JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!
Pixabay

Part of the reason conspiracy theories are so tempting to so many people is that sometimes, they turn out to be terrifyingly accurate.


One Reddit user asked:

What's the strangest conspiracy theory you heard that actually turned out to be true?

We're absolutely not encouraging, condoning or supporting any currently popular conspiracy theories, but we all need to be honest with ourselves. Current outlandish conspiracy theories seem plausible to some people because past outlandish conspiracy theories were factual:

Mind Control

Project Mk ULTRA, aka CIA mind control program.

That stuff is terrifying.

- [Reddit]

One of the people believed to be a researcher involved in MKUltra was Henry Murray, a famous psychologist and professor at Harvard. He was responsible for developing the field of Personology and developing some early profiling tests.

He's also partially responsible for driving the Unabomber off the deep end.

During the 50's and 60's, he was commissioned by the US government in order to condition pilots in case they get captured if their planes get shot down so they don't reveal secrets under torture. Unfortunately, he tested these theories to fine tune them on students which meant just screwing with them.

In a separate experiment, which the Unabomber was a victim of, worked like this - students were instructed to write an essay summarizing their personal philosophy on life and underlying principles, then went into a room expecting to debate philosophy with a fellow student. They instead faced an interrogation by a far more experienced opponent, whose sole purpose was to attack and ridicule their beliefs at length. Since one of the main goals of the experiment was to induce stress and upset the subject as much as possible, it's not surprising that many students came out feeling traumatized.

- re30stupid

A Little LSD

lsd GIF Giphy

Operation Midnight Climax

Us government hired sex workers to dose "johns" with LSD to test mind-control capabilities. Then, they expanded the program to dose citizens at restaurants and other public places.

- Qerfuffle

Sex workers and LSD sounds like fun... Until you murder a 12-year-old girl and have no memory of it. Yes this actually happened to one of the victims.

- GeomazingArt

If you're someone who's never done psychedelics and get dosed without you willing.. Man depending on the dosage I can only imagine what the toll on the psyche be...

It could cause a total breakdown if you thought it was just you going insane.

- whazzah

Leave Britney Alone

The #FreeBritney conspiracy.

I saw so many people on Instagram especially that were just convinced that all her weird Instagram videos were cries for help because she was being controlled by the scenes and thought it was kind of a ridiculous theory, but with everything that came out in her court cases in the later half of 2020, it seems like all of that was actually correct.

Britney Spears really was in an abusive overbearing conservatorship for over a decade.

- BeebMommy

I heard the court ruled in favour of the father because he has increased the value of her assets... So they couldn't say he was a bad at looking after her interests.

Sounded like a stupid reason, in my opinion.

- timeforknowledge

Basically, Britney Spears isn't a "legal adult" anymore. You know how kids can't take care of their own stuff and have to have their parents make decisions for them? That's basically what happened to her. Her father is her guardian (meaning he gets to control her money, legal stuff, everything about her life), and there's no real way for her to free herself because she doesn't have the legal options to do that, nor do they think she's supposed to be allowed to decide that ("She's mentally ill, what does she know?" type of reasoning).

She was put in that kind of situation in ~2007 when she had a severe mental health episode, since it was believed that she couldn't take care of herself due to her mental illness. Her family takes advantage of her vulnerable position and takes control over everything in her life, including locking her up, censoring her, pushing her to do stuff she doesn't want to, and making sure she can neither leave nor ask for help. The only reason we know about it is because her fanbase noticed subtle cries for help and other signs that something is wrong. It was a huge thing, and the story was more or less confirmed shortly after.

- DeadIronGolem

She's not even asking for freedom. She's just asking her father to be removed as conservator, not for the conservatorship to be ended entirely.

- Zookeepergamemost100

CIA vs JFK

The CIA proposed "Operation Northwoods" to JFK.

It was a literal false flag attack on American soil perpetrated by Americans but framed up to start a "popular" war with Cuba. The CIA wanted to kill Americans (shooting down passenger planes, gunning down people in the streets, etc.) and blame Cuba as an excuse to start a war.

It was around this time and Bay of Pigs that Kennedy supposedly said he would "smash them into pieces and scatter them to the wind." (Meaning the CIA)

That was a man with convictions... and giant brass balls, to be honest.

- sbbart62

The way I remember hearing it is someone came to him about Operation Northwoods as a way to instigate a war with Cuba or the Soviets or both. Kennedy was horrified and he kind of lost it and decided to try and take down the CIA.

