Tag Archives | Conspiracy Theories

Ebola Conspiracy Theories, Through a Mainstream Lens

It’s always revealing to see the spin that the establishment places on conspiracy theories and this week it’s the turn of the New York Times, reacting to theories about the Ebola scare:

The spread of Ebola from western Africa to suburban Texas has brought with it another strain of contagion: conspiracy theories.

The outbreak began in September, when The Daily Observer, a Liberian newspaper, published an article alleging that the virus was not what it seemed — a medical disaster — but rather a bioweapon designed by the United States military to depopulate the planet. Not long after, accusations appeared online contending that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had patented the virus and was poised to make a fortune from a new vaccine it had created with the pharmaceutical industry. There were even reports that the New World Order, that classic conspiracy bugbear involving global elites, had engineered Ebola in order to impose quarantines, travel bans and eventually martial law.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Chris Bovey, Chemtrails Conspiracy Troll

Contrails.jpg

What do you make of Chris Bovey? Assuming his story is true, does his fake chemtrail spraying video prove anything more than it is possible to hoodwink ardent believers of chemtrails / geoengineering theories? Vice presents his story as a debunking, while it seems to me more akin to claiming that because some crop circles are man made, then necessarily all crop circles are hoaxes…

The chemtrails conspiracy theory has been circulating for a while among the same sorts of people who believe that 9/11 was an inside job and celebrities are being controlled by the CIA. In brief, chemtrail enthusiasts think that those white trails of vapor you see pouring out of planes are actually nasty chemical or biological agents that governments are using to geo-engineer the weather, create a vast electromagnetic super-weapon, control the population, or—well, you get the idea. There’s no science or proof whatsoever behind this, but plenty of people are still willing to entertain this vaguely supervillain-esque notion.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Chris Brown Leads the Ebola Conspiracy Charge

It’s no surprise that there are conspiracy theories about the Ebola virus deaths and fears as they spread around the world. Accusations of intentional population control is something that we expect from the usual proponents of nefarious New World Order plans, but now there is a new and unlikely champion: Chris Brown, the R&B singer perhaps most famous for battering Rihanna’s face into an ugly mess. Here’s his tweet on the topic – note the number of retweets and favorites:

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 12.02.40 PM

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The ‘Insane’ Conspiracy Theories of Naomi Wolf

Naomi wolf 2012Now just to be clear about this, the adjective “insane” is from VOX, not from us, so make what you will of Naomi Wolf and her “conspiracy theories” as perceived by Max Fisher:

Author and former Democratic political consultant Naomi Wolf published a series of Facebook posts on Saturday in which she questioned the veracity of the ISIS videos showing the murders and beheadings of two Americans and two Britons, strongly implying that the videos had been staged by the US government and that the victims and their parents were actors.

Wolf published a separate Facebook post, also on Saturday, suggesting that the US was sending troops to West Africa not to assist with Ebola treatment but to bring Ebola back to the US to justify a military takeover of American society. She also suggested that the Scottish independence referendum, in which Scots voted to remain in the United Kingdom, had been faked.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A Field Guide To American Truthers

9-11 Truth 2.JPG

Photo: Damon D’Amato (CC)

Truthers. What does that word mean to you? Turns out there are quite a few flavors of “Truther” in today’s America. Drew Magary reports for The Concourse (note that his essential book for 9/11 Truthers is one of ours!):

There were no truthers back in the 20th century. I grew up in the Golden Age of Kennedy Assassination Conspiracies, but the word “truther” was never used to describe Oliver Stone or any of the other folks who decried the Magic Bullet theory. (DISCLOSURE: I saw JFK when I was in high school and took every scene as gospel and totally bought into the whole thing for a while.) Conspiracy theorists were just that, and nothing more.

But the advent of the internet has allowed conspiracy theorists to blossom—to become even more deeply immersed in their own version of the truth. You can find “proof” of pretty much anything online if you’re willing to look and you are strong of faith.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Why JFK Conspiracy Theories Won’t Go Away

Lewis Exh1-20-533.jpg

On the 50th Anniversary of the infamous Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, TIME looks at reasons why the many conspiracy theories endure:

Half a century ago today, the Warren Commission released its comprehensive 888-page report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy. Since then, exhaustive investigations, such as those by Gerald Posner (Case Closed, 2002) and especially Vincent Bugliosi (Reclaiming History, 2007) have backed up that original finding: Oswald acted alone.

