Confessions of an ex Conspiracy Theorist
I've wanted to share this for years, but only recently do I feel confident enough to spill the beans without staining my pants.
Conspiracy theories. Upon reading the previous sentence, you're probably expecting me to connect the dots on how Queen Victoria is actually a multidimensional lizard. I don't blame you for feeling that way either, but let me state right off the bat that I am not a conspiracy theorist, I was. It's what that means and how it has changed my life that I'd like to share if you're not already bored.
Let's cut back to the wintery months of 2006, Young J.P. was so deep into his conspiracies that even the most well-hung whale would say it was a problem. I believed that the moon landings may be a hoax, that aliens borrow rural farmers, and that there was a global elite, hellbent on our destruction. Is this actually the case, and can I back it up? No, of course not, and I couldn't back in 2006, but I'd been suckered in by idiots posing as knowledgeable gurus. For the sake of simplicity, the below steps explain where my mind went back then.
The guy's title ends in "Ologist" so he must know his stuff.
The lady says her sources are sound, so she really is contacting aliens!
Why would somebody bother making a YouTube video on this if it was bullshit?
Finally, the theories I'm reading sound far more exciting than the "truth."
I was in on a big secret that the world around me was simply an illusion. Yes, it sounds utterly unbelievable, but to a naive teenager with little in the way of social skills, it gave me a personal edge. My friends were the popular ones, but I knew who pulled the strings that controlled our lives. I was, for lack of a better description, smarter than them.
That is the main issue and coincidently the most significant pull of the conspiracy mindset. It gives you the illusion of knowing that one thing that most don't know, and you don't realize how idiotic that sounds at the time. I was lucky enough to never share my views aloud, but I can share with you a story. It revolves around a friend of mine who wasn't quite as silent when it came to their opinions of the wacky. Let's call them, Bob.
At the time, Bob was one of the smartest people I knew. Intelligence is subjective, since a rocket-scientist may not know the first thing about driving a bus, but Bob had overall knowledge. If something happened in the world and suspicious circumstances surrounded the event, they'd be the first person to decipher whether or not there was truth to the current theories.
I'd chat with Bob every week, and they often helped me understand scientific facts that I simply misunderstood. Now, many years later, Bob has changed, transformed into the same person, but lacking the original brain-power. What do I mean by that? Bob's once rational mind will no longer accept anything as real unless it is stated to be so in a YouTube "documentary." Facts? Well, facts are just the opinions of scientists who work for "Them."
While all of the above may sound harmless, let me elaborate.
Bob will no longer trust, nor believe the ones they love because they are part of the problem. Bob knows the truth and is alone in that sense. To make matters worse, Bob is a targeted individual and will dismantle equipment around their home, just in case "they" are spying on Bob. That is dangerous because someone who believes that the world is after them can be fragile. What's to stop Bob harming themselves or others if Bob decides "they" are about to finish the job and silence those in the know?
Now, let's get to the bottom of Bob's problem. Aside from the fact that unfortunate individuals like that can no longer be conversed with in a general matter, it is not a case of, us VS them. The idea that everything has to be left VS right is fucking irritating and stopping our society from progressing in almost every manner. Everyone doesn't need to be labeled, and neither do those who disagree with any said viewpoint.
These are not uneducated folk that get suckered in by assholes with books to sell and tours to pay for. That may account for a small percentage, but hardcore conspiracy theorists are just like you and me. Subjectively ordinary. Watch a video about a random "inside job," and maybe you'll find it entertaining. Hell, perhaps you'll move onto another, and from there, that little voice at the back of your head says.
You know, there may be something to this!
I can't claim to have the answers, but as somebody who dug to the very bottom of the pit that is conspiracy rabbit-holes, I can provide some thoughts.
If the show you're watching on TV claims to be a documentary, look up their sources for the included material. If "scientists" are involved in those shows, look them up too and check that they are indeed who they claim to be.
If it's on YouTube, do the same again. Research, research, research.
If there was a big secret, be it free energy, alien contact or anything else, why would such a fundamental truth be locked behind premium tours and books/DVDs? These people are scammers, plain and simple. That one person you do actually believe? That's great for you, but if they can't back up their claims, then they're just that, claims.
It's easy to believe that there's a "they" pulling the strings of your life, and perhaps there is, but you are responsible for your actions. Don't fall into the trap of acting like a jerk because you feel powerless. We all struggle through life, but we can struggle together if we accept that there are people out there that know their shit better than we know ours.
The reason I wanted to share this is simple. I've known people destroy their lives over the idea of there being a great big secret within their possession. They do not mean harm but can wind up in a hole with nobody to help them climb out. Be that person, assist if you can. Offer help or suggest therapy if it feels like that may help.