Conspiracy theories would be funny if they weren’t so worrying; the fact that some people still believe in them, despite so much evidence to the contrary, is terrifying. I wanted to share with you some of the more common and well-known; do feel free to mock, laugh, and worry about the people who believe in them.
The Aids virus was created in a laboratory. It’s argued that it was either genetically engineered as a killer virus, or created by the CIA or the KGB as a means to reduce world population, or to wipe out homosexuals and African-Americans. South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai (the Kenyan ecologist) have both used the international spotlight to support the theory.
Pearl Harbor was allowed to happen: Supporters of this theory believe that President Franklin Roosevelt knew about the Japanese attack on the US naval base in Hawaii in December 1941. He apparently needed the attack to provoke Hitler into declaring war on the US.
Paul McCartney is dead: This is a long-standing urban legend alleging that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966, and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike. Theorists claim the other Beatles covered up his death — hiring someone who looked like him, sang like him, and had the same kind of cheerful personality. But the guilt eventually got to them and they began hiding clues in their music; for instance, in the song “Taxman,” George Harrison gave his “advice for those who die,” meaning Paul.
The Jesus conspiracy: The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, made this theory popular, but the theory has been around since the Gnostic Gospels were first discovered. In the Gospel of Phillip, Mary Magdalane is referred to as Jesus’ companion or partner. Apparently, they married, had one or more children, and those children or their descendants emigrated to France. Once there, they intermarried with the noble families that would eventually become the Merovingian dynasty, whose special claim to the throne of France is championed by a secret society called the Priory of Sion.
The moon landings are faked: A Gallup poll showed that 6% of Americans have said they thought the lunar landings were fake, and another 5% were undecided. Depressing thought, isn’t it?
Apparently, NASA faked some or all of the landings, tampering with evidence, including photos, telemetry tapes, transmissions, and rock samples. They were apparently desperate to beat the Russians in the space race, and so Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were only jobbing actors.
People seeking a smoking gun have apparently found it in film of Aldrin planting a waving American flag on the moon, which critics say proves that he was not in space. The flag’s movement, they say, clearly shows the presence of wind, which is impossible in a vacuum. NASA says Aldrin was twisting the flagpole to get the moon soil, which caused the flag to move.
Reptillian Overlords: Did you know that we’re ruled by blood-drinking, flesh-eating, shape-shifting extraterrestrial reptilian humanoids who want to enslave the human race. They’re already our leaders, our corporate executives, our actors and singers, and they’re responsible for the Holocaust, the Oklahoma City bombings and the 9/11 attacks. The aliens count among their number Queen Elizabeth, George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Bob Hope.
I despair sometimes, don’t you?