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SKEPTOID BLOG:

The Top Conspiracy Theories of 2014

by Mike Rothschild

November 25, 2014

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Donate PLEASE NOTE: This list is based on a forthcoming piece I've written for Ranker.com, where I've been developing content for the past several months. When it comes to conspiracies, there's no limit to what can be written.

2014 brought conspiracies on top of plots on top of evil cabals tossing out false flag distractions. Whether it was plane crashes, murders, diseases or general nonsense, if you think someone somewhere was plotting to destroy you, you probably found a conspiracy theory to go along with your tinfoil ravings.

Here are ten of the best (but by no means ALL) conspiracy theories of 2014.

Read on... if "they" let you.

THE CONSPIRACY: Ebola is actually a man-made virus, engineered to cull the population. The proof is that the Centers for Disease Control patented a strain of the virus in 2010 — the same one that caused a pandemic in 2014.

THE FACTS: The CDC did in fact patent a strain of Ebola in 2010, called Ebola Bundibugyo. The purpose of this was not to wipe out mankind or profit from a vaccine for it, but to protect work they'd done to isolate this previously unknown type of the virus.

In any case, the Supreme Court ruled several years later that naturally-occurring genes can't be patented, so don't expect to see this come up for whatever the next viral scare is. Additionally, the strain of Ebola currently plaguing West Africa isn't Ebola Bundibugyo, but Ebola Zaire — a genetically different version.

THE CONSPIRACY: The Ebola outbreak was caused by vaccines.

THE FACTS: As soon as the Ebola pandemic broke out in West Africa, anti-vaccine proponents began to speculate that it wasn't caused by a virus at all, but by vaccination programs carried out by the UN. There was also speculation that the Ebola outbreak was only engineered so Big Pharma could profit off an experimental, fast-tracked vaccine called ZMapp.

This speculation was stoked almost entirely by a small cadre of anti-vaccine advocates, working with already proven biases against vaccines and those who develop them. Most had no scientific research to back them up, and were based only on wild speculation and delusion that "they" were out to poison us with chemicals and get rich off it. Some even got basic facts, like the name of the experimental drug, wrong. None of it had any validity, and it was soon forgotten.

THE CONSPIRACY: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 wasn't shot down by Russian-backed separatists, it was actually __________.

THE FACTS: As soon as MH17 went down in a field in eastern Ukraine, conspiracy theories about who "really" did it emerged. Russian officials pointed their fingers at Ukraine, who must have shot down the plane as a false flag to instigate war with Russia. Alternative medicine advocates claimed it was shot down by Big Pharma because it was carrying researchers who were about to announce the cure for AIDS, and the drug companies couldn't allow that. And some bloggers claimed it was never shot down at all, instead either being blown up (to start a war, naturally) or that it never flew in the first place.

Most signs still point to Russian-backed separatists who accidentally fired on the plane because they thought it was a Ukrainian military jet.

THE CONSPIRACY: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked and taken away to get access to secret technology.

THE FACTS: Conspiracy theories develop because it's hard for some people to believe that the "official story" could actually be true. In the case of MH370, the official story is also woefully incomplete.

For MH370, the "hidden story" was either than the pilot took control of the plane and crashed it on purpose, or that the plane didn't crash at all, and was actually hijacked. One potential reason for this surfaced when it became known that multiple high-level researchers at a prominent semiconductor company were on board, and these people had developed patents for secret stealth technology — resulting in billions of dollars for the lone patent holder still alive. However, subsequent research showed that this story was entirely bogus, with none of the "patent holders" even being on the flight.

THE CONSPIRACY: MH370 and MH17 were actually the same plane, with 370 being hijacked and used to cause a false flag.

THE FACTS: Coincidence is not conspiracy. Even so, the coincidence of two Malaysia Airlines 777 passenger planes crashing within just a few months couldn't help but raise eyebrows. Some conspiracy theorists took it further than that: positing that these were actually the same plane, hijacked earlier in the year, then used to stage an incident that would lead to war.

There was one problem with this theory: it brings up far more questions than it answers. If these were the same plane, what happened to the passengers on MH370, and how were new passengers put on it later? What explains the discrepancies in design and painting between the two planes? The "MH17 is MH370" theory was almost entirely the work of bloggers, and rests on the assumption that two planes of the same make and model both crashing must actually be one plane.

