Lizard People

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Capracus, Aug 13, 2021.

  1. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    When you live in a society that encourages the acceptance of institutional religious fantasy, is it really surprising that you end up with behavior like this?

    California dad killed his kids over QAnon and 'serpent DNA' conspiracy theories, feds claim

    A California surfing school owner who was charged with killing his two children in Mexico is a follower of QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories who thought the children "were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them," federal officials alleged.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Do you have evidence that institutional religion had anything to do with this incident?

    I struggle to believe that the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the pope, should be blamed.
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  5. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    I really don't think this horrible event is any sort of reflection on society or religion in general, I think it is simply a sad example of an insane person committing an insane act.
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  7. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Religion is the major vehicle in most societies for the perpetuation of irrational fantasy beliefs. If members of society are conditioned by these various religions to be accepting of irrational interpretations of reality, then religion would seem to be somewhat of a primer for the practice of other equally irrational interpretations such as lizard people.
    Only for their role in conditioning their followers to be selectively lazy in their reasoning skills.
    I would say that religion is the main disseminator of fantasy belief in most societies around the world. When societies legitimize the fantasy belief inherent in the various religions, they also promote the irrational judgment necessary to accept those and other equally irrational fantasies as true.

    From what I’ve read about the father, Matthew Coleman, the only signs of impending insanity of thought and action stem from his willingness to believe in insane things, namely his religion and his newly acquired belief in lizard people. We have members of congress who harbor similar insane beliefs, and the multitudes of like minded voters who put them in office, so what does that tell you about the acceptance of insanity in our society?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    US is not "most societies" these days. It would seem that politics is the vehicle that fits that bill right now.
  9. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Whether or not is the major vehicle,it seems to me that when you build a society wide ideology on what is fairly obviously a delusion then it is foolhardy to expect any beneficial outcome.

    Imagine if skepticism and an interest in intellectual and emotional (and other?) inquiry permeated society....would we still have as many of these ongoing aberrations?

    I don't know the answer to that.I suspect any answer would take centuries to become apparent.
  10. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Not surprisin at all.!!!

    These religious-fantasy believers an ther flunky supportive-enablers thank of themselfs as rational people... but thank God... at least most of 'em have enuff brain cells to balk at the notion of Lizzard-People

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  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


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    Click because "Patricia" is better than all this.

    The Lizard People conspiracy theory is largely anti-Semitic:

    Meanwhile, federal investigators are still looking into the belief system of Anthony Quinn Warner, who made statements about a conspiracy of lizard people taking over the planet before the explosion that damaged 41 buildings and injured three people in Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas Day.

    Many are scratching their heads. Why are people embracing such bizarre ideas?

    The notion of shape-shifting, blood-sucking reptilian humanoids invading Earth to control the human race sounds like a cheesy sci-fi plot. But it's actually a very old trope with disturbing links to anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic hostilities dating to the 19th century.

    Bonkers? Sure. Harmless? Definitely not.

    Law enforcement sources say Warner's writings indicate his interest in a number of conspiracy theories — including the lizard people takeover. He may even have had a pastime of hunting such aliens in the park. Before the blast, Warner sent packages to friends filled with material expounding on his bizarre worldview. They included a letter that began "Hey Dude, You will never believe what I found in the park."

    The world-ruled-by-lizard-people fantasy shot to prominence in recent years in part through the ramblings of David Icke, a popular British sports reporter-turned-conspiracy theorist known for his eccentric ideas.

    Cultural historian Lynn Stuart Parramore↱, in her analysis for NBC News, goes on to observe, "The outlandish trope has roots in the second half of the 19th century", and it has been anti-Semitic the whole time. We ought not be surprised to finds its moment flourishing in the American rightist bacchanal. After all, it emerged turing a period of rapid advance and change that "upended time-honored traditional ways of life, leaving people unsettled and unsure what to believe". The dehumanizing xenophobia "emerged more strongly toward the end of the century, when anxieties about perceived outsiders, especially Jewish ones, were fueled by waves of immigrants flooding urban centers". Madam Blavatsky, Robert E. Howard, even Bram Stoker; the literary record over the period is rarely without its version; the current iteration includes the Nazi analogy, V, and cinematic cult favorite, They Live, among its generational canon.

