;

conspiracy theories


  • A Hundred Years On, Tutankhamun's Alleged Curse Still Captivates

    by Gill Paul

    The fevered belief that visitors to Tutankhamun's tomb (and their families) were cursed became a media phenomenon in 1922, but popular culture from the Bible to Victorian serial stories and stage plays had already linked mummies and the supernatural. Today, curses persist alongside conspiracy theories to help ease the randomness of tragedy.



  • Can Jurors Hold Alex Jones Accountable?

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    Alex Jones's defenders on the far right claim the judgment is a political persecution. They must remember that the agents of that verdict weren't government officials, but jurors – American citizens exercising a duty to weigh facts and evidence. Maybe the excesses of MAGA need to meet a jury as well. 



  • How QAnon Catchphrases Took Over the KBJ Hearings

    by Donald Moynihan

    "QAnon, a sprawling set of baseless conspiracy claims, is built on nods and winks, which has allowed it to move from the fringes to the center of American politics without toppling the mainstream conservative politicians who are courting its adherents."



  • Whack-a-Mole

    by Rivka Galchen

    Reviewer Rivka Galchen looks at two recent books that highlight the importance of cultural beliefs in the acceptance or rejection of vaccines. 



  • The Apocalypse Never Dies, It Just Gets Weirder

    by Thomas Lecaque

    "Not only has the apocalypticism of the last few years not died out, but things aren’t getting better." A historian considers the intensification of apocalyptic rhetoric in American evangelicalism, and its fusion with the Trumpist political movement.



  • The Conspiracy Theorists Are Coming for Your Schools

    by Thomas Lecaque

    "Over the past year, as the conspiracy theorists have come together under one big apocalyptic tent we have seen organized campaigns of harassment, threats of violence, attempts to harm members of school administrations, and physical altercations at school board meetings when masks are mandated."



  • Another 9/11 Legacy? The Spread of Conspiracy Theories Online

    by Jeff Melnick

    9/11 happened as traditional American media outlets were being consolidated into a small number of corporate networks, encouraging people seeking information to turn to decentralized sources and, eventually, social media, opening space for misinformation and conspiracy theories. 



  • Bad Information: QAnon is a Social Problem, Not a Cognitive One

    by Nicolas Guilhot

    "The champions of debunking and the new information vigilantes are not interested in entertaining the possibility that the root cause of conspiracy theories may be located outside the mind and may require a reexamination of our economic and social arrangements."



  • The John Birch Society Never Left

    by Rick Perlstein and Edward H. Miller

    Journalists are calling for the Republicans to follow the lead of William F. Buckley and stand up to far-right extremists in their ranks. The problem is that neither Buckley nor the GOP of the 1960s did any such thing, instead perfecting the technique of speaking to two audiences. 



  • QAnon and the Satanic Panics of Yesteryear

    by Daniel N. Gullotta

    "The perception of a Christian nation in religious freefall fits almost seamlessly with QAnon’s conviction that the United States is under spiritual assault."


  • History, Evidence and the Ethics of Belief

    by Guy Lancaster

    Untrammelled freedom of belief has been enshrined as an American civic virtue. The nation, democracy, and possibly the planet are imperiled without a collective commitment to respect belief only to the extent available evidence supports it.