Some readers may know my comic novel Degrees For Everyone, its thesis being the recent years' devaluation of universities. Once centres of academic excellence, today they've sunk to shameless degree vendors providing, no matter how great one's dimness, a degree tailored to accommodate it.
Typical of this disgrace was Victoria University philosophy lecturer Stuart Brock's recent announcement that he's introducing a course on conspiracy theory studies. God help us! Psychology, yes if you must, but what has that nonsense to do with philosophy?
What astonished me is Brock's listed conspiracies to be studied. They're all wearingly there; the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing hoax, 9/11, Jewish world domination and so on, but Brock then insultingly included David Icke. This is outrageous.
If you haven't heard of Icke, Google him, although he has many followers in Auckland among his millions worldwide. Briefly; he's English, was a professional soccer player, then a TV sports commentator. Subsequently he made his way to Arabia where, like others before him, a vision revealed "the truth".
This led to a stint as British Green Party leader but he abandoned that to warn the world of an outbreak, circa 2005, of earthquakes and tsunamis which, among other things, would see New Zealand sink below the sea.
He got the first bits right but miscalculated the date of the last. Nevertheless, readers would be well advised to buy a boat, or failing that, practise long distance swimming.
But what Icke is most famous for is his revelation that the world is controlled by evil reptilian creatures known as the Brotherhood, bent on doing harm and with the ability to transform themselves into human form. Most are male, although Icke quite rightly outed the late Queen Mother as one. He also included George Bush and Tony Blair. No surprises there.
Well, let me tell you, this is no conspiracy theory: rather, it's absolutely true. Auckland is riddled with Brotherhood members, as this newspaper's editor, Shayne Currie, can confirm.
At a social function recently, chatting with him about good deeds and suchlike, we were abruptly disturbed by Auckland's only female Brotherhood member, Julie Christie of television production fame.
Julie launched herself upon us sobbing profusely (what is it about journalists that incites this constant confessing?). "I am a sinner," she shrieked. I was at a loss; knowing Julie she might just as well have admitted having two legs.
"I've finally thrown off the evil Brotherhood yoke and will soon retire to devote my life to noble works," she sobbed.
Tearfully, she explained that her girlhood aspiration to become a nun had been thwarted by her reptilian Brotherhood colleagues. You must go to Auckland, they ordered. There you must make trashy TV shows and help promote the degradation of society.
"So, it's the convent now?" I inquired lightly, trying to cheer her up.
This induced further sobbing as she explained she no longer possessed the necessary prerequisite qualification.
This revelation inspired an explosive weeping outburst from Dean Lonergan standing nearby, his giant form shaking convulsively. "I too am a member of the Brotherhood," he tearfully confessed. "My mission was to drive the underclasses into a mindless stupor by promoting rugby league. How can I ever be forgiven?"
Through his sobbing Dean explained that in atonement, forever after he would assist David Higgins, a man of spellbinding virtue, and devote his life to promoting the noble art.
"But hang on, Dean," I said, referring to last week's promotion. "What about the bimbo bikini boxers and, for that matter, Jesse Ryder?"
At that he broke down completely and together with Julie, both bent double in remorse, they wandered off into the night, their loud sobbing audible long after they were out of sight. Shocked by all of this, the editor and I broke our life-long restraint and had a second drink.
But trust me, the Brotherhood are everywhere. Dean told me all but two Auckland QCs are members, their brief being to cause devastation by outrageous fees, which wickedness they have embraced with gusto.
Don Brash is another, Dean revealed. His instruction was to crush all life out of the economy in the 1990s. After a respite he was told to destroy the country's most honourable political movement, which he set about with enthusiasm, wiping out Act in a mere six months.
"I was on fire and knocked it off way ahead of schedule," he apparently bragged at a Brotherhood meeting Dean attended. Be very careful, folks. Keep a wary eye out for Don's next reptilian operation and stay well clear.
Other Auckland Brotherhooders, Dean outed, include two Auckland bishops (certainly no surprise there), two Cabinet ministers and three city councillors. It's all most upsetting for those of us whose lives are bound up in pure living and good deeds.By Bob Jones