Frantically passing an iPhone X around their lunch table, a group of sophomore girls did a double take at their google results picturing a logo for their favorite store, Target. They knew the logo wasn’t what they had always known it to be and they refused to accept the difference.
The most angering social media discussion since the 2014 dress debate hit the hallways of East in full force: The Mandela Effect. Students everywhere were outraged when they discovered that their favorite childhood show, the ‘Berenstein Bears’, had apparently been spelled ‘Berenstain’ all along. They screamed at their computer screen as popular conspiracy theory youtuber, Shane Dawson, played a clip displaying that Darth Vader had always stated “No, I am your father” and not “Luke, I am your father”. They stared at their peanut butter jars in awe, swearing that the brand name was ‘Jiffy’ and not ‘Jif’.
The Mandela Effect was among the most popular conspiracy theories to be discussed at East. Surrounding the idea that the world was moving through parallel universes where small changes like the spelling of Chick-fil-A would occur, students swore that the theory was valid.
“After I first learned about it, I couldn’t stop researching it and it just seemed more and more legit as I kept looking into it,” freshman Ariana Reck said. “It totally sucked me in for a while.”
Although to some students, the Mandela Effect seemed like a definite truth, others doubted the validity of the theory.
“I think that society just kind of alters things and it just catches on,” junior Luke Bledsoe said. “There’s definitely psychological reasoning for why it occurs.”
Through the doubters and the hardcore believers, the theory brought along heated research sessions and debates about the way things as miniscule as a change to the Ford logo. Although the changes seemed minor, the frustration that they created throughout the East community was just the opposite.
As senior Mark Heinz trialed behind his friends through the Denver airport on their way to catch a connecting flight, they stared up at gate signs and searched for the nearest food court. But Heinz was distracted. He was staring the opposite direction at the walls lined with murals depicting Nazi soldiers and statues that resembled demons.
Heinz was convinced that he was walking above the headquarters of the Illuminati.
The Illuminati, called a “satanic cabal of powerful people that runs the world” By Vanity Fair,” was said to have members with large amounts of wealth, fame and status. These members allegedly used their power to further the Illuminati’s agenda to eventually take over the world.
Although the Illuminati is believed to have been around since the late 1700s, students interests were only sparked when they heard the theory that Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift weren’t actually enemies, but members of the same secret society.
They zoomed and scrolled across Google Maps over the Denver Airport. Convinced that the large and unusual building was society’s headquarters, they looked for any sign of evidence of the group.
They scoured the web for pictures of Barack Obama and Joe Biden wearing red string bracelets – a tell-tale sign of membership in the Illuminati.
They pointed at their Macbook screens as triangles and evil eyes made appearances in Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ music video. Students were convinced that these signs and phrases in the music they were being shown were attempting to send them subliminal messages from the society.
In a more light-hearted manner, students shared ‘Illuminati confirmed’ memes joking about how quickly people would look for evidence of ones’ membership.
They giggled as they scrolled through a 48 page satirical thread about how salad was somehow indirectly involved in the society.
Although some saw the Illuminati as one big joke, those who believed it did so wholeheartedly. Stopping to stare at every piece of evidence they glanced at in order to get a closer look into the most intriguing and popular conspiracy theory around, they refused to let up on their research and interest in the world’s most mysterious secret society.