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Most Stupid Conspiracy Theories

March 6, 2019
Why Gay Relationships Don’t Last
March 6, 2019

Some Theories may Be Ridiculous but at list they are Funny

The Following Theories are just Stupid

Chemicals in the water are turning frogs gay

One of Jones' most notorious conspiracy theories is that the government is using chemicals in order to turn people gay, using a mysterious "gay bomb" devised by the Pentagon.

"The reason there's so many gay people now is because it's a chemical warfare operation, and I have the government documents where they said they're going to encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don't have children," he said on his broadcast in 2010, according to NBC News.

Five years later, the theory took a turn. In a rant that has since become a meme and a line of t-shirts, Jones said he didn't like the government "putting chemicals in the water that turn the friggin' frogs gay."

"The majority of frogs in most areas of the United States are now gay," Jones said in 2017. The claim was without evidence.

In 1994, a government lab did request funds to pursue the development of a weapon that would turn enemy combatants gay, though the project was quickly shelved and no such weapon was developed.

A 2013 report in Gizmodo notes that the same lab also requested funding for "bad-breath bombs, flatulence bombs and bombs designed to attract swarms of stinging insects to enemy combatants," noting that "the gay bomb is certainly the most novel."

The Sandy Hook shooting was staged

One of the few conspiracy theories that has led to real consequences for Jones is his claim that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 dead, including 20 children between six and seven years old, was a hoax that employed so-called "crisis actors."

Jones claimed that the shooting was "completely fake" and staged in order to promote more restrictive gun control policies.

Earlier this year, families of children who were killed in the shooting sued Jones for defamation, specifically citing comments he made in an April 2017 broadcast titled "Sandy Hook Vampires Exposed."

Eight families have sued Jones, claiming that his reports on the Sandy Hook massacre have caused them immense personal pain and led his followers to harass them.

After originally calling the shooting a "hoax," Jones later said that he believed it "really happened" but insisted that the families suing him were agents of the Democratic Party.

Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor

Jones did not invent the so-called "pizzagate" conspiracy theory. But Edgar Maddison Welch, the self-proclaimed "investigator" who fired multiple rounds into the kid-friendly D.C. pizzeria Comet Ping Pong in late 2016,

followed Jones on Facebook and listened to his radio show, according to reports at the time. Welch was later sentenced to four years in prison

The "pizzagate" conspiracy theory included the baseless claims that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her top associates were running a demonic sex-trafficking ring inside the pizza shop. Jones promoted the theory on his web site and on social media.

Followers of the conspiracy relied on opaque "clues" hidden in emails exchanged between Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, which were stolen by hackers and then released by Wikileaks in the final weeks of the 2016 election.

An indictment obtained by Mueller in July alleged that those emails were obtained by Russian intelligence officers.

Jones issued an apology for his role in promoting the pizzagate conspiracy on the day that Welch pleaded guilty.

"I want our viewers and listeners to know that we regret any negative impact our commentaries may have had on [Comet Ping Pong owner James] Alefantis, Comet Ping Pong, or its employees," Jones wrote.

"We apologize to the extent our commentaries could be construed as negative statements about Mr. Alefantis or Comet Ping Pong, and we hope that anyone else involved in commenting on Pizzagate will do the same thing."

Poisonous Government Snow

Georgia isn't good at snow. Two inches fell in Atlanta last month and, amidst car crashes and television parodies, snow skepticism was born. Georgians bravely took to YouTube, determined to demonstrate that neither matches nor lighters nor blowtorches

(a disproportionate number of Georgians seem to own blowtorches) could melt that strange, white stuff that the government insisted was just frozen water. On film, the snow blackens, twists like plastic, and stubbornly refuses to melt.

Although entire Web pages are dedicated to debunking the chemical snow theory, the simplest way to deal with snow skeptics is to put the stuff in a microwave or on the stove. Spoiler: It melts.

The blackened snow was caused by soot from the lighter, because butane burns inefficiently, and as snow turns into slush under a blowtorch, it only appears not to melt. Bad Astronomy blogger Phil Plait explains how the snow is, in fact, slowly melting.

The entire episode, however, brings up a good question: Who was the first Georgian to decide to burn the snow, just to see what wouldhappen

Invasion of the Lizard People

Look around you. If you're in a room with 25 other people, odds are at least one of them believes the world is run by lizard people, according to a recent poll. Conspiracy junkies are well aware of the theory that cleverly disguised

Reptilian aliens traveled to Earth thousands of years ago to infiltrate our highest echelons of government. Proof exists in the form of terrifying YouTube videos revealing news anchors with reptilian eyes, and lack of any better explanation for Rob Ford.

