You know that old salt, “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you,” right? That phrase often comes to mind when I hear people scoffing at the latest conspiracy theory.

News and entertainment media have been poking fun at the tinfoil hat brigade for so long, whenever someone even mentions the word “conspiracy”, listeners roll their eyes, as if the only conspiracies are laughable and completely wacko.

Anyone paying attention to recent events in the world of politics should realize conspiracies can be no laughing matter. Conspiracy is a legal term meaning a plot, scheme or intrigue where a group of people, usually in some role of power or influence, form a cabal for the furtherance of treachery or manipulation. How funny does that sound?

Laughter and ridicule are powerful tools to undermine an opponent. So is peer pressure applied to our inborn desire to be in-the-know and more sophisticated than the object of our derision. This doesn’t mean the scoffers are always right.

The next time you hear accusations or suspicions of a conspiracy, don’t dismiss it out of hand, but take a sober look at the facts, instead.

History is full of unbelievably true conspiracies. Just because someone says it’s a conspiracy, doesn’t mean we aren’t being flimflammed.