Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories (And Why You Shouldn’t)

jones_jokerI’ve been a strange sort of “fan” of the conspiracy theory movement for a long time now. As a nonbeliever, I enjoy watching the creation of an alternate reality that generally has no relation to reality.

I got interested in the conspiracy that is the granddaddy of the modern conspiracy movement, the John F. Kennedy assassination, which was the dominant conspiracy theory until 9/11. The myths surrounding the Kennedy assassination set the table for the modern conspiracies that would follow, including the manner in which known facts are either dismissed or assimilated into a concrete “theory.”

A friend describes me as an Alex Jones hipster, someone who was well aware and entertained by America’s leading conspiracy theorist long before he started showing up on CNN or hanging out with Charlie Sheen. Jones is particularly skilled in the tactic that makes conspiracy theories sound believable to the converted, while opening the door to the interested.

(At this point I should stipulate that while Jones makes money off of these theories, I believe that he is a True Believer. If you listen to his radio show, he comes across as someone who honestly believes the insane things he’s saying – compared to someone like Rush Limbaugh, who has been phoning it in for nearly thirty years.)

What Jones does well is connect his conspiracy theories to a real thing. He’s just willing to take that leap a little further than a responsible normal person would take it. For instance, it isn’t in dispute that the U.S. government has intervened in the affairs of foreign nations in order to produce results that are more in favor with us geopolitically. Now, the difference is between those of us who acknowledge known, uncomfortable facts and the conspiracy theorist who cites these cases as evidence of a globe-spanning conspiracy that controls the levers of power.

It really is that simple. You take something that is true, and use it as a launching pad into what is ludicrous. Then when challenged, someone like Jones can always refer to the true fact, and ask the interested party if they can believe “X” then why can’t they believe “Y” which is at least an adjacent set of ideas.

Why are people willing to take that leap?

The world is a complex, scary place. It always has been, but nowadays it’s even more immediate and in our faces. Take 9/11, for instance. The idea that 19 mostly unarmed men could cause such chaos, death, and destruction does not compute. It almost begs for a more complex explanation. Why not remote controlled bombs, secret cannons, anonymous men in penthouse apartments ordering the extermination of innocent lives? That, in an odd way, makes way more “sense” than what really happened.

A conspiracy is the mind’s way of dealing with a world that seems to be turned on its ear. And how does one get roped into belief? Well, we know our government does things we’ve never heard about, so is it that great a leap to imagine an entire succession of absurd, horrible things done in the name of our government and secretive corporations?

Which leads to why you shouldn’t believe conspiracy theories.

I’ve come to be a strong believer in Occam ’s razor, that is, given multiple explanations for something the simplest explanation is usually the right one.

Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK on his own.

James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King on his own.

9/11 happened almost exactly as we saw it play out on our television screens.

And on and on. The real world is messy and chaotic and works without rhyme or reason. Sure, it somehow feels better to think that there are men behind the curtain orchestrating false reality, but it really isn’t likely.

Stuff just… happens. A marathon in a major city explodes into chaos, and as thousands witness the event in person and through mass and social media, the odds are that it happened exactly as we perceived it. There wasn’t any “false flag” or other, nefarious occurrences, but rather early reports that proved to be false because human beings are humans and not characters in a movie or television script.

While bad people and organizations do engage in horrible behavior in concert with one another, the very same human chaos also works against these grand conspiracies actually ever working out. The sheer amount of people who would have to play along to keep an event like 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination quiet works against the theory.

A bad thing happened. Let’s deal with that and leave the wild conspiracy around it to wither on the vine.


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  • Realityforyou

    Gulf of Tonkin

  • kevin

    These people are making a mockery, and a buck from the actual truth. Conspiracy Theroy’s have become a fraudulent industry in a society that by lack of intelligent rebuttal, promotes mental illness in the ever growing deluded and paranoid element.

  • Jamie

    This writer has either been brainwashed heavily in “college” to believe every word the gov and it’s controlled media tells him, OR he his helping the conspirators cover and hide behind their crimes either one he’s committing treason weather knowing it or not

    • John D.

      Says the person whose ‘education’ stopped at the eight grade, I gather?

      That’s usually why people put “college” in quotes in a sentence; it’s intended to somehow disparage higher education of any kind, when what it really displays is the commenter’s resentment at the fact that yes, in this day and age, the people who are going to get farther in this world are the ones with the letters after their names.

      Welcome to the 21st century. Hope you find a way to deal with it.

  • Jamie

    This writer totally convinced me with a whole lot of facts why I shouldn’t believe conspiracy theories but to believe his low iq theory, how many other zombies believe every thing their told by an establishment full of well known liars?
    Keep drinking your fluoride Kool aid and question everything punk

    • John D.

      Prove that these so-called ‘Zombies’ actually DO believe everything told to them by ‘the establishment,’ and then you’ll have something resembling an argument to make.

      Otherwise it’s a strawman argument at best.

  • Jamie

    This is part of the problem with America, This writer gets paid to push establishment sympatyser propaganda without any facts backing his sheltered close minded theory, and probably never researched anything to come to the conclusion that theories are theories because of information leaked by the conspirators that tend to usually be true, but with weak minded writers like Oliver Willis just can’t come to the realization any one would conspire against him grow up and quit vomiting your irrational attempt at making up other peoples minds specially when you didn’t do your homework!!!


    • John D.

      Right, right… he doesn’t believe in the Illuminati Lizard Men living in the Hollow Earth at the two poles who control us through the chemical reactions that happen when you combine fluoridated water and cocoa puffs, so he’s obviously a “sympatsyer” (whatever the f*** that is). Or did you mean “sympathizer?”

