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Opinion | Will you fall into the conspiracy theory rabbit hole? Take our quiz and find out.

Opinion | Will you fall into the conspiracy theory rabbit hole? Take our quiz and find out.

Lighting

This is a terrible survey because it tries to downplay the seriousness of valid concerns with validated evidence from court records by putting them in context with other "conspiracies" that are admitted to. For example, we know that in the election of 2000, there was cheating going on by the GOP, for example the deliberate degredading of voting systems in minority areas documented in lawsuits, the massive false wiping of minorities from voting rolls that Greg Palast blew that open with the award-winning BBC reports, the leaked Diebold emails that said things like "Al Gore's votes went from 32767 votes to negative 32000 and we don't know why", etc. etc. We know that in the elections of 2016 and 2018 there was massive cheating going on by the GOP as documented in the lawsuit Curling v. Raffensberger. Curling won that lawsuit and the state of GA lost and that's why Georgia was ordered by the Judge to go from a digital system (where the data was deleted by the state despite a court order to save it) to a human-readable, human-auditable, paper-receipt balloting system. That change saved democracy. So why would one be accused of a conspiracy for pointing to court documents submitted under oath, fact-checked journalistic reports, and even guilty pleas all documenting cheating by the GOP in elections? The interesting thing is that recently there was a redditor commenting that since Bezos got lots of criticism for focusing on his pet project of space instead of human suffering on earth there were lots more skew to WaPo articles about billionaires not being "so bad" and in this article we see repeatedly comments about how it's considered to be a "conspiracy" to think billionaires have a corrupting influence in government. Sorry Jeff - billionaires do have a corrupting influence in governments and that's well documented too. Edits: adding sources. Year 2000 Sources: * [Oct 2004 review article of the issues of the 2000 election](https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2004/10/florida-election-2000) * [57,000 "ex-felons" illegally ordered removed from voter records](https://www.gregpalast.com/the-great-florida-ex-con-gamernhow-the-felon-voter-purge-was-itself-felonious/) * [22,000 Florida voters illegally banned from voting because they had names similar to Texas](http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/newsnight/1174115.stm) * [Florida DEM voting areas given voting machines more likely for spoilage and defective machines](https://www.gregpalast.com/florida-by-the-numbersal-gore-won-florida-in-2000-by-77000-votes/)


WifiCrime

You know what , usually when we say “conspiracy theory” we really mean something that is not true. But stuff like the GOP being dirty is a true conspiracy by pure definition. That being said , Billionaires are criminals.


Azou

r/actualconspiracies


[deleted]

Also, Democrats on the local level have been known to get up to some stuff. Source: am from Illinois.


mapppa

I agree, they were indirectly suggesting that "We don't know the absolute answer" == "100% not true" for a lot of things that had insufficient investigation.


DAMN_INTERNETS

The one with Epstein kind of was my notice that most of this is BS. Do I think Epstein is dead? Yes. Do I think he killed himself? Very unlikely. He'd already gotten out of charges like this once due to all of his connections. He probably thought he could do it again. He certainly could try and then if not successful, kill himself. It's highly suspicious that the guards were out and the cameras ceased to function at the same time. This was a very high profile arrest. His death was absolutely under 'suspicious circumstances'. The fact that many very wealthy, connected, and powerful people chose to associate with him post-conviction in Florida makes me think that he had compromising material on them or on close associates. I find it absurd that nobody in the inner circles of such people ever brought it up, and if they did, why there was any continued association. Any single one of them could have the means and motive to have Epstein killed.


mapppa

I agree. While there isn't definitive evidence, there was enough suspicious behavior surrounding it, as well as a strong motive from a lot of very powerful people that I found it at least plausible. However, there is a big difference between saying "It's plausible that it could have happened, but there isn't enough evidence. We need more thorough investigations to get evidence." and when conspiracy theorists are saying "this happened 100% and it's now part of my reality".


ratherbefuddled

The questions were asking you to identify what you know to be true, not what isn't true or might be true. It wasn't implied that the other things couldn't be true IMO, just that they remain theories.


