That is an excellent Episode! Reading some of the posts in this thread gave me goose bumps remembering it . The episode has some of the best dialogue also IMO. I love this stage in DS9, where the Federation is desperate to change the tide of the war. It's interesting to watch the story unfold with Garak takign Sisko past a point of no return. Very cool.
While many conspiracy theories are just plain nonsense, no one with a brain functioning within normal parameters will doubt that all people who have power will, inevitably, be engaged in conspiracies from time to time.
If one agrees that the latter is fact, then one will be forced to ask: "Who does indeed have power?" And of course, corporation lead figures do have power, as have successful politicians. It is no secret at all that these two groups are closely related in most countries of the world. So it is plausible that those who might want to have a herd of sheep instead of adult free citizens (and who would doubt that there are poeple who do?) could conspire to do as Trismegistus claims.
However, I do not think that this was the idea behind said DS9 episode at all. I mean, the problems Sisko faced were not all that irreal, and yes, it makes sense to act as he did in such a situation. The interesting part, in my opinion, comes a few years or even a generation later, when it is widely accepted that one could do this, and then a new crisis comes and even more ambigious means could be required, and again, it is seen as okay, as it is not that much more bad than what is already accepted. Over a couple of such iterations, the Federation might become an evil empire by Sisko's standards.
Consider who the current Science Czar is for for the Barry Soetoro Administration. (John Holdren)
He wrote the Population Bomb which by the way turned out to be completely bogus since everything in it he predicted turned out to be false.
Nevertheless he advocates some pretty radical sterilization methods to include poisening the water supply.
The Malthusian Agenda has been arround for a very long time and is a staple of the ruling class today just as it was well over 100 years ago and they make the same old tired arguments and the sad fact is social engineering has people believing that overpopulation is a problem and it is not now and never has been.
The sick truth is that population control is a means of controlling the population.
Social Engineering in the Star Trek Franchise has been there since day one and exists in varrying levels in every episode. One of the more obvious is the intention to faslsely portray socialism as a panacea for an altruistic society. Not that these people have any intrention of allowing socialism, or democracy in any event. The current form of government being instituted globlly is actually a Scientific Dictatorship that some refer to as Technocracy.
Its in the vast majority of television programing as well as media and cinema. It is a very sophisticated operation and professionally done by experts in the field who are among the highest paid within the industry.
If you study the subject you can see just how obvious it is and marvel at how the masses are taken in by it without even being aware of it.
It is not always easy to see what the specific intent is as an outside obsever, but be assured there is definately a nefarious agenda at play.