  • Vondra Winters

    It is like you all encourage people to believe all the conspiracy theories and none of news. How is one extreme more constructive than the next? Your approach is, you don’t like those theories, try these! If you don’t believe this, than your head is buried in the sand. Such crap. If you don’t like lemmings, don’t behave like one. People are skeptical of conspiracy theories because of the people who believe them, which are mostly less intelligent people who didn’t read until the internet was affordable to access in their homes on a daily basis. Plus wouldn’t you agree that people should think critically and make up their own minds about things? Seriously..

    • John D.

      Dammit, if you come in here using logic, rational thinking, maturity and intelligence again, Imma call teh internetz police.

  • john

    I came here for the conspiracy theorist comments. Love it guys. I know… people who watch the news are crazy and developing new theories off the internet is sooo much more intelligen and safe because the big mean government and Mr. Man have no control of it. Newsflash, I can watch the news and believe some shit our government says and also think some of may be fabricated or bs. But you guys listing off every conspiracy theory you find off the internet through the power of google are just as fucking dumb. I won’t even reply to any of you conspiracy theorist, but PLEASE know I will be laughing at your anger :)

  • http://carljohnveraja.wordpress.com/ Carl-John X Veraja

    Right. That’s why multiple complicated conspiracy theories have been demonstrated.

    • John D.

      Please list them, and give all details of every person involved and the events that transpired, as well as their results.

      Then, please explain how you know that they happened.

      Then, think about that for a bit.

      • http://carljohnveraja.wordpress.com/ Carl-John X Veraja

        Please list all the people in control of the mainstream media–the Zionists. What credibility do they have other than that they say they are the news?

  • CrowSeventySix

    Good article. It’s one thing to acknowledge that established systems will do things to protect their self interests. It’s another to think lizard aliens are taking over the world. lol

  • politics101

    You weak dawg
    Using your pet Alex Jones doesn’t work

    Here is some facts!

    1. – Alex Jones is married to a Jewish woman named Violet Nichols, with whom he has three(3) children.

    2. – Alex Jones and his Jewish wife and children all qualify for Israeli citizenship under Israel’s “Law of Return”.

    3. – Alex Jones is funded by at least thirty-four(34) Jewish sponsors and advertisers who financially support his radio show and websites.

    4. – Alex Jones’ flagship radio station, KLBJ AM, in Austin, Texas, is owned by Emmis Communications,
    a media conglomerate based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The founder,
    chairman, president, and CEO of Emmis Communications is the Zionist Jew Jeffrey Smulyan.

    5. – Alex Jones’ radio show is broadcast on Sirius XM Radio. The chairman of Sirius XM Radio is the Jew Eddy Hartenstein. The CEO of Sirius XM Radio is the Jew Mel Karmazin. The President of Sirius XM Radio is the Jew Scott Greenstein. Of the six(6) executive officers of Sirius XM Radio, five(5) are Jews.

    6. – Alex Jones is the client of a Jewish attorney named Elizabeth Morgan who is also the attorney for Holly Lev Bronfman, the sister of Edgar Bronfman, Jr. Thus there are only two degrees of separation between Alex Jones and the Bronfman family, one of the wealthiest and most influential Jewish Zionist families in North America.

    7. – Alex Jones’ employee Molly Maroney, the managing editor of Infowars Magazine, is a former intern of STRATFOR, a private intelligence agency based in Austin, Texas, which has been linked to the CIA and Mossad. The founder and CEO of STRATFOR is the Zionist Jew George Friedman. Thus there are only two degrees of separation between Alex Jones and STRATFOR.

  • winsmith

    “Today, America would be outraged if

    U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be

    grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside

    threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very

    existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them

    from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented

    with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the

    guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.”

    – Henry Kissinger, Bilderberger Conference in Evians, France, 1991

    “The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to

    create a one-world government combining super capitalism and Communism under

    the same tent, all under their control…. Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am

    convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in

    planning, and incredibly evil in intent.”

    – Congressman Larry P. McDonald, 1976, killed in the Korean Airlines 747 that

    was shot down by the Soviets

    “Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a

    secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States,

    characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with

    others around the world to build a more integrated global political and

    economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand

    guilty, and I am proud of it.”

    – David Rockefeller, Memoirs, page 405

    “It is the system of nationalist individualism that has to

    go….We are living in the end of the sovereign states….In the great struggle

    to evoke a Westernized World Socialism, contemporary governments may

    vanish….Countless people…will hate the new world order….and will die

    protesting against it.” – H.G. Wells, in his book, “The New World Order”,


    “Bankers own the earth; take it away from them but leave them

    with the power to create credit; and, with a flick of a pen, they will create

    enough money to buy it back again… If you want to be slaves of bankers and

    pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers control money and

    control credit.”

    – Sir Josiah Stamp, Director, Bank of England, 1940.

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we

    need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World


    – David Rockefeller

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York

    Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended

    our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty

    years… It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world

    if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But,

    the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world

    The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is

    surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past


    – David Rockefeller, Bilderberg Meeting, June 1991 Baden, Germany

    “In the next century, nations as we know it will be

    obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National

    sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”

    – Strobe Talbot, President Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, Time Magazine,

    July 20th, l992


    powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than

    to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate

    the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.

    This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of

    the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in frequent

    private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was the Bank for

    International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and

    controlled by the worlds’ central banks which were themselves private

    corporations. The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization

    of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of

    and the indirect injury of all other economic groups.”

    Tragedy and Hope: A History of The World in Our
    Time (Macmillan Company, 1966,) Professor

    Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University, highly esteemed by his former

    student, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton.


    Council on Foreign Relations is “the establishment.” Not only does it

    have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels

    of government to apply pressure from above, but it also announces and uses

    individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high level

    decisions for converting the U.S. from a sovereign Constitutional Republic into

    a servile member state of a one-world dictatorship.”


