Ok, I lied. Russian, American, Mexican and any other nationality of Christians are all guilty of teaching about conspiracy theories. But I’m from the Russian church background and know the only way to get my Russian friends to read this post is by pretending its ONLY about them. Its not.
You first heard it in hushed whispers inside a poorly lit room. There is a secret government order, led by super secret elites, with a plan to split the country into three groups, kill 80% of the people to control them like cattle. Or is it a that Obamacare has a super secret law that forces everyone to get the 666 chip? It might be that Hollywood is secretly working together with the Illuminati and Satanists to create special scenes that brainwash children. The moon landing was a hoax. There are cars that run on water but oil businesses won’t release them. The government has tools that change the weather. There are thousands of black helicopters and prison camps for Christians. Etc.
I have steadily been hearing things like this my whole life. Truth is I was myself a conspiracy theorist up until about four years ago. If only half of the things I heard came true, we would be living inside the Hunger Games/1984/Matrix/Minority Report. Most conspiracy theories that actually circulate and are taken as truth, are way wilder than the truth. Instead they promise things will happen, time passes, then they flop, and fail. So why do we love to believe them?
1. It makes us feel we are superior to the ignorant masses.
We can feel that we are intellectually better than the ignorant masses around us. We don’t need school, education, or degrees, to make us feel smart, as those are only for brainwashing. We are way above that. Smarter than that. We know the truth that very few people know. It gives us a huge step up above those naïve ‘sheep’ that don’t know “the truth.” This is what all false religions and cults teach as well, that there is a secret truth that only few know, and the path to enlightenment/salvation is by knowing the secret knowledge and being an insider.
2. We love the thrill and excitement of something so big and bad.
Our world is kind of boring sometimes. Being told that there is a secret government conspiracy to come after us, really gives our heart some good excitement. Children like to sit around the campfire and hear scary stories, they love that feeling of adrenaline and thrill. Adults also love the feeling of chills down their back, so they do the same thing and believe they have stumbled upon something huge, mysterious, and thrilling.
3. It gives us someone specific to blame for our failures to fix the world.
The world is not a nice place, between our own sin, others sin, death, demons, and satan, there is a lot of badness. It’s very liberating to find someone specific to blame for the world. It’s much easier to blame the Illuminati for ruining the world than trying to go out there and fix it.
4. We feel important and significant when someone is trying to harm us.
Most people live quiet little lives, out of the public eye, with little or no fame or notoriety. Yet deep down inside us is a desire to be well known and a fear that no one cares. The belief that large groups of people are conspiring against me or my tribe, makes me and my tribe feel very important. In fact, its far scarier to think that no one out there cares about us, than that everyone cares and is out to get us.
5. It provides a sense of control in a world that’s hard to understand.
So much of our life seems arbitrary, and news or events we hear about seem almost random. Not knowing why things happen makes us feel helpless. Yet if we tie everything together into one big conspiracy, we feel like we are a bit more in control. Uncertainty scares us because to be uncertain is to be powerless. Yet when we feel certain, we feel in control.
6. We make conspiracies too, so obviously everyone else does.
Humans all have the tendency to make conspiracies, it’s in our blood. Almost everyone has secretly conspired to do something, or has been secretly conspired against… from elders in the church, to girls in elementary school. Because tiny little conspiracies happen in our life, we project this on others, and assume they do it too. And of course they do create some, just not all that we think, talk, and preach about.