Conspiracy theories are a lot like Gnosticism.
They claim that only an enlightened few know what is actually going on in the world and what almost everyone else knows is a lie; that the knowledge available to the average person on the street is unreliable
The true believer who spreads these conspiracies is like the member of a mystery cult: in the “know” no matter how disconnected from important events he or she may be, no matter how unreal their imagined scenarios are in the face of realities.
And by implication, most people trying to make their way in the world and care for their families, who have almost no time for anything but work, and precious little time for reflection, have not the first clue (again, according to the conspiratorially-obsessed).
Only the most centered and widely-informed persons can resist the temptation to superiority, false certainty, and preoccupation that often follows this phenomenon.
The theories prey on those who live in understandable apprehension (in moments like this one) and increase the every day anxiety of many. Conspiratorial whispers and broadcasts are a scourge, as destructive on human trust and brotherhood as a virus to the human body.
I cannot believe how many who trust in Christ are manipulated and misled in their daily lives by what is so often nonsense.
And obsession with wild speculations steals energy from the sort of practical imitation that the Spirit empowers in us when we take time to contemplate the life of Jesus: care for the stranger, the prisoner, the sick, the hungry and thirsty, the naked, the sex slave, the widow, and the orphan. It’s sexier to tell others about a fearsome secret cabal that controls everything and everyone.
The good news is that the Gospel — the things that God has done to make the world right again, what God has done to secure everyone’s future — is public information, available to everyone. And this Gospel, this Love, casts out fear.
• Kenneth Tanner, Love Rules the World, Not Conspiracy