What’s been tickling your ears? Christian historian William De Arteaga argues that conspiracy theories undermine factual history and he offers practical advice to avoid falsehoods and grow in the truth.
But I tell you that for every careless word that people speak, they will give an account of it on the Day of Judgment. – Matthew 12:36 (NASB)
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.” – Matthew 15: 18-20
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. – Proverbs 13:3
“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ Regarding everything that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. – Isaiah 8:12 (NIV)
America is plagued by conspiracy theories (CTs) now more than at any time in its history, and they seem to be gaining momentum. Facebook, Twitter, and the tribalization of our news sources have aided this lamentable situation. For instance, millions of evangelical Christians have come to believe in the QAnon CT. That is, the slanderous CTs based on nothing more than suspicions which claims that liberal elites abduct and kill children for sexual and satanic ritual purposes. Such persons as Hillary Clinton and Chief Justice Roberts are supposedly engaged in this Satanism.
Defining conspiracy theories
Let us start by trying to define what CTs are. They come in many varieties, but in general they are attempts to understand the world, or some negative aspect of it, through false, mythical, or incomplete knowledge. Often CTs are generated by combining a negative event with pre-existing suspicions against some group or person. Similarly, predictive CTs are stories based on suspicions that an evil group or person will do something evil. In CTs, suspicions are considered facts, and little or no attempt is made to verify the information on logical or normal evidential grounds. The anger, suspicion and distrust embraced by the CT believer (and his/her social group with similar beliefs) often diminishes logical reasoning or factual verification. Societies under stress often experience a rash of CTs when events in history begin to go against them. A recent example of this is the gaggle of CTs circulating in Russia during “Putin’s War” against the Ukraine, as in the belief that NATO wants to partition Russia.
One especially tragic and sinful CT occurred over five hundred years ago during Europe’s bubonic plague (1347 to 1351). A rumor and CT spread among Christians that the plague was caused by Jews who poisoned the wells to exterminate Christians. This CT spread rapidly, and mobs all throughout Europe gathered up Jews by the thousands and burned them at the stake without any trial or evidence other than their suspicions. Many of the Jews who survived were looted of their goods and exiled out of Europe into Islamic Spain and other places. This corporate event was both a sin of slander and genocide – the “careless word” of the Bible in extreme. CTs about the Jews would continue to circulate for centuries, reaching their climax in the Nazi holocaust.
At the root of most CTs is an unbiblical assumption that history and current events should be understandable and go mostly one’s own way. If it does not, it is the result of a specific group of evildoers who make things go wrong. The Bible teaches to the contrary: mankind is universally afflicted with sin, and the outcomes in history are constantly molded by sinful, uninformed, foolish, and selfish choices by all peoples and governments. This results in the “wrongness” and chaos of normal history – that is, history without God’s intervening grace.
Christianity has a historical foundation. True history should matter to every Christian.
The book of Judges spells this out quite clearly. When the Israelites forsake God and turn to foreign gods, thing go badly, and the Israelites are severely oppressed. But when they repent, the Lord sends a “judge” to lead them back to the Lord and peace returns. Then again, they forsake the Lord’s commandments, and the “wrongness” of history falls upon them via various invaders and oppressors. This simple pattern is retold in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Second Chronicles describes the tragic endgame of this cycle: the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of its temple. For the Jews, nothing could have been more “wrong” than that. But note, the Spirit breathed Biblical account of the Temple’s destruction describes no conspiracy by disgruntled Jews betraying their own people, rather it declares that God used the Babylonians, who were doing the usual empire building thing, as His instrument of judgement.
The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there (2 Chronicles 39:15-19).
But back to modern CTs, let me describe a conspiracy theory I saw generated firsthand back in 1974 and which is typical of many CTs. The background to this: At the time Israel had just fought the Yom Kippur War. For the first days it went badly for Israel, but the Israeli Army and Air Force counter-attacked and gained the ascendency. However, Israel almost ran out of ammunition and other vital supplies. President Nixon organized a massive airlift to resupply the Jewish armed forces and enable them to continue their successful counterattack.
