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:
- Pick bad thing X that happened (it doesn’t matter what or when).
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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!”
- 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.
- Create lists of “unanswered questions” that, regardless of how well-answered, will always remain “unanswered.”
- The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
- The Lusitania
- World Trade Center Building 6
- The Titanic
- The Tangshan Earthquake or any natural disaster
- The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic
- Death of Ronald Reagan
- Jews. Always the Jews.
- President (any president)
- United Nations
- Pentagon/military-industrial complex
- British royal family
- Federal Reserve (and bankers generally)
- Robber barons
- Council on Foreign Relations
- Trilateral Commission
- The Bilderberg Conference
- Ancient aliens. Always ancient aliens.
- New World Order
- Free Masons
* 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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