Now more than ever, we hear the terms "conspiracy" and "conspiracy theorist" trotted out whenever an individual questions a media or government narrative. The words themselves come with an awful lot of emotional and unstated baggage: crazy, unfounded, baseless, lunatic. And worse, we are told that those who engage in talking about – and presumably, therefore, amplifying – these so-called conspiracies are a danger to democracy. They put us all at risk.
If the last few years have taught us anything in our ongoing political education, it's that conspiracy theories often turn out to be accurate, while the accepted narrative is, in fact, often a conspiracy.
Consider for a moment British author and renowned conspiracy theorist David Icke. Icke has been much maligned for his views and is considered little more than a laughing stock by most news outlets in Britain. Yet, he is often proved right despite the mockery.
For many years, Icke talked about Jimmy Savile, a BBC television presenter and friend to Queen Elizabeth II. He publicly accused Savile of being a prolific child molester and a sexual predator on a grand scale and the BBC of helping to cover up his crimes. Crazy stuff, right? Icke was labeled a conspiracist and shunned by the media – until after Savile's death.
When Savile died in 2011, the floodgates opened. More than 300 accusations were made public, and a wide-ranging investigation covering 14 police jurisdictions ultimately proved Ic...