10 Hilariously Bad Conspiracy Theories
Translated literally, Homo sapiens means “the wise man.” However, a quick Internet search will prove we’re collectively more like Homo creduli—a race of logic-blind, dribbling apes that will latch onto any brain fart and call it a conspiracy. As a follow-up to our last article on the subject, here are 10 more conspiracy theories so objectively dumb they’d make David Icke weep.
10Saddam Hussein Owned A Stargate
Stargate was a 1994 action movie about explosions and dimension-hopping aliens. The Iraq War was a 2003 military action that killed hundreds of thousands of people, the effects of which drag on to this day. Most of us would accept that only one of them really happened. But conspiracy theorists aren’t most of us.
According to websites like this one, the real reason we flattened a Middle Eastern country was nothing to do with oil or removing a despot from power, but to get our hands on a Stargate personally owned by Saddam Hussein. The story goes that Saddam was in contact with the Anunnaki on planet Nibiru and was about to use the device to trigger an alien conquest of Earth when the New World Order intervened. So you can personally thank Bush and Blair for the fact that you’re not currently working in the salt mines of Zeta Reticuli.
9Horny Palestinian Schoolgirls
The strained relationship between Israelis and Palestinians understandably fosters paranoia. So it’s not surprising to learn that conspiracy theories about Israeli involvement in Gaza abound. What might be surprising, however, is the form some of these theories take—like the one about Israel feeding Viagra to Palestinian schoolgirls.
In 2009, a Palestinian man alerted the authorities when his teenage daughter started, how shall we put this, acting like an adolescent just discovering her sexuality. The authorities traced the source of the complaint to a stick of gum allegedly bought across the border and decided that Israel was attempting to corrupt the territory’s youth with sex-drive boosting sweets. In other words, it was paranoid claptrap on an epic scale, yet some still continue to believe that Israel spends thousands of dollars each year with no other objective than to make schoolgirls horny.
8Sandy Hook Was An Israeli Attack
Late last year, Adam Lanza took a gun into Sandy Hook elementary school and proceeded to commit one of the worst atrocities in US history. All told, 26 people died, including 20 children. In the face of such a pointless tragedy, mouth-breathers everywhere naturally decided it had to be a conspiracy.
Chief among these soulless idiots was former GOP gubernatorial candidate Michael Harris, who claimed the massacre had been carried out by Israel as part of a revenge attack. Rather than just being a lonely, stupid kid, Adam Lanza was a fall guy whose corpse was used to cover up the involvement of Israeli death squads, while Obama (obviously) knew about the whole thing. Despite the idea that Israel would murder American children for an unspecified reason being literally insane, the theory continues to do the rounds both online and in the official Iranian press. As a concept, it’s idiotic. As a response to the murder of 20 children, it’s downright offensive.
7‘Occupy Wall Street’ Is A Cult
Despite all evidence to the contrary, most of us like to think of ourselves as rational. So when a large group of people choose to support a cause completely antithetical to our beliefs, we tend to assume they’ve been somehow brainwashed. Case in point: Occupy Wall Street is a mostly left-wing protest movement that hates capitalism. But that’s not all it is. According to the paranoid far-right, it’s also a cult.
The idea goes that Anonymous (and evidently therefore Occupy) are secretly being run by a Canadian NGO as a corporate cult, with the intention of plunging the US into civil war. As a sort of add-on, the company is pushing hard drugs at Occupy meetings and has been hiring rapists to stalk the protests, because this is a conspiracy theory and doesn’t have to make any sense.
What’s interesting about this theory is that it’s pretty much identical to one the far-left have about the Tea Party movement—only replace “evil Canadians” with “the Koch Brothers” and “civil war” with “corporate dominance.” In both cases, it’s kind of de-facto assumed that the people involved in these movements must be brainwashed, as there’s no way any non-manipulated person could possibly support anarchism/free market principles. In other words, this is less a conspiracy theory than a demonstration of our collective idiocy.
6The Muslim Brotherhood Runs America
The Muslim Brotherhood is a group of extremists, currently being murdered in Egypt by an entirely different group of extremists. According to Michelle Bachmann, they’re also infiltrating the American government with the aim of bringing sharia law to US soil.
Now, I’ve covered before how only 0.8 percent of the population identifying as Muslim makes sharia law an unlikely prospect in America. I’ve also covered how “Islamification” is basically just the media’s way of selling more papers. But even so, this theory scales whole new heights of dumb. For starters, the Muslim Brotherhood is a legitimate political party—when they want to influence government, they field candidates like everyone else. Secondly, they’re not even capable of holding onto power after winning an election in a Muslim majority country (Egypt). Finally, the highest-ranking member Bachmann could “identify” in Congress was Hilary Clinton’s aide. And if you seriously think Hilary Clinton’s coffee-fetcher is the person who secretly runs America, then you’ve officially failed at understanding politics.
