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While there were both political and pop-culture conspiracy theories in the 1960s and 1970s — Elvis is still alive, you may have heard — conspiracism as a phenomenon didn’t come into full flower until the 1990s. Message boards and chat rooms of that era gave us the golden age of political conspiracy theory, which we are still living in. ) These days, pop-culture obsessives are quick to cook up conspiracies anytime a celebrity dies, changes her appearance, or even stands next to a triangle, and ideas can now be passed from the edges of sanity to your Facebook feed in a matter of minutes, converting more of the easily influenced into paranoid believers.

) and presented pure — that is, not as investigative claims but conspiracy theories.Why would Beyoncé and Jay Z lie about the birth of Blue Ivy?It’s hard to come up with a motive better than “Because they could.” The most common theory amounts to the same thing — that it has something to do with their being Illuminati and the presumably paranoid logic of any self-perpetuating elite. It used to be, at least in the pre-internet era, that people were most suspicious about post-facto cover-ups.In fact, when you add the Illuminati, the arbitrariness of somebody’s success becomes a kind of circular-logic explanation for it (how else could Andrew W. These may seem, at first, old news and old-fashioned conspiracy theorizing.And in ways they are — people have been arguing about who wrote Shakespeare’s plays literally for centuries, of course.

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