"Conspiracy theorist"

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Concept.png "Conspiracy theorist"
(enemy imageSourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Tinfoil Hat Guy.jpg
Interest ofShyam Sunder
An enemy image used for ad hominem attacks on people as a way of misdirecting attention away from their arguments

"Conspiracy Theorists" are people who subscribe to "conspiracy theories". The term is used as an enemy image by commercially-controlled media such as Wikipedia. As with other enemy images, it is not used outside quotation marks on this site.


"Conspiracy theorists" are concerned with corruption in government and what could otherwise be described as transnational organized crime (among other things), which at the same time can be institutionalized in government, such as intelligence agencies.[1][2] The definition of criminal conspiracy in US law is: "when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act, then take some action toward its completion", while the action taken toward the goal need not be a criminal offense in itself, still these actions generate liability.[3][4] UN regulation takes a similar stand.[5] Many sentences for bribery in the US involve a conspiracy clause,[6] the same is true for fraud.[7] Official US statistics apparently do list only by the type of offense,[8] but it is a factor in a substantial number of cases.[9][10]

Early conspiracy theorists

People who were writing in the field that would today be termed conspiracy theory, were Augustin Barruel (1741 – 1820) "Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism" and John Robison (1739 – 1805) "Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the Secret Meetings of Free-Masons, Illuminati and Reading Societies". Both writers were concerned with Masonry, the Bavarian Illuminati and connected groups and their influence on the French Revolution. The Catholic Church was expressing their criticism against Masonry starting in 1738 with In Eminenti.[11]

Usage by corporate media

A 2013 BBC article by Jon Kelly was entitled Is it OK to call someone a conspiracy theorist?, and observed that because Norman Baker expressed "doubts" about the death of Robin Cook, David Aaronovitch (of the Integrity Initiative) termed him "a conspiracy theorist".[12]

Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and CEO Social Capital, on Money as an Instrument of Change - Stanford Graduate School of Business

Conspiracy theorists the media does not mention

People of elevated intelligence who have been very successful in live on the economic side also hold views that are (highly) conspiratorial.

Chamath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya, a Sri Lankan-born Canadian-American venture capitalist and the founder and CEO of Social Capital. He was an early senior executive at Facebook, joining the company in 2007 and leaving in 2011. In an interview for Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2017 he said:[13]

“Here's the thing. There's about 150 people that run the world. Anybody who wants to go into politics, they're all fucking puppets, okay? There are 150 and they're all men that run the world - period, full stop. They control most of the important assets, they control the money flows. And these are not the tech entrepreneurs. Now they are going to get rolled over the next five to ten years by the people that are really underneath pulling the strings. And when you get behind the curtain and see how that world works, what you realize is, it is unfairly set up for them and their progeny. Now, I'm not going to say that that's something that we can rip apart. But first order of business is, I want to break through and be at that table. That's the first order of business.”
Chamath Palihapitiya [14]

Mark Gorton

Mark Gorton is a prominent financier and a respected entrepreneur.[15] He founded the music sharing site Limewire, and he runs Tower Research Capital LLC,[16] a high-frequency trading firm and is involved in various green lifestyle issues especially those having to do with transportation. His believes are, that a "ruthless" secret cabal that assassinated JFK and planned 9/11.[17][18]

Steve Outtrim

Steve Outtrim (born 1973) is a technology entrepreneur from New Zealand.[19] He is best known for his success in the early "dot com years" of the Internet,[20] as the creator of Sausage Software and its flagship product, the HotDog Web Editor.[21] In his podcasts he speaks about: secret societies, satanism, organized child abuse, interest of the rich and powerful into the occult and many related matters.[22] He also is taking up information from the Q Anon movement.

Every US President up to Eisenhower

The conspiracy theory researcher Michael Butter claimed in 2017 (Butter is part of an academic research area where conspiracy theories are more or less classified as mental problems) that "Every American President, from George Washington to Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a conspiracy theorist"..."What is more unusual is that over the last twenty years, conspiracy theorists haven’t held power in Germany, France or the US."[23]

Corruption in government

A 2014 study from Princeton concluded that the U.S. government represents not the interests of the majority of citizens but those of the rich and powerful.