    Congressman John Rarick 1971


    New World Order will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the

    top down…but in the end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by

    piece will accomplish much more than the old fashioned frontal assault.”


    Gardner, writing in the April l974 issue of the CFR’s journal, Foreign



    when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social

    democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it

    becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people … will

    hate the new world order … and will die protesting against it. When we

    attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a

    generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and

    graceful-looking people.”


    G. Wells, in his book entitled The New World Order (1939)


    instant world government, Charter review, and a greatly strengthened

    International Court do not provide the answers, what hope for progress is

    there? The answer will not satisfy those who seek simple solutions to complex

    problems, but it comes down essentially to this: The hope for the foreseeable

    lies, not in building up a few ambitious central institutions of universal

    membership and general jurisdiction as was envisaged at the end of the last

    war, but rather in the much more decentralized, disorderly and pragmatic

    process of inventing or adapting institutions of limited jurisdiction and

    selected membership to deal with specific problems on a case-by-case basis …

    In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up

    rather than from the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing

    confusion,’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run

    around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much

    more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”


    N. Gardner, in Foreign Affairs (April 1974)


    global progress is now possible only through a quest for universal consensus in

    the movement towards a new world order.”


    Gorbachev, in an address at the United Nations (December 1988)

  • Tsadi Waw Mem Taw

    You are such a fucking idiot. For one thing, there are many different things which fall under the heading of conspiracy theory.

    If you do not believe that there is a group seeking to bring about a world collectivist society, then you have never seen the Zeitgeist movies, and have not heard Benjamin Fulford speak, as they are full-blown propagators of that sort of system, and they do not hide it at all.

    Also, if you do not believe that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was at least partially faked, then you are not in line with “conspiratorial” nor mainstream thinking, as this has been admitted.

    If you do not believe that a “controlling oligarchy” has always existed and presumably always will exist, then your point of view is contradictory to that expressed by Aldous Huxley around the five minute mark of this recording of his lecture at Berkeley in 1962 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If9Jrlwceew

    • John D.

      The Zeitgeist “movies” are trash, and whether you like them or not is irrelevant.

      Get off your intellectually lazy ass, go out IN THE REAL WORLD and do research for yourself, and then come back when you have a real argument ot make.

      Christ, you people are all the same.

  • Avery

    This is very clunky:

    “…I enjoy watching the creation of an alternate reality that generally has no relation to reality.”

  • Jim Hanson

    A loser with an $8 bolt-action rifle, couldn’t possibly squeeze off 4 shots in the time allotted to kill JFK, plus the magic bullet theory is an impossible 7 entry trajectory…better know your facts before you start spouting off about conspiracy theories not being true (at least as far as JFK is concerned). Just ask marksman or professional hunters, the best of the best could not have made those shots alone. Eisenhower was right when he warned about the war machine and big business. What does happen at every opportunity, is history is re-written over long periods of time, starting with youngsters in school, so that eventually, the lies are spread out enough to be common knowledge, and thus, easily believed. The truth is lost as people pass away and it is clouded over in the mist and fog of time, and this is the real reality…the truth is never really known because it is manipulated to be something else, by the unknowns who really run this world. These scum bags are in for a rude awakening because they are going to get what they deserve by God and Jesus on Judgement Day!

    • John D.

      Ah, the “God and Jesus” crowd finally shows up!

      I was wondering how far down in the thread I’d have to read before that happened. Not too shabby!

  • Jeremy Grunloh

    Bill Hicks is funny. I’m a fan. But he was often full of shit.

  • http://www.born2model3d.com/ Aditya

    Stop looking at conspiracy theories as conspiracy theory and start seeing them for what they are. A powerful person can kill/slave/fraud/deceive you and get away with it. The theories are just efforts of people to get the truth out. If you still believe the television set then I feel sorry for you. Don’t just use facts and statistics see if the basis of those facts and statistics are true. Why was the vote total of Kennebec and Waldo county in US in 2012 Zero? What explanation do you have about that, people did went to vote and people did voted, what do you have to say about that?

  • Veritas Exfictionem

    Read the book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Mattered. Beware — it is DRY READING filled with meticulously researched facts. A sufficient amount of time has passed since the assassination that dogged researchers have been able to pry out the truth. For example, incontrovertible evidence has come to light that Lee Oswald was a CIA operative. This is a substantiated fact, not a theory. Why was this not mentioned by the Warren Commission?

    Read Richard Dolan’s UFOs and the National Security State, either edition, and learn the truth about what the military-industrial-intelligence complex knows about the UFO phenomenon. It’s not pithy reading like the above opinion piece by Oliver Willis. Dolan is a historian, and his books are chronicles of factual information which lead to obvious truths — there is no need for opinion or theories. Former governor of Arizona Fife Symington, former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer, and former CIA Director Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter, to name just a few prominent people, have all called for an end to the truth embargo about UFOs and their extraterrestrial origin. Why indeed has this gone ignored by mainstream media?

    How about the fact that the CIA smuggles drugs? Ever hear of Iran-Contra? False flags not real? Ever hear of Gulf of Tonkin? The point is, the evidence is out there for anyone who chooses to actually research it. But that takes time and effort and, if you’re reasonable and serious, fact-checking. Why bother when you can simply dismiss the whole thing as nonsense, accept whatever the media spoon-feeds you and go on living in blissful ignorance.

    • John D.

      Of course.

      If ONE half-assed, poorly executed (and officially outed) covert exercise was a conspiracy, then clearly they’re ALL conspiracies. Especially the ones that work.


  • Schneibster

    My old man used to tell stories about the newspapers running stories about the mysterious pits in peoples’ windshields when there was nothing else going on. I believe the terminology is “silly season material.”