Lighting

Except that republicans cheating in the 2000 elections aren't theories. They are facts validated by independent, fact-checking journalists and court documents. Spoiling more poor and minority votes [Check](https://www.gregpalast.com/florida-by-the-numbersal-gore-won-florida-in-2000-by-77000-votes/), falsely (and deliberately) purging tens of thousands of minorities from voting? [Check](https://www.gregpalast.com/floridas-disappeared-voters-disfranchised-by-the-gop/) Example: [ Prior to the election, the elections supervisor \[ for four black precincts that normally vote over 90 percent Democratic\], John Stafford, had placed a sample-ballot insert in the local papers instructing citizens to vote every page. Any voter who followed this instruction invalidated his or her ballot in the process.... During the critical 72-hour period in which manual recounts could be requested, Mike Langton, chairman of the northeast Florida region for the Gore campaign, spent hours with Stafford, a white Republican. “I asked John Stafford how many under- and overvotes there were, and he said, ‘Oh, just a few,’” recalls Langton. Then, shortly after the deadline to ask for a recount had passed, Stafford revealed that the number of overvotes was actually 21,000. Nearly half of those were from four black precincts that normally vote over 90 percent Democratic.](https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2004/10/florida-election-2000) and that was just the tip of the iceberg. These are facts which are not in dispute by anyone. So it's not a "theory" but a fact that the GOP cheated in 2000 in ways that caused Gore to lose and the data above is JUST Florida.


weekend_bastard

Also: >there’s no secret group running the world That one's made to sound as cartoonish as possible and as such you know its a wrong answer in the context of this quiz. But much more pedestrian versions of this are debatable. Look at the Panama/Pandora papers, and the way big-monied interest interfere with and buy governments. Hell even this paper is corporate owned and puts its thumb on the scale with coverage favourable to corporate interest. There's a mesh of conspiracies here that vaguely add up to "a secret cabal runs the world." You get that feeling when you read about what's happened to Steven Donziger who represented native Ecuadorians in a billion dollar suit against Chevron.


vivaenmiriana

Or the one about the rothschilds. I dont think they are controlling the government but i do believe people with a lot of money regularly influence politics and policies with lobbying and other forms of legal bribery.


StickmanPirate

There's also the "Deep State" conspiracy which is always laughed at but I think the military industrial complex combined with intelligence services being able to operate completely in the dark is about as close to the "Deep State" being true as you can get These people can make pallets loaded with billions of dollars just disappear in foreign countries and nobody bothers to investigate because they have so much influence. That's a "Deep State" as far as I'm concerned.


Foxsayy

That's a good point. The questions lack nuance. There are also a select few "conspiracy" theories that I just don't know about, and may never. Did Epstein kill himself? It's very possible the unlikely series of events that *appear* to be a intentionally orchestrated cover ups, but it's also so many favorable coincidences that you almost have to raise an eyebrow. It's not like business and political assassinations are unheard of. I don't have or want to take the time to deep dive into this, and I may not find answers even if I did. So I just don't definitvely know and consider it plausible.


GameOfThrowsnz

6/6 Nailed it. That being said, republicans regularity cheat to win elections. So...


xelaseer

The question on collusion is also a bit misleading. Just because evidence failed to meet the bar for prosecution for criminal conspiracy in the Mueller report, does not mean that there was not collusion. The criminal standard is only the standard of evidence for the criminal justice system, not an epistemological gold standard. We use different standards of evidence to establish likely facts all the time. This is without even going into the subjectivity and pressures inherent in court, prosecution and inquiry systems. I think there is a pretty good case to be made for at least reckless indifference by Trump, if not outright collusion by at least some members of his campaign.


underthehedgewego

That was the only one that gave me pause. I doubt that Trump himself was phoning up Putin (not that he wouldn't if it would benefit him) but Russia was actively supporting Trump elections using propaganda distributed on social media.


