Dear John,

     Your point on the historical use of conspiracy theories to justify
reprehensible acts is well-taken, and I certainly agree that ethnic
scapegoating is wrong. But what does this have to do with PARANOIA? The views
of Linda Thompson which we published seem to me to be based on a healthy
concern over governmental threats to individual rights, and an understandable
disgust with America's corrupt politics-as-usual. In her statement, she was
advocating a government by and for the people. She thinks the government has
become too powerful, John. If you think that's a tenet of fascism, neo-or
otherwise, then you have a very twisted understanding of the term.
     It's fine if you want to criticize particular PARANOIA articles because
they have a ludicrous premise or are poorly-written, or whatever. But your
generalized criticism of PARANOIA seems to be based mainly on what you
believe to be the political ideology of certain article writers! PARANOIA a
tool of the Right? Well, I could label Prevailing Winds a tool of the
Left, but that seems to me to be a pointless and unfair criticism.
     Your suggestion that PARANOIA might as well be written by Lyndon
LaRouche because of all the space we devote to "patriot-oriented spew" betrays
your ignorance of both PARANOIA and the LaRouche philosophy. In nine issues,
PARANOIA has devoted a grand total of one single-page article to the views of
LaRouche. (Five pages, if you include the Schiller Institute article. By the
way, we did identify the author as an associate of LaRouche. But, you may ask, 
isn't the Schiller Institute a "LaRouche front"? Face it, John: ALL
think-tanks are "fronts" to the extent that they are funded by individuals
with political viewpoints, including those of the Left.) And we've featured a
total of three pieces on the views of Linda Thompson, one of which was
focused on her critique of the government actions at Waco. And, for the
record, LaRouche thinks the militia-types are simply the ignorant tools of
the British Crown.
     Quite simply, we don't think all conspiracy theories are "equal." This
charge implies that we exercise no discrimination in the selection of
articles, which is untrue. I think you'd agree if you could see the pile of
stuff we've decided NOT to publish. And, as I've said before, I personally do
not believe everything we publish. But I've decided to evaluate articles on
how interesting and/or entertaining I think our readers will find them, not on
my own biased ideological filter. (For the record, our recent cover article 
on pro-choicer Bill Baird and the conspiracy against abortion rights didn't go
over very well among some of our  readers. Likewise, one article's
references to "the gassings at Auschwitz" prompted an angry letter from people
who apparently believe that such gassings never happened.)
     You say you object to "right-wing" propaganda that is masked as
conspiracy theory. (I guess if its from the right, it is by definition
propaganda.) Well, to paraphrase a recent positive review of PARANOIA, I
object to left-wing propaganda that's masked as objective analysis. Face it,
the left contains among its ranks people with an agenda, too.
     Just who is "exploiting" our "hippy dippy postmodern interest in High
Weirdness"? What exactly is their agenda? In fact, what exactly is a "hippy
dippy postmodern interest in High Weirdness"? If you're speaking of the
UFO-related stuff, I don't see why the likes of Rush Limbaugh and his
"propaganda machinery" would be very interested in financing such articles.
(P.S. Attention, attention: This is not "the Age of Reagan and Rambo." Ronald
Reagan is no longer President. The mindless militarism of Rambo is no longer
chic. It's more like the Age of Bill Clinton and Forrest Gump, which I find
equally disturbing.)
     Finally, you say it's apparently easier for PARANOIA to just "reprint
without commentary, a press release from the Spotlight about Jews and the UN." 
What the hell are you talking about? We've never published anything,
from the Spotlight or any other source, about "Jews and the UN." At least get
your facts straight before you criticize us for something we didn't do.
     You want us to print more left-wing perspectives? Fine. We'd have no
problem being an "organ of the Left," if they'd just submit some articles!
People like Michael Parenti and John Judge do incredible work and research,
and we'd love to print more of it. But, so far, they haven't expressed an
     And, somehow, I don't think your unfair labeling of PARANOIA as a
right-wing propaganda machine will give them much encouragement to do so.

