|When writers John Whalen and Jonathon
Vankin finished putting together 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, a
veritable handbook of alternative history, they sent a pre-publication copy to Chris
Carter, executive producer of The X-Files. As many readers will know, The X-Files is a
television series dealing with two FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, in the FBI's
Violent Crimes section. They work with the "X files," cases that have
unexplainable elements and often involve the paranormal. Many X-Files investigations are
The X-Files is not based on true events or real FBI X
files. The episodes are fiction,
the plots loosely based on news reports of unexplained events around the world and other
unexplained phenomena. While the pilot episode did open with a note saying that the events
were based on an actual real-life story, this was not meant to imply that there are real X
Hoping that the creator of the top rating TV cult hit would write a promotional blurb
for 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, John Whalen was delighted to
receive a telephone call from the X-Files producer. Chris Carter said that he "loved
the book," and that he thought it was "fascinating, witty, right up my
Unlike the X-Files, Whalen and Vankin's 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time
is not a work of fiction. More an anthology of history's biggest
mysteries, coverups, and cabals. The essential guidebook to the most far-reaching and startling conspiracy theories
of all time. In this one book of over 390 pages you will find the Kennedy and King
assassinations, the CIA's mind control program, CIA manipulation of the
media, Pan Am
Flight 103, the Priory of Zion, Charlie Manson, Jonestown, biological warfare and
fascism... Real life X-Files? Is there an area where the seemingly fixed lines between
fiction and fact really blur beyond recognition?
In the final episode of the current X-Files series, which screened in the United States
on 19 May (not yet shown in Australia), a character known as "The Hacker" is
seen perusing the book 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, underlining
passages with a pen, while he waits for his computer to crack into the Pentagon's computer
Better than a promotional blurb, Chris Carter decided to feature 50 Greatest
Conspiracies of All Time in the X-Files. Needless to say authors Whalen and
Vankin were delighted.
If you've ever dared to think, just for a moment, that there might be something more to
the X-Files then 50 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time is the book for
you. But be warned, after reading it, history as well as day-to-day events may take on a
whole new meaning. You may never be the same again. The Truth is out
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DAWN SPEAKS TO JON VANKIN
NEW DAWN: What prompted you to co-author the
book, following from your earlier work Conspiracies,
Cover-ups and Crimes?
VANKIN:It seemed natural to do a follow-up book aimed at a wider readership than CC&C. The
proposal was originally called 100 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time and I knew I couldn't
handle it myself. I knew that John and I shared many of the same sensibilities and that he
was an outstanding writer, and the rest is history.
NEW DAWN:What is your general view on various "conspiracies"? Do you think there
is any validity in the so-called "conspiracy view of history"?
VANKIN:Conspiracies happen, probably more frequently and with greater power than we'd like to
admit. But I am a skeptic of all theories that purport to explain everything so I don't
subscribe to any single "view of history" and find varying degrees of validity
in many ways of interpreting the world. The origin of this book, and its
in the question of why so-called "conspiracy theories" are treated with such
derision, generally speaking.
NEW DAWN:Dr. Michael Parenti says that "just because there are kooks who believe in
imaginary conspiracies doesn't mean that all conspiracies are imaginary or
How would you respond?
VANKIN:I agree completely. But I don't make the too-common mistake of taking it one step
further, i.e. "no conspiracies are imaginary or kooky." There's definitely a
middle ground that can be found by applying your rational faculties, I
NEW DAWN:Post-JFK/Watergate, do you think people are more prone to conspiracy
views? If so, why?
I think people have always been prone to conspiratorial explanations of things -
conspiracy theories have a great explanatory power, like religious myths. But I also think
that post Watergate-JFK etc. conspiracy theories have gained a certain credence because
we've seen so many conspiracies come true. Just look at how the CIA messed with the
politics of your own country. Sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory at
first, but it's
Go straight to 50 GCAT WWW site!
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