While Americans have their own favorite conspiracy theories, which can tell us a lot about how they think, many Russians are also prone to believe in global shenanigans, according to a recent survey conducted by WCIOM, a Russian center for public opinion.
Here are the top five conspiracy theories believed by the 2,000 people who participated in the poll:
5. Earth is not round
Only 7% of the subjects believed that Earth was not round, as is commonly known. This knowledge was shared equally across education levels.
4. Aliens regularly come to Earth
On the other hand, among the surveyed, 45% are pretty sure of the existence of aliens. Of those people, 27% think they are just hiding from people on Earth while 18% are confident that the authorities know all about that and are just keeping the regular citizens in the dark.
3. The moon landing was faked
This is one of the favorite conspiracies among Americans as well. Of course, for Russia to disbelieve in one of the most significant accomplishments of the American nation seems reasonable, considering the historical tensions and competition between the countries.
Indeed, over half the Russians (57%) surveyed think there was no moon landing and that the American government just faked the documentary materials in 1969. Only 24% believe it actually happened.
Lest you think this affects only the science deniers, the largest group who supported the faked moon landing theory (at 38%) were the people who also believe in the truthfulness of science and scientists.
2. The scientists are lying to us
About 59% of the surveyed thought the scientists were hiding the truth from them. Not surprisingly, this was the opinion shared in large part (at 77%) among those who did not finish school. About 45% of those who had a higher education do not trust scientists either.
What’s also notable is that Russians used to trust scientists more in previous years. Between 2010 and 2017, 66% to 79% of the polled found scientists trustworthy.
1. A shadow world government runs things
The survey found that 67% of the participants believe in the existence of a world government (up from 45% who thought so in 2014).
Who would be a member of such a government? Oligarchs, financiers, and bankers—or so think 23% of the polled. The perennial conspiracy favorites like the Freemasons, Rockefellers, and Rothschilds, as well as Presidents Putin and Trump, were popular responses to who would be a member of such a global leadership.
The main goal of this organization would be power, say 30%, and money (16%). On the other hand, not everyone thinks this behind-the-scenes group controls everything, with 57% of the participants stating that such an oligarchic syndicate would be influencing just a part of the world’s affairs. But whatever it’s doing, the group’s goals must be detrimental to the welfare of Russia, responded 74% of the subjects.
Interestingly, a much larger percentage of older people believe this, with only 16% of those 60+ thinking there is no such conspiracy. About 45% of the young people from 18-24 do not believe in any such world order, giving some hope for the theory to be less pervasive in the future.