UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats I

Michael Barkun

in A Culture of Conspiracy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780520238053
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939721 | DOI:
UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats I

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New World Order adherents can either ignore or adopt racist and anti-Semitic ideas, but their constructs have spread rapidly. Some New World Order ideas in ufology have been free of any overt racial or religious bias. UFO conspiracists often reproduce the biases of nineteenth-century American nativism, concentrating on the malevolence of the three groups that obsessed nativists in that century: Catholics, Freemasons, and Jews. This chapter discusses the place Catholics, Freemasons, and Jews occupied in nativist thought, and the role they play in contemporary ufology. As conspiracy theories have become increasingly broad and multilayered, they have identified an ever-wider array of conspiratorial agents. Jesuits figure prominently in contemporary UFO conspiracy theories because, as a tightly structured order, they can be accommodated among the secret societies that obsess conspiracists.

Keywords: UFO conspiracists; American nativism; New World Order; Catholics; Freemasons; Jews

Chapter.  5929 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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