con-spir-a-cy. n. 1. a planning and acting together secretly, esp. for an unlawful or harmful purpose, such as murder or treason. 2. the plan agreed on; plot 3. the group taking part in such a plan 4.a combining or working together.
Conspiracies are as old as the hills, and like hills, each has its own unique characteristics and some are more outstanding than others, Individuals conspire against other individuals. Individuals conspire against governments. Governments conspire against other governments. Governments conspire against individuals.
Usually, when we talk of conspiracies, we are referring to those involving individuals or governments acting against a government. The headlines are big and the stories continuous. And yet, daily, we read and hear of many incidents which, though they go by names such as robbery, theft, assault and murder, are in fact, conspiracies. People of all ages, all genders, all races engage in conspiracy: siblings, spouses, neighbours and strangers.
All mountains are hills; but not all hills are mountains. Just so, not all crimes are conspiracies; but all conspiracies are criminal in nature, if not by law.
If one accepts this premise, that acts that are planned, unlawful, secret and inflict harm on others are conspiracies, then one is quite comfortable wearing the moniker Conspiracy Theorist.