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The Psychology Of Conspiracy Theories

“We expect politicians to lie to us but we want to trust the government, that is like just plain stupid” FeatherLeaf

911 was an inside job. We never landed on the moon.  The Russians elected Donald Trump. JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, were all killed by the CIA. Did I forget anything? Ah yes, the world is flat!

‘Conspiracy theory’ is a term of derision that is used to dismiss any challenge to a very important and sensitive issue. It is used to trivialize any honest inquiry. In the same way in an argument, when one party cannot handle a certain precept that they digress to name calling, so is the card of ‘conspiracy theory’ used.

911 is a great example. Why is there no footage of a jet plane hitting the Pentagon? Why weren’t the planes shot down? Why does the official report not even mention Building 7? Why wasn’t the crime scene investigated? Why did the towers full as if detonated? Why do witnesses testify about explosions in the basements of the towers? The list is very long on this one.

Now perhaps you have legitimate answers to these questions. But here’s one that I’d like to throw at you. The Patriot Act consisting of about 350 pages was introduced to congress on October 2 a mere twenty days or so after the tragic events in New York City. I’m a writer and based on my experience I’ll tell you for certain that The Patriot Act was written before.

Clearly the tragic events of September 11th were used to influence and manipulate the public into doing something that under normal circumstances it would object to. This is expressed in a book called “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein.  So in all fairness I can say that the United States government was prepared for some traumatic event and exploited the fear of the people after those events. Unless of course I am simply a ‘conspiracy theorist’ in which case anything I say, no matter how sound logically, has no value.

In my era when we were immature children the term ‘gay’ was used in derision. I’m not sure at the age it was thrown out we fully understood sexuality, let alone homosexuality. Still whenever somebody wanted to put somebody down they simply threw out the word. ‘Conspiracy theorist’ works in the same way.

It comes down to the fundamental question of can we trust the government? And I have to answer with an emphatic NO! The United States government has been caught in some tremendous lies in the past and we can only expect them to continue to do so. The United States has overthrown a host of democratically elected leaders, has lied about events leading into major wars, has imported drugs into this country destined for the inner city, has committed acts of terrorism around the world, has tortured people systematically, and has flagrantly broken every treaty with the Native Americans of this land, has injected people with Syphilis and have tested LSD on innocent unwilling participants in horrific ways the list goes on and on and on. In my book if you lie to me once on a serious matter I have to question your integrity.

Another method of dishing conspiracy theories is this. A website is put up explaining the logic of the ‘conspiracy theory’. This is pretty much taken from those who advocate the proposal. However on the same website so far fetched concept like aliens ruling the planet is also put up there. So what happens is that the person dismisses everything that they saw as ludicrous. Don’t fall for the trap evaluate every issue based on the facts of the issue alone.

So here is the bottom line about conspiracy theories. The burden of  proof is not on the inquirer but rather on the government officials. Based on the track record of the government I am approaching the United State’s government with a healthy, well deserved chunk of skepticism. To do otherwise would be foolish.

I touch on some of these things especially who really runs the world in my science fiction book “Words Of The Future” https://johnkaniecki.weebly.com/words-of-the-future.html

Photos by slagheap,

The Psychology Of Conspiracy Theories


John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.


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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2019). The Psychology Of Conspiracy Theories. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 20, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/fragments/2017/12/the-psychology-of-conspiracy-theories/

 

Last updated: 27 Mar 2019
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