  • Animator606432

    Tell me about it, my very naive best friends just got “behold a pale horse” and I can’t tell how crazy she sounds telling me things about UFO’s and shit. It’s like, she didn’t even question anything she read.

    • God Mann

      Same thing here. I a very close friend who started believing that the Pyramids were designed to shoot down alien spaceships, and now it’s Zionism, and our leaders are going to execute two-thirds of the country, and blah, blah, blah. Once conspiracy thought controls your mind you’ve lost reality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004264362336 Kyle Hill

    Also some US Airports such as SEA had strict frisking procedures in the 90s and you were told to come an hour before you’re flight.

    In Northern Ireland one person reported in 1999 that security there was handled by the police and instead of using metal detectors they searched everybody by hand with a wand! LOL! Oh. This is Belfast Airport by the way.

    I personally believe the government blamed airporst security because they couldn’t handle the fact that they themselves allowed terrorists to flourish due to making stupid laws that separated the FBI and CIA and not allow profiling.

    One suspect was caught for something else at the Canada border but the border customs were afraid to search his laptop even though he looked suspicious and it was the laptop that carried the plans for 9/11 as well as OTHER terrorist plots that totally failed after 9/11 happened.

    Also Bill Clinton made very little effort to capture Al Qaeda suspects who bombed several embassies and instead bombed in aspirin factory.

    Bill Clinton has harbored more terrorists then captured but then again ALL our Presidents are terrorists in their own right and have not totally succeeded because too many people are becoming aware and own guns so it is suicide for our US military to take over outright.

    Not only that but over half our own military would defy orders so troops would be brought from Israel and/or the UN if the black ops decide to go open wave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004264362336 Kyle Hill

    An intresting thing I found out from some posts of the late 90s at Airliners . net (Do a search for airport security with oldest posts on the top)

    I found out that a lot of people *including some pilots* were actually concerned with US flights having cockpit doors not being locked in order to prevent future hijackings.

    The idea of a sterile cockpit actually came from the Pan AM explosion which sadly took away people’s visiting priviliges which many pilots regret as they enjoyed giving *wings* to children who like to learn more about what it’s like to be a pilot and there is no better way then talking to the pilots themselves!!!

    Many US air carriers were in violations of their own rules.

  • James

    This article is a false argument, and nonsense on so many levels.
    Oliver Willis will have us believe that as inefficiant as our government is regardless of who is in the White House and Congress; what they tell us about issues like Kennedy and 9/11 is absolute truth and anyone who questions it is a ‘Conspiracy Theorist’, then he gives absolutes concerning Kennedy, ect.??? BS and nonsense.

    Alex Jones is an idiot and a fear monger, that certainly does not mean that what the government tells us about 9/11 is fact, and that, “9/11 happened almost exactly as we saw it play out on our television screens”. Especially when the footage clearly shows explosions going off, the impossibility of total collapse, and pulverized concrete floating away in the wind before the roofline hit the ground when gravity was supposedly the only force at work. Also, 1 hour before the planes hit NO ONE in the media was talking about an obvious terror threat that had existed since Operation Bojinka (how many know what Bojinka is, before googling after reading this?), and didn’t become OBL/AQ experts until after the fact… The physics of the ‘collapses’ simply don’t add up, and people like David Chandler and Richard Gage agree with my statement, and the ‘government’ never actually explained the collapses…

    There are miles of difference between UFO, Illuminati, Alex Jones Bovarian-Lucifarian death cult conspiracy theory, and False Flag/covert operations. It is dismissive, irresponsible, and disinformation to dismiss all controvercial issues in society as conspiracy theory and support Offical Government Stories when the given government of the time explaination is full of holes that is willfully ignored by people like Oliver Willis.

  • tommo

    I don’t believe Jones is a true believer for a second. Just like the drug addict pedophile Limbaugh, or Wayne (small weiner) LaPierre, they are just snakeoil salesmen, willing to do and say anything to keep the greenbacks flowing their way. There is no sewer they would not swim, no vat of mucous they would not dive into, no tub of decaying corpses they would not lie in in order to get attention and make a buck. Don’t fool yourself.

  • [email protected]

    Haven’t you been following the Saudi National story?

    • http://www.jamesonstarship.wordpress.com/ Jameson

      As much as I’m willing to.

      • [email protected]

        That IS key, Jameson, how much we are “willing” to follow through on information out there and keeping alert to patterns. I just have come to accept the way things are with the Saudis. Our present government has no intention of going there. Follow the money with the Saudis. Obama’s administration didn’t invent this one. It’s not a republican verses democrat thing; unfortunately it is the nature of our corrupt government. Too many of these “conspiracy” theories are common knowlege, but just accepted. Bill O’Reilly last week talked with Beck on the Saudi National and it was a given that the Saudi connection to the bombing was protected by the US.O’Reilly didn’t even think it meritted making a big deal about, since we have long been collaborators with the Saudis.

        • http://www.jamesonstarship.wordpress.com/ Jameson

          I think you misunderstand. It’s not that I’m not “willing to follow through” its that I only have so much time in a day, and while my blog requires that I keep up with this kind of stuff, I do not need to invest significant amounts of time in gathering evidence for every crazy theory that pops up on the internet or talk radio (life’s too short). I’m not sure which particular conspiracy theory you consider your preference but I’d suggest taking another look at it and asking yourself how likely is it really.

