Wed, Dec 08, 2010 - Page 9 News List

Unraveling the mystery of the 2012 London Olympics

By Steve Rose  /  The Guardian, LONDON

ILLUSTRATION: MOUNTAIN PEOPLE

When Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots of the 2012 London Olympic Games, were unveiled to the world in May, the general reaction was one of bemusement. These stumpy, one-eyed, metallic-skinned creatures, the organizers said, had formed out of stray drops of molten steel during the construction of the Olympic stadium, but most of the public and media simply interpreted them as aliens. What do monocular extraterrestrials have to do with the Olympics?

A year earlier, the 2012 Olympic logo was greeted with a similar mix of derision and puzzlement. Jaded observers passed off these designs as sorry reflections of the state of British creativity, but a small minority had a very different answer: We were being primed for the establishment of the New World Order, by means of the greatest hoax in history.

Even in conspiracy-theory terms, the London Olympics plot is a difficult one to swallow, but that hasn’t stopped a credulous minority from gulping it down. You’ll find them on cult conspiracy blogs such as Red Ice Creations, Godlike Productions and Above Top Secret, or even making their own video presentations on YouTube. The basic scenario goes something like this: While the world’s eyes are on London in 2012, a spectacular alien invasion will take place at the Olympic stadium. Or so the public will think; it will actually be a hoax invasion, orchestrated by the New World Order as an excuse to stage a global coup d’etat.

Terrified by the appearance of aliens, the world’s populace will surrender their civil liberties and “they” — a vague array of elite cliques such as the Bilderberg group, the Freemasons, the Illuminati and dynasties such as the English royal family, the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds — will have smoothly achieved their goal of a single world government, economy and religion. It sounds like a cross between Dan Brown, The X-Files and Watchmen, but believers insist this stuff is real.

The evidence for such a plot is vague: Exhibit A is the 2012 Olympic logo. Rearrange the four angular numerals of the bizarre design, the theorists say, and it really spells “zion.” There’s even a dot to go over the “i.” This is a sign that “they” plan to build the new Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land, just as William Blake’s poem predicted. The “dark satanic mills” of the Lea Valley will become the epicenter of the New World Order. Conspiracy theorists insist there is nothing antisemitic in their use of the word “zion,” although the suspicion is there.

The next giveaway is the street names around the Olympic site: Great Eastern Road, Carpenter’s Road, Angel Lane, Temple Mills Lane, Church Road — don’t they all seem a little biblical? Isn’t it strange that such a large patch of land has stood undeveloped in London all this time?

It goes on: Prince William is the obvious choice for king of this New Jerusalem because of his royal bloodline, his birthday (June 21 — the summer solstice) and the fact that he will be 30 years old in 2012, the year of the 30th Olympiad, or XXX in Roman numerals. Numerology counts for a lot in these circles. And as for the fake UFO invasion, the theorists note the closing ceremony of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, in which a flying saucer landed in the stadium and an alien walked out and waved to the crowd. The staged spectacle, in which a blacked-out military helicopter lowered a model spaceship by cable into the Coliseum, did not prompt mass panic, but it has been interpreted as a warm-up.

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