Conspiracy Theorists Fear Loss of Control

Open, Honest Dialogue Helps Facilitate Civil Discourse

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Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:29 am | Updated: 12:31 pm, Wed Feb 27, 2013.

According to the United Nations, sustainable development is a “mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come.”

Yet according to conservative talk show host and commentator Glenn Beck, “sustainable development means centralized control over all of human life on planet earth.”

Most observers would characterize the differences between these points of view as major. Indeed, Beck, via his television program on Fox News, now available on YouTube, claims that individuals, industry, business groups, governments and non-governmental agencies are part of a “massive movement” whose real motives are masked.

As Beck asserts, some of these entities may have a “pure heart,” but most do not. “They have to trick you into more governmental control. It is time to ring the bell, and protect your own community.”

The bell has been rung, and now some individuals and groups around the country are coalescing around the idea that the government of the United States is in danger of being overtaken by the United Nations. For example, the 9/12 Project is a nationwide group founded on a theory proposed by Beck that imagines the U.S. the way it was on the day after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks. Among a variety of causes, these organizations fight against United Nations Agenda 21, a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations drafted for a 1992 conference on the environment and development. It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent U.N. conferences and demonized by Beck and groups motivated by his thesis.

Various groups with ideas similar to the 9/12 Project have a presence online and often their members attend city council meetings or other public sessions to exercise their right of free speech. Because opposition exists to the sort of projects that take place under the umbrella of sustainable development, dealing with these groups and their concerns seems inevitable for today’s sustainability professionals.

That is why Laurel Sukup, sustainability assistance coordinator with the Wisconsin Division of Natural Resources, has given a great deal of thought to interacting with individuals who argue against what she is doing, in ways that invite civil discourse.

Sukup manages and directs the Wisconsin Legacy Communities program. She said her program “supports municipalities to move toward sustainability goals, further and faster than if they were working alone.” However, this is the sort of thing that opposition groups resist.

“I have had a number of instances where I’ve encountered folks that have been alarmed by municipalities’ participation in my program, which they feel is directly tied to U.N. Agenda 21,” Sukup said.

Ironically, Sukup speculates that many of those who feel upset when they hear words like “sustainability and smart planning” actually do support clean air, clean water, and governments that do not waste taxpayer dollars on energy inefficiency. But she has heard from individuals who identify as being motivated by concerns over Agenda 21.

“They don’t want the government to take action; they don’t want public/private partnerships. They feel it is a slippery slope because they are losing sovereign rights and autonomy. They argue this will lead to a relinquishing of power from the United States to the United Nations.”

Sukup uses the example of a super pool cover, a product that reduces the cost of heating a pool by 40 percent. While members of 9/12-type groups who are citizens of a municipality considering such a product might favor its purchase, they want the impulse to be a monetary decision, not one driven by sustainability. For such a project, municipal and sustainability professionals might argue that it is important because it saves money, reduces long-term maintenance costs, is good for the environment, and has positive effects on citizens.

Sukup has had opportunities to consider useful communication approaches at various public meetings. “A man who testified at a council meeting mentioned that he was caring for his terminally ill wife, but he left her bedside because he felt this was an important topic, to discourage municipalities from participating in programs,” she recounted. “He felt that by taking on these sustainability actions, the city was undermining its ability to govern and turning over those abilities to the U.N."

"This is incredibly real to them,” she said.

Sukup has become interested in research that studies how people take in information when they are in an acute emotional state. She understands that if people have an emotional reaction to something, they cannot be persuaded by logic. So, how can a municipality or a sustainability professional reach these individuals and promote discussion?

“A municipality might lay out facts of a program, but depending on the level of concern by the people who are against it, they will need to determine the best way to message and dialog with them,” Sukup suggested. “We need to also learn more about the emotional side of the brain and how to dialog in high stress situations. It starts with listening, allowing people to talk through their fears.”

She understands people who believe that Agenda 21 would take the United States down the road to ruin are in a different category from those who are unhappy about a malfunctioning streetlight, for example.

“Make sure facts and goals are crystal clear,” Sukup advised. “Make sure that you are really actively listening and understanding their point of view. With any dialog there will be things that are true, and yet they are interpreted in a way that was never intended. Make sure you listen to what they are saying, and make sure they know that you are. Then try to establish true, two-way communication. It doesn’t happen readily, it takes dialoging and patience. For municipalities and public servants, that is just part of the job. We need to be really, really good at it in those situations.”

The need to be good at interacting with the public is important for any municipal professional, of course, but Sukup believes the movement of people who hold ideas she finds difficult to understand is not going away.

