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Conspiracy Theory vs. Normalcy Bias

Updated on January 13, 2014

The ultimate conspiracy theorist

Conspiracy Theory

In the movie Conspiracy Theory, the main character, Jerry Fletcher, played by actor Mel Gibson was the ultimate conspiracy theorist. He had conspiracy theories about everything that could be imagined, but in the movie, several of them turned out to be right. This movie was based on the CIA's supposed involvement in the MKUltra/ Montauk mind control program, something that is still being debated by many CT participants.

Although conspiracy theorists already had a kook image to it, Gibson's role as Jerry Fletcher did much to support the belief that all CT's were in fact lunatics. That in and of itself, is another conspiracy theory; in that those who expose real government conspiracies are always subject to discrediting and debunking by those involved. Those who are familiar with the movie know that this also worked into the plot.

I'll now readily admit that I like to research and expose different conspiracy theories, whether fact or fiction, which would indeed make me a conspiracy theorist. As long as man has lived in any type of civilization, there has been conspiracies or secret plots between individuals to accomplish their agendas, whether legal or illegal.

Some of my hubs deal with bizarre conspiracy theories which I started out looking into as fun debunk, some have enough evidence to give credence to them as a valid theory, while still lacking proof as fact or history.

Although those that are considered conspiracy theorists are derided and considered in a negative light, without those who can connect the dots between events, many monstrous or illegal events would remain hidden. For proven examples from history, Hitler's final solution for extermination of the Jews, Haman's similar plot found in the book of Ruth, the CIA's guns/drugs for the Nicaraugan Contras, Watergate, Fast and Furious, Assassinations, and many recently exposed terrorist plots in America, etc...

Wikipedia defines conspiracy theory: explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or more broadly, the idea that important political, social, or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.

While many conspiracy theories are bizarre or far-fetched, not all CT's are fiction just because they seem either bizarre or far-fetched. Consider the extermination of all the Jews, seems all too crazy to be real, yet it happens to be a fact of history, more than once. Or again, the genocide of Christians in Sudan by the Muslim exremists, another example of proven conspiracy.

The other things that give rise to CT's are the many secretive government agencies around the world, including our own alphabet agencies; such as CIA, NSA, (otherwise known on Capitol Hill as No Such Agency), DHS, and others that keep things from the public, (for their own satety, of course) which leads to the formation of many trying to connect the dots from known events and otherwise unstated agendas.

According to Wikipedia, here's a short list of unproven conspiracies:

  • New World Order *(Unproven?)
  • Federal Reserve *(Unproven?)
  • Various Wars
  • Different False Flag Attacks
  • Various assassinations (JFK, Lincoln, Garfield)
  • Bill Clinton body count
  • Obama's birth certificate
  • Apocalyptic prophecies (?)
  • Bible conspiracies
  • Suppression of technologies
  • Genocides
  • Mind control
  • Surveillance and intelligence agencies
  • Weapons
  • Aliens/UFO's
  • Creation of diseases
  • Vaccines
  • Flouride in water
  • Chemtrails
  • Catholic church

* The above several examples that were followed by an (Unproven?); as both the New World Order and the Federal Reserve have been somewhat proven in recent years as their agendas have come out into the light of public knowledge. This is not the complete list of unproven CT's listed in Wiki. with several added that I thought deserved to be there.

While a conspiracy theorist may be considered a kook or nut. If they are considering their supposed theory based on evidence or a pattern of facts, are they truly nuts? What may be more detrimental to people's lives and well being is ignoring the facts totally or what is referred to as "normalcy bias."

Normalcy bias refers to a mental state people may have when facing the possibility of a disaster; either discounting the reality of the actual disaster or the possible ill effects of such. This state of mind can cause a person to not only deny the reality of the situation, but to be unprepared for the consequences. Governments can also deny the effects of disasters on whole segments of the population.

Many people don't like to consider situations that push them out of their normal comfort zones. Justifying their beliefs by saying that such things have never happened or when they did happen have never been too severe; thus chances are they won't happen or it won't be too bad. Katrina and 911 are examples where normalcy bias may have caused people to make bad choices that may have caused them harm or cost them their lives.

People tend to interpret bad news in the best light possible, allowing themselves favor to lessen the impact of any uncertainties beforehand or during a disaster.

Many people in Europe ignored or down-played Hitler's early military moves and devastation soon followed. Many Jews at the time were well aware of their family and friends disappearing at the hands of the Nazi regime, but stayed put, costing them their lives.

Those that refuse to believe that a NWO is being orchestrated by global elitists that have publicly stated that the earth will be depopulated down to 500 million people have obviously never looked into the statements by any of these people. It could be just a NWO wacko conspiracy theory, or maybe you should pull your head out of the sand, or shake off your "normalcy bias."

I am a conspiracy theorist, but I base those things that I believe on facts that are somewhat verifiable. As an over the road truck driver; I've survived more than a dozen armed robbery attempts just by being aware of my surroundings, people, events that didn't look right. I can also claim that I never had to shoot anyone to survive these attempts, although I could have and would have had the circumstances demanded it.

For those that want to prepare for the difficult things that are coming to America and the world, please take a look at the long term storage foods and necessary items to help you survive at http://astore.amazon.com/iswowaiiim-20.

If I walked through life ignoring the facts of the circumstances around me, I would have been robbed many times and probably killed.


Conspiracy theory or normalcy bias?

Which would better depict your state of mind?

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    • slcockerham profile image
      Author

      slcockerham 2 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Hey Thomas,

      Thanks for your interesting comments of this subject. I have to agree with much of what you've said. Granted, there are many wacky conspiracy theorists, but there are also logical ones that search out the half-truths or misinformation presented by media or governments to come to a real or better understanding of the facts in many situations.

      Without sane CT's, many covert plots would never come to light!

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      I don't think many people would say conspiracy theorists don't look at the evidence. I think the problem is with the selection of evidence being looked at, and the selection of evidence that is ignored or not researched. Take 9/11 as an example. Imagine there's evidence for a government orchestrated cover-up, but there's also evidence for the mainstream account of Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda doing it. Imagine the evidence is precisely equal in value. A conspiracy theorist would look at it and say "the government did it!". The normalcy-biased person would say "Al-Qaeda did it!". Neither is looking at the facts properly. Both are afraid of uncertainty. Both are jumping to a conclusion. Now, I wouldn't blame most of those normalcy-biased people. Every bit of the establishment is trying to convince them that Al-Qaeda did it, so quite a few are bound to be convinced. Their only problem might be a lack of interest in researching the issue. The conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, don't have that excuse.

      Just like with the existence of God (atheist vs Christian), the proper answer is usually "I don't know", but unfortunately, uncertainty isn't palatable for most people.

    • slcockerham profile image
      Author

      slcockerham 3 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Hey lone77star,

      Thanks for your comments on this article, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It would seem that most are nervous to even comment on subjects such as conspiracy theory. Main stream media avoids anything that smacks of conspiracy like the plague, yet we would never know the truth, except for those determined CT chasers. My hat tips to them!

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      This is a delicious article. Very nicely done! Even-handed, logical and critically thinking.

      I'm glad there are more sane conspiracy theorists in the world. Normalcy bias and cognitive dissonance are tough barriers to crack. Ego clings to what it thinks is right and out of a sheer need to survive will call black "white," and swear that 2+2 = 5, if it saves their lives or their sanity.

      Keep up the good writing. I love this truck driver! Common sense!

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