Yet, for reasons I do not fully understand, the “conspiracy theorist” label is used by some as a great insult.
To those people, I say, get your head out of the clouds.
Here are some conspiracy theories proven true. (Adapted from 6wise)
1. The Dreyfus Affair: In the late 1800s in France, Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus was wrongfully convicted of treason based on false government documents, and sentenced to life in prison. The French government did attempt to cover this up, but Dreyfus was eventually pardoned after the affair was made public (an act that is credited to writer Émile Zola).
2. Asbestos: Between 1930 and 1960, manufacturers did all they could to prevent the link between asbestos and respiratory diseases, including cancer, becoming known, so they could avoid prosecution. American workers had in fact sued the Johns Manville company as far back as 1932, but it was not until 1962 that epidemiologists finally established beyond any doubt what company bosses had known for a long time – asbestos causes cancer.
3. The Mafia: This secret crime society was virtually unknown until the 1960s, when member Joe Valachi first revealed the society’s secrets to law enforcement officials.
4. MK-ULTRA: In the 1950s to the 1970s, the CIA ran a mind-control project aimed at finding a “truth serum” to use on communist spies. Test subjects were given LSD and other drugs, often without consent, and some were tortured. At least one man, civilian biochemist Frank Olson, who was working for the government, died as a result of the experiments. The project was finally exposed after investigations by the Rockefeller Commission.
5. Operation Mockingbird: Also in the 1950s to ’70s, the CIA paid a number of well-known domestic and foreign journalists (from big-name media outlets like Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CBS and others) to publish CIA propaganda. The CIA also reportedly funded at least one movie, the animated “Animal Farm,” by George Orwell. The Church Committee finally exposed the activities in 1975.
6. Watergate: Republican officials spied on the Democratic National Headquarters from the Watergate Hotel in 1972. While conspiracy theories suggested underhanded dealings were taking place, it wasn’t until 1974 that White House tape recordings linked President Nixon to the break-in and forced him to resign.
7. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study: The United States Public Health Service carried out this clinical study on 400 poor, African-American men with syphilis from 1932 to 1972. During the study the men were given false and sometimes dangerous treatments, and adequate treatment was intentionally withheld so the agency could learn more about the disease. While the study was initially supposed to last just six months, it continued for 40 years. Close to 200 of the men died from syphilis or related complications by the end of the study.
8. Operation Northwoods: In the early 1960s, American military leaders drafted plans to create public support for a war against Cuba, to oust Fidel Castro from power. The plans included committing acts of terrorism in U.S. cities, killing innocent people and U.S. soldiers, blowing up a U.S. ship, assassinating Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees, and hijacking planes. The plans were all approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but were reportedly rejected by the civilian leadership, then kept secret for nearly 40 years.
9. The Iran-Contra Affair: In 1985 and ’86, the White House authorized government officials to secretly trade weapons with the Israeli government in exchange for the release of U.S. hostages in Iran. The plot was uncovered by Congress in 1987.
10. 1990 Testimony of Nayirah: A 15-year-old girl named “Nayirah” testified before the U.S. Congress that she had seen Iraqi soldiers pulling Kuwaiti babies from incubators, causing them to die. The testimony helped gain major public support for the 1991 Gulf War, but — despite protests that the dispute of this story was itself a conspiracy theory — it was later discovered that the testimony was false. It was actually the creation of public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the purpose of promoting the Gulf War.
11. The Anthrax Attacks of 2001: Bruce Ivins, who worked at a US military base, was awarded the highest civilian medal of honor by Bush in 2003, and who was on the 9/11 investigation team Operation Noble Eagle, was responsible for the second most famous terrorist attack in US history. He attempted to frame Arabs by writing “Allah is Great” on the letters containing Anthrax which he used to kill his fellow Americans.
Proven: Other now proven conspiracies include human radiation experiments, the first nuclear reactor meltdown in Idaho falls, a secret base known as Area 51 in Nevada, tobacco companies cover up the cancer link, Russian spies in the FBI and CIA, COINTELPRO, illegal spying on Americans, the prisoner abuse and torture at Abu Graib, the fact that the CIA has/had secret prisons in other countries, and so on.
Not every conspiracy theory is true, of course, but some are. Some are not. Look at the evidence and consider the motives in each case.
– Were the Apollo moon landings faked?
– Did Raymond Royal Rife cure cancer in the late 1930’s?
– Was Pearl Harbor a plot by FDR to get the US into the war?
– Did the Nazi’s build and fly disk shaped aircraft and escape in them after the war?
– Was JFK killed by the mob or the CIA?
– Did aliens or a human military craft crash at Roswell, NM?
– Was 9/11 an inside job like the Anthrax attacks?
– Was Osama bin Laden murdered on December 17, 2001 by Omar Sheikh?
– Do substances released from some plastics cause health problems by acting as xenoestrogens?
– Same question for rBGH/BST.
– Is fluoride a neurotoxin that lowers intelligence and makes people more compliant?
– Is AIDS a man made disease aimed at population control?
– Does FEMA have white train cars for transporting humans?
– Does FEMA have secret concentration camps all across the US?
– Are there underground and undersea bases connected by underground bullet trains?
– Did Bush steal the elections with vote fraud?
– Is aspartame dangerous?
– Mercury in dental fillings?
– Was electric car technology suppressed by big oil?
– Did big oil suppress a 200 MPG carburator?
– Is HAARP capable of being used as a weapon?
– Did the Philadelphia Experiment make a ship invisible?
– Are Chemtrails being sprayed from jets for some secret purpose?
– Are the massive silent black triangles US military technology?
– Does a small elite group manipulate world events and governments?
I don’t know. All of these are still just conspiracy theories, some more wild than others; possibilities to keep an eye on.