(this is a parody - see Commentary below for details)

World War II never happened! It was all faked using lots of actors (John Wayne and Tom Hanks being the only two worth mentioning) and smoke and stuff. They used a big sound stage in Los Angeles. In fact, it was the same sound stage that was later used to fake the moon landings.

You want proof? I'll give you proof!

  • Adolf Hitler, recently rumoured to have a Bacon number of 3, actually has a Bacon number of infinity.

  • Great Britain, France, Canada (I bet that sure scared Hitler) and other countries supposedly declared war on Germany over the invasion of Poland. If the invasion of Poland was such a big deal then the United States would have put together a coalition and kicked butt just like they did when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Instead, we're supposed to believe that it took the U.S. over two years to get around to declaring war (remember: Churchill used to phone Roosevelt all the time so there can be no doubt that Roosevelt knew about Germany's supposed invasion of Poland!)! Even more than that, we're supposed to believe that Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was the cause of the U.S. entry into the war. Come ON! The U.S. got Japan to fake an attack on Pearl Harbor (in exchange for getting a 25 year monopoly on transistor radios) because it was the only way to get Congress to pass a money bill to build new warships (many of which were eventually docked in Roosevelt's home state of New York)!

  • Eisenhower supposedly delayed D-day by twenty four hours because of bad weather. Are you KIDDING!!! D-Day was delayed by twenty four hours to make sure that the (faked) entry into Rome on the 5th of June, 1944 got good press coverage. Rome was supposed to have been captured a year earlier but a screwup resulted in only one Jeep full of soldiers driving around the city for a few hours (I'm sure that you remember the movie so I won't bother to dig out the name - it had something to do with Anzio or anchovies or something).

  • Here's another supposed "coincidence" for you - Rommel is supposed to have been coerced into committing suicide on October 14, 1944. This was the same day that Athens is supposed to have been liberated. What really happened is that the Nazis faked Rommel's death (they gave him, someone who supposedly committed suicide, a good funeral remember) to distract the German people from what was supposedly going on in Greece! There's no way that the Germans would have coerced one of their most famous military leaders into committing suicide. Rommel simply got tired of Hitler's tantrums, stole a plane that he flew to Scotland and moved to California. He died in 1954 while skiing in Colorado.
I mean REALLY! I could go on and on. Why, I could even tell you about how my father was blacklisted by Hollywood for refusing to go along with the whole scam! He never made another movie in his whole life!!!


As you've no doubt figured out by now, the above is a parody of conspiracy theories. Like many such theories, it has just enough truth in it to provide a foundation for all sorts of wild claims. Let's look at a few of the statements/claims in the theory:
  • the point about Adolf Hitler and Bacon numbers is a total irrelevancy. It also brings in the suggestion of rumours and even has a denial. The real bonus is that it is all true - click here for details.

  • The Nazis invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Within two weeks Great Britain (Sep 3, 1939), France (Sep 3), Australia (Sep 3), New Zealand (Sep 3), Canada (Sep 10), and other countries declared war on Germany over the invasion of Poland. The U.S. declared neutrality (on September 5, 1939). Suggesting that it is a "supposed invasion" is a classic conspiracy theory tactic as it provokes an immediate denial which is as good as or even better than an admission by "the powers that be".

  • The reference to the invasion of Kuwait is also classic conspiracy theory tactics - of course countries and individuals always behave consistently! Right? Well, not really.

    • Firstly, there are all sorts of differences between the two situations including really obvious ones like the U.S. was in a position to do something about the invasion of Kuwait but there really wasn't much that the U.S. could do to intercede in the invasion of Poland. Did the U.S. do anything? Yes - all sorts of aid and assistance was offered and provided to Great Britain and others. Could they have done more? Of course, one can always do more - but that's irrelevant.

    • Secondly, the simple fact is that neither countries or individuals act consistently all the time. Suggesting that they do or should puts the onus on the other party to explain why they didn't in the case at hand.

  • The bit about Churchill and Roosevelt talking a lot is also true - there was a secret telephone link between the White House and the Cabinet War Rooms. It was so secret that people thought that the room containing the telephone was Churchill's private washroom/toilet! This is an excellent little nugget to throw in and it leads into the very conspiratorial sounding claim that "Roosevelt must have known about the invasion of Poland" - what better way of building a conspiracy theory than to have secret knowledge (the fact that the invasion wasn't actually secret is irrelevant).

  • Japan did launch an attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and this did lead to the U.S. declaring war on Japan on December 8, 1941. The U.S. never needed to declare war on Germany because Germany declared war on the U.S. first (on December 11, 1941). The claim that the U.S. convinced Japan to launch a fake attack on Pearl Harbor and gave them a monopoly on transistor radios for 25 years is, of course, utter nonsense. On the other hand, it has enough bits of truth that refuting it will take far longer than the conspiracy theorist is going to give you (if you can't counter their claim in a sound bite then, for a lot of the theory's adherents, you've failed).

