You thought the USA had weird conspiracy theories? Well buckle up, because it's about to get weird in here.
And that's because people are weird worldwide. The human race is varied, wildly, but the one constant across all of humanity is that we are weirdos who make up stories. And sometimes those stories are so out of left field that they merit an investigation.
Here are some of those conspiracies.
Ah, My Knee Fluid
Mexican here. Bringing you gems like:
- Covid hospitals secretly kill you to extract your knee fluid, worth thousands per liter in the black market.
- Infrared thermometers emit radiation that causes brain damage.
- Oxymeters are used to steal your fingerprints and commit fraud.
Really stupid things compared to what is sadly not a conspiracy theory...
Russia. All the problems in Russia come from the evil American (sometimes "world", but mostly American) goverment. All of them. At some point it got so ridiculous that people created a joke that Obama personally sh*ts in our elevators of apartment blocks every night. But when it's something stupid as anti-vaxxers that comes from the west, that's not the "evil government", that's "western people fighting for freedom from their evil government" so they are welcome.
Let's Just Sell This Part Of The Country
When Victoria was in lockdown, there was a conspiracy where the state premier created the virus to put Victoria into lockdown so the lockdown would cripple Victoria's economy so it could be sold to China.
Ah, Bigfoot Gets Out Of Control Sometimes
Not widespread but a friend of mine here in Canada told me that national parks were created by the government to keep most of humanity out of Bigfoot territory. I think his logic was, they are not open for development now so we won't accidentally infringe on their land and start the Homosapien-Bigfoot civil war.
Sweden Raking In The Thoughts
A phenomenon found only in Sweden, some people are convinced they are allergic to electricity flying in the face of science. Nobody has been able to demonstrate that this allergy exists other than as a delusion.
During the 1980s, a Soviet submarine ran aground in the Stockholm archipelago. The Soviets claimed it just lost its way, but in Sweden this began the period of the "periscope sickness", where scores of people reported seeing submarines deep into the archipelago (similar to the UFO phenomena). In spite of the Swedish Navy being beefed up year after year, not a single Soviet submarine was captured or destroyed. It was later revealed that the navy had been dropping depth charges on wrecks on the ocean floor and had been chasing sonar contacts that turned out to be made by animals and schools of fish. Not even the US thinks there's anything to this obsession.
Also during the 80s, the prime minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, was murdered by an unknown assailant. The investigation went off the rails almost immediately, going after Swedish Kurds on the theory that the PKK was behind the prime minister's death. There were also various shady private investigators making fools of themselves. After the police gave up on the Kurdish trail, they arrested a junkie named Christer Petterson.
He was put on trial and found guilty, but on appeal he was found not guilty, mainly due to botched police procedures. In the meantime, another conspiracy theory started to take hold: Palme was assassinated by South Africa because of his support for the ANC, maybe by Swedish police officers. Much like the JFK conspiracy theories there's not much to this and it probably was Christer Petterson acting alone who did it. Doesn't stop a few stalwarts to keep looking for the murder weapon though, although by this point it is probably just a smear of rust on the bottom of some lake.
During the 1990s, a cruiseferry named Estonia sank in the Baltic Sea leading to the death of over 1000 people. Various colorful theories about the cause of the sinking has sprouted, I don't know too much about them, but I've heard some believe Estonia collided with a Swedish submarine or that the Ruskies bombed her because Sweden was smuggling stolen military equipment from the Baltic states on her.
I used to own a Turkish restaurant with a Turkish born and raised chef; between him and some Turkish customers, I found out that pretty much everything I knew about world history, since WWII, was wrong, and that the CIA had actually been behind everything, up to and including the World Trade center attacks. And the Islamic stuff was a bit much: Neil Armstrong heard the voice of Allah on the moon, salt water and fresh water can't mix, etc.
This sounds like I'm piling on, so I'll add this caveat: great-GREAT- people. So generous and nice. And the food! OMG
Oh Here Are The Aliens!
Oh I got one! Hope it doesn't get buried. I'm from Mexico, and there is a state in the north called Tamaulipas. Its capital, Tampico, is next to the apptly named Sea of Tampico. There, several people FIRMLY believe that aliens live underwater and protect the city with their brain powers. Apparently there have been several hurricanes that have gotten really close to hitting Tampico but they always calm down before touching land.
