As I recently learned, it is a bad idea to joke about conspiracies. They are serious business to some people. But if you are interested in inventing your own conspiracy theory for fun or profit, there is a time-tested formula:

  1. Pick bad thing  X that happened (it doesn’t matter what or when).
  2. Postulate a conspiracy was behind it* (it doesn’t matter who or why).  This is all you need to get going, but there are a few techniques you can use to fill in the blanks about what really happened during X.
  3. Ahh, now I see–George Bush did it.

    Cherry pick factoids, take details out of context, mine quotes from public figures, elevate obscure minor incidents to center stage, juxtapose unrelated events, obsess over coincidence, point to suspicious lack of evidence that (if it existed) would support your theory, and always, always have pictures with big red arrows pointing to nothing in particular.
    The general rule is: stitch together everything that vaguely supports your theory or calls into question the mainstream explanation, and ignore or deny everything that does not fit.

  4. In later stages, once your campaign to uncover the truth is well-developed, create a really poorly-produced internet “documentary,” set it to scary music, and have your college roommate narrate it.
  5. Denounce skeptics and scientists who debunk your claims as tools of the conspiracy, and make it clear that anyone who doubts your theory is a Moreaun human-sheep hybrid creature afflicted with narcolepsy. Tell them they need to, “Wake UP, SHEEPLE!”
  6. Compile a list of  a tiny number of “experts” that support some of your claims, and use it to lend a veneer of scientific credibility to your theory. Wherever possible, use misattributed, unsourced, and quotes taken out of context from experts who do not support your theory to imply they do.
  7. Create lists of “unanswered questions” that, regardless of how well-answered, will always remain “unanswered.”

Rinse. Repeat.

Events ripe for potential conspiracy theories:
Potential conspirators:
  • Jews. Always the Jews.
  • President (any president)
  • United Nations
  • Pentagon/military-industrial complex
  • CIA
  • British royal family
  • Federal Reserve (and bankers generally)
  • Robber barons
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Trilateral Commission
  • The Bilderberg Conference
Mythical groups potentially behind anything:
  • Ancient aliens. Always ancient aliens.
  • New World Order
  • Illuminati
  • Free Masons
  • Reptilians

Example: a conspiracy theory I invented about the RMS Titanic.

It’s the only explanation… that makes absolutely no sense.

* Or, if a conspiracy really was behind it, add some unnecessary elements or another layer of conspiracy on top of what is generally accepted to have happened, just to blunt Occam’s Razor. For example: the Black Hand really did assassinate Archduke Ferdinand… but there was a second shooter on the roof of the cafe! Or: yeah, Mohammad Atta did it… but the CIA helped him!

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18 Responses to Build Your Own Conspiracy Theory

  1. mikehell says:

    Don’t you get it? The absence of compelling evidence in favor of a conspiracy is merely evidence of how effective the conspiracy is. In other words, THE LESS WE CAN LEARN THE MORE BAMBOOZLED WE ARE!!! WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!!! DON’T THESE ALL CAPS MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU????!!!!!!

  2. therealguyfaux says:

    Of course there are groups looking to take over the running of this country– they’re called “lobbies,” who seek to influence the politicians to do what the lobbies want. It is the lip-smacking- hand-rubbing-Dr.-Evil-and-his-cabal-type accusations that make conspiracy theorists look stupid. But that said, it is still a far reach to say that those who raise facts which do not conform to some “approved” narrative, be it from Government or MSM, are by their nature off their rockers simply in virtue of doing so. As an example: I have always found it to be quite a coincidence that Lee Harvey Oswald, some weeks before, gets a job at a location overlooking a Presidential motorcade– a gentleman whose history, we can safely aver, ought to have raised a few eyebrows; was there some sort of dereliction on the part of those who were supposed to look into these things (possible), or was he placed there (much less likely, we should hope)? This isn’t some Oliver Stone weirdo theory being proposed by me; it is merely a question I should like answered to my satisfaction, which it never has been. There are those who would go much further than I would, and, even if the Government were to say they dropped the ball and should have known where Oswald was, would insist that the cover-up was only being continued in another fashion. It is because Governments allow certain facts to remain where they fall, that conspiracy theories get stated. One might even be tempted to speculate that Governments do this intentionally as a way of discrediting their critics.

  3. This post was pure brilliance.
    Could perfectly relate to it, considering many in my own country have this inherent penchant for weaving these absurdities for every and anything.

  4. Tom Mullen says:

    “and ignore or deny everything that does not fit.”

    Yes, like the huge chunk of the North Tower that rips through the other side of Building 7, demolishing it from top to bottom. You don’t see that side of the building (or the bottom 2/3 of the other side, for that matter) in the famous “falls into its footprint” video of Building 7 collapsing.

