Why All These Conspiracy Theories?

I mean, why would someone believe this stuff?  UFOs?  Bigfoot?  Faked moon landing?  I mean, really, faked moon landing?  Come ON.

Well, I’ve been working with Tabetha Wallace (@tabethawithane), and we’ve managed to penetrate the veil of secrecy at last.  I’ll tell you why people believe it.  It’s because they want us to.  They?  The government.

Tabetha and I have become convinced that there is a secret government program to make people believe crazy conspiracy theories.  Why do we think so?  Look at the evidence.

1. No one could believe that shit on its face.

2. We know the government wants to control us.

3. They already control all the media, so if they wanted all of those idiotic theories squashed, they could squash them in a heartbeat.  If they’re still around, it’s because they want them around.

4. And have you noticed that people who wear tin-foil hats always expound the most absurd theories? There’s a reason for that. The government is beaming radio waves full of crazy theories on a frequency that can only be picked up if you’re wearing a tin-foil hat.

People, do not be fooled!  The government wants you to be an obedient little automaton who spreads idiotic theories to distract you from what they’re really doing.

Be on your guard.

And if I suddenly disappear, well, just take it as further evidence, and carry on my work.


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28 thoughts on “Why All These Conspiracy Theories?”

  1. Sounds like a true puppet of the government that actually controls the puppet government that we think is the real government.

  2. Beyond just the distraction element it also helps political groups brand styles of distrust and narrow their audiences sphere of information. Propagating the idea that if the myriad sources of mainstream information don’t print the bunk that they do, then they are obviously hiding the real truth which is only revealed by them.

    Alex Jones has criticized Glen Beck for not only stealing his stories, but of subverting them for his own gains. If these stories were actually real, intelectual property should not be an issue because evidence of them would be REAL. Don’t buy the non-mainstream brand X bullshit when you can get it right from the asshole itself. Don’t trust what anyone else says, because they’re out to get you. Anyone who says otherwise has been brainwashed. You can take my word for it.

    Really, it’s just a faith based initiative without religious dogma. Religions aren’t nearly as broad in what shit their faithful masses will swallow. Feed people what they need for their confirmation bias and set them against your enemies.

    I like you Stewart.


    Some people just don’t want to get involved.

  3. I think Chomsky has said something similar, but using lots more words, and bigger words, and yet ultimately not half as entertainingly. (Hm… maybe Chomsky is a plant to discredit Chomskian ideas that would otherwise be taken seriously if not for Chomsky’s voluminousness?) But can we get back to some oozing now? I ’bout peed my pants laughing at spontaneous generation of primordial ooze yesterday.

  4. [Enter squirrel]
    Squirrel: Do you think I’m part of a conspiracy?
    Ms. Pennyworth: No you aren’t part of a conspiracy. You’re a fucking squirrel.
    [Exit squirrel]

  5. Steve, (and I know it is the REAL Steve because the REAL Steve is the only person on the planet that thinks in Squirrel Code) you forgot fluoride, MSG, and Alien Abductions.

  6. Literal LOL! Well, that was trademark Brust ad agency schtick straight out of left field. Wait… maybe a little TOO trademark Brust? The real Brust wouldn’t imitate himself quite so well–he’s too complicated a man for that.

    No! Don’t fritz with my suspension of disbelief in talking squirrel schtick! Your doubt takes the fun out. You’re the obvious government plant, slowbern!

    Still, we should ask to see his CIA file. If there isn’t one, he isn’t real. (Not Brust’s. Not slowbern’s. The squirrel’s.)

  7. [enter squirrel, with charts and news clippings and stuff]
    sQuirrel: Okay, I’ve got all the dirt on this Brust fellow. Let’s steal a novelist.
    Jerry: Oooh, can I help?
    Ms. Pennyworth: No, Jerry! This is a fucking ad agency, not a band of thieves. And that is a fucking squirel!
    [exit squirrel, leaving behind charts and news clippings and stuff]

  8. I feel dirty saying this, but if there REALLY were a Shadow Government, I think they’d have their shit together better than we’ve seen.

  9. This is totally incorrect. The signals received by tinfoil hat wearers are actually from other parallel universes where there was no moon landing, yetis roam NY etc. These people are just confused about which universe they are in.

  10. It’s hard to know what a shadow government would do unless you know their goals and their problems. For example, imagine a shadow government that was sitting on a form of alternate energy which would make everybody fabulously wealthy. Everybody could get say a ten dollar handheld gigawatt power station that could double as a 10 megaton nuclear hand grenade…. They would not want to release that, but what would they want to do instead? Invest in ridiculously-inefficient power?

    When you have a shadow government which is in disagreement with itself about something important, and for both shadow governments the first priority is to render the other powerless before anything else, then all bets are off.

  11. Thanks jenphalian! Faith in talking squirrels restored, and the squirrel’s willingness to dig up dirt on him also authenticates Brust. The typo was a nice touch, btw–not so egregious that one would doubt your capabilities, but just enough to show you’re obviously not part of some conspiracy of elites.

