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  • The pharmaceutical industry has been accused of so much wrongdoing, one would think that Resident Evil was based on a true story.
    • Supporters of "natural" cures and alternative medicine (the most famous being Kevin Trudeau) allege that Big Pharma is suppressing knowledge of these treatments in order to protect their profits, which are built on making people sick, keeping them sick, and selling them drugs and surgery that do nothing more than suppress the symptoms. An excellent example of the Consumer Conspiracy. Also falls under "Science and Technology".
    • The AIDS dissident movement claims that HIV does not cause AIDS, and that it is instead a result of (depending on who you ask) poverty, malnutrition, the "gay lifestyle," and other environmental factors. It is claimed that the HIV-AIDS link was fabricated by Big Pharma in order to allow them to make money off of their "treatments" for the disease. Unlike most conspiracy theories, this one has had serious repercussions in many parts of the world. The prevalence of AIDS dissidence at the highest levels of the South African government (including former President Thabo Mbeki) has been widely blamed for the spread of the disease in South Africa and the rest of the continent, and it's only recently that South Africa is showing hope of getting the pandemic under control.
    • Alternatively, it is claimed that AIDS is a man-made, genetically-modified disease that was made to wipe out black people, homosexuals, drug addicts, and other "undesirable" groups. Dr. Alan Cantwell is one of the main proponents of this idea, with his version claiming that it was deliberately spread into the gay community in the late '70s through Hepatitis B experiments. Variations on this theory are especially prevalent in minority communities, thanks in no small part to the Tuskegee Study (see "Real Conspiracies" below). Seeing that also people who aren't black, gay or drug addicts have fallen victim to it this theory has largely fallen into discredit.
      • Matilde Krim, a cancer virologist, AIDS expert, and the co-chairperson of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, has also suggested that Dr. Wolf Szmuness' hepatitis B vaccination experiments of the late '70s caused the AIDS epidemic. Unlike Cantwell, however, she attributes this to accident rather than conspiracy. Although to be fair to Dr. Krim, she formulated that theory during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when no one knew where this disease came from. She later repudiated this hypothesis when evidence proved it wrong.
      • Keep in mind though, the KGB was more than happy to create an actual conspiracy to spread disinformation about fake AIDS conspiracies. For more info, Operation INFEKTION is a good place to start.
    • Other variations of the vaccination theory is that it was accidentally spread through contaminated Polio vaccines. Desperate to stop one disease they created another. This one seems to stick because of how less grandiose it sounds. Just a good ole case of Hanlon's Razor. The theory also states that vaccine makers, and FDA at some point knew that some of the vaccines were likely compromised, but wanted a lid put on it because they didn't want to scare people out of getting polio vaccines.
  • [Insert disease here] is occasionally accused of having been intentionally created and introduced into the populace in order to sell a cure.
    • Alternately, [insert disease here] was already cured a long time ago, and Big Pharma is covering it up to profit from expensive temporary treatments.
  • The alleged link between vaccines and autism. Like the AIDS dissident theories, this is another one that has had serious repercussions for public health. Scientists have never been able to come anywhere close to finding any conclusive evidence for the existence of any link between vaccination and autism. In addition, the only medical study to suggest such a link, out of the countless done on the subject, was later found to contain so much faked data, unethical practices, and conflicts of interest that its lead author, Andrew Wakefield, had his medical license revoked - which would, naturally, fit quite well with a Conspiracy Theorist's perspective of Big Pharma trying to "suppress the truth". Likewise, the pharmaceutical companies have naturally worked overtime to eliminate potentially toxic preservatives from vaccines after a scare several years ago.
    • Still, millions of parents, thanks to such noted non-experts as Jenny McCarthy, have been led to believe that Big Pharma is conspiring to suppress this link in order to prevent a tidal wave of class-action lawsuits. The effects of this vaccine boycott have manifested themselves in increased incidence of childhood diseases like mumps and rubella that, ten years ago, were nearly eradicated, thanks partly to the breakdown of so-called "herd immunity"short version  in places where anti-vaccine propaganda has proliferated (most notably in Britain and California). Hundreds of children have died from preventable diseases because parents were convinced that the vaccines were harmful.
    • This one is not helped in the slightest by a coincidence of timing and the False Cause fallacy. The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is typically first administered when a child is about a year old. Autism symptoms aren't visible before about 12-18 months of age. So, to somebody who doesn't know much about autism, this can turn into "Most autistic children start showing symptoms shortly after receiving the MMR vaccine, so the vaccine must be responsible." This is akin to arguing that since in the spring birds fly north and daffodils come up, the daffodils must be getting up to go birdwatching.
    • A side effect of this theory is a cottage industry of people using chelation therapy in an attempt to cure various aliments especially autism. Chelation is a legimate treatment in cases of heavy metal poisoning, though the conditions attributed to vaccines don't show any other symptoms associated with such poisonings such as hair loss or rashes. And when there aren't any heavy metals chelation starts removing light metals like sodium, potassium, and calcium, which has killed a number of autistic kids.
    • The worst part about this trope is the Unfortunate Implications that these parents would rather their children die than risk living with autism.
      • It's more than just implications - numerous believers in the conspiracy refer to having their children "stolen" from them by autism, of seeing "the light in their eyes die" or "my child was lost". These people genuinely believe that what they have isn't their real child - which, aside from being insanely bigoted and offensive to people on the autism spectrum, has resulted in several murders of autistic children by their parents, the parents claiming they couldn't stand to care for them any more.
    • In complete opposition to this theory is the theory that states that the pharmaceutical companies themselves are deliberately spreading the anti-vaccination conspiracy theories as a disinformation campaign, so that they make more money by people buying treatments for diseases, which are supposedly much more expensive than vaccines, and so Big Pharma makes more money that way. Since they are legally required to produce vaccines for those who ask, the theory alleges that scaring the public away from them is a form of Loophole Abuse. In many ways this is a form of the "pharmaceutical companies suppressing cures and only treating symptoms" theory, as explained below.
    • A somewhat humorous Irony of the anti-vaccine conspiracy theory is that people who believe in it often cite vaccine package inserts (which contain a list of ingredients and side effects) as evidence that vaccines are tainted. Such inserts were, of course, created by the very pharamceutical industry that theorists claim to distrust.
  • It's been suggested that the goverment impants Tracking/mindcontrol Chips into the general populace or just people who know too much aka conspiracy theorists. "They" are supposed to insert via vaccination injections, blood donation or during surgeries. This has led people using a metal detector/stud finder to check themselves for the chips and even digging parts of their flesh out with random tools in fits of paranoia.
    • There is a whole lot of things that are supposed track people.
  • Some believe that dental fillings are supposed to act as antenna for mind control radiation or simply a radio receiver to fake voices in the head as part of Project Bluebeam (see Religion and Apocalyptica). Bobby Fischer reportedly had all his fillings removed for this reason. The theory doesn't hasn't kept up particularly well over the years as ceramics and other non-metallic materials have been used more and more.
  • Some of the mud slung during the debate on health care in the US belongs here. Beyond the usual accusations of "socialism", some people felt that the health care plan being put forth by the Obama administration would have created "death panels" that would consign millions of old and infirm Americans to die in order to save money on their treatment. Of course, it would be disingenuous not to mention that such considerations are necessarily a part of any hospital service or insurance company, public or private, that deals with limited resources, as demonstrated by the concepts of triage and pre-existing conditions (the latter of which was banned under Obama's health care law).
    • Or, in other words: there are already "death panels" that consign millions of old and infirm Americans to die in order to save money on their treatment. They're called insurance companies.
    • Then, tying into some Religious conspiracy theories, one idea is that the "Mark of the Beast" would come in the form of a tattoo (either standard or infrared) or sub-dermal RFID chip implanted in the back of the hand or on the forehead, ostensibly as a way to keep patient records with the patient in case of an emergency. This is categorically false, as the registry would have (it didn't make the final cut) simply kept tabs on other devices already implanted in patients (pacemakers, hip replacements, etc.) to gauge effectiveness of treatment and materials, as well as provide possible recall information.
  • When the 2014 West Africa Ebola Outbreak became news, there were tons of conspiracy theories about the U.S. government having manufactured the Ebola strain in order to kill off Africans. Worse still are the people who think the New World Order are trying to "de-populate" the U.S. using the disease (the fact that the outbreak would've occurred in the U.S. rather than Africa if this were the case is apparently lost on them). Then there are the people who think the government is intentionally telling people that the virus is not airborne, often using a single BBC study from 2012 that proved that only under specific circumstances that the virus is airborne. These people will twist the logic of the study, using fearmongering techniques to get others to believe in it.
    • After the death of one American citizen who contracted Ebola, there is a conspiracy that Obama is spreading Ebola in order to take our guns. There also is a conspiracy that the CDC isn't telling everyone the whole details and that Ebola is much worse than we know (in extreme cases people will claim that it can bring people back from the dead).
  • Some people believe that the H1N1 or "swine flu" epidemic is entirely artificial, whether from genetic engineering of a virus, to deliberate spreading of a minor virus, to government/big Pharma exerting pressure for intentionally over-blown media coverage. One theory, latching on to the fact that the virus first appeared in Mexico, is that it was engineered by the United States to wipe out Mexicans.
  • The Church of Scientology maintains that psychiatry is a corrupt, criminal profession based on false science that is out to destroy them, torture people, suppress human spirituality, and Take Over the World. They run a museum called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death which expounds upon these claims, and have produced an accompanying documentary. We are of course expected to ignore the fact that the core of Scientology's "belief system" is an alternative to psychiatry that incidentally involves "treatments" at least as pricey as any shrink's bill.
    • Interestingly, there are many more plausible conspiracy theories that can be made about Scientology itself than about its enemies. And quite a few of them are true...
  • Would you believe that there's a conspiracy theory about corn, of all things? An increasing number of medical experts think that the use of cheap and abundant high-fructose corn syrup in foods contributes to the obesity epidemic, to the point where a number of food and drink makers (such as Snapple) have switched back to real sugar due to HFCS's bad publicity. The government has refused to sponsor any studies about the usage of HFCS. At the same time, corn is so heavily subsidized by the government and sells for such a low price that it costs more to raise an acre than a farmer can get for selling it. Tie all these factors together, mix in some paranoia, and there are some crazy conspiracy theories out there.
    • A simpler and more rational explanation for this is that all presidential candidates put a lot of effort into winning the Iowa caucus, the first state primary election, and none of them want to become less popular in Iowa, a major corn-producing state.
    • Admittedly, the conspiracy theorists do have one point in their favor. The price of cane sugar in the United States is kept artificially high due to a system of tariffs and quotas on sugar passed during the 1970s to protect American sugar growers (the U.S. produces cane sugar in Hawaii, Louisiana, and Florida and beet sugar in a number of regions across the country, particularly Michigan, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and California) and, as stated above, the price of corn is kept artificially low due to government subsidies. But that's a far cry from proving an organized conspiracy between corn growers and the federal government. More likely it started as a temporary vote-buying scheme that no one bothered to fix afterward.
    • Though some just prefer the taste of cane sugar in their soda over corn syrup.
    • There are similar theories about aspartame, the artificial sweetener used in diet sodas, claiming that is causes cancer and brain damage (this is even referenced in a song by Lupe Fiasco) and the government is covering it up to protect the corporations or something like that.
  • The fluoridation of public water supplies. The usual justification for it is that it helps improve dental health, this theory originating from observations that people living in places where the drinking water was filled with natural flouride had very clean and healthy (though slightly discolored) teeth. Many criticisms are along the lines that it's not as effective or cheap as claimed, can have adverse health effects, or is slightly unethical in that it assumes consent which might not have been given. These are reasonable objections, if perhaps contentious. Then there are the people who believe it's a communist mind-control plot designed to brainwash people into being subservient slaves. This was particularly prominent during the Red Scare of the 1950s and 1960s, and was parodied in Dr. Strangelove with the character of General Ripper.
    "It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? Foreign substances introduced into our precious bodily fluids, without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice? That's the way a hardcore Commie works."
    • Even stranger theories state that fluoridation is in place to calcify the Pineal Gland claiming that the Pineal is a “third eye” and that a non-calcified Pineal grants everything from intuition-related benefits, to sensing things such as spirits to near omniscience. This is despite that by 17 the calcification rate is 40% and there is no evidence that fluoride has a significant effect on how the Pineal Gland calcifies in humans.
  • Cell phones supposedly cause cancer, which is being suppressed by the cell phone providers. This is believed due to the fact that cell phones, like all electronic devices, give off radiation - holding a radioactive device next to your head doesn't sound very healthy. However, cell phones give off non-ionizing radiation, which means it lacks the energy to displace electrons, and thus does not cause damage (if it did, half the developed world would have cancer of the ear by now).
    • Some claim that the exposure to electromagnetic fields forming around high-voltage electric wires may cause cancer. Such possibility has been taken relatively seriously by the scientific community, but so far it remains unproven. Roughly the same reason as above is a factor here.
  • Some anti-abortion activists claim that legal abortion is a plot to drive down the birth rates of poor people and minorities. Many of these theories go by the allegedly disproportionate citing of abortion clinics in low-income neighborhoods, as well as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's enthusiastic support for eugenics in the early 20th century — something that the modern organization has long since disowned. And on top of this there are those who claim the inverse that it's focused on eliminating white people.
    • Note, most Planned Parenthood clinics are found in poorer areas because PP offers free/cheap cancer screenings, gynecological services and contraception, also, poor people may not have cars.
    • Of course, there's an interesting point here: most economists agree that availability and acceptability of family planning (including contraception and, yes, abortion) are a major factor in lifting families and especially women out of poverty by giving them the opportunity to pursue education and career advancement without having as many children to support. A single woman earning $20,000 a year is obviously not doing so well, but if she has no children she's actually at just under 200% of poverty and can potentially get on in the world, saving a little and having some left over to invest in her skills and get better work so that if she does start a family, she can give the children a good home. The same woman on the same income with two or three children will barely be able to get by and probably won't be able to supervise them very well. Family planning—including abortion—increases the number of women in the former category. So eugenics? No. Abortion as a means to drive down the birthrates of the poor? To some degree yes, but in conjunction with better alternatives, so they won't have to be poor anymore. And a secret conspiracy? Most advocates of contraception and abortion rights will tell you themselves that proper family-planning helps prevent poverty
    • This can extend to any birth control such as condoms and the pill mostly fueled by the conservative religious distrust in these products.
  • The popularity of gluten-free diets has lead to various conspiracy theories about bread, of all things. Many people have been incorrectly led to believe that gluten is unhealthy. While it is dangerous to people with celiac disease, they are a minority and gluten has no negative consequences for everyone else. At best, non-celiac people going "gluten-free" are limiting their diets, and at worst they are excluding certain nutrients from their diets that are also present in foods with gluten. The trend is comparable to people "fashionably" cutting dairy out of their diets because some people are lactose intolerant, and assuming that this means dairy is bad for everyone.
  • During the SARS outbreak there were claims that the disease was a biological weapon either created by America to stop China becoming a world power or an accidental leak from a Chinese laboratory.
    • The SARS theories above came back in full swing during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Chief ones include:
    • A Chinese biological weapon that got out of hand, aimed to either wipe out the Uighur minority in China or quell the social unrest in Hong Kong. Alternatively, a bioweapon used to weaken or destroy the United States (or the Donald Trump administration) or weaken countries reticent to join the Belt and Road Initiative (a Chinese economic strategy of investment in foreign countries, seen as critics as neo-colonialism at best and China Takes Over the World at worst), or weaken Taiwan in preparation for a takeover of the ROC by China.
