October 20, 2017

Anatomy Of A Conspiracy

jfkToday is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (It is also, ironically enough, the 50th anniversary of the deaths of C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley.) Anytime someone is murdered there are many questions to be answered; when it is one of the most powerful men in the world who has been killed, the questions multiply many times over. The mystery surrounding President Kennedy’s death has not been, in many people’s minds, solved even after five decades. The conspiracy theories run the gamut from Mafia hit men to Lyndon Johnson contracting to have the president killed to a the CIA ordering a “termination.” The Warren Commission concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy, and Jack Ruby acted alone in shooting Oswald two days later. Yet the Warren Commission’s report, as thorough as it was, has not satisfied those who insist there is more behind the story. Today if you do a Google search for “JFK conspiracy theories,” you will get 115,000,000 results (in just .39 seconds).

We humans are curious. “That’s just how it is” has never been a good enough explanation for what we don’t understand. We couldn’t see across the ocean, so we built boats that allowed us to explore beyond the horizon. We didn’t know what was on top of mountains, so we found a way to climb up to see for ourselves. Even the moon begged us to find a way to explore its surface.

When we read, hear about, or experience something we don’t understand, we search for an explanation. Sometimes it is a simple matter, involving only ourselves. But when the situation is more complex and involves many people—and maybe even takes places over a long period of time—the facts are not as easily discerned. This is where a conspiracy theory enters the picture.

A good conspiracy theory seeks to explain something we may not have even known needed explaining. It will try to impose order on a chaotic situation, even if the explanation stretches credulity to the breaking point. We can’t understand how Oswald could have gotten off that lucky shot from an awkward angle at the Texas School Book Depository, so we come up with a theory that involves more than one gunman. It helps us to makes sense of the senseless.

Conspiracy theories are typically intricate, complicated explanations for events that are difficult, if not impossible, to understand. The theory should contain many different “arms” in its explanation of the event. If one arm is shown to be implausible, the other arms can continue to move about. The more arms in a theory, the stronger the conspiracy. Of course, the capstone to a conspiracy theory is this: Even if undeniable proof exists to show that part of the theory is false, those who cling to belief in the theory will say that “they”—a mysterious, invisible group of powerful people—have covered up the truth. “They” control society in general, and thus are able to hide their activities and true intentions even from those who think they know the truth. Of course there is proof the theory is not true. That’s what “they” want you to believe. 

Another key attribute of a conspiracy theory is the inability by rational people to disprove even the most ridiculous of claims. Former BBC sports reporter David Icke has rather unique ideas about world history and where we are all headed.  A visit to his web site shows his interest in the Illuminati, Freemasons, bankers, and mind control—the usual suspects. But he throws in an unusual twist by saying that reptilian humanoids are actually controlling our world. Some of these reptiles masquerading as humans include, according to Icke, George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth, Henry Kissinger, and Kris Kristofferson. (Ok, I get Kris being on the list. That part is not a theory.) You think Icke is crazy? You think there is no way reptiles could take on human form and rule our nations? Go ahead—prove him wrong. Even if you were to conduct a complete physical on each of these people and show with lab work and X-rays that they appear human, Icke would just say that these lizards are really, really good at what they do and can completely change their physiological makeup to fully match that of humans.

See what I mean?

Theories like those of Icke are easy to dismiss, but others are not. They have just enough truth about them to make one wonder. Even when we have historical records that show, for instance, that the Illuminati (if they ever existed in the first place) were gone by the end of the 18th century, we have authors like Dan Brown telling us that “history is always written by the winners.” Thus, historical fact itself is cast aside as unreliable since “they” control the writing of history. So, just what can be trusted?

Perhaps the better question to ask is, “Why do we invent things to fear?”

Fear is not unique to humans. Animals, even plants, experience fear when real danger is near. Only humans, however, react to imagined fear. We invent our own dangers and then react to them. We have no proof that “they” are out to get us or that “they” even exist. Yet we expend a tremendous amount of energy worrying that unseen powers are controlling our environment, economy, educational systems, and entertainment enterprises. Since September 11, 2001, our fears have been on overdrive. The constant reminders in the media that we may experience another terrorist attack at any moment have us watching with suspicion those who are different from us.

