09 Dec

Assessing Conspiracy Theories

By their nature, conspiracies are hidden. The conspirators try to hide their actions, or at the very least disguise their intentions, presenting what is evil as good, as cigarette companies tried to present their products as healthy, even garnering doctor endorsements, while they knew full well that what they were peddling was harmful to their customers.

We must regularly “connect the dots” of events even in our daily lives. We don’t often have a “smoking gun” but rather a case of cumulative evidence. And there is never full certainty. Instead, we come to degrees of certainty based upon the evidence. We do this automatically in our daily lives. Sometimes we err- but if we required complete evidence and certainty to make conclusions, we would not be able to make even simple decisions in life, and we would be far more susceptible to authentic threats.

Even the courts don’t require a 100% certainty to convict. The highest standard of proof in law is that of being “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This is only for criminal cases where the fate of the defendant, even his very life, is on the line. Even this standard does not require a “smoking gun”. But most cases require a far lower standard. For example, the standard of “Clear and Convincing Proof” requires that the claim being made has a high probability of being true, but not that it is “beyond a reasonable doubt”. And a “preponderance of the evidence” is a standard that requires merely that one of the parties has more evidence than the other.

The law looks for a means, motive and opportunity. The means is the ability of the suspect to commit the crime, the motive is his reason to do so, and the opportunity is whether he had a chance to do so.

So a murder’s means may be a gun, his motive may be jealousy over a woman, and the opportunity may be catching the victim on his late-night walk in an empty park.

So we can ask of conspirators:

  1. Do they have the ability to actually carry out their plan?
  2. Would they have a reason to do this, based on their own needs and wants?
  3. Do they have a chance to actually carry it out?

Whenever possible, we should also look at the original source material of the claim. That’s the original source of the claim- an article written by the person making the claim, an interview with the person making the claim, or a video by him, etc. along with the original evidence offered- photos, videos, documents, etc.

This is in contrast to secondary sources- such as opinion pieces written about it or even “fact checking” sites that sound authoritative, but make their own conclusions and are often not even impartial. Always remember to look for who is funding the “fact checker” and what their agenda, if any, if you are dealing with any of their claims or counter-claims. You also want to see the original documents for yourself so you can analyze it and make up your own mind, not have it made up for you by others.

We must be wary of letting our emotions sway us and instead use the principles of reason to carefully analyze claims. Sometimes, connecting information in certain ways can lead us to plausible theories that do not reflect reality. Other times, events are not the result of a purposeful conspiracy, but the cumulative result of independent actors following their own self-interest. This all fits into a branch of philosophy called Epistemology, which deals with how we know what we know. Whenever we try to distinguish truth from falsehood, we are, in some way, dealing with epistemology.

Why are Conspiracy Theories Derided?

The Mainstream Media

Perhaps the distinguishing characteristic of what are derogatorily labeled “conspiracy theories” is that they contradict the mainstream narrative. This narrative is often set by the corporate press, or mainstream media.

Many erroneously believe that the media is independent and works for us, the people. But our mainstream press is not free. It is owned by, and works for, a handful of globalist corporations, with their own interests and agendas that more often than not coincide with that of Big Business and Big government. Some would label this a conspiracy theory, but a quick search into the owners of the big media companies would confirm that these are huge, global companies with just a few main owners.

Further research will reveal that the media’s coverage is hardly impartial, but that what stories they cover and how they cover them is profoundly shaped by their own ideological beliefs and self-interest, not by a desire to be impartial reporters.

While there may be some few exceptions, usually the truly independent journalists are weeded out of the mainstream. What you see on the screen is filtered and adjusted for their own corporate interests. If you were the boss, would you hire someone that was going to go against your own business interests? Would you bite the hand that feeds you? Indeed, what appear to be many independent voices are really just a handful of like-minded companies. The Independent press lives in small publications and companies. But these do not have the same reach as the mainstream and are often simply disregarded.

So when people encounter significant claims, especially those which contradict the mainstream narrative, they often dismiss those claims because they cannot fathom that such a claim of such importance, that such a fact would not have been covered by the mainstream press in the first place. But do your own research and see how reliable the media is and whether they deserve the high degree of trust that many people put in them.

