Moon Madness and the Fate of the Liberty Movement

“You look pale.”  —Blair to Clay, Less Than Zero (1987)

My last article garnered responses I predicted but hoped would not occur: emails from folks who not only believe the moon landings were faked, but think the Earth is flat.


One of the former self-identified as a “moon truther.”

I asked him if he understood that the truther meme was invented to ridicule those of us who believe some conspiracies are real, and that on at least some occasions, “our” government has lied to us.

The question went over his head like brisk wind over a deserted pier. This acquaintance and long term reader said instead, “I’m worried about you. Concerned.”

Concerned? About me?

Perhaps I looked pale.

I’m fine (I told him).

But the Liberty movement — of which he’s been a member for as long as I can remember — is clearly a bit under the weather!

For I can’t single him out. Other responses were even stranger.

I’ve long thought that among the factors that presaged Donald Trump’s rise was the collapse of the mainstream narratives of both major parties. Republican voters manifestly did not want another Bush. The Democrat base clearly preferred Bernie Sanders who addressed issues they cared about over an icy, entitled drama queen who’d almost singlehandedly wrecked two countries (Libya and Honduras).

What I didn’t realize:

The Liberty narrative — I’ll call it — has collapsed as well. It had been struggling for years, massive denial about the effects of its growing numbers notwithstanding. It went on life support the day Ron Paul retired from Congress.

It survives in think tanks that are effectively irrelevant to the national conversation, as a handful of equally irrelevant academic tokens (a few “thick” libertarians like these guys tolerated because they are pro-aborts and — believe this or not! — support social justice warrior causes), survivalist types prepping for doomsday out in the boonies, and clueless hobbyists who don’t dare give up their day jobs.

What was the Liberty narrative? Let me come back to that. I want to deal with this “moon madness” first.

Let me just ask you, gentle reader: which of the following scenarios is more believable? You tell me.

Scenario 1:  We never went to the moon. We couldn’t (Van Allen belts, etc.). Stanley Kubrick filmed the fakes out in Nevada somewhere (Area 51?). NASA was able to hide the sordid truth that the Apollo missions never went anywhere from well over a hundred thousand engineers and other technicians who had worked on various aspects of the projects. They hid it successfully not once but seven times, including concocting the gripping account of the explosion on board Apollo 13 that nearly stranded (so the narrative goes) three astronauts in lunar orbit. They’ve continued their massive coverup ever since — for 50 years now. Only a handful of Bill Kaysings and a few Liberty types have seen through NASA’s dastardly acts. They’ve figured out the truth about what really occurred — or didn’t occur. Because the government always lies. How do you tell politicians and bureaucrats are lying? Their lips are moving.

Scenario 2: In an earlier and now lost phase of America, we went to the moon seven times and landed there six times. It was our civilization’s crowning achievement. It was watched on television by millions of people the world over. All those engineers and technicians had made JFK’s vision happen. NASA had the technology to get astronauts to the moon at the time, but almost all this technology, along with a grasp of how it worked, has been lost. Those who worked on the Apollo missions retired or moved on. Some who worked for NASA later (like the former high school chum whose views I noted) grew disillusioned and dropped out of the aerospace industry altogether. The culture changed. Education at all levels began to circle the drain. Soon, it became increasingly difficult, even for the liberty-minded, to fathom how that predecessor civilization could have gone to the moon.

Again, my friends: which of these is more credible?

Before answering, consider:

Surely a government clever enough to fake a project as vast as that seven times, hiding the fraud successfully in plain sight, would also be resourceful enough to have addressed practical problems like solving the energy crisis, which in the early 1970s was one of two front-page issues (the other was Watergate).

Surely a government that resourceful would have left the Soviets in the dust then and there — their system ended from the inside long before the end of the 1980s.

Surely, too, a federal government that resourceful would have anticipated the looming health care crisis, which is really a cost crisis. A federal government that resourceful would have solved the problem of how to keep quality health care affordable long before Obamacare came along and screwed things up even worse!

Come to think of it, efficiency at that level could probably give us all a “four-hour work week” as it used technology to create abundance, dropping the cost of all the necessities of life (food, clean water, housing, etc.) down close to zero — all over the world!

Am I getting through? Earth to “moon truthers.” Earth to “moon truthers.” Come in!