          • [email protected]

            The Saudi suspect theory seems rather banal that we would even wonder about that one. Government, news networks, including Fox are all in bed with the Saudis, protect them at all costs. GOP is every bit as culpable as Dems. Any conspiracies about their defection is kinder musik when it comes to what has been the case for some time. What is always likely is whatever involves money, and that always leads to corruption and control, which requires suberversions of our Constitutional laws. To deduct that an evil agenda motivates bigger government is actually quite likely in my opinion. What is amazing is how many people would rather not believe that. Until one day they wake up and realize they’ve been played for chumps, and have been busy demonizing the wrong news medium. “Conspiracy” gets its definition from the government that considers any reporting which does not align with what it is presenting as the truth. Journalism was always supposed to be “free” and it’s job was to rigorously uncover anything which might cast suspicion on our elected officials. We now call this conspiracy.

  • [email protected]

    This is why we are given brains, to discern what is valid and what isn’t. Just because information which is not being aired mainstream is coming through “unauthorized” mediums, does not make it a conspiracy to anyone except the authorities who see that information as threatening to their agenda. It’s been a norm throughout history. Of course there are some wild paranoid notions which circulate during particularly off balanced times, but if we check, and double check with as many sources as any one of us can access, we should learn to trust our own capacity to comprehend.
    I have long ago stopped trusting government, and the bigger it has gotten, the less I have trusted it…for good reason.

    • John D.

      The problem is that when you’ve already got an established worldview (I don’t trust the government) then you’re going to be working under what they call “confirmation bias,” because to an extent you’re already starting with a foregone conclusion (the authorities lie about everything, therefore they must be lying about “X” too). Confirmation bias is the enemy of deductive reasoning. SOME people recognize this – but the vast majority of conspiracy theorists don’t understand that about themselves (to avoid cognitive dissonance, apparently) and that’s why so many of them wind out on the far, far fringes.

      • Suze

        I really do understand “confirmation bias”, that old Paul Simon lyric, “a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.” we all have to be aware that we can be played.
        Your second point is also well taken, that just because someone or group has duped us previously doesn’t mean they are doing it this time, but that is the tragedy of losing credibility, and why being an effective leader becomes impossible once that leader has demonstrated they cannot be trusted. The old fable of the boy who cried wolf ends with that boy getting eaten by that wolf.
        And finally, using my deductive reasoning here to which you refer, that while we all are in search of the evidence which fits our “narrative” world view (confirmation bias), if what we can logically discern, and if we actually have a great deal to lose by admitting this reality, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is probably, well….you know. IN this case, it has become inconvenient to face the facts of what is happening globally and most relevant to me, here in this country. Communism is taking a strong hold, and Obama is ushering it in. I refuse to be one of those people who enables this illness in society. So if that puts me on the far right, positions that were actually normal in this country in the 80s, that is where I fit. I am against what this administration is doing with all my heart. This is not the democratic party I knew living in NY, attending those universities, teaching in those schools. This is criminal and with an intent to harm what has made this country truly great.

  • John Magoun

    I’m not sure I can buy the JFK assassination as the beginning of some “modern conspiracy movement.” Paranoid fantasy is a constant on the fringes of American politics.

    Remember when the Truman administration, which had owned China, lost it
    through the machinations of commies in the State Department? And those
    guys who gave the Russians the secret of the A-bomb, who could
    never have developed one themselves. Remember when Roosevelt arranged for
    the fleet to be bombed at Pearl Harbor? And don’t forget the Catholic
    Church and its long-standing conspiracy to infiltrate a God-fearing
    America, culminating in the nomination of a Pope-enslaved Catholic for
    president in 1928. How about when a small group of industrialists got
    the U.S. into World
    War I so they could make more blood money from the sale of armaments?
    Who plotted to kill McKinley so TR could be president? Who set off the
    Haymarket bomb, discrediting American labor for a generation? Heck,
    remember when U.S. slaveowners arranged for a war in Mexico so they
    could extend the Slave Power further south? And then they conspired to
    annex Cuba and Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic – and to break up
    the Union. And everyone knows Clay sold his electoral votes to Adams in a
    conspiracy to deprive Jackson of the presidency. Of course, professional historians deny these were conspiracies. Of course.

    Well, some of these are pretty dusty. Maybe your “modern” idea can have some meaning. How about: within living memory? But if so, for granddaddy of “modern conspiracy theories” I’d nominate the Congressionally-investigated idea that FDR arranged for the Pearl Harbor attack just to get us in the Second World War. It’s big, bigger than the death of a president, and bigger than the mid-sized Vietnam War which required his death. And coming as it does at the dawn of the National Security State which we’ve lived with since 1942, FDR’s treasonous scheme pioneers the arguably modern idea that the it’s the government itself, headed by the chief executive, that has been spinning the giant web of interlocked conspiracies that threatens our freedom.

    • villemar

      I know, right? I too have reached the exact same conclusions as you have, safe within the confines of Mommy’s basement, where I don’t have to interact at all with the mind-controlled Sheeple. And you’re 100% correct. Everything wrong today was a result of that Jew Roosevelt conducting that false-flag operation in Pearl Harbor…because Naziism was mankind’s only hope for to free ourselves from the shackles of the Elders of Zion and their diabolical globalist web. Poor, poor Hitler. I cry myself to sleep every night thinking about what They did to that great man! At least we have Alex Jones…but when will They get him? You know it’s only a matter of time before that Zionist Pig Obama shuts him down. Because, like you and I, he knows TOO MUCH!

      • http://twitter.com/leroyferg Roy Ferguson

        Nice work, Villemar. You took us right into the conspiratorial mind.

      • John D.

        LOL that was brilllant :) Well done sir.

  • kfreed

    Imagine what the world would be like if conspiracy mongers and their rabid beliebers were to put as much energy into helping solve real life problems rather expending so much of it spreading whack job theories.

