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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Proclamations of the Red Queen

29th February 2008

Review: Spenser Hughes: Lambda Conspiracy (1993)

Posted by: Craig Young

Spenser Hughes: The Lambda Conspiracy (1993): Chicago:
Moody Press.

Fortunately, this appalling piece of fundamentalist
antigay conspiratorial fiction isn’t available in any
New Zealand library.However, it does make one thinkabout how the Christian Right scapegoats other marginal

social groups.

In 1992, things were looking up for the US lesbian and
gay communities. Bill Clinton had recently become
President, and there were prospects that military service
discrimination would end, and more equitable HIV/AIDS funding would emerge.

Unfortunately, there was one cloud on the horizon.
Colorado had passed a citizens initiated referendum
that struck lesbians and gay men from that state’s
anti-discrimination laws.

When the Christian Right are frustrated in seeking
legal avenues, their darker side starts to emerge. One
outlet was anti-abortion terrorism,while another was

susceptibility to conspiracy theories. For the first time in

twelve years, someone not beholding to the US Christian

Right was in the White House, which meant militant

fundamentalists slid down the sewer and embraced

gutter politics.

One aspect was the unhealthy Republican obsession with
presidential sexual infidelity, while another was the
appearance of vitriolic hate propaganda directed
against President Clinton, ethnic minorities, feminists…

lesbians and gay men. Spenser Hughes has no other work to his ‘credit.’

For anyone not wishing to prolong the agony, it’s like
this. In a near future, the Christian Right has
disappeared and an evil New Age secular humanist
liberal feminist Gay Conspiracy is about to result in
passage of a Human Rights Amendment, with the
nefarious ends of destroying fundamentalist Christianity

 through covert methods.

(And interestingly enough too, The Lambda Conspiracy

was around at the same time as New Zealand passed

our own Human Rights Act which   outlawed

discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and

HIV/AIDS status related to accomodation, goods and

services. I remember seeing it on the fundamentalist

bookshop shelves in passing, but the NZ Christian Right

media ignored it, even its more rabid fringes).

And predictably, it is the Southern and Midwestern
right-wing Republican states that end up as the
heroes, although one Branch Turnbull, a fundamentalist

journalist, learns ‘compassion.’ Why is it that they always

view themselves as the pariahs and underdogs?

Remember Conspiracy Theory 101. Marginal social groups

and associated individuals want the rest of us to believe that

they have ‘hidden’ or ’suppressed’ ‘knowledge’ related to

unethical political and professional ‘elites’ who are working

alongside new social movements and/or affluent social interests to achieve exclusion of social conservatives and right-wingers from the legislative reform process. Wild accusations of incipient totalitarianism aren’t far away.

In any case, ‘our heroes’ thwart the Gay Conspiracy.
Funny thing, though, consider this. Fourteen years
later, the US Christian Right is still conspiracist, but the

focus is now geopolitical, and the phantom
menace is situated outside the United States.

Homogenised Anti-American Muslim Terrorists are
literally demonised in this work, misrepresented as

monolithically antiwestern and antisemitic, and
any western complicity in the installation of radical
right wing Islamist governments is denied.

Could the raving right ever do without their pariahs?
As Eccelesiastes said, truly, there is nothing new

under the sun.Especially not fundie-pulp.

Recommended Reading:

Mark Fenster: Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture: Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press: 1999.

“Gayconspiracy” website

Chip Berlet: “Conspiracism”:

Susan Harding and Kathleen Stewart: “Anxieties of Influence: Conspiracy Theories and Therapeutic Culture in Millenial America” in Harry West and Todd Sanders (ed) Transparency and Conspiracy: Duke University Press: Durham, North Carolina: 2003.

Daniel Pipes: Conspiracy: New York: Free Press: 1997.

Michael Barkun: A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America: Berkeley: University of California Press: 2003.

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke: Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity: New York: New York University Press: 2002.

Recommended for Cheap Laughs Only:

Larry Burkett: The Illuminati: Nashville: Thomas Nelson: 1991.

Citizens Video Press: The Clinton Chronicles: Winchester, California: Citizens for Better Government: 1994.

Pat Robertson: The End of the Age: Dallas: Word: 1995.

Our own beloved tragic tabloid gutter glossy.

Its blogsite…

Grant Jeffrey: Final Warning: Economic Collapse and The Coming World Government: Toronto: Frontier Research: 1995.

Grant Jeffrey: War on Terror: Unfolding Bible Prophecy: Toronto: Frontier Research: 2002.

Pat Robertson: The New World Order: Dallas: Word: 1991.

Pat Robertson’s own website.

Texe Marrs: Circle of Intrigue: The Hidden Inner Circle of the Global Illuminati Conspiracy: Austin: Living Truth: 1995.

Texe Marrs: Project LUCID: The Beast 666 Universal Human Control System: Austin: Living Truth: 1996

Not Recommended for the Faint-Hearted:

Muriel Newmans “Centre for Political Research”

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