Talk:Conspiracy theory/Archive1

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I removed this:

"With all these claims, whether they be religious ones or claims about UFOs or faces on Mars or grassy knolls or WTC #7s falling down, you name it, there's always a tidy explanation for the lack of evidence. God has to hide so people can believe in him rather than just look up and say, hey, there's God. The UFOs are covered up by the CIA because if the Russians knew we were getting all our technology from Alpha Centauri they'd initiate a nuclear first strike before our perfect reverse-engineered Centaurian missile shield was ready. One faction in NASA sent the Mars probe to cash in on the contracts, and the other faction caused it to "fail" with buggy software to keep it from seeing the Martian monorail system, because if society saw how efficient mass transit worked on Mars, they'd demand it here on earth and the Oil Lobby mightn't like it."

Because I couldn't make hide nor hair of what it was trying to say. Maybe I missed the point? Maybe it was just a rambling rant? Let us discuss this. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:46, 3 October 2008 (EDT)

The paragraph in question is talking about how conspiracy theories explain away their lack of evidence with "a tidy explanation" (one that fits into their conspiracy). Like, "I can't prove I built an over-unity machine because the Government stole the evidence." I think it made sense, but it gave way too many examples to be coherent. Stilldeciding (talk) 18:49, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Anyone bought/buying "Voodoo Histories" by "David Aaranovitch" about conspiracy theories [1][2]? ToastToastand marmite 08:06, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Concern trolling[edit]

I maybe wrong but isn't this site supposed to be unbiased because whoever wrote this page was dong a very poor job of it. They blatantly were trying to convince the reader that conspiracy theories are all untrue. While I do not support the large majority of conspiracy theories the author should not simply dismiss them all, after all even by their definition of a conspiracy theory they are unable to disprove those theories.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Um no, this site is not suppose to be unbiased, we are biased towards reality. Sometimes that is hard to determine, so the balance of probability is used, along with we logical devices such as burden of proof. Read some of the info about our site if you would like to learn more. - π 12:07, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
As someone who often removes a lot of the uneeded and OTT bias from RW, I fail to see where any of the BONs accusations are. Perhaps if they were more specific rather than vague-ish - well, that'd be wishful thinking. The calim that the article suggests "conspiracy theories are all untrue" is blatantly false, it very clearly mentions that once a conspiracy theory has been proven, it becomes a conspiracy and it's out in the open and known - hence a conspiracy theory is either A) not proven to be true or B) proven not to be true. It's in the first section of the article. Scarlet A.pngmoral 01:57, 15 August 2009 (UTC)


Anyone who knows how difficult it is to keep a secret among three men - particularly if they are married - knows how absurd is the idea of a worldwide secret conspiracy consciously controlling all mankind by its financial power; in real, clear analysis.
—Oswald Mosley

Can't find out exactly where he said it, but I thought it might be worth using. 13:12, 4 February 2011 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Three chaps married to each other - bigamous/polyandros civil partnership?

The following are likely to apply.

Andy Warhol - everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame.

Money talks (somebody needs the money) - even if writing a potentially best-selling novel on the subject.

Alexander Butterfield-ism - somebody will reveal the information accidentally. (talk) 17:02, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

'Actually, actually' the conspiracy theorists are part of the conspiracy - it is in their interests for 'the truth' #not# to be revealed. (talk) 15:25, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

As long as there's a section for this, I'll throw this one in from Doctor Who:
You're happy to believe in something that's invisible, but when it's staring you in the face, nope! Can't see it! There's a scientific explanation for that: You're thick.
—Christopher Eccleston, World War Three

--جئت ورأيت أنا القرف gross, isn't it? 22:19, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

'There are always loose ends' and the 50/30/20 year rule (or similar).

First organise a street party/a group outing and then organise a conspiracy.

How long before someone in the conpiracy decides it is in their interests to reveal some information (as with Butterfield) or there are conflicts of interest leading to spillover. (talk) 17:11, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Duplicate article[edit]

This isn't a duplicate article to me. One is the factual reality of conspiracies as they exist in the world; the other is about the nutjob theories. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 20:12, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. Nobody can doubt that conspiracies exist. I would suggest that any planned criminal act which involves a group of people needs them to conspire in order to carry it out.
This can be contrasted with "conspiracy theory" which typically tries to retrofit disparate facts in order to fit them to some imagined though non-existent (and usually unbelievably complex) conspiracy.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:30, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually as Keely pointed out in his 1999 paper Of Conspiracy theories (reprinted as chapter 4 of David Coady's 2006 Conspiracy Theories: The Philosophical Debate Ashgate ISBN 978-0754652502) there are warranted and unwarranted conspiracy theories. Here is a short list of warranted conspiracy theories:
  • Al Capone was behind the Saint Valentine's Day massacre
  • Area 51 is being used to test top secret fighter craft of purely terrestrial origin.
  • Jimmy Hoffa was killed by the Mob and buried in an unknown location
  • The Nazis set the Reichstag fire
The point of this is to show all conspiracy theories NOT in the nutjob category--those are just the ones that the media focuses on. The above are conspiracy theories and they are also perfectly rational.--BruceGrubb (talk) 14:19, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the two are duplicates. But the warranted/unwarranted comparison is interesting enough to keep. Perhaps use that to expand the conspiracy article instead as this page is, by the nature of RW, going to be devoted to the "unwarranted" versions. Scarlet A.pngbomination 11:22, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
The problem is conspiracy is about the act itself while conspiracy theories are the idea that there is a conspiracy involved. There is no proof that 'Al Capone was behind the Saint Valentine's Day massacre' hence it is a conspiracy theory. --BruceGrubb (talk) 05:38, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Mitrokhin Archive Addition?[edit]

I was wondering if we should make mention of a very ironic conspiracy that the Mitrokhin Archive mentions? The conspiracy I am refering to is the KGB's conspiracy to promote conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination, AIDs virus origins, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and assassination. Considering the authenticity of the Mitrokhin Archive, I was wondering if we should make mention of that as a "take-that" to conspiracy nuts. After all, the irony of a KGB conspiracy to get idiots to believe conspiracy theories is too ironic to not warrant discussion of whether we should include it? Crow7878 (talk) 17:55, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

[citation needed], but if it's actually true, the KGB had to have been disappointed with the results. EVDebs (talk) 21:42, 26 December 2012 (UTC)
This is a section of the book I am refering to (the book by intelligence historian Christopher Andrew named "Sword and Shield", which was about the contents of the Mitrokhin Archive). The authenticity of the Mitrokhin Archive has been confirmed by the United States Air Force Academy, FBI, and American Historical Association among others. Sword and Shield is filled with various conspiracies plotted or attempted by the KGB, but the section about the insanity that is the KGB conspiracy to make large amounts of people believe in crazy conspiracies is the one of most interest due to the irony that numerous conspiracy theorists were doing as the KGB wanted them to do. I do wonder what you meant by the KGB having been dissappointed with the results? Crow7878 (talk) 04:38, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Something on Harper's magazine[edit]

Perhaps we can cram "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" in Harper's magazine in this article? Although this is old, it's still got a touch of "current" to it. Faunas (talk) 21:18, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Spoof theories[edit]

'Count Arthur Strong' (TV series) - a character claims that there was a conspiracy involving the Olympic Games - and it takes 4 years to train the actors involved. (talk) 17:05, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Titanium dioxide[edit]

This food colouring / pigment seems to be attracting a crowd of nuts claiming it is magnetizing us for government death rays or similar. If someone has time, I reccomend you look into it. Madattak (talk) 12:58, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Latching to Tragedy[edit]

I heavily edited this section because as it stood it was a pretty craven apologia for the whole "this tragedy is too sacred to discuss, any debate which is not entirely orthodox is forbidden" line of reasoning, which to my mind is anathema to the whole point of Rational Wiki.

I know we don't hold much with conspiracy theories in general, but we also recognise that many legitimate concerns are dismissed as conspiracy theories, and that the term "conspiracy theorist" is much overused as a snarl word.

The section was kind of embarrassing, and I think it's better now, although it could do with expansion/cleanup.— Unsigned, by: Wulfsten / talk / contribs 10:58, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

First, please refrain from using the collective "we" until you actually become a part of the community.
Second, I didn't revert your edit, but I guess it was reverted because it looked too much as the kind of shit conspiracists like to spout to justify their behaviour. Anyway, I think that the section should be radically rewritten.
As for "many legitimate concerns are dismissed as conspiracy theories" I would like to see what you consider to be examples.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:09, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Wow, firstly: not allowed to use "we"? What an unnecessary attempt at exclusion. I'll use whatever pronoun I like, thanks. You can feel free to not consider yourself part of the "we" I referred to.
The edit hasn't been reverted as far as I can see, but in either case it has nothing to do with "the kind of shit conspiracists like to spout". You'll find ample evidence on Rational Wiki of an awareness of the difference between a conspiracy theory that is prima facie absurd, a PRATT, or cynically motivated (see 9/11 truthers, Obama birthers, etc.), and a legitimate argument that is dismissed by using "conspiracy" as a snarl word (see Edward Snowden and the NSA files, polonium poisoning evidence on Yasser Arafat's body, CIA destruction of video tapes potentially evincing torture, etc).
Specifically on bombings, why not take some time out to read about the wave of false flag operations and black propaganda conducted by various governments during the Cold War, notably the US and Italian governments. These are now matters of public record, but at the time the mere suggestion that the Italian government could have been behind an attack in an attempt to discredit the Communists was considered "disrespectful" and "forbidden". Wulfsten (talk) 10:04, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

