Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


7% of voters think the moon landing was faked
April 2, 2013 2:05 PM   Subscribe

On our national poll this week we took the opportunity to poll 20 widespread and/or infamous conspiracy theories. Many of these theories are well known to the public, others perhaps to just the darker corners of the internet. (Previously)
posted by Stewriffic (192 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'd never met someone that truly believed the moon landings were fake until recently. It was kind of eye-opening, but I've known this person for a while and they are the kind of person that thinks all obvious advice, knowledge, and rules should be circumspect. They are a person that second guesses almost everything, so I can kind of see why they came to the conclusion.

Still seems batshit insane to believe thousands of people could keep a secret for over 40 years though.
posted by mathowie at 2:10 PM on April 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


I knew my fellow Americans were stupid, but... seriously. Let's just wipe the slate clean and start over. :P
posted by Foosnark at 2:11 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


29% of voters believe aliens exist

Lot of ambiguity with that one... there's a big difference between thinking there's probably life somewhere else in the universe and thinking that the greys are mutilating cattle and handing out rectal probings.
posted by COBRA! at 2:11 PM on April 2, 2013 [72 favorites]


The full results of the poll are here.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:11 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


How do these studies control for joke responses? Because I have trouble believing that so many people are absolutely nuts.
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:13 PM on April 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


With plenty of these I was like, yeah, that's a little crazy, but I could see how someone could believe that.

But 1 in 25 American voters believe that Lizard People are infiltrating the political hierarchy.

Lizard People?
posted by 256 at 2:14 PM on April 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


We're doomed.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:14 PM on April 2, 2013


Oh, and we have a batshitinsane tag for a reason.
posted by 256 at 2:14 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reptilians.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:15 PM on April 2, 2013


Lizard people, Paul-is-dead, and chemtrails all polled at 4-5%, which makes me wish they had thrown in a totally made up conspiracy theory to establish a fucking-with-the-interviewer baseline.
posted by theodolite at 2:15 PM on April 2, 2013 [63 favorites]


Scary but still well inside the crazification factor margin.
posted by Skorgu at 2:15 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, Room 237, the documentary about what 'The Shining' really means, is out.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


Lizard People?

Totally a thing.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and we have a batshitinsane tag for a reason.

Done
posted by Stewriffic at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


[checks to see if they asked about Shadow People]

[breathes a sigh of relief]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd never met someone that truly believed the moon landings were fake until recently.

Yeah, I knew one a decade ago. He was unable to see the flaws in the conspiracy theory website “evidence” of the supposed fakery. Unsurprisingly, he was a complete doofus in other parts of his life.
posted by D.C. at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2013


3000 tons of rocket fuel. If not the moon, where were they going. Why haven't they faked anything since?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order. A plurality of Romney voters (38%) believe in the New World Order compared to 35% who don’t

Believe it? hell they voted for it.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2013 [35 favorites]


"Uh, look, it's just an old creaky mirror, ya know. Sometimes it sounds a little like it's sneezing, or coughing, or talking softly."
posted by Fizz at 2:18 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Believe it? hell they voted for it.

maybe several times
posted by nathancaswell at 2:20 PM on April 2, 2013


This is pretty worthless, everybody knows the polling companies manipulate their results.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:20 PM on April 2, 2013 [29 favorites]


What, people were asked if they "believe 'lizard people' control our societies by gaining political power" AND THEY DIDN'T SAY YES? 96% of people must be no fun.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 2:20 PM on April 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power
But 1 in 25 American voters believe that Lizard People are infiltrating the political hierarchy.

I think these people are mostly being facetious, inspired both by Douglas Adams' line in So Long And Thanks For All The Fish about people voting for a lizard or else the wrong lizard will win, and the beloved Lizard People ballot revealed by the 2008 Minnesota Senate recount. I know, since seeing that, that if I get a choice voting for some miscellaneous Republican flunkie and no one else I always write in LIZARD W. PEOPLE or something similar as a form of protest.
posted by JHarris at 2:22 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lizard people have been, of course, big news in Minnesota politics.
posted by COBRA! at 2:23 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


But 1 in 25 American voters believe that Lizard People are infiltrating the political hierarchy.

Lizard People?


Dude. They're already invading Metafilter. Joined: December 17, 2008.

WAKE UP OBAMABOTS!
posted by zombieflanders at 2:23 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


damn you JHarris.
posted by COBRA! at 2:23 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't blame me I voted for the lizard people.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:23 PM on April 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


Not defending the lizard people thing by any means - lizard people?! - but I choose to look at peoples' belief in that theory in a metaphorical way. We talk about the "lizard brain" - the parts of the brain, such as the brainstem and limbic system, that are present in reptiles, evolving earlier than "higher functions" such as the frontal lobes involved in cognition and judgment. The "lizard brain" circuit, as RA Wilson mused about, is all about needs for safety and dominance. Dysfunction in the "lizard brain" is scientifically linked to personality pathologies, such as sociopathy, traits that are found in greater frequency in the power elite for reasons we haven't totally dissected yet. So in fact, there are lizards in human skin running the world, and crazy people are responding to a type of emotional truth that they can't articulate rationally. But, there are not actual lizards.

I was super surprised that 51% are critical of the JFK assassination story.
posted by decathexis at 2:24 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


damn you JHarris.

If you kept your tinfoil on he wouldn't be able to get inside your head like that, you know.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:24 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


29% of voters believe aliens exist

That's not necessarily crazy. The universe is a big, old place. Just going by the numbers, it's pretty likely there's more life out there. It's also extremely improbable that we'll ever encounter any evidence of it in the entire course of our species, but that's the universe for you.
posted by echo target at 2:24 PM on April 2, 2013


13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ

There's just no way that can be accurate. Please?
posted by davebush at 2:25 PM on April 2, 2013


COBRA has already infiltrated the government, they're just jealous of Lizard People stealing their thunder.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:25 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


29% of voters believe aliens exist

Lot of ambiguity with that one


Seriously. I'm actually surprised that 71% of voters believe there are no species living anywhere else in the universe besides Earth. I wonder how they phrased the question.
posted by lunasol at 2:25 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Totally lizard people rule us! VIDEO EVIDENCE sheeple. And why would they deny it if it wasn't true!!!1!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:26 PM on April 2, 2013


13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters


Okay, PPP, you really buried the lede with this one; the real take away from this is that, according to the poll, 5% of the people who voted for Obama AND believe he is the anti-Christ. Those are the people I'm interested in.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:26 PM on April 2, 2013 [82 favorites]


Wow, what? 6% of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive? Who are these people? They have to be trolling, right?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:27 PM on April 2, 2013


Seriously. I'm actually surprised that 71% of voters believe there are no species living anywhere else in the universe besides Earth. I wonder how they phrased the question.

Q10
Do you believe aliens exist, or not?

Do 29%

Do Not 47%

Not Sure 24%

posted by Drinky Die at 2:28 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Okay, PPP, you really buried the lede with this one; the real take away from this is that, according to the poll, 5% of the people who voted for Obama AND believe he is the anti-Christ. Those are the people I'm interested in.

Well, at least he's not a Republican.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:29 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow, what? 6% of voters believe Osama bin Laden is still alive? Who are these people? They have to be trolling, right?

You need to spend more time with older relatives who just had a divorce and are Inbetween jobs so they have lots of time to catch up on 30 years of reading on the Internet.
posted by The Whelk at 2:31 PM on April 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Do you believe aliens exist, or not?

Yeah, arguably the "correct" answer for that is "not sure/don't know" rather than "yes".
posted by gubo at 2:31 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think these people are mostly being facetious

Not defending the lizard people thing by any means - lizard people?! - but I choose to look at peoples' belief in that theory in a metaphorical way. We talk about the "lizard brain" - the parts of the brain

I cut a feature doc on conspiracy theorists... there are definitely quite a few people out there that believe in "lizard people"... running the gamut from "OMG Reptoid invaders from space" to "people who have "lizard brain" pathology.

The conspiracy theorist community is extraordinarily diverse and pretty fascinating, it's kind of a snake eating it's tail as different branches come up with different theories that get woven into preexisting theories from people coming from completely different places. In the US alone there's a militia/2nd amendment far right contingent, this group has a more Christian flavor, a lot of them believe the NWO is composted of Satanists, there's a far left contingent that's much more interested in 9/11.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:31 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


damn you JHarris.

There are advantages to having a next-door neighbor time traveler. -- cue spooky X-files music --

I was super surprised that 51% are critical of the JFK assassination story.

I think it's healthy for citizens to have some degree of mistrust of their government, although it tends to be entirely misplaced these days. (National health care bad, but widespread public and internet surveillance good?!)

But really, the existence of kooky stuff on the national mindscape like JFK assassination theories and moon landing denials are just reaping what we've sown from having such powerful and unchecked secretive intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA around. When you find out what our country did in foreign nations during the Cold War in the name of defending national security (like staring at goats to kill them), and that projects like MKULTRA actually existed, then a lot of bizarre theories start making a lot more sense. They have a corrosive effect on basic sanity.
posted by JHarris at 2:34 PM on April 2, 2013 [24 favorites]


How do these studies control for joke responses? Because I have trouble believing that so many people are absolutely nuts.

I would think that for anyone joking that they believe a certain theory when they actually don't there would be one or two people who actually believe the theory but are afraid to commit it to paper for fear of reprisal from 'the powers that be'.
posted by mazola at 2:37 PM on April 2, 2013


28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order.

This one is vague, too! I'd be genuinely surprised if there weren't multiple such groups.
posted by wayland at 2:38 PM on April 2, 2013


"They" control everything.
posted by davebush at 2:39 PM on April 2, 2013


This one is vague, too! I'd be genuinely surprised if there weren't multiple such groups.

There are,

Council on Foreign Relations
Trilateral Commission
Bilderberg Group
posted by nathancaswell at 2:39 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


nathancaswell, that sounds like it'd be fascinating. Which movie is it? Can we get it on DVD or Netflix?
posted by JHarris at 2:40 PM on April 2, 2013


- 13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters

Wait a minute. I know I'm doing this wrong but:

x = believe Obama is anti-christ.
.13 = P(x) = P(x|r)*P(r) + P(x|!r)*P(!r)
.13 = .22*.47 + .P(x|!r)*.53
P(x|!r) = (.13 - .22*.47)/.53 = 5%

So something like 3-5% of people think Obama is the anti-Christ and voted for him anyway? I don't know. This poll has to be like 50% joke responses.
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:40 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Looking through the crosstabs in the actual report is kind of interesting.

One thing that jumped out to me as especially weird/amusing: 5% of people who voted for Barack Obama also believe he's the antichrist; 8% of them aren't sure.
posted by treepour at 2:41 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


chemtrails

that a belief so vague whose evidence is so ubiquitous (airplane contrails are being laced with chemicals to cause various vague ever-shifting symptoms) to have survived so long (since at least 1998) must serve as a sort of null hypothesis for conspiracy theories.

basically, nothing is happening and it's a conspiracy.
posted by ennui.bz at 2:41 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to imagine being one of the 13% of individuals who just aren't sure whether or not Obama is the Antichist. What evidence would they need to be convinced either way, I wonder.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:42 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


nathancaswell, that sounds like it'd be fascinating. Which movie is it? Can we get it on DVD or Netflix?

It's called New World Order, I think it's on Netflix. People didn't really get it, got very mixed reviews.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:43 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously one in five Romney voters think Obama is the antichrist?

One in FIVE?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:43 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see a bunch of Venn diagrams showing combinations of the overlaps of these groups of nutbags.
posted by Red Loop at 2:44 PM on April 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'll just leave this here.
posted by Kitteh at 2:44 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, of course the moon landings were faked. The moon doesn't exist.
posted by figurant at 2:44 PM on April 2, 2013


So something like 3-5% of people think Obama is the anti-Christ and voted for him anyway?

That's not strange. What's strange is how those 5% reconcile their neo-Calvinist beliefs with their attempt to bring on the Second ComingTM by their works.
posted by ennui.bz at 2:44 PM on April 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Wait a minute. I know I'm doing this wrong but:

I don't understand the math below, but I'm pretty sure you're doing it wrong. The information isn't exposed in the article to determine which percentage of Obama voters think he's the/an* Anti-Christ. They could be mutually exclusive.

* Did I just blow your mind??
posted by JHarris at 2:45 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So something like 3-5% of people think Obama is the anti-Christ and voted for him anyway?

If you want to bring about the End Times and get to Christ's eternal reign and all that jazz you kinda need to go through the rule of the Anti-Christ. It's actually odder that there are people who think he is the Ant-Christ and didn't vote for him. What are they thinking? "Ehhhh, The Book of Revelation is more fanfic than canon"?
posted by yoink at 2:46 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know some folks who absolutely believe in the Lizard People, in a completely non-metaphorical way.

One of them once asked me why people kept saying she was anti-Semitic just because she thought that many of the world's Jews were actually shapechanging reptilian aliens bent on enslaving the human race. I tried to explain, and she didn't really get it, and instead argued that she would have thought that the real Jews, like me, would actually want someone to expose all the fake ones who were giving the rest of us a bad name.

The conversation got a bit awkward after that.
posted by kyrademon at 2:46 PM on April 2, 2013 [36 favorites]



I think it's healthy for citizens to have some degree of mistrust of their government, although it tends to be entirely misplaced these days. (National health care bad, but widespread public and internet surveillance good?!)


Best historical detail ever: If you believe* the KGB archivist who defected in 1992, Vasili Mitrokhin, then the Soviet Union was actively encouraging conspiracy theories like this is under to undermine people's trust in government. Wikipedia

*What, defecting intelligence agents are the most trustworthy people on earth, right?
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM on April 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


29% of voters believe aliens exist

Lot of ambiguity with that one... there's a big difference between thinking there's probably life somewhere else in the universe and thinking that the greys are mutilating cattle and handing out rectal probings.


21% also said the government covered up a UFO crash at Roswell, which I suppose is not necessarily a belief in alien activity on Earth, but I think it still puts a floor on the belief in cattle-mutilating-type aliens at pretty close to 20%.

So something like 3-5% of people think Obama is the anti-Christ and voted for him anyway?

