Conspiracy Blindness — Normalcy Bias on Steroids

Conspiracy Blindness: a man wearing tinfoil hat
The symbol of conspiracy blindness: a man wearing a tinfoil hat in order to ridicule those who mention conspiracies. Photo: Ordercrazy (cc0 1.0) via

Have you ever noticed how you react when someone mentions the word “conspiracy?” Americans, for the most part, seem to have a special kind of reaction—an instant revulsion or disdain. I even found myself reacting this way and noticed that my internal feeling or response was illogical. I have also noticed that people in the Philippines don’t react this way. One other researcher (StormCloudsGathering) has also noticed this in several European and Third World countries. Americans are special (peculiar) in their illogical rejection of the conspiracy idea.

What is a conspiracy? Quite simply, it is when two or more people talk about committing some unethical or illegal act. This happens every day. In fact, a strong case could be made that conspiracies happen several times a minute, on average. In academia alone, millions of American college students admitted to cheating on exams, quizzes or projects. Some of them conspired to do this with others. Even if only 1 million American college students cheated in collaboration with others, this amounts to 1 conspiracy a minute, on average. And that’s only for college students and only for those in America.

Every time two or more siblings or friends talk about disobeying their parents, they are conspiring. It’s a conspiracy. When you look at it this way, there is nothing very spooky or kooky about conspiracies. It’s merely an extension of selfishness or self-concern.

Conspiracy Blindness Reality Check

Conspiracy Blindness: Haldeman and Ehrlichman.
No conspiracy blindness here. Watergate scandal players, Haldeman and Ehrlichman discuss policy, 1973, aboard Airforce One. PD

Consider the following statements.

  • Murders never happen.
  • Robberies never occur.
  • Bankers never get greedy.
  • Government leaders never lust for more power.

If you agree with any of these, then you may as well stop reading, now. Of course these are not true. They happen all the time. And quite frequently two or more people are involved. Conspiracies. Lots of them.

So, why do Americans have an aversion to talking about them?

In our culture, we’ve become accustomed to the idea that crazy conspiracy theories are equivalent to all conspiracy theories. Some theories are based on bizarre imagination, while others are based on facts and evidence. But why the knee-jerk reaction?

A Reason Behind Conspiracy Blindness?

Conspiracy Blindness: CIA HQ - Source of Conspiracy Blindness?
CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia. Could this be the source of America’s conspiracy blindness? Photo: Carol M. Highsmith (PD)

How did Americans become so skittish over this word and the expanded version—”conspiracy theorist?” Was this part of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird? Was it part of some other program to affect the general public by manipulating the American news media? Oooo-oo, conspiracy! Was Operation Mockingbird itself a conspiracy? Was the CIA authorized to operate within the United States in this capacity?

I had heard for years that the American news media is biased, but never believed it until I moved outside of the United States. Then it became obvious. Suddenly, I saw the fallacy of American war as “peacekeeping actions.” Hitler would likely love to have used this Orwellian euphemism.

The bias has become so bad, though, that mere facts and questions have been labeled “conspiracy theory.” For instance, question the official theory of 9/11 and you’re instantly labeled a “conspiracy theorist.” Yet, when this is pointed out, it becomes obvious that questions are not theories and questions, by themselves, don’t necessarily have anything to do with conspiracies.

Talk about facts of 9/11 that contradict the official conspiracy theory and you are called a “conspiracy theorist” by some of the more hardened believers in the mainstream viewpoint. But facts are never theories and facts do not necessarily have anything to do with conspiracies.

News reporters seem to be afflicted with this malady. Are they scripted to call facts “conspiracy theories?” Or were they brought up believing this?

Conspiracy Blindness: George Bush and 9/11
9/11 and George Bush. Conspiracy blindness: Who really was behind 9/11? New York Photo: National Park Service (PD), via Wikipedia. Bush Photo: Agência Brasil (CC BY 3.0), via Wikipedia.

Talk to anyone caught up in conspiracy blindness about interesting facts which contradict the popular view and quite frequently they may say with strained politeness, “That’s an interesting theory.” Yet again, facts are never theories.

But the official theory of 9/11 is treated as fact merely because it has been repeated in the mainstream corporate media so often. When was there ever proof offered for their theory? Within a few short hours after the towers were struck, one government insider was on television telling the world that Osama Bin Laden likely did it. Clever. A murder investigation within minutes? How did they do it so fast?

Yet, years after 9/11, the FBI publicly stated that Osama Bin Laden was not on their list of most wanted criminals for 9/11, because they had too little evidence connecting him to the event. Bin Laden was convicted in the media before evidence was found. Has evidence ever been found?

