Listen, we could tell you that society has a severe problem with obsessing over celebrities. We could also tell you that gossip and rumors will probably never go away because we're just too goddamn fascinated with each other. But instead of doing all that, we'll simply present you with some of the most ridiculous modern conspiracy theories about famous people today because breaking down these theories and learning how they come about might just explain a couple of things.
Also, people thinking LeBron James is some kind of sorcerer is just plain hilarious. Though that would explain how his hairline has magically returned ...
Musicians seem to attract a lot of conspiracy theories in general, especially the kind that sees them reinvent themselves to become other people. Katy Perry is secretly JonBenet Ramsey, Canadian band Klaatu was actually The Beatles, Andrew Wilkes-Krier and Dave Grohl are supposedly the same person, and of course, there's the one where Avril Lavigne died and was replaced by a doppelganger for reasons no one actually knows or care about. The King of Grunge - who himself has a ton of conspiracies surrounding his life and death - has one of these, too. Apparently, some people believe that Kurt Cobain faked his own death and remade himself into Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. If you need to take a second on that, go for it. We understand.
This theory is based mainly on the fact that Weezer likes to play Nirvana covers (apparently a little too well), it's widely known that Cuomo is a big Cobain fan, and the claim that they kind of look like each other.
There are two interesting parts to this theory:
1) Two years before Cobain's death and the end of Nirvana in 1994, Weezer came onto the scene, which means that for two years, their bands co-existed. Believers claim that they never had any overlapping shows, meaning their gigs fit together like puzzle pieces to make people coming up with these theories, like, rock hard. However, this point gets infinitely dumber if you actually go and compare their schedules. There are clear overlaps, guys. Down with the rock-hard boners. Unless we're talking about magical top-secret teleportation methods actually existing, there's no way Cobain could be in Ireland and a club in California at the same time. There are also a couple of overlaps during December of 1993, but who cares when someone already said otherwise. Proof and logic do not a boner make, clearly.
2) Cuomo has had some fun embracing this dumb but also kind of complimentary conspiracy theory. The guy's quirky like that, so it shouldn't be surprising that he played along during a podcast interview by doing his best Cobain impression and pretending like the theory is true. He said how movies about "him" (as Cobain) just never got it right, he talked about how his band moved to L.A., but everyone there was just obsessed about "things called songs and hooks and lyrics," and he joked around about what it would look like if he really was Cobain turned Cuomo.
It's weird when you see it as him playing along with a somewhat insensitive conspiracy theory, hilarious when you listen to him speak about leaving clues and breadcrumbs during his "Nirvana days," and sad when you realize he's just a big ol' superfan paying tribute to a guy he absolutely loved and adored.
All the feels. Let's just listen to the Weezer cover of "Lithium'." You know, the one that made Dave Grohl cry.
Listen, we don't care if you're not into sports; it's all good. But there's one thing you need to understand about this extremely popular pastime for billions of people worldwide: Sports are steeped in traditions and rituals. Some athletes like to pray, chant, or do some kind of choreographed movement before a game to either bring them luck or give them that extra boost and motivation. It's superstitious, in the same way that people think that the world might implode if they don't comment "nice" whenever they see the number 69 or whatever.
Sports celebrities often do some ritualistic act for showmanship because your sport means nothing if you don't have the fans. And fans need to be entertained, lest they flip the channel and watch reruns of The Office instead. Famous basketball player LeBron James has a particular albeit on-off ritual: He throws some talcum powder into the air. Like this:
Commonly referred to as the "chalk toss," James has been doing this pregame ritual for years, frequently taking breaks from it for no apparent reason, really. People seemed to miss the spectacle more than he did, so when he joined the Lakers in 2018, he hinted that he'd be bringing it back, and during a game in Shenzhen, China, he did.
For interest sake, the Nephilim comes from the Hebrew Bible and, while there's uncertainty about the exact translations and interpretations, they are believed to be mysterious "giant" people who lived on Earth before and after Noah and the Great Flood. Some, however, have chosen to believe that they were "superhumans" who were angels at one point, which is where Zilinsky's demon claim comes from because people will believe all kinds of shit.
She also goes on to talk about all the evil "Jewish-Kabbalah wizardry" signs and symbols James and many other celebrities flash, just to make sure her anti-semitism doesn't get lost under her racist belief that Black NBA players are only good because they worship the devil. Oh, and do you know why James's jersey has the number 23 on it? Well, you ignorant fool, Zilinsky says it represents the Witches' Sabbath of June 23, it's connected to the pentagram through astrology somehow, and two divided by three is "6 ... 6 ... 6." Sorry, Zilinksy, it's actually 0.66666666666, but we get it. Numbers are hard and inherently DEMONIC!
But we're sure she'll find a thousand pentagrams hidden in Space Jam, too.
And then she takes this dumb, devil-obsessed conspiracy all the way by suggesting a certain tweet from James shows how he's connected to Pizzagate and the QAnon-favorite global elite pedophile ring ...
... when this is what he actually tweeted:
To be fair, context isn't these people's strong point. Just look at how they treat the Bible.
Celebrity superfans are nothing new. Look anywhere on the web, and you will likely find droves of fan groups with ridiculous names like Swifties and Beliebers and Pine Nuts. Oh, that's what Chris Pine fans call themselves. Brownie points for being somewhat self-aware. Then there's a faction of people who adore the living shit out of Benedict Cumberbatch and call themselves the Cumberbitches -- which is strange because Cumberbuffs and Cumberbabes are right there. Cumberbatch himself has expressed absolute bafflement as to why they would call themselves something he doesn't even want to say out loud. (Bless you, Crumperbumper.)
