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10 Government Conspiracies that Turned Out to be True

Updated on August 29, 2015

Did you know that The Association for Responsible Dissent has estimated that nearly 6 million people have died at the hands of the C.I.A alone? And that figure was calculated in 1987. William Blum, a former State Department official, called this the "American Holocaust" (Link 15). We've all probably heard of those tired conspiracy theories about how the United States government plotted 9/11, or about the mysteries surrounding the use of Area 51. Most of these time old tales of government control and legalized crime sound too good to be true. While there's still no solid evidence that the president authorized the plane bombing of the twin towers in order to push the U.S. into war with Iraq, there are a number of atrocities our government has committed in the past that--as crazy as they may seem--have turned out to be 100% true.

10. Unauthorized testing

The United States government has engaged in unauthorized testing dating back to the 50s. The CIA's research into behavioral modification, known as "Project MK-Ultra" (Link 1), spanned an entire decade from 1953 to 1964. In this program, government agents ran unethical drug tests on unsuspecting U.S. citizens and prisoners (Link 2) in order to learn more about the effects of isolation, torture, sensory deprivation and hypnosis on the human psyche while under the influence on LSD (Link 3). These tests were authorized as a means of keeping up with other big contenders, like China, Russia and North Korea, who were suspected of using LSD as a means of brainwashing U.S. captives (Link 3); however, this program did little more than ruin the lives of those involved, like Dr. W. Henry Wall, Sr. Dr. Wall was a former Georgia senator who fell victim to Demerol addiction and wound up in prison only to be further victimized by Project MK-Ultra. Recruited by Dr. Harris Isbell, Wall was persuaded to partake in unauthorized testing against his will. Other prisoners were offered rewards, such as heroin and morphine for their participation (Link 4). Beyond prison walls, the CIA drew unsuspecting test victims through a second program titled, "Operation Midnight Climax". In this program, the government hired prostitutes to lure men into an area, where the men were then drugged with spiked cocktails and observed in secrecy (Link 2). Government documentation was released on this project acknowledging that at least one death resulted from this testing and--further--that the agency realized that this testing was neither ethical nor monitored by qualified scientists (Link 1).

9. Insects of war

Declassified documents confirm that the United States government ran multiple mosquito tests on an air force base in Florida between the years of 1954 and 1965. The purpose of these tests: To propose the weaponing potential of infected mosquitos for use in biological warfare. Of course, the mosquitos that were repeatedly air dropped onto the citizens of Avon Park were uninfected (Link 5), the U.S. government planned to use this testing to determine the feasibility of dispersing mosquitos infected with yellow fever onto enemies. For this reason, 600,000 uninfected mosquitos were dropped in E14 bombs to see how many people they would bite. Titled "Operation Drop Kick", this was only one of multiple tests the government ran regarding biological warfare (Link 6). A similar operation called "Operation Big Buzz" involved dropping 330,000 uninfected mosquitos over Savannah, Georgia. In fact, similar operations have been carried out with rat fleas. Using this information, the American government further planned to fund an insect farm with the capability of producing over 100 million infected insects monthly in order to counter attack Soviet cities during the Cold War (Link 7).

8. Slander

On March 8th, 1971, in Pennsylvania, an F.B.I. field office experienced an unauthorized breach. The intruders managed to escape with numerous confidential files, which they later released to the press, exposing classified operations. One of these operations was titled "COINTELPRO", a secret program that was run under Hoover. This program's goal was to spy on suspected communists, F.B.I. critics, student activists and, most importantly, civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Panthers. Hoover's intentions were to intimidate, smear, black-mail and demoralize those that the F.B.I did not view in a favorable light. Examples of COINTELPRO's work can be seen throughout history, such as in the spreading of rumors that actress Jean Seberg, a donator the Black Panthers, was impregnated by their leader (Link 8). The F.B.I. justified this program as a means of "protecting national security" by preventing violence; however, many witness of the Bureau admitted that the majority of its targets were non-violent but were rather considered "potentially violent". Under COINTELPRO, the F.B.I. used four major methods in order to slander its opponents. These methods included psychological warfare, extralegal force, harassment through the legal system, and infiltration. F.B.I. agents would plant false media stories, spread misinformation about meetings and even stage fake meetings to trick supporters of groups the F.B.I. felt threatened by. They even used the legal system to make false arrests, provided perjured testimonies and fabricate evidence (Link 9). COINTELPRO is no longer an official F.B.I. operation, but its remnants can still be seen in the way certain issues are handled, such as the police shooting of an unarmed black boy in Ferguson, Missouri (Link 10).

