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Siam's New DetectivesVisualizing Crime and Conspiracy in Modern Thailand$
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Samson W. Lim

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855253

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855253.001.0001

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History of Conspiracy

History of Conspiracy

(p.112) 5 History of Conspiracy
Siam's New Detectives

Samson Lim

University of Hawai'i Press

By continuing to trace the interaction of the police and the press during the Cold War, this chapter illustrates how beginning in the late 1950s, a number of new actors including ‘dark hands,’ ‘third hands,’ and ‘men of influence’ began to appear in the vernacular media just as the police were becoming increasingly powerful and murderous. With the aid of the American government, the Thai police became a real political force built around the use of violence and scientific methods. This build-up was a backdrop to the development of conspiracy theories, which have gained traction in the public imagination. Modern methods of representation ostensibly meant to provide a reliable way of verifying what is true are therefore just as prone to mystification as those, from ordeals to oaths, considered primitive.

Keywords:   Conspiracy theory, Cold War, police reform, third hands, narrative, visualization, media, state violence

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