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For over two decades now, the looming spectre of martial law has hung over the heads of conspiracy enthusiasts — both left and right — who somehow convinced themselves that, at any given moment, New World Order storm troopers were going to bust down their doors and confiscate their guns (and dope!) and then ship them off to FEMA camps under the direction of the Clintons, Bushes and Obamas.

Like some form of feverish fan fiction, this martial law meme first burst on to the conspiracy scene in 1990s in the aftermath of the Waco and Ruby Ridge debacles, not to mention the Clinton administration’s short-lived assault rifle ban that militia types and other like-minded “patriots” believed threatened their God-given right to cosplay in camo with long guns and bug-out bags.

One recurring rumor concerned 30,000 guillotines supposedly being shipped in railcars to a FEMA death camp near you, all part of a grand plan to lop the heads off of anyone who didn’t toe Big Brother’s line. (One would think that guillotines probably aren’t the most efficient method to mass exterminate a populace, but hey, that’s the NWO for ya!)

Among those championing this FEMA death camp guillotine misinformation was former FBI guy turned conspiracy buff, Ted Gunderson, who claimed that the reason for using guillotines was because “beheading is the most efficient means of harvesting body parts.” Makes sense.

Whatever the case, 30,000 seems like a hell of a lot of guillotines to me—whether you’re harvesting organs or not. I mean, couldn’t a fella kill several hundred people a day with just one guillotine? Why so many? Or were they going to be divvied up between all the different FEMA camps? And also, who manufactures guillotines these days, and where can I buy one for personal use? Guillotines Are Us? (I got a lot of questions!)

This FEMA camp guillotine conspiracy continued on over the years, with alternate variations on the theme, helped along by the likes of Ted Gunderson, Bill Cooper and others of that ilk who had FEMA death camps on rotation along with other popular hits like the Clinton death list, black helicopters, and Illuminati bloodlines. (Also, Zionists. They don’t much care for Zionists, either).

In the course of penning this piece, I conducted the requisite web search for “guillotines” and “FEMA camps” and was amazed (well, I guess I shouldn’t have been that amazed) that the first couple pages of hits came up with dubious websites and woke YouTube channels endorsing these FEMA camp guillotine fantasies — until I finally drilled down deep enough to find this Snopes article debunking the whole mess. And yeah, I know, blah blah Snopes is part of the media elites covering up the truth — you can’t trust them, fake news — blah blah.

Anyway, the Snopes article traces this guillotine story back to 2008, although I’m pretty sure I came across similar guillotine stories in the mid ‘90s in different conspiracy mags and Christian patriot shortwave  broadcasts like on Bill Cooper’s Hour of the Time.

This FEMA camp craze (with or without guillotines) fizzled out for a few years until recently enjoying a comeback via Alex Jones and his promotion of Jade Helm 15, a supposedly top secret NATO operation going down in Texas: all part of a U.N. Resolution called Agenda 21 where “They” — and you damn well know who “They” are — planned to use abandoned Walmart buildings as FEMA detention centers once Obama gave his martial law green light to round up all the deplorables and inject them with microchips courtesy of the Beast 666.

The crazy thing is, Alex Jones might have had a story half right for once,  because if you’ve been following the Trump admin’s “zero tolerance” anti-immigration fiasco, the Department of Health and Human Services have been detaining immigrant kids in…abandoned Walmart buildings (also known as baby jails). You can’t make this shit up.

Anyway, this martial law mythos got flipped on its head recently, and is now all the rage among the Q-Anon conspiracy crowd, due to the recent launch of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System, which Q-Researchers believe was some sort of martial law dry run orchestrated by Trump as part of his plan to round up all those Hillary pedos and ship them off to Gitmo.

Ironically enough, now that Trump’s calling the shots, the same crowd who use to think FEMA camps weren’t such a great idea are suddenly like, hey, martial law’s just fine and dandy when it’s your perceived enemies being herded into rail cars. The cognitive dissonance is deafening.

It should be noted, however, that this national alert program was actually originally instituted by the Obama admin a couple years back, and apparently it was only now ready to test. Of course, putting something like this in the hands of Trump is like handing over a can of gasoline to an arsonist — as if people nowadays weren’t jumpy enough already.