You can dispatch the reptilian eye claim with relative ease, but only if you're willing to suffer through 3 minutes of this awful techno music. The quick version: If a video file is compressed, sped up, and zoomed in, a clever video editor can transform any human eye into a menacing reptilian slit.

But if you insist on clinging to the lizard government theory, at least be prepared.

Adam and Eve? Superintelligent Beings From Outer Space

Now that even Bill Nye has weighed in on the debate about creationism and evolution, some of us would welcome any sort of common ground between science and religion. The ancient alien theory may offer a solution:

Adam and Eve were extraterrestrials who traveled to Earth aboard a space ark piloted by—you guessed it—Noah.

Predictably, the conspiracy theorists say, proof of this story abounds—but the government insists on keeping it all under lock and key. Several "scholars" now claim that, through the Freedom of Information Act, they were finally able to access piles of declassified documents


Official reports, they say, prove that a flying saucer once crashed into Mt. Ararat in Turkey, where it is traditionally believed that Noah's ark came to rest after the great Flood.

Anyway, it just doesn't seem likely that Noah's intergalactic starship, after tumbling through space and dodging meteor showers, finally ran aground in Turkey. But forgetting this silly story for a second, there is the real scientific idea of panspermia,

which raises the possibility that our planet's first single-celled organisms have extraterrestrial origins.

The Moon Does Not Exist

So you don't believe that man has walked on the moon. Fine. You weren't there, you didn't see it yourself, and you're a bit skeptical. But there is no way anyone could deny the existence of the moon itself, right? Right??

According to a few conspiracy theorists, it turns out the moon is just a convincing hologram, placed in the sky to mess with our heads. Naturally, there is proof in the form of a poorly made YouTube video that shows a power glitch in the moon's artificial electrical system.

The Mad Revisionist took the time to parody moon deniers at great length, but it seems that several people didn't get the joke. For a more complete survey of conspiracy theorists who are clearly over the moon, Google "the moon is a hologram," and prepare to be abundantly disappointed.

Shark Spies

When shark attacks off the coast of Egypt sent beach tourism plummeting in 2010, government officials rushed to provide explanations. Their best guess: remote-controlled Israeli sharks. Immediately following the attack,

A prominent Egyptian governor said that the Israeli shark theory "is not out of the question, but it needs time to confirm." Soon after, proof began to trickle in. Egyptian divers reported sharks outfitted with GPS devices in the Red Sea,

And it didn't take long for mind-controlled, bionic shark spies to enter the canon of conspiracy theories.

Scientists later confirmed that the robotic shark gear was just GPS tracking hardware, designed to help scientists study sharks in their natural habitats. And in an anticlimactic turn of events, Egypt ultimately attributed the shark attacks to rampant sheep carcass dumping off the coast.

By then, of course, it was far too late to calm the conspiracy theorists, or dissuade Steven Colbert from siding with the believers.

The Beatles never existed

Forget the old chestnut that Paul is dead, that's amateur hour stuff. How about this one: from the moment they began, The Beatles were a fake band staffed by a revolving cast of (almost) identical actors.

The buggers! Luckily, one website has set out to shine a light on the physical discrepancies between each stand-in member. If you often find yourself reading sentences like,

"It's interesting to note that there were different shapes, sizes and styles of eyebrows over the years," and nodding vigorously, then this is the website for you.

The Earth is flat

The Flat Earth Society was established in the early 1800s by the English inventor Samuel Birley Rowbotham and remains at the very forefront of 11th Century thinking. ‘Zetetic Astronomy’, as the society prefers to call it, has had to explain away many threats to its principles over the years.

Things like manned missions to the moon, satellites, photographs of the (round) Earth from space, and endless series of Prof. Brian Cox’s inspirational TV shows.

Still, they’ve got 121,000 likes on Facebook, and celebrities who’ve expressed anti-sphere sentiments include B.o.B, Shaquille O’Neal and Freddie Flintoff.

Saddam Hussein had a stargate, The Irony is Americans Believed Him

The theory that the second Gulf War was waged in order to close a stargate owned by Saddam Hussein, thus preserving the ambitions of the New World Order and preventing an alien invasion of Earth is not exactly widespread.

