Conspiracy Susceptibility

By: Thomas E. Brewton

In theory, liberals are supposed to be rational materialists who dismiss the spiritual realm as fiction. Ironically, they are peculiarly vulnerable to the gnostic mysticism of conspiracy theories.

Conspiracy theories appear among people of all stripes of political, religious, and social beliefs. But since they 1960s they have been most evident among liberals.

Today’s exhibit A is the working paper prepared by professors Stephen Walt of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago. In it they contend that most of America’s major ills can be explained by the shadowy, but all-powerful, Israeli lobby that controls American domestic and foreign policy. Were it not for our support of Israel, they say, Bin Ladin and the bully boys of Al Queda would be on friendly terms with us.

Such conspiracy theories are the products of an inherent human tendency that is as old as human society. Early in the Christian era, St. Paul had to contend with the heresy of gnosticism, a mystical conspiracy doctrine in which there is a dualism between good and evil, which can be controlled by the special initiates in the mysteries of gnostic knowledge. The scientism, as opposed to true science, of socialism is a modern-day variant of gnosticism.

Modern era psychologists look for material factors in contemporary society to explain this proclivity, because their materialistic field of study is itself a product of French conspiracy theories that gave socialism and the Revolution of 1789 to the world. Fifty years later Karl Marx explained the problems of the newly-born industrial age as a conspiracy of the wealthy capitalists to exploit the workers.

In the 1960s C. Wright Mills wrote about the ‘power elite,’ the conspiracy of political, military, and industrial leaders who colluded behind the scenes to control the life of every citizen. In his 1991 movie “JFK” director Oliver Stone continued the liberal tradition, leaving subsequent generations of poorly educated American students firmly believing the preposterous theory that hundreds of thousands of people running the Department of Defense, the FBI, the CIA, Congressional committees, and the executive branch of the Federal government colluded to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.

Since 9/11, liberals have flooded the media and the internet with conspiracy theories is which President Bush controls (or is the puppet of) capitalist conservatives who instituted the invasion of Iraq to enrich Halliburton, and so on, ad infinitum.

Why are liberals particularly susceptible to such nonsense?

A major impetus is the nature of political collectivism. By definition liberalism necessitates aggregating its political subjects into economic and social classes. The mechanism for doing this is propaganda, as exemplified in the forty-year pamphleteering run-up to the French Revolution that put rampaging mobs into the streets. Social and economic classes must be made to believe that they are the victims of conspiratorial forces in order to justify punitive action against enemies of the socialist party. Hitler’s National Socialism would never have gained control of Germany without the propaganda genius of Joseph Goebbels, the master of the Big Lie.

People must be inculcated with the gnostic belief that only the collectivized political state can provide their salvation.

The cure for this paranoid perversion is the individualism of Judeo-Christian religion, not the massively organized churches, but the simple original elements of the Mosaic Covenant before the advent of kings of Israel, and of Jesus Christ’s emphasis on every individual’s responsibility to heed His call to morality and love of humanity, preached by St. Paul in the simple churches he founded around the Mediterranean.

Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776 (

About The Author Thomas E. Brewton:
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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