    • A US/Israeli bioweapon targeted at China and Iran, and to a lesser extent Russia and Europe to ensure American domination over the world and destroy Arab countries.
    • French conspiracy theorists claim that either the very unpopular government of Emmanuel Macron mismanaged the outbreak on purpose to silence social unrest, to kill off the elderly in order to lower government spending on retirement pensions or the illegal immigrants, or to secretly turn the country into a Police State.
  • One conspiracy theory holds that the medical/pharmaceutical establishment discovered a cure for cancer a long time ago, but have been withholding it from the public so they can continue making money from surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Underlying this theory is the argument that with all the money, and decades of effort, poured into cancer research around the world, it's inconceivable that someone wouldn't have found a cure by now. Some claim that the illegality of cannabis is due to this. Others make claims of researchers making headway into a universal cure being systematically murdered before their work is completed. Proponents of the theory fail to understand three things:
    • First, cancer is not a single disease with a single, simple cause such as a bacterium or virus. Rather, it's an umbrella term for a variety of disorders, with complex and multiple causes, all having in common the failure of cells, in a given part of the body, to die a natural death, instead growing into malignant tumours. Therefore, the focus of research has been on prevention and treatment of specific cancers, rather than a universal cure-all which simply isn't possible with medical science as we know it.
    • Second, if researchers did discover "a" cancer cure—or even a cure for a specific cancer—elementary logic suggests their employer would earn far more money by mass-producing and marketing it than they would by concealing it and having patients resort to invasive operations or unpleasant chemo or radiation therapy, which may or may not work, or work for very long.
    • Third, there are cases in which the carcinogenic cells were removed from the body chirurgically through amputation and cured the patient as a result due to the cancer being at a stage early enough to do that without having to kill the patient. One has to wonder why they would withhold the cure for cancer while simultaneously promoting that people report possible incidents of cancer as early as possible to amputate those cells without considerable body damage.
  • Chemtrails. The theory that large aircraft are spraying dangerous chemicals by way of contrails in order to control the weather, infect people with diseases or manipulate people's minds.
  • Some organic food advocates believe the outbreaks of food poisoning at Chipotle restaurants are agribusiness deliberately sabotaging the chain to discredit its anti-GMO stance.
  • There is supposedly a murderous gang known as the "Pishtacos" operating somewhere in the jungles of Peru, who kidnap people at random, kill them, and sell their corpses to European cosmetics corporations, who use their fat as an ingredient. There's no real proof they exist, and it's believed they were invented by a Peruvian police chief who wished to cover up a series of Vigilante Executions committed by his officers; he was swiftly fired.
  • Some extreme vegans believe that women are not supposed to have menstrual periods (or heavy periods at least), and that these are caused by eating meat and processed foods. While it is possible for a woman to eliminate periods, this is only done via birth control, and not diet. Some Afrocentric black people take this to another level and claim that only white women are supposed to have periods, while black women are not and this is just something imposed on black people by the white man.

    History, Monuments and Ancient Civilizations 
  • Most conspiracy theories in general are Secret History of a sort, claiming that what we believe to have happened in the past is all just a charade orchestrated by Them.
  • The phantom time hypothesis states that the early Middle Ages (roughly AD 614-911), particularly the Carolingian period (including Charlemagne), did not exist. Therefore, according to this theory, we are technically living in the early 18th century, not the 21stnote . The theory is based in the lack of archaeological evidence dating from the era (understandable, as it was, well, the Dark Ages), the presence of various styles of architecture a few hundred years before they were supposed to have been developed, presumed errors in the correlation of the Julian (i.e. Roman) and Gregorian (modern) calendars, and massive gaps in history from Europe all the way to the Middle East and India. The alleged culprit of the conspiracy was Holy Roman Emperor Otto III (with help from Pope Sylvester II and Byzantine Emperor Contantine VII), who wanted to rule around the year 1000 (the millennium), and invented Charlemagne as the model hero that he wanted to be.
    • A similar theory, the Hungarian Calendar hypothesis, claims that the era from AD 960-1160 never occurred.
    • However, these theories don't account for the fact that astronomical events, such as eclipses and the arrival of comets, can be accurately dated to when medieval times described them, or the well documented history of China and of the Middle East that would have exposed any discrepancies.
  • The "New Chronology" theory claims that human history began around AD 800, that the histories of the world's ancient civilizations (Rome, Greece, Egypt, Persia, ancient China, the events of The Bible) all took place during the time of AD 1000-1500, and that the "official" history was codified around 1600.
    • Fomenko's New Chronology, besides all of the above, concludes that almost all civilizations in the world were once part of the Russian Empire (including North and South American civilizations, which are not even on the same continent as Russia!). Another popular statement is that Jesus Christ was actually one of Russian tzars, and Islam is just a misinterpreted Christianity. Needless to say, even the most ardent Russian patriots see this as a bit of an exaggeration.
    • Similarly, Young Earth Creationists believe that the universe and world were created 6,000 years ago. See the "Science and Technology" folder for details.
  • Various "lost civilizations," such as Atlantis, Lemuria, and Mu. It is often held that they were Precursors to human civilization, and/or that they were Ancient Astronauts.
    • Atlantis theories are pretty weird; regardless of whether the island existed, the earliest source (Plato) describes Atlanteans merely as military aggressors against Athens; they are not particularly enlightened or advanced, and in fact are brought up as a contrast with the ideal society. This was well understood by everyone in the following centuries who spoke of the legend — until the 19th, when the Crystal Spires and Togas stuff was suddenly pulled straight from someone's ass.
    • The search for Atlantis and other "lost" civilizations has also been filled with Unfortunate Implications over the years. One of the first proposed sites for Atlantis outside of the Mediterranean was Africa. Why? Because, when the Europeans started heavily colonizing the continent in the 19th century, they found evidence of civilizations both long dead and still alive. Cultural chauvinism made it impossible for them to believe that these civilizations had been built solely by black Africans, so they theorized that there must have been a white "precursor" civilization that passed down its cultural achievements to the Africans. Before long, somebody conflated this hypothetical civilization with Atlantis. This idea shows up in She an 1886 adventure novel, showing an African civilization with black people ruled by an ageless woman from ancient Egypt, who's white (never mind that ancient Egyptians were still darker than whites).

      The Nazis also left a huge stain on the search for Atlantis, which they felt was the original homeland of the Aryan race. This is why so many pop-culture depictions of Atlantis show wreckage of Nazi U-boats or the remains of a Nazi expedition. It's only been in the last couple of decades that the search for mythical civilizations has managed to distance itself from the racist aims of the Nazis.
    • As for the reality of Atlantis, the same book that generated the idea (Plato's Timaeus) contains the line: "[Atlantis] which you yesterday described to us in fiction." It should never have been more mysterious than the fate of Middle Earth.
    • Then there are people saying that Atlantis is merely another word for a still existing island known as Crete. That the very first traces of a Greek civilization were found there (and that said early civilization fell in part thanks to a massive natural disaster) is often used as an argument why.
    • Lemuria is equally weird if you know its history. Scientists found lemur fossils in both India and Madagascar, but not in Africa. This lead to some great bafflement as to how these creatures were found in two locations that were separated by water, but nowhere in between on land. To explain this, the lost continent of Lemuria — located between India and Madagascar — was proposed. In time, the real answer to the mystery was discovered—plate tectonics. That is to say, both India and Madagascar were once firmly attached to Africa; about 135 million years ago, India split off; and about 88 million years ago, a chunk of India (still en route to Asia) split off India and stayed put. That chunk was Madagascar. Since the Indian continent that broke off Africa was the ancestral lemur homeland, the lemurs naturally show up in India and Madagascar. To wit: there was never any evidence for Lemuria. It was a scientific hypothesis, and one that didn't work out. So naturally, the woowoos decided that it MUST have existed and that there MUST have been advanced people living on it. Really, if you want to leave an indelible mark in the woowoo scene, just propose that there was a missing continent. They'll have it full of Crystal Spires and Togas and visited by Ancient Astronauts in no time.
    • Cultural chauvinism is largely responsible for a vast array of theories around the "Mound Builders," a now-extinct Native American culture responsible for extensive earthworks in and around the Mississippi River Valley. Archaeological evidence points to there once being a group of thriving cities in Pre-Columbian North America somewhere between the 10th and 14th Centuries, the most notable being the Cahokia Site in modern-day Illinois. Researchers of the 18th and 19th Centuries found it next to impossible to accept that such an advanced civilization could have been built by the Native Americans, so they concluded that they must have been built by some other people. Theories ranged from Ancient Astronauts to a Lost Tribe of Israel. Similar claims were made of the Aztec, Mayan and Inca civilizations, who were alleged to be the offshoots from the Atlanteans millennia ago in the Americas.
  • Nazi Germany was engaged in a lot of "out-there" research, from UFOs to the aforementioned Atlantis. As a result, lots of people have speculated on exactly what the Nazis discovered. It's also claimed that, after the war, the Nazis fled to a secret base in Antarctica (the oft suggested location is New Swabia) to continue their research and, from there, Take Over the World. The tropes Stupid Jetpack Hitler and Ghostapo are based on these theories. Slightly less outlandish theories suggest that Hitler survived and escaped to a in South American country, probably inspired by the several prominent Nazis who did exactly that.
  • There exist various theories about how and why the Pyramids of Egypt were built. One of the more popular ones claims that they were built by Ancient Astronauts. Another claims that they were nuclear power plants. All of them claim that the widely-accepted explanation for how they were built is physically impossible.
    • Never mind that continual research has expanded upon the construction techniques that might have been used. One researcher, for instance, made the rather (in hindsight) obvious jump that the Egyptians might have used some of the technology they used in boats and such to aid in building the pyramids.
    • Related to the above is the so-called "Orion Correlation Theory," which puts forth the idea that the Pyramids were not built by the ancient Egyptians, but by some older, unknown Precursor civilization, and the Egyptians just moved in after they died out. Proponents of this theory claim that the structures making up the Giza Complex are arranged to correspond to the positions of the major stars in the Orion constellation as it would have been around 10,000 BC.note . The movie 10,000 BC actually ran with this theory, making it a major plot point. In reality, the Giza pyramid was finished about 2560 BC.
  • The Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 has some conspiracy theories surrounding it, most of them surrounding Ronald Reagan. According to the most popular theory, the Reagan campaign had cut a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to hold off on releasing the hostages until after Reagan had won the election, thus denying Jimmy Carter an "October surprise" and allowing Reagan to take credit for ending the crisis.
  • Similar allegations surround the 1968 Presidential election. Supposedly, Richard Nixon sabotaged the Paris Peace talks between North and South Vietnam to undercut his opponent, Hubert Humphrey, just before the election. This one's murky: Nixon's campaign did contact South Vietnamese officials through intermediaries like Anna Chennault. But historians dispute a) whether Nixon actually offered the South terms to prolong the war, as claimed; or b) if their efforts had any impact, as South Vietnam's President Thieu had refused to consider talks prior to Nixon's intercession.
  • Similar to the Pyramids of Egypt, theories abound as to the construction and purpose of Stonehenge. Various scholarly explanations claim that it was an astronomical calendar, a pagan shrine/sacred site, or a place of healing, and that the massive stones had been brought to the site either by water or over land using ball bearing-like "wheels" and then raised up using A-frames. Somewhat... less scholarly theories involve extrapolations on all of the above, as well as claims about ley lines or aliens being involved.
  • The Georgia Guidestones are a large granite monument in Elberton, Georgia that had been built in 1979-1980 under the commission of a man using the pseudonym "R. C. Christian" who was claiming to represent "a small group of Americans who seek the age of reason". The entire structure is astronomically aligned, and carved into it are ten "guiding thoughts" in eight languages describing how an ideal society is to be managed. Speculation has abounded for decades as to the identity of "R. C. Christian" and the purpose of the Guidestones, and some are convinced that the inscriptions are a blueprint for the New World Order or The Antichrist and that the Guidestones should be destroyed. In 2008, the Guidestones were vandalized with a number of anti-NWO messages.
    • The prevalent theory is they were made by Ted Turner (possibly with a small cabal of other like-minded people), given that he had the money to fund such a project, he's based in Georgia, and the messages on the stones are in line with ideas that Turner has espoused.
  • Genocide denial in general often falls into this. As a general rule, whenever Nation A is found to have committed attempted genocide against Ethnic Group B, Religious Group C, and/or Dissident Group D, the die-hard supporters of Nation A will claim that such allegations were made up or exaggerated by Groups B/C/D and/or Enemy Nation E in order to smear them, and that any killings or internment that Nation A committed against Group B/C/D were justified in order to put down a rebellion or stop them from collaborating with Enemy Nation E.
    • Holocaust denial. See "Jews/Israel".
      Orac: Somehow the Jews, we are told, conspired to exaggerate the number of Jewish dead in World War II, to make up stories about poor uncle Adolf that make it look as though he planned on killing all the Jews in Europe, when really all he wanted to do was to eject them (as if that were OK)...Oh, and by the way, Stalin was worse—at least in the minds of Holocaust deniers.
    • The arguments on both sides over the events of the Armenian Genocide. On one side, the Turkish government and scholars claim that the Armenians are exaggerating Ottoman behavior against them during World War I while whitewashing their own anti-Ottoman resistance campaign and collaboration with the Russians, and that special interest groups linked to the Armenian diaspora are paying off and bullying historians and foreign governments to recognize the events as a genocide. On the other side, the Armenian government and scholars claim that modern Turkey is suppressing evidence that would prove Ottoman complicity in an organized campaign of what we would now call, at the very least, ethnic cleansing in eastern Anatolia, and that it is abusing its position as a key NATO ally to bully the US and, by extension, Israel into not recognizing the genocide. This tends to lead to a lot of embarrassing Misplaced Nationalism on the part of both Turks and Armenians.
    • A persistent myth among Japanese ultra-nationalists claims that tales of Imperial Japanese atrocities before and during World War II (such as the Nanking Massacre and Unit 731) are lies, or at least exaggerations, pushed by the Chinese and Koreans (both parts) out of spite for Japan and as a form of "victor's justice", and that those convicted of war crimes were "martyrs of Showa". Given that China is now a growing world power, this has grown into a very touchy live-wire in East Asian politics, especially as far as Japanese school textbooks are concerned.
    • Until the 1980s, the Soviet Union maintained that the Holodomor, the starvation of millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s as a result of a Soviet campaign to seize grain from them, was a myth pushed by capitalists and fascists in the West in order to smear the communist system. Today, this position is maintained by a number of apologists for the Soviet Union.
    • Conversely, the unsupported assertion that the Holodomor was a deliberately-targeted genocide of ethnic Ukrainians perpetrated by Soviet authorities is more-or-less a mainstream belief in modern, nationalist-dominated Ukraine.
    • There is a small but vocal fringe of Cambodian nationalists and Western leftists who still deny (or at least minimize) the Khmer Rouge genocide of the late '70s.
    • The Srebrenica massacre in 1995, in which members of a Serbian paramilitary called the Scorpions killed over 8,000 Bosniaks during The Yugoslav Wars. Some Serbian nationalists and others claim that the figure of dead is an exaggeration by the West done to punish and embarrass Serbia, and that many of the dead were combatants.
    • Similar to the Soviet Union's denial of the Holodomor, Maoists in the present day claim that the death toll of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution has been exaggerated by both the post-Mao "revisionist" governments of the People's Republic of China and by the capitalist powers in order to smear the legacy of Mao Zedong.
