Conspiracy theories -
the phenomenon from different angles
Were the 9/11 attacks really an “inside job”? Does Bill Gates inject microchips together with the corona vaccine to control humanity? Is the corona pandemic really a "plan", that was so deliberately brought about? Where are the Illuminati actually? And what is QAnon?
In times of crisis, conspiracy theories, which some also call "conspiracy myths", flourish. That was the case at the time of the great plague, and it is not much different today. Therefore, simple explanations for such complex processes are sought and scapegoats identified. Black-and-white painting increases, up to the expectation of an apocalyptic final battle between good and evil.
For the longtime observer, this is not surprising. "As far as conspiracy theories are concerned, there is nothing new under the sun," says political scientist and expert on conspiracy theories Joseph Uscinski in Miami. Conspiracy theories have always existed and will continue to exist, he says, only details change depending on the situation.
The "Kreuz & Quer" documentation approaches the phenomenon from different angles. It stresses the importance of trust for human knowledge, tries to use historical examples to show essential elements of conspiracy theories, gives insights into the movement "QAnon", which comes from the USA, with its hero Donald Trump, who is almost revered as a messiah, and shows aspects of a "conspiratorial consciousness" .
Ken Jenkins, a leading member of the 9/11 Truth Movement, explains why he still believes to this day that the towers of the World Trade Center were not brought down by the aircraft impact. Peace activist Terry Rockefeller, on the other hand, blames the government and its hesitant response to the attacks for creating conspiracy myths. In addition to Joseph Uscinski, a second US expert on conspiracy theories has his say: the journalist and author Mike Rothschild has written a popular book about "QAnon". The “QAnon” dropout Lenka Perron tells how she became dependent on the Internet messages, the so-called “Q-Drops”, like on a video game.
Claus Oberhauser, historian in Innsbruck, is one of the most renowned Austrian experts on the subject and gives an insight into the history of the phenomenon. Katherine Dormandy, Professor of Christian Philosophy, explains epistemological aspects. She says: It's hard not to believe something when it comes from people you trust. The Viennese language sociologist Ruth Wodak sheds the light on the emergence of enemy images and the tendency towards anti-Semitic stereotypes in the conspiracy scene. Ulrike Schiesser, psychotherapist, is daily confronted with conspiracy theories at the Federal Office for Sect Issues, tells in an interview about her experience with those affected. She describes conspiracy myths as a substitute religion and "faith without hope".
The documentary was filmed in Vienna, Innsbruck, New York, Miami and Los Angeles.
A production of Clever Contents GmbH on behalf of ORF 2
Genre | religious magazine
Author | Christian Rathner
Production manager | Ronald Graf
Length | 35 minutes
Year of production I 2021
First broadcasting | November, 16th 2021 on ORF 2
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