The Back Road: The late Queen a drug pusher?

The Back Road: The late Queen a drug pusher?

Andrew Malekoff

Growing up, I cannot recall ever discussing conspiracy theories with my family. However, during my childhood years, on Sunday mornings, my father brought home the National Enquirer along with bagels and a few legit newspapers.

Although I was only 9-years-old when I first perused the Enquirer, I was discerning enough to recognize the tongue-in-cheek quality of the stories. I appreciated the imaginative writing.

Looking back, the Enquirer was only a stepping stone to my later choice of periodicals; first, MAD Magazine and then the National Lampoon.

While a good deal of what I read in the Enquirer was made-up, there were some stories that were for real. I tried to sort out reality from fantasy. It wasn’t always easy to do. Nevertheless, suspending disbelief was part of the fun.

The Enquirer was where I first learned about a major scandal in British politics.

In 1961, 19-year-old model Christine Keeler had affairs with John Profumo, Britain’s Secretary of State for War, and Russian spy Eugene Ivanov. The whole sordid affair brought down the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan. Historian Richard Davenport-Hines, described it “as much a London story as Jack the Ripper or the Blitz.”

Reading about this iconic British scandal offered me a window into the sleazier side of adult life. Still, I preferred the stories that tested one’s gullibility and were accompanied by black-and-white images of flying saucers, extraterrestrials, Big Foot and assorted other sideshow characters.

With respect to conspiracies, the 1963 assassination of JFK changed everything. Suddenly, the study of conspiracy theories turned into a cottage industry. Magazine articles and books on the subject are still flourishing to this day.

A growing number of Americans weren’t buying the Warren Commission Report, which concluded that President John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone from his perch inside a corner office on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas.

Aside from the JFK assassination, one of the most bizarre conspiracy theories I was exposed to was floated by fringe political figure Lyndon Larouche, who ran as a third-party candidate in every US presidential election from 1976 to 2004.

Larouche charged that Queen Elizabeth II was top gun in an international drug trafficking network. “Everyone knows that,” he asserted.

I laughed out loud. Larouche, a Holocaust denier, also claimed that President Jimmy Carter was planning to infect the world with bubonic plague.

It was never proven that Queen Elizabeth II was a drug dealer, yet there is often a kernel of truth to conspiracy theories.

During the Victorian Era of England (1820 – 1914) China was sending tea to England. China expected England to pay in silver. But, England soon grew tired of turning over the silver they took from their colonies around the world to China.

Consequently, the British sold opium to the Chinese. In time, the entire country was addicted to opium. The British required payment in silver.

As the story goes, the Emperor of China told Queen Victoria, who was Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great grandmother, to stop pushing drugs. She refused. It was just too profitable. Among the consequences were two Opium Wars in which British forces destroyed the Chinese army and massacred tens of thousands of Chinese citizens.

Queen Victoria made drug cartel kingpins like “Pablo Escobar and El Chapo look like low-level street dealers. Unlike modern drug lords, she didn’t have to live in a remote jungle compound surrounded by thugs toting machine guns because no one was coming after her,” according to Sam Kelly reporting for History is Now magazine in 2021.

“She didn’t have to conceal her ill-gotten gains from the tax collectors because the proceeds from her drug operation were funding the entire country,” Kelly added. “And she didn’t have to worry about being gunned down in the street or locked away in prison because every single person who was empowered to punish drug crimes was already on her payroll [as] she was running the British Empire.”

Maybe Lyndon Larouche confused queens and centuries. In any case, the late Queen Elizabeth II was not a drug pusher, despite the fact that her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria was one of the most prolific drug dealers in history.

And, now you know the rest of the story.

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