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Old April 23rd, 2009, 11:07 PM   #1
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Why do we get conspiracy theories, anyway?

Why do we always come up with theories about dastardly plots? Is it sort of like religion, we don't understand something so we invent a god or a plot to explain it?
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 11:50 PM   #2
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Hmm, that is a good question and someone out there probably has a pretty good theory about as to why. I don't think however, that it can be comparable to religion for one main reason, that being complexity. When people don't understand a complex phenomena, like the origin of life - people take the simple route: goddidit. When it comes to conspiracy theories though - people often complicate the event more than it probably is. Religion simplifies, whereas conspiracy theories complicate.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 01:45 AM   #3
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I can say these theories mainly came from our ancestors, several decades ago, and were merely passed from one generation to another. I don't want to comment on that creation theory since none of us don't really know what had happened milion of years ago. We will only know about it if a time machine is invented.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta View Post
Religion simplifies, whereas conspiracy theories complicate.
Oh, that's good. You are right. They are the inverse of each other.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #5
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I think it is those dark thoughts that we all have late at night. As the old radio show used to ask, "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men?" Well, most of us do if we spend much time before the mirror of introspection.

Or perhaps they are students of history which seeing one group of men doing devious things find it likely that many others are doing the same.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #6
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I actually ended up taking a whole seminar on why people get weird beliefs.

Conspiracy theories themselves aren't that bad (not nearly as bad as creationism, holocaust denial, etc.). It's usually 4 basic things.

1. Standard paranoia. If you look at a number of the top people in the conspiracy circles, they show serious signs of mental issues. Some conspiracy believers that I've seen seem to clearly have a few screws loose.

2. Mystery - People like mystery. It's cool to think that there is a lot going on behind the scenes.

3. Complexity - The irony is that the anti-government conspiracy theorists seem to really love the government. The heart of any conspiracy has it that the event happened through a complex series of events and serious planning. There was always an order. Random things didn't happen. Example: Some nut didn't just kill the president with a $300 rifle...it had to be a big plot to kill such an important person.

4. Political Bias - A lot of people jump on the train because they hate the government or hate the US. Their confirmation bias makes these theories seem to be vindication of their beliefs. The proof is that 9/11 Truth is fairly popular in a few of the more hostile parts of the Middle East.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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I like the mental issues theory! Nothing like a bit of ad hominem attack on the Conspiracy Club. Okay, the other three reasons are, hmmm, reasonable. A nice complex political mystery should get their motors running. It sure does with script writers in Hollywood.

  • JFK
  • Wag the Dog
  • Bourne Trilogy
  • The Conversation
  • Z
  • Missing
  • Manchurian Candidate

... to name a few.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
I like the mental issues theory! Nothing like a bit of ad hominem attack on the Conspiracy Club.
Sadly true though. I pointed this out in another thread to a different poster. His hero was proclaiming the same stuff as a distant relative (and their back stories were surprisingly similar). The difference is that the relative is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

People with natural draws to paranoia do tend to latch onto these theories. An all powerful domineering force makes sense to them.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks View Post
I like the mental issues theory! Nothing like a bit of ad hominem attack on the Conspiracy Club. Okay, the other three reasons are, hmmm, reasonable. A nice complex political mystery should get their motors running. It sure does with script writers in Hollywood.

  • JFK
  • Wag the Dog
  • Bourne Trilogy
  • The Conversation
  • Z
  • Missing
  • Manchurian Candidate
... to name a few.
I still think there is an element of truth lurking somewhere in all of this. On the one hand fanciful, but on the other hand they are food for thought for people who have plans for future conspiracies. Today's Bourne Trilogy may be tomorrow's conspiracy.
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Old April 26th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #10
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Conspiracies are notoriously hard to maintain in reality though. People always turn on each other. Basic game theory. The real conspiracies that we can study have all been small in nature, small in aims, and realistic in operations. Even then, they usually fail or fall apart before the end.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 03:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Conspiracies are notoriously hard to maintain in reality though. People always turn on each other. Basic game theory. The real conspiracies that we can study have all been small in nature, small in aims, and realistic in operations. Even then, they usually fail or fall apart before the end.
Maybe that only applies to the conspiracies we know about. Those we don't know about being tightly held and executed. For example I am convinced there are a select few who are responsible for big business in the US. And who have a big hand in the trends of the stock exchanges.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 11:20 PM   #12
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Maybe that only applies to the conspiracies we know about. Those we don't know about being tightly held and executed. For example I am convinced there are a select few who are responsible for big business in the US. And who have a big hand in the trends of the stock exchanges.
No, no, that's the Gnomes of Zurich theory. A few bankers in Zurich who control the whole financial and political world, and who started WWII because they thought it would be profitable to be neutral in a big war.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:45 AM   #13
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No, no, that's the Gnomes of Zurich theory. A few bankers in Zurich who control the whole financial and political world, and who started WWII because they thought it would be profitable to be neutral in a big war.
I thought they have lost against the world leaders. They've been forced to allow Governments access to information about their clients?
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Old May 5th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
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No, no, that's the Gnomes of Zurich theory. A few bankers in Zurich who control the whole financial and political world, and who started WWII because they thought it would be profitable to be neutral in a big war.

I am surprised you did not say it was Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney!
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Old May 5th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #15
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He's not smart enough, and hasn't been around long enough. He wasn't old enough to plan WWII.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 03:46 AM   #16
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At one stage when people were complaining about Government problems I used to hear Bush this, Bush that and Bush the other. Now it seems to be Cheney this, Cheney that, Cheney the other. Sometimes Rush as well. Cheney mentioned Rush and Powell together (refer article below), so that thoroughly nixed both for me. Cheney is not good for the Republicans at the moment. Wish someone could ask him to retire gracefully like Bush did.
[COLOR=darkred]http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090511/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_cheney_6
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Old May 15th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #17
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Cheney seems to be under the illlusion that Bush had a successful presidency and that he, Cheney deserves the credit and isn't getting it. Well, he's getting the credit, but it's the 'successful' part that is missing.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 12:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Cheney seems to be under the illlusion that Bush had a successful presidency and that he, Cheney deserves the credit and isn't getting it. Well, he's getting the credit, but it's the 'successful' part that is missing.
Time will tell. I fear the "worst" is happening now.:eek:
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Old May 20th, 2009, 06:01 AM   #19
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Time will tell. I fear the "worst" is happening now.:eek:
Perhaps time for Cheney to let go. Wonder whether Bush is still in touch with him as can imagine Bush must be most irritated by Cheney overreaching himself like he has in the last few months.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 03:35 PM   #20
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Perhaps time for Cheney to let go. Wonder whether Bush is still in touch with him as can imagine Bush must be most irritated by Cheney overreaching himself like he has in the last few months.
I don't know. The Bush family photo still hangs in my living room. That said, I would trust Cheney to care for my loved ones. I would not trust Obama to take one of my dogs to the vet. I think that says it for me.
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