Wasn't some faction of the KKK pro-Obama in 2008? People that far out of the mainstream don't necessarily reach the most obvious conclusions from their ostensible premises.
posted by Copronymus at 2:49 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've conducted thousands of interviews at my former job.

It's not really that that 4% believes lizard people controls everything. Its just that when you asks " do you believe lizard people control everything?"

What they actually hear is "do lizard people not control everything" or "Should your grandkids visit more often?"

Human communication is inherently unreliable, theres always a certain percentage that DO NOT LISTEN, and it gets even worse with robocalls i bet.
posted by Greald at 2:49 PM on April 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Mountains out of molehills.
posted by knapah at 2:49 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't understand the math below, but I'm pretty sure you're doing it wrong. The information isn't exposed in the article to determine which percentage of Obama voters think he's the/an* Anti-Christ. They could be mutually exclusive.

You don't have to do any math, you can just look at the crosstabs, which say that 5% of Obama voters think he's the anti-Christ.
posted by Jahaza at 2:50 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters


Okay, PPP, you really buried the lede with this one; the real take away from this is that, according to the poll, 5% of the people who voted for Obama AND believe he is the anti-Christ.


I don't think the math actually follows there...

As for the Lizard People stuff, isn't that one of the big fringe conspiracies? David Icke is all over that shit.
posted by kmz at 2:50 PM on April 2, 2013


Nothing about Seatopians yet again. WAKE UP!
posted by cjorgensen at 2:51 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know that some (most?) of the Lizard contingent believe it in a totally deadpan way. I'm not saying they believe it metaphorically. I'm saying that I try understand their beliefs on that basis, because at least by trying to recognize how crazy political beliefs can have an explanatory function for some people, there is some small hope at combatting said beliefs.

Best historical detail ever: If you believe* the KGB archivist who defected in 1992, Vasili Mitrokhin, then the Soviet Union was actively encouraging conspiracy theories like this is under to undermine people's trust in government.

One of the other conspiracy theories is that governments actively encourage freaky fringe conspiracies to drown out the belief in real conspiracies, tainting them by association.
posted by decathexis at 2:52 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Of course we went to the moon. Where did you think government cheese came from?
posted by ckape at 2:53 PM on April 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


I had a science teacher, really, who posed a serious question to our class: "What if the moon landings were faked?" I remembering arguing with her and with one of my classmates. I recommended Bad Astronomy. My classmate's response: "It IS bad astronomy. They weren't even trying to make it look real."

Of those percentages, considering I'm a skeptic, I wonder how I ended up with so many Facebook friends who believe in: the New World Order, the CIA's involvement in, well, everything, evil intentions behind water fluoridation, conspiracies involving killings, the invention of new diseases for Big Pharma to make money, the evils of childhood vaccinations, AND chemtrails. (I am not a believer in any of these.)

I'm still not sure how the Illuminati is involved, but apparently the evidence is indisputable.
posted by quiet earth at 2:53 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


that a belief so vague whose evidence is so ubiquitous (airplane contrails are being laced with chemicals to cause various vague ever-shifting symptoms) to have survived so long (since at least 1998) must serve as a sort of null hypothesis for conspiracy theories.

I posted a photo on flickr not long ago of a kind of cool contrail + sun halo, and I labeled it as such. Within a couple of days someone had left a very long, very detailed comment (with links!) about chemtrails. I shrugged and left it, because it was kind of amusing. Then he came back and left another very long, very detailed full-of-links comment and I thought, oh no, first time's free, after that - you get blocked. I didn't realize that blocking him would delete his (I think it was a him) comments, though, and now I'm a little sad I didn't take a screenshot and post it.
posted by rtha at 2:55 PM on April 2, 2013


As seen on MeFi previously, a video expert explains how faking the moon landing in 1969 would have been harder than actually going to the moon.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:59 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


How many believe the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked?

That Richard Nixon was behind the Watergate buglers?

How many think the Reagan administration secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran?

How many believe U.S. Public Health Service left syphilis untreated in rural black men who thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government?
posted by cccorlew at 3:00 PM on April 2, 2013 [44 favorites]


I knew my fellow Americans were stupid, but... seriously. Let's just wipe the slate clean and start over. :P

Don't be so smug and the use emoticons. And it's not just Americans. I wish my Australian friends would stop talking about 'chemtrails', 'organic food', and 'the cure for cancer they don't want you to know about!'. Anti-vaccers and fears about 'nanoparticles' in sunscreen have caused minor public health crisis.

It makes me so angry because they're so stubborn and smug in their beliefs. They think that just because the government lies to them about some things EVERYTHING that doesn't come from a lone nut is a lie. And if you disagree you're one of THEM. Sometimes I wish the black helicopters would take out folks like Alex Jones, or at least arrest them for fraud.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:01 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


7% of voters think the moon landing was faked

40% of Americans think dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:02 PM on April 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


This reminds me of a link that I think I saw here about climate change scientists who put out a paper about conspiracy theories that, in itself, attracted conspiracy theories, then another group of scientists analyzed those conspiracy theories (which I'm sure in itself created more conspiracy theories).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:04 PM on April 2, 2013


- 5% believe exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons
- 15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry “invent” new diseases to make money


This feels like it should be higher, but maybe that's just my crowd. Of course, a 'global elite' do run things but they do it overtly. And though the moon landing was real I bet Kubrick could have faked it if he wanted to.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:04 PM on April 2, 2013


Mmmm. My fellow Thermians and I all know that Lizard People exist. We've viewed the historical documents. Mmmm.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:05 PM on April 2, 2013


Nothing about Seatopians yet again. WAKE UP!

Quiet you, lest you draw upon us the wrath of MEGALON!
posted by JHarris at 3:06 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


15% of voters think the ... pharmaceutical industry “invent[s]” new diseases to make money

I'm pretty sure it doesn't but I don't kid myself that it's ethics that's stopping them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:07 PM on April 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


And though the moon landing was real I bet Kubrick could have faked it if he wanted to.

Nope.

(I'm assuming you were kidding, but still... no.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:07 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I believe all these. Except the Republican-pleasing ones. And the aliens. Why would aliens slum around on earth?
posted by telstar at 3:08 PM on April 2, 2013


according to the poll, 5% of the people who voted for Obama AND believe he is the anti-Christ. Those are the people I'm interested in.

Better the Anti-Christ you know...
posted by Greg Nog at 3:09 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why would aliens slum around on earth?

Maybe they're writing some kind of guide to the universe?
posted by JHarris at 3:10 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


So something like 3-5% of people think Obama is the anti-Christ and voted for him anyway?

"Yeah, he's the Anti-Christ and will do everything to crush humanity in his lizard jaws, but have you seen Romney? I'll take the Anti-Christ over that painted toaster. And hey, free health care!"
posted by Turkey Glue at 3:11 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Buzz Aldrin has the answer.
posted by chavenet at 3:13 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


They are a person that second guesses almost everything, so I can kind of see why they came to the conclusion.

I'm way more confident that there are no lizard people than I am that actual moon landings occurred, but I'm not totally sure about either. How sure am I about the latter? If offered incontrovertible evidence, I'd be way less surprised that moon landings happened than I would be by the existence of incontrovertible evidence.

