It’s the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination and the conspiracy theories continue.
When I was young, I loved reading about conspiracies. UFOs, the Kennedy assassination, the Loch Ness Monster — they all interested me. I was completely skeptical about the official version of the story.
As I grew, I realized what a hypocrite I was being. I was not subjecting the conspiracy theories to the same skepticism I applied to everything else. Because I wanted to believe in these things so bad, and because they were often easy answers to complicated issues, I was nieve and accepted things without significant proof. (Insert your own comment about religious beliefs here.)
I’ve also learned, as a lawyer, that every incident will have various stories that contradict each other and make things seem different than what they appear. Anything you look at in enough detail will provide things that make it ripe for conspiracy theories.
Plus there are many conspiracy books out there that are just full of lies. Exciting lies that sell books. I used to love reading books by John Keel — “The Mothman Prophecies” was one of his. His books were with all the UFO books in the library and were presented as researched factual accounts. I later learned he was laughing all the way to the bank, and had made up most of his evidence. When they finally made a film of “The Mothman Prophecies” they made no pretense of it being anything other than fiction. But for a long time when I was a kid, I was sure it was all real.
Of course, there really are secret conspiracies. Usually they are money-related conspiracies, involving insider trