The US seems to be the home sweet home of conspiracy theories. From Area 51 and Bigfoot sightings to chemtrails, New World Order, Freemasonry, Illuminati, Sandy Hook, “stolen election,” COVID-19 pandemic… Well, we don’t have that much time for naming them all. But you get an idea.

But wouldn’t it be great to look at the minds of people who actually believe the conspiracy theories and see what it is in there that makes them tick? Thanks to a redditor who posed the question “What conspiracy theory do you believe to be true? What evidence led you to this conclusion?”, we are now able to do just that.

Let’s see what exactly made people believe in one conspiracy or another, and don’t forget that the truth, it’s just out there.

#1

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Modern art exists solely for money laundering.
I believe that modern/minimalistic art exists solely for money laundering. It's just a way for rich people to move money around. There's a reason why paintings of plain geometric shapes sell for millions of dollars, and it's not because the buyers are really into shapes

WildlifeAnalysis , Thomas Chung Report

troufaki13
Community Member
2 months ago

This I could totally believe!

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#2

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Women's fake pockets are a marketing ploy.
Women's pants have fake pockets to make us buy purses.

Knightskye02 , Laura Report

ThatOneCrazyFanGirl
Community Member
2 months ago

YES. i have soooo many jeans, but their front pockets are either fake or have the size of a quarter full of room. smh

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#3

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe The US will never publicly fund college because no one would enlist in the military.
The US will never add colleges to public funding like they did high schools because then the enlistment rate for the military would plummet.

Green_Ari , The U.S. Army Report

Jacob Allen
Community Member
2 months ago

Definitely. Same goes for universal healthcare, the US government's first priority is the military; the people who elected them come second. They could use 50% of the military's budget to be the first country to completely eradicate homelessness and drastically improve quality of life for all of us AND still have the almost powerful military in the world but no.

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Conspiracies are covered under a veil of unknown, much like these theories they represent. They appear from seemingly out of nowhere, start surfing around on social media, some become a part of urban legends, while others disappear until new speculations emerge.

To find out how exactly conspiracies work and what goes on inside conspiracy theorists' minds, Bored Panda reached out to Thomas Roulet, a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Theory and the Deputy Director of the MBA Programme at the University of Cambridge. Thomas is also the author of the 2020 book “The Power of Being Divisive: Understanding Negative Social Evaluations” published by Stanford University Press.

When asked a rather broad question on why people believe conspiracies, Thomas said that there are two main mechanisms in charge: “a sensemaking one and an identity one.”

#4

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe All my devices listen in on me. The other day I was arguing with my Dad about some chicken I thought had gone off (it was frozen for about a month so we weren't too sure but my Dad was insistent that it was still edible). Dad decided to ask Google, and low and behold the related searches even from the first letter were: "Is chicken edible after being frozen for a month" and "How long can you freeze chicken before it goes off".

Also, my Mum and I use this tactic where if we need to ring up a company about something and it puts us in a queue, we swear at it. It then puts you on a priority list and you don't have to wait as long. Kinda sketchy on the company's behalf.

anime_lover_420 , kaboompics Report

Darko Pešić
Community Member
2 months ago

I do legit belive in this, for example i was talking with a gf about matracess, and look at that, add on facebook suddenly become an ad for matracess... And no, i didnt google it

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#5

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe That the government uses social media to manipulate, and measure public sentiment and opinion.

Toke_A_sarus_Rex , terimakasih0 Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
2 months ago

This is true for some countries. Britain, Australia, Scotland have prosecuted people with the wrong opinions on social media. China is a few steps ahead, using social media to "ferret" out nonconformists and their friends. They also track Uighurs this way.

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#6

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe The 10-year challenge was used to collect facial recognition data.
The 10-year challenge all over social media is actually a way to record and gather more facial recognition data.

