What’s So Mesmerizing About Conspiracy Theories?

Why do so many people want to immerse themselves in the adrenaline-stimulating suspicion, negative emotion, and often illogical beliefs that are the hallmark of conspiracy theories? What causes some people to fall headlong into the search for secret malevolence? Why do we like to “take sides”? What’s the payoff? These questions make me want deeper insight into what goes on in the minds of so many people.

Of course, conspiracies are nothing new. It’s just that they’re raising their ugly heads today on a grander scale than ever before. Conspiracy theories, disinformation, fake news, and hate speech seem to be taking over our lives, much as sarcasm, meanness, and dominator/victim personalities were popularized by Reality TV shows not long ago. Given an outlet for hostility and betrayal, people now feel there is permission to publicly air every ounce of their stinky, dirty laundry — and be proud and loud about it. Social media has allowed cowardly people to hide irresponsibly while bullying, belittling, ridiculing, insulting, and maligning others. It’s all part of the reinforcement of defensive behaviors that have been accepted — and excused — as normal for thousands of years, even though we know they aren’t desirable or “right.”

Though these behaviors have long been part of the human repertoire, and hate-based conspiracies have committed unspeakable crimes against large populations throughout history, this venting of subconscious fear in today’s world has expanded to a global scope. And yet, looking through the surface of its physical motivations and repercussions, I can see a more positive purpose.

There is a process of profound transformation happening in the world today. It is activating and amplifying the dissolution of fear-based thinking, emotion, and action as a prerequisite for a more transparent life based on clear perception and compassion. That means everything we’ve been shocked and traumatized by is surfacing to be reckoned with. We are facing and trying to clear our subconscious mind of the blocks that create suffering. Or, we’re reacting against the sudden flood of fear and danger, feeling overwhelmed and helpless at a visceral level.

Let’s look back a bit to understand something about the origin of conspiracy and see why today’s transformation is causing it to receive so much attention.

The Rise of Polarization

We are a social bunch and there is a tendency to bond with people who have similar inclinations, beliefs, and behaviors. Researchers say this kind of consciousness originated long ago in hunter-gatherer tribal societies. Tribal groups had to have a kind of radar about being attacked by another tribe vying for territory — and that trained them to look for what might go wrong, what could be life-threatening. It was also a matter of survival to fit in with your group. Not sharing the beliefs of the community could mean punishment or banishment; in a wild world, that was a truly dangerous physical proposition. So we might assume that looking for potential dangers and resisting new knowledge and facts — to protect the tribe’s traditions and beliefs — was an evolutionary, even genetic adaptation.

Over time, what began as a survival instinct turned into vilifying the negative, nasty parts of someone else’s underbelly. What was too different was repulsive and hated; we were heavily influenced by religious, political, racial, sexual, or gender-related biases. Large groups of people found identity in being right-and-safe by being in opposition to others they believed were wrong-and-dangerous. Many groups started vocal, activist movements aimed at what they hated, ridiculed, and thought should be attacked and destroyed. It’s us against them. These tendencies have evolved to present day, showing up as deep irrationality and hate speech that can easily be broadcast to millions — who can join movements from the comfort and safety of their own home.

So this is part of what has caused polarization to reach extreme levels. And by that I mean the two poles of the opposition can barely hear, see, or even want to understand the other. They have their own news outlets, logic, explanations for world events, and ways to solve problems. Extreme polarization is a main cause of the proliferation of conspiracy theories.

Extreme Opposition in Today’s World

To understand conspiracy itself, we need to better understand why polarization is amplifying globally. In my Oracle Letter at the start of 2020, I said that the word I got for the year was “bifurcation.” It means: the division of something into two parts. There is a bit of logic behind this — and ironically, it’s based on my intuitive observations about what’s happening in the energetic reality of individuals, countries, and the world. In a nutshell, I observe that:

1. The frequency or vibration of our reality has been increasing steadily for years and is now quite high. It means our bodies vibrate more intensely and it’s easy to feel dissonant and uncomfortable because we’re moving beyond our old comfort zone. What we know as normal functioning is changing and we feel destabilized. Our personal operating system is upgrading just as often as our computer’s OS is!

2. The high vibration increases the frequency of the subconscious mind, and the fears, traumas, and ancient survival beliefs we buried there cannot stay in place. They are too low-frequency (fear-based) and pop up to the surface of our conscious mind where they show up in daily reality.

