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Report Says 50% of People are Conspiracy Theorists: You’re Probably One of Them

Elizabeth Renter
May 20th, 2014
Updated 05/20/2014 at 12:34 am
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conspiracy theorist report 263x164 Report Says 50% of People are Conspiracy Theorists: Youre Probably One of ThemDo you believe the government actively works to suppress alternative medicine? Do you think they already know cell phones cause cancer and are simply refusing to do anything about it? Do you use nutritional supplements? If you responded yes to any of these questions, you could be the type of person that a new JAMA study paints as a simple-minded “medical conspiracy kook”.

Both the new study and the corresponding report from Reuters Health seem to look down on people like you and I (as readers of NaturalSociety), as if we don’t know any better -as if understanding medicine in the “right” way is a matter of intelligence and it’s not that we’ve come to our own ideas through research, but in an effort to make things simpler for our feeble minds.

“Science in general – medicine in particular – is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty,” said lead author J. Eric Oliver. “To talk about epidemiology and probability theories is difficult to understand as opposed to ‘if you put this substance in your body, it’s going to be bad.’”

To come to such conclusions about a large segment of the U.S. (and global) population, Oliver and his team surveyed 1,351 adults. Participants were asked to read “six popular medical conspiracy theories” and indicate whether they have heard of them and whether or not they agreed with them.

The questions included things like:

  • Cell phones causing cancer and the government refusing to act
  • GMOs being used for population control
  • The government suppressing alternative medicine
  • Vaccinations causing autism
  • HIV intentionally being sent into African American communities

Nearly half (49%) of participants agreed with at least one of the theories. About 37% thought the government actively works to suppress alternative medical treatments and 20% believed vaccinations cause autism.

“Although it is common to disparage adherents of conspiracy theories as a delusional fringe of paranoid cranks, our data suggest that medical conspiracy theories are widely known, broadly endorsed, and highly predictive of many common health behaviors,” reads the study in an ever-so-respectful tone.

The researchers indicate that those who believe in these “conspiracies” are more likely to take herbal supplements, clear evidence that they are idiots, the study seems to suggest.

“For people who don’t have a lot of education, it’s relatively easy to reject the scientific way of thinking about things,” said Oliver. He suggests doctors get in there and rectify the situation, educating their patients about the “truth”.

As the Alliance for Natural Health reports, the mockery of natural health claims, treatments, and theories is following a predictable path:

“At first ideas that challenge the conventional wisdom and entrenched interests are mocked. Then, as they begin to gain ground, they are studiously ignored (hush—don’t let people hear about this!). In the third stage, the establishment feels really threatened and fights tooth and nail to destroy the new ideas. When that fails and the new ideas finally triumph, the opponents simply shrug their shoulders and say: Oh, we knew that all along.”

From around the web:

  • jerry

    why do we in the US have exploding cancer rates? where’s the scientific research for that? . And remember when they told us Smoking cigarettes was healthy . Then we HAVE TO TALK ABOUT AUTISM but they won’t in any real unbiased debate. Do they think were really that dumb ? what it proves to me is how really DUMB they are to think we don’t know we are being lied to ………shall I go on? fu*&$kn retards

  • jerry

    you mean with us or the terrorists

  • Rudi Stade

    If you’re not with us you;re against us!

  • Jo

    Why do you think that Governments in Europe are saying that the majority people are not able to make adult choice in a referendum. There for governments should not have referenda at the first place! (Because the majority of people are against there plans at the first place!) So if people are knowing the truth they always find a way to make a statement so it looks like those people are stupid! But I believe that the majority of people are already waking up! Only it is hard to fight against it we should put all the strenght together to act where is possible!


  • Merlingen

    “Only dead fishes floating by the stream”. Those having their own mind working with a free mind. Can realy se whats going on, and WE all swim against the stream.

  • Free People

    YES YES YES to ALL, plus more that weren’t covered.

    As far as I’m concerned, JAMA, Reuters and anyone else who thinks these are UNFOUNDED, are ALL QUACKS anyway. They’re trying to cover up THEIR CONspiracies.