7 Staging terrorist attacks

On April 30th, 2001, investigative writer James Bamford exposed a nearly 40-year-old classified government operation titled "OPERATION NORTHWOODS". Though it was never officially carried out, this document proved that the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the United States government had at one time proposed multiple terrorist attacks as a means of forcing its country's citizens to rally behind a war with Cuba. Subtitled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba", this operation fell under an even larger operation titled "OPERATION MONGOOSE", an anti-Castro program. The intentions of Operation Northwoods, as laid out in the declassified document, were to secretly engineer targeted attacks in order to sway Americans towards war (Link 11). These attacks included the assassination of Cubans, hijacking planes, sinking boats full of Cuban refugees and even staged terrorist attacks of U.S. cities--all to oust Fidel Castro, a Communist leader that had taken over Cuba. In the declassified government document, it notes intentions to blame Cuba for a staged explosion in Guantanamo Bay and then post the casualties in the newspaper to gather war sympathy. Many of the records of this operation were hidden or destroyed, its intentions not carried out due to rejection by president Kennedy. James Bamford, the author of the book that exposed these secrets, noted that this "may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government" (Link 12).

6. Germ bombing

There are multiple government records documenting the intentional germ bombing of U.S. citizens spanning from 1940 to 1970. These inside attacks were authorized under the U.S. Army as a means of determining America's vulnerability to biological attacks. Well over 100 such attacks were planned out by the U.S. government, some of which proved to be life threatening (Link 6). Operation Dew was one such attack, carried out in two different field trials during the 1950s to test aerosol-released biological agents. Dew I trials were carried out on the southeastern coast and involved the release of around 250 pounds of zinc cadmium sulfide particles. It affected over 60,000 square miles of populated coastal regions across Georgia and the Carolinas. Dew II additionally included plant spores (Link 13). Another example of government germ bombing was Project SHAD--shipboard hazard and defense--run during the 1960s. The purpose of these tests were to determine the vulnerability of U.S. warships to both chemical and biological warfare agents. Over 100 tests were planned, turning U.S. service men into human lab rats. Many of these sailors were not warned, nor were they provided with any kind of protective clothing. Some of these U.S. service men have since encountered numerous physical ailments as a result of the testing, many still unaware of the cause (Link 14).

5. Manipulating the media

From the year 1948 to 1972, the C.I.A. had wide-reaching control over what the public saw, with over 400 journalists carrying out secret assignments for large newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Newsweek (Link 6). Titled "Operation Mockingbird", the C.I.A sought to influence the media, gathering large networks, such as ABC, CBS, NBC and many more. This operation added large domestic and foreign media outlets to the government payroll in return for their participation in becoming spies and spreading government propaganda to the public. This lead to the monopolizing of the media in which larger contenders had a tendency to swallow up their rivals (Link 15). This covert operation spread disinformation at the cost of an upwards of $265 million taxpayer dollars per year. It was carried out by the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), an espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the C.I.A., which received funding by siphoning off funds intended for the Marshall Plan. This money was then used to bribe reporters and fund anti-Communist efforts, such as the production of Animal Farm, a movie based off of an anti-Communist book by George Orwell (Link 16).

4. Intentional poisoning

It is a little known fact that, during the Prohibition-era, the United States government was intentionally poisoning alcohol to curb drinking (Link 6). The New York Times reported that five people died at Belleview hospital on Christmas Day and 41 on New Years Day after drinking poisoned alcohol. Death tolls eventually racked up to as many as 750 New Yorkers by the end of the Prohibition-era, all of whom fell victim to wood alcohol which, though legal in the U.S., was highly toxic. Many more suffered life-altering conditions, such as paralysis and blindness (Link 17), caused by the United States government, who ordered that all industrial alcohols manufactured in the U.S. to be poisoned. As a result, any alcohol stolen by bootleggers and resold as spirits would result in peril, which would hopefully sway the public from engaging in underground drinking. Nationally, at least 10,000 people were murdered by the government's poisoning program by 1933 when the sale and consumption of alcohol was re-legalized. Charles Norris, a New York chief medical examiner, referred to this time as "a national experiment in extermination", marking one of the most lethal decisions made by the U.S. government that has been mostly lost on today's American citizens (Link 18).

3. Mind control

Related to Project MK-Ultra, the United States government has poured millions in taxpayer money into the research and develop of mind controlling technologies dating back to the 1950s (Link 6). Since the time of the Cold War, many less-than-legal mind altering projects have been authorized by the U.S. government to the tune of over $20 million (Link 19). One such program is Project ARTICHOKE, in which agents interrogated people using hypnosis, hallucinogenic drugs and total isolation to cause psychological distress. This was intended to study non-standard interrogation methods, coordinated by the Office of Security (OSI), a sub-unit of the C.I.A. These experiments ran on over 100 people from 1951 to 1953; however, many of the files regarding the operation were either lost or destroyed (Link 20). Another similar mind-control experiment was titled Project QK-HILLTOP, which reportedly took place in the human ecology department of Cornell University's medical school. Created to study brainwashing techniques, the C.I.A. was once again looking for another means of interrogating suspects for easier access to private information. Secret drugs and potentially brain-altering techniques were used to gain better knowledge of brain function and the drugs' effects on the human psyche (Link 21).

2. Psychiatry as a force of law

Did you know that the United States government can have you involuntarily committed to a mental institution without your consent? If the courts believe you to be mentally ill and a danger to yourself or others, you can be thrown into a system that is nearly impossible to get out of. With the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis being so subjective and--ultimately--questionable, involuntary commitment is a real risk (Link 22). In fact, the risk is so real that many Americans are still petitioning to try and stop the government from allowing people to be falsely diagnosed and detained (Link 23). In 1992, U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder found that thousands of adolescents were being detained to mental hospitals for treatments they had no need for. The hospitals kept these patients institutionalized until their mental health insurance ran out, thus increasing the hospital's profit and lining their own pockets (Link 24). But it's not just children being involuntarily committed. Christine Collins, a single mother living in Los Angeles, was forcibly detained to a mental institution after refusing to agree with the findings of a police investigation. The LAPD made her out to be a deranged lunatic, rendering her word meaningless (Link 25). People are still being forcibly institutionalized to this day. In fact, a former marine was detained to a psychiatric hospital after making an "anti-government" Facebook post. Once you have been placed in the system, your word and your credibility become meaningless (Link 26).

1. Radiation exposure

The United States government has a long history of interest in nuclear warfare, so much so that they have been voluntarily exposing U.S. citizens to radiation since the 40s. Some victims of the government's negligence include the 73 mentally disabled children who were unknowingly fed radioactive calcium, 829 pregnant women who were supplied radioactive iron supplements, and black Cancer patients who were intentionally exposed to high levels of radiation (Link 6). In 1957, the U.S. military conducted 29 nuclear tests in a remote area of Nevada. This project, called "Operation Plumbbob", was intended to improve weapon design and perform bio-medical tests in order to improve future nuclear warfare; however, in the process 58,300 kilocuries of radioiodine were released, exposing citizens to 120 million person-rads of thyroid tissue exposure and subjecting troops to high levels of radiation. This resulted in increased instances of leukemia (Link 27). Another covert project, titled "Operation Green Run", involved the release of 8,000 curies of uranium into the air--over 20 times the normal exposure. This occurred in Washington, with winds carrying the uranium all the way to parts of Idaho and Oregon. The purpose for this test was to determine how far the uranium would disperse. Citizens only discovered that these tests were being done when freedom of information laws forced the government to declassify its reports on the incident (Link 28).

Did any of these conspiracies surprise you? Are there any other conspiracies that I may have left out that you feel are important to mention?


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    • Marisa Lahm profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Lawrence, KS

      @HSchneider, I agree. For example, the government recently declassified documents regarding the events of 9/11. I realize that it might sound crazy to believe that the bombing could have been an inside job, but it sounds eerily similar to Operation Northwoods.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Excellent Hub, Marisa. Governments do many things secretly that we do not find out about until years later when documents are released. It is a shame we have this delay and a crime for most of this testing.

    • lifeessence profile image


      3 years ago

      Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was also a terrible experience, but at least it was an accident. Many got cancer and there were human and animal mutations following the disaster. My thyroid used to be in a bad condition too.

    • Marisa Lahm profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Lawrence, KS

      @Paul Edmondson I agree completely that forced treatment can often be necessary and is sometimes the only way to get help for someone who cannot help themselves. The problems with this law are when psychiatrists purposefully use it for some kind of personal gain. I feel, however, that this problem mostly occurred in the past and is not so much present today. When used correctly it is a great law. :)

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      3 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      These are pretty incredible.

      I do appreciate aspects of Psychiatry as forced law. If you have ever had a mentally ill family member that is a danger to themselves, this hold can be used to protect them. Unfortunately, we have had to use it. The other unfortunate piece is that a lot of times the person can answer the doctors questions and get released. I'm sure there are places it's been abused. In my experience it is necessary.


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