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I’m cynical and some say deluded.  My suspicions of others’ motives often extend to imagining a few individuals with a hidden agenda conspiring to infiltrate institutions, manipulate events and shape outcomes to their liking. (Note: This is more likely when those imagining feel anxious /alienated. It can 1) involve simplistic B&W portrayal of something that's much more complex, 2) devolve into paranoia, or 3) help uncover actual conspiracy although typically none exists!  Some link their belief in a particular conspiracy to seemingly unrelated societal problems.)

Alternate Concise Characterization with Wikipedia Entries:

communicated by telling a story / uses narrative form

enjoys retelling / embellishing modern folklore / legend 

thinking influenced by paranoia

employs simplistic black/white analysis / Manichaeism

summary Wikipedia article: Conspiracy Theory 

Numerical Characterization with TFJD code: 2311

Numerical Characterization with Emotional Volatility VI index: 36

Related Words, Beliefs, Background -- 48 entries             Songs!           Discussion from The Worldview Literacy Book

other web pages related to this theme in older WV Structures, click on version you want:  version 2.0    version 3.0  

More to Explore -- Worldview Theme #36B: Conspiracism

Conspiracy  (from online encyclopedia)
Fake News (from online encyclopedia)
Pseudohistory (from online encyclopedia)
UFO Conspiracy Theory (from online encyclopedia)
Mooon Hoax (a classic example of a conspiracy theory, from online encyclopedia)

John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories  (from online encyclopedia)

Shakespeare Authorship Question (more about issue some connect with conspiracy theory, from online encyclopedia)
Conspiracy Encyclopedia: The Encyclopedia of Conspiracy Theories (official website of publisher)
Worldview Watch issue #36: Kennedy, Shakespeare, Conspiracism, Elitism, and Missing the Real Story
Worldview Watch issue #24: Unvaccinated Children, Public Health, and Worldviews
Worldview Watch issue #2: Conspiracism on Talk Radio
Conspiracy-net: The Most Definitive Conspiracy Theory Portal on the Web
No Such Thing as Paranoia: On the Culture of Conspiracism
“Viral Area 51 ‘raid’ amasses 1 million recruits, gets Air Force warning” by Hannah Sparks  (The New York Post alien coverup related article)
“Dad of Sandy Hook victim wins suit against conspiracy theorists” by Amanda Woods (report from The New York Post June 18 2019)
"#QAnon, the scarily popular pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained" by Jane Coaston  (August 1 2018 post on VOX)

"Magical Thinking in America" by Frank S. Robinson (from his Nov 2017 blog)

Superstition, Magical Thinking, and Gun Laws (w/ comments on 2018 book Enchanted America by Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood from The Economist Oct 7 2017)

“NASA Denies That It’s a Running Child Slave Colony on Mars” by Ben Collins  (June 29 2017 report posted on The Daily Beast)

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann  (NY Times Book Review by Dave Eggers  Feb 28 2017 story of “one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history”)

Great Conspiracy Theories of 2016 by Elle Hunt (article in The Guardian Dec 22 2016)
Pizzagate: From Rumor to Hashtag to Gunfire in DC by Marc Fisher etal. (report about fake news story in The Washington Post  Dec 6 2016)
"John Oliver hilariously explains YouTube conspiracy theories" by Chris Smith (March 28 2016 post of video)

"Science vs Conspiracy: Collective Narratives in the Age of Misinformation" by Alessandro Bessi etal   Feb 2015

American Conspiracy Theories by J. Uscinski and J. Parent (more on this 2014 book from Oxford University Press)
"US Postal Service Joins Federal Ammo Purchases" (Apr 2014 article about conspiracy theory re government plan to drive up price of ammo)
"The Astounding Conspiracy Theories of Wall Street Genius Mark Gorton" by Hamilton Nolan (April 11 2014 article posted on
"NSA and Cryptography: Cracked Credibility" (of interest to conspiracy theorists, article in The Economist Sep 14 2013)
"From Global Warming to Fluoride--Why Do People Deny Science?" by A. Varki and D. Brower (May 25 2013 article on
The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies  by Michael Shermer (2011 book)
Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies by Arthur Goldwag (review of this 2009 book) 
"Skeptic: Paranoia Strikes Deep" by Michael Shermer (essay in September 2009 issue Scientific American
"The Paranoid Style in American Politics" by Richard Hofstadter (classic 1964 essay relevant to conspiracy theory)
Global Advanced Trait: Paranoia
Conspiracy Planet -- Alternative News & History Network
Conspiracy Digest
Skeptical Report on UN Agenda 21 viewed as "Smart Growth Communism" Conspiracy by Tea Partiers (article in March 2011 issue of Mother Jones)
The Listener, by Timothy Lavin (Jan 2010 Atlantic article re: Coast to Coast AM's "conspiratorial worldview")
Coast to Coast AM Radio Show website  (popular talk show build around a "conspiratorial worldview") 
The American Denial of Global Warming (12/12/2007 UCTV program looks at reasons for this)
"Fantasy Island" by Jacob Weisberg ("conspiracy thinking is flourishing on the right" May 2011 Slate article)
Donald Trump's New Obama Conspiracy Theory by Michelle Goldberg (Apr 2011 post on The Daily Beast)
"UFO Encounter Revealed After Almost 40 Years By Ex-Military Pilot" (April 2012 story from The Huffington Post)
UFOs in the FBI's Vault by Mike Krumboltz (April 2011 report on conspiracy theory involving FBI) 
Mrs. Paine's Garage (and the Murder of JFK)  by T. Mallon (2003 book w/ good discussion of conspiracy theories)
Conspiracy Theories (1999 article,  from atheist perspective) 
Post 9/11 Conspiracism (from Political Research Associates Website)
"The Paranoid Style in American Politics" by Richard Hofstadter (summary of this 1964 essay by historian)
Criticism of Conspiracism, by Chip Berlet  (subtitled Conspiracism and Right Wing Populism)
Conspiracism as a Flawed Worldview
Conspiracy Theorists (organization challenging conspiracism)
Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From, by Daniel Pipes-Washington Post bookreview
The Roots of Conspiracy Denial (another review of Pipes' book) 
quotes involving conspiracy and related terms

back to Theme Choices version 4.0 structure

"As you shop in "The Reality Marketplace" avoid spending your "reality cash" too early,  before you have seen everything. " 
from Coming of Age in the Global Village,  by Stephen P. Cook,  with Donella H. Meadows.