  5. Tim Starr says:

    The CIA didn’t overthrow Allende in Chile. It tried to, but failed. The Chilean military did that, at the request of the Chilean legislature, sparing Chile from Castroization.

    No one overthrew the Nicaraguan government in 1983. Somoza fell in the late 1970s, and the Sandinistas lost the first free election they allowed to occur in 1990.

  6. Peter says:

    You forgot Al Qaeda, even some governments believe in it

  7. Mike Lorrey says:

    I see you didn’t mention Area 51, Roswell, and the Majestic 12 or the Philadelphia Project. Seems like a rather blatant intentional omission, what are you hiding?

    Seriously tho, nice article.

  8. Tom says:

    I see. They got to you after you posted your expose on how the big money interests took down the Titanic. What threats did they use on you? How long did it take for you to break? Or was it a honey trap? Did they use that old game? Or did you go over to the other side for money? Whichever way they turned you, you’ve made it clear that they got to you. The conspiracy exists. This post is proof of it.

  9. Doczoliday says:

    This article is in itself a sophomoric, made-up theory about the nature of conspiracy. To dismiss legitimate concerns about media omission and misrepresentation, actual government cover ups, glaringly obvious evasions of real investigations into serious crimes and documented false flag operations that as just a loose assortment of paranoid inferences without any substantiation is just historically ignorant, intellectually fallacious and factually wrong. I appreciate skepticism and I appreciate libertarianism and I understand that there are extremely obtuse conspiracy tales out there but to equivocate all of them together and denounce any attempt at pointing out blatant lies in these power structures is extremely counterproductive and morally suspect. Discernment is an important thing, don’t make it obvious that you, skeptical libertarian, aren’t using any.

    • Bryan B says:

      He never said to “dismiss legitimate concerns about media omission and misrepresentation, actual government cover ups, glaringly obvious evasions of real investigations into serious crimes and documented false flag operations” This was partially humour, something you must lack.

  10. Almost everyone has spotted flying saucers or is related to someone who has or has a neighbor who has. But what is interesting is that they are primarily seen in the northern hemisphere. Evidence is coming forth that a group of Canadians who worked on the Avro Jets which was supposedly cancelled by Canadian Prime Minister Diefenbaker actually did not disband. It’s true some of them went to work with NASA, but the top scientists/engineers started work in the North Pole to create anti-gravity flying saucers which have been seen by the many. It was urgent to build these units to combat the alien saucers which visited earth in previous centuries. … just a second … I was just told not to reveal this information. I guess I better hit the delete key … I hope that works, I don’t want to get into trouble.

  11. David Kyte says:

    Dick Clark is not dead!

  12. Sheeple says:

    Brilliant… Reminds me of this….

  13. Steve Cobb says:

    Very nice timing–just a few days ago at a Tax Day rally here in New Hampshire, John Birchers informed me of a new (to me) conspiracy: the US flag standing behind the speakers had gold fringe, which meant it was not the real flag of the US under the Constitution, but the UN-promoted flag that symbolizes the US under martial or admiralty law. They cite an article asserting (without linking or quoting) that Eisenhower defined the gold-fringed flag as being the military flag in Executive Order 10834, but it contains no mention of either fringe or military:
    You certainly won’t see a fringed flag hoisted outside in any military setting, e.g. at a base or on a ship (you can google up plenty of examples).

    There is a surprising amount of talk about flag fringe, with the conspiracy theorists oblivious to the irony:
    but I believe the Wikipedia entry:

    In a nutshell, it seems that flags for flying or hanging outside in the wind are always without fringe, but flags hanging indoors or carried outside in a parade warrant a bit of decoration, and this practice goes back hundreds of years.

  14. [...] for us! Build Your Own Conspiracy Theory Holes in the Official Story About RMS Titanic By Daniel Bier On 04.18.2012 · Add Comment [...]

  15. Michael says:

    I agree with a lot of this, but it’s important to separate conspiracy theories from conspiracy facts.

    Fact: The CIA overthrows countries, all around the world. Including democratically elected governments. See: Iran, 1953. Chile, 1973. Nicaragua… what is that, 1983 under Reagan, whose VP was Bush, who was formerly the CIA director?

    Now seeing as they’ve been taking countries over across the globe… I can’t see why they haven’t taken over America’s. We have a republican and democrat. Both are funded by banks. Both support the bailout. And they focus more on abortion and gay marriage than indefinite wars.

    On top of it all, the media is vastly owned by 6 corporations that do indeed censor and keep Ron Paul’s name out as much as they can. See: Jon Stewart.

  16. Kyle Bennett says:

    The big step, when evidence comes out that contradicts your theory, point out that the institution/scientist/media source that revealed it must be in on the cover up, and now the conspiracy is EVEN BIGGAR!!1!!! than you first thought.

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