agency or organization. While the way it is capitalized suggests this may be wrong, I think it could possibly mean “Object-oriented Ontology”: a modern metaphysical thinking style that explores the idea that everything has some level of existence and its own certain level of agency and “life”. It is sometimes mixed with modern art as well. But I don’t think that’s it! I got stumped!
And there we have it! Six Tiers down, fourteen to go. It’s not quite as far as it sounds, though, as the last quarter of the iceberg is very sparsely packed compared to this region. We’re in the thick of it!