Hey there and welcome to the BigAppleSchool podcast – the weekly English show where we speak about everything under the sun. The major goal of this show is to help you improve your English and of course learn something new. My name’s Katya, I’m your host, and today with me…
Guys! You know, we’re doing our best to be as useful to you as possible as we would like to get some feedback about it. Subscribe to our pages on Apple, Yandex, Google, VK – well, any platform where you listen to our podcast, and let us know what you think about our show.
Come on Ben, you’re being reckless. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. We wanna keep you around at BigApple podcast network.
Rate and review our podcast, give us stars, leave some comments, ask questions – you know, we always want to talk you. And if you want, you can even send your ideas about our next episodes. It won’t take much time or effort, right, but we would really appreciate it.
Alright, and now – straight to the topic, which is, well, quite an interesting one, which is conspiracy theories. So I think that we should start with what we usually start with, which is defining it. So what exactly is a conspiracy theory? How do you guys understand that?
Well, a conspiracy theory is a theory whereby people believe that a higher power is conspiring to do something behind the scenes, hence the noun conspiracy. Yeah, would you agree with that Gary?
Yeah, yeah, it sounds good. It’s a kind of a story, right, it’s like in ancient times they had myths to explain things, right. And a conspiracy theory is a kind of a myth for now, right, for our time. And it’s… Everything you said is right, it’s somebody’s plan. There’s a reason and there’s a plan and people get together and they’re doing it, and that’s why things are bad.
But if in the past, well, the myths were about some kind of a power that just existed and not necessarily influenced the lives well, you know, directly. And I think conspiracy theories are a little bit different in that matter, so if we, well, if people, not we necessarily, believe in, you know, companies or maybe some power conspiring, that would mean that we believe in them conspiring against us.
Well it depends what you mean by ‘against people’, because naturally every business wants to expand its profits and to become as successful as possible. I don’t know if some people consider that as being against people. Some people would say that’s just capitalism, that’s just how the world works.
Yeah, a really good, like a conspiracy maybe I would think of, first, would be things that are maybe not by business, but maybe by other social forces.
Maybe business would be one of those social groups that have an interest in, in doing a bad thing that would benefit them in other ways, maybe even on the level of like ideology, like, what people are gonna believe, what they’re going to be convinced of. Something like that.
Well, that’s an interesting start, you know, twist to the podcast. Now, why don’t we give some kind of examples maybe of conspiracy theories. Like, what conspiracy theories have you heard of and can you think of now?
Well the first one that comes to mind is the moon landing conspiracy theory. No one knows, I mean, for certain. No one can actually know for certain, but a lot of people, especially in America believe that it happened, but a lot of other people don’t believe it happened.
Can you give a little bit more details about it, to those who have not heard about this conspiracy theory? What exactly is it about?
Well some people theorize that American never, well, the Americans never actually landed on the moon. Perhaps out of a desire to beat the Soviet Union back in the 60s. Some people use photographs taken on the moon as, supposed alleged evidence of this conspiracy theory.
I would say it sounds like a conspiracy that did not start in the United States. Where I sat there as a, let’s say, I would’ve been 1969, so I was 14 years old, a little younger. But I sat there and I watched the thing, right, I mean, live.
And I also photographed it.
Oh my god, witnessing it.
The screen, the screen, which is useless. But anyway. That was the technology of the day, you put your camera on a tripod and take pictures of a television screen. But anyway, I watched it and of course we had no reason to doubt it.
I mean, just now, I mean, the fact that matters that there were hundreds of thousands of engineers, that was like some 5% of the United States budget, government budget just for that thing. I mean, that’s a colossal amount of money that was spent, no need to explain.
That’s what it took, with that technology to go to the moon and walk around and come back. And you know, but maybe somewhere else it was… Shall we say it was more, that was not a good story, a little too successful.
So what do people who believe in this conspiracy theory, you know, provide, to, prove, quotation marks?
Well there was a documentary I think it was on the Discovery channel. Myth busters I think that was the show whereby people looked at certain shadows in the photographs.
Yeah, so I think that these photographs triggered a lot of people to…
Oh it’s like how come there’s a shadow if it’s on a different..
Yeah, I think the flag was moving, wasn’t the flag moving? And there’s no wind.
Oh yeah, how come, how come there’s wind.
What about that flag there, people? Anyway, like that. Really, real knowledgeable stuff, you know. But anyway.
If I’m not mistaken, so when this happened, so there was also some kind of a speech that was, like, transmitted about one step for…
Yeah, one small step for man, one big step for humanity.
So I could not really understand where he recorded that while being there or whether that was transmitted live. How exactly did that work?
That was live, I understood it to be live. Why not? It’s not that far. I mean, it’s 260 000 miles, I mean, that’s just a few times around the earth. Radio, I mean, it’s through space.
It might be not as much today, but I guess at that time that was something extraordinary.
I mean, they were used to. When they were circling the moon, see, before they landed, they, you know, they’d orbited the moon. Just as an experiment and they had live, they had, you know, live audio and video. I mean, it’s just not that far, even with that technology that they have. It’s radio, I don’t even know what that, I mean, the radio of whatever spectrum.
Maybe low frequency radio wave, cause I think it’s, if I’m correct, it’s the lower frequency radio waves that travel really far.
So, they could do it. It was a stretch then, it was amazing as the computers that they had then were just pathetic, I mean, I’ve got more of computer in my hand than they had doing that whole mission.
Yeah, can you imagine that?
Yeah I think the calculator was like a size of the room back in the 50s.
Well yeah. And I remember calculators when they came out, that was impressive. So if you’ve got old people on your podcast, you get the historical, I mean, I remember when calculators were like, yeah, calculators cost like $50, a simple calculator that did, you know, four functions and that’s it. So anyway.
