One thing I’m noticing now more than ever before in my experience as a journalist and researcher, and as a human in general, is that people are hungry for information that is deeper than what they are getting through the mainstream media. It feels as though people are beginning to recognize that there is a degree of corruption involved in our world and that politicians and traditional media outlets have been compromised in the process.
How can you weed through the confusion? What media can you trust? What is the truth? These are all big questions many are now having. We are also seeing a lack of trust in many professional or societal experts due to a felt sense that they have been compromised as well. By who? I guess it depends on the situation. In an attempt to get answers to these questions, people have been looking for alternative information or perspectives about many current events in an attempt to make sense of the world.
I’ve worked for 11 years in independent media now. I don’t see myself as. journalist, but that being a journalist is simply a hat I wear at times. My general passion is exploring culture, current events and human consciousness to determine why things are the way they are, and how we can bring new information and experience to the forefront to deeply shift our individual and collective worldviews to change our reality.
I founded Collective Evolution in 2009 for the purposes of having conversations I felt were important but perhaps not widely available. Initially beginning as a platform for exploring consciousness awakening, CE ventured into current events, as I felt they often reflect the inner aspect of who we are as people – and as a collective. That said, for most of the time CE has been around, we’ve covered some sort of alternative perspective on current events as part of our mission. Our commitment was to do this in a way that was as open, transparent, and unbiased as possible, not being afraid to venture into ‘controversial subjects.’ Improving in our style and quality over the years, we often get feedback from a wide audience feeling that we do a pretty good job of staying neutral and open to various possibilities, while still covering what might be considered controversial subjects. Things people call ‘conspiracies.’ This is where the focus of this piece is crucial.
Calling these sometimes controversial subjects ‘conspiracy theories’ is a bit unfortunate as it’s a loaded term that brings about many connotations and a general lack of clarity. Does ‘conspiracy theory’ mean there is no evidence? It is not probable? It is not to be believed? Does it mean only crazy people who don’t think critically look at them? Was the fact that the NSA spied on US citizens illegally a conspiracy theory before Edward Snowden revealed the truth about that to the world? It was. The idea that ‘big brother’ is watching or spying was considered a paranoid delusion by many, yet they were in fact watching and recording almost everything people in the US did – and even in other countries from that matter.
Thus, the title of this piece includes the term ‘conspire’-reality as it is my feeling that some things we often call conspiracy theories are in fact true, we just don’t know it yet or haven’t accepted it. Usually due to our lack of realizing the available evidence, or our unwillingness to challenge our worldviews. In the same breath, there is an observation I’m seeing, and have for years now, within the space of ‘conspiracies’ that is truly important to discuss and reflect on.
The Rise of The Alternative
For decades people have felt that there is more to mainstream media narratives when it comes to current events. The JFK assassination, UFOs, MK Ultra, the real cause of wars, powerful people who control aspects of society, etc. Typically, much of these conversations remained on the fringe and were had on late night radio shows or unpopular books few knew about. But the advent of the internet and its subsequent popularity birthed an opportunity for these ideas and conversations to spread more easily. As time went on, people began to feel ‘alternative’ history or facts about events that happen in our world were increasingly important. While it might be common for some to chalk this up to some form of mental illness or misstep in logical thought, there are actually a large number of intelligent and well-read people who are actively exploring very credible information that tells a different, and credible, story about widely accepted mainstream narratives. A recent podcast on The Joe Rogan Experience with guest Tom O’Neil is a perfect example. Tom has spent the last 20 years of his life investigating and writing a book called Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties which was published by Little, Brown in the summer of 2019.
As the description of his book reads:
Twenty years ago, when journalist Tom O’Neill was reporting a magazine piece about the murders, he worried there was nothing new to say. Then he unearthed shocking evidence of a cover-up behind the “official” story, including police carelessness, legal misconduct, and potential surveillance by intelligence agents. When a tense interview with Vincent Bugliosi — prosecutor of the Manson Family and author of Helter Skelter — turned a friendly source into a nemesis, O’Neill knew he was onto something. But every discovery brought more questions.