"The picture changes markedly when all three independent variables are included in the multivariate Model 4 and are tested against each other. The estimated impact of average citizens’ preferences drops precipitously, to a non-significant, near-zero level. Clearly the median citizen or “median voter” at the heart of theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy does not do well when put up against economic elites and organized interest groups. The chief predictions of pure theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy can be decisively rejected. Not only do ordinary citizens not have uniquely substantial power over policy decisions; they have little or no independent influence on policy at all.

By contrast, economic elites are estimated to have a quite substantial, highly significant, independent impact on policy."[24][25]

Eric Zuesse reported about that study on 14th April,[26] 2014 followed by a neutral "just-the-facts" article two days later by UPI.[27] As far as mainstream media reporting goes, this was it at the time according to his assessment. He later observed rebuttals of the study by mainstream media publications that were ignoring it before.[28] These rebuttals and criticism brought back a reply by the scientists involved, published on the Washington Post website. Zuesse notes how this reply was likewise buried in the reporting, only generating two user comments,[29] thus:

"[..] America’s press has covered-up [..] the extreme extent to which the only scientific analysis of whether America is a democracy or instead an aristocracy, had found it to be an aristocracy;"

Elite Deviance

Elite deviance is a term known to sociologists. It is a condition that exists in a society when the elite no longer believes that rules apply to them. So people who have enough material wealth, political influence, and personal connections can immunize themselves from consequences of their criminal behavior. Elite deviance protects and perpetuates moral depravity and debased ethical relativism among the wealthy and powerful. It is facilitated by a cadre of supporters, sycophants, apologists, and fellow travelers in media, academia, politics, and high finance.[30][31]

“individuals who commit elite deviance face limited effective deterrents, due to lenient penalties for such actions. The narrow presentation of elite criminality in the news enables the continued perpetration of elite deviance, allowing for the power elite to maintain a hold on the presentation of deviance in society. While the accountability structures seem to be shifting, the ingrained systems of power remain, thus enabling elite deviance to continue, regardless of the potential consequences. Looking to the future, however, a change in public perception of elite deviance appears to be occurring. With unprecedented frequency, high-power individuals are facing public allegations of crimes, as well as, incarceration, rather than benefiting from the traditional veil of secrecy and protection that previously surrounded their actions.”
' [32]

This concept has overlap with C. Wright Mills analysis of the The Power Elite.[33]

Jürgen Roth

The German investigative journalist Jürgen Roth[34][35] in an interview said the following:

German Business News: You dedicate a whole chapter to the Bilderbergers. What influence do the Bilderbergers really exert?

Jürgen Roth: Compared to the "round tables" I described, their influence is rather small. What stands out among the Bilderbergers is not so much the secrecy or the strict isolation in luxury enclaves, but who the initiators are. They are US banks and US corporations, as well as the Deutsche Bank. At its core, it is a kind of neoliberal think tank, whose members sometimes have a rather obscure biography. And they try, with more or less great success, to win over politicians who are well-disposed towards them and their goals. These in turn feel flattered when they are invited. And it is particularly revealing that only representatives of neo-liberalism are invited. Critics of capitalism will not be found there.

German Business News: Where is the line between real power and conspiracy theory? You criticize the network of the "Round Tables". What is behind it?

Jürgen Roth: There is no conspiracy theory, only the conspiracy of a small, exclusive, European, economic and political elite against the social and democratic state. Their goal is clearly an ideological revolution, the widespread implementation of a free, untamed market economy. Ulisses Garrido, the former Portuguese trade union leader and current director of the Education Department of the European Trade Union Confederation, is far from any conspiracy theory. He explained it to me like this: "What is to be achieved is a complete change in society, without the population having any say in the matter. It is undoubtedly a silent coup."