    • In an inverted example, some modern historians now believe that the death toll for the persecution of Christianity under the Roman Empire was deliberately inflated after the fact by the Christians themselves to make them seem more oppressed than they really were. Most by now do believe that many individual martyr stories were invented later.
  • The infamous "stab in the back" myth claimed that Germany was on the verge of winning World War I in 1918, and that its surrender came not because of a crumbling situation on the battlefield, the imminent arrival of millions of fresh American soldiers to the Allied ranks, and the Italians having opened a way to their undefended southern border, but because it had been betrayed by leftists, the labor unions, republicans, and Jews, who were working together as the "November criminals" to slow the supply lines, sow dissent, and cut backroom deals with the Allies. After all, very little of the fighting had taken place on German soil, so didn't that mean that the Germans were winning? The Nazis wound up riding this myth all the way to Berlin in 1933, and it remains a powerful example of how conspiracy theories can be abused for evil. It also ended up very definitively biting Germany in the ass in World War II — the entire reason that the Allies would not accept anything less than total, complete, and unconditional surrender from Germany and the other Axis powers was to make sure that there could be no room for this theory to raise its ugly head again. Melded with Hitler's complete denial of military reality, the "Stab in the Back" theory ended up causing vast misery for the entire German people.
    • This myth provided also a justification to the Nazis for doing crimes such as The Holocaust, and kepping doing so right until the end of the war: they said they didn't want another 1918. Gestapo leader Heinrich Müller said it best on 1944:
We won't make the same mistake as in 1918. We won't leave our internal German enemies alive.
  • "Stab in the back" myths are fairly common in history, as the losing side in any conflict (unless absolutely annihilated) tries to find mitigating circumstances for their defeat. France's defeat in the Algerian War was blamed on Charles de Gaulle, French leftists and the "cowardly" French people by the military and radical rightists, leading to a terror campaign against De Gaulle's government throughout the early '60s by groups such as the Organisation armée secrète. Conservatives in the United States spread a similar argument after The Vietnam War, blaming antiwar Democrats and the "liberal media" for undermining the American war effort. Fortunately, the political ramifications were relatively minor, though Vietnam's legacy remains contentious four decades later.
  • Much like the Pyramids, Stonehenge or any other monument not built by the Roman Empire or the Ancient Greeks, the moai of Easter Island have Ancient Astronauts theories stapled to them, too. While most archeologists think the moai were erected to worship ancestors and to monument great tribal leaders, a small group of theorists believe that the moai were built for or by alien visitors.
    • The Nazca lines also get this somewhat dubious honor of supposedly being created by Ancient Astronauts as some-sort of landing pad or signs for spaceships.
  • The "lost" island of Bermeja is supposedly located in the Gulf of Mexico, north of the Yucatán Peninsula. It had been reported on maps since the 17th century, but it has not been sighted since the 19th century. Bermeja's "disappearance" is the subject of a conspiracy theory in Mexico, claiming that the CIA dynamited the island in The '70s in order to rob Mexico of some of its offshore oil reserves — if the island existed, it would move the maritime border between Mexico and the United States in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico about a hundred nautical miles north. Officially, the Mexican government's stance is that, if the island ever existed, it was likely destroyed by tectonic activity in the 19th century.
    • For the record, Bermeja is actually by no means unique in the "Phantom Islands" phenomenon. this website documents several such phantom islands, Bermeja included.
  • Due to the participation of Freemasons in its creation, the Statue of Liberty is claimed by some religious minded anti-Masons to be a representation of a being that they worship such as Ishtar or Lucifer.
  • In some right-wing circles, there exists the theory that the Soviet Union faked its collapse (somehow) in order to trick the West into ceasing its suppression of communist subversion. The centerpieces for this theory are KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn's 1984 book New Lies for Old (which claims, among other things, that the Sino-Soviet split was faked) and its 1995 followup The Perestroika Deception.
  • Another theory about the Cold War is that the United States and the Soviet Union were controlled by the same shadowy forces, who were Running Both Sides in order to conquer the world. Said shadowy forces are usually the Jews, of course. In fact, an earlier version of this theory was used by Nazi propaganda to explain why Germany was at war with the western capitalist powers and the Russian communists at the same time. It's also sometimes called upon to explain why the Soviets didn't cry foul over the faked moon landing (and simultaneously eliminating the motive for the U.S. faking a moon landing).
  • Watergate was a real conspiracy orchestrated by Richard Nixon's administration. This hasn't stopped more outlandish "alternate theories" from emerging, especially from Nixon's apologists:
    • One theory, hinted at by Richard Nixon's chief of staff H.R. Haldeman (and pushed by Jesse Ventura among others), claims that Nixon's supposed involvement in the Bay of Pigs and CIA plots against Castro while Vice President led to his ousting by the CIA and military, out of fear he'd expose their complicity. That many of the Watergate burglars were ex-CIA operatives provides this theory marginal credibility. As mentioned above, the Kennedy assassination often factors into these theories.
    • In a similar vein, Nixon's political opponents (namely Ted Kennedy) and the "liberal media" team up to frame Nixon and drive him from office. Nixon's supporters at the time (notably Ronald Reagan) advocated this theory and it's still believed by some conservatives.
    • Another book, Silent Coup, fingers John Dean as framing Nixon to cover up a potential scandal involving his girlfriend, with the complicity of Alexander Haig and other Nixon aides.
    • Another theory claims that Nixon orchestrated the scandal surrounding Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was charged with bribery and tax evasion while Governor of Maryland, to distract from Watergate. Agnew himself propagated this theory in a memoir, claiming as well that Nixon threatened to murder him if he didn't resign. Since Nixon openly called Agnew his "insurance policy" against impeachment, it's unclear what benefit Nixon gained from Agnew's resignation (or death, alternately).
      • Specifically, Agnew had become convinced the bribery investigation was conceived by Elliot Richardson (who Nixon had appointed as Attorney General only a few months earlier) in order to position himself to be the next Vice-President; thus putting him in position to either become President in the event Nixon was impeached or resigned or to become the automatic front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976. Not only did Gerald Ford get named Vice-President instead of Richardson, but Richardson would eventually resign after Nixon attempted to get him to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, thus setting into motion the events leading to The Saturday Night Massacre. As for Richardson's alleged Presidential ambitions, he chose not to run and would end up with a single delegate in the Republican Convention in which President Ford narrowly edged out primary challenger Ronald Reagan for the GOP Presidential nomination for 1976.
    • There's also the alleged "corrupt bargain" that Nixon agreed to resign in exchange for Gerald Ford pardoning him. Whatever his motives for the pardon, Ford's decision was widely criticized and played a key role in his electoral defeat two years later. Inevitably, others note that Ford served on the Warren Commission and impute sinister motives to his becoming President - let alone that Nelson Rockefeller became Ford's Vice President.
    • Also, there's the infamous 18 1/2 minute gap on one of the Nixon White House Tapes, said to have been caused by secretary Rose Mary Woods. However, what became known as the "Rose Mary Stretch" caused many to question whether one could actually have done so by accident. Other theories included then-White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig suggesting Nixon may have accidentally caused the erasure due to his unfamiliarity with the type of technology used, but most of the attention has focused on what may have been on the tapes (which the National Archives have attempted to recover, but none of their efforts have been successful). Many of the alternative explanations link the gap to other theories suggesting Nixon was connected to the Kennedy assassination.
    • None of which approach the creativity of this book, which claims that Watergate was a hoax designed to discredit L. Ron Hubbard.
  • Proving this goes all the way back to Older Than Feudalism, the popular image of Emperor Nero playing a lyre/fiddle While Rome Burns evolved out of a conspiracy theory. What is known is that Nero had been trying to buy a section of the city for his own personal use — specifically, the aristocrat villas on Palatine Hill — and shortly after the owners refused the existing developments were destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome. What isn't true is the accusation that Nero was anywhere close to the city, much less playing music while looking down at the destruction. Contemporary historian Tacitus places Nero 40 miles away, in the city of Antium, and also states Nero personally funded the relief effort when he returned. Not long after the fire, Nero began building his pet project the Domus Aurea, smack-dab on top of everything that had burned down and been cleared away, making a lot of rich, disgruntled political opponents very suspicious.
    • And just to layer more conspiracy theories into this, Nero himself blamed the fire on the early followers of Jesus Christ.
    • Also, the fiddle wasn't invented until sometime in the 16th century AD.
  • The "White Gods" theory states that the ancient polytheistic religions of non-Caucasian peoples, such as Mesoamericans and Polynesians, were inspired by long-forgotten contacts with white people. This theory was extrapolated from the records of Spanish conquistadors claiming that they were welcomed as gods by the Aztecs due to their fair skin (itself a claim under heavy dispute by modern scholars) and is naturally believed mainly by racists.
  • A related theory to the previous states that Caucasians, and not Polynesians, were the original settlers of the Pacific Islands, conveniently leaving behind absolutely no record of their presence there.
  • An inverse version of prior examples about "white people were responsible for all advanced civilisations ever" is the "Black Athena" theory, which claims in its mild form that the Ancient Egyptians were "black" in a modern sense (the racial status of the Ancient Egyptians remains a legitimate subject for historical debate) and in a stronger form that all the "Classical" civilisations were dominated by black Africans, and that in recent centuries there has been a huge conspiracy by white archaeologists and historians to cover this up. In particular, it's claimed that facial damage and decapitations suffered by various ancient sculptures was to deliberately erase the fact that they originally had African features, and that the image of classical sculptures as having natural stone finishes (as opposed to being painted as they probably were) and the relatively lack of survival of the original painted finishes is the result of vandalism to cover up the fact that they originally had dark skin tones.
    • This theory has resulted in many people believing that certain historical individuals such as Cleopatra and Hannibal were black, even though the historical record demonstrates that they were definitely not. The theory is possibly caused by assuming "African" is synonymous with "black person," even though North Africa (including Egypt and what used to be Carthage) has more in common ethnically and culturally with the Middle East than with Sub-Saharan Africa, where the "black people" live. Naturally, the theory has been hijacked by white supremacists, who exaggerate the claims to hyperbolic degrees, claiming that Julius Caesar and Jesus Christ, among many others, were black, in an attempt to display the perceived ignorance and stupidity of blacks for allegedly believing such nonsense.
  • The "Berenstain Bears Effect" states that someone or something is altering historical records or even history itself, but a few people remember the "unedited" past. The name is in reference to The Berenstain Bears, which many people remember as The Bernstien Bears. Other supposed examples of this effect include the rather odd phenomenon of people remembering the Shaquille O'Neal film Kazaam as Shazaam starring the comedian Sinbad, which is completely non-existent. Motives for this conspiracy theory vary, though most skeptics point to the phenomena of collective false memories as an explanation. A less sinister version of the theory is the "Mandella Effect", which offers the alternate explanation that the people who share the same incorrect memory somehow traveled to alternate realities where these events were real, but have no memory of the event beyond the specific historical discrepancy.

  • The "Homintern" (Homosexual Comintern), or the "Gay Mafia," was an alleged conspiracy of gay elites who supposedly controlled the world of art and culture, including Hollywood. They used their control to slip tons of Ho Yay into the media (the Batman (1966) series was often cited as an example) in an effort to turn people gay, and used the Casting Couch to have sex with studly young actors and other people looking to make it in the arts. As funny as this theory is now, lots of people took it seriously in the mid-20th century, including many liberals and even some gay people. The Homintern theory broke down with the rise of the gay rights movement — like any good conspiracy theory, a key component was the secrecy and speculation as to who in Hollywood was a part of it, and once gay people started coming out en masse, the whole thing fell apart, to be replaced by...
  • The "Gay Agenda." Since homosexuals cannot reproduce with each other, the theory goes that they must "recruit" new homosexuals by infiltrating schools and the media to promote the gay lifestyle. Any depiction of a homosexual in media in which they are not evil and depraved, or which does not show their life devolving into pure hell, will inevitably be accused of this.
    • Russia apparently taken this seriously enough to pass laws against "homosexual propaganda". Unfortunately, one Russian prosecutor's attempt to bring a lawsuit against Madonna in 2012 for "propagandizing homosexual behavior" during a concert bordered on the absurd. (During the hearing, he attempted to present Wikipedia entries as evidence, claiming he couldn't find the needed evidence for his claims in real encyclopedias. The judge almost had to tell court reporters to leave because they were laughing so much, and he eventually threw the case out. As you might expect, Madonna neither attended the hearing or commented on the result.) This is more than likely why the Russian government official who made similar threats of arrest and lawsuits against Lady Gaga for similar reasons never had the backbone to make good on them.
    • And who can forget the infamous claims that Tinky Winky was a Crossdresser because he carried a handbag and was therefore teaching children to be homosexual.
    • If you believe that God would not create someone to be "born gay," then they must have been recruited into the lifestyle!
    • This is taken Up to Eleven in Uganda, where a tabloid headline from Rolling Stone reads "We shall recruit 1000,000 innocent kids by 2012 - Homos". Yes, they attributed the quote to "Homos".
      • Ironically, this conspiracy theory is likely the result of an actual conspiracy by certain influential United States-born religious figures, such as Scott Lively, who helped write Uganda's draconian anti-gay legislation. It is alleged that Lively and several other influential Christian religious leaders both in the United States and in Uganda spread anti-gay propaganda in order to see the legislation get passed. Lively is also one of the architects of the below-mentioned "Pink Swastika" conspiracy theory, which should tell you all you need to know right there.
    • Some black supremacists claim that mainstream white society is trying to turn black men gay. According to them, this is the reason for the increased visibility of black LGBT people in the media. They claim this is happening because white people believe that a "feminine" black man is less of a threat.
  • There is a small but loud amount of people (that seemingly in a bid to overdo Godwin's Law) claim that the Nazis and the holocaust were run/done by homosexuals by some Insane Troll Logic. This is despite thousands of homosexuals that were also killed in the holocaust and how much the Nazi's laws against homosexuality. The claims are in many ways is similar to the holocaust denial in the Jews/Israel section.
    • Token WTF theory: the Nazis could not get straight men to be vicious enough to carry out the atrocities committed in World War Two but gay men were perfectly capable of it. Oh, and Hitler was gay.
  • The "Gay Lifestyle" is itself another one, the belief that all gays — when they're not busy carrying out the "Gay Agenda"—live a secret existence where they do nothing but party, take illegal drugs, and have copious amounts of sex... often for money so that they can afford to party and do drugs.
    • Which raises the question of why, if they really wanted to recruit people, they'd go out of their way to conceal all the sex, drugs, and partying instead of advertising it as a major selling point.
  • The fact that Pope Benedict XVI resigned (something no Pope has done in centuries) combined with the Vatican's tough anti-gay stance, led many to believe he was "pressured" into resigning by a "pro-gay lobby". (These people never consider that if gay rights groups had that much power, Vladimir Putin would likely be on trial at the Hague by now.)
  • As more and more legal rulings are made against them, anti-gay rights politicians in the United States are making claims that are pretty dumb, as the slideshow in this article shows.
  • When A&E suspended Phil Robertson, "notorious" conspiracy theorist Orly Taitz filed an administrative complaint in Colorado that accused A&E was "engaged in discrimination against heterosexuals in favor of homosexuals, engaged in discrimination of religious people, particularly Christians, in favor of godless atheists." (Like that helped Phil's case.)

  • The quintessential anti-Semitic screed (and perhaps the original conspiracy theory!) is the Blood Libel, the Older Than Print accusation that Jews made a hobby of kidnapping, ritually murdering, and drinking the blood of Christian children. This despite one of the biggest kosher prohibitions being blood — so much so that it is mentioned two separate times in Leviticus (Lev 7:25-27; Lev 17:10-15) as well as Deuteronomy 12:23-25.
