Conspiracy theories regarding global depopulation and population control have become extremely popular in the last decade. With every manner of plot out there, from UN population purges to race wars to secret government documents planning to seize the food supply, it becomes clear that humanity is only a few years away from a great cull, presided over by the Illuminati. So just what are these scary population control theories? And are any of them true?

We’ve been “a few years away” from this great cull for decades, but the great purge of Earth never seems to come. In fact, the population grows, in spite of plots that have taken decades to hatch. And these plots are all public as well, from poisoned vaccines to UN policy papers. It seems that when the end comes, we’ll all be able to see it coming, and have known about it for years.

Here are the most commonly spread and discussed global depopulation conspiracies, ranging from things that are real, but misinterpreted, to things that are completely made up.


Agenda 21

Photo: United Nations/Wikimedia Commons

Agenda 21 is a non-binding and unenforceable United Nations policy paper written in 1992 and signed by 178 countries, including the United States. It was envisioned as a long-term plan to be implemented at the micro-level, promoting environmentally-healthy development, efficient use of resources and improved urban planning.

Some conspiracy theorists, at the prompting of Glenn Beck, have decided that Agenda 21 is actually a nefarious plot to cull the population and cram the survivors into Soviet-style urban clusters – giving way to a clean and green Earth to be enjoyed by the elites.

This group has become a tremendous nuisance to local governments, clogging up city council meetings and urban planning commissions with protests over bike paths, new parks and zoning restrictions. All of these, they believe, are elements of the micro-level plan to kill billions, town by town.

In reality, Agenda 21 makes no such provisions, has nothing to do with depopulation or urban “stack and pack” ghettos, and has no legal provisions for those who don’t enact it. It’s also freely available online, which would be unusual for a global depopulation plan,

Codex Alimentarius

Photo:  Pbroks13/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Another supposedly sinister UN plan for mass genocide, the Codex Alimentarius is actually a standardized set of regulations, measurements, and guidelines for the safe production and growth of food. It has its origins in a similar document created in Austria in the late 1800s, and was proposed at the UN by an Austrian politician in 1950.

Like Agenda 21, the Codex is not a law, but a set of standards for how food is grown and distributed. Conspiracy theorists, however, see not food safety but food control, with the Codex viewed as a UN plot to keep the food supply under their thumb, starving millions of “useless eaters” and putting the rest of the population on environmentally friendly diets. They also accuse it of banning vitamins, mineral supplements, organic farming, and chemical-free meat.

Again, none of this is true. Every single time a “deadline” for when the Codex is going to drop the hammer on the food supply has neared, it’s passed without incident. The sale of vitamins and minerals is virtually unregulated, and if the Codex really were a depopulation plot, it’s certainly taking its time.


Photo:  Areca Wilson/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

While the argument over vaccines and autism continues to (incorrectly) rage, another, less-widely held conspiracy theory believes that vaccination is one of the methods by which the Illuminati will carry out their great population cull.

Putting aside the logical issues of vaccination being designed to prevent disease, not cause it (as well as vaccines having existed for over a century), most of this perceived plot stems from a single source – a misinterpreted quote from a 2010 TED Talk given by Microsoft founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates.

Gates is on record as saying “The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about nine billion. Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, 10 or 15 percent, but there we see an increase of about 1.3.

It’s easy to see that Gates isn’t talking about reducing the population, he’s talking about reducing the growth rate of the population. And research bears out that good health care reduces poverty, which in turn, reduces the number of children a family has. Also, what kind of genocidal maniac publicly discloses his plans at a TED Talk?


Photo: Prashanta/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Look skyward and you’ll probably see long white lines coming from passing jet planes. These are contrails, the ice crystals that result from hot jet exhaust hitting the cold air found at high altitude.

But conspiracy theorists don’t see simple water vapor trails – they see planes spraying noxious chemicals into the atmosphere, designed for any number of evil purposes. They call them “chemtrails” and even a cursory search reveals a large number of people who truly believe that “they” are spraying us with poisons meant to make us sterile, docile – and ultimately dead.

No reputable source has ever confirmed the existence of chemtrails, and almost every picture on the Internet of them or the airplanes that spray them, is either fake, misinterpreted, or simply of jets crossing each other at high altitudes. Additionally, photographic evidence of contrails behind airplanes goes all the way back to the ’40s, when fleets of bombers painted the sky white with water vapor coming off their engines.


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Though five decades of research has proven that adding fluoride to water helps to stave off tooth decay, many conspiracy theorists still see it as a plot to enact mind control over the docile masses. They point to misinterpreted studies as “proof” that it lowers the IQs of children, despite no plausible mechanism by which this would happen. And some even believe it’s a tool of depopulation, giving people extremely slow growing cancer that eventually kills them.

One would think that if this were true, there would be corresponding data that proves it. There is not. This is another supposed population culling tool that, in reality, is simply not well understood and is railed against because it involves chemicals being given to people without their choice.

Georgia Guidestones

Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

Known as the American Stonehenge, the Georgia Guidestones are a set of stone tablets built in a field in Elberton, GA. Paid for by a mysterious and deeply religious man known as “R. C. Christian” and built by the Elberton Granite Finishing Company, they were constructed in 1980 and sit as a set of guidelines for living, set forth by an apparently concerned citizen.

There are ten maxims on the tablets, known as the Guiding Thoughts, and they’re translated into eight different languages. Most are fairly innocuous, warning us to “PROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS WITH FAIR LAWS AND JUST COURTS” and “BALANCE PERSONAL RIGHTS WITH SOCIAL DUTIES.” But the first three Thoughts, and the first one in particular, have caught fire with conspiracy theorists as some kind of public proclamation of the intentions of the New World Order.

On its surface, it seems like they might have a point, since the first thought reads “MAINTAIN HUMANITY UNDER 500,000,000 IN PERPETUAL BALANCE WITH NATURE.” Seems like textbook depopulation stuff.

So what do the Guidestones mean? And why are they there in the first place? One generally accepted explanation is that they’re meant to serve as guidelines for the rebuilding of America following some kind of apocalypse. But without knowing the identity of R.C. Christian, it’s impossible to know what he intended. Assuming they’re Satanic or evil is just as easy assuming they’re not Satanic or evil – and has more evidence to support it.

Photo: Michael Kleiman/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Among its many, many secretive and powerful elements, the Alaska-based High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program is thought by some to be a weapon of depopulation. Through making massive earthquakes, creating powerful storms, and modifying the basic elements of our climate itself, HAARP is meant to kill millions of people in one fell swoop, making the great Illuminati takeover that much easier.

However, HAARP has no such powers, nor do such powers exist in the realm of actual physical science. While it was used in conducting complicated, high-level scientific research, all of its findings were made public, and it lacks anything near the energy to do cause earthquakes or cause typhoons.

HAARP isn’t even operating anymore, having shut down in 2013 due to a lack of funds.

The Ebola Virus

Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

One doesn’t have to look hard to find conspiracy theorists viewing the 2014 Ebola pandemic as one of the final steps in the Illuminati’s depopulation agenda. One popular theory is that Ebola was weaponized by the CDC so it could be transmitted through the air, giving it the ability to kill up to 90 percent of the population. Once the smoke clears, the planet will be culled of “useless eaters” and free for the elite to plunder.

The problem with theories like this is that they don’t have any basis in science, history, or reality. Viruses don’t simply mutate at the drop of a hat, nor can they be “weaponized” to do things that aren’t in their genetic code. Beyond that, even the most deadly of pandemics, the 1918 Spanish Flu, didn’t cause anywhere near a 90% death rate in the population, even though the flu is much easier to catch and transmit.


Video: YouTube

Before “weaponized Ebola” became the scare of the week, many conspiracy theorists saw AIDS not as a mysterious virus that was easy to transmit and impossible to cure, but as a tool of the elite. The theory goes that at some point in the ’70s, the powers that be decided to begin their final purge of humanity, and had AIDS developed as a plague that would race through humanity and eliminate undesirables.

Much of this is given credence though the above YouTube video that claims AIDS researcher Dr. Robert Gallo admitted to deliberately creating the virus to depopulate humanity. However, this video says nothing of the sort, and features Dr. Gallo incredulously attempting to answer inane questions about the development of the virus.


Photo: Harry H. Laughlin/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

While the Eugenics movement was popular in the ’20s and ’30s as a way of “improving” the population by sterilizing those with illnesses or infirmities. It became a centerpiece of Nazi racial policy, and quickly fell out of favor once it was discovered that millions had died under the guise of this “population improvement.”

Conspiracy theorists believe this kind of selective breeding is still in use by the elites, with lesser people sterilized through processed food, chemicals, toxins, and pharmaceuticals. Most of this tries to tie a large number of conspiracies together, resulting in web pages full of long, dense blocks of text that say virtually nothing.

