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Anatomy of a good conspiracy theory

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posted on May, 21 2019 @ 06:55 AM
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I've always been fascinated by conspiracy theories which is why I originally came to this site in the first place. It's not that I believe in all the conspiracy theories but I just like collecting them. I am fascinated by the concept of pareidolia and seeing images or meaning in clouds etc.

For me, what makes a conspiracy theory really good is the most outrageous narrative that fits known facts and data points. There's always the chance that some fact or data point will come along and invalidate the narrative. But if the data points exist, if the facts exist, then creating an interesting narrative is what makes conspiracies interesting.

For example, recently there's been several discussions on the health effects of cell-phone radiation on the brain. So here's my attempt to write a conspiracy theory based on a few data points I read:


The radiation coming off cell phones breaks down the blood-brain barrier leading to bacteria infections causing us all to be less intelligent and irritable with regards to politics and driving our cars.


So the data point is does cell-phone radiation have any physical effects on the brain. I read this is the case. The conspiracy theory is what happens afterwards. The pareidolia comes in with the subjective judgment cell-phones are why people seem to be less intelligent and irritable with regards to politics and driving our cars. For pareidolia part to be good it can't be provable one way or the other.

It's funny how so many people have a derogatory tone with regards to conspiracy theories. What is really surprising is how many of these conspiracy theories turn out to be true! Google, "conspiracy theories that turn out to be true." There are so many crazy whacky stuff the government or corporations do that turns out to be true!!!


edit on 21-5-2019 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 21 2019 @ 07:22 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

I personally think when explaining a situation to someone and they ask"Is this a conspiracy theory" it tends to mean you have hit their mental capacity,people never use common sense only their perceived sense it seems,to think out of the realm is beyond comprehension,so what makes a good conspiracy? anything of relevance



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 07:30 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

I think some of the biggest problems with conspiracy theories is that they tend to take a smidgen of truth and blow it way out of proportion.

That and when the theory is busted the stupid thing never dies.
Like the titanic being switched with its damaged sister ship. They brought up pieces of the hull with the correct numbers inscribed and the theory just wont die.



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 07:36 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

I agree with you about conspiracy theories. They tickle the mind.

But I believe your example is not pareidolia, which by and large refers to a tendency to assign meaning to random images (or music).

What you laid out is plain old hysterical speculation with a little hasty generalizing.



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
Your explanation of conspiracy theories is quite erroneous. Your second statement is not an explanation of conspiracy but SCIENCE. THEY take known data, known facts and come up with wild theories (dark matter and the LHC come to mind) till a fact or data point comes along and negates their theory.



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Excellent topic.. I can promise you will not get many responses... lol


I personally use these few smell tests....

1) is it profitable??

Is the total cost to perpetrate and maintain the conspiracy less than the potential payoff if it is successful??

My guess is that there are no broad scale conspiracies that people are willing to lose money to perpetrate..


2) is the conspiracy proposed the best way to achieve whatever goal??

For example 911.. is orcastrating 911 the easiest way to get America to go to war??

Well no, poisoning a water treatment plant would be easier... have a higher death toll...and be easier to set up a patsy.. 911 might be the most convoluted method..

Does 911 match known US conspiracies (Lusitania, gulf of Tonkin)..

If not, why did they make it so much harder on themselves??



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: Oldtimer2

I think you mean they refuse to believe nonsense spouted by questionable or even nefarious sources...

They understand what your saying, they just think it is to silly for an intelligent person to believe..

Thus to be polite instead of pointing and laughing they say, “wait a second.. isn’t this just a conspiracy theory..”



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 12:27 PM
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A good conspiracy theory has a few motifs in common

1. "there is a THEY"
the theory posits a group of people who are working in secret for their own dark ends, which are not what they appear. (Freemasons, Protocols of the elders of Zion, Council on Foreign Relations)

2. "it's a false flag"
This allows the conspiracy-teller to claim that contrary events are actually, secretly, "part of the larger plan," and further proof of the pervasive power of "THEY".

3. "Secret History"
The events you were taught are trivia; the REAL history is a history of conspiracies. This is the most insidious of all, because there is so much truth behind this motif. For instance, most Americans assume that, because Oswald acting alone killed Kennedy, that every other presidential assassination was also a "lone gunman." Most Americans will deny that over 20 persons were arrested for aiding in the conspiracy to kill Lincoln, and 4 of them were found guilty and hanged, while 3 others served life sentences for assisting the conspiracy....

4. "Secret Ritual significance"
This really took of in the 1980s, with the post modern/post-realist writings of JG Ballard, WS Burroughs et al. So in this version, historical acts are important for their secret ritual value, more than their immediate socio-economic impact. So the outline of streets in Washington DC secretly makes a pentagram. Kennedy was killed in Dallas on the 33rd Degree of latitude as a masonic ritual of "killing the corn king" from Frasers "Golden Bough". Just as the shooting of Reagan was more than a CIA mind control event, and 9-11 was an anti-masonic destruction of the twin pillars of strength and mercy that guarded (the statue of) liberty, allowing a luciferian cabal to take over the oil and international bond market, for the eventual destruction of the United States. And W Bush flashing the seemingly satanic "horns" hand-sign proves that he secretly advocates for the University of Texas in their rivalry with A&M. And the moon mission was a secret solar ritual to invalidate the moon as an object of worship for muslims, literally "America wiping its boots on the sign of Allah."

