The Conspiracy Theory Spectrum


Senior Member.
In 'Escaping The Rabbit Hole' there's a fair bit of talk about the conspiracy theory 'demarcation line': the idea that we all exist on a 'conspiracy spectrum', and that theories and ideas are either seen as credible or ridiculous depending on where our demarcation line lies.

Here's an example of a conspiracy spectrum, as presented in Mick's book:


Having read about this I find myself interested in expanding the spectrum to include other theories, as well as thinking some more about the gradations in the particular theories. What, for example, differentiates a Level 2 9/11 Truther from a Level 8?

Mick writes a little bit about that:
And on the demarcation line:
Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to throw that out there, see about expanding it, and - of course, hearing where people put themselves on the spectrum, and what they base that on.


Senior Member.
Well, now I want to see an online self-test: something with 40 questions to be answered, and as a result you get your place on the spectrum. You could then actually show by how well respondent's answers correlate, whether this spectrum exists or whether it is bunk.

You want definitely want to put the actors, aka the paid conspirators, in the spectrum. Like, your place on the spectrum would depend on what you think NASA is getting away with, or the Military Industrial Complex, or Big Business (aka the Bilderbergers) and Big Pharma, or the CIA, The Russians, The Muslims, or The Patriarchy, or The Government, or The Heathens/Satans Worshippers, or The Liberals/The Far Left.

And then you ask the respondent to rate the groups on whether they are engaged in a) secret activities that b) are not in the population's best interest: with answers (1) activities mostly transparent ("guys like you and me"), (3) some secret activity ("they're hiding something"), (5) widespread manipulation of public policy and public opinion ("they're secretly in control").

And I suspect if you structure the questionaire like that, "what is faceless group X getting away with", for various X, then the results would actually correlate quite well with a person's self-inventory of their locus of control and their political or social alignment. Wasn't that what that Dr Todd Grande was arguing in his Youtube video on Flat Earth and Personality?
  • A google search turns up various articles (including some papers on researchgate) that connect Locus of Control and Conspiracy Theories.
  • The Wikipedia Template:Conspiracy theories is a good place to start if you want to pick CTs to include in the spectrum. It serves as a quick index and overview of existing Wikipedia content on this topic.

Mick West

Staff member
What, for example, differentiates a Level 2 9/11 Truther from a Level 8?

Level 2: Bush ignored warnings of a possible attack somewhere, as he wanted an excuse to invade Iraq.
Level 8: The planes were holograms and all three buildings were destroyed with underground nuclear bombs.

You can extend all conspiracies up to level 10 if you have enough imagination. You can also have fairly banal versions of many conspiracies (Chemtrails level 3: sulfur levels in fuel being allowed to remain a bit higher to make more contrails. Moon landing level 1: Some photos were retouched without telling people)

I needed to keep it simple though. I think most conspiracies are centered around a certain level, so you might draw a bell curve for each theory centered in the middle of the indicated range, but extending from 0 to 10.

I think the important thing here (in the context of understanding an individual) is that individual's demarcation line.


Senior Member.
Where would 'compund' conspiracies fit in, like Project Blue Beam, or the idea that JFK was snuffed to prevent him blowing the whistle on the alleged UFO cover up?


Senior Member.
or the idea that JFK was snuffed to prevent him blowing the whistle on the alleged UFO cover up?
you would just pull the JFK arrow to like level 7. If JFK was snuffed because he was a reptilian you would pull the arrow over to level 8 or 9.


This subject of demarcation line turns out to be one of the most helpful and important parts of the book! Personally, I went from a 5-6 range to a 0-1.

Marin B

Active Member
you would just pull the JFK arrow to like level 7. If JFK was snuffed because he was a reptilian you would pull the arrow over to level 8 or 9.

Now I'm curious as to what a 10 would be on this scale :)
Another compound CT that someone I know believes to be true is that the fire in Paradise, CA was started by a directed energy beam to prevent the aliens who were living there from their impending Disclosure. I would have called that a 10+ on the scale, but I guess it's no more extreme than the JFK example.


