HowTo:Make People Believe Absurdities

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“Those who can make you believe absurdities are having a great time.”

~ Voltaire on HowTo:Make People Believe Absurdities

Why would you want to make people believe absurdities?

For a quick answer, take a look at the quote above. There are, however, several additional reasons why you certainly would like to be able to make people believe the most irrational things you can come up with.

  • it is great fun
  • you can make them do what you want
  • you constantly have the upper hand
  • it is great fun
  • it is the only way to fight thinking and enlightenment
  • it is the reason Uncyclopedia exists
  • it will give you the power to read minds

Absurdities: What they are and what they are not

You could probably make an average passer-by believe that Yaoundé is the capital of the Central African Republic, although it is, in reality, the capital of Cameroon. This is not an absurdity, it is merely incorrect disinformation. There is no fun in making people believe this because Yaoundé could well be the capital of the Central African Republic. Thus, just claiming the opposite is not an absurdity. An absurdity is an unfounded statement that conflicts with logical thought. An absurdity cannot have any actual proof. When you advance, you may be able to come up with a series of linked absurdities and form an entire hierarchical system of absurdities (see religion).

The process

Although absurdities are illogical, the process of making someone believe them is highly complex and requires some careful and innovative thinking.

Step 1: Absurdity

Make up an absurdity. Although any absurdity will do, you might want to consider making it so that if believed, it will benefit you in some way. A good example here is astrology. Thousands of years ago, an unknown clever astronomer in Babylonia claimed something like this:

“The movements of celestial bodies thousands of light years away determine your fate. Give me your money to find out the plans of inanimate planets and stars.”

~ An unknown astronomer in ancient Babylonia on astrology

Your absurdities will be more credible if you make them so that they deal with issues you know about. For example, the more you know about biology, the easier it will be for you to make people who do not know a lot about biology believe that reptiles have telekinetic powers with which they can move inanimate objects from great distances.

Copyright issues

Note that certain absurdities may subject to a copyright. The most notable absurdity copyright holders are the Scientologists, Islam, Fascism and Greenpeace. Most states, nations, and religious communities also hold the copyrights to several other absurdities.

Step 2: Target(s)

When you have your absurdity ready, it is the time to find someone to believe it. This should not be too hard. Gullibility and naivety are abundant. The common rule here is this: The less educated the person is, the more likely he or she is to believe most absurdities. There are, however, exceptions. You should always analyze the situation first before beginning to persuade your target.

Some people are considerably less likely to believe certain categories of absurdities. Scientists and other knowledgeable professionals make up most of this group, with respect to their field of expertise. They may also be more difficult to convince on other counts, but usually not dramatically so with respect to areas they're ignorant of (e.g., convincing a mathematician of a biological absurdity).

Scientists are prized trophies among absurdists (as the people making others believe absurdities call themselves). If you think you can make, for example, a professor believe your absurdities, go for it. Another tough group is other absurdists. Clergymen, religious leaders, professional terrorists, politicians, and fortune-tellers can seldom be tricked into believing absurdities. They already know all the tricks since they are professionals and do it every day.

If you are a beginner, you might want to start with people who are generally the most likely to fall for absurdities. These include:

  • younger siblings
  • grannies
  • hypochondriacs
  • proletariats
  • religious people

Step 3: Tactics of execution

Once you have both your target and your carefully made-up absurdity ready, it is the time to begin enforcing the absurdity to the target's mind. This phase requires careful consideration, for all people do not buy the same kind of arguments and evidence. If you have enough authority and if your target is a little on the simple side when it comes to brains, it may be enough to just firmly state the absurdity and repeat it several times. Younger siblings are ideal for this. They normally do not suspect a thing an older person tells them. You do not have to have 'proof' to convince a person who falls into this group.

A Typical 1st Category Absurdity

Absurdist: 'If you are naughty and do not behave well, Santa Claus will not bring you any presents. He is a fat, bearded old man who lives on the North Pole/in Greenland/in Lapland/in Russia/in Monaco. He has got a huge workshop there, where elves manufacture toys without any raw materials. On Christmas Eve, he takes all the presents with him and flies around the world with his flying reindeer in a single night, bringing presents to nice and obedient children. He gets inside buildings through the chimney. Would you believe that?'

Easy Target: 'Wow! Could I write to him so he'd know what I want for Christmas?'

2nd Category Absurdities

If dealing with average adults, you will have to gather 'evidence' in order to make them believe your absurdity. This should not be too hard. Average, intelligent adults do believe in star signs, magic, tarot, exorcism, and conspiracy theories. If dealing with average people, try to get some mysticism into your explanation. Oriental philosophy is very useful. 'How the Pyramids were built' sounds lame compared to 'the Tao of Pyramids'. Alternatively, aliens are always a good choice. 'The Ancient Egyptians were far too primitive to move stones from one place to another. An extraterrestrial intelligence was helping them. The Pharaohs were alien officers from Andromeda/Betelgeuze/Whatever and built the Pyramids in order the help their spaceships to navigate.' If asked for proof, mumble something about a mysterious crater on the Sinai or about the proportions of the Great Sphinx. Incredibly, many people will buy this. Just visit a bookshop and see all those books about 'the Truth about the Pyramids'. You can make up aliens to support your every absurdity. Claim that the Capitol was built as a landing site for flying saucers, or that the Berlin Wall was a runway for alien spaceships.

When dealing with people who like to think themselves as smarter than they are, create a conspiracy theory that defies all common sense. People who think they are smarter than everybody else but who are not are always eager to think that they know the reality, while lesser brains are fooled by cover-ups. This sort of absurdity-spreading can easily be done on the Internet. Conspiracy theorists tend to trust authorities less than others, making them an easy target for absurdists.

3rd Category Absurdities

When dealing with scientists, the highly educated, or other absurdists, things get tougher. Scientists and other highly educated people tend to demand viable proof and do not accept just anything. You can make yourself a laughingstock if you rush into a battle of wits without making any preparations. While the people in this group are by no means immune to absurdities, it is difficult, if not impossible, to find a common denominator among them. The weak spots in their sense tend to be unique. Thus, you would do wisely if you first gathered information about your planned target. When dealing with this group, it is often beneficial to pick the target before making up the absurdity. If you succeed in gathering enough information, you will hopefully be capable of thinking of a suitable absurdity.

Other absurdists are usually regarded as the toughest cases. It may require years of experience to fool a fellow absurdist.


  • Cows are unable to swim for anything but very short periods of time. This is because they don't have complete control over their sphincter, so they "leak". When left in the water for even as short as 15 minutes, cows will fill up with water and sink.
  • Stones like Rose Quartz and Lapis Lazuli will have a positive effect on your body and soul if worn or put on your night table. They alter the ley-lines of the earth and redirect positive energy through your body.
  • A motor-cycle at 65 MPH is faster than a sports car at 65 MPH.
  • Aliens disguised as Jews silently rule the world. All greater governments of the earth are puppet governments, controlled by our lords from outer space.
  • Colorless green ideas rip your lungs out furiously.
  • Aliens do not secretly rule the earth. The earth is ruled by its common people, who appoint an enlightened elite to lead them.
  • Because of an increase in carbon, a gas naturally present in great quantities in the atmosphere, the Earth mother will try to evict us by raising water levels 80 feet within the next two months and putting out the sun...and creating a black hole that will engulf us... and destroy all Wal-Marts.

See also