4 Insane (but Convincing) Celebrity Conspiracy Theories
Time and time again, people who garner a modicum of fame have found out that their lives are suddenly open to all sorts of speculation. From the urban legend about Richard Gere's butt hamster to the temporally challenged theory that Beyonce (33 years of age) is actually the mother of her kid sister, Solange (28), pretty much every celebrity at some point winds up as the centerpiece of some lunatic's pet theory. It's just part of the game.
Most famous folks brush these urban legends and conspiracy theories off or, if absolutely necessary, begrudgingly address them for a tenth of a second to debunk them as crazy. As good of an approach as this tactic of ignoring clear maniacs may be, as a comedy writer I've always been bugged by it. Insane individuals are bombarding these people with the kind of stories no sane screenwriter would ever come up with, and everyone's just ignoring it all. Think of the skull-fuckingly awesome movies we might wind up with if Hollywood grew a pair and adapted some of the weirdest legends out there.
For instance, have you heard the one where ...
"J.K. Rowling Does Not Exist"
Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches story, and it's hard to find one that seems to fit the mold better than that of J.K. Rowling. She emerged from the same ratty corner table at the coffee shop where most aspiring authors spend countless hours staring at the screen and consuming overpriced lattes, rapidly ascending through the publisher's priority lists until, seemingly overnight, she decame the kind of all-encompassing media presence that is almost unheard of. It's the ultimate dream of any writer, a life almost too good to be true.
According to one particularly inspired conspiracy theory, this must, of course, mean that it isn't. In fact, the theory goes that Rowling doesn't exist at all -- she's merely an actress, a paid front for a host of shadowy writers who are actually responsible for all things Harry Potter.
Here's the one who forgot that the Time Turner exists.
Of course, this is almost certainly a heaping load of crock. The theory is more or less posited by just one crazy and/or attention-seeking person, and it doesn't seem to have too many proponents. However, combine it with all the other creepy-ass theories about Master Potter and his magical universe, and a web of strange, bugfuck-insane imagery starts to form itself. There is no shortage of pothead Potter theories out there; some say Rowling is in fact a "squib" (a Potterverse muggle that is nevertheless aware of magical happenings) and merely documents the true struggles of the magical world in a "the decades-long battle between the Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort caused all tumultuous events from Vietnam and Korean War" kind of way. Others make various tin-foil wrapped claims that Rowling's (or should we say "Rowling's"?) books contain more secrets and arcane information than the goddamn Necronomicon.
"How can Harry Potter be fake when quidditch is real? Take that, people who call me insane!"
Put all those ingredients in a pot, stir, and watch as the ingredients slowly stew into the most awesome conspiracy thriller ever made: actress Joanna Protagonist gets a Trevor Slattery-style gig portraying a larger-than-life character for the masses in exchange for a life of luxury. However, soon she starts getting suspicious about the strange events surrounding her. As she starts to investigate, she stumbles her way behind the smoke and mirrors of the Potter Empire, only to find that not only are the books "she" wrote produced by a whole host of goblin-like ghost writers but the events they describe are actually real.
And that's when the Dementors arrive.
"Tom Cruise Holds Babymaker Auditions"
Did Tom Cruise hold auditions for the role of his future wife? This I do not know. To be honest, I don't even care. Tons and tons and tons and tons of news outlets certainly seem to think so, which seems to lend credibility to the theory unless you've paid attention to Cracked's investigations, which reveal that a massive chunk of such unbelievable news stories are complete and utter horseshit. The healthy amount of suspicion I have about this thing is not exactly removed by the fact that Cruise allegedly auditioned Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba, yet gave the role to Katie Holmes.
"All right, ladies, the role goes to the one that best avoids looking him directly in the eye and keeps him away from Oprah."
Then again, who am I to comment on Cruise's habits and tastes? The man buys into a religion thought up by a sci-fi writer and the monetary value of his single fart is my entire financial worth, likely many times over. Chances are, he is so far removed from normal thought processes, he might as well live on a completely different planet.
"Cease asking questions, human journalists, or I shall blast you with my Thetan meltray."
Of course, Holmes eventually divorced her diminutive couch-enthusiast of a husband. Why was this? Was it just your average Hollywood relationship implosion? Were the Scientology antics finally too much? Did she find out what Cruise really does to look that young, only to recoil in primal horror and run away forever and ever?
For the purposes of the movie pitch I'm just making up, let's say it was none of those things. Instead, she was pulled away because her mission was over. In this scenario, Holmes is really an undercover detective whose mission is to infiltrate the Church of Scientology to find out what's really going on behind the closed doors (spoiler: shenanigans). Her bosses have no idea on how to get in, but the crafty Katie -- who is a tough but fair cop, just like one of the guys -- finds out about the auditions. Barely dodging the Travolta audition, because ewwwwww, she manages to worm her way into the Cruise one, and goes Miss FBI on that shit. Add in plenty of creepy interactions with famous people, and a neat plot twist in the end. There are lots of ways this could go: maybe Cruise would be a villain, maybe he was undercover too. Maybe the whole Church of Scientology is really another Harry Potter thing, attempting to mask its battles with Voldemort with all that creepy Thetan level stuff and other practices that ensure no one unsuitable would willingly come knocking on their gates. Really, all bets are off. Feel free to grab the idea, Hollywood; this one's on me.
