Controversial Conspiracy Theories

Terry Mansfield

Within any given society, there will be a variety of conspiracy theories circulating about different events and happenings. And when we don't have answers, we often fill the void with conspiracy theories.
Screenshot from YouTube documentary: 9/11: Conspiracy Theories & The Unanswered QuestionsYouTube video. Used under Fair Use Provision of Copyright Law.


In this article, we'll explore the most controversial conspiracy theories. Some of these theories may be more popular than others and more widely accepted by the public. But are these theories based on truth?

The Most Controversial Conspiracy Theories

The JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theory

President John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963, is one of the most controversial and debated events in American history. For many people, the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone is impossible to believe. There are several theories about who was behind the assassination. Still, the most popular one is that it was a conspiracy involving the CIA, the Mafia, or both.

There is certainly evidence that there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. The Warren Commission investigated the assassination and found that there were three shots fired. But the Commission could not determine where the shots came from. Oswald could only fire two shots from his rifle in the time available. Hence, his being the lone gunman seems highly unlikely. Furthermore, numerous witnesses reported hearing shots coming from different directions, indicating that there was more than one shooter.

However, no concrete evidence links specific individuals or organizations to the assassination. The Warren Commission did find that there were connections between Oswald and both the CIA and the Mafia. Still, these were never proven to be anything more than coincidences. In addition, many of the supposed eyewitnesses to a second shooter were unreliable or mistaken. As such, while it is possible that Kennedy was killed as part of a conspiracy, no definitive proof exists.

The Moon Landings Conspiracy Theory

Another popular conspiracy theory is that the Apollo moon landings were faked and that NASA staged them to win the Space Race against the Soviet Union. This theory gained traction partly because of claims by former NASA employees that certain aspects of the footage from the moon landing look fake (such as shadows cast by objects at different angles). In addition, some people have pointed out inconsistencies in astronauts' accounts of their moon experiences.

However, there are many reasons why it is implausible that the moon landings were faked. First of all, if NASA had wanted to fake them, they could have easily done so in a way much harder to detect (such as using models instead of filming on location). Second, numerous pieces of evidence supports that humans did land on the moon, such as rocks brought back by astronauts that contain lunar dust. If this was faked, then it would be an incredibly sophisticated hoax. Finally, while some astronauts may have changed their stories over time (possibly due to memory loss), this does not mean they are lying about having been to space. It simply means their memories are not perfect.

The 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

This 9/11 conspiracy theory is one of the most popular and widely accepted ones in the world today. The theory suggests that the United States government was involved in planning and executing the 9/11 attacks. Some believe that the government was aware of the attacks and allowed them to happen to justify the War on Terror. Others think that the government was behind the attacks. However, there is no credible evidence to support this conspiracy theory.

Death of Princess Diana Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theorists believe the royal family was ashamed of the public conversation about Diana and Charles's unhappy marriage and divorce and thus conspired against the princess to have her murdered. One major proponent of this conspiracy theory was the father of Dodi, who died in the car with Diana. He claimed that Diana was carrying Dodi's child, and they planned to marry. But he said the royal family disapproved of their relationship because they didn't want the princess to marry a man of the Islamic faith. In addition, Dodi's father believed there was a list of people who conspired against Diana and Dodi, including Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Diana's sister, and the CIA. No credible evidence exists to support the claims of Dod's father.

Other Controversial Conspiracy Theories

Some other controversial conspiracy theories include:

  • The government is hiding evidence of intelligent life from us.
  • The government uses mind control techniques to keep the population in line.
  • The government is using secret technologies to spy on us.
  • The wealthy elites are covering up a secretly evil agenda.
  • Global warming is a hoax the government created to get us to change our behavior.
  • The pharmaceutical industry suppresses natural cures for cancer and other diseases.
  • The government uses secret technologies to manipulate the weather.
  • The Vatican is covering up a secretly evil agenda.
  • The Freemasons are covering up a secretly evil agenda.
  • The Bilderberg Group is covering up a secretly evil agenda.

Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

Cognitive biases

Cognitive bias occurs when we make judgments about people or events. Everyone has cognitive biases, and they can lead us to believe things that are not true. Different types of cognitive biases exist, but the most common ones are confirmation bias, self-serving bias, and the sunk cost fallacy.

Confirmation bias occurs when we seek information that confirms our beliefs and ignores information that contradicts them. This bias can lead us to believe in conspiracy theories because we are more likely to notice evidence that supports our beliefs and to discount evidence that does not.

Self-serving bias is the tendency to see ourselves positively and blame others for our problems. This bias can lead us to believe in conspiracy theories because we want to think that we are special and that the world is working against us.

The sunk cost fallacy is the tendency to continue investing in something even if it is not working out. That's because we have already invested so much time or money. This bias can lead us to believe in conspiracy theories because we don't want to admit that we were wrong about something.

The Dangers of Conspiracy Theories

They can lead to paranoia and isolation.

There are several dangers associated with believing in conspiracy theories. Perhaps the most significant risk is it can lead to paranoia and isolation. People may withdraw from society and become increasingly suspicious of others whenever they think the world is out to get them. This seriously impacts their mental health and well-being.

They can be used to manipulate and control people.

Another danger of conspiracy theories is that they can be used to manipulate and control people. Suppose someone can convince others that a certain group or organization is behind a conspiratorial plot. In that case, they may be able to use this belief to gain power or influence over them. This could be used for political or financial gain, for example.

They can distract from the real problems in society.

Finally, another danger of conspiracy theories is that they can distract from the real problems in society. Suppose people are obsessing over imaginary plots and conspiracies. In that case, they will not focus on the issues that matter. This could have severe consequences for our ability to solve real-world problems.


The JFK assassination, the moon landings, 9/11, and the death of Princess Diana are some of the most controversial conspiracy theories. There is some evidence that these events were not as they seemed. But a great deal of evidence confirms that things happened as officially reported.

However, people continue to believe in these theories for various reasons. Cognitive biases, the need for control, paranoia, and the taboo appeal play a role in why people believe in conspiracy theories.

While there's nothing wrong with having an open mind, it's essential to be aware of the dangers of conspiracy theories. They can lead to paranoia and isolation, be used to manipulate and control people, and distract from the real problems in society.

If you decide to consider a conspiracy theory, make sure you do your research and know all the facts.


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