Why is it that crazy cultist websites always look like they were made in MS Paint by a self-flagellating epileptic? Is there a bigger visual banner you can wave to announce your lunacy than one involving bright red moving text over a tiled picture background? Does being a conspiracy theorist preclude good taste? Or are they even crazier than we thought?
The first time I encountered the lizardman theory, it was written in bright purple on a blue background, haphazardly left-justified, intererspersed with underlapping photos of crystal caves and put together by a chick called Raven. Coupled with the utter absurdity of the argument, her frenzied layout stayed fixed in memory long after the site had ceased to exist – which perhaps was the point. The above link is equal parts garish and insane, and should not disappoint. (I’d pick a favourite quote, but it’s difficult to choose between Angela Lansbury being a lizard-person, a self-confessed starseed from the Pleiades system, and a warning not to let lizardmen live in your aura.)
Jack Chick rates a mention, if only because his content is so palpably borrowed from the Land of Screaming Lobotomies. Unless you have a high pain threshold for ignorant religious polemics, I’d keep well clear, as this brand of nuts has a tendency to choke the consumer on their own bile. Note the cluster of videos and busy graphics near the top of the page, followed by columns of miniscule text – plain fare, compared to other examples, but still far from commonsensical.
Giant headshots of the Glorious Leader are another mad staple, as in the Raelian movement. This group believes, to paraphrase bluntly, that God is an alien who parted the Red Sea via space-based laser cannon. (Extra points for combining aspects of orthodox Judaism, intelligent design and Indian mysticism in the one go.) Hutaree, by contrast, features old-school, rapid-scrolling Bible quotes, apparently as a means of inciting people to join the U.S. military in preparation for the End Times. Spooky!
Conspiracy theories surrounding the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre are rife. This stunning example boasts a bold visual contrast between black and yellow backgrounds, red borders and almost two full pages of blank white space – classy! Toss in a reference to fake planes and an opening statement of defiance against the propagandising of media cartels, and you’ve got a recipe for obsolescence.
Finally, no list of internet weirdness would be complete without a reference to Atlantean reiki healers. The idea that there was a technologically advanced, spiritually enlightened, crystal-power-source-using society in the ancient Medieterranean is an oldie but a goodie, and one that shows no signs of dying out. Note the DaVinci picture insert at top right, suggesting a subtle Dan Brown influence.
Note: This post began life as a comment on Sean Wilson’s blog.