A conspiracy theory is an unproveable scheme describing connections between events and people that would not normally be deduced. Conspiracy theories often implicate authority, and often stretch our imaginations. A good conspiracy theory is one which cannot be confirmed nor denied.

People who believe in conspiracy theories often believe that the government has, through secret means, been in complete control of everyone's life.

These are the same people who believe that the government is incompetent, unable to handle the simplest task.

To those who believe that conspiracy theories are ridiculous:

Then why does our government pass laws against them?

As stated above, a conspiracy theory is the belief that some crime* is committed through the plottings of secretive groups. These groups may be quite open about their existence but not about their motives (see CIA, the Vatican, Freemasons, and Jews--OK, I'm just kidding about the last three! They're about as conspiratorial as Laurel and Hardy.) Some may be open about their existence and motives, but not about their means of operation (see Communism, Capitalism, Nazis, the Vatican, Freemasons, and Jews). Some may be secretive about their existence and their means but not their motives (see P2, Mafia, the Priory of Sion, JFK, the Vatican, Freemasons, and Jews?). Some are secretive about their existence and their motives, but not their means (see JFK, the Vatican, etc.) Some are just ridiculous (see Men in Black, UFO, the Vatican, Freemasons, and Jews).

To believe in a conspiracy is to believe that there are forces at work manipulating the system to their unfair advantage and covering the evidence. This can be applied to group assassins (think John Wilkes Booth and his friends, the Manson Family, Brutus and Crassus, the Nazis), to organized crime, to a corrupt police force, to price fixing, to lobbies--anything can be a conspiracy. However, it is always good for the conspirators to bring up how silly conspiracies are by giving examples like UFOs, The X-Files, They Saved Hitler's Brain, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the moon landing crap, and other nonsense. However, not every conspiracy need involve aliens, presidents, clones, or black helicopters. A conspiracy can be as simple as a group of animal rights activists breaking into a research lab, to as complex as the P2/Vatican Banking Scandal.

Some conspiracies may seem hard to believe, though they may have some truth to them--JFK's assassination, the CIA's dirty dealings in Latin America and possible (though not necessarily conscious) ties to Columbian drug lords, and so on. True or not, they have staken a claim in our pop consciousness and won't go away.

As a literature major, I was exposed to a type of conspiracy theory every time I took a class--Deconstructionism and Post-Modernism seek the ulterior motives of art, seeing art as a social construction aimed at brainwashing the masses (which, to be honest, is more or less what Aristotle was saying, though he used nicer language). Moreover, Deconstructionism believes that no communication can be truly trusted, as it is tainted with both a social construction and personal misaprehension of the universe (the human mind being so limited), and so the truth can never be found, even if it is out there. I won't even get into Post-Modernism, but I do suggest you go read some Pynchon and Vonnegut.

As Robert Anton Wilson points out, the paradox of conspiracy is this: the government, want to hold onto power, mistrusts the people, and so passes more laws; the people, feeling the effects of these laws, resent and mistrust the government; the government, feeling the effects of this mistrust, resents the people and passes more laws... and so on, until you either have a revolution (think Early America) or a collapse (think Rome).

Just because you're paranoid
Don't mean they're not after you.
--Kurt Cobain, borrowing pop culture

*A crime in this sense may be something legal and unethical (certain government practices?) or illegal and unethical (assassinations), or illegal and ethical (John Brown?).

BTW: the Vatican and Jews--TWAJS!

The teacher stands in front of the class.

C'mon someone, or I'll pick one of you (notice warm use of the vernacular - deep below us Their researchers are beavering away finding out how we act, what we do, how to join in, how to meld seamlessly... )

Alright then I'll tell you...

Then the narrator flies inside, yes Inside the machine, up the outwardly human nostril the fleshy, veined sponge, the wiring and rusty cogs and synthetic blood gears squeaking on flat dry bearings, an old model this one see, till the narrative field stops end of the line on a cog which bears a constant crushing load, directly below the left atrium, high failure rate sir, it cracks in half but (ohshitohshit we got a problem) the remaining half keeps going. They hadn't planned for this, normal breakdown mode is to the outside stroke, arrest, or cancer if the blockage grows... but this half wheel, this dentrical hemicircle is not in the normal plans. Somewhere, under a mountain or in the depths of wherever the herd imagines it, lights flashing sirens we created Them the stimuli rooted down at the bottom of our flesh brains work to some extent in Theirs, the sound of a human screaming is invisibly but indelibly stamped on their structures and ratios.

Alright then I'll tell you...

Alright then I'll tell...

Laugh it up, fuzzballs. Teacher's going insane you just said that twice sir Open the mouth shit he's gonna puke the halfcog throws the clockwork out of synch he tells the class with smoke in the ears and a whining creak coming from the belly:

That diagram on the board their eyes chained to the finger that points is the machine which starts with a blank c-canvas, yeah, tabula rasa fuck you and pours a molten stream of singing thought onto it - fear not the working world my mortals – globs of liquid in traitor wombs (Your last freedom before they started work – play nice – sing this song) until it spits you out and leaves you, broken, to die to rot to be fed back in there's your reincarnation.

The stricken wheel jumps it's axle, normal breakdown mode ensues The girls scream and the guys try to appear concerned but unimpressed as the ol' teach collapses the way he should have, "Someone help him!" "I can't feel a pulse!" But who's gonna help him, Janet? Don't worry kids, the paramedics arrive, heh appropriate, not real medical professionals these... mechanical men working to Their orders, don't worry this little blip's sorted itself out, the ghost in the machine has been busted. These kids just had truth dangled in front of their eyes and they were blind and deaf and wondered why teach was cracking up, stress of the job, he turned bad at the end what's on tv. They've trained them well.

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