We all know that the 2000s began with an event that caused an extraordinary state throughout the world. Much has been written and said about the September the 11th attacks of 2001 in the USA. Some of what has been said completely deny official explanations. Others were outright denied by the authorities themselves. The concept of the “conspiracy theory” therefore came to be heard much more often. But what is a conspiracy theory?A conspiracy theory is an alternative explanation for a given event or situation that is developed by the public and that claims a cover-up is the case and that the events have something to do with unknown powers. Many people do not like conspiracy theorists, and are seen to be strange, paranoid and even attention seekers. There are some who even claim that such views are introduced by the government to stall the public and that they serve the political and economic interests of certain circles. Despite such reactions, the conspiracy theory has become an aspect of popular culture. It is said that societies which undergo long term political or economic collapse are more given to conspiracy theories. Scientific studies have established that people who see every action or phenomenon as something directed against themselves tend to belong to such societies. While it is true that many conspiracy theories have been proven to be unfounded, according to sociologist Mark Fenster, this does not mean that every conspiracy theory is necessarily false. The subtext of conspiracy theories is that the people generally distrust the system and believe in the existence of separate mechanisms at work. In the present age of information and technology, communications have changed. People now learn about many things very quickly and their perception is assailed by many things which they did not even suspect existed. This is not limited to information sharing; people who would have never met each other are now in constant communication. Therefore, almost everyone now has a platform through which to disseminate and even find support for the wildest ideas and the most unbelievable theories. This has ensured the spread and acceptance of conspiracy theories throughout society.Meanwhile, the intensity of information flow also leads us to doubt. Is all the information we receive true? All information needs to be confirmed in order to find the true and the useful. Scepticism is therefore on the rise. Such scepticism can then become directed at the political and the societal. Given how closely linked conspiracy theories are with the means of information exchange, it will not surprise us that such theories mostly originate in the USA and the West. It is also observed that the media keeps such theories constantly accessible, in line with public demand. Another factor which seems to keep such theories in exchange is terrorist attacks. Any terrorist action for which a cause is provided may lead one to believe that there is more that is kept hidden. It would not be an exaggeration to say that today’s political and international conjecture is a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theories. The dawn of the conspiracy theory is usually taken to be the Kennedy assassination. These theories may provide interesting oddities for people who are interested in alternative explanation for world history. There are many fascinating theories about assassinations of political leaders, religious figures, strange scientific explanations and aliens. Some are very difficult to take seriously, but it should not be forgotten that the world is often an irrational place. As Charles Dickens put it “Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.”
By Petek Şah