I have always been suspect of conspiracy theories. The oil companies, the neocons, the trilateralists, the John Birch Society (that one seemed to die), the Elders of Zion, have all been blamed for hosts of political and social ills. But the accusers never seem to have definitive proof of the conspiracy.

A common rationalization of conspiracy is “follow the money”, insinuating that if some one gained financially from a problem that that alone is proof that they must have caused the problem.

After 9/11 I speculated that tire sales would increase because of people’s fear to fly. I bought shares of Cooper Tires and ‘eureka’ there was a surge in tire sales a few months later driving the stock price up. This does not mean that I caused 9/11. (I didn’t, I swear.)

Another common deduction is that the theory makes historical events rational. It is similar to the “follow the money”rationale. Henry Ford’s response to the absurd Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a persistent and ridiculous theory of a Jewish Conspiracy ) was that “it fits”. This preposterous theory explained world events to his mind. Ford also said that “all history is bunk.”
He reprinted and perpetuated the Protocols in his infamous article “the International Jew”. Ford’s portrait hung in Adolf Hitler’s office.

Conspiracy theories relinquish the believer from facing the complex and the uncertain. Like blind adherence to ideology it eliminates the need for thinking and understanding, especially when it conforms to rigid biases.

Conspiracy theories are impossible to disprove. When the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was proven to be a forgery in a Swiss court in the 1930’s it only proved (to the conspiracy junkies) that the Jews controlled the legal system.

Have you ever noticed that the conspiracy theories are only evil and nefarious? Has there ever been a group that conspired to rid the world of poverty or conflict?

I have never found two people who could keep a secret, much less thousands or millions. As ridiculous as these conspiracy theories are it is still amazing that otherwise intelligent and intellectual beings are still prone to accepting them if it confirms their established views.