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Conspiracy Theories

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Machiavellian organizations are at work around the globe to subvert current governments, or at least that's the idea behind many conspiracy theories.

A conspiracy theory most often provides answers to random acts of violence or atrocities. From the assassination of JFK, for example, to the attacks of September 11th, conspiracy theorists ignore mainstream information in favor of the fantastic and sometimes bizarre. They believe that the answers provided by the media or government fail to provide adequate explanations. They instead hold up their claims as fact, and demand others provide definitive proof. However, in all fields, it's the responsibility for theorists to provide data, which others then scrutinize. Conspiracy theorists fail to do this.

Conspiracy theorists are mocked and ridiculed. Their ideas are synonymous with folklore.


Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. What do you know about conspiracy theories? Do you believe any of them?

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. What can be said about conspiracy theorists?
               a. They don't believe in mainstream media sources.
               b. They rigorously check their facts.
               c. They see violence everywhere.
               d. They are well trusted.
  2. What is the tone of the author?
               a. respectful
               b. informative
               c. mocking
               d. none of the above

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. Do you think there is a secret organization behind some terrible events these days?
  2. What do you know about the JFK assassination? How about September 11th?
  3. What three questions would you like to ask a conspiracy theorist? Why these questions?

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