Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why do people lie about their belief in a Conspiracy Theory? Part 2: Ulterior Motives

Why do some people claim to believe in a conspiracy theory, when in fact they do not?

In Part One I of this two part series, I explained that some people do this out of a motivation of fear (mainly the fear of some sort of lose by no longer believing in a conspiracy theory, or the fear of some type of retaliation).

Of course it is not always fear that motivate a person to claim that they believe in a conspiracy theory when they really don't. It could be that they have an ulterior motive that tends to be selfish in it's reasons.

Attention Seeking

Conspiracy theorists get a lot of attention, either from fellow conspiracy theorists who may or may not share their beliefs, or from skeptics who debunk their beliefs (while at the same time mocking them for those beliefs), or from the media (and law enforcement agencies) when a conspiracy theorist breaks the law after being motivated to do so by a conspiracy theory.

This attention can be attractive to those whom seek out attention themselves, and will take any type of attention (positive or negative) they can get.

Basically you can think of them as a bratty child who is acting bad simply because no one will play attention to them, and they know that acting the way that they are people will pay attention to them, and they do so without fear of consequences because there might actually be very little in the way of consequences, and even when they do suffer the consequences of their actions, they know it will be either minor and/or temporary, and that there are probably ways around it too.

Financial Motivations

Some people claim to believe in conspiracy theories not because they actually do, but because they're greedy, and they know that selling products that some conspiracy theorists buy can make them a lot of money.

For example, some one might open up a store that sells alternative medicine. The owner of the store might tell their customers how they "believe" that big pharma is evil, and that the medicine big pharma makes is actually bad for you, and that what they are selling will cure just about anything. The owner might not believe a word they just said, but if it gets them a sale, then they might not care.

Another example would be someone who has their own radio show and/or internet site which is dedicated to conspiracy theories, and lets say that this radio show and/or internet site has several sponsors that sell products that are aimed at conspiracy theorists. This could cause the host of this radio show and/or internet site to constantly spout out conspiracy theories that don't believe in order to keep money rolling in from those sponsors, and maybe even sell products that they have created (such as videos) to their audience.

Political Motivations

Another reason why some people might proclaim belief in a conspiracy theory that they don't believe in, and even make up conspiracy theories that they know are bogus, is because of political motivations.

Politically motivated conspiracy theories are actually very common, and the most common use for them is to try to get a person elected to an office by making up some stuff about another person whom already holds that office (or vice verse). The reason for this is to try to fool the voting public into believing these conspiracy theories about said candidate, and get more people to vote for their own candidate. This can be done by either a supporter of one of the candidates, or by one of the candidates themselves via attack ads, or internet postings.

Persecution complex

Somewhat similar to politically motivated conspiracy theories, some people might claim that a certain piece of legislation would (or does) somehow take away their rights (whether real or not). Some people might use the claims that a certain piece of legislation would take away their rights in order to rally people around them and either intimidate a politician to vote no on said piece of legislation, or create legislation that is suppose to counteract the other piece of legislation, or to an extreme extent, get people to ignore the legislation and any laws that comes with it as way to make it appear that piece of legislation is a failure. This could also apply to legal rulings as well as legislation.

Another reason why someone might claim that there is a conspiracy in that they are being persecuted for is that they are in fact being either investigated by law enforcement officials, or they really are being prosecuted for a crime they may or may not have committed. Some people might start spouting off conspiracy theories about the government targeting them over some conspiracy theories that they claim to believe in (which they may or may not actually believe in).

In fact they may actually be claiming that they are being persecuted (and even go so far as to claim that they have proof of a conspiracy theory, when in reality they never do) as a way to rally support around them, and as an attempt to try to intimidate the government into backing off of them.


Some people might claim that they believe in conspiracy theories, and go to gatherings of conspiracy theorists groups, not because they believe any of it at all, but because they are doing research into conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists.

The reason for this could be because they could be a psychology student, or a psychologist, who is doing research into the mentality of conspiracy theorists, so they may pretend to believe in conspiracy theories in order to gain their trust, and help to better their research in understand conspiracy theorists, and the conspiracy theories that they believe in. Perhaps they are even a skeptic who is trying better understand conspiracy theorists.

The research could also be being done by law enforcement officials in order to seek out individuals who might be considering committing a crime (like an act of terrorism).

Controlling people

Probably on of the more darker aspects of conspiracy theories is some people might create conspiracy theories as a method of (or an excuse for) controlling people in order to get them to do what they want them to do.

The creation of conspiracy theories are primarily based off of some type of fear, and there are people out there whom have no problems using that fear in order to control another person.

While this way of controlling people is mainly used by cult leaders, it is also used by egotistical people who simply love to control others.

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