    • startlingjirachi

      Imagine what a wonderful world we would have if we just listen like good little sheeps and do what we’re told! Wow, everyone would think the same… It’d be utopia! W-wait… I guess we wouldn’t have found out the world was round though. Can’t think outside the box… O-oh well…

      • Abdulla Bahassen

        No everyone doesn’t think the same you fucking idiot. And if you want your government better you can change it but no you don’t you sit on your fatass making up theory’s some may be true theorys some may be fake.

    • CrowSeventySix

      They’d get a lot more done lol. It’s easy to state problems(of course they have to be valid). It’s another to find a solution.

  • [email protected]

    In other words, even though our government has lied to us without end and has been self serving and is currently bankrupting us and polarizing us and taking us away from our constitution, we are supposed to believe their media machine (with Axelrod on staff at MSNBC) and call any true investigative reporters idiots. Anyone who believes this article, in light of the very real conspiracies our govenment has played on We the People, deserves the worst our corrupt leaders can hand out. “Believe the obvious,” he is actually suggesting here, “believe what Government tells you they are doing instead of what they are doing for all to see,” They depend on your low information lemming mentality for it to happen, and all the cronies like this have to do is tell you you’re an idiot if you believe anything the government isn’t selling, and you fold.

    • Lady Willpower

      I sure love when morons accuse intelligent people of being “low information” lemmings.

      • [email protected]

        “I sure love when morons accuse intelligent people of being “low information” lemmings.”
        Well, why not offer a response with some substance so as not to make my point then?

        • Lady Willpower

          I don’t argue with anyone who uses “We the People” in their everyday life.

          • [email protected]

            Any excuse not to offer something of substance. We get it.

          • Lady Willpower

            I assume the “we” refers to the voices in your head.

          • [email protected]

            IN this case, “we” here on this site are noticing how you still haven’t offered any argument of substance. We are observing that you aren’t equipped to debate the issue. And you insinuated that I was a moron?

          • Lady Willpower

            Actually, you’re the only conspiracy nut here, pillsbury. I’m hitting your MUTE button from here on in.

          • [email protected]

            Not so. Looks like you aren’t reading what’s on here. Guess that’s why you are so low information…you don’t read.

          • startlingjirachi

            no, she only knows how to argue with emotions and no facts. She’s (or a he?) the type of person who gets pissed off if you say one bad thing or something she(he?) disagrees with. It’s impossible to speak with those types of people.

          • [email protected]

            You are probably right.

          • startlingjirachi

            I think you might want to dismount from that horse you’re riding, ma’am.

  • pbeeg

    Conspiracy theorists want to believe the world is actually run. It’s a positive hope wearing a black cloak. My rule of thumb is: If you believe in a conspiracy theory because you can’t believe in a bunch of bumbling venal short-sighted screwups making a hash out of things, you’re fooling yourself.

    • Craig Pennington

      “Conspiracy theorists want to believe the world is actually run.”

      • Vondra Winters

        I am making this into a meme! Thank you pbeeg!

    • Guest

      Here ya go!

    • Vondra Winters


  • Lady Willpower

    Dumb people believe in conspiracies because it allows them to believe that they (the dumb people) have picked up on something that actual smart people missed.
    It’s nothing more than that.

    • Dennis

      Tell that to Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Lady Willpower. Some conspiracy theories turn out to be correct. The Tuskegee Syphilis Project was another one.

      • Lady Willpower

        Alex Jones is no Woodward and Bernstein. That’s a silly comparison. I didn’t mean there’s no such thing as a conspiracy, just that the vast majority of them (particularly the ones espoused by non-journalists) are hogwash.

        • [email protected]

          It’s so naive of you to believe mainstream media after all this time. You just aren’t paying attention or something. Low info.

          • Lady Willpower

            Stop bothering me with your inanity. You’re such a cliche.

          • [email protected]

            You are the cliche, and that is all you have to say as far as substance…It’s worth my time to reveal the fact that you are one of the low information “morons” you disdain? It seems that the “nuts” are actually a lot sharper than you are. At least they don’t fall for the sh*t the mainstream media feed the flies.

          • startlingjirachi

            LOL You can’t even argue back. You reply with an insult instead. You know pills is correct. But you just can’t admit it. I guess that’s why your name is “Lady Willpower” …

          • Priscilla Smith

            I guess your ignorance suits you. This article is utter nonsense, as well as your comment. If I told you drones were around since atleast the early 60s would you believe me? How about if I told you there is a document entitled Operation Norhwoods you can view in person at The Library of Congress or online in the government archives, which entails plans made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense to stage terror attacks on the U.S. to deceive the American people to blame and go to war with Cuba? Maybe you should research Operation Artichoke, Operation MKULTRA, Operation Mockingbird, and Project Paperclip while you are at it. Don’t worry, I’ll wait……

          • Lady Willpower

            OMG a fucking Birther is trying to school me. Go back to nursery school, little one.
            Oh, and she believes in the “100 million dollar vacation” too?


        • [email protected]

          “I didn’t mean there’s no such thing as a conspiracy, just that the vast majority of them (particularly the ones espoused by non-journalists) are hogwash.”
          So now you are admitting that there actually is such a thing as a conspiracy in spite of claiming that anyone who believed in them were morons.
          And who are these NON journalists you speak of who are hogwash?
          Do you mean journalists who aren’t owned by mainstream media, like MSNBC where Axelrod (Obama’s campaign manager) is on staff?
          Just trying to get where you are coming from little lady.

          • xuinkrbin

            The difference between AJ and W&B is W&B followed the evidence to reach conclusions while AJ starts with conclusions and then looks for evidence to back it up while ignoring evidence which undermines the conclusions.

          • Jamie

            Actually you have it backwards moron when have you actually listened to AJ or you just believe and regurgitate what you were told without researching for yourself I just love the American arrogance that doesn’t learn for themselves but buys into what they want to believe

          • John D.

