It’s easy to dismiss conspiracy theorists as your crazy uncle.
You know… listen to them rattling on about false flags, fake moon landings, lizard people and so forth…you listen with mild interest, nod and smile then chuckle and change the subject.
But what if conspiracy theories are actually not the harmless eccentricities of people with a screw loose and too much time on their hands?
What if they are actually sinful?
Think about the similarities to that old fashioned sin gossip.
Let me remind you about gossip with an example. The other day a parent told me they withdrew their student from our parish school and put them in public school because, “The classroom teacher did not discipline little Henry in the classroom. He was hitting people and she did nothing because his father donated $100,000 to the school.”
This was completely and utterly false. This individual had listened to the car line gossip and thereby hurt our school, deprived his child of a Catholic education, damaged the reputation of the teacher, the pastor, the principal, our school and our whole community.
The gossip was spread with the same sick mentality that conspiracy theorists indulge in.
Think about the recent books, websites and social media posts for example, slamming Pope Francis and fomenting conspiracy theories.
Mixed in with some facts were innuendo, rumors, half truths, guilt by association and unsubstantiated theories.
Conspiracy theories? Same thing as gossip.
Beneath both the gossip and the conspiracy theories is the cycle of shame and blame. Something is wrong. Someone is unhappy and resentful. It can’t be their fault because they are always good and righteous and correct about everything. So it must be someone else’s fault. They therefore look for someone else to blame for whatever is wrong.
With their mind set to find someone else to blame it is not long before they find someone. The facts don’t matter. The other person doesn’t matter. The other organization doesn’t matter. They will be blamed.
The person who needs to find the other guy who is at fault is not content with the scapegoating. They have to share it with others. They have to get others on their side. They have to get a little gang of people who huddle together and talk it up.
This feels soooo good! Suddenly the gossiper and the conspiracy theorist have a little support group. When they get together to blame the OTHER (and the OTHER could be most anyone or any organization or leader) they feel great. They feel powerful. They feel good. They feel triumphant, and boy does that ever feel terrific!
So they do it some more. They do it all the time. It becomes their pattern of thought and perception of the world.
It’s destructive. It’s poison. It’s the method of the people of the lie who serve the Father of Lies.
God hates this.
And so do I.