Once upon a time, the term "conspiracy theory" was used to describe an alternative explanation for an incident or event that was considered outside of the mainstream – one that was not necessarily accurate or even possible, but that nevertheless stirred the imagination.
would cast those who espoused a conspiracy theory as some sort of
far-out kook who had lost control of his or her reasoning abilities,
offering up an explanation for an event that couldn't be further from
Today, however, the tactic has changed: Now, detractors use it to hide the fact that the theory being offered is actually the right story, and that the detractor's version is the lie.