TRENDING 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True

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While many, if not most, conspiracy theories are completely outlandish, conspiracies themselves are very real. Any group of people plotting to do something against the law (even if the law is unjust) is technically a conspiracy, and there have been many throughout history. Some of these true conspiracy theories were plots to assassinate leaders, others were plots to game the system in business. Most failed eventually, leading to the conspirators facing fines, jail time, or even death.

These real conspiracies proven true come from many different countries and different historical eras. We know all about them, how they were perpetrated and in many cases, the damage they did. Whether it's the plot to kill a leader or a billion-dollar scheme by a multinational corporation, these true conspiracies were all dragged out into the light.

From Watergate to the assassination that jump started World War I, some insane conspiracy theories weren't just theories, they turned out to be just some of the troubling true stories that mark the history of the human race. Which conspiracy theories are true? Read on to find out which ones really happened! 
Collection Photo:  Victor Hugo King via wikimedia
1

Lincoln's Assassination


Lincoln's Assassination is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln was not the act of a crazed lone gunman, but an organized conspiracy of four shooters to kill the president, vice-president, and Secretary of State in one massive coup.

Only John Wilkes Booth carried out his role, with the other two planned shootings resulting in Secretary of State William Seward being wounded, and Vice President Johnson being spared by the cowardice of his planned killer.
2

The Trusts of 19th Century America


The Trusts of 19th Century Ame... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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Up until the trust-busting presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, a small group of powerful and wealthy business owners conspired to monopolize their various interests. This was done through price-fixing, bribery, intimidation, union busting, and running small business into the ground through unfair competition. An enormous amount of wealth was eventually concentrated in a few giant combinations, called trusts, which were almost as powerful as the government.

These trusts were eventually broken up through lawsuits and legislation, but many of their successor companies still corner the market today in oil, mining, manufacturing, and food production.
3

Lenin Returns to Russia


Lenin Returns to Russia is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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With the tide of World War I starting to turn against the German Empire, drastic steps needed to be taken to get Russia out of the war and move those troops to the Western Front. In early 1917, German authorities allowed exiled communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin to cross Germany from Switzerland to Sweden in a sealed railway car. German authorities hoped that the return of the anti-war Lenin to Russia would help overthrow the government and undermine the Russian war effort.

Berlin was right, and thanks to the communist revolutionaries led by Lenin, Russia was out of the war less than a year later.
4

The Black Hand Assassinates Franz Ferdinand


The Black Hand Assassinates Fr... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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A secret society made up of Serbian nationals seeking to unify various Serbian enclaves, members of this group conspired to assassinate the Austrian Archduke. Their goal was to break off the southern Slavic provinces of Austria-Hungary and create a unified Slavic nation.

Six members traveled to Sarajevo to carry out the deed, having been trained and equipped by additional conspirators in the Serbian military. One of them, Serbian student Gavrilo Princip, succeeded – and his act kicked off the First World War.
5

Prohibition Alcohol Poisioning


Prohibition Alcohol Poisioning is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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The US Department of the Treasury, in its capacity to enforce the Volstead Act, added deadly chemicals to the industrial alcohol that was being used by bootleggers as a substitute for grain alcohol. They hoped to make a few scofflaws sick and discourage others from drinking cheap hooch.

Instead, over 1,000 people died, just in New York alone, before the practice was stopped.
6

The July 20th Plot


The July 20th Plot is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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Dozens of members of the German military and civilian leadership conspired to kill Adolf Hitler by planting a bomb at his military headquarters. The plot, dramatized in the Tom Cruise film Valkyrie, failed when the bomb was accidentally moved away from Hitler at the last second.

Nearly 5,000 people, many of whom had nothing to do with the conspiracy, were executed in the aftermath.
7

The Tuskegee Experiment


The Tuskegee Experiment is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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This shameful and racist conspiracy unfolded over decades, as the CDC knowingly withheld potentially lifesaving treatments from black men with syphilis under the guise of a medical experiment. Once the conspiracy became public, hearings were held and a $10 million settlement was reached for its victims – along with lifetime medical care for their families and no-cost burials.
8

Cigarettes Cause Cancer


Cigarettes Cause Cancer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 19 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True
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Tobacco companies knew as early as the 1950s that smoking was directly linked to lung cancer. Even before then, in the 1920s, a few maverick researchers were publishing studies that theorized that the effects of smoking weren’t beneficial, as the tobacco manufacturers claimed.

But it took until 1998’s Master Settlement Agreement between the US Government and the leading tobacco companies for these links to be acknowledged, and restitution made to victims.