And let’s face it: Fear sells. The mass media play on our imagined fears, running out the next crisis as soon as worries over the last one start to wane. Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and other novels, lit a new fire under the conspiracy industry by saying the Catholic Church is hiding the “truth” that Jesus was married. Older books such as Holy Blood, Holy Grail—written nearly twenty years before The Da Vinci Code—found themselves on bestseller lists and being taken with the utmost seriousness by supposed scholars. The goal of these and similar authors, they say, is to present the “real” Jesus to us, not the one that the church (and here they mostly mean the Catholic Church) has foisted on us for 2,000 years. The thought that religious leaders are hiding the truth about Jesus from us is intriguing to those who love conspiracy theories. Those with shallow commitments to Christ and his Church can forsake Christianity when it is called into question. After all, if Christianity is just a part of a conspiracy, then why bother with it? The books by Dan Brown and the like offer freedom from following Jesus. Conspiracy theories make us question all truth and thus wander endlessly in a maze of, as Paul writes to Timothy, “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”

Remember, truth is not a concept or a theory. Truth is a Person, Jesus the Messiah. And we are not to prove him. We are to trust him.

Neither you nor I will ever know, this side of eternity, the truth about JFK’s death. Nor, as I see it, is it all that important that we do. It is important that we believe Jesus is who he says he is. Everything else is mere speculation.

Except, of course, for Kris Kristofferson. He always did have kind of a lizardy voice, don’t you think?

(I took much of what is in this essay from a book I wrote some years ago with Craig Bubeck called The Gospel According To Dan Brown. It’s out-of-print now, but if you ever find a copy, the good stuff was written by Craig.)

Comments

  1. Who killed Kennedy? Who indeed:

    (10) Flying saucers, from above (that would explain the odd angle of the phaser wounds)
    (9) A jealous Marilyn Monroe
    (8) Grassy Knoll was haunted / cursed
    (7) Say, where WAS Nixon that day?
    (6) Suicide, and/or faked his own death
    (5) Internecene Catholic power struggle between Knights of Malta and Columbus
    (4) “Oswald” really a time traveler sent to prevent Kennedy dictatorship
    (3) Thelemic working gone wrong
    (2) Oliver Stone movie was right (some combination of Castro, LBJ, and the mafia)
    (1) Earl Warren himself!

    In the Avengers movie, the alien invaders are called the Chitauri (presumably after the binary star Chi Tauri). This is apparently a salute to David Icke, who also calls them that.

  2. Pete Rose, Bruce Jenner and Mary Lou Retton all look alike, have all appeared on a box of Wheaties, but have never been seen together. Are they the same person?

  3. Perhaps a lesser known conspiracy theory, some Cuban immigrants (I was a 13 year old Cuban immigrant at the time, having arrived here two years prior) believed at that time (some still do, I would presume) that it was a Cuban immigrant who killed President Kennedy. Motive? Why being disgruntled over Kennedy botching up the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and not doing enough to rid Cuba of all Soviet missiles in 1962, of course!

    I distinctly remember my mother saying that Kennedy was a communist, in cahoots with Khrushchev, and that the “missiles” aboard the Soviet ships on their way back to the U.S.S.R. were not missiles at all but some sort of prop covered wit large tarps.

    There!

    PS: Other than having a weird notion here & there about this & that my mother was a very good woman and Christian.

    • Forgot to mention… Those “missiles” were actually giant cigars,

    • well, my husband was aboard a USNavy destroyer during the Cuban Missile blockade. . . apparently it was quite a show-down, and the Russians backed off . . .

      the missiles were taken out of Cuba

      my husband says that those days were likely the most dangerous the world has ever faced because of the potentiality of nuclear war . . . the American public, at the time, wasn’t aware just how dangerous things were

      • Some of us were. I was 9 at the time. I still have the (very expensive at the time) transister radio my parents bought to keep up to date. But we didn’t build a fall out shelter like some in our area. My dad worked at a nuclear processing plant in western KY. That plus the SAC base just to the west in AK meant we were goners no matter what.

  4. Adam Tauno Williams says:

    > Only humans, however, react to imagined fear.

    Does the book you reference contains a citation for this? [I’d edit it out, nothing that follows depends on this being true, and it quite possibly is not true. It rests upon, at least, a specific proposal of what “imagined” means].

    Not to nit pick but I recently encountered the quote by the Dali Lama [in his ethical propositions] that “only humans smile”. *That* is simply factually completely *FALSE*. And how would that support his argument, even if it were true?

    This statement strikes me in much the same.