It is only when people realize how bias the mainstream media is and how many truly big and important things go on in the world that go misreported, under-reported or simply unreported, is it that they really start to see the world more as it is and start to consider alternative claims that they might have simply disregarded under the label of “conspiracy theory” before. This is, of course, a process, a potentially unnerving one and many people are simply unwilling to take that path- to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

The truth is that there are many open secrets- things which are not particularly hidden, but are simply never or rarely mentioned in the media. And if they’re not mentioned by the media, to many people they simply don’t exist and to claim otherwise is insane to them. They take the media as the whole of the world beyond their immediate senses, rather than just taking them as part of the world which is inherently biased and not necessarily truthful. But when nobody is looking into an issue that should be shouted from the rooftops, or at least seriously investigated- it almost feels as if its not real at all.

The Normalcy Bias

So even when people see the threat, even when people believe it intellectually, there is a type of normalcy bias that sets in which prevents people from responding appropriately. It is a dissonance, a contradiction, between the emotional and the intellectual, and it is a social phenomenon. There is an Internet meme which is often passed around of a little anthropomorphic dog calmly sitting in a room while it is on fire, which says something to the effect of “everything is alright”. This exemplifies the type of attitude I speak of.

It would be even more apropos if there were other people calmly interacting in that room, while one person incredulously looks around at first but eventually settles down, socially assured that what he sees must not be real, otherwise others would see and respond to it as well. Since others are not seeing what we see and are not responding appropriately- after all such a thing would be all over the mainstream media, right?- then we conclude that we must be mistaken. But the rules of logic and evidence do not change because others fail to respond to it, no matter how many ignore it. Investigate the claim- don’t let its lack of social acceptance determine its veracity, as social responses and truth have very little to do with one another.

The Burden of Bad News

Sure, the claim might be disturbing. A conspiracy theory, by its very nature, does not imply something good. It implies deceit and ill-intent, even from systems and public figures one may have once trusted. This is the emotional cost. It means the potential rupture of one’s own worldview, it means perhaps something too terrible or too different from the mainstream narrative to believe and a burden too heavy to hold on one’s own. Many would say you are silly or crazy to hold such a view, or even to consider it- hardly a comforting response. This emotional and social cost is a serious barrier for many people.

A Lack of Imagination

There are other reasons too why some people refuse to believe something even when sufficient evidence is shown to them. One of them is a lack of imagination. We use our imaginations not only to create fictional events, but to consider how things might be different than how we see them now, or how they might be different in the future. There’s no logical reason for things to permanently stay the way they are- in fact, things tend to change over time, and sometimes quite quickly. But some people can’t imagine that things might change drastically or that the reality might be something very different from appearances. Science fiction has sometimes predicted future technologies or situations. Because when we have imagination, it also allows us to predict what may come.

There was a science fiction television series called “Sliders”. It ran from the year 1995 to the year 2000. The series took place on Earth, but every episode the main characters traveled to another dimension, where history had taken a slightly different turn and as a result that Earth was a little, or a lot, different from our own. One episode they landed on the dimension they were looking for- that of our Earth- but because of how our own world had changed since their travels began, they no longer even recognized it. We live in rapidly changing times and we shouldn’t fail to recognize that things can indeed be quite different from how we perceive them and can change quite profoundly.

We have a worldwide network capable of instantly and precisely transmitting and reproducing information. We have the ability to look inside the body using beams of energy, we can transplant organs and change DNA to restore sight to the blind. We use satellites to guide us to grandma’s house in the woods. We can make machines that are just a few atoms big. We have supercomputers in our pockets. This is another world- another dimension- if you will. And what was not possible before is now easy, for good, and for evil. But this moment also, will not stand still. It will progress to some other state that is different from now. So before writing something off as impossible, do your research, reject the dogma of the mainstream media, and see what you find.

A Lack of Predictive Power

A lack of imagination leads to a lack of predictive power. We human beings are always predicting things- how people will react to a certain piece of news, how the company will do this quarter, how a gift will be received, how crops will do this year, how an event will go, how many years it will take us to save up for retirement and how life will be then.

Our actions in life are often guided by our predictions. But though we all do this regarding our daily lives, some people seem to lack the imagination necessary to see the “big picture” in the world- where it has been, where it is now, and where it is going- without which it is difficult to see where trends, programs and events in the world might lead to, and whether there are greater consequences and agendas behind them. Such people dismiss any such claim as either false, fanciful or as unknowable.

