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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Five Particularly Crazy Obama Conspiracy Theories

by Mike Rothschild

September 30, 2013

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Donate Conspiracy theories about Barack Obama have become almost as commonplace as those about the Illuminati, aliens and Big Pharma. Most, about his birthplace or history, have been debunked long ago. A few are so strange and out-of-the-mainstream that few people have even heard of them. Is it because they're too bizarre to bother with? Or because we just haven't opened our eyes and woken up? Whatever you think of the President, love him or loathe him, you owe to yourself to know THE TRUTH:

Barack Obama thanked Satan in his 2008 acceptance speech! This is the theory behind a four minute YouTube video with over 4.4 million views and almost 9,500 likes. Taken from Obama's speech in Chicago the night of the election, it makes the case that his signature slogan "yes we can" can be listened to backwards and reveal itself to be "Thank you Satan." Many conspiracy theorists and evangelicals have a strong suspicion that President Obama either is or was sent to pave the way for the Anti-Christ, so this would play right into that. And if you spell "yes we can" backwards, it's "sac ew sey," which actually kinda sorta might sound like "Thank you say."

Of course, the Dark Lord's name is "Satan" not "Say." Also, reverse speech is worthless as a way to convey subliminal messages. And since confirmation bias dictates that once you're told what a backmasked or hidden phrase sounds like, you'll go right ahead and hear it, that's probably what you're going to hear. The rest of the video tries gamely to turn other lines in the speech into subliminal messages of doom, such as "the Lord said the new Arab sins are with him" and "the time of: us gets, that ain't leave — Selled by gambit — we selled back — with Narif" and "Woman don't add, it's God's name — marker will lash you." If anyone has any idea what any of that possibly might mean, please leave a comment below. With Narif, of course.

Barack Obama was teleported to Mars by the CIA! Barack Obama's past, both real and imagined, includes residence in a number of places far from the traditional American beaten path...including Mars. At least that's the accusation put forth by Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings, two men who proclaimed they were part of a joint CIA/DARPA mission to the Red Planet in the early 80's. According to them, a 19 year old Barack Obama, using the name "Barry Soetero," was recruited by the CIA to help establish a defensive presence on Mars for the purpose of protecting Earth from space-borne threats. Soetero and his comrades were sent via a teleporting "jump room" based at a small technical school in California. And apparently these jump room missions were very dangerous. The director of the program, Major Ed Dames, claimed that only about ten percent of the nearly 100,000 people sent to Mars survived. If this is true, it means the President lied about a number of things, not the least of which would have been his military service...

Most of the Obama on Mars theory comes from a post on the blog Exopolitics, and it's the same exquisitely detailed gibberish we've come to expect from people telling stories about alien encounters.

While teleportation doesn't exist and there's no indication that 90,000 people died because they used it to go to Mars, a few things about the tale do have a bit of truth them. Basiago and Stillings, the two "chrononaut" whistleblowers, are real people, as is Major Dames, a remote viewing expert who was part of the military's attempt to create psychic soldiers, called Project Stargate. And "Barry Soetoro" is one of the names that many Obama conspiracy theorists claim the President used at one point in his life, though there's no actual proof of it.

The story did get enough traction that the White House issued a formal denial of it in early 2012. Which OF COURSE they would do if it really happened.

Barack Obama secretly had brain surgery! This started floating around in April, 2011. It started, like many of these theories do, with one blog post. It's from April 3rd, on "Escape Tyranny" and appropriately titled "What's that huge long scar on Obama's head? And is that why we can't see his birth certificate?" The post speculates that a long mark running down the president's head is not a part in his hair or simply a place where hair didn't grow, but a scar left over from brain surgery that replaced his cranial plates and implanted him with now "misfiring" circuitry — the proof of which is found in his verbal tic of a slight stammer, and that he once repeated himself during a speech.

The post was picked up by the UK's Daily Mail a few days later, which took the extra step of harassing "countless" neurosurgeons, all of whom said it wasn't their place to comment on what the scar could be. Within a week, it had gone viral, with mentions by Glenn Beck, CNN and Fox News — all of whom wrote it off as absurd. What's interesting about the original post, however, is that it's mostly another rant about Obama's "missing" birth certificate, a question that all but the most hardcore conspiracy theorists have deemed to be asked and answered.