So the only explanation is that aliens are happily living in the Sea of Tampico, chatting about how beautiful it is compared to maybe Cancun, the Mayan Riviera or Los Cabos, and saving the city from certain catastrophe with their powers. Ricardo O'Farril, a comedian, makes a funny point about this in one of his shows.
Q Is Everywhere
That 1080 poison used to control Aotearoa (New Zealand)'s hugely destructive invasive mammal population (bloody possums, stoats and cats) is actually being used to kill our native birds in order to keep making the Department of Conservation powerful and stop hunters from being able to hunt.
Utter nonsense. 1080 is a horrible poison, which I hate, but it's the only effective solution we have that doesn't do more harm than good. Most of our die hard greenies/conservationists start off despising it, but once the see the actual results, change their minds. Can't convince a lot of people, though.
That and all the usual imported Q nonsense.
The Royal Lie
I heard one where Princess Diana was killed because she discovered the royal family weren't human (some kind of lizard aliens) and was planning to expose it. Thats why she was dating that guy, because he was rich enough to protect her while she blew the whistle.
The Devil Went Down To Zambia
Here in Zambia, if you were poor and after a while you become rich they call you a satanist. They really believe the devil is real and most rich men sell their souls to the devil and become satanists. Effects of poverty and iliteracy.
Everyone has wild stories from their workplace.
But the stories that tend to instantly grab people's attention are those about instances which led people to quit.
Be it low pay, unsafe working conditions, or abusive bosses or managers, hearing what finally led someone to leave a job is always fascinating.
But how about moments where not one person, but multiple people, if not the entire staff, all banded together and left?
Far-fetched as it may seem, there have indeed been occasions where an entire workforce was so over their conditions, that they all gave their notice in unison.
Redditor RealSlicy was curious to hear some of these stories, resulting in their taking to Reddit to ask:
"What happened at work that made everyone quit at once?"
"I worked at a bread manufacturing plant."
"This happened in the bagging area."
"A worker tripped and somehow the way he landed his hand slipped underneath the machine guard and into a chain."
"Cut off his arm just below the elbow."
"The supervisor insisted we just wipe off the machine with a towel and continue running the rest of the already baked product."
"Twelve out of sixteen including myself quit."
"I found out later the manager fired that supervisor that day."- Bignona
"Three of us, the engineers, quit the same week and without any discussion between ourselves."
"Man in charge was an insufferable, insulting tw*t."
"This led to the head office losing faith and the whole subsidiary being sold off."- PicardTangoAlpha
Placing Blame on the Wrong People
"Company did a survey of employee happiness."
"It had super limited answers."
"We filled it out and tried to explain that, internally, our team was doing well and we were happy but just about everyone had problems with two other employees outside the team who were bullies in important positions."
"The company asked us instead what 'we' could do better so the bullies don't bully."
"Over half the team quit within a month which is unheard of at that company and our team was/is a corner stone of the entire business."- Butterbubblebutt
"Manager kept pitching Amway to us on breaks and then cut hours of those that didn't sign up under him."
"We worked in retail at the mall."- rayrayrayray
Total lack of sympathy
"Worked in a call centre offering free public transport brochures to people living in a city."
"The place was poorly managed, it was contracted out by the local government and only cared about numbers."
"Early during one shift a spate of bombings on public transport killed a load of people around the city."
"After a few calls of getting abuse from people aghast we were trying to get their details to send them bus/train timetables etc, we collectively stopped making calls."
"We assumed management would pause the project for that week at least, maybe longer, out of respect for what had happened.
"Our manager put her foot down and told us we must continue calling that morning, and as we were only on temporary contracts anyone who refused may face being replaced, then she stormed off."
"The entire team quit on the spot, we just got up and left without speaking to her again."
"We called up the work agency to let them know and they did not blame us."
"We were all replaced but the local government office heard what had happened and pulled the plug on the contract with that call centre within a month."- Husper
No or late payment.
"Not my work, but close friends."
"Restaurant owner wasn't paying his staff and checks kept bouncing."
"So one night, they all said 'f*ck this', closed up shop together and left."
"Owner got ran out of town after Social Media and reg media took over."
"He closed down both of his places, the second also had a staff walk out the week prior to the first and sold the buildings."
Since people keep asking, this was in MD."
"And the 'second place' was his second restaurant, Indian place, that had kitchen staff walk out a week prior, but the walk out didn't close the restaurant."
