In most cases, the first assumption is correct.
A conspiracy is defined as:
An agreement between two or more persons to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act, as if by sinister design.
But conspiracies aren't always bad; an example of a "good" conspiracy would be the the Underground Railroad. On the other hand, because conspiracies are based on lies and deceit, they're usually so disgusting, terrible, and just plain wrong that they need to be kept secret to prevent public outrage - and to keep the lie going.
Here are 5 of the worst.
(Not to sound like a stereotypical conspiracy nut with tin foil on my head, but isn't it strange that most of these involve a government of some sort?)
Smallpox-Infected Blankets given to Aboriginals
Jeffrey Amherst was the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army mid-18th century, and is also believed to be responsible for purposely giving smallpox-infected blankets to American Indians, an early form of germ warfare.
Some people are skeptical about these stories, while others assert that the infected blankets were not intentionally distributed to the Indians, or that Lord Jeff himself is not to blame.
Two hard-to-read letters , however, suggest not only that it happened, but that it was intentional, and that Amherst was responsible – assuming, of course, the letters are authentic:
Colonel Henry Bouquet to General Amherst (13 July 1763) suggests in a postscript the distribution of blankets to "inocculate the Indians"
Amherst to Bouquet (16 July 1763) approves this plan in a postscript and suggests "to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race."
“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an anti-Semitic forgery claiming an elaborate plot of Jewish world domination. It was first privately printed in 1897 and was first made public in Russia in 1905, when Nicholas II and his secret police distributed the work and presented it as true.
It was later published in 1920 in a Michigan newspaper started by Henry Ford mainly to attack Jews and Communists. Ford even wrote a book that was heavily influenced by the text —The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem.
Adolf Hitler later used the Protocols to help justify his attempt to exterminate Jews during World War II.
The Protocols have been deemed a hoax for decades, and yet many parts of the world are still taking it as fact and using it to foster anti-Semitism. (Similar to claims that Jews made up the Holcaust.)
Beginning in 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service conducted an experiment on 399 black men who were unknowingly suffering from syphilis. The men were never treated for the disease, but their symptoms and the progression of the disease was studied.
(Experimenters wanted to see how blacks and whites reacted differently to syphilis, but whites were not part of the study.)
By the end of the experiment, 28 of the men had died directly of syphilis, 100 died of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis.
Even when penicillin was discovered in the 1940s—the first real cure for syphilis— the study participants were deliberately denied the medication
The experiments ended 40 years later when the story finally broke in the Washington Star on July 25, 1972.
MKULTRA was the code name for a covert CIA mind-control and chemical interrogation research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence. The program began in the early 1950s, continuing at least through the late 1960s - although some argue it’s still being done - and used United States citizens as its test subjects.
These are just some of the other disturbing aims of the CIA’s mind-altering substance studies, aside from creating manchurian candidates:
- Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.
- Substances which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation and so-called "brain-washing".
- A material which…in very small amounts will make it impossible for a man to perform any physical activity whatsoever.
Another study of MKULTRA was Operation Midnight Climax - and yes, it was just as perverted as it sounds. Women (prostitutes on the CIA payroll) lured men to apartment hideaways in New York City and San Francisco. They then fed them LSD or marijuana while experimenters watched through two-way mirrors and recorded the sounds.
Abu Ghraib Torture and Media Manipulation
In 2004 images began to surface of the abuse, torture, sodomy, and murder of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq in a news report on CBS’s Sixty Minutes II, acts that were committed by personnel of the United States Army.
Then in 2007, long-time CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and Viacom for wrongfully terminating his employment.
With nothing to lose, Rather accused CBS management of sitting on the Abu Ghraib story, the evidence for which was discovered in early 2004 by Mary Mapes, a producer for 60 Minutes II with over 20 years experience.
To top it all off, Rather claimed CBS refrained from publicizing the story to appease the Bush administration, which was, according to Rather, a regular occurrence at CBS.