Situational analysis – commonly misnamed conspiracy theory

Chomsky’s distinction of conspiracy theory as the opposite of institutional analysis – Linguist and public scholar Noam Chomsky contrasts conspiracy theory as more or less the opposite of institutional analysis, which focuses mostly on the public, long-term behavior of publicly known institutions, as recorded in, for example, scholarly documents or mainstream media reports, rather than secretive coalitions of individuals.[17]

Proven conspiracies and conspiracy theories, prevalence of conspiracies in large-scale criminal enterprises

Katherine K. Young states, “the fact remains, however, that not all conspiracies are imagined by paranoids. Historians show that every real conspiracy has had at least four characteristic features: groups, not isolated individuals; illegal or sinister aims, not ones that would benefit society as a whole; orchestrated acts, not a series of spontaneous and haphazard ones; and secret planning, not public discussion”. Above all else a real conspiracy is evidenced by provable facts.[19]

A basic American police academy text by a former Homeland Security agent notes, “When a crime requires a large number of people, a conspiracy is formed.”[27]