Top 10 Modern Conspiracy Theories



Top 10 Modern Conspiracy Theories

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Is the truth REALLY out there? From Obama's birth certificate, flat earthers, and the FDA withholding the cure for cancer, we're starting to wonder… does anyone REALLY believe these? WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Modern Conspiracy Theories.

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Script written by Caitlin Johnson

Top 10 Modern Conspiracy Theories

Is the truth REALLY out there? Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Modern Conspiracy Theories.

For this list, we’re looking at theories that came into their own after the year 2000. While some of them may have their roots in the last century or earlier, they qualify for this list if their popularity has peaked in recent years.

#10: Obama’s Birth Certificate

In 2008, history was made when Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States. However, a worryingly high number of Americans refused to believe that Obama was one of their own and claimed the new president was born in a different country, meaning his presidency was against the constitution. In an attempt to stamp out these ideas, Obama released his long form birth certificate, but this hasn’t stopped many theorists from calling the document a forgery and continuing to suggest that Obama is a foreigner.

#9: Holocaust Deniers

These are people who, for a myriad of different reasons, refuse to believe that the mass extermination of Jewish people and other vulnerable minorities carried out by the Nazis actually happened. Ironically, the holocaust also happens to be one of the most well-documented tragedies in world history: the Nazis meticulously recorded everything they did, and when allied soldiers discovered the concentration camps they gathered extensive evidence of the horrors they witnessed in the form of videos and photographs. Not to mention the thousands of survivors who have talked about their horrific experience and still bear their tattoos.

#8: Tools of Control

In the mid-20th Century, governments began fluoridating the public water supply, as scientific studies proved that in small enough amounts fluoride – a main ingredient in toothpaste – was harmless, tasteless, and could help prevent cavities. But there are people who believe that fluoride is actually a dangerous chemical the world’s governments are using to control the population, for some kind of ambiguous financial gain. Similar theories are used as the basis for the anti-vaxxer movement, which has led to new outbreaks of diseases like measles. Anti-vaccination beliefs stem from misinformation published by a now struck-off doctor that the measles vaccine causes autism, though there’s absolutely no evidence supporting this.

#7: The Earth Is Flat

Millennia ago, before people began to understand more about physics and the universe at large, the general assumption was that the Earth was flat. In the last two-hundred years, however, the idea that the Earth is flat has gained more and more traction. Bizarrely, the more things we learn about the universe, the more people join the Flat Earther cause, seemingly ignoring all the photographic and scientific evidence proving that the Earth is a globe. They claim that it is impossible to see the curvature of the Earth, that all the photos of the planet are fake, and that every astronaut is an actor in on the elaborate hoax.

#6: Mass Shootings Are Fake

In the US especially, mass shootings are seemingly becoming more and more prevalent. But there are those who believe that these shootings don’t actually happen, going so far as to accuse shooting survivors of being actors. Believers claim that the shootings are entirely staged by people looking to abolish the 2nd Amendment and impose stricter gun control regulations on America, making people unable to defend themselves. These shootings themselves are already tragic enough, but the people on social media who claim that they never happened only add insult to injury.

#5: QAnon

It’s no surprise that one of the strangest conspiracy theories of the modern era originated on 4chan, where various predictions and accusations have been posted online since late 2017. QAnon has incorrectly predicted that Hillary Clinton would be arrested, and claimed that Kim Jong-un and his regime are under the control of the CIA. They’ve even accused many big names – ranging from Hollywood actor Tom Hanks to a selection of high-ranking politicians – of being involved in sex trafficking. Similar to this was 2016’s #pizzagate scandal, where it was alleged that the Democrats were operating a pedophile ring out of a pizza joint. All of these claims remain utterly baseless.

#4: FDA Is Withholding the Cure for Cancer

Big Pharma is often seen as a shadowy villain hiding in the dark while overcharging people for life-saving medicine, and it’s this perception that’s contributed to the theory that pharmaceutical companies have the cure for cancer. More specifically, they’ve had the cure for cancer for years and are purposely withholding it from the public until they can find a way to make a big enough profit. However, it would take far too many people to keep the cancer-cure secret than is reasonably possible.

#3: Chemtrails

Planes flying overhead will often leave trails behind them in the sky, and these trails have been jumped on by many conspiracy theorists. There’s a range of different reasons behind what, exactly, chemtrails are. Some claim that they are spraying mind-control chemicals in order to suppress the population, while others say that they are part of an elaborate scheme to control the weather. However, in the aviation industry they are actually called “contrails” – as in, “condensation trails”. According to scientists, they’re created naturally as hot jet fuel meets cool air, and are little more than water vapor.

#2: New World Order

Another idea that’s been popular for generations is that the entire world is being controlled by an unseen shadow government or secret society. While a few have suggested that this group is actually made up of nefarious lizard people disguised as the world’s elite, the more common belief is that the Illuminati is running things. While the original Illuminati was a real group, they only had any kind of power in the late 1700s. Today, however, the idea that either the Illuminati or some other clandestine group are trying to create a totalitarian “New World Order” still persists among many people.

#1: 9/11 Was an Inside Job

The attack on the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001 was a tragedy that shook the world, leading to a death toll of nearly 3000 and escalating conflict in the Middle East. But there are those out there who don’t believe the story that al-Qaeda were responsible, despite Osama bin Laden taking credit for the attack, and instead think that 9/11 was an inside job. They think it was perpetrated by George W. Bush and the US government in order to justify going to war in the Middle East, and frequently cite alleged evidence like the explosions at the base of the tower and Bush’s calm demeanor when informed about the attack.