Sometime in late summer of 1998 I attended a conference on how the Internet and digital media could be used in my usual job of marketing and PR.
I had no idea that I was about to be recruited as part of an organised campaign to encourage a belief in conspiracy theories such as The Illuminati, 2012, 9-11 Inside Job and many more which have become a staple of the modern day Conspiracy Movement. We called this campaign The Long Blue Wall.
PR (short for Public Relations) is like invisible advertising. It doesn’t actually sell products as such, instead it quietly spreads information to cultivate viewpoints, ideas and lifestyles. This can be done on behalf of all sorts of groups and organisations like businesses, governments, and activist groups.
I’ll be talking a lot in this website about how these PR techniques are used to influence us in all sorts of ways, and I’ll be telling you how the same techniques are used to make us believe in conspiracy theories. And of course, I’ll also be explaining why.
The meeting was in Stockholm, Sweden and it was mainly attended by Europeans with a few Americans, Canadians and Australians too. Every person in that room was massively influential in your everyday life – what lifestyle you lead, your outlook on the world, and your thoughts and opinions on all sorts of topics. You have no idea they even exist.
And it’s these same people, myself included, who also make us believe in the Illuminati, Aliens, and the New World Order.
It was a bit different to the usual conferences, it was quite exciting really as the Internet was a whole new toy for us to play with and there was a real buzz about the place about how it could be used to influence the public.
Let Someone Else Spread the Message
Blogging had just started to take off and it was already clear that it could be used as a new updated version of one of the oldest tools of PR. The earliest pioneers would have letters published in newspapers posing as normal members of the public, but in reality they were working for their client in encouraging a particular point of view with the readers. Blogging and the Internet would take this method to a whole new level.
In my world of PR this is known as the Third Party Technique, putting the required words into the mouth of someone who the public liked and could relate to, rather than directly from a politician or the head of a corporation. People are far more likely to agree with a viewpoint and adopt it as their own if it comes from someone they like.
Blogging, and the Internet in general, would be a great platform for using the Third Party Technique.
An Old Friend Opens the Door
One of the speakers at the conference was an old colleague of mine – Jez. We’d worked together when we were just starting out on work experience. We’d got on really well and became good pals, but we hadn’t seen each other for quite a long time. We went for lunch and Jez told me he was at the conference on a recruitment drive for something really exciting he was involved in. He needed people with the skills to spread some new ideas, and PR and marketing men were the experts in doing exactly that.
He suggested that I extend my stay and drive down to Germany with him to see for myself. We could spend the time catching up and he could fill me in with more details on the way. He mentioned something called The Long Blue Wall but in typically mischievous ‘Jez’ style he delighted in keeping me in suspense and continued to tease me about it all the way there.
The Long Blue Wall
We got there late on the third day and Jez checked us in to a hotel which he used whenever he was there. The next morning after breakfast he drove me to a building which formed part of a university campus. I won’t say where exactly.
Jez buzzed us through and we went up to the top floor where he finally introduced me to The Long Blue Wall.
Along one side of a long open-plan office was a series of free standing exhibition boards – those things which are dark blue in colour and are used as partitions in large office spaces. It was split into various sections, and on each section was pinned information on different groups of topics which we all now recognise as the mainstay of the modern-day Conspiracy Movement.
One section featured governments, banks, religions, the oil industry, the health industry etc. Another section was covered with things like the Illuminati, Freemasons, Secret Societies and even shape shifting lizard people! There were further sections with Aliens, the New Age, Hollywood movies, pop music videos, and so on and so on.
Each section was then further connected by arrows, charts and diagrams to show how particular pieces of information could be relevant to various different topics.
It was incredible. I walked up and down the room trying to take in what I was seeing and after about an hour Jez turned to me and asked, “Well what do you think, do you want to come and help us to promote these things?” My big beaming smile only confirmed what he already knew.
He held out his hand. “Welcome to The Long Blue Wall. Now, let’s go and make them believe!”.