Why are so many so quick to believe these types? Is it spiritual laziness?
Ha! I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that (rhetorical?) question. If Jim Jones can 'persuade' his followers - even at gunpoint - to drink the kool aid, then they can be brainwashed into believing anything.
How many followers does charlatan Benny Hinn have? Or Jim Bakker? Or Kat Kerr? Or Joel Osteen? Or... well, ya catch my drift, right? And that's not to mention all the cults out there. Millions of ppl held in the cast-iron grip of a 'strong delusion'. Yet it all makes perfect sense when you consider the many Biblical warnings about these false teachers who tickle ppls' ears, etc.
You could even say it's a sign of the times, but as you know, trying to set a date by a general sign is a fool's errand. False teachers within the church have a very long and ignominious history, and 2 Thess. 2 suggests it will get worse before the end.