It’s gotten a lot more convenient to promulgate such fare, though. The public can find their own conspiracy “niche” anywhere on the Internet, Mr. Farley said, augmented with tweets and message boards suited for die-hards who detect conspiracies everywhere, as well as people seeking to form their own cogent argument.
This week, the arguments — cogent and otherwise — contend that bin Laden was a CIA operative who died years ago. “Peace Mom” activist Cindy Sheehan, who now is an online radio host, supports this idea.
Rock guitarist Jim Corr, a “truther” who believes that the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers was masterminded within our own borders, thinks bin Laden died a decade ago. He’s already created a parody movie poster emblazoned with the motto “Obama Zombie 6: They dug him up and killed him again.”
In Pakistan, the news media, as well as many local residents, claim that the U.S. staged bin Laden’s death for a variety of reasons, and now demand “proof,” according to Radio Mashaal, a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty project. Similar rumors have persisted in Middle Eastern news accounts.
All this activity could be reflection of the world we live in, and how we deal with it, however.
“I believe that much of what we hear about the conspiracy theories is indeed the product of coping mechanisms individuals have developed to deal with current world events, the terrorist acts on 9/11 and the fears and stressors that surround those events,” said David Solly, a psychology professor at the University of the Rockies.
“Coping is the set of active efforts we make to master, reduce or tolerate the demands created by stress,” he added. “We find many creative methods to do this, of which conspiracy theory certainly can be one.”
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