“Marianna In Conspiracyland” is the 10 part podcast series presented by the BBC’s specialist disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring.
As we approach Episode 3, titled “Trestle Tables for Truth,” previous ‘deconstructions’ have established some important facts that will inform our ongoing investigation.
Marianna Spring has yet to report any evidence to substantiate her claims. She has not established the existence of a “conspiracy theory movement.” The entire premise, upon which “Marianna in Conspiracyland” is based, is false.
Instead she has spread disinformation and deployed a series of propaganda techniques to cast ordinary people who hold anti-Establishment opinions (AEOs) as a some sort of threat. She has promoted anti-democratic opinions, misled her audience, both overtly and by omission, and has created a pejorative mythology about people exercising the essential democratic right to question power.
Her clear objective is to seed, in the minds of the BBC audience, fear of a fictitious bogeyman: the conspiracy theorist.
Therefore, as we continue to deconstruct Marianna in Conspiracyland we will explore the reasons why Marianna and the BBC are so heavily invested in this propaganda. Why does the BBC want their audience to fear AEOs? What is it about the democratic principle of questioning power that the BBC is so opposed to? Why is the BBC promoting censorship and the dictatorship that inevitable comes with it?
This will lead us to the apex of global power. The BBC is not acting alone. Like many other ‘actors’ in the mainstream media, it is part of a global network that is seeking absolute control of all information.
But first, to Episode 3 – Trestle Tables for Truth.
Marianna Spring starts by introducing her audience to Stephen Hopwood with the unwarranted accusation that he is “one of the leaders of the conspiracy theory movement in Totnes.” Having fixed her fictitious “conspiracy theory movement” narrative in the minds of her audience, she is now building upon her own disinformation to deploy the propaganda technique of “demonising” her enemy.
Marianna depends upon her listener’s unquestioning acceptance of the “conspiracy theory” label and all that it implies. She offers no explanation in “Conspiracyland,” nor has she ever explained, why most people consider “conspiracy theorist” to be a pejorative term.
“Conspiracy theory” was originally “weaponised,” for propaganda purposes, by merging the philosopher Karl Popper’s “conspiracy theory of society” with the historian Richard Hofstadter’s politically motivated, psychological concept of the “paranoid style.” The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) first suggested using the “conspiracy theorist” label as a weapon to attack people with AEOs who questioned the findings of the Warren Commission Report into the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy.
The CIA’s internal dispatch Document 1035-960: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report stated:
From the day of President Kennedy’s assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. [. . .] In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy [. . .], a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone [. . .]. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the US government, including our organization [the CIA]. Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. [. . .] Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization [. . .]. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorist, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims[.]
As we can see, the CIA were talking about an assault on public “opinion” (AEO) that questioned the state and its Establishment, including the intelligence agencies: the so-called “epistemic authorities.” The original dispatch document was marked “PSYCH” indicating the intention to run a “psychological operation” or “psyop.”
The fact that this anti-Establishment “opinion” was shared by nearly half of the US population—in 1967—was irrelevant. This was a psyop to discredit ordinary US citizen’s. The objective was to manage and protect the state’s “reputation”—maintain trust—by attaching a set of negative connotations to AEO and then labelling the whole psyop package “conspiracy theory.”
The term “conspiracy theorist” was used as far back as the 19th century, but it wasn’t commonly expressed, nor did it infer all that it does today. The term as we understand it was “weaponised” by the CIA.
The CIA dispatch urged operatives to work closely with the mainstream media to “employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics.” The CIA outlined a number of allegations that could be used to ‘discredit’ AEO arguments.
For example, the CIA encouraged their operatives to accuse people with AEOs of being wedded to theories that lack evidence, to accuse them of political activism or bias, allege they are financially motivated, accuse them of poor quality research or claim they are obsessed or “infatuated” with their own theories, label them as arrogant, etc. All of these accusations were to be levelled against people questioning power regardless of the relative strengths or weaknesses of the evidence or arguments they offered.
The CIA specified a number of its own “arguments” that it considered useful. Essentially, these boiled down to the intellectually redundant assertion that only the “epistemic authorities” are capable of providing “evidence.” This subsequently formed the puerile “scientific” basis for supposedly identifying a conspiracy theorist. The “science” came directly from the CIA’s psyop.
Any evidence that is not officially sanctioned can therefore be dismissed out of hand. Regardless of how much evidence the so-called “conspiracy theorist” presents, the propagandist can deny all of it and, according to the CIA, can thereby maintain that “no new evidence has emerged.”
