If you have the Internet –and chances are that, if you’re reading that this, you do — then you have probably heard of conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists.
To recap for clarity, a conspiracy theory is defined as “an event as being the result of a plot by a covert group or organization; a belief that a particular unexplained event was caused by such a group.”
In other words – there are people and/or groups out there who are secretly making things happen behind the scenes.
Conspiracy theorists are the people who create these stories and/or try to prove that these theories are true.
These stories range from tales of a race of ancient lizard men secretly running the world to that of a clandestine group called ‘The New World Order’ planning the deaths of up to 5-7 billion people; leaving only 500,000 – 2 billion people alive.
Apparently, this will reduce the world’s population to a more manageable number for easier control when they take over the world; under one government.
Now, before anyone laughs too loudly, bear in mind that these ideas have millions of believers. In fact, the ‘Ruling Lizard People’ idea is reportedly believed by (are you ready for this) almost 13 million people in the United States alone, with many more people around the world also believing this is true.
So many believe these ideas that conspiracists are able to earn a living selling books, making paid appearances and giving talks to people who believe their ideas.
Personally, I don’t know what is more unnerving– the fact that millions of thinking, capable people worldwide believe that bipedal iguanas are running the planet, or that people have figured out a way to make a living from these theories.
Now, granted, these are some of the more” out there” notions. Usually conspiracy theories focus on an event or hidden information, and claim that we aren’t being told the whole truth about it; or that we’ve been outright lied to. Usually this is blamed on the government or some shadowy organization of rich and powerful people seeking to be global puppet masters.
While many may say that this is a by-product of the Internet and information age, conspiracy theories are nothing new.
A look at history will uncover a number of times when a person has claimed that someone else was trying to control or destroy them, when they, in fact, were not.
Although, to be fair, throughout history it was not that uncommon for civilizations to be actively trying to destroy one another.
There are almost as many theories as there are theorists; So, naturally, there are many theories that have recurred over and over again.
Some theories have even been so beaten to death that, if evidence surfaced that a certain event was a conspiracy, it still would not be believed as the truth; largely due to the sheer number of theories that conspiracists have produced about that topic.
Here is a list of the top five theories that conspiracy theorists can stop discussing at any time, and nobody would care.
1. The assassination of President Kennedy.
Since the fateful day of November 22, 1963 when U.S. President John F. Kennedy was shot dead in his limousine, while his motorcade drove through Dallas Texas Dealey Plaza, there have been claims of conspiracy after conspiracy surrounding his death.
His assassination has been linked to everyone from U.S. government agencies to the driver of Kennedy’s car; it has been termed everything from a deliberate plot to a freak accident.
Whatever actually happened, or whoever caused it, has been the subject of books, movies, websites, and blogs. In fact, by 1977, (14 years after his death) the FBI had accumulated over 40,000 files related to the assassination. Imagine how many that number has grown to 38 years after the event.
2. The Apollo 11 moon landing.
On July 20, 1969, NASA astronauts are said to have landed on the moon, Millions of people watched on their televisions as the historic event unfolded.
This was supposed to be our race’s first steps on another world, and the world watched in fascination as Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin were supposedly shown to us as the first human beings to step on a foreign galactic body.
However the conspiracists weren’t happy with this historic event, and have spent the past 42 years claiming it never happened, and that we were all lied to.
3. The Freemasons.
Often listed as a secret organization whose members have been responsible for manipulating the events of society, the Freemasons are a popular target for conspiracy theorists. There’s just one problem with that, if the Freemasons are a ‘secret society’, they’re pretty lousy at keeping themselves secret.
In fact, if one Googles ‘Freemason Lodges’ they will be provided with street addresses and directions to the nearest location.
Naturally, like any member-structured organization, there are details of the organization that members keep to themselves. But in terms of being a secret, well, the Freemasons have to be the worst kept secret I’ve ever heard about.
This one is not only a popular conspiracy theory, but it has become a cultural phenomenon.
Countless books, movies and merchandise have been produced which, the people behind this theory claim, contain the proof that we are not alone in the universe and that we have been lied to about this.
When one considers how many stars there are in the universe, and that’s just the ones we can see, and the possibility of many of those stars having planets orbiting them; it does seem hard to believe that life (in some form) has not occurred on another world. Further from that, it also does not seem that far-fetched, that some of that life would be far more technologically advanced that we are.
But, if one is to believe the conspiracy crowd, this advanced life has gone out of its way to travel across the stars to scoop us up in our sleep and jam medical instruments up our asses; for no apparent reason.
I guess butt fetish is a universal thing.
5. Area 51
Supposedly located at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Area 51 is claimed to be a top-secret military installation that the U.S. government doesn’t want you to know about; , this is providing one ignores the fact that Nellis Air Force Base has its own public access web page.
In fact, theorists claim that Area 51 is so secret that the US government denies that it even exists; despite numerous photographs posted on government websites showing the region.
The region around the base is heavily monitored with cameras, sensors and patrols authorized to use lethal force if they catch any intruders entering the base area without authorization.
Considering that this base is the home to a great deal of weapon and aerospace research, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Yet, year after year, conspiracy theorists still attempt to sneak onto the base claiming that it is used to hide aliens and alien technology that the U.S. government doesn’t want anyone to know about. Although, why anyone would be willing to risk being shot by professional soldiers, for going into an area that they are clearly warned to avoid, should be the real mystery.
Now, I’m not saying that there may or may not be more to these stories than what we have been openly told.
For all I know, the theorists might have been right all along and everything we’ve been told suggesting these theories are false is a giant pack of lies.
But, as I have said, theorists go on about these topics so much and so often (with so many different theories) that, even if they could provide evidence they were right all along, almost no one would believe them. And then, ironically, those people would themselves become the subject of conspiracy theories.
But really, haven’t we all heard about these things enough over the past decades that it just seems sad a person would dedicate their lives to it?
Here’s a theory for conspiracists to stew about – how about the conspiracy theory that no one wanted to hear about any more? Oooooo, sounds scary.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight