Have you ever heard of chem trails?
What about the faked moon landing?
How about Elvis? You know he’s still alive, right?
…Then, of course, there’s global warming.
From Wikipedia: “The Global warming conspiracy theory asserts that the global community of climate scientists has colluded to fabricate a vast body of scientific evidence and literature in order to deceive the world into believing there is a significant anthropogenic component to increases in global temperatures, with the objective of misdirecting research funding, political power, or simply money.”
(This one rubs me the wrong way, because there are a lot of great big lies tied up in it, but it’s also a perfect example, so let’s explore it.)
1. What does it take to make a conspiracy, and how does our culture react to such things?
con·spir·a·cy [kuhn-spir-uh-see] noun
A combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose.
The idea behind this is simple, but let’s just concentrate it and get it down. A conspiracy is a group of people acting together to deceive others about something–usually in this case something far-reaching, evil and societally-meaningful (not just criminal in an ordinary way).
There really isn’t any need to go deeper than that. There are many hundreds of examples of conspiracy theories. The ones I named are just a sampling of the wildest or most-often-considered-ridiculous ones. (You know, the ones that make other people instantly stop listening to you when you say you believe them? That’s actually the whole point of why they exist, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
What does it take to make a conspiracy happen?
First, the people involved in the conspiracy have to agree to their purpose or be forced to obey (secretly, of course) by some central power.
Have you ever tried to get three or four people to agree to do something dangerous or difficult? Have you ever tried to get them to go about it in a uniform (or even effective) way?
Unless we’re talking mind control, human nature makes this dicey–really dicey. Possible, sure, especially if you have the power to coerce it, but what happens when just one person disagrees with the means, or the goal? …What happens when half a dozen disagree?
Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a lid on something like that?
Second, they have to keep it a secret.
OK. We’ve managed to get a few dozen or a few hundred people all moving in the same direction to accomplish a goal. It CAN be done. It happens all the time. It’s not easy (especially with unusual or dangerous goals) but it does happen.
Now keep it a secret.
This is where the wheels come off of every conspiracy theory, for one simple reason. In an open society like ours, it is SOMETIMES possible for two people to keep a secret when one of them is dead and neither one is a politician. …but not always. With every person you add, the chances of something remaining a secret go down by an order of magnitude.
By the time you reach one dozen people, there is absolutely NO way any evil plot is going to remain a secret. People have consciences and it’s just not possible to control people THAT tightly in this kind of society. (Now if you take a society that is highly-militarized, like germany WWII or the army itself, that changes. We’re talking about the United States culture though.)
Even highly-trained and conditioned spies who have devoted their entire lives to secrecy and espionage can turn (and here we’re talking about semi-sociopathic loners who are programmed to a purpose and ruthlessly trained, which is actually much easier to do than keeping a secret INSIDE a society of people. Simple psychology.)
The bottom line is, inside a society, especially an open, free society, suppression of information known to more than a few people is IMPOSSIBLE. This becomes more true as the value of the information increases.
Third, they have to manipulate large quantities of resources and often large numbers of people (without being detected) to accomplish their goals.
Have you ever tried to move 100,000 dollars? Do you have any idea how close an eye our government (and other watchdog groups) keep on large amounts of money or other dangerous resources?
Taking the chem trail conspiracy theory as one example–do you have any notion how many people would have to handle the huge quanities of chemicals required to manufacture chem trails with even a significant fraction of the military (or worse civillian) aircraft in this country?
Add it all up and what you get is a whole lot of foolishness (at least on the surface).
2. So is there NO such thing as a conspiracy?
Obviously, there are a great many secrets in this world. Some of them are genuinely large-scale and tightly-held. A good example was the Nazi concentration camps. The people of Germany simply didn’t KNOW about them until the allies found them. (Again, different society structure, but it’s an illustration).
Another example is the “Global Warming Conspiracy.” Popular wisdom holds that human atmospheric pollution, usually stated to be carbon dioxide, is driving the temperature of the planet up noticeably.
Now consider an “unrelated” fact. The vikings grew grapes in Greenland 400 years ago. It’s too cold to do that today.
Simply put, the earth’s climate was warmer four hundred years ago than it is today. Talk to any competent paleontologist. (I took a class from one during college. It annoyed him to no end that the scientific community could be so wrong.) The simple fact is, the earth’s climate is not static. It CHANGES. …We have ice ages and warming periods and the carbon dioxide levels FOLLOW that climate change. They don’t lead it.
