The recent scandal around Edward Snowden, a former employee of the National Security Agency of the United States of America, and his exposure of the U.S. government’s national and international surveillance of the public has increased an interest in conspiracy theories. Though these theories have been around for decades, Snowden’s compromising made the public take a look at them from a different perspective. Theories about global shadowing, lustration, and total control were considered myths, but now enthusiasts are revising the most popular conspiracy theories and guessing whether they are true as well. Among the most popular conspiracy theories are those about the origin of the AIDS virus, Pearl Harbor, and the CIA’s implication in drug distribution.
One of the most popular conspiracy theories is that AIDS, this scourge of third-world countries, was artificially created in a laboratory. This version of the virus’ origin was introduced by Dr. William Campbell Douglass, who had claimed that HIV, which causes AIDS, was designed in 1974 in the laboratories of the World Health Organization (Telegraph). He believed it was created for experiments in Africa and other third-world countries, supposedly as an attempt to control overpopulation. Other researchers have claimed AIDS was created by the CIA or the KGB with the same purpose.
Another popular conspiracy theory refers to the Pearl Harbor tragedy. Theorists believe the Japanese forces were provoked to attack Pearl Harbor by President Franklin Roosevelt, who knew about the planned assault but failed to warn his fleet commanders (Telegraph). He is believed to be warned by the governments of Britain, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, Korea, and the Soviet Union; theorists assume Roosevelt needed the Pearl Harbor base to be attacked to provoke Hitler into declaring war on the U.S. The American public and Congress were against the U.S. entering the war in Europe, so Roosevelt needed a strong argument to force them. Theorists also claim the U.S. military had broken all Japanese codes to intercept messages about the attack, but still did nothing to prevent the tragedy.
The CIA is perhaps one of the most controversial agencies in the world, and the number of conspiracy theories referring to it is astronomical. One of the popular theories is that the CIA is connected to drug distribution. Specifically, in the mid-1990s, the reporter Gary Webb more-or-less accused the CIA of having connections with drug dealers from Nicaragua, who were believed to be operating in the United States (Listverse). Webb was hounded to suicide by the media, and the scandal was smothered up. And though Webb’s accusations were not direct and concrete, there still exists many other theories about the CIA’s involvement in this nefarious business.
As it turned out recently with the unveiling of the mass surveillance program of U.S. intelligence agencies, conspiracy theories are not always fairy tales for alert and receptive citizens. Perhaps, other popular theories will appear to be true as well. If theories about the artificial origins of AIDS, the Pearl Harbor attack, and the CIA’s involvement into criminal activities will find increased evidence, new scandals and public outrage are guaranteed.
“History’s Greatest Conspiracy Theories.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, n.d. Web. 08 July 2013.
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