Al Hidell

Dear John,

     Although we're getting quite used to hearing mainly from asswipes, it
would be nice to get a pat on the head once in a while--good doggy.
     How do you define your terms? What is "the right" and what is "the =
left"? Your discourse is extremely simplistic and impossible to argue without
definitions. One attempt I might try is that there are, in your words,
"serious motherfuckers with serious agenda, bank accounts and battle plans"
coming at us from all sides! How can today's extremely complicated political
situation be adequately explained using two categories? Even if it could, your
blanket statement "the people with the megabucks propaganda machinery are not,
to put it mildly, on the left" is convoluted. The "left" is extremely
dangerous right now. Just look at how they've got everybody scapegoating the
"right"!  The green movement is funded by Laurance Rockefeller and the CIA!
Ditto for the feminist movement! The "progressive" media is anything but! Mr.
Kimsey is doing some serious motherfucking "lumping" of terminology which is
very difficult to counter. Is he really Chip Berlet incognito?  Is he talking
about the Patriarchal Christian Fortune 500 Companies? Is he talking about the
militia movement in general? Does he think that any article that has a
religious basis is automatically on the right? Did he even read the Bill Baird
abortion conspiracy article, for which we may have lost many Christian
     To top it off, your lowbrow solution to this potentially explosive
situation is to "shutup" and not help them along. So apparently, censorship is
the solution!  Isn't that a fascist solution?
     The basic ideal here which I oppose is that "ideas are dangerous." It's
the so-called progressive left which dangerously affirms the attitude that
people are too stupid to incorporate ideas from all sides and make their own
decisions based on innate intelligence. I know that people have been seriously
"dumbed down," and that's part of the conspiracy, but it's not our job to
spoonfeed people. Most people I have met in my life are perfectly capable of
imputing information, processing it, and deriving meaning for themselves. It's
not my job to assess ahead of time how something may be construed by someone
else and then to go about "childproofing" it so that there is no possible way
someone could get hurt by it. That is exactly what Jim and Debbie Goad are
going through right now. Yes, certain rhetoric is unpleasant to the ears. But
that is what free press and free speech is all about.
     You know what I'd like to have done once and for all? I'd like to form
an independent committee where "blind" copies of articles from various
conspiracy magazines (not just  PARANOIA) are given to people to read and they
would judge them "left" or "right" utilizing set definitions and parameters.
Al and I have been asked many times by readers to "balance" the magazine in
this way and we believe that we have attempted to do that, not intentionally
in response to such requests, but by our own sensibilities. If certain
articles in PARANOIA are construed (or misconstrued) as coming from an
unpleasant avenue of thought, I don't think its presence there is a
right-wing conspiracy. I think the reader is a repressed wannabe fascist
dictator who thinks there should be more laws to save the human race from
extinction. I prefer the anarchist solution: less laws to save the human race
from distinction. People need to cultivate new ways of assessing information
as it comes at us faster and faster. And they need to cultivate a sense of
humor as well. If they could see us chuckling over some of this stuff, the
light in the attic might go on!
     Your ludicrous suggestion that we might be LaRouchies or may be funded
by some nefarious "They" makes it obvious who is the paranoid here. We are
people with day jobs who fund this magazine with our own money, as well as
newsstand sales and subscriptions. Second, if you had actually read a few
issues of PARANOIA, you would know that we've featured many stories which

cannot in any way be considered "right wing.' Among those are stories on the
Leonard Peltier case, the CIA at Chappaquiddick, UFOs and Virgin Mary
sightings, and the conspiracy against abortion rights. Bill Baird, Robert
Cutler, Alan Cantwell, Loren Coleman, Monte Evans, George Andrews, and
others, should be extremely insulted by your blanket assertion that PARANOIA
is a "right-wing" conduit.
     Perhaps you would be better served by a magazine of left-wing political

Joan d'Arc