If ‘Conspiracy Theory’ has replaced religion in the new age, then the method for spreading it’s gospels is the Internet.
Gone are the times where printed medium was all-powerful, where beliefs that were counter to the mainstream would spread at a snail-like pace, if at all, via ‘sensationalist’ magazines or underground publications – or simply passed by word to mouth to other like thinking individuals.
Nowadays, a variant thought, an unsubstantiated rumour or the smallest snippet of malicious gossip from anyone with access to the World Wide Web – can circumnavigate the entire planet in seconds.
Dissemination of information, however untrue, however malicious, however dangerous and damaging it happens to be, can sidestep every form of censorship put in place by governments or regimes, or even multinational companies with a myriad of secrets.
It is a place also, where the truth can finally emerge from the darkness and be allowed to stand in the light.
However, the Internet is also a cacophony of fools.
A place where everybody’s opinions are free to be aired and are viewed as being of equal merit – an ever-expanding cyber universe where the words and ideas of the lunatic, the charlatan and the downright evil and malicious can carry the same weight, and gain the support of the most rational, concerned and balanced individual.
In the same way that some people believe every conspiracy that happens to be doing the rounds without question, the sheer insanity of some of these theories, produces an opposite reaction among the more rationally thinking individuals – and has created a climate online where many people now dismiss EVERY conspiracy theory they read about.
A lot of it comes with the fear of being associated with the purveyors of such absolute nonsense, a perfect example being those who have no wish to be seen as believers of the ‘shape-shifting lizard’ theories that David Icke weaves into his narrative.
But then again, there are those who fear NOT buying into the latest conspiracy theory as their herd mentality prevents them from seeing through the associated white noise, propaganda and the seemingly endless numbers of those who promote such theories, however unbelievable they appear to the more rationally minded individuals.
It has now reached a stage where staunch resistance or showing even the slightest hostility to some conspiracy theories is as futile an act, as trying to hold back a tsunami with a broken umbrella.
So what are we left with?
The task of trying to disentangle the crackpot from the logical, evidenced argument, and the sinners from the saints and still have the ability to recognise and ultimately separate, those conspiracy theories that serve to keep you in the dark – and those that try to illuminate the darkened, secret corners where the true evil lurks.