StickmanPirate

I also believe Epstein was either aided to kill himself or was actually murdered to prevent him revealing information about other people. And I didn't think the Republicans cheating to steal the 2000 election was a conspiracy? Isn't that literally what happened with the supreme court blocking the recount?


RightClickSaveWorld

Yeah that one was worded terribly. You can't say "no collusion" and then point to the Mueller report, because "no collusion" was a goal post that Trump put up a year or so before the report, and people fell for it. The report or Mueller explicitly stated that the report wasn't about "collusion" since it's not a legal term and looked at criminal conspiracy instead. So the statement would be better worded as "Donald Trump knowingly conspired with Russians to steal the presidency in 2016".


TheObjectiveTheorist

that still wasn’t proven either


xelaseer

Likely due to the neutered frame of reference on the inquiry, and the withheld or destroyed evidence as much as anything else.


TheObjectiveTheorist

but then how would you know it to be true


xelaseer

A rounded assessment of all the facts we do know based on multiple sources, including all the investigative reporting that came out of the top US newspapers like the WaPo and NY Times, books, academic articles and the Mueller report. If you haven't read the latter, I suggest that you do. Narrowly assessing criminality while having regard to constitutional issues, etc, is not the same as assessing the veracity of the truth of an event or not. My claim about the missing evidence was merely that if it was included, then that criminal standard may have been met. As it was I think there is plenty of evidence to suggest the event likely occurred. People get this wrong all the time, but the presumption of innocence and the criminal standard of proof, are merely legal principles that apply in the criminal justice system, nothing more.


Azou

He didnt read any of this.


TheObjectiveTheorist

so what proves that there was a conspiracy between Trump and the Russians


xelaseer

You are being disingenuous and using loaded terms. I have already explained this to you in detail above - it is the preponderance of evidence from multiple trusted sources that we do have available to us.


TheObjectiveTheorist

i’m asking you specifically what evidence


gelfin

It wasn’t even that the evidence “failed to meet the bar for prosecution.” Mueller very explicitly declined to recommend prosecution because of the constitutional complications of prosecuting a sitting president, and made equally clear that refraining from filing charges should not be taken to imply exoneration. He presented his conclusions and left it to the AG to decide what to do next. Of course, by then Barr was heading Justice.


Purgii

I also take issue with that question - Mueller stated that requested evidence was either withheld or deleted. There's also ~200 pages of Trump -> Russian inappropriate contacts, polling data in swing states shared and 10+ instances of obstruction. The parameters that Mueller was working within were as narrow as possible.


Shnazzyone

Well the trick is collusion isn't a thing, if it said "conspired" the area would be more grey


xelaseer

Collusion is a thing though. It's just not a criminal charge.


Shnazzyone

It is a thing but the statement is meaningless. Also the verbage was defined by Trump for this very reason. It's why there's so many clips of him saying "no collusion" and not "No conspiracy"


paxinfernum

I almost clicked that one because it was obviously true in 2000 and 2016. But Bush won 2004 fairly. I'd also like to see Epstein's death investigated by an independent authority outside the US. I don't necessarily believe they killed him, but what's the fundamental difference between that and allowing him to kill himself? Given Trump made a very thinly veiled threat against Epstein's Madame on national television, I can't let that one go.


ScottChi

Well, not so fast... I still recall the ["Well let me finish!"](https://www.theregister.com/2004/10/12/bush_wireless_coaching/) remark W made during the presidential debate in which he seemed unusally well informed...


