Arch Stanton Guest Post: Episode 9 in Today I Learned – the Finland Conspiracy

Do you ever get tired of the same old conspiracy theories? I think people just got tired of trying to convince normal people we never landed on the moon or that 9/11 was an inside job, and that’s how we ended up with a new brand of asshole who thinks the earth is flat. Personally, I’m onto newer and edgier things like the Sun is actually cold (I swear this is real, you can look it up) and, a personal favorite, Finland does not exist.
Before we get into the details/I blow your mind – name one thing you know about Finland. I have nothing. I know it’s somewhere in Scandinavia near Sweden and Norway, but I have no idea which is which, and I think I once read something about how they were trying a universal basic income that was failing dramatically. The point is – you don’t know SHIT about Finland. Don’t be embarrassed, because it doesn’t actually exist. Not in the sense that there isn’t a Finnish government, but more in the sense the land we identify as Finland is open ocean.
This FACT was first brought to us from the most reputable of sources, Reddit, from a delightful thread about the weirdest things your parents taught you as a kid (truly worth a read: A poster unspooled a thread about how his parents casually broke the news to him about how Finland was concocted by the Russians and Japanese during the Cold War. Unrelated to the theory, but I would LOVE to meet this guy’s parents. The theory goes that the growth of environmentalism and preserving the earth and all that hippie bullshit pushed the USSR and Japan into adding onto their already numerous secret alliances dealing with fishing rights among other economic concerns dating back to 1925. Consider: Japan and USSR had almost no direct conflicts during WWII despite being so geographically close, Japan signed a peace treaty with the USSR just months prior to Germany declaring war on the USSR, and how great their relations were despite stark ideological differences in the Cold War. During the final days of the USSR, Gorbachev made frequent trips to Japan and remarked how their relations continued to improve despite their rapidly declining standing with the rest of the world. (“Twilight Zone” theme song plays).
These two countries had always looked out for each other because they were fishing the region of the ocean between Sweden and Russia. The theory posits the Japanese were free to ignore all fishing limits or regulations in this area because, ya know, no one knew it existed, and the Russians benefited from receiving a part of the fish while the Japanese returned the rest to their homeland because obviously Japan is starved of fish given its geographical location in the middle of the ocean. In fact, the Trans-Siberian railway was built in order to expedite the transport of fish across Russia and back to Japan. Wouldn’t other nations notice thousands of trains full of fish going back and forth across Russia? One step ahead of you – the company Nokia – yes, the phones you had in high school – is actually a faux Finnish company that ships all of its products to Japan in order to cover their tracks.
This is all patently insane right? But don’t worry, we have answers to your concerns. Helsinki is a massively and internationally respected city, but it is merely located in eastern Sweden. What about all the Finnish people and” culture”, whatever that may entail? They exist and are real, but they are really just a cluster of small towns and enclaves along the eastern Swedish border, the western edges of Russia or northern Estonia. But c’mon, if you fly there you would certainly notice ocean where land should be? BUT WOULD YOU? YOU WOULDN’T NOTICE BECAUSE IT’S ALL THE SAME AND FINLAND IS BASICALLY FOREST SO WHO COULD EVER REFUTE THIS? GPS and satellite imaging, all faked, duh. Pilots and astronauts are all in on it as well. Let’s go even further and examine the name “Finland” – since this is a libertarian fisher’s dream, the “fin” is for fish fin, get it?  This conspiracy has been so deeply rooted it has been propagated by children’s movies like “D2: the Mighty Ducks”. Guys, the Finnish Flash was really just the Swedish Flash.
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Unlike every other conspiracy you read on the internet, this one has the most plausible reasoning (note – “most plausible” does not equal “actually” plausible). OF COURSE other nations have noticed this glaring omission of terra firma, but they originally held this in their back pocket as a bargaining chip. What you would bargain for with this information, I have no guesses, but eventually other countries used the concept of Finland as something to aspire to. You see, Finland consistently rates highly in education, healthcare, gender equality, literacy rates, stability, least corruption, individual freedoms, etc, and this can ONLY be because other countries want to inspire their own people to improve. I don’t think Finland’s literacy rate has inspired me to be a better citizen, but that must mean the conspiracy has rooted itself deeply in my subconscious. To quote directly from the Reddit page “No country in the world can possibly be that good.” Well, when you put it like that, that’s just irrefutable. Finland is the country equivalent of the girl you made out with at a party with last weekend who was a model, but she went to a different high school and you wouldn’t know her guys, definitely don’t look her up online. Finland is actually an ocean, because that is more believable than a small population has wholeheartedly bought into free market capitalism with high social safety nets.
I swear this is a real conspiracy with actual constituents. There are people who legitimately believe Finland was faked by the Soviets and Japanese, and the rest of the world went along with it because, fuck it, why not? The Nokia phone you had in high school was actually made of fish. The good news is the subreddit also operates as a support group for Finnish people going through the trauma of realizing their entire existence is a Soviet lie. Here we should consider Poe’s Law, which states “it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied views.” This is a real theory that has been parroted on multiple sites, and I have no idea if it is something people sincerely believe in, but I know I will tell the next (or the first) Finnish person I meet to suck my dick because their existence is a lie.

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