Heard a zinger? Something that makes your opponents look bad? Something that relies on unfalsifiable assumptions? Don’t ask, “Is it possible?” Practically anything is possible. Pause and ask, “Is it probable?”
This airlift greatly angered the Arabs, and led by Saudi Arabia, they organized a boycott of the US and refused to sell the U.S. their petroleum. At the time, the U.S. was heavily dependent on Arab oil to supplement its domestic production. The Nixon administration was forced to put into effect various fuel-saving programs, including lowering the speed limit on highways to 55 mph. Prices rose as demand for gas quickly overwhelmed supply and long lines could regularly be seen at gas stations.
At this time a colleague at my job, Bob (not his real name) went to visit relatives in Louisiana, and there observed a large refinery and tankers offloading oil (probably from Venezuela). On his return he told me the oil shortage was “bogus” and a plot by oil executives to artificially raise the price of gas. “There is plenty of gas out there for everybody.” He saw one large refinery still operating, but he had no access to the details of whether it was working at limited or full production. Neither could he see at the same time the millions of cars in the US refueling at hundreds of thousands of gas stations, nor did he have any way to calculate if that refinery could supply all of America’s needs (of course not).
But Bob felt sure he had the truth and felt that he was a wise person with true, firsthand information that proved the oil executives were greedy and evil. This was a cheap way to bolster his self-esteem since he was not a greedy executive but a “regular guy.” To the contrary, he slandered gas executives he did not know. Of course, some gas executives were greedy and sinful, as in any group of human beings, but it is not true that they created the shortage, nor did they artificially jack up the price of gas. Note the sequence: a “wrong” situation (higher gas prices and low speed limit), a suspect group (oil executives), a leap of logic, and behold: a new CT is born along with its attached speculative slander – the “careless word” that the Bible warns us against.
Earlier, when I was a high-school teacher at an Atlanta public school (1970-1973) and taught at a predominantly African American high-school, I heard several conspiracy theories from the students. Among them was the CT that has now gotten wide traction among whites and African Americans alike: the moon landings were faked and never took place. This CT was partially driven, I believe, by their observation and hurt that none of the astronauts or supporting scientists manning the consoles at mission control in Houston were African American, and therefore the event was of little interest or joy to them.
This was not a harmless CT. I noticed that none of my students had any special interest in space science, unlike white kids of the era. Becoming a good scientist usually starts young, with curiosity and a passion to learn how the world works, but the CT about the moon landings cut that off, at least in space science. I have wondered how many more African American space scientists there could be now if that CT not been developed and believed. There was an element of speculative slander (careless word) and deception here as this CT created an imaginary group of high-ranking NASA officials who did not have the integrity to say that the moon mission was not possible, and therefore created a photographic studio to fake the landings, etc.
There is another class of CTs generated by people’s inability to accept the normal chaos and caprice of historical events. For instance, the Titanic struck the iceberg that sank it due mostly to the fact that the duty officer of that night did not give the sailors on lookout duty the required binoculars. Many other dramatic turns and events in history have occurred by such careless and trivial actions. But humans are tempted to believe major events are all intended by important figures or groups engaged in conspiracies. To the contrary, chaos and mistakes are an ever present constant in history (as in personal life).
Are some conspiracy theories true?
Let me say that not all CTs are false, although most are. Sometimes a CT points to something that is true but not widely recognized. It is indeed a serious problem figuring out which are true or false.
A conspiracy theory is a hypothesis or theory that a group is plotting or doing something destructive without direct evidence, or on speculative evidence.
In modern times, CTs have been generated by practically all political groups, although there seems to be more generated currently by the Right than the Left. A reservation here, Marxism is inherently a cluster in interlocking CTs, blaming all of the world’s ills on the “bourgeois,” capitalists, and imperialism, but we are so used to Marxism that its interlocking CTs are not labeled as CTs, but rather a political system.
