In late 1998 or early 1999, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) undertook an examination of potential domestic terrorism associated with millennial conspiracy theories and “Y2K”. A report from that project – called “Project Megiddo” – was released in late 1999, and upset a lot of the civil-libertarian types with its implications that, among other things, militias and religious cults might have violent inclinations.
Yeah, yeah. Everything old is new again.
Well, Y2K came and went with minimal disruption, of course, and Project Megiddo mostly faded away into the mists of history. For the most part, the only people who remember the project anymore are those who’ve read the report in question (PDF!) because they want “proof” the government is (still) “persecuting” those infamous “right-wing extremists”… or people who deal with domestic extremism in a professional capacity.
Less than two years after the Y2K hoopla fizzled out, of course, 9/11 happened, and for the most part “domestic terrorism” ever since has been synonymous with “brown people”. (A mistake I’ve written about before, of course.)
Thus, you know, most of the Wikipedia page on Project Megiddo talks about nothing more than all the activist groups who complained about the report and its slights, perceived or otherwise.
Nobody likes being called an extremist, obviously. But there was a lot more to Project Megiddo than simple persecution of religious groups of varying degrees of “extremism”.
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