However, if you study the picture above closely, it looks suspiciously like Saddam could be saying, “Stargate? Yeah mate. It’s out the back. Wanna have a look?” And that’s evidence enough for us. (It’s also as much evidence as this website has.)

Hitler is still alive

The advent of the internet hasn't just cooked up new conspiracy theories, it's also accelerated existing ones. "Hitler is still alive" rumours have circulated since the 1970s, fuelled by the fact that his crony Josef Mengele hid in South America.

Stories like this one, however, speculate the 125-year-old Hitler has been responsible for various world disasters, including 9/11 and the 2010 Gulf oil spill, which happened on his birthday. Other theories say he died in 1984 in Brazil, aged 94. Or in Argentina, aged 73.

The Earth is hollow

Don't give up, readers. We're halfway through this list. We can make it to the end. Dig deep. Well, not too deep. You see, the Earth is hollow and accessible via portals at the north and south poles.

Luckily though, it's quite habitable down there, providing excellent living quarters for the lost Viking colonies of Greenland and the Nazis, while "aliens" are in fact just visitors from the subterranean yonder.

Dinosaurs helped build the pyramids

“Of course the ‘dinoceros’ existed,” Pastor Vince Fenech told MaltaToday in 2007. “It is mentioned in the Book of Job. They were used to help build the pyramids…”

Fenech was director of the Accelerated Christian Academy in Mosta, Malta, until its closure in July 2012. Rather sadly, given its thrilling sci-fi curriculum, the school closed due to its having no students enrolled.

This website reports that a pyramid discovered in the Ukraine dates from the Jurassic period. Imagine a T.rex holding a spade. You can’t. Its hands were too little.

Siri can predict the apocalypse

Amazing as it may seem, given that it can’t do anything else you actually ask it to do, Siri can predict the apocalypse. Or did, anyway. When asked in 2013, “What day is 27th July 2014?”, Apple’s cheery assistant supposedly replied,

“The opening of the gate of Hades”, aka The End Of The World. That date is now ages ago, and the gate to Hades remains closed. Say what you like about the maligned MS Office paperclip, but at least Clippy didn’t claim that the end was nigh.

Hillary Clinton is actually dead and was replaced by a body double

Let’s be clear about this - Hillary Clinton did not die from a bout of pneumonia that saw her cancel various parts of her presidential campaign tour in September 2016.

But when an ABC news anchor accidentally says she did die, and you hand a series of blurred photos to the internet’s legions of Trump supporters, you can build a pretty convincing case that it was a body double that continued her doomed campaign.

Michael Jackson was killed by the Iranian government

The day that the King of Pop died, Twitter briefly broke from the influx of RIP tweets which knocked #IranElection off the trending top spot. According to some pundits,

This prevented Iranian protesters from using the service to organize protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s manipulation of the recent election, effectively killing the movement’s momentum. Clearly, Ahmadinejad was responsible.

That would make him, just like MJ, both bad and dangerous.

"Walmart Stores Are Being Converted Into FEMA Prison Camps!"

Back in April, six Walmart stores across Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and California abruptly closed due to "plumbing problems" -- presumably, a customer dropped a deuce so big that it clogged the toilets in four different states. Not everyone bought this explanation, with some speculating that Walmart might have closed the stores to prevent workers from unionizing.

Naturally, that theory wasn't sexy enough for the Internet, so they came up with something slightly better: the end of democracy in America. And the obvious clues were always right there in Walmart's logo:

Around this time, the government announced a military exercise code-named Jade Helm 15 (the same one that has our pal the Texas governor so concerned) which will take place in the exact same states where Walmart closed the stores.

Except for Oklahoma and Florida. Oh, and with the addition of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, where no stores have been closed. But other than that, it's the exact same states, which is confirmation that the government is planning on invading and imposing martial law over the region.

"Michelle Obama Has A Penis!"

As you're no doubt aware, conservative conspiracy theorists have spent most of the last decade arguing that it's impossible for a black person to have come from anywhere other than Africa.

Eventually, they must have realized that whole thing was starting to make it look a tiny bit like they might be racists, so they've moved on to another theory:

It's impossible for Michelle Obama to be a woman.One of the chief pieces of evidence for this dubious claim is that, according to experts who learned about anatomy from "How to Draw Anime Characters" guides,

Mrs. Obama has the physical characteristics of a man. They haven't been able to prove this conclusively yet, because Mrs. Obama doesn't send full-body measurements to any random pill-dodger, but that's nothing some grainy video footage and a copy of MS Paint can't fix.

