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Episode 28 — Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened


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#1 July Diaz

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:54 PM

Hey, did you know a group of America's wealthiest business owners once tried to lead a military coup against the President? It sounds like something a lunatic would shout at you from a bus stop, but it actually happened while FDR was President. And did you hear about the time the U.S. Air Force bombed San Francisco with viruses just to see what would happen? Or the time when our government poisoned 10,000 Americans to death with tainted liquor? And of course there's the time the Church of Scientology pulled off the largest intelligence breach in American history.

It's easy to listen to the ranting of 9/11 truthers or watch insane videos about the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappearance and dismiss all conspiracy theories as pure strain crazy. But conspiracies happen -- and on today's podcast, Cracked editors Jack O'Brien, Soren Bowie and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) try to sort out the difference between the crazy ones and the crazy real ones. Throw on your headphones and click play above.

#2 Sean G

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:34 PM

I'm glad the point was brought up that the real problem with conspiracy theories is that they detract from the real-life swindling going on under our eyes. The bank penalties and fees is a perfect example of that. Great podcast as always guys.

To be honest I gave this episode a listen hoping to hear a thoughtful discussion of Mel Gibson's film "Conspiracy Theory" but gosh darn it if I made it through to the epilogue without hearing a peep. Couldn't be bothered to finish the episode I was so disappointed.

And you're right that it was Tig Notaro talking about the papers on 9/11. I remember thinking that I would stop taking all this work BS so seriously when she said that and it worked throughout that entire evening.

Keep up the great work.

#3 leor herman

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:54 AM

interesting topic this week. i was reminded of someone i know who is into "alternative" medicine and believes in a grand conspiracy by "big pharma". this person also believes the claims by a very shady sounding guy who pushes essential oils. so she takes one guy's claim at face value with only anecdotal evidence, refuses to accept real evidence about the effectiveness of regulated medications and doesn't hold this scammer up to the same level of scrutiny...it's maddening!

oh, and as a Torontonian, loved the mention of rob ford. i've been listening to his supporters scream about bias and conspiracies against him for almost 4 years now and they just won't accept that their guy is just unfit to be mayor. one thing i don't recall hearing addressed on the podcast, though, was the technical difficulties associated with trying to fake this stuff. the crack video, for example, would have been extremely difficult to believably fake. we see theatrical films with $100 million+ budgets and complain about phony looking effects, so how would some schmo in his basement effectively create a video that would trick journalists and police?