Common Conspiracy Theories You Shouldn’t Believe
The internet has fulfilled its primary function to a tee – it spreads information. The beauty and the curse of the internet is that it doesn’t matter if the information to beneficial or harmful to the world. So when a crackpot develops a barely credible conspiracy theory it will spread like wildfire, and since the average punter isn’t going to research an event or theory they’re just going to go with the first thing they’re told.
Let’s get this out of the way early – I love me a good conspiracy theory. Even before The X-Files started drip feeding me shadowy government sneakybollocks every week I enjoyed reading books about aliens being stashed at Roswell, strange men in black in their helicopters and all manner of cryptoids. I don’t definitely buy into them, but they make for good yarns and they’re mostly concerning things I want to be real. It’s fun to play along.
Having said that, they are some tremendously idiotic theories that have become commonplace in the past decade. Conspiracies so blatantly stupid that it makes me worried about a human society so willing to buys into these ideas. I won’t be trying to denounce these ideas, because doing so would imply that there’s a case that needs to be disproved
The World Trade Centre Attacks
Whilst walking down the street last week I noticed a bumper sticker demanding ‘9/11 Truth Now!’ stuck to a post. It’s not the first time I’ve seen this kind of thing in the area – there’s even been protesters with signs and slogans. What’s curious about this is that the city I live in is 16,586.98km (10,306.95 miles) away from New York. Who they expect to tell them the truth in this area is a mystery. Also by the local calender they’re asking about the truth about what happened on the ninth of November.
That’s an example of how wide-spread this idea has become (not to mention how little thought the local chapter has put into things). It goes like this: instead of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban being responsible for the devastating attacks it was really the US government. Some accounts simply put them in a position of knowing about the attacks and choosing not to act to actually orchestrating the attack using fake planes and putting the ‘victims’ into hiding. Theories range from the US military strapping bombs to passenger planes to secret agents sneaking into the WTC to wire the place with explosives.
This is the kind of conspiracy that requires more work to make up then debunk. It’s popularity was originally linked to student film Loose Change, hosted by a kid who starts every line with “do they expect us to believe…” but that film has been debunked fact by fact by a variety of websites.
Vaccinations Cause Autism
Once again the conspiracy theorists have to work hard to keep this one up. One Andrew Wakefield, during his time as a medical professional, made a claim during a press conference (not, as some believe, in a research paper) that giving your child a vaccine could cause them to be autistic. In spite of a recent revelation from a British journalist that Wakefield presented falsified information to ‘prove’ this claim shortly after receiving a large payment from an anti-vaccination lobby, people still staunchly defend this idea and insisting on calling him a doctor even after being stripped of the title (for unnecessary cruelty to children – lovely man). Many have flipped the whole thing on it’s head and now tell people that the real conspiracy involves the pharmaceutical lobby and the medical profession spreading ‘lies’ to discredit Wakefield.
The propagators of this conspiracy have shown themselves to be highly aggressive in their methods of spreading their ideas. For the Australian branch, the AVN, and their leader Meryl Dorey this ranges from creating multiple false accounts on online medical forums to harassing the grieving parents of a child who died of whooping cough because they publicly supported vaccinations. They have also been described by the Health Care Complaints Commission as providing “misleading and inaccurate information on the subject of vaccination”
In the face of this opposition, the advocates of this conspiracy still maintain that they are the keepers of the truth. It’s an easy conspiracy not to believe in.
On 21st July 1969 the first man set foot on the surface of Earth’s moon. This was the end result of decades of research, experiments and efforts by the most powerful countries in the world. Some people insist that this was faked. I’ve never bothered quizzing them on whether or not this extends to subsequent landings on the moon. The idea of a faked moon landing certainly makes for a fun political thriller, but let’s get serious people.
Without addressing the individual pieces of ‘evidence’ that get thrown about, any single person with a the appropriate laser and telescope can bounce the beam of the reflector arrays left on the moons surface. Try it for yourself.
Princess Diana’s Murder
Conspiracies can be used to explain away discrepancies in major events. Idiotic conspiracies add make-believe to straight forward tragedies. The story behind this one concerns the Royal Family recruiting secret agents to bump off Princess Diana in order to prevent any future scandal, such as her dating a Muslim man when her son is the future head of the Church of England (didn’t they consider that this might help build bridges between the faiths?).
This conspiracy is beyond pointless. You’d have to work pretty hard to turn a car accident involving a speeding vehicle into a planned hit on foreign soil in front of a small army of reporters without anyone becoming wise to it. Not to mention the fact that being accused, or even suspected, of such an act may bring more scandal to the Royal Family than the Prince’s ex-wife dating a man of the Muslim faith? Don’t buy it.
The 2012 Apocalypse
Since November there has been at least four books published on this one subject, with more due for release soon. December 21st this year will see the world come to an end (how this will happen differs from author to author). The reason people are convinced of this is because of the Mayan calender, which predicts the end of the world on this date. Before you start stocking your fallout shelter with tinned beans however, take a look at the picture of the Mayan Calender below:
Notice that it’s round? That’s because the Mayan Calender works in cycles. Most of them anyway – they did have more than one and they all said different things. The one that people have latched onto is one that works in cycles and what supposedly happens this year is the end of a cycle. This is like claiming the world ends every time my watch cycles from one hour to the next – there’s no logic behind it whatsoever. It’s not the only Doomsday prediction based around an arbitrary calender reaching the end of its cycle in recent living memory…apparently believing Y2K wasn’t embarrassing enough for some people.
So what leads people to believe that a randomly selected calender from a randomly selected extinct race is the one true predictor of the future? Stupidity.
If you ever wanted proof that the internet is making people dumber, just listen to anyone who supports this wild conspiracies.