Emdizzle22 , JESHOOTS Report

Bill Cipher
Community Member
2 months ago

That's why I refuse to show my face unless I'm in cosplay on the internet somehow I'm to shy to put my cosplay on and take a couple photos

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“In an increasingly complex world, people want to make sense of their situation and their social environment. Seemingly unconnected events or clues are constructed as a coherent whole in the most successful conspiracy theories.”

Thomas added that “in a world where social connections are numerous but often meaningless (for example, on social media), people want to feel part of a crowd and a group—there is a need to find a tribe and identify with it.” As a result, “Conspiracy theorists have a strong sense of group identity, which made them attractive to those who might feel marginalized or excluded in society,” he explained.

#7

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe I believe that the government probably makes some conspiracy theories to try to make questioning the government seem somewhat crazy.

luke-dies-at-the-end , Nic McPhee Report

Scyth
Community Member
2 months ago

Definitely. Which is why whenever anyone questions the government they get branded as conspiracy theorists, placing them at the same level as flat earth believers or something else ridiculous.

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#8

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Area 51 is not a place for secret government/military testing with aliens and stuff, instead Area 51 is a scapegoat while shady behind the scenes stuff is going on at another military base that the general public doesnt know about.



I mean if you were really going to do something in secrecy, would you do it in the place where everyone thinks it is? Hell no! I dont have any specific evidence to back this up but it makes sense right?

_coyotes_ , Wikimedia Commons Report

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
2 months ago

Not necessarily true this, but CIA does operate in that way. When their ultra-secret A-12 plane (a variant of the famed SR-71 Blackbird) crashed in 1963, CIA went to great lengths to pretend the crash happened elsewhere - including "secret" truck convoys for everyone to see going to the wrong location. Jeremy Krans has a fascinating story on finding the actual crash site which was kept so secret that even the locals barely knew about it.

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#9

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Banks and landowners conspire to manipulate urban land prices. Turn an area into a ghetto by marking it as a high-risk loan proposition, denying loans in the area. Property values plummet on a down-town area because no one can sell, because no one can get a loan. Once things are down enough, you can buy up prime location land at pennies on the dollar then re-develop it into being worth the 'real' market value of such a central location, plus what you invested in the actual development.

00zau , pedro layant Report

Eslamala
Community Member
2 months ago

How is that a conspiracy theory when it's already been proven??

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According to Thomas, “People buy into conspiracy theories are in all parts of society—from the most to the least educated, from the richest to the poorest,” so no particular group of people is safe from believing in conspiracies. It’s because “everybody needs to be able to make sense of their reality, and everybody needs to feel part of a group and socially integrated.”

#10

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe I used to tell people that I believed the government listened to or phone calls. Years later some guy named Snowden proved me right.

Jim3001 , Didgeman Report

Konpat
Community Member
2 months ago

Actually, there was a surveillance program called Echelon which was about to be uncovered. Then 9/11 happened...

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#11

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe I believe the US military went to Afghanistan in order to seize control of the Poppy fields and instead of destroying them they manufactured black tar and other forms of heroin and sent it back to the states. I have several friends that were marines in Afghanistan and they've confirmed these suspicions. The drugs got worse after being in Afghanistan not better or more contained. The USA military is the biggest cartel in the world

FrolicTheCat_YT , Wikimedia Commons Report

Scyth
Community Member
2 months ago

That's a conspiracy theory? It is well known.

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#12

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe The lines on the detergent caps are higher than they should be so you use more detergent for each load of laundry. It's so easy for them to get away with it

Shoemagoo52 , Mr. Brian Report

Ryan-James O'Driscoll
Community Member
2 months ago

It's not a conspiracy theory. The recommended dosage for detergent is more than enough to be effective. There are a lot of factors that can affect the performance, so they can't recommend a lower amount because if it didn't work, everyone would think it was crap. They need something that covers everyone. The added advantage is that people tend to use more. The sensible thing to do is to adjust your dosage to factor in the soilage, water quality and your machines performance. Most people can drop the dosage quite considerably.

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Many new conspiracies have emerged in times of the worldwide pandemic, and Thomas says that it has to do with the fact that the current situation adds complexity and changes on a daily basis.