3. When a subconscious fear reappears, it often reenacts as an actual event, reinforcing the original fear; at the same time we have a chance to clear the fear. But of course, mainly, we try to re-suppress what’s threatening. The more we avoid things, the more anxiety, stress, depression, addiction, PTSD-like conditions, and hair-trigger emotional reactions we experience. Eventually the suppressed energy can produce accidents, illness, violence, or even death.

4. When subconscious fears arise, they create a sense of danger that usually translates into Us vs. Them scenarios. Subconscious fears produce polarization.

5. We see people being proud of being narcissistic, autocratic, and dominating. And, being unconscious and insensitive about hurting others who don’t agree with their worldview. We also see victims of every sort.

6. This process, as it reaches high-intensity, facilitates extremism between conservative and liberal groups, as well as between people who believe in and champion distrustful, self-protective behaviors, and people who are trying to clear themselves of fear and develop trust. When things polarize so much, contrasting groups live in nearly separate realities. So here we are! BIFURCATION.

I’ve said in my books that we are in a bridge time between an old reality based on old linear perception and an entirely new reality based on new spherical-holographic perception. You don’t need to know how the new perception works right now (see my book Leap of Perception for that), but suffice it to say we are in the midst of a Great Global Confusion! This transformational shift, as it begins to occur, causes uncertainty, insecurity, and a resulting need for many to defend the “old” ways that have worked for survival so far. Perfect fertile ground for conspiracy theories!

Conspiracy, Ironically, Had an Innocent Start

It’s interesting to me that the word conspiracy derives from something quite innocent and good. It originally meant to breathe together. Over the years it has taken on a more murky and sinister connotation — it now means: A suspicion that a group of actors have secretly joined together to plan unlawful, harmful, or evil acts. The definition suggests that conspiracies are planned by enemy groups: They are (breathing together) to try to harm Us.

In medieval times, many thought that secret societies like the Illuminati were trying to control the world. Some demonized the Jews for killing Christ or for poisoning wells that caused the Black Plague. In the French town of Blois, for example, in 1171, all the members of the local Jewish community were burned at the stake. During various periods women were branded as witches and accused of spreading diseases, making crops fail, having sexual intercourse with the devil, sacrificing unbaptized children, and cooking the bone marrow of first-borns to create magic creams. Between 1400 to 1782, it is estimated that between 40,000 and 60,000 people were executed for witchcraft in Europe. During the various Inquisitions, which unbelievably lasted from the end of the 12th century to 1826, the Catholic Church persecuted alleged “heretics” — be they Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Albigensians, Cathars, Knights Templar, or scientists. Some historians estimate that millions were killed.

In more recent United States history, in the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy stirred up a huge conspiracy theory and launched a hostile campaign against supposed Communists in the US government and other institutions. Many of the accused were pressured to testify against friends or colleagues; they were blacklisted or lost their jobs, even though most did not in fact belong to the Communist Party. The term “McCarthyism” has since come to mean defaming people’s reputations through the practice of making widely publicized and unfair allegations, based on unsubstantiated charges and doubtful investigative techniques, especially to restrict dissent or political criticism.

What Researchers Say

Researchers have found that in modern times, many conspiracies center around what is seen as the struggle of hardworking citizens vs. a corrupt, greedy elite. Right-wing groups tend to demonize ethnic and religious minorities, while left-wing groups promote theories about banks and multinational corporations trying to control the world. Though conspiracy theories occur most at political extremes, both on the left and right, they are stronger with conservatives than liberals. Conservatives are more apt to believe in conspiracy theories because they are more likely to exhibit the predispositions that foster conspiracy thinking, such as the need to control uncertainty.*

Conspiracy theories can provide explanations that allow people to preserve their beliefs in the face of disquiet and contradiction. When facts contradict someone’s predispositions, new information is interpreted according to previously held world views. Conspiracy theories must align with a person’s existing set of predispositions to be adopted.

When people are alienated from the political system, faced with purposelessness, lack of understanding of their social reality, or have a strong need for external validation, a conspiracy may be a welcome comfort and distraction. And, if people feel their social group is undervalued, discriminated against, or under threat, they are more susceptible to conspiracies against them; believing in enemy conspiracies might even be a defensive way of identifying with their group and asserting their status.

Deeper Underlying Causes

When I “feel into” people’s need to jump on a conspiracy bandwagon, I sense there is often an unconscious desire to feel unique and special, like, “I have this rare, secret, important information, and you don’t!” This fits with research findings that report there is an indication that people with a high level of narcissism and authoritarianism are likely to believe conspiracy theories. It’s less about warning others of real, imminent danger as it is about attracting attention.