Let me also make a distinction between a conspiracy and a CT. Conspiracies and secret alliances, big and small, have occurred and will continue to occur throughout all of history. The most infamous one was the conspiracy to secretly exterminate the Jews from Europe that was plotted and carried out by the Nazis in World War II. A conspiracy is a plot to do something by real people. A CT is a hypothesis or theory that a group is plotting or doing something destructive without direct evidence, or on speculative evidence.
Biblical wisdom vs. conspiracy theories
The Biblical model of history: telling the truth, even when it is ugly.
We in the West live in societies that are normally supportive and appreciative of historical knowledge, and benefit from the wisdom it gives. CTs are normally looked upon with suspicion, so that even now when they are common, the very term “conspiracy theory” evokes the sense of “not true.” The heritage of valuing sound historical understanding and avoiding CTs is mostly due to the Biblical foundations of Western culture, with an assist from the Greek and Roman classical tradition. In America or in the Western World it is possible to walk into most bookstores and find a wide variety of well-written histories and biographies that ultimately follow the Biblical model of telling the truth in history. That is, they attempt to discover the facts of history, and the motives and goals of the persons involved. This includes criticizing the faults and mistakes of heroes and avoiding caricatures of enemies. The biblical book of Judges is the unsung model for this, as its heroes are all flawed.
A significant question: Why is it that so many of the books of the Bible are historical? That type of religious writings is rarely found in the Scriptures of other world religions. Especially unique in the Bible are the historical books that repeat with different perspectives the same events, as in the Gospels in the New Testament and the books of Chronicles and Kings in the Old. What type of wisdom does God expect us to receive from historical books? These are important questions that we must keep in mind as we compare the Biblical view of history with CTs.
The historical books of the Bible stress man’s freedom and responsibility in obeying or disobeying God and His commandments. God does not interfere in man’s freedom to obey or disobey, to be foolish, or work out of misinformation. Sometimes He works though mankind’s sin and foolishness to get His providential way. An example is found in the account of Joseph and his brothers.
The Bible’s traverse of history also gives us hope. We may be disobedient, but after the pain of living out our sin and foolishness there is the hope of restoration and gain.
These historical books blend prophetic and reproof motifs, as in Nathan’s reproof of David for his sins of murder and adultery (2 Samuel 12:1-13). But the Bible’s traverse of history also gives us hope. We may be disobedient, but after the pain of living out our sin and foolishness there is the hope of restoration and gain. Biblical narratives stress repentance and a return to righteousness. This contrasts with CTs, where restoration and justice depend on the elimination or political ousting of an evil group.
We see the Biblical view of restoration work out in the Israeli exile and return from their captivity in Babylon. In fact, the captives were first enticed by a false prophet called Hananiah to believe that they would be immediately returned to Jerusalem. He was prophesying out of his “flesh,” as Paul would put it, and confused the people’s yearnings to return home for God’s prophetic word. His words pleased but misled the exiles. But Jeremiah put Hananiah in his place:
Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord’” (Jeremiah 28: 15-16).
As a counter-point, Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles which really reflected God’s will and plans for them. It deflated heroic expectancy of the exiles. No hero would rescue them, the Babylonian king would not die in battle, etc. Instead, the true prophet had mundane but spiritually significant instructions:
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:4-7).
The exiles obeyed the true word of God, settled, blessed and prayed for the local government, and awaited divine restoration. That came, as described in the same chapter of Chronicles which described the horrible fall of the Jerusalem, via an unexpected source, a pagan king:
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them’” (2 Chronicles 36: 22-23).