Nevertheless, according to a 2009 CBS News poll, between 60 and 80 percent of Americans believe that President Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy; that is, that there was more than one shooter in Dealy Plaza that November day in 1963.

Consider just a few of the many facts that are not in the conspiracy believers’ favor: Oswald’s Carcano bolt-action rifle — with his fingerprints on it — was found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building, where he was employed, in a sniper’s nest he built out of boxes that also had his fingerprints on them.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tech Company ‘Proves’ Faked Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory As Hoax

Nvidia, the tech company that makes the graphics card for your gaming PC, says it has debunked the faked moon landing conspiracy theory. Here’s the video, about which Nvidia says “Explore the truth behind the iconic Buzz Aldrin moon landing photo. See how modern graphics innovations can shed new light on a 35-year-old conspiracy theory”:

What do you think, disinfonauts?

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Do Conspiracy Theorists Feed on Unsuspecting Internet Trolls?

Theodor Kittelsen, Askeladden.jpg

Have fun with this one, disinfonauts, found at Pacific Standard:

You know who you are. Somebody posts some daft claim about chemtrailsfaked moon landings, and a supposed connection between vaccines and autism. You step in, trying valiantly to show them the error of their ways.

Well, your plan won’t work. No, if anything, it’ll make it worse.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by a team of Italian computer scientists, physicists, and, yes, social scientists. They scoured data from Italian Facebook—acquired through the publicly available Graph system—that showed how users had interacted with Facebook pages devoted to science news, conspiracy theories, conspiracy debunkers, and satirists and trolls.

Generally speaking, fans of actual science news and fans of conspiracy theories were pretty similar.

Sorting through 1.2 million users in all, the team first identified individuals who had used 95 percent of their likes on either science or conspiracy pages.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Malaysia Airlines MH370: The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories

A reflection on why conspiracy theories about Malaysia Airlines MH370 are enduring from Tom de Castella at BBC News Magazine:

Six months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 it is still the subject of a slew of explanations. Why has this tragedy prompted such a wave of conspiracy theories?

Sudden, dramatic events often provoke conspiracy theories – particularly where the official version is disbelieved. Think JFK, Princess Diana, 9/11.

But in the case of MH370 there is not even an official version. Nobody knows what happened to MH370. It’s a modern mystery.

268ap - Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6ER; 9M-MRO@ZRH;07.12.2003 (5398092340).jpg

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6ER by Aero Icarus (CC)

“It is very rare to be able to proffer no convincing answer for an event,” says Times columnist David Aaronovitch, whose book Voodoo Histories tackles conspiracy theories.

Then there’s the context. After the revelations by Edward Snowden about the extent of global surveillance by the US National Security Agency, it seems somehow hard for laymen to believe that an airliner can just disappear.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

[Poll] The most damaging U.S. president of the last 50 years?

United States Capitol by Phil Roeder via Flickr.

United States Capitol by Phil Roeder via Flickr.

It’s time for a quick poll recap. This past week, we voted on everyone’s favorite “conspiracy” theory. New World Order/Illuminati was in the lead for awhile, but the 9/11 conspiracies ultimately won out. This week, with the help of some fellow commenters, we’ll be voting on which US president has been the most damaging of the last 50 years.

Favorite “Conspiracy” Theory

  • The theories around 9/11 (21%, 156 Votes)
  • New World Order/Illuminati (18%, 135 Votes)
  • Who really shot JFK? (14%, 100 Votes)
  • Reptilian Conspiracy (12%, 87 Votes)
  • The theories around MKUltra (7%, 54 Votes)
  • The theories around Area 51 (7%, 49 Votes)
  • Faked moon landing (6%, 46 Votes)
  • FEMA Concentration Camps (4%, 32 Votes)
  • HAARP (4%, 29 Votes)
  • Water Fluoridation (4%, 26 Votes)
  • Chemtrails (3%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 735

The most damaging U.S. president of the last 50 years?

  • Barack Obama
  • George W.
Read the rest
Continue Reading