Oftentimes, conspiracy theories are outright dismissed as paranoia or the ramblings of fringe dwellers or quacks. Perhaps, this is usually the case. But some theories were frighteningly correct.
10.The CIA Controlled Journalists And The Media
Nowadays, there are few things quite so polarizing as the media and the possibility of "fake news." Journalists are often seen as either dedicated truth seekers or partisans trying to push an agenda with little to no room in-between. There seems to be no question, however, that the media was controlled as a tool by political operatives at one time (at least).
The first account of a Central Intelligence Agency initiative called "Operation Mockingbird" was a claim in a 1979 biography of Washington Post owner Katharine Graham. Allegedly, the program paid or threatened movers and shakers of many, if not all, of the most popular news outlets in America as a response to the Soviet Union engaging in similar practices with the European media.
While the specific existence of Operation Mockingbird remains a mystery, it has been confirmed that the CIA did (and possibly still does) engage in these types of activities.
9.Cigarettes Cause Cancer
Today, it's common knowledge that tobacco products are deadly. For many, it seems outlandish that there was ever a time that cigarettes were not considered extremely hazardous to the health of smokers and those around them or that smoking was actually thought to be good for you.
Tobacco companies began to truly grasp the scale of the problem in the 1950s. Researchers had suggested the possibility for decades but were more or less dismissed. "Big Tobacco," as the largest tobacco companies would come to be known, launched a cover-up that would go on for nearly half a century.
The four biggest tobacco companies would finally apparently admit defeat in 1998 with the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement—a legal settlement between the companies and 46 US states. The other four states were involved in separate settlements.
8.The Department Of Defense Paid For Patriotic Acts
Depending on the country, many, if not most, acts of patriotism in nations around the world are genuine. People are proud of their countries and like to show their support. However, many people have also found some of the more organized and epic displays to be forced, possibly even fake. In 2015, Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake published a report saying that these worries may be well-founded in the US.
Their report concluded that the Department of Defense had spent millions of dollars to have various sports organizations put on enormous shows of love of country at times. This included several teams in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer. NASCAR and the athletic departments of several universities also participated.
In theory, these overwhelming displays of American pride would drive up military recruiting. But nothing has definitely shown that this worked. The NFL also agreed to refund much of the money used for activities unrelated to recruiting.
7.Nayirah's Testimony Was False
One of the most iconic events leading up to the Gulf War was the testimony by a girl identified simply as "Nayirah" before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1990. The stories she told about the treatment of Kuwaitis by the invading Iraqis horrified members of Congress and many Americans in general. This included the terrible deaths of newborn babies.
Although many people (including newborn babies) did die horrifically following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Nayirah's testimony, which was not given under oath, was made up. In fact, the young girl was really the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. The event was set up as part of a public relations campaign called Citizens for a Free Kuwait that was run by an American consulting company then known as Hill & Knowlton.
6.International Elite Gather Together Regularly
The idea of world power players gathering together behind closed doors to discuss how to run the world is perhaps considered the most outrageous of all conspiracy theories. Except that it really happens every year, at least among American and European leaders. Known as the Bilderberg meetings, the event actually has an official website.
The first event of this kind took place in 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg in The Netherlands. Although the guest lists for these meetings are typically not a secret, the discussions that take place are. Past guests have included monarchs, high-ranking politicians, senior military officials, economic leaders, and powerful journalists.