In either case, the strength of my belief (that there are no lizard people and that moon landings occurred) exceeds some basically arbitrary (although situationally variable) threshold above which I (lazily) say that I believe something.

But yeah, in general, I find it pretty easy to get hung up on the "reality" of lots of everyday stuff, and I think the human community would be more "reality-based" if more people (like your acquaintance) were the same way, at least to the extent of acknowledging the extent to which extremely abstract myths affect everyone's very real well-being. (This is very often a good state of affairs, but it isn't acknowledged much, on a day-to-day basis, at least in my experience.)

What, people were asked if they "believe 'lizard people' control our societies by gaining political power" AND THEY DIDN'T SAY YES? 96% of people must be no fun.

Totally. Poll results are probably one of those things about which one should be very circumspect. While it's just a statistical truism that about 4% of the population at large would (had the polled everyone) answer "yes" to the lizards, there's basically no meaningful way to interpret this. The fact that answering "yes" is the lulziest option is just the beginning, here. Another thing is that questions can be very open to interpretation, but the results are not presented in a way that acknowledges that. For example, I don't believe in any of the whacky conspiracy theories here, as stereotypically propounded, but:

28% of voters believe secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government

Modulo the "secretive" and "world government" parts, this is just uncontroversially true, and certainly not in the "lizard people rode chemtrails to the moon while Obama's birth certificate helped Buzz Aldrin do 9/11" category. Unless something specific about the question required that the conspiracy be centrally-controlled, or precluded the goal of economic control of the world, or disallowed a "power elite" that is primarily corporate, I would join the 28%.

Likewise:

the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals

is completely true, unless the actual question was specific about some type of nonexistent technology. Advertising and propaganda are rigorously-developed mind-control technology, uncontroversially. Unless something specific about the question ruled out advertising and propaganda, I would have answered "yes".

Also, isn't there at least some evidence of CIA involvement in the cocaine trade in fairly recent history? Is there strong evidence that Oswald was the lone assassin? (I am not sure about the answer to either of these questions.) Are these two things "conspiracy theories", with all of the usual tinfoil-hat connotations of that phrase? Why are they juxtaposed with the obviously ridiculous in this poll?
posted by kengraham at 3:13 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


40% of Americans think dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time.

Technically I'm in this group but it's not a Bible thing for me, more of a Jeff Goldblum thing.
posted by mullacc at 3:14 PM on April 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Nothing is happening, and it's a conspiracy!

AKA Foucault's Pendulum.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:14 PM on April 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Speaking of netflix and the "Paul is dead" mention, The Last Testament of George Harrison is well worth the watch. Especially if you're in the mood for something so supremely tongue-in-cheek.
posted by dr_dank at 3:17 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


And the aliens. Why would aliens slum around on earth?

Well, it's not like you haven't seen aliens on earth in hundreds of tv programs and movies. Lizard people (who happened to be aliens) were the topic of a fairly popular tv miniseries. It would be interesting to see whether there was an uptick in belief in magic spells and wizards after Harry Potter came out.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:17 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters
It's been a few years since I last studied Bayesian analysis. Is this statistic implying that some people who voted for Obama thought he was the anti-christ? Is there a pro-anti-christ voting block?
posted by deathpanels at 3:18 PM on April 2, 2013


That Richard Nixon was behind the Watergate buglers?

They certainly gave this nation a wake-up call.
posted by yoink at 3:19 PM on April 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


Is there a pro-anti-christ voting block?

Yes, people who wish to personally and not posthumously participate in the Rapture.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:20 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


For some people this, 29% of voters believe aliens exist, is more the result of large numbers than crop circles.
posted by Slackermagee at 3:23 PM on April 2, 2013


Y'all just need to learn the ancient art of lizard people hypnosis and then you don't have to worry about them causing trouble or getting lost inside stacks of flowerpots.
posted by cmyk at 3:31 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Mister Rumsfeld was courteous, but he gave me no reason to doubt that he is a lizard."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:32 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


So the CIA wasn't "instrumental in creating the crack cocaine epidemic in America’s inner cities in the 1980’s"?
posted by history_denier at 3:33 PM on April 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Anyway my favorite conspiracy theory was one I heard on Alex Jones where the globalist conspiracy is to replace all non-affiliated human beings with robots, kill all the humans, then the globalists upload their consciousness to the mainframe and become machine gods.

And the hell of it was he didn't even tell me where to sign up for this.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:35 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'd have to say that the Kennedy one seems the most plausible. There are multiple conflicting witness accounts of the event, multiple powerful actors who would gain from the event, and so on. It's certainly plausible that LHO wasn't the only person involved.

Lizard people are on a whole different plane.
posted by sonic meat machine at 3:39 PM on April 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


sonic meant machine: Nonsense! There's lots of things the lizard people would stand to gain by existing.
posted by aubilenon at 3:40 PM on April 2, 2013


Lizard people are on a whole different plane.

Wait, so you're saying the lizard people were responsible for 9/11?
posted by xedrik at 3:41 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, so you're saying the lizard people were responsible for 9/11?

No, that was Saddam Hussein.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:46 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


telstar: I believe all these. Except the Republican-pleasing ones. And the aliens. Why would aliens slum around on earth?
The Big Book of Conspiracies is a useful field guide to much of this. If you read it you'd know that during the "Spook War" the Greys sided with the CIA and the Nazis against the Nordics and the Office of Naval Intelligence…

I've said too much.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:47 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lizard people (who happened to be aliens) were the topic of a fairly popular tv miniseries.

Correction: They were amphibians. They laid eggs in water. (In our house, we called them the NeVVts.)
posted by BrashTech at 3:48 PM on April 2, 2013


Lizard people are on a whole different plane.

Republican and Reptilian both start with the same three letters. Coincidence? I think not.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:52 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


11% of voters believe the US government allowed 9/11 to happen, 78% do not agree

Didn't they, though? I mean, it did happen, and they didn't prevent it, so...?

Allowing it to happen isn't the same as making it happen.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:55 PM on April 2, 2013


Obvs 95% of people have never seen arguably my favourite website.
posted by anagrama at 3:55 PM on April 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


anagrama, that's not a website that's to be glossed over in a comment, that's one for an FPP
posted by ambrosen at 4:05 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


So something like 3-5% of people think Obama is the anti-Christ and voted for him anyway?

To be fair, this survey didn't ask how many of the respondents were lizards.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 4:07 PM on April 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


I like the irony in that 38% of Romney voters believe in a "secretive power elite with a globalist agenda".

(Ok, in reality the power elite isn't really secret, but you know...)
posted by ymgve at 4:10 PM on April 2, 2013


Regarding Obama as the Antichrist:

I'm honestly surprised this isn't a bit higher. When I was in the fundie church, long before Obama was ever on the national scene, theories abounded about what the Antichrist would be like. A consensus of sorts was reached. The Antichrist would not be white, probably some shade of brown, and would have a powerful appeal to the downtrodden. Being non-white was not entirely a racist idea. These learned theologians were mostly thinking about what sort of person would have a broad enough appeal to unite most of the world together. Many of these theologians thought the Antichrist would have some connection to the Muslim world. The communism / socialism / gun-grabbing / gay-lovin' stuff was a given, of course, since the Antichrist would encourage ungodly behavior at every opportunity.

