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Apophenia: Illusory correlation (behavioral sciences). "Spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena." Skeptic’s Dictionary, Robert Todd Carroll.
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MYTHOLOGY OF SECRET SOCIETIES
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Conspiracy theory
"Conspiracy theories explain disturbing events or social phenomena in terms of the actions of specific, powerful individuals. By providing simple explanations of distressing events they deflect responsibility or keep people from acknowledging that tragic events sometimes happen inexplicably."1
"Conspiratorial accounts can be emotionally satisfying when they place events in a readily-understandable, moral context. The subscriber to the theory is able to assign moral responsibility for an emotionally troubling event or situation to a clearly-conceived group of individuals. Crucially, that group does not include the believer. The believer may then feel excused of any moral or political responsibility for remedying whatever institutional or societal flaw might be the actual source of the dissonance.
"Where responsible behavior is prevented by social conditions, or is simply beyond the ability of an individual, the conspiracy theory facilitates the emotional discharge or closure that such emotional challenges require. Like moral panics, conspiracy theories thus occur more frequently within communities that are experiencing social isolation or political dis-empowerment."2
"...we deal with a mythology which even at its height was denounced on rational and empirical grounds and is clearly nonsense. Why then, were such ideas effective? Why are books embodying them still finding audiences? "All these fears rest on simplifying, dramatising visions of politics. In the background there is still a belief in hidden manipulation. Those who hold them have abandoned some of the stage machinery, but the plot is the same." "All human institutions can be described in terms of function, mythologies as much as any other. They are all responses to a need to master reality."3

1.Theodore Sasson, quoted by Shankar Vedantam. "Born With the Desire to Know the Unknown", The Washington Post, 2006/06/05, p.A02. Accessed on 2006-06-07.
2.www.answers.com accessed 2007/08/19.
3.John M. Roberts, The Mythology of the Secret Societies. London: Secker & Warburg, 1972

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