O’Neill’s quest for the truth led him from reclusive celebrities to seasoned spies, from San Francisco’s summer of love to the shadowy sites of the CIA’s mind-control experiments, on a trail rife with shady cover-ups and suspicious coincidences. The product of two decades of reporting, hundreds of new interviews, and dozens of never-before-seen documents from the LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA, Chaos mounts an argument that could be, according to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Steven Kay, strong enough to overturn the verdicts on the Manson murders. This is a book that overturns our understanding of a pivotal time in American history.
As I listened to the podcast episode, many of the subjects discussed, including the United States government mind control program MK Ultra, and the JFK Assassination were explored with undeniable evidence and important lines of questioning. Contrary to the belief that many of these subjects are mere ‘conspiracy theories’ brought on by people who only deal in circumstantial evidence and who believe anything that sounds like an entertaining theory, we’re seeing some real truth here. Truth that would completely change the public’s perspective on government and the intelligence community. The implications are huge when you really start to look at it and what the evidence clearly indicates.
This is not the only event that evidently shows coverups. Recent admissions by the US Navy has clearly indicated that government and intelligence communities have been keeping the public in the dark about UFOs for a long time. Looking at government documents and whistleblowers that have been available for decades, you can find out very quickly that much more is going on behind the scenes than people realize, and the discussion of UFOs is really nothing to be gawked at as it often is. Before public admission of the reality of UFOs, the media and many academics made fun of people who believed in UFOs as if they were crazy. Look at the 2008 TED talk of Skeptics Magazine founder Michael Shermer, he takes a comedic approach in discussing the topic of UFOs and concludes that if he could create a fake UFO picture, it likely meant that all are fake and people only believe in UFOs because they are crazy or have an undesirable proclivity to believe in weird things. This type of poor subject matter research has infected academia and the science community for decades, and it has informed a mainstream culture so deeply that people no longer know how to look at information objectively. Their emotions often decide whether they can even take a subject seriously.
Now that same ‘credible’ people and mainstream media are telling the public that UFOs are real. While they aren’t necessarily saying who is manning these UFOs, the conversation is quickly turning towards admitting to many of the things ‘conspiracy theorists’ have discussed for decades. One could say that UFOs, ‘the conspiracy theory,’ became reality when the NAVY admitted to the validity of the video evidence that emerged. Does this mean we know exactly what is going on with UFOs? No, but we know a lot more than what is being discussed publicly. Likewise, with the NSA’s ‘big brother spying’ program – it’s no longer a conspiracy theory thanks to Edward Snowden. In that sense, you can see where I’m getting my ‘conspireality’ term from – conspiracies that have become reality.
The question now is, how do we have conversations about remaining ‘conspiracies’ seriously? Where we look at the evidence with an open mind and truly see what it says.
Alternative media has been covering these topics for years prior to mainstream media even opening up to the idea. Alt media has been filling a void in media that aligns with a correct intuition people have that there is more to what we’re being told – and it involves some highly controversial topics. Hence the rise in alternative media. Popularity grew because it was feeding something deep within people that they felt but could not get from the mainstream. In return, the mainstream culture seems to have taken issue with the rise of alternative media as it represents a loss of having a monopoly on narratives.
Time For A Serious Conversation?
Before I continue I want to be clear that this is a complex and nuanced conversation, and the themes I’m going to discuss don’t apply to all people, but seem to be a big part of ‘alternative’ thinking culture.
As mainstream or traditional media continues to fail to ask the ‘right’ questions about what is going on in our world (whether it was due to a lack of interest on the part of journalists, direction from media directors, or perhaps a gag order from someone ‘higher up’), it can be said that alternative media may not always carry the necessary standards in reporting and conversation to be taken seriously. Yet these emerging conversations are incredibly important and needed. What I mean by this is, while the vast majority of those in alt media mean well, sometimes the standards for ‘proof’ or ‘evidence’ can be quite low. When this ‘evidence’ is presented to other people and they don’t believe it, there seems to be confusion on the parter of the presenter as they don’t understand why the ‘asleep’ person can’t seem to see the evidence they see.
