On a recent Saturday morning, a small buzz of activity emanates from

the stately Wilshire Ebell Theatre abutting Hancock Park. This is not a

theatrical production but rather “Consciousness Beyond Chemtrails,” a

conference for those sharing belief in “chemtrails” — a theory alleging

that the government is spraying us all with toxic chemicals via the

seemingly ordinary condensation trails emitted by airplanes. The roster

of speakers includes Roseanne Barr and former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney


“I would show those who are unfamiliar how to identify

the difference between a jet contrail and a chemtrail,” declares

conference speaker Deborah Whitman, founding president of the

Davis-based nonprofit Environmental Voices. “It's affecting our health

and our trees and the oxygen that we breathe, and it's serious.”


sturdily built, silver-haired Whitman radiates a wholesome, Middle

American, can-do energy. It's hard not to like her. Were she an actress,

she could convincingly play Roseanne's plucky older sister in a sitcom.

In her case, chemtrails awareness originated in personal experience.


suffer from severe multiple chemical sensitivities,” Whitman says. “I

was going into emergency on an average of once a month before I found

out what it was. I get irregular heartbeats when they're spraying, my

heart skips beats, my voice changes, sinuses swell up, skin burns and

itches, I can't breathe, and my blood pressure goes to stroke levels.”


stands by one of the handful of tables in the theater's grand rear

lobby. Manned mainly by featured conference speakers, it's layered with

pamphlets, books and DVDs: Troubled Water: What's Behind Fluoride?; Man-Made Warming: A Convenient Untruth; The Trouble With Vaccines; 9/11 a Physical Education: A P.E. Teacher Shatters the Official Conspiracy Theory.


small crowd mills about, perusing materials and chatting about

chemtrails and other alleged plots. Many attendees resemble folks you

would see at a funky farmers market in Topanga Canyon, while a few could

be diner-booth philosophers at a Bakersfield truck stop.

So if toxic chemicals are being diffused into the air high overhead, what is the purpose? And who's doing it?


believe it's under military and military contracts,” Whitman says.

“It's making us sick and it's dumbing us down. Especially with aluminum,

it affects your brain, causes short-term memory loss. People don't

think as clearly; they're too weak to stand up and fight.”

She and her associates have gone to Sacramento and spoken with members of Sen. Barbara Boxer's staff, she says, but to no avail.


know. And why they're not doing anything?” Whitman says. “I'm guessing

in some way they're controlled, afraid to speak out.”

On the

opposite side of the lobby, an amiable, huskily built Coloradan named

Don Gifford sells a bottled liquid called Ormus (a sort-of acronym for

Orbitally Re-arranged Monatomic Elements) through his company, Blue

Water Alchemy. It tastes like a healthy, slightly milky sludge of

mineral content; proponents insist that it radically improves health.

Gifford's venture nicely dovetails with the concerns of the conference.


met people who are getting illnesses because of aluminum, barium and

strontium,” he says. “It's in the soil now — there are issues with

growing vegetables and plants. People are saying it's not true, even

though there's scientific evidence.”

Of course there is a plethora

of articles, blog entries and videos online aimed at debunking the

16-year-old chemtrails theory. The scientific community is not

impressed, either. You could interview 100 leading experts who'd tell

you that, conspiracy theories aside, there's simply no scientific

evidence that we're being deliberately sprayed with poison. But that

hasn't convinced anyone here.

“I'm covering the infiltration of

the organic essential timelines with these agendas that go really,

really deep into our ancient history,” says Laura Eisenhower, a tall,

athletically built Ventura resident with direct blue eyes, just like her

very famous great-grandfather.

“These lower forces want to have

ultimate control. Family is like a mini-government. You don't really

need this government, and we don't really need currency, at all, to

survive. The ultimate deception enables us to hand over our free will.

But they can't do it unless we hand it to them,” she says.

Who are “they”?


government, military-industrial complex, infiltration from lower

extraterrestrial forces,” answers the descendant of the great Army

general and Republican president. “They've kind of, in a sense,

possessed our leaders. There are spirit guides, angels and demons, you

can't really see it. Some of these humans make themselves available as

hosts by being selfish, greedy or having the desire to control and have

power. It makes them easy to possess.”

Nearby, a diminutive woman

with fierce green eyes, who calls herself Sofia Smallstorm, declares her

extreme wariness about talking to the press yet goes on to speak of a

“Belief Matrix,” whereby people “believe anything that's on television.”

According to Smallstorm, human biology is undergoing massive adaptive changes leading to mutation and decline.


day's going to come when your cellphone will convert your voice to AC

current,” Smallstorm confides, “and your laptop will be powered by blood

flow. There's a deliberate proliferation of engineered materials that

embed into our tissues. Look up 'plezo-electricity.' ”

If these conspiracies are so purposeful and damaging, is there hope for mankind? Can the government be stopped?


can be stopped.” proclaims Mark “Dr. Dream” Peebler, a holistic healing

practitioner and personal-energy specialist from Ventura. “It's a

question of — is the electorate awake enough to do something about it?”


adds, “No, this theater's not full. It holds 1,280 people. If it could

be stopped, there would be a line of people waiting out the door,

clamoring to get in.”

Follow us on Twitter at @LAWeeklyArts and like us on Facebook.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.