The Illusion of Stability

We wake up, go to work, tend to the children, go to church, meet up with family and friends- we repeat the same routines day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out, celebrating the same birthdays and holidays- and this creates an illusion of stability.

Many of us have never had to go through periods of food shortages, or through a political revolution, nor faced an enemy attack on our country. And so these things seem impossible or improbable to us. But this stability is the result of the hard work of our ancestors, and the blessings of God almighty. It is not guaranteed and must be strongly defended in every generation if it is to continue.

But the very illusion of guaranteed stability stops many from seriously considering the forces working against it and from defending it. The default movement of things is towards corruption. Like a house, a republic needs to be tended and mended to regularly, otherwise it will fall apart in due time, especially when facing the storms that are bound to come.

Too Extraordinary?

Sometimes people don’t believe perfectly reasonable and true things, because they find them to be too extraordinary (I mean, how could you believe that, right?) , and they think that this requires extraordinary evidence to prove. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” This phrase was often used, and was probably popularized, by astronomer Carl Sagan. In fact, it is now called the Sagan Standard. But it can be misleading. If it means that one should further scrutinize a claim one considers extraordinary, that is understandable. But many claims are not as extraordinary as they might appear and often very ordinary evidence suffices to prove it.

Let’s say the claim is that the President of the United States visited your town. All we would need to verify this claim would be several reputable witnesses or clear, original, unaltered photographic or video evidence. Now, if the claim was that extraterrestrials had visited your town, the same evidence, if authentic, would be enough to establish the same fact.

But since we know that U.S. presidents do visit towns, we have a much easier time believing this than believing that extraterrestrials have visited a town, since we’re not sure whether they exist or not or whether they are on Earth or not and we would be right to be a bit more skeptical. Perhaps in this sense, the proof would have to be extra-ordinary. We might want more witnesses and better video evidence and we might want to scrutinize the photos and video more to see if it truly shows what has been claimed or if it has been altered or fabricated.

Since this type of claim is special in that one like it has never been proven before, it is deserving of more scrutiny. Although unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, have been clearly documented and admitted even by the U.S. government, their origin and whether they are extraterrestrial is another matter entirely. We have never had the existence and visit of extraterrestrials publicly confirmed, at least up to the recording of this episode. And so this type of claim is special in this way. This is not a known regular event, so we have an additional doubt to prove.

But at what point is one satisfied that the evidence is clear and sufficient for any claim? The standard must be reasonable and reachable. There is a tendency for people to increase their skepticism to an unreasonable and insurmountable level for the aforementioned emotional reasons. The standard becomes so high that it cannot be realistically met, even if it is true. And yet, for other claims, which have even less evidence behind them, the level of skepticism is almost non-existent, simply because it is a claim often repeated within the mainstream. In fact, one author argues that “Politically incorrect claims require extraordinary (and impossible) evidence.”

For example, some atheists have completely ruled out the existence of God to the point that there is literally no proof that can persuade them. If it were found that within every living being’s DNA there was a note saying “Patented by God”, they would view this as simply a strange chemical coincidence, not as an actual message. If Jesus were seen in the sky, they would say it was a hologram. If they heard God’s voice or felt his presence, they would find alternative explanations for that, from technological to psychological and neurological ones. That is not to say that there are not valid alternative explanations to things, but reason suggests that at some point you do have enough evidence and you should follow where it leads.

Instead, it is often as if we had a skepticism dial which we turn to one extreme or another, depending on how we feel, rather than treating all claims with a reasonable amount of skepticism.

Unlike our extraterrestrial claim, most claims do not fall into the same category. Most things have happened before, or have a good chance of happening based on the current technology and trends. If we could verify that extraterrestrials have visited before, let’s say, then it becomes easier to believe that they have come again. This claim would then no longer be as “extraordinary” as it once was.

To give another example, although the odds of any particular country going through a political revolution may be low, governments fall and rise all the time. This would be more akin to the lottery example. It is highly unlikely that you have won the big jackpot of a state or national lottery, such as the Powerball. But we know people do win and they do so all the time. So while this would be highly unlikely, it would not be unprecedented. And the very ordinary evidence of a legitimate winning lottery ticket would be all that you would need to prove that you’ve won the lottery and receive your winnings. Please remember the author of this article if that is indeed the case. In this case, the claim is extraordinary, but the evidence needed is rather ordinary.