    Parramore continues:

    Blood-sucking, as Stephanie Winkler observes, is a common metaphor for greed, a trait often linked to Anglo-Jews associated with banking and stock trading. This coupling of Jewishness and greedy blood-sucking gained momentum as wealthy British Jews — such as banker Baron Lionel de Rothschild, who was admitted to the House of Commons in 1858 — gained influence in society. Eventually, paranoia that Jews, through their financial power and connections to royalty, would seize the opportunity to take over an empire facing ever more complex challenges helped drive the mounting anti-Semitism.

    Does any of this sound familiar? It should, because today's internet postings by conspiracy theorists often carry traces of just the sort of anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic tensions that show up in history whenever segments of the population feel betrayed by elites and fear loss of their own social and economic status.

    In the period of Godwin's Law, for instance, it wasn't just the extremity of invoking Nazis in particular. When faced with clearly definable outcomes, attitudes, and justifications—i.e., white supremacist, misogynist, Christianist—anything that even seemed like a comparison to any sort of evil was, in American mainline discourse, disdained. The great political correctness, as such, of the decades-long lament against political correctness has been to accommodate the fragile emotional circumstances of those who do not wish to be ssen as supremacist but want the benefits that come with being superior to others. It doesn't even need to be historical evil; the mere pretense that something is wrong is sufficient to unsettle such sensitivities. To a certain degree, They Live cannot help but look anti-Semitic; we might wonder what anyone expects at the interesection of Hollywood, wealth and power, and Lizard People. To the other, the idea that nobody was supposed to notice, because it's not like people believe that stuff, has its answer. It's one thing to not have a cow and lose your shit because someone did something at the intersection of lizards and political power; Leonardo Cimino's extraordinary performance in V simply cannot be construed as any indictment of Jews, so the coincidence of Nazis and lizards has some other symbolism. It's a fascinating discussion, to be certain, but not one that fits the trope so directly.


    There is a bit circulating this week because facial recognition software available to the general public was able to match a forty-five year-old high school photo to a Wednesday Putsch insurrectionist, but part of the subtext is that we also have a record of the guy throughout. So think back to 1998, when the federal government named him in a lawsuit about anti-abortion protests. That's shortly before Sciforums started to exist, but not so distant as to be utterly foreign to our community memory.

    Would the mainline discourse have accepted the argument that Operation Rescue was a domestic terrorist organization that would, in the future, actually claim credit for actual terrorism? Would mainline discourse, back then, or even at the time Operation Rescue claimed credit for terrorism, have suffered discussion of whether or not these conservatives were willing to overthrow the Republic?

    Yet, of course it's him. File under: Duh … (couldn't a'seen that one comin').


    We might recall Cineas↱ on the Wednesday Putsch: "What's evident is that the organizers of Wednesday's rallies were not taken seriously, as white extremists are often infantilized and given room to work out their feelings and blow off steam." And, as she observed, "We are told we need to listen to them, to try to understand their plight and psychology."

    As Keisha Blain (qtd. in Cineas) put it: "I have no idea what it will take for people to stop being shocked … My sense is that too many people choose to be shocked because that response is easier than actually denouncing white supremacy and actively working to dismantle it."

    It is, in fact, kind of unsettling to think that so many people might somehow be incapable of choosing otherwise. At the time I reminded↗, this goes beyond just whiteness; it has to do with traditional empowerment and supremacism. It is why bicoastal killer Roy Den Hollaner, when he made Colbert's show along his merry men's rights way, danced. It's also why extortionist Chris "The Crying Nazi" Cantwell found Colbert fame because he was harassing women. That is to say, it was funny.


    This time later, nobody really knows what Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker thought she was doing when she waded into Icke Lizardry a few years ago, but it seems worth noting that, yes, this "serpent DNA" conspiracism is the same lizard-people stuff the one and only Alice Walker decided to wreck herself for. Still, as Constance Grady↱ reminded°, at the time: "Icke maintains that he is not an anti-Semite, and that he is criticizing not real Jews, but 12-foot-tall alien lizard people, many of whom just happen to be posing as Jews."


