It is human nature to seek out answers. Unfortunately, too many people don’t even understand the question. When they try to understand what they don’t comprehend, they tend to embrace the impossible and unlikely. When the subject is a perceived threat, then their beliefs often become elaborate fantasies commonly known as conspiracy theories.
Below are some theories, not a single one has any persuadable evidence of being true. The conspiracy theories are primarily political ones. A few others are included because if they become widely believed, then they will have political implications. Some are embraced by the left, others by the right, but wrongheadedness is not partisan. Many people will dismiss most of these, but believe in a few. If you do, I strongly suggest you take a close look at the links provided. Consider whether you are believing this things because it fits your worldview, as opposed to disbelieving because the facts suggest that.
This is not to say there are not real conspiracies. Watergate was a conspiracy. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln was a conspiracy. By their nature, conspiracies are difficult to conduct and maintain. They require coordination by many people. Human beings are not so skillful as to maintain the lengthy kind of deception the conspiracy theories below require.
I will gladly embrace any of these conspiracy theories as the truth if evidence is provided. I mean real evidence, not personal anecdotes, twisted data or conjecture. Great claims need great evidence. Invariably, every one of these wild theories fails under its own weight.
If any of the links below go bad, please let me know so I can update them. I am not attempting to persuade the hardcore believers in these conspiracies. They are unpersuadable. I am simply trying to shed some clarity through the smokescreen that the conspiracists put up so that those who have not made up their minds can have a few facts.
Agenda 21 is a non-binding, United Nations’ policy paper on sustainability. It was written in 1992 with the backing of two Presidents, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. It was ratified by 178 countries. Like most UN documents, it suggests grand things to do, but has no teeth. It is a UN documents that was put together with a lot of effort and now sits on a shelf until someone makes reference about a proposal in its 300-plus pages.
A few years ago, those who think internationalists have a plot to subvert American sovereignty took note of Agenda 21. They began to embellish the sustainable ideas to where Agenda 21 became a plan to subvert all that is American. Agenda 21 is supposed to take away guns, abolish private property and herd all of us into “human habitation zones.” The wild-eyed conspiracists imagine blue-helmeted soldiers everywhere and black helicopters filling American skies as they crush American freedom under globalist tyranny.
Agenda 21 is one of those documents where you can find anything that you want. If you want to find ideas for sustainable living, it is there. If you want to find threats to your current lifestyle, it is there. Like most policy papers that have no enforceability, it becomes a collection of everyone’s ideas from corporatist to communist. It has plenty of less than well-thought out concepts because everyone knows that it is nothing more than a cornucopia of ideas instead of actual legislation. There has been no serious attempt to incorporate any of its ideas in the U.S. besides a few suggestions at the local level. For more information on why this is a big bust about nothing visit here, here and here.
Barack Obama wasn’t Born in the U.S.
Believe in this one? Let me guess, you never liked Barack Obama, right?
There has never been a single piece of evidence to suggest that Obama’s mother was not in the country when he was born. Despite Obama’s release of his official Hawaiian birth information twice, Birthers continue to go apoplectic over an “unconstitutional” President.
Even the director of the Hawaii Department of Health, a Republican appointee, confirmed that Obama’s birth certificate was there and valid. For more information, Snopes did a general debunking of the myths surrounding the birth certificate.
Climate Change is a Hoax
While climate change is not a political conspiracy theory in itself, those who believe that the world’s climate is not changing or that humans have no impact on its change, believe that it is a conspiracy created by biased scientists and globalist liberals trying to create some form of mega-worldwide government.
When 97% of the world’s climatologists believe that climate change is real, that leaves only 3% who are doubters. There are always a few cranks, contrarians and kooks in any field. Climatology is no different.
Climate change deniers are a part of a group that likes to pick and choose what science to believe. They are happy to accept at face value science and the technology that follows from it as long as it doesn’t interfere with their belief system. They don’t dispute the science behind airplanes flying, cars driving, cell phones working or heart surgery. Yet, if it means that pollutants into the atmosphere from their lifestyle might be causing the world to warm, then it must be a lie.
