[C]onspiracy theories are launched and spread by people who need an excuse for their powerlessness. And some psychologists warn that avid fans of conspiracy theories: those who go from one to another, are projecting themselves onto their own favorite theories. Living in a conspiracy theory is like living in a happy dream, where, even if you don’t get to be the person who toppled the towers and directed world events, you are now the person who knows the most about it, and thus, you have joined the “in” crowd.
Becoming an expert at a conspiracy theory (or a set of them) requires all the time and study that a useless, uneducated life can summon up and devote. And such expertise provides this student of the anti-academics of conspiracy theories with clout.
In a way, conspiracy theory addicts are shifting blame when they push their theories and develop new ones. If the towers came down because the Illuminati was behind things, or if the simple, inexpensive cure for cancer is being suppressed because the pharmaceutical companies would lose billions in sales of cancer therapy products, then ordinary people are let off the hook. You see, we are just not as morally responsible for our lives, our society, our country, our economy, if everything is actually being controlled by super-secret power brokers who decide, ultimately, who lives and who dies and who gets left alone.