Seeing as Marianna is the de facto “conpiracy theorist” expert for the multi-billion pound BBC media empire, and an investigative journalist, presumably she is aware of this history. Without providing any of this historical context to her listeners, Marianna persistently uses the “conspiracy theorist” label as a disparaging epithet. She is deploying it precisely as recommended by the CIA.
This raises the suspicion that Marianna may be some sort of media “propaganda asset” of the intelligence agencies whose designated role is to “negate and refute the attacks of the critics.” While there is no evidence to categorically state that she is, there is certainly enough to suspect that she may be.
It seems possible that Marianna has been on the Establishment’s radar since she was a child. Aged 11 Marianna, who attended Sutton High School, won an award for best article from the Newsquest Young Reporter Scheme. At 14 she met Queen Elizabeth II, after being selected as a Wimbledon Ball Girl (BBG).
The selection process for a BBG is arduous and involves academic, physical and psychological tests. The focus of the subsequent BBG training is upon discipline and the young athletes have to be resilient and fearless. Marianna was clearly a high achiever, and her hard work as a young journalist helped her to win a place at Pembroke College-Oxford, where she studied French and Russian.
While at Pembroke, Marianna’s Master was Dame Lynn Brindley who was also a serving Ofcom board member–the BBC’s regulator. As an undergraduate, Marianna wrote for the Moscow Times which is a pro-NATO Russian based news outlet, largely funded by the Dutch government. It seems Marianna successfully submitted just one article to the Moscow Times. It was published in November 2018.
Mariana’s Wikipedia page, which strangely makes no mention that she was a Wimbledon BBG who met the Queen, suggests that Marianna initially struggled to get into the BBC. Given the publication date of her Moscow Times article, her Wikipedia entry doesn’t make any sense:
After graduation, she applied for various journalism programmes including at the BBC but was not successful. Senior news reporter for The Guardian Alexandra Topping suggested that Spring contact various BBC journalists that she admired. Emily Maitlis replied to Spring and gave her an opportunity to work on Newsnight. By the end of 2018, Marianna had co-produced a video for Newsnight, about protesters from across the French political spectrum joining the gilets jaunes.
Marianna’s Linked-in profile lists her as a producer and journalist for BBC News and BBC Newsnight from September 2018. The 22 year old Marianna seems to have gone directly from writing for the Moscow Times to be a co-editor on the BBC’s flagship news program with the full support of some heavy hitting mainstream journalists, like Maitlis. Contrary to the claims on her Wikipedia page, she appears to have been fast-tracked into the BBC.
Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source. It is notorious for being edited and “washed” by all kinds of dodgy actors.
Among them is Philip Cross. Possibly one man, perhaps an editorial team, Cross is well known for his prolific Wiki-edits attacking the reputation of journalists and media personalities who express AEOs. Cross is also known for safeguarding the profiles of pro-Establishment figures and his (or their) digital fingerprints are all over Marianna’s Wikipedia page.
As pointed out by Grayzone journalist Kit Klarenberg, who was detained by UK counter-terrorism police for being a journalist, there are some other conspicuous aspects to Marianna’s meteoric rise. The Pseudopandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation on 11th March 2020. Simultaneously, Marianna became the BBC first specialist disinformation and social media reporter, and subsequently its inaugural disinformation correspondent in August 2021.
Amil Khan, Reuters’ former Middle East correspondent, BBC journalist and an adviser to both the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the UK Ministry of Defence, is also a former associate fellow of the globalist think-tank the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). He formed the counter-disinformation government contractor, Valent Projects, in late 2019.
Grayzone reported apparent leaked emails showing exchanges between Khan and the well known British journalist and author Paul Mason. Mason and Khan were seemingly discussing how to use counter-disinformation media assets, and their government and social media contacts, to ‘deplatform’ and censor the Grayzone for its stance on the Ukraine war.
Setting up a prospective public-private disinformation and censorship operation, Khan appears to have recommended Marianna as someone who would be amenable to supporting their hybrid warfare campaign:
I would only suggest the BBC’s Marianna Spring, Nick Waters from Bellingcat, maybe Martin Bright.
Khan undoubtedly has close ties to the British government and the UK intelligence agencies. If the Grayzone emails are legitimate—and there is little reason to think they aren’t—then clearly Khan considers Spring a useful media “propaganda asset.”
Marianna has already moved beyond the BBC. Despite the fact that she hasn’t presented a scrap of evidence to support anything she has said throughout “Conspiracyland,” or anywhere else for that matter, her baseless “opinion” has fed into the UK government’s deliberations on its proposed Online Safety Act.
Her opinion has also been submitted to the United Nations (UN), ironically on the subject of freedom of opinion, and she has even been selected as a moderator for international panel discussion on “countering-disinformation” by the UN itself.
