Apologies in advance - there are no embedded links to the source material mentioned in this post. I’ll add these when I’m back from my Lovecraft pilgrimage in a week’s time.
Readers of this blog will not be entirely surprised by the claim that Lovecraft’s work has, for some time, been informing the current conspiracy zeitgeist. Indeed, a very useful summary of affairs can be found in a post from the Spooky Paradigm blog (in which the author of which was also kind enough to mention my Treadwell lecture series) from a couple of months back. I have to say, I’m very much in agreement with Spooky Paradigm that the current centre of conspiratorial gravity seems to be drifting towards a Lovecraftian and interdimensionalist interpretation of phenomenon such as UFOs.
To date, one of the most controversial offerings regarding the matter of a grand occult interdimensional demonic conspiracy comes in the form of Nick Redfern’s fascinating book Final Events, detailing the apparent existence of government think-tank who seek to establish a right wing Christian theocracy in order to combat the threat of UFOs (demonic incursions from other planes of existence whose entrance into our realm was precipitated by the shenanigans of Aleister Crowley, Jack Parson and L. Ron Hubbard). On a related matter, there is a very good academic article looking at the roots of ufology in Christian demonology by Christopher Partridge. Conspiracy theorist Adam Gorightly has also posted an interesting article here concerning related matters.
I’ve already noted some Lovecraftian predilictions expressed in Redfern’s cryptozoological writings, but will have more to say on the matter in a later post - although he’s missed a rich vein of source material in the work of the late lamented Kenneth Grant (I don’t recall Redfern mentioning Grant in Final Events). Interested readers in the Grant/Crowley/Lovecraft/UFO thing as viewed from a conspiratorial perspective might find this article by Adam Gorightly of interest.
However, I digress. On listening to an episode of the US based internet radio show Ground Zero Live I was a little taken aback to hear host Clyde Lewis mentioning having interviewed on air an MiB either claiming to be (or perhaps just using the moniker of)Nyarlathotep! Apparently this may also exist as a recording online (if anyone is able to track it down, I’d be very grateful if you could furnish me with the link). Further investigations into the matter have uncovered two online articles by Lewis here and here which elaborate somewhat on the matter, including his claims - a la Redfern - that the US Government have been engaged in interdimensional research with the aim of contacting entities not dissimilar to Lovecraft’s Old Ones. In the second of these articles, the Simon Necronomicon is invoked (although Lewis seems to attribute the text to Lovecraft himself) and used to identify the Lovecraftian extraterrestrial Elder Gods with Sumerian deities as per Zecharia Sitchin’s theories regarding the Annunaki.
The Sumerian connection that crops up with alarming regularity up in a lot of contemporary ufology and conspiratorial discourse is a rather interesting phenomenon, as is the recent fascination with the Jinn of Islamic folklore amongst conspiracists and paranormal resrearchers - especially those of a right wing bent. In light of which, I find it difficult not to see these intriguing set of intersections as linked to the recent Orientalist post-millenial fears regarding Islam whipped up by the War on Terror. In the context of the ‘paranoid style’ of contemporary conspiratorialism, these fears concerning the West’s perceived assimilation by an 'alien other' are apparently being liberally and literally translated into a fear of alien gods. Almost inevitably, it seems, such fears also end up being conjoined with the toxic substrate of anti-semitism which seems to underpin so much of conspiracy culture. In this respect, it is sadly the case that the spectre of HPL’s racism lives on in modern day appropriations of his pseudomythology: even the British Nationalist Party have gotten in on the act (evidently there’s a talk on Lovecraft by BNP speaker Jonathan Bowden available on YouTube – I haven’t yet had the heart to listen to it). It is likely that I shall also have more to say on this matter when I come to examine Lovecraft’s influence on the contemporary Grail /’Holy Bloodline’ conspiracies.