"He closed it and sold it after his first restaurant was shuttered."
"Good riddance." - Reddit
"One of my first jobs was as a dishwasher at a local steakhouse which was always really busy as it overlooked the waterfalls of the the local river."
"My 3rd or 4th day working the whole kitchen staff just didn't show up."
"Except for me."
"Boss grabbed me and taught me how to cook as we went."
"Not only had I never cooked before, this was a Friday night and I was missing a concert, so I was kind of angry about that."
"Probably not the culinary experience some of the customers expected that night, but I tried my best."
"Then, after we closed I had to stick around for another 4 hours to wash dishes.'
"Turns out everybody went to the concert."
"This was almost 40 years ago.'
"Still mad."- MadonnaBinLaden
Sometimes, when at a loss of how to handle things, the best thing to do is just get up and leave.
Though, one does hope those that chose to skip work for a concert weren't planning on going back to work the next day.
There's little more exciting than an American's first visit to Europe.
There is so much to take in between the famous sights, the delicious food, and the vastly different cultures and ways of life.
Most American tourists have no problem jumping into some popular customs and activities, such as afternoon tea in England, or a soothing sauna in Finland.
Other customs and behaviors, however, some Americans usually choose to leave to the locals.
Redditor Mark-Zuckerberg- was curious to hear which European habits or ways of life were truly bizarre to Americans, leading them to ask:
"Americans, what do you think is the weirdest thing about Europe?"
Where's the kitchen?
"Rental apartments in Germany often come without a furnished kitchen."
"Sink, refrigerator, stove and cabinets."
"Because these are almost always provided in rental apartments in the US, it was shocking to me as an American looking at rentals in Germany that I would have to buy and install those things."
"Having read so many interesting comments about kitchen expectations in different parts of the world, let me ask this question."
"Do any of you know of places where rentals don't come with bathroom equipment either, and it's expected the tenant will purchase and install their own toilet and sink?"- AmbitiousPeanut
Differing levels of intimacy
"Depends which countries."
"I’ve always found it weird that a lot of them think hugging is more intimate than kissing someone on the cheek."
"I know it isn’t actually 'kissing' someone on the cheek most of the time."
"I’m referring to how someone touches your face with their face that is extremely intimate."- LadyValenciaLA
"The way people drive."
"The laws don’t seem to matter at all in Italy, only a little in France."
"Then the Germans are a completely different story."- jesusmansuperpowers
"OMG the toilets."
"In the US every toilet I've ever come across has a flush lever on the left of the tank or, in public restrooms, a sensor or a button on the top."
"In Europe every single toilet has a different flush mechanism."
"Every. Single. One."
"It's like an escape room challenge."
"Foot pedals. Cranks. Pull knobs."
"Things attached to the sink."
"I was once stuck in a bathroom for 20 minutes trying to figure out how to flush the toilet, it turned out to be a pulley on the other side of the room."- Yellowbug2001
Not for Night Owls
"The oddest thing I found in Copenhagen was that when we tried to go get food around 9pm, nearly everywhere was closed."
"We were in a busy part of the city but it took us so incredibly long to find a place open late."
"I don't live in a huge city but I can throw a rock from my house and it will bounce off half a dozen places open until midnight or later."
"This is not a complaint, just an observation."
"I loved Denmark."- Ginger_Chick
Just how old are we talking?
"Can't wrap my brain around that."
"I live in a farm house built in the 1920s and that is considered old."- Necessary_Sir_5079
"The sheer grasp of language I've seen from some Europeans is wild."
"Back in the early days of minecraft I used to play on a server with an English kid and a German Kid."
"The English kid would randomly speak Welsh and the German could jump between German, French, and English all the time and I was there like 'Guys, I can barely English, can we dumb it down for the yankee'."- CYNIC_Torgon
"We've been working on the railroad..."
"Trains go to every major city."- CoolIceCreamCone
Balmy summer nights
"Our hotels had ac but it was just room temp air."
"That heatwave must have been brutal I hate sleeping when it’s hot."- Slowmexicano
Some things that might seem strange at first might just take some getting used to.
Though power to any American brave enough to drive through Europe.
Particularly on the wrong side of the road in the U.K.!
When a job hunt leads to work that sounds promising, it's easy for those who are unemployed and eager to earn a paycheck to throw themselves into the prospect, blindly.