“This movement has not peaked. It is on an upward trajectory,” she said. She finds that to be true whether working on her projects in Wisconsin, or in her role as board member with the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. She has heard from her colleagues in that group that there are people who believe “sustainability masks a sinister agenda” all over the country, and beyond.

Sukup noted that groups of this sort consider themselves constitutionalists. “It stems from the fact that they also believe that the states do not have to follow federal laws. There are many issues these groups take up, and their uncomfortableness with sustainability is tied to the idea of the government telling them what they can and cannot do,” she said.

“My perspective is that there is no doubt in my mind, when they are at these commission meetings, testifying in front of councils, that they are truly scared. That is why they are making impassioned pleas that the councils will wake up and see what they are doing to the community.”

Sukup has confidence that sustainability is a healthy model for individuals and governments to use for making decisions. “Sustainability professionals are fortunate to be able to evaluate our work through the sustainability lens and make sure the project is economical, good for the environment and good for the community. That’s how we live our lives and how we want to see decisions made,” she said.

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  • Data posted at 5:05 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Data Posts: 1

    "Just and observation: people who don't want their theories lumped into the category of 'consipracy theories' and then dismissed, should work as hard as possible to keep from presenting their theories in the same manner as those who present 'conspiracy theories'." - Paul Undead

  • livefree posted at 4:39 pm on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    livefree Posts: 1

    History is rife with conspiracies unmasked. Did the Roman Senate not conspire to assassinate Caesar? So please you Pollyannas out there stop with the thought process that no conspires exist in the modern world. You are being naive and intellectually dishonest. The secret is out. Globalism and global government is the goal of those who hold the reigns of wealth and power. David Rockefeller admitted this proudly in his published memoirs, after having denied it for the whole of his political career. The real question we must ask ourselves is, am I a globalist or a nationalist? Make your decision then proudly admit it. However, please do not think that your little local project to save the planet is not tied to a global goal because it is. The fact of the matter is this: Mr. gigantic carbon foot-print himself, Al Gore and his cronies have established the Carbon Credit Commodities market (in Chicago). Gore is poised to sit on top of the largest boondoggle in human history; the selling of hot air. With virtually no overhead, no oversight, no production and no employees, and the full backing of the federal government, what a perfect business to be in! The well connected who are lucky enough to get in on the ground floor of this game will become wealthy beyond measure simply by regulating the population of the world under the guise of pleasant sounding things like clean water, air and sustainability. As they did with credit default swaps, Wall Street and mortgage bundling, the power brokers of the world are relying on the carbon credit market as being the next big money making machine. Unfortunately, this comes at a great price to the common person who will be regulated to death in every aspect of his life, and force to buy carbon credits in order to produce or build. This I know because my local electric company has been forced by state laws to purchase carbon credits to offset their use of non-renewable energy. Apparently hydroelectric power (their main power generating source) is not renewable?? Alas the carbon credit (also known as Cap and Trade) goal has hit several roadblocks along the way and did not pan out as sweepingly as thought. What to do? Go local! Thus, we have Agenda 21, which takes the carbon credit boondoggle down to the regional and local level and bypasses federal and state law making hassles. Insidious in its design, Agenda 21 seeks to convince municipalities city, by city to climb aboard. Many municipalities ignorant of the amount of control they will be loosing go along because the city next door is doing it. Thus the people become over regulated, and overburdened with what they can and cannot do on the property that they slave to own. Is this the America we want? By the way, we still have a document called the Constitution of the United States of America and one called the Bill of Rights. These two documents are the supreme law of our land and nowhere in either of them does it give our federal, state or local governments the right to supersede those contracts with the people in favor of a global contract!
    PS: how dare the author of this article label her opposition as radical and poor listeners simply because SHE is misinformed about the full background of her pet project. I wonder if she has read the full text of Agenda 21?

  • patriot posted at 11:22 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    patriot Posts: 1

