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This is a common claim of people selling "free energy" devices that the government or oil companies are trying to suppress their work.

I'm wondering if there's any documented examples of an oil company or government going after someone, suing them, killing them, whatever - because they invented a competing energy technology that's too cheap to sell or tax. I am not able to find such an incident.

I don't believe this claim. I think it would basically be impossible to not make money from such a technology, and the market would overcome any possible attempts to keep such a thing under wraps.

Here's some sketchy sites making the claim:

Free Magnetic Energy cites a law suggesting the US Government has a legal right to keep inventions secret.

Water Powered Car [WARNING: Site plays music.] suggests that previously inventors were mysteriously killed to suppress their work, and that the government would lose its gasoline taxes.

closed as too broad by rjzii, Sklivvz Jun 24 '14 at 16:22

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Welcome to Skeptics! I suspect this question is too broad. (You originally asked for a 'list', which we generally avoid - we are looking for definitive answers, not lists that could have no end.) It might be better asked as responses to individual claims. (For example: Yes, that law exists) – Oddthinking Jun 24 '14 at 2:38
  • It's no where near as broad as the question I really wanted to ask, which was along the lines of "how do I shoot down these ridiculous conspiracy theories" but I think this can be answered the way it is. I'm not sure how to make it more specific. A list of such actions wouldn't be open ended, and one incident is sufficient to prove the claim. – Jasmine Jun 24 '14 at 16:15
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    It's definitely too broad because it's asking us to prove a negative or asking information in general on a subject. What is a single, specific claim that can be proven either true or false? – Sklivvz Jun 24 '14 at 16:24
  • I get it - but it would be nice if this kind of question would work. Obviously nine other people think it's good. This is one of those claims that is made all the time, but when you go to look for it, nobody is really putting it in writing - but everybody knows they will say it. Give me some guidance here - how can we address well known conspiracy theories on this site? – Jasmine Jun 24 '14 at 19:54
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    With regards to the second claim, I'm fairly sure that the US Govt is giving out more money on Big Oil subsidies than they're receiving in gasoline taxes, so that's not a very convincing argument. – Shadur Jun 24 '14 at 20:34

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