A Channel 4 documentary series by the English journalist Jon Ronson, accompanied by his book Them.

Ronson spent several years in the company of various conspiracy theorists; some of them are also racists or religious fundamentalists/fanatics, but they all inavariably preach a New World Order, a Jewish global conspiracy, or something of that ilk.

Among the people Ronson interviewed were David Icke, Randy Weaver, Alex Jones, Omar Bakri, Thom Robb and, bizarrely, Ian Paisley. The series also had an episode about Timothy McVeigh, although I haven't seen it and reportedly he was not allowed to meet with the man himself. He also met with people who oppose and fight these people, like the Anti Defamation League and the Idaho police.

The series gives a fascinating insight into the world of people who are consumed by the notion that the world is being ruled by a clandestine group of malevolent power mongers, and who can recognise in remarkable detail the everyday manifestations of that power and manipulation.

Ronson also went himself in search of the Bilderberg Group and infiltrated Bohemian Grove, facts which are not mentioned in the series (presumably because he had no footage of them), and as his observations are one of the only available first hand accounts of these people and places by someone who is not obsessed with their evil, they are an invaluable glimpse into those aspects of political and economic influence which are indeed clandestine, or at the very least private and away from the eye of "the people". That alone is enough to recommend the book over the series, but it also happens to be a smashing read, alternatingly hilarious and chilling.

As a matter of fact both the Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove episodes are documented in the series - a run-down of the episodes is Ruby Ridge (with a brief account of Waco), David Icke, Oklahoma, Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove.

The full title of the book is Them : Adventures with Extremists, and it covers a somewhat wider remit than the TV series, dealing with British religious fundamentalists of the Islamic and Christian varieties, and with the Ku Klux Klan as well as with the events shown in the TV series. The book, and later the TV series, grew out of a series of articles Ronson did for the Guardian newspaper in the UK, which started in much the same light-hearted tone as Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends TV show.

However, the book seems deliberately written to hide the fact that there was a TV crew present at many of the crucial moments documented (talking about people talking 'for the notebook' when they were talking to camera, and claiming actions as having been taken by Ronson when they were taken by a cameraman), which means a certain amount of scepticism must be applied to anything in both the book and the TV show...

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