“And then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
Now that’s a conspiracy theory that can change the world, if only we keep our heads about us and stay on message.My article, Do Not Call Conspiracy Everything This People Calls Conspiracy, is in the April 2017 issue of Christian Standard. When I wrote the article, shortly after the November, 2016, election, I had no idea how timely it would remain.
I highly recommend reading a book I referenced, Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories, by Rob Brotherton (Bloomsbury USA; November 17, 2015). If you read it with an open mind, seeking truth, it will challenge you to question why you believe the things you believe, and to resolve to be more diligent in "taking every thought captive."
A few quotes:
When it comes to conspiracy theories it’s tempting to think that our belief - or disbelief - is based on fair assessment of the facts. But the reality is that our beliefs are shaped by our overarching worldview more often than we might like to admit. As I said, the conspiracism is a lens through which we view the world - and we all have a different prescription. Few people credulously accept every theory, and few staunchly reject every suggestion of conspiracy. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, mildly skeptical of conspiracy theories across the board, but unwilling to write them off completely. (page 97)
More than three quarters of the students [in a study] admitted to having one or more paranoid thoughts on at least a weekly basis. Around a third of the students admitted to having a paranoid thought more frequently.
. . .
Paranoia goes hand in hand with conspiracy theories, but conspiracy theories aren’t exclusive to the fringe, because paranoia isn't exclusive to the fringe.
. . .
Likewise, there’s an element of truth to the idea that conspiracy theorists tend to feel relatively alienated and powerless. But this, too, is a more universal experience than the stereotypes would have us imagine. Psychologists have long understood the importance of feeling in control, and it’s not a desire exclusive to people on the fringes. We all want to believe that we understand our circumstances and are master of our own destiny. (page 109)
By painting conspiracism as some bizarre psychological tick that blights the minds of a handful of paranoid kooks, we smugly absolve ourselves of the faulty thinking we see so readily in others. But we’re doing the same thing as conspiracists who blame all of society’s ills on some small shadowy cabal. And we’re wrong. Conspiracy-thinking is ubiquitous because it’s a product, in part, of how all our minds are working all the time. (page 243)