We were ALL conspiracy theorists once
I have noticed an tendency towards conspiracy theories among the ex-jw community. Others, like myself are allergic to anything that hints of belief in a conspiracy. Then it occurred to me that this should not be surprising; the teachings of the borg amount to a conspiracy theory more fanciful than anything ever promoted by David Ike and his ilk (see what I did there?)
To be a JW you have to believe that the world is under the secret control of an invisible wicked spirit whose principle aim is to disrupt the lives of the group you belong to. Every bad thing that happens is attributed to this secret enemy known only to those “in the know”.
You accept that you have inside information hidden form the rest of the world about the biggest event in history that any day will see the obliteration of more than 99% of earths population, you also know exactly who will survive this event – you and your fellow conspirators.
You must be convinced that all religious beliefs are misguided apart from the ever-changing views of the one tiny organisation, which you happened to discover.
One day soon the collective member states of the United Nations, apparently bored with dealing with real issues, will focus their combined might against your little group.
You must accept that the creator of the universe communicates his will via a tiny group of 9 or 10 old men, whose names you hardly know, who meet in secret sessions in an office in NY.
Is there any conspiracy theory more extreme than this, and this is only the tip of a huge incongruous iceberg, as we all know.
Is it years of borg training that makes people vulnerable to this kind of thinking, or does the borg attract people with this sort of view?
I think my tinfoil hat is very becoming, thank you very much.
Personally, I think the reason XJWs are drawn to conspiracy theories is because it's so much in vogue now among mainline Christians. But think about that for a minute... The Illuminati, Freemasonry, New Age, etc. etc. are HUGE subjects of speculation amongst non-JW Christians. And these are folks who have many diverse and sometimes vague opinions about eschatology and end-times scenarios. Now consider the WT for a minute. They claim that Satan rules the world and that the New System is imminent. "Satan controls everything outside of the org" is being hammered and hammered and hammered. "Stay away from the Internet" is being hammered and hammered and hammered.
Now don't you think it's a little odd that the WT, who is obsessed with avoiding Satan's snares, seeing him under every rock, behind every bush, wanting to protect the flock at every turn... never, EVER, even MENTIONS any of these occult groups? For the world's most eschatology-obsessed end-times org, wouldn't you think that this would at least merit a cursory mention from the WT? But they're not even blips on the radar!
DUN DUN DUN!
I've read some serious works on conspiracy theories, and the psychology of their adherents. In the view of some of these writers (sorry I don't have a reference in front of me at the moment) conspiracy theories impart to things to true believers. One is that the impose what looks like some sort of order on a world that is inherently chaotic. The other is a feeling of self-importance that attaches to those "in the know."
Both of these apply to JW's. There is a neat explanation for EVERYTHING, and they get to feel protected by "God's organization." They also get to spend lots of time telling each other how they are better than everybody else. I'm sure it attracts a number of people who need that sort of thing.
Looking back I would say I was one of those people. Then I grew out of it.
Some of these "conspiracy theories" are proving true (like the global warming scam, intended to globally control everyone on the planet and usurp their value). However, I do not think Satan is responsible for the situation (and I have read a lot of these sites where they claim population reduction is their agenda, and most are sponsored by Christian denominations).
Yes, I believe we are in for a global totalitarian system. But, the motive is profits. The big, dishonest companies want a monopoly on all our necessities, and have for decades. Now, they are in a position to implement global laws (like Codex Alimentarius and the global warming flop). Now, why is this not specifically to reduce the population? Because dead people do not add to profits for chemical producing companies. Dead people do not eat (or support agri-chemical business). Dead people do not use prescription drugs. Dead people do not produce value. Dead people do not buy the crap that the companies supporting this totalitarian system want to sell.
And I also believe that Satan cannot be leading us in this direction (if anyone, it would be Jehovah Himself). Satan tried to lead mankind away from one tyranny in the very beginning, and would therefore be against his nature to lead us into another one. I am not looking for any Jehovah to rescue us, either--as with the profiteers that want to eliminate competition, Jehovah simply wants us distressed so He can pull off more scams for future generations. He cannot deliver a people that has delivered itself.
"I have noticed an tendency towards conspiracy theories among the ex-jw community."
... a meta-conspiracy theory
I enjoyed this post, Cofty.
Thanks leavingwt, when I look back at what I used to believe, not the details of doctrine but the big picture, it really does sound rediculous.
One is that the impose what looks like some sort of order on a world that is inherently chaotic. The other is a feeling of self-importance that attaches to those "in the know."
JeffT I think those two factors are crucial. I'm sure there are strong evolutionary reasons why we try to find a reason to explain life's events. It is more comforting to think somebody is in control, even if they are malevolent than to live with chaos. Its interesting too when you even very gently challenge a conspiracy theory how quickly and aggressively its supporters react and accuse you of blindness or stupidity.
The "truth" is the ultimate conspiracy theory - as you say we grew out of it (at least some of us did)
I agree with your sentiments cofty. Having been a JW should make us reluctant to fall into trusting another all-encompassing world story, while at the same time it should make us slow to mock those who do still find some use for such stories.
I tried to express my point of view on a thread on a similar subject a while ago:
Conspiracy Theorists are WAC