Popular conspiracy theories
Although they focus on different topics, conspiracy narratives usually follow the same pattern. In the beginning, there is distrust of another person or group of people, who are usually ascribed a lot of power (e.g. governments, secret services or the media). The distrust eventually turns into a belief in a conspiracy that needs to be uncovered. The following are examples of some well-known conspiracy myths:
The moon landing
According to this conspiracy theory, the USA has anything but won the race to see who lands on the moon first. According to this theory, the moon landing was staged in 1969 by the US space agency NASA in a film studio.
The world Jewry
One of the oldest conspiracy theories is based on the belief that Jews want to take over the world. The narrative of a Jewish world conspiracy is a hallmark of right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic ideologies. The Nazi regime in Germany used it as a basis of legitimacy for its crimes against humanity and for the murder of millions of Jews throughout Europe.
They look like humans, and only rarely do they (accidentally) reveal that they are actually reptilian aliens who want to take over the Earth. At least that's what this conspiracy narrative says. They are said to be especially prevalent in high-level political circles. For example, it is spread that Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are reptiloids.
HIV, Ebola, COVID-19 - conspiracy theories about diseases
Conspiracy theories about diseases are not new and they are repeated almost with every new emerging disease. Witches or Jews were blamed for the plague, the immunodeficiency disease AIDS was an invention of the pharmaceutical industry and Ebola was bred as a bioweapon in the laboratory. Many of the earlier conspiracy narratives have also resurfaced since 2020 in connection with COVID-19. Among other things, conspiracy believers are spreading that the disease is a pretext to strengthen the pharmaceutical lobby or even to be able to control the population by implanting a chip during vaccinations.
QAnon (also known as "Q" for short) is a conspiracy ideology that originated in the United States in 2017 and whose following has grown significantly in Germany since the Corona pandemic. Q is the synonym of a person or group that poses as a pro-government whistleblower and claims a secret elite ("Deep State") rules the world from underground. Members of the conspiracy include Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, and George Soros. In addition, children are kidnapped in order to obtain "adrenochrome" from their blood as a rejuvenating agent for the rich and powerful. The widespread conspiracy narratives within the movement are partly extreme right-wing and clearly anti-Semitic.