"'American Pie' Predicts The Satanic-Communist Takeover Of The USA!"

You've already read the headline, so let's just leap straight into this. It all comes down to the scene in which Jim is sticking it to the pie, which symboli-- oh wait, are we talking about the song?

That ... that even makes even less sense, now that we think about it.It's all clearly spelled out in the lyrics of the song itself. If you replace the phrase "Miss American Pie" with "America," you get repeated mentions of "bye bye America," which sounds like the politest apocalypse ever.

However, couple that with the repeated mentions of Lenin/Marx and fire, and the whole plot becomes clear:

After a nuclear attack ("eight miles high and falling fast") causes an ecological disaster to devastate the country ("the levee was dry"), the forces of Communist Satan invade the USA, transforming it into a socialist utopia unlike the one that we're already living in right now (at least according to Free Republic).

"April Is The Government's Blood Sacrifice Season!"

On account of April's Fools Day, you probably think of April as being the funniest and least annoying month. Well, don't believe that bullshit for another goddamn second: It turns out that the latter half of the month is the calendar equivalent of the temple scene from Temple Of Doom.

That's the view of a particularly passionate group of conspiracy theorists, who believe that the unusual number of tragedies that have historically happened in April (e.g. the Boston and Oklahoma Bombings, the Waco Siege) all occurred as part of an occult ritual dedicated to the demon god Baal, a vicious deity of ... um, rain and fertility?

Oh, and we don't mean "occurred" as in "happened by accident" either; we mean "the government made them happen." It's essentially Cabin In The Woods meets 9/11 trutherism, except everyone believes that the monsters are real and that nothing bad ever happens during the rest of the year as a result of their batshit ramblings.

Calendar Conspiracies

In the 1980s German historian Heribert Illig noticed that there were scant archaeological records from 614 to 911 A.D. Obviously, he concluded, those 300 or so years of history simply never happened. Illig's phantom time hypothesis motions that all documents referring to that time period were forged, and that contemporary archaeologists work hard to cover up the truth.

We currently live in the year 1708, and someone has been messing with our calendars. Fortunately, we can check on alleged calendar discrepancies by looking at bygone cosmic events. Through the study of ancient astronomy, scientists can prove that phenomena such as Halley's comet have occurred at regular, predictable intervals for thousands of years.

Ancient Chinese astronomers took great pains to record the exact position of Halley's comet in the sky about once every 76 years, and modern astronomical software can be used to verify their sightings. Scientists definitely would have noticed if conspiring historians had lobbed off three centuries along the way.

Invasion of the Lizard People

Look around you. If you're in a room with 25 other people, odds are at least one of them believes the world is run by lizard people, according to a recent poll. Conspiracy junkies are well aware of the theory that cleverly disguised reptilian aliens traveled to Earth thousands of years ago to infiltrate our highest echelons of government.

Proof exists in the form of terrifying YouTube videos revealing news anchors with reptilian eyes, and lack of any better explanation for Rob Ford. You can dispatch the reptilian eye claim with relative ease, but only if you're willing to suffer 3 minutes of this awful techno music.

The quick version: If a video file is compressed, sped up, and zoomed in, a clever video editor can transform any human eye into a menacing reptilian slit. But if you insist on clinging to the lizard government theory, at least be prepared.

CERN Built a Star Gate to Awaken the Egyptian God Osiris

Scientists were pretty much asking for it. A natural successor to Area 51, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a secret underground laboratory that just begs conspiracy theorists to speculate wildly. And speculate they have.

Conspiracy theorists tried to sue CERN in 2008 for almost sucking the entire planet into a black hole, but another idea is far more creative. Turns out, the occult scientists at CERN are building a star gate to revive Osiris, ancient Egyptian god of the dead. And they have photographic proof: A statue of the Hindu god Shiva stands at the entrance to the LHC.

Put aside the fact that physics experiments can't bring back the dead. Fine. But what the heck does a statue of a multiarmed Hindu god have to do with reviving Osiris?

One of the largest Hindu sects in India considers Shiva their supreme god, and odds are that a religious researcher at CERN decided to invite his lord into the lab. Admittedly, it made for a pretty interesting Bring Your God to Work Day.

Denver International Airport Is Hell on Earth

As anyone who has ever seen a schedule ruined by a delayed flight can tell you, airports are hell. But conspiracy theorists believe that Denver International Airport is quite literally the den of the devil.

