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Rumours contributed to the end of Roman society. We've got plenty of those these days! I saw zeitgeist in 2007 and thought I was being told some revolutionary stuff, now every mongtard has read up on conspiracy theories and doesn't even question them, they just fall for the romance of 'hidden knowledge' and it fuels their burning resentment for any outsider of any type. It's kind of intimidating some times, especially when you remember to look for the debunking articles on any conspiracy theory you come across, and remember how many people don't and just buy into anything they watch in a youtube video. My excuse is that I was a hyperstoned teenager.
Frankly I don't really care about disinfo agents, agents provocateur, finding the truth in the bullshit, symbolism, or reptilians. If we're all gonna die, so be it. I'd like us all not to die because half the world truly, devoutly believes in these things. Tryng to find out the truth sent me pretty nuts, and I'm usually mild-mannered and meek, with enough insight to question these things. They make a great story, and I think that's part of the reason people buy into them so quickly - also it's a great way to offload your problems, and it offers a mythic entity (entities?) to blame your problems and societies ills on, as well. The alienation you mention likely comes into play as well, I'd imagine.
I've seen these conspiracy theories plant themselves in people minds, grow into something else, and literally send them completely crazy. They cease to be functional people - they don't become hippie truthers, that would be functional, if eccentric. They think agents are after them (I want to ask, why? because you watched a youtube video and now you're tainted with secrets? you don't do anything that makes you a threat to them. Delusions of grandiose, it's pretty tragic), and it furthers their agenda.