Nuclear Power

Photo: Stefan Kuhn/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

While nuclear *weapons* certainly have the power to bring about a massive and lightning fast depopulation of the planet, some believe that even just the existence of nuclear reactors will hasten this process. They point to radiation leaking out of the wrecked Fukushima plant, spreading across the globe and bringing cancerous death with it.

In reality, the radiation from Fukushima, as well as that of other nuclear disasters like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, is miniscule compared to the size of the Earth. In particular, the radioactivity leaking out of Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean is so diluted that it can barely be detected.

Genetically Modified Organisms

Photo: Rosalee Yagihara/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Despite the enormous controversy they’ve generated, the science is clear that GMOs are safe and pose no risks to the health of either farmers, humans, or animals. Of course, no scientific study, no matter how rigorous and well-controlled, can compete with the fear generated by the anti-GMO lobby.

One of these fears is that GMOs, created by giant corporations under the thumb of the global elite, are simply another tool for depopulation. The Internet is rife with long conspiracies using flawed studies and paranoia to link big business (usually singled out as Monsanto) with the goals of fascist dictators.

None of this has any basis in reality. While studies continue to bear out the safety of GMOs, many Americans continue to crusade against them – something made much easier by the easy access to plentiful food they have.

Executive Order 13603

Photo: Pinterest

Is Executive Order 13603, signed into law by President Obama in 2012, the smoking gun needed to prove America is on the cusp of a great population cull? Many conspiracy theorists think so. They believe that EO 13603 is nothing less than written permission for the President to seize control of the food supply, military, private property, medical system, and communications of the US should the need arise – and he’ll make the need arise.

Hyperbole aside, EO 13603 is real. And it does give the President emergency powers that can be used if the need arises. But it’s actually a minor updating of the National Defense Resources Preparedness Act, which is a set of emergency directions to the cabinet, since at the time of the last update, during the Clinton administration, the Department of Homeland Security didn’t exist.

Such emergency procedures have existed in one form another since the Truman Administration, and have never provided the President with the ability to single-handedly take control of the country on a whim. This is the natural emergency planning that every nation engages in in some form or another.

Racial Genocide

Photo: South Park

Race-based apocalypses have been a hallmark of conspiracy theorists ever since the first colonial settlers went to war with the Native Americans of the East Coast. Fear of Indians slaughtering white settlers morphed into fear of slave revolts, which morphed into fear of the ghetto emptying out of angry African-American brutes intent on doing harm to the white majority.

None of these racist theories had much evidence to support them, but they live on in the form of endless Internet posts in which white supremacists speak of a coming “racial holy war,” the rise of race-based moral panics like the knockout game, and Barack Obama declaring “black supremacy” with a purge of whites following.

All of this nonsense creates an atmosphere of racial tension and fear, where everyone thinks everyone else is out to purge them. Of course, if there did happen to be an Illuminati, this is exactly what they’d want…

Memorandum 200

Photo: McGeorge Bundy/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

National Security Study Memorandum 200 was written under the direction of Henry Kissinger in late 1974. It was intended to study how population growth in 13 countries less developed than the US would impact national security issues. Declassified in the early ’90s, the paper discussed complicated concepts on the topics of food production, industrial capacity, medicine, and birth rates in nations that, at the time, comprised nearly half of all world population growth.

Naturally, conspiracy theorists saw a smoking gun carefully laying out how one would take control of and destabilize a smaller nation, using starvation and contraception to wipe out its population. However, while Memorandum 200 was official policy of the Ford Administration, the facts and figures it presents are forty years out of date.

Additionally, a pull-quote from Memorandum 200 that’s often used to portray Kissinger as a genocidal maniac, “depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World,” never appears in the text and has no firm attribution.


Photo: Takuma-sa/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Finally, many conspiracy theorists simply see the proliferation of what they consider to be “toxins” to be a supposed “soft kill” method of culling the population. They point to harmful chemicals in food and water, processed synthetic materials, unknown chemicals in the environment, and the massive windfalls made by pharmaceutical and chemical companies as “proof” that we are all slowly being killed by toxins. The only way to fight this is, of course, to “de-toxify” through organic food and expensive cleanses.

Usually, the people making these claims are the same ones selling you the expensive food and cleanses. In reality, “toxins” do not flow through your body, coming out of every pore. You can’t suck them out of your feet, nor your skin, nor your mouth. The way you “de-toxify” is the same way every other living thing does: by going to the bathroom.

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