You know, that's actually a really good question to be asking, in this unique time in our history.
Do people really believe this shit?
Until they do.
The dude that believed Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor (which had no basement) walked into the building with an AR-15 and fired off a round to get people's attention that he was "investigating this situation."
He's now in jail, and nobody is dead.
But he had just gotten his internet connection a couple of months earlier. Friends were sending him crazypants Alexjones bullshit, and he had not grown up with the internet, and had no filters to process this stuff.
In every sense, the guy is just a normal dude. He's not some raving loony without a job who lives in a pickup truck. He's just a guy. A redneck from the country who heard children were being harmed, and he felt like he needed to take action. To help them out.
So no. Nobody CREATING this stuff believes it.
And most of the people listening to it don't actually believe it either.
But the more insane the big lies, the easier it is to weave in the "little" ones. Climate change is a hoax. The gummint is comin' to take yer guns. Mexicans are flooding across the border and sapping our Social Security system.
When the speakers are cranked to 11 all the time, it is really hard to make out the finer details in the music. It gets lost in the noise.
This is the business model for Fox News, Huffington Post, Alex Jones, and all the other nutballz out there: Keep em scared, so they will listen to your wisdom and follow you through the darkness. Of course, the darkness is completely manufactured, and all ya gotta do is walk over and flip on the lightswitch to see it's all a sham... but then you have to know the light switch exists. And which direction to walk in the dark to get to it.
And that's hard.