Stalwart enemies of the New World Order maintain that a FEMA death camp is hidden beneath the airport, and that satanic symbols line the terminal walls. Just about every wild theory about Denver International is tidily wrapped up into a two-part documentary on the topic.

If only any part of the documentary was true. The Skeptic Project took great pains to take on this documentary point by point, and debunk every last detail. Conspiracy theorists claim that Denver's runways form a swastika; Google Maps suggests otherwise.

They claim that the death camp was built to spray Hepatitis B on unnamed enemies, but the virus makes a rotten tool for genocide, killing just 5 to 10 percent of those infected probably isn't meant to encourage devil worship

Eminem Was Replaced By An Illuminati Plant

Will the real Slim Shady please… get murdered?!?!? There’s probably a better version of that joke but your girl’s too lazy to think of it. Sticking with the ‘replaced celebs’ theme, there’s a theory making the rounds that when Eminem disappeared into rehab for a sleeping pill addiction, he was actually offed by the international cabal we all love to hate – the Illuminati.

They then spend four years training a lookalike to talk and act like him, and unleashed their replacement into the world to… do slightly less good raps and goof on Trump? This one’s clearly a work in progress.If you remember back in 2017 a similar story was brought to my attention and that was that Avril Lavigne died and her label replaced her with a look alike…

Well now there is another one! Yes, the latest celebrity that has “died” is the one and only Eminem! Eminem death conspiracy theory.

Katy Perry is JonBenet Ramsey

Literally the easiest conspiracy theory of all time to disprove, and yet it persists! Katy Perry was born in 1984. JonBenet was born in 1990. There are lots of pictures of Katy Perry as a tiny Christian music enthusiast where she looks nothing like JonBenet.

But the rumor persists that little JonBenet faked her own death to escape the grueling pageant circuit. Woof. The world would be better if this one was true so I’m just gonna choose to believe it.

One Direction BabyGate

Please, please, can everyone stop adding ‘-gate’ to the end of every scandal. It is boring now. Anyhoo, this conspiracy theory posits that Louis Tomlinson, floppy-mopped crooner and former One Direction member, had a fake baby to distract the public from his steamy relationship with fellow band boy Harry Styles.

An infant beard, if you will. The article below is bonkers and in-depth in a way that is genuinely scary, please read it and enjoy feeling your brain leak out of your ears. Since then, Louis and the baby's mother, Briana Jungwirth, have kept Freddie out of the public eye and have shared only a handful of images of him.

However, One Direction fans have spent the past year cultivating a conspiracy theory that suggests the baby is either a doll or doesn't actually exist at all. The theory links back to another long-running conspiracy, which suggests that Louis is in a relationship with Harry Styles. It's something both of them have forcefully denied on countless occasions.

However, this new theory, named "Babygate", is founded on the idea that the whole pregnancy, birth, and subsequent photos of Freddie have been faked in order to distract the world from Larry Stylinson.

Beyonce Was Never Really Pregnant With Blue Ivy

Beyonce haters are a mixed bag of dull contrarians, white supremacists, people who ‘just hate pop music’ aka people who think drinking whiskey makes them interesting, and people who host the podcast Extra Extra.

But you don’t have to hate Beyonce to believe that she delivered her first bebe via surrogate. In fact, lots of Beyonce fans buy into this one, with the main evidence in support being that one weird picture.

Beylievers think that she couldn’t carry a baby to term due to health or vanity reasons, so she hired a lady somewhere (who no one has managed to find) to incubate Blue. In conclusion, who gives a shit, let people get their kids however they want.

Avril Lavigne Was Replaced By A Clone

Believe it or not this is Lizard People’s most requested conspiracy theory, probably because it’s just deliciously bonkers. There’s been a rumor bouncing around the internet since 2005 that the pop-punk princess kicked the bucket in 2003 and was replaced by one Melissa, a mysterious doppelganger who took over her life.

Sources differ on how the mopey Canadian died, but everyone agrees that ‘Melissa’ is planting clues in ‘Avril’s’ music and fashion choices. Does Melissa want out of the charade? Is real Avril locked in a box somewhere plotting her comeback? NOBODY KNOWS!! Except maybe Chad Kroeger.

A conspiracy theory about Avril Lavigne has resurfaced, claiming the real Avril has been replaced by a woman named Melissa Vandella. Fans and followers of Lavigne aren't very fond of the hoax. Here's a photo of Lavigne in 2003, left, and another of the singer in 2013. (Richard Drew/Associated Press/Owen Sweeney/Invision/Associated Press)

The Napanee, Ont., pop-punk princess has been the target of a bizarre years-long internet conspiracy which claims the so-called real Lavigne died and was replaced by a body double she had been using named Melissa Vandella — the "new Avril."