That goes in to the conspiracy that the CIA was involved with his assassination shortly after

- OvoidPovoid

Vietnam

The rumor that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (which is what got the US involved in the Vietnam Was) was fake turned out to be true.

- KingDongBundy

It wasn't "fake" so much as a big embellishment. It was obviously still cynical and dishonest, but it wasn't an entirely fabricated incident, which I think it is often taken to be.

- AbsoluteShambles

There were two incidents, the first on was nv troops firing upon us ships and the second was just a storm, So they are partially correct.

- Ferlaif12berlinetta

The official line from those in command during the incident was "playing with ourselves in the dark".

- anagreeingdothraki

OK Buddy Sure

Seth Meyers Ok GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers Giphy

Some customer I talked to somehow ended up on a rambling tangent about how he was part of a mission in the Vietnam War, where they were controlling the weather on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.. Yeah, okay buddy, sure.

I looked it up later and it turns out Operation Popeye actually happened.

- IAmTheAsteroid

Martha

I didn't hear about this because I wasn't born at the time, but Martha Mitchell whose husband was involved in the Watergate Scandal.

She tried to tell people but was called crazy and mentally ill and her husband and others eventually had her drugged and held hostage in a hotel for months. Later almost all the things she claimed were confirmed to be true.

Mental health professionals have to be aware of the Martha Mitchell Effect.

- slychd

Unarmed and Unprovoked

Not the strangest but the British army murdered 14 unarmed civilians during a peaceful civil rights march in my city, Derry, northern Ireland in 1972. The official line for years was that the victims were armed and had attacked the soldiers first.

The Sun "newspaper" in the UK printed a story the next day portraying the soldiers as heroes and the victims as terrorists. The government eventually admitted about 10 years ago that none of the victims were armed and the killings were not provoked.

Makes it hard to believe anything the government or media say.

- Mouts93

Black Farmers

The Pigford case where the USDA systemically eliminated Black farmers because of racism in the 80s and 90s.

None of the people involved were punished. The agency targeted and eliminated Black farms, paid the highest civil rights lawsuit in history out of taxpayer money, and those responsible are still employed or collecting a government pension.

It's disgusting.

- aboolshite

I've never heard of this lawsuit wtf?

This is mind bogglingly recent.

- honeyyougotwings

Medical Experiments

The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male was ethically horrendous.

When the study began (1932), there was no established treatment since the relevant antibiotics did not exist, so the idea of following a cohort of untreated subjects to see what happens to them was a reasonable idea.

However, the subjects were misled about their diagnosis, what the study was doing for them, and how long the study would last.

And then later, when antibiotics became available that could treat syphilis effectively, the study continued without providing that treatment and just let the disease "run its course."

- ToxDocMD

There's also a lingering fear of vaccination in African immigrant populations due to forced sterilization and other medical experiments that happened historically.

- SlowbeardiousOfBeard

Gay Frogs

"Chemicals are turning frogs gay!"

Not quite true, but close.

It turns out if you dump a bunch of (now banned) chemicals into the habitats of amphibians, which determine sex through hormones rather than chromosomes, then they can spontaneously change gender or be hermaphroditic.

- TheNaziSpacePope

Alex jones "they are turning the frogs gay". While his assertion that the goverment is trying to turn frogs gay an purpose is probably not true. The commonly used herbicide atrazine can turn male frogs into females and render them infertile

- FlatMarzipan

Civil Rights Leaders

COINTELPRO.

Basically, the FBI was conducting surveillance and running disinformation campaigns against civil rights leaders in the 50/60s, and were at least in part responsible for the assassination of Fred Hampton and possibly MLK.

- Stillwater215


Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

We often find ourselves having to guess how to make things work and make things fit--in our lives, but also just in our possessions. Will these pants fit me? These shoes?

Will this screw fit my table? Will this charger fit my phone?

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Some things ought not be tried again.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

You know what they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Because the people who have our best interests in mind typically have good intentions when they give us advice, but there's a chance that that advice can go horribly wrong.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

Every once in awhile, somebody comes along, enters your life, and catapults themselves to that awful, unique position at the top of your list of the worst people you have ever met.

Sometimes, the person's blindingly terrible behavior and overall essence is actually impressive. We ask ourselves, "how could a person like this actually exist on purpose?"

Keep reading... Show less