Whenever times are uncertain–when the atmosphere is thick with lies and propaganda–it’s natural to look for certainty. We want truth, clarity and honesty. This makes us fall for conspiracy theories. A conspiracy theory offers us a grid that helps us understand what is going on. It gives us a structure and belief system into which everything fits neatly and we can make sense of the world. A conspiracy theory is a kind of alternative religion.

Our faith should be the thing that gives us a lens through which to view the world. Our faith should provide the framework-the structure into which everything fits and harmonizes and makes sense. Sadly, too many leaders of our Catholic faith have abandoned ship. They have given up with clear teaching and guidance and opted for the rubbery option of the “pastoral solution.” The present Catholic leadership, by their weakness, have contributed to the present situation of uncertainty, change and upheaval.

Conspiracy theories offer a solution. They offer a structure of understanding in difficult times of transition, stress and social unrest such as we are experiencing right now. So what constitutes a conspiracy theory? One of the main components is that it proposes an alternative version of the truth combined with powerful, shadowy figures who are behind the scenes pulling the strings of their puppets in order to usher some nefarious new situation in which they have total power. The other trait of a conspiracy theory is the ability of the believers to “connect the dots” and see patterns that nobody else can see. When this gets to an extreme situation it is sign of insanity. The film Conspiracy Theory  and A Beautiful Mind illustrate this behavior.

When I was growing up in fundamentalist American Christianity we had visiting preachers who linked world events with a dispensationalist interpretation of Scripture. They regarded the prophecies in the book of Daniel and Revelation rather like fortune tellers. They made “connections” that most people couldn’t see. The ten nation European Union was the fulfillment of the ten horned antichrist beast in Revelation. The “Great Whore” seated on the city of seven hills was clearly the Catholic Church. There was supposedly a computer based in Belgium (the center of the European Community) that had the names and addresses of all Christians worldwide….ready for the coming persecution. The nickname of the computer was “the Beast.”

Well, time has moved on and the prophecies proved to be groundless. But that doesn’t matter. New conspiracy theories always spring up to take the place of the ones that are out of date.

Therefore, I have come to distrust all conspiracy theories. They’re understandable and sometimes amusing because they are so crazy, but they are also dangerous because they distract us from the truth. Just because we live in an atmosphere of lies does not mean following another lie is a good thing.

This atmosphere of lies is something I wrote about in my book Immortal Combat and I have written about it further in the book I have just completed: Beheading Hydra-A Radical Plan for Christians in an Atheistic Age. The atmosphere of lies is not solved by running after another extravagant lie of a conspiracy theory.

However–and this is a big however–something is not a conspiracy theory when the conspirators are out in the open talking about what they are doing, and there are plenty of things going on in our society today for which (if you talk about them) you may be blamed for being a conspiracy theorist. It is okay to acknowledge these things and we should talk about them, but we should remain balanced and calm and talk about facts not just wild eyed theories.

So let’s consider a few. Is there a group of people who are maneuvering for global domination and control? Yes, and it’s not a secret and they are not a secret. They publicize the fact that they are meeting. The United Nations is a global power group…the World Health Organization, the Global Economic Forum, the World Bank are just a few. There are other international groups with globalist agendas…Planned Parenthood, UNESCO, World Wildlife Fund, The European Union, NATO. These groups and many more are not secret.

Do they have a plan for world domination? Yes. It’s called the Great Reset. Again, this is not a secret. They put out slick publicity materials about it. It was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. They are clear that they want to re-do the global economy. Biden’s Secretary of State John Kerry has said it will happen quickly. Biden is their man. The Democrat Party support it. This is not a conspiracy theory because it is out in the open.

Did this globalist establishment see Donald Trump with his “America First” agenda as the main obstacle to their plans? Again–this is not a secret. For four years they did everything possible to get rid of him. Did they work together to rig an election to make sure he was finally thrown out?  Here we must look for balance and ask for facts. The problem is, the establishment seem intent not to investigate the irregularities in the election. Senator Rand Paul and others are calling for the anomalies to be investigated without claiming that they wish to overturn the election of Biden and without extravagant conspiracy claims.

To acknowledge the things that are out in the open is not to indulge in conspiracy theories. Are there rich, powerful people plotting to become more rich and powerful? Of course. That’s what rich and powerful people do. That’s what rich and powerful people have always done. Do they meet behind the scenes, control the finances, control the communications and manipulate people with bribes, blackmail and kickbacks? Of course. That’s what rich and powerful people do. That’s why they are rich and powerful. Do they work with other rich and powerful people making backroom deals, planning things in secret in order to gain more control and more wealth? Yes. This is not a secret. This is what rich and powerful people do. Are they in league with Satan, working his will in the world to control this world? Yes. Again. This is not a secret. This is what rich and powerful people do and what they have always done.

What should you do about it? For a start, be realistic. This is the way of the world. This has always been the way of the world. Jesus says it and the New Testament is full of it. There is the way of the world which is a way of power, wealth, violence and cruelty and there is the way of God’s Kingdom. The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world and he said clearly that the citizens of this world would hate you and persecute you if you were his disciple. In fact if they do NOT hate you that is when you should begin to worry!

The second thing after being realistic is to ask yourself why you are following the conspiracy theory. You see,  conspiracy theories can be a little bit self indulgent. By talking up the conspiracy theory we can make ourselves feel good not only because we have seen the light and have the answer, but because we can accuse all those bad people out there of being bad and that makes us feel good and we can also accuse all the people who don’t follow the conspiracy theory of being dumb, blind lemmings and that also makes us feel good because it makes us feel superior.

The third thing is to ask what you can do about it. If someone starts talking conspiracy theories to me or is getting all upset about the situation in the church or politics I try to listen then I ask, “And what are you going to do about that?” This often makes them angry and I admit it is difficult for me to ask that question without coming across as supercilious and condescending, but it is an honest question. If you are in a position to do something about the evil, then get on and do it. Maybe that means you educate your children properly. Maybe it means getting involved in the pro life cause or getting involved in communications or politics. If you are called to do something about it, then working within your capabilities and within the law, get on and make a difference and kwitchyerbellakin.

The fourth thing is to remember that you are not a citizen of this kingdom anyway. Your citizenship is in heaven. This world is not your home, you’re just passing through. Focus on your prayer life, your family life, the life of your parish, your school and your local community. That is where the reality is and that is where you will make the most difference. If some bureaucrat banker in Germany institutes some sort of new economic reality, well deal with it the best you can when it happens. If some do gooder politically correct person tries to force some crazy social agenda or some ungodly practice pray for the wisdom to discern what is right and the courage to do the right thing when the time comes.

The final bit of advice in these troubled times is check the news once a day then turn it off. Turn off the social media. Read a good book. Learn to play an instrument. Talk to your family. Take a hike. Create a garden. Get more exercise. Learn to cook. Enjoy life. There is enough evil in the world for today. Don’t be afraid. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will have evil enough. Look at the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. They don’t worry. They trust their heavenly father…

…but now I think I’m stealing material from the master.