You're probably going to have to change a shitload of names, though.
"Lady Gaga Has a Dong"
Oh, you know this one. The whole Stefani Germanotta has a penis thing has been debunked innumerable times, and is such a well-known urban legend that I dropped it as an easy go-to example of stupid things people believe about celebrities in the intro of my previous article about such matters. It is a strangely intriguing idea that seems to fit her outlandish public persona, though, to the point where Gaga herself has played with the idea.
The truly tragic thing here is that she makes a better man than most Cracked columnists can ever hope to.
The tin-foil hat theories usually label Gaga as a hermaphrodite, but let's face it: for the purposes of a movie, she'd totally be turned into a straight-up dude in drag. Ours is a scared and sorry culture that can't even make a superhero movie with a female lead if our life depended on it, so I'm guessing the entirety of Hollywood would probably choke on a brick of terror-vomit at the very mention of the idea of having a genitally ambiguous protagonist. That's why this particular theory-movie would probably wind up being about Dick Keypunch, a dangerous-yet-noble ex-con who helped take down a cartel of ruthless criminals and, as a result, is placed in protective custody and has to take up the identity of a female superstar who dresses like Elton John, because that's the only alias the government's Secret Identity Warehouse has left or whatever.
Everything goes smoothly, until the last remaining hitmen of the cartel track down and kill his cousin. Dick must now hunt these dangerous criminals and avenge Cousin Don, all the while maintaining his cover via a series of increasingly wacky tours, costumes, and outrageous antics.
Finally, he tracks the killers down and makes them all wear this. (His sidekick is a tiger.)
"Tons of Celebrities Are Brainwashed Secret Agents"
There is a certain type of person who needs to believe all (or most) celebrities are part of a giant conspiracy, presumably because that's the only way these people are able to rationalize why they aren't rich and famous. Their methods vary according to their level of crazy: some say all celebrities are part of the Illuminati, others suspect they're a race of villainous lizard people, and the most advanced maniacs just straight-up claim that famous people are demons.
My personal favorites of all these "wake-up, sheeple" theories are without fail the ones where the tin-foil person in question makes a giant, sprawling attempt to anchor the madness in historical facts. Take Project MKUltra, a vast and infamous CIA mind-control program and proud Cracked alumnus. MKUltra was one of the many "What the fuck, science?" themed projects that made the '50s and '60s such an interesting era, and a major target among conspiracy theorists (what with being an actual government conspiracy and all). LSD, electric shocks, hypnosis, rampant patient abuse ... MKUltra had it all.
Now, here's where what history knows and what asshats believe differs: although by all accounts MKUltra was largely unsuccessful and basically amounted to an excuse to fuck around with drugs for a few decades, there is an element of shadiness (most of the project documents were destroyed by the CIA) that is fertile ground for tin foil to grow. Although the program was evidently shut down in the 1970s and subjected to a cavalcade of Congressional hearings, many conspiracy enthusiasts believe that it never truly stopped. At the very least, its many brainwashing technologies (which you won't be surprised to hear work like a dream in their version of events) have been pilfered by a number of shady institutions, who apparently use their mind-control powers to go Manchurian Candidate on a bunch of famous peoples' asses. The number of these nefarious organizations and the identities of their puppet celebrities vary according to which of the crazies is screaming loudest, but for those interested, this crazy-ass blog has a fairly comprehensive and oddly specific list.
One popular theory is that the celebrity blond du jour is on the president's payroll. It has been pointed out that Britney Spears' career has been strangely in sync with that of George W. Bush. Others (including Jonathan Davis of the band Korn, for some reason) have claimed that Obama is using Miley Cyrus for whatever nefarious purposes you can use a Miley Cyrus. I can't help but feel that this would actually be a bit of a genius move; say what you want about Miley, but damn if the circus surrounding her wouldn't make the best cover for a brainwashed agent since Zoolander.
Mugatu ain't got shit on this.
So: we have a whole bunch of different secretly brainwashed and dangerous celebrities, a number of presumably opposing organizations holding their controls, and, let's be frank, what must be the most absurd, unlikely conspiracy theory in all of existence? What should we do? What plot might we choose, should we for some strange twist of fate be able to turn this ludicrous thing into a movie?
Celebrity Battle Royale, motherfuckers. Come on, be honest: wouldn't you love to see Justin Bieber take on the Jonas Brothers armed with only a playground spade? Or rejoice as the shadow behind Gwyneth Paltrow turns out to be a determined-looking Roseanne Barr holding a giant mallet? Would you not pay cash money to witness Radiohead's Thom Yorke decimating Chris Brown in a no-holds-barred trench-knife battle?
This is not the face of a man who loses knife fights.
Dear Hollywood and/or the shady organizations holding the reins of these poor celebrities: please, please get on this shit. It wouldn't even be all that expensive -- I'm betting the Internet can probably pool together and buy you a nice little battle island.
For more from Pauli, check out 4 Insane Celebrity Conspiracy Theories We Wish Were True and 4 Video Games That Desperately Need a Movie Adaptation.
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