Isn’t it odd when an otherwise reasonable person latches on to a radical conspiracy theory? How does this happen? From the fake moon landing to 9/11 as an inside job, I believe that in order to accept most of these outlandish scenarios one has to first accept two incredible things.
#1) Those in power are willing to commit unjustifiable evil in order to serve their best interests.
Let me start by addressing what you’re probably already thinking; Nazis. Yes, the Nazis were perpetrators of incredible evil. And the Holocaust to many at the time must have sounded like a conspiracy. But, this is not the kind of evil you find in many conspiracy theories. The Nazi leadership believed that the Jew was inherently evil, and Hitler compared them to parasites, among other things. This was not something they kept secret. In Hitler’s, Mein Kampf, which was published in the mid-nineteen twenties, he is very open about his hatred for the Jews and many others. The evil committed by the Nazis falls in line with their worldview.
Now compare that to the conspiracy theory surrounding the events of 9/11. There are those who claim that 9/11 was an inside job. They believe that terrorists did not crash planes into the Twin Towers. They believe that our own government perpetrated the attack with the aim of propelling the US into war with Iraq and Afghanistan. Consider the following: would even the Nazis murder thousands of their own people in order to achieve a certain desirable end? Could enough members within our own government be evil enough to even conceive of such a thing? Perhaps you believe this. And maybe you believe that LBJ helped assassinate Kennedy. Once you’ve accepted that anyone in power can be supremely evil, there is nothing to stop you from thinking that they would commit the act. But, could they?
#2) Those in power have the competency to plan and execute a massive secret plan.
This should be harder to accept than the first one. People have an incredible capacity for evil, but they are generally lacking in competency. Now, throw together two, three, ten, fifty, one hundred people, and tell me that they are all competent enough to plan and execute any of these conspiracies. Watch minutes one through three of this Dana Carvey comedy routine. I think it supports the point I’m trying to make.
You may believe that NASA and the U.S. government worked together to make a moon landing hoax. All of those people worked together (including proud astronauts) to artificially beat the Soviets to the moon. Gee, they must have been pretty sure of their hoax if they were willing to broadcast it to millions and rub it in the face of the Soviets. What if the hoax didn’t work? What would that have done to America? Hmmmm.
With many conspiracies there are just too many parts that could have easily gone wrong. There are too many people who could have screwed up.
I submit that you must exaggerate the best and worst in people before you can accept the popular conspiracy theories I have mentioned.