When you live in a totalitarian society, you learn to read between the lines and trust nothing at face value. You know that starting with your government all the way down to the humblest official is manipulating and twisting facts to gain and retain control over every individual and society in general. So it’s perfectly normal to develop a mindset in which you question everything, it become second nature and it’s a way of resisting the indoctrination. Problem is that the method is self perpetrating and destructive, because you no longer know whom and what to trust. That’s why Russians, Arabs, etc have a penchant for conspiracy theories, because they make sense in their societies. However, when you apply the same methods in open, western societies, and when healthy scepticism goes beyond constructive doubt and fact-checking, it becomes self-defeating and leads to paranoia. You have to be sceptical and vigilant, but not to the extent that you deny everything for the sake of denying it – where do you stop? The best (or worst, depending on the point of view) part of it, is that you can poison a society and manipulate it at will, once you manage to sow distrust in people and institutions. You can then successfully feed conspiracy theories designed to manipulate society in any direction you want – and guess who and why will feed this information? Is it for your good or is it to control and take advantage of you? My conclusion: I distrust conspiracy theories even more than authority, although I keep my eyes open for those pesky aliens messing up my lawn.