            “you just believe and regurgitate what you were told without researching for yourself..”
            Yawn. For God’s sake, would you people get some new material???

            Watching Youtube videos and buying DVDs from Alex Jones does not constitute “researching for yourself.”

            And yet you yammer about “American arrogance…” that’s precious, kid.

            To believe, for one single solitary second, that by watching youtube videos, listening to Alex Jones, and reading conspiracy theory websites, you’re suddenly qualified (in any way, shape or form) to discern the facts of any situation (unlike the people out there in the real world who are actually DOING the work) is not only arrogance on your part, but borderline insanity. Or stupidity. I’m still not sure which.

        • kevin

          Alex Jones….Now thats a piece of work!

    • [email protected]

      REALLY? Now you ARE being “dumb.”

      From an article 2011: 14 Conspiracy Theories That The Media Now Admits Are Conspiracy Facts
      #1 Fukushima Uninhabitable
      Back in April 2011, an article entitled “Much Of Northern Japan Uninhabitable Due To Nuclear Radiation?“ Mainstream media was insisting that Fukushima was nothing like Chernobyl .Well, the New York Times….said Fukushima declared uninhabitable.

      #2 U.S. Military Attack On Libya: Early in 2011 anyone warning about an upcoming conflict with Libya were called kooks, and MSM denied that NATO was arming and training the rebels.
      Now New York Times admits we had special forces on the ground even before the conflict began, training and equipping the rebels.

      #3 Widespread Use Of RFID Chips In Humans
      Mocked as impossible.They said we would never see the day when RFID chips were implanted in humans on a widespread basis.

      According to the Washington Post, “thousands of worried
      Mexicans” have been having “satellite and radio-frequency tracking products” implanted in their skin in order to protect themselves against abduction.

      #4 $2000 Gold: Forever it seemed that we were told that gold was “in a bubble” at $1400 or $1500 an ounce UNTIL gold crossed the $1900 an ounce barrier, and appears poised to go much higher as global financial instability intensifies.

      #5 Obama Wants To Impose Backdoor Amnesty
      Conspiracy theoristis warned that Obama was going to impose amnesty for illegal immigrants by executive fiat. Obama has now instituted “backdoor amnesty” for illegal immigrants and next come work permits.

      #6 U.S. Government Provides Weapons For Mexican Drug Cartels

      See CBS News report that discusses the fierce opposition that many ATF agents expressed to allowing thousands of guns to be given into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels….

      Three of the key ATF officials involved in putting thousands of guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels were recently promoted.

      #7 Fluoride Is Harmful: on CNN, The Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency are proposing the change because of an increase in fluorosis— a condition that causes spotting and streaking on children’s teeth.

      #8 The Federal Reserve Favors The Big Banks. We were always told by the media that the Federal Reserve was “above politics” and that it did not show favoritism.
      It turns out Federal Reserved showered big banks with hundreds of billions of dollars in loans at rates that were substantially below market during the financial crisis. While Wall Street was being flooded with easy loans, none of the small banks that were deeply suffering and no average Americans got any money.
      More conspiracy theories now common knowledge:
      #9 Cell Phones Linked To Cancer (glioma brain tumors) See CNN.

      #10 The Credit Rating Agencies Are Corrupt

      #11 Prescription Drugs Kill A Lot Of Americans

      A recent Vanity Fair article entitled “Deadly Medicine”

      Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year.
      #12 Bisphenol-A Is Linked To Infertility

      #13 The “Super Congress” Is In The Pocket Of Wall Street Interests

      check out 2011 CNBC article

      the dozen super committee members have raised more than $50
      million from the finance, insurance and real estate sector since the 1990
      election cycle.

      #14 The Targeting Of Christian Groups

      Obama administration underlines that we need to be really concerned
      about “homegrown terrorists” and “Christian extremists”.

      See Congressional hearing U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee warned that “Christian militants” might try to “bring down the country” and that such groups need to be investigated.

      FBI is now instructing store owners to report many new forms of “suspicious activity” to them. According to the document, “suspicious activity” now
      includes making “extreme religious statements” and believing in “radical theology” (Christianity).

      DHS report on “right wing extremism” from April 2009 lists the following people as potential terrorists, those that believe in “end times” prophecies
      those that believe abortion is wrong, those that stockpile food, ammunition or weapons, those that are against same-sex marriage, those that believe in “New World Order” conspiracy theories.

      • villemar


      • Dave Middleton

        These things are hardly conspiracies in the sense that the tin foil hat brigade go on. Sure governments are often quick to release information to let some politician squirm out of some uncomfortable situation. I suppose you believe in chem trails or that big Pharma is out to get us through vaccinations or 9/11 was a government inside job. These are the true loopy conspiracies.

    • Jim Hanson

      Facts are what you are supposedly all about, correct? Read my comment above, the facts do speak for themselves and the Warren Commission was a joke.

    • CrowSeventySix

      That makes a lot of sense. People may judge themselves as ‘stupid’ compared to ‘smart’ people and when these people come along and tell you you’re smart that gets you. You feel smarter and better about yourself. There has to be so many angles to this though.I personally want to study what environments produce irrational conspiracy theorists and see if we can alter them.

    • Lawabiding Citizen


      • Lady Willpower

        Please elaborate. So far you’re doing great.

    • Suze

      Oh you’re listening to too many conspiracy theories about people who don’t believe what you want to be believe is true.!!

      • Lady Willpower

        I see you have not gained a lot of insight in the past two years.

