The top conspiracy theories of 2015 have a number of overlapping circles. They usually involve Barack Obama doing something evil or contrary to the interests of the American people. They're driven by fear, or a response to something terrible. They're hard to believe, but believed anyway. And Donald Trump has managed to worm his way into most of them.
The latest conspiracy theories might seem like variations of the old ones, teeming with supposed hoaxes, false flags, secret payoffs, and hidden plots. But new conspiracy theories need to be examined for what they are on their own, not just as new versions of the old ones. While something like the "false flag" allegations directed at the Paris attacks, or the conspiracy theory furor over Jade Helm seem like bridges we've already driven over and blown up behind us, they're each their own animal - with a distinct origin, unique traits, and a cadre of true believers. Ignore the conspiracy theories of 2015 at your own peril.Here are the most popular, most outlandish, and most insane conspiracy theories that woke up the sheeple in 2015.
Jade Helm 15 - The US Is Taking Over Texas
The Conspiracy: Military exercise Jade Helm 15 was sold as a standard Special Forces training mission. But with its complicated map positing much of the southwest as "enemy territory," reports of armed soldiers marking curbs, rumors of "death domes" being constructed, and Walmarts being closed down to serve as staging areas, many conspiracy theorists saw Jade Helm as nothing less than the beginning of Obama's martial law takeover of the US.The Facts: The Jade Helm conspiracy theory caught fire in summer 2015 - and quickly fizzled. Nothing happened in any of the "enemy" states, no dissenters were rounded up, and Texans remain free to carry guns wherever they please. President Obama himself chose this as his favorite Obama-related conspiracy theory.
Donald Trump Is a Democratic Plant
The Conspiracy: Could Donald Trump - GOP presidential contender - actually be a plant hired by the Democratic Party to destroy the Republican Party's chance to win the election? Pundits have pointed to Trump having once donated to the Clinton Foundation, as well as a conversation between Trump and Bill Clinton where the former president encouraged the billionaire to run for president. Did he do it because he know Trump would harness the anger of the Obama years while simultaneously having no chance to win, paving the way for a Hillary Clinton presidency?The Facts: Trump has denied any such conspiracy exists, and both Trump and Bill Clinton have denied that Clinton encouraged Trump to run, saying their "conversation" was only an exchange of pleasantries. Trump had actually toyed with presidential runs in years past, but only decided to go forward for 2016.
Paris Attacks Conspiracies
The Conspiracy: As with any large-scale terrorist attack, the November 13 attacks on Paris spawned a number of conspiracy theories. Among them were that a Sikh terrorist took a selfie right before going out to blow himself up, that the same crying "crisis actor" woman was used in Sandy Hook and Boston before being in Paris, and that the French government planned the attack as an excuse to attack Syria.The Facts: Just like these other attacks before it, the conspiracies about Paris fall almost entirely into either coincidence, baseless accusation, or rumor. The "crying crisis actor," for example, was easily debunked by Snopes, and many of the "false flag" accusations are the same ones leveled against every other incident - always without evidence.
The September 23rd Apocalypse
The Conspiracy: A confluence of religious events, the Pope visiting President Obama on Yom Kippur, an asteroid strike, the starting of the Large Hadron Collider, and the end of a cycle of four Blood Moons would all combine on September 23 to usher in the destruction of life as we know it on the planet.The Facts: They did not. In fact, the asteroid that was supposed to hit the earth didn't exist, the LHC has been back online for months, and the "Four Blood Moon" theory was nonsense. The world will just have to end some other time.