Anyways, to a sufficiently addled mind, Obama fits this template almost perfectly.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:11 PM on April 2, 2013


And the aliens. Why would aliens slum around on earth?

I'm not even one of the people who believe in aliens in the alien abduction, Roswell sense, but dude. Why wouldn't aliens want to slum around on earth? We're the party planet! We're a charmingly primitive and rustic vacation destination! We have all this awesome music and art! Sure, maybe the aliens have their own super advanced artistic endeavors, but do they have Bruce Springsteen? No.

So there's my personal conspiracy theory. Earth is an out of the way galactic tourist destination.
posted by yasaman at 4:12 PM on April 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


> 15% of voters think the ... pharmaceutical industry “invent[s]” new diseases to make money

Lunatics! Everybody knows it's the DSM people who do that.
posted by jfuller at 4:30 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


When you find out what our country did in foreign nations during the Cold War in the name of defending national security

Like Operation Gladio?

lizard people

David Icke seems to talk about lizard people as they are real lizards.


VS lizard thinking?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:31 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


This sort of thing fascinates me, so I check in on the current conspiracy theories every so often. I had to stop for most of 2012 due to the election and the crazy racism that overtook everything, but I happened to be bored the other day and saw that there is a new popular strain of UFO conspiracy. This variation takes some of the more widespread and obviously bogus theories and explains them by saying that the people who popularized them had been fed disinformation because they'd actually stumbled across something legitimate. I saw this as an explanation for the underground base in Dulce, NM, which has always been something of a personal favorite of mine.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:33 PM on April 2, 2013



You think those Geico ads are a coincidence? You are being groomed.

Okay, and there's this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/04/white-house-denies-president-obama-travelled-to-mars_n_1183069.html

Of course the WH denied it. They just want you to not think about Lizards.
posted by mule98J at 4:39 PM on April 2, 2013


the Soviet Union was actively encouraging conspiracy theories like this is under to undermine people's trust in government.

VS Government's own actions resulting in undermining their own authority?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:43 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


the invention of new diseases for Big Pharma to make money

Ask your doctor about Low T.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:49 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


The world is a more interesting place when conspiracy theories exist. Problem is they usually can't beat the reality.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:56 PM on April 2, 2013


14% of voters say the CIA was instrumental in creating the crack cocaine epidemic in America’s inner cities in the 1980’s

i think they had something to do with it, yes - and it's very certain that they had contacts in the cocaine industry and made use of them

manuel noriega, for example

51% of voters say a larger conspiracy was at work in the JFK assassination, just 25% say Oswald acted alone

i think there was a 2nd gunman - what that means as far as a larger conspiracy, i don't really know

i feel the official version is somewhat lacking

15% of voters say the government or the media adds mind-controlling technology to TV broadcast signals (the so-called Tinfoil Hat crowd)

it's absolutely certain they do - it's called advertising
posted by pyramid termite at 4:59 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So something like 3-5% of people think Obama is the anti-Christ and voted for him anyway?

To a certain sort of end-times enthusiast, it might actually be a reason to vote for him. To hurry the prophecies along so we can get to the rapture already.
posted by baf at 5:03 PM on April 2, 2013



- 5% believe exhaust seen in the sky behind airplanes is actually chemicals sprayed by the government for sinister reasons

chemtrails

that a belief so vague whose evidence is so ubiquitous (airplane contrails are being laced with chemicals to cause various vague ever-shifting symptoms) to have survived so long (since at least 1998) must serve as a sort of null hypothesis for conspiracy theories.


Bit longer than that, probably-- and I wouldn't use that one to zero my meters:
The St Jo Program and Large Area Concept
The success of the first field tests only increased demand for more experiments. In response to an Air Force request, in 1953 the Chemical Corps created the St Jo Program and operatives staged mock anthrax attacks on St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Winnipeg. The bacteria were released from generators placed on top of cars, and local governments were told that “invisible smokescreen[s]” were being deployed to mask the city on enemy radar. The next stage was to increase dispersal patterns, dispensing particles from airplanes to find out how wide of an area they would affect. The first Large Area Concept experiment, in 1957, involved dispersing microorganisms over a swath from South Dakota to Minnesota; monitoring revealed that some of the particles eventually traveled some 1200 miles away. Further tests covered areas from Ohio to Texas and Michigan to Kansas. In the Army’s words, these experiments “proved the feasibility of covering large areas of the country with [biological weapons] agents.”

Airports and Subways
Serratia marcescens bacteria. Open-air testing continued through the 1960s, with the Special Operations Division operatives simulating even more audacious assaults. In 1965 they spread bacteria throughout Washington’s National Airport; a year later, agents dropped light bulbs filled with organisms onto the tracks in New York’s subway system. “I think it spread pretty good,” participant Wally Pannier later said, “because you had a natural aerosol developed every few minutes from every train that went past.” President Nixon’s 1969 termination of the United States offensive biological weapons program brought an end to the open-air testing, but the American public did not learn of this testing until 1977.
posted by jamjam at 5:06 PM on April 2, 2013


They should have asked about the New Chronology.
posted by thelonius at 5:22 PM on April 2, 2013


If you ask me, "15% of voters think the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry 'invent' new diseases to make money" is another of those ambiguous ones. If you're saying that they engineer new germs just to make money of curing them, I'd say you're a nutter. If you're saying that they try to sell us medication for things that previous generations wouldn't consider to be diseases, I'd say "duh".
posted by baf at 5:26 PM on April 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


decathexis: "I was super surprised that 51% are critical of the JFK assassination story."

I went to the Grassy Knoll (it was a MeFi Meetup!). The shot from the repository is cake. Jesus, people.
posted by notsnot at 5:32 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


My mom believes in lizard people. Can you imagine what my life is like, trying to reason with her about anything? I honestly, at this point, do not believe her capable of logic, and I am not exaggerating. It's not just lizard people, it's everything, every tiny thing. She told me she doesn't like to use fast food napkins because she doesn't trust that the person who packed it has clean hands. When I asked her why she trusted them to handle her actual food, it's like her brain broke.
posted by Nattie at 5:40 PM on April 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


yoink: "
They certainly gave this nation a wake-up call.
"

I read that to my wife. She started guffawing uncontrollably at the mental image of Nixon tootin' a horn with his jowls...
posted by notsnot at 5:43 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I watched one of the lizard people videos. I think it's based on a sensitivity to MPEG compression of bald Secret Service agents.

As for mind control beams coming out of your TV, ever watched cable news?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:44 PM on April 2, 2013


Hey yall, I just realized the conspiracy theory doc was released online by the directors. Mods, delete if this isn't kosher but since it was asked about upthread here it is.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:48 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


JFK assassination convenient deaths.

I thought the CIA smuggling drugs to make money was common knowledge. The other day Joe Rogan did a redddit IAMA and somebody asked him about the fake moon landing BS and he had some great excuse about that being a blind so that the government has an indication he is too big a damn fool to be an actual threat. That is what your idiom glossary classifies as a cop-out.
posted by bukvich at 5:56 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nothing about how Stephen King killed John Lennon?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:01 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Recently, these lists keep throwing in JFK assassination theories in with Truthers/Birthers etc; this wasn't the case before, were it seemed like the default assumption was that official story was flawed. Has something actually changed with the research of the assassination? Last I heard, a few people were acting like JFK Reloaded actually proved something, but that's it. Otherwise, it seems like a a general change of mood, rather than considered opinion that's changed- perhaps as Boomer writers are replaced by younger ones?