Consider, also, the surrounding cultural elements. The moonshots did not happen in a cultural vacuum. They weren’t just about competing with the Soviets. The 1960s were years of great optimism. They produced mindbending cinema like 2001: A Space Odyssey and television series like the original Star Trek. And campy stuff like Lost in Space.

All with one theme: first the moon, then other worlds, then other stars!

It was also a period of great intellectual and economic liberation. Civil rights and movements favoring justice for women were fundamentally healthy movements back then, as were criticisms of undeclared foreign wars like Vietnam. A close look at the history of the latter shows teach-ins dating from 1965: no one had long hair, there was no rock music, no one was on LSD. Antiwar leaders later wondered, “Where did all these hippies come from?” (For those who have a little time on their hands, I recommend this sometimes whimsical but vitally informative series.)

Yes, the federal government has lied to us — many times. Vietnam was based on a lie (Gulf of Tonkin). We were almost surely deceived about the perpetrators of the three most traumatic assassinations of the 1960s: JFK, his brother Bobby, and Martin Luther King Jr. (who had begun to turn from an exclusive focus on race to the war machine and profits corporations were raking in from it).

I’m reasonably sure we were lied to about the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11.

So doesn’t it probably follow that we were lied to about the Apollo voyages.

Hold the bus. Consider this.

Filmmaker S.G. Collins of Postwar Media explains clearly, and in detail, why films of the Apollo missions could not have been faked.

The reason is that the film technology necessary to fake the moon landings did not exist in 1969.

With today’s CGI, it might be possible now.

Although we no longer have technology capable of getting us to the moon! If some government joker said he’d gone to the moon today, I’d be one of the people calling BS.

But back to Collin’s lecture. I find its final two and a half minutes to be the most instructive.

The fact that the government has lied to us on numerous occasions does not lead logically to everything the government says is a lie.

What actually follows is that we should exercise due caution when listening, follow money trails when possible, and then make our best judgment based on what we find.

We have to go on a case-by-case basis.

That’s more work, I know, but it’s the only thing likely to yield truth. For those who care about the truth.

Are there issues on which the government is (probably) telling the truth? I could list a few, but not in one or two lines. We’d get off track — and I’d be in still more hot water.

The point is that — if you’ll pardon the Freudian imagery — sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

What’s the real problem here?


We’ve trained ourselves to look for conspiracies. But not every earthshaking event results from a government conspiracy.

I argued last week that, however they got there, the rich fields of recent history have been marred by false rabbit trails. Their purpose has been to distract and confuse.

They’ve served their purpose.

As adherents of the Liberty narrative follow the rabbit trails, real conspiracies advance. Small and large. Many of the small just involve misinformation — or disinfo. Especially involving the economy. Their purpose is to make you relax and believe everything is okay when it isn’t.

Is anyone paying attention to what the Federal Reserve is doing these days, or to the reasons for thinking that the most current “economic boom” is another bubble, the most massive in history?

Has anyone noted the collective cognitive dissonance between what “experts” say about the economy and the money worries that keep millions of ordinary folks awake at night?

On the foreign front, does anyone truly believe the U.S. war machine is rattling sabers against Venezuela and Iran because the U.S. government cares about Venezuelans, or because the Iranians shot down a U.S. drone in their own airspace?

How gullible can people be, not to realize that such affairs are about who controls the oil supply to the West (i.e., to the global corporations who have been calling the shots for years)?

Incidentally, global corporations also lie. Like rugs.

If some of this sounds like it comes from the “economic left,” make the best of it, my friends. I concluded some time ago that some of those folks have a few things right.

Which brings me full circle to the fate of the Liberty movement and its narrative.

They get a few things wrong.

Is there any hope for either?

You won’t like my answer.

In its present form, No.

For one thing, the movement is now irrelevant, as noted above.

They’re like a small group of drunks in the upper desk at a baseball game. The action is on the field, and they’re nowhere near it.

Its narrative has gone from a love of liberty and the necessary hard thinking about its conditions (which needs more than appeals to abstract “free markets”) to blind and blinding hatred of “the State” as a monolithic entity.

Not the Deep Establishment, but something they see as far more dangerous. Something that wants to kill you, and sometimes does.

Government is just people. A few, like police, have deadly power, and we rightly get angered when a cop wields it irresponsibly and shoots an unarmed black man.