Senior Member.
I would have called that a 10+ on the scale, but I guess it's no more extreme than the JFK example.
yea the reptilians probably dont really start at level 8. but when making a chart you have to leave room for the font :)

Agent K

Active Member
How would a flat earther's spectrum look? Flat Earth on the believable side, globe earth on the ridiculous side, and UFO cover-up on the ridiculous side since flat earthers don't believe in exoplanets?

Mick West

Staff member
How would a flat earther's spectrum look? Flat Earth on the believable side, globe earth on the ridiculous side, and UFO cover-up on the ridiculous side since flat earthers don't believe in exoplanets?

Hmm, I'd only really conceived of the spectrum as being of things that are demonstrably, or almost certainly false. So there are false things that they think are true, and false things they think are ridiculous. I suppose you could take everything on the "think's it's true" side, and put the opposite of it on the other side. However, that's different type of division.

Agent K

Active Member
Hmm, I'd only really conceived of the spectrum as being of things that are demonstrably, or almost certainly false. So there are false things that they think are true, and false things they think are ridiculous. I suppose you could take everything on the "think's it's true" side, and put the opposite of it on the other side. However, that's different type of division.

Well, think of a spectrum of claims and the plausibility you assign to them, from ridiculous to true, and there might not be a hard demarcation line. Conspiracy theorists would draw a different spectrum.

Steve Shiply

New Member

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to throw that out there, see about expanding it, and - of course, hearing where people put themselves on the spectrum, and what they base that on.

Well i am not sure "i" can put myself on the spectrum. But i can certainly volunteer myself as a guinea pig, and you yourself can put me on the spectrum if you wish. It would be incredibally interesting to find out where my outlook fits in with others.

9/11: I believe was carried out by Osama Bin Laden and Al-qaeda. I believe there was certain advanced knowledge that an attack was going to happen, though the nature of the advanced knowledge, and the directness, or, indirectness, is something i am open to discussing, and may also be a matter of defintion, as my definition of advanced knowledge may not be the same as someone elses, and yet after a discussion we may realise we are of the same belief. I do not believe that my definition of advanced knowledge would equate to US government actually assisting the attackers. I believe that certain parts of 9/11 reports have been overlooked, and instead focused on the nature of the collapses, and the "direct" security lapses on the day, and the "negligence" of certain leaders, whilst ignoring certain other issues, such as US foreign policy in the build up to 9/11, and the Frankenstein that those policy's may, or, may not have created.
I find the Towers being collapsed by controlled demolition preposterous. I am not sure if i find a missile being directed at the Pentagon, equally proposterous, or more preposterous. But definitely no less preposterous. I also find the stand down order preposterous, though probably less so than a missile or controlled demolition. Though justification arguments, or the event being used as a precursor for invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan i believe is beginning to become a little more legitimate, as i do believe the entire situation involving USA, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Russia dating back to the coldwar was a mess, with allkinds of espionage going on, and the invasion of Iraq i feel has not nearly been investigated enough. Though i do believe many of the reasons that conspiracy theorists attribute, to why the USA wanted to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, being wide of the mark.

Moon Hoax: I do not believe the Moon-landing to be a hoax. Obviously by nature i like to look at all points of view, and refuse to be in consensual agreement with anyone, and cannot say there will not be certain aspects of the Moon Landing i disagree with, but so far, i just cannot think of any.

Big Pharma: Well if i am correct, then the conspiracy theory regards to Big Pharma, is that the medical establisment works against the public good for sinister purposes. This i would believe to be preposterous. Though i would believe anyone that thinks that large private corporations that sell pharmaceutical products do not do so for profit, and with their own interests the main concern, to be a tad naive.

Chemtrails: I believe that there could be a certain overlap between the legitimate effects of contrails, and the paranoid claims of chemtrails, and that one needs to make sure to differentiate the two.
I believe that certain aspects of the global warming and climate change beliefs, "could" be blown out of proportion, and could be classed as mass hysteria, and could also be used to impliment ridiculous pollution charges, that are being implimented purely for local council financial gain, rather than for saving the world. I do not believe however those people predicting doomsday due to global warming, or climate change, are considered conspiracy theorists, and are taken quite seriously, though could actually be completely exagerrating the effects. I also could be completely wrong, and misconceived.
On the otherhand, we have Chemtrailers that believe chemical and biological agents are being sprayed for neferious purposes, and undisclosed to the general public, and i believe this claim to be unwarranted. Whilst i believe there may be some cloud seeding operations, or weather manipulation programmes, that Chemtrailers could point to, i do not believe those operations mount to the samething, and those operations have been disclosed to the public, even if not front page headlines.
In the end, i cannot comment on the Scientific arguments, but i do choose to believe the Scientific community which deposits that There is no evidence that purported chemtrails differ from normal water-based contrails routinely left by high-flying aircraft under certain atmospheric conditions.