I heard that one more argument that they have to, you know, prove, you know, or to support their theory is that why no one else has made it to the moon since then? It’s been more than 50 years now, so how come it only happened once?
Well that’s a brilliant… Yeah, it’s like well, I guess we just didn’t do it. I mean, it’s one of those things that you do and once you’ve done it — you’ve done it. And it was to prove a point, it was political partly and you made the political point – okay, we did it, nobody died. Right. At least not on that, and so point proved, next thing. I mean, it was about where it was.
I mean, it’s like climb the Everest.
It’s like – tick. Move on.
I mean the Soviet Union wouldn’t be interested – yeah, we got there too, what about us? Next thing.
Yeah. Alright, makes sense, makes sense.
Alright, so we’ve debunked that one.
Well, I think whenever there is a conspiracy theory, there is always some proof. You know, to prove it wrong.
It’s just whether people would like to believe this.
Well at the end of the day every major scandal was at one point a theory, a conspiracy theory, so it’s not wise to completely dismiss all conspiracy theories, but you should always take everything with a big big grain of salt.
So okay. The moon hoax. Any other conspiracy theories that you can think of that are widely spoken of?
Well, a fairly widely spoken of. Maybe you’ve got another one.
The most interesting one would have to be the 9/11 one, because there’s so much conflicting evidence everywhere. I’m not suggesting for a minute that it was a conspiracy, that the US government conspired to make it happen.
However, there is a lot of really interesting evidence that’s been provided, for instance, the temperature at which metal melts and the airplane which crushed into the building. Sure, it was a very hot explosion, however, the evidence that’s provided is how could that explosion have provided enough heat to melt the trade center and make it bend?
So that was like a really interesting wormhole to go down. I’m not for a minute suggesting that, I mean, I’m not a scientist in any shape and form, I’ve never conducted such an experiment.
Well I am a hobby metallurgist, and therefore…
Well one of my interests is metallurgy. No, I’m joking. But I did see a very fine conspiracy video which one of my many conspiracy-minded American friends showed me. And I was, I have to say, I was somewhat convinced, I don’t know of what. The problem is who did it and why? You know, it’s like okay, the US government did it, because…
Well a lot of people say that…
Well a lot of people say that the US government did it so that they would have an excuse to go into the middle East. That’s an alleged theory.
Wow, that’s really far-fetched. Fat-fetched means hard to believe. But yeah, that’s the problem, I think this particular video that I had the pleasure of watching was like blaming George Bush personally, like, he was the bad guy in the video.
And I just, I don’t think so, as soon as you try to say well who would do this and why are they doing it? It all breaks down. But some of the facts are so strange, I mean, just imagine those gigantic buildings just melting and falling down one after the other.
I mean that is… I mean just sometimes reality is so hard to believe that there is gotta be some explanation with some human actors, and it can’t be, you know, there is X number of crazy religious fanatics. It just can’t be that.
It’s gotta be something bigger than that, you know. They don’t have the brains to do that, they don’t have the organizing power to do that. It can’t be the explanation. So let’s go big and say well, it’s the government. I mean.
It’s always very easy to blame the government.
Whatever happens. But why, why do you think people believe all these conspiracy theories?
Cause they’ve got nothing better to do. It’s like playing a video game, conspiracy theories are very fun to get into. They’re fascinating to read about. But at the end of the day are they gonna improve your live, are they gonna improve other people’s lives? That’s the question that has to be asked.
But the thing is that whenever people, well, some people who believe in these theories, they don’t just read about that and forget about that the next day, they actually, you know, start spreading it and being, you know, annoying sometimes.
Well now the technology is there to spread it. Even after 9/11, the technology was sort of barely there to spread it effective. I don’t know, Youtube? Was Youtube even in existence?
it was, I think it was in 2008.
So yeah, the Youtube wasn’t even there, so the things that we would use now, that would be so mega viral that it would be unbelievable. And everybody would believe it, and 2/3 of the world would believe it, and thankfully at least we escaped that.
I think people want, people want, they want to know why, they want to have an explanation. We want to have a reason, and there’s no better reason than a bunch of really powerful people, with no names.
And they get together somewhere in a dark forest in Switzerland, in a palace in Switzerland, and they plan the whole thing. And look, it happens.
Well, people always want to have an explanation.
It’s, you know, people didn’t like things that just happen. Or that are happening in the wrong way.
Yeah. And there’s gotta be good, it’s good to have a good enemy, you have to have a good enemy. That’s a part of conspiracy theories, and usually there’s an enemy involved, often. So that helps.
You know you mentioned all the, you know, media, and I think starting with several years ago there was a term created which was infodemic. Oh actually it got really popular in 2020 when the pandemic started.
And people started to spread the information and very often that was fake information, fake news, but since we have this media, we have this infodemics when we can’t really, you know, stop it or control it.
Yeah it’s very bad now. Now it’s actually destructive.
Well at the day the information is not a black and white thing, and even experts do at times get things wrong.
Yeah, at least they admit that.
It depends, it totally depends. So for instance, the… I can’t remember what his name was. I the UK the… One of the head scientists for the NHS, the National Health Service, he said there would be 2 million deaths in the UK.
And I mean, of course there’s been a lot of horrible situations where families have lost elderly relatives etc. but that’s not been 2 million deaths in the UK. That was a ridiculous thing to say. And he never took that back.
Well he should’ve taken that back. And there were a lot of mistakes earlier in the going, but that was how, that was something new that was called the new covid virus, right, because it’s new. And that’s why you gotta have a vaccine because you don’t have one.