  • Dennis

    I remember observing the amazingly distasteful conspiracy theory involving Bill Sparkman take place a few years ago. This was the guy who committed suicide and tried to make it look like he was tortured and hung simply for being a census worker, in order to collect insurance for his son. It was incredible reading all the whacko theories pop up out of whole cloth, about who was to blame and who was promoting the death of census workers and possibly otber government workers. It was indeed the creation for political purposes of an alternate reality that generally bore no relation to reality, being done by otherwise somewhat half-way intelligent people. Very interesting study in the human condition, watching how far these conspiracy nuts took that story against their better instincts.

    • dbtheonly

      Shorter Dennis: They both do it.

      • Dennis

        No, the shorter is if a blogger tells you he never ascribes to conspiracy theories and is above falling for them, be skeptical, db.

        • dbtheonly


          Welcome back.

          I see a difference between “ascrib(ing) to conspiracy theories” & being misled (i.e. falling) for a staged event.

          • Dennis


            ‘Ascribed to’ insofar as pushing and promoting the narrative as much as possible.

            Another Failed Eliminationist Narrative, to be sure.

          • dbtheonly

            On-line research is DA’s department; but I do not remember Oliver making multiple repetitive posts on the issue. I also remember that I was taken in by the faked murder.

            “Fool me once…” & I’ve moved on.

            Arrogant is a word I’d not associate with Oliver. Perfect is one he wouldn’t ascribe to himself. He (we) were misled. Do you not see the difference?

          • galaxymover2002

            Everybody listen up, this conspiracy theory thing, is ruining a lot of brilliant mind! Considering those conspiracy theory like JFK, Fukushima thing are true, what are the conspiracy theorist can do to stop this crap! I think nothing right? what can they do about chemtrail? cameras all over the cities that the government installed to prepare for a new world order per Alex Jones… what can the conspiracy theorist do about it? NOTHING RIGHT? They are just trying to ruined their life… oh by the way my husband is one of those believer and i am divorcing him because hes brain is overly saturated with all this conspiracy things> i feel sorry for him. I hope he can make a conspiracy theory for our divorce. Thank you conspiracy people for ruining our lives and marriage!

          • galaxymover2002

            I hope he is not going to kill me and and our son becuase i dont believe him! i dont believe in conspiracy theory! pray for us!

      • http://frothslosh.typepad.com/ Ol Froth

        Shorter shorter Dennis: Look over here!

  • sherifffruitfly

    good ol freddy told us a looooong time ago why folks actively want to believe in bullshit:

    “However, the fact that generally the ascetic ideal has meant so much to human beings is an expression of the basic fact of the human will, its horror vacui [horror of a vacuum]. It requires a goal—and it prefers to will nothingness than not to will.”

    -opening graf of Essay 3, GoM

    • John D.

      That’s pretty awesome.

  • villemar

    This article proves that you’re in on it, Maaannn!!! NWO! Killuminati! Project 21! Loud Noises!

    • Lawabiding Citizen

      again, idiot…

  • 2jeffwilliams

    There is no “theory” about Boston,black ops handlers letn their “project” get away from them.

    • SexBobOmb

      If this isn’t satire, I beg you to get back on your lithium.

      • dbtheonly

        Look at the kid’s name.


        Pronounced JOKER?

        • John D.

          Do your parents know you’re using their computer?

          • dbtheonly

            You’ve had almost two years, Old Boy.

            Is that the best you can come up with?

    • dbtheonly

      Exactly right. But what happened to the Iron Man armor?

  • Christopher Foxx

    Why are people willing to take that leap?

    A perfect storm of aspects of human nature. 19 people being able to cause so much damage is scary.
    It was something easily done so it’s easy to picture it happening again. Human nature wants it to be complicated so it couldn’t happen easily again.
    Had the right actions been taken, it could have been easily stopped. Human nature doesn’t want to feel even a shared, distant responsibility for a failure. So it must have been something pushed by powerful, unstoppable forces.


  • Christopher Foxx

    You take something that is true, and use it as a launching pad into what is ludicrous.

    Another method is to state as a fact, as a flat statment, something that isn’t true. For example:

    The idea that 19 mostly unarmed men could cause such chaos, death, and destruction does not compute. It almost begs for a more complex explanation. Why not remote controlled bombs, secret cannons, anonymous men in penthouse apartments ordering the extermination of innocent lives? That, in an odd way, makes way more “sense” than what really happened.

    It does compute. And the convoluted complexity you surmise doesn’t make more sense than what really happened. But by flatly stating that it does, you make it a given. It’s an attempt to force any subsequent discussion to start with your an acceptance of your premise.

    • Claude Weaver

      Um, did I get a different article than you did? Because if your comment is based on that excerpt, I’m afraid I don’t get your issue with it.

      He is saying that, to a conspiracy theorist, the concept of 19 men pulling off such a feat doesn’t make sense. So they go for the (quite ironic) route of adding more and more convoluted parts to make it make sense to them.

      So yeah. What he said is indeed fact: a conspiracy theorist rejects accepted reality and facts and substitutes their own (thanks Adam Savage!) in order for it to “make sense” to them. That is how conspiracy theories work. Hell, that is how conspiracy theorists themselves say their theories work.

      So what exactly is your problem?

    • John D.

      Christopher Foxx – he was being facetious… that was the point of that paragraph, dude.

      Of course it computes. He was satirizing the mindset of the Truthers.

      • Christopher Foxx

        I know. I was agreeing with him.

        Re-reading it now (two years(!) later) I see I could have phrased it better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663669914 Sean Richardson

    One of my favorites is “The government has admitted to false flag operations in the past, therefore everything we accuse them of, we will call it a ‘false flag’ operation, even though none of these conspiracies actually meets the basic definition of a false flag operation.”

    • [email protected]

      Also, the government is known not to let any tragedy be wasted to implement their agenda. Similar thing.

      • Rationalist

        Different thing, Suze, you complete div. But hey, going by all your posts on this page, you’re a lost cause and cannot be saved.