When it comes to conspiracy theories, the public quickly becomes polarised. On one hand, you have the “experts” who reel off reliable information with credible arguments from confirmed cases. On the other hand, there are the “uninformed,” completely disinterested in the subject or outright rejecting it as a myth.
The recipe for a conspiracy is well-known: complex scenarios, backstage agreements, top-secret information. The forces involved, whether exclusive elites or malevolent coalitions of superpowers, are apparent, but appearances can be deceiving, suggesting manipulation. At the opposite end, there seem to be only two categories of people: the victims, an ignorant majority, an inert mass of brain-washed individuals, and, conversely, the heroes, a perceptive minority, valiant crusaders against official propaganda, fully committed to their self-assumed role as whistleblowers. Is there any middle ground to be found?
Caution: risk of paranoia!
Raoul Dederen, emeritus professor of systematic theology, stated that whenever he faces a theological dilemma, he devotes special time to it but no more than three months. After that allocated time is exhausted, he returns to everyday problems. The idea is simple: if you immerse yourself in a single subject, you start seeing everything through the lens of that subject.
The principle is eloquent. After months and years of “delving” into conspiracies, a person ends up seeing conspiracies everywhere. They no longer live a normal life, yet they consider their perspective to be the authentic one: no one sees what they see, and everything they see is truly important. They only read certain books and listen to specific opinion leaders. Their filters—in every field—become infallible. They become true sectarians, preparing for the final blow that will undoubtedly demand their ultimate sacrifice. In other words, we have the ideal client for paranoia.
“A good conspiracy is unprovable” (quote from the movie “Conspiracy Theory”).
Experts in the field emphasise various aspects of the reasoning of those who believe in conspiracies: striking coincidences for which official explanations are deemed insufficient; the desire to uncover something hidden, more thrilling than the mundane; the notion of a scapegoat (someone must be blamed!); the whistleblower’s desire to be the (until now) unknown hero who sounds the alarm; awareness of temporary incapacity or an imposed agenda; the refuge of the powerless who fatalistically submit to superior forces, and so on.
History does not deny the existence of conspiracies (contrary to the idea that only paranoids see conspiracies). Various assassinations or failed attempts on prominent figures, coups d’état, and political, economic, or military actions have been proven to involve conspiracy. Historians have outlined the profile of such actions: 1) collective actions, not the work of individuals; 2) illegal or sinister targets, certainly not for the benefit of the entire world; 3) orchestrated acts, not spontaneous or random events; 4) secretive planning, not public debate. The concrete issue at hand is not whether or not conspiracies exist, but rather how many of them are credible and the extent of their global influence. Can we speak of a worldwide conspiracy?
So, do conspiracies really exist?
Starting from the etymology of the word, whenever and wherever we have two individuals (a minority) united in purpose and thought, breathing together, a conspiracy takes place. The term inherently carries a negative connotation.
The minority, according to the current theory, is the one seeking to subjugate the majority for its own benefit. The implications span a wide spectrum, and the internet serves as a fertile ground for the dissemination of theories targeting: financial control (the crisis), informational manipulation (ACTA), military dominance (war), economic subjugation (IMF, World Bank), programs aimed at weakening the human body (fluoride, Codex Alimentarius), engineered viruses (HIV, H1N1), and religious (the Pope, the Jews) or political ideologies (communism, capitalism, US domination).
However, authoritative voices debunk the idea of major conspiracies and, even more so, a global superconspiracy. “Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of mythology, where imagination runs wild, fears surpass reality, and evidence is ignored. As a superpower, the United States is often depicted as the villain in these dramas.”
In a relatively recent interview, Todd Leventhal, an expert in conspiracy theories at the U.S. Department of State, argued that “no group has the power to secretly manipulate world events. Individual states, hundreds of thousands of groups, and millions of people influence the world, each to the extent of their capabilities. Global events are the result of these complex, multiple influences, not of a secretive, all-powerful organisation.”
This idea is also supported by historian Bruce Cumings: “If there are conspiracies, they rarely have a radical influence on history; they have marginal influences from time to time, like unintended consequences in a logic that has escaped the control of their authors.” According to these experts, the existence of conspiracies is not denied, but their influence can only be minimal. However, the sceptical reader may ask: Isn’t this denial of significant conspiracy influence itself a grand conspiracy?
What about the “new world order”?
If we were to put together all conspiracy theories, most, if not all, would conflict with each other. You can’t have Americans, Russians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, Satanists, Catholics, and Freemasons all sitting at the same table.
Another argument in rejecting the real capacity of a global conspiracy is that the hypothetical plan has not yet reached its final fulfilment. Year after year, we hear about the Club of Rome, Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Illuminati, the Jesuits, and so on. Taken in their respective timeframes, all this information gives the sense of an absolute imminent event, after which the world will forever become the slave of a minority, perpetually subjugated.
If they were truly as powerful as claimed, regardless of who the members of their respective organisations might be, they would have long been ruling the world. This means that they are either incapable of delivering the final blow or they are being held back by superior forces. The head of Bilderberg confirms the former hypothesis when he says: “When people say this is a secret government of the world I say that if we were a secret government of the world we should be ashamed of ourselves.”
What does the Bible say about conspiracies?
The Bible confirms the other hypothesis (without denying the first), namely that there is a plan of God in which He is “holding back the four winds of the earth” to prevent the planet from going haywire (Revelation 7:1-3). The Bible also acknowledges the existence of conspiracies, and Satan is portrayed as the first conspirator.
Satan depicted God as a conspirator who withheld from humans the truth that they themselves could become gods. A remarkable counterfeit: the true conspirator posing as the “great revealer.” The Bible also mentions the days when, if it were possible, “even the elect” would be deceived by Satan. In the presence of Jesus Christ, he appeared as an angel of light, with extraordinary powers.
It would come as no surprise, then, that at the end of time, the former Lucifer would present himself as Christ, appearing here and there all around the world, performing miracles specific to the Son of God. This would truly be the culmination of deception! In the face of countless conspiracies, we will need to learn to depend on divine inspiration to help us assess the challenges of the future.