Conspiracy theories are a mainstay of modern culture. Whether anchoring complex theatrical thrillers, or filling air time in the twenty-four hour news cycle, the complex shadow machinations of mysterious actors create excellent alternative narratives and high entertainment value wherever we might encounter them. The interesting side effect of this ubiquitous coverage of conspiracy theories is that they have moved from the fringes, to the mainstream. Where did this start? When did we politically paranoid Americans stop trusting the government? Maybe we have always been skeptical, but the widespread systematic dogma that makes up the modern belief in conspiracy theories wasn’t in place until after the Vietnam War. Join us this week as we discuss the burglary that brought down J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO program We’ll also talk about that program’s pointed effort to inspire paranoia in the domestic population. We’ll explore the lasting effects of this actual government conspiracy on the modern mind, why we believe conspiracy theories, and how these ideas spread. Of course, we would be remiss if we spoke of conspiracy theories and didn’t mention “the most paranoid man in America,” Alex Jones. So we’ll do that, too. Wake up, sheeple, this one is a doozie.