    It's just, if decades worth of conservative-traditionalist rhetoric that sounded an awful lot like supremacism wasn't really supremacism and how dare liberal elitists this that the other Middle America flyover country this is why people become Nazis and all that, apparently they just simply couldn't escape the Lizard.

    Because of course; I mean, duh, couldn't see that one coming.



    「Icke's conspiracy theories return again and again to anti-Semitic tropes. Yair Rosenberg has outlined a number of them at Tablet magazine, but here is a quick overview of some of Icke's ideas: that a Jewish organization was behind the slave trade; that far-right groups are actually Jewish fronts; that a Jewish group funded the Holocaust ("The Warburgs, part of the Rothschild empire, helped finance Adolf Hitler," he writes in The Truth Shall Set You Free); that schools should allow students to study Holocaust deniers.」

    Cineas, Fabiola. "Whiteness is at the core of the insurrection". Vox. 8 January 2021. 13 August 2021.

    Grady, Constance. "The Alice Walker anti-Semitism controversy, explained". Vox. 20 December 2018. 13 August 2021.

    Stuart Parramore, Lynn. "Like QAnon's Capitol rioters, the Nashville bomber's lizard people theory is deadly serious". NBC News. 12 January 2021. 13 August 2021.
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Religion may have set the stage for belief in the unreal in preference to the real and Hollywood may have populated it with the graphic representation of nightmares, but for a a stage-manager, look to sociopaths with a lust for power. There has never been a shortage of those lizard-people!
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    So no evidence, then? Do we even know the religious affiliation of Mathew Taylor Coleman, if any?

    I suggest to you it could be equally plausible that institutionalised religion, by providing a focus for people's tendency to believe in the supernatural, may lessen the likelihood of such crazed behaviour. After all, your average church-going Anglican or Catholic (to take well-recognised examples of mainstream institutionalised religion) is given a framework of beliefs that does not allow for children to turn into monsters.
  14. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Matthew Coleman was a member of a Christian surfing organization, so it’s safe to assume that he’s most likely religious. And it’s not that a particular religion is specifically pushing lizard fantasies, but that religion in general, and the societies it infests, tend to legitimize the irrationality necessary to accept such ideas as factual.
    While the two religious organizations you cited may not envision a process for children to become monsters (at least the non human kind), they do allow for monsters to inhabit the bodies of children in the form of demon possession, which is no less absurd than possession by lizard dna.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Come off it. This whole hypothesis of yours is contrived.
  16. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Isn't scientology based on a similar premise to this lizard scenario ? Aliens in DNA....quite a "plausible " scenario.
    How do you prove a negative?
  17. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    Yes, otherwise we would expect to see this throughout history, and it would be nothing new. Or do you have any reason to think modern society accepts religion more than in the past?
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    So what point are you trying to argue for? That "society" (whatever that is) shouldn't "encourage" what you dismiss as "institutional fantasy"? What if other people don't agree with you? What if they don't consider it fantasy? What if it's something very important to them?

    What would an atheist like yourself propose doing in that case? I sense a bit of authoritarianism lurking beneath the surface there, a desire to control what other people think and believe.

    'Allows' is something different than 'encourages'. There's this thing (in the United States at least) called 'freedom of religion', which is a subset of 'freedom of speech' and 'freedom of thought'. Those freedoms are very important to me, and I'm not willing to give them up lightly.

    What's more, the philosopher in me makes me ask how you think that you can possibly know that religious ideas are fantasy. I sense some preexisting commitments on your part to philosophical positions that I suspect that you can't justify to my satisfaction. Which would seem to put you in the same position as the religious person is in relation to the atheist.

    (I'm an agnostic, and my agnosticism applies to atheist pieties as well as to those of religion.)

    Belief in the existence of "QAnon" and the "Illuminati" look like conspiracy theories to me. The latter was a rage several hundred years ago and belief in the former is very popular today. Speaking of conspiracy theories, I was struck by how both of the self-styled "skeptic" magazines (Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer) both ran cover stories on 'QAnon' in the same month. Collusion? Sure looked like it.

    I'm not suggesting that it was orders coming down from the top (the "Feds"?) though that remains a possibility. What I think is more likely is that these people all live in a tight little social world and they all know each other. So if particular things are being talked about at the parties they all attend, they will all end up talking about those things. We see the same thing with newspaper headlines and how the narratives that they are all putting out can turn on a dime, all changing in the same direction in the space of a day or two. It isn't unlike how mumurations of starlings can behave uncannily as one.

    In reality, I don't think that the "reptoid" thing comes from either "QAnon" or "the Illuminati". Though it's hard to say, since both of these exist largely in fantasy.

    The "reptoids" are the product of Britain's own David Icke.

    Regarding this individual charged with killing his children, we don't really know that the charges are true, do we? Even if he did kill the kids, we don't exactly know his motivation. Was he in the midst of a divorce and the mother wanted to deny him visitation or something like that? Was he so angry at her that he wanted to take away the thing she loved most? (It happens.)

    If he really did believe that his kids were alien shape-shifters, then I'd suspect some sort of psychiatric problem.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
    C C likes this.
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    I don’t think religion is to blame, just violent ideology over faith
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Well said.

    All systems of belief (including non-religious ones) have their extremists. It's the extremists that are the problem.
  21. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Belief in life is a radical thing imo, there is nothing wrong with that.
  22. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Implicit atheism and specific, individual cases of articulated atheism set aside...

    Explicit atheism in general -- or the kind that's a formalized thought orientation in a political, philosophical, etc context -- has arguably not been historically passive, fully sane, non-tyrannical, and non-violent itself across the board (when either it or it in league with anti-clericalism or other ideology had the upper hand).

    Pertaining to the left:

    Dechristianization of France during the French Revolution

    League of Militant Atheists

    And at least pertaining to a pro-Western mindset (very minimally rightward):

    Why the arguments of the ‘New Atheists’ are often just as violent as religion
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


    But that's just bovine-excremental fallacy: "… how you think that you can possibly know that religious ideas are fantasy"?

    Look, Yazata, the philosopher in you already knows the problem with the posture you've struck: When your quasi-affirmative justification is a negative juxtaposition against infinity, you're probably doing it wrong. Let's actually work kind of backwards for a moment:

    "I sense some preexisting commitments on your part to philosophical positions that I suspect that you can't justify to my satisfaction. Which would seem to put you in the same position as the religious person is in relation to the atheist." — This is a familiar manner, trying to reposition the arguments in order to demand of others what one is not able to provide for their own. Of course Capracus cannot not justify his argument to insatiable satisfaction; nobody can. It's a fallacious standard intended to equivocate by raising your position while diminishing his. There are days when Capracus is out on a limb, but "a society that encourages the acceptance of institutional religious fantasy" is just not so precarious a branch as you would pretend.

    ― There is actually a larger discussion to be had about the value of words in argumentation. I've encountered it before, at Sciforums, and sometimes it seems as if for some people the point is some manner of equivocation, that one measures their own not according to its merit, but against someone else's. In this case, the argument that your fallacy "would seem to put [Capracus] in the same position as the religious person is in relation to the atheist" is correct as far as it goes: We can fallaciously box Capracus in, such that your equivocation might seem accurate. Beyond that, the general problem runs as if one person requires that everyone else is behaving as the one; discourse at Sciforums is shot through with this, to the point that when things start looking like Wimbledon heads watching the back and forth of a purely political he-said she-said in which truth and accuracy are irrelevant because the purpose is to craft an emotionally affecting pitch, well, right, that's the point. It is dynamic, solipsistic moral relativism, and it's not limited to any one subject, politic, or issue, as such; the phenomenon manifests more as a method, diversely applied. Yes, as I said, it's a larger discussion, but it is not unrelated to your effort to put Capracus "in the same position as the religious person is in relation to the atheist".​

    "the philosopher in me makes me ask how you think that you can possibly know that religious ideas are fantasy" — Part of me wants to just say, y'know, the Paradox of the Marathon makes a lot of sense until you let yourself get distracted by little details like the length of a stride or particular halfway, and just leave it at that. Still, the philosopher in you has slipped beyond a particular aspect of applicability. To wit, what do you want, such as how much of what neurological data from how many subjects? Or, perhaps, the idea that you and I should try a square-one culling starting with some notion of literalism, spending how much or little time on the point that no, Genesis does not accurately describe how the Universe came to be, &c. It just seems that would be extraneous for us, and perhaps the easiest expression is to wonder what you mean by "fantasy". Do I have to look up the old Simpsons episode when Marge prays while in court? The actual joke in that one is that jurors scandalizing the point of her talking to an invisible someone she couldn't prove is there included people you see at church. Capracus might be asking a very broad question that is also too particular, but his pretense—("acceptance of institutional religious fantasy")—is not wrong, unless we use a preclusive definition such as you would seem to require. Consider, please, historian Jeffrey Burton Russell↗:

