Bill Gates, perhaps the greatest philanthropist the world has ever known, has become the target of unhinged, self-contradictory conspiracy theories that are disturbingly popular.
Conspiracy theories are a funny thing.
Like the most tempting lies, they incorporate some truth. They also appeal to a fundamental need that we all have to make sense of our world. Though our planet is increasingly a safer and wealthier place to live (at least until the coronavirus pandemic), the media portrays a society that is in utter chaos. People desire an explanation, so as Michael Medved would say, they point to the "hidden forces behind perplexing and painful present events."
However, the overall narrative of a conspiracy theory is utterly false and entirely divorced from reality. In fact, conspiracy theories are often self-contradictory. Yet, that doesn't deter people from believing in them. For instance, one research paper showed that people who believe that Princess Diana's death was faked are also likely to agree that she was murdered.
Conspiracy Theories About Bill Gates Don't Make Logical Sense
The coronavirus pandemic was bound to generate a substantial number of conspiracy theories. We documented several of them previously. They included all sorts of ridiculous claims, from the virus being a Chinese biological weapon to 5G wireless technology being the ultimate cause. Now, we must add another to the list: Bill Gates wants to use a coronavirus vaccine to inject people with microchip tracking devices.
Let's pause a moment to examine if this conspiracy theory even remotely makes sense. Why would Bill Gates want to track people? So he can sell them a copy of Windows '95? There is no incentive, financial or otherwise, for Mr. Gates to be interested in something like this.
Those who are worried about being tracked will be disturbed to learn that you already can be tracked relatively easily. Every time you use your credit card, that provides location data. And those tiny supercomputers in your pocket otherwise known as smartphones are a treasure trove of location data. According to CNET:
"By design, wireless carriers always know where you are because your phone checks every few seconds for the strongest signal from nearby cell towers. They're also tracking you to ensure you can be found in an emergency."
So, Bill Gates doesn't need to track you. Other companies are already doing it. And if companies are doing it, that means the government can do it, too, provided that it gets a warrant.
Despite all this, a substantial number of Americans (28%) believe this conspiracy theory about Bill Gates. Another 32% are "unsure," which means they're at least open to the idea. Combined, that's a stunning 60% of Americans. And like everything else, belief in this conspiracy breaks down along partisan lines. See the following poll conducted by Yahoo/YouGov:
This isn't the only conspiracy theory about Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation. Others believe that he is using eugenics to depopulate the planet. Once again, this makes no sense; the Gates Foundation is fighting disease in poor countries (which are largely non-white). This single fact contradicts both the eugenics claim and the depopulation claim.
No matter. I still get emails like this:
"Mr Microchip himself has transformed himself into the human God of Vaccinations. We're now at least hearing of nanoparticles in vaccines. I suspect there's cellular compatible nanochips in the works also.
I am no conspiracy theorist."
I have no response, other than to post this, which has been circulating on the Internet.*
*Note: I haven't fact-checked the cited stats, but I did censor a couple of potty words.