Perhaps nothing shows that Occupy Wall Street has hit a nerve more than the growing number of conspiracy theories surrounding the movement. In fact, Occupy Wall Street “seems to have done more to fuel rumors than it has to end corporate greed,” says Lyz Lenz at Tru TV. Here, five of the most head-scratching, pervasive conspiracy theories swirling around the protests — and how critics answer them;
1. George Soros is pulling the strings
Conspiracy theory: “Despite efforts to portray the movement as ‘leaderless’ or ‘grassroots,’” says Alex Newman at The New American, liberal billionaire George Soros’ “fingerprints… have been all over the anti-Wall Street campaign from the very beginning.” The protests were the brainchild of Canadian anti-consumerist magazine AdBusters, which is partially funded by “the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.” And other Soros “front groups” — MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, and Rebuild the Dream, for example — are actively involved in promoting Occupy Wall Street.
Rebuttal: It would be perfectly natural for Soros to have donated money to a movement he says he supports, says Felix Salmon at Reuters. But in fact, “there’s no connection at all between Soros and OWS.” Yes, he is one of many donors who gave money to the Tides Center, and yes, Tides gave some money to AdBusters. But that happened two years before OWS was even dreamed up. The truth is, OWS raises its money “through crowdsourced means like Kickstarter.”
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Photo: CC 2011, David Shankbone
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