You have to develop it. And so a lot of errors were made out of the mouths of top people, including the United States. But they backed it off. Of course the press there, cause you have one, at least some of them made them to take it back, we say to walk it back means you correct yourself basically,. And you know, there was at least some correction there. But if there wasn’t, then in this case that’s bad.
I think one more possible reason at least is fear and some kind of lack of stability. Cause if we, you know, look at the times when there was a boom of conspiracy theories, well, in Russia, well in the USSR at that time the boom was in the 90s, you know, there was no stability at all.
And then we had so many, you know, theories that you can give energy to water just putting it next to the tv when a certain program is on. And then I might be mistaken, correct me if I’m wrong, but I read that in the US this boom was right after Vietnam and Watergate scandal.
People did not… They stopped trusting the government and they were not, they were lost, they didn’t know whether they could believe the government or whether they couldn’t. What would happen the next day. And if they can’t believe the government, maybe, it is hiding something you know? And that gave rise to…
Yeah the Watergate scandal definitely kicked things off, yeah.
And you know, so what.. Can you remind me what year that was?
I was watching that by the way, taking pictures. I wasn’t taking any pictures, cause who cares, but it was just… It was very interesting. It was during the summer in 73 and I was home from college. But anyway.
Where did you learn about the Watergate scandal? Was it on tv or was it in a magazine?
No, tv, it was tv. I mean they televised the entire…
The entire process. And I Mena it was for real, that was when Congress as doing what Congress is supposed to do as opposed to now when it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. But they were actually you know, looking into it and they got the president… Got rid of the president.
Yeah, was he the first impeachment or?
He wasn’t impeached, he just resigned.
Yeah. He would’ve been, he would’ve been. He would’ve been impeached and convicted and so he just resigned.
I think, another possible reason would be lack of awareness, so if we think about, for example, this infodemic. People are you know, they do not have the full knowledge about something. And sometimes they, let’s be fair, they’re just too lazy to fact-check, so they just believe whatever they read or hear.
Yeah, it comes out of fear. Conspiracy, there’s a big fear element to how they get hold, because they hit people at some level and I know it’s ahead of the thing here, but historically conspiracy theories have been really, really dangerous things.
I mean, like, deadly things. Not, this is not internet jokes, it’s not memes, funny things, it’s not just bad information, it’s people killing other people because of the conspiracy story where it’s these people’s fault. I’m reading a book now, just happens, a coincidence, about a witch craze.
Oh back in the, what, 1700s, 1600s.
Yeah, yeah. 15-16, 1500s, 1600s. And I mean this was a deadly, deadly, deadly thing, and I’m talking about thousands and thousands of people killed by a combination of religious authorities and the government. And not to mention the conspiracy of, the supposed conspiracy of Jews. Right. That is why I’m giving a glance there. As I touch the nerve, don’t let this… offend you.
The Jews. I’m not offended in any way, it’s cool.
No, it’s a, I mean, we talk about… That’s where conspiracy theories go, in the end they end up bad. And you know, so it’s not just.. For us it’s just like okay, so what about this latest thing? And you know…
People who believe to the extreme, take it to the extreme, they are dangerous.
Well, somebody gets a hold of it, somebody gets a hold of it and uses it, see, that’s the problem. I mean, Hitler had this too, and that story, that myth, conspiracy theory that goes way back deep. That goes…
It was over a 1000 years old at the point that Hitler, as we would say, weaponized it. And the results are sad and you know, I mean, one of the darkest stories in the history of humanity come out of a conspiracy theory, And so that’s why for us it’s an internet joke or some bad information or whatever it is, but gracious in different time it can be life and death.
It can be, yeah. And I could, I think another possible reason… Of course it all, you know, varies and it depends on a certain situation, but I think that sometimes people believe in a conspiracy theory that resonates with them.
And the more it does, the more they believe. And the example that came to my mind is when people have someone or if they are, let’s say, sick with cancer or they have someone who has cancer they are more likely to believe, you know, these conspiracy theories that the cure for cancer has been, you know, it has been invented,
but the big pharma, they don’t want it to be, you know, given, they don’t want it to be available. Because you know, they make so much money, they make billions on you know, research and, you know, all that trying to find the cure.
So, this is another theory, and in general, you know, people might not think about that that much, but people who have been affected by it personally, they are, you know, more likely to think about it and to believe anything just to, you know, give excuse to why they are not cured or somebody they love has not been cured. So. So, situations differ.
Yeah. Well, fear, right, that’s another kind of fear, almost personal fear, right, and you know, it’s like, again, sorry, Hitler. That arouse out of a culture that they lost the first world war, I mean, they went through a hyper-inflation, they lost their complete standing among other countries, you know, pride, right.
And it just, I mean, they were just decimated. And what, we need an explanation here, and so we have what we call a scapegoat, so. In the history, you know.
So, coming back to the Big Pharma. Obviously, the pharmaceutical industry is absolutely huge, it has so many components to the industry, so it’s really easy to shake your fist at one big collective lob. Or big collective group, big industry. And it’s much better to look at things on an individual basis rather than a huge collective basis.
Of course. Well, again, this is the matter of fact checking and just, you know, reading and getting information. Because if we look at 50-60 years ago, and the level of medical care then and the level of medical care now, which is fascinating. So we can see that maybe this is a wrong theory. So.
The thing is that, coming back to the Watergate scandal, there were some things that were true and just some things that were not true. And that’s the whole thing of conspiracy theories, there’s no black and white.
There was, I mean, if you call it, I mean that was just a crime. That never got to being a conspiracy theory, it was… It began as a crime.
And then became a scandal, but I mean there was an actual crime or a series of crimes that… It really wasn’t a conspiracy as such, but it did break down trust in government which was your point.