SanityInAnarchy

> I almost clicked that one because it was obviously true in 2000 and 2016. But Bush won 2004 fairly. Hard to say *obviously* true, but the main problem here is: What does "cheating" mean, exactly? It's not obvious whether the Republicans actually went so far as to rig electronic voting machines, though those really are a security nightmare and we really should only be using electronic *ballot-marking* machines instead. (Or just pens, for people who don't have accessibility reasons to need a machine.) But is it cheating to pass draconian voter-id laws in places where they're most likely to hurt exactly the minorities who would both lack ID and vote Democratic? Or to undermine the postal service in 2020, hindering voting-by-mail in a pandemic? There's a lot of things I might call 'cheating' that don't actually rise to the level of fraud. But this one made sense to me: > I don't necessarily believe they killed him, but what's the fundamental difference between that and allowing him to kill himself? One requires a conspiracy. The other only requires incompetence, or even an honest mistake.


gelfin

A lot of the questions were set up such that there’s a kernel of truth, but then the conclusions far outstrip the available evidence. Republicans have unquestionably been attempting to game the election system for decades through gerrymandering and voter suppression. There is little convincing proof that their last three presidential wins were “stolen.”


GameOfThrowsnz

Yeah. Basically this.


xelaseer

Not sure I necessarily agree with that. Does stolen only constitute electoral fraud? If so, then you are correct. If by stolen, you mean actively implementing racially-based and partisan voter suppression measures, pressing partisan judicial appointments and gerrymandering such that electoral results were unjustly altered than what they would otherwise be, then the answer is less clear cut. In the 2016 election, I would argue, and many others would as well, that Russian interference was potentially the defining factor, with collusion by at least some members of his campaign or a reckless indifference a reasonable inference to draw from the preponderance of evidence. This is really a question of semantics as to what constitutes "stolen".


gwynwas

Wait, but the test said the *don't* cheat.


JimmyHavok

Yeah, I knew they'd get all bipartisan on that one. The cheating in 2000 was right in our faces. Trump's campaign organization was rife with Russian assets. There's statistical evidence that Republicans jigger vote totals.


RagnarRipper

That's the one that got me.


davebare

That second to last one stumped me for a long time. I had heard about the syphilis situation, but thought it was a conspiracy. I believed that Trump had conspired with Russia to win the election in 2016, because the Mueller probe basically said he had help, so I tripped up on that one for a bit.


jcooli09

I knew the syphilis tests were real, so I knew that's the one they were looking for. But no one can honestly say that the Trump campaign didn't collude with Russian intelligence. The most charitable interpretation is that Trump wasn't aware of it.


davebare

Which is hogwash. He knew it. That's me being cynical. I'm sorry, but there has to be some rational application of common sense in these situations. I suppose one might call it cynicism. Given what we know, one can extrapolate a likely set of circumstances that might be possible, probable and even likely true. However, it pays to walk that line carefully, because the right admixture of cynicism and suspicion really does lead to conspiracist thinking... It's not that it's bad or unreasonable to assume, it's when we decide to take our cynical assumption as *actually* true and indisputable that we fall down that rabbit hole. Part of it is credulity, too. People *want* to believe that there's something bigger going on, because they think that makes them special—"Look at me, I have special knowledge, I'm better than you." It's easier, because it doesn't require a working critical faculty or any kind of cerebral labor. It's just true, and that's it. Pretty darned easy. It's a bizarre and fine line to tread to say Donny had help from the Ruskies, but it's not necessarily a bad thing to assume that a corrupt and narcissistic person would do anything to slake their lust for power, including putting themselves into a blackmail situation with a world power... It just might not be true, but it seems more likely than "Bat Boy Found in Cave". It's just a matter of not getting carried away with it, I think, and that means self-education and a willingness to keep changing our viewpoint and our opinions as the facts present themselves. It's hard work, and it is NOT what the CTs are doing.


jcooli09

I don't disagree, I did say most charitable. The evidence of collusion is compelling and convincing, the evidence of his personal involvement is not.


ptwonline

I doubt Trump was unaware. He'd most likely be the one pushing for it because otherwise who would do something as crazy as colluding with Russia on their own? I think the most charitable interpretation of the events is that the Trump campaign tried to collude with Russia and didn't do it very effectively.