THE CONSPIRACY: Barack Obama would conspire to steal the midterm election for Democrats, or cancel it altogether.

THE FACTS: Obviously, despite being foreseen by a number of conspiracy theorists and far-right bloggers, neither of these things happened. If President Obama were rigging the election, he did a terrible job of it, because it was a pasting for Democrats. Also, "so-and-so will cancel the election" rumors have been thrown out for every election over the last decade, and have never come to pass.

THE CONSPIRACY: The mysterious and deadly virus EVD68 was engineered for various evil purposes.

THE FACTS: Despite media panic and conspiracy theories, the outbreak of Enterovirus 68 was neither unprecedented nor based on some mysterious new virus. EVD68 was first identified in California in the 1960s, and is simply a more severe version of the usual common cold strain that infects millions of school children and parents every fall. This is the so-called "summer cold" that results from children going back to school and not always practicing good hygiene.

Additional theories about EVD68 being brought into the US by illegal immigrants have no factual evidence to support them. No Latin American country has seen a severe outbreak of the virus, though it exists in every country — as a strain of the common cold.

THE CONSPIRACY: Yellowstone Caldera is about to erupt, taking most of the US with it. To save the country, the government has a plan: relocate high-level citizens to the Southern Hemisphere. But in a shocking twist, these citizens will only be white.

THE FACTS: This bizarre conspiracy theory got a high level of mainstream coverage, and required a denial from the United States Geological Survey. But some aspects of the story, such as the evacuation being for white Americans only, raised eyebrows. The whole thing was actually an April Fools prank by the South African nationalist website Praag — as evidenced by the story's origin date of April 1st and its prominent usage of quotes by a South African official who doesn't appear to exist.

THE CONSPIRACY: The ice bucket challenge, which became a huge viral hit raising money for ALS research, was actually a Satanic ritual.

THE FACTS: While there was genuine skepticism about the Ice Bucket Challenge, very few people took it as far as World Net Daily writer Selena Owens. The columnist for the ultra-conservative outlet speculated that because of the accidental death of one of the challenge's founders, as well as "clues" found in various IBC videos by an evangelist named Anita Fuentes, that the IBC was actually a devil-worshiping ritual on par with a Satanic baptism.

Neither Fuentes nor Owens explained what exactly about dumping a bucket of cold water on one's head denotes a Satanic ritual. Nor did anyone who took part in the Challenge claim they were doing it on behalf of Satan. Nor does the explanation Owens gives, which involves something about Oprah, make any sense. Other than that, it's a perfectly valid theory.

THE CONSPIRACY: Robin Williams was murdered by the Illuminati.

THE FACTS: It's almost become standard operating procedure for the pop culture hive mind to declare that when a celebrity dies, no matter how tragic it was, they were "actually" knocked off by the Illuminati. The reasons usually amount to "they knew too much" or "were about to go public."

As to the specifics of Williams, most of the conspiracy is "revealed" in rambling YouTube videos about all the other celebs the Illuminati have sent to an early death. The Illuminati themselves are thought to also have revealed their sacrifice by giving us one of their patented public clues in the BBC3 airing of a "Family Guy" rerun that involves Peter Griffin turning into Robin Williams.

Of course, Williams was alive when the episode first aired in 2012, and was alive when it was rerun multiple times. But it's easier to ascribe a tragic death to a bizarre and pointless conspiracy than it is to look at the hard facts behind clinical depression and addiction. That would require more than Google searches.

THE CONSPIRACY: Dozens of bankers from around the world, many from JP Morgan in particular, are being murdered in staged suicides to cover up the coming "Global Currency Reset."

THE FACTS
: This list of unrelated names was "proof" that bankers were being killed in a final purge of anyone who stood in the way of massive changes to the very foundation of global currency trading.

Except it wasn't. Many of the names on the list either didn't work in banking anymore or never had. Several worked in the IT departments of banking firms. One was retired. Another was facing indictment. They had no connection to each other besides being names on this list.

Beyond that, banking itself is a hugely stressful and results-driven profession, necessitating long hours, intense work and little sleep. People in the financial services sector have spoken of a suicide epidemic in banking, but not because of a conspiracy. It's because of the pressure people in banking feel to deliver, and to justify their high salaries.

by Mike Rothschild

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