Jürgen Roth: The purpose of this silent coup is also the privatization of all state enterprises, or state or municipal real estate. The Deutsche Bank demands this particularly strongly. Companies are sold off at a ridiculous price, often to the favoured of the ruling political system. Vital areas such as education, health and social services are privatized, as in Portugal or Greece. What is practiced here is the expropriation of national property. I don't even want to know how much criminally gained capital has been invested in Greece, Spain or Portugal.”
Jürgen Roth,  Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (24.05.2014)  [36]

Peter Lavenda

The following is extracted from Peter Lavenda's Prologue to The Most Dangerous Book in the World: 9/11 as Mass Ritual a 2012 book by SK Bain. [37] To the extent that the terms "Conspiracy Theorist" and "conspiracy theory" have acquired a validity distinct from both their original dictionary definitions and the pejorative usage outlined above, this extract nails it:

“They have one foot in the world of mainstream history and culture, what Robert Anton Wilson used to call “consensus reality”. That’s the world where most of us live. We are all products of that world, and of the ideas and worldview it represents. We are trained in this world virtually from birth: school, church, government, media all conspire to present an image - a picture - of reality that will result in the development of perfect citizens in an easily-managed society. There is a social contract:

we contribute to this society with the expectation that we will receive goods and services in return. We obey the laws that are created by other people, believing that our best interests are being addressed thereby. We fight in wars declared by our governments in order to preserve our society - this carefully-structured, albeit artificial, society.

And all is right with the world.
But conspiracy theorists have their other foot ... well, somewhere else. Not everyone is asleep to the darker mechanisms of reality. In fact, everyone becomes aware of them at some point in their lives. Everyone questions. The very nature of reality itself is at times so hostile to human life that human institutions must be challenged for their inadequate protection of their constituents. Conspiracy theorists seize on this inadequacy as evidence of the tenuousness of consensus reality. There are other forces at work, forces that are unacknowledged by the state, the church, the media because to admit their existence is to admit failure. Thus, when things go wrong, terrorists are blamed, or communists, or witches. This serves to rally the citizens around the government once again, instead of stopping to insist that explanations be given, that evidence is properly analyzed, that the guilty are apprehended and punished. And we once more go to war, against … someone, somewhere.

Paranoia becomes institutionalized. It is appropriated by the government as its own prerogative. The state determines the nature and quality of the paranoia: it creates intelligence agencies whose sole purpose is to give a form to paranoia, to enshrine paranoia as one of the necessary qualities of an observant and caring state. To prove that paranoia is an acceptable characteristic of the paternalistic regime.

The citizens are not allowed to become paranoid unless it is at government direction and sanction. Individual cases of paranoia are frowned upon. The state tells us that if we are not paranoid the way it is paranoid—and about the same things—it’s because we don’t have all the facts: about "terrorism", fundamentalism, communism, foreign countries, weapons of mass destruction, sleeper cells. The state has all the facts: classified documents, wire-tap transcripts, intelligence feeds, high-altitude reconnaissance images, none of which the citizen is permitted to see.

It does not realise that the logical conclusion of all this paranoia is suspicion of the state apparatus itself.
What the conspiracy theorist often fails to realise, however, is that those working for the state are often just as clueless as the average citizen when it comes to the origin and function of the forces at work to subvert it. The strength of a conspiracy, after all, rests in the limited number of persons who are aware of its existence and parameters. No one has the entire picture. Each member of the state apparatus only has possession of a single piece of an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Putting together all these disparate pieces—particularly when one does not have the original picture to work from—is a soul-destroying enterprise that consumes decades of work and years of one’s life. This is especially true when the state has in its arsenal of lies the techniques of disinformation and misdirection, of false testimony and planted documents.

Anyone who works with this material eventually comes to that realisation. But the motivation to keep digging is still alive; the urge to uncover one more piece of the puzzle, one more document, is perhaps a central characteristic not only of the conspiracy theorist but of human nature itself. The more intelligent of the theorists soon come to realize that Hansel and Gretel have left breadcrumbs everywhere, in no discernible pattern. Thus, the inclination among some of the best to stop looking for the children and start looking for the Witch.

