When I was in college, I was very interested in conspiracy theory. This is 10–11 years ago.
But not in the sense that I was paranoid that something would happen to me or the world or whatever. I wanted to take theory into science fact.
Could I replicate actions or enact experiments related to conspiracies? Are conspiracies actually possible? Such as election rigging, false flag events, infiltration, and other things blamed on conspiracies.
The opportunity showed itself in all places, our college student government. Every year, the really popular students would win, and these students were in a clique. Many of us who weren’t as popular were, well, didn’t have much chance of representation in government.
In particular, we had a wargaming (and just general gaming, it was more team-based Risk than an actual wargame per se, so it was fairly popular beyond the usual wargame nerd) group of all things that I started that really sparked. We were getting “bullied” in the sense that we attracted the people the popular clique did not like and as a result many subtle derogatory actions were flung at us.
It all came in a head the next election. We were sick of it. The presidential candidate basically humiliated some of my members. And particularly, me. Now it was a personal vendetta. So we decided to enter the wargame group as its own student government party. Since it was my group, I had the greatest hand in engineering it, and I did not run as the presidential candidate.
Now the conspiracy part happens. I literally turned the group into a full blown secret society. We agreed on signs, symbols, even rituals, titles, and so on. Us being a wargaming group, the terminology of a war, espionage, and so on were a common occurrence. We had an enemy to defeat. I read up on books about secret societies. The Secrets Of The Tomb (about Skulls and Bones), The Family, and just organization books in general (Peter Block’s Community was a good, Dedication And Leadership by Hyde talking about how communists make their cells was great).
In our brainstorming sessions, we had this stroke of brilliance. We would start even more student political parties made up of our members and enter them into the election. And the ones that already exist, we would have members infiltrate and see if they can influence or even get to be a candidate. For example, I became the vice presidential candidate of a party by a friend, who was the presidential candidate, not part of the wargaming group and I debated against the wargaming group, but underhandedly, we were working to make coalitions. We even had a few people get positions in the popular party. This was the infiltration. But with that, there were also shenanigans like double agents going on.
Our college had a student-run mail and messaging system that would update students semi-regularly, and welcome new students to a sort of orientation. We had members volunteer for that. We surreptitiously pushed our wargaming group to new students by adding just a bit of info about it. When it came time for elections, our members were in charge of informing the student body through it. We had a generic message that had no election reminder for those who we knew supported the populars, and a more robust separate message with detailed information on how to vote for those who were not in the know of the politics or were our members or sympathetic to us. In a sense, this was my election rigging.
But it wasn’t a wargaming group anymore, sessions were not games anymore but planning and coordinating. Because we used the same type of terminology, we had plausible deniability of our activities. We often just claim what we did as a group were just games, and that they shouldn’t see us as a threat. How can a gaming group of all things take down the popular kids? It simply was impossible. Just because members of the gaming group also happen to be in the same party, was just a coincidence. *Wink wink*.
This section would be harder to explain since it requires knowledge of the politics of the student body. The opponent, the really popular guy, was popular for his niceness. But to many of us, that was just niceness that hid his prejudice against people that didn’t align with his views. So we manufactured a way for him to lash out against a member publicly in a way that unmasked his niceness because it was so much out of character than what he presented himself. In a debate or discussion forum, through some prodding speeches, he unleashed what he really thought about us, recorded. This was a false flag event. Because we specifically designed the situation to bring that out of him. But in a sense, it wasn’t, because it wasn’t faked, per se. More minor false flags were leaving evidence of the popular party’s logos and such at places where they shouldn’t be, but they weren’t that effective because people didn’t connect the things.
We did actually lose the first elections. But no matter, we were still as determined as before, if not more so. So we inserted our members in even more student communications. We didn’t have a yearbook. We started the yearbook committee, and subtly featured our members above the non-members, for example. We slowly took over the student newsletter/newspaper, and made sure hit pieces against us were not published or heavily modified while allowing our propaganda to seep through. This was a media takeover. People can sense bias in their news, so most of it was simply removing anti-bias than adding.
