Tag Archives: lack of control

They’re Out to Get Us..

According to a recent story in something called the Civic Tribune,

The internet is abuzz with reports of forced micro-chipping taking place in Clint, Texas. Dozens of families were said to be rounded up by American troops, and given the option of an RFID implant, or imprisonment for an indefinite amount of time.

Well, as you know, Obama is using Jade Helm to take over Texas. He also plans to confiscate everyone’s guns. The moon landing was faked. The government is hiding the remains of aliens and their flying saucer in a secret compound at Roswell. Agenda 21 is a U.N. plan to destroy American sovereignty…

According to Time Magazine, there are more people who subscribe to these and other loony-tune theories than most of us would guess. (And I thought Donald Trump was the most depressing aspect of contemporary American life…)

According to a pair of new studies published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, conspiracy theorists—and there are a lot more of them than you may think—tend to have one thing in common: they feel a lack of control over their lives.

Jan-Willem van Prooijen, associate professor in social and organizational psychology at VU University Amsterdam, has been studying conspiracy theories and those who believe them for six years. “When I started this research, one of the things that I really found astonishing was how many people believe in certain conspiracy theories,” he says.

Conspiracy theories often crop up during times of uncertainty and fear: after terrorist strikes, financial crises, high-profile deaths and natural disasters.

We certainly live in a “time of uncertainty.” The Great Recession, the yawning gap between the rich and the rest of us, the incessant news reports highlighting terrorism both foreign and domestic, and–perhaps most of all– the constantly accelerating pace of social and technological change have combined to create a free-floating anxiety to which few of us are immune.

Still, it’s hard to believe that social uncertainty really explains the Birthers….and the Black Helicopters…and the New World Order….and the “proven” fact that Obama plans to cancel elections and make himself President for Life…

The distance between feeling a loss of control and embracing bat-shit-crazy is evidently a lot shorter than we knew.