The deeper one delves into the conspiracy literature, the more one is struck by the tendency of some theorists to look beyond the documents and the tangible evidence of government malfeasance or political conspiracy to more transcendental sources of power. One begins with the government agents, the spies, the politicians, the military, and soon gravitates towards the secret societies: the Freemasons and the Illuminati (among so many others). This involves studying their texts, their social structures, their stated goals, their secret conclaves, their antinomian beliefs and practices.”


An example

Page nameBornDiedNationalitySummaryDescription
Tupper Saussy3 July 193616 March 2007Songwriter
"Conspiracy theorist"


Related Quotation

John Young“Well, conspiracy theory was invented by the spies. No one does more more conspiracy theory than spies do. The national security apparatus cooks up conspiracy theories all the time, but they put out this story that is just conspiracy theory, as though it's contemptible. But in fact, they're the ones who cook up the threats that are far more complex and bizarre than anything we ordinary people could ever cook up and they get billions to fight it. So they're almost diabolically conspiratorially. So let me call myself a sceptic and I'm willing to learn, welcome criticism. I don't mind these terms of being a dissident, a conspiracy theorist. Those are all throwaway terms. (interview with RT Jan 2, 2011)”John Young


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Countering Criticism of the Warren Reportmemo19 July 1968CIAAn explanation of how the phrase "conspiracy theory" its modern meanings, when used by commercially-controlled media - instructions on undercutting criticism of the JFK assassination official narrative by smearing anyone who suggests that Oswald may not have been a "lone nut" as the report claimed.


Official examples

Gary Allen2 August 193629 November 1986USAuthor
Mae Brussell29 May 19223 October 1988ResearcherA renowned researcher and investigative journalist in the field of deep politics.
William Guy Carr2 June 18952 October 1959CanadaAuthor
Michel Chossudovsky1946CanadaJournalist
"Conspiracy theorist"
William Cooper6 May 19436 November 2001USSpook
9-11/Premature death
"Conspiracy theorist"
Announced around 10 weeks before 9/11 that "Whatever they're going to blame on Usama bin Laden - don't you believe it...They will soon do something outlandish to gain the support of the Sheeple". He was killed by the US Marshals Service less than two months after the event.
Liz CrokinUSJournalist
James DiEugenioAuthor
A JFK assassination researcher
Walter E. Fauntroy6 February 1933Activist
Jim Garrison20 November 192121 October 1992USLawyer
G. Edward Griffin7 November 1931USAuthor
Robert J. Groden22 November 1945Researcher
Anthony HallCanadaAuthor
Anthony John HillActivist
Daniel HopsickerAuthor
Ffilm producer, director and investigative journalist whose primary focus is the illegal drug trade by the establishment.
Alex Jones11 February 1974Spook
Radio host
Isaac Kappy17 February 197713 May 2019USAuthor
VIPaedophile/Premature death
An actor who died aged 42 after accusing former Hollywood friends of paedophilia.
Mark Lane24 February 192710 May 2016USAuthor
Early researcher into the JFK Assassination whose worked helped to prompt the CIA's coining of the phrase "Conspiracy theorist".
Henry MakowCanadaAuthor"Conspiracy theorist" and the inventor of the boardgame Scruples.
Jim Marrs5 December 19432 August 2017Author
Eustace Mullins9 March 19232 February 2010USAuthor
Cathy O'Brien4 December 1957USAuthor
Carl Oglesby30 July 193513 September 2011Researcher
James Perloff1951Author
Michael Collins Piper16 July 1960May 2015Author
JFK/Assassination/Premature death
JFK Assassination researcher who died at 54 of "natural causes".
Paul Craig Roberts3 April 1939USJournalist
A former US establishment insider who became an independent journalist
Sherman Skolnick13 July 193021 May 2006Author
Kurt Sonnenfeld18 December 19629-11/WhistleblowersOne of four FEMA photographers who were given exclusive access to Ground Zero following the September 11 Attacks in New York in 2001. After gradually coming to doubt the official narrative, his residence was raided and he was charged with murder, a charge at first dismissed but later brought back. By this time, he had been granted refugee status in Argentina.
Max Spiers22 December 197616 July 2016ResearcherUFO researcher who died suddenly in unclear circumstances.
Webster TarpleySeptember 1946USHistorian
Hunter S. Thompson18 July 193720 February 2005Author
9-11/Premature death
A prominent writer, openly critical of the US government. While writing an expose of 9/11 when he was found dead.
James Tracy1965USAcademic
Jesse VenturaPolitician
Joe Vialls194417 July 2005Researcher
An internet journalist who cricitised commercially controlled media, and suffered a premature death,