Global warming: I already touched on global warming above, regarding how certain aspects of it may overlap with chemtrails. Though Global warming by itself i can well believe. I am sure humans are having an effect on the climate. Contrails may also not be good for the climate. Fumes from car exausts are probably not good for the climate. What level of mass hysteria, and profit for local authorities that wish to use the hysteria to impliment allkinds of by-laws, or local taxes, aimed at fighting global warming, i would be extremely cautious of. This would beg a question. Who is the conspiracy theorist? Me, that believes certain doomsday aspects could be used for financial gain? Or the doomsday believers, that believe i should pay an arm and a leg to drive along their street? I actually dont know, and would like to hear other people opinions.

UFO Cover up: I do not believe that humans have knowledge of aliens. Sadly. And as the conspiracy theory mostly deposits that it is US government that are doing the covering up, i do not believe that this accusation is something that the US government wish to cover up. I think the US government would be, and possibly are, quite happy for Russia, or China, or anyone else, to believe that they are connected to aliens that have advanced technology, if they so choose to believe this. I may even believe, that certain elements in US government, may even perpetuate hoaxes, or turn a blind eye to those that do perpetuate hoaxes, and with-hold the Scientific rational explanations, or be seen to appear to be doing everything they can to keep something a secret and highly classified, for this very purpose. The purpose being that it is not in their worst interests to have people believing they are very smart, very powerful, and connected to gods/aliens.
I also do not believe that the USA even cover up advanced technology. The USA are very much boys and their toys. They want you to know how big their toys are. If they are covering something up, it is because they want you to believe their toy is bigger than it actually is. Having said all this, UFO's are real. If it is flying. And it is an object. And no-one knows what it is. Then it is unidentified, and may well be a military craft we are yet unfamiliar with as it is still in the test stages, and still classified. And i do actually believe in aliens. I find it outlandish to think in this vast universe, we are the only ones. Though whether or not they have visited earth, i am doubtful, and even their existence, is purely my belief.

JFK: I believe the JFK assassination to be unique, in that the official HSCA report concluded that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.
This obviously is open season for conspiracy theorists, that can shout Witness intimidation, witness deaths, suppression of evidence, fabrication of evidence, multiple gunmen and co-conspirators, unidentified witnesses.
Yet, it could be nothing more than the fact that President Johnson may have believed that this assassination was in connection with the coldwar, and that phone-calls made to the Soviet embassy by a second person calling himself Lee Harvey Oswald, but not actually Lee Harvey Oswald, could cause world war 3 if this information gets out to the public, and the public wrongfully assert that this means Soviet leader president Nikita Khrushchev, or Cuban leader Fidel Castro, were behind the assassination.
I would however like to point out "the Rasmussen minute", and operation Northwoods, which was supposed to be a false-flag event to justify invading Cuba and removing Castro, and was rejected by Kennedy, and also reflect how close Castro came to being implicated in the assassination of Kennedy, had it not been for the intervention of Johnson. Whatever group came up with Northwoods, would be no doubt capable of assassination, and could easily be classed as a well oiled killing machine, and everything that Kennedy spoke about in his Rasmussen minute. So yes. My roulette wheel has landed on JFK assassination being a conspiracy by a rogue, psychotic, criminal element within US government, and probably connected to operation Northwoods.
I now believe that Johnson, trying to prevent a world war, or criminal invasion, and also trying to protect the image of USA, whilst being under full knowledge that a psychotic organisation are proposing terrorist atrocities against Americans in order to justify foreign invasion, conspired to have all the blame placed directly on Lee Harvey Oswald, as a loan nutter, connected to no higher intelligence. Though i believe it likely, Lee harvey Oswald, had got mixed up with the Silvermaster group, and that operation Northwoods was probably a scheme connected to the Silvermaster file, hense the phone-calls to the Russian embassy, and also his defecting to Russia in 1959, and also his attempted assassination of Edwin Walker who i believe was anti-communist, and probably anti-silvermaster. Though Lee Harvey Oswald starting off adult life as something of a James Bond marksman in the US Marines, he was most likely an assassin. He was also most likely a Spy after he left the US forces, and mysteriously defected to Russia, were he suffered a breakdown, and could not decide whether to work for the US embassy in Russia, or whether to work for the Russians, and eventually decided to ask the US embassy to return his US passport, citing poor nightclub Russian life, as his reasons for returning to the US side, and then once returning to USA, continuing to have association with the Russian embassy. Something definitely going on there, and hard to follow, but pointing to spy, and double agent, and hard to say whos side he is on. But more proof of the what a web we weave when first we practise to decieve. Foreign Policy. I may also be chasing a red herring however, and following a trail planted by Mcarthyism, with Mcarthyism, at it's most extreme, being a conspiracy theory shared by no less than J. Edgar Hoover, that the CPUSA was directly under the full control of the KGB. Perhaps even Lee Harvey Oswald himself did not know anymore who he was working for, hense his constant switching of sides. Perhaps the trail i am currently following was the trail left by operation Northwoods, and was the trail people were supposed to follow, were it not for men like Kennedy, and Johnson, that believe in the US constitution, and refuse to get stuck in the Rabbit hole. But it is imp[ossible to decipher everything that happened, as double agents and spies were everywhere within the US government at that time, as the Venona intercepts testify. They even testify that double agents were working in the white house. Operation Northwoods happened at a time when there was a coldwar going on, and allkinds of conspiracies, subterfuge and double dealing happens during war, and it is impossible to say whether operation Northwoods was a scheme cooked up by those working for the US, or by those working for the KGB. Perhaps they don't even know themselves.