Or is it paranoia that attracts us to conspiracies? “The world isn’t safe because I was never safe in my childhood. I must keep my eye peeled for anything that might possibly go wrong to threaten my existence. The world ‘outside’ is a big, bad place that can surprise and hurt me and I need some control. I must gather all the information I can to be prepared.” This kind of underlying pattern produces victim and dominator consciousness. Either you’re helpless and need a savior or you’re a hero who protects everyone and takes care of everything — alone.

It may go farther if the conspiracy advocate vociferously stirs up negativity, confusion, and chaos. And even farther if they participate in destructive or violent behavior. Then it feels as though they are unconsciously punishing someone or some situation from their past that they feel has wronged or wounded them. It’s become deeply personal and reactionary — and all about blame and payback.

I know people who don’t listen to the news media but research things online to discover how the real truth is the opposite of what the media tell us. It often involves a big mysterious group of powerful, insanely wealthy people who move money around via “charities” and wars, who control the “little people” by keeping us in fear of each other and the government. There are hoaxes. There are threats. There is unending distraction and sleight of hand. Perhaps this is the “Deep State,” officially defined as: a conspiracy theory that says collusion and cronyism exist among political, military, and top-level finance and industry leaders, that this constitutes a hidden government within the legitimately elected government.

Recently, there is QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that alleges a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles rule the world, running a global child sex-trafficking ring, and they control politicians, the media, Hollywood — everything. And only Donald Trump knows about the evil wrong-doing and can save everyone. He is the chosen one. Paranoia, anyone? Any would-be heroes available? Are we back in the Middle Ages?

What Are the Payoffs?

So what do people get from believing in conspiracies? Perhaps it’s the same thing for every type of conspiracy: You don’t have to face something that terrifies you. You don’t have to see that what you fear or hate is in you, in the ideas you hold, and that you can do something about it. You can distract yourself and take the pressure off by blaming others. You don’t have to be creative to find a win-win solution with “the other side” — you’re just out for yourself or your group, after all. You don’t have to understand how both sides of a polarity contain the same core fear but deal with it in opposite ways.

So What?

My question is, even if a cabal of powerful people are trying to control the world for their own greed (or cannibalism): What are you going to do about it? Why does it help you to know something like this? Are you going to get out ahead of it? Become a world leader and join it or expose it? Will knowing and believing this help you be a better person? And if you do take action — violently — is it going to accomplish what you want? Or will it only precipitate a backlash in kind? And if you do succeed and become the dominant one or group, will you be any different from the ones you opposed?

Do you believe that a group of left-brained, ego-bound, totally physically oriented people can control this superhero planet in its evolutionary path? Do you experience that the small tactics of the left brain, in its basic fear-avoiding modality, could ever be more powerful than even one soul, functioning at full capacity? Do you really think all those power-hungry, greedy people are ever going to agree on a unified plan and not try to one-up each other, and use and manipulate each other with the ego’s bag of dastardly tricks? Or that they won’t eventually turn on each other and reap what they sow? And do themselves in?

And, does hating minority groups help you be a better person? How about depriving people of education, a decent income, or health care? Does it help you, or them, become better people — and thus improve the world that looks so dire right now? Does disruption and destruction really work to create a reality that’s the opposite of disruption and destruction? When we choose to invest attention in conspiracy theories, expecting the worst of others, saturating ourself with fear, anxiety, and paranoia, it simply prevents the soul, and all its wisdom, from shining through — and feeds the reality we oppose.

We can add energy into more pain and suffering, or stabilize ourself by becoming the soul-in-the-body, recognizing flow-blocking left-brain domination and ego strategies, and choosing to practice principles like kindness, generosity, the Golden Rule, understanding, gratitude, service to those in need, and trust in yourself as a good, valuable person. If we give our energy away to conspiracies, we stall those realizations and actions. If we practice not being polarized, not taking sides, we learn to see the big picture, the wholeness. Then we develop clarity — and experience more love.

When you choose harmony, there may be times your clarity and common sense tell you that something is not in alignment with the universal principles of truth and compassion — but instead of moving into fear, reactionary thinking, and blame, you’ll know if it’s appropriate to take action and what action to take. You’ll know if you want to stand up for a principle, or let a commotion simply subside. You’ll know if a situation is actually dangerous or a projection of your past programming. And, you’ll know whether you’re truly “breathing with” someone on your spiritual wavelength, or not.





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Penney Peirce

Penney Peirce


Penney Peirce is a respected clairvoyant empath, counselor, lecturer/trainer & author of 10 books. Her main topics are intuition, perception & transformation.