I like to think of myself as a rational person, and would normally shy away from ascribing world events to anything other than randomness combined with human stupidity. I’ve always believed we are alone in the universe, have no higher purpose, and that civilisation is a barely-functioning birthday party that only manages not to destroy itself through sheer luck. I’ve never believed in fate, or gods, or hidden conspiracies – and then 2016 happened.

Yes, there have been worse years for humanity, and yes there have been worse years for me personally, but there was something about 2016 that wormed its way beneath my psychic armour and made me believe that some powerful hidden force was out to get us. Global events frustrated me on such a personal level that I stopped believing in random existence and started searching for a malevolent force that was determined to crush my dreams, one vote/disaster/minor celebrity at a time.

As usual, greater minds than mine had got there first. The secret rulers of our world may be obscured, but nothing can be hidden for long when you have glimpsed the truth and possess unmetered access to the greatest tool yet invented to disseminate human knowledge: the internet. I ventured to the civilised, intellectual spaces that make up our online culture and asked “whose idea was it to make 2016 so bad?” Like angels, a thousand voices spoke in return. Some were sweary, many were racist, and several asked if I would send nudes. A smaller number spoke the truth – these are their stories.

Our world is controlled by … a secret religious order

When there was just one religion, perhaps a group of half-apes worshipping forest spirits, the sun or a black monolith, humanity would have been relatively calm. Maybe a bit of incest and cannibalism, but nothing too bad, such as holy war or Songs of Praise. As soon as our numbers expanded enough to splinter into rival beliefs you would soon have had the bad stuff: war between the log worshippers and the monolith priests, sectarian persecution of the sun monkeys and Songs of Praise. You also would have had the growing belief that every problem in forest/monolith/sun society was caused by a shadowy religious order drawn from one of the others. In various civilisations this role has been forced on most religious minorities, but according to the greatest minds replying to YouTube videos it’s definitely either the Freemasons, the Templars or the Illuminati. Maybe all three. These groups are said to influence governments, have access to secret history and (according to my sources) to have arranged for the abduction of Prince and Lemmy from Mötorhead in order that Donald Trump can drink their vital fluids and regrow his hair. They will not rest until we all have joined them – a bit like Amazon Prime or the Jersey Buy and Sell Facebook group.

Our world is controlled by … an international financial conspiracy

To some truth seekers, talk of religion is just a smokescreen. Religion is the opiate of the masses, there only to distract us from the actions of our true masters: the secretive financial cabal that has controlled human society since the invention of paper money. Yes, long before chip and pin. Sometimes known as the Bilderberg group, sometimes operating under the auspices of the Rothschild family, this pinstriped priesthood is said to manipulate global events in order to enrich themselves beyond measure: rich enough to purchase George Michael and David Bowie, arrange a cover-up and to fund a cloning programme to repeat Band Aid. They are said to be behind every global war, every international treaty, every dictatorship and election throughout our world. It’s amazing when you think about it, although it still doesn’t make sense that an all-powerful global banking conspiracy still can’t do anything about those Nigerians who stole the balance from my PayPal account.

Our world is controlled by … an artificial intelligence operated by the shadow government

If there is a flaw in the (otherwise-watertight) theory that human society is controlled by a religious order, or a global capitalist bloc, it’s that there are limits to the organisational powers of even these two secret master conspiracies. The ability to perfectly synchronise wars and conflicts to empower and enrich your hidden sect would need such an incredible level of precision that it would need to run like clockwork on a global scale. Humans are intellectually incapable of that level of organisation, and it is therefore obvious (quite obvious, in fact, except to sheep or idiots) that the guiding hand could only be provided by some kind of globe-spanning artificial intelligence. Housed in a subterranean complex below the Pentagon, the UN headquarters or the Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham, the vast intellect of this machine would be able to monitor every human event through surveillance cameras implanted in our ubiquitous electronic devices. It would be a glowing, liquid-cooled hybrid of Skynet and Clippy from Microsoft Office XP; 2016 was the year it achieved full awareness and decided that humanity must be destroyed. The election of an orange-skinned reality TV star to the most powerful job on the planet was one step, the elimination of Paul Daniels and Terry Wogan was another. The Y2K millennium bug was just a drill.    

Our world is controlled by … an advanced alien race who manipulate our species for their own purposes

Providing you have an open mind, it is easy to accept that we are trapped in an advanced holographic simulation in order to provide power for sentient machines who manipulate our emotions by abruptly cancelling The Great British Bake Off. What really stretches the imagination is the idea that humanity could invent something as complex as a globe-spanning artificial intelligence without it going wrong. We can’t even connect fridges to the internet without hackers trying to use them to bring down the American government, so how on earth would we invent a sentient Artificial Intelligence without it getting infected by pornographic Ukrainian spyware? The answer is that we didn’t “invent” it, because the Bilderbergers and Illuminati have all along been getting IT support from an advanced race who have monitored us since the days when we worshipped logs and ate each other. Their motivation is far from benign, as the entire history of our pathetic species is just a soap opera for a race of shape-shifting iguanas from the Proxima Betelgeuse system. 2016, as awful as it felt to many of us, was nothing more than a Christmas episode of Eastenders where they ramp up the drama by killing a bunch of people off and introducing a new villain. Your pain and suffering is Ian Beale losing the keys to his chip shop and Phil Mitchell hitting the bottle; your joy and happiness is Pat Butcher finding an especially gaudy pair of earrings. Resistance is futile, and they are watching my every move. I’ve already said too much, but if you need to hear more of the uncensored truth you can just follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my YouTube channel. Watch the skies!