It’s easy to color conspiracy theorists as a tin-foil hat-wearing whackjobs, probably because so many of them are. But the truth is that without them, we may have never uncovered some of our most troubled history.
Thanks to legions of unclassified government documents and vigilant investigative journalists, it’s been confirmed that some of the most seemingly outrageous hypotheses turned out to be 100% true, including these 10.
1. The U.S. military invented a bomb that could turn enemies gay
Thanks to a Freedom Of Information Act request, it was revealed that back in 1994 researchers for the U.S. Air Force were developing a new weapon intended to cause soldiers to stop fighting and start having sex each other. It’s unclear if it got much further than early development phases, but the basic idea was to spray female sex pheromones above broad swaths of enemy combatants, wait for them to get, uh, distracted, and move in.
2. There’s a secret society of the world’s most powerful people
Unfortunately, there’s no proof that the Illuminati is real (yet!), but the Bohemian Grove in upstate California may be the next best thing. The “private club,” whose members have included former U.S. presidents, business tycoons, musicians, and industry barons, comes together every July on a wooded 2,700-acre compound to let loose. Membership is extremely exclusive, but a couple of journalists have managed to infiltrate the gathering over the years, revealing some of the weirder activities that take place there, including drunken revelry, high-ranking officials lecturing about information unavailable to the public, and druidic tree-worship. Seriously.
9. Scientology is out to get everyone
While Scientology’s weird and wicked ways have made headlines in recent years, one of its biggest scandals was uncovered back in the ’70s after a journalist wrote a critical article about the organization, including its harassment of dissenters. Known as “Operation Snow White,” the “church” organized a clandestine criminal enterprise that involved infiltrating hundreds of government agencies (and private international organizations) in order to steal and destroy any and all records that were unfavorable to it or its founder L. Ron Hubbard. To date, it’s still the largest infiltration of the U.S. government, involving an estimated 5,000 covert agents.