I can’t help feeling that many people who believe in conspiracy theories about 9/11, JFK, Pearl Harbor or anything like that are built on one common premise: that there are shadowy forces at work manipulating world events, that there is a world order or a pattern guiding history and events and leading everything towards a certain direction. But what if there isn’t? What if there is no world order, and all patterns are either coincidental or drawn or created by us for our own benefit?
I’m getting a feeling that many people who believe in the usual conspiracy theories also go to them because it gives them a sense of world order and pattern because they find the chaos of the real world, or the idea that there is no grand order or pattern, much more intolerable than the idea of any shadowy government that is gnawing away at our freedoms.
I have a feeling this is also true about people who believe we are all being watched (though let’s face it, it might as well be the same as the belief in a massive shadowy conspiracy). I’m not saying government’s aren’t out to control their people and curtail our freedoms, but I am saying that not every conspiracy theory has any real foundation and that one should be suspicious of the motivations behind conspiracy theories. Even if they might be right, or at least have a point, don’t trust their motivations. Many conspiracy theories (especially Christian conspiracy theories) give away a denial of the chaotic reality of the world, and a desire for a more ordered pattern to events.
However, regarding motivations, there is some credit to be given to the trauma and outrage suffered by events such as 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and the JFK assassination, and the rightful demand for an explanation. Interestingly enough, those three particular events share not just trauma and outrage, but a sense of the defeat and/or failure of anti-war ideals and hopes. However, there is also the desire for the simple-minded to create a scapegoat for major problems, even if the scapegoat doesn’t exist.
Bottom line, be careful when it comes to conspiracy theories. Even if they have a grain of truth in them, many are still under the spell of the illusion of world order.
Also, beware that many conspiracy theories sound like the writers have no idea what they’re talking about.