The Al Capone theory of conspiracy thinking

Inspired by a long thread on a closed forum regarding COVID-19 and one member’s conspiracy theory leaning reasoning, and what I learned some time ago about using proxies, I now have the Al Capone theory of conspiracy thinking.

Al Capone was famously convicted of tax evasion despite his other extensive, and objectively worse, criminal activities. The idea had been that a person that committed serious crimes but might be able to cover them up would also commit other, lesser, crimes that would be easier to prove.

Likewise, a manager suspected of harassing his employees might conceivably commit other offenses such as fraud with travel expenses.

And here, if you want to find out if a person’s logical reasoning has been radicalised into conspiracy thinking you can take one or two of his claims and investigate them. If he sticks to his claims even after they have been easily proven to be wrong you can rightly expect the rest of his logical reasoning to be as faulty.










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