Conspiracy Theories are Counterfeit History
From the Biblical standard, CTs are counterfeit history. They rob persons accepting CTs of the wisdom one should have in reading and understanding historical situations or relating them to present crises. Persons under the sway of CTs, Christian or not, are encouraged to believe that the elimination of an evil group and the triumph of a “good” faction will bring about peace and harmony. In effect, politics is confused with messianic expectations. Christians who buy into CTs believe they must give divine providence a helping hand. They want the offensive group or faction removed or exterminated so that the golden age may come forth. That dream might be, as Donald Trump supporters wish, an America where the Left is reduced to impotency and America returns to the conservative interpretation of the Constitution. Similarly, a Left-leaning might dream of an America free of Republican and “fascist” policies with a socialist economic and political system.
Biblical narratives stress repentance and a return to righteousness. This contrasts with conspiracy theories, where restoration and justice depend on the elimination or political ousting of an evil group.
And what if their goals are reached? Paradise will still not be achieved because humanity is inherently sinful. Unintended consequences of secular policies will breed a new generation of problems. Let us recall when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and communism in its one party, state-established form was destroyed. A respected political scientist declared in a widely read essay that the world had come to “the end of history.” That is, that democracy and free market economies had ultimately triumphed and serious world conflicts would not reoccur.
Well, guess what?
How to resist conspiracy theories
The harm of CTs range from being the sources of genocide as in the CT that the Jews caused the Black Death in the Middle Ages, to less destructive ones such as the CT that the Moon landings were bogus. But now, a potential disaster is looming if the 2024 election hangs in the balance of what happens in a few swing states. Pro-Trump Secretaries of State and election boards may believe it is their patriotic duty to correct the supposed wrong of the 2020 election and give Trump an unearned victory. That could push the country to some destructive civil disturbance or even civil war. This would be Satan’s delight and the practical end in America’s role as the model and protector of democracy in the world.
Less catastrophic but also bringing great evil is the ongoing ability of modern CTs to make it difficult for societies to establish simple base lines of truth and facts. This makes the rise of authoritarian societies attractive to many, as such regimes have the power to limit incoming information and CTs, and thus limit the divisions in society (while also limiting the ability to receive a corrective truth).
For Christians, embracing CTs are sin because they make slanderous accusations of the imagined villains (Matthew 12:36). Christians who hold to CTs are also subject to various distortions and detours in their Christian walk. For one, they acquire a sense of superiority over the other folk who do not believe in their specific CTs. They view themselves as having superior wisdom and discernment (recall Bob and his CT about the 1974 fuel shortage) when in fact the opposite may be true. The believers in QAnon are a case study of this. Not only do they take part in cycle of slander, they waste a great deal of time in the pursuit of clues about who is supposedly abusing children. Besides being sinful, this is time that could be used for creative good.
Spiritual progress into Christian discipleship demands the humility to know we are all sinners and fallible in our opinions. Our political views are marred by our limitations in discerning which news stories and sources are more accurate and which are mostly false. In many mono-political churches in the United States, CTs of one sort or another are believed by practically everyone in the congregation. This makes a critical evaluation of CTs not only difficult, but even grounds for being dis-fellowshipped if not believed. These churches will typically have less empathy for Christians of opposite political leanings. This leads to less communication and cooperation in areas where the church should be united. In short, CTs function as one more tool for Satan to use in further dividing an already divided Church. All of the above are great gains for Satan, for the weakening of the American nation and the weakening of the authority and prestige of the Evangelical church.
How to personally resist CTs
If a person is confused about what to believe in the present atmosphere of information overload, specifically which stories may be true or destructive CTs, let me suggest the following:
Pray that God give you the wisdom and discernment in distinguishing between an item of information that is a false CT and one that may be true. (We have noted that a few CT, often denied by reputable sources are true). Remember that a “careless word” is a sin of slander and displeasing to the Lord, even if many of your friends believe and spread it.
Cultivate an attitude of humility towards knowing the truth.
When you hear a story that may be a CT do not ask, “Is it possible?” Practically anything is possible. Ask, “Is it probable?” That will automatically trigger some critical thought and filter out some CTs.