Anyway, while technically a conspiracy theory, it's inapt to compare JFK stuff to moon landing/vaxxer/Roswell stuff.
posted by spaltavian at 6:06 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Chris Farley: You remember when you were with the Beatles and you were supposed to be dead and there's all these clues that, like, you'd play some song backwards and it'd say, like, "Paul is dead" and everyone thought that you were dead.

Paul McCartney: Yep.

Chris Farley: That was a hoax, right?

Paul McCartney: Yeah, I wasn't really dead.

posted by obscure simpsons reference at 6:08 PM on April 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


At 7%, Buzz Aldrin is going to have to punch out a whole bunch more idiots. Should we start to organize a line or something?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:11 PM on April 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


COBRA!: "29% of voters believe aliens exist

Lot of ambiguity with that one... there's a big difference between thinking there's probably life somewhere else in the universe and thinking that the greys are mutilating cattle and handing out rectal probings.
"

I'm now picturing an UFO with an alien handing out free "candy"....

"Humanoid, would you like some 'candy'? Just hop on here in my UFO."
posted by symbioid at 6:18 PM on April 2, 2013


It's gone down to 7%? Things are looking up!
posted by Decani at 6:20 PM on April 2, 2013


Not only do Reptilians exist, they are guarding the president
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:24 PM on April 2, 2013


I thought the CIA smuggling drugs to make money was common knowledge.

Barry Seal - As the story goes he made the claim of CIA-Drugs via an affidavit in Court. Affidavits in Court are one form of "truth".
posted by rough ashlar at 6:35 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Next time you are zipping along some interstate at 75 mph, give a quick thought to who your lane mates are and what they may be thinking about. (or not)
posted by notreally at 6:54 PM on April 2, 2013


If I were feeling mischievous, I'd suggest the possibility that the government is either quietly modifying jet fuel (or simply encouraging mass air travel) to increase the severity of global dimming, to either mitigate the impact of global warming or simply delay it.

Not that I think it's true, of coures. But it almost feels plausible.
posted by Mitrovarr at 7:02 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoa, why is this one in this list?

Voters are split 44%-45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 72% of Democrats think Bush lied about WMDs, Independents agree 48-45, just 13% of Republicans think so.

The rest are crazy conspiracy "theories"...isn't this pretty well established as fact? Or are the folks who don't think the Bush administration lied about WMDs the kooks?

Don't tell me the MSM is pretending the whole bungled coverage of the Iraq war never happened...
posted by touchstone033 at 7:25 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


spaltavian: "Last I heard, a few people were acting like JFK Reloaded actually proved something"

JFK Reloaded definitely proved that unpredictable AI and ragdoll physics can make almost anything comical.
posted by Copronymus at 7:33 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


People are very bad at introspecting and reporting their actual beliefs. Even when respondents are sincere, surveys like these don't tell you what people believe, but what they believe they believe.
posted by painquale at 7:50 PM on April 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Lizard People?

Sorry for the delay. Busy again.
posted by Lizard People at 8:15 PM on April 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


I always think these percentages of people believing some crazy nonsense is way too high when I read about these polls; that there's no way that many people can be that delusional.

Then I read comments below an Obama facebook post or the like, and realize it's probably true.
posted by Red Loop at 8:23 PM on April 2, 2013


Whoa, why is this one in this list?

Depends on how you approach the list.

Is the list of 'theories about conspiracies'?

Or is the list 'ha ha, look at these kooks who believe false things because all conspiracy theories are false'? If this is your position then the desire of this memo was achieved.

Now here's a JFK 'conspiracy' that was one I'd not seen (and mentions aliens):

An uncovered letter written by John F Kennedy to the head of the CIA shows that the president demanded to be shown highly confidential documents about UFOs 10 days before his assassination.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:31 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


*cough*

Carry on. </fnord>
posted by 23 at 9:11 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd suggest the possibility that the government is either quietly modifying jet fuel (or simply encouraging mass air travel) to increase the severity of global dimming, to either mitigate the impact of global warming or simply delay it.

Well it is well known that jet planes do modify the temperature on the ground.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:30 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to feel comfortable dismissing the Lizard People Conspiracy until I find out what elizardbits has been up to lately.
posted by MattMangels at 9:38 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


If elizardbits is with the lizard people, then no one has anything to worry about from them.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:02 PM on April 2, 2013


Voters are split 44%-45% on whether Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 72% of Democrats think Bush lied about WMDs, Independents agree 48-45, just 13% of Republicans think so.

The real conspirators, of course, are the journalists that helped the lizard people Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush cover up their war crimes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lizard people, Paul-is-dead, and chemtrails all polled at 4-5%, which makes me wish they had thrown in a totally made up conspiracy theory to establish a fucking-with-the-interviewer baseline.

I would love to have a job just to propagate fake conspiracy theories. Here's one I've been kicking around: Mad cow disease is actually engineered by KFC, Chick-fil-A, and poultry producers in order to discredit and damage big beef. In response, Big Beef and McDonald's manipulate reports of avian flu and do so every time the public consumption of chicken is on the upswing.
posted by FJT at 12:34 AM on April 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


To a certain sort of end-times enthusiast, it might actually be a reason to vote for him. To hurry the prophecies along so we can get to the rapture already.

I have nice days where I forget that this country has a major voting bloc that's basically Zuul worshipers except real.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 1:56 AM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Every discussion of the Secret Shape-Shifting Lizard People requires a link to the Etsy listing for Shape Shifting Lizard Skin Cream (With Vitamin E).
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 2:03 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


An uncovered letter written by John F Kennedy to the head of the CIA shows that the president demanded to be shown highly confidential documents about UFOs 10 days before his assassination.

As reported by that bastion of journalistic credibility, the Daily Mail.
posted by JHarris at 2:20 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, 155 comments and not ONE mention of the cabal? Strong work, Number One.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:34 AM on April 3, 2013


As reported by that bastion of journalistic credibility, the Daily Mail.

Are the shown memos fake?

The conclusion may be wrong - but was the source material cited fake?

If you are wanting the follow the (alleged) CIA memo linked above plan, why not point out Ten days before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, at Columbia University, Kennedy said: "The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American’s freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight." JFK was going to shut down the war in Vietnam, a war that brought the ruling powers $500 BILLION in armament sales. JFK was assassinated because he was going to restructure the Federal Reserve System so it could no longer be used by the ruling powers to manipulate the economy. and use the 10 days before line as a hook to say "10 days, my was he a busy man just before his death"?

At least the alien thing has (alleged) source material with it

I've already shown how there is 'creation' of 'medical conditions' with the Low-T link - where the call out in the cited source is to 'creating a condition'. The one link posted showed polling of 48% back in the day WRT JFKs death VS the 51% cited in the master link. Metafilter has had 2 posts taged with Gladio and one 2005 post on Gladio - thus backing anothers claim in this thread AND being something you can still find people calling it a 'conspiracy theory'. And yet there are readers who are still clinging to the 'hurf-durf all conspiracy theories are false' idea and such people have been trolled by the pollers. The Antichrist and obviously provable "Low-T" medical condition show the poll is a troll.