But let’s be fair – what is the best lie? The best lie is the one that has a little bit of truth in it. So once you see this bit of truth you think, ah.
Yeah, right. Well, it’s like a gigantic lie. The big lie. That’s the what they call that, if you’re gonna tell lie, tell a big lie. And because people are gonna believe that just as well, and it explains more things, and so why not? Right, if I’m gonna lie, not care about the truth, an make it a big lie.
So why don’t we go through top, well, top 5 conspiracy theories, the widely spoken ones. We have mentioned, well, we have actually talked about the secret pharma in a way. So what is your attitude to that personally? What do you think about it?
Well personally I avoid taking anything which is not natural. Obviously I do occasionally take like an aspiring, well, not aspirin, ibuprofen if I have a headache.
But it’s not a good idea to take too many drugs and that’s not a good thing in general and of course a lot of pharmacies, the pharmaceutical industry is a business and it does need to sell stuff. And it’s not evil or necessarily their motivation behind the business is to help people.
Well if anybody could cure cancer, they would rush that thing out of there as fast as they could do it, because they would take, I mean.
They’d make a lot of money out of it, yeah.
They’d make it gigantic. So the whole idea that somebody would hide it so that they could not cure people and be more successful just a little bit of thought process on that one.
I read some comments, doctors’ comments on that and they said that look, why do you think that we’d make more money researching this and pretending to find the cure? If we had found it, if we had actually invented that, we would make even more money. Cause if you think that’s gonna be cheap, you’re wrong, it’s always going to be expensive.
Sure. And just talk, think about who gets the Nobel prize which is what those kinda guys, they don’t care, they’re science people. They’re not worried about the money they’re worried about the honor, you know, the praise.
And you cure cancer and you’re the man, you’re Galileo, you’re Einstein, you’re the whole bunch, because… And somebody’s not gonna do that because some big pharma company can make more money? I don’t think so.
Yeah. Well you mentioned Galileo, should we talk a bit more about Galileo?
Is there a conspiracy theory about him?
No no no, let’s go back to the 16th century.
Wasn’t Galileo the person who stipulated that the world’s a globe? Was that Galileo? Was that someone else?
Yeah. I should really be quicker on this one but I’m not quick on this one.
Well now there’s the flat earth theory – that’s a really cool conspiracy theory.
Oh my god I recently saw a bit from Facebook where somebody’s like the flat earth theory supporters are everywhere around the globe. And somebody’s like now repeat that again, but slowly.
Well you’re from Yakutia, so that’s not too far from the edge of the world ,so why don’t you…
I mean if there’s an edge, it’s somewhere around there I’m sure. Not far from there, just a few miles.
Oh my goodness, I have just realized — I hope that people who see my tattoo will never think I’m a flat earth supporter, cause I have…
What’s the tattoo, go on?
It’s the Discworld, it’s based on Terry Pratchett’s books. But basically it looks like you know, a flat Earth on a back of a turtle. I’m not a flat earth supporter.
Well Katya, who convinced you to put that tattoo on? Was that somebody from the Facebook?
Here’s the coolest awesomest tattoo and…
You’re gonna be noticed and spoken about! Popular!
That’s right! Put it on Instagram!
So what happens at the end of Russia? So do reindeer fall off the side and?
That’s what I’ve heard, that’s what I’ve heard. …
Well, a good reason to go and check. Travel.
Alright. So that as the first theory. The second one we have discussed, which is the moon conspiracy theory.
I wanna put another nomination in, but you have to be older, and that’s my department. I’m there. How about John F Kennedy? We had a president in the 1960s who was assassinated.
That was really the start of the real, in the united states at least, the real serious assassination theory. One of the conspiracy theories is that the government story had genuinely supposedly a thorough, thorough, thorough investigation,
but that one guy, this one guy with one gun planned and did that whole thing. Shot the president as he is going by in an open automobile, right. And here is this maniac guy up in this tower and he shoots the president. The president dies and we’re into the 1960s in the bad sense, right. Because the 1960s turned sort of difficult.
So and… So the people who support this theory – who do they think actually assassinated the president?
Who do I believe? I just gotta be honest I don’t know enough about this topic. I know one of the names of the shooter, Ruby or something.
Well, Ruby… See, the other thing that happened is the guy that shot the president – they actually captured him, they caught him, right. And then that same day, or I think, yeah, that same day some guy came up out of a crowd and shot the guy who shot the president. So you’ve got multiple…
Right. I mean it really is suspicious, I mean, really, genuinely. And so I’m almost done bored with that one, there is something wrong with that one, truthfully.
I recently, just not long ago was watching a tv show where they had a theory about that. It was a fantasy tv show you know, about people with superpowers and whatnot. And in there somebody travelled back in time to, you know, prevent the assassination,
but then another person came, travelled trough time to make it happen. And you know and then there were some different alternative universes to see…
Oh Katya, so complicated. I’m too much of a simple man for that, but go ahead, keep going.
I don’t know, that was it, that was it. So it’s, I mean..
It’s still around. I mean the tv show came out last year, so and it’s still, well, not in the media, but at least in books, in tv shows.
Sure, sure, yeah. It’s still in American mind somewhere.
So we can say it’s one of the top ones, definitely. I actually have, well, that was probably a mistake of mine, but when I was writing down the plan, I put that into the category of old and forgotten conspiracy theories. And I know I understand how wrong I was, I’m sorry.
Well speaking of shootings, there was another one. So John Lennon when he was shot by, what was his name? Marc Chapman, something like that.
There was a conspiracy theory about that?
There was a theory that John Lennon wanted to, well, he was anti, well anti-government generally. Well, not anti-government… He was anti the military complex, the world.
Yeah yeah yeah, he was all that…
Perhaps that’s the theory that he was assassinated to prevent him spreading peace and love.
