As the Greek parliament convenes to vote on legislation for the adoption of the measures agreed as a condition for the latest bailout package (μνημόνιο, mnimónio, meaning memorandum), an epidemic of amnesia appears to provide support to the popular theory that the “we’re being sprayed” (μας ψεκάζουν; mas psekázoun). The theory holds that the white vapour trails left in the sky by aeroplanes (“contrails”, short for “condensation trails” in the sinister parlance of “systemic” scientists, “chemtrails” to the enlightened) contain a blend of chemical and/or biological agents that are dispersed in the atmosphere with the aim of keeping the general population in submission, or in more evolved versions of the theory, to prevent certain elements in the population (generally, the embattled white working class) from reproducing.
While there has been a consistent effort by authorities to dismiss chemtrails as a conspiracy theory, the latest evidence from Greece appears to provide the “slam dunk” that its proponents have long been hoping for. As the vote approaches, figures across the political spectrum are become more and more vocal in their opposition to legislation that they supported in principle only a month ago. Mnimonio deniers include cabinet members of the government that signed the latest agreement, then called elections to secure the mandate to implement it. A number MPs of the governing Syriza party whose voting record shows they voted “yes” to the agreement in the previous session are now taking to the streets to demonstrate against some of its provisions. More emphatic proof of the phenomenon of mass amnesia is provided by statements by members of the opposition parties, some of whom voted “yes” not only to the latest package, but to the two preceding ones, and who now threaten to vote against. When challenged on their apparent u-turn they have been heard to respond “we did not vote for this” before mumbling something incomprehensible about propping up the government.
Chemtrail experts point out that, although it is possible to impute individual motives to each of these groups, it would be impossible to imagine such a broad consensus across the political spectrum without some kind of psychotropic intervention. They speculate that a recent military exercise (codename: Parmenion 2015) undertaken with much fanfare under the close supervision of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Defence Minister Panos Kammenos was a desperate, but ultimately failed attempt to counteract the spraying with an airborne antidote.
Meanwhile on the streets, ordinary citizens confronted with fare hikes on public transport, one of the first tangible effects of the latest financial measures, showed a similar reaction. “Who voted for these clowns?” demanded Katina, a civil servant catching the bus to work, where she was reappointed by ministerial decree on the eve of the government’s re-election. “I can’t believe they are doing this to us,” said a downcast Mitsos, hastily tucking away a rainbow flag that had been adorning his backpack since the 20th September election night celebrations.
Prior to these discoveries, it was estimated that up to one in three Greeks believed in the theory of chemtrails. Supporters hope that the new findings will help to convince a greater portion of the public, which is already prone to similar beliefs, even reflecting them in their choice of elected representatives. Already, two in three Greeks subscribe to the “truther” belief that 9/11 was an inside job, while three in four believe that the Greek crisis is the result of a deliberate plan orchestrated by foreign powers, so supporters of the spraying theory see plenty of scope for increasing their market share. They also point to evidence from the skeptical camp to support their aspirations. A report by the Skeptic Society citing academic studies on the subject points to the thought process known as “global coherence”: “Someone who believes in a significant number of conspiracy theories would naturally begin to see authorities as fundamentally deceptive, and new conspiracy theories would seem more plausible in light of that belief.” The same report also notes that belief in conspiracies tends to increase under conditions of anxiety and loss of control.
More reports from the world of science coming soon on this blog.
Image: Still from “North by Northwest” (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1959).