Do you ever wonder why some conspiracy theories, no matter how retarded they sound, seem to never die? Where do these things come from, anyway?
Well, it turns out that politicians have realized that in the Internet age, a good conspiracy theory can work wonders. So why not just start one? You know, like...
#5. Barack Obama's Citizenship
Barack Obama isn't a natural born citizen of the United States and so legally cannot be president. He wasn't actually born in Hawaii and the Government is concealing this fact by refusing to release his Birth Certificate (or releasing a forgery).
Who's to Blame:
World Net Daily.
This one started spreading through chain e-mails during the recent Democratic primaries, when office workers the world over were reading about how Barack Obama couldn't be president (in-between learning how to increase the size of their penis for pennies a day). For some strange reason nobody seemed very concerned about his citizenship when he was a mere Senator, but that was probably just an oversight on the part of the rigorous journalists and fact-checkers who create chain e-mails.
What are you pointing to? Space? Are you secretly from space, Barack Obama?!?
However, it wasn't until the idea escaped the confines of the Internet and forced its way into the mainstream media that it truly emerged as a full blown conspiracy theory. This was in large part thanks to WorldNetDaily, an ultraconservative news site that was the first major media outlet to report the idea. After that, WND columnists brought the theory to radio talk shows, and then it spread to FOX News and other TV outlets, snowballing from a series of e-mails into a national talking point.
So, Why do People "Believe" It?
Despite the overwhelming physical evidence (the Obama campaign did in fact produce a copy of his birth certificate, and others even dug up the local Hawaiian newspaper from 1961 that has the Obama family birth announcement), it was promoted quite heavily by some Conservative commentators right up to Election Day and lives on in places like the Free Republic forums to this very day.
After all, you already had a guy with a foreign-sounding name, so what better way to influence a Presidential election than by suggesting the candidate is about as American as borscht?
Now that Obama has been elected and the Supreme Court has shot down legal challenges regarding his citizenship multiple times, the vast majority of political commentators quickly let this one die. A few committed critics of Obama still cling to it, though.
After all, conspiracy theories never really die, they just wait for people to forget the evidence against it and bring it up later (hell, they've kept the JFK assassination conspiracy theory alive for 46 years). Right up until the day Obama leaves office, there will be a pocket of those who hold out hope that one day a birth certificate will emerge that shows Obama was born in the mountains of Pakistan from the womb of Satan, and then he'll be forced to flee the White House, revealed to the world as the gay communist Islamofascist terrorist they've always known him to be.
#4. The "Clinton Body Count"
While Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, with the help of Hillary, was involved in a cocaine smuggling operation and that he's had upwards of 60 people assassinated for threatening to reveal his secrets or for just generally annoying him.
Who's to Blame:
Richard Scaife, a billionaire who really, really hated Bill Clinton.
Scaife was really unhappy about Bill Clinton being president. And not in the "I'll voice my displeasure with his administration with a rant in the comments section of this YouTube video about kittens" way. He preferred the "I'll invest millions of my dollars in a campaign to discredit him" method.
"This is the best possible way I can spend my money!"
So Scaife created the Arkansas Project, which ran a series of investigations designed to damage and ultimately end Clinton's presidency. A lot of what they looked into was legitimate, or at least believable: shady real estate deals, Bill's raging libido, and so on. And then, there was the suicide of Vince Foster, and they took the project to a new, crazy level.
Vince Foster was the White House Counsel (legal guy) who turned up dead. Three separate investigations ruled it a suicide, but members of the Arkansas Project produced a 1994 film that suggested, with the help of sinister music and shadowy witnesses, the Clintons were responsible for the murder of Foster and many more, killing anyone who was getting too close to their secret, drug-fueled past.
Well he certainly looks like a Soprano in this picture...
So, Why Do People "Believe" It?
Vince Foster's death became a huge talking point in Republican circles, fueling speculation about Clinton abusing his power. More importantly, it got people talking about the legitimate, non-fake scandals Foster was connected to, which ended up damaging the Clintons' image. And once something works in politics, you don't drop it until your dying breath. Or until the election is over.
A number of people involved in the Arkansas Project would eventually admit they thought the Foster thing was bullshit, and Scaife himself would later endorse Hilary Clinton for president, which suggests that either he agreed that the whole theory was retarded, or he had no problems with a mass murderer running the country.
#3. The Jews Secretly Run the World
All of the "big" conspiracy theories, the ones that claim shady organizations secretly run the world, all seem to blame the Jews at some point (often this is coded into "international bankers").
Who's to Blame:
A Russian book called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.This is supposedly a book written by a secret cabal of Jews that details how Jewish people will take over the world through trickery and deceit. Also through porn, there are two chapters about that.
The book is a hoax, generally believed to have been fabricated in 1895 by a Russian journalist named Matevi Golovinski. In an act of outstanding journalistic integrity, he wrote a fictional ancient document by plagiarizing a satirical work that criticized Napoleon III. All Golovinski really did was replace Napoleon with Jews and called it a day, making him the laziest anti-Semite in the history of the world.
This one has been proven to be a forgery and a hoax many times over, and there's also the fact that anyone who is serious about conquering the world probably wouldn't write their plan out and make sure it was widely distributed. In fact, it's been known that the book is a fake since 1905, after an investigation was ordered by the Russian government.
But don't tell the conspiracy sites, Neo-Nazis and the world's angrier Muslims who still quote it as their key piece of evidence against the Jewish conspiracy. To them, that shit is as sacred as The Torah.
So, Why Do People "Believe" It?
Remember when we said that conspiracy theories never really die? Well it's even truer when they involve the Jews, who have been persecuted pretty much everywhere they've lived since, we don't know. Abraham?
And these days there's this little Jewish state called Israel that isn't on the best of terms with some of its neighbors. Well, the book was the perfect piece of propaganda and soon after Israel was established surrounding governments started cranking out copies. It's a best seller in Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia teaches it as fact in their schools, and organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah give away large numbers of copies.
Strangely enough the book is also very popular in Japan, but in that translation the Jews are all 12-year-old schoolgirls that pilot kosher robots, so it's difficult to make any comparisons.