    • Even weirder are some of the variations on this, one of which states that, and we swear we're not making this up, Jewish babies were born with one hand fused to their forehead, and the blood of a Christian child was needed for the corrective surgery. We can only guess why nobody arrived at the logical conclusion of voluntary blood dona— oh right, they were bigots making stuff up.
    • Apart from just regular rabble-rousing, Blood Libels were often instigated so that the accusers could ride into town and take everything the Jews had, or to just outright steal their land. Many pogroms were started by a Blood Libel.
      • Repetition of this sort of thing is still being used in recent times.
    • The modernized version of this theory claims that the Jews are heavily involved in the black market organ trade.
    • And the biggest irony is that the Blood Libel was originally aimed at Christians; Roman paganism heard about the Last Supper and the Mass and thought there was something warped about a religion that encouraged its followers to eat the body and consume the blood of their God as the centrepiece of its religious rite. They then leapt from this to the belief that Christian worship involved real, rather than symbolic, human sacrifice to provide the blood and flesh or the cannibal feast. And from there to the assertion that Christians abducted good Roman children to provide the human sacrifice.note  And when the Christians asserted power in Rome and the Empire and set about eradicating rival religions, such a useful and effective propaganda tool was considered too good not to use and was promptly revived for use against the Jews.
  • Around the same time, the Black Death was killing a third of Europe's population — with one notable exception. The culture of Jewish minority populations tended to be unusually encouraging of bathing and good hygiene, and they kept cats and small dogs that made their ghettos the cleanest, most vermin-free places on the continent. Consequently, they experienced remarkably few plague deaths. Suspiciously few, to some people. The notion that they had somehow poisoned Christendom's water supplies spread faster than the plague did. Obviously, the idea that just MAYBE the Jews were on to something by actually bathing and doing something about the rats was not picked up on by the rest of Europe.
    • Not that this excuses the accusations, but it must be remembered that it was a long time before anyone realized that rats were the ones spreading the disease. Bear in mind this all happened hundreds of years before the concept of germs was even presented (and even then, it was a while before anyone believed that germs were real). Ironically, there have been accounts of villages exterminating the cat population, for their traditional link with witchcraft, an action that certainly couldn't have helped keep the number of rats down.
  • Conspiracy theories about Jews are unfortunately still common. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a particularly famous (and fiction-based) 19th-century book detailing the supposed Evil Plan of the Jews and the Freemasons to conquer the world using such evils as Darwinism, socialism, liberalism, Nietzscheism, universal suffrage, and porn. To the conspiracy theorists' credit, many are now blaming other groups, such as space lizards and Atheists. The groups that still blame Jews are almost universally white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Islamic extremists (and the last group has some very pragmatic reasons for wanting to eradicate the Jews, rather than reasons based on superstition and prejudice.)
    • And even they apparently haven't read The Protocols, as it's a transparent propaganda-piece that hails a return to monarchy as the only force capable of opposing the Strawman Political caricatures behind this Evil Plan.
      • More to the point, anyone who knows anything of Russian history would know to immediately be able to tell the work of the Okhrana, the Tsarist Russian Secret Police, from about eleven time zones away. The Times (of London) newspaper was able to conclusively prove (a year after the book's publication) that the book was plagiarized wholesale from a satirical tract by Maurice Joly mocking the regime of Napoleon III (which is why the Protocols spends an inane amount of time talking about economics).
    • Some modern conspiracy theorists claim that, while the conspiracy presented in The Protocols is real, the stuff about it being Jewish-led was put in by Them in order to discredit it and cause it to become associated with outdated, bigoted ideas. It's... kind of strange.
  • Others believe that Jews are in control of various large institutions, such as banks, Hollywood and the American media, and that they use this to spread their propaganda. This includes spreading ethnic stereotypes to undermine nonwhites and generally being evil, which is apparently just what Jewish people do.
  • Since World War II, a major component of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories has been the claim that the Holocaust never happened. Most examples of Holocaust denial have it that the Holocaust was a hoax designed by the Jews in order to elicit enough sympathy to let them build the state of Israel. Some racists claim that it was also meant to ferment white guilt and destroy the white race. Obviously, this theory is regarded as a joke among serious historians, due to both its racist overtones and the fact that even a cursory examination of the events of World War II will quickly debunk it. After all, millions of people can't just disappear into thin air.
    • The biggest problem with this theory is that the reasoning of a lot of its believers seems to be "the Holocaust never happened, but it would be nice if it did!" Note, for example, how Holocaust deniers always seem to focus on mitigating the number of Jewish deaths, without ever mentioning the roughly five million non-Jews (Poles, Romani, homosexuals, the mentally and/or physically disabled, Communists, and other dissidents) who also died in the camps. To claim that there was no organized campaign of genocide, and that the figure of six million dead Jews is a hoax, would require that one also explain what happened to those other five million — something that they never do, exposing their ulterior motives. Since much of what is known about the Holocaust comes from the Nuremberg Trials, Holocaust denial requires assuming that the Soviet, British, French and American judges presiding were either (1) in on the hoax, or (2) somehow taken in by it, by persons who also somehow arranged for many SS officers to give false self-incriminating testimony.
    • To clarify a point: the "six million" figure for the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is merely a rough estimate, rather than an exact figure. Most scholarly estimates range from 5.1 million (the lowest figure that won't get you funny looks) to as high as 7.5 million, with the "average" being 5.7 mil — which is often rounded up to six million. Naturally, Holocaust deniers latch on to even the slightest disagreement and try to present it as proof that there is "serious dispute" over the reality of the Nazis' Final Solution
    • Note that Holocaust denial is actually illegal in modern-day Germany, the most actively anti-Nazi country on the face of the earth (with the possible exception of Useful Notes/Israel).
    • There are other Holocaust deniers, like the notorious David Irving, who admit that mass killings of Jews happened but that they a) were isolated atrocities rather than an organized program, and b) occurred without Hitler's knowledge or consent. Which might explain incidents of mass shooting but hardly accounts for the death camps or the sheer scope and scale of the killings. Implicit in these arguments, too, is the idea that the Allies were no better than the Nazis since they also killed civilians.
    • Related theory, relatively popular in Poland is the usage of the phrase "Polish death camps" in some international media when referring to Nazi concentration camps on occupied Polish territory (Auschwitz being most notorious), in a deliberate attempt to exonerate the Germans and put the blame for the Holocaust on Poland (disregarding that, despite Polish collaborators, many Poles were victims of the Holocaust themselves).
  • The "Holocaust Industry" theory is another one built upon the pattern of Jews using the accusations of antisemitism to bash people they don't like, while also re-using the Greedy Jew trope. This theory posits that the various Jewish organisations use mix of guilt and threat of branding as antisemitic to extort money (inflating the numbers of people they represent and value of their lost possessions) from countries and organisations involved — no matter how indirectly — in Holocaust. Perhaps ironically, one of the people who alleges this is Norman Finkelstein, who is Jewish himself (and the son of Holocaust survivors), in his book of the same name. He is known for his criticism of Israel. Naturally, he has faced the criticism you'd expect in response, up to the point of an organized campaign for his denial of tenure at a university.
  • Now that there's a state of Israel and widespread political opposition to its actions, nearly all of these theories have resurfaced with "Jews" crossed out and "Zionists" or "Israelis" hastily scrawled in. This frustrates Jews, Zionists, and sane people of all stripes because these theories are still obviously anti-Semitic, but any effort to call them such will bring protests along the lines of "I don't hate Jews; I'm just criticizing Israel/Zionism". On the same token, it also angers people that have genuine grievances with Israeli policy, as the racists have drowned out the debate and made it nearly impossible for anybody to voice a critical opinion on Israel without being viewed as anti-Semites, even if they're Jewish themselves (at least one Jewish commentator has been called anti-Semitic by the Jerusalem Post for doing this). Everyone reasonable can see that these conspiracy theories remain equally wrong and equally hateful no matter whose name you write in.
  • Oh, and Israel seemed to have deliberately caused the 2004 tsunami, for whatever reason one can think of, using a nuclear bomb. Of course, any serious physicist knows that no nuke has been made with anywhere near enough power to do this, and it would be immediately recognizable as such. From space.
  • One of the stupider tendencies in the Arab and Muslim world—one futilely recognized by most Arab and Muslim intellectuals—is a tendency to blame everything on some Israeli plot. An Egyptian official once blamed the shark attacks in the Red Sea in late 2010 on Israeli action; to his people's credit, most Egyptians thought that this was batshit.
    • There are also similar accusations about Israel using spy-equipment on birds including vultures. In reality it's equipment for tracking migrations, though it does sound suspiciously similar to the actions of Saruman from The Lord of the Rings. The Other Wiki even has a page about this sort of thing.
    • Along similar lines, there is a theory floating around in the Arab world that Monica Lewinsky (latching on to the fact that she is Jewish) was in fact an Israeli spy, who did that dirty deed under the Oval Office desk for the sole reason of getting Bill Clinton impeached. Why? Because Bill had intended to make concessions to Palestine, so the Jews derailed his plans and his presidency.
    • A Jordanian op-ed once accused the Pokemon games of being a Zionist attempt to distract people from their real problems, namely the Jews.
  • The theory that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the Khazars, an empire in what is now the Caucasus whose aristocracy and nobility (and apparently some of the populace) converted to Judaism in the 8th century AD. This theory is often trotted out by antisemites to claim that modern Jews don't have a right to Israel, as they aren't properly descended from the ancient Israelites. Not only does genetic evidence go against this theory, but even if it were true, a) Jewish tradition accepts all converts and their descendants as being full-blooded Jews on the same level as any other, meaning that the theoretical Khazari Jews would be treated as having the same claim to Israel as any other, and b) it makes the classic assumption that All Jews Are Ashkenazi. In reality, the majority of the Jewish population currently living in Israel is not Ashkenazi, but Sephardi, Mizrahi and Yemenite. Their ancestors didn't speak Yiddish — the Sephardim spoke a flavor of Spanish called Ladino, and most of the rest spoke Arabic or Persian.
    • Ironically, the man who popularized the Khazar theory in The '70s, Arthur Koestler, was an Ashkenazi Jew who was trying to challenge religious antisemitism, thinking that it would lose its basis if it were to be proven that the Ashkenazim weren't descended from the "Christ-killers". He had a huge Oh, Crap! moment when he saw his theories hijacked by neo-Nazis and radical Islamists to use for ethnic antisemitism.
    • It is worth clarifying that some Khazars, including the royal clan, really did convert to Judaism; the conspiracy theory derives from extrapolating completely unrelated ideas from there. For example, they have nothing to do with the later Ashkenazi other than both living in eastern Europe. The Khazars were conquered by and integrated with (Muslim) Bulgars, (Christian) Rus', and (Buddhist/Tengri/various) Mongols; the Ashkenazi were originally from the Rhineland and migrated east to escape persecution.
  • Allegedly, the kosher labeling on various foods is to show that the producer had paid a "secret tax" to the Jews in order to support Israel — and of course, this "tax" gets passed on to the goyim (non-Jews). In reality, the labels simply do exactly what they say: show that the food was made in accordance with Jewish dietary regulations so that observant Jews can eat it without breaking kashrut. Snopes took this one on here.
    • This stems from the fact that food labels can't use the hechsher (the symbol denoting kosher certification) without being certified by an official Rabbinical authority. Such authorities will often charge for their services. This is, of course, not a tax, as it is voluntary.
      • Interestingly, unlike other conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel—where you will find hyper-partisan Muslims grasping at straws to agree with them (for the extra anti-Israel ammunition) while level-headed ones try to argue back—virtually no Muslims give this one any credence. Muslims often use kashrut as a substitute for halal, as most Muslim authorities agree that anything kosher that isn't alcoholic is also halal, as the standards for kashrut are substantially stricter.note 
    • Oddly enough there's similar claims that halal labels on food show that it is taxed to support Muslims. You find that the kinds of people (viz., right-wing xenophobes) who buy into this theory also believe in the kashrut "secret tax", and they often try to attack the whole system of kosher and halal slaughter. In doing so, they often make common cause with hippy-dippy animal rights activists by accusing it of being inhumane,note  which in turn leads to Muslims and Jews—particularly the devout, and especially particularly the ones who spout the most venom at each other over Israel—to make common cause to fight off a threat to something common to their ways of life.
      • Naturally, people against circumcision also come into conflict with both Jews and Muslims over their use of it, since they are the most prominent groups to do so (aside from Americans).
    • There is one claim that Pepsi is pro-Israel. Why? Because Pepsi is an acronym for Pay Every Penny to Save Israel. Ironically, Pepsi is less involved in Israel than Coca-Cola is, and neither one can be accused of conspiracy, just of doing business there or not (it is hard to do business in both Muslim countries and Israel for obvious reasons). In reality, the beverage "Pepsi" got its name the same way Pepto-Bismal did: when first introduced, the soft drink had been marketed as a remedy for stomach problems, such as peptic ulcers.
      • As of 2014-2015 the Pepsi acronym has gotten a different claim. It reads: Pay Every Pupil to Serve Is. It seems that it can be interpreted as whatever is on an Arabs mind when they think of people they hate.
      • On the other side of the cola wars, Coca Cola's logo is said to be read as Arabic if it's inverted, and it says "No God, no Mecca." Although you have to squint a lot and do some seriously creative interpretation of the patterns, it resembles more closely the words: "For God, for Mecca." Which means that some fundamentalist Christian out there believes that, but fortunately, few of them can read Arabic.
  • There are various ethnically-black Jewish groups who claim descent from ancient Israelites; most are just black people who practice Judaism. Then, there's a community of African Americans who believe that only and specifically they are the true 12 tribes of Israel. The story goes that Africans and Muslims captured Israel, took them out of their homeland, and sold them to Europeans who used them as slaves (those who were not captured escaped to Asia, the South Pacific Islands, and the Americas, creating modern Latinos, Native Americans and other minority groups). Satan-worshiping Europeans took Christianity and perverted it into the Catholic Church, while others went around the world pretending to be Jewish people in order to gain sympathy and eventually claim Israel. As expected, this would also mean that the Holocaust never happened, turning this into even more of a headscratcher since you end up with minorities standing up for the Nazis. African American leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. are considered patsies for the Catholic Church and not true Hebrews, which pains Africans in a negative light, making this conspiracy even weirder. Usually, this theory extends into belief in other conspiracy theories involving Freemasons, the Illuminati, NWO, and 9/11 being an inside job.
  • On a more individual lever there was the proposal made by former Foreign Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman that all Israeli citizens should be required to swear loyalty to the country before registering to vote, which some argued was an attempt to stealthily disenfranchise the country's Muslim citizens, who would be much less likely to do such a thing than the Jewish citizens (And, on an unrelated note, this would also deny many Jews the vote too - all of Israel's voting-age population is automatically registered to vote, and switching to US-style manual registration would impose hassle no-one ever had or wants to deal with). Ultimately Lieberman was forced to resign over a completely-different scandal.
  • The "Plan Andinia", very popular among anti-Semitic far-right circles in Latin America, is an alleged plan to create a Jewish State in Argentina. Yes, disregarding the existence of Israel already, according to this conspiracy will be the "B Plan" in case Israel ever falls to the Arabs. The myth's origin probably comes from the idea that Argentina was indeed considered as a possible location for the Jewish State in the early states of Zionism and is even mentioned in Herzl's book "The Jewish State", though no serious attempt was ever made and Uganda was closer to become the location of the first Jewish state instead of Palestine. Nevertheless the conspiracy was so widespread that Jewish political dissidents were interrogated about it by members of the Military dictatorship in Argentina. For the record a similar conspiracy theory known as the "Sefardia Plan" exists about the creation of an specifically Sephardi state in Costa Rica, but outside of Internet forums and neo-Nazi blogs hasn't had any real impact.

