Are we all crazy?

Paranoia_shutterstock_266683784Have you heard the theory that COVID-19 was cooked up in a lab by Democrats who were so upset they couldn’t get rid of Trump through impeachment — that they decided to poison the world and kill off 200,000 of us just to influence the coming U.S. election?

This was just explained to me as fact by a friend of mine. He also told me other “facts” — some of which the NY Times reports are disinformation being spread by Russian trolls to undermine America.

Another friend recently warned me about 5G for wireless phones. She sent me this:

“Our brains are being zapped” 

“5G is the new radio frequency technology that is being rolled out around the world supposedly to make communication faster — in fact it has many health issues that have been studied and suppressed to allow its roll out –  it has a definite correlation with the (COVID) virus as the electromagnetic field interferes with the electromagnetic field of the body and produces flu like symptoms and worse. There are people now suffering from electromagnetic interference to their nervous system which is causing multitudes of health issues. The correlation with the virus is that it prevents oxygen from getting into the lungs.

“Wuhan was the first city to roll out 5G right before the virus hit. Every major city around the world and the hospitals now have 5G which is why there is a prevalence of cases in those locales. Now that schools are closed they are using the opportunity to wire them as well. . Many students have reported grave illnesses in schools where it exists. Most people don’t know anything about this as it is not reported in the media which is controlled by the FCC. There was a senate hearing about it and it did come out that nothing was being done to counteract the health hazards and then the ball was dropped. The electromagnetic field is also being enhanced by all the satellites being launched – -there are now several thousand that just went up.

“Our brains are being zapped and nothing is being done about it.”

Were we always crazy?

I’ve tried to remember if Americans were always this paranoid. It may be the rose-colored-glasses effect, but looking back over 73 years I don’t think so. Perhaps we always had the potential to be paranoid but it’s only with the Internet spewing every conspiracy theory imaginable — and many beyond imagination — that we’re all coming out of the closet?

The only thing I remember from the past were all the conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination. One or two of those I still believe myself. Maybe we’ve always been paranoid — it’s just a matter of degree?

Are we right to be paranoid?

After all, it’s not paranoia if people really are after you! I remember worrying about the crazy conspiracy theories my sister had decades ago. She told me the police had devices that would let them look right through your walls into your house and see where you were and what you were doing. Crazy her, right? Except it turns out she was correct.

Take THAT — non-believers!

Can you or should you keep these people as friends?

Let’s call it “idea distancing” when we try to keep a friend by ignoring their conspiracy theories. Frankly we could end up with no friends if we can’t ignore the parts of them that make us crazy in return.

I learned this decades ago with my best friend Marsha. She was a staunch Republican. I was more an Independent — I liked Democrats for their social stances but liked Republicans for their fiscal caution (remember when that was true??).

She was delighted for every “win” in the Clarence Thomas hearings, including the order issued that prevented women other than Anita Hill from testifying. “But don’t you want to know the TRUTH?” I asked plaintively. “If he’s really a scumbag, why would you want him on the Supreme Court?” She cared only that he would be another Republican on the Court — not whether the charges were true or not. I was so distressed at this I couldn’t even talk to her for a few weeks.

It crushed my naive belief that any friend of mine would care first of all about the truth. It also taught me to ignore parts of my friends in order to remain friends with them.

Am I also crazy?

Can we actually look at ourselves objectively? Could I possibly be 100% right? Are there no conspiracy theories (other than JFK) I believe myself?

The closest I could find as one I believe is that the Republicans currently in office want to kill off social security. However, I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory — I think it’s true(!) (Yes, I DO see the irony here!)

BUT… I do have some basis for my theory. After giving away billions to the rich in tax cuts three years ago, Mitch McConnell was quoted as blaming the deficit instead on “entitlement programs” and mentioned social security, medicare and medicaid. And Trump just said we can stop payroll taxes forever and it won’t hurt social security. Even though they are the sole source of funding for social security.

However… I’m sure each of my “crazy” friends also believes their theories are true.

What’s the answer?

What should we do?

  1. Ignore the parts of our friends that would otherwise make us crazy — in order to keep them as friends?
  2. Consider that they may be right and we wrong?
  3. Point out the error in our friends theories — because otherwise these crazy ideas will flourish?
  4. Return to the Golden Rule to never discuss politics or religion?
  5. What the heck ever happened to seeking the TRUTH??? (Guess I haven’t completely stomped out my naive self!)

Do you have “crazy” friends? What do you do about it?


Author bio
Jen008_smallMarlene Jensen has just “retired” — at 73 — from being a full-time marketing professor. Previously she was a VP at CBS and ABC and spent decades as an entrepreneur and pricing author/consultant. Sadly, none of these prepared her for the onslaught of marketers who now think her daily interests/needs consist solely of hearing aids, wheel chairs, adult diapers, medi-alert buttons, medications, and bath tubs you walk into.


One thought on “Are we all crazy?

  1. Just a note on what social scientists call “motivated cognition” defined as distortions in perception caused by the influence of ideology, emotion, self-interest, prejudice, defense mechanisms, magical thinking, and attitudes. The result of this dynamic is the sabotaging of scientific and critical thinking leading to the belief in conspiracies, the denial of dangers, and other distortions of reality. Unfortunately, these distorted beliefs can become stronger in normative groups where people reinforce each others’ incorrect beliefs. Good examples are groups that deny global warming threats and the importance of wearing face masks.

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