Here’s a theory on the fate of conspiracy theorists | Whale’s Tales

If you try to reason with people like that, that the conspiracy they are going on about isn’t real, you become part of the conspiracy and are trying to hoodwink them.

I have written before about the countless goofy conspiracy theories making the rounds and those who believe in them.

Like the following gems, which has courteously compiled for its readers.

Satan placed dinosaur bones on Earth to trick people into “abandoning” God.

President Joe Biden has been replaced by a double.

April is the U.S. government’s blood sacrifice season.

The Earth is flat, not round — incidentally, a conspiracy involving untold thousands of people who haven’t ratted each other out over three millennia.

To the majority of us with enough of our wits left to see these for what they are, it comes as a shock to realize people actually believe or have believed in them.

Of course, not all conspiracy theories are silly. A clutch of conspirators did assassinate Julius Caesar. John Wilkes Booth and his gang of half-wits conspired to kill Abraham Lincoln and members of his cabinet. And a coterie of German officers conspired to blow up Adolf Hitler.

Yet there exists an additional category of conspiracy theories that is neither laughable nor true. I am talking about the ones either engineered or exploited by clever people to drain gullible suckers of their money or to win them to a cause.

Once the bad guys get the bit in their mouth, they run with it, eager to scatter their nonsense among the prone to paranoia, stoking their suspicions and sucking up the money they shell out in fear.

Let’s be blunt. They’re about turning people into B.S. addicts.

Morally, ethically, there are things people should not make their bread from. Drug dealing, child pornography and murder for hire come to mind.

I regard these purveyors of paranoia to the gullible no better than drug dealers. Both represent a cancer on our world and on our national life that will end us.

Gets too close to madness for my comfort.

In 1976, I saw an alcoholic in the end stages of his disease, in the throes of delirium tremens on a street in New York City’s Chinatown. Dead eyes, covered in rags, could barely lift his head off the street to meet the stares of the morbidly curious.

Is there a like end-stage for conspiracy addicts?

I have solid grounds to predict the product will be a populace too suspicious to trust the multiplication table, to believe in the color of the shirt they are wearing, or to believe that a dog is, in fact, a dog, not a cleverly disguised government spy contrived to watch them.

Problem is if you try to reason with people like that, that the conspiracy they are going on about isn’t real, you become part of the conspiracy and are trying to hoodwink them. Then comes the day they will believe in nothing but what they have cooked up in their heads.

Then you have a nation that is no longer united on anything — only individuals gripped by an unshakeable faith in their own certainty and infallibility.

Certain they may be, but not infallible; one may be sincere yet sincerely wrong.

At that point we will cease to be one nation. We will only be, to paraphrase a line from C.S. Lewis’ “Preface to Paradise Lost,” a collection of non-windowed and non-communicating monads, each occupied by a person who, unbeknownst to all of the others in their monads, has crowned himself pope and king.

Let me know what you think.

Robert Whale can be reached at