Tag Archives | Conspiracy Theories

A Look At Oath Keepers Preparing For Revolution

A fair look at those who believe that societal collapse may be immanent? This VICE piece features perspective on conspiracy theorism and the breakdown of the American Dream from several angles, including Alex Jones and Chris Hedges:

Traveling from Texas to Massachusetts, VICE investigates whether the country is actually on the verge of the 2nd Revolutionary War.

The Department of Homeland Security classifies them as potential “domestic terrorists”; they prefer to be called patriots. As the economic crisis deepens, a growing movement of Americans is rejecting the two-party system and the mainstream media. They believe a violent revolution is imminent, and they’re getting ready for it now. We meet Sgt. Charles Dyer, a U.S. Marine who has taken an oath to disobey unconstitutional orders and take up arms against the government if it becomes tyrannical — and is training a citizen militia to do the same.

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Giving Conspiracy Theorists A Bad Name

What is wrong with these people? As Anderson Cooper says, it’s really best not to give our attention to the lunatic fringe, but when tenured university professors deny that the Newtown school massacre happened it’s hard to stay silent in the face of such amazing stupidity, especially when you know full well that the Internet echo chamber (not to mention certain radio shows) will amplify his words many times over. The video report from Cooper is below, and should you wish to review Tracy’s reaction you can find it here.

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Top Five Crazy Obama Conspiracy Theories

Picture: Vectorportal, Wikimedia Commons (CC)

Following on from our earlier Top 5 Crazy Conspiracy Theories of 2012, DJ Pangburn drills down and focuses on the five nuttiest theories featuring President Obama:

1. Obama staged Newtown, Aurora and the Sikh Temple Massacres, plus ‘Fast and Furious’ to take away Americans’ guns.

2. Obama will engineer a third term.

3. Obama engineered the CIA Petraeus-Broadwell scandal to cover up Benghazi.

4. Obama cooked the Labor Statistics books (and managed to keep everyone silent!).

5. Obama triggered Hurricane Sandy to win 2012 election.

Read up on the details of what the crazies are saying to support these claims at Death & Taxes.

 … Read the rest

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Craziest Conspiracy Theories Of The Year

Although billed by PolicyMic as 2012′s top 5 crazy conspiracy theories, I’m not sure it was in this year that most of these “theories” started, or that we won’t be hearing about them again in 2013 (except maybe the Mayan end times meme), but for the record their list is:

  1. Obama cooked the books.
  2. Obama continued to not be born in America.
  3. The Mayan apocalypse brought us to an end.
  4. The UN disarmed America as part of a “new world order.”
  5. The U.S. government re-armed as part of a “new world order.”

Read for yourself the reasons why at PolicyMicRead the rest

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Newtown: It Was Obama. No, it was Iran! Israel! Batman!

Gunplay. Photo by Deadpool46 (CC)

Following our previous roundup of insane conspiracy theories regarding the mass murder, Michael Moynihan reports for the Daily Beast on the paranoiacs who variously claim that “the government was behind the school massacre. Wait, it was Obama, in a ruse to take our guns away. No, it was Iran! Israel! Batman!”:

In the mid-1990s, during the infancy of the World Wide Web, a visit to my local university library demonstrated that the Internet would be both a great tool of liberation and a megaphone for the fantastically mad. That small bank of Internet-connected computer terminals was reliably occupied by a few student researchers and an army of honking, snorting, flaky-skinned cranks, furiously posting to Internet bulletin boards. (I frequently traded pleasantries with one twitchy local who wore homemade body armor, claiming that it shielded his organs from computer smog while browsing the Internet.)

Almost 20 years later, behold how Tim Berners-Lee liberated the crackpot from his world of Manichean newsletters, how he freed the basement-dwelling “researcher” to hawk bad ideas to the undereducated and paranoid (think of the 9/11 “truth” movement).

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JFK Conspiracy Theorists Want Mainstream Acceptance For 50th Anniversary

Dealey-plaza-annotatedIt ain’t gonna happen. Is it? Ana Camoy reports for the Wall Street Journal:

DALLAS—Officials in the city where President John F. Kennedy was gunned down Nov. 22, 1963, want to observe the 50th anniversary of that day with a celebration of his life.

The city plans a ceremony that would include readings from Kennedy speeches by historian David McCullough and military jets flying over Dealey Plaza, where the 35th president was shot.

But some who believe the assassination was a conspiracy involving high-ranking U.S. officials say their views shouldn’t be excluded from the commemoration.

