Friday, May 21, 2010
#19: Nick Begich
Spend enough time trawling through the recesses of crackpot county and you will eventually come across this sort. They are the ur-tinfoil-hatters – the HAARP conspiracy theorists. You know what the real cause of global warming is? And what caused the Yellowstone earthquakes? Or the earthquake in Sichuan, China? Recent volcanic eruptions? You guessed it - HAARP! HAARP is short for the ‘high-frequency active auroral research program’. It is a real program, but the source of what Sharon Weinberger calls ‘the Moby Dick of conspiracy theories’. Not only does the US government apparently use it to disrupt the stability of other countries, shake up terrorists, and cause major power outages, the Gulf War syndrome and the Columbine shootings – they also use it to control the minds of Americans. Proponents trace it back to Tesla. And that should be red flag enough (Tesla-crackpottery is a distinctive subgroup of crackpottery).
Dr. Nick Begich comes from a family of Alaskan politicians (Democrats – Nick Begich sr. was an Alaskan Representative who disappeared mysteriously in the seventies). He is the coauthor of ‘Angels don’t play this HAARP’, and one of the main activists behind the HAARP conspiracy movement. Their website is here. Begich is also featured in several paranormal talks (not for the faint-hearted). This guy is, in short, into whatever lunatic conspiracy theory and quackery you could possibly imagine.
Diagnosis: Utterly unhinged kook, imbecile madman; the HAARP conspiracy itself is surprisingly widespread but remains a fringe phenomenon (except in certain countries). That Nick Begich is considered an authority tells you all you need to know about it.