Peace and love? So this is not the place for peace and love.
That’s right. This is not place for peace and love, let’s assassinate the man.
That’s how the government thinks – too much peace and love, let’s eliminate that.
The next conspiracy theory that I want to share is the Coca Cola conspiracy theory. There were some rumors for quite a while that Coca Cola puts some kind of a drug and some people even claim there was a little bit of cocaine to get people hooked up on their produce.
And they explained it, you know, saying that is why Coca Cola has so many people who are, you know, who cannot live without it, who drink nearly a gallon every day. So they must’ve been putting something there.
Well if you go to McDonald’s and you look at the machines that make Coca Cola, that’s a lot of white powder, so perhaps it could be.
Oh, the powder theory, the powder theory. Powdered Coca Cola. Well, no, actually there’s a historical thing to that is that the original recipe, and that is just a historical fact, is the original recipe of Coca Cola had cocaine in it. I mean for real. Look it up on internet people. It’s real actual fact. And of course there came a point, because, you know, a lot of people were using cocaine…
Well apparently dentists used to prescribe cocaine.
It was a major pain, you know, anesthetic, it was like medicine. But unfortunately it’s addictive and people became addicted to it. And at some point people became aware of that and so Coca Cola just became what it is but, you know, which means no cocaine.
And just sugary and whatever else that people like. But maybe they had already had the habit of drinking, drinking with cocaine, and now it’s not quite as happy. It’s good, not quite as good. But still okay.
Not quite as happy. Speaking of happy, I was reading this… It’s kinda off topic, but I was reading this, you know, the lonely planet guide. So I was reading this Lovely Planet guide to Cambodia and…
And there they have this happy pizza in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
Surprise me, what is this?
Well they sprinkle cocaine on the pizza apparently.
Well I bet that probably did a lot for tourism top Cambodia right there.
They’re like oh no, we’re out of tourists is falling down!
After this BigApple podcast network, Cambodia is gonna be overrun. When did this all start?
So you know, once the borders open, what is the place that everyone’s going to? Cambodia!
Where the pizza’s the happiest. Man, this pizza here, this is a sad pizza.
I’m not sure if that was the Lonely Planet guide, but it was a guide. It was something. I don’t wanna get in trouble with the lonely planet. If that’s not the right information, sorry, the lonely planet.
They’ve lost the suit against the BigApple podcast.
Alright. The next conspiracy theory that I have is not about the world, but it is a Russian conspiracy theory, which you might have heard about it because there have been some movies about that and which is called the Dyatlov Pass. So any… Does it ring any bells?
So there have been some movies about it, so if you’re curious, you can look it up later. So the Dyatlov conspiracy theory. So the thing is that in 1969, in January, there were nine young hikers who, you know, went hiking in the mountains of… in the Ural mountains. And they wanted to climb the mountain which people called the Dead Mountain. So, you know, quite a good start, right.
So and the thing is that they pitched their tents at the base of a small slope, so they went to sleep. But the thins is that they never made it to the next waypoint. So and they all were found, well, first, they disappeared.
And there was a search group that started looking for them and it took nearly a month to find all nine bodies, you know. They were scattered amid the snow and you know, some of the hikers died half-dressed in just their socks and, you know, this long underwear.
Some had broken bones, some cracked skulls. One woman was missing an eye. Somebody lost their tongue.
You lost your tongue. How do you lose your tongue? They didn’t have it, yes.
Some people claim that was because of the wildlife. So and the tent, it was half-buried in the snow and then, you know, slashed open from the inside. Well, that hat it seemed. So and, all 9 hikers they were said to have died from hypothermia. And now there are a lot of theories about that.
So you know, how come that nine people died in such circumstances. That their bodies were found in such a state. So and you now, there are some kind of criminal theories, there are some unbelievable theories, like it was a snowman, it was a yeti or some kind of a creature.
And the arguments that people provide to support their theory is that first, there was no sign of an avalanche when the rescuers found the bodies. So there was nothing like that.
The second argument that they provide is that there’s, you know, the hikers, they left their tent in the midnight, like, the middle of the night, and even if the avalanche had happened, it would’ve happened at a different time.
Because they estimated the risks, what time of the day and what kind of a temperature you need, so yeah. And the third one is that even if it was an avalanche, so they say that the injuries that the hikers had sustained they were head injuries and chest injuries and this is not what an avalanche can cause.
I mean if that was an avalanche they would all just be under the snow, no? I mean, they would all just be buried and they would have to dig them out? Wouldn’t that what an avalanche is?
I mean, there were a lot of details like what kind of an angle you know, the tent was at. What exactly, what part of the slope they were at. Those were technical details that I do not really understand or remember, if I’m honest.
So they were so many theories how they could’ve started to escape. And if they cut the tent from the inside — so why? Was it before the avalanche? Was it after? What really happened? Was it really some kind of a wild animal?
This kinda reminds me of bigfoot. So you know, I think it’s American. And there are still people who are looking for bigfoot. So for those of you who are not familiar with bigfoot, it’s this alleged mystical creature which is big and allegedly really hairy and ape like and like a big bear.
And people have allegedly found huge footprints in the forests. I can’t remember which part of America it is. That reminds me of bigfoot. And Loch Ness of course in Scotland.
Do you… Have you ever seen this picture or people saying that why we have now such, you know, cool phones so you can zoom in and see little hair on somewhere but when people take pictures of yeti or Loch Ness.
That’s amazing poor quality.
Astoundingly poor quality. That’s right. World’s worst photographs.
So yeah. And this is one more, the Dyatlov pass. Well it was named after…
That’s good, that’s got everything. I mean.