  12. Okay. . . this is hilarious. But, how much is satire, and how much is serious? Because when I was, like, eight, upon seeing my friend sit for hours fascinated by T.V. shows on the above stated conspiracy theories, I had this exact line of reasoning:

    “1. No one could believe that shit on its face [unless people are told it over and over again on television].

    2. We know the government wants to control us.

    3. They already control all the media, so if they wanted all of those idiotic theories squashed, they could squash them in a heartbeat. If they’re still around, it’s because they want them around.”

    So. . . seriously, where does the cynical but rational pessimism end and the satire begin? Point 4, I’m assuming, when it all turns into a joke? Or was it all a joke in the first place?

  13. Ryan Smith, it’s entertainment. It doesn’t really matter what they say.

    However, I had an interview once with somebody who might have been with the secret government. He said they had discussed setting up an operation to spread ridiculous conspiracy theories so that the sensible conspiracy theories would be drowned out in the noise. But then when they looked into doing it, they found that amateurs were already doing a quite thorough job of that and they didn’t need to spend money on it. They resolved to start a program to do that if the amateurs ever fell down on the job.

  14. You’ve got it all wrong! Thinking that conspiracies exist is a conspiracy is, in fact the conspiracy. It is what “they” want you to think.

  15. Of course if you never mention this topic again…we’ll know “they” got to you.
    Even worse, if you recanted the above statements, it would be well neigh absolute proof that the conspiracy got ya…

  16. If the conspiracy theories are close enough to what’s really going on, but not quite right, the government could claim anyone who uncovers the truth is simply remembering a distorted version of the theory. For one example, see the Stargate SG1 television series. A few episodes dealt with the development of an in-universe TV series called “Wormhole X-Treme!” that was similar to the Stargate program. If someone stumbled upon some evidence of the Stargate program they could be explained away as someone who couldn’t distinguish “Wormhole X-Treme!” from reality.

    On the other hand, the United States Government couldn’t keep confidential diplomatic cables secure. What are the odds that it could keep something like the “fake moon landing” a secret, which would have involved at least dozens if not hundreds or thousands of people, for (in the case of the “fake moon landing”) 40+ years? For a more recent conspiracy theory, if they did bring down the World Trade Centers, don’t you think SOMEONE would have found out? All it would take is one of the people involved or who knew about it getting a little too drunk and saying the wrong seven words or making a deathbed confession or talking in their sleep or ….

  17. Steve L, doesn’t it appear that the confidential diplomatic cables that got released were far more embarrassing to some foreign governments than to the US government?

    Could it be that they were actually an intentional leak?

    And the leaker, who officially is being held in solitary under extreme awkward conditions, might in fact be living a completely different life — only showing up at the stockade when he’s supposed to be interviewed or something.

    Similarly with Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear technician who revealed secrets about the Israeli nuclear bomb program. He showed up long enough to give his details, then Israel kidnapped him from a foreign country and after a secret trial put him in prison for 18 years, 11 years in solitary. Then they let him go and arrested him again after he told more secrets. If he was under orders to tell those secrets, probably he did not spend time in solitary at all. He spent those years working under another identity. Israel gets more attention for him when they want to get more attention on their nukes.

    I think a fake moon landing would be hard to pull off. There were russian civilians who calculated the communication frequencies by measuring photographs of the antennas, who monitored transmissions from the moon. There was a lot there which would be hard to fake. It would take a strong will-to-believe for a whole lot of technically capable people to make up plausible explanations for all the various anomalies. Maybe it could have happened but it is not the way to bet.

    For 9/11, the best conspiracy would be a minimal one. Like, find a real conspiracy arranged by AQ, and subvert their communications. Send out 4 of the 80 hijacking crews when you want to, before the actual conspirators have decided to go with it. Who would know? Only the few people involved in tracking AQ saboteurs and monitoring their communication.

    Beyond that there might be an issue of subverting various US defenses. US civilian pilots have told stories for decades about how if you get into the DC restricted airspace or others, the military planes will quickly arrive to force you to land with them, and if you don’t they will shoot you down. Was it an urban legend all along? Official sources now say so. There were pilots who were supposed to do that stuff, who instead participated in a hijacking simulation that day? There were various official-sounding stories about things like that, which seem to have faded away. Maybe they were never official to begin with? Maybe there was no need to send the interceptors off for simulations, because they were never there to shoot down dangerous airplanes in the first place.

    The less you have to do, the less of a conspiracy it takes to do it. If you believe the (probably forged) interview with Bin Ladin, he never expected the towers to fall. The engineering reports didn’t expect them to, and he believed those reports. If he — and the hypothetical other conspiracy — found it perfectly acceptable to have the towers standing with black holes in them where everybody could see them every day, then all the complications about how to make sure the towers fell and fell straight can be just skipped. All the hard stuff just goes away.

  18. For a role-playing game set in Charles Stross’ Laundryverse, I postulated that the Black Chamber, the rather-more-sinister US equivalent of the Laundry, had been running a semiotic campaign for some decades to distract the US population from thinking about mathematics and advanced sciences – and, frankly, logical thinking at all – as a way of postponing the day when when the Stars are Right. It was working, but had some significant downsides.

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