Home / Conspiracy / The Phrase “Conspiracy Theory” Was Coined by the CIA in 1964.
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The Phrase “Conspiracy Theory” Was Coined by the CIA in 1964.

Written by Gary North on July 16, 2013

So argues Lance DeHaven-Smith. He is a professor in the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. He also served as President of the Florida Political Science Association. He is author of a dozen books, including The Battle for Florida, which analyzes the disputed 2000 presidential election. DeHaven-Smith has appeared on Good Morning America, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CBS Nightly News with Dan Rather, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and other national TV and radio shows.

Here is his book’s thesis.

Ever since the Warren Commission concluded that a lone gunman assassinated President John F. Kennedy, people who doubt that finding have been widely dismissed as conspiracy theorists, despite credible evidence that right-wing elements in the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service—and possibly even senior government officials—were also involved. Why has suspicion of criminal wrongdoing at the highest levels of government been rejected out-of-hand as paranoid thinking akin to superstition?

Where did the phrase come from? The CIA. He shows that the term “conspiracy theory” came into the American language as a way to to deflect criticism of the Warren Commission. He traces it back to a CIA propaganda campaign to discredit doubters of the commission’s report.

The strategy has worked amazingly well. Were it not for the World Wide Web, it would be working even better today.

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6 thoughts on “The Phrase “Conspiracy Theory” Was Coined by the CIA in 1964.

  1. Old School Repub says:

    Even the Constitution is a conspiracy theory nowadays.

  2. " Why has suspicion of criminal wrongdoing at the highest levels of government been rejected out-of-hand as paranoid thinking akin to superstition?"

    This is a great quote. It almost demands the answer: Suspicion?? We should be making the ASSUMPTION of criminal wrongdoing, not just having a suspicion! More and more people today are making that assumption.

  3. And now we know why , it was the CIA that conspired to put a black communist in the White House .

  4. Bob Marshall says:

    Zbigneiw Brzezinski once stated that one day people won't be able to think for themselves. That day arrived years earlier.

  5. That may be why Obama didn't appoint Mrs. Clinton Attorney General. She would have spent all her time investigating the "vast right-wing conspiracy" that was persecuting her husband.

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