Many like to point to the Global Warming Petition, which has over 31,000 signatures from scientists. That’s impressive until you read about the scientists. No one takes his or her car to an interior decorator or pharmacist for a mechanical repair opinion. No, that is what a mechanic is for. Well, the petition has a grand total of 39 climatologists who have signed on. It is filled with computer scientists, mechanical engineers, zoologists, food scientists, electrical engineers and a host of other fields completely unrelated to the climate.
For those who still have doubts about climate change being real, here is a link that corrects just about every crazy thought that climate change deniers have embraced.
Evolution is a Myth
Why is evolution denial doing in a list primarily reserved for political conspiracy theories? That is because creationists want to enforce their worldview through government legislation. They want to teach their mythology of the world’s creation alongside evolution in science classes. Intelligent design is often their favorite alternative to evolution. Neither creationism nor intelligent design hold any water.
By denying evolution, the anti-Darwinists seek to propel a religious agenda of dubious science and ancient morals on modern society.
Federal Reserve Conspiracies
There are bunches of these out there, and they are usually promoted by ultra-conservative, patriot types who think the Federal Reserve is part of the New World Order. Let’s look at some facts that everyone should be able to agree. The Federal Reserve is enormously powerful. Its operations are also little known to the average person. Taken together, that results in a prime candidate for all sorts of fear and doubt by the uninformed.
In short, the Federal Reserve is designed to keep the economy humming along. That means there is a lot of buddying up to Wall Street and multinational corporations. Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on one’s own political beliefs. It doesn’t make a conspiracy.
This article at the Public Eye, sheds some light on what the Federal Reserve is and responds to the conspiracy theories. Here is another that debunks a lot of the financial conspiracies. None of this is easy to explain in a few paragraphs, so I refer you to the links.
FEMA Concentration Camps
Did you know that Barack Obama has plans to use the Federal Emergency Management Agency in a future declaration of martial law to place millions in concentration camps? Hopefully, you are not believer in this political propaganda. This thinking is widespread among survivalists and right-wing extremists. It has zero proof. It reached its height of support with the election of Barack Obama as President.
Popular Mechanics did a nice debunking of the camps, yet the conspiracists remain promoting it.
FDR Knew Japanese were Going to Attack Pearl Harbor
The theory that Franklin Roosevelt knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor has been around for decades. Roosevelt is supposed to have turned a blind eye to the attack so that it would compel the U.S. to join World War II. Maybe this preposterous idea will go away when all the people associated with WWII have passed away. We can only hope so.
First of all, there has never been a shred of evidence to suggest that Roosevelt was somehow complicit in the Japanese attack.
Second, this conspiracy theory shows a fundamental flaw found in most conspiracies. Common sense usually guides the path to the truth. In this case, why would Roosevelt want almost his entire Navy destroyed before going to war with a major naval power? Plus, why would his admirals and generals agree to the slaughter of thousands of their soldiers? The information Roosevelt would have used would have come from military intelligence in those days. That means he would have had to be part of a broader conspiracy including high officials in the military. None of them would want a major part of their military forces destroyed before going to war. If Roosevelt had known beforehand, then he could easily have set an ambush for the Japanese. Public opinion would still have demanded an entry into the war because the U.S. was attacked.
Sometimes, when there is no evidence, common sense makes more sense than a fictionalized story. If you need more evidence, here is some.
JFK was Killed by Someone Other than Lee Harvey Oswald
50 years later, and it still hangs around. Like most conspiracies as time passes, the lies become dimmer and the truth emerges. Besides, there are new, hot conspiracies of the twenty-first century to get excited about now. This is old news for most conspiracists. To be fair, Jack Ruby’s shooting of Oswald complicated everything. There was no trial of Oswald and Ruby’s questionable connections made him a nice target for a conspiracy. Yet, when it’s all put together, it all comes down to Oswald acting alone.
I must confess. The Illuminati do exist…or did. It was a secret society in Bavaria in the eighteenth century. They were suppressed in 1785 and disbanded. Originally, they were a group attempting to reduce superstition, decrease religious influence and state power, and promote greater equality. Overall, they were not bad people. Modern day conspiracists claim that the Illuminati exist in politics, culture and conduct some form of satanic rituals. This conspiracy theory is similar to the New World Order but deserves special attention because of its common use in modern culture.
It’s always hard to debunk what comes out of people’s imaginations because there is nothing factual to latch onto, but here is a young Australian skeptic who points out some obvious problems with the modern Illuminati.
