K-Pop sensations BTS are on a roll. After making history in New York by becoming the first Korean artists to perform in a U.S stadium, the boyband’s Love Yourself tour carried straight on through to the UK last week.
There, the seven-piece made their London debut, playing two nights at a jam-packed O2 Arena. With the help of their fans, known as the ARMY, they’re conquering the world, and their UK shows smashed several records. Among other things, the one for the amount of band merch sold at The O2, demolishing the previous total set by The Rolling Stones in 2012.
For some reason, pop stars – particularly world-dominating boy bands, it must be said – seem to attract an extraordinary number of conspiracy theories along with the mega-hits. In One Direction’s case speculation ranged from sinister cyborg babies through to Zayn Malik leaving the band to replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, and it’s a tradition that goes back as far as The Beatles, arguably the first ever boy band. It doesn’t look like stopping any time soon, either, and it follows that BTS have also attracted a whole bunch of completely bizarre conspiracy theories.
Here are some of the stranger ones….
There’s an invisible eighth member
Y’know when you’ve got a strange feeling that something’s missing? Well, some BTS fans say that they can sense a missing eighth member of the group. Yep. Stay with us for a second.
The speculation stems from an understandable place – this early photo of the group. Taken before their mainstream debut at the offices of Big Hit, the company which manages BTS, the shot features the seven current members…. and one extra person. Supreme Boi.
In one of their older photos (predebut) you can see the group with EIGHT members… pic.twitter.com/ovpIwNVUoT
— ✨ Des ✨ (@kpopconspiracy2) October 10, 2018
A production mastermind who has worked on numerous BTS songs, Supreme Boi was originally a contender to be in the band, too. One logical explanation is that he’s in this early photograph for that reason. However, tsome reckon that BTS was always meant to have eight members, and for whatever reason, there’s a detectable presence of this missing person. Yes, some say that they can sense an invisible person.
Eagle-eyed fans of this particular conspiracy theory have noted that in many photographs of the group, there’s an ominous gap where you’d expect to see an extra member. Some have gone so far as to suggest that in the music video for ‘I Need U’ the remaining members of the group are burning their eighth member’s possessions. A few die-hards are even suggesting that the eighth member died, and is now a ghostly spectre.
Perhaps the photographers didn’t notice? Perhaps there was supposed to be some there ??? pic.twitter.com/ZQjo2vBXKX
— ✨ Des ✨ (@kpopconspiracy2) October 10, 2018
Jin is a time traveller
All of BTS’s music videos are closely connected, joining together to tell a wider story. Butterflies crop up as a recurring motif, and a few people have speculated that they might be a nod to chaos theory phenomenon ‘the butterfly effect’.
So, what is the butterfly effect? Well, it’s the theory that a tiny change in one small localised area can have knock on effects on a far larger scale. The original idea stems from the claim that a butterfly flapping its wings could eventually cause a typhoon. It can also be applied to various other scenarios: for example, if Boris Johnson was still stuck up that zip wire from the 2012 Olympics, perhaps he never would’ve gone on to help ruin the UK.
In BTS’s case, each member had their own individual plot introduced in the video for ‘I Need U’. In each subsequent video, small changes have reimagined each situation in completely different ways. Fans of this theory reckon that, since all plot lines lead to him, Jin is the appointed time traveller of the group.
In their ‘On Stage: Prologue’ video, V jumps off a floating rig into water. But in the ‘Euphoria; video, we see Jin jump in his bandmate’s place. Is this evidence that Jin is a time traveller with the ability to plant his own butterfly effects in order to influence future events? Some people think so…
There’s even a theory that in the ‘Fake Love’ video, Jin passes his time travelling duties over to Jungkook. Sure!
There’s a BTS cult
Some conspiracy minded fans have been joining the dots on this one; specifically, joining the dots to draw illuminati-shaped triangles all over pictures of BTS. As well as being ONE group containing SEVEN members (7 – 1 = 6, aka THE NUMBER OF THE DEVIL) the presence of fire, and other devil-like symbolism has also been pointed out in a variety of music videos.
The most convincing evidence – depending on your definition of convincing – is an extended version of BTS’ video for ‘Fake Love’. A new scene added to the extended visual shows Jungkook walking over to the rest of BTS. They’re all wearing hoods, which is very spooky when you think about it. After putting on Venetian masks – again, very cult-like – they all disappear behind a curtain. And what might they be doing behind that curtain? Why, secret cult business, of course!
There are hidden meanings in their official imagery
Fans have also been picking apart potential hidden symbolism in various imagery around BTS’ latest album ‘Love Yourself: Answer’. Some have speculated about the meaning of the boxes in these press photos. Some have suggested that the eyes, hands, and cameras clawing through the edges of the boxes represent the pressures of fame.
— BigHit Entertainment (@BigHitEnt) August 13, 2018
One literary minded fan even drew some fairly convincing parallels with George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.
A few people did point out that BTS’ jackets are from the Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabbana, founded in 1984. It’d be another logical explanation for those emblems; but isn’t it way more fun to pursue the dystopian conspiracy option?
Are any of them true?
Well, they’re not not true, are they! And besides, conspiracy theories are too fun to dismiss.