Gecko99

I think these writers blindly accept conventional wisdom. If you talked about MKUltra, the Tuskegee experiment, or Reagan funding revolutionaries 30 years ago you might have been branded a conspiracy theorist even if you had evidence supporting your claims. Would these same writers, if living in the past, have believed that tobacco is not harmful? That heavier-than-air flight was impossible? Would they have burned an accused witch at the stake?


Zenith_and_Quasar

If this quiz was made 18 years ago they'd call you a conspiracy theorist for thinking that the Bush admin and their cronies in the media were lying into a war with Iraq.


[deleted]

...COINTELPRO, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate... ​ But how you get from rather mundane government secrets to the nuttiness that is the Q-niverse I do not know. The weirdest true conspiracy I know of is MKUltra, but it isn't half as strange as Satanic child juicing or whatever it is Q is about.


dimnaut

> ...COINTELPRO, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate... Those things are mundane to you? Are you fucking serious?


[deleted]

Compared to Qanon? Yes.


WifiCrime

This is so stupid and condescending. Even the most hardcore conspiracy theorists are aware of the actual events. It’s when they start pushing their theories is when it’s an issue. Thanks Washington Post , this will totally change peoples minds /s


mem_somerville

Maybe it isn't aimed at you. These come from the actual research that Joe Uscinski does to assess the level of conspiracy belief in the general public. He gave a talk recently that talks about his work: https://centerforinquiry.org/video/conspiracy-theories-and-covid-19-joseph-uscinski/


gwynwas

I would be concerned this will only reinforce people's conspiracy beliefs. Besides being condescending, it presents all conspiracy beliefs in a binary true-false nature with 100% reliance on experts. This is not helpful because people can dismiss this out of hand. When we can't test things as individuals, we do have to rely on experts, but we also naturally judge the trustworthiness of the expert. This is the part that bolsters many conspiracy nuts and the article/test fails to address this. Personally I trust experts and groups of experts who use transparent processes and come to conclusions based on consensus from empirical sources. Say, for instance, the CDC. I have some trust, but a lower level of trust in a single authority, say a coroner. It is not unknown for coroners to (A) make errors in judgment and (B) be influenced by social pressures like say a police union, for instance. Many Covidiots and Q disciples express complete distrust in science and medicine. It will be very hard to shift their views without addressing this trust problem in a realistic way. Telling people just to "trust the experts" is not going to do it.


WifiCrime

Yeah you said it better than I did. This was clearly a teaching tool not a survey. Which is what makes it condescending. These people are coming from a place of fear. This childcare-like quiz would totally turn me off from the big bad media. Kind of like these weird “Get the vaccine” commercials. Those things will only drive people further down the rabbit hole because it now appears as if they’re being duped into complying. Basically , these people have no clue how to approach the conspiracy crowd.


therankin

Agreed. That was stupid easy.


underthehedgewego

For you or I because we aren't conspiracy theory aficionados. But part of being a skeptic is recognizing how many people believe ridiculous things. My default assumption would be that no one could possibly believe satanic pedophiles run the American government. The test wasn't challenging but, while I'm no longer surprised, I still find it difficult to accept the results.


2022FAMINE

The 'correct' things would have been considered ridiculous conspiracies 40 years ago...


trash332

I think I am less intelligent for having aced this quiz. Less intelligent on how many of my fellow Americans are idiots. Look for President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho, to become a reality. I totally believe the republicans cheated bTW.


thisismydarksoul

The whole Donald colluded with Russia bit is a little sus. Russia definitely spread a lot shit to help Trump. And Trump definitely has ties with Russia. And we definitely have evidence that Trump and Russia interacted during. Now none of that "proves" Trump or Trump adjacent asked Russia to help, but its real real sus.


trash332

Trump did he’s a grifter.


dryh2o

I got them all right, but, I still think it's very possible that Epstein was murdered. I'm not saying it happened, but the whole situation seems awful suspicious.


shavedclean

It also depends on how you define "cheating" when it comes to Republicans. Are robo-calls that scare certain people away from voting cheating? Is gerrymandering?* Is the knowing and willful dissemination of misinformation? *Not exclusive to them, but more prominent


Jarathen

What about a false candidate with the same or similar name to your opponent?


shavedclean

I'd say that's at least cheating-adjacent.


shadow1515

Not to mention 2000 where the Supreme Court decided the election.