Listen, it's totally fine to like a celebrity and follow them on social media. Heck, we're big fans of the Cumberbanger, too (he played a freaking dragon, for crying out loud). We'll high five or high tea with him any day of the week. What's batshit, though, is becoming overly obsessive and spreading false and hurtful rumors about his marriage to Sophie Hunter and his children. His fans are everywhere, and while some have a normal adoration for the guy who is able to match Robert Downey Jr. in wit, others have a bizarre and unhealthy obsession with what the man does with his penis. Many of these fans believe that his marriage is fake and refer to Hunter as "The Wife Of." They also claim that Hunter is actually a con artist, blackmailing Cumberbatch into a sham of a marriage. This theory seems to have originated from the fact that people think they're experts in reading body language and expressions, and probably the fact that Americans just aren't used to English people not showing teeth all the time.
Oh, and the kids aren't his, either. They are simply referred to as "pillows."
Cumberbatch himself has addressed this creepy behavior in a Vanity Fair interview, saying: "I think really it's to do with the idea that the internet's boyfriend can't actually belong to anyone else but the internet. It's impossible he belongs to anyone but me. And that's what stalking is. That's what obsessive, deluded, really scary behavior is."
Preach, Cumberslumber. What's really frightening, though, is that not everyone seems to obsess over his marriage simply because they're being horny on main. One advocate of this conspiracy theory says she's trying to show others what a narcissist (Hunter) looks like because she claims to have known many narcissistic women in her life, including both her father and her brother's ex-wives:
"I've had a lot of people reach out to me and say, 'Oh my gosh, because of you bringing all this to our attention and commentary of what we're seeing in these photos, it made me realize that I have that person in my life too.' Or 'I've always felt like I was losing my mind and now I know I'm not.'"
It's clear that the bigger problem here is a deep mistrust of people. Be it people they know or what the media and tabloids tell them about famous people. This mistrust fuels their anger at the world and everyone around them, making them use every little piece of information to fit into their narrative and justify their feelings. That, and the secret thirst for some Cumberlumber.
As strange as it is to say, celebrity death hoaxes are pretty common. What's not that common is celebrity death hoaxes made up by their own fans. Podcaster and Guy Who Wants To Be A Mushroom So Bad He Kind Of Looks Like One Joe Rogan has those exact trolls we mean fans. For the last decade, #RIPJoeRogan has been trending on and off, with fake in memoriam videos of him being uploaded to YouTube by the numbers and used to spam the message boards of his UFC conference live chats. Why? Because this is what people think comedy looks like:
Most of these death hoaxes - of which there are so many that we're surprised it doesn't have its own Wikipedia page - have something to do with Rogan overdosing on either marijuana or psychedelics, just because he advocates for it. It's dumb because we all know that's not how weed or shrooms or DMT work, but this is what you can expect from Rogan fans who have no problem spreading false information, just like he does. This kind of trolling is what they regard as "edgy humor," and if they can fool just one person into thinking Rogan actually died, they can happily jerk off for the rest of the day while listening to him talk about eggs spiked with psychedelics or whatever.
And you just know that the day Rogan actually dies, they'll change their tune to "Joe Rogan Faked His Own Death To Start A Weed Plantation On Mars" or some shit while laughing alone at their own jokes. Comedy's hard, and tough is the life of a message board comedian.
This entry involves cats, which probably makes it the most internet-ty conspiracy theory on this list. It all started seven years ago when a 4chan user shared a Reddit post claiming that countless messages posted to 4chan's/b/message board were the work of one singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. How, do you ask? It apparently involves a user who claimed to be "one of the 50 most famous people on the planet," photos posted resembling the singer, and a user asking people to help name their cat, with someone suggesting Meredith, only for Swift to introduce her new cat Meredith to the world the very next day.
Now pretend for a second that you don't already know this theory is bonkers because of all the bizarre pieced-together conspiracy narratives we've seen over the years; this one's definitely not the worst. Maybe Swifty was feeling lonely and wanted to chat online with a bunch of strangers without them freaking out over who she was. Maybe Kanye told her she should get to know her right-wing fans a little more. Or maybe she was trolling them because it turns out that many pro-Trump Reddit and 4chan users have long believed that Taylor Swift -- who for years kept quiet about politics -- is actually a secret MAGA ally and supporter of former twice-impeached president Donald Trump. So much so that when Swift announced that she planned to vote Democrat in the 2018 midterm election, those users felt a sting of betrayal, declaring that she had "sold out to the Left." Even Trump tweeted that he likes "Taylor's music about 25% less now," which suggests that even he believed she was a big fan of his before the UltraLeft Illumiwhatever got to her.
Of course, it's none of the "maybe this" or "maybe that" theories above, because Swift actually named her cat three days before the kitten-naming contest was posted on 4chan. So, you know, there goes their entire wasted years of believing this nonsense and falling for propaganda, because of course, people used the 'Swift Is A MAGA' belief to their advantage. A neo-Nazi blogger found a meme of Swift with quotes of Hitler and published them on the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer under the headline, "Aryan Goddess Taylor Swift: Nazi Avatar of the White European People." Soon the theory spread among the right-wing folks who claimed that Swift was "our girl" because these people love nothing more than to claim things.
After Swift went public with her political affiliation, they all swore to cast her aside and banish her music from their bubbled existence, forever. Dramatic, we know. But sometimes, people just need a minute to shake it off.
Zanandi tries her very best not to stalk any celebrities on Twitter.
Top image: Joe Rogan Experience, All-Pro Reels/Wikimedia Commons