(and how the heck does one go to prove/disprove who's the antichrist? How does such a claim even match this definition of 'conspiracy theory': the belief that the government or a covert organization is responsible for an event that is unusual or unexplained, esp when any such involvement is denied; a theory that explains an event as being the result of a plot by a covert group or organization; a belief that a particular unexplained event was caused by such a group.; the idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public. Assuming the actual existence of an actual Christian God as written about in the Old Testament - how is that dude able to be a conspiracy theory? As Spock would ask - what does God need with a conspiracy?)
posted by rough ashlar at 4:16 AM on April 3, 2013


You're worried about chemtrails, but not environmental pollution? Ranting about the UN invading the USA, don't give a shit about the multiple wars actually happening? Scared of lizard people genocide, but you wouldn't spare a thought for the victims of Rwanda?

To my mind it's just a defence mechanism. Because if you concentrate hard enough, squinting and bullying and misconstruing as necessary, you can convince yourself there's a magical nose hovering ominously over the horizon; convince yourself hard enough and you can forget the nose on your face.

You're not an elite insider with power and agency, discovering the secrets of the world; you're another manipulated mope hiding inside a comfortable fantasy while the world falls apart.
posted by forgetful snow at 4:20 AM on April 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


Here are two things that are both true:

1) Conspiracies do actually happen from time to time.
2) The ones that you hear about probably didn't.
posted by empath at 4:32 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ten days before the assassination of John F. Kennedy, at Columbia University, Kennedy said: "The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American’s freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight."

He did not.
posted by empath at 4:35 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


He did not.

Didn't say it at Columbia University or didn't inform the citizen of HIS plight?

(I believe Kennedy can be found on many occasions to tell female citizens 'you are so fucked')
posted by rough ashlar at 4:55 AM on April 3, 2013


Having got the joke out of the way I'll point out how the source I quoted did note how his claims were without attribution (1st one I could find that did not claim the "truth" of the quote but presented it for its "truthyness") and now to pull out the quote backing empath's position:
THE SPEECH THAT NEVER WAS The persistent rumor regarding the bankers' role in JFK's death was reinforced by several books circulated in conservative circles. They contained an ominous passage from Kennedy's speech at Columbia University, just ten days before his assassination. He is quoted as saying: "The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the Americans' freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight." [Quoted by M.L. Beckman, Born Again Republic, Billings, Montana, Freedom Church, 1981, p. 23; also by Lindsay Williams, To Seduce A Nation, Kasilof, Arkansas: Worth Publications, 1984, p. 26.] However, when Columbia University was contacted to provide a transcript of the speech, it was learned that Kennedy never spoke there - neither ten days before his assassination nor at any other time! Ronald Whealan, head librarian at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library in Boston, provides this additional information: "Ten days prior to the assassination he was at the White House meeting with, among others, the ambassador to the United States from Portugal." [Source: Hollee Haswell, Curator at the Low Memorial Library, Columbia University.]

Having a speech 10 days out of town conflicts with producing memos that exist over at the Daily Mail link.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:04 AM on April 3, 2013


anagrama, that's not a website that's to be glossed over in a comment, that's one for an FPP

Unfortunately it would be a double

posted by anagrama at 5:11 AM on April 3, 2013


Are there polls in other countries of whether the moon landing was faked? Hearing that Americans are stupid and believe dumb shit isn't any news to me, and out of all the dumb shit they could believe (or true shit they could deny) the moon landing isn't really a huge priority. It would be helpful, though, to know what percentage of people in other countries think the thing was a hoax.

(Also, an off topic observation: I find it interesting how many people who think we had to fake the moon landing also believe that the government has been hiding alien technology since Roswell.)
posted by Legomancer at 5:11 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now I'm jonesing for a good X-Files marathon.
posted by double bubble at 5:20 AM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, Legomancer, poor education and reactionary stupidity aren't unique to the USA. (Who knows how reliable the survey is, though.)
posted by forgetful snow at 5:21 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're worried about chemtrails,

How does one lobby to change a non existent secret program?
(Or an actual secret program - how did Gladio come to an end? Who was against that?)

but not environmental pollution?

The polled could make that change in their own life - no Government or Corporation needed.

Ranting about the UN invading the USA

Hasn’t happened so asking for change is prior restraint. Besides, with DHS buying bulk ammo - why is the UN a threat?

don't give a shit about the multiple wars actually happening?

Just like here on the Blue the last go-round - there are people who thought when it was Bushes conflict it was all good and now that it's under Obama its bad.

Did the anti-war left just "grow up" - like how the old left used to call police PIgs and now the new left is calling for gun control?

Scared of lizard people genocide,

Something that really should not exist (but Corporations are now people so perhaps so are lizards)

but you wouldn't spare a thought for the victims of Rwanda?

How many thoughts are spared for the Cherokee and how they got treated? (and really - what should be done for both set of the dead? What concrete action beyond "I remember" and repeating the incident is able to be taken by the average joe?)

Its a difference between what one is powerless to change due to the not being part of a system that is changeable (non existence is one sort of non-changeability and how exactly do you change a secret program) VS what one could change in their life to some small degree and choose not to.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:24 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's one I've been kicking around: Mad cow disease is actually engineered by KFC, Chick-fil-A, and poultry producers in order to discredit and damage big beef.

Cows can't be fed to cows anymore so the culled cows are instead fed to the chickens thus keeping the chain of infection going.

"Ban on feeding ruminant meat and bone meal to ruminants may
be expanded to include not feeding it to pigs and chickens, says FDA's acting commissioner. ({That} would create 10-million-ton-a-year disposal problem.)" This is what millions of dead animal carcasses represent to
dairy processors; a "disposal problem."


If you wanted one with traction, claim its part of some plot to kill humans. You have Top senator apologizes for 'Monsanto Protection Act' to work with.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:43 AM on April 3, 2013


My favorite take on the JFK assassination was proposed in a partially completed plotline of Oz Squad. Since God was looking away at the time of the assassination, all of the theories are equally true, and the assassins are locked in eternal struggle for dominance.

And Oswald can take out an entire team of Men in Black with a Daisy BB Gun.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:44 AM on April 3, 2013


Related: Florida DJs May Face Felony for April Fools' Water Joke, Alexander Abad-Santos, The Atlantic Wire, 2 April 2013
Florida country radio morning-show hosts Val St. John and Scott Fish are currently serving indefinite suspensions and possibly worse over a successful April Fools' Day prank. They told their listeners that "dihydrogen monoxide" was coming out of the taps throughout the Fort Myers area.
We're doomed.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:54 AM on April 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


> Republican and Reptilian both start with the same three letters. Coincidence? I think not.

Cognitive-dissonance poll question for mefi users: do you believe in the Amphiblicans?
posted by jfuller at 6:10 AM on April 3, 2013


This stuff fascinates me (and scares me) endlessly. It's hard to understand how the human mind seems to go so quickly from entertaining reasonable suspicions about some particular situation or event to confabulating and taking as an article of faith the most bizarre and convoluted narratives.