9/11 and home-grown nuts[edit]

One of the "warranted" conspiracy theories is: "Al-Qaeda or a group of some home grown nuts in the Timothy McVeigh mold were responsible for the 9/11 attacks"

Is it warranted to think that 9/11 was perpetrated by "home grown nuts in the Timothy McVeigh mold"? Is there substantial evidence to support this theory over the widely-accepted theory that Al Qaeda was responsible? U-238 (talk) 04:08, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

No. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 04:12, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Ok, so should this be changed in the article? EDIT: I see that it now has been. U-238 (talk) 08:29, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

This is all in the understanding that there are only conspiracy 'theories'. Though the idea that they can only be 'theoris' should be insulting to this wiki and its editors. Spanish American war, Shays Rebellion, white racism in America(cant say for other countries), so on and so forth. There have been many conspiracies by any given gov't agaisnt their people. Its hard for people to believe, mainly because the form from thought to belief directly means there will be a cobclusion that leads to a choice. That choice is where people seperate themselves from reality. An example is that i had made a simple social test that included the question: If you knew of conspiracy against the people by the gov't, would you do anything about it. Out of 300+ tested, there was 98% that said no, they wouldnt do anything about it. This was on a college campus that was considered Liberal. Supposedly Liberrals are America haters, etc. So why would it be no? Simply put, it scares the hell out of people to know the truth sometimes. If it were true, noone would be able to do anything about it anyways. (DeanCorso11)


Some more points:

  • Is there an easier way to do it than a conspiracy?
  • Murphy's Law and 'nothing can be made foolproof as fools are so ingenious.'
  • What is the likelihood of 'some other conspiracy' getting in a tangle with the given conspiracy? (And/or what are the chances of factionalism within the conspiracy?)
  • What is the likelihood of 'one or several people' deciding to keep records so they can pass the blame when necessary/write a best selling expose of the conspiracy?
  • People like [3] or [4] will always exist. (talk) 16:13, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Poe Fishing[edit]

I was reading the page on Poe's Law, and I got this great(or not so great, but still funny) idea: concoct some silly, outrageous conspiracy theory, post it online, see who agrees, and get some easy laughs. I have even come up with a few "bait" theories already. Here they are: (1. Toys 'Я' Us is actually secretly communist because they use the Cyrillic letter "Я" instead of good ol' American "R" as a secret sign to all neo-communists! (2. The ancient Romans and the ancient Germanic barbarians both knew about America because the abbreviation for West Virginia is WV, and since in German, Ws are said as Vs, and in Latin, Vs are said as Ws, so WV said in German and Latin is VW, which conveniently stands for Volkswagen!!!

— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 17:38, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Okay. Swerve (talk) 09:31, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

As for trolling your fellow citizens, there are over 10000 troops that believe that the gov't did/was part of 9/11. Its called Troops for 9/11 truth. Though I dont support one way or the other about 9/11, they sure as hell do. If you troll those people, you should talk to them first. You should definetly make people that die for our country (America) be more distrout. Thats the point right? To fukc as many good people over as possible right? Just because they dont believe the way you do, they must be attacked by you right? Kinda like how Christians do it. (DeanCorso11)


Almost fully cited and amazingly explained. Not quite one of our best, but a fuck-load better than other bronze articles. I think it should be silver.

The only reason why you say this is a 'silver' article is because it follows your belief system, no offense. Not trying to troll. You just make it apperent. (DeanCorso11)

MESSIAH OF DOOM Dancing on the corpses' ashesDolan.png 08:04, 8 July 2014 (UTC)



1.How likely is it to remain covered up if it has gone on for a long time?

2. If there are thousands of conspirators, and the conspiracy has gone on for decades, why have none of them defected?

3. Why have none of them leaked the story?

4. If many conspirators are dead, why have none of them told the truth on their deathbeds, or in their wills?

5. There are many intelligence agencies associated with rival nations, with the ability to expose secrets. If, say, the United States government is running a global conspiracy, why have the French, Russian, or Chinese intelligence agencies never revealed it, to cause a major scandal in the United States (if all intelligence agencies are involved, see #2)? If they have, when and where did they do so?

