By Michael Vilkin, Events Chairman
Indivisible Santa Barbara

The evening was offered as an opportunity for IndivisibleSB members to
a) meet likeminded locals in a social setting ✅
b) learn the latest social science on a current political topic ✅
c) contribute to the public discussion, ✅ and
d) support our Congressman ????

Check. Check. Check. Cheque.

Professor Richard Hecht and graduate researcher Shelby King shared their initial material prepared for publication entitled, “Conspiracies and Power.” The audience was invited to act as sounding board and beta-testers for the ideas with the possibility our questions might influence the ultimate outcome of the paper.

• When does cultural mythology become conspiracy theory?
• When is it beneficial or detrimental to society?
• How do they arise, change, and persist or not?
Questions like these are germane to understanding the political right wing where false theories abound including Barack Obama’s citizenship and the Sandy Hook School Massacre as a government hoax.

Attendees at the combined social-political evening kept up their part of the bargain with fascinating questions and insightful comments. It continually amazes observers how varied and accomplished the people are who join IndivisibleSB. There were some wonderful new people and many who have attended previous events.

Supplied with good brewed coffee (compliments of a local Starbucks), chocolate-dipped “Madeleines,” and wine, the group mostly tackled the wine. Good to know for next time: more wine, less coffee. The Closson home with large patios, trellises and fountain was a perfect venue for people to meet or catch up. Next time come for the event, but enjoy seeing their lovely Spanish Colonial Revival style house, too.

Attendees contributed over $500 to the Salud Carbajal campaign and we hope to continue that effort at upcoming evenings. We are still planning future events and would encourage all Indivisible Santa Barbarans to suggest topics and speakers. We are trying to plan events that will:
• Support Congressman Carbajal
• Educate IndivisibleSB members and the community at large
• Provide a place where we can enjoy each other’s company

Some future examples might include
• a large fundraiser event with a popular speaker
• a hosted stage interview-discussion with Congressman Carbajal
• a moderated panel of experts on urgent topics

We also hope to team up with other local groups.  There is power in numbers. Please weigh in! Thanks to all who attended. The resistance continues on many fronts. Trump is the tip of the iceberg.


  • Richard Hecht is a UCSB professor and department chairman of Religious Studies. He has written 4 books and has been a member of the University of California Press Faculty Editorial Board for a decade.
  • Shelby King has an MA in religious studies and her doctoral research is on the relationship of transgression and the construction of the sacred.