Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 51 Posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 519 times:
Take the "we never landed on the moon" theory. Or the "New World Order" story. What about "Vince Foster"? Or any number of other so-called "conspiracy" theories.
The purpose of this post is not to discuss any particular "conspiracy" to any degree of detail. What I want to know is WHERE all of these ideas come from in the first place. There are so many people that are adamant about their belief in these stories. I also want to know why so many people DON'T believe in any of these "theories". The "believers" think that everyone is "out to get them" and the "non-believers" think that we live in a Utopia, care-free state. I'm sure that the truth is somewhere in between. And it's that "where" that I am interested in.
Call me "whacked", but I don't believe that ANY conspiracy theory exists in a vaccuum. They came from SOMEWHERE factual. The problem is usually a lack of complete information, which feeds the rumour mill.
Then I am also equally fascinated with people that are equally adamant that there are NO conspiracy theories, and all of these "believers" are being paranoid, anti-social social schzitsophreniacs (sp????). And at the same time, the non-believers are labelled as being "blissful", "in denial", "don't want the truth" and so on.
Arsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7791 posts, RR: 23 Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 501 times:
I believe conspiracy theories dont just appear out of nowhere. There has always got to be something suspicious behind it, otherwise it just wouldn't come out for no reason. But whether u believe in these theories or not is personal and depends what that conspiracy is and how credible it is.
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 13 Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 495 times:
Matt, I have a specific opinion of these theories. Not so much the birth of them, but the people that buy into and promote them. I think these people are egotistical by nature and think they are smarter than the rest of the population. They try to prove their 'enlightened intellegence' by towing this line. It's a good thing for them to latch on to, because it is difficult to disprove which they know makes them immune from being proven wrong. So anyone that disputes them can easily by mocked as gullible and less informed, therefore it actually makes them feel good when challenged of the absurdity. In short its a deserate attempt to feel superior.
As for the birth of these theories, I'm not entirely sure. They may start as propaganda from people that live to hate the government, or merely as lighthearted humor that spiralled into something else. But the people that like to think they raise above the gullible sheep that is us, are the ones that give this stuff life.
Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 51 Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 493 times:
That's an excellent point JetService. But can you tell me why so many people REFUSE to believe in them? Like you said about people being egotistical for being "informed", there is a certain segment of the population that is just as egotistical about NOT being a believer; it's like they are blind conformists to the State Of Bliss-and are proud of that.
Like I said, no conspiracy is born in a vacuum. There has to be at least some truth to them. Why do some people not want to know?
Lj From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4141 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 493 times:
Conspirancy theories usually start because someone (usually a government) doesn't want to give full disclosure or is perceived not giving full disclosure (maybe the latter is the reason how conspirancy theories usually start) about something somebody has seen, heard or knows. This lack of (perceived) disclosure will result in losing somebodies trust in authority and the conspirancy theory is born. Furthermore, there's always one element in a conspirancy theory that is a fact (and this is used a "proof" that the whole theory is true). However, it's always difficult to determine what's and what isn't a fact in the whole theory.
BTW sometimes conspirancy theories start because somebody is mentally not 100% and can tell his story with a very high degree of credibility. However, this not the usual reason of how a conspirancy theory starts.
Lj From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4141 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 482 times:
JetService, I don't agree with you entirely. I think that the distrust somebody has in authority enables them to believe a story and make them blind for the opposite view. This also explains why others believe in the opposite view without hesitation.
However, I do agree that for a minority the big ego explanation is true. They want their head on TV, they want to be followed by a crowd and moreover they have real satisfaction if somebody else takes them seriously. Furthermore, at a certain stage these people may see themselves as a sort of "Guru" and indeed look down on the non-believers.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12705 posts, RR: 80 Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 477 times:
I think I know why so many in the US buy into conspiracies, the events of 30 years ago, (Pentagon papers, Watergate etc).
That must have shattered many people's belief in goverment and institutions.
Though the fact these became knowledge, along with Clinton's problems, argues against the Conspiracies going back many years, such as Aliens at Roswell, the Apollo fake, as the real conspiracies were soon uncovered.
These real events were also much smaller in scale than the vast conspiracies people imagine.
Ironic that the US, with it's open society, is the worst place in the world to try and cover things up.
I don't accept that people like me, who deride the big conspiracies, have a 'Utopian' vision of the World.
Human activity is too complex to seriously believe that view of the world. Well that's how I see it.
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 13 Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 467 times:
Theories borne out of mere contempt or distrust for the gov't are the least plausible ones of all. Those are the ones the majority of the population writes off as wackos spreading negative popaganda. Usually in those cases, the theories start and the 'evidence' follows and not the other way around.
Matt, I do agree that the ego-thing works both ways, however its difficult for an egomaniac to feel superior when 95% of the population sees things the same way. Typically they seek an intellectual niche that sets them apart from the rest and as a result usually find themselves on a ridiclous fringe. Now I'm not talking about people that are actually that intellegent, but people that are average at best, but think they 'outthink' others. They are the candidates that get sucked into these theories very quickly. At that point, they use the past proven cover-ups by the gov't that GDB alluded to to give their arguments what they see as credibility when it is moreso merely probability (as anorexic as it is).