Marianna is much more, or much less—depending upon your point of view, than just a jobbing journalist. We can’t be certain that she is a propaganda asset for the public-private intelligence partnership but, to use her own vernacular, she has all the hallmarks of an intelligence linked propaganda asset.
In “Trestle Tables for Truth” Marianna asks Stephen Hopwood about his involvement in the Totnes based New World Alliance. Stephen explains:
The New World Alliance is just a local group of people that are raising questions and having concerns. We don’t claim to have definitive insight into the absolute nature of reality, that would be an unreasonable claim to make, but, as I say, what we do understand is that there are gross contradictions to the government and mainstream narrative and evidence that we’ve been lied to.
It is hard to imagine a more level-headed AEO. Put simply, people have questions. That is not how Marianna wants her audience to perceive Stephen and the NWA. So, in her edit, she immediately engages is disinformation and propaganda:
Like many in the world of conspiracy, Stephen begins from a place of political and scientific concern. But his views then move quickly beyond the realm of evidence.
The “realm of evidence,” that Marianna is attempting to establish as the ‘only’ evidence, is the evidence restricted and controlled by the “epistemic authorities.” Any evidence that is not officially approved by the state and its Establishment is therefore completely ignored or denied by Marianna.
The conversation then moves to the pseudopandemic and Stephen talks about the evidence that questions the safety and efficacy of the Covid jabs. As Marianna’s edit fades out his statement, Stephen can just about be heard saying “if you look at the reality of all-cause mortality.”
All-cause mortality in the UK is reported by the “epistemic authorities.” For example, in England and Wales it is provided by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). However, the unprecedented level of continuing excess mortality has not been officially sanctioned for public discussion yet, and so probable MSM assets like Marianna ignore that too.
The evidence of persistently high all-cause mortality demonstrates that there is no discernible benefit form the Covid jabs. Worryingly, there is a strong correlation between the jabs and increased all-cause mortality.
There are other factors, such as the destruction of health services, that also correlate. So it cannot definitively be said that the jabs alone are leading to higher death rates. But the evidence of high rates of serious adverse events, especially when combined with the statistical data, underpins Stephen’s concern.
Marianna challenges Stephen’s evidence based opinion and reports:
My challenges don’t convince Stephen to see things differently, in the reality he inhabits there appears to be more than just abuse of power, or corruption or greed. Instead there appears to be a deliberate or orchestrated plan to limit people’s freedom.
There is no aspect of Conspiracyland that can justifiably be described as investigative journalism. Marianna Spring simply demands that her listeners accept her as the arbiter of truth.
Putting aside that Stephen has no reason to be convinced by her claims, Marianna is spouting post-modernist babble. Both Stephen and Marianna—all of us—inhabit the same reality. We might all perceive reality from different viewpoints, have different opinions about what reality is or isn’t, but that does not alter the “absolute nature of reality,” whatever it is.
We have already discussed the reality of the Great Reset and CBDC. These are just two facets of the clear “plan” to limit our freedoms.
Many people were incarcerated in their homes for months, not allowed to visit friends and loved ones, banned from social gatherings and had their freedom of movement restricted because the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic. Marianna doesn’t want her listeners to know about the evidence that strongly suggests that there was no disease driven pandemic. Stephen clearly referenced this but the BBC audience were told he had moved “beyond the realm of evidence.”
Whether a response to a genuine health emergency or not, this evident “plan” to “limit people’s freedom” was and is reality. Marianna’s attempt to redefine it all as an alternative reality is totally absurd. Only amnesiacs could imagine her dismissal of the obvious as plausible.
Marianna reportedly asks Stephen what sources he trusts. As we faintly heard, he spoke about mortality, so presumably Stephen trusts ONS all-cause mortality data. Spring edits the interview, we don’t hear her ask Stephen directly what sources he uses, instead the edited version of their conversation moves on to discuss the Light newspaper.
Marianna is giving the impression that the Light is one of Stephen’s ‘trusted’ sources but that is not evident from his audible statements. In fact, Stephen says the Light is not “far wrong,” indicating that he reads it with a critical eye. Just as the Light recommends to its readers.
Cue dark and ominous music: Marianna observes:
When I’ve read through the Light, and its Telegram channel, although there are some mundane articles and posts some controversial names come up. Those include some far-right figures and groups accused of pushing hate. [. . .] Bloggers like Lasha Darkmoon, who writes in the paper that people should be able to question the Holocaust.