But “the State” didn’t kill the man. An individual cop did.

Justice demands that he be held accountable, and sometimes he is.

But most people in government don’t have any real power. There are roughly 9.7 million full-time federal employees, counting military, postal workers, agency bureaucrats, etc. I didn’t attempt to find out how many state-level employees there are, or county-level, and so on.

Some are your neighbors or folks you see in restaurants. They have the same bills to pay as you do, kids they love and worry about, cars that need upkeep, a dog (or cat).

Many are as bored with their jobs as you might be.

None are where they are because the Illuminati beamed bozo rays into the heads of the folks atop the Council on Foreign Relations.

Here’s your real problem:

“[T]he powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank … sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world….  The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and a use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups. This concentration of power, however, could be achieved only by using methods which planted the seeds which grew into monopoly capitalism.”

  • Carroll Quigley, Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World In Our Time (1966), pp. 314, 337.

Thus the nascent world government movement, the purposes of which are to service global corporations which keep the masses on the various continents controlled, as docile as possible, and consuming what the monopoly capitalists produce.

This is the Deep Establishment, which my research tells me is far more advanced today than when Quigley was writing.

And at his very best, all Trump has been able to do is slow it down — if even that. His erratic behavior, if anything, has gummed up its works.

This, of course, has nothing to do with the Apollo missions, which exemplified science, technology, optimism, and a level of intellection starting to escape elite control.

But this goes beyond the scope of what I’ve tried to get across today. It calls for a separate article.

I rest my case. The Apollo missions happened; to believe otherwise and make an issue of it is to have gotten distracted from what is important. (Read Quigley again.) Not to mention making conspiracy research look silly. Oh, and by the way, the world is round. Well … aside from its being ever-so-slightly flattened at the poles.

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About Steven Yates

I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Georgia and teach Critical Thinking (mostly in English) at Universidad Nacionale Andrés Bello in Santiago, Chile. I moved here in 2012 from South Carolina. My most recent book is entitled Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011). I am the author of an earlier book, around two dozen articles & reviews, & still more articles on commentary sites on the Web. I live in Santiago with my wife Gisela & two spoiled cats, Bo & Princesa.
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4 Responses to Moon Madness and the Fate of the Liberty Movement

  1. sam says:

    Good article with lots of information. Never knew that about Martin Luther King Jr., but read about F.B.I. attempts to discredit and otherwise harass him. HaHa ‘moon truther’ Ha

  2. Nelson Waller says:

    Useless regarding the moon, Steven, because you’re still merely trying to rationalize the “pro” position without giving the opposition a serious hearing. They did have the tech to fake it all — ever seen 2001: A Space Odyssey?

    To be honest I don’t think you actually care about this subject in itself.

    • Steven Yates says:

      Nelson, if you’re wondering whether it’s something that keeps me awake at night, that would be a No. Not in comparison to the material I discussed by contrast, on ongoing efforts to build up an all-controlling world regime that would control peoples by controlling the economic conditions of their survival, i.e., their capacity to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves. And how knowledge of this trend has been (still is being) systematically suppressed.

      But do you not concur that something went seriously wrong around that time, that there is a sense in which the overall culture surrounding technology peaked during the period 1969-71, and that even as technology has advanced bringing all this information to our fingertips, culturally it’s been all downhill?

      What was once genuinely world changing — technology — is now a addictive cesspool of manipulations, divisions, and distractions in the name of massive profits for Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo, et al), which has led the Western world’s masses by their noses into a new Gilded Age.

      That’s what we should be talking about.

      • Nelson Waller says:

        Don’t know why I’m even replying to such a non-reply, Steven. It matters a great deal whether the government lies to us on such a scale as the alleged moon walks. It’s by such means, among others, that Washington and its global cronies perpetrate “ongoing efforts to build up an all-controlling world regime”.

        The putative moon walks are constantly held up as the ultimate highest achievements of man’s potential — all glory be to Washington on high, and bombs to men in whom it is displeased. (I’M IRONICALLY QUOTING SCRIPTURE. How do you italicize around here……)

        The moon walk nonsense is the mother of all “manipulations, divisions, and distractions in the name of massive profits for Big Tech”, etc. All defenders and worshipers of technocracy proclaim the space program as its origin and inspiration.

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