Simon Norman

On his quest to answer all the big questions in his weekly column, SIMON NORMAN asks: “Is the world controlled by an invisible illuminati regime?” Spoiler: probs not.

Chemistry conspiracy theory illuminati moon landing nasa rocket science shadows simon norman Simon Page

I promised you big questions, and I’ll deliver.

Is the world controlled by an invisible illuminati regime, clandestinely controlling every move in international politics, business and science in order to further their own, obscure goals? The arguments in favour are convincing. For instance, there is clearly a conspiracy at The Tab – two columnists called Simon who are both chemists in consecutive terms? That’s too coincidental. The Tab has clearly been infiltrated by the Illuminati.

The answer to this week’s question is likely to be: probably not. Unless the Illuminati are truly nihilistic, you have to say that they aren’t doing a very good job at being the stewards of our world. But don’t let that convince you; a true believer doesn’t care for arguments based on logic. Logic is a tool of the Illuminati, destined to make you think in their own, limited terms, like newspeak in 1984 or the Geordie language.

There’s always that awkward moment when someone you know randomly spurts out a conspiracy theory that they believe in. You twist between disgust and shame, for them and for yourself, before deciding on a reasoned “hmm?” indulging them whilst maintaining a degree of disinterest.

My favourite conspiracy theory is the idea that man never landed on the moon. There are loads of people who believe this, and they infiltrate all walks of life. They could be your friends, enemies or lovers. You won’t even know about it until they accidentally blurt into conversation that NASA faked the moon landings, in Hollywood, sponsored by Walt Disney, with a script written by Arthur C Clarke and directed by Stanley Kubric.

But there’s not much you can do at this point. Nothing you say will ever convince those poor, deluded souls. They’re going to give you arguments about how the astronauts would have died in voyage due to solar flares and massive amounts of radiation. You’ll be told that footprints aren’t made in a vacuum because the ground is too dusty or perhaps not dusty enough (it varies). You could point out that footprints are made by the action of gravity, which although weaker on the moon, is a pretty universal force, operating in much the same way as on earth, but frankly, this isn’t a convincing enough argument.

They’re going to say that in a vacuum, flags can’t fly even though it’s clear the people (“geniuses”) at NASA noticed this would be a problem and put a fucking pole in the top, to make sure the flag flew.

Finally they’re going to tell you that the pictures taken have shadows, which well and truly prove, once and for all, that the moon landings were faked and must have happened on a Hollywood set, where shadows exist.

“Shadows,” I will reply outraged, “sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s this thing out there, occasionally called the sun. You may not have heard of it, but it floats around in space and has done so for the last four and a half billion years, give or take, happily fusing hydrogen into helium, putting out a bit of light and heat here and there, and maybe (just maybe) causing shadows to appear in the solar system. It’s not exactly rocket science.” Except that in this case, it is.