Speaking to Religion News Service earlier this month, Milwaukee-based freelance journalist and author Tea Krulos discussed the rise of conspiracy theories in America, saying that 2020 "has just been one giant conspiracy theory about everything," adding that the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was carried out by "an army of conspiracy theorists."
According to Krulos, the prime ingredients that allow conspiracy theories to grab hold of people's minds are fear, anger and division -- ingredients that are plentiful in the current era and are exacerbated by the internet.
"I think it's so easy to create misinformation that looks like it could be legit," he told RNS. "I see people telling people they need to fact-check stuff, and I'm glad, but a lot of times people don't want to fact-check it. They see something that confirms this bias they have, and they're like, 'That sounds right to me, and so it's fact to me.'"
While the events of Jan. 6 were horrifying, Krulos said he wasn't surprised. "...you can't just paint [the mob] as fringe nuts, because there were elected officials who were part of that crowd."
Krulos also commented on the relationship between conspiracy theories and religion.
"Really QAnon, which is the biggest conspiracy problem today, is just the Satanic Panic all over again," he explained. "It's very, very much based on this idea that Trump is a man of God, and he's engaged in a holy war with the sinister Satan-worshipping cabal of Democrats and other liberals, the media, Hollywood, stuff like that. They are the satanic ring that are pedophiles and cannibals and secretly causing everything awful happening in our country."
Read the full interview over at Religion News Service.