I don’t like “anonymous groups of researchers” - there are a lot of credible top researchers around the world who put their names behind their theories…
The consensus between serious virologists seems to be that due to the nature of the virus and due to the processes within a research center, the theory of the virus either being engineered in or escaped from a lab is highly unlikely - definitely less likely than the alternative, i.e. that it jumped from bats to humans, possibly via a transitory host.
The current discussion is around raccoon dogs possibly acting as transitory hosts between bats and humans - raccoon dogs are bred systematically in China, allowing for intensive interaction between humans and those animals, thus increasing the opportunity for a virus to cross over.
One thing causing a lot of conspiracy theories (beside a certain politician who desperately needs someone to blame) is the intransparent way Chinese authorities have been handling the communication around this outbreak - much to the frustration of the international virology community. Previously, there had been positive developments towards a more open communication, but the recent way of dealing with information is frustrating and creates (understandably) a lot of speculation in all directions.
For the moment, I’m not interested in who’s to blame, but rather hoping that the scientific community will soon gain more insights in how this bug works and how it transmits, so that we can reduce / stop its spread in a more efficient and effective way (lockdowns are just a pretty clumsy blunt instrument that causes too much collateral damage to be applicable long-term) and hopefully cure the infected and protect the vulnerable better.
If those “anonymous researchers” focussed on that, they’d have my deepest gratitude.
My principle has always been “fix the problem first, discuss the who’s-to-blame later”…