“The Wikipedia of conspiracies” is a portal to the world’s paranoia

I knew it.
I knew it.
Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
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There are YMCA services in 119 countries. That’s a lot! What are those young men up to? There must be something going on. Some CIA-level villainy.

The suspicion that the vast network of Young Men’s Christian Associations around the world is secretly controlled by the US’s intelligence agency is just one of the thousand conspiracy theories collected on a new site, the Conspiracy Blog. The site, which launched yesterday, bills itself as “the Wikipedia of conspiracies” and hopes to be a repository for the unfathomably large number of such theories, many of them about the machinations of the world’s powerful.

Obviously there needs to be a central place on the internet where you can find out: how Edward Snowden is a hologramhow dinosaurs are a myth invented to undercut the Biblehow Elvis and Hitler are the same person; how the Illuminati controls Lady Gaga (and also Fox News); and all about Obama’s secret nose job.

It doesn’t matter how absurd or dangerous the theory is. The site also has sections on medical and environmental conspiracies about AIDS, global warming, and fracking.

“There’s just a million different conspiracies, but there’s not one place where you can find them all consolidated,” says founder Michael Crosson.

It’s unlikely that this project will reach the scope of Wikipedia—and it’s not a true wiki, because it doesn’t allow collaborative editing of its content. The site collects submissions, but has an editor to choose theories and write pages on each. Users can comment to add supporting information.

The site remains agnostic about whether there’s any truth to each theory: “We won’t take a stance,” says Crosson. But the editors do research to make sure that they are preexisting theories, and have some effect beyond a few individuals (My landlord is killing all the cats on my block, for example, would not make the cut. All the landlords in New York are conspiring to have the city’s cats wiped out, on the other hand, might.)

“We want to make sure that each is factual in that it is a theory,” Crosson says. “Not factual in reality.”