It is a little-known though well-documented fact that the origin of the campaign to ridicule research into conspiracies was initiated by the CIA in 1967 to undermine the credibility of those who questioned the official claims of the Warren Commission regarding the so-called facts of the Kennedy assassination.
Text: Foster Gamble
Given the challenge we and others feel when speaking out about conspiracies, I think Lance deHaven-Smith is right when, in his new book Conspiracy Theory, he suggests “the CIA’s [covert and illegal] campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited…with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time…”
Of course not all proclaimed conspiracies are true. There are competent conspiracy analysts and incompetent ones, just as there are skilled and shoddy reporters, historians or practitioners of any discipline.
What Does “Conspiracy” Actually Mean?
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “conspire” as: “to plot, to contrive, to scheme — to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act.”