However, it's important to note that those who are interviewing them for the job should also be asked questions to make sure they actually want to work there.
Curious to hear of the warning signs to be cognizant of, Redditor SwagYoloThiccChilFam asked:
"What's an immediate red flag to hear from HR during a job interview?"
These Redditors took issue with companies and misleading salary details.
Undervaluing A Potential Employee
"'What would be the lowest salary you would work for? Absolute minimum that you can tolerate?' What a nice way to make a possible new employee feel appreciated."
"On two occasions I got a job offer but the official salary was different than what was in the job listing. Each time I was told it was because 'listing a higher salary attracts more qualified candidates.'”
"Declined both offers right there on the spot."
Boasting About Having Integrity
"In the same breath they’ll talk about how honesty and integrity are core values they expect of every employee (below a certain pay grade)"
"If you don't give me a salary range I'm out."
"If you offer compensation that falls outside of the salary range you gave in the ad or in talking to me, I'm out."
"I mean unless it's more than the range you're offering me. I'll probably take more."
The demands of working for a a start-up were mentioned here.
Since They Asked
"I interviewed for a job recently with a small start-up and they asked me if I had any questions. I told them work-life balance is important to me and asked what a typical work day looks like for their employees. They told me that was a risky thing to say in an interview and most start-ups would consider that question a red flag. I said I didn't need to work for that kind of company."
"Work Hard Play Hard (Translation) Prepare to be worked so hard that your only options will be to quit or become a high functioning alcoholic."
"We're no longer a startup, but still have the startup culture. This really means 80 hour weeks and low pay even if the company is doing well."
So Much For Company Loyalty
"Recently happened to my Dad. Was one of the original employees, they have grown significantly but refused to pay him fairly when newer employees (younger guys 25-30)were starting at a higher wage than him (25yrs experience in the field). They had switched him to salary a couple years back and just got more hours for less raises."
"The whole 'startup' tag is suspect. I did a job reference for a friend who was applying at an 11 year startup. If you are still hunting for investors after 11 years you have to wonder about your business model."
"It seems to be a buzzword for cool, cutting edge, and a culture of overwork."
The demands were already too much from the outset.
"You need to buy X to start training."
Beware Of The Alternative
"Or sign a contract that will charge you for training if you do not work there for so many years and a non-compete clause to force you into a different line of work if you leave. I believe some of these have been outlawed in some places now."
"'You'll wear a lot of hats.' We're going to make you do the work of three people but only pay you for one. 'We have a hard time keeping people in this role.' People realize this job sucks and bail out quick."
Many of the examples above demonstrated that your self-worth will always be a priority.
It also served as a reminder that sometimes, the biggest indicator that something is off with a job prospect is what your gut is trying to tell you.
Listen to your instincts.
It could save you a lot of time.
The United States Supreme Court has held that tax exemption for churches is constitutional under the Establishment Clause. Moreover, the Court has found that churches and religious organizations may be subject to a general sales and use tax; however, the Court has not addressed whether government may enact a specific "church tax."
The constitution of a number of countries such as the United States could be and have been interpreted as both supporting and prohibiting the levying of taxes unto churches; prohibiting church tax could separate church and state fiscally, but it could also be favorable treatment by the government.
When you consider that many churches have made unsavory headlines for engaging in political activity anyway, it's no wonder why the separation of church and state—and whether or not churches should be stripped of their tax-exempt status—remains such a hot topic.
To that end, the idea that churches are threatened by government overreach is also a hot topic, particularly on the more conservative side of the aisle. For example, in October 2021, Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn made the odd claim that President Joe Biden aimed to "close the churches" as soon as Democrats could pass a much-scrutinized infrastructure bill.
Blackburn's assertion that churches would be closed down as soon as the bill is approved appears to have materialized out of thin air. In fact, where the infrastructure bill does mention churches is quite positive. The bill, which the Senate ultimately passed, provides $50 million in grants to nonprofits, including religious congregations, so they can upgrade their buildings with new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.
We did tell you this is a hot-button issue. People were all too eager to share their thoughts with us after one Redditor asked the online community,
"Would you support taxing churches? Why or why not?"
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints..."
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) had over $130 billion in the stock market many years back. Yet they are tax exempt."
And did you know that news outlets reported in 2019 that the Mormon Church amassed a fund worth more than $100 billion so its members could prepare for the "Second Coming of Christ"?