    The John F Kennedy assassination 
The assassination of John F. Kennedy is one of the most legendary subjects of conspiracy theories in history. The usual theory goes that Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, did not act alone in killing him, but had assistance from another gunman on a nearby grassy knoll. Just who the guy on the grassy knoll was working for has been the subject of enough writing to fill the Library of Alexandria. The following people and groups have been blamed (oh, it's a long list), often in combination with one another:
  • The CIA. Kennedy was very pissed off at them for leaving him out of the loop during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and is quoted as saying that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the wind" as a result of what happened.
    • The name that comes up most often in this theory is that of David Sánchez Morales, a CIA agent who was very angry with the government that many of his friends and trainees had gone to their deaths at Bay of Pigs. A number of his friends allege that in private he made disparaging remarks about both John and Robert Kennedy, and claimed to have been in the same city at the same time as both assassinations. As well, several eyewitnesses have placed a man matching his description in the company of Oswald and (RFK's assassin) Sirhan Sirhan on more than one occasion. A number of agents who would later go on to be involved in Watergate have also been implicated, including one, E. Howard Hunt, who was said by his son to have confessed his involvement on his deathbed.
    • Incidentally, this version of the conspiracy theory was the official line of the Soviet Union, and KGB agents disseminated propaganda to that effect in the West. One of the first JFK conspiracy books, Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy?, proposes this theory. and is now known to have been created by a KGB front group.
  • The Mafia. The figure most commonly pointed to in this theory is Sam Giancana, then head of the Chicago Outfit, though others also add Santo Trafficante, Jr., the head of the Tampa Bay mob and Carlos Marcello, boss of the New Orleans Mafia. A number of motives are often attributed to them:
    • To send a message to Robert F. Kennedy, the Attorney General and John F.'s brother. RFK was placing incredible pressure on the Mafia with a huge wave of prosecutions, and killing his brother, the President, would short-circuit his war on them. Furthermore, according to the theory, Giancana in particular saw this as a betrayal by the Kennedys, having allegedly helped rig the Illinois Presidential election of 1960 to get JFK elected.note 
    • Revenge for "losing" Cuba to the communists. The Mafia operated a large number of very profitable casinos, drug operations, and prostitution rings in Havana that they lost once Fidel Castro took over Cuba, and they desperately wanted them back. Furthermore, the CIA's declassified "Family Jewels" documents revealed that Giancana and other mobsters had worked with the CIA in plots to overthrow Castro.
    • Giancana in particular allegedly wanted revenge for Kennedy stealing a girlfriend of his.
    • To get the heat off the Mafia in the wake of the Valachi hearings that took place a few weeks earlier. Joseph Valachi was the first Mafia member to admit in public, on national television that Cosa Nostra is real. No one knows why Valachi turned rat, but it's speculated that Vito Genovese, the boss of the Luciano (now Genovese) crime family at the time, incorrectly branded him as an informer and gave him the kiss of death - a sign that he was to be killed. Fearing for his life, he accidentally killed a fellow inmate he mistakenly believed had been assigned to kill him, and because of the murder, he faced the death penalty. Hoping to get a lesser sentence, Valachi decided to squeal to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, headed by John McClellan on October 1963, broadcast live on public radio and TV.
  • The military-industrial complex, which felt that he would abandon South Vietnam to the communists, and that a drawdown of the Cold War and military spending would hurt their bottom line. This is the version of the theory that Oliver Stone used in his film JFK.
    • One problem with this theory is the fact that Oswald was a communist sympathizer who had spent time in the USSR. It would have been very easy for a warmongering U.S. establishment to claim that Oswald was a Soviet agent in order to step up the Cold War and perhaps push a proto-Patriot Act through Congress. If stepping up the Cold War was their whole motive for killing Kennedy, why did they claim that Oswald was a lone nut with no ties to the Soviet government?
  • Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who feared that he would be dropped from the Kennedy ticket in 1964note .
  • The KGB, as revenge for the humiliation of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Proponents of this theory go so far as say that Oswald was brainwashed whilst in the USSR or replaced with a double. Yuri Nosenko, a Soviet defector who stated the USSR had nothing to do with Oswald, naturally led to claims that he was a Fake Defector.
  • The Cuban exile community, who felt that Kennedy had betrayed them at the Bay of Pigs.note 
  • Conversely, others think that Fidel Castro was behind it in retaliation for CIA attempts to assassinate him.
  • The Federal Reserve, which felt that Executive Order 11110 was the beginning of an attempt by Kennedy to abolish them.
  • The Israeli government, which felt that Kennedy was too close to the Arabs and was trying to pressure them to give up their nuclear program.
  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff, as revenge for Kennedy overruling them in the matter of Operation Northwoods (see "Real Conspiracies").
  • J. Edgar Hoover, because Kennedy wanted to remove him as the director of the FBI.
  • The John Birch Society or other right-wing, anti-communist groups, because they perceived him as soft on communism.
  • Oil magnates, to keep the oil depletion allowance at the same percentage, saving them millions.
  • The Majestic 12, because he wanted to share information on UFOs with the Soviets.
  • Jack Chick, as he often does, places the blame on the Vatican, alleging that the Pope was pissed that Kennedy, the first Catholic President, nevertheless refused to make him de facto head of state.
  • George H. W. Bush has been blamed by some conspiracy theorists as being the mastermind behind the assassination, possibly even carrying it out himself. Evidence consists of little more than Bush being in Dallas that day and his later term as CIA director.
  • Some say that the Secret Service was involved by removing the protective bubblenote  and reducing the amount of agents behind the car providing the clear shot. Some go far as to say that one of the agents took the fatal shot, either a driver turning around to shoot or an accidental shot from an agent trying to return fire to Oswald.
  • Richard Nixon often fits into conspiracy theories about the shooting as either part of those who directed the shooting or as a replacement president that would do what the conspirators wanted. This is because he repeatedly refers to "the whole Bay of Pigs thing" in the Watergate tapes, presumably related to the CIA and of blackmail potential, though it has never been properly explained. The infamous 18-minute gap is in close proximity to discussions of this subject, possibly obscuring a clarification. Since the Bay of Pigs Invasion happened during JFK's tenure, it is thought to refer to the shooting in some way, perhaps connected with the CIA or anti-Castro Cuban or Mafia motives above. Another Stone film, Nixon, ran with this.
    • An interesting side note is that Nixon had in fact been in Dallas on November 22, 1963, working for a New York City law firm. However, because he left just hours before Air Force One arrived at Love Field, this may be pure coincidence.
  • Building on this coincidence, Lyndon Johnson's mistress Margaret Brown claimed she was present at a meeting in Dallas on November 21st between Johnson, Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover where they plotted Kennedy's death. Credibility aside, this alleged meeting was logistically impossible: while Nixon was in Dallas, Johnson (traveling with his wife, making it unlikely he'd slip away for a tryst) was with Kennedy and Governor John Connally in Houston, while Hoover was working at the Justice Department in Washington until late that night. Oliver Stone provides a more plausible dramatization where Nixon alone meets with several right wing businessmen.
  • Not even his wife, Jackie Kennedy, is safe. One theory says that she organized his murder as payback for fooling around with other women. Other than being highly disrespectful, the theory has no evidence, other than having a potential motive.
  • A small but vocal fringe claims that the President's driver was complicit, either slowing down the car to allow the fatal headshot, or even shooting Kennedy himself (which somehow went unnoticed by other occupants of the car, let alone other eyewitnesses). One theorist even claims to possess an "unaltered" version of the Zapruder film, which he says shows the driver shooting Kennedy.
  • One variation claims that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman... but that he was trying to kill Texas Governor John Connally (who was also in the car), not Kennedy. Allegedly, Oswald felt that Connally (then Secretary of the Navy) had been responsible for his undesirable discharge from the Marine Corps, a status that would hurt his employment prospects upon his return from Russia, and decided to assassinate him as revenge. This was the theory put forth by Oswald's widow Marina, though by the time she gave her testimony the Warren Commission had already come to most of its conclusions.
  • Kerry Thornley, one of the founders of Discordianism, served in the Marines with Oswald and had written a book about him before the assassination. In later years, he became convinced that he'd been brainwashed by the CIA to be a backup assassin if anything had gone wrong.
  • Another variation is Oswald wasn't one of the shooters at all, and was a convenient patsy that lived in the area that "they" had been keeping tabs on due to his communist sympathies and Marine background. These usually involve the CIA/government conspiracies, and ignore a lot of overwhelming evidence that put him in at the book depository and his route to and from it (though often explained as he was invited to meet with someone who was a CIA/what have you agent that was pretending to be someone else).
    • Oswald worked at the book depository. So no need to be invited.
  • A National Enquirer article has been released linking Rafael Cruz (father of Texas Senator and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz) with Lee Harvey Oswald based on a picture of Oswald with a man vaguely resembling a younger version of the elder Cruz at a meeting in New Orleans.
  • A comparatively tame theory is that Oswald was the gunman, and he was not a hapless fall guy for people much more powerful than he, but that he was a part of a small group of like-minded people who conspired to kill the President (much like the Lincoln assassination), the other members of which have never been identified.

As for the parts that aren't about who the assassin(s) were working for:

  • Another theory that is commonly floated around when discussing this issue concerns Jack Ruby, the man who killed Oswald in a Vigilante Execution. Apparently, he was also a member of the conspiracy, sent to silence Oswald before he could give up the names of those higher on the totem pole. And in turn, the conspiracy caused Ruby's death by cancer to keep him quiet, although this begs the question of why they didn't just kill Oswald with cancer to begin with.
  • Oswald's killing of police officer J. D. Tippit was instead done by the conspiracy. Reasons for this are varied, from angering the police to cause a Vigilante Execution before he divulged too much, to providing more proof that Oswald was a villain by painting him as cop-killer, or that Tippit was part of the assassination and was killed because he knew too much.
  • There are some people who claim that Kennedy survived. There are two versions of this story:
    • The man who was actually killed was a Body Double. The real Kennedy went into hiding to run things from behind the scenes.
    • Kennedy was in the car, and survived, but was left as a brain damaged vegetable/in a coma.
  • A common bit of "proof" is that people saw a puff of a smoke from the grassy knoll indicating a second gun. But in a example of Reality Is Unrealistic firearms from that time did not not produce any large amounts of visible smoke (Stone had to use a smoke machine to fake the effect for his film JFK). The grassy knoll or the area around it is sometimes even said to have had a shelter built into it to act as camouflage for the second shooter.
  • Dean Andrews, the lawyer hired to defend Lee Harvey Oswald before he was murdered, described a meeting with a "Clay Bertrand" who got him the job. Despite Andrew being a notorious fibber and later admitting the story was a lie, when Jim Garrison launched his investigation of the assassination, he latched onto the idea that the name was an alias of businessman Clay Shaw, pretty much entirely because of the first name and Shaw being homosexual. JFK takes the idea and runs with it.
  • A lot of Wild Mass Guessing revolves about the mysterious people seen in footage like the Zapruder Film, called the Babushka Lady and the Umbrella Man (called that for lack of better terms). The former because she may have footage of the shooting and the latter because he was the only person holding an umbrella on a sunny day and he opened it when the president's limousine approached. The popular guess for the umbrella seems to be that the umbrella was a signal to the shooter/s, another is that it fired some sort of paralytic dart. That the "Umbrella Man" later came forward, testified to the House Select Committee on Assassinations and explained the umbrella as an arcane political protestnote  is conveniently ignored.
  • In discussions and theories about the assassination, it is common to hear the phrase "magic bullet". This is a reference to the path of the bullet, which theorists believe the Warren Commission describes as a zig-zagging pattern. This is a misunderstanding of the positions of the victims (Connolly was sitting with his back to Kennedy's left rather then straight on). It's not uncommon to have more humorous takes on the assassination to say it was a literal magic bullet. On a related note is the idea that the second shooter used a frozen meat or ice bullet so that, after it was lodged in the body, it would melt and be impossible to distinguish from the rest of the body afterwards. The Series/Mythbusters have conclusively debunked both these ideas by repeatedly trying and failing to even create such bullets.
  • Some claim Kennedy made a speech where he stated "The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy America's freedom and before I leave this office, I must inform the citizens of their plight." at Columbia University, November 10-13note , 1963 (sometimes the claim was that it was written in a letter to someone at Columbia University). Given that it is supposed to have been given about ten days before the assassination, this seems to provide a reason for The Conspiracy to shut him up, though it doesn't say who did it. There is no current evidence that he actually said that.
  • The "suspicious deaths" list propagated by Penn Jones and Jim Marrs, claiming that dozens, or even hundreds of people connected with the assassination died "mysterious deaths" within a few years. Gerald Posner's Case Closed shows that most of those listed died of natural causes, many over a decade later, or were only vaguely related to the assassination (including Dallas policemen, media figures, Jack Ruby's lawyer, etc.).
  • One of the more comical theories suggests that Oswald was driven to kill the president as a result of an addiction to Coca-Cola as he was caught drinking one after the shooting. While not a commonly believed theory, there was apparently enough evidence for someone to write a book about it.
  • A book written in the '90s, Mortal Error, posited that Oswald fired on the motorcade, but that Kennedy was accidentally killed by a Secret Service agent trying to return fire. In this theory, the Secret Service perpetrated his cover-up out of embarrassment.
  • Closely related to the theories centering on the Mafia is the sudden death of Dorothy Kilgallen, a journalist best known for her longtime role as a panelist on the game-show What's My Line?, had begun investigating claims by Jack Ruby that he had been part of a larger conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy with ties to organized crime; leading to a number of articles by Kilgallen investigating the possibility of Mob involvement. However, Kilgallen was suddenly found dead on November 8, 1965 from what was ruled an apparent alcohol and barbituate overdose, though enough speculation about foul play has persisted (including a book released in late 2016 titled The Reporter Who Knew Too Much) that in January 2017, the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced plans to investigate Kilgallen's death.

    Law and Enforcement 
See also Tax Protestor Arguments
  • The Sovereign citizen movement and related Freemen on the land believe that there is a simple way to opt out of the local legal system (while they mostly focus on the American system it has been also used in countries like United Kingdom). It also holds that lawyers, judges and other elements of the legal system are conspiring to hide this from the general public. Unsurprisingly the arguements have no legal standing and have been laughed out of court time and time again. Elements of the movements includenote :
    • That the gold fringe on a courtroom flag means that the court is under maritime law or martial law or a different country all together (this is something the writers didn't make up). As proof of this they may invoke Executive Order 10834 (which say nothing about flag fringes), USC Title 4 Chapter 1 (nothing saying that a civilian court cannot have a gold fringe on their flag) or US Army Orders (840-10) (supposed to say that the fringe can only be used in military courtrooms but it doesn't). Bear in mind that none of this is constitutional in nature: under the Constitution, it does not matter whether the court has an American flag with a fringe, or an American flag without a fringe, or indeed any flag at all; the Constitution doesn't mention flags. Not once. Constitutionally, the court could even have a Canadian flag or a British flag or a Ghanaian flag or the flag of Tarissia (a country we made up five minutes ago)note  , and there would be nothing constitutionally wrong: the court would only be violating statutes and judicial regulations (admittedly, putting the flag of a foreign country could confuse the people in court, so that's likely to get the court in serious trouble on appeal). Moreover, the courts recognize something called "harmless error": that is, something was wrong with your proceeding, but it had no substantive effect on the outcome of your case. Whether or not the flag had a fringe is most definitely harmless error; even if it was forbidden for the flag to have a fringe (which it isn't), the result would be "You still lose, but we'll send a letter to the trial court telling them to replace the flag."
