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conspiracy theories



  • The Conspiracy Theory That Spawned a Political Party

    "The question of the Anti-Masonic Party’s legacy is anything but settled among political historians. Was it all a righteous democratic force for justice or a cynical conspiracy cult?"



  • How QAnon Crept Into the Mind of Donald Trump

    by Jeff Sharlet

    Jeff Sharlet has long examined the role of true believers in politics. As the influence of the QAnon conspiracy theory among Trump's base comes in for scrutiny, he asks what if "he isn’t selling a dream, he’s dreaming it?"



  • Where Conspiracy Reigns

    Historians Rodrigo Patto Sá Motta and Federico Finchelstein offer insight into how the political right has used rumors of communist plots to maintain power in Brazil, and why the country's political culture today is vulnerable to fake news and conspiracy theories. 



  • Qanon Misdirects Our Attention Away From The Real Threats To Children

    by Paul M. Renfro

    "Moral panics like QAnon work to distract from less outrageous, far more insidious sources of harm. Even worse, they contribute to punitive policies that separate and hurt families, perpetuate mass incarceration and keep people in a state of fear."



  • The Text That Stoked Modern Antisemitism

    The FBI recently tweeted out its archival copy of the notorious antisemitic conspiracy tract "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" without any context or explanation. Here's where it came from and a summary of its influence.



  • A Brief History of Dangerous Others

    by Richard Kreitner and Rick Perlstein

    Wielding the outside agitator trope has always, at bottom, been a way of putting dissidents in their place. The allegation is not even necessarily meant to be believed. It is simply a cover story, intended to shield from responsibility not only the authorities implicated in crimes or abuses of power, but also society as a whole. 


  • How the GOP Brought Antisemitism from the Margins to the White House

    A new website tracking incidents of right-wing antisemitism finds that rarely a week goes by without the Republican Party boosting white nationalism. A long history of conservative maneuvering to portray Democrats and the left as antisemitic helps explain the lack of political consequences.



  • The Conspiracy Theories That Fueled the Civil War

    The most powerful people and institutions in the South spread paranoia and fear to protect slavery, leading the country to war, as historians Matthew J. Clavin and Manisha Sinha explain. 



  • The Conspiracy Museum: A Speculative Address

    by Robin Sloan

    Where might the spread of conspiratorial thinking and evidence-free discourse lead? Read the opening address for the Smithsonian Museum of American Conspiracy from the year 2041. 



  • A Response to "Alternate" Explanations

    by L.D. Burnett

    How should a professor respond to a student's journaling project if it reflects unfounded conspiracy theories about Covid-19? 



  • The JFK assassination files lead back to Seattle

    A University of Washington professor says that one of the doctors who worked on JFK’s body admitted that one shot was from the front not behind him. But that's not what the doctor told Gerald Posner.



  • JFK files say rumors of CIA link to Oswald ‘unfounded’

    A 1975 CIA memo says a thorough search of agency records in and outside the United States was conducted to determine whether Oswald had been used by the agency or connected with it in "any conceivable way." The memo said the search came up empty.