|Some dare call it|
A conspiracy is a secret plan to effect some goal. Its members are known as conspirators.
Not everyone involved in a conspiracy necessarily knows all the details; in fact, sometimes none do.
There have been very famous conspiracies, like the Gunpowder Plot (unsuccessful), and the 9/11 attack on prominent U.S. landmarks (3/4 successful). There was also a "conspiracy", in the sense that the details were kept only among those involved, to get creationism taught in U.S. public schools as science, by covertly identifying candidates for school boards to local sympathetic religious groups in order to turn out a strong vote for them, which achieved success, followed by embarrassment.
When an event occurs which is not alleged to have been a conspiracy by authorities or investigators, sometimes a "conspiracy theory", or several, will develop around it. One classic is the John F. Kennedy assassination, another, newer one is the aforementioned attack of 9/11. Another (relatively) recent one is the so-called "vast right-wing conspiracy", invoked in the 1990s by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton to explain the attacks on her husband, President Bill Clinton.
 Real conspiracies
- Watergate - the cover up of the break-in
- 9/11 - Not the alleged "conspiracy" that the Truther movement goes on about, but the actual plot to use jet planes to attack prominent American buildings.
- COINTELPRO[wp] - FBI infiltration of civil rights organizations.
- Business Plot[wp] - Foiled attempt to assassinate Franklin Roosevelt and replace him with General Smedley Butler as the figurehead of a puppet government.
- Moscow Trials[wp] - A series of show trials organized by Josef Stalin to eliminate his political enemies.
- MKULTRA - A CIA mind-control research program.
- Many assassinations of political figures tend to be conspiracies, such as the assassination of Franz Ferdinand[wp] or the failed 20 July plot[wp] against Adolf Hitler.
- The Geijer Scandal - In 1970s Sweden, journalist Peter Bratt wrote that a number of high-rank politicians had visited a brothel with connections to the Polish and Soviet embassies. Among the names dropped, was Minister of Justice Lennart Geijer. The event was denied by Prime Minister Palme, and Geijer won a libel case against Bratt. Some years later, the article turned out to be true.
- The Gulf of Tonkin incident[wp] seems to have originated as a misunderstanding of the events and a mistranslated intercept, but turned into a conspiracy when the subsequent discovery of these errors was covered up.