“It is hard to comprehend, to understand, and it's brutal and sudden. All of this makes people want to make sense of an incredible, unprecedented, and difficult-to-accept situation. Such a unique situation calls for an out-of-the-ordinary explanation—and lends itself well to conspiracy theories.”

Moreover, “People are looking for information, and they are looking for culprits to explain the terrible situations they have to experience. They want to believe this can be pinned on a specific actor,” he concluded.

#13

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Priceless artwork and historical documents are replicas.
I’ve always speculated that a lot of priceless artwork and historical documents are actually replicas or copies.

Obviously a painting by a world-famous artist using a very specific technique would be very hard to fake, and I don’t think that every art scholar in the world is paid off in some grand conspiracy. Rather, I just think that either the national treasures never left their vaults or that some national treasures actually were lost to history but they were copied.

LeatherAir , Wikimedia Commons Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
2 months ago

A few museums actually place their most expensive items in a secure vault and only display replicas to the public. However, according to all information available, the original Mona Lisa is on display.

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#14

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Modern drug prohibition is a "for profit" endeavor perpetrated by governments for the benefit of pharmaceutical corporations, prison industrials, and warlords.

baronvonbee , Clean Wal-Mart Report

Max
Community Member
2 months ago

No, that's... pretty much accurate. US conspiracy theories tend to be either straight up 'they're putting brain slug spores in the vaccines to mind-control us' or 'stuff the government admitted to doing, but quietly'.

BorPand8
Community Member
2 months ago

One of Nixon's minions (I don't remember which and don't feel like looking it up, but the info's out there if you want to look) has admitted that they made marijuana illegal as an excuse to arrest black people and hippies, iirc it was more than pot, too.

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Jim Ellington
Community Member
2 months ago

To he who stated otherwise: opiates are rarely prescribed nowadays, and it's hard to get them even when admitted to a hospital and clearly in severe pain. I spent a week in the ICU with half-a-square-foot of cellulitis, among other things, before they obtained special authorization from two doctors to administer morphine. Before that they gave me acetaminophen (Tylenol).

person (i think)
Community Member
2 months ago

Maybe rarely prescribed by careful or reputable doctors, but there are plenty out there that do not fit that bill

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soni w
Community Member
2 months ago

Feed our kids amphetamines in ADDHD drugs, get them hooked, take it off them at 16 and wonder why we have such a huge meth epidemic. Feed our kids opioids in medications for a headache and sore knees and wonder why we have so many heroin addicts.

Izzy Nya~~~
Community Member
2 months ago

@soni W Bruh, Don't talk to Harry like that. It was really nice of them to explain it to you, and you blow up in their face. It's more efficient to talk to YOU the way Eslamala did. F***tard.

Id row
Community Member
2 months ago

Another well known fact. I thought these were supposed to be conspiracy theories?

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
2 months ago

Disregarding the fact that the war against drugsdealers and the impact of drugs abuse costs billions that the government can't spend on buying more tanks and planes and guns, cutting into the profits they make as shareholders from the companies that are selling that stuff.

Thomas Turnbull
Community Member
2 months ago

Anti Vaxxers are idiots but at least there are less of them every day because of covid.

Thomas Turnbull
Community Member
2 months ago

Then how come in the UK the Astra Zeneca covid vaccine was made without profit when the company could have made millions from it. Kinda busts your argument.

Vincent Jay
Community Member
2 months ago

What is a "prison industrial"?

King Joffrey
Community Member
2 months ago

This is a bit far-fetched and I think the explanation is a lot simpler. Basically, ending the war on drugs will not win politicians any votes...

Luka Hamer
Community Member
2 months ago

Watch 13th on Netflix

RoseTheMad
Community Member
2 months ago

I think Soni smoked too much of their "medicinal weed" lmao

K O
Community Member
2 months ago

Yup

John Louis
Community Member
2 months ago

Without real, tangible evidence this is pointless. Please provide the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Aly The Bisexual
Community Member
2 months ago

That's why it's a conspiracy theory.