Misunderstanding Human Nature & Power Structures

People often underestimate the odds of conspiracies actually existing because they misunderstand human nature and power structures and dynamics. For example, they assume that large organizations have a system of accountability in place which would prevent such conspiracies from occurring. But the proven conspiracies, including ones we’ve mentioned and countless others, suggest otherwise.

Organizations are power structures that can work for good or for evil. Corrupt and evil men can subvert any system, even when it is not coordinated. Human organizations normally tend towards corruption because of self-interest and our fallen human nature. It is easier for a good system to become corrupt over time than it is for a corrupt system to become good or even for a good system to remain so over time. Corruption is always easier than reform.

Good policy and accountability stem from good men and cannot be enforced among corrupt and evil men. No matter how noble and how well structured an organization or government is, ultimately, there is nothing that prevents it from becoming corrupt and doing evil but the actions of good, virtuous men.

The Rare Whistleblower

But truly virtuous men are hard to come by, especially among those who highly value their careers, ranks, reputations and other worldly goods. Many otherwise good men are very lacking in the virtue of courage, without which no serious evil can be corrected.

It’s comforting to believe that when wrongdoing occurs, most would call it out and it would be soon exposed and shut down. But it’s interesting to note that when a corporation, religious organization or government agency has run afoul of laws or the common good, only a few or more likely a lone insider will come out to expose and denounce it, if anyone even does.

Therefore, we must conclude that only a very few people actually knew, in which case it is possible to execute a conspiracy without most of an organization being aware of it, or that many knew but chose not to do the right thing and expose it, either because they were corrupt themselves or they lacked the courage to do so. Usually, investigations reveal that quite a number of people in an organization actually knew or were involved in the conspiracy revealed.

But exposing evil- that is, being a whistleblower, is no fun. Besides losing your job there are other serious and unsavory consequences to being a whistleblower. It is easy to get black balled- that is, to become unemployable in an entire field if you are seen as disloyal. Your reputation will probably be run into the ground, especially if your whistleblowing conflicts with the interests of the corporate media- a media which will not be eager to break such a story. And if you anger people powerful enough- your liberty and even your life may be in danger.

Edward Snowden, the man who leaked the unconstitutional activities of the National Security Agency directed against American citizens, is still being called a traitor today, even after sacrificing his career and family life. Being a whistleblower gives credence to the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished”. And most people are not willing to endure this, even when it is morally necessary. Most people are simply not that virtuous, not that “good”.

Subordinate Agents

Still, a lot of people have trouble believing and understanding how large conspiracies can take place because of the amount of people involved in bringing it about. But they forget that most people in an organization are not in a position of power, but that they are subordinate agents. They don’t make the decisions, they just do what they’re told.

Like a factory worker, their job may be to assemble some piece of the final product, but they are not told what the final product is or how it will be used. Though they may suspect that something is afoul, they may not know the full implications of what is going on, and it is in their self-interest to keep it that way, lest they lose their job and livelihood. They may also justify not speaking out by thinking that their particular job is not dishonest, even if it is being utilized for dishonest ends.

To carry out a conspiracy doesn’t require that all or most people involved in carrying it out be fully aware of it and consciously working towards its ends. It only requires workers who follow orders and don’t question their bosses. In episode #7 we talked about the Milgram experiment, which showed that most people will follow orders when when they are morally uncomfortable with what they are doing and believe that they are harming someone else.

The bigger an organization the easier it is to get more people to follow along with it. Even organizations which seem independent are often dependent on funding and services of bigger organizations, or are associated with them in such a way where they have become subordinate to them, and they and others fall like dominoes in a row when pressure is put upon them. Most people or organizations don’t have to be themselves the authors of an evil conspiracy in order to work within and for an evil system that brings about that evil.

Are People are Basically Good?

Nevertheless, the pervasive belief that “people are basically good” is at best, a misleading one. Made in the image and likeness of God, human beings are in essence good. But we have an unfortunate tendency towards things that are not good that can only be counteracted through the cultivation of virtue and the grace of God. Left alone, without a good relationship with God, man tends towards behaving less than virtuously in life. People lie, cheat and steal all the time. They do so to their spouses, in their work and even against their friends and family.