Everything you need for a good conspiracy theory or an unsolved mystery. So it was named after one of the hikers, Dyatlov. And again, there is… There are some movies, if I’m not mistaken, there might a book about it as well. And it’s still widely discussed up to this point. Alright. And well, we can’t but mention the biggest conspiracy theory which is the secret government.
Ah, the illuminati, yeah.
I mean, there are so many versions of the secret government, what exactly that can be, you know. The billionaires controlling the universe, what is it, the reptiloids. You name it.
Well the queen is apparently a lizard or something.
That’s right, you know. Why not, why not have the Queen be a lizard. I mean, if you’re already there, just go the extra 100 miles.
How come she could make it to what, 96 she turned?
She’s old, she’s old, she’s very strong.
It’s that reptilian nature. I mean crocodiles live to be how old? I don’t know, 150 years old?
So what version of this theory have you heard of? The secret government.
Well, Ben, you got the illuminati going. You’re there.
I mean, to be honest I don’t know what to believe.
I sense that Ben is maybe, maybe he’s there, he’s there.
I don’t want to give the details, but…
I don’t think there is a government per se, I just think everyone has their own interests at heart. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s not necessarily a good thing. And people will do whatever it takes to make sure that their interests are taken care of.
Some people who have made billions of dollars probably wanna keep those billions of dollars and don’t want to lose it. And they will probably do some things that are slightly nasty, I’m not saying that billionaires are all nasty people, not at all.
Well the billionaires who listen to this podcast will be glad to hear.
Yeah, sure they are. Our biggest fans.
Please send us some, we’ll be happy.
If you like this podcast, you know what to do.
What is a government at the end of the day? It’s a.. How would you define government?
How would you define government?
Well government it’s a human organization that people consent, well, it depends. Right. Or don’t consent. It’s a human organization by which people govern themselves, part of the people govern the rest of the people. How’s that for a poor of quality definition?
I just… It’s the structure, the framework of a given…
Put it in the outline if you want to have something brilliant, you gotta put it in the outline. Look at me and say Gary what is government? Ah, you get an answer like the one I just gave.
Yeah. It all comes down to..
It’s not my fault, that’s what I’m saying.
But it all comes down to how one would define a government. Would you define it as something that you elect, would you define it as something which has control over you? It will depend on how you define it.
Well historically that’s elected governments are few. It’s mostly just things you’re born into the, under the government, and the order of things that you’re born under. And you just live with that. And now there is some democracy over the world and so some element is people choose their masters. So to speak.
Yeah. Well some people do, maybe not North Korea.
Right, right. Maybe not just North Korea, but anyway. You don’t have to travel far, but no comment.
Better be safe here, yeah.
I don’t necessarily believe in illuminati, which is like a group of people, billionaires or overlords who want to control everything. But I don’t rule out that people look after their own interests. I mean, everyone does.
That sounds natural, yeah.
Maybe by the time that you put people that are really outrageously wealthy and powerful together, maybe their interests are so much the same, that they end up kinda going in the same direction, right. Because it’s beneficial to them.
Well you can imagine that, right. You can imagine that, even without actually having a meeting in Switzerland in a palace in the woods and planning it all out. It just is gonna happen by people seeking their own benefit, right.
Alright. Now something unexpected maybe to you and to our listeners.
But one of the conspiracy theories that we’ve mentioned is a fake one. So you can guess which one that was.
You can leave your thoughts in the comments after listening, so yeah. Do you have any guesses which one was fake? I’m not gonna tell you the answer.
You mean one of the things we were talking about was fake?
I’m disappointed, I’m surprised.
This podcast is nothing but a lie.
That’s right! I’ve already told you that! I wanted to walk out earlier.
No he didn’t, don’t believe him!
No they’ve locked the door, they wouldn’t let me do it. Which… I mean, really?
Alright. I’ll look in the comments.
Maybe the moon landing I guess.
Oh which was a fake? Yeah, that was a fake. I mean, that was… That was a fact…
No, I mean… Which theory, which conspiracy theory does not exist in general? And not, you know, discussed that widely maybe.
I’ll leave you, I’ll leave you to it.
Well you must have brought that up because we are innocent, we wouldn’t have done that.
I would have. Alright and we have mentioned it earlier, you know, the amount of some theories that appear in the time of crisis and difficult situations. So why don’t we talk about conspiracy theories that appeared in 2020 when we started to have covid? So what coronavirus conspiracy theories have you heard of?
I have not heard of any, just because I ignore them.
I know they exist, but I’ve ignored them. Which was a good decision I might add. I don’t regret it.
Yeah, definitely. Definitely.
I don’t feel like I’ve missed that.
There’s so much conflicting information, I don’t know what’s a theory and what’s not.
Well, one of the theories, I think one of the biggest theories is that now that we have vaccination, now that vaccination, you know, started, some people think that it’s all just a way of chipping people in order to control them. And that Bill Gates is all behind that. They want to control… Which is in itself, you know…
When people say things are absolutely true, absolutely not true – how can you actually know? How can you actually prove anything? That’s the underlying question.
Okay Ben, now you’re doing this.
You’re threading on thin ice here.
Now he also started to look at me again. And that’s… That’s the impossible question.
I just… I just work, I don’t really look at these things cause I can’t be bothered to be honest. But at the end of the day how do you actually know that something’s true or not.
Yeah, that’s one of the problems. Here’s the real problem which has arisen which is exactly in your question. Which is once, should I say our illustrious former president Donald Trump really did a bad thing by multiplying people’s distrust of the truth like it can’t be found.
Well I mean the truth is, like in the case with the virus, right, and the vaccines, I think that, I mean, where are some grounds for how did it start? Now there is a problem.
