Think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination?
According to a national poll released this week by Public Policy Polling on conspiracy theories, you are one of the few. In fact, a large number of participants believe in cover-ups and distrust government authority.
The poll tested 20 popular conspiracy theories including the belief in a UFO crash in Roswell, N.M., and the existence of Bigfoot.
Some of the most shocking figures include the 29 percent who believe aliens exist. There’s a small 4 percent who think “lizard people” are trying to control society and gain power. A group of 13 percent think President Barack Obama is the Antichrist and 14 percent believe the CIA was involved in creating a crack cocaine epidemic in America’s inner cities during the 1980’s.
Another common belief -- that a secretive power elite is creating an authoritarian world government called the New World Order -- is supported by 28 percent of poll participants. This popular theory is described in detail by a "documentary" called "Camp FEMA" on Conspiracy Reality TV.
In a recent article, IBTimes reporter Connor Adams Sheets deconstructed American conspiracy theorists who follow a tradition of questioning authority that may have begun as early as 325 AD.
Today, conspiracy theories thrive thanks to the Internet.
“The Internet provides the means by which people with ideas that would normally be considered fringe ideas can potentially reach a mass audience and can do it in ways that those ideas can then be picked up by other means of communication,” Michael Barkun, a professor emeritus of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, told IBTimes.
And although conspiracy theories may sound farfetched, many of their supporters are well-educated and determined to uncover the whole story behind world events.
“We are serious people who have high levels of qualifications for the research we’re doing in the belief that the American people are entitled to the truth about their own history,” James Fetzer, a conspiracy theorist and retired professor, told IB Times.
To see the entire results from Public Policy Polling click here.
Originally from Montreal, Zoë Mintz joined IBTimes in March 2013. A graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, her writing has...