Yeah, that was a thing.
"If churches were nothing more..."
"If churches were nothing more than local parishes who served the community, collected donations to keep the lights on, and the priests were working class folks who took the job as a "calling" rather than a business opportunity?"
"I'd be more than happy to let them slide. It would be like taxing a soup kitchen, and who wants to do that?"
"But if the local 'pastor' has a Gulfstream? Tax the sh** out of him. And if they even bring up politics from the pulpit? Tax the ever-loving sh** out of them."
Religious doctrine will always have political implications. Makes sense, right?
"I'm a Christian..."
"I'm a Christian and have served in church leadership, I'm in favor of taxing churches. Churches exist in society and should contribute to it. I do have some caveats."
"One: I think governments should use taxes for the betterment of communities. That includes physical infrastructure, but also caring for the poor, sick, elderly, etc. All of that is a part of the church's overall mission. I see no reason why the church shouldn't be in favor of the government doing those things, and paying taxes in support of that."
"Two: I think churches should be able to write off any charitable giving. That would obviously have to be well defined; however, I think it would incentivize churches actually helping people, rather than misusing funds (which tons of churches do. There are good churches out there that care a lot for their communities, but there are many that don't)."
The ability to write off charitable giving is the devil in the details. No matter how you word it. It will be worked around. There are tons of lawyers whose only job is to know the tax code and give rich people/corporations tax breaks.
Still, this is surely an improvement over a default charitable status that is only reviewed under an occasional audit.
"Churches that provide..."
"Churches that provide community social services should be tax exempt. Churches that have large holdings, or church leaders with lavish homes or engage in political activities should not."
It would be soooo easy for a rich pastor to claim he's compliant with the tax free requirements.
If a church is doing enough social service to actually qualify as a non-profit, then they can file as one. There is no reason to give them any special rules or exceptions.
"I do believe..."
"I do believe in separation of church and state. I feel if a church is donating more to the people than the church then no taxes. I'd rather have the money go to the people than the government."
As I recall, this is the original idea. Churches are not supposed to have influence on the political process and thus would be exempt from taxes because of that. But the church has not been keeping their end of the bargain.
"My aunt runs a church."
"My aunt runs a church. Over 90% of donations actually go towards charity work, such as healthcare and food for the homeless, clothes and school supplies for children. In many impoverished communities, churches are the only institutions truly keeping people housed and fed."
"Churches should be audited, as should any nonprofit. Saying they’re all bad is ignorant. Taxing them all would be robbing the poor."
If only things were this simple. Alas.
"Send your videos..."
"Well you can certainly get them in trouble by recording their sermon telling you who to vote for. It’s against the law for these religious institutions to influence anyone to vote for or against any political candidate."
"Send your videos and complaints to the IRS."
This was a big deal in Kansas over the last few weeks, particularly ahead of a crucial campaign that secured a win for reproductive rights activists after citizens voted to enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution, the result of an effort to ensure the state—typically Republican and conservative—remains a safe haven for abortion in the Midwest.
"Yes, primarily because I think if churches or religions in general want to be playing a larger role in the politics of the world, as the various Christian denominations seem to desire in the U.S., then they should have to provide revenue and contribute to the nation or they should shut up."
Straight and to the point, I see!
"Churches should have to go by..."
"Churches should have to go by the same rules as any other non-religious tax-exempt charity. File taxes proving where your money came from and where it went to prove you're using it for charitable purposes."
"Preaching is not, in and of itself, a charitable activity IMHO, so church buildings/expenditures used solely for church services don't deserve tax exempt status. Want to have something not taxed? It had better be actually helping someone."
Now if only we could fund the IRS appropriately...
"I think any business..."
"I think any business that makes a profit should be taxed. If you truly are being charitable then you shouldn't be making profit, all that excess income should be going back into growing the business and helping more people with whatever service you provide. Religious affiliation should be irrelevant."
Reforms would be pretty simple, provided there is bipartisan support in Congress. Enforcing them, however? Another matter entirely, and that's why it's important to stay on top of this issue.
This is a complex issue that is not likely to be resolved soon, and the impact of religious lobbying in Congress is certainly felt more than ever.
Would stripping churches of their tax-exempt status solve quite a few problems—namely the polarization and shoddy campaign finance laws—that have metastisized in American politics?
Answering that is not so easy.
Have some opinions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!