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hominid's avatar

How many conspiracy theories do you subscribe to?

Asked by hominid (5116 points ) February 21st, 2014

I’m interested in people who believe that the whole process of science is designed to destroy capitalism or disprove Christianity, or that 9/11 was orchestrated by George Bush, or others. If you believe in one of these global conspiracy theories, do you also believe in many others?

So, how many do you currently believe? And how do you view the ignorant, unwashed masses who do not believe the conspiracy?

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29 Answers

ucme's avatar

I wouldn’t say I “subscribe” to any, but something doesn’t smell right with the whole Kennedy thing.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Almost none, some of the financial stuff raises an eyebrow.

If it’s anything to do with 9/11, bigfoot, aliens, armageddon or stuff like that without any credible evidence then no.

I do think that people have what conspiracy lore calls a “normalcy bias” and conspiracy heads generally look down on that. For other reasons I do as well. This whole “prepping” thing has put an ugly stain on what used to be common sense emergency preparedness. Now people are either completely unprepared for things or they have a fortress out in the boonies. Neither of which are good things.

Seek's avatar

When I hear something new and outrageous, I err on the conservative side until I complete some research.

For instance, I had my son at a really weird point in my life. I had just left the church and cut ties with my family. Hubby and I were on our own with no one to help and no one to look up to, and then I started to hear about vaccines making babies sick and causing autism and all sorts of stuff.

I don’t know if I ever really believed he would get autism, but I figured it would be easier to give him the vaccine later than it would be to take it back after it had been given, so I held off until I came across sufficient scientific studies to quell my fears. My son was fully vaccinated, though at a later date. He did not contract any illnesses (though his vaxxed friend did have measles at one point. Fortunately Ian didn’t catch it).

In the case of Monsanto and the like, it’s plainly obvious that the issues with them are mainly political. Literally millions of people eat Monsanto products every day, and as far as I can tell no one is glowing in the dark yet. So, I’m erring on the side of not making any drastic changes until I hear convincing evidence to do otherwise.

ibstubro's avatar

I live in the buckle of the Bible belt in the US Midwest, and if people insist on bringing up conspiracy theories, I’ll let it pass with an inner roll of my eyes and brief silence. If they insist on discussing it in front of me, I try change the conversation, by saying something like “I don’t believe that.” If that’s not sufficient, I start by saying something like “You’re telling you believe the US government is capable of doing something covert and keeping it a secret??” If that doesn’t work, I’ll punch a few holes in the theory and let them continue the discussion later without me.

I won’t mention examples because I don’t want a flame war or to derail the thread. Gun control, the UN and marriage might be examples.

CWOTUS's avatar

How many accurate responses do you expect to get to a question that is so obviously biased? One that mocks the people who would answer positively, before they’ve even said a word?

Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

I don’t believe in any American conspiracy theories that I know of – other than the more or less open, tacitly acknowledged and accepted “conspiracy” between the two major political parties in the USA to prevent ballot access to other parties. That’s not even secret.

I tend to believe that incompetence is much easier to disperse among large organizations and groups of people than malevolence is. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe organized malevolence is impossible to disseminate widely and sometimes for a long time: the history of the middle years of the 20th century should easily dispel such an absurd notion.

So, I guess I would say that I also believe in the “conspiracy theory” that North Korea is ruled by thugs who run gulags and torture camps for dissident citizens, but perhaps you don’t recognize that as a “conspiracy”.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I don’t believe any of them. I am like Dr. Spock, too rational. How would any reasonable person believe that “they” (whoever they are) could pull off such a complicated plot. You can’t even keep a secret amongst 5 people, let alone the hundreds that it would take to pull off something like the assassination of the president, or the destruction of two skyscrapers full of people.

And while we are on the subject, there is no bigfoot or lochness monster. For any species to be viable, there would have to be a large enough population to breed. There would be dead ones lying around or washing up on shore. No such thing as a lone member of an unknown species.

jca's avatar

I am not really paranoid about things like “Newtown massacre is just a hoax” and stuff like that. I do believe that Monsanto is evil and we don’t yet know what the long term effects of GMO foods will be, but I don’t think of that as a conspiracy theory, I just think of it as big corporation wanting to profit despite what it does to the populace.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know if this is a conspiracy theory, but I do think more than one organization care more about themselves than the public at large. Anything from the AMA, BAR association, to a business or business owner pushing their product. “Buyer beware” sort of thing I guess. I don’t feel like everyone is to get everyone else, but when money is involved it’s hard not to question motives sometimes.

