Jewish space lasers, Part I
Conspiracy thinking and what to do about it
I’ve spent a good deal of time researching conspiracy mindsets. Marjorie Taylor Greene represents Northwest Georgia, where I lived for more than a decade. That little slice of America is about as “god-fearing” as it gets in the U.S. There is a correlation between religiosity and conspiracy mindset. The cognitive similarities are clear.1 In plain speak, those who believe in gods are also likely to believe in conspiracies. Praying and Jewish space lasers go together.
While I am mildly anti-theist, there is nothing wrong with being wrong as long as you aren’t inflicting your madness on anyone else. The problem is, people with dangerous and unhealthy fantasies are allowed to serve in American government, and that’s bad for everyone. Power should be kept far away from the Marjorie Taylor Greene type of humans. Greene wastes her own time and the resources of the American people on nonsense legislation.
A few examples of her lunacy:
Any Republican who supports the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a traitor;
Introduced the Old Glory Only Act to legislatively prohibit embassies from flying pride flags;
Attempted to block the Equality Act because it would, “destroy god’s creation”;
Referred to transgender women as “men playing dress up”;
In response to being questioned, “what is a woman?” she said, “We came from Adam’s rib. God created us with his hands.”
The list of kooky things she has said and done is much longer but I’m not writing a novel, so I will spare you more bullet points.
Research suggests that the link between religiosity and conspiracy thinking may be related to both mental states offering a sense of belonging, morality, and most importantly control over reality. Greene is a living example of what happens when the MAGA crowd touches power.
In 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire from a hotel room window overlooking an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people. Afterward, Greene suggested that the shooting might have been staged.
“How do you get avid gun owners and people that support the Second Amendment to give up their guns and go along with anti-gun legislation?” Greene asked in an online video. “You make them scared, you make them victims and you change their mindset and then possibly you can pass anti-gun legislation. Is that what happened in Las Vegas?”
“I don’t believe (Paddock) pulled this off all by himself, and I know most of you don’t either,” Greene said.
It is imperative that we add a mental health litmus test to the requirements for holding elected office. I speak as a U.S. citizen, but I believe that the world would be a much kinder and hospitable place if everyone demanded that conspiracy thinking be a disqualifier for holding public office. I can dream, and I can advocate.
In 2018, a poorly maintained electrical grid sparked a California wildfire that killed 84 people. In a Facebook post in November of that year, Greene falsely speculated that darker forces were at work. Connecting a series of scattershot points, Greene suggested a bank controlled by the Rothschild family, who are Jewish, a utility company responsible for the fire and then-Gov. Jerry Brown had a compelling motive to spark the blaze: clearing the path for a high speed rail project Brown wanted. She also floated the possibility that the fires could have been started by “lasers or blue beams of light” shot down from space by allies of Brown who were said to be in the solar energy industry.
“There are too many coincidences to ignore,” she wrote.
In American politics today, conspiracy thinking is a huge problem. Research shows that conspiracy thinking is associated with authoritarian worldviews, specifically, right-wing authoritarianism.2
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I’ll unpack this line of thought more in Part II of this essay series. Thank you for being here, and for being a part of this journey.