Grand Conspiracy

A GrandConspiracy theory is any theory that says the state of the world (or the nation, etc.) is due to the actions of a small cabal of powerful and malevolent conspirators. The alleged conspirators are seldom identified specifically. Instead, it is usually claimed that the conspirators are the members (or a subset) of a religious group (Jews and Catholics have long been favorite targets), a government (the US is a popular bogeyman, as is the USSR - despite no longer existing as such), a socioeconomic group, a corporation (Monsanto, Microsoft, OneWorldAlliance), the United Nations, various think-tanks and public policy organizations (the Tri-Lateral Commission?), ancient societies (BavarianIlluminati, masons), an ethnic group or nationality, the Clintons, the Bushes, the Kennedys, or any other convenient target which the speaker wishes to demonize.

A false conspiracy theory is a psychological aberration. A true conspiracy theory is history, written by the conquered. --PhlIp

It is because of poor logic like that outlined in this page that there are conspiracies that are, so to speak, "not exposed."

Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals $16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts |

"To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is 'only' $14.5 trillion."

And where is the corporate media to report on this one? Nowhere to be found.

This is so ludicrous. No amount of rationalizing helps explain the size of this bailout. And there's nothing the media will do to broadcast this. Fucking ridiculous. I explained it this way to my "nonlinear" philosophy discussion group:

You might think a big story would get a lot of attention, but that is a simple (and often wrong) assumption about the universe we live in. It's the assumption of linearity -- that there will be correlation. The greater significance of a story is does not necessarily imply that it will receive more coverage.

In fact, it seems that the bigger the swindle, the less attention it will get because there will be more powerful groups that will actively take part in suppressing it.

There's a very naive quality to everything mentioned on this "Grand Conspiracy" page. Amazing things happen (look up "Black Swan Theory"), so you need to look at the facts to determine whether something happened. Don't just rely on your beliefs about probability. That's "appeal to probability" or "appeal to belief" -- which are logical fallacies. This entire page is about providing ammo to an argument that is not based on facts.

Don't trust any one news source. That article may be biased. It may be no more conspiratorial than the CIA that does who knows what under cover. We have spies, so we probably have under-cover financial diddling too. And the total value may be over 50 years. We don't know the full story. I have heard that some of the bailout distributions were to be kept secret for a fixed period to avoid over-influencing the market. The law-makers agreed to this "quiet period" and the existence of the quiet period was public record.

According to GrandConspiracy theorists, the world is divided into three parts:

How does that old fortune go? The world is run by a small, evil group, which, unfortunately, nobody we know belongs to......

The speaker often will invoke other logical fallacies; for example, asserting that two groups normally seen as opponents are in fact collaborating, or at least similar (ThoseNotLikeMeAreAllAlike, RepublocratTheory?). GrandConspiracy also contains a bit of AdHominem, as there is always the assumption on the part of the speaker (even if not said expressly) that the opponent is too clueless to appreciate what is going on.

Little evidence is usually offered for the conspiracy, and what evidence is offered is almost always circumstantial. (It goes without saying that in many cases, there is no such conspiracy; real conspiracies are typically much more limited in scope than the far-reaching machinations of the GrandConspiracy)


Opponents of the GrandConspiracy theory often treat conspiracy theorists as though they believe it is a group of men sitting in a room planning the entire world's future. However many theorists believe the real conspiracy is the system itself that conrols (not a boardroom of dictators), and now that it's running, each level of the conspiracy keeps other levels in check - leaving little for the masters to do.


Only the least-rational theorist think the GrandConspiracy argument is not fallacious. It is an unprovable (if you believe the range of the conspiracy) and un-disprovable assertion - which makes it useless in arguments regardless of inherent truth.

in other words: If you have any religious belief - you have equal logical footing with GrandConspiracy theorists. No one can prove your theory wrong, and you can never prove your theory true.

Many GrandConspiracy believers think of it as a hierarchy of conspiracies - a "trickle-down" conspiracy. The masters don't really care about gays or liberals - but they see the value in pitting groups against each other. Most GrandConspiracy theorists accept that they are implicitly part of the conspiracy (if they are part of society) - but they are helpless to escape it.

The chart is generally like this: Each level fights or assists others of the same level

 * * although in some cases we can make exceptions for conspirators who openly DECLARE they are "billionaire activists"...

Re: Someone uses the GrandConspiracy when they assert the state of the world (or the nation, etc.) is due to the actions of a small cabal of powerful and malevolent conspirators.