Corruption is not a rare exception, it is quite common. And as man is a social being and cooperates with others for his own good, conspiracy is also common. Most are on the small scale, of course, but others occur on large scale just the same. And the greater the concentration of the power, the greater the temptation and opportunity. That’s why you find corruption wherever power is to be had- certainly in religious organizations and in governments.

Trust in God, Not Governments

We have seen governments, corporations and other groups go completely bad and do great evil over and over again, especially in the 20th century, a pattern which has sadly not been abated in the 21st century. From Mao Zedong’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966 which killed 1.5 million Chinese and caused great suffering for millions more to similar suffering, death and oppression caused by the Soviet Union and the other communist governments of Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, to name a few, we know that governments regularly go bad and rob, oppress, kill and torture their people.

But, as we’ve seen, even relatively “good” governments like that of the United States have a less than stellar record in respecting and defending natural rights. And yet it is curious how many people implicitly trust governments. They seem unaware or unmoved by the plethora of examples of government conspiracies and abuse. Many are truly ignorant of anything but the most recent and publicized history. If we are to remain free, our governments must be carefully watched and held to account, not implicitly trusted and given free reign.

Some Powerful People Do Want to Control You

We’ve talked of motives. Healthy people don’t have an urge to control and dominate others. But in every group large enough, you will see someone who does. Some people have a hard time understanding why a powerful and wealthy person who needs nothing material would still want to control and dominate others- to the point of wanting dominate the world even. They find such a thing ludicrous. But even a causal observation of human nature would render such a scenario perfectly consistent with it.

For some people, it’s about money or worldly pleasures, for others it’s about control. Some powerful people are also motivated by ideologies. This often comes down to a rejection of God and the desire to take his place. There is always a fresh supply of Mao Zedongs, Fidel Castros and Pol Pots in the world. The question is how much opportunity do they have to actualize their horrors in the world.


There are always psychological reasons to believe something. Religion is comforting because it promises eternal life. Atheism is attractive because it frees us of the moral demands of a personal God. These are both true, but the existence of these reasons tell us nothing about whether the thing believed is true or not. The same is the case for conspiracy theories. There are psychological reasons why some might believe in this or that theory, or in many theories. But this tells us nothing about whether the theory or claim is true or not.

Yet this is exactly what is often done to discredit a conspiracy theory. It is called “psychologizing” an opponent. Instead of dealing with the actual claim, its existence is explained away as a psychological phenomenon and dismissed, along with the person claiming it. The actual claim is never seriously examined or investigated. This is a clever, disingenuous way of actually avoiding the claim while seeming to discredit it from a position of superiority.

Some psychological reasons given for conspiracy theories are the want of a scapegoat, or someone to blame, the want of a sense of control and a simple, all-encompassing explanation for disturbing events in the world. Certainly these are some reasons someone might believe something, but this argument cuts both ways- the psychologizer is not above being psychologized. More importantly though, it does not deal with the actual claim. This type of discrediting is also called the genetic fallacy.

Conspiracy Traps

If its true that conspiracy theories should not be rejected without reason, it’s also true that we must avoid certain traps when considering them as well.


Just because conspiracies do exist, we must take care not to blame all our troubles on them or other external forces, for it is too easy to avoid our own responsibilities by doing so. Whatever the state of the world and the evil in it, we are first responsible for taking care of our own souls and having a good relationship with God. We must look at our sins before we blame everything on others, even on those who do evil. How can we resist evil when our own souls are in disarray?


We can get hung up on people’s intentions. Is so and so evil or not? Do they really mean us harm? The thing is- we cannot read or judge hearts. That is a matter for God. But we can and must determine intent as a matter of safety and good judgment. If a man is coming at me with a knife, I have to determine that his intent is to stab me and that he is a threat to me.

Perhaps, he does not really mean me harm- perhaps he is delusional or has a mental illness, perhaps he incorrectly assesses me as a threat and is reacting to me as such. Or perhaps in some twisted way, he thinks he is doing me good. There was an infamous Buddhist many years ago, who went about killing people because he wanted to help them reincarnate and get to Nirvana faster. Whatever the case, I cannot judge their heart, but I may be able to determine their immediate intent and I can certainly determine, whatever the intent, whether something is a threat to me and I must respond accordingly.

So whether a person, group or movement means me harm is not nearly as important as whether what they are doing will cause me harm, and that is what I should be more concerned with.

Free Will

It is also important to recognize that humans have free will, and evil is never unique to any particular race or ethnic group and we should be careful not to paint whole groups of people with a broad brush, as some people unfortunately do.


