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Conspiracy Theories List - A collection and history of different theories
Main Articles - Conspiracy Theories
June 04, 2007

Apocalyptic prophecies

Apocalyptic prophecies, particularly Christian apocalyptic and eschatalogical claims about the end times, the Last Judgment, and the end of the world have inspired a range of conspiracy theories. Many of these deal with the Antichrist, the foremost figure of worldly evil from the Book of Revelation. This Antichrist, also known as the Beast 666, is supposed to be a leader who will create a world empire and oppress Christians (and, in some readings, Jews as well). In apocalyptic conspiracy theory, some person from current events is alleged to be the Antichrist, and some organisation (such as the Catholic Church or the United Nations) is alleged to be the Antichrist's world organization of evil.

Countless historical figures have been called "Antichrist" in their times, from the Roman emperor Nero to Ronald Reagan to Javier Solana; see Javier Solana Antichrist allegations. . At times, apocalyptic speculation has mixed with anti-Catholicism to yield the interpretation that the reigning Pope is the Biblical Antichrist. A more recent conspiratorial interpretation sees the Antichrist as a world leader involved with the United Nations, who will create a one world government and establish a single monetary system. The latter is identified with the Mark of the Beast, which the Bible states that people in the end times will need in order to conduct trade.

Two nations often involved in apocalyptic conspiracy theories are Israel and Iraq. The former is the location of both the Temple Mount and Armageddon (Megiddo), places seen as important in prophecy. The latter is the ancient location of Babylon, which also figures in Revelation. During the Gulf War, some suggested that Saddam Hussein had ordered the excavation and repopulation of the city of Babylon, thus casting Saddam as an Antichrist figure. Other interpretations have held that "Babylon" in Revelation refers to another mighty nation, such as the Roman Empire, or more recently the Soviet Union or the United States of America.

One of the world's most persistent and longstanding conspiracy theories claims that clandestine religious groups (which may or may not actually exist in reality), carry out human sacrifice, usually of children. Such accusations are often levelled against those believed to be plotting against accepted religious and social norms. Notable groups accused of this include Jews (with whom the term is usually associated), Christians of various denominations, alleged witches, and most recently alleged "Satanic" groups.


September 11 terrorist attacks

Several conspiracy theories have been presented concerning the September 11, 2001 attacks, many of them claiming that President George W. Bush and/or individuals in his administration knew about the attacks beforehand and purposefully allowed them to occur because the attacks would generate public support for an invasion of Iraq and other aggressive foreign policies.

Proponents point to the Project for the New American Century, a conservative think tank that argues for increased American global leadership, whose former members include Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and several other key Bush administration figures. An internal memo of the group allegedly claims that "some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor" would be needed to budge public opinion in their favor. David Ray Griffin, in "The New Pearl Harbor", p. 2004, questions this idea as it relates to the Bush 43 government and September 11 (Vancouver Indymedia article), as does film-maker Alex Jones in "911: the Road to Tyranny" (Internet Archive item).

Proponents of this theory also note Bush’s ties to Saudi Arabia, the nation of origin for 15 of the 19 hijackers, the fact that all but one of the videotapes of the attack on the Pentagon have been confiscated, rumors that several dignitaries were told not to fly that day, and Bush’s initial opposition to a commission to investigate the attacks.

On December 1, 2003, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean told National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm “The most interesting theory that I've heard so far — which is nothing more than a theory, I can't think — it can't be proved — is that [President Bush] was warned ahead of time [about the 9/11 attacks] by the Saudis.” Although he never stated he believed such a theory, Dean was widely criticized for his comments. Critics accuse him, notably, of spreading disinformation and unfounded conspiracy theories for partisan political purposes.

In response to some of the least creditable theories about the attacks Philip D. Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission said that "One reason you tend to doubt conspiracy theories when you've worked in government is because you know government is not nearly competent enough to carry off elaborate theories. It's a banal explanation, but imagine how efficient it would need to be."

This response does not, however include Alex Jones' theorized global government.

2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami conspiracy

Some people think the U.S. and Indian militaries deliberately caused the Indian Ocean tsunamis with electromagnetic pulse technology. This conspiracy theory is mostly expressed by popular Arab news services.  Another type of theory bases its claims on oil and gas interests.  Others also reason that the technology is at least feasible if not highly probable since research into such technology has been conducted by the military as far back as World War II. According to declassified files, top-secret "tsunami bomb" experiments utilyzing nuclear explosions to trigger "mini-tidal waves" were conducted off the coast of New Zealand in 1944 and 1945.  The U.S. Defense Department had even expressed concern about earthquake-inducing technology in warfare well before the 2004 disaster. In 1997 Defense Secretary William S. Cohen stated, "Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that's why this is so important."