  1. The Corruption of Covert Actions by Ramsey Clark
  2. CAQ-65 (1998:2) page 7 - CovertAction Quarterly
  3. https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/conspiracy.html
  4. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41223.pdf
  5. https://www.unodc.org/e4j/en/organized-crime/module-2/key-issues/conspiracy.html
  6. https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/quick-facts/Bribery_FY17.pdf
  7. https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/file/1245236/download
  8. https://www.ussc.gov/research/data-reports/geography/2019-federal-sentencing-statistics
  9. https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/white-collar-crime/news
  10. https://www.justice.gov/usao/pressreleases?keys=conspiracy&items_per_page=50
  11. http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/papal_encyclicals.html
  12. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-24442313
  13. http://archive.today/2020.09.17-012828/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMotykw0SIk
  14. Money as an Instrument of Change (starting min 10:00) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMotykw0SIk
  15. http://archive.today/2020.09.18-013314/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Gorton
  16. http://archive.today/2020.09.18-014312/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Research
  17. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/business/media/24limewire.html?pagewanted=all
  18. http://archive.today/2020.09.18-013314/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Gorton
  19. http://archive.today/2019.03.15-053113/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Outtrim
  20. CryptoBeast #3 - My Story December 22, 2017
  21. http://archive.today/2020.09.18-015836/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sausage_Software
  22. Steve Outtrim Silicon Valley's Secret Weapon: The Shadow History of Burners Part 1: Silicon Valley (playlist parts 1-7)
  23. https://www.ips-journal.eu/in-focus/conspiracy-theories/article/show/who-really-rules-the-world-2033/ saved at Archive.org saved at Archive.is
  24. http://archive.today/2020.10.13-230451/https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/div-classtitletesting-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizensdiv/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B/core-reader
  25. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B
  26. http://archive.today/2015.04.07-033330/http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/04/14/us-oligarchy-not-democracy-says-scientific-study
  27. https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/04/16/The-US-is-not-a-democracy-but-an-oligarchy-study-concludes/2761397680051/ saved at Archive.org saved at Archive.is
  28. https://countercurrents.org/2017/03/aristocracy-deceives-public-about-the-deep-state saved at Archive.is
  29. http://archive.today/2018.04.02-063643/https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/05/23/critics-challenge-our-portrait-of-americas-political-inequality-heres-5-ways-they-are-wrong/
  30. https://www.amazon.de/Elite-Deviance-David-R-Simon/dp/0205216285
  31. https://www.powells.com/book/elite-deviance-9780205571956 saved at Archive.org saved at Archive.is
  32. Elite Deviance http://archive.today/2020.09.30-010345/https://haenfler.sites.grinnell.edu/elite-deviance-and-white-collar-crime/
  33. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/wicked-deeds/201708/beware-the-power-elite-in-society-0 saved at Archive.is
  34. http://archive.today/2020.10.19-162245/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%BCrgen_Roth
  35. http://archive.today/2020.10.19-162414/https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%BCrgen_Roth_(Publizist)
  36. Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten
  37. The Most Dangerous Book in the World: 9/11 as Mass Ritual by SK Bain. Trine Day Books ISBN 9781937584177