I have a problem with this checklist. I have seen some criticisms by Conspiracy Theorists who say we use the rhetoric that we ask why "so one has blown the whistle", and when someone DOES claim to "blow the whistle", then we claim they're a nutjob. Has anyone else noticed this?--TemplarJLS (talk) 04:24, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Mention an evolutionary reason explaining where pseudo-science and conspiracy theories derive their attractiveness from[edit]

There is a TED conference where this was mentioned. It goes like, imagine humans several 10.000 years ago gathering food, and someone hearing a sound, viewing something strange that might indicate a major predator scouting for some well tasting human flesh? We better be 10 times wrong and flee, rather than being wrong 1 time and being eaten. Today this translates to why our eyes are often caught by conspiracy theories: we better read them because they sound quite deadly if the claims would be true, and live another day, rather than risking to skip them and missing out on some key information to survive. The downside of this is of course that we have to spend hours to read and verify stuff: it is easy to claim something just spending a couple of minutes, but it may take hours to analyse and go look for facts that debunk the conspiracy theory. Hence the raison d'être of rationalwiki: make a page on yet another conspiracy theory and use the available shared free time, knowledge to help debunk it in a collaborative effort instead of having to do all the debunking yourself. It's a time saver, so you can continue to focus on what's really important in your life. Where would be the most appropriate place to mention this? Sorry, no more time than this. Thy. newcomer --SvenAERTS228 (talk) 18:34, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Conspiracy Theory debunking[edit]

Is tehre a website dedicated to debunking the individual claims of Conspiracy Theories, similar to Talk.Origins and Evowiki?-- (talk) 02:37, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

How to tell a Conspiracy Theory is bullshit[edit]

Quote-mines are used...

For example, if the Illuminati used freemasonrty to create evolution, and it has no evidence, then why is it misrepresented by creationists so much?

If there is a depopulation conspiracy Theory, why do the proponents have to resort to misrepresenting, quote-minign, and lying?

It keeps going on...--サトセレ (talk) 03:45, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Unencyclopedic epigraphs[edit]

Great epigraphs but as hatnotes hardly encyclopedic. They might have a place within the main text, but not as epigraphs. RationalWiki does not publish common essays. (talk) 05:17, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't? Then why do we have an essayspace? (talk) 05:24, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

No one speaks out?[edit]

This discussion was moved to Forum:Cult of Satorn: A Conspiracy Theory. Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 20:56, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Fun new theory[edit]

Has anyone come across the idea that not only were the Moon landings faked, but that the Moon itself is nothing but a hologram? Someone would have a lot of fun with that one.... Search for "moon hologram" and prepare to lose a little faith in humanity. Jwebb (talk) 11:20, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Yup, and there's a rather hilarious debunking of it in the YouTube video World of Batshit - #2: Moon Loons (episode 1 is about those who think that air planes are sky demons, while episode 3 deals with chemtrailers). ScepticWombat (talk) 15:01, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
First off, don you think its way more fun? Second, I'm gaining faith in the creativity of humankind. P.S. It is well known that native Americans were the first to project moon images using silver-haired bison pre-Columbus. — Unsigned, by: / talk 08:39, 16 May 2015

Did you know?[edit]

The word conspiracy is a portmanteau of "cons" (confidence scams or conservatives) and "piracy" (hijacking or looting). You're welcome. - Frankie (talk) 17:55, 6 April 2015 (UTC)


Where would [5] fit into the conspiracy theories? (talk) 16:04, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

I take it this site is more humor than about being balanced, otherwise mentioning false flag operations that affected millions of lives, and were covered up for many decades, like Gulf on Tonkin (e.g. started the Vietnam war) would make sense, and such have happened many times in history. — Unsigned, by: / talk 08:05, 16 May 2015‎
This latest BoN has apparently missed the distinction between a conspiracy theory and a conspiracy and I've now added the (cover up of) the Gulf of Tonkin incident to its list. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:47, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
What I meant was, all conspiracies are conspiracy theories to begin with, so its not always clear which is which until oftentimes decades after their occurrence (if ever), and whistleblowers may never show up, even for events as large as wars where millions die as the result. A conspiracy is only as good as the conspirators success in covering their tracks. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Struggling to keep ahold of my sanity[edit]

I apologize in advance if this is not the place to put this.

I've recently been struggling to keep ahold of my grip on reality ever since I've discovered Conspiracy Theories in late 2014. I have read skeptic sites like this one, lurking for a while, but my mind has always been more... receptive of these theories that you all redicule so much. Sites like this one has been dismissed as propaganda, no surprise there, and sites like Metabunk have been accused of banning people for showing theories they cant debunk. 9Its common to see conspiracy theorists who claim this happened to them). My mind always has the "this could be the video that exposes it all" attitude whenever it sees a video which you guys most likely see as obvious clickbait,

The one that hit me hard are the ones that claim celebrities expose the Illuminati, like Katt Williams, and people who claim to be Illuminati whistle blowers. Even recently, i've been dabbling onto demonic possession (sites like Emmanuel TV and their channel) and the sheer amount of evidence they give seems so... convincing to my mind. For example, why is the all-seeing eye everywhere, why Sandyhook, 9/11 etc. is a fake, lagically, I know they're probably making a bunch of claims so we dont have the time ot debunk them, but I still become paranoid about them. Youtube comments for example, are obviously rediculed, but so many people seem to do whatever they can do to win arguments, like claim to be doctors on exorcism vids, etc.

