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Conspiracy theories

I see that the Bilderberg Group is meeting in Watford today. (Seriously, Watford? If I secretly ruled the world, I certainly wouldn't hold meetings in Watford.) Of course this group is one of the most popular targets for conspiracy theorist nutters.

However, if there are lots and lots of conspiracy theories, each with only a small probability of being true, that might still mean that one or two of them are likely to be true. So, what follows is a poll. Which of these popular conspiracy theories do you think might have a grain of truth behind them?


Poll #1917658 Conspiracy theories - might some be true?

Which (if any) of the following conspiracy theories might have some truth to them?

LBJ or the 'Military / Industrial Complex' was somehow behind the JFK assassination
4(5.6%)
The Bilderberg Group is working to bring about a 'New World Order' (possibly in conjunction with the Illuminati).
1(1.4%)
Churchill knew the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbour but didn't tell the Americans because he wanted them to enter WW2.
4(5.6%)
FDR knew the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbour but did nothing because he wanted the US to enter WW2.
4(5.6%)
Senior Labour and TUC figures in the 1970s were Soviet spies.
9(12.5%)
Christian churches downplayed the role of women in the early church (especially Mary Magdalene who may have been Jesus's wife) to further their patriarchal policies.
12(16.7%)
Senior members of the Bush administration knew about 9/11, but did nothing because they wanted an excuse for military intervention in Afghanistan.
0(0.0%)
Bush and Blair lied about Iraq having access to 'weapons of mass destruction' as an excuse for military intervention.
8(11.1%)
Oil was the reason for both US / UK interventions in Iraq, not Saddam Hussein.
12(16.7%)
The Obama administration engineered the Newtown, Connecticut shootings to gain support for gun control.
0(0.0%)
The Russian Secret Service was behind the 1999 Moscow bombings as a pretence for the Second Chechen War.
2(2.8%)
Richard Nixon sabotaged the Vietnam peace process shortly before the 1968 presidential election, to discredit the Democrat administration..
2(2.8%)
Yuri Gagarin wasn't the first Cosmonaut, just the first one to survive.
4(5.6%)
The CIA is involved with the narcotics trade, possibly to keep down the urban black population.
8(11.1%)
Iraq weapons inspector Dr David Kelly didn't really commit suicide, but was murdered by MI5/SIS/CIA etc
2(2.8%)

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
steer
Jun. 6th, 2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
Lest I appear a lunatic, I feel sure the CIA drug trafficking isn't "they dole out drugs to keep the people oppressed" but instead things like the Iran-Contra affair and MK Ultra both of which are now "open" (ish). I am sure there are more occasions where they have been involved with drug trafficking inadvertently as part of other operations -- although probably nothing so lunatic as those two blasts from the past.


For the labour/TUC spy thing I don't have a specific person in mind but there's enough of this kind of story around:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/5200809/Former-KGB-colonel-says-he-paid-late-union-leader-Jack-Jones-200-for-information.html
that I guess at least one of them is true -- perhaps not an actual MP or TUC leader but someone moderately senior. It is clear the KGB did try to offer money to such senior figures. Balance of probabilities seems to be that at some point they probably succeeded.

Edited at 2013-06-06 05:06 pm (UTC)
steer
Jun. 6th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Oh and I think the Blair/Bush weapons of mass destruction is probably somewhere between "lie" and "wishful thinking" -- I believe they were completely convinced Sadaam was much more tooled up than he really was. I believe they exaggerated that threat further and were caught out ridiculously when it was found out that they were exaggerating exaggerations.
steer
Jun. 6th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
You missed out "MiBs may surround your house as a result of answers given in this poll."
ford_prefect42
Jun. 7th, 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
I answered yes to almost all of them. Mainly because when you use terms like "might have some truth to them", there's not much scientific reason to say "no". So the question gets to be one of probability. For instance, that Gagarin was only the first cosmonaut to survive is *very* probable. That the CIA was involved in drug trafficking is established fact, therefore it wouldn't be surprising if it still is. However, that their motivation would be controlling the AA population is wildly improbable.
bart_calendar
Jun. 7th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
The CIA is certainly involved in the narcotics trade, though I doubt there is any racism involved. They just need a way to funnel money into off the books operations and their basic skill set plus diplomatic immunity means that running drugs is the most effective way to do so.
steer
Jun. 8th, 2013 08:59 am (UTC)
Do you think running drugs is that profitable? I got the impression from elsewhere that actually, per employee it's actually pretty low profit -- the average worker does not make much. The impression that selling drugs is profitable comes from looking at the top of the chain -- a bit like thinking that working in a coffee shop was high-paying because the CEO of starbucks is wealthy. (See the essay "Why do drug dealers live with their moms?" in Freakonomics). If their motive was profit then a chain of dry cleaners (say) might be a better idea than narcotics.

Though I guess if the suggestion is that they blackmail high-level drug dealers for profit then that's a different thing.
bart_calendar
Jun. 8th, 2013 09:50 am (UTC)
I think producing large quantities of heroin in Afghanistan and moving it into the country on military planes is profitable.
steer
Jun. 9th, 2013 10:51 am (UTC)
An excellent point well made -- I was referring only to street level trading.
wellinghall
Jun. 7th, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
"Which (if any) of the following conspiracy theories might have some truth to them?" looks (to me) like a slightly different question from "Which of these popular conspiracy theories do you think might have a grain of truth behind them?"
philmophlegm
Jun. 7th, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
Yes, true. That's probably deliberate. Blame it on the orbiting mind control lasers.
wellinghall
Jun. 7th, 2013 01:21 pm (UTC)
"Of course this group is one of the most popular targets for conspiracy theorist nutters."

I first tried to read that as, "Of course, the group of people reading this LJ is one of ... " ;-)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )