I think people invent conspiracy theories for the same reasons that others cling to religion; they are just coming at it from an slightly different position.
The religious believe there’s this big Daddy in the sky who has everything under control; there is a plan and we all have our part to play. Comforting, so long as you’re one of those lucky people for whom God’s plan isn’t getting raped to death over the course of a decade from childhood.
The conspiracy theorist has at least taken it down a notch. They look at the world and say: “Wow, this is really fucked up.” While they don’t cut and run with the old, “God works in mysterious ways,” they still require the comforting illusion that someone, somewhere, is in control of all this. There is still an order and a plan.
The Charlie Manson gods of the big religions love you and have a plan; just relax, everything will be fine. Daddy has the wheel. The Illuminati and the Masons don’t love you, but just relax; there’s nothing you can do about their plans, and at least someone is in control of this mess.
The truth is, there is no order and there is no grand scheme. There are simply basic human impulses and frailties being played out millions of times over. Sure, patterns emerge, because patterns always do; and our minds are programmed to detect them. Those in power are simply focused on keeping power and keeping score against each other.
There is no one at the wheel, and we are all collectively choosing extinction for the sake of our creature comforts.
Like bacteria in a petri dish. Gobbling up the food. Expanding consumption. Spreading. And now, at the cusp of poisoning ourselves with our own waste.
As natural as can be. Just more organisms, doing as organisms do.
No God. No plan. Just nature.