One of the characters in my story was part of a secret organization years ago. This organization has been dedicated to taking control of the island where everything happens and my character regrets what she did in the past. Since she didn't want to confess openly of her crimes she became some sort of conspiracy theories trying to make others believe in the existence of these people without incriminating her.

I was thinking of ways she could spread the word since I wouldn't like to openly put social media in this setting. So far I thought about hanging posters everywhere, maybe ARG style, asking to solve puzzles, or putting clues to secret meetings. Also, she wants her identity to remain hidden because she's afraid of what they could do to her if they find her. Any other ideas? Did I explain myself correctly?

  • $\begingroup$ Reminder to close-voters: The problem cannot be fixed if the OP is not made aware of it. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ Conspiracy theories have existed since long before the internet. How did people in Ye Olden Dayes spread them/get exposed to them? Could be an interesting historical study. $\endgroup$
    – MarielS
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 16:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It's unclear why this setting would make it difficult or impossible to spread conspiracy theories as we did pre-Internet (i.e. word of mouth, rumour), or why puzzle-solving would play any role, when the goal is clearly to point the blame for something on specific people/organizations. $\endgroup$
    – rek
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 3:37

2 Answers 2


Are people literate? Pamphlets and leaflets

Eg: These 5 Jesuits being executed in 1678:
enter image description here

This is from a (eventually proven false) conspiracy called the Popish Plot that resulted in the executions of 22 men and started a wave of anti-Catholic hysteria on England and Scotland.

Your heroine should start writing pieces of the conspiracy down on paper, copying them if a printing press is available, and scattering it around town.

Are they illiterate? Rumour mill is all you've got.

Your heroine can only use word of mouth. She needs to start travelling around and frequenting taverns. Telling stories that she "heard from the previous tavern" that hold a peice of the conspiracy.

  • $\begingroup$ Literacy! The enemy of truth! $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented Oct 27, 2020 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ I was just going to suggest going to taverns and getting bartenders and drunks to help spread the stories. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 0:03

She could spread rumors orally. Maybe have some small talking animals speak out in crowded rooms where no one knows whose talking. It occurs it might be best to ask the tone of this story and how much magic is used. Oh! You could have her put the ideas in people's minds in their dreams, like in Inception.


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