Friday, August 9, 2013

Is it a Conspiracy Theory, or is it Satire?

When you investigate conspiracy theories and the claims that go along with them you will occasionally find some that are so strange, and so bizarre, that it will make you ask the question "is this real? Or is this something that a satirist came up with?"

Because of the result of the strangeness of certain conspiracy theories (or the fact that some conspiracy theories just look like satire and/or intentionally created hoaxes) it is seriously believed that some conspiracy theories were created by a satirist or hoaxer, rather than an actual conspiracy theorist.

A recent example a conspiracy theory that is so strange and absurd that many people (both skeptics and conspiracy theorists alike) believe it to be some type of satire or hoax is a conspiracy theory concerning the birth of Prince William's and Duchess Catherine's son.

The conspiracy theory that has been floating around the internet basically accuses Catherine of faking her pregnancy, and that some woman working for the "Illuminate" (a group that has never been proven to exist) was actually the birth mother.

Sounds so absurd that it sounds like it is entirely untrue and it was all made up, right?

Well, technically it is untrue and was all made up (as is with most conspiracy theories). The difference between this conspiracy theory and most other conspiracy theories is that it is heavily speculated that it was created as a hoax or even a parody by someone trying to show how gullible conspiracy theorists are, rather than some kook (or severely mentally ill person) who spends their time inventing these conspiracy theories.

Then of course there are some conspiracy theory articles on the internet that are so absurd that it's actually natural to assume that it is satire, when in reality it isn't. Such was the case this week when I read an article (or at least as much as I could have before the stupid started to burn) that claimed that Alex Jones was a "Jewish shill". If it wasn't for the fact that the website it is on promotes a lot conspiracy theories, and that several associated skeptics told me it wasn't, I would have assumed it was satire. In fact, I actually did ask if it was satire, and if it was on another website, I would have continued to assume it was satire rather then the rantings of a extremely bigoted, paranoid conspiracy theorist.

When I see stuff like this it honestly makes me wonder if any of the really strange conspiracy theories are the creations of some paranoid kook, or a well constructed hoax. It's even lead me to wonder if any of the older conspiracy theories who's origins I already question to being with, like chemtrails and FEMA camps, are hoaxes as well.

I already question whether or not the chemtrail and FEMA camp conspiracy theories were either the creations of some conspiracy theorist that got out of hand, or a deliberately created hoax to be used by various anti-government groups as propaganda that ended up taking a life of it's own. But now I'm wondering if those two conspiracy theories are just some hoaxes that were created for the purpose of showing how easy it is to either create a conspiracy theory that will be believed by others, or to show how gullible conspiracy theorists are by making them believe in a conspiracy theory that has no evidence to back it up.

So in conclusion I think it's okay to question not only whether or not a conspiracy theory is real or not, but to question whether or not it was actually meant to be taken seriously or not.

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