    Dale: I do not recognize the authority of a court that hangs the gold-fringed flag. A flag with gilded edges is the flag of an admirality court. An admirality court signifies a naval court-martial. I cannot be court-martialled twice. That is all! Furthermore... (bailiff gags him)
    • Using something something called truth language or correct language that is supposedly some secret language of the law. It includes syntax and grammar like each sentence beginning with a preposition like for, each sentance being thirteen words long and using more nouns then verbs because nouns have more legal authority and bucket loads of punctuation it Makes Just as Much Sense in Context. For examplenote :
  • Then there's the Lost 13th Amendment theory: the notion that the actual 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited any U.S. citizen from accepting any "title of nobility or honour", or from receiving "any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power".note  A citizen who accepted such titles would be stripped of citizenship. This amendment was never ratified by the necessary number of states, and so never became part of the Constitution; the theory claims that it was ratified, that it became part of the Constitution, and that then it was covered up — because (so says the theory) the suffix "Esquire", which attorneys in the United States traditionally append to their names, is (... so says the theory!) a "title of nobility". Therefore, under this amendment, lawyers cease to be U.S. citizens when they take the title of "Esquire" and therefore lawyers cannot hold public office in the United States.

    Why does this allegedly matter? Because (goes the theory) if lawyers can't hold public office, basically all laws and court decisions since the amendment have been invalidly made. So the Internal Revenue Code? Not law, because it was made at least in part by legislators who were lawyers. The judicial holdings governing how property should be divided in your state after a divorce? Not law, because the judges were lawyers (and in a state with appointed judges, because the governor doing the appointing and the state senate doing the confirming were probably mostly lawyers). And the judge deciding your case right now? Not really a judge, and not even a citizen.

    Of course, everything about this theory is utter nonsense, for a few reasons. First, there's no actual evidence the amendment passed. Second, even if the amendment were law, "Esquire" is not a "title of nobility or honor". It started off as a variant of "squire," which was a term for a "gentleman" with noble ancestry but who was not actually noble himself. By the early 19th century, English usage extended the title to certain officeholders and lawyers, whether or not they actually had any noble ancestry (most did, but some did not). Meanwhile , in early 19th-century America (when the amendment was proposed), American egalitarianism meant that any man could call himself a "gentleman" and could put "Esquire" after his name, and many did. It was seen as roughly equivalent to "Mister" (also formerly reserved to "gentlemen"), a general title of social respect for a man, but put after the name instead of before it. It's just that by the beginning of the 20th century, people started to see "Esquire" and other postnomial titles as a bit stuffy and stopped using them. The exception was the legal profession, which is in love with stuffiness and archaism, and so by some time in the 20th century, only lawyers actually called themselves "Esquire." Finally, to strip someone of citizenship under the terms of the amendment, the title had to be from "an emperor, king, prince or foreign power"; we doubt that American lawyers are getting their "Esquire" titles from the British monarch or the government of France.
  • Some people believe that the adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution created a second class of citizenship (literally) because the C in citizen is lower-cased and not upper-cased. And this second class has lesser rights, and the government needs to trick you into accepting it by getting you to sign paperwork. Therefore, these people won't get driver's licenses or anything "government" issued. Never mind that the real reason is that the rules for capitalization in 1787 (i.e. putting Them in the Oddest of Places) were different from the ones in the 1860s (i.e. the ones we have today, more or less).
    • This has a variation among some racist groups. White supremacists will sometimes use this theory to claim that non-whites hold a second class of "14th Amendment" citizenship, and that "true" citizenship, with all the unique and special rights that it entails, is exclusive to white people. Some black supremacist groups, meanwhile, have used it to claim that, since they don't hold "true" US citizenship, the US government holds no legal jurisdiction over them, and therefore, they constitute a separate nation.
  • Executive Directive 51 was a resolution passed in the wake of 9/11 that called for a radical restructuring of the US government should it in its present form be thrown into chaos by a hypothetical even-worse attack. There are some arguably valid concerns that a sufficiently megalomaniacal president could use ambiguous wording in the document to institute a military dictatorship, as well as more fringe theories that claim the president who signed it, George W. Bush, intended to do so himself (which, since he ended up leaving office after two terms like any normal president, seems rather unlikely now). This document's name comes up in a lot of theories about False Flag Operations; that is, said sufficiently megalomaniacal president would make such a disaster happen in order to seize power.
  • The Franklin child prostitution ring allegations; a series of high-profile accusations and legal actions surrounding an alleged child sex ring serving prominent citizens of Omaha, Nebraska, as well as high-level U.S. politicians. The scandal centered around the actions of Lawrence E. King, a prominent member of the Republican Party and former official at the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union in Omaha. King was eventually arrested and convicted of embezzlement charges. Nebraska state legislature convened a special committee to look into the allegations. After hearing many hours of testimony, the county grand jury threw out all of the allegations concerning sexual child abuse, labeling the charges a "carefully crafted hoax [...] scripted by a person or persons with considerable knowledge of the people and institutions of Omaha," but without identifying who perpetrated the hoax. Members of the special Nebraska legislative committee assigned to investigate the allegations would eventually criticize the grand jury findings. To wit:
    To assume that the 'hoax' was crafted assumed the existence of a craftsman. Who was it? To state that it was 'carefully crafted' assumes someone with intelligence and enough knowledge of accurate facts to make the 'hoax' credible.... We can find no clear evidence which conclusively establishes what was the truth and what was a "hoax".
  • Due to some bizarre leap of logic, police officials on the West Coast of the United States and even the Attorney General of New Mexico came to the conclusion that Pedobear was some kind of a rallying mascot for pedophiles. Officers were told to look out for Pedobear symbols or paraphernalia as the mark of pedophile activity and distributed flyers warning parents of the "menace". The internet had a field day.
  • The Department of Justice supposedly sent agents to forment unrest and organise the protests about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case.
    • There are a lot of conspiracies that the case has been deliberately hyped up to inflame racial tensions such as the supposed use of a photo of a much younger Trayvon compared to a modern "thugish" photo (not actually him but why quibble with the facts and reality) or that Travyon's father was a Freemason (and therefore must set his son up to be killed somehow even if it were true) or even that Trayvon doesn't exist (yes, there are really people pushing that).
      • What doesn't help is NBC editing the 911 call to provide a Smoking Gun on the issue of racism in the shooting.
  • The rape charge brought against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is believed by a number of supporters of the website to be a frame-up or at least a baseless accusation on the part of The Man in an attempt to silence his activism.
  • The "Perpetual Prisoner Machine" theory states that there is a conspiracy amongst politicians and businesses with stakes in the privatized prison system to keep as many people in jail as possible. The theory is a favorite of some libertarian activists, who allege that the illegalization of prostitution and especially drugs are the tools They use to accomplish this, with some even going as far as insinuating that the reason these laws were made in the first place was because their imposition would result in a massive black market for the drug and sex trades - thus, all the more people to arrest. Some aspects of this theory are at least somewhat believable, and while nothing has been proven on a national or international level, localized incidents have been reported, most famously the "Kids for Cash scandal," wherein a Pennsylvania juvenile hall was found to have bribed two prominent judges to impose unfair sentences on juvenile offenders, thus keeping the beds in the center full at all times. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Cold Case both did episodes based on this concept. That being said, the circumstances of the Kids-for-Cash scandal show why a large organized conspiracy is unlikely at best: The two judges involved were the only two handling juvenile cases in their county (Luzerne County, centered on Wilkes-Barre, west of Scranton), the juvenile hall was the only one in the area, and the bulk of the bribes were in the form of campaign contributions (Pennsylvania judges are elected). This scheme would likely not have worked in a more densely populated area (as there would be more judges and more juvenile halls, making coordination harder) or in a jurisdiction with appointed judges (who do not need to maintain a campaign war chest). (Pennsylvania has become notorious since at least the early 2000s for judicial corruption and incompetence, up to the highest levels, for reasons that often tie into campaign funding.)
  • Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia African-American activist who was convicted in the murder of a white police officer in 1981, is often alleged to have been framed or at least made a scapegoat due to his race and political views; even today, "Free Mumia Abu-Jamal" protests are a not uncommon sight around Philadelphia government buildings, generally to the bewilderment of everyone under the age of 40.
  • Senator Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. Somehow, some people genuinely believe this, despite him not having been born when the first murders took place. The fact that the whole idea started as a Tumblr in-joke doesn't seem to dissuade them.
    • There's actually far more compelling "evidence" that Bernie Sanders is the true culprit. For one thing, he was in his late twenties during the time of the murders, though he is known to have been on the opposite side of the country from them.

  • The Strawman News Media in all of its various forms. The way that the news focuses on some things at the expense of others, mis-reports other things, and otherwise skews the truth is often cited as proof that it either has a political bias, is in the pocket of the government or big business, or is being manipulated by a more insidious conspiracy.
  • The alleged use of Subliminal Advertising to sell products. In 1957, a market researcher named James Vicary (who later coined the term "subliminal advertising") performed an experiment at a movie theater in New Jersey. The words "Drink Coca-Cola" and "Hungry? Eat popcorn" would be flashed on the screen for 1/3000 of a second at five second intervals. Vicary alleged that sales of Coca-Cola and popcorn increased at that theater by 57.8% and 18.1%, respectively. Although the results have never been replicated, and Vicary himself later admitted to faking his results, conspiracy theories pertaining to subliminal messages persist to this day, and have inspired countless writers and filmmakers.
    • One form of subliminal message used in music is "backmasking," or recording a sound or message backwards so that it is audible only when played backwards. Many bands, most notably The Beatles and Pink Floyd, used backmasking for effect and as a way of putting easter eggs into their musicnote , and it is also used by radio stations as a crude way of censoring explicit lyrics. Conspiracy theories surrounding backmasking are often religious in nature, the idea being that rock bands and other popular musicians are using it to, among other things, encourage devil worship, sex, drug use, and suicide. Much of the religious angle was started by rumors that there was a backmasked homage to Satan in Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". Psychologists have pointed out that listeners can't understand words heard backward, let alone be subliminally influenced by them, and Rob Halford has pointed out how bad a business model it is to brainwash your fans into killing themselves. This theory was at its height in The '80s, as a part of the general hysteria over Satanic ritual abuse.
      • Rather more-plausible theories contend that backmasking was a record-company scam, intended to trick fans into ruining their records so they'd have to buy replacements.
      • Evilness through backmasking is still present in a few urban myths. One of the alleged ways to get the "Tails Doll Curse" (of Sonic R fame) is by standing in a bathroom with a mirror while playing a backmasked version "Can You Feel The Sunshine" or "Living In The City". In an added twist of hilarity most that do not know about this urban myth think that these people are listening to funny Arabian music.
  • A YouTube series called The Industry Exposed (or simply The Industry) alleges that the music industry is controlled by occult/Satanic groups, including the Freemasons, and that they put subliminal messages and esoteric imagery into songs and music videos in order to seduce young people to The Dark Side.
  • It has been claimed that the X-Files spinoff The Lone Gunmen predicted not only the 9/11 attacks, but the alleged Government Conspiracy behind them, and that this is why it was canceled. This one actually starts out from an almost-truth—the pilot episode did depict a hijacked airliner almost being rammed into the World Trade Center in order to start a war—before veering off into Insanityland.
  • Conversely some people believe that secret messages about upcoming disasters are deliberately hidden in media sometimes called "predictive programming". Some of it (specifically things that show disasters) is supposedly to get the viewing public used to the idea for when it happens to make it more believable to them. For example the words Sandy Hooknote  and Auroranote  in the The Dark Knight Rises.
    • Or that Neo's Thomas A. Anderson passport expires on 9/11/01.
    • Alex Jones believes that the Knowing film predicted the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
    • In the opening levels of Deus Ex, set in NYC, the WTC towers cannot be seen in the distance due to an engine limitationnote . The in-game explanation? Terrorists. Also the fact that one of the main plots portrays a government orchestrating terrorists acts to get pretense for freedoms-curbing legislation doesn't help either. Since the game is a Conspiracy Kitchen Sink, conspiracy nuts take it as "proof" that any other conspiracies presented in the game are true like the evil FEMA or artificial diseases (the Gray Death).
    • Even the card game Illuminati gets this.
    • In the Family Guy episode "Turban Cowboy" features one scene where Peter drunkenly runs over runners of the Boston Marathon, and another where Peter unknowingly sets off a bomb when he attempts to use a cell phone; the episode aired just a month before the April 2013 bombing at the real Boston Marathon. That FOX responded by pulling the episode from pretty much everywhere it could legally be viewed from in the US was already basically inevitable. Then someone else edited the clips together to make it look like Peter bombed the marathon "predicting" the attack.
  • Some UFO chasers believe that films (like Close Encounters or ET) and other media featuring friendly aliens are secretly meant to acclimate the public with extraterrestrials to ensure they will be welcomed enthusiastically when the government reveals their existence or they invade.
  • There's a prevailing theory that Top 10 music video countdown shows with viewer participation, like MTV's TRL and BET's 106 & Park, are rigged by the record companies (or the network themselves) in order to promote their music, or the music the network is more comfortable playing. Rumors surrounding the latter started when a song by Beyonce from the Goldmember soundtrack reached the Top 10 within a day of its debut, then disappeared after the film had run its course — which was no longer than a week.
    • This has been confirmed to a certain extent by Tom Green, who revealed in his biography how MTV had pressured him to retire his "Bum Song" from TRL before a week of pre-taped episodes, in order to maintain the fiction that it was still a live request show.
    • Another example: Bone Thugs-n-Harmony debuted a song on 106 & Park that never broke through despite fans organizing a small army of internet posters to vote. Ironically, that group of fans had no problem getting the vid onto TRL.
    • This theory may have been inspired by various payola scandals that occurred over the years, in which record companies were caught paying radio stations and DJs extra money to play their songs. It was naturally assumed that the record companies were continuing this practice into the music video era.
  • In a much more specific example, it is still believed by many people that the British singles chart for 11th June 1977 was deliberately rigged to prevent the Sex Pistols' anti-royalist "God Save the Queen" from reaching Number One during the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebration week. Supposedly, the BPI issued a one-week-only Obvious Rule Patch declaring that sales in shops owned by record labels would not count for the chart ("God Save the Queen" had been banned by several record and department store chains on taste grounds, and a disproportionate number of sales were from Virgin Megastores, at the time owned by the group's Virgin label). The unofficial but widely-respected chart produced by the New Musical Express magazine, which used a different methodology which was claimed to better represent sales in independent stores, did declare "God Save the Queen" to be Number One.
  • It has been claimed that hip-hop and rap are intentionally being watered down by the Powers That Be and the rap labels for varying reasons, most commonly mass appeal and profit. This belief is mostly borne out of the fact that it's much easier to get airplay for ringtone jams and club anthems about champagne-sipping pimps and players, than it is to get it for rap songs that criticize the establishment for whatever reason (see the BET entry in the Network Decay article). Another explanation is that racism is a factor, and that the watering down is taking place in order to dumb down black people, who are stereotypically the largest audience for rap music. The death of Political Rap and Conscious Hip Hop, which BET and many rap stations outright refuse to play, has been blamed on this conspiracy.
    • There was a "blacklist" of certain rap artists circulating on the web that was allegedly given to radio and video programmers after 9/11, telling them to keep these artists off the air. But there was also a similar but unrelated list for BET programmers circa mid 2000's. Most on the latter list was comprised of old school rappers, hardcore/gangsta rappers, and alternative rappers.