I am a Telegram novice but even I have figured out that it is unlike other social media sites. Imagine a cross between a Twitter feed and Reddit–if that means anything to you. Just as you don’t really have any control over your own Twitter feed or an open forum thread, nor do you have much over your Telegram Channel. Especially if you want to permit your followers to talk to each other and share information.
I am very lucky to have someone administrate my channel for me (thanks Kenny). Without his assistance there would be no way for me to monitor anything that is posted on it by my followers. I only have 500 subscribers, the Light paper has more than 20,000 and it too has set its permissions to enable its readers to talk to each other and share posts.
Perhaps if the Light had the enormous resources of the BBC it could employ some full time staff to monitor everything that is posted on its Telegram channel. But it doesn’t and it can’t.
Spring is determined to use a composition fallacy to insinuate that because a minority of people with AEOs have far-right of antisemitic views then all AEOs are “prone” to “far right” and/or antisemitic ideology. This is damnable disinformation.
Marianna Spring, winner of Newsquest’s Young Journalist award when she was 14, wrote an awful article to accompany the launch of her “Conspiracyland” propaganda. Full a vacuous claims, innuendo, unsubstantiated opinion and offering no evidence to support any of her points, Marianna said:
The paper has featured an article by a blogger called Lasha Darkmoon, saying that people should be able to question the Holocaust.
Of course, Marianna didn’t offer a link to that article—she doesn’t really do evidence—so BBC readers were given the false impression that the Light was advocating Holocaust denial. However, as the Light is a young paper, we can hazard a relatively safe guess that Marianna was referring to Darkmoon’s article titled “Ten Steps To Mass Mind Control.”
Discussing the illusory truth effect and referencing academic research on the subject, Darkmoon’s article explores the propaganda techniques used to convince the population of falsehoods. It’s not bad, and a much better article that Marianna’s.
Toward the conclusion Darkmoon says that “Holocaust denial” is “the number one heresy of our day.” In the context of the article, the inference is that the Holocaust is questionable. The so-called “Jewish question” does appear to preoccupy Lasha Darkmoon. There is evidence to suggest that she is antisemitic.
Technically speaking, the Light article therefore infringes the IHRA working definition of antisemitism. But in order to identify that antisemitism you have to spot one cryptic comment in an article that otherwise has nothing to do with antisemitism. It does not constitute evidence that the Light promotes “hate” or “antisemitism” as Marianna Spring claims.
In the BBC Article titled “Israel-Palestinians: Old grievances fuel new fighting” the BBC wrote:
Jews and Arabs have struggled to be the masters of the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea.
Many Jews support Palestinian rights and are opposed to the actions of the Israeli government and its military. According to the IHRA definition it is antisemitic to “[hold] Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” Therefore, the BBC article is technically antisemitic.
The BBC has written many such antisemitic articles. It has even spread its antisemitism to children, claiming that the Jews consider a large part of Palestine to be their traditional home. There is a long history of Jewish opposition to the Israeli state and a sizeable minority do not consider Israel their traditional home. The BBC is “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.”
Needless to say, Marianna Spring does not accuse the BBC of spreading “hate.” Why not? If we accept the IHRA definition, the evidence seems to show that the BBC is an antisemitic organisation.
In light of this, perhaps some at the BBC might wonder if the IHRA definition is not a tad too stringent. It makes it extremely difficult to criticise the Israeli government without being accused of antisemitism. In the meantime, the BBC has clearly fallen foul of the IHRA definition on innumerable occasions.
Marianna is then invited by the New World Alliance (NWA) to attend a rally and a march which she describes as “largely peaceful.” Again, the deceptive language is notable. They are completely peaceful. None have ever been anything else.
Marianna adds that Stephen told her that he has not been involved in “any attacks targeting locals in Totnes.” This isn’t surprising because there haven’t been any NWA attacks in Totnes. Marianna’s comment is designed to cajole her audience into assuming such attacks have occurred. Her disinformation is copious.
Marianna and Stephen’s conversation remains cordial but then Marianna claims that it “enters the realm of well trodden conspiracy theories.” This is in response to Stephen’s evidence born doubts about 9/11. Marianna uses the CIA’s “conspiracy theorist” labelling system to dismiss all the evidence he cites, effectively deceiving her listeners into believing that “no new evidence has emerged.”
Tellingly Marianna says:
There is a lot of evidence that 9/11 was very much a horrible terror attack that claimed a lot of peoples lives.
Again, Marianna is reliant upon the appeal to emotion fallacy to suggest to her audience that questioning such an event is unthinkable. This deftly sidesteps having to discuss Stephen’s reasonable observation that hollow aluminium planes can’t turn steel framed skyscrapers to dust in mid air and fires can’t make them collapse at free-fall speed into their own footprint.