Understand that history does not go our way. The 20th Century was the American century. The 21st Century may not be an American Century unless there is transformative revival.
All persons, including Christians, are more susceptible to CTs as they give themselves the license of “hate thinking and talking” of their adversaries. As Christians we should recognize that hatred towards others is a sin, which includes thinking hateful thoughts against our political enemies (Matt 5:43). Thoughts such as “I hate Nancy Pelosi and everything she does.” This hate thought can be substituted with, “I believe Pelosi is seriously wrong in her politics and they are harmful for our Country.” You can then pray for her, as in “Lord, guide her out of error into truth.” That would be a great prayer for any politician and in line with what Paul advocated (1 Tim 2:1-3).
One needs to come to an understanding that opposition is not hypocritical and evil but works out of differing assumptions. For instance, I have heard some Christians say things like, “Pelosi is an absolute hypocrite. All she wants is absolute power.” Well, let’s leave the character judgement of hypocrite up to God. But Pelosi is acting and politicking on assumptions that are common and perfectly reasonable to Democrats but alien to Republicans, as in, believing government can solve most problems. That may be true, or false and destructive, but believing that is not hypocritical.
Conspiracy theories are counterfeit history.
If you hear or see a news item on the internet that is not verified by reliable sources, and that is negative towards those you dislike, politically or socially, treat it as an item of gossip. That is, don’t repeat it unless there is verification from reliable sources.
Vigorously abstain from sourcing radio, TV programs, and web sites that have been proven to spread CTs – as for instance the programs of Alexa Jones. Don’t look at them even for fun.
Cultivate an attitude of humility towards knowing the truth or asserting as true things that are not clearly true. Here Paul is a great example. He was arguably the person in the New Testament who received the most direct revelation from the ascended Jesus. Based on those revelations he wrote authoritatively, as in his letter to the Romans. But when an item of controversy was encountered that was not covered by Scripture or Jesus’ revelation to him, he expressed his opinion in tentative way, allowing the reader to understand that this was not firm revelation. An example is found in Paul’s response to some questions that arose in the Corinthian Church about marriage and problems of separation from a non-believing spouse. Paul is careful to state that what he says is not based on Jesus’ revelation but has a certain amount of wisdom, and the reader can exercise certain options (1 Corinthians 7:8-39).
Practice the words of humility when a news item or story is new and not fully vetted. Using such words as “perhaps, maybe” or the phrase “I will wait for more information” are great ways to sidestep a story that may be a slanderous CT. Of course, certain professions and lines of work demand decisions and actions well before the full facts are known, as in a policeman acting on a tip that may or not be true. For most of us, items of the political or culture wars should be areas where we use the language of humility to express our views.
Be aware that the phrase “everybody knows” most often refers to opinions held by one’s own group. For instance, in Woke circles “everybody knows” Trump is a fascist. In Conservative circles “everybody knows” Pelosi is a socialist, etc. A reminder, in the Middle Ages, “everybody knew” that the Jews poisoned the wells and produced the Black Death.
If you hear a story about your political enemies, and you would like to believe it, as in, “Pelosi is a paid Chinese agent,” because that would confirm your distrust of the Democrats, be suspicious. Express any opinion on that in the subjunctive, “Maybe the story is true, maybe not.” That makes it easier to back off if the story is proven bogus.
This article has been adapted from “Conspiracy theories and the negation of history” from America in Danger. For an earlier version of this article, see “The Sinfulness and Destructiveness of Conspiracy Theories.” Used with permission.
