what's the harm?

What is this site?

List of Topics


Famous people

Scientific studies






RSS Feed New cases (RSS)


For more on this topic:

368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

What's the harm in believing in conspiracy theories?

Conspiracy theories are alternate explanations for real-world events, usually involving secret actions and motives. The Apollo program, JFK's assassination and the events of 9-11 are common topics.  Read more about conspiracy theories

Here are 2,011 people who were harmed by someone not thinking critically.

Photo of Edward & Elaine Brown

Edward & Elaine Brown

Age: 65 & 67
Plainfield, New Hampshire

Arrested after police standoff
October 4, 2007

The Browns believe there is a conspiracy to deprive Americans of their life and liberty. They stockpiled supplies at their house and stopped paying taxes. Needless to say, the authorities take a dim view of this. Read more & more

Kent Hovind

Age: 53
Pensacola, Florida

10 years in prison, $600,000 restitution
January 19, 2007

A noted proponent of Creationism, he also believes many conspiracy theories about the U.S. government. As a result he avoided paying taxes on his considerable income for years. He is now serving 10 years in federal prison. Read more

Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom

University College, London, England

April 22, 2008

He wrote on the web that the Holocaust never happened and endorsed other conspiracy theories. He was fired from his unpaid fellowship at University College of London. Read more & more

Richard McCaslin

Age: 37
Bohemian Grove, Monte Rio, California

11 years in prison
January 20, 2002

Horrified by (false) accusations about rituals at the Bohemian Grove he found on a conspiracy theory web site, he slunk into the private club expecting a gunfight. He was arrested and charged with felonies, for which he received a prison sentence. Read more & more

Photo of Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon

Age: 42
Glasgow, Scotland

Indicted & extradited to U.S.
February 2001 - March 2002

This computer expert believes that the U.S. government has captured UFOs and is covering them up. Seeking to expose this, he hacked into computers seeking information. In July 2008 it was ruled he can be extradited to the U.S. to stand trial. Read more & more & more

Andrew Meyer

Age: 21
Gainesville, Florida

September 17, 2007

Meyer asked a question of John Kerry at a public event, implying that the 2004 presidential election was manipulated by a conspiracy. He got unruly while asking it and was subdued by police. "Don't tase me, bro!" became an instant catchphrase. Read more

Clay Shaw (businessman)

Age: 55
New Orleans, Louisiana

Prosecuted for conspiracy
March 1967 - March 1969

The district attorney believed conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination and thought Clay was involved. He was arrested and prosecuted. The jury exonerated him in less than one hour. Read more

Sammy Weaver

Age: 14
Ruby Ridge, Idaho

August 21, 1992

His mother had a "vision" of a mountain-top home. His father believed in a Zionist consipiracy to rule the world and that apocalypse was near. They reacted badly when law enforcement arrived at their home, and Sammy ended up dead. Read more

Vicki Weaver

Ruby Ridge, Idaho

August 21, 1992

She had a "vision" of a mountain-top home. Her husband believed in a Zionist consipiracy to rule the world and that apocalypse was near. They reacted badly when law enforcement arrived at their home, and two people died. Read more

thousands of children

northern Nigeria

February 26, 2004

Muslim clerics have spread the conspiracy theory that the polio vaccine is a western plot to sterilize or murder Africans. This has result in a boycott in some areas of Nigeria. This is just as the WHO was on the verge of wiping out polio entirely. Read more & more

Return to the list of topics