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A conspiracy theory attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret, and often deceptive plot by a group of powerful or influential people or organizations. Many conspiracy theories state that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators who manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes.
An obstructive conspiracy theory proposes the existence of a conspiracy whose purpose is to prevent, or at least impede, some event from occurring. An example would be a supposed conspiracy involving “big oil” and the automotive industry to prevent the introduction of an automobile engine that could run on water.
Oppressive conspiracies are unique in that they purport to explain perceived social inequalities or perceived political disenfranchisement. This class of theories is based on the previously mentioned “them” engaged in an active conspiracy against “us.” There are many conspiracy theories of this class circulating in contemporary society.
A close relative of the oppressive theory is the deceptive conspiracy theory. Deceptive conspiracies are dedicated to presenting the illusion that the root cause of some social, economic, or political problem is something other than actual cause. The most notorious use of this tactic was [Nazi Germany's tactics used in WWII].
We may now turn our attention to the prevalence of contemporary belief in conspiracy theories as well as psycho-social factors that may contribute to such beliefs...
More recently, a national survey of 1,010 adults was conducted by Ohio University to determine the acceptance of various conspiracy theories related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This survey indicated that 36% of those surveyed believed it to be “‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them.”
Goertzel identified three traits as being correlated with a belief in conspiracy theories:
anomia, the respondent stated a belief that he/she felt alienated or disaffection relative to “the system;”
a tendency to distrust other people; and
a feeling of insecurity regarding continued employment.
Citing Volkan, who suggested that insecure and/or discontented people very often feel a need for a tangible enemy on which to externalize their anger, Goertzel notes that conspiracy theories may serve to provide an “enemy” to blame for problems which “otherwise seem too abstract and impersonal.” He further observes that conspiracy theories also provide ready answers for the believer’s unanswered questions and help to resolve contradictions between known ‘facts’ and an individual's belief system. The latter observation seems to be verified by the widespread acceptance within the Muslim world of the contention that the September 11 attacks were the work of Israel, in conjunction with the Bush Administration, in order to increase anti-Muslim sentiments abroad.
Surprisingly, Goertzel found that there was no correlation between race, age, and economic status and the latter two traits. Although he did not suggest that the two latter traits mentioned above may be self-perpetuating (people who have experienced employment difficulties in the past may be more distrusting of others which, in turn, may lead to future interpersonal issues that can have a negative impact on employment), intuitive reasoning suggests that this could be possible.
if the individual is being “oppressed” by some powerful conspiracy, the individual’s efforts at self-advancement will always be futile and thus become nothing more than “a waste of time.” Sadly, it seems that conspiracy theories and their advocates are now deeply engrained in the popular psyche and without prospects for their ultimate refutation.
Originally posted by sc2099
What I don't get is the disproportionate number of views to respsonses. 250 people read the OP but not one of them has an opinion?
clearly no one is interested unless there is a reptilian or a dbag politician at the bottom of it.
They come here for validation of whatever theories they espouse.
Yep, we've all seen it happen here. It is all around ATS and is undeniable. What am I talking about exactly? Well I am talking about the fact that the "diamond" ATS threads always tend to sink to the bottom while the crap inevitably floats straight to the top.
Originally posted by Mad_Hatter
Watch my point be proven and this thread sink right to the bottom.
I have lost all faith in ATS...