Marianna asks Stephen what he thinks about some of the “less than peaceful rhetoric shared by some conspiracy theory groups, mainly on the messaging app, Telegram.” Peter replies:
It’s nothing to do with me. Just because some person says something, it doesn’t mean that someone else believes that.
Continuing to push her composition fallacy, Marianna suggests that this has triggered Stephen, intimating that he has something to hide, is nervous, belligerent and unsettled. Although annoyed seems more likely.
Marianna Spring, the BBC’s disinformation and social media correspondent, is on very thin ice with this ludicrous claim. She insistently proffers the ‘guilt by association’ narrative to her audience. She exploits the fact that people like Lasha Darkmoon have written for the Light to crowbar in the disinformation that this “proves” the Light endorses all of Darkmoon’s views.
The BBC has been stiffly criticised for its habitual practice of providing platforms to violent extremists such as Anjem Choudary. He has appeared on many of the BBC’s highest profile news and current affairs programs and has been given ample opportunity to air his views by the BBC. The day after the Woolwich terror attack, the BBC hosted Choudary on a Newsnight discussion panel so that he could pontificate on it.
Choudary has urged his followers to kill anyone who insults the prophet Muhammad. He has advocated that adulterers should be stoned to death, he thinks all Western journalists are liars, that the US is Satan incarnate and he was a terrorist fundraiser. He also ran a UK based terrorist recruitment and training operation for many years.
There is no reason to accept Marianna’s Spring’s fatuous proclamations that being in the same airspace as someone, whether physically or metaphorically, signifies that you agree with and endorse everything they say and do. It is beyond ridiculous.
If we momentarily take leave of our senses and agree with her, then the BBC is a terrorist recruitment organisation. It thinks women are domestic sex slaves, wants Sharia Law to be imposed in the UK, it spreads hate and promotes the mass murder of innocent people.
Ultimately, Stephen becomes frustrated with Spring. He says that he resents that her alleged public service journalism is dictated by government and corporations. Marianna’s deceptive reply is that this is “not true.” If she really thinks so, then she is in for a major shock if she ever publishes or broadcasts any opinion that Ofcom—the government—don’t approve of.
Falsely claiming that a “conspiracy theory landscape” exists in the South West of the UK, Marianna then talks to Natalie. Banging her composition fallacy drum, Marianna asks Natalie:
What would you say to the allegation that something like the Light has promoted far right ideas, or promoted Holocaust denial or antisemitism? what would you say to that?
To be clear, Marianna Spring and the BBC are chiefly responsible for making those allegations and haven’t presented any evidence to support any of them. Recounting the friends she has lost trying to “wake people up” to what she thinks are issues of immense importance, Natalie becomes tearful and breaks down.
Rather than acknowledge that her persistent, groundless allegations have upset Natalie, without a shred of self awareness or a moments reflection with the BBC audience, pondering if the BBC might have something to do with the reported division in Totnes, Marianna pounces on Natalie’s distress to make another set of preposterous claims:
Natalie almost signals a new extreme.
There are no extremes. Marianna has not provided any evidence of any extremism in Totnes. She has used logical fallacies to try to brand everyone like Natalie as extremists because a tiny minority of people, who share some of Natalie’s AEOs, are on the far right of the political spectrum or are antisemitic.
Marianna claims, without reason, that Natalie is terrified and then flatly asserts that Natalie “doesn’t see the links to hateful ideologies that a paper like the Light has.”
Natalie doesn’t “see” the links because there aren’t any. She doesn’t sound terrified, she seems sad. Probably because propagandists like Spring have polluted discourse in the UK to such an extent that simply disagreeing with someone, or presenting evidence that isn’t approved by the “epistemic authorities,” is considered “hate” by just about enough people.
Regrettably, this anti-democratic, anti-human, state propaganda has fed the imaginations of those who “trust” the BBC and believe Marianna Spring. With this disinformation firmly planted in the minds of the brainwashed, the BBC and Marianna can use it to justify calls for draconian state censorship.
All dissent, all evidence and all opinions that the state and its Establishment “partners” need to bury in order to maintain “trust” can be expunged.
By using the CIA’s psyop weapon to label all who hold anti-Establishment opinions “conspiracy theorists” and by calling all the evidence that questions power “conspiracy theory.”
You can read more of Iain’s work at his blog IainDavis.com (Formerly InThisTogether) or on UK Column or follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his SubStack. His new book Pseudopandemic, is now available, in both in kindle and paperback, from Amazon and other sellers. Or you can claim a free copy by subscribing to his newsletter.
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