Do you have a deep infatuation with conspiracy theories? Or maybe you have a family member or friend who has an affinity for them?

I'm writing a piece on conspiracy theories and I'd like to get some first-hand accounts of a theorist. I'm talking QAnon, 5G mobile tech, anti-mask wearers/anti-lockdowners, anti-vaxxers etc.

I'm interested in the reasoning behind believing these theories. Where do these theories overlap? Has the pandemic exacerbated this trend? Have you or this individual changed since dedicating time to said theories? How have friends and family reacted?

Happy to include quotes anonymously or change names!


  • Based on my observation, these people are not ignorant or dumb per se. Some are even professionals and/or have started successful businesses. That's why it still baffles me as to how they come up with these ideologies and how they process their thoughts.

    Could underdog mentality be a factor? What incentive do they get by finding a scapegoat for things that hurt them, or things they don't understand? Probably because it's convenient, or that it's one way of coping with personal unresolved issues.

    The common thread I see from these people is their failure to acquire and exchange information from people with different POVs — communication silos, echo chambers, or the absence of engaging into intellectual conversations cause this. When approached about the lack of evidence or the fallibility of their "truths," they're often dismissive. Close-mindedness could also be a factor.

    The pandemic definitely exacerbated this fandom. Because these people usually don't fact-check, they're easily led to believe that everything they see online are true.
  • @Geoffrey Bunting Lizards! I'm pretty sure that illuminati one is still floating around somewhere. It's very true that the internet has only added gas to the fire. Anyone can throw their two cents in, no matter how qualified they are to talk on a matter. It's good and bad. Great that everyone can express themselves freely but becomes an issue when certain infomation falls into the hands of an impressionable individual.

    People must remember that opinion is not fact.
  • @Olivia Woodhouse My grandmother was all about conspiracy theories (very keen that we all know that all world leaders were lizards) and she had absolutely no interest in anything that countermanded the single book or article she read to come to this conclusion. That we are in a position where anyone can give themselves ligitimacy through blogs, etc. It's so easy for people to find writing (or, more likely, headlines) that support them that they don't have to look beyond their own beliefs - however ridiculous they may be.

    It's been very telling for me during COVID how often I hear "I don't know anyone who's had it" in support of it not existing. And while most sensible people recognise that as extreme luck, they see it as something completely other.

    Similarly, while rational, science-minded folk recognise that if you make a claim they it is your responsibility to prove it - incidentally an ethos on which much of law is based - CTs take the view that most religions do, in which they make a claim then someone else has to prove it doesn't exist.

    It's all very very bleak.
  • @Geoffrey Bunting I completely agree! My research shows that conspiracy theorists often display a nihilistic degree of scepticism that encourages them to disbelieve any contrary evidence on the grounds that those 'debunking' are part of the conspiracy. This breeds entitlement and some pretty big blinkers. They create a cyclical argument that essentially never loses.
  • This is just my experience, but so much of what I see from folks who buy into this nonsense is an inability to see past their own experience. Every single response they make is based around "I've not seen this", "this isn't my experience", etc. Such a complete lack of empathy. Coupled with an inability and unwillingness to check other sources other than the single one from which they base their opinions - often Twitter.

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