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soni w
Community Member
2 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

But let's all trust vaccines right? RIGHT???????¿???????????¿????????? BECAUSE VACCCINES ARE 10000000% SAFE BECAUSE THATS WHAT THEY TELL YOU, just while they're giving away opiates like Skittles. Pharma would never lie or corrupt, is what EVERYONE who accepts vaccines believe.

Harry Potter
Community Member
2 months ago

Please. Just listen to me. There is nothing wrong with vaccines. They are perfectly safe and have been tried and tested on almost a billion people. I understand that you’re afraid, but not getting vaccinated, especially in this time, can be deadly to adults and children around you. They are not injecting skittles into you. In fact, the Covid vaccine is mRNA coated in a shell of lipids. This manufactures a harmless protein called the spike protein. This triggers an immune response identical to Covid, and makes you immune. It’s just science. Please. I lost someone I loved very dearly to Covid. Just get the vaccine.

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#15

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe The countdown timers on ads for games or streaming services are actually longer than seconds. Seems too long sometimes.

danielle8088 , John Johnston Report

Thijs L.
Community Member
2 months ago

I think they just count the 0 and delay the countdown itself as well

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#16

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Disney only named a movie Frozen to distract from 'frozen head' Google searches.
That Disney made a movie named Frozen so that when people google things like 'frozen' and 'Disney' together, info about the movie comes up instead of stories about Walt Disney’s frozen head.

g_stokes12 , disney Report

ThatOneCrazyFanGirl
Community Member
2 months ago

wait...what??

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#17

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe The Hawaii nuke false alarm was a test.
The Hawaii nuke false alarm last year was actually the US government testing to see how the general population would react if an actual nuclear war broke out.

AvailableWrongdoer Report

Annette_
Community Member
2 months ago

When it took place? I never haered about this but i'm form Europe

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#18

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe 23 and Me is run by the government to collect your DNA and database it for later.

RogerPackinrod , Wikimedia Commons Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
2 months ago

How is this a conspiracy? They are already using the DNA collected to solve 'cold case' murders. I don't know about this company specifically, but all it would take is a warrant for them to have to share their data.

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#19

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe UFO sightings are just humans from the future on a time-traveling safari.
All the UFO sightings throughout history are just humans from the future on a time-traveling safari meant to observe how we were in the past. They are supposed to keep out of sight, but thanks to human/mechanical errors, there have been hiccups with their cloaking which have resulted in being seen. That's why there have always been so many reports of them throughout history, but there has never been an attack. It's just us.

Also the reason why we don't see as many examples of UFOs now even though pretty much everyone has a camera is because people are not that interested in this time period since we already document aspects of human life all the time.

-eDgAR- , Wikimedia Commons Report

Jimi Laoshi
Community Member
2 months ago

This sounds like a 3.00 AM thought

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#20

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe When Ted Kaczynski (the unabomber) was at Harvard, he participated in a brutal psychological experiment led by professor Henry Murray. The experiment lasted for three years and by many accounts they seemed to have an extreme impact on Kaczynski’s psyche. I think this experiment was part of the CIA’s MKUltra project and destabilized Kaczynski enough to where he eventually went on his reign of terror of sending bombed packages around the country.

During the MKUltra project, the CIA collaborated with university professors on these mind-control experiments but a lot of the documentation was destroyed when people started to look into it.

TL;DR: The unabomber participated in an experiment that was a part of the MKULtra project that eventually led to him becoming a mass-murderer.

rolo1323 , Wikimedia Commons Report

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
2 months ago

Makes sense, the US did experiment on its own civilians before.

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#21

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe I believe in the mattress store conspiracy, so the conspiracy is that mattress stores are for money laundering. I went onto google maps and typed in ‘mattress stores near me’. There were 4 MATTRESS STORES IN THE SAME SHOPPING CENTER. There was a road that had 5 mattress stores less than a mile apart. So I definitely believe in it.

idk1010101 , romana klee Report

Just a Marine Veteran
Community Member
2 months ago

Or places like vacuum stores or fan stores that only sell one type of thing in a small town. If there is no way they could possibly get enough business to make it; it is suspicious.