“It’s absurd to move the discussion of his death to another moment,” said John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that studies 1960s murders of public figures. “Our First Amendment rights are being violated.”

Mr. Judge, 65 years old, said conspiracy-theory proponents have gathered at Dealey Plaza every Nov.

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Finally, A Few Bankers Face Criminal Prosecutions For Conspiracies

When most mainstream media outlets discuss conspiracy theories, it is usually to debunk the views of dissenting and critical thinkers who are routinely denounced as simplistic, paranoid or worse.

You have frequently seen the mantra questioning their motives and conclusions as if the idea of people or officials acting together covertly to advance their interests in illegal ways is something new in history.

Until recently, US press outlets characterized conspiracy arguments as rants that lacked any factual basis, engaged in guilt by association and stretched the facts.

The only conspiracy charges they tended to look at uncritically were criminal complaints against the Mafia under anti-racketeering statutes like the RICO statutes. Prosecutors loved these cases because normal concerns with protecting  the rights of defendants didn’t apply when hearsay evidence was permitted.

But now, four years after the financial crisis, prosecutors have finally discovered what critics have been alleging repeatedly:  that big banks were crooks, engaging, engaging among other illicit practices,  in secretive, illegal and conspiratorial schemes to rig baseline interest rates and manipulate credit markets,

It has now been admitted that traders at two major financial institutions were fixing LIBOR—the London Interbank Offered Rate, used to set the interest rates of $800 trillion worth of financial products, including credit cards and mortgages.… Read the rest

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Insane Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories

Disinfonauts, you know who these people are. Drown them out. Gawker compiles some of the worst, tasteless sentiment from the fringes of American society:

If you’ve got a certain kind of Facebook friend — an End-the-Fed, mechanical-elves, Monsanto-causes-cancer, Nibiru-fearing cousin, say — you may have already heard the “news” that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza’s father was a key witness in a congressional hearing about a banking scandal. Or the theory that the new Batman movie predicted the shooting. Or that The Hunger Games did. None of these conspiracy theories are true, obviously. But they’re all over the internet.

As usual, it only took a couple of days for the weird online gutter-spaces where the far left, far right, hyper-libertarian and new age kooks all hang out to gurgle out a handful of theories about the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., that ended with 27 deaths. They are, each, stupider than the last, though no less fascinating, in a car-crash way, than they usually are…

[check out the insanity at Gawker]… Read the rest

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Why Cancer Conspiracy Theories Really Piss People Off

Cancer bellianus Johnston 1861 stuffed museum La Rochelle Cath Ennis, an expat Brit working as a cancer genomics project manager in Vancouver, Canada, explains why she’s feeling so crabby about cancer conspiracy theories in the Guardian:

I remember exactly where I was the very first time I learned that I was part of a global conspiracy, raking in millions of dollars and laughing sadistically as people died all around me: I was at my friends’ 2004 Christmas party, and had just told a fellow guest that I was a research scientist and worked at the BC Cancer Agency.

The millions of dollars were news to me, given that as a freshly minted PhD I was making C$35,000 (£22,000) a year at the time. However, what really took me aback was the sheer vehemence of the anger being directed at me by my friends’ new neighbour. He jabbed his finger at me as he raised his voice and ranted about how “all you scientists are sitting on a 100% effective cure for cancer” (“a bunch of vitamins smushed together with proteins” were his exact words), watching millions of people die as we counted the royalty money from the “useless poisons” we were forcing people to take.

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Congress Holds An Anti-Vaccination Hearing

The anti-vaccine movement has friends in powerful places in the form of congressional Republicans, Steven Salzberg reveals via Forbes:

I was in my car yesterday listening to C-SPAN, when to my stunned surprise I heard Congressman Dan Burton launch into a diatribe on how mercury in vaccines causes autism. The hearing was held just a few days ago by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Congressman Burton used this hearing to rehash a series of some of the most thoroughly discredited anti-vaccine positions of the past decade.

To make matters worse, the House committee invited Mark Blaxill to testify. Blaxill is a well-known anti-vaccine activist whose organization, SafeMinds, seems to revolve around the bogus claim that mercury in vaccines causes autism. His organization urges parents not to vaccinate their children, and giving him such a prominent platform only serves to spread misinformation among parents of young children.

The committee called on scientists Alan Guttmacher from the NIH and Colleen Boyle from the CDC to testify, but in fact the committee just wanted to bully the scientists.

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