A very interesting thing about this poll is that the respondents were also asked to answer which candidate they voted for in the latest US Presidental election. That means we can see which conspiracy theories are believed in to a greater extent by Right- and Left-wingers, respectively.
TFC reader @freedomviking was kind enough to share his thoughts on conspiracy narratives. Follow him on Twitter and enjoy!
Why it’s more dangerous to debunk conspiracies theories than to openly spread them
There first needs to be a definition of “conspiracy theories” in order to determine whether it is dangerous to speak of them. Conspiracy by definition is either “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful” and “the action of plotting or conspiring.”
Conspiracy theories have been getting more common due to the Internet, as anyone can see. If you thought that president Reagan was a lizard in disguise, you had to find like-minded people and spread your pamphlets to them or rely on minor radio stations or “ads” in the form of notes pasted to bus stations and lampposts. Today, if you are equally convinced that President Obama is plotting for a Chinese/Masonic/Reptilian takeover of the Republic, you are one google search away from people who are more than willing to confirm your beliefs and act as your personal megaphone.
Few groups have the same reputation among conspiracy theorists as do the Illuminati. With it’s trademark Eye of Providence, the group captures the imagination of people who usually aren’t interested in neither conspiracy narratives nor esoteric societies. Although writers like Dan Brown and to a much, much lesser extent (depressingly enough) Robert Anton Wilson have done their part to popularize the Illuminati, the very reason that they could write about the Illuminati rather than any other esoteric society from the 18th century (and these were plentiful) required a certain notoriety on behalf of the Illuminati.