    Number one you don't have your facts straight. Glenn Beck has not been on Fox News for quite some time. Why, pray tell, should we believe anything when you don't know facts. In 1972 Nixon broke our nation into 10 regions. Each region having its own "capital". They are called Umbrella (Multi-jurisdictional Organizations). Every state has been recast through the Reorganization Act, to further implement Regional Governance over the U.S.A. Nixon signed exec. order 11647, regionalism. It was entered into the Federal Register Feb. 12, 1972 (vol. 37, no.30. Sustainable Development was conceived in Vancouver B. C. in 1976 under the guise of land use. In 1987 "Sustainable Development" introduced a report "Our Common Future" by United Nations Commission on Environment and Development by Gro Harlem Brundtland- V.P. of the World Socialist Party. In 1992 H.W. Bush signs an agreement in Rio for the Administrative Implementation of Agenda 21 (it became official UN Policy implemented in America). In 1993 Clinton, again by executive order, creates the "President's Council for Sustainable Development" (exec. order 12858). In 1997 Counties and Mayors, creates the Joint Center for Sustainable Communities, 2001 National Governor's Association(NGA) an organization that was formed in 1908, during the progressive era. On June 9, 2011 Obama's exec. order 13575 creates the Establishement of the White House Rural Council with the USDA sitting at the helm and 25 other dept. on the council. The purpose was to focus on the 16% of rural America. By Oct. of that same year lawmakers were looking at regulating tractor dust. Yes, those same tractors that plow the ground and grow our food. Oh yes, in 1990 the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives reared its ugly head. Harvey Ruvin an executive member of ICLEI said,'"Individual Rights will have to take a back seat to the collective, in the process of implementing Sustainable Development. Do these facts look like a conspiracy? From the below comment, I would say the majority of city councils, town trustees and county commissioners are labeling their constituents that bring facts forward conspiracy theorists instead of asking good questions and doing some research to become aware as to why U.N. mandates are becoming rules, regulations, and policies being perpetrated upon the People by their public officials. This take over of our nation is being done from within and all one has to do is research and connect the dots. Mark Twain once said, “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” Right now the question public officials should ask, why are United Nation's mandates being implemented in America with no authority. It is being done by cities, towns and counties. When awareness is being brought forth we're called conspiracy theorist. Hmmmmm.

  • Barbara posted at 11:17 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Barbara Posts: 1

    If the information is correct it is NOT a conspiracy! The plans in Agenda 21 for land control, resource control, population control, etc. are not hidden.

    Take the time to read the plan for the future all aspects of our lives.

    Responsible use of our resources and environment is championed by all.

    Manipulation of public perception of what is needed is not responsible but instead vests enormous control and power over the daily decisions of life which free men want to make for themselves and their families.

    Just follow the money. And more control always leads to more profits and more power for thosepushing that Agenda.

    And the well meaning dupes working on the lower levels have no idea they are working against their own best interest.They won't walk away with incredible power and wealth but should look behind the mask to see who will!

  • Thelma Taormina posted at 10:45 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Thelma Taormina Posts: 2

    It is so funny how people will try to make this into some kind of fight against big corporations who control everything, if people would do some real research they would realize that the government is working with the big corporations and that the companies are all promoting this green agenda gone wild. The truth is, the environmental movement was hijacked long ago and the ideas they are selling will lead to the destruction of American not the sustainability of America.

    Americans moved out of the cities long ago to get away from disease and poverty, the so-called "sustainability plans" are designed to place us all back into the cities. The globalists; have done a very good job. They have infiltrated our education system, they have infiltrated our government and they are in every large corporation out there.

    When Americans start to educate themselves and to actually think with common sense and logic, then America will once again be free.

    Just a simple FYI...The 9/12 Project is not about "Conspiracies" nor do we work on "Theories", we believe in education, information and we let the individual decide...we do not need to change any terms or phrase surveys to guide individuals to pre-designed answers that we want (as all visioning or sustainability planners do), since we deal with facts, we do not need to manipulate people.

  • ptombarrett posted at 9:54 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    ptombarrett Posts: 1

    What I find interesting about the conspiracy theorists besides how they filter information, is that they should be embracing sustainability. Sustainability is all about being self-sufficient and self-reliant and about doing things right so that government is way in the background and out of the way. Big corporations have much more control over people then big government does yet these folks don't or won't see that. Sustainability is about breaking the control of corporate American on our daily lives. It is also about a government that is responsible to the community not to commerce.

  • Berniceisback posted at 8:51 am on Thu, Feb 28, 2013.

    Berniceisback Posts: 1

    Within Agenda 21 you may want to look at the section that addresses depopulation of the American people. It is also written on the Georgia guide stones that the ideal population would be 80% less then the population of the world today. You may also be interested in the section that allows for the UN to take over the educational system. Please understand that Sustainability in itself is a great concept and something we should all be striving for but if this was the true intention of Agenda 21 why would the government sanction chemtrails and weather modification that is destroying our farmland? Not a conspiracy theory if you check foreign websites.

  • Krieg45 posted at 8:34 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    Krieg45 Posts: 1

    This is very helpful - but only up to a point. Listening to conspiracy theorists, or any people with paranoid tendencies, can easily go on forever. They never tire of talking, and tend to be unskilled at listening, or unwilling to do so.

    Once we've listened for a reasonable amount of time, then what...?


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