Laura Eisenhower won't be casting a vote for Hillary Clinton come November. The former secretary of state is, she says, "definitely not human." And that's no insult: Chances are, Eisenhower truly believes Clinton is an extraterrestrial. The great-granddaughter of former President Dwight Eisenhower was among a host of speakers to present their alternative views on a smorgasbord of topics during the Conspira-Sea cruise, which departed San Pedro, Calif., in January for a trip to Mexico and back. Writer Anna Merlan was on board the Ruby Princess to cover the conspiracy theorists' maiden voyage (there were also plenty of ordinary vacationers on the vessel the size of a small city). In a lengthy account published on Jezebel, Merlan chronicles her week of immersion into conspiracy theories around vaccinations, prescription drugs, the negative ego, and many more.
"It was like being in a church revival with 20 different denominations shouting for your attention," she writes. Among the many presenters were defamed physician Andrew Wakefield, who claims vaccinations cause autism; Dannion Brinkley, who tells us death is the "biggest buncha crap;" and Sherri Kane and Leonard Horowitz, who expose how the media and CIA control people. Late in the cruise, Kane and Horowitz ambushed Merlan in the ship's Internet lounge, filming her as they accused her of being a CIA agent. ("Sometimes," Kane says, "people don't even know they are.") And as conspiracies were discussed in one of the ship's conference rooms, some attendees became convinced a new conspiracy was afoot, Merlan writes. After all, there were myriad technical problems, not to mention an interruption in the form of an announcement about Zika virus from the captain. Coincidence? Read Merlan's whole fascinating account of the voyage here.