    • Like Adam, I’m not sure it’s demonstrably true that only humans react to imagined fear. But I think that proposition is on firmer ground than the idea that “…even plants experience fear when real danger is near.”

      None of that should detract from the substance of the article, however, which is an excellent reminder of our one and only source of ultimate Truth.

    • Preston Garrison says:

      I think it would be more precise to say “only humans react in fear to things that only exist in their imagination.” Animals certainly fear things that are the result of misperception. My brother has a goat skull. When he holds it up in front of his dog, the dog freaks out, cowering in fear. My other brother’s dog has run in fear from me when I had a hat on. As soon as she heard my voice she was fine. Maybe we humans just have much more elaborate misperceptions that we fear.

  5. Jeff, this is so good. A friend of mine is a conspiracy theory guy. Just the other day I realized that he’s painted himself into a doom-and-gloom corner. Nothing is safe, no one is to be trusted. Heck, after ordering a diet pop I had to hear him go on and on about the perils of artificial sweeteners, the perils of high fructose corn syrup, the flouridation of tap water in America, and Genetically Modified foods! I just wanted something to drink, not here about how we’re all basically screwed!

    I like how you said it: they’re basically inventing things to fear. The sad thing is, where do these people find hope? Seriously, if they truly believe this stuff, why bother living? Is their sole purpose now to push their fears on others? Some day I plan on asking my friend that, hoping to point to the Good News of the gospel of Jesus.

  6. Yes Adam, I have a source for that. But I don’t have it in front of me at work. I’ll stand by this.

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Even if you were to conduct a complete physical on each of these people and show with lab work and X-rays that they appear human, Icke would just say that these lizards are really, really good at what they do and can completely change their physiological makeup to fully match that of humans.

    Something I cannot stress enough: A Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is a Completely Closed System. A Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory is literally impossible to disprove. Any evidence against The Conspiracy is Disinformation Planted by The Conspiracy. Lack of Evidence for The Conspiracy PROVES The Conspiracy Is So Vast THEY Can Silence Anyone. Sheeple don’t know of The Conspiracy because That’s What The Conspiracy Wants Them To Think. Anyone who doubts The Conspiracy is either part of The Conspiracy or one of the Stupid Sheeple who are too stupid to KNOW What’s REALLY Going On. (Gnostic = He Who KNOWS What’s REALLY Going On.)

    “If your Conspiracy Theory doesn’t fit the facts, Invent a Bigger Conspiracy.”

    “THE DWARFS ARE FOR THE DWARFS! WE WON’T BE TAKEN IN!”

    “And because they Won’t Be Taken In, they can never be taken out.”

    • I’m reminded of the George/Lloyd Braun conspiracy theory Seinfeld episode; Lack of evidence proves it exists!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        That’s funny because it’s true, Craig.

        And what’s scary is that Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory has become the New Normal in politics, academia, media, and even the churches. What is the Satanic Panic (or the Homosexual Agenda, or the latest Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist, or The Nephilim) other than another Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory? And shouldn’t the church be the ones to show sanity in a world gone Conspiracy-mad than going “Me, Too!” or trying to lead the Conspiracy pack?

        This old essay on the Web (http://www.acts17-11.com/conspire.html) considers the Christianese Conspiracy mentality, and as an aside makes the point that the two bloodiest regimes of the 20th Century — the Nazis and the Communists — were built on a foundation of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theories. Because as The Conspiracy becomes more Vast, it becomes More Evil, justifying any action whatsoever to stop it.

    • I don’t like to abandon all conspiracy theories. Otherwise Judas acted alone.

      But I know what you mean. On our local community radio station there’s a monthly call-in show, open-mike, any topic, and inevitably there’s a certain guy who calls in, starts out reasonably enough, then turns from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde and rants about the London conspiracy with business interests aiming to take over the world, “controlled by a single square mile in London!” Entertaining.

      But I do think that Oswald was just a patsy. Was Ruby in on it? Dunno. He may have been a distraction. But there were others. The official story is too neat.

    • does this Icke have a lot of followers?

      good grief, if people are going to buy into a ‘conspiracy theory’, they may as well have something colorful and amusing to buy into . . .

      think of it: ‘Lizard Conventions’ where believers meet, production and sales of ‘lizard’ costumes and relics, fuzzy photographs of ‘lizard’ sightings inside the homes of the prime suspects . . . it smells of money to be made, and there are enough crazies out there for this to be profitable . . .