It's in a similar vein as the "Paul is Dead" urban legend that's haunted Paul McCartney since the late 60s.

Wake up, sheeple.

Right now, there are networks of passionate and committed people across the world working to subvert some of our deepest-held beliefs and upend the established world order.

They're called conspiracy theorists. They walk among us. They could be your friends, neighbors or loved ones. Who knows? You may even be one yourself.

There seems to be a conspiracy being "uncovered" all the time these days, and no matter how outlandish they may be they seem to have no trouble drawing in ardent believers.

Despite the prevalence and pervasiveness of conspiracy theories, the reasons people are drawn to them is a relatively new area of study for psychologists.

Jan-Willem van Prooijen, an associate professor at the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology at VU University Amsterdam, said research into the phenomenon has really only taken off in the last seven years. According to University of Chicago political science professors Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood, in any given year roughly half of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory.

Their 2014 study found that 19% of Americans believed the U.S. government planned the 9/11 attacks to start a war in the Middle East, 24% believed former president Barack Obama was not born in the United States,

and 25% believed Wall Street bankers conspired to cause the financial crisis that began in 2008. Those are high numbers considering there is zero evidence to support any of those theories.

And a whopping 61% said they do not believe the official conclusion of the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. The number has not dropped below 50% since Gallup began polling on the subject just after the 1963 tragedy.

President Trump himself has expressed a belief in at least two of the above conspiracies at one time or another. He was the most vocal proponent of the baseless claim that Obama was not born in America, and during the 2016 Republican primary campaign, Trump implied Sen

Everyone's a suspect

Conspiracy theorists can be conservative, liberal or any other political stripe — male or female, rich or poor, well educated or not. To some extent, the human brain is wired to find conspiracy theories appealing.

People are highly evolved when it comes to the ability to draw conclusions and predict consequences based on sensory data and observation. But sometimes those same processes can lead to oversimplifications and misperception through what psychologists refer to as "cognitive bias," van Prooijen said.

People with greater knowledge of the news media are less likely to believe conspiracy theories, according to a new study, “News Media Literacy and Conspiracy Theory Endorsement,” in the current issue of Communication and the Public.

“It’s significant that knowledge about the news media — not beliefs about it, but knowledge of basic facts about structure, content and effects — is associated with less likelihood one will fall prey to a conspiracy theory, even a theory that is in line with one’s political ideology,” co-author Stephanie Craft, a University of Illinois journalism professor, told the Columbia Journalism Review.

Oliver believes the greatest predictor of people's likelihood to accept conspiracy theories is the degree to which they rely on their intuition over analytical thinking. "They go with their gut feelings. They’re very susceptible to symbols and metaphors," he said.

Conspiracy theories as coping mechanism?

One reason for the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories is that they serve an important psychological function for people trying to cope with large, stressful events like a terrorist attack.

People "need to blame the anxiety that they feel on different groups and the result is frequently conspiracy theories," van Prooijen said, defining the term as a belief that "a group of actors is colluding in secret in order to reach goals that are considered evil or malevolent."

"People don’t like it when things are really random. Randomness is more threatening than having an enemy. You can prepare for an enemy, you can’t prepare for coincidences."

President Nixon tried to cover up the Watergate break-in; the Reagan administration sold arms to Iran to illegally fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and the CIA really did test LSD on unwitting U.S. citizens.

Of course, one thing those conspiracies have in common is that they all came to light. And that is almost certain to be the case with any large plot like those imagined by conspiracy theorists.

They imagine "a secret government employing hundreds of people that operate with supreme efficiency, everybody having the capability of James Bond and never making an error," said Gerald Posner, author of Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK.

Posner began the book a believer that the mafia was behind the assassination, but his research led him to conclude that the Warren Commission was right and Oswald acted alone. "After 54 years, you say, 'Where’s the deathbed confession?'"

Posner said of the Kennedy assassination. "Where’s the guilty person with a guilty conscience who comes out? Where’s the diary that’s been left by somebody that has now been unearthed?

The long-awaited release this year of nearly 2,900 previously classified records related to the Kennedy assassination also failed to produce any evidence of a conspiracy to kill the president. But a few documents remain classified, which is more than enough mystery to keep the conspiracy theories around the assassination alive.

M I Ro

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