15 Oct Why we don’t have a problem with conspiracy theories
You will have noticed by now that we at The Maier-Files regularly pay attention to so called “conspiracy theories”. And if you have read the prequel to our series, you will have seen that a conspiracy theory (one ?) plays a major role there (by the way: that’s even more so starting from Book 1, which by now is finished, but not yet published). So you could ask yourself: are these guys crazy ?
The answer to that question is “no”, on the contrary, scientific studies even show that we’re very sane. More sane than the people who take for granted official versions on controversial and disputed “facts”.
The most recent of those scientific studies was published in July 2013 – our apologies for the delay, but we only saw the news on the internet yesterday – by the psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of Kent University (UK). It’s entitled “What about Building 7?’ A Social Psychological Study of Online Discussion of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories” and compares “conspiracist” and “anti-conspiracist” comments on news websites.
Apart from the fact that the researchers soon came to the conclusion that “conspiracy” comments were more mainstream than others (about 2 to 1), they also saw that people accepting the official story on 9/11 were generally more hostile. A phenomenon which could originate from frustration over the fact that their viewpoints thought to be mainstream were no longer considered as such by a majority.
Moreover, the researchers claim, those who fight the “conspiracy theories” are not just hostile but also fanatically wedded to their own conspiracy theorie, in the present case “one which says 19 Muslims, none of whom could fly commercial airliners with any proficiency, pulled off an amazing surprise attack under the direction of a man on dialysis (Osama bin Laden) who was living in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan”.
So, in other words, the negative stereotype generally attached to the “conspiracy theorists” doesn’t describe them but rather their opponents: a hostile fanatic holding on to his own fringe theory. Furthermore conspiracy believers look at things in a historical context – the bigger picture – more than their opponents.
Finally: “conspiracy theorists” apparently don’t like to be labeled as such. Something which Lance deHaven-Smith, in his last year published book “Conspiracy Theory in America”, explains as such: “The CIA’s campaign to popularize the term ‘conspiracy theory’ and make conspiracy belief a target of ridicule and hostility must be credited, unfortunately, with being one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time”.
We at The Maier-Files do not have a problem with the denomination “conspiracy theorists”. We consider it, as do many others, a badge of honor.