Bat S**t Crazy (but not Brand New): The History and Psychology of Conspiracy Theories from the Illuminati to QAnon
Dr. Christopher Huff
Dr. A.J. Marsden
While January 6, fueled by former president Donald Trump’s “big lie” stands as a singularly unique event in American history, the ideas behind the January 6 attack are anything but new. QAnon and belief in the “deep state” are the most recent expression of a long tradition of conspiracy theories about the U.S. government that goes back to the nation’s founding. Beacon College professors Huff and Marsden explore the history of American conspiracy theories and examine what leads ordinary people to believe in them. While conspiracy theories are often bat-s**t crazy, the people who believe in them generally are not. By examining the historical and psychological story of a wide range of conspiracy theories, attendees will learn that Americans have always embraced them and given the right circumstances, almost anyone can find themselves going down the dark roads of conspiracy.