Not only that, but believe I've immersed my self so much in these videos so much I'm worried there's no way I could go back. I've heard so much asserted evidence so many conspiracy videos I don't think it can all be debunked. I'm terrible at describing what I'm dealing with, so I apologize for my horrid description, but I don't know what else to do. I don't want to spend my whole life as a loon, and I don't want to spend all my time getting refutations on every single claim I hear.--Pacifir (talk) 22:09, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Stop looking at them. Stop looking at those conspiracy sites. Cancel your subscriptions and delete your bookmarks and history. That should halt the flow of new conspiracy theories into your head. Keep reading the articles in Rationalwiki's conspiracy theories category. :
Take a break every now and then to relax.
Tips for relaxing:
Also a therapist, counselor or psychologist might help. ClickerClock (talk) 10:31, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
I am rather late to the party, but one technique that I find helps me when faced with unconventional ideas I can't refute is to note that many of them are mutually exclusive. I know nothing about conspiracy theories, but I would imagine there are plenty that contradict each other. To quote my essay Science and the Layman: "One method for a layman to estimate the probability that an unorthodox theory they cannot refute is true is to consider the totality of such alternative ideas in the discipline in question. Such theories are often in contradiction with each other. In alternative medicine, for instance, there are many practitioners who claim to have discovered the "one true cause of all disease", yet they are all completely different. One claims it is "toxins", another claims it is fungus, another claims it miasms, another claims it is dehydration, and so on. This also applies to alternative medical treatments. Homeopaths will claim that homeopathic water is a panacea, compared to ordinary water, which does nothing. Other alternative practitioners, however, claim that plain water is indeed a cure-all. Among the various systems of hands-on healing, many claim to be the sole purveyors of the "true" and "correct" hand motions for healing. Many people have been claimed to be John Wilkes Booth[3], Jesus[4], members of the Romanov royal family[5], and Shakespeare. Nationalists of many different countries claim that they are a master race, and that all languages are derived from Bulgarian or Romanian or what have you. In all of these fields, though I myself may not be able to refute the arguments behind any of these unorthodox theories, it is nevertheless obvious that the claims in each field are all mutually exclusive. Either one of the theories is right, or none of them are. So without even looking at the supposed "evidence" behind these theories (which is all just as "convincing" from my unknowledgeable layman's point of view, despite being contradictory), I can determine that it is extremely unlikely that any particular one of these theories is true. Is this scientific? No. But for the layman who does not know much about a subject and is bombarded by seemingly plausible pseudoscientific claims, this is a useful way to remind oneself that arguments that appear logical to a layman may not necessarily be so to an expert who has actually studied the subject professionally."--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 02:55, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Why haven't groups such as those listed on [6] not been included in the Conspiracy theorists' world views? Or do they not wish to mess with the likes of the Ermine Street Guard? (talk) 17:22, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

I mean in the sense of being subject of the conspiracists' suspicion.

Given the choice - which would it be preferable to join - survivalists or reenactmentists 'come the post-apocalypse period' (talk) 18:03, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

A Non-conspiracy?[edit]

How would the 'World War II crossword puzzles' be classified? The teacher #was# getting the lads to find interesting words after all. (talk) 22:44, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

See eg [7] (talk) 16:04, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

More reasons against[edit]

The 'resend/send all/retweet/wrong email account selected'/things left on a bus and similar Murphy's Law opportunities for material to escape.

The 'The buck does not stop with Muggins here' argument (collecting material to show who #was# responsible); wannabe detectives (not necessarily being conspiracists) collecting information and discovering the conspiracy.

Supermac's 'Events, dear boy, events' - things derail the conspiracy ('putting a mole in the CP of the USSR in April 1991').

Falling outs among conspirators (having different agendas). — Unsigned, by: / talk 16:04, 22 April 2015‎

The 50/30/20 Year Rule/Freedom of Information requests and [8] may also apply. (talk) 16:09, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

The biggest conspiracy[edit]

... is run by the sheeple - the main policy is 'ignore the conspiracy theorists.' (talk) 22:48, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

You got it all worked out then. Congratulations. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:15, 16 March 2016 (UTC)
What was the full tory - that people politely listen to the prophet, wait until he goes away and then continue doing exactly what they were doing before.

The real reason Thomas More was executed - he revealed that the sheep were taking over. (talk) 22:28, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

I have a little list[edit]

... have any of [9] been missed? (talk) 14:08, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

From an older version of this article:

Here is a short list of warranted conspiracy theories (with the ones that are still open in bold):

  • Al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks
  • Burr conspiracy (Former vice president Aaron Burr's idiotic plan to set up a nation for himself by claiming land in the Southwest and possibly stealing land from Mexico)[1]
  • Business Plot (ie. a plot by fascist sympathizers to overthrow FDR in 1933)[2]
  • Al Capone was behind the Saint Valentine's Day massacre
  • CIA drug trafficking[3]
  • The Dreyfus affair[4]
  • General Motors streetcar conspiracy[5]
  • Jimmy Hoffa was killed by the Mob and buried in an unknown location[6]
  • Iran-Contra affair[7]
  • The Nazis started the Reichstag fire [8]
  • Carter's efforts to release the Iranian hostages was delayed so it would negatively effect his efforts at reelection[9]
  • Operation Condor[10]
  • Operation Damocles[11]
  • Operation Gladio[12]
  • Operation Mockingbird[13]
  • Operation Northwoods[14]
  • Project MKULTRA[15]
  • Sicilian Mafia[16]
  • Tuskegee syphilis experiment[17]
  • Watergate[18]

Unwarranted conspiracy theories, on the other hand, tend to gravitate to the grandiose to the point that they approach lunacy. The existence of warranted conspiracy theories, especially when they are later proven to be true, helps fuel a conspiracy mentality that sees conspiracies everywhere and sees anyone denying said conspiracy as part of it.

  2. Knight, pg 625
  3. Knight, pg 237
  4. Zernike, Kate (April 30, 2011). The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories, The New York Times
  5. Keeley pg 109-126
  6. Knight, pg 319
  7. Knight pg 349
  8. Davidson, Eugene (2004) The Unmaking of Adolf Hitler University of Missouri Press pg 457
  9. See the Wikipedia article on October Surprise conspiracy theory.
  10. See the Wikipedia article on Operation Condor.
  11. See the Wikipedia article on Operation Damocles.
  12. Knight, pg 231
  13. Knight, pg 486
  14. Knight, pg 117
  15. Knight, pg 490
  16. Knight pg 451
  17. Knight, pg 38, 45, 538
  18. Knight pg 725)

It was removed a while ago as it was felt it didn't really add to the article.--BruceGrubb (talk) 19:25, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

The references to the Reichstag fire being started by the Nazis as fact should be replaced by a better example. Whether they Nazis were in fact responsible is debated, the majority opinion being that they too advantage of it but did not start it. Even if it is believed by anyone that the Nazis were responsible, that it is debated should disqualify it from being stated as fact.

Naiant (talk) 01:32, 4 June 2017 (UTC)

CTs as religion[edit] Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 17:50, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Another category of conspiracy theory we should consider: "commercial conspiracy"[edit] FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (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 - [10] and [11].
  • 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. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (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.

Another conspiracy theory[edit]

'Not updating the RW donation banner' - to encourage more people to donate (and also pausing at 'about $10 short of the goal' to make everybody want to donate 'a few dollars more.' Anna Livia (talk) 19:15, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Brainstar status (Conspiracy theory)[edit]

Congratulations: we have successfully turned the Flat Earth page into a silver-rated article. I think this article is next. Obviously we have to update the references so they're not just blank http links, and maybe some other clean ups, but besides that I absolutely think this page is relevant enough to the RW mission to warrant a silver. If we can get a consensus on it then I say we should do it. Aaronmichael5 20:05, 3 December 2020 (UTC).

I think it's ready for silver status. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:02, 3 December 2020 (UTC)
So what is this conspiracy involving Brainstars? Anna Livia (talk) 00:12, 4 December 2020 (UTC)

Back The Official Narrative...[edit]

Rational Wiki backs any given official narrative - that's the impression I get from this article. OK then. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

What narrative should we be backing, BoN? Twodots (talk) 20:22, 24 December 2020 (UTC)

Donald Trump and conspiracies[edit]

Given how many 'ideas at an angle (which are obtuse rather than acute) to reality' he has come up with - including [12] and his actions (eg [13]), should he have his own section or page? Anna Livia (talk) 12:21, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Is the external link section too large?[edit]

At most wikis of the wikis I visited, the external link sections are smaller.

Wouldn't it be better if the most important external links were incorporated into the article as sources and the lesser important links removed?

