Oh dear; there are so many, and so many variations of individual theories. Where to begin?
I won’t provide a great many details here; likely you’ve heard of most, if not all, of these. Of course, you can always find more with a Google search; the Internet abounds with conspiracy information.
Most of these conspiracy theories deal with politics/politicians and religion.
New World Order is a theory that states a group of international elites
controls and manipulates governments, industry and media organizations worldwide. The primary tool they use to dominate nations is the system of central banking.
Illuminati, a sect said to have originated in 18th century Germany, is allegedly responsible for incorporating occult symbols in the buildings and streets of Washington, D.C. An inverted pentagram with the bottom pointing directly at the White House allows Satan direct access to the White House, it is claimed. Members of the sect start world wars to strengthen the argument for the creation of a worldwide government (which would, of course, be Satanic in nature).
Freemasons is an old worldwide fraternity that boast alumni like George Washington and many American presidents. Some think members are secretly plotting in political, religious and cultural realms. This conspiracy often overlaps with Illuminati and the New World Order theories.
Skull and Bones—This Yale University fraternity is often accused of being a secret society producing many financial and political leaders who have control or seek to gain control.
Pearl Harbor advance-knowledge conspiracy contends that American officials had advance knowledge of Japan's December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Several writers have argued that various parties high in the U.S. and British governments knew of the attack in advance and may even have let it happen or encouraged it in order to force America into war.
The Clinton Body Count, as it is popularly known, holds that Bill Clinton, while he was president and before, was quietly assassinating his associates (often anyone who got in the way of his career, such as Vince Foster).
Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting conspiracy theories - On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother, and 20 students and 6 staff members, at the elementary school before committing suicide. Conspirary theorists suggest the shooting was orchestrated by government officials for political reasons in order to push for stricter gun control laws.
Barack Obama conspiracy theories – This includes a cluster of allegations, the essence of which is that his claim to the Presidency is illegitimate due to the circumstances of his birth. It is alleged that either his birth certificate was faked or that he holds dual citizenship and this disqualifies him as President. The conspiracy theories have been tenacious despite the early release of Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate by his election campaign and the April 2011 release of a certified copy of Obama's original Certificate of Live Birth (so-called "long form birth certificate"). Related rumors involve questioning the President's Social Security Number, the President's religion, and suggesting that he is or was at one time a Muslim.
Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have circulated since the Middle Ages. Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an anti-Semitic because most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples, and to justify the creation of the State of Israel.
Apocalyptic prophecies, particularly Christian apocalyptic claims about the end times, the Last Judgment, and the end of the world have inspired a range of conspiracy theories. Many of these deal with the Antichrist, also known as The Beast 666, who is supposed to be a leader that will create a world empire and oppress Christians (and in some conspiracies, Jews as well). Countless historical figures have been called "Antichrist" in their times, from the Roman emperor Nero to Adolf Hitler to Ronald Reagan, to Barack Obama. At times, apocalyptic speculation has mixed with anti-Catholicism, charging that the reigning Pope is the Antichrist or the False Prophet. Another interpretation sees the Antichrist as a world leader involved with the United Nations, who will create a one world government (New World Order) and establish a single monetary system. The latter is identified with the Mark of the Beast, which the Bible states that people in the end times will need in order to conduct trade.
Two nations often involved in apocalyptic conspiracy theories are Israel and Iraq. The former is the location of both the Temple Mount and Armageddon (Megiddo), places seen as important in prophecy. The latter is the ancient location of Babylon, which also figures in the Book of Revelation. During the Gulf War, some suggested that Saddam Hussein had ordered the excavation and re-population of the city of Babylon, thus casting Saddam as an Antichrist figure. Other interpretations have held that "Babylon" in the Book of Revelation refers to another mighty nation, such as the Roman Empire, the Vatican (Rome) and the Catholic Church, or more recently the Soviet Union or the United States.
Bible conspiracy, one of which claims that Jesus really had a wife, Mary Magdalene, and children, that a group known as the Priory of Sion has secret information about the bloodline of Jesus, that Jesus did not die on the cross and that the carbon dating of the Shroud of Turin was part of a conspiracy by the Vatican to suppress this knowledge.A fictionalized contrivance of this is portrayed in the novel The Da Vinci Code.
AIDS is a human-made disease (created by scientists in a laboratory). Some of these theories allege that HIV was created by a conspiratorial group or by a secretive agency such as the CIA. It is thought to have been created as a tool of genocide and/or population control. Other theories suggest that the virus was created as an experiment in biological and/or psychological warfare, and then escaped into the population at large by accident. Some who believe that HIV was a government creation see a precedent for it in the Tuskegee syphilis study, in which government-funded researchers deceptively denied treatment to black patients infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
Water fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay. Although almost all major health and dental organizations support water fluoridation, or have found no association with adverse effects, efforts to introduce water fluoridation meet considerable opposition whenever it is proposed. Since its introduction in the 1950s, opponents have drawn on distrust of experts and unease about medicine and science. Conspiracy theories involving fluoridation are common, and include the claim that fluoridation is part of a Communist, Fascist, New World Order or Illuminati plot to take over the world. There are other tentacles to this theory, all with outrageous claims.
Which conspiracy theories would you add to my list?
The next post in this series will lighten up a bit with a discussion of the “Paul is Dead” conspiracy theory. Yes, there are those who actually believe Paul McCartney has been dead for many years!