And we love to see these conspiracies spelled out in our books, and movies and TV shows from the X-Files and 24 to the DaVinci Code and the books of Robert Ludlum, don't we?
So, do you think that there is anything to any of it?
Well, in her piece on Murderati, Conspiracy Theories, J.D. Rhoades comes down firmly on the side of disbelief.
“I did a panel at the last Thrillerfest on the subject of conspiracy theories. One of the questions was--and I'm paraphrasing here-- "do you believe in conspiracies in real life?" Some members of the audience looked a bit startled, and some were visibly disappointed when I piped up and said "no, I believe in stupidity, randomness and chaos. That's what causes most of the misery in the world."
I think they were unhappy because people want to believe in order. They want to believe there's a reason for some of the awful stuff that happens, even if that reason is based in evil. They want to believe someone's in control, even if that person (or persons, or shape shifting alien reptile) is malevolent. We want a culprit. At least that gives them something to fight against. There's no fighting stupidity and chaos.”
Hmm.....well, I think I must strongly disagree on just about every point. Because, you see, I do believe in order and truth and ultimate Good ...and the absence of good, evil. Now don't get me wrong...there is plenty of stupidly in the world. Lots of stupid people doing lots of stupid things. Just as there are lots of smart and good people, doing smart and good things and they are, in fact, just by their very presence fighting stupidly and chaos.
But there is also evil and evil people who freely choose to do evil things. And while good attracts good, evil attracts evil and therefore many of these people with evil on their minds get together, not for the greater good, but for the Greater Evil. Bad people get together to do bad things and to keep them secret. You don't have to look very far in recent history...Mao, Stalin, Hitler...just to name a few. Millions of people dead as a result of their being in control and as a result of their conspiracies. They conspired with like minded men to present a face to the world of order and good, while in fact they were conspiring to ends of death and evil. Yes, sometime there are malevolent people in control and sometimes they try to keep their actions secret.
On a smaller scale isn't crime a conspiracy, whether two guys get together to rob a store or on a much bigger scale, the so-called 'Organized Crime' families. Nothing imagined there. There are criminals, and serial killers and spies...and we the fans of the suspense genre...enjoy seeing this evil ultimately overcome by good. The bad guy gets caught. Order returns to the universe. We like mysteries and suspense novels, not because of a hopeless attempt to control chaos, but because of a real knowledge that good, like truth and justice can prevail, that culprits can be caught.
Is the government hiding the bodies of little green men in Area 51..pretty darn unlikely I think. Someone would have sold an alien hand to the National Enquirer by now. Was Marilyn Monroe's dead really a murder...not beyond possibility. You get involved with very rich, very powerful, very married men with a lot to lose and something bad may happen to you. People have killed for a lot less.
Sometimes truth actually is stranger than fiction and just because you are paranoid doesn't mean people aren't following you.