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Conspiracy Theory

A Conspiracy Theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public. The term “conspiracy theory” is used to indicate a narrative genre that includes a broad selection of (not necessarily related) arguments for the existence of grand conspiracies. The term is frequently used by scholars and in popular culture to identify secret military, banking, or political actions. Conspiracy theories are based on the notion that complex plots are put into motion by powerful hidden forces

Originally a neutral term, since the mid-1960s it has acquired a somewhat derogatory meaning, implying a paranoid tendency to see the influence of some malign covert agency in events. The term is sometimes used to automatically dismiss claims that are deemed ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish or irrational. A proven conspiracy theory, such as the notion that Nixon and his aides were behind the Watergate break-in and cover-up, is usually referred to as something else, such as investigative journalism or historical analysis

Katherine K. Young states “the fact remains, however, that not all conspiracies are imagined by paranoids. Historians show that every real conspiracy has had at least four characteristic features: groups, not isolated individuals; illegal or sinister aims, not ones that would benefit society as a whole; orchestrated acts, not a series of spontaneous and haphazard ones; and secret planning, not public discussion.” “Some historians have put forward the idea that more recently the United States has become the home of conspiracy theories because so many high-level prominent conspiracies have been undertaken and uncovered since the 1960s.” The existence of such real conspiracies helps feed the belief in conspiracy theories

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