Well Sir Isaac Newton was sir Isaac? Isaac Newton, he would prove things by showing that there was reproducible evidence, so if something can be reproduced over and over and over again, then that’s the truth. But if something is just forecasted then it’s not necessarily the truth.
And that’s where… If we’re talking about history, right, you cannot repeat history, except in movies, like in movie like that movie. Only in your fantasies right. Only in that sense. But in fact here are people who are reporting actual facts of things and I believe that basically the information is pretty good. I don’t trust everything either, even from good sources.
Exactly. It’s never black and white.
Well, you know, it is actually black and white but getting to the black and white of it is the problem. There is an actual truth. Like, the virus. How did the virus start? Well it started some way. Only one way, right. And you know about China and some laboratory in China, that whole story.
And no one can actually prove this, unless you actually go to the lab and you have like a microscope, how are you gonna know if these things are true or not?
And there because of the Chinese government and, I apologize who are Chinese listeners, right yes, but that their interest is in not having to be in any way connected to anything that they did. Except for trying to contain it after it happened.
But I think once you get beyond that, that information we have about how it spread and the vaccine process is not a conspiracy to do anything except try to cope with something very destructive. I think that’s all it is.
Well if you look at the polio virus. There’s reproducible evidence that the vaccination for it works. Because there hasn’t been polio in the states for a long time.
Yes, and there is also with this vaccine. It’s just they have to…
That’s the thing, how do people who for certain if the amount of time is not…
Well normally you would do this over a course of like five years or something, an then you would know. Cause you would’ve tested a whole lot of people. But because a whole lot of people are dying all the time, you can’t wait for that.
And so that’s the problem. I mean there are certain norms and certain procedures that can be accelerated, you can do them faster. And get at least what’s supposed to be an tenable result. It’s not a certain thing until five years down the line, then you know.
I mean I have an instinct that we’re not being microchipped. I don’t think that we are, but you can’t actually prove that, that’s the funny thing.
It’s an instinct at the end of the day and I hope that’s not true, but how can you actually know.
Right. That too, but the problem with that thing – but we can’t really know for sure. There’s a lot of things we can’t really know for sure. And but there’s things that we can be pretty sure about and that has always been good enough.
And it’s not like all of a sudden in 2020 it’s not good enough anymore. It’s good enough. It’s good enough to go and vaccinate the world or try to, you know, it’s good enough. And good enough sometimes it has to be good enough.
Right. But the whole problem with truth – that’s really a problem. And you know, that’s more a problem, it’s kinda of a metaproblem, it’s probably on a different level.
I mean there’s only so many things that we can achieve in our daily life, you can’t… There are so many theories out there and people can’t go prove and disprove every single theory. It’s better to just concentrate on the things that are fun to view rather than try to prove…
I thought you were gonna say it’s better to just concentrate on one theory to prove or disprove.
Maybe you should, that can be a hobby.
So and so that is one of the theories connected with covid. Have you heard of the 5G theory? Which is closely connected.
That is British special there.
Well David Icke have you heard about David Icke?
I’ve heard that he’s associated with that.
So he’s a famous conspiracy theorist. And…
Why do you know a name of a famous conspiracy theorist?
Because he’s famous. If you go to…. He’s very famous.
He’s very eloquent but there is time when you think mmm is this true? Is this not true?
Well if he’s a famous conspiracy theorist, just think it’s probably not true. I recommend it.
Well for instance he has supported the Queen as a reptile theory. And I can’t really get on board with that.
But Ben, we’re not really sure.
But that’s true, how can you actually be sure?
Ben, 5G, don’t get distracted, 5G.
Well I mean, let’s go to the reptile, the Queen-reptile thing, cause that’s the problem.
I hope she’s not a reptile.
Right. Well that’s your patriotic streak there.
God save the Queen. I hope she’s not a reptile. I don’t think she is.
Well that’s where we’ve gotten.
I haven’t touched the Queen’s face.
The highlight of this podcast is that Ben hopes the Queen is not a reptile. Ben! 5G! For god’s sake!
That’s right. Focus, focus!
So what is the theory about that? So why do people burn the 5G towers throughout the world?
I’ve heard that perhaps the radio waves cause disturbances in people’s heads and apparently it’s getting them crazy.
Oh it’s deeper than that. Cause you know, it got, you know, more common, so this theory since the covid started. So these conspiracy theorists they say that the 5G towers, well, that people who die of covid don’t actually die of covid, they get covid in the first place because of hypoxemia?
The lack of oxygen in the body which is caused by the 5G radiation that, you know, blocks something in the body so you don’t get enough oxygen.
Wow, that’s preposterous. I mean, that’s… I’ll give that one a five on my preposterous…
I’ll give it 6G, on that one. That’s one even 6G.
So the argument that people who support this theory provide is that Wuhan in China where it all started was one of the first cities in the world where in 2019 they tested the 5G towers and 5G nets. And then some people even say that..
Solid, I like that, solid evidence.
They even say that covid had predecessors. When there was an epidemic or pandemic of SARS in 2003 it was 3G, then there was a flu swine in 2009.
So swine flu was in 2009 when there was 4G towers.
I remember that at school, that was a huge thing.
They even say, well, it’s a little bit, as you say, far-fetched, but they say when it was a Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, what was the time?
Oh wow! That’s going on! Wow, Ben and Katya, this whole thing convinced me! I mean, that couldn’t possibly just be a coincidence. No way!
That couldn’t just sort of cherry picks that happened to happen like that – no, that’s solid. I mean, that’s science right there buddy. We’re not talking about bologna that were blown out of some orifice, that’s reality there buddy.
Thank you podcast, learned something.
Well remember what I said at the beginning? The major goal of this podcast is to help you improve your English and learn something new. I didn’t lie.