There was one video which the American government claims has Bin Laden saying he did it, but a German researcher had the same video clip translated and found no such admission. Who do we believe?

Normalcy Bias Behind Conspiracy Blindness

Normalcy bias is a state of mind where people underestimate the possibility of disaster or the effects of a disaster. It’s a positive attitude that does not face reality.

Conspiracy Blindness: Neo's file.
Mr. Smith’s file on Thomas Anderson (Neo) in the 1999 movie, Matrix. Fair Use. From Warner Brothers and Village Roadshow. (Click to see larger.)

Don’t get me wrong. A positive attitude is a good thing and you can have one and still be fully aware of negative things going on around you. But being oblivious to negative things is crippling to one’s ability to respond adequately.

The opposite of this Pollyanna state of mind is the “worst-case thinking” bias. Both the positive and the negative are extremes of blindness, as is the case with all bias.

What’s the optimum attitude? Neutral. Merely observe what’s going on and don’t react to it. Don’t sugar coat it and don’t freak out. It is what it is. Create a positive outcome despite the negative potential.

Who Benefits from Conspiracy Blindness?

Conspiracy Blindness: Neo's Passport
Upside down, Neo’s passport showing expiration date 9/11/2001, two years in the future. Foreshadowing America’s expiration of freedom on the same date. Fair Use. From Warner Brothers and Village Roadshow. (Click to see larger.)

Who benefits? The most obvious ones to benefit from such conspiracy blindness are the conspirators themselves. With the majority of the public caught in conspiracy blindness and normalcy bias, the conspirators can do their thing more openly without arousing undue suspicions.

The perfect coup is one which uses the self-concern of the masses to have them ignore all talk of crimes and conspiracies.

If the movie industry were involved, they would create movies about upcoming false flag operations in order to acclimate the public to such an event and to diffuse any talk about government complicity. Clever. Has this ever been done?

Conspiracy Blindness: Dirt Ordinary cover
An entire book on the subject, showing how there are at least 489 new conspiracies starting every second. Click on the cover art to learn more.

Certainly this is a possibility. There are many tempting examples, but analyzing such coincidences, even if they are cause-and-effect coincidences, would do little to help us. Perhaps such awareness could help keep us from being unduly swayed or influenced by the media. Beyond that, though, such analysis may be a waste of time.

So, the next time you hear the word “conspiracy,” or term “conspiracy theorist,” think of the conspirator who may well be licking their chops and thinking, “Don’t look at us. We’re not here. There’s no bank robbery going on right now.”

It’s okay to let your imagination wander a little and to connect the dots in new ways. Sometimes, you might very well be right.

Perhaps the only thing you can do is to admire the conspirators for a pretty slick job. Shining a light on evil can sometimes work some mean magic.


StormCloudsGathering, /user/StormCloudsGathering

This article was originally published 2015:0317 on

2 thoughts on “Conspiracy Blindness — Normalcy Bias on Steroids

  1. Nice, very well written article, Rod! Yes, Americans are definitely afflicted by this terrible form of blindness that is enabling the conspirators to “pick us off,” one by one. As for why the public so easily succumbs to the propaganda surrounding conspiracies, it doesn’t help that many conspiracies are just plain absurd and many others are just plain improperly researched. This makes it almost impossible to discuss anything conspiratorial with the uninitiated. If you’re interested in an example of a well-researched conspiracy (and one that few people are even aware of), check out the article on my web site entitled “Two Coastal Marine Disasters and the Fingerprint of Malthus” ( Incidentally, this article is only part one of a multi-part series that hadn’t been completed. If you would like to know where this series is/was headed, please let me know and I’ll provide you with an overview. Just be forewarned: The air at the base of the rabbit hole is definitely stagnant and we’ll need some sort of breathing apparatus, not to mention good hiking boots, lighting and plenty of water. 😉 — the postman (

    P.S. I’m gonna have to read some of the other articles on your blog. If this article is any indication (and just based on the titles of other articles alone), I’m sure that I’m in for some good reading! Great job! And to think I was just wandering about on Patreon, trying to learn more about it when I found your page, lol! You’ve been bookmarked.


    1. Thank you, Postman. Sorry for the late reply. I have several websites, several YouTube channels and more going on and only intermittently get help with them all. Thanks for the wonderful comment and I’ll have to check out your link. Good stuff.

      And I agree. Someone has done a masterful job of muddying the waters on the topic of conspiracies. When I was teaching college, one of my students asked about a conspiracy and I had such an unexpected, knee-jerk reaction that I had to find out more. My research led to the creation of a book — Dirt Ordinary: Shining a Light on Conspiracies.

      You mentioned an overview. I’d love to know more. Please!

      Warmest regards,
      Rod Martin, Jr.


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