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Real Conspiracies


Techniques General Persuasion > Conspiracy Theories > Real Conspiracies

What is a conspiracy? | Security services  | Gangs and terrorists | Oligololies | Whistleblowers and journalists | See also


Not all conspiracies are false. Here are come points and characteristics about situations where conspiracies are all too real.

What is a conspiracy?

A conspiracy happens where a group of people act together to achieve illegal or immoral ends. Knowing this, they seek to conceal the truth of their actions.

Security services

Security services throughout the world (including police and military) necessarily work together to prevent crime and catch criminals, some of who will escape from the clutches of one country in order to hide in another.

If the criminals know what they security services know, then they can evade capture, which makes secrecy an essential element of policing.

'Criminals', by the way, includes terrorists, who take advantage of liberal jurisdictions where significant evidence is needed to secure a conviction. This leads to the need for much covert intelligence-gathering before arrests can be made.

Such conspiracies go wrong where data gathering goes beyond legal limits, even if it is done for legitimate ends. They can also lead to social disapproval when they get heavy handed, for example where extreme measures are taken to capture teenage hackers who do what they do for fun rather than financial gain or political purpose.

Gangs and terrorists

Note that criminal gangs and terrorist organizations are also conspiracies, as they work together to achieve illegal and immoral ends. There are also criminal organizations on the 'dark web' who acquire and share everything from copyrighted material to credit card details.

Conspiracy theorists seldom seem to pay much attention to them. Perhaps the danger of retribution is enough to dissuade poking one's nose into the business of truly dangerous people.


A monopoly occurs where there is a single supplier who controls a market and can hence make far greater profits than if they were in a competitive situation.

An oligopoly is something like a monopoly, but where the market is served by only a few companies, and where they deliberately collude to sustain the status quo.

Oligopolistic actions include:

  • Avoiding price competitions
  • Price fixing
  • Limiting introduction of product innovations
  • Collusively attacking new market entrants
  • Collaborating in lobbying governments


When groups of people get together, social forces come into play where they develop personal relationships and consequently seek to sustain these, even at the cost of overall group goals or a wider social good.

Individuals feel an obligation to the group as well as other members. Culture and groupthink take over as those who dissent or express disquiet about what is happening are shouted down or otherwise silenced.

This prioritization of group harmony over common sense can lead to people agreeing to actions they would never personally sanction. The original study of groupthink came about after a nuclear war nearly started in the wake of the 1960s 'Cuban Crisis'.

Whistleblowers and journalists

Real conspiracies are usually exposed either by people in the culprit organization who are disgusted at the action, or by good investigative journalists who smell a rat and keep digging.

Conspiracies which are uncovered by activists, anarchists or others who are already highly suspicious of authorities, are seldom real conspiracies.

See also

Politics, Culture, Courage and Whistleblowers, Four Characteristics of Real Conspiracies


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