noun con·spir·a·cy \ kən-ˈspir-ə-sē \
a : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement
b : scheme : a plan or program of action; especially : a crafty or secret one
noun the·o·ry \ ˈthē-ə-rē , ˈthir-ē \
a : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another
b : an unproved assumption
c : conjecture : inference formed without proof or sufficient evidence
1 : a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork
2 : a proposition
What is Conspiracy Theory?
a : the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another claiming a joint secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act
b : inference formed without proof or sufficient evidence of a plan or program of action; especially a crafty or secret one
Fact or Fantasy?
It appears that there is a spectrum of validity for what is conspiracy theory, levels that lie on a scale at or somewhere between:
- an inference formed without proof (the hunch, the paranoid delusion, unfounded speculation), and
- the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another.
It is the intention for EndGameConspiracy.com to attempt to rate at which end of this spectrum, or where on a scale of 1 to 5 between the two extremes, a conspiracy may lie.
Theories also graduate from theory to fact. Some will remain forever conjecture and some will, over time, become proven.
An example of a conspiracy theory that becomes validated as fact is illustrated in this article in The Atlantic that mentions the “listening to our phone calls” theory that recently has become proven fact:
“Far more common is an American who believes that there’s more to the assassination of JFK than we know. Or that the federal government is covertly listening in on our phone calls and reading our email via a secret NSA program known to the nation’s biggest telecommunications companies and its newspaper of record, but kept secret from the public.”
Origin of Conspiracy Theory
Contrary to some assertions that the CIA invented the term to discredit those questioning the Warren Commission report, the term actually was used as far back as 1895 in the attempt to ascertain the exact cause of the succession of the South, after the U.S. Civil War, and had many other usages throughout the century.
Whether or not the CIA invented the term, however, may be a moot point. Usage of the term in their document outlining the suggested responses to those who question the official report suggests that they should redirect attention to a conspiracy of the communists. The CIA document is fascinating and certainly seems familiar. The Russians did it. In 2018, this seems like deja-vous.
From above, below or within?
Author Jesse Walker delineates five types of conspiracy theory.
- The “enemy outside” refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without.
- The “enemy within” finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens.
- The “enemy above” involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain.
- The “enemy below” features the lower classes working to overturn the social order.
- The “benevolent conspiracies” are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people.
We will include all of these types and more in our rating. Your input is welcome.
We look forward to hearing your opinions and arguments about what is not and what is conspiracy theory!