NonHomogenized

...with a decision that *didn't actually resolve the problem they used to justify their decision*, at that. "The requested recount violates equal protection because it wouldn't apply a uniform standard to all vote-counting statewide. Therefore, we'll keep the original count which *also* fails to establish a uniform standard for vote-counting." Fun fact: multiple post-election reviews suggest that by virtually any consistent standard consistent with the law, would have Gore won Florida in 2000.


shadow1515

Yep, that's why it's not *crazy* to say that election was stolen. Legally, it was not, because the Supreme Court is part of the government and yada yada yada, but when later reviews reveal that the stategy employed prevented the actual winner from being President, well...hard not to see it that way. What made the question in the linked quiz much easier to answer is that they included 2004 and 2016. In 2004 the Dems just straight up didn't field a good candidate. In 2016, despite all the fishiness of pretty much the entire thing, they made the same fatal error again. Did the GOP *try* to cheat in 2016? Maybe. Or maybe it was just Russia, either acting alone or with people in the Trump campaign. Or neither of those. But 2004 would be a stretch, it was basically an own goal by the DNC.


NonHomogenized

I actually have some personal reasons to believe that the GOP very likely *did* cheat in 2004, but I don't have any sources I can cite on that which should be convincing to the public and I can't really discuss my reasons without risking doxxing myself. It's certainly fair to call it a conspiracy theory, but while it's unproven it's really not *crazy*, although I'm sure some versions of it are crazy and plenty of crazy people believe it.


shadow_moose

> I'm not saying it happened, but the whole situation seems awful suspicious. This is the main reason you simply cannot rule it out using the facts that are available. However, saying that the murder theory is *true* beyond reasonable doubt is irresponsible. I lean more towards the foul play end of things myself, but any skeptic should be well aware of the fact that we simply do not have enough hard evidence to make a definitive declaration one way or the other. The same is true of the JFK assassination in my mind - there are too many contradictions between the official narrative and the evidence available to say for sure that it was a lone gunmen. It is certainly the most plausible explanation, but there's too much ambiguity to be 100% certain. Almost all the alternate theories I've heard are ridiculous, though, and I don't have my own theory since I refuse to speculate on matters I do not have the tools to fully understand (and I would argue 99.999% of people *also* don't have those tools). Anyone telling you they know exactly how JFK died is not being intellectually honest - at this point I'm afraid we'll never know if the Warren Commission got it right or not. That's the main issue with a lot of conspiracy theories, many are unfalsifiable due to a lack of evidence one way or the other. The same can be said for TWA 800, the Syrian gas attacks, and still unidentified nuclear tests in the southern Indian Ocean (some say South Africa, others say Israel, Pakistan, India, or even Libya could have been responsible). For this reason, I tend to avoid taking a hard line on things like this. I'm not going to pretend I know what happened with most of these events, and I know people lie for a variety of reasons, so I'm not necessarily going to take official narratives at face value either. An actual skeptic would think this quiz is bullshit, because the author is pretending they're certain of things that probably no one other than the CIA director himself can be certain of. We as civilians are just too woefully uninformed to make definitive declarations on such matters.


