conspiracy theory


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Related to conspiracy theory: New world order

conspiracy theory

an element within a belief system in which social consequences, identified as harmful or unwanted, are seen as arising from the activities of groups believed able to influence the operation of power, economic decision-making, etc., in surreptitious ways. Members of successful religious or ethnic minority groups, political extremists, freemasons, etc., may be identified in such theories, e.g. the ‘witch hunt’ of members of the Communist Party (and alleged fellow travellers) carried out by Joseph McCarthy in the United States in the early 1950s, or the so-called ‘Doctors’ Plot’ in the USSR prior to Stalin's death in 1953, in which Jewish doctors were accused of plotting to poison Stalin. Whether or not there are elements of truth in the claims made in such conspiracy theories, it is the exaggerated nature of the claims, and the often slender evidence advanced, that leads conspiracy theories to be regarded as a phenomenon requiring explanation rather than being seen as ‘true’ theories. Thus, they might be explained as arising from the believers’ powerlessness and structurally precarious situation, and the need for the believers themselves to find a reason’ for this and some hope of resolution.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is currently running for president, is one of many voices (https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/457005-booker-trump-using-same-tactics-language-as-russians-with-epstein) decrying Trump's latest conspiracy theory.
"The conspiracy theory seems to be that we have a secret plan for a hard border between North and South that we are not sharing with people.
Classic conspiracy theory insists that things are not what they seem and gathers evidence to tease out secret machinations.
Scholars of religion explore conspiracy theory in, about, and as religion in today's world--a very different perspective from the psychologists and political scientists who normally study conspiracy theory.
Likewise, the embattled adherents of QAnon, the overelaborate Deep State conspiracy theory based on cryptic 4chan posts from a supposed insider, are empowered by their conviction that they have joined forces with a righteous counter-conspiracy that is fighting against anti-Trump forces from inside the belly of government.
There have been so many conspiracy "theories" used to explain the "real story" behind real-world events, such as the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations (e.g., everyone but Lee Harvey Oswald was taking shots at Kennedy in Dealey Plaza, according to the multiplicity of conspiracy theories of that event), that the very term "conspiracy theory" has come to mean--to many people--something that is believed in by either a small group or even by a large group, but is not true, and is somehow "silly."
Summary: California [United States], July 10 (ANI): YouTube has announced new measures to tackle the spread of conspiracy theory videos and fake news on its platform.
Honasan said that using the killings as pretext for the declaration of martial law is one theory but he refused to propagate such 'conspiracy theory' because only those who came up with it will benefit.
Some conspiracy theory commentators, however, suggested that not all genetically modified (GMO) mosquitoes died and that the survivors might be uniquely adapted to transmit Zika.
"Being 'in' on a conspiracy theory and having access to secret knowledge, can feed into an individual's sense of self importance," said Dr Owens.
The science behind conspiracy theory sheds an important light on why people behave the way they do and how they make decisions.