I recognize this can be a touchy subject and understand I will be stepping on some toes here. However, generally speaking I simply don’t buy into most of the prevalent conspiracy theories that have been floating around for years. The more complex the perceived conspiracy, the less likely I am to give it credence. Not surprisingly when discussing such events, the conversation usually includes the granddaddy of all conspiracies–the John F. Kennedy assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.
There are probably more books written on the assassination of JFK than on any other murder in history. And the laundry list of possible conspirators has continued to grow since that tragic day in 1963. The eclectic list includes Fidel Castro, CIA, Mafia, KGB, Lyndon Johnson and the Illuminati. A few extreme crackpot theories even include Jackie Kennedy, Joe DiMaggio, the Secret Service and an alien research organization. If you are truly interested in reading a factual account on the subject, I recommend you tackle “Reclaiming History” be Vincent Bugliosi. Before you rush out to buy a copy, you should know that it is 1,612 pages chock full of tedious details, countless references, myriad footnotes and exhaustive minutia on every element of this historic event. However, if you make it through the comprehensive tome you will become an expert on this highly controversial episode of American history.
Okay, moving on to conspiracy theories in general. The definition of conspiracy is: “a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal.” I’m of the opinion that most people in the United States believe in conspiracies on some level. I tend to be more skeptical and require some logical and rational proof before buying into such schemes. I’ve also learned that discussing these matters is much like talking politics—heated, irrational arguments usually ensue. Consequently it usually proves impossible to engage in a coherent, lucid conversation with those who are true believers in whatever conspiracy is being discussed. Try convincing a disciple of the “Elvis is alive” crew that the King is dead. Or be prepared to put up your dukes when informing a UFO devotee that you think it is insanity to believe that extraterrestrials crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
My favorite question to ask someone when discussing a particular conspiracy theory they subscribe to is, “Exactly who attended the first few meetings when this intricate, devious plot was being planned?” For instance, let’s take the 911 conspiracy. The most prominent conspiracy theory is that the collapse of the Twin Towers and 7 World Trade Center were the result of a controlled demolition rather than structural failure due to impact and fire. Another prominent belief is that the Pentagon was hit by a missile launched by elements from inside the U.S. government, or that a commercial airliner was allowed to do so via an effective stand-down of the American military. So this highly secretive initial meeting of conspirators would have required a large meeting room in a top-secret location. To pull off this monumental event, the conspirators would have needed in attendance dozens of government officials, experienced military pilots, structural engineers, demolition experts, military leaders, police officers, fire fighters and a host of other specialists to plan, organize and conduct this audacious operation. And miraculously not one of these conspirators who were more than eager to kill thousands of innocent people has uttered a word about the conspiracy to this day! And no family members privy to the subversion have come forward to expose the perpetrators of this highly intricate complicated event. Wow, if viewed reasonably and objectively the theory seems idiotic! For arguments sake let’s suppose there were 100 malicious immoral, sociopaths attending this initial meeting. And one reluctant soul, after hearing the preposterous proposal, raises his hand and says, “Hey guys, I didn’t realize we were going to kill innocent people and blame it on a group of fanatics, so I think I’ll pass on this treasonous plot. I’ll see everybody at work on Monday, bye.” And he walks out the door. Is that how conspiracy meetings work. If at some point a conspirator changes his mind (like attending a time-share sales pitch), can he just leave the meeting with no consequences? Is there some “code” where they are duty bound not to expose the organization? Or, like in Hollywood, do two menacing thugs sneak into their house late one night and inject them with an untraceable poison? I’m just asking because I’ve never been invited to one of these super-duper secret, sinister gatherings.
For the record, the only popular conspiracy theory that I believe to be absolutely true is that we faked the moon landing in 1969 and filmed it in a studio instead. My theory—our government knew the moon was made of green cheese and they were terrified that if we successfully put men on the moon, the astronauts would be devoured by gigantic green mice!
Pete Whalon, author of “The Siagon Zoo” has called Southern California home since age five.