This is your warning. If you have beliefs you don’t want to have challenged, please read no further. Do not read this blog. Do not read anything, in fact. Do not log on to the internet. This is your chance to hop the first available train car hobo-style to a nice ramshackle shack in the middle of nowhere and toss your smart phone out somewhere along the way.
Conspiracies are real. Okay, sure, but the fact that ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ has become some sort of ideological occupation shows the very confusing nature of human perception. There are a number of ways in which conspiracies have been shown to operate. Mathematicians have shown that conspiracies are only viable given a formula that, if you systematically ‘remove’ all conspirators, the likelihood is that the maximum life-span of an actual conspiracy is about 14 years. The average conspiracy should last about 3 years without someone ‘spilling the beans’ or a rival conspiracy causing an expository conflict. As the number of living breathing conspirators increases so does the likelihood and speed to which the conspiracy will be revealed, or unravel before it even begins.
The truth is that neither facts, nor ‘evidence’ and certainly not conspiracy theory ‘research’ are the causes for the ground-swell of conspiracy theories prevalent in Popular Culture today. Rather obviously, it is the greater connectivity of our culture (i.e. social media), coupled with the decentralization of knowledge (i.e. the ability to seek information and opinion from a nearly infinite number of potential sources versus the old Prime Time News on television or the ever-so-much-more ancient Newspaper), and the ever-increasing crisis of faith with established power structures (i.e. the Federal Government and ‘Establishment’ Politics). The belief in Conspiracy (the idea that any and all important Global events have their roots in a nefarious plot), is more widespread than ever. This overarching ‘Conspiracy’ would require a large number of people, thus making its continual maintenance and secrecy impossible. The anatomy of the suspected ‘Conspiracy’ includes the elite cabal initiating the conspirative act and a ‘cast of characters’ to play the act out.
These people, ‘Crisis Actors’ as they are referred to by believers in ‘The Conspiracy’ are the real victims of Mass Shootings, Terror Attacks, and any other event that may go against a conspiracy theorist’s ideology (i.e. Gun Rights Extremism). The logic is simple: Person A doesn’t like Gun Control of any kind and finds all attempts to regulate guns to infringe upon their rights, Person B loses a loved one to gun violence and is compelled to speak out in support of stronger gun control as a result, Person A decides that this particular incident is a hoax (or ‘False Flag’ operation) and that Person B is a ‘crisis actor’). The aftermath of this decision has often included attempts to show that Person B is, in fact, an actor and uses any similarity of image as ‘proof’ of such assertion. In extreme examples, such as the Challenger Explosion Hoax conspiracy theory, conspiracists try to show that the deceased were actually actors and that they are still alive and well.
What some conspiracists do next is truly disgusting. The idea that these people are alive and well, and that they are conniving to ‘infringe upon their rights’ or, worse, to ‘promote an Illuminati agenda’ leads them to target these ‘crisis actors’ (the actual victims of tragic events). Conspiracy and Alternative ‘News’ websites publish articles suggesting these people are actors and the events they live through were, in fact, hoaxes. Facebook groups release names, phone numbers, addresses and sometimes worse.
Here are some more examples:
No, it’s not. These three women are collectively referred to by conspiracists as ‘Crisis girl.’
You see, all these woman look alike. Right? Not really.
Now deceased Oregon Stand-off participant Lavoy Finicum, crisis actor? No.
Here, too, is the same presumption with the victims of the Sandy Hook Shooting.
Some media outlets, the ones that actually cover this type of phenomenon, report the issues of harassment and conspiracy mania, but those aren’t the type of news sources conspiracy theorists tend to trust. Conspiracy theorists listen to other conspiracy theorists, they write the stories, they read the stories, and they call that ‘News.’ The result is an echochamber, a rabbit-hole, the ‘red pill‘ that turns out to just be another dose of poison. Any contradictory views, no matter how reasonable and fact-intensive, are deemed lies by the ‘Mainstream Media’ meant to ‘brainwash’ the ‘sheeple’ into quiet complacency.
Informed media producers, as we are all potential media producers, have also taken on the mantle of fact-checking the baseless accusations of conspiracists. This does not mean that they are actually listened to but at least you can’t blame the ‘Mainstream Media’ on that, right? Well, conspiracists do. Of course, they don’t think of these people as ‘sheeple’ but, rather, as ‘shills;’ the paid spokespeople of the ‘Conspiracy.’ You see, to a conspiracist, little or nothing is outside of the conspiracy; just like the movie The Matrix that the majority of their own worldview is based on.
The ultimate take away is this, if believing a conspiracy exists also requires that you believe that dozens of actors, military and/or police personnel, Government employees, and the apparently nameless, faceless and family-less News Media have to all be in cahoots for the conspiracy to work … maybe you are simply delusional. Your denial most likely stems from the fact that no ideology, not yours, not mine, is 100% based in fact. Ideologies are based, mostly, in emotion and bias. It will come to pass, quite often in fact, if someone does not wish to change their ideology and worldview as new events occur and new information is revealed, that they will become increasingly disillusioned by the world around them. This actually happens a lot with the very people who perpetrate mass shootings, such as Dylann Roof, or other terrorist acts, such as is the well known case with Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. If you find yourself in such a mental state, seek the help of a mental health care professional, or attempt to abstain from so-called ‘Alternative News’ websites. If you are convinced that a conspiracy is real, wait a while, it will either prove itself to be true or, what is more likely the case, the whole subject of the ‘crisis actor’ will be forgotten, replaced with some other inflammatory conspiracy trope. Of course, if the world is truly out to get you, maybe it is best that you go find that secluded off-the-grid cabin and spend your time chopping wood and eschewing news media altogether.