Roar writer Marino Unger-Verna on the newly established KCL Conspiracy Society, which he claims is hypocritical and will not be taken seriously on campus.
As posters featuring questions as brazen as they are bizarre begin to appear seemingly out of nowhere around campus, questions have been raised by many surrounding the fresh new student society on the block at KCL: the Conspiracy Society. To some, the group is a strange outlier, bucking tradition and worth keeping an eye on. To others, the community is nothing more than a joke that’s been given its moment in the limelight. No matter your opinion, though, it’s worth observing the strange aspects of both the society’s structure and methods of advertisement.
In a recent interview, Roar spoke with the Conspiracy Society’s president and secretary about their motivations and goals. In reading the interview, I was struck by the somewhat blatant hypocrisy on display. Both leading members declined to have their names published, and neither of their names are posted on the society’s website. This might not be a point of contention, were it not for the fact that one of the requirements to join the Conspiracy Society is the submission of the applicant’s full name. This, alongside the fact that the society is currently not officially recognised by the KCLSU, strips the group of a certain authenticity.
The promotional posters that have been spotted around campus, featuring such slogans as “Is Hilary Clinton Running a Child Sex Ring from a Washington Pizza Restaurant?”, as well as the display of a “Bush Did 9/11” sign in the Guy’s Campus Shed, add a layer of absurdity atop the group’s image which is difficult to ignore. As stated by the couple, the society’s primary goal is to give theorists a platform from which to debate their ideas – a noble aim in and of itself. But with such arresting language on display in their advertisement, is their goal to create a forum for discussion, or an echo chamber for their presupposed beliefs?
In the same interview with Roar, the two founding members stated, “we want to give people a chance to prove us wrong,” This innate ignorance of the burden of proof is troubling to me. A fair and open discussion cannot stem from a nameless leadership which resorts to purposefully provocative language designed to incite controversy amongst the student population.
As the society’s president himself stated, “We’re big on marketing – controversy sells.” And he’s right – to a point. In a similar fashion to the Tweets now posted daily by Donald Trump, absurd, nigh-comedic statements are entertaining and catch people’s interest. But they will never be taken seriously.
I can’t tell you with one-hundred-per cent certainty whether or not Bush did 9/11, or the definitive answer to any of ConspiracySoc’s other myriad questions. But farcical tactics designed to do nothing more than drum up word of mouth is certainly not the way to go about convincing me.