Listen to this episode of This American Life
. Fast forward to 9 minutes in to the beginning of the segment on Rachel, a survivor of the 7/7 London train bombings. Her blog
about her experience inside one of the bombed cars got her in the cross hairs of the 7/7 conspiracy theorists. They believe a power surge in the Underground caused the deadly explosions and that the government concocted a cover up pinning it on Muslims. When Rachel confronts the conspiracy theorists, they attack her and claim she is a composite character created by MI5 to spread disinformation. The piece opens a window into the mentality and intractability of conspiracy theorists. There's simply no arguing with them.
I don't what it is that has people latch on so strongly to conspiracy theories. Perhaps it's freeing in some way. If you believe that the government is so powerful that they could set charges in buildings, disappear a commercial jet, shoot missiles into office buildings, murder thousands of Americans and then cover the whole thing up then really what can you do? You're truly powerless. Sure takes a load off. It is a seductive absolution. And, on the flip-side, you get to feel special that you know the truth.
Labels: conspiracy TAL