For as long as there have been reasons for people to conspire for mutual interest, there have been those who would suspect others of conspiracy. I think that the reason conspiracy theorists often garner attention in today’s world is because in the event that the plots that they claim exist are exposed, said exposures would be in the public interest. Does that mean that a conspiracy theorist, in his or her simplest form, is an advocate (albeit a potentially crazed one) for the freedom of information?
Lets use a fictional example. Certain toiletry companies come to a private agreement that they will all add a chemical to their toothpastes that causes tooth sensitivity. They have therefore created a need for a new (and potentially expensive) product that they can market to combat the very same sensitivity. If this conspiracy were to be unmasked, the responsible parties would be brought to justice and the public would benefit by no longer consuming tainted products.
Sometimes I think conspiracy theorists want conspiracies to exist, and that nothing but exposure will satisfy them. So what happens when a suspected conspiracy is, in fact, nothing but conjecture? The person hunting for answers will likely be hunting forever. Time for another example. Some people believe that proof of extra terrestrial activity is being covered up and kept at Area 51. Let’s assume that Area 51 is nothing more than a research and development facility for military projects and so forth, and that no extra terrestrial business has ever gone on there. Area 51 representatives will deny claims that they have covered up anything alien-related because they have no choice but to deny; it is the truth. But since they are involved in top secret government projects, they can’t exactly open their doors to prove anything. To conspiracy theorists, a denial is simply fodder for suspicion, and will accomplish nothing. Even if Area 51 were to throw open their doors and start giving tours of the place, the theorists would just assume further plotting — a cover-up of a cover-up: that all the evidence has been moved to another location, or some such assumption.
What I’m getting at is that for people with adamant suspicions of conspiracy, no explanation but their fabricated truth is good enough. If what they believe is not, in reality, true at all, they’ll never be satisfied.