What is a conspiracy theory?
To believe a conspiracy theory is to believe the ultimate cause of an event or a chain of events and/or the concealment of such (ranging from public knowledge to a secret and often deceptive plot) is performed by a powerful or influential people or organizations. Therefore, the majority of conspiracy theories imply that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators, people or organizations who manipulate events behind the scenes.
The etymology of “conspiracy” is Middle English conspiracie, from Latin conspirare, and means it is the act of conspiring together; an agreement among conspirators. Conspiracy means “an agreement between two or more persons to commit an unlawful act to accomplish a lawful end by unlawful means” (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia).
There are a few reasons why people choose to believe in conspiracy theories, one is it gives one the sense of satisfaction of being smart enough to have figured it all out. The problem however is what is occurring in reality, these theories are projecting their fictional musings onto real-life people, events, families, organizations, groups, etc. So, these theories are sold as politics, similar to the polemic of Adolf Hitler, he was a master of weaving conspiracy tales. We see this throughout history taking for example Nero who blamed the Christians for burning Rome or even in the New Testament how the leaders devised a conspiracy theory to explain away the empty tomb (disciples carried him away).
These tales inflame the fears and paranoia of people to the extent that anything can happen taking for example World War 1 and 2 that took place back in the mid-twentieth century. In fact, people even get a sort of perverse enjoyment from retelling the tales of paranoia, supposed “insight,” fear, discontentment, etc which this propaganda promotes.