Over time, many of the least important links will wind up to be dead links anyways.MarnetteB (talk) 07:33, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

The dirty secret behind conspiracy theories[edit]

Competent people who have means other than secretive conspiracies to achieve their objectives do not resort to theories. Conspiracies are themselves extremely risky, and success in business, the professions, politics, and the arts do not need conspiracies to bring success to marginal performers. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers explains that stellar achievement in fields from athleticism to creative activities to law and medicine take about 10,000 hors of early preparation, which often means that one is missing out on something else. As is well known, classical musicians are infamously incompetent at anything not part of their basic education and their highly-honed musical skills. They aren't tinkering with cars or getting involved in teen dating. It takes about 10,000 hours to achieve a PhD or either a law degree or a medical degree -- and the 'clerking' or internship.

Conspiracies typically break down under police scrutiny, as the participants lose their cohesion as a group and start getting concerned about getting caught. He who squeals first may save his skin, and fear leads to panic. The most common conspiracies are by cliques of losers who try to pull off an insurance fraud. Think of the movie Double Indemnity, a 1944 cinematic masterpiece in which the fictional Phyllis Diedrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) induces insurance salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) to sell a high-value insurance policy on a husband that she would like to be rid of, but not at the cost of giving up a Good Life (financially, if not otherwise). Claims examiner Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) has it figured out -- well enough that Phyllis and Walter are headed to the electric chair after he unravels the plot. "My husband is worth more dead than alive" indicates the objective of plot.

Something always goes wrong. It is safer, if typically more difficult, to achieve one's objectives without a criminal conspiracy or wiser to abandon the scheme before one does any wrongdoing.

Also risky are plots to overthrow a government through a coup... and even the selfless July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler involved intelligent, decent, competent people who could no longer accept its mad and destructive regime. This plot came close to succeeding except for some bad luck and at least one glitch (failing to cut the telephone wires to the office of Josef Goebbels). Unlike some plot to eliminate a spouse for proceeds of an insurance policy or to do a heist, this plot looks selfless and honorable, and can be faulted only for its failure. The world would be a better place had the plot succeeded, would it not? — Unsigned, by: Pbrower2a / talk / contribs

"The world would be a better place had the plot succeeded, would it not?" Given the Wehrmacht wasn't exactly a bastion of human rights at the time, no. Let's be clear about the July 20th plot. They weren't angry because Hitler was an antisemite, or a genocidal monster, or any of that. They were mad at him because he was a shit commander. That's it. The perpetrators look noble because we romanticize them and act as if they were much better (they weren't). ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 22:49, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

At the least they recognized

(1) that Nazi brutality, including but not only the Holocaust, had contributed to sure defeat of Germany, (2) that they recognized that Germany was in full-blown military collapse and that defeat was a certainty, and (3) many well knew of the criminality of the Nazi regime and participated in the plot because of their discovery of Nazi criminality, especially in the occupied parts of the Soviet Union.

This was a diverse lot of people, including people from throughout the political spectrum of Germany from socialists to the semi-fascist German Nationalist People's Party.

For the world being better: this clique would have been able to give the Allies all of their stated demands. As an example, the Polish Home Army would have taken over in Poland. The results might have been messy, with the Wehrmacht and the Polish Home Army turning against the Nazi SS in the camps... Stalin would have been able to take back only what was Soviet territory in 1938, perhaps with some border adjustments.

That is speculation about alternative history. The Holocaust ending earlier, and the inability of pro-Stalin regimes to take power in central and Balkan Europe, would have been good things. But that too is opinion. We will never know. Pbrower2a (talk) 02:08, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

It's an incorrect opinion built on romantization. The Wehrmacht were willing collaborators with the Nazis after the night of the long knives (and before to some degree) and were guilty of war crimes, especially on the eastern front where they were critical in the extermination of ethnic Slavs, which if you hadn't noticed was part of the bloody fucking Holocaust. They didn't want to overthrow Hitler on moral grounds, which we know because they fucking left diaries and other records we can fucking check, so we know they thought Hitler was an incompetent commander and wanted to save what they could of the Reich, so as to prevent its abolition and a repeat of the humiliation the German military received during WW1. Jesus fucking Christ, these people were no where near the noble heroes you're making them out to be. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:20, 6 April 2021 (UTC)
Ah, I see the "clean Wehrmacht" myth has reared its ugly head again...-Flandres (talk) 02:23, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

Parts of the Wehrmacht were extremely dirty. That obviously includes Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl. The amazing thing is that so many of the Wehrmacht turned against Hitler. The German Army certainly knew as few other Germans not in the SS knew about the massacres and plunder. On behalf of Hitler, Keitel and Jodl gave orders to the German Army to not interfere with atrocities.

Soldiers, unless mercenaries, do not choose the countries that they serve. Do I think that the military participants in the July 20 plot were entirely pure? Hardly. They had participated in the criminal invasions of countries from Poland to Norway to Greece... and of course the Soviet Union.

The amazing thing was how long the German Army kept some distance from the Nazi Party and its ideology. The 'apolitical Armed Forces' is a norm in the United States, too. German officers were long exempt from the obligation to give the Nazi salute.

