10 Widely Believed U.S. Government Conspiracy Theories

FEMA Concentration Camps Will Imprison Antigovernment Activists
A photo similar to this one of a North Korean prison camp was doctored and used as 'proof' of FEMA concentration camps. DigitalGlobe via Getty Images

People dealing with natural disasters in the U.S. are pointed in the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was created to help citizens through dicey situations like tornado damage, flooding, fires and the like. Apparently, the agency has sinister, Nazi-esque ulterior motives, if you believe conspiracy theorists. Members of the modern day "Patriots" movement allege that FEMA has established concentration camps mandated by the U.S. government and the United Nations, suitable for the imprisonment of those who subscribe to the Patriots' antigovernment militia subculture, particularly those who aren't keen on having their firearms confiscated [sources: Potok, Zaitchik].

If you're wondering when these supposed camps will be put into use, you're not alone. Some people say that they already are being presented as "low cost housing" for homeless people being kept against their will [source: Watson]. Others are waiting for the proverbial bottom to fall out of the government as we know it, which will eschew our constitutional "inalienable rights" as a result of some government-engineered catastrophe which will launch a state of martial law [source: Zaitchik].

Sadly for fans of this theory, the visual "proof" of the existence of these camps has been accounted for. Photos purporting to be of the camps are actually of forced labor colonies located in North Korea, while others are actually of a National Guard training center in Michigan (most definitely not a prison camp). Even video footage of an alleged camp was taken from a 1990s documentary featuring an Amtrak maintenance facility [source: Popular Mechanics].