Throughout history, conspiracy theories have always been around, popping up, especially in times of crisis, social changes and more. A conspiracy theory is when a supposed powerful group of people or secret society hatches some nefarious, covert plot to attain a sinister goal or two. These goals are usually to exercise power or some form of control over the masses.
Four of the most famous conspiracy theories in recent history illustrate how they are a mix of facts and out of this world lies presented as if they were the truth.
The moon landing hoax theory claims that the astronauts who landed on the moon were actors, shooting in the Nevada desert and were part of a larger plot to fool the world. They claimed the wind-blown flag, the absence of stars, the lack of a crater and so on were proof of this hoax. It's been disproved by so many experts, but people still say it's fake. This conspiracy theory emerged from residual Cold War paranoia and government distrust because of Vietnam and, later on, the Watergate scandal.
The Jewish world domination agenda, on the other hand, is a conspiracy theory that claims Jews are out to rule the world. This was created and promoted by anti-Semitic citizens looking for any reason to institute hatred against Jewish people. Instead, they produced fake news and propaganda items that demonized Jews, inciting even more hate, which led to World War 2. This is a classic example of how conspiracy theories take the basic human need to hate those who are different and find scapegoats - to the extreme.
The 9/11 attacks are also apparently still part of the Jewish plan to rule the world, with claims that all Jews received phone calls and emails telling them to stay away from the Twin Towers that day. When in fact, many Jews perished in the attacks. In any case, the enormity of 9/11 pushed people to find answers immediately - even though they might be inaccurate and illogical.
Finally, one of the more explosive conspiracy theories has become very popular over the last decade thanks to the bestselling book and Hollywood movie "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. There is a belief that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child. The Catholic Church is supposedly aware of this secret and has kept it from being discovered for the last 2000 years. The current descendants of Christ are also being protected by a secret sect called the Priory of Scion.
Conspiracy theories have been around for a long time, and it looks like they're here to stay. Unfortunately, because of social media, conspiracy theories are spreading like wildfire more and more each day, making it challenging to decide what is true or not.
These theories, however ridiculous, allow people to make sense out of chaos by fulfilling our basic human need for information and certainty, especially during uncertain times.
Directed by: Kay Siering, Nanje De Jong-Teuscher