      I suppose people are needing something to believe in beyond the natural world. For people of faith, the natural world is not devoid of the signs of its Creator.
      If the existence of life itself offers absolutely no sense of wonder, then a ‘lizard’ conspiracy might just be someone’s cup of tea. It takes all kinds.

  8. Another reason (other than fear) that conspiracy theories abound in this event is that the reasons and explanations given are (to many) just not that good. I have my fears, no doubt, but I don’t think it makes me fear driven to harbor some doubts about the lone gunmen theory here. I’ve heard a lot of material , pro and con, regarding Oswald as the only shooter, and count me still skeptical , even if the Illuminati had nothing to do with it…. or a beserk cuban.

  9. David Cornwell says:

    My wife’s grandfather, a wonderful, intelligent, and funny man, believed the moon landing conspiracy. Or at least his adaptation of it. But he also was a man who did many things his own way. For instance he wouldn’t allow a tree in the house for Christmas, because of the mess. So, a totally decorated and lit tree was always on the front porch. And he wouldn’t give up his dialess, upright, old fashioned phone until the phone company made giving it up inevitable.

    He probably had other conspiracy theories as well.

  10. conspiracy theories can certainly be crazy, but the fact that human beings *do* sometimes conspire tends to fuel such speculations.

    • +1

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      But not Everybody in the World EXCEPT the Lone Conspiracy Theorist, retroactive unto eternity.

      To keep up a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory, the Conspiracy has to become bigger and bigger until EVERYONE in the world except the Lone Conspiracy Theorist has to be part of The Conspiracy. This is part of that detachment from reality mentioned in Conspiracy Theory and Secret Societies for Dummies.

      It also explains why a lot of Conspiracy Theorists are so bitter. Everyone except themselves is part of The Conspiracy with all the bennies and perqs, and they feel so left out.

      “Who controls the British Crown?
      Who keeps the metric system down?
      We Do! We Do! We Do!
      Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
      Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
      We Do! We Do! We Do!”
      — “Stonecutters Anthem” from The Simpsons

      And there’s also the smugness of the Inner Ring, the smug Gnostic who (unlike all the sheeple) KNOWS what’s REALLY going on. There’s an underground comic whose artist I can’t remember (Roberta Gregory?) who once did a Conspiracy takeoff on “The Three Little Pigs”. The Third Little Pig is the Conspiracy Theorist who KNOWS what’s REALLY going on — they’re being raised for slaughter. He tells the other pigs all about this, over and over, on the trip to the meat-packing plant. Never trying to escape, never fighting back a la “Cows With Guns”, never using this Gnosis to change anything, only to regale the others how “I’m Right! You’re Wrong!” All the way to the slaughter knife, where he’s the last to die. “SEE? SEE? I WAS RIGHT! SEE? SEE? GAAAAAAAACK….”

  11. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    I recommend the book Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies, one of the “for Dummies” books. Very good read, tracing the ancestry of Conspiracy Theory back to the French Revolution and its aftermath. With lots of weird detours along the way. Very good read.

    http://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Theories-Secret-Societies-Dummies/dp/0470184086

    And with one serious undertone: How Conspiracy Theory can detach you from reality, sometimes psychotically completely.

  12. I always bring up this verse when the topic of conspiracy comes around. Not to be boring, but it applies so neatly.

    Isaiah Chapter 8: 12 “Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. 13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.”

    • David Cornwell says:

      Should be posted on our walls to read every day. We live in a culture permeated with fear; of death, terrorism, violence, and sickness. Many of the commercials we see on television revolve around one or more of these fears. It should not be so for us.

  13. The very rich seldom act alone. Seeing plausible conspiracies is not crazy. The rich always seem to want more and stubbornly pursue it with their friends. What’s crazy is where folks try to put facts together in an OCD kind of way when what’s lacking is not more creativity; but facts (evidence).

  14. “Perhaps the better question to ask is, ‘Why do we invent things to fear?'”

    Invented objects of fear are far more pragmatic than facing the absurdity and incomprehensible nature of the true fears of life. They are an odd, grotesque type of the numerous idols created by the human mind, the factory of idols, to paraphrase Calvin.

    Blame evangelicalism, which commonly teaches that fear and doubts are a sign of spiritual failure. We can’t confess our fear of death, but we can share with fellow Christians a conspiratorial fear. It’s an odd mask, displacement, diversion, and denial.