In reality, the World is run by a bunch of malevolent idiots. ;)
There is no Cabal! -- the cabal There is no Devil! -- the Devil -- BAM.

Phrase or abbreviation (TINC) commonly heard on UseNet, as a humorous reminder that folks should chill out and realize there is no GrandConspiracy that is trying to tear down their best laid arguments. The same can certainly be said about the WikiWiki community.

Actually, the origin of that was in reference to the "backbone cabal" (UseNetCabal), a group that most certainly did exist, but which was relatively benign; they exercised power in deciding to carry or not carry various newsgroups, and as administrators of the biggest most highly connected hubs on UseNet, their decisions did in fact carry a certain amount of de facto authority -- which is what lead JohnGilmore to create the alternate Usenet via his system hoptoad, the alt.* groups (originally and alt.drugs, since the Cabal wouldn't accept such groups, and then alt.rockandroll for symmetry).
Well, my own personal politics aside (I'm far from saying there *isn't* a GrandConspiracy) - It's still a fallacious argument because of the unprovability. It's like arguing if god exists - it is irrelevant - because it can't be proven either way. That makes it an unsound foundation for an argument. You could call that a SelfReinforcingDelusion?, or you could call it a ChickenAndEgg? problem - the nature of the conspiracy implies it's undecidability.

Usually, GrandConspiracy isn't the argument though - It's used as part of a separate argument. One would have to prove GrandConspiracy first - and that's difficult to do for many reasons. Better to conserve the energy and find a more solid approach.

So is ArgumentByTheMasses the flip side of the GrandConspiracy fallacy?

It's worth noting that TheresAlwaysSomeConspiracy. No, really. -- GarryHamilton

Personally, I think the GrandConspiracy is very real. Unfortunately, it's as useless to reference in an argument as God. We need to convince the peaple that there is a conspiracy and get them headed in the right direction.

Lucky for you. If it were true, and you started to convince people, what do you think the GrandConspiracy would do to you?

Stage a pre-emptive war, wrap themselves in the flag, and say I was unpatriotic?

They already did that. Obviously, I meant they would disappear you. There was in fact a GrandConspiracy in Argentina, and look at what they did. Amazing that people can believe in a GrandConspiracy without a healthy dose of rational paranoia going along with it.

Well, things shift. It used to be conspiracy theory to think Fox News was just a Neocon news outlet pimping journalism to get Rupert Murdoch political favors. Now it's accepted fact - well, except by those who religiously watch Fox News.

How did that happen, anyway? You're absolutely right that it shifted sharply, but I must have missed the memo announcing that it was due to happen that day.

(A conspiracy that doesn't own their own guns is more of a small conspiracy or a GrandConspiracyWannaBe, surely.)

What would make you think Fox News doesn't own their own guns?

I would think you're implying that you know something I don't know, except that apparently you didn't get the afore-mentioned memo, either. :-)

Clearly, a proof is conceivable for any specific conspiracy (however grand) as well as for the existence of some God (however well he stays hidden from us). I'm astonished at how this obvious fact could be missed. Perhaps someone realized they cannot be disproved and some general confusion was then experienced. Further, since experiential and or logical proof is conceivable, I for one demand it if I am to sympathize with such CrazyTalk?. -- LukeSamaha

This article is ignorant twaddle. "grand conspiracy" is not an argument, let alone a fallacy, and certainly not an "ultimate" one. Particularly, unprovable assertions aren't per se fallacious -- if they were, then all the assertions of science, which being empirical are not amenable to proof, would be fallacious. All expressions of opinion would be fallacious -- how soon we forget the downfall of LogicalPositivism. OTOH, "Only the least-rational theorist think the GrandConspiracy argument is not fallacious" is, aside from being ungrammatical, fallaciously ad hominem.

There is quite a bit of good, non-fallacious, non-verging-on-illiterate, material on "grand conspiracy" thinking and the fallacious *elements* that it often includes -- see, e.g.,

Even though I agree that Grand Conspiracy makes no sense, but how do we explain that today's politics (much like the cold war days) does seem to be revolving around Grand Conspiracy. One side, the Governments, claim that all the bad is being done by Terrorist, while the Terrorists claim that all the bad is being done by Governments. And then how does one explain a news item like - the CIA asked the Dutch not to arrest A Q Khan (the nuke proliferating scientist) . Venkat. This is one of the links to this news story,+Ruud+Lubbers+claims
Those stinking humans cause all the planet's problems! --Cockroach37
See also ConspiracyTheories, DogmaticFallacy

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