Conspiracy theories come in all shapes and sizes. They range from the outright batty – the people who believe that the government sent us into lockdown last year so they could change the batteries on all the birds without us noticing – to the outright dangerous – the “Pizza Gate” conspiracy theory in 2016 that inspired a man to travel from North Carolina to fire a rifle into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington DC, which he erroneously believed was running a Democratic Party child sex ring.
In our bitterly divided world, fuelled by the Wild West of the internet, conspiracy theories are running riot. That may well be because people find some solace in them, as the author Alan Moore suggests: “The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting.
“The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not the Iluminati, or the Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening – nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.”
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