Image Source: Pedopolis.
Today's conspiracy theories revisit 18th, 19th and early-to-mid 20th century superstitions, Penny Dreadful tales, malicious gossip about royalty and aristocrats, and prejudices. Our updated versions of yesterday's chatter include wild rumours about Princess Diana, Freemasons, Illuminati, Bilderbergers and the like. These rumours are part of a popular culture which as become ever more sinister since the Second World War. Clearly, many wartime propaganda techniques developed by the Nazis and Allies were absorbed by the marketing industry in the post-war period.
The shock of that war, how it transformed and twisted our sensibilities, is still little understood. But there is much evidence suggesting that the horror of World War II was subconsciously absorbed into mainstream society and became instrumentalized within pop culture's institutions.