TPA Editorial

A Global Conspiracy Theorists’ Event?

A notable blunder by the Swiss tabloid Press

Great events cast great shadows, but sometimes those shadows are cast not by the event itself, but by people for whom a future event is a thorn in the eye for some reason. The issue here is the seminar Terror, Lüge und Wahrheit (Terror, Lies and Truth) featuring Elias Davidsson, Daniele Ganser and Thomas Meyer, which was held on 3 March at the Scala in Basel and was moderated by Ken Jebsen.

Fake news
On 8 February and the following days there appeared in four regional daily newspapers in northwest Switzerland an article by Christian Mensch titled “Conspiracy mystics like Daniele Ganser from Basel capture the Rudolf Steiner movement”.1 In thick headlines Mensch comments: “Conspiracy mystics like the Swiss ‘peace researcher’ Daniele Ganser or the German Youtube moderator Ken Jebsen are to be supported by the anthroposophical movement of Rudolf Steiner. On 3 March the ‘Terror Lies and Truth’ seminar will be held in Basel at which propagandists of a global conspiracy will be able to put forward their theses.” Below the article is a large photo of the Goetheanum.

The facts
Mensch’s research on the event was so poor that he evidently became convinced that all the evils that have already been associated with the names of these speakers – rightly in his view – were now to be complemented by the incredible “fact” that the anthroposophical movement was going to give its full endorsement to the seminar or would be standing fully behind it.
The following facts should be noted here: 1. The conference stemmed from a private initiative by Thomas Meyer, the director of Perseus Verlag. 2. Meyer selected the speakers. 3. Meyer had first thought of a larger neutral conference centre in Basel. 4. He shared his plan for the seminar with Marcus Schneider, the leader of the Paracelsus branch [of the Anthroposophical Society] in Basel. 5. Schneider suggested that they should host the event together. 6. Meyer made Marcus Schneider aware of the risk that he would be stamped as a supporter of “conspiracy theorists”. 7. Meyer was very happy that Schneider was not bothered about that prospect. 8. The Scala in Basel, in which anthroposophical und non-anthroposophical events are regularly held, was chosen as the location for the event. 9. Daniele Ganser and Ken Jebsen had been Waldorf pupils; Schneider and Meyer had been teachers at Waldorf schools. 10. The seminar had as little to do with the Goetheanum in Dornach as Mr Mensch’s research had to do with reality, namely, – nothing.

An article by a “conspiracy theorist”?
Mensch proposes in the article that the term “conspiracy theory”, which he also uses, should no longer be applied to his victims, for this term would suggest that “their scenarios are based on a scientifically grounded theory” (emphasis TM). But Mensch wants to deny this completely in the case of these outcasts.
So straightaway, in his title he chooses to use the word “conspiracy mystics”, thinking that, this way, he can throw “conspiracy theorists” of the classical type and “anthroposophers” all into one pot. The irony here is that in Der Schweiz am Sonntag (Switzerland on Sunday) over two years ago an article appeared by Martin Wagner, Legal Counsel of the Chamber of Commerce of the Federal State of Basel, which attested that Christian Mensch was “regularly prone to conspiracy theories” which “clearly lead his writing into error”.2 Since then, nothing seems to have changed in this regard as far as Mensch is concerned.
To the credit of the newspapers which have propagated Mensch’s fake news, it should be said in concluding that in the days after his articles appeared in the Basel edition, the readers’ letters about his article were without exception critical. The tabloid Press therefore has readers, who it should look up to. Doing so would raise its own level…

T.H. Meyer

P.S. The conference was a great success; a report will appear in the next issue.


1 wie-der-basler-daniele-ganser-kapern-rudolf-steiner-bewegung-132179380