Conspiracy Theory in America: Author to Speak in Denver

We are indeed pleased to cosponsor the author of the newly released book, Conspiracy Theory in America, Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith. He will be in Denver, Colorado, for two presentations and book signings. Dr. deHaven-Smith will discuss the history and destructive implications of the term “conspiracy theory.” He will also share with us his research on State Crimes Against Democracy.

State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs) are illegal or extra-legal actions committed at the highest levels of public office. According to Dr. deHaven-Smith, examples of SCADs that have been officially proven include the Watergate break-in and cover-up and the illegal arms sales of Iran-Contra. State Crimes Against Democracy should become a household term because it is desperately needed to give an organizing clarity to a special type of political high crime, one that threatens democracy itself, as opposed to political corruption for personal gain such as embezzlement or kick-backs.

Please join us for these events:

Thursday, September 5, 2013 (doors open at 6:30 PM for book signings; presentation at 7:00 PM)

The Conspiracy-Theory Conspiracy
Tattered Cover Bookstore, LoDo
1628 16th Street (at Wynkoop St.)
Denver, CO 80202
Parking and other information

At the Tattered Cover, Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith will discuss the origins and destructive implications of the term “conspiracy theory” as a dismissive put-down in U.S. public discourse.  Most Americans are unaware that the conspiracy-theory label was popularized by the CIA in a global propaganda program to deflect criticisms of the Warren Commission’s conclusion that President Kennedy was assassinated by a lone gunman.  The label has become a verbal defense mechanism used by political elites to suppress mass suspicions that inevitably arise when shocking political crimes benefit top leaders or play into their agendas, especially when those same officials are in control of agencies responsible for preventing the events in question or for investigating them after they have occurred. DeHaven-Smith’s presentation will be drawn from his new book, Conspiracy Theory in America, which was published in April 2013 by the University of Texas Press.

Friday, September 6, 2013 (doors open at 6:30 PM for book signings; presentation at 7:00 PM)

State Crimes Against Democracy in Modern American History
First Universalist Church of Denver
4101 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, CO 80222

(NE corner of Colorado Blvd. and E. Hampden Ave.; enter parking lot from Ash St., one block east of and parallel to Colorado Blvd.)
Map and other information

At the First Universalist Church of Denver, Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith will discuss the growing body of theory and research on elite political criminality in the United States.  In a 2006 peer-reviewed journal article, deHaven-Smith coined the term State Crimes Against Democracy (SCAD) to delineate a crime category for Watergate, Iran-Contra, Plame-gate, and other conspiracies in high office.  SCAD research has been highlighted in special issues of American Behavioral Scientist (February 2010) and Public Integrity (June 2011).  DeHaven-Smith’s new book, Conspiracy Theory in America, was published in April 2013 by the University of Texas Press. [Read more…]

An Overview of State Crimes Against Democracy by Daniel K. Sage, PhD 

State Crimes Against Democracy (SCAD).  Dr. Lance deHaven-Smith (2006; 2010; 2013) has offered a penetratingly useful approach to better diagnose the American political/psychological complex that is reflected in widespread citizen feelings of distrust, being threatened, and being shamed by our political-corporate Empire.  It is evident that this political/psychological complex exacerbates the wider and deeper collective trauma that traverses ethnicity, gender, the workplace, and cultural identity (Garrigues, 2013).  Moreover, it is patently obvious how it traverses the arenas of public administration, policy formation, law enforcement, economic manipulation, and a daily lack of a sense of well-being in the workplace or livelihood.

Because public policy and administration is the area of expertise for Professor deHaven-Smith, he applies his concept of State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs) to scholarly standards of verification.  SCADs are outlined by deHaven-Smith as illegal or extralegal actions by public officials or elites that weaken or subvert democratic structures or popular sovereignty (deHaven-Smith, 2006) – in other words, SCADs are attacks by insiders/elites on the political system’s organizing principles (deHaven-Smith, 2013).

Such actions can be state crimes, elite criminality, or imploring extralegal methods to reduce or obstruct democratic processes and functions.  This is the context for deHaven-Smith explaining that SCADs include both illegal and extralegal or unethical elite acts (2006).  The construct SCADs liberates analysts and activists from becoming mired in what he calls “incident-specific myopia”—theories and inquiries isolated from a broader context (deHaven-Smith, 2006, 2010, 2013).

SCADs permit a larger perspective of criticism by interrogating many elite activities for recurring patterns, motivations, structures, and functions that increase elite power and subvert democracy (deHaven-Smith, 2006; 2010; 2013)  Election tampering, political assassinations, voter fraud, government graft, non-governmental rogue operations, state counter-democratic actions, and corporate collusion with extralegal initiatives all can be classified as SCADs (deHaven-Smith, 2006, 2010, 2013).

A proposed list of SCAD-like operations not specifically offered by Professor deHaven-Smith might also include: [Read more…]