An alarming statement commands greater attention and action than a neutral or positive one, because by its nature it requires more immediate action. If you lived in a valley and news broke that the dam up the hill was about to burst, this news would spread with greater speed and fury than the new baby around the block, and with good reason- The former is a much more urgent matter. And some news is truly of this category and should be shared as such.

But this feature is often exploited by unscrupulous people in order to gain more attention than a story actually merits and increase their audience and influence and even to sell products and services. This is a well known technique for those who write copy, or advertisements. It is also used by the mainstream media, by the alternative media and by politicians of all political parties. This is often expressed as “fear sells” and it is true.

But a perfectly honest report can sound alarming as well. Although there are patterns that manipulative media tend to follow, the only way to truly discern the truth is to strip away the emotional component and analyze the claims actually being made and the arguments and evidence presented. Such media need not always be completely false or true- sometimes partial truth is to be found. We should not be quick to dismiss or endorse without investigation.

The All-Encompassing Explanation

The proponents of the all-encompassing state often suffer from a very limited view of the world, the human being and society. Even though they are often labeled as liberals, they are anything but- for they want the human being constrained, shaped into their own ideological box, informed by overly-simplistic models and theories of the world, human beings and society.

Those of us open-minded enough to consider conspiracy theories must also be wary of falling for overly-simplistic explanations and all-encompassing theories of the world. While the reasons people do things may be simple, no one theory is likely to explain everything in the world, down to its last detail. The world is simply too complex to fit such simple models.

The world is a complex physical and information system which intertwines with a great and mysterious spiritual reality. Let us not be egoistical enough to believe that we can comprehend it all. That said, we can have a general idea of the workings of the world. But we should always be cognizant that our models are incomplete and be willing to revise and refine these models and theories.

Authorities Should be Held to Account

As believers and proponents in freedom and liberty, we should not have blind trust in governments, international bodies and large corporations. We should be willing to investigate claims of wrong-doing and conspiracy. We should use our reason and evidence to determine the probability of such a claim being true and we should always be willing to revise our conclusions based on new evidence and arguments. The attitude of automatic belief in the authorities and dismissal of conspiracy theories is not one befitting of proponents of liberty.

We know that the tendency of governments and centers of power is to seek more power, wealth and control over others. Our job is to take them to account, not to blindly believe them. However, we should not become susceptible to every claim, no matter how unsubstantiated and unreasonable. We should not become gullible, credulous people.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, St. Paul says:

“Do not treat prophecies with contempt, but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.”

We should apply his advice to conspiracy theories as well.

Test All Things

In fact, years ago, I heard that a time traveler had come back in time to tell us things about the future, including that there would be an assassination attempt on a specific date on the Pope, who was then Pope John Paul II. Some laughed it off, and others quickly became true believers. I decided to take St. Paul’s advice.

I marked the date on my calendar. It was at least a few months into the future. Time passed till the day came that I had marked. I wondered if anything would come to pass. I waited. Nothing happened. In fact, there was never another assassination attempt on Pope Saint John Paul II. He passed away from natural causes. None of the other short-term predictions this man made came to pass. Why would I trust any claim from this source again?

And yet, some people regularly trust sources with terrible prediction records, whether they be the so-called government experts who fail time and time again in their predictions and yet continue to be lauded as great experts, or self-appointed prophets predicting calamities at so-called “blood moons”, or those who, undaunted by the declaration of scripture that we are not to know the day or the hour, still insist on giving dates for the end of the world, like The Watchtower Society in 1914, 1915, 1925 and a strongly hinted 1975.

Think Before you Commit

Beliefs have consequences. They dictate how we live our lives, what we do and what we don’t do. 100% certainty is not be be found in almost anything in life, but we are best served by carefully considering claims before subscribing to them and making serious decisions based upon those beliefs.

We should seek a high degree of certainty backed by evidence, good arguments and spiritual discernment. Whatever actions we take, they must be consistent with morality and Divine Law. Good intentions are not sufficient to guarantee good results. God gave us commandments for a reason.

And we must never fall into despair, as it is a lack of trust in God, who never abandons us, no matter what the situation. Let us neither fall into deception nor into despair. Christ is King. And there is no conspiracy large enough to fool, overwhelm or undo God’s plan for his creation.