17 Conspiracy Theories that were True

17 Conspiracy Theories that were True

The term "conspiracy theory" was originally a neutral descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal, or political conspiracy. However, its modern pejorative sense has evolved over time.

The exact origin of the term is somewhat unclear, but it has been in use since at least the late 19th century. It gained significant popularity and its more negative connotations in the political discourse of the 1960s, particularly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Following the assassination, the term began to be used more frequently in critiques of theories that suggested a conspiracy behind the assassination, notably after the publication of the Warren Commission report, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination (we know now this too was all a farce).

The term was further popularized and acquired its current derogatory sense in the late 1960s and 1970s, partly in response to the rise of various theories challenging the official accounts of major events like the JFK assassination, the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination, and the Watergate scandal.

In academic and sociological contexts, the term is used to describe a wide range of theories that allege secret plots by powerful and malevolent groups, without necessarily implying that these theories are unfounded or false. However, in popular usage, it often carries the implication of implausibility and paranoia. So with all of that said, we will take a look at 17 conspiracy theories that turned out to be true:

1. **MK-Ultra**: This was a CIA project that tested drugs like LSD on unwitting subjects in an attempt to develop mind control techniques and chemical weapons.

2. **Watergate Scandal**: Initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory, it turned out that President Richard Nixon and his aides did engage in illegal activities, including bugging the offices of political opponents (child’s play compared to what we are seeing today)

3. **Operation Northwoods**: A proposed plan by the U.S. Department of Defense to stage false-flag terrorist attacks on American soil to justify military intervention in Cuba. It was never enacted but was confirmed through declassified documents.

4. **Tuskegee Syphilis Study**: The U.S. Public Health Service conducted a study on African American men in Tuskegee, Alabama, letting them suffer from syphilis without treatment to study the progression of the disease.

5. **COINTELPRO**: The FBI's covert program aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations, including civil rights groups.

6. **Gulf of Tonkin Incident**: Initially used as a pretext for U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, later evidence suggested that the incident was exaggerated or even fabricated.

7. **Operation Mockingbird**: A CIA initiative to influence media for propaganda purposes, confirmed through declassified documents.

8. **Iran-Contra Affair**: A political scandal in the U.S. involving senior administration officials secretly facilitating the sale of arms to Iran, which was under an arms embargo, and diverting the proceeds to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

9. **Project Sunshine**: A series of research studies in the mid-20th century to understand the impact of radioactive fallout on the human body, which involved collecting body parts without consent from deceased individuals, including babies.

10. **NSA Mass Surveillance**: Initially a theory, it was confirmed by Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been conducting mass surveillance on citizens worldwide.

11. **Operation Paperclip**: After World War II, the U.S. government secretly recruited and employed hundreds of former Nazi scientists and engineers, many of whom had been identified and prosecuted as war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials.

12. **The CIA Drug Trafficking in Central America**: In the 1980s, it was revealed that the CIA was involved in drug trafficking operations in Central America to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

13. **Asbestos Health Risks Cover-Up**: For decades, companies in the asbestos industry knew about the severe health risks associated with asbestos exposure but covered it up to protect their profits.

14. **The Dreyfus Affair**: A political scandal in France in the late 19th century, where Captain Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of treason based on falsified documents. It was later revealed that the French military had deliberately suppressed evidence exonerating him.

15. **Operation Gladio**: A covert NATO operation in Europe during the Cold War, involving the stay-behind armies prepared to resist Soviet occupation. It was later revealed that these secret armies were involved in various illegal activities, including terrorism and coups.

16. **The Prohibition Poisoning**: During Prohibition in the U.S., the government poisoned industrial alcohols, which were often stolen by bootleggers and sold as drinkable spirits. This led to thousands of deaths.

17. **The 1940 Katyn Massacre**: Initially blamed on the Nazis, it was later confirmed that the Soviet Union was responsible for the massacre of over 20,000 Polish prisoners of war and intellectuals in the Katyn forest.

What this tells us is that many of the things were are hearing today being chalked up as conspiracy theories, will very likely turn out to be real. 

Back to blog