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No, Taylor Swift is not a government asset. What’s behind the latest bizarre conspiracy theory about the pop star.

In Entertainment
January 13, 2024

Taylor Swift did it!

While there are plenty of things the 34-year-old singer deserves credit for — like her “Eras Tour” being the first one to gross over $1 billion or recently breaking a chart record held by Elvis Presley — there are so many conspiracy theories being spun with her perfect red-lipped mug at the center.

Between that world tour, her exhausting workouts for it, releasing her blockbuster concert film, rerecording albums, being in a long-distance relationship, supporting her female friends, being a cat mom and attending awards shows, we’re not sure how she’d have the time to conspire with the government or write a spy novel that’s being turned into a major motion picture. Those are some of the working theories circulating on the internet.

So grab some aluminum foil from your kitchen, wrap it around your head real quick and go deep with us into the latest Swiftiracy theories…

Theory: Swift is a Pentagon asset being used to influence public opinion

On Tuesday’s Jesse Watters Primetime, Watters asked if viewers wondered how Swift “blew up like this,” referring to the pop star being among the most famous people in the world. While admitting he had “no evidence,” he went on to say: “Around four years ago, the Pentagon psychological operations unit floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset during a NATO meeting. What kind of asset? A psy-op for combatting online misinformation.” (A psy-op is a person who secretly participates in psychological operations — usually recruited by the government, military or the police — to influence the beliefs, emotions and behavior of the masses.)

Watters played a video clip of someone talking about Swift’s influence saying, “Yeah, that’s real. The Pentagon’s psy-op unit pitched NATO on turning Taylor Swift into an asset” to help the Biden administration.

Only the video was from an academic conference on misinformation, organized by NATO, in 2019. The woman speaking — Alicia Marie Bargar — was not a Pentagon employee or connected to NATO but a data engineer at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Bargar told Business Insider her comments were taken out of context. She was discussing cybersecurity challenges and used Swift as “an incidental example of a famous person to explain a social network analysis concept to the audience.”

A Pentagon spokesperson has since issued a statement via Politico, saying, in part, “As for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off,” a nod to the hook from one of the star’s songs.

Theory: Swift is being used to interfere in the 2024 election

The Fox News theory didn’t come out of thin air. On the heels of the midterm elections, right-wing commentators blamed Swift for key losses for Republicans.

While Swift didn’t endorse anyone this election, the singer — who publicly support Biden in 2020 — reminded her followers to vote. Far-right personality Jack Posobiec said Swift was “influencing an army of voters.” He wrote it was “THE CHILDLESS, UNMARRIED ABORTION ARMY MOBILIZED BY BARBIE, TAYLOR SWIFT, AND TIKTOK” that was “CRUSHING REPUBLICANS AT THE BALLOT BOX.”

After Swift was named Time’s 2023 Person of the Year in December, there was more of the same from conservative personalities who suggested she’s part of a big election ploy. Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller said Swift’s stardom “is not organic.” Far-right activist Laura Loomer said Swift is who “Democrats are counting on to interfere in the 2024 Presidential election.” The account @EndWokeness also posted a widely recirculated tweet: “If you don’t think the regime has plans to weaponize her just in time for 2024, you clearly have not been paying attention.”

Wired did a deep dive into the topic.

For what it’s worth, Swift has helped boost voter registration through her long-running partnership with Vote.org.

Theory: Swift secretly wrote the new thriller ‘Argylle’

The spy novel, which is the basis of the upcoming Matthew Vaughn-directed action film of the same name, came out this week from first-time author Elly Conway. There’s been so much speculation about Conway’s identity — after all, a three-film series starring Bryce Dallas Howard (as Elly Conway) and Henry Cavill (as Argylle) was in the works for years before the book was even released. People have questioned how there’s very little info out there about Conway. The author’s first post on her Instagram account was on Dec. 13, 2022. Fans know Dec. 13 is Swift’s birthday.

That speculation about Elly Conway shifted to be Swift-centric after the film’s trailer dropped in September. Howard’s Conway character has a Scottish Fold breed cat that she transports in a cat backpack … just like cat owner Swift. Then there’s Swift’s 2021 short film All Too Well, which centered on a redheaded writer — like Howard’s character. And doesn’t “Elly Conway” sound like a name Swift may come up with? Swifties came up with many theories.

A Washington Post writer debunked the Swiftie speculation, suggesting the book is a movie marketing tie-in commissioned by Vaughn’s production team ahead of the film’s Feb. 2 release. Seems more plausible than Swift writing it on breaks from her three-hour concert sets and three-hour workouts.

Theory: ‘Argylle’ wasn’t the only book people speculated that Swift wrote

In May 2023, there was chatter that the 34-year-old had written a memoir that was going to be published on July 9. It has the right numerology and everything, with that date being mentioned in her song “Last Kiss.” Alas, no book, but fans did get Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) two days before. Her albums are all mini-memoirs, after all.

Theory: Swift is trying to help the Eagles by dating Travis Kelce

There are many theories about Swift dating Kelce — something you may have heard about, especially if you are a Dad, Brad or Chad — and it somehow being a fake romance. One swirling football fan theory was that by dating the Kansas City Chiefs player, she was hoping to distract him from the game and him throwing the season for his team. So … why would she do that?

Apparently, it was so that the Pennsylvania native’s team, the Philadelphia Eagles, had a better shot at the Super Bowl. Again, totally out there, especially when she wasn’t even a football fan before, but that’s one of many.

Theory: Swift is secretly queer

You probably saw the recent New York Times opinion piece speculating as much, which her team called “invasive, untrue and inappropriate.” But Swift stans have been laying out “clues” supporting that theory for years. (She’s not alone there, however. Speculating about a star’s sexuality has kinda always been a thing, and perhaps a thing we should retire?)

Just a final note — a factor surely playing into all the theories around Swift is that she loves throwing clues for her fans to piece together. Does her dress color — like this green one — mean something, like a Reputation (Taylor’s Version) rerelease? There’s Swift numerology and how she ties projects and announcements to certain dates (see: the number 13). There are all the Easter eggs in her lyrics and liner notes.

Having fun guessing if there are other meanings to Swift’s actions has become a sport to many. But being a Pentagon asset takes it to another, totally out-there level.

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