In some cases, sure, we may see an outright denial of information, but in other cases, it truly is the case that the evidence is poor, but that some have a proclivity to simply believe every conspiracy – hence the need for a more serious conversation.
One other aspect of this I want to mention, that can be found in both mainstream/traditional media and some alternative media, is the lack of ‘spiritual’ context within current events. Meaning, there are deeper questions about who we are, why we’re here and what life is about that many who are starting to re-question and even experience. Yet mainstream media often doesn’t have the context to understand this nor empathetically report on it. It can be said that most of alternative media fits in this boat as well.
Just to summarize, there are two ingredients here.
- Fear of Controversy – A lack of covering controversial topics with an open mind.
- Foundational Worldview Context – The lack of ‘deeper’ context pertaining to how we apply emerging understandings to deeper questions about who we are, why we’re here and what type of world we want to create. i.e. seeing current events as a reflection of an underlying human worldview/narrative/story.
Lately, I’ve been grappling with this difficult topic, and I sometimes find it a bit tough to even put into words. It is something I’ve loosely discussed for years now, but am now really moving to open up a dialogue about it more publicly as I believe we’ve reached an absolutely critical juncture in time where we must begin to explore themes I’m about to present. Themes that involve anything from free speech to societal decline, division, and our potential to create a world where we can thrive. I believe much of what we’ll discuss here is critical to all that and more.
I’m honestly reluctant to share this next short anecdote because I don’t want it to come off wrong, but I believe it lends very well to the overall point of this essay. The mere fact that I have taken the inspired position of discussing controversial subjects and the underlying human story (consciousness) that supports these events, all while focusing on hard evidence, has been a tough one professionally. Regardless of our huge platform reaching millions, we don’t get invited to events, talks or asked to present. Even though many organizers know who we are, claim to like our work and respect us, our perspective doesn’t seem or feel welcome. With no bad blood between anyone, we often wonder if it’s because some aspect of our work doesn’t fit into the box of any given event. Our ‘conspiracy beliefs’ are not wild enough for the conspiracy events, and our discussions of consciousness not accepted because we talk about ‘controversial stuff.’
The sentiment I’m sharing with this anecdote is, these two worlds cannot merge if we aren’t willing to have an honest, grounded, and serious conversation about both.
More specifically here, the topic I’ve struggled with lately is that I feel many people in the ‘alternative’ or ‘conspiracy’ community, defined contextually for this article as those who are often well-intended in seeking alternative narratives the mainstream does not offer, seem to have become very ideological, absolute, and extreme about their positions. The conversations being had often jump to conclusions even without evidence, and attack anyone who doesn’t agree with them as being ‘sheeple’ or brain dead. It’s creating huge divides, yet very few want to admit it. Most importantly, it’s making it very hard to have these important conversations about controversial topics that need to be had at this moment. Further, and as I foresaw years ago, it’s also inviting censorship.
Let’s get clear here. You might see a meme that shows a picture with Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein, and thus it automatically means we now have proof Gates is a pedophile. Or this type of stuff “The Deep State mass arrests are coming any day now…” just as they have been for the last 10 years. Yet still, “if you don’t understand that these mass arrests are coming, you’re asleep.”
The key distinction here is the sense of certainty, the sense that it’s all so obvious, even when it’s not. The use of poor evidence, circumstantial evidence, or none at all, to ‘prove’ what’s going on has overtaken critical thinking. It almost seems like people have become more interested in the entertainment value of this controversial information as opposed to how true it actually might be or how much evidence there truly is. It begs the question: “What’s the end goal? What is the point of alternative media really?”