  15. (I have a comment lost in your spam filter somewhere…LOL.)

  16. Perhaps it’s also the consequences of repressing mystery, wonder, myth, and story-telling. That need escapes somewhere in bizarre forms.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Because we’ve pretty much abandoned our traditional myths in a universe of Wheels and Metal and FACT, FACT, FACT. Our Mythic Heroes are now the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian; our fantasy fiction is retreads or reboots or Grimdark and Am I Not Edgy? (When everything is Dark & Edgy(TM), what is Dark any more? What is Edgy? Avant-Garde becomes the New Normal, and the Rebels become The Establishment.)

      This is why Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Superheroes, and My Little Pony are going great guns. They’re providing the New Myths. New Myths with Wonder and Hope where everything is Grimdark and Crapsack and Edgy, like Star Trek did after the Cuban Missile Crisis and Star Wars did at the height of post-VIETNAAAM Angst.

      Classic F&SF was known for its “Sensawunda”; today our mainstream F&SF has gotten stuck in a rut of Seinfeld Sneers and Appropriate Ironic Quips. Even the idea of Heaven — the Timeless Halls of Iluvatar, Aslan’s Land — has become Theological Axioms or Grimdark Destruction of The End Times. Again, you have to portal to Equestria or similar places to find a Land of Wonders these days.

      • Good points.

        Perhaps superstition is misdirected wonder.

      • “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”

        – Albert Einstein

        • Continuing to quote from Einstein:

          “This insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms— this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men.”

          Reference: http://sciphilos.info/docs_pages/docs_Einstein_fulltext_css.html

        • Perhaps conspiracy is the evil dopelganger of true religion.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Paraphrasing some correspondence from Martha of Ireland re Reformation iconoclasm, when you’ve smashed all the hope of the folk religion, the Devil is still there to threaten you. Except you’ve gotten rid of what was protecting you against him.

  17. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Did “JFK Day” become some sort of National Holiday or something? When I drove to work this morning, the freeway traffic was as light as you get on a National Holiday? Or was this just a lot of people taking a “Getaway Day” before Thanksgiving?

    And after 50 years, JFK(TM) has become a Myth. After 50 years, JFK(TM) probably bears little resemblance to the man John Kennedy. At least Kennedy had the good timing to get killed right when his Legend was at its peak, before he could do anything to pop the bubble. After he died (and the spectacular way he died), it became Liberty Valance Syndrome: “When reality and legend conflict, Print the Legend.”

    And the Legend inspired “JFK Celebrity Impersonator” politics, of which the two most public examples were Bill Clinton and John F Kerry. Kerry especially; the guy actually planned his military and political career (i.e. Inevitable Climb to the White House) after JFK’s; “The Next JFK from Massachusetts” (his words, not mine) never made it to South Park because the guy was already a cartoon of himself.

    • HUG, I think he became a mythic figure immediately upon his death. What with the scramble to rename seemingly every new street, school, etc. after him; the thousands and thousands of people who traveled from far away to visit his gravesite right after the funeral; the flood of merchandise related to him and his wife, and on and on and on.

      The Kennedy family were, imo, the 1st non-Hollywood celebrities that I saw enshrined when I was a kid… the beginning of a trend that continues to this day.

      • Numo, the most remote place I’ve been in Ecuador, a six-hour hike from the nearest drivable road (or a mule ride for the infirm or the cargo) had a school called “Jhon F. Kennedy”. The village was probably homesteaded in the 1960s shortly after the assassination, and they spelled it “Jhon” so they’d know how to pronounce it in Spanish. It was like a trip to the wild west—drunks, mules, cattle, gambling on cockfights, and pigs under the outhouse.

  18. Randy Thompson says:

    Huh. Who would have thought it.

    Reptilian humanoids are controlling our world?

    It makes perfect sense.

    How else can you explain Fox News?

  19. Randy Thompson says:

    On a more serious note, it struck me that conspiracy theories can be understood as misguided religion.

    Religion explains the universe, and our place in it, to their devotees. Conspiracy theories do much the same thing. Human beings need a sense that there are reasons for what happens around us, especially the bad things that happen. Conspiracy theories provide this. In doing so, they offer people low-rent meaning and purpose, and, often, a common enemy, a “them” that is plotting against them. A good conspiracy theory gives people a highly inflated sense of their own significance.