(As nearly as anyone can tell, sunspot activity and solar radiation output are actually the source of earth’s climate changes. When you consider it, that’s really a no-brainer. Of course the sun, which outputs ALL of the energy that reaches us here on earth, is the source of climate change. There even seems to be a cycle it follows…but I digress.)
The big question here is how so many otherwise competent, intelligent, reliable people can be so fooled by such a ridiculous story. Nor is this the only example. Take ANY example you like. Whether it’s the pro or con side that believes the lie, the point is still that it’s very strange that so many people should believe it. (Take the chem trail or moon landing theories. I’ve known people who believe the stories all my life. They are otherwise pretty rational people.)
However you care to slice it, there IS something seriously wrong with the way the world sees things like this. There are so many of these “conspiracy theories” and so many of them are producing undeniably weird results (take global warming in the science community–or evolution for that matter). Evolution is another story entirely, but follows a similar pattern. There are serious rational problems with the theory of evolution, and there is no evidence to support it that isn’t totally circumstantial, but most of the “rational, reasonable” people in our society believe it to the point of mania.
The point? There has to be something else going on. There is simply too much obvious manipulation of peoples’ opinions going on in too many areas.
3. The truth will set you free. (The KISS principle doesn’t hurt either.)
The first answer is that people choose to be mislead.
If people want to believe something, either because it will put money in their pocket or because it will make them more comfortable with themselves and their world, they’re going to believe it. It’s just human nature.
We rationalize our way into things all the time–not doing the work we should, eating that extra piece of pie. Why should “big” issues be any different?
In the case of global warming, a large segment of the population has a guilt complex. They feel it is their responsibility to fix the world’s problems, especially when they can find one that let’s them scream out “the sky is falling!” …Add human greed into the equation–people who can line their pockets by preying off the weak-minded fools who believe in all the tripe (whatever the flavor of the day is)–and you have about a third of your explanation.
The second, and more complete, answer is that societies choose to be mislead.
Like-minded people tend to congregate. People who end up in a congregation tend to end up being like-minded with the other people in their “sub-society” especially if they started out neutral, but even if they started out disagreeing. Peer pressure is a huge factor in human life. As a rule, humanity lives according to what they think their neighbors value/think/want/respect.
We ALL want to be respected, and the easiest, most obvious way to get respect is to agree.
When you get a group of people who agree on something ideologically, it can be easy for that “sub-society” to accept absolute lies as gospel, simply because it fits with what they WANT to believe.
So a sub-society, as a whole, believes a lie that is absolutely ridiculous to anyone who has a brain.
Then, being human, they start to demonize people who disagree.
That explains about 2/3 of the global warming “conspiracy.”
The third and most important answer is that there IS manipulation going on.
I haven’t gone to great lengths to emphasize this, but really it should be obvious. Even the above factors really aren’t enough to explain why a group of smart, mostly intellectually-honest people would choose to accept something so obviously ridiculous as human-driven global warming (or better yet evolution) when another even better answer was sitting there with its teeth firmly fastened into their collective ass the whole time.
I’m not contradicting myself here, but we have two solid concepts that are both true.
1. Human-driven conspiracies are practically impossible in an open society.
2. Human behavior is not enough to account for mass-belief in blatant foolishness.
So where does that leave us? Aliens?
What do you suppose gave such a large portion of our society a guilt complex?
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Satan is the father of lies. It was a lie that became his weapon against mankind in our first encounter with him. Why should that have changed?
From here, you pretty much agree with me or you don’t. What I’m suggesting is simple. Satan manipulates the nations and societies of this world by means of lies. Where human greed and foolishness isn’t enough to explain societal blindness, choose the simplest alternate explanation.
Final thoughts–Why we don’t believe in dragons
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” -GK Chesterton
As adults, we don’t believe in dragons. We don’t want to believe in dragons, and the dragons don’t really want us to believe in them either, because in a Christian society, we have a bone-deep knowledge that dragons can be killed. …And something that Satan doesn’t want to give his enemies is a cause, like hunting and slaying dragons.
Satan uses the lie that says “he doesn’t exist” (Or the lie that says “Demons don’t have a direct influence on society”) which if we let ourselves see the truth, we know to be absolutely wrong. He uses that lie to make our whole society beg the question as to whether he’s telling us any other big lies.
Demons are real. They manipulate people every day, individually (and through group effort) as entire societies.
The way the world works is simple. What we don’t WANT to know can manipulate us into doing just about anything.