What I found out in this endeavor:
- You only need 5% of any voting body to influence it enough. You don’t need 100% infiltration. Critics of conspiracy theories say if conspiracies were real, conspirators need 100% control. That isn’t true. You just need at least one person inside, the more, the better, but one is enough.
- In the same sense, critics say that for a conspiracy to succeed, that no one has to know about it except the conspirators, because knowing about it, it would be stopped. But that is not how most conspiracies would work. Do you know what the CEO does in your company if you are in the lowest rung of the ladder? No. You just do your work, get paid, but you do not have the same vision a CEO does. To many people, we really were just a gaming group. Not all our members were privy to our long term plans. Many conspiracies can realistically be done…. remotely through contractors or mercenaries or whoever that simply do a job without thinking about the overall effects of a job.
- It can only take one person to do a conspiracy. Because I was able to. I was able to take an opportunity to experiment, perform revenge, and many other things, one stone killing many birds. It only takes one assassin to kill an important figure. It only takes one bomb to sink a ship. Not saying all conspiracies can, but definitely some could. But is it really a conspiracy if it is just one person? Probably depends on the goals.
- The appearance of power is power itself. We were blamed for a lot of things we didn’t do that happened in the college that were perceived as bad to the popular clique. And you know what we did? We took credit for them. So when people start blaming everything on a select few people of things they didn’t do (like Bill Gates or whoever), that doesn’t mean they are completely innocent.
- Plausible deniability is powerful. As long you have a cover explanation, it will do for most people as long it makes sense. Fact checkers can only verify the outright statements, not hidden ones, and outright statements are simply cover stories. Cover stories are not false, they can be simultaneously true with a conspiracy. (I know cause I also now work in a fact checking capacity and it really only deals with surface things). Not saying that the cover story is wrong, but simply, that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden things behind it (but the opposite is also true, that doesn’t mean there are hidden things, either)
- When people say fake news, or whatever, it really does NOT mean the news is 100% false or even outrightly false at all. Rather, it is what is being emphasized, repeated, and what has been glossed really quickly, if covered at all, that makes it fake. It’s fake in a sense that someone has thick makeup, it is compensating for something, not fake in the sense that the person is a mannequin.
- Not everyone will go with your plans. There will be people that do leave. And some people will not carry out the plans well enough. Some will fail. Conspiracies are not perfect, nor do they have to be, to achieve their goals. That’s okay, as long the main thrust is achieved. And so when critics of conspiracy theory say, well, if the conspiracy is true, then why did this part fail then? It’s just par for course that something fails, of course. That does not mean there was nothing behind it (but also does not mean there was something behind it).
After I left college because of graduation, the society actually continued a short while as a political action committee of some sort that did activism outside the school (one of our achievements include overturning two pieces of bad education legislation in a couple of states with the activism) plus a mish-mash sort of honor society and fraternity. But it has since been defunct since 2017-ish.
If anyone wants documentation and proof and people involved in these, I have them. Our website domain recently expired, but our old sites are still up. You can google the name, too, you can find us in many third parties lists, our YouTube is up, and you can watch our propaganda videos. You can even look at my profile, I still have it listed as part of my online resume. But that’s beside my point.
The society itself is defunct, but many of us actually found work in politics and some even have been elected officials (and many of us were already political science majors in college aiming for politics so that worked). For myself, I found myself working for, well, someone you may have heard of in the news for the 2016 elections specifically because of my work in the society. So in a sense… maybe my conspiracy has affected your life directly…
My entire point is, if I could do it, in a limited scale, yes, why is it incomprehensible that someone like me, but with riches and power, couldn’t do the same in some sense?
I don’t necessarily believe in the modern sense of the Illuminati (at least anymore), but I believe their existence is still entirely possible after what I have carried out by sheer will.