War Conspiracy

The motivations for nations starting, entering, or ending wars is often suspect. Wars, after all, are by nature destructive of both people and property, and frequently have thoroughly undesirable consequences for the nations who start them. As with assassinations, the question that is often asked by conspiracists when a war breaks out is "who benefits?"

For decades, a common answer has been "munitions suppliers" — as argued by, e.g., Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler in the 1935 jeremiad "War is a Racket".  According to this view, there is always a party within the nation which would benefit from going to war, on whatever pretext: the sellers of weapons and other military material. President Dwight Eisenhower referred to this source of potential conflict of interest as the military-industrial complex.

Related is the allegation that certain wars which are claimed by politicians to be in the national interest, or for humanitarian purposes, are in fact motivated by the conquest and control of natural resources for commercial interest. In 1898's Spanish-American War, the explosion of the USS Maine prompted the US annexation of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. Opponents of the war, such as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie, claimed that it was being fought for imperialist motives.

In recent times, wars in the Middle East such as the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq have been described as wars for oil. During the 20th century the United States has also often been accused of plotting foreign coups d'état for commercial interest. In many cases, critics have accused the U.S. of engaging in realpolitik in the cynical sense of political action without regard for principle or morals. A war planned for economic gain can be seen as a conspiracy in the conventional sense of a secret plot — particularly when the public is presented with false pretexts for war.

It has been suggested that war is a perfect way of distracting citizens, as an electoral tactic, from difficulties facing the then current administration. This premise is the basis of the film Wag the dog.

Any of the other frequently-alleged conspiratorial groups described above; secret societies, "The Jews", etc, have also been alleged as the mastermind behind wars. For instance, Adolf Hitler repeatedly claimed in speeches that the "international finance Jews" were responsible for World War I.

Surveillance technologies

Particular technologies of surveillance and control arouse concern that has bordered upon, or crossed over into, conspiracy theory. These are technologies being developed by governments which are intended to intrude into the privacy or harm the persons of citizens, particularly dissenters. Conspiracy theories of this sort cast government agencies as pursuing vast technical powers in order to spy on people, control their minds, or otherwise suppress an alienated populace.

The plausibility of establishing such surveillance capabilities, by technical means or by a widespread network of informants, should perhaps be viewed in the context of events in former Eastern bloc countries, particularly the activities of the East German Stasi before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The various services provided by Google have also been considered to invade people's privacy, thus enabling intelligence agencies to monitor their activities.

Barcodes Conspiracy

Some conspiracy theorists have proposed that barcodes are really intended to serve as means of control by a putative world government, or that they are Satanic in intent. Mary Stewart Relfe claims in The New Money System 666 (1982) that barcodes secretly encode the number 666 - the Biblical "Number of the Beast".  This theory has been adopted by other fringe figures such as the "oracle" Sollog, who refuses to label any of his books with barcodes on the grounds that "any type of computer numbering systems MANDATED by any government or business is part of the PROPHECY of the BEAST controlling you.

Diseases and epidemics

There are conspiracy theories based on the notion that AIDS was a man-made disease (i.e. created by scientists in a laboratory). Some of these theories allege that HIV was created by a conspiratorial group or by a secret agency as a tool of genocide. Other theories suggest that the virus escaped into the population at large by accident, or may have been deliberately unleashed as a means of population control or as an experiment in biological and/or psychological warfare. See: AIDS conspiracy theories.

Some who believe that HIV was a government creation see a precedent for it in the Tuskegee syphilis study, in which government-funded researchers deceptively denied treatment to black patients infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

Assassinations

Assassinations are a classic subject of conspiracy theories. The assassination of a prominent figure is a singular event which can dramatically change the course of public affairs. Those drawn to conspiracy theory are led to ask, in the aftermath of an assassination, Who benefited from this death? Though some assassinations are committed by lone individuals, and many others are overt acts by governments (such as that of Leon Trotsky), and other assassinations are committed as the result of a provable conspiracy, there have been several assassinations whose purposes and evidence remain mysterious in the public eye — and suspicious to most people.

