Culture

Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

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Writing in The Daily Caller, Erica Wenig examines some of the nuttiest conspiracy theories to come out of the Middle East—all of them, of course, starring Americans and/or Jews as the culprits. Just a taste:

A presenter for an Egyptian TV channel slammed Jewish lobbies and Rupert Murdoch for “The Simpsons,” apparently claiming the show was an avenue for Jews to conspire against Egypt.

“[‘The Simpsons’] is a very influential TV series in the U.S. This animated series is an American production, behind which are basically-Jewish lobbies,” Rania Badawi said.

Why do people believe things like this? What drives their subscription to the most far-fetched “explanations” for events? Apart from obvious hatred of the blamed group, there are many reasons. I have found that one reason is the frisson and excitement that comes with believing you have “discovered” some “truth” that others have not. This proves, in the conspiracist’s mind, that he is smarter than everyone else and privy to some bit of secret knowledge that the masses don’t know.

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