*Among all the troubling things that have come out of the Boston bombing attacks, perhaps nothing is more disturbing than the rise of breathless, paranoid conspiracy theories that have spread like a virus.

No longer concealed to the disturbed forums of darkened corners of the internet, these insane theories have gone mainstream – helped by the rantings of wackos like Alex Jones from the Infowars website. The idea that the Marathon attacks were some sort of “false flag” assault on the American people, a kind of Reichstag fire for some ill-defined means, has spread among the more ignorant and uninformed . Even a state senator from New Hampshire – just a few hours away from where the bombings took place – helped to spread the crazy.

It’s an unfortunate development, and one that we’ve sadly seen far too often after these traumatic events occur. From the immortal “Loose Change” YouTube video on the 9/11 attacks to the horrible rumors about the Sandy Hook massacre, these conspiracy theories have begun to run rampant, flying in the face of evidence and in the face of pure logic. Why are these rumors occuring? Take a look at this fascinating Daily Beast article for an overview of the psychology of the deniers.

The article brings forth a hypothesis that the murkiness of the “false flag” attack helps to make everything easier to understand for vulnerable people – basically, that having some type of entity to blame as your enemy will soothe the fear. The article also points out the shameless morals of the people who are spreading the rumors – blowhard media moguls like Glenn Beck and Jones who offer their books and movies up right alongside the B.S.

So, do yourself a favor – if you hear one of these conspiracy theories, just ignore them, shake your head, walk away, and know that you’re on the side with all of the rational, sane people. The rest of the loonies can keep chasing ghosts.