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conspiracy theories



  • The John Birch Society Never Left

    by Rick Perlstein and Edward H. Miller

    Journalists are calling for the Republicans to follow the lead of William F. Buckley and stand up to far-right extremists in their ranks. The problem is that neither Buckley nor the GOP of the 1960s did any such thing, instead perfecting the technique of speaking to two audiences. 



  • QAnon and the Satanic Panics of Yesteryear

    by Daniel N. Gullotta

    "The perception of a Christian nation in religious freefall fits almost seamlessly with QAnon’s conviction that the United States is under spiritual assault."


  • History, Evidence and the Ethics of Belief

    by Guy Lancaster

    Untrammelled freedom of belief has been enshrined as an American civic virtue. The nation, democracy, and possibly the planet are imperiled without a collective commitment to respect belief only to the extent available evidence supports it. 


  • How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marjorie?

    The House of Representatives has voted, mostly on party lines, to remove Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments in response to her statements endorsing the Capitol riots and conspiracy theories that school shootings were hoaxes and California wildfires were started by the Rothschild banking family using space lasers.



  • Trump Taught Teachers Conspiracy Theories. Now They’re Teaching Them To Students

    “More than anything else, teachers have to distinguish between what’s a real controversy and what’s a pseudo controversy,” said Jonathan Zimmerman, a University of Pennsylvania professor and education historian. “And a real controversy happens when the best-informed people disagree — a pseudo controversy is when they don’t.”



  • What The Hitler Conspiracies Mean

    by Richard J. Evans

    Against evidence and common sense, theories persist that Adolf Hitler escaped Berlin to live in Argentina. An expert on the memory of the Third Reich argues that the conspiracy theories reflect a broad rejection of expertise and show the need for historians to engage the public. 



  • How America Escapes Its Conspiracy-Theory Crisis

    by David Rhode

    Trump's indulgence of conspiracy theorists risks casting the government as the enemy of the people. A new social contract is needed to ensure that this breach doesn't widen. 



  • When Democracy Ails, Magic Thrives

    by Samuel Clowes-Huneke

    A new book by historian Monica Black suggests that the irrational was never absent from the postwar order—and, moreover, that florid eruptions of mystical thinking often accompany periods of extreme political upheaval. 



  • The Conspiracy Theory That Spawned a Political Party

    "The question of the Anti-Masonic Party’s legacy is anything but settled among political historians. Was it all a righteous democratic force for justice or a cynical conspiracy cult?"



  • How QAnon Crept Into the Mind of Donald Trump

    by Jeff Sharlet

    Jeff Sharlet has long examined the role of true believers in politics. As the influence of the QAnon conspiracy theory among Trump's base comes in for scrutiny, he asks what if "he isn’t selling a dream, he’s dreaming it?"



  • Where Conspiracy Reigns

    Historians Rodrigo Patto Sá Motta and Federico Finchelstein offer insight into how the political right has used rumors of communist plots to maintain power in Brazil, and why the country's political culture today is vulnerable to fake news and conspiracy theories. 



  • Qanon Misdirects Our Attention Away From The Real Threats To Children

    by Paul M. Renfro

    "Moral panics like QAnon work to distract from less outrageous, far more insidious sources of harm. Even worse, they contribute to punitive policies that separate and hurt families, perpetuate mass incarceration and keep people in a state of fear."



  • The Text That Stoked Modern Antisemitism

    The FBI recently tweeted out its archival copy of the notorious antisemitic conspiracy tract "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" without any context or explanation. Here's where it came from and a summary of its influence.