5The CIA Created HIV
HIV needs no introduction, it’s one of the biggest killers on Earth, a disease so powerful we still haven’t found a cure. And a ton of people think the CIA created it to kill black people and gays.
These aren’t just wingnuts, either. Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has publicly agreed with this theory. A Nobel Prize winner once used her speech to signify support for it. Literally dozens of people who are otherwise completely respectable have brought this up at one time or another, so how can we be sure it really is as crazy as it seems?
Well, there’s the sheer number of experts who say otherwise, for one thing. For another, Snopes has actually traced the origins of this rumor—to a Soviet propaganda campaign. In 1985, the Soviet newspaper Literary Gazette published the first-known reference to the US government’s involvement in AIDS. The following year, a medical conference in Zimbabwe used the reference as a jumping-off point for a paper on the subject. After that, the rumor went supernova. To this day, “black-ops” types still insist the US was responsible for one of the worst viruses in human history. So, yeah, points to the Kremlin on this one.
4Vaccinations Control Your Mind
Vaccinations are one of the great medical advances. Without them, we’d all still be dropping dead from smallpox and anthrax. So it stands to reason that conspiracy theorists are certain they’re a ploy to secretly control our minds.
The basic premise of this nonsense is that vaccinations are really a means of filling you with nanotechnology that can alter your DNA and turn you into an automaton. If you’ve ever even been in the same room as a science textbook, you know that last sentence makes absolutely no sense. But periodic attempts to scare people off vaccines are happening all the time. In the UK, a recent conspiracy theory linking the MMR vaccine to autism caused hundreds of parents to excuse their kids from getting the shot. The result? Repeated mass outbreaks of measles, a disease we’d nearly stomped out of existence beforehand. So by all means, avoid vaccinations. Just don’t start crying when you come down with polio as a result.
3The NESARA Law
Most of the theories on this list at least have some form of internal consistency. The NESARA conspiracy can’t even boast that. At its most basic, the idea goes that Bill Clinton signed something called the National Economic Stabilization and Recovery Act into law just before he left office, only for the shadowy powers that be to hide it from the American people. So what was NESARA and what did it do? And why were the Illuminati (or whoever) so keen to suppress it?
Well, that’s the beautiful part: NESARA is whatever any website owner wants it to be. This website claims it wiped out all debt and guaranteed every American $100,000 a year for 11 years (have you seen your money yet?). This website, on the other hand, claims it returned America to the gold standard and ordered the arrest of everyone from the President to all State governors and members of the judiciary. In other words, it’s the pick ‘n’ mix of conspiracy theories—evidence that the government is stopping whatever you most want to happen from happening, all wrapped up in handily meaningless acronym.
2Hitler Is Still Alive
In the 1970s, there was a sudden flurry of “Hitler is still alive!” rumors that made the world sit up and pay attention. Nothing that looked even remotely like evidence was ever found, but it was technically plausible, at least compared to the other entries on this list. After all, the notorious death camp physician Josef Mengele lived in South America to a ripe old age, and it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that a geriatric Hitler might just be palling around with him down there. Unfortunately, this theory took hold to such an extent that some people continue to believe it to this very day.
Now, since modern-day Hitler would be literally the oldest person who has ever lived, this obviously poses some problems (the kind of problems that generally get solved with words like “cyborg,” “replicants,” “New World Order,” and “secret Moonbase”). In other words, they don’t get solved at all. Yet there remain sites out there that seriously link modern-day Hitler not only to 9/11, but to the recent Gulf oil spill as well. But guess what? Not only is this claptrap not the dumbest conspiracy theory on our list, it’s not even the dumbest involving Hitler.
1Jewish Leaders Deliberately Engineered The Holocaust
As anyone who has ever had to listen to one knows, racists aren’t the most logical of people. So when a crazy anti-Semite comes out with a theory along the lines of “the Jews deliberately caused the Holocaust,” sadly some people actually take notice.
The theory goes that an international cartel of evil Zionists planted Hitler in Germany, with specific orders that he become a world-class douchebag and slaughter six million of their coreligionists. Just think about that for a minute. It’s like an extract from the idiot’s guide to casual racism: Take a group of people you hate, add a historical “bad thing,” and try and claim the first group caused it. Only they’ve somehow missed the part where it needs to make any rational sense.
When you’ve gone this far down the conspiracy theory chain, there’s really nothing you can say to change the minds of those who believe it. No matter how slowly and patiently you go over the historical evidence to suggest they’re talking crap, they’ll still insist that Jewish/Zionist bankers engineered the Holocaust, which didn’t kill that many people anyway, simply to justify Israel’s something-something-something anti-Semitism. That’s it: If there’s any conspiracy theory dumber than this one, I don’t really want to hear about it.