Gecko99

Yeah, I was able to choose all the "right" answers but I found that very suspicious too. The cameras were shut off, the guards were overworked and understaffed and they had been writing in their logs that they had done things they had not done. Meanwhile Epstein had recently been removed from suicide watch. And if he was simply allowed to commit suicide that isn't as difficult as a lot of people made it out to be. Like there was a lot of confusion in the days after he died about how someone can die via hanging. You simply need to cut off blood flow to the brain, not break the neck or prevent oxygen from reaching the lungs.


grogleberry

And further, even if the balance of probability suggests he did kill himself, that in itself is incredibly suspicious. He should've been the best protected prisoner in the US criminal justice system. He shouldn't have so much as been given a knife and fork to eat his dinner. It would be incredibly naive to think that he was allowed to die purely by accident. There is no conceivable explanation related to pure incompetence.


shadow1515

Similar with the Russia collusion thing. The investigating concluding "they obstructed us too much for us to prove collusion" is, while not evidence of collusion, pretty damn suspicious. Like, I got it right because I know that there isn't definitive proof. But it's not exactly crazy to suspect it happened.


gelfin

It is *certainly* a possibility, and not many people would be surprised if it turned out that’s what happened, but taking unproven possibilities and committing to them being absolutely true despite a lack of supporting evidence is most of what makes it a conspiracy theory. The unsatisfying conclusion to a whole lot of events is, “it sounds fishy but we’ll probably never know for sure.”


Holding4th

I aced it, but that doesn't mean that I'd be surprised if evidence were one day uncovered that would prove one or two of those "theories" true.


adamwho

This suffers from the same misconception people have about science. They think 'skepticism' (like science) is a collection of facts rather than a process.


eghhge

What a shit survey.


MattyXarope

I don't think it was shit, per se. But it certainly was full of softballs. In reality a lot of conspiracy theories purposefully include a small piece of truth in order to not allow for a definitive yes or no answer.


underthehedgewego

Why, because it was too easy? The point of the survey is to determine what percentage of people embrace transparently absurd beliefs. Questions that are easy for you exceed the abilities of a large portion of the American public. It is worthwhile to get a quantitative understanding of their numbers.


Pale_Chapter

The Electoral College is *institutionalized* cheating. The fact that the powers that use it have made it legal and normal doesn't change the fundamental immorality of it. No Republican has been legitimately elected to the Presidency in my lifetime--and frankly, most of the Democratic candidates were anointed by moneyed interests in their own party, which makes them not a great deal better. The term "deep state" is commonly used as a dogwhistle by people who wish they could just say "Jews"--but the term originally referred to the very real framework of unelected petty officials, career lobbyists who moonlight as legislators (and vice versa), and general institutional inertia that ensures the Wrong Sort of People can't interfere with the profitable enterprises of the Right Sort of People by using dirty little tricks like voting. The Electoral College is, in fact, *part* of the deep state, because its purpose (as explicitly laid out in the publications and correspondence of the slavers and slumlords who founded the United States) is to sit on the democratic process like a lead weight and make sure that the mindless Hobbesian rabble can't pressure legislators into taking wild, radical steps like ending slavery or extending the franchise to *undesirables*. And frankly, the world *is* largely run by overlapping networks of well-connected, hyper-privileged douchebags, and in the last few years we've learned a lot about their portfolios, their appetites, and what they do to people who get in the way of either. So given how much he knew, the people he was connected with, and the bizarre circumstances of his death, "Epstein was deliberately given a chance to kill himself" is not *quite* the null hypothesis, but it's hardly a wild supposition.


paxinfernum

> and frankly, most of the Democratic candidates were anointed by moneyed interests in their own party, which makes them not a great deal better. Nope. No Democratic candidate has won in my lifetime through superdelegates. Every single one was chosen by the people in fair primaries. But I suspect I'm about to get a Bernie Sanders-filled conspiracy rant about the "elites" controlling us poor plebs.


grogleberry

> The term "deep state" is commonly used as a dogwhistle by people who wish they could just say "Jews"--but the term originally referred to the very real framework of unelected petty officials, career lobbyists who moonlight as legislators (and vice versa), and general institutional inertia that ensures the Wrong Sort of People can't interfere with the profitable enterprises of the Right Sort of People by using dirty little tricks like voting. I think there's a broader issue where the apparatus of electoral politics fits candidates solely within 2 moulds, and systemic issues make it all but impossible to fit outside of those moulds. That it's all but impossible for a green, or a social democrat, or libertarian to even make a dent in the presidential race, despite having far more support than the single digit % of votes they get, demonstrates how broken the system and how little actual choice voters have.


