Absolutely, totally and with out question they are. Just think about the amount of $$$$ involved in the stock market for a moment. It is the cog of every aspect of our lives. All retirements, all pensions, all insurances, etc. etc. are, in some way, connected to the stock market. Then think about human nature and our inherent problems with greed, ego and power.
C'mon, it can't not be rigged. The powers that be may want us to think it isn't and they work hard to convince us it isn't but there is no way it could not be. Human kind is very flawed, like it or not. Our job is to try and learn some of the safeguards we need to try and get the playing field more level than it is.