Conspiracy theories are the new religion

I did promise the author of this blog post, which claims that conspiracy theories are suddenly more true than reality, that I would provide a detailed response. But it’s going to be too long to waste on someone else’s comment section, so I’m publishing it here.

Conspiracy theories tend to say more about the theorists than the alleged conspirators. I’m going to approach the examples cited by asking two questions- If the theorists are correct, what do the conspiracists get out of it? and Why might the theorists want to believe in this particular conspiracy? So-

“1) The theory: mass immigration is being used to re-engineer society.”

What do the conspiracists get? Errrrm. What do they get? According to the theory the mostly white, mostly christian engineers of this massed social change get a country where they lose a lot of their privileges because their constituents are less like, and less likely to vote for, them. And we know how willing MPs are to give up their privileges.

Why might the theorists believe in this conspiracy? Because they’re racists? Because they don’t like immigration? Possibly, as a great many of them claim to be christians, they’re scared by falling church attendance and don’t want to have to fight for believers with a younger, louder religion.

“2) The theory: climate change is not primarily manmade, but is a ruse to impose a world government which will tax and control us.”

What might the conspiracists get? They’d get to pay more tax. Which I’m sure they really want to do. The scientists will get to keep the funding which pays for their research. Even though they could be better off working in the private sector. I have a problem with the repeated line about paying more tax. The people who’ll pay more tax are the ones who are too dumb to find ways to make their lives more efficient. Those who cut their carbon emmissions will find they’re paying less money to corporations, and the government, so they will have more money for themselves and be financially more secure.

Why might the theorists believe in this conspiracy? See the last bit above about people too dumb to make their lives better.

“3) The theory: the BBC is a propaganda machine for liberals and socialists.”

What might the conspiracists get? The licence fee cut by the next Conservative government. Though that will probably happen anyway.

Why might the theorists believe in this conspiracy? Because Fox News is Fair and Balanced.

“4) The theory: the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.”

What might the conspiracists get? The satisfaction of having turned real life into the opening sequence of the first X Files Movie.

Why might the theorists believe in this conspiracy? Racism? Brown people couldn’t possibly have organised something this big, it has to be the work of the Illuminati and/or the Jews. (An early 9/11 conspiracy theory had all Jewish workers in the World Trade Centre being called up and told not to go in to work that day.) An inability to grasp reality. Given all the genuinely horrible, stupid, illegal and dangerous stuff the Bush regime did, why on Earth do some people need to make stuff like this up?

“5) The theory: the Theory of Evolution is a 19th Century misunderstanding, which is now clear from modern scientific discoveries.”

What might the conspiracists get? Confused, given that modern discoveries strengthen and refine the Theory of Evolution.

Why might the theorists believe in this conspiracy? Fear that science, and increased understanding of it, will undermine their religion. Inability to visualise a simple and elegant theory. The writer of the post is a Creationist, so this is a favourite subject of his. He claims masses of evidence for his belief, but can never present any that stands up to scrutiny.

This is a bit of a rambling post, because I started it as a comment then brought it over here. Feel free to add your own comments and help me refine and better explain my reasoning that way.


3 Responses to Conspiracy theories are the new religion

  1. Pingback:Realstreet » Conspiracy theories revisited

  2. Firstly, conspiracy ‘theorists’ don’t invent things they want to happen – they think something is amiss with the official story and look for other possibilities – based on evidence, testimonies, motives, logic, common sense and lessons from history.

    Anyway, allow me to demolish your arguments faster than a controlled demolition on 9/11 – notice that I’m telling you *facts*…

    “1) The theory: mass immigration is being used to re-engineer society.”

    These engineers aren’t ‘Christian’. If they were, they wouldn’t be dismantling our Judeo-Christian laws and culture. Because this has been key to our success as a nation, it is being dismantled to your detriment and mine.

    If you think only Christians will be affected by Islam, you’re kidding yourself.

    BTW, this re-engineering has been ADMITTED! You have a problem with facts and admissions on record.

    “2) The theory: climate change is not primarily manmade, but is a ruse to impose a world government which will tax and control us.”

    You think only dumb people will pay higher taxes? I wouldn’t like your tax bill then (sorry, obvious joke). The FACT (not theory) is that a world government is being set up to collect taxes and make laws. This means that very soon, this global government scam plus the EU means that the British will have practically no say at all in how we are governed.

    And you think they will not tax you heavily. I would laugh were it not so tragic.

    “3) The theory: the BBC is a propaganda machine for liberals and socialists.”

    I don’t pay for a TV licence. Anyway the BBC has ADMITTED to certain biases and prejudices.

    “4) The theory: the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.”

    Racism? Let me guess, you had a New Labour/BBC “education”. If you’re not following the political whims of the day, you’re a ‘racist’, ‘misogynist’, ‘homophobe’ or ‘xenophobe’. It’s difficult to argue with people who don’t have an argument.

    As for TV, did you know that the CIA plants storylines into popular programmes? E.g. that bloke out the X-Files, also did the Lone Gunmen, Dean Haglund, admitted the CIA asked them to do a story about a hijacked jet headed for the twin towers and it was aired shortly before 9/11. It’s how they operate – by putting notions into people’s minds so that when the real thing happens, they are more likely to accept it. Even something so obviously fake as the official 9/11 report. Again, this has been ADMITTED.

    “5) The theory: the Theory of Evolution is a 19th Century misunderstanding, which is now clear from modern scientific discoveries.”

    The inventors of this theory could never have imagined how complex life is. They thought a living cell was just a blob of goo, rather than something as complex as a city.

    If scientists understood the *limits* of evolution, i.e. that changes can be made by random mutations, but not in such a way to create new organs, for example, then they would have to ditch the theory. But it is as ingrained in our society as Islam is in Saudi Arabia. If you want to talk about “new religion” it is evolution theory or climate change.

  3. Avatar Ian Pattinson
    Ian Pattinson says:

    Conspiracy theorists see what they want to see then find the “facts” that will back it up. Anything that casts doubt on their world view is dismissed, usually as being part of the conspiracy.

    1. Not your kind of christians, maybe. I’d love to see the religion taken out of politics, but it’s not happened yet.

    2. Paranoia, pure and simple. Anyone who cuts their carbon footprint is going to find government gets less money from them.

    3. Not having a TV I don’t pay a TV licence either. The main bias you dislike in Auntie is its attachment to the truth.

    4. And Tom Clancy dropped a jumbo on the state of the union speech in one of his books. You’re inventing a conspiracy on top of your conspiracy.

    5. You really don’t understand evolution. You’re a creationist Stewart, you subscribe to something which is nearer to a conspiracy than any of the invented ones you’re scared of. It’s more interested in keeping people uninformed and pumped full of misinformation and lies than any of the people you disparage in your weak throwaway insults and it’s obviously rotting your brain. I’ve countered every weak argument you could come up with against evolution in comment threads on your own blog. You’re just too blind and stubborn to accept that you’re wrong.