Tuesday, October 1, 2013

5 Things I've noticed about... Bizarre Conspiracy Theories

When you dive into the world of conspiracy theories (either as a skeptic, or a conspiracy theorist, or just a curious onlooker) you will ultimately come across some conspiracy theories that sound really, really bizarre...

In fact ever since I started doing serious skepticism and debunking and investigating conspiracy theories I have found conspiracy theories so strange that I could never have possibly have thought of them (which is probably a good thing).

Now while there are a lot of things I have noticed about bizarre conspiracy theories, I have narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about bizarre conspiracy theories:

5. They're indicators of mental illness.

First I want to say that anyone who believes that the world is controlled by shape-shifting aliens, or that the World Trade Center towers were brought down by lasers, or that the government is using radio signals to attack peoples minds, or believes in crisis actors, or believes that chemtrails are real is not necessarily mentally ill... I'm just saying it's a pretty strong indicator of mental illness, especially when you consider the fact that others who also believe in such conspiracy theories have engaged in behavior that strongly indicates that they are mentally ill (such as making long and incoherent rants, or harassing people, or making threats), or actually has been found out or proven to be mentally ill.

It's not just the people who believe in them either. Many of the people whom have created the most bizarre conspiracy theories out there are they themselves believed to be mentally ill. Even the ones who are very intelligent and hold college degrees, but come up with these weird conspiracy theories, are automatically assumed to be mentally ill because it's really the most logical explanation for many skeptics concerning a person whom is very smart but believes in really weird stuff.

4. There is no deep end to them.

Have you ever heard or read about a conspiracy theory that made you think, "there is no way that there can be something stranger than this..." Well, I don't mean to burst your bubble, but trust me when I say this, there is a conspiracy theory out there that is more bizarre than what you have just heard or read about. And if there isn't one, one will be invented soon enough.

Now I don't blame anyone for believing that whenever they hear about a crazy conspiracy theory that they believe that it is the craziest conspiracy theory out there, I use to believe that myself when I came across a really bizarre conspiracy, but then I would be proven wrong again and again whenever I kept coming across one even more bizarre than the next one, it kind of destroyed my ability to believe that there is a bottom to conspiracy theory craziness.

In fact some are so bizarre that...

3. They are confused for satire.

It really should not surprise anyone that there are some conspiracy theories out there that are either so weird, or so bizarre, that some people don't believe that it is a real conspiracy theory (well, as real as one can be) and that it was made up as a parody of other conspiracy theories, or some type of satire, or, as some conspiracy theorists may claim, dis-information.

This is something that even I have assumed at times whenever I see a bizarre conspiracy theory, either in the hope that no one can seriously be so crazy that they could come up with such a thing, or that it just looks like satire.

In fact some have actually turned out to be satire (or a hoax) but because some conspiracy theorists can't tell the difference between what is real and what is fake, some of them assume that it is real.

2. Other conspiracy theorists will debunk them in an attempt to look credible.

Sometimes a conspiracy theorist will debunk an even more bizarre conspiracy theory (usually about the same event) in order to either look like they are capable of not accepting every conspiracy theory that is put out there, or to make their own conspiracy theory look more credible by making people believe that they have done their research and have discarded any theories that do not prove true (except their own).

Now the real probable reason why conspiracy theorists reject and even debunk the more bizarre sounding conspiracy theories is because if they don't then it makes it appear as if they also accept those conspiracy theories, and it might also help to make the conspiracy theory that they promote appear less bizarre as well. The only problem with that is...

1. Most conspiracy theories are bizarre.

Just because a conspiracy theory at least sounds "plausible" (and I use that term very loosely) or because a lot of conspiracy theorists accept it, it doesn't mean that particular conspiracy theory isn't any less bizarre then the one that doesn't sound plausible at all. An example of this would be the various 9/11 conspiracy theories, which in my opinion all of them sound just as bizarre as the one that is considered to be the most bizarre, the space laser theory.

The fact is that almost every conspiracy theory there is is actually pretty bizarre, and that the only reason why it might sound less bizarre than other conspiracy theories is that it at least (usually) involves something that might exist, rather than other really bizarre conspiracy theories that involves something that does not exist.

And of course just like with the bizarre conspiracy theories, all conspiracy theories have one thing in common: They all end up getting debunked.

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