Bill1939's avatar

Since Sumer, governments around the world have always been largely directed by people of wealth. The birth of the United States of America was founded by the affluent who envisioned a nation free from the control of royalty and religion, though they may not have foreseen the day when common citizens would have the power to choose leaders who would promote the general welfare and not merely the welfare of the rich.

With the rise of organized labor after the end of WWII the American middle-class expanded rapidly. Fifty years ago higher education was accessible to even the lower middle-class. However the rise of political activities in the sixties, such as college students working in southern states to establish voting and other rights for people of color, threatened to weaken the power of wealthy Caucasians to determine the direction their country was evolving.

Whether diminishing the size of the middle-class is the result of a coincidental collusion of like-minded wealthy people or the intentional conspiring of the few dozen families who control half the world’s wealth, the results are the same. Jobs have been exported to countries where labor can more easily be exploited, the cost of higher education now greatly limits access by children of the middle-class, and corporations are now considered to be people.

This is the closest to a conspiracy theory I subscribe to.

Juels's avatar

I don’t really subscribe to any conspiracy theories… but I do believe the government invades our privacy more than we are aware.

kevbo's avatar

Coming to a different view about 9/11 was my entrée into conspiracy theories, and I spent a solid few years poring over any information I could get my hands on. I firmly believed a lot of it, and while saying that invites derision, what I mean is that I took every competing or complementary theory and made sense of the mix of them.

Largely, belief in conspiracies is a matter of seeing, and if you see one, then it’s easier to see a number of them.

Similar to @Bill1939, to me it really boils down to conspiracies of empire, which some even trace back to the rise of agriculture, which created a sort of imbalance with populations and demand for resources as well as greater stratification in societies.

But the real lesson for me in that journey, is that reality is really fucking wobbly. And the reason it is is because it’s pretty much just a picture show that we’re all laughing at and crying with. Most of us think we’re in the show, but we just participate because it holds our interest. It’s possible, too, to see it for what it is and remain detached, observant and at peace.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I love conspiracy theories. I think they ask important questions. I don’t agree with or “believe” most (maybe any) of them, but I think that they serve an important purpose. I think it’s always good to question, we shouldn’t believe everything the media tells us, we shouldn’t just accept something because it’s what the majority thinks is true.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I don’t really believe any of them, but I WANT to believe there are aliens or proof of intelligent alien life somewhere.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I don’t need proof of aliens – logically speaking, it would be pretty unlikely that out of all the planets in the universe, this is the only one with life forms on it. Intelligent life must be a lot more rare. My guess is that you would have to sort through millions of planets to find one with life on it, and out of all the planets with life on it, maybe one in a billion would have something more intelligent than animals. If you think about it, some intelligent alien may have done a fly-by a million years ago and reported back that there is nothing here but dinosaurs.

Of course, I am just kidding about the fly-by. No matter how smart we are, we still have to overcome the physical restrictions associated with traveling to another inhabited planet. Even if we went as fast as physically possible, we would still not reach a planet beyond our solar system in anywhere near a natural lifetime.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I couldn’t agree more!

Have you read the Ender’s Game series by chance? It’s my favorite and the movie will be out soon I believe.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

No I haven’t. I keep hearing about it, though.

kritiper's avatar

Everybody in the world is crazy except me.

talljasperman's avatar

I’m or we are in an alien zoo. still waiting for them to assign me a 6’5” mate to join me in my cell.

Bill1939's avatar

@kritiper back in the sixties the saying was “we’re all Bozos on the bus.”

LornaLove's avatar

I do believe the Royal Family are reptiles Why do they live so long for one.

cookieman's avatar

None. Silly really.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t really believe in any specific ones, but I do believe that the rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases and autism is due to differences in our environment that did not exist in times past. I do not blame any of those things on vaccines, however.

I also firmly believe that some products are built to fail within a few years nowadays. I know that some are built with the knowledge that a new one will come along to replace it soon enough (especially with technology), but with other products, I believe that some are truly built to crap out after a short period of time so you will be forced to buy a new one.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m not a truther, but if one does any amount of research it is very obvious that the Project for a New American Century, funded by neocons who ended up working under the Bush Administration, planned to invade Iraq for while, long before 911. It also seems very obvious from evidence that the Bush Administration used 911 as an excuse to invade Iraq using poor WMD evidence and other shoddy reasons.

I’m also convinced that many anti-drug organizations are always plotting ways to violate the Fourth Amendment in order to perpetuate their terror on American citizens. I’m also convinced that local, state and federal drug enforcement agencies are doing everything within their power to challenge asset forfeiture reforms so they can continue stealing property and funds of American citizens. I believe too that there are other elements taking part in this ‘conspiracy’, such as the private prison industry, to combat drug law reforms as well, and several of their executives have outright admitted this.

I’m open to a few others as well, such as some UFO sightings, though the evidence is a bit more vague to me here unlike the two cases above in my opinion. I’m open to something odd occuring with the JFK, and maybe even the RFK assassinations, though it’s tough to point in any one direction as there are so many theories concerning these events as well. I just can’t get around the Ruby incident, and a few other things.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Paradox25 Very well put. I don’t believe that our government sent a crew of guys over to the twin towers to place C4, but I do believe the incident was used as an excuse to start a war that they wanted anyway. Maybe they even knew that the terrorists were planning something and didn’t act on it on purpose. That I can believe.

It is no secret to me that the anti-drug organizations are perpetuating their terror on the American citizens. What happened to “by the people, for the people?” This war on drugs is really a war on the American people. After all, demand will always create supply. People don’t seem to get it – if that many citizens want drugs, then who is it that is telling them no? And who gave them the authority to do so.

UFO sightings – pure fiction. Perhaps another world out there could get a probe this far, but as I have said, any life form out there is limited to the same physics that we are. I don’t believe that they can physically travel this far.

The JFK and RFK assassinations. I don’t believe that the FBI, the CIA or our government orchestrated it – too many people would have to be involved. But I am open to the idea that someone (Cuba, the Mafia, the Teamsters Union) could have put the “lone angry nut” up to it.

ibstubro's avatar

I personally don’t believe it’s a ‘conspiracy’ that Bush II/Cheney were determined to ‘finish’ what Bush I constrained Cheney from doing the first go-round in Iraq, @Paradox25. I felt they were quite blatant about that.

I still agree with the Bush I administration that were were better off with the ‘devil we knew’ in Iraq.

Paradox25's avatar

@ibstubro I don’t believe those reasons either, but I’m sure the neocons had several other motivations that I don’t feel like getting into here. I’ve gotten a lot of grief on this topic since I live in a very conservative pro military area. My family has a great and long military history and I even did a stint myself in the Army, though I didn’t really want to. Criticizing the Iraq War in my parts is still not very popular, and there are many people whom I don’t talk to anymore over this issue alone.

@Skaggfacemutt What bothers me the most, more than telling someone the mindset a person should be allowed to experience in an already harsh world, is the concept of asset forfeiture laws. I can’t think of anything lower of what a government can do to its citizens than stealing the property of hard working Americans. I’m not talking about drug kingpins with mansions, but average everyday Americans getting their property and other assets seized just for simply committing minor drug offenses. Now the assholes have gotten so greedy that they’re taking the property and money of people not even convicted of crimes, and are fighting any attempts at reforming these laws. I can’t believe I’m one of the few vocal people concerning this issue on here.

As far as UFO’s are concerned I’m convince that a few cases may have something to them after doing some research. Concerning physics my outlook is this, do we really know everything about physics? Something tells me we aren’t even super remotely close. I would also be guessing that these alien entities would be far more advanced than us. This is one of the reasons why I feel that SETI is probably a waste of time, since it is highly likely that if such beings exist that would not likely be using our methods of communicating. I’ll leave it at that since I get enough grief on here arguing for the existence of ghosts, telepathy and the like.

I would find it highly unlikely that JFK was murdered by communists. Despite Kennedy’s stance against the Soviets and Cuba, he was less anticommunist than Johnson and others. Why weren’t they assassinated? Kennedy’s legislation to start pulling out of Vietnam was overturned when Johnson became president. I’m definitely open to the possibility that the Mafia may have been involved, and it’s been no secret that they have been involved with the government.

On the other hand it is tough to ignore the strong physical evidence against Oswald, including the witness and the rifle shots. I still question other things and I’ll leave it at that for now. I want to read Bugliosi’s book and get a bit more of the other take on this. My suspicion does lean in a certain direction though, but without hard evidence I can’t be certain about it.

DominicX's avatar

I thought of one conspiracy theory that I absolutely subscribe to and completely forgot about: the explosion of TWA Flight 800 in 1996. Not caused by an electrical failure as the government said, but shot down by missiles during a training exercise and a massive cover-up followed.

ibstubro's avatar

Although I find it unlikely, I’ve not read much about 800, so gave you a GA @DominicX. I don’t believe you would make the assertion without evidence.

Aristeia's avatar

Just one. I believe climate change is a conspiracy.

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