Take the X22 report for example. He pulls together a ton of circumstantial evidence, matches it with Q posts and then offers an analysis. Many believe his work clearly shows facts in drawing conclusions, but in reality, it’s mere speculation. This is perfectly fine, but people are getting lost in seeing this as unequivocal fact, as opposed to mere speculation. X22 has suggested for example that Julian Assange is safe and sound and his arrest is nothing but ‘part of the plan’ by the Q patriots to save America from the Deep State. In his video, you can follow all of the evidence he proposes, why Assange had a book in his hand, what that book meant, and how it was a code for people to look deeper. This, while those close to Assange, including independent reporters and family, have been saying he is being tortured and suffering deeply in prison. So on one hand you have ‘truthers’ saying he’s fine, don’t worry, part of the plan. And then you have those who actually know him and have access to him saying the situation is bad and people need to help do something about it. Those same truthers have then said “don’t worry, those reporters and family are part of the plan too… it’s all optics.” You can see the issue here.
What I’m getting at is many popular voices in alternative media approach ‘conspiracy theories’ in a way that turns circumstantial evidence into unquestionable truth. Delivered with a sense of certainty or sweeping generalizations. They can often lack critical thinking because they match their circumstantial evidence with the overarching story they have chosen to believe as fact. In turn, many viewers of alternative media seem to have begun believing these ideas as pure truth, without applying the same critical thinking and rigor to alt narratives as they would have to mainstream narratives.
This by no means is everyone who watches alternative media. In fact, I have often stated and observed that many who do view alternative media do so because they have developed great critical thinking skills and have realized that there is not much value these days in watching mainstream or traditional media. That said, there is still a large group of presenters and viewers who make up a culture within the alternative space that does contribute to undermining these conversations. Take Jeffrey Epstein for example. A huge case that began to connect underage sex/pedophile rings to powerful people in the world. An idea that has been around for a long time thanks to survivors and whistleblowers who have told their story. The mainstream media has never done a good job of covering this, and traditional journalists have often shied away from it. Now though, this conversation is huge and ready to be had – people are listening.
Now again comes the part I’m trying to raise awareness about here: some people in the alternative community will undermine these conversations by aggressively positing that every politician pictured with Epstein is automatically a pedophile and involved. This among other assertions that are easy to debunk of course. This makes it easy for mainstream media or fact-checkers to begin easily debunking ‘conspiracy theories’ related to Jeffrey Epstein as bogus – and in a lot of cases, they are right. Yet, there is actually a meaningful conversation to be had here, there is truth to explore, but if people are not more careful, these conversations won’t be had because their lack of critical thinking and completely certain positions close the door for other onlookers. It ultimately makes it easy to bury this information as unfounded, delusional and baseless conspiracy theories. After all, a quick Google search will return plenty of mainstream media positions analyzing the psychological nature of ‘those who believe in conspiracy theories’ as if there is no real truth to any of them, and that people are just ‘out of their minds’ of sorts.
For myself personally in doing this work for the last 11 years, it is extremely common to have our work lumped in all other “baseless conspiracy theories” due to the fact that we’re often covering the same topics that are considered baseless conspiracy theories because they were covered poorly by others or simply because they sound similar. We become guilty by association and part of a culture of people who seem to simply believe everything without any real evidence, this, regardless of the fact that we approach these important conversations with evidence and rigor. I know this because every time I meet one on one with people who think I’m a conspiracy theorist they realize very quickly I’m not, and see the bigger picture of our work. When I ask them where they get the idea from, it’s often because they just saw ONE headline that looked like some other conspiracy theory, so they shut it all out. This is the crux of my point, for a community so keen on getting truth out, the end result of the current approach is that serious dialogue is not being had. And no, it’s not always due to cognitive dissonance. We have to be more willing to look at the implications of our approach.
Perhaps you’ve had the experience where you suggest in conversation “I don’t feel Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.” And right away a friend says “oh, you sound like a conspiracy theorist.” One might assume it’s because that friend is not open-minded or was convinced by mainstream media it’s all a conspiracy, when in reality that friend may have witnessed a ton of laughable and paranoid content with weak evidence and harshly stated ‘facts’ that when researched, returned no real results. Thus the question becomes, is the ‘conspiracy’ community actually digging their own grave and just blaming mainstream media for why people don’t listen?
How Can We Adjust?
11 years ago I had a vision of creating media that approaches understanding our world in a different way. As our About Us page on CE states:
We live in a time where virtually every aspect of our society is changing or crumbling. Power is shifting and old ways of looking at and understanding our world are no longer working. New voices and ideas are emerging that encourage us to look more deeply at why our world is the way it is, and what about us creates it to be this way.
Collective Evolution is a news-media and education company that creates content to explore how humanity can shift our consciousness and way of being to evolve beyond the personal and global challenges we face. We help encourage the development of inner faculties to explore more about how we can arrive at truth as opposed to just saying what truth is. Our work encourages a greater connection to self, an increase of self-awareness and being aware of what’s around us. We encourage others to let information be as opposed to it defining who we are and developing ideology.
What do our current events say about how we operate as people? What do our societal structures and common issues say about our level of thinking (consciousness) and what type of ideas we’re bringing to the table? What if the solution to the many challenges we feel we face today is actually in changing how we think, relate to one another, and even relate to our world?
We feel this is one of the key missing factors in mainstream media, alternative media and traditional societal discussions today, and therefore we create our content to inspire personal transformation and the expansion of collective consciousness through two key avenues: news media and personal transformation content.”
We’ve always felt that bringing the inner work, inner transformation aspect into making sense of our world was key as it is empowering and actually allows each person to take responsibility for what they are creating in their life and in the world. By developing inner faculties like critical thinking, presence, self-awareness, and intuition, we can better understand our world and why it is the way it is. We can also begin to become aware of an expanded state of who we are, which may choose to create society from a completely different mindset than simply believing we are a cog in the wheel with beliefs and ideologies that are outdated and don’t resonate with us.
Thus I’m putting forth a call here, firstly, perhaps it’s time we move on from this whole idea of calling things a “conspiracy theory.” We have learned by now that if we apply critical thinking and proper journalism to many of these controversial ideas, what’s worth exploring further becomes clear quickly. I discuss these ideas much more deeply in a video I produced on this subject in relation to a few early statements made by David Icke during a London Real interview about COVID-19. David assertively states that “COVID-19 does not exist” and then proceeds to make a strong link between COVID-19 and 5G. I’m not saying David is a bad researcher or anything of that fashion, on the contrary, I believe some of his work is solid, and asks some great questions. But what I’m saying is, if you look at the aftermath of that conversation, whereby assertions are made that are certainly nothing more than speculation but not presented as such, we can clearly see what shifts need to be made in how these conversations are approached so we can do a better job of having them seriously and uniting people.
5G as a conversation was deeply undermined as mainstream media had an easy time stating there is no evidence linking 5G to COVID, and now those who look into 5G safety might be highly skeptical because the ‘crazy conspiracy’ was that 5G created COVID. Further, there are serious discussions to be had around the origins of COVID-19 and whether or not the authoritarian measures are truly necessary, yet how can we easily have those conversations when such a large portion of the community is simply saying COVID is a hoax and that it doesn’t exist? This isn’t to say that these ideas should not be explored, this is the piece many seem to miss. They want it to be a black and white conversation – who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Should I do this, or that? When in reality, this is a conversation about making sense of a situation that is extremely complex, and if we try and put forth one all-encompassing theory that is certain about what’s going on right now, we can’t possibly be accurate in that as we simply don’t know everything. So why assert it as such? It is virtually impossible. Yet those who don’t agree with this all-encompassing and obvious agenda…. asleep. This is the issue I want to talk about more in the video below. I also offer what I feel are some solutions and realizations people could reflect on to see how they feel for them.