A while back, I even bought the domain name and tried to launch a "Museum of Conspiracies" to showcase some of these gems (alongside actual conspiracies, for contrast) and examine the cases on either side. But I didn't have the time to devote to discovering and writing them all up myself, so I tried to make it a reader submission thing, and that never panned out.

I still think it'd be cool if a site like that existed, devoted both to debunking conspiracy theories and examining them as a cultural phenomenon. At the very least, it'd make a handy resource for aspiring screenplay writers. But I'm pretty sure some subset of people would quickly bristle at seeing the case for their pet theory debunked and become convinced the lizard people had only set up the site as a way to spread disinformation.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:40 AM on April 3, 2013


I liked Fortean Times a few years ago. It often took the editorial position of theories as wildly entertaining bullshit, in contrast to magazines like the Skeptic which takes the editorial position that it's bullshit that must be snuffed out. The Hierophant introduced me to Icke, without ever taking him seriously.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:36 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I tried to make it a reader submission thing, and that never panned out.

Given the usefullness of misdirection over real events parties want to cover up along with obvious trolls like calling anti-Christ a conspiracy theory to have made such a reader submission site work out would have made you some sort of social network and/or coding God among mortals.

Then you have what will be considered "truth" and its writing as noted this way America's sell out intellectuals and the perks they get: The rewriting of history by the power elite was painfully evident as the nation marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War how does one determine 'what is the truth of a matter'?

As what will be a trivial example in 10 years - Without any surviving copies of what was said in the water is DiHydrogen Oxide panic, how are any of us to know if the Felony charges are justified? If the station deleted or never kept copies of the broadcast and no one else has a copy - the history here is up for whatever re-write one wants.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:00 AM on April 3, 2013


Well, the idea was it would curator moderated/edited user submissions, and there were editorial guidelines that explicitly dismissed the idea the site would accept timely, potentially politically motivated submissions.

how does one determine 'what is the truth of a matter'?

I remain firmly in the camp that believes that, while the truth might not always black and white, it isn't always completely shades of gray either. (Don't the alternative views seem a little too black and white themselves to be true?)
posted by saulgoodman at 9:45 AM on April 3, 2013


At the end of the press release (PDF): "PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews."

If I got a robo-call that asked me bizarre questions, I would take great delight in claiming that lizard people are ruining it for everyone and that Bigfoot was upstairs in the spare bedroom.
posted by ceiba at 10:18 AM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


"America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy." --John Updike
posted by seemoreglass at 11:52 AM on April 3, 2013


"America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy." - John Updike, acclaimed and prolific novelist, academically successful Harvard grad, strong arm, sharp eye, and fat wallet
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:00 PM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I liked Fortean Times a few years ago. It often took the editorial position of theories as wildly entertaining bullshit, in contrast to magazines like the Skeptic which takes the editorial position that it's bullshit that must be snuffed out.

I'm a bit conflicted here. It's very interesting to read about "kooks" (as I discovered a few months ago), but I've seen with my own eyes what happens when kookdom gets out of hand and crazy notions erupt onto the national stage. When you believe the moon landing was faked, the idea that Obama might not have been born in Hawaii isn't much of a stretch at all.

The days when one person could reasonably expect to know the entire sum of human knowledge passed with the ancient Greeks. Fundamentally, anything we don't see with our own two eyes (and some things we do) is up in the air. We all, as a necessary fact of living in a fairly technically advanced and populous society, must rely on some facts given to us by others as being true without having to check every damn little thing, because that way lies paralysis at best. At worst, we risk making important decisions based on faulty premises, decisions like should I get my kid vaccinated.

This is why truth is of paramount importance, why trustworthiness is a primary virtue, and why spreading disinformation, for fun or profit, is a crime against your fellow human beings.
posted by JHarris at 2:23 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Belief in Conspiracies linked to Machiavellian Mindset. Sounds plausible.
posted by RuvaBlue at 5:46 PM on April 3, 2013


Fundamentally, anything we don't see with our own two eyes (and some things we do) is up in the air.

What photons the eye captures and the brain then applies an interpretation may not be "truth".

I'd be willing to place money on the ability for the talented to create situations that the eye captures and the mind decides as true just ain't. (see Yuri Geler and spoonbending as an example)

This is why truth is of paramount importance,

What is "truth"? In a society under the rule of law, a sworn affidavit that is unrebutted is considered "truth".

Belief in Conspiracies linked to Machiavellian Mindset. Sounds plausible.

Or one could look at history or law. Law in the form of RICO charges.

At worst, we risk making important decisions based on faulty premises, decisions like should I get my kid vaccinated.

How much science, testing data and set/statistics math does one need to make such a determination?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:36 PM on April 3, 2013


The conversation got a bit awkward after that.

Because you then shed your skin and tried to eat her? /hb
posted by MikeKD at 6:56 PM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


What photons the eye captures and the brain then applies an interpretation may not be "truth".

That is why I said "and some things we do."

I'd be willing to place money on the ability for the talented to create situations that the eye captures and the mind decides as true just ain't. (see Yuri Geler and spoonbending as an example)

An object lesson on why I said that. We try not to spill unnecessary words when writing these things.

What is "truth"? In a society under the rule of law, a sworn affidavit that is unrebutted is considered "truth".

Yes, yes, and atoms are mostly empty space, light is just electromagnetic radiation, sounds are just compression waves in air, etc. When you look really hard at the universe the nature of reality starts to look damn interpretive, constructed based on our human perceptions, really. But there is an objective underlying basis that gives rise to that reality, and you have to buy into that or else you couldn't survive, and we can make definite statements about that.

How much science, testing data and set/statistics math does one need to make such a determination?

Enough to be practical. (sticking tongue out)
posted by JHarris at 7:08 PM on April 3, 2013


Belief in Conspiracies linked to Machiavellian Mindset. Sounds plausible.

Something spoken with a forked tongue by a cold-blooded politician? Sounds like Machiavelli had a lizardy perception problem.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:47 PM on April 3, 2013


Against conspiracy theories: Why our activism must be based in reality
posted by bonefish at 9:05 PM on April 3, 2013


The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:22 PM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


> "Because you then shed your skin and tried to eat her?"

I'm putting you on The List.
posted by kyrademon at 3:40 AM on April 5, 2013


Belief in Conspiracies linked to Machiavellian Mindset.

The comments on this are amazing.
posted by empath at 4:12 AM on April 5, 2013


Actually the comments on the original article in the FPP are amazing, too.
posted by empath at 4:13 AM on April 5, 2013


Belief in Conspiracies linked to Machiavellian Mindset. Sounds plausible.

Hey look! An article suggesting that people might tend to believe in conspiracies due to "lax personal morality". Sounds like something the cabal would plant in the media to impugn and discredit those who would draw attention to the existence of the cabal...
posted by kengraham at 7:30 AM on April 5, 2013


I have lax personal morality and I don't believe in any of these bullshit theories.
posted by aubilenon at 2:30 PM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older Graveyard of the Peaches...   |   The Criticwire Survey: Overrat... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments