Pizza and Politics: Conspiracy Theories

The accepted explanation of any truth will not account for all the details, and this is where conspiracy theorists attempt to fill the gaps with versions ranging from the very serious to the humorous. 

On Nov. 6 students gathered in the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service at Southern Utah University to discuss popular conspiracy theories and a variety of related subjects.

The specific subjects ranged from conspiracy theories that have proven to be true, including talk of militarizing weather such as making rain during the ‘50s to be used against the Soviet Union and in the Vietnam War and the poisoning of alcohol during prohibition by the government.

They also discussed government mind control in the MK-ULTRA program run by the CIA starting in the ‘50s. This program used LSD and other hallucinogens in over 80 institutions such as universities, prisons and hospitals to test its effects. 

Another topic referenced one of the largest conspiracies: the Illuminati. One question with many responses from the audience was, “Could the Illuminati be controlling celebrities like Cardi B?” 

“The idea of a very extensive network controlling people, especially people with influence, is very worrying to me,” said Bird Thacker, a sophomore English major, “and I don’t know if it’s true, but I’m also not sure it’s not true … that idea is frightening to me because there is this organization that could be in control of a lot of things we don’t even know about.” 

Another major discussion was the death of Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted of sex trafficking and had connections to the rich and powerful including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew. Was it suicide or murder?

Other topics included unproven conspiracy theories such as whether Mattress Firm is a front for money laundering, if your iPhone camera is collecting information for advertisers, who was responsible for 9/11 and the subject of spirits possibly haunting SUU’s campus.

If you would like to participate in future debates on topics like these, Pizza and Politics is held every Wednesday at 12 p.m. in ST 112.

FOR SOCIAL MEDIA: @leavittcenter on Twitter and Instagram.

Story by Morgan Crookston
Photos courtesy of Morgan Crookston