Reptiles: I do actually believe reptiles exist. I also believe that if crocodiles and allegators did not have the ability to hide under water, and died out along with the dinosaurs, they too would just be classified today, as being amongst the dinosaurs that died out, and therefore i do not believe the dinosaurs 100% died out, and i believe we do infact have dinosaurs today, that are still alive and well. I do not believe there is any evidence that reptiles are shapeshifting, and possessing humans. I feel i cannot 100% rule out the possibility that invisible entities do infact exist, though i would be very surprised if anyone was ever able to prove their existence, and would be even more surprised, if after proving this, they were able to conduct an experiment which proved that their invisible DNA is shared with Dinosaurs.

Flat earth: I unintentionally missed out flat earth. And so have edited my post to include it. But i will throw it in above school shootings, as i would not want to end this post with something as ridiculous as Flat Earth, disguising something as important as School shootings. I will also put the fact that i missed it out, down to my subconscious dismissing the subject as unimportant. If flat-Earthers want to believe that NASA and other government agencies conspire to delude the public into believing the Earth is spherical, and guarding the Antarctic ice wall that surrounds Earth, aswell as photo-shopping satellite images, then there is nothing i can say that will change their minds, and i really do not know what to say to this. Though racking my brains for somekind of justification for the belief, or for something to say, i may say the Hellenstic empire which first taught spherical earth during Hellenisation, was quite a barbaric empire, with Greek antiquity perhaps not always being quite as classic as the great philosophers might have liked to think, especially when it came to conquerers such as Alexander the Great. There could be a little justification for people to rise up against Hellenstic education, particularly given the Greek marvel, the Septuagint, and it's terrible effects on Humanity. But as gibberish as all that sounds, i cannot make any better argument for flat earth, than that, apologies.

Fake shootings: No, just no. I may argue bothsides of an argument to find out which side i can argue best, and the one i can argue best hopefully being the correct one. But i cannot do this with School shootings. There is no argument to support school children faking being shot, having any legitimacy or credibility whatsoever.

Ok, send me my Spectrum result please, and use my beliefs for anytype of analysis you wish.
What is reasonable, and what is ridiculous?
How much of my general beliefs would be considered my own version, over that of contemporary understanding, or Scientific understanding?
What percentage of my general beliefs would fall in to the category of non-science, gibberish, propaganda, lies, and disinformation?
Do i land on the extreme side of the line?
Am i a conspiracy theorist?
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