Information icon.svg

Nominations for the RationalMedia Foundation 2020 board of trustees election are now open!

Talk:Conspiracy theory

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon conspiracy.svg

This conspiracy theories related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Editorial notes
  • Main article on a subject. This should balance thorough explanations of the properties of conspiracy theories while remaining brief enough to count as an overview of all of them.
This page is automatically archived by Archiver
Archives for this talk page: <1>

Another category of conspiracy theory we should consider: "commercial conspiracy"[edit] FuzzyCatPotato of the Naked Gay Bowel Syndromes (talk/stalk) 17:51, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

More reasons against[edit]

  • Try organizing a surprise party/other event involving a large number of people with different agendas.
  • NIMBYism.
  • Crossword puzzles and other accidental outflows of information - [1] and [2].
  • Somebody or several develop a story on (alternative history website of choice) and 'the group' think they have been rumbled or 'someone else' deduces what is happening as a result (The "Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse scenario").

There are going to be 'conspiracies and cover-ups ("it was not a mistake - we actually did want the rooms painted (Michael Portillo's suits on his travels' colours")', and 'nobody bothered to ask us' scenarios. (talk) 17:32, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

School of Life on conspiracy theories[edit]

Far from the best video on the topic, yet uniquely gifted with an important emotional message. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:56, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

Reasons for the reveal[edit]

  • Malice
  • In-fighting
  • Accidental escape of information (including internal references to other documents)
  • 'Revenge from beyond the grave'
  • The several conspiracies on the go 'trip each other up.'
  • Change of personnel (various reasons)
  • 'Muggins here won't get the blame when the paperwork hits the fan.'
  • 'Events, dear boy events' (things set up in the expectation that the Soviet Union will persist, the UK referendum and the 2016 US election go the other way...)
  • Most conspiracies are too much like hard work. (talk) 21:57, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
The problem with most (if not all) conspiracy theories is that they require far too many people keeping quiet for far too long.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:06, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

Psychology of conspiracists[edit]

The Born Conspiracy. oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 04:03, 26 July 2017 (UTC)


There are 'official and other activities operating outside the limelight' of varying kinds, some of which #may# move into the grey areas; there are also occurrences of duplication of activity by various sections of the government and other bodies for various reasons (different approaches, bureaucratic creep etc), and there are 'discussions/explorations of hypothetical situations' - and some awareness of these will lead to conspiracy theories and similar.

There are many "groups of promoters of their particular viewpoints and interests" some of which will promote disruption - and which may last for varying periods of time but most will fade out for various reasons including 'the situation for which the proposed theory was an answer no longer exists/history went another way (could the Trystero persist in the age of emails?) - and sometimes the group name persists long after the actual group has joined a Norwegian Blue parrot and it becomes the focus of the conspiracists' beliefs.

The question is - does the Dunning-Kruger effect come into play with conspiracy theories? Anna Livia (talk) 16:34, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


Why is this article in the category Crime? Conspiracy theories aren't illegal.ClimbTheStairs (talk) 23:30, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

Because there are certain theories associated with criminal activities - the most notable being the Kennedy assassination theories. Anna Livia (talk) 10:36, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Another website for the list[edit]

This one = nuttier than the top slice of this - and with more theories than the latter has currants and sultanas. Anna Livia (talk) 16:39, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Not good[edit]

My problem with this page is that it ignores conspiracy theories that have turned out to be true.

Gary Webb, MK-Ultra, 'dead baby project', 'Bad Booze (alcohol poisoned on purpose), Tuskeegee experiments, The Dalai Lama was/is funded by the CIA (, Gulf of Tonkin etc... — Unsigned, by: Ajuran / talk / contribs

A matter of definitions: there are 'specific projects' which are often very limited in range - there will always be 'stay behinds', funding of useful persons at home and abroad, and some 'experiments' which are less practical (and sometimes less ethical) than expected, etc, and some of which will be terminated due to unforeseen events (all the 'well-placed figures in the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe' thirty years ago - and did anyone predict the USSR being wound up like a bankrupt compamy?).
Then there are 'conspiracy theories' which tend to be free floating, all encompassing, have unlimited funding, any number of participants who never disagree amongst themselves or decide to leak information etc (including the staff) and persist over longer timeframes than seems practical etc. It is these which are the subject of this article. Anna Livia (talk) 10:03, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Gary Webb is a rather poor example because some of the conspiracy theorizing was unfounded. If you want to add a true conspiracy theory, then you need two things: 1) a quality reference that shows that people thought there was a conspiracy before there was public evidence and 2) a quality reference showing that the conspiracy theory was eventually born out as being at least mostly true. Bongolian (talk) 16:25, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
More detail on the 'dead babies project' is required (there are several possibilities) - and the Tuskegee experiment has an article, while the Gulf of Tonkin event is referenced variously.
Ajuran - feel free to develop the article. Anna Livia (talk) 21:36, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Suggestion for inclusion[edit]

This one - you can even win a prize. Anna Livia (talk) 17:21, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Conspiracy theory glossary[edit]

Idea: maybe create a glossary for conspiracy theory terms, such as the alt right glossary that currently exists. Some example terms:

"Wake up"


"sheeple" (e.g. "sheeple don't like it when you disturb their sleep")


"Satanic rituals"

Then, common conspiracy theories, such as:



"Building 7"

"Bill Gates"




etc. (talk) 00:01, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

As perhaps the largest Unified Conspiracy Theory, QAnon (and the QAnon map dissection) serve as a discordant starting point, but the number of entries is perhaps too large to get a handle on, particularly for defining on a single web page.