    • The biggest problem with this list is that the reasoning of the network programmers seemes to be that they deemed said artists to either be "irrelevant" or "too intelligent" for their audience.
    • Handwaving of course that there are a few artists practicing Political Rap active in 2015 Belgium that got media attention on the public radio.
    • Related to this, there is the idea of the "Industry Plant", or an artist who claims to be independent that is actually backed by major record labels (basically musical Astro Turfing). Chance The Rapper is most commonly accused of being an industry plant, although any rapper who comes out of nowhere with a hit can be hit with this.
  • As noted in the Fan Dumb page, fans involved in Misaimed Fandoms or Periphery Demographics often think that creators who ignore them hate them personally.
  • Voting on the singing competition American Idol is allegedly being rigged by 19 Entertainment in order to favor contestants that it considers to be more marketable or less controversial. Not helping matters is the fact that the FOX network has consistently refused to detail exactly how the votes are counted. One of the most commonly cited instances by those who believe this to be happening came during the season 8 finale, when AT&T (one of AI's sponsors) provided free cell phones, texting services and, allegedly, lessons in "power-texting" (sending ten or more votes at once) to people at the AI finale parties held in Jacksonville, Arkansas, the hometown of season 8 finalist Kris Allen. This may have been enough to cost Allen's rival, Adam Lambert, the victory. Supposedly the motivation was homophobia or fear of losing sales because of the public being homophobic, Lambert being very much gay. The Real Life rigging of game shows in The '50s makes this one plausible.
    • In general, reality-based contests have been accused of this, given public contempt over the nature of those shows in recent years, emphasizing drama, popularity and theatrics over genuine competition, as well as the lack of transparency over how contest results were tabulated. For example, some eyebrows were raised when Pinoy Big Brother contestant and later comedienne Melissa 'Melai' Cantiveros emerged as the winner in the 2009-2010 season "Double Up", specifically when the partial poll results for the final four contestants were revealed ahead of the Big Night, Melai trailing at a distant third place. As ABS-CBN viewed Melai as a marketable actress no thanks to her on-screen antics and appeal to the masses owing to her low-income background, some fans and critics contend that the pre-emptive reveal was done deliberately to ensure that Melai would take first place and drum up hype for her as the next star comedienne. If anything, the series spinoff Melason In Love does lend credence to this due to Melai and Jason Francisco's popularity. Fellow Big Brother alumni Paul Jake Castillo defended Melai, asserting that Cantiveros deserved to win, and the show's management dismissed any such conspiracies as just that.
  • In what seems to be something of a hybrid of the "Writers hate me personally" theory mentioned above and the New Coke theory listed below in 'Other,' there is belief by a Vocal Minority of X-Men fans in a conspiracy among the higher-ups at Marvel Comics to intentionally sink the sales of the X-Men titles, allegedly through a combination of phasing out the more interesting characters, making the characters look bad in high-profile storylines, and deliberately sending their worst writers and artists to the X-Men books in hope fans will lose interest (the infamous Matt Fraction/Greg Land run is often cited as evidence of this, as is taking Fraction's much better-received successor Kieron Gillen off the book after slightly more than a year). Their (alleged) motive? Essentially the fact that they got screwed in the X-Men film deal with Fox (Marvel takes only about 10% of the profits from the films), which they made while they were in bankruptcy and needed any money they could get, and they want to focus on marketing The Avengers characters, whose films are produced in-house. While the theory that Marvel favors the Avengers books for this reason is arguably valid, the evidence cited for a malicious conspiracy against the X-Men seems to boil down to a single anecdote related by Rob Liefeld from the time he left Marvel; he pitched a big X-Men story, and the bosses (allegedly) killed it so as not to give Fox free publicity. What the theorists claim will be the ultimate endpoint of this conspiracy varies, the most common version seemingly being that Marvel will quietly cancel all the X-Men titles and fold the characters into the Avengers. Which, of course, ignores the fact that Fox owns the rights to the characters, not just the team name, and thus they'd arguably come out ahead in this situation since they'd then be the only ones producing X-Men media. (Alternately, make it more profitable for Fox to sell the rights back to Marvel, who'd then make their own X-Men movies.)
  • The accusations leveled at the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill debated before the United States Congress in early 2012, probably belong here. While the bill's stated purpose was to stop copyright infringement, the extremely radical provisions it would allow for doing so - essentially, it would have given the FBI a carte blanche to shut down any website even accused of infringement by a copyright-holder, with no compensation made to the site's owner if the accuation was found to be false - led many, many people to believe the bill was essentially a shill for big media companies in order to allow them to effectively censor any site they didn't like. Some even believed it could be used to silence political dissent via targeting social networking sites, which had proved instrumental in the success of the massive protests of the preceding year such as the Arab Spring and 99% Movement. Among conspiracy theories this one is fairly unique in that the "alternative" theories about the bill were if anything the majority opinion, and following a truly massive outcry that included such large and powerful websites as Google and Wikipedia (not to mention This Very Wiki), the bill was consigned to oblivion.
    • It helped that the bulk of the objections were not necessarily 'this is all a plot from the beginning!' but instead 'this is badly written and contains far too much potential for abuse and too few checks and balances', which is a complaint more grounded in reality and thus easier for the non-fringe to accept.
  • Some vinyl fans believe that the music industry foisted CDs upon the public to drum up sagging music sales. Some even believe that the industry deliberately released poor-sounding CDs in order to create a market for "remastered" discs. In truth, CDs are capable of higher quality from a technical perspective, but are far more likely to be brickwalled than the vinyl edition of a given album, for reasons better explained in the Loudness War article.
  • Nintendo deliberately created a bad 2D-platformer for the Nintendo 64 as a sequel to a very good and beloved platformer with the intent to kill any attempts at a 2D-platformer on the console because the game would have left such a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Why Nintendo needed a game to kill the genre of 2D-platformers when they could simply refuse 2D-platformers to come out on their console is never explained.
  • There are persistent rumors that television producer Dan Schneider, creator of Nickelodeon's block of teen sitcoms (such as Drake & Josh and iCarly''), is in actuality a predatory ephebophile who forces young actresses to sleep with him to get roles, and that this is being covered up by the network. This is likely due to the fact the show runner is a man overseeing predominately teen female sitcoms. So naturally it raises eyebrows, especially after the Harvey Weinstein scandal created paranoia, Along with the #MeToo movement, mixed in with stereotypes, and fear of men in power.

    New World Order (NWO)/Secret Societies 
  • The New World Order (NWO) theorynote  posits the existence of a shadowy group of businessmen, politicians, and other elites who are secretly plotting to Take Over the World in order to advance their own interests at the expense of everyone else. The theory was created by the John Birch Society, a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic organization, in The '70s, and remained largely obscure until Bush Senior used the phrase "new world order" in a poorly-timed New Era Speech following The Great Politics Mess-Up (you can see how the words were used in context here), causing nearly every Conspiracy Theorist on the planet to latch onto it as a catch-all term for Them. Most broad-reaching conspiracy theories will typically link back to or reference the NWO, to the point where it's less a conspiracy theory than it is a framework into which nearly any conspiracy theory or secret cabal can be shoehorned in. Variants include...
    • The Depopulation Theory: The NWO plans to round up and kill a sizable portion of the human race for one reason or another.
      • Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura posited that a smaller human population would be easier for the NWO to control.
    • The construction of massive concentration camps for the detention of dissidents. May be inspired by the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
    • Especially funny are plans to kill American children by using poisonous vaccines for purpose of reducing world population while, at the same time, promoting child births with tax exemptions and bonuses.
    • The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, known by its initials HAARP, was constructed as a research facility to study the ionosphere, but has since been the butt of conspiracy theorists accusing the facility of being a either a weather-based superweapon or a mind-control device. For every major natural disaster such as a typhoon, tsunami or earthquake, it is to be expected that a nutter would put the blame on HAARP; while it does use a high-power radio transmitter amongst other things, it is nowhere near as capable as conspiracists accuse it to be, as a lightning flash is far more powerful than HAARP at full blast.
      • The death of Paul Walker was also the subject of a related conspiracy theory, alleging him of ratting out and exposing a supposed depopulation plot against the Philippines in the form of a HAARP-enduced supertyphoon, i.e. Haiyan, known in the country as Typhoon Yolanda.
  • The NAU Theory: A dastardly cabal will cause the formation of a "North American Union" which will merge Canada, the US, and Mexico, which will abandon their existing currencies in favor of something called the "Amero" (presumably similar to the Euro). The first step for this is the building of a "NAFTA Superhighway" which is a giant highway that connects the three countries despite already being connected by the I-5/I-15 and I-29/I-35 interstates. Why are they planning this? What's so nerfarious about this in the first place? Who knows, it's an Evil Plan.
    • This has reached the level thatnote  13 states have passed anti-NAU and related resolutions, and seven are considering them.
  • Skull and Bones, the secret society at Yale University that has given rise to a large number of political and business leaders. In 2004, Alex Jones got a lot of mileage out of exploiting the fact that both George W. Bush and John Kerry were connected to them.
  • Bohemian Grove, a men's club in northern California that counts many influential political and business leaders among its ranks. Sometimes alleged to be a front for the NWO. In 2000, Alex Jones garnered lots of attention by sneaking into the Grove and filming their fraternity-esque Cremation of Care ritual, which he alleged to be a pagan sacrifice.
  • The Bavarian Illuminati was a short-lived secret society that was formed in 1776 and was devoted to freethought and the ideals of the Enlightenment, claiming over 2000 members across Europe. They fell apart in the mid-1780s, after Bavaria, where they were based, outlawed all secret societies. However, this hasn't stopped people from claiming that they somehow managed to not only survive, but complete their alleged goal of world domination. Like the NWO above, they are less a conspiracy theory in themselves and more a framework into which any conspiracy theory can be shoehorned, although if you ask ten conspiracy theorists how the one framework fits into the other, you'll get eleven different answers.
    • Well, Freethought and Enlightenment ideals are fairly mainstream in the western world now...
    • Adam Weishaupt who founded the Bavarian Illuminati (though don't expect the man to be acknowledged unless the author shows their work) was a Freemason so the two are often linked regardless of the how close the Illuminati conspiracy is supposed to resemble the orginial Bavarians or if the original link is ever acknowledged. Oddly enough it is usually the freemasons being controlled by the Illuminati, perhaps because of how public the Freemasons are.
    • Amongst the evangelical Christians the Illuminati are thought to be the highest level of Satanism due to the writings of people like Mike Warnke and John Todd who also started most of the "Satanic ritual abuse" nonsense (see Religion and Apocalyptica).
    • If you go to to it redirects to the NSA website dun dun DAHHHHHHH!.note 
    • The Eye of Providence (also known as the All Seeing Eye) is a symbol used in a variety of places that is said to trace its origin back to Egyptian Mythology. It is either a pyramid with an eye in the peak or a triangle with an eye taking up most of the surface. Its use by the Freemasons and appearence on the Great Seal of the United States amongst other things (the Information Awareness Office might win for the creepiest looking use) has had many a conspiracy theorist claim that it is conspiracy placement by the secret organization taking over the world, usually the Illuminati. As a result anything that depicts an eyeball or triangle/pyramid is deemed to be some sort of evil conspiracy work regardless of the depiction's prominence, time shown or even if it could actually been intentional. Never mind that the Eye of Providence was a common symbol in the 18th century and wasn't used by the Illuminati or the Freemasons until after the American Great Seal was adopted.
    • The conspiracy version of the Illuminati has its roots in eighteenth-century conspiracy theories about The French Revolution. Since the Illuminati had been dissolved shortly before the revolution and the revolutionaries had espoused the same Enlightenment ideals, it's easy to see the connection. Soon, the era's conspiracy theorists became convinced that the Illuminati had survived and was secretly plotting to do to the rest of Europe's monarchies what it had supposedly done to the French one. This idea, after two hundred years of mutation, became the modern Illuminati conspiracy theory.
  • The Freemasons. This one is actually semi-understandable, since people are inevitably going to get suspicious and launch into all sorts of Wild MassGuessing if you're as secretive as the Freemasons are. Fears regarding their influence over America (many of America's Founding Fathers, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Andrew Jackson, were Masons) were strong enough to lead to the creation of the Anti-Masonic Party in the early 19th century, which managed to get nearly eight percent of the vote at its peak. Today, they are sometimes alleged to be a part of the aforementioned NWO or Illuminati. This group was an important element in Dan Brown's novel The Lost Symbol, where he played with the idea.
    • In Imperial Russia, the Freemasons were widely associated with pretty much all the views and creeds coming from the West that the ruling elite despised: Republicanism, Napoleonism, Anglophilia, Catholicismnote , atheismnote , you name it. The image of the Evil Scheming Freemasons has made a bit of a comeback in recent years, giving the ultra-nationalists not only a convenient explanation as to why Russia's history for most of the 20th century sucked so badly, but another convenient excuse to keep hating Americans long after the end of the Cold War — "their country was founded by a bunch of Freemasons, that obviously proves that they have meant to screw us over all along!"
    • In the Catholic countries, the Freemasons are supposed to be the shadowy cabal dedicated to the destruction of the Catholic Church, bringing forth Communism, and/or various nefarious kinds of social engineering. It is, again, true that Catholics are today forbidden from becoming Masons, but this is more because the Masons were—openly—associated with freethought, deism, and anticlericalism in the 18th and 19th centuries; the penalty of automatic excommunication for a Catholic who joins the Masons only goes back to the 1910 Code of Canon Law. Basically, yes, the Masons don't like the Church, but then they originally didn't much like any organized religion, either.
    • It doesn't help that freemasonry claims a lot of its elements are descended from The Knights Templar so that any conspiracy that applies to the templars can be applied to the Freemasons.
    • The first National Treasure movie portrays the Freemasons as a Benevolent Conspiracy which founded the United States and hid (for noble reasons, of course) the treasure which the protagonists are searching for.
  • The Knights Templar. You just can't have a conspiracy theory without 'em.
  • The Council on Foreign Relationsnote , the Trilateral Commissionnote , and the Bilderberg Groupnote , three policy institutes dedicated to promote greater global cooperation, are all alleged to be fronts for the NWO, and are often mentioned in the same breath. In 2006, Alex Jones led a protest of a Bilderberg meeting in Ottawa.
  • You can expect to hear the term "Military-Industrial Complex" a lot with these sort of theories. The phrase came from President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address and was a warning about the increasing closeness between the military, defense contractors, and the Congressional committees that controlled defense spending. Conspiracy theorists took the phrase and ran with it claiming that just about every war was started as an excuse to sell weapons and other miltary equipment.
  • The European Union is thought of by some European conspiracy theorists to be up to no good, like a trans-Atlantic version of the North American Union. Exactly what it's doing is up for debate — from a non-lunatic perspective, it doesn't really seem to be doing anything, above board or below.
    • Overlapping with "Religion and Apocalyptica" below, the EU is regarded by some as the "new Roman Empire" described in the book of Revelation, despite being based in Belgium.
    • Once in a while, the EU issues market or anti-discriminatory regulations, which the theorists (mostly the right-wing ones) tend to take as social engineering projects meant to be the preparation for the European branch of NWO. Mix with Freemasons, Illuminati, Satanists, or all at once for flavour.
  • Also overlapping, part of the Rapture theory is that either in the days before or days following the Rapture, a One World Government will form under the leadership of the Antichrist. The EU, UN, and pretty much every other international government are simply the buildup.