    There is also a certain kind of false righteousness that can go with a belief in conspiracy theories. One feels justified because one is “in the know” and therefore superior to the ignorant and misguided unbelievers.

    • I think you might be right in a lot of what you say, but this does not explain everything in the JFK case. The people immediately running up the grassy knoll, his head snapping back and to the left, JFK’s brain missing, the botched autopsy, Jackie’s belief the some ominous forces “out there” shot her Jack, etc. These have added much fuel to the conspiracy fires. Also, I don’t think we in our day appreciate the times, where the Russians were a very real concern, the nuclear threat was real, the political and racial division in the USA was intense.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      On a more serious note, it struck me that conspiracy theories can be understood as misguided religion.

      To use Carl Sagan’s turn of phrase, they both provide a Cosmic Connection.

      A good conspiracy theory gives people a highly inflated sense of their own significance.

      “I am The Chosen One,
      All right, all right…”
      — theme from Mortal Kombat

      There is also a certain kind of false righteousness that can go with a belief in conspiracy theories. One feels justified because one is “in the know” and therefore superior to the ignorant and misguided unbelievers.

      What C.S.Lewis called “The Lure of the Inner Ring”. The Speshul Sekrit Knowledge (Gnosis) that We and We Alone KNOW What’s REALLY Going On. Not much different from what you find all over the Evangelcial Circus, actually. Us Sheep, Everyone Else Goat, Haw, Haw, Haw.

      Gnostic is Koine Greek for “He Who KNOWS Things”.
      Occult is Greek for “Hidden” (or “Secret” in this context).
      Whether that Occult Gnosis is Correctly Calculating the End Times or Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory.

      • The lure of the inner ring. That is very good. I can definitely see the gnostic/secret wisdom connection. gnosis puffs up…

    • One of the best, most pervasive and most difficult to disprove conspiracy theories is “the Devil made me do it.”

  20. The CIA under Eisenhower/Nixon worked the mob to hit Castro. The mob also hated RFK, and so killed JFK to get RFK off their backs. The CIA/Helms THEN conspired to cover up and repress the mob hit to avoid embarrassment and scandal over their work with the mob and to avoid trouble with Russia. Now, what do you think the Watergate burglars were after? Castro had sent Larry O’Brien evidence/papers outlining Nixon’s/CIA’s involvement with the attempts to assassinate him, which led to the death of JFK, which could cost Nixon the election in ’72. Many of the same names involved in the CIA coverup were involved in Watergate. Now THAT is a conspiracy theory.

    It lives because there is some truth in there.

  21. I saw Kennedy once, from a distance.
    He was riding in an open car, down Taussig Blvd. in Norfolk VA, I suppose heading for the Naval Base or for the Armed Forces Staff College which is adjacent to Taussig.

    I remember his red hair. THAT made an impression!

    • Kennedy kissed me on the cheek during his trip to Germany, shortly before he was killed. He stopped in Bonn, where we were living; I was four at the time. The news that he was shot came at night time, or at least I was in bed. My sister came upstairs and told me. We all went down and sat around the radio. I remember I wanted to know if the singing on the radio was angels.

  22. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    And while we’re on more Conspiracy Theory than Art Bell opening up the phone lines at 3 Ayem, let us pause to remember the most unique Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory ever dreamed up: The “Communist Gangster Computer God on the Dark Side of the Moon Puppeting Parrot Gangster Assassins through Frankenstein Earphone Radio Controls” of Francis E Dec, Esquire, 29 Maple Ave, Hempstead, New York.

    Francis Dec was a disbarred lawyer and psychotic hermit who in the days before the Internet spammed lots of Business Reply Mail with his psychotic Conspiracy rants, handwritten in three-point type with millimeter margins. His stuff caught on among “aficionados of the weird”, being described as “sheer psychotic poetry”. Several of his rants (very NSFW) were recorded as dramatic readings by Los Angeles FM radio DeeJay “Doc on the ROQ” and circulated around.

    This is a SFW edit of one of the recorded rants:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjNqKEpYnfw
    As Doc on the ROQ used to say about one of his station managers: “When the world was getting him down, he’d borrow some of my Francis Dec tapes. After listening to them, he knew he wasn’t going crazy — THAT was Crazy.”

    And a mash-up of Francis Dec audio with visuals of Glenn Beck:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUgB1kKGesM
    (Audio and Video actually match up pretty well.)