John Campbell’s conspiracy theory takes a leap too far

When I was a young lad, I read Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods. I was an instant convert to the idea that aliens had visited the earth in ancient times and helped build human civilisation.* I even wrote a book report on Chariots, enthralling the teacher with my “conclusions” regarding alien contact. The teacher noted that my leaps in logic were disturbing. Needless to say, my grade for that report was somewhat less than an ‘A’.

Watching John Campbell’s attempt to tie John Key to the initial surveillance of Kim Dotcom via a somewhat dubious recruitment process of Ian Fletcher, the current director of the GCSB, felt somewhat like reading von Daniken. There are a number of suspicious circumstances, but to try and link them requires too many leaps of logic.

So in mid-December 2011, just prior to Ian Fletcher’s appointment, Mr Fletcher met with Mr Key, Simon Murdoch (the acting GCSB chief at the time) and Hugh Wolfenson (who oversaw the spying on Mr Dotcom), which was, coincidentally, also just prior to the commencement of the GCSB’s spying operation on Dotcom. It’s no smoking gun, and nor are any of the other dates (for a complete list, check out this post at the Standard). Essentially, there’s just a list of dates on which high-powered people met with each other, but the thing is, that’s just what high-powered people do – they fly around the world and meet with people.

Like all good conspiracy theories, John Campell’s relies on people seeing what they want to see. If they believe that John Key is a lying devil beast, then they’ll make the necessary leaps of logic.

I’m with John Key on this one:

“I mean, honestly, I have some respect for John, but when you do two years and come up with absolutely nada, then you do what he did – set a whole lot of assumptions to music.”

* It was only in later years that I discovered that von Daniken was a convicted fraudster, that most of his “evidence” has already been comprehensively debunked by the time I picked up Chariots of the Gods, and that von Daniken had publicly admitted to making up “evidence” that featured in some of his later books. What can I say? I was young…


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