 Jeffery Goldberg, “Conspiracy Theorists are Winning,” Atlantic Monthly (May 12,2929). https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/shadowland-introduction/610840/
 This chapter is a reworked version of an article I wrote for Pneuma Review, “The Sinfulness and Destructiveness of Conspiracy Theories,” Posted June 29, 2015. http://pneumareview.com/the-sinfulness-and-destructiveness-of-conspiracy-theories/ A useful Christian source is Rich Nathan’s article, “Why Do so many People Believe Conspiracies?” (Accessed April 20, 2023). https://www.richnathan.org/post/why-do-so-many-people-believe-conspiracies
 Ilya Yablukov, “Putin Used Conspiracy Theories Before, Now He Seems to Believe Them,” New York Times (April 25, 2022). https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/25/opinion/putin-russia-conspiracy-theories.html
 God’s judgement is a topic not often dealt with by modern theologians, but an excellent recent work on the issue is Steven J. Keillor’s God’s Judgments: Interpreting History and the Christian Faith (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2007).
 SCI Network. “The Truth Behind the Moon Landings,” TV program aired July 2019 which systematically demolished the pseudo-science behind the CT that American astronauts never walked on the moon. Also, the Wikipedia article, “Moon landing conspiracy theories,” gives a splendid summary of the theory and how it has been debunked by independent third parties. Verification of the moon landings include pictures from new, high-resolution telescopes which can identify the various lunar landers which are still on the moon.
 Jared Knott, Tiny Blunders/Big Disasters: 39 Tiny Mistakes that Changed the World (Duluth: Jefferson Central, 2020).
 Ross Douthat, “Jeffery Epstein and When to Take Conspiracies Seriously,” New York Times (Aug. 13, 2019). https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/13/opinion/jeffrey-epstein-suicide.html
 A historical note: Frederick the Great of Prussia suspected that there was a conspiracy between Austria, Russia and France to partition Prussia between them. He had no proof, so it was his CT. He preemptively attacked Austria on his suspicion, and many believed he was an aggressor. However, in the 20th Century archival research revealed that Russia, France and Austria were indeed planning an attack. They had a conspiracy against Prussia. History if often complex.
 Most scholars of the history of historical writings (“historiography”) would reverse this and say that the West’s robust historical writings comes mainly from its Greco-Roman tradition with further developments especially in the early modern period. I hope to elaborate my dissident view that the Biblical influence is preeminent in a future book. For now, I would refer the reader to the classic study of historical method by the English Christian scholar: R.G. Collingwood’s The Idea of History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956) part II. Collingwood shows that Christian historical writing introduced the concept of character development or decline, a concept not found in the classical Greco-Roman writers who believed in set character via the stars, i.e., astrology. It is also important to understand the seminal work of Mircea Eliade’s, The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History (Princeton: Princeton University, 1955) in which the Eliade points out the critically important contribution of the Jews to history, that of linear history (non-repeating). See also, Thomas Cahill: The Gifts of the Jews (New York; Nan L. Talese: 1998), and the classic work by Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of History (New York: Basic Books, 1981). For use in a Christian school or adult Sunday school I strongly recommend John Fea’s Why Study History? (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013).
 The scriptures of other religions often have founder’s tales, but nothing to compare to the systematic history found in books of Kings or Chronicles.
 Incidentally, this definitively disproved the John Birch’s conspiracy theory (for more on this, see America in Danger, chapter 11) that Truman, Eisenhower and other US presidents were presiding over a conscious conspiracy to turn the world over to the Communists. Rather, they employed the policy of containment, first articulated by the diplomat George F. Kennan, which urged that the Communist nations be contained but not attacked, proved true. Kennan foresaw that Communist society would fall apart in time. However, that was not totally true. Communism’s fall was brought forward by pressure from the West, as in President Regan’s “Star Wars” anti-ballistic missile program, and spiritual forces loosed by Pope Paul II. On the latter, see George Weigel’s, The End and the Beginning: The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (New York: Doubleday, 2010).
 Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History,” National Interest (Summer 1989).
 For more hints, from a secular viewpoint, on how to protect oneself from fake news and CTs see, Julie Jargson, “How to Tell Fact From Fiction, Even During War.” Wall Street Journal (Mar. 5, 2022) https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-spot-fake-news-even-during-a-war-11646434626