The theory still has adherents on the fringes, including author Bensa Magos, who speculates in his self-published book that the scar is leftover from a CIA mind control operation — one that also removed a demonic horn that Obama was born with. Of course, if the CIA was running things, they probably would have just told the president to grow his hair out a bit and hide the scar in the first place.

Barack Obama secretly married his male Pakistani roommate! Whispers and smears that Barack Obama was hiding a gay double life started up as soon as his presidential candidacy did. Accusations flew almost immediately about a series of bathhouses and coke-fueled sexcapades in Chicago, a supposed post-election romance with his personal assistant and dalliances with a variety of male politicians. While these rumors are now standard issue on far-right websites, (indeed, feminizing Democratic candidates has been a Republican tactic for decades) most people, even those who can't stand Obama, don't pay them any heed. Probably the most out there of them involves Obama's time at Occidental College in Los Angeles - that while he was a student there, he was secretly married to his male, Muslim roommate.

This one is fairly new, tracing back only to August, 2012. And the originator shouldn't surprise anyone: it came from World Net Daily contributor Jerome Corsi, a man who never met an Obama conspiracy theory he couldn't make up and write a book about. Corsi created and uploaded a 13 minute YouTube video that "just asks questions" about the relationship Obama had with his roommate, a Pakistani national named Sohale Siddiqi.

Corsi uses photographs of the two acting chummy together, unverified whispers from people who knew them, the fact that Obama wore a large ring (which he still wears) and the closeness of their friendship to make a shocking accusation — that not only were they lovers, they were actually married. Of course, no proof of this exists, Corsi's "evidence" is entirely based on hearsay and wishful thinking, Siddiqi never claimed any such thing (he lives in Seattle and has been interviewed about this on multiple occasions) and same-sex marriage wasn't actually legal in California when Obama lived there.

There are a number of misconceptions and rumors regarding Barack Obama's time in college. This one is probably the weirdest, and the public didn't bite on it.

Obama plotted to kill Chelsea Clinton! It's no surprise that 2012 was a stellar year for Barack Obama conspiracy theories: there was an election at hand. Maybe the most insulting gained a moment of widespread fame when it came from the Twitter account of a Fox News reporter. Heather Childers would later claim she was "just soliciting opinions" when she tweeted out April 3: "Thoughts? Did Obama Campaign Threaten Chelsea Clinton's Life 2 Keep Parents Silent?" She included a link to a blog post from "Godfather Politics," which was a video of a woman named Bettina Viviano being interviewed (by Jerome Corsi, naturally) about her documentary "We Will Not Be Silenced."

The film claims to be an in-depth look at the supposed fraud that handed Obama the 2008 election, an election he was never eligible to win because he had no birth records. It's full of vague accusations that that Obama has either threatened or murdered any number of opponents in order to keep the secret of his lack of eligibility buried. It's all pretty standard birther/World Net Daily stuff — until the biggest bombshell of the clip. Viviano claims that someone with the Hilary Clinton campaign told her that their daughter Chelsea would be "next" if the Clinton's didn't stop making insinuations about Obama's birthplace.

Obviously, if a presidential candidate threatened the family of another candidate, that would be a serious, probably career-killing matter. And the proof Viviano presents to back up this shocking accusation is...nothing. Only hearsay that "someone told her" it happened. Without proof, this becomes just another rumor, one that would have quickly been forgotten if not for Heather Childers irresponsibly tweeting it in the guise of "just asking questions." Childers apologized for disseminating the unfounded rumor, but added that it was "interesting" that so many people were "offended" by it.

So what can we learn from these rumors? What's the skeptical angle? They all have a single origin point, either a blog post or YouTube video. None of them cite their sources or claim to have done original research, instead relying on hearsay, confirmation bias and wishful thinking. And as such, they had only a brief moment of mainstream recognition before fading back into obscurity.

by Mike Rothschild

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