That’s right, that’s right. You’re accomplishing every purpose to the max.
Yeah, exactly. So and can you think of any conspiracy theories that turned out to be true?
I’m gonna look at Ben on this one – he’s got our gullibility of…
I’m trying to think what came true.
He’s scratching his head, he’s thinking. I’m just describing. Look, he’s going deep into his…
I’m trying to think, I’m trying… So I mean some scandals came true.
And as you said some scandals were first some kind of theories.
It’s not really a conspiracy theory but Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton. That wasn’t a conspiracy, but he said no I never had an affair, I never had an affair.
That’s not a conspiracy theory.
How can you trust people high up if they lie to you in such a big way.
That’s not the same thing, but yeah. I mean the problem with trusting the government, I’ll go with that.
Bill Clinton was a really cool person, he was a really fun person and then…
Yes, right, yes, right. And then it just all got carried away with it.
I would… Anyway. But that’s interesting, isn’t it. If you think about it, if.. That’s a good question, right, if there were like a lot of conspiracy theories, so much so that okay, we should really pay attention as to whatever our conspiracy theories are now in a way that we, yeah, probably that could be true.
Actually, I’ve got one. Maybe Geffrey Epstein. That…
You have to elaborate on that for me and some of our listeners.
This is another equivalent of this is out of the Bill Clinton..
I mean it hasn’t come true, but why was he killed in prison? I mean in a really secure prison.
Ben you have to tell me who that is and what happened.
Get ready, here’s another one.
He was a very famous billionaire in New York who was a pedophile, like a really big one. And he was all over the news. A lot of people have heard about Geffrey Epstein and I’m not gonna lie – that was a really fishy case.
That was a huge story, I can’t tell the whole story here. But there’s a Netflix series about him, it’s fascinating. And it’s really fishy. Why was he killed? Why was this guy killed in a maximum or really secure prison in Manhattan? And that definitely opens some questions. I mean it’s not gonna affect my daily life.
Please don’t let it, Ben, affect your daily life. I want good things for you.
What happened to Geffrey Epstein was horrible. It definitely needs to be explored.
I think that if you take conspiracies down to that micro thing.
Oh he was connected with a lot of things.
I mean, sure, yeah, there are, probably there are a lot of things on that scale. It’s kinda like, that’s sort of a small scale.
It doesn’t make you think what were all these people doing and why were they associated with this guy and hanging out with him. Like, prince Andrew. Why was he hanging out with Geffrey Epstein? Why was he photographed with all these young girls? That’s really weird.
Well because that’s what he was doing and everyone else was enabling him to do that, including high up people.
It’s evil, it’s scary. I mean, I’m not gonna dedicate my life to looking into it, I’m here to teach English in Russia.
Okay Ben. I think you’ve got your priorities.
Geffrey Epstein. If you wanna learn some more English go to the Netflix series, this is a fascinating series.
I don’t know if I can say that it was a conspiracy theory proved right or not, I mean, not about Geffrey… Epstein you said.
But there was a situation when there was a theory that some of the government data was stolen or something like that. And it turned out that there was this… And there is this… Scientology I think?
Is it a church of scientology or? I don’t know how exactly to call.
Yeah it’s called the church of scientology.
Right. It’s not a church, but.
The thing is that in the 1970s there were some, you know, some rumors going around that they are trying to get rid of the data about them and it turned out to be true. That there were ore than 5000 people who were involved, who were, I’m sorry, stealing data and erasing data about the church, about people connected with it in more than 30 countries.
So in some government institutions, in FBI, in consulates, in embassies, so yeah. But this is the only one that I can think of. And it was called, apparently it was called the operation Snow White.
I don’t really know this.
Yeah I had not really heard that. But Scientology is a bad bunch, it’s a bad…
I remember being told the story and later I had to read about this, after I saw this beautiful building in Boston while walking with a friend who’s a local and I was like what is it? She’s like a scientology church. I’m like a what? Is it like about science? And she was like oh listen. So I had like a mini-lecture about it, that’s the only reason why I heard about that.
So a lot of people who get involved with scientology they all have good intentions. I don’t think scientologists go in scientology cause they are evil people. They are just lost and broken and they want answers to things. And they become disillusioned with the way things are, so they turn to scientology. I don’t think that scientologists as people are bad people, that’s just what the organization does.
But they are the kind of an organization that like, that uses psychology on their own people to capture them. And it’s very, it’s creepy.
It’s creepy, it’s sinister, it’s actually sinister. We say sinister.
Yeah, it’s a gigantic business and it’s just it’s a warped kind of theory.
I’m sure they have some nice things to offer, scientologists, otherwise people would never join it in the first place. Maybe the give people sense of structure.
They promise, they promise you certain like benefits.
And perhaps at the beginning… I’ve never done it before, but I have been a scientologist or anything, but perhaps people must feel good at the start or else they would never end up spending millions of dollars of their hard-earned cash on it.
Alright. Wow, it was fun. And so much new information, so much to look into I guess. Wow. Okay that was the BigAppleSchool podcast and today we discussed numerous conspiracy theories. What exactly a conspiracy theory is and which ones we have heard of, we tried to prove some of them wrong.
Or discuss the arguments that people who support these theories provide. And we discussed why people believe in these theories. So well, thank you for listening and remember — if you struggle to understand our conversation, you are always welcome to our website which is Bigappleschool.com/podcast.
You can find full scripts of each episode there, so you can listen and read and that’ll help you a lot I hope. So also if you want to get more content which will help you learn English you can follow us on social media, basically any social media you can think of – Instagram, Vk, Telegram, Youtube. Just search our name which is, again, BigAppleSchool. So and that was Katya and my guests for today were..
Stay tuned and we’ll see you around!