Moon Landing Faked
As time passes from the 1969 landing on the moon, the number of people who think it was faked grows. Many think that legendary film director Stanley Kubrick had something to do with it. Some claim the American flag moving when it was planted on the Moon is evidence of the wind blowing it. The more scientific illiterate realize that in the minute atmosphere of the Moon the vacuum of space provides no resistance to an object that was caused to move by a human hand as it was planted on the Moon’s surface. Others point to an absence of stars in NASA photos to prove the Moon landing was not real, but that is the result of camera exposure instead a government cover-up.
Altogether, this is one of the most ridiculous assertions for a conspiracy out there. The United States was in a space race with the Soviet Union. If the landing had been faked, Soviet astronomers and scientists would have been able to tell that no American had landed on the moon or even orbited it. That would have made a huge propaganda splash for the communists. They never disputed it. No one else should either. If you need more information, here it is.
New World Order
This is about a secret cabal of the most powerful people in the world creating a totalitarian government. For more information, read Wikipedia’s entry. There are as many different versions of these as there are of Crayola’s green. They go from the Antichrist to George Washington to reptilian aliens. It’s harder to disprove this one as unequivocally as the others because it doesn’t involve a building burning, ships being sunk or even something as tangible as a birth certificate. That’s because there is no evidence for the existence of a group of global manipulators besides what is in the mind of the conspiracy theorists. For more information, here is another criticism on this make-believe conspiracy.
Those who want to think that something sinister is going on always point to the existence of secretive groups like the Bohemian Club or Bilderberg Group. When people get together for a barbeque, they usually invite their friends, talk about the opposite sex and talk about something like sports. When the rich and powerful get together they talk about work, they talk about the opposite sex and they talk about something like sports. Just as a neighborhood barbecue doesn’t change the neighborhood, a meeting of the powerful few does not change the world. These people are often in competition with each other. They represent a speck of the world’s rich and powerful. None of the conspiracy theories for a New World Order has evidence of an all-powerful secret group in which all take their marching orders. If a small elite was running the world, all that would be needed would be for one voice to step forward and declare his or her involvement. It’s never happened. Besides, if the world was being run by a small group of brilliant masterminds, then the world wouldn’t be so screwed up.
That Truthers continue to exist suggests that no tragedy in the modern age can occur without someone making a conspiracy out of it. Every credible argument that the Truthers have proposed has been long ago debunked. A building fire can’t melt steel! Building 7 wasn’t hit by an airliner and came down hours later! The Bush administration was involved in a massive conspiracy!
Invariably, the people who believe in 9/11 despise George W. Bush. They despised him before 9/11, and they despised him after.
By the way, fire can melt steel, especially when it’s superheated by jet fuel — or maybe all the blacksmiths in history have been part of a grand conspiracy. Building 7 was 400 feet from the Twin Towers. The Towers were 1300 feet tall. One of the perimeter columns hit Building 7. Problem solved, except the Truther story keeps changing. The last one I heard is that Building 7 was two blocks from the Twin Towers.
Finally, 9/11 wasn’t a massive conspiracy by the Bush administration because no one has ever found an iota of proof showing government involvement. Literally thousands of people would have been needed to cover this up, and yet not a single person has ever come forward to admit their involvement or point a finger at anyone with a smidgen of proof.
This is so science fictionish, that I don’t even want to list it. However, there many who are convinced that extraterrestrial reptiles are lording over us. The Illuminati and New World Order conspiracies overlap into this as well. If you are curious, read this, which should help clarify what this is all about. Again, this is another figment of the imagination conspiracies that has no evidence to suggest it is true. If you want to continue to belief that UFOs brought lizards to rule over us, then please send me some scales to prove it the next time you molt.
This is the idea that power really rests in an unknown cabal of power brokers who direct elected officials on what to do. Of course, that never explains why political races are so nasty if all the candidates involved are just pawns of an invisible government. Sometimes extraterrestrials or the Illuminati are involved. It all depends on who is promoting the conspiracy theory. It’s hard to debunk a concept that doesn’t name names, places or operations. In that case, the debunking requires exposing the Illuminati, extraterrestrials or whatever is involved as a fraud. Here’s the general concept from Wikipedia.