Conspiracy Theory

220px-Conspiracy_theory_posterYou might have to go back a few years to recall the movie Conspiracy Theory.  It aired in 1997, well before Mel Gibson’s epic meltdown and was therefore still watchable.  Julia Roberts also starred, and although it had a happy ending–someday–promised, it never quite worked for me as a romance.  Throughout, Gibson played a paranoid obsessive compulsive who doesn’t appear to be quite right.  He sees conspiracies in every event so he warns Roberts’ character of the conspiracy that killed her father.  It turns out that Gibson is on the run from a government agency run amuk who seeks to reprogram him to keep their secrets.  This same agency was indeed behind the assassination of the heroine’s father.

It was an entertaining enough movie, because who doesn’t like a good conspiracy now and again?  I still remember playing the Beatles’ white album backwards and listening to the hidden messages hinting that Paul was dead.  But I outgrew that sort of thing at approximately the same time I outgrew Ouiji boards and seances.

Others, it seems, did not.  They embrace conspiracies.  They see them everywhere, shadows in the sunlight.  It doesn’t seem to matter that their conspiracies require illogical thinking and an unhealthy dose of paranoia.  And you get the full gamut of current conspiracy theories if you spend any time on Facebook.

There are still people, for example, who believe the US never went to the moon. The whole thing was a movie set, they argue, to convince people of…ok, I never quite figured out the why but there are still those clinging to this particular deception.

Global warning is considered by some to be a vast conspiracy put forth by scientists and governments for the purpose of misdirecting research funding and  political power.  Again, the reason for perpetuating this sort of massive fraud is difficult to understand unless you also ascribe to the theory of clandestine governments out to enslave and deceive their citizens.

There are even those who believe that the switch to digital TV programming is the enactment of Big Brother.  They claim that mini cameras and mini-recorders are built into the new TVs to spy on people.  Frankly anyone who has ridden on a bus would find it unfathomable that anyone would want to watch live feed on 300,000,000 people in the hopes of seeing anything remotely interesting.

But the bemusing and mildly entertaining theories become something else when they inevitably propagate after a tragedy.  Like the current one claiming that the Sandy Hook massacre was ‘staged’ in a clandestine effort to bring about gun control.  Reading about the idiots espousing that belief first infuriated me.  Then it just made me sad.  If we gather up all these kooks and relegate them to Krazytown, I’m beginning to believe it’d be the largest city in the world.

It’s hard to understand why some would rather believe in the intrinsically evil ‘they’ who would so casually perpetuate atrocities than to recognize that meaning can’t always be found in senseless events.  That not everything is connected.  Are they simply trying to find meaning in a random world?  Or does it make them feel significant to have this ‘hidden knowledge’ about a vast secret that most of humanity remains ignorant of?

What’s the most outrageous conspiracy theory you’ve heard?  Why do you think they continue to rage, even as our access to information and facts have increased?

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19 Responses to Conspiracy Theory

  1. Kathleen O says:

    I can’t think of any that you haven’t mentioned. I guess it is because I don’t believe all these “theroy’s” that you are roaming around this earth. I think the one about Paul being dead after playing The White album backwards was from some drug induced person who had too much LSD or something. I think people just like to stir the pot. Fanatics run amoke out in this wide world. But let us now forget what happened during WWII with the American goverment not believing that Japan was not going to attack them. Some things must be taken for a real theroy..

    • kylie brant says:

      That’s the trouble, isn’t it, Kathleen? Separating the real from the smoke!

      • The problem comes in when you try to sort things out and you find out–because legitimate information comes to light with the release of once unavailable documents–that the public was misled in many instances. We’ve long been told that Japan surrendered solely because of the A-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Makes sense–heck, I would.

        I saw something on this morning’s news about evidence that the real reason had to do with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in 1945. But the story that our nuclear arsenal ended the war keeps us adding to the budget. And it adds credence to the basis of conspiracy arguments–that the gov’t lies to us.

      • kylie brant says:

        Not to mention the public stories that are often floated to avoid the damage that could be done by telling the truth. Think rescue missions, the Iranian hostage crisis and many of our special ops missions. Years later (25 is the standard non-disclosure period) the public hears the real story.

  2. Cindy Gerard says:

    Interesting post, Kylie. Very thought provoking. I think the one that sickens me most is the theory that 911 was perpetuated by the US Government, not terrorists, as a means to launch the war in Iraq. And there are many out the who actually believe it. It makes me sick.

    • kylie brant says:

      Exactly. You have to question what sort of mindset these people have that they would believe our leaders capable of such atrocities. I mean, if you believed that how could you stand to live in this country? People post horrible theories like that on facebook and then they send a picture of puppies. I’m like…seriously? If you believe you’re living in a country like that how can you be thinking of puppies???? Strange minds.

  3. leannebanks says:

    I do believe in the conspiracy theory that if you decide to go on a diet, the number of tv commercials you see about chocolate and ice cream goes through the roof!

  4. loisgreiman says:

    Fantastic post, Kylie. It really hit the mark with me. As for most absurd…ummm…have you heard that the current administration is making a concerted diabolical effort to destroy the United States? It’s true. I’ve heard it from relatives. Sigh.

    • kylie brant says:

      Oh no, that’s even worse, Lois 😦 Having to listen to it at holidays! How do these people even handle having to live in such a world if they believe the leaders capable of such things? There’s no way I could go about my daily business…I’d be so enraged and depressed. I guess people who get depressed and furious are the ones out committing misguided retaliations on innocents. Oy.

    • Yeah. They want to take away all our guns. How will we defend ourselves against the aliens? They’re already here, you know. In some minds The Alien=The Other. In mine, he ain’t other; he’s my brother.

  5. Quilt Lady says:

    Great post! I can’t think of any they you haven’t talked about here. I think most of the are bull anyway.

    • kylie brant says:

      Some of them really take a stretch of imagination, don’t they? I love checking info on the snopes site. It’s not perfect but at least it’s one place that debunks theories not based in fact.

  6. Love this post, Kylie. Why does this stuff work? Fear is an incredibly powerful tool for manipulating human behavior.

  7. Mary Louise says:

    I want to know who really killed JFK. Afer all this time I truly beleive Oswald did not act alone.

    • kylie brant says:

      You wonder if the government had access to different information–proof–why they wouldn’t have released it. 25 years is standard for non-disclosure with the government. There are some answers we’ll probably never have for certain.

  8. Pingback: Your Village Called, They Want Their Idiot Back « The Ranting Papizilla

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