    The historical evidence can never be clear enough to know what really happened (wie es eigentlich gewesen), but the evidence as to what people believed to have happened is relatively clear. The concept—what people believed to have happened—is more important than what really did happen, because people act upon what they believe to be true.

    If people are making decisions according to beliefs that cannot be shown true, yet are maintained because they cannot conclusively be refuted because they are untestable, then we have a reasonable sketch of behavior decided according to fantasy. It's not the only sketch, but even if we skip past the exercise in what passes for Biblical literalism, it's more important to understand your definition of fantasy.

    Meanwhile, QAnon exploits uncertainty and fear derived from and defined within a religious or postreligious framework; these concerns are not unrelated to the Christianist culture wars against the human rights of women, homosexuals, and transgender; nor the similar crusades against evolution, medicine, astronomy, public health, literature and the arts, &c. And the whole lizard-people history does not come to be without religious belief, institutionalized religious belief, and the encouragement thereof. This is, of course, also part of what runs awry in Capracus' pretense, but that's a different question. Except it's not. We'll come back to it.

    "'Allows' is something different than 'encourages'. There's this thing (in the United States at least) called 'freedom of religion', which is a subset of 'freedom of speech' and 'freedom of thought'. Those freedoms are very important to me, and I'm not willing to give them up lightly." — So, this is just weird. The first sentence, sure, whatever. The rest of it, though, is all yours. The thing, though, about the difference between allowing and encouraging is that you already know, so, really, come on. American presidents extol, and in Trump's case, exploit, the virtue of church and faith participation; in history, it wasn't just "dry" counties, but also places where commerce was restricted on certain days to a range of declared and enumerated essential needs, in order to accommodate some Christianist pretense of Sabbath; in one of the Southern states, the courts had to officially make some counties stop requiring elected office holders to publicly proclaim faith in God. We could go on, right? Such as rhetoric that pits human rights against the religious freedom of American Christians to refuse those human rights, and you can always remind us which pretense had institutional heritage on its side. Hey, right, there's that motto on our coin, "In God we trust". And, check it out: We just elected a Catholic president, and while that has spurred public discourse about proper churchgoing, the Catholic heritage of rape, murder, and general atrocity doesn't seem to be wrecking the institution. The difference between "allows" and "encourages"? A relevant point here, Yazata, is that you're well educated in subjects pertaining to religion and religious history, thus it feels kind of impossible that you don't know the American heritage encourages religious belief and participation, and prefers more institutional forms.

    "What would an atheist like yourself propose doing in that case? I sense a bit of authoritarianism lurking beneath the surface there, a desire to control what other people think and believe." — That is entirely yours, and, in working backward through the paragraphs, as we are, it stands out even more. But if we think about the scale of what Capracus suggests, "What would [you] propose doing in that case?" seems, even without regard to atheism, an utterly futile and nonsensical question. There really isn't a whole lot to be done that can't be summed up in the basic prospect of living faith: People need to constantly reassess their relationship to the fantastical beliefs influencing their decisions and priorities. Of the so-called faithless, they aren't, but not all crackpottery requires the fantastic, or, perhaps, the divinely or theistically fantastic. Still, compared to the generational, societal, at this point largely abstract question of what would anyone propose doing about the encouragement of "the acceptance of institutional religious fantasy", the bit of authoritarianism you sense is a product of your own imagination. There is not much to be done, because believers in certain manners of fantasy pretend no obligation to integrity, and, no, society has never really figured out what to do about that, in large part because it does not want to. This is an historical, collective-behavioral outcome. It is unclear to what degree any proposition that educating people, such that society gets a little bit smarter and passes some threshold at which we start relying more on reality and institutionally discourage nonsense and fantasy, is reliable, reasonable, or realistic.​


    Russell, Jeffrey Burton. The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity. 1977. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977.


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