14% Believe The CIA Did What?! New Polls On Conspiracy Theories

by
Owen Poindexter
Public Policy Polling (PPP) has been taking the pulse of America on a number of issues. The latest: conspiracy theories.

UFO or doctored image? In this case, doctored image. IMAGE CREDIT: Stefan X-P, CC License
 
Public Policy Polling (PPP) has been having a lot of fun with no imminent elections (other than some scattered special elections) to poll on, PPP has been taking the pulse of America on a number of issues. The latest: conspiracy theories.
 
In an automated phone poll, PPP asked about aliens, 9/11, and, of course, whether lizard people are taking over the government. A word on demographics before the results: the sample was mostly white (72%), with the rest mostly Hispanic (11%) or African American (12%). The sample was more evenly distributed across ages, with 45% between 46-65, 20% each over 65 and 30-45, and the remaining 15% 18-29.
 
Now with that out of the way, a lot of America believes in conspiracy theories.
 
Over a third of the sample believes global warming is a hoax, with a predictable party-line split. Republicans believe scientists are merely finding sneaky ways to get research grants by a 58-25 margin, while Democrats believe humans are making this planet hotter by a 7 to 1 margin, 77-11. The remainder in each case (and going forward) said "don't know/not sure."
 
6% said Osama Bin Laden is still alive.
 
21% said a UFO crashed in Roswell, NM in 1947. Nearly a third answered "not sure," to that one.  It's not something that's particularly easy to disprove.
 
28% said a secret group of elites is conspiring to take over the world. More Romney voters said yes (38%) than no (35%) with almost as many (27%) not sure. I'm in the "no" camp here, but I do believe a bunch of billionaires and multinational corporation CEOs sometimes chew cigars and talk about how to stay in power. They are more powerful than most presidents, after all.
 
28% think Sadaam Hussein was involved in 9/11. They must have missed it when the Bush Administration shifted gears and stopped beating that drum because their case was disproven. Speaking of which:
 
44% think George W. Bush intentionally misled about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Those who disagree are basically equal at 45%. Count me in the yes category here. the neo-cons were gunning for Sadaam from 1997 or earlier. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair discussed invading Iraq and/or assassinating Sadaam before 9/11. They just needed to give America a reason to go along with their plan.
 
7% believe the moon landing was faked. Faking it would have been a whole lot cheaper, but I trust Buzz Aldrin on this one.
 
13% think Barack Obama is the anti-christ. That goes up to 22% among Romney voters. I'm guessing a lot of them don't think he is literally Satan, but dislike him enough to say "yes." I'm sure that some of them do actually believe he is literally Satan. Makes a little bit of sense, Satan is supposed to be very charming.
 
29% believe aliens exist. 47% do not and 24% aren't sure. If the question wording was simply "do aliens exist," I'd probably say not sure. The universe is really really really large. If the universe was a person, our galaxy would be an eyelash. I doubt Earth has been visited by outsiders, but I wouldn't be shocked if they are out there somewhere many light years away.
 
14% believe the CIA distributed crack cocaine to America's inner cities, spurring the 80s crack epidemic. I actually heard this for the first time two weeks ago. It was preceded by, "I don't believe in a lot of conspiracy theories, but..."
 
9% believe the government's reasons for adding flouride to the water are more sinister than dental. I don't believe that, but I have heard that flouride has limited benefit beyond a certain point, and the government contract to whoever is doing it, and the lobbying efforts of same, might be as big a reason as any for the flouride. Then again, maybe it's just good for your teeth, and that's it.
 
4% believe lizard people control our society through political power. Yeah, um...how would...where did they, um...how did these lizard people, like. Can't even form a question. Instead I'll question how representative PPP's sample is.
 
Half the country think the JFK assassination was a conspiracy. Just a quarter said that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I have no idea, but I seriously doubt Oswald (or Oswald's killer Jack Ruby) were acting on their own whims.
 
15% believe the pharmaceutical industry invents new diseases to make money. Big Pharma is sketchy as hell, but I doubt they go that far. It might have happened at least once though.
 
11% believe the U.S. government allowed 9/11 to happen. Another 11% wasn't sure, 78% said nope.

5% believe Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and the Beatles found a lookalike to keep going. Yeah, if they did they found one hell of a lookalike. Same voice, just as talented. Who knew there was a second Paul McCartney out there just waiting to be discovered. Did the Bealtes insert "Paul is dead" and "I buried Paul" into their songs? Certainly possible. Does that mean that Paul died? Kids, not everything your favorite musicians say should be taken literally. Except for the lyrics of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, which is a literal account of an actual event. Trust me. I have evidence.

Carbonated.TV