5. "Secret Post-Nazis"
The nazis are the arch-villains of the 20th century, and can be blamed for everything you don't like, by claiming that they weren't all hunted down and killed, but were secretly recruited by NASA and the CIA, and ran secret colonies in south america. And they built a time-traveling bell to escape to the future in, from whence they will terrorize you forever. They also invented guided missiles, amphetamines, and every other curse of modern life.



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: Graysen

1) I need the they defined.. and fairly specificity.. I personally don’t by any conspiracy theory that relies on some unseen , unknowable force that can never be held accountable..

Like the Illuminati, the government, the left, the right..


Conspiracies are perpetrated by specific people.. not vague concepts..


2) I need the false flag to be the most effective way to achieve the proposed goal..

For example was 911 the most effective way to start a war?

3) I find this a joke as well as the fake news narrative..

So any actual accredited news source is fake news, but every two bit conservative conspiracy site is the gospel... lol... just lol..

4) I don’t buy any of the satanic panic nonsense.. people perpetrate conspiracies for profit, not principle..



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 01:22 PM
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a reply to: JustJohnny

people who believe in magic, also believe that ritual behavior IS profitable



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: Graysen

Yes but people also believe the world is flat.. there will always be the ignorant..


The fact is that people don’t orchestrate massive plans that do not profit them... conspiracies or not..



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 01:48 PM
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originally posted by: JustJohnny
a reply to: Graysen

Yes but people also believe the world is flat.. there will always be the ignorant..


The fact is that people don’t orchestrate massive plans that do not profit them... conspiracies or not..


What is profit?

Were the crusades launched, a losing proposition if ever there was one, because of a profit motive? How about Vietnam?

Was mother Theresa planning to get rich helping orphans in Delhi?

Did David chapman expect to get rich from killing John Lennon?

I posit that humans are not entirely rational. Thus, their motives are not entirely rational.

conspiracy is merely Latin for "to breathe together." They don't have to generate a flow-chart and a balance sheet, in order to conspire. They just have to breathe the same air, share the same goals. You can be convicted of conspiracy-after-the-fact in many jurisdictions.

So yes, people work together, sometimes in secret. And sometimes for non-rational ends.

The profit motive may explain all of your behavior; but not everyone's.

I bet you can be irrational every once in a while, yourself.



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 02:04 PM
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originally posted by: JustJohnny
a reply to: Graysen

Yes but people also believe the world is flat.. there will always be the ignorant..


The fact is that people don’t orchestrate massive plans that do not profit them... conspiracies or not..


Looking at your post again, I think you misunderstood the point of the thread. The OP isn't saying that she/he actually believes in any of the conspiracies theories; merely that they are interesting from a sociological standpoint. Just because I read about flat-earthers doesn't mean I agree with them---I'm just interested in how they make sense of their own world-view.

So when I for my part was posting about what makes a compelling conspiracy theory, I was just listing qualities that I think make a given theory popular. Not that the Jews or Freemasons are trying to take over the world, but that so many Americans once believed it that there was an actual "Anti-masonic Party" that fielded candidates for congress and even the presidency at one point. Not saying I agree with them, just that I find it all interesting.



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 02:11 PM
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originally posted by: Graysen

originally posted by: JustJohnny
a reply to: Graysen

Yes but people also believe the world is flat.. there will always be the ignorant..


The fact is that people don’t orchestrate massive plans that do not profit them... conspiracies or not..


Looking at your post again, I think you misunderstood the point of the thread. The OP isn't saying that she/he actually believes in any of the conspiracies theories; merely that they are interesting from a sociological standpoint. Just because I read about flat-earthers doesn't mean I agree with them---I'm just interested in how they make sense of their own world-view.

So when I for my part was posting about what makes a compelling conspiracy theory, I was just listing qualities that I think make a given theory popular. Not that the Jews or Freemasons are trying to take over the world, but that so many Americans once believed it that there was an actual "Anti-masonic Party" that fielded candidates for congress and even the presidency at one point. Not saying I agree with them, just that I find it all interesting.



Fair enough, and I was posting my specific checklist.



posted on May, 21 2019 @ 07:53 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Research, research, research and more research. A good theory is one where at least some evidence exists. One that has some kind of logical basis as a foundation to prop it up.

The Skunk Works here I've always thought should be the predominate forum for conspiracy theories. It hardly ever gets used for the right reasons. Too often people present theories as my way or the highway facts, where no facts exist, dooming it to the trash bin of history.

I think a lot of the derogatory tone you mention comes from the way theories are presented. Too often they are thrown at people without any research or facts as a starting point to flesh them out. Then of course people think hey, that's just dumb, its not based on anything.


edit on 5/21/2019 by Blaine91555 because: (no reason given)




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