The term conspiracy theory conjures up images of incel-like lunatics, blabbering nonsense about political elites engaging in cannibalism. To be a conspiracy theorist is to be a flat-earther or a member of the 9/11 ‘truth’ movement. A conspiracy theorist is someone who believes in the second coming of JFK Jr. and that Tupac Shakur is still alive and kicking, hiding out somewhere in Malaysia.
In other words, the term ‘conspiracy theory’ is loaded with negative connotations. But why?
Sure, many conspiracy theories are outlandish, delusional, and downright dangerous – but not all of them. As Kelly M. Greenhill, a psychologist who specializes in this very area, once said, “to describe all conspiracy theories with such a broad brush” is both “unhelpful” and “analytically misleading.”
She’s right. After all, what is a theory but an assumption, a notion, a hypothesis. And what is a conspiracy but a secret plan by two or more people to do something illegal and/or immoral.
Which brings us to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a man who conspired with Dr. Francis Collins to smear three eminent epidemiologists, with a “quick and devastating” take down. Call me a conspiracy theorist (no, really, please do), but this sounds a lot like a conspiracy to me.
As the aforementioned Greenhill noted, although “many conspiracy theories are false, crazy, and sometimes even dangerous,” other theories “are eventually revealed to be true, after which they are referred to as conspiracies—or simply crimes—rather than conspiracy theories.” Watergate anyone?
Dr, Collins and Dr. Fauci are not, to my knowledge, guilty of any crimes. However, they certainly appear to have conspired to defenestrate (to use the word of the moment) three highly-respected epidemiologists. Why? Because these three gentlemen had the audacity to outline the many ways in which extended lockdowns would ruin lives. The “cure,” they warned, would be many times worse than the disease.
Speaking of diseases, let’s discuss the origin of the virus.
For the best part of two years, anyone who dared to utter the words ‘Wuhan’ and ‘lab leak’ in the same sentence has been called every name under the sun, from idiotic to racist. Worse still, the name callers have, either knowingly or otherwise, continuously led us down preposterous paths. Take the likes of Forbes, for example, a paper with close ties to China. Up until very recently, the magazine dedicated to changing the world has worked tirelessly to change reality. Up until summer of 2021, prominent authors at Forbes have called the lab leak hypothesis a conspiracy theory. Why? It’s simple, and it has a lot to do with Donald Trump. Ever since the former president floated the idea that the virus originated in China, left-leaning publications, like the aforementioned Forbes, have done everything in their power to change the narrative. The virus has been, and continues to be, politicized, weaponized, and used as a tool to gaslight the masses.
Democracy, we’re assured, dies in darkness. However, the very ones promising to show us the light have led us down dangerous alleys, intentionally or otherwise. Those speaking the truth have been labeled liars; and those spreading the lies have sold themselves as truth tellers. Orwellian is an overused term, but it seems appropriate here.
As the author Matt Taibbi noted almost a decade ago, “conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game.” Well, many Americans are owed another apology. Will it come? Don’t hold your breath - especially if you are being forced to wear a mask.
The United States, we’re told, is no longer respected by its peers. Ask yourself why this is the case. Could it have anything to do with the leadership, or the lack thereof? Is it any wonder, then, that fears of a second civil war are at their highest point in decades? Countries have lost faith in the U.S. because tens of millions of Americans have lost faith in the US government. And who can blame them, especially when a man like Dr. Anthony Fauci, arguably the most influential man in America and a person with a history of highly deceptive behavior, calls the shots. He is, after all, still being sold as the voice of reason, a man of science, and the pinnacle of truth. But most American see through the façade. What about those who refuse to see through the façade, even when presented with actual evidence? This is why the country finds itself in such a precarious position. We have crossed the Rubicon. Reason, it seems, has been consigned to the dustbin of history. Are the lunatics running the asylum? Not quite. But the liars certainly are.
With a doctorate in psychosocial studies, John Mac Ghlionn works as both a researcher and essayist. A Brownstone Institute correspondent, his writing has been published by the likes of Newsweek, NY Post, The American Mind, and The American Conservative. He can be found on Twitter: @ghlionn, and on Gettr: @John_Mac_G