Conspiracy Theories

The Great Seal on reverse side of U.S. one-dollar bill
The Great Seal on reverse side of U.S. one-dollar bill
January 22, 2017
(was 04.03.2016)

Do you believe that the government is keeping secrets from us? That the military is hiding evidence of alien visitations? Maybe you have a hard line to the truth -- or maybe you're a sucker for conspiracy theories. Today, we explore why we love conspiracy theories and why we believe them.

  1. The United States of Paranoia

    Conspiracy theories are like mushrooms. They pop up everywhere -- from celebrity Twitter feeds to the campaign trail. They can be crazy, hilarious, and weirdly convincing. But even the most wacko conspiracy theories are worth taking serious. To explain why, here's Steve Paulson talking with Jesse Walker, author of "The United States of Paranoia."

    Average: 4.1 (7 votes)
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  2. Suspicious Minds

    There's a short story about a guy who's so afraid of other people reading his mind that he wears a tin foil hat to protect his thoughts. The tin foil part is crazy, but protecting your mind is maybe not such a bad idea. Academic psychologist Rob Brotherton says there are certain psychological traits that predispose people to believe in conspiracy theories. For example, there's an experiment done by a group of psychologists in Amsterdam. It involves a group of subjects and a messy desk.


    Average: 4.2 (6 votes)
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  3. Hip-Hop and the Illuminati

    Rob Brotherton talks about the weird references to the Illuminati that turn up in certain hip-hop songs. Is it a conspiracy?

    Average: 3.8 (5 votes)
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  4. UFO Conspiracy Theories

    Some of the most famous conspiracy theories involve aliens and UFOs. Remember the Roswell incident? An Air Force surveillance balloon crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, back in 1947. Some people claimed it was actually an extraterrestrial spaceship. By the late 70s, thousands of people believed that all kinds of flying saucers had landed and that the U.S. military was holding actual aliens.  So what's with our obsession with UFO conspiracies. David G. Robertson is the guy to ask.  He's the author of "UFOs, Conspiracy Theories, and the New Age." He spoke with Rehman Tungekar.

    Average: 4.3 (7 votes)
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  5. Art, Conspiracy, and Mark Lombardi

    In March of 2000, the conceptual artist Mark Lombardi was found hanged in his studio. In the art world, speculation swirled about whether his death was suicide or murder? Why would anyone want to murder Lombardi? Maybe because his intricate drawings revealed connections between George W. Bush and the bin Laden family, as well as other connections between banking, organized crime and intelligence agencies. Patricia Goldstone is the author of "Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi." She talks about Lombardi's work and the mystery behind his death.

    Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
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