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#22

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe I believe that chapstick causes lips to become more dry a couple hours after usage. I base this on the fact that my lips are more dry 5 hours after using chapstick than 2 days after using it

sharvey4994 , Tools of Men Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
2 months ago

Depends on the formula. Cheap chapstick = bad time

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#23

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe I’m starting to believe anti-dandruff shampoo actually causes dandruff.

just__Steve , Mike Mozart Report

von Krawall
Community Member
2 months ago

Anti-dandruff shampoo is only for people with an oily scalp. If you have dandruff caused bydry, scalp this shampoo will only make it worse. Then you need a mild shampoo tgat will moisturize your scalp.

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#24

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Apple started the AirPod memes.
I believe that Apple started the 'wearing AirPods = cool/rich' meme intentionally to boost sales. They became the best-selling wireless earbuds worldwide after the meme.

superflyjasper , Maurizio Pesce Report

Rick
Community Member
2 months ago

Or it could be that the users of the best selling phone naturally continued on to the accessory that accompanies in. iPhone users are generally known to constantly update. “What!? They’ve REMOVED a button from the latest handset? I must buy”!

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#25

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 wasn't an accident. There were definitely external forces that catalyzed its disappearance. The flight path was diverted many times and there was a lot of shady stuff about some of the passengers and the pilot of Flight 370. We may never know unless the plane is found.

AnsweringQuestions4G , Wikimedia Commons Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
2 months ago

What sort of 'external forces'? This one is so vague as to be pointless.

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#26

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Michael Jordan's father was murdered in retribution for Jordan not paying off massive gambling debt. Jordan didn't retire and then come back, he was suspended for gambling. In the mid 90's, Michael Jordan was an industry. The truth about his gambling habits may have cost a lot of people a lot of money, so the cover story was presented.

duh_metrius , Wikimedia Common Report

CowboyHank
Community Member
2 months ago

Does anyone have any idea how much Michael Jordan is worth? If he couldn't pay off a gambling debt, he was in deep

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#27

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Tinder gives fake 'You got a new match!' notifications to get you to swipe more.
I have a theory that Tinder gives fake 'You got a new match!' notifications so people get excited and open Tinder, which leads them to swipe more.

BatSwinger Report

troufaki13
Community Member
2 months ago

I would say "you got new people like you" not "you got a match". Matching would mean both people liked each other so you would know if you liked them. But you can't know if someone liked you without actually swiping right!

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#28

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Restaurant owners sing 'Happy Birthday' to embarrass you.
Restaurant owners know how awkward it is to be sung to in front of the whole establishment, and they do it to discourage people from taking advantage of their free birthday food.

ThatQueerWerewolf , lokate366 Report

Lululoohoo
Community Member
2 months ago

I'll never be discouraged from cashing in on free birthday food. Sing to me, dance for me, whatever..give me my free sundae

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#29

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe Gas station owners are the ones putting the card scammers on the pumps. They don't want your info, they want you to distrust pay at the pump so you'll come inside and make an impulse buy. Most stations barely make any money of gas, the money is in the stuff they sell inside.

biggins9227 , NNECAPA Photo Library Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
2 months ago

Good grief

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#30

Conspiracy-Theories-People-Actually-Believe The bacon industry is ever so slightly making normal sliced bacon thinner every few years,so that eventually,what was once considered normal sliced bacon becomes thick cut,thus saving the big bacon industry money.

My only evidence is the fact that my bacon,which I have always and will only buy from a specific brand,seems to be getting thinner and thinner,more flimsy,more likely to fall apart as I get it out of the package.

NBr33zii , Didriks Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
2 months ago

So the one brand you use is doing this, according to you, so all the industry is?

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Note: this post originally had 42 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.