I've been thinking why a few here buy into things such as the Illuminati conspiracies, or secret alien takeovers of our society, the Masons taking over the world, and other far-fetched ideas. I'm sure there are an abundant number of reasons for this, some of which apply to people in general. But I think there are factors that are unique to those who have left high-control groups such as the WTS. Consider what a JW mind is subjected to:
* Belief that the whole world is secretly being controlled and manipulated by spirit forces.
* Taught that only they have the key knowledge of reality; that everyone else is blinded.
* Taught that everything in the news is really a result of the hidden conspiracy.
When such a person leaves the WTS, they can go in various directions. A proportion of those leaving decide, "Never again!" and refuses to listen to anything that hasn't got solid proof. A proportion of those leaving continue to think the WTS is right, and remain fearful of demons. And another group think the WTS is bunk, but that there really is another conspiracy at work. That's the group, already primed to be paranoid by the WTS, that continues to buy into these things. Replace, the words "spirit forces" above with "Masons" or "aliens" and you have their current belief.
Why don't I believe these things? I have been accused of having numerous motives for this, by several persons (this thread is not directed at any one person, but at an idea). I have been accused, either directly or implied, of being:
* A mason
* In the conspiracy myself.
In fact, I am none of those things. I am very open-minded -- I'll accept anything, just show me viable, testable evidence. I am not a mason, or an alien, or in the non-existent Illimunati. So why don't I believe these things, despite having reads dozens of web-sites full of information about them over the years? For one reason, and one reason only: Lack of viable, testable evidence.
The information presented at these sites are always the same: One person making lots of assertions, with no proof to back it up. "I know of one man, so-and-so, who had the following experience." "I once saw the reptilitian eyes myself!" and so on. Any references given are to other sites or books that contain the same lack of testable evidence. It always comes down, in essence, to 'believe me.'
Sorry, but I'm in the camp of exJWs that wants evidence first. I won't be fooled again by anyone. As it happens, I do believe in aliens, for I think it is highly unlikely the vast universe is devoid of life. In that, I am just like Carl Sagan, who desperately wanted to find evidence of the life he knew must exist in the universe, yet never found any. He investigated UFO evidence with great interest, for he wanted to believe. So do I. I would love to discover alien life among us. I would also be fascinated to discover a vast Masonic or Illuminati conspiracy. It would delight me to find such evidence. Alas, like Sagan, I've yet to find anything credible.
Yet I acknowledge that a JW background can easily prime a person to buy into these hidden conspiracies. I think the WTS, by teaching that the whole world is controlled by hidden spirit creatures, is doing a disservice to the minds of its followers. It engenders paranoia without providing evidence. The effects of this are seen among some exJWs.