On the eve of my zine launch (and the eve of July 4th) I returned to the Ochelli Effect to promote BAD IDEAS DEPARTMENT issue 1: The Finders: Lost and Found. We discussed the Finders and other cults real and imagined, The Franklin Cover-up/Scandal, 1980s+1990s zine culture, the limitations of the conspiracy community, MAD Magazine (RIP), and how my kid is vaccinated, and why Chuck’s isn’t. It’s a non-stop, 2-hour-long thrill ride, sort of like Fear and Loathing in Las Podtown.
Back in April, I was a guest on Dark Sun Rising, heard live the world o’er on the Para-X Radio Network, and now the episode is finally available in podcast form. In it, I offer highly-caffeinated takes on Crisis Actors, the Tree of Life massacre, and the socio-economic roots of right-wing paranoia. A must-listen!
In Satan Goes to the Mind Control Convention’s eponymous essay, Joseph Flatley visits a convention of therapists dedicated to uncovering repressed memory, a fascinating artifact from the Satanic Panic that gripped the U.S. in the 1980s.
His upcoming followup, Finders, is set to explore similar territory, this time focusing on a rumored kidnapping ring with CIA ties.
Since leaving the world of tech journalism, the author has devoted himself to the world of conspiracy theory. In the intervening years, the mainstream media has joined him, as concepts like Pizzagate and Q-Anon have gained popular acceptance, from YouTube propagandists like Alex Jones to the President of the United States,
We sat down with Flatley on a recent trip to Pittsburgh to discuss the rise of conspiracy from flat earth to the Satanic Panic, and what, if anything, can be done to stop it.
Show notes: Jacob & I continue the conspiracy theory talk with JG Michael from Parallax Views and Joseph L Flatley, author, filmmaker, and reporter from Pittsburgh PA. Joseph has a new book out called _Satan Goes to the Mind Control Convention_ that we discuss here. We cover the Satanic Panic, recovered memory, Alex Jones trying to break into Bohemian Grove, 80s Time Life book series, et al.
I just completed a marathon 2 1/2 hour conversation on Pearse Redmond’s Porkins Policy Radio, where we discussed my new book, Satan Goes to the Mind Control Convention. Topics include: recovered memory therapy and its victims, The Satanic Temple, the role of conspiracy theory in right-wing politics, the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and more.
After four days covering the Tree of Life Massacre here in Pittsburgh, I spoke to Chuck Ochelli on his radio show. We discussed my impression of the crime and the killer, and Ochelli went on a more-than-justified rant against the anti-Semitism that’s prevalent in conspiracy culture. In the show’s second hour, my friend and colleague JP Sottile discussed recent events in the ever-progressing fascist creep into American life. It’s truly been a week to remember, people—and it’s only Wednesday.
Host Aaron Franz and I make the trip to Conspiracy Town, discussing various conspiracy theories and crackpot ideas along the way. We also do an in-depth discussion of a few of my journalistic endeavors.
I guess that the "trans" in the title refers to transhumanism, and not transgender people. But, you know, neither of those topics came up, so I can't really be sure! We did, however, talk about a number of fascinating topics, including Pittsburgh, Lee Harvey Oswald, the art of the novel, MAD Magazine, and (of course) my new book, Sirhan.
I had an excellent conversation with Chuck Ochelli for his podcast last night. Here's the show's description from Chuck's webpage:
In a departure from the typical Tuesday on the Ochelli Effect, Chuck interviews author Joseph Flatley. In a world where the paradigm of journalistic things has shifted Mr. Flatley has created a composite novel covering many angles without condescending to the readers. It is rare that Chuck endorses a work of fiction but when fiction speaks to the reality of the unreal better than the alleged news outlets, what choice does he have. Chuck explores the process of character creation with Joseph and tries to get a handle on what is drawn from real life versus what the author imagined. The work is conspiracy-minded and contains a sophisticated confluence of realism that resides in a narrative that escapes becoming overburdened with trivial details that many modern novels fail to evade. Most authors in this genre suffer from their overindulgence in descriptive constructs. Mr. Flatley allows the reader to shape the landscape, events, and players in his story with an appropriate definition.
Check out this podcast that I recorded with Pearse Redmond yesterday for his radio show Porkins Policy Review. While we talked about my new book Sirhan, we did touch on a number of other topics as well, including the ubiquity of Adam Sandler, nonviolent resistance in the Trump years, and why novels still matter. It's some pretty good content™, if I do say so myself.
Topics discussed include: Flat Earth-ers, getting accused of being an agent of Mossad, the error of flat-earthism as an appeal to antiquity, targeted individuals and energy-directed weapons, an honest dialogue between opposing viewpoints, falling between two stools, alien abductions & the eyes of beholders, a wide spectrum of belief, questioning the literal reality of the paranormal, Joseph’s anxiety attacks, opening a can of worms, a shift in perception, different levels, the Jon Ronson shtick, a journalist’s responsibility, an inner muckraker, observing the investigation, a voyage of discovery, the classical mission of the journalist, survival condos, conspiracy creeps & conspiracy culture, the high-concept conspiracy theory, where’s the there?, literal vs. figurative clues, Levenda again, Jim Hogan [sic] & Jonestown, The Necronomicon & stoners…
As pre-millenials, The Vergecasters are ancient enough to remember when an IM was no more ruthless than a little yellow man that said “ding” a lot through a crusty ol’ 2400-baud Sportster. Now, all the IM’s come through FiOS and look more like D-grade Bollywood stars…or do they? Hear the complex story of the modern Internet Marketer unfold before your ears here, in this, the Thirtieth Vergecast of the twenty-first century.
Joseph Flatley, Features Editor with The Verge, discusses his recent article entitled, “Condo at the End of the World.” Flatley first gives an overview of The Verge, a new website dedicated to in-depth reporting usually seen in traditional media such as newspapers and magazines. He describes The Verge as a website dedicated not only to what technology means, but also to how it affects our lives. The discussion then turns to Flately’s article on survival condos, which have attracted the attention of wealthy citizens concerned about end of the world calamity and economic collapse. According to Flatley, the interest in survival condos has increased after 9/11, and after the recent economic downturn. The “condos” are abandoned missile silos that date back to the cold war. Flatley describes his interviews with different people who are carving out a market for high-end survival real estate, turning these abandoned missile silos into luxury living. He describes how survivalists might live in an end of the world scenario, including what they will eat and how they will stay properly hydrated.