Scientific Conferences: Tool of the Jewish/Mavericky/Nonviolent/CIA Conspiracy

By Sean Carroll | June 21, 2009 5:25 pm

Another contender for Best Video of All Time. Via hilzoy, an Iranian-government propaganda video from a while back. It reveals the secret (naturally) collaboration between John McCain, George Soros (“he uses his wealth and slogans like liberty, democracy, and human rights to bring supporters of America to power”), Gene Sharp, and Bill Smith, aimed at undermining the true will of the Iranian people. (Transcript.) I especially like the part where Smith says “we have achieved a lot through international scientific conferences.”

It’s pretty clear that Iranian security is using 1984 as a how-to guide. Spying on your family as a social good.

The situation in Iran is no laughing matter; it remains to be seen whether Ayatollah Khamenei has painted himself into a corner where further large-scale violence is inevitable. Our thoughts are with the Iranian people demanding their rights of self-government.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Entertainment, World
  • Eugene

    Damn, my conference-going-spy-persona has been blown.

  • Hopeful

    Do you have any idea what a scientific bonanza it would be if the current repressive regime in Iran fell and the country opened up to the West, the way Russia did after the fall of the Soviet Union? Look at how Russian physics transformed cosmology, among other things.

    There’s a staggering amount of scientific talent in Iran. Even as things are today, some of the greatest living physicists are Iranian. I mean, just off the top of my head, I can name Cumrun Vafa and Nima Arkani-Hamed as towering figures in high-energy theory.

    Of course, there’s no question that human rights and democracy are of paramount concern—but the consequences for physics could be momentous, too.

  • dan

    Wow, I didn’t know they secretly spoke farsi in the white house. I guess you learn something new everyday.

  • joe

    Is “Intelligence Ministry” farsi for “Fox News”?

    But seriously, I can see how this video could be convincing to people who are already suspicious of the West. We ourselves readily believe Al-Qaeda is a wholly irrational and evil organization bent on destroying modern civilization (which, until further evidence is presented, I do in fact think is true), so it isn’t a stretch for Iranians to think of the CIA as we see Al-Qaeda. In other words, the absurdity of the claims in the video does not stop it from being effective. People can believe in evil international conspiracies, despite their improbability.

  • flux

    As an Arab, I am truly disgusted by this movie. I had no idea Iran went that far totalitarian-wise.

    And no middle eastern girl would tattletale on her brother for an intelligence agency anyway !

  • Loki

    1) Ahmadinejad was popularly elected first time with huge support from the Iranian population.
    2) There are little reasons to beleive that his opponents now are any better … Except they are paid agents of the West, off course :-)

    Considering cases of totalitarian collapse in places like Russia of 90-s or Iraq recently, the approach like “Iranian people demand their right of self-governance – let them have it!” sounds a little cruel. Few people will get rich fast, and majority will get civil war, famine and extreme poverty for years to come.

    I’m not in favor of totalitarism, but i yet have to see how a big country with lucrative resourses and total lack of democratic mentality goes to nice self-governance in less than 50 years. The whole generation has to be sacrificed, and maybe the next one as well.

  • An Iranian Student

    Thanks for your post, and your support for Iranian people.
    Loki, despite what you might think about Ahmadinejad opponents, but I think there is a huge difference between Ahmadinejad and others in Iran such as Mr. Mousavi.

  • James


  • Neal J. King


    Iran had self-governance in the 1950’s, until the UK and US conspired to overthrow the Prime Minister Mosaddeq and re-install the Shah. When the Shah was evicted, unfortunately, the religious extremists were faster on the uptake than anyone else, and they took over.

    Granted, they seem better at revolutions than at governments. But the Iranians I know are generally well-inclined towards the US people and culture. It might work.

  • Sili

    My … McCain seemed natural and reasonable.

  • wds

    @Neal: there’s the problem though. How many Iranians do you know that don’t speak English? I think everyone has a right to self-governance myself, but for a democracy to work it must have popular support and while it’s quite possible that ahmadinejad messed with the results I’m not at all convinced he wouldn’t win eventually, considering his support among the unwashed masses.

  • Count Iblis

    Actually, for democracy to work, it needs almost 100% support. You can’t have a democracy under current circumstances in Iran where at least 20% or 30% would be fanatically opposed to a new fully democratic system and resist it using force.

    Iraq is a good example. Until the Sunnis in Al Anbar province were fully on board, things were not going well in Iraq. Democracy alone could not bring them on board; the Iraqis had voted for a government that was not willing to meet the demands of the Sunnis. So, what happened was that the US conviced the Iraqi government to meet the demands of the Sunnis.

    You will only see a true democratc government in Iran when even the conservative part of the population will agree to such a system. The conservatives are supported by the Revolutionary Guards and other institutions who can exert power. There is no way things will change until they are on board.

  • steeleweed

    Zakaria’s Future Of Freedom noted the prerequisites for a stable democracy. The only country in the Middle East with those prereqs is Israel, and even there the long-term stability is of questionable robustness (robustitude?) There have been other popularly-elected governments, but they did not prove stable. Just like in much of the former USSR, elections all to often led to ‘elected tyrants’. Before you can have a meaningful democratic election, the population has to be willing to accept the legitimacy of any elected government and it helps to have real power, particularly economic power dispersed among various groups.. In many parts of the world, the only government recognized as legitimate by the bulk of the population has always been some form of despotism – Shah, Caliph, King. It’s what they know, so it’s accepted as ‘the way things are’.

  • Flinx

    flux: “As an Arab, I am truly disgusted by this movie. I had no idea Iran went that far totalitarian-wise. ”

    What has being an Arab to do with it? 97% of Iranians are not Arabs.


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About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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