  • Since the United Nations is the closest thing we have to a One World Order many a theory has included the UN as a integral step to Take Over the World. Though most fictional conspiratorial works tend to overstate how powerful the organization is in Real Lifenote .
    • Conspiracists often make a great deal that the land for the United Nations building was donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr (see Famous People) and that the land was previously used as a animal slaughterhouse as if the animals killed there magically affect the organization.
    • Agenda 21, a non-binding United Nations plan for sustainable development written in 1992, is often claimed (particularly on the right wing of American politics) to be a blueprint for imposing socialism, radical environmentalism and, in some versions, population reduction onto the world.
    • Some believe that the UN Arms Trade Treaty is an attempt to circumnavigate the second amendment and disarm Americans. Only four member nations haven't signed it - the USA, Syria, Iran, and North Korea.
    • The John Birch Society was very adamant that the UN was trying to take over America.
      • If you want a good metric of just how expansive this level of paranoia goes - in 2012, the US Senate failed to reach a 2/3 vote to ratify a Disabilites Rights treaty (38 against, 61 for). While one rationale for voting "No" was arguably soundnote , most of the No votes came from Senators who thought it was a step toward relinquishing US sovereignty. The kicker? The Treaty was modeled in large part on the Americans with Disabilities Act, legislation enacted within the United States.
  • In Turkey there's the deep state, alleged to be an alliance of anti-democratic groups, particularly in the intelligence agencies and military, working behind the scenes for some nefarious goal. What this nefarious goal is, on the other hand, isn't clear, but the group is considered to be highly Kemalist/Nationalist, and has been alleged to stand behind things like assassinations of Kurdish activists.
    • This terminology is also used in other Middle Eastern countries, particularly the authoritarian republics of the Arab world, by analogy with the Turkish. It generally refers to an alleged group of high-ranking officials in the military-police-intelligence complex, and are generally identified with authoritarian secular nationalism. The goal is generally less nefarious, however: since these countries are/were run by the military-police-intelligence complex, the "deep state" is simply trying to stay in control of the "surface state". An excellent example here is Egypt: the Egyptian "deep state" is supposedly the senior officers of the military and Interior Ministry (police), who supposedly directed the affairs of the old regime (i.e. they told Mubarak and his ministries what to do). When The Arab Spring hit Egypt, the story goes that they tried to maintain control by surfacing and having the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces take power, and when President Morsi tried to assert their authority, they made a bargain with him—thus the situation where the Brotherhood and military work together to put down persistent liberal and leftist protests.
    • The United States allegedly has its own deep state, described as a "hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process". While it's mostly been limited to some writers and journalists, even a few prominent figures, such as Rand Paul, Edward Snowdon and even Donald Trump have promoted their suposed existence, though for different (usually politically expedient)reasons
  • Ted Turner's name tends to come up in this sort of theory, both because he is very wealthy and powerful and because he is an advocate for radical population control, having expressed more than once that he feels the ideal world population to be less than ten percent of what it is now. Most people feel he is simply referring to extensive birth control use spanning many centuries (which if true would make him look hypocritical as he himself has 5 children), but there are holdouts who claim he is in fact advocating, and possibly even actively planning, the greatest and most terrible Final Solution the world has ever seen. At least one conspiracy blog considers him the most likely suspect for the identity of R.C. Christian (see History, Monuments and Ancient Civilizations).
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA has been considered the main part of [insert nebulous boogeyman here]'s Evil Plan ever since the 80s. The Southern Poverty Law Center traces it as far back as a 1982 issue of "Posse Comitatus" newsletter; as part of its extreme-right and anti-Semitic content it warned that “hardcore Patriots” would be imprisoned in FEMA detention camps. In turn, this conspiracy has been depicted in media such as the Deus Ex games and the X-Files film. The main claim is that FEMA will over-throw the legitimate goverment with broad powers given by old emergency excutive orders note  and acts to enforce a Police State even though several of those have been superseded by other measures such as Executive Order 12656, but since it has stated safeguards to protect the rights of American citizens it is generally ignored by conspiracy theorists.

    Another part of the theory is the secret establishment of FEMA camps which would serve as re-education centres/slave-labor centres/Nazi-esque concentration camps for the detention and execution of some-combination (depending on who's telling the tale) of political dissidents, "genetic undesirables" (ie. minorities and the mentally-disabled), gun-owners (they are the only ones who can resist), Christians (particually of the Jack Chick type), poor people, white people, intellectuals, right-wingers, left wingers, homosexuals and any other group you can think of once the NWO takes power.
    Kurtzweil: According to the newspaper, FEMA was called out to manage an outbreak of the Hanta virus. Are you familiar with what the Federal Emergency Management Agency's real power is? FEMA allows the White House to suspend constitutional government upon declaration of a national emergency. Think about that. What's an agency with such broad, sweeping power doing managing a small viral outbreak in suburban Texas?
    Kurtzweil: I think you know. The timetable has been set. It will happen on a holiday, when people are away from their homes. The president will declare a state of emergency, at which time all government, all federal agencies, will come under the power of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA, the secret government.
    • This may be inspired by the theoretical Rex 84 and the internment of Americans of Japanese, German and Italian descent during the world wars. Inspiration taken from further aboard includes the use of Gulags and concentration camps by other more authoritative governments.
    • Any list of places that are supposed to be FEMA camps is extensive to say the least, mainly because of the very little "evidence" needed to "prove" that it is a camp. Basically all that's needed is a fence around the site with some basic security measures such as concertina wire and a security camera or two. Also suspicious are empty buildings (to house prisoners), access to the rail network (invoking images of the box cars used to transport the Jews and others during the Holocaust - naturally this has led to a few sites really being train service yards), chimney stacks/pipes (for supposed gas chambers and crematoriums) and any sort of military activity ('cause Armies Are Evil and therefore will immediately turn on their neighbors, friends and family at the drop of a hat). On top of that existing prisons, military bases and old internment camps are supposed to be converted into FEMA camps. It doesn't end even at the border with sites in Canada and Cuba being included (presumably after the countries merge into the North American Union mentioned above).
      • Or just make stuff up - at least one place was a relabelled North Korean gulag.
      • Don't forget the images of "FEMA trains" that pop up that are supposed to transport prisoners around (actually auto-max train cars that are used to transport automobiles).
    • Mount Weather which serves as FEMA headquarters and a bunker (most of the congressional leadership was evacuated there after 9/11) is often stated to be the location where the new evil goverment will be based. Mount Weather actually is one of the emergency backup sites that the US government is intended to use in case of national disaster; the conspiracy theory element is, of course, the claim that the government intends to cause the disaster and give themselves an excuse.
    • A common claim is that United Nations peacekeeping soldiers would move in and round up people for the camps/eliminate the resistance, presumably as a way of explaining where the manpower to undergo this massive undertaking would come from. This is usually followed by claims that they are amassing at the borders and nearby countries, ready to invade... any day now.
      • During The '90s it was claimed that the Crips and the Bloods were being trained and armed to instigate the round-up and enforce the new goverment.
      • A recent one is that the creation of the FEMA Corps organization is some sort of modern American Hitler youth. The truth is somewhat more banal.
    • Alex Jones got a lot of mileage out of a photograph depicting a large amount of plastic containers, which he alleged to be coffins for the victims of the mass killings. You have to wonder why they would half-respect funerary rites when performing mass murder, instead of using mass graves and cremation like the Nazis did (especially with the possibility of disease from handling huge numbers of corpses - doubly so since Alex thinks that an Synthetic Plague will be used) and having thousands of individually separated corpses makes it hard to hide the crimes (kind of hard to get the general population to co-operate when they know you're killing them anyway), maybe they are humanitarian lunch boxes.
    • More recent claims hold that the executive orders (see above) that FEMA is supposed to use were signed by Barack Obama, rather incorrectly.
    • Even FEMA doing its job and preparing for emergencies gets claims that it's up to no good.
    • A theory circulated in chain emails and the like states that FEMA has been marking houses with colored stickers, the different colors of which correspond to the planned fates of the inhabitants of the house upon the Day of the Jackboot: Red, executed immediately; Blue, sent to the camps for "re-education;" Pink, placed under house arrest; and Yellow, deemed enough of a sheeple to keep on with their normal lives.
  • There are claims that Denver International Airport was intentionally designed in the shape of a swastika, that its decorative murals are somehow full of Nazi symbolism, alien languages (actually Navajo and the artists' names) and so on. It's usually supposed to mean it's some sort of future NWO headquarters using the extensive tunnels below the airport (actually, a underground train transport system and a automated baggage system that was Dummied Out and now used for more conventional baggage handling).
  • One variation on the implementation of the NWO posits that They are plotting to get humanity completely dependent upon technology, especially electronic storage of money. Why? Because, apparently, They have some sort of universal kill-switch for all electricity on the planet, which They'll flip to, in one fell swoop, regress society to the Dark Ages and leave it completely dependent on Them. A more localized version of this is the plot of the film GoldenEye, where the Big Bad plans to hack into the Bank of England to transfer its entire coffers into his account, then offline all Britain's power with his titular orbital weapon, effectively destroying the country and leaving himself with, in his own words, "More money than God."
  • In the lead up to the 2012 London Olympic Games some conspiracy theorists predicted that there would be a fake Alien Invasion (the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics closing ceremony was a dry run), which the Powers That Be would lead a coup and take over Briton. Their "proof" - the mascots look kinda like aliens, the logo kinda looks like it could spell Zion (to add that anti-semitic touch, though most people saw it as a Simpsons' sex act), biblical-sounding street names, some numerology and other less then convincing things. Hey, they can't all be winners.
  • "Brotherhood of the Snake" is supposed to an ancient secret society that does... something, the theorists can't agree on exactly what.
  • A common element of NWO legends are Black Helicopters, which are fleets of unmarked helicopters painted completely black that the conspiracy is going to use for its nefarious plans. The helicopters are often described as having the ability to fly completely silently. Other features include firing lasers or being unmanned drones.
    • Among more alien-minded theorists the black helicopters are reputed to hang around UFO sightings, cattle mutilations, Crop Circles and can act as a transport for The Men in Black. This can include claims that they are alien spaceships in disguise to explain the crafts' mysterious abilities.
    • Interestingly, the US Navy SEALs who took out Osama bin Laden apparently operated helicopters that, while not exactly black, were designed with stealth capability, the tail section of one being shown ad nauseam on international news when the chopper crashed and the SEALs had to blow the rest of it up to keep it secret. The helicopter was apparently a heavily modified version of the UH-60 Blackhawk that was not known to exist outside of high-level military and government circles.
  • The Order/Society of the Cincinnati was a society of both American and French officers who had served in The American Revolution. Its members had power and influence, including the George Washington who served as the first president general. It was criticized by many people, including Benjamin Franklin, on the grounds that, due to membership to the group being made up of the higher levels of society (as officers often were); using insignia that reminded people too much of heraldry and the membership being inherited to the firstborn son, the group was trying to create an American nobility. It would later make some reforms for things like the importance of heredity and wearing of the insignia but the society still exists today. Some theorists believe that they did make an aristocracy from its members that secretly controls the American goverment.
    I only wonder that, when the united Wisdom of our Nation had, in the Articles of Confederation, manifested their Dislike of establishing Ranks of Nobility, by Authority either of the Congress or of any particular State, a Number of private persons should think proper to distinguish themselves and their Posterity, from their fellow Citizens, and form an Order of hereditary Knights, in direct Opposition to the solemnly declared Sense of their Country.
    — Petersen (ed.), Writings of Benjamin Franklin, p. 1084.
    • Some believe that the Cincinnatus part was a meaningful name - the organisation was founded in order to take control if the then-fledgling democracy failed.
  • Common Purpose is an organisation in the UK that focuses on providing training and networking for potential future leaders. For conspiracists it is a shadowy cabal that seeks to control leaders that they train.
  • As one of, if not the, most iconic and repressive dictatorships in history, Nazi Germany frequently figures into NWO conspiracy theories, often as some sort of "test run" of the government They plan to foist on the entire planet in the future. Ironically, the Nazis were extremely paranoid, and major Conspiracy Theorists themselves.
  • Supposedly the world economy is under the complete control of Them, who cause booms and busts whenever They wish to suit Their various evil plans. While there have certainly been people who have used economic troubles to their own advantage, the conspiracy part is that these were not merely crimes of opportunity, but actively planned in advance.
  • There are people who believe that the Hippocratic oath was not made by Hippocrates, but by members of the Pythagorean sect. The main reason why people believe this is because doctors have to swear by this oath to never do abortion even though a lot of documents of Hippocrates' time period show that doctors educated by him sometimes gave advice to concerned women how to make an abortion. The only society in ancient Greece that considered abortion to be a criminal thing was the Pythagorean sect. Not to mention that you also swore that you only shared your knowledge with family members. This theory explains the solution easily. It should be noted though that unlike other conspiracy theories which can be proven false by simple research, this one polarizes historians to this very day, with most of them understanding why someone would or would not believe in this conspiracy regardless of how they think about it.
  • The secretive Swiss banking system plays a role in many NWO theories, often as the means They will use to preserve Their own wealth after They collapse the economy for everyone else.
  • If you ever heard of "Cultural Marxism", it's an alleged conspiracy theory that intellectuals are trying to destroy Christianity and Western civilization by promoting "Cultural Marxism" (which is a very abstract term in itself but what can be more or less infered from the conspiracionists' ideas is that everything is relative, including family and morals). The term was coined by Hitler for the first time as "Cultural Bolshevism" used in some of his 30s speeches and use extensively for the John Birch Society and other far-right groups. The origin of the myth is the Frankfurt School, a group of mostly Jewish left-wing psychoanalysts, whose power and influence in Academics is greatly exaggerate. After the fall of the USSR it was claim that, as Marxism failed as an economic system, then Marxists still wanted to rule the world but now they'll do it controlling culture and destroying capitalism with things like feminism, psychoanalysis and gay marriage. The amount of power that is given to Cultural Marxism is such that people who believe in the conspiracy think that they dominate the science, academia, arts and media. In reality most scientists, scholars and a lot of journalists are culturally Liberals and some of them are Progressive in economics, but the reason behind this is that for some reason people with higher education is more Liberal-leaning (as for example around 80% of American scientists are Democrats according to polls).
  • And related to the one above is the “Gender Ideology” conspiracy theory, very popular among religious fundamentalists and the political far-right. The idea behind it is that as part of the “Cultural Marxist” agenda, differences between the genders would be abolished and gender would be seen as just a “cultural construct”. Although debate exist among scholar to what point biology has an impact on gender roles, most scientist acknowledge that there’s a difference between biological sex and cultural assign gender roles that not always collide and that may vary from different cultures, as perhaps the WHO explains it better. Of course any policy that is in benefit of transsexual and transgender people is seem as “part of the conspiracy”. The irony is that while detractors of “Gender Ideology” often mention that is anti-Scientific, most Scientists do not even believe there’s such a conspiracy (the term is seldom use in academic circles, except to criticize it) and disregarding the ongoing debate almost all the Scientific community acknowledge that indeed at least some gender roles are cultural in nature.
    • This conspiracy theory in particular is so widespread that many of its believers go so far as to outright slander gender studies theorists like Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir and Alfred Kinsey. Judith Butler, in particular, was assaulted in a Brazilian airport by someone accusing her of "spreading gender ideology". Meanwhile, Kinsey has been accused of abusing thousands of children, when the closest he came to that was interviewing a convicted sex offender. In one case, several fringe far-right sites even published stories on a woman Kinsey had supposedly molested when she was a child, but it turned out she wasn't old enough to have personally known him.


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