    Common sense is so rare these days it should be classified as a super power!

  • Frederikahere

    Being skeptical about putting poison into your body and thinking nothing bad will happen is a conspiracy theory? I thought it was just “common sense.”

  • sophianlvr

    I believe most of them. Sure would like the “true” version of all this. AND, I might add that it would be nice to know more about chem trails as well.

    • Jo

      Chemtrails is something I really worried about! Because, this is an attack on whole life!
      nano particals of aluminium: attack to our brain and Lungs!!! (Big Pharma is laughing big money to collect soon!) strontium and Barium: These are compounds that are making the soil acid! The soil that is used by trees, plants and crops and there will be a big problem to grow trees, plants and crops because of the problem caused by that!! (monsanto is already making the seeds ready which are capable to grow with acid soil!!) Just a few things I know about it!
      But the strange thing is that Politici are accepting them to spray the earth with all that poison in their airspace!!
      That has to be stopped as soon as possible.


  • Jacqueleen


    • jazzfeed

      Today, I and many, many others agree with you 101%. Yet at this point, shouting it from rooftops, let alone ranting in forums, is still PASSIVE, while the chemical and GMO onslaught CONTINUES 24/7. This whole scenario proves itself by this patronizing article, which in effect is really a semi-sophisticated defense of the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

      There is an ongoing OFFENSIVE against the population that is in high gear and blatantly in your face. To anyone who eats, hears, sees and reads, this is NOT just ignorance on the part of the industries involved, their shills (trolls), lobbyists (bribsters) and corrupt government colluders anymore – NO WAY. Anyone who considers such suspicions an unverified or imaginary theory has not looked at the OVERWHELMING corroborating evidence. To think that describing something as a ‘conspiracy theory’ means it doesn’t exist is simply dumb. Unfortunately, the dumb ones are sitting in Darwin’s waiting room.

      Is being defensive (e.g., reading labels, detoxing, supplementing, boycotting, eating organic, etc) enough to survive an aggressive, relentless offense in multiple spheres (food, water, air, drugs, BPA…)? It certainly is NOT sufficient in conventional war – you will lose, just a little more slowly. Losing slowly is not winning. It is empirically obvious this is offensive war by slow kill, not our imagination. But we do have the imagination to realize the consequences and need to USE IT. I’m not religious but I understand some calling what’s going on diabolical. We need to reframe our perception to FULLY REALIZE the scope and the consequences of what’s happening, get OFFENSIVE and destroy the forces generating this attack. Or die slowly AND MISERABLY on the allopathic conveyor belt, while we fail our descendants. Pick it up, brainstorm with your aware friends and do what you can NOW.

  • Undecider

    This is about them “owning the argument.” They are being ALLOWED to set the definitions of what a “conspiracy theorist” is. While holding their nose high, they will look down on use and use cheapening and marginalizing language.

    Why not put out a study to the reverse for people who believe in quack science and medicine? Really now, what kind of space case believes they can achieve natural immunity without breast milk? What kind of person thinks that pouring fluosilicic acid down their throats will strengthen their teeth?

    The “Elite” really don’t like mud being thrown in their faces. Give them plenty. They want to call us conspiracy theorists? Let’s return the favor and call them quacks.

    How dare we demean their BS ivory towers.

    • Gail L Ross, M.S.

      I am a conspiracy theorist and have been called it before. I am proud of it! Any health professional that purports alternative medicine or clean food is identified, discredited, sometimes terminated and always referred to as a quack by main stream medicine. Wait till the truth in that arena comes forth people will be shocked and filled with disbelief at the horrors that have gone on. Poisoning us is unmistakeable! We were not meant to be saturated in chemicals or heavy metals but then perhaps they figured the GMOs will make us more resistant just as it works for the seeds! How do we stop the insanity?

    • Jacqueleen

      boycott everything that they invest in…..hit them where it hurts…on the bottom line.

  • megan

    me too! and a smart one at that!

  • Abe

    All right!! I’m a raving LOON!!

    • Frederikahere

      Welcome to the club!