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The Conspiracy Complex (1 Viewer)

moonty

Senior Member
I used to be a big conspiracy buff, but I'm not as much anymore. I still love to read about them, though. What do you guys think?

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The Conspiracy Complex

What drives the human obsession with conspiracies? Is it a grasp for a greater overall meaning to the seemingly meaningless events that make up our lives, or is it because we have been so conditioned over many years of being lied to by supposedly superior powers?

Many conspiracies are composed of miniscule links between the small things that make up our lives. Most of these events are actually not connected in any realistic sense, but, nonetheless, people attempt to prove something that so blatantly cannot be true. Why, then, do we persist in perpetuating these conspiracies?

One very large reason for the perpetuation of these false conspiracies is the fact that so many conspiracies that were once very largely unprovable have found themselves proven in recent times. Up to 1963, the Mafia was quite unknown to outsiders until their existence was revealed by Joe Valachi in a testimony to a congressional committee. Until their ousting, the Mafia, or La Cosa Nostra, was practically invisible, despite the very large -- and very clandestine -- role they played in US politics and economics. The Mafia were able to transform Las Vegas from a sleepy city in the desert to the gambling hub of the world through investments, signifying their true power and influence. The fact that they went from being relatively unknown to a world power has contributed heavily to this conspiracy complex that exists within our society.

Another conspiracy that has very strong roots in reality has taken place during the 2003 Iraq War. Theories floated around Iraq and the US, among other locales, that there had been a secret deal between high-ranking US and Iraqi military personnel in which Iraqi elite had been bribed to stand down. This theory arose largely from the fact that Iraqi resistance was strong at the start of the war and quickly collapsed, but this was largely ignored or ridiculed in US media. However, in late May 2003, General Franks confirmed in an interview that the United Sates government had in fact paid off high-level Iraqi military members.

One very famous, but almost undeniably false conspiracy theory is the "Paul is Dead" theories surrounding The Beatles. The theory stated that bassist Paul McCartney had died and was replaced with a look-alike. Clues were searched for by Beatles fans across their albums after McCartney was mistakenly announced as having died by a solitary radio DJ from Detroit. From one earnest mistake, a complex conspiracy was formed. Lyrics were examined, artwork was picked apart, and audio was reversed, all in search of clues to McCartney's death that never took place. Perhaps this is because ardent fans often find it much more interesting and time consuming to find small clues to some non-existent conspiracy theory, allowing themselves to bask in their obsession.

Another conspiracy theory that has permeated throughout our society is the "Apollo Landing Hoax" concept. Most versions of this conspiracy theory revolve around a fairly small number of factual -- if misunderstood -- observations and a large number of unsubstantiated claims that "prove" the theory. The pinnacle of this conspiracy's popularity was hit in 1999 -- according to a Gallup poll, at least 6% of the United States population believed the conspiracy theory, while nearly all scientists and historians rejected the claims. Though the possibility is there, it is infinitely remote. It has even been alleged that director Stanley Kubrick was hired to direct the first three moon landings, likely for his work on 2001: A Space Oddysey.

Why does our culture so strongly support the existence of these conspiracy theories? Perhaps it is part of the human search for deeper meaning in our life and surroundings, the same search which has spawned countless religions, inspired millenia of philosophers, and is arguably the driving force of humanity. While conspiracy theories may often seem outlandish, they encourage healthy thought and consideration of that which has been thought impossible. After all, isn't that what makes us human?

Matthew Montgomery
 
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