  • the money bill bit plays on many folks' suspicions about how government works - i.e. it's all about making deals behind the scenes. The claim that Roosevelt pushed the idea of building new warships to help his home state is also nonsense but plays on folk's general distrust of politicians. Besides, the BIG MONEY would be spent where the ships were built, not where they got docked from time to time!

  • Eisenhower did delay D-day for 24 hours due to weather and Rome really was entered (i.e. captured - the Germans didn't fight for it) on June 5th, 1944. If D-day hadn't been delayed, do you really think that the capture of Rome would have overshadowed D-day? Get serious!

  • The bit about soldiers driving around Rome for a day is also true - immediately after the Allied landing at Anzio, war correspondent Dick Ennis and buddy Corporal Rabinoff went for a drive and found themselves in Rome (it didn't take the Germans long to bring defensive forces into place and it would have probably been a mistake to invest troops in taking Rome without having proper lines of supply in place).

    The other piece of truth here fits in nicely with the "it was all faked by Hollywood" claim - there really is a movie about this called "Anzio" (1968 starring Robert Mitchum and Peter Falk; directed by Edward Dmytryk). The movie shows Ennis and Rabinoff driving around Rome and some people will remember the scene. Of these, some will have thought that they saw it on an old newsreel. Being told that it was in a movie (and it really was in a movie) might surprise them enough to make them start to wonder how many old newsreels were faked.

  • The Rommel suicide and the capture of Athens are just what they appear to be - coincidences. That doesn't matter because wierd coincidences are the fuel that keeps most conspiracy theories alive. Being able to come up with a vaguely plausible (and totally wrong) explanation is an added bonus.

    Rommel did commit suicide on October 14th, 1944. He was forced to commit suicide by the Nazis (because he was involved in a plot to kill Hitler). He did get a really big funeral and the funeral really was a sham in the sense that the German people were told that their famous war hero had died valiantly (not that he'd been forced to commit suicide as an alternative to being shot as a traitor).

  • The bit about Rommel stealing a plane and flying to Scotland is more standard conspiracy tactics. Rudolf Hess, the then third in command within the Nazi party, did steal a plane which he flew to Scotland. He was captured and thrown in jail. He was later convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg, sentenced to life in prison and died in prison.

    A lot of people know that a senior Nazi stole a plane and flew it to Scotland. The fact that it wasn't Rommel doesn't matter since most people don't remember the name of the fellow who did fly to Scotland. They know that someone did and if the conspiracy theorist says that it was Rommel then they either don't know any better or are unlikely to be certain enough and knowledgeable enough to refute the claim (the "it has to fit in a sound bite" factor works against them also).

    Added bonus: the conspiracy theorist's victim might be able to argue that Rudolf Hess is the guy that flew to Scotland. That doesn't do any good because the fact that Hess flew to Scotland isn't proof that Rommel didn't.

    If Rommel escaped to Scotland then what happened to him? The conspiracy theorist needs an answer to this and it's best if the answer can't be refuted. Rather than try to further confuse the unsuspecting by claiming that Rommel was thrown in jail (i.e. what happened to Hess), claim that Rommel ended up in California and died in Colorado. The lack of any documentation that Rommel ever lived in California is either irrelevant or further evidence - the government gave him a false identity. The claim that he died in Colorado while skiing is also impossible to refute in a sound bite.

And there you have it - proof that the Second World War never happened!

One more point - the entire theory as a whole as well as many of the details also exhibit a "classic" conspiracy theory characteristic - it isn't consistent.

If the war never happened then:

  • what's this business about Rome having been captured a year earlier? Who was it supposed to have been captured from?

  • how did Rommel become a war hero?

  • why did Germany need to distract anyone from what was not happening in Greece?

None of these are very big but if you can spot a few inconsistencies while the conspiracy theorist is still making their case then you may be able to put them on the defensive!

The really big falsehood is the last bit about my father being blacklisted. Fervent conspiracy theorists often have an axe to grind. If they don't have an axe to grind then they make one up. My father turned 18 in 1945 (i.e. he'd have been too young to have a role that could lead to him being blacklisted), has never been to Hollywood and didn't work in the entertainment industry. Then again, if I've just made the claim that my father was blacklisted (with a strong emotional pitch), would you be prepared to question me to see if it was true? (Thanks must go to The Big See for pointing out that it is true that after 1945, my father never made a single movie (grin)).

There are other inconsistencies (some deliberate; some not). Can you spot them? Can you figure out which are deliberate and which are mistakes? Does it matter?

Think the next time that you hear:

  • that President Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy (and there are a bunch to choose from)

  • that the CIA, the FBI, and/or other senior U.S. government officials "allowed" 9-11 to happen.

  • that the U.S. is hiding UFO evidence

  • that the Holocaust never happened

or any other conspiracy theory!

P.S. Of course, some conspiracy theories are true! There's a Mel Gibson movie called Conspiracy Theory which deals with this notion in a way that I really enjoy.

P.P.S. Mel Gibson has a Bacon number of 2:

  1. Mel Gibson was in Hamlet (1990) with Helena Bonham Carter
  2. Helena Bonham Carter was in Novocaine (2001) with Kevin Bacon