Conspiracy theories are appealing, because they give the world order. So much of what happens in our world is chaotic, and things happen without any discernible reason. Why do people shoot up movie theatres or elementary schools? How could one of the most beloved women in the world die in a car crash? Or how on earth could President Kennedy, the worlds most powerful man be killed by a crazed lone shooter? When tragic events occur people need a way to make sense of it. Yet often the answers do not satisfy, the culprits being random chance or some delusional loner driven to commit an act of violence.
That is partly why conspiracy theories are so popular. They turn random events like the Kennedy assassination into a part of a broader story. They present clear villains in the form of the CIA, Fidel Castro or
even the Federal Reserve. Kennedy’s death is no longer the abrupt end to a morally ambiguous presidency, but a villainous act by a shadowy few. It means that these organisations (most often governments) are indeed in control. Governments are not caught out by events, but behind them. This replaces their inadequacy with sinister intent, giving them the control politician’s claim to possess (except when things go wrong). It gives the world order, even if it is an evil order. In reality no organisations have absolute power, not the governments, the banks or the media. Things just happen. But perhaps a shadowy few controlling everything is a better explanation, than a universe where random tragic events just happen. Saying that things just happen is perhaps the scariest explanation of all.