Confabulation is understood as the secret pact of a group of individuals with the purpose of achieving a goal, usually something criminal. In this way, when a gang of criminals plans a robbery, it means they are colluding.
The essential element of any form of confabulation is secrecy, so the protagonists of this action do not intend to leak their intentions for any reason.
Currently, the term confabulation is not very frequent and thus the use of another concept, conspiracy, is common.
The terms plot, conspiracy and plot are synonymous with confabulation. The use of this word presents three different contexts: in planning a crime; in the field of politics and power; and within the field of psychiatry.
Politics, power and confabulation
In the field of politics, some groups seek to influence the established political power. In the context of some dictatorships, opposition groups cannot express their ideas and seek to organize themselves to fight the dictatorial regime. This form of organization is considered a confabulation by those in power. An example of this reality is what happened in Spain during the Franco dictatorship , which classified as Jewish Masonic and Communist confabulation any situation that was critical and opposed to the power of the political regime.
The idea of confabulation can be real or, on the contrary, an intervention by the group in power with the purpose of creating fictitious enemies and using this idea as an argument for political propaganda. Inventing a false enemy is a very common strategy in dictatorial regimes or populist formations.
Psychiatry and confabulation
From a psychiatric point of view, confabulation is the intervention of certain events in order to fill a memory gap. In other words, the person who forgets something uses his imagination to replace that forgetting with actions that have not happened yet.
The phenomenon of confabulation is quite complex and sometimes presents itself as a personality disorder , just as it does with Korsakoff’s syndrome. This pathology is typical of alcoholic people, who, due to excessive alcohol consumption, have some memory gaps and need to reinvent their own reality, since their mind is not able to correctly interpret their memory data as individuals.