,,,but this section is on conspiracies. Almost all conspiracies fail, and so did this one, even if the participants were very different from the people who off someone for insurance proceeds or plan some robbery of an armored car. This one failed because of some bad luck and some errors -- and because once the Nazi law-enforcement system was able to start torturing evidence out of people it could expose almost everyone. This was one of the most competent conspiracies ever to exist. The death of Hitler and the death or arrests of his toadies would have solved lots of problems for Germany, surviving victims of Nazi persecution, and even the Allies.

Fore an even more hair-brained conspiracy, then look at the clique that achieved only one objective -- the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Pbrower2a (talk) 00:16, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

The above is more properly defined as 'describing a conspiracy' than 'conspiracy theory': and there are somewhat fluid borders to both aspects. (Does an election campaign, the preparation behind a newspaper/TV and radio etc scoop, a surprise birthday party, or a criminal investigation etc count as a conspiracy?) Or even 'loose arrangements between various parties to minimise problems'?
What about the 'conspiracy' by Boris Yeltsin et al in late 1991 to wind up the Soviet Union - and phoning the US President before telling Mikhail Gorbachev?
The boundary between 'conspiracy' and 'conspiracy theory' will involve Occam's Razor (but making allowances for co-operation, activities which require thorough research to distinguish between 'patterns of activity etc which may have other causes' and 'concatenations of coincidences' etc which give the appearance of a conspiracy). Anna Livia (talk) 09:22, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
I don't like the way this article claims that german citizenry knew nothing of the Nazi atrocities, with no citations whatsoever. Wikipedia's article on Knowledge of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe says that historians continue to dispute this, which is enough to nix the text in this article. User Pbrower2a seems to be responsible for this, and has issued much apologist material in these comments, as well. For example, he notes that, "German officers were long exempt from the obligation to give the Nazi salute." which is true, in fact it was optional for all members of the military, but it was NOT optional for the citizenry. Unless I see some citations appear in the contentious portion of the article, I will re-write it WITH citations. FairDinkum (talk) 09:44, 1 November 2022 (UTC)

Confirmed conspiracies and Theories of conspiracy[edit]

Here is a short list of confirmed conspiracies and Theories of conspiracy (the ones in bold) from an earlier version of the article :

  • Al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks
  • Burr conspiracy (Former vice president Aaron Burr's idiotic plan to set up a nation for himself by claiming land in the Southwest and possibly stealing land from Mexico)[1]
  • Business Plot (ie. a plot by fascist sympathizers to overthrow FDR in 1933)[2]
  • Al Capone was behind the Saint Valentine's Day massacre
  • CIA drug trafficking[3]
  • The Dreyfus affair[4]
  • General Motors streetcar conspiracy[5]
  • Jimmy Hoffa was killed by the Mob and buried in an unknown location[6]
  • Iran-Contra affair[7]
  • The Nazis started the Reichstag fire [8]
  • Carter's efforts to release the Iranian hostages was delayed so it would negatively effect his efforts at reelection[9]
  • Operation Condor[10]
  • Operation Damocles[11]
  • Operation Gladio[12]
  • Operation Mockingbird[13]
  • Operation Northwoods[14]
  • Project MKULTRA[15]
  • Sicilian Mafia[16]
  • Tuskegee syphilis experiment[17]
  • Watergate[18]
  2. Knight, pg 625
  3. Knight, pg 237
  4. Zernike, Kate (April 30, 2011). The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories, The New York Times
  5. Keeley pg 109-126
  6. Knight, pg 319
  7. Knight pg 349
  8. Davidson, Eugene (2004) The Unmaking of Adolf Hitler University of Missouri Press pg 457
  9. See the Wikipedia article on October Surprise conspiracy theory.
  10. See the Wikipedia article on Operation Condor.
  11. See the Wikipedia article on Operation Damocles.
  12. Knight, pg 231
  13. Knight, pg 486
  14. Knight, pg 117
  15. Knight, pg 490
  16. Knight pg 451
  17. Knight, pg 38, 45, 538
  18. Knight pg 725)

Puts conspiracy theory in a different light doesn't it?--BruceGrubb (talk) 21:41, 6 July 2022 (UTC)

How would you describe that difference? Ariel31459 (talk) 17:58, 3 January 2023 (UTC)

Webb of deception[edit]

Didn't take long [14]

Do the astronomy woo lot ever pick up on the fact that the pictures can have colour added to make them clearer? Anna Livia (talk) 15:13, 13 July 2022 (UTC)

Alex Jones[edit]

Can someone more familiar with the topic update the AJ sentences? Anna Livia (talk) 11:28, 1 November 2022 (UTC)