Having a lend

By January 11, 2024Society

In recent years, there have been all sorts of bizarre conspiracy theories floating around, many of which have been instigated by a person or persons referred to as Q, whose gullible followers are known as QAnons. Some of the funniest included: the Lucifer Telescope, whereby the Vatican contacts aliens out in space; that Bill Gates was involved in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine and had a chip inserted in each dose so the government could control your thoughts; that a paedophile ring was run from a basement of a pizza joint which doesn’t have a basement; that 5G towers are spreading Covid-19; or that the people running the world were reptilian humanoids1.

The QAnon conspiracy virus seems to be fading as Q does seems to have stopped dropping any more vague hints that the cookers and other vegetables construe into silly conspiracies. I suspect this is because so many of the of Q’s assertions turned out not to be true, and its predictions did not happen2

The phrase ‘having a lend’ of someone is an old Australian slang phrase which means ‘taking advantage of someone’s gullibility’3. In the case of conspiracy theorists, it is an easy thing to do. I have tried thinking up some conspiracies, but have failed, as I have not been able to work out the middle ground whereby constructing a conspiracy which, while outrageously silly, is not too silly for the cookers to believe.

One of the first clear examples of someone having a lend of those willing to believe anything was something I found in a ‘discussion’ with a new age crystal fruitcake some years ago. He was convinced that the plaque which had been sent out on the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft had received an answer (it was actually the ‘Arecibo message’ which was supposedly answered). These plaques of gold anodised aluminium show the nude figures of a human male and female along with several symbols that are designed to provide information about the source of the spacecraft4.

As I said, my interlocutor was convinced that the Pioneer craft had been intercepted by an alien civilisation and that they had delivered a reply. Apparently unsurprisingly for my interlocutor, this reply was delivered by means of what is referred to as a ‘crop circle’. The ‘crop circle’ was indecipherable stuff that looked more like a malfunction in a Tetris game. However, near the middle of the ‘crop circle’ was what my interlocutor believed was an alien figure with very short legs, longer arms and a huge head, which was about the size of the rest of its body. While he thought this was serious, the big giveaway for me was that it was only a spit and a pee away from the Chilbolton radio telescope; home to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) in Hampshire, England5. Someone was having a lend of the gullible.

There are two more recent conspiracies, one of which at least seems to have caught on among the gullible. The first, I heard about some time pre-Covid, and it was that ‘birds aren’t real’. This is now known to have started off in 2017 as a ‘parody’ conspiracy by a psychology student at the University of Arkansas, who infiltrated a counter-march by fragile men against a Women’s March, with a placard which said ‘birds aren’t real’. Some of the blokes in the march asked him what this meant, and he came up with a back-story involving the CIA and that birds had been exterminated and replaced with drones. Someone filmed this, put it on Facebook and it went viral6, and some of the gullible apparently believed it. It has become a case study in how conspiracies ‘take flight’ (excuse pun)7.

Another conspiracy which I have heard recently is that there is a group called ‘Christians against Satellites’ and they maintain the following: 

Satellites interfere with our ability to effectively communicate with God. 

Prayers often collide with satellites and are deflected or destroyed upon impact. 

Satan uses satellites to intercept and alter prayers before they reach God, resulting in disastrous consequences.

Satellites block God’s ability to watch us.

Satellites interfere with the flight paths of angels. 

Continued proliferation of satellites causes navigational issues for Jesus and further delays his return to earth8.

This must be a pisstake. Nobody could be stupid enough to believe this, especially since The Onion (a satirical magazine) wrote a story saying that according to an ‘official NASA report’, nearly 32% of prayers are deflected off satellites orbiting the earth9.

I haven’t seen anyone who is railing against satellites, but I do wonder if there are any muppets out there who do believe it. In trying to understand how the gullible can fall for such outrageously laughable conspiracies as those listed at the top of this story, and thinking about how to prevent the spread of any more silliness, I have wondered if the spreading of parody conspiracies is the way to do it.


  1. https://blotreport.com/2023/01/21/the-wrong-conspiracies/
  2. https://blotreport.com/2021/11/16/laughably-gullible-qanons/
  3. https://australian_slang.en-academic.com/3970/Have_a_lend_of
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_plaque
  5. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chilbolton_crop_circle1.png
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/14/the-lunacy-is-getting-more-intense-how-birds-arent-real-took-on-the-conspiracy-theorists
  7. https://www.ted.com/talks/peter_mcindoe_birds_aren_t_real_how_a_conspiracy_takes_flight?language=en
  8. https://americasbestpics.com/picture/christians-against-satellites-the-negative-impact-of-artificial-satellites-and-0bjDajiT9
  9. https://www.theonion.com/report-32-of-prayers-deflected-off-passing-satellites-1819569691


  • clive says:

    he he …. i actually spotted one of (there may be more) the posts by ‘Pastor Alex’ re”Christians against Satellites” and copy pasted it to one of my atheist’ fb pages. I thought it must be a ‘piss take’, but one can never be certain of that with these ‘jobbies’ .

  • clive says:

    some time ago, on one of my anti murdick fb pages, some ‘wag’ posted some screenshots from a cooker twitter page. The topic under ‘discussion’ (and i use the word advisedly) was Dan Andrews and his use of body doubles.

    This wag initially made a comment that was seemingly, on 1st glance, supportive of the current theme, but on closer scrutiny it wasn’t at all, not that this was in any way noticed by the page participants. Continuing on, more cookers posted with various claims in support of the original proposition including one who asserted he had access to ‘facial recognition’ software that confirmed all their suspicions.

    This, apparently was ‘too much’ for ‘our wag’ (aka ‘a troll) who then posted some extremely ridiculous claim and ‘synthetic’ humans and included a ‘𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘬’ in support of this claim. Being a screenshot, I couldn’t follow the link and i doubt if any of the page participants bothered to either.

    HOWEVER, and here is the interesting bit for me …. there followed a string of comments, supporting and even elaborating on ‘the wag post’.

    • clive says:

      This got me to wondering …. how many of these wack job conspiracies are actually started by a troll posting a ‘piss take’ that the numpties pick up and fly with?

      • Mark Dougall says:

        Brian: I’m not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
        Girl: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
        Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
        Followers: He is! He is the Messiah!
        Brian: Now, FUCK OFF!
        Arthur: How shall we fuck off, O Lord?
        Brian: Oh, just go away! Leave me alone

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