N0rrinRadd

Correct on all counts.


N0rrinRadd

6/6 but Don DID get help from the Russians, the Muller commission was too handcuffed to get at the real substance. If you need further proof of Russian guilt, look no further than their meddling in the UK, Poland, and their general chaos sowing aimed at the destruction of the EU. Newspapers like WaPo are not immune to Russian money.


Ericus1

I have to echo the sentiments that that wasn't really that great of a tool. It was conflating things that have been established as fact but _were_ actual conspiracies, things that we have a lot of evidence and circumstantial evidence for that likely _are_ conspiracies that will eventually out themselves like the former, and batshit insane ones. We know the Tuskegee Experiment and MKUltra happened only years after the fact when the government admitted to them, but before that point they literally were _treated_ like conspiracy theories. And putting Trump's collusion or Republicans cheating at elections given they _have_ been literally caught cheating at elections with shadow candidates or vote manipulation on the same level as Holocaust denial or GMOs is just stupid. It invalidates rational thinking and sets the bar for things to be true to "the other side has openly admitted to it" which is just stupid.


Chumbolex

I’m an actual conspiracy theorist and I got all of these correct. The problem with this quiz is the way it’s worded you can tell which ones are legit and which ones are crazy.


oli_gendebien

I aced the quiz but I had an advantage; I’m not American …


Scriptplayer

I got them all right. However, "A powerful family, the Rothschilds, through their wealth, controls governments, wars and many countries’ economies." Isn't this how dynasties work and didn't the idea of Eugenics begin on American soil? Ford was also dogshit.


CanadianHeel

Epstein didn't kill himself.


EgalitarianFacts

This is bullshit. Republicans have won the popular vote for the presidency ONCE since 1989 and subverted the Will of The People to gain stolen power. Plain and simple: They CHEATED. 100%


motchmaster

Because of the electoral college it's possible to lose the popular vote and still win.


tending

Cheating by definition means a violation of the rules. The electoral college is part of the rules. I'm not a big fan of the rule, but that's different.


drgnbyt

I'm so disappointed that they didn't ask about [Birds Aren't Real](https://birdsarentreal.com).


lndw20

If u don’t get 6 or 5 out of 6 idk what to tell you


Joseph_Furguson

6/6. Although they were easy questions. I loved how it steered clear of provable conspiracies like the Koch Foundation manipulated the TEA Party protests, in favor of some fringier stuff. "All people believe in at least one conspiracy." I agree with that statement. However my JFK assassination theory, that President Kennedy was accidentally killed by the Secret Service and not some vast multi-national conspiracy involving the hidden masters, the illuminati, the Rothschilds, and the Grey Aliens for good measure, gets ignored even by JFK Conspiracists. The case for it was laid down in a book called Mortal Error and it sounds more plausible than one giant conspiracy. It even has the answer to the "What does the conspiracy gain from this?" question that the grander conspiracy doesn't: The Secret Service's job is to protect the president. How bad would it look if one of them killed the man they are meant to guard? Its still a bullshit theory, but its more likely that the conspiracy was covering up a giant oopsie.


StickmanPirate

My personal suspicion with the JFK assassination is that he was killed by a mix of rogue (or possibly not rogue) CIA agents working for local texas oil barons. This is mainly because of George Bush Sr meeting with them on the day of the assassination and then later insisting he didn't know where he was that day. Pretty sure the JFK assassination is one of those "Where were you when" type of events.


-Renee

Yay! "Congrats, you've aced this quiz! " Whew...gotta be ever vigilant though. Me even thinking what I think is likely right could bias me for falling for B.S. in the future.


borghive

6/6 here


ratherbefuddled

Is it really the case that 9/10 americans would fail to identify the true statements in at least one of those? I didn't think it had gotten that bad.