Best-known among assassination conspiracy theories in the United States are those dealing with a rash of seemingly politically motivated deaths in the 1960s, notably those of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Investigations and scientific testing and recreations into the circumstances of John F. Kennedy's death have not settled the question of who killed him. That U.S. public opinion considers this still to be an open issue is suggested by three polls in 2003. An ABC News random telephone poll found that just 32% (plus or minus 3%) of Americans believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, while 68% do not believe Oswald acted alone. The "Discovery Channel" poll (sampling method not given) reveals that only 21% believe Oswald acted alone, while 79% do not believe Oswald acted alone.  The "History Channel" poll (self-selected responses) details that only 17% of respondents believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, while 83% do not believe Oswald acted alone.  It should, however, be noted that opinion polls of this type are often subject to selection and response biases.

Similar theories have arisen around the assassination of Beatle John Lennon and the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. In recent years theories about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales have made headlines.

Evil aliens

A somewhat different version of this theory maintains that humanity is actually under the control of shape-shifting alien reptiles, who require periodic ingestion of human blood to maintain their human appearance.

Satanic cults

In the United States of America, during the 1980s there was an upsurge in the old belief of "Satanic ritual abuse". Hundreds of thousands Americans, including Protestant Christians, feared that the United States was filled with child-sacrificing Satanists. Church sermons, newsletters and soon letters to newspapers and magazines, were filled with claims of tens of thousands of American children being kidnapped and murdered by supposed Satanists. These ideas soon made their way into the mainstream American media, where they initially were reported uncritically. This led to a wave of arrests against hundreds of American citizens, whose neighbors suddenly began accusing them of kidnapping, child abuse or murder. Hundreds of these people were accused of being witches or satanists, and were convicted by a jury. Only in the mid 1990s did the wave of witch hunts subside; since then the reports of tens of thousands of missing children have been proven false by official sources; there was no massive increase in kidnapping, abuse or murder. Most of the convicted "witches" or "satanists" have since been released from jail. The entire phenomenon is now considered by mainstream historians and psychologists to be an episode of mass delusion, and witch hunts, augmented by the pseudo-scientific "repressed memory syndrome" idea, which has also now been discredited by the scientific establishment. The "suppression of proof" argument could be raised as a counter-argument by conspiracy theorists critical of official sources.

Secret societies and fraternities

Secret societies and fraternal societies have aroused nervousness from some non-members since at least the time of the ancient Greeks. A secret society is a club or organization whose members do not disclose their membership, and may be sworn to hold it secret. However, the term is also used in conspiracy theory to refer to fraternal organizations such as the Freemasons or the Skull-and-Bones Society who do not conceal membership, but are thought to harbor secret beliefs or political agendas.

College fraternities such as Yale's Skull and Bones society are also popular suspects among conspiracists. Many men form lifelong friendships with their fraternity "brothers" which some believe often carry on into the political and business world. This particular conspiracy theory was presented in the movie "the Skulls".

A revival of interest

"Having read at least fifty books on the Illuminati, I am convinced that it exists and can be blamed for many of man's inhumane actions against his fellow man during the past two hundred years.""

Dr. Tim LaHaye co-Author of best selling book series "Left Behind"

Masonic conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theory about the Freemasons goes back at least to the late 18th century. The Masons were accused of plotting the American and French Revolutions, the Jack the Ripper killings, the downfall of religion, and of dominating republican politics. In fact, the historian Georges Lefebvre, generally considered an authoritative source on the subject, concedes that the Masons had a role in organizing the revolution in the city, but says it is unclear how important their role was. Worry about Masonic conspiracy grew to such an extent in the early United States as to spawn a political party, the Anti-Masonic Party. The Bavarian Illuminati, a German secret society related to Masonry, also figures into conspiracy theories of that time. Rosicrucianism and the Priory of Sion are popular topics of conspiracists.

All the Catholic Popes in the last three centuries are subjects of conspiracy theories. Some people believe that Freemasonry was condemned by the Church primarily because of its view that all religions are equal; this view was diametrically opposed to the Catholic belief that it is the only true religion. Since a number of Catholics and Protestants now agree with the Masonic principles condemned by the Church, new theories about the Masons have emerged, such as that they are devil worshippers. Others hold that these views about the origins of conspiracy theories about Masons are themselves conspiracy theories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theories_(a_collection)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyright


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