Tin-Hats Among Us?

by Chas Danner

PPP recently took the conspiracy-temperature of 1,247 registered voters.  An unimpressed Joshua Keating sums up the poll’s more sensational results:

Among the survey’s big findings are that 51 percent of Americans believe JFK was killed by a conspiracy, 21 percent believe a UFO crashed at Roswell, 13 percent believe Barack Obama is the antichrist, 7 percent believe the moon landing was faked, and 4 percent believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power.

He admits that while there are certainly some true believers out there who buy into theories like a global-warming hoax or Saddam Hussein being involved in the 9/11 attacks – he thinks the results are most likely skewed by the suggestible:

The day after April Fool’s Day is a good time to reflect on the fact that many of us are more suggestible than we’d like to admit. We’ve all had friends who have unquestioningly shared fake news stories on Facebook (There’s a whole blog devoted to them) or relatives who’ve forwarded us dubious conspiracy e-mails. The questions asked on the survey are detail-heavy and quite specific. For instance: “Do you believe Paul McCartney actually died in a car crash in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a lookalike so The Beatles could continue, or not?” We might hope that most people would say, no, of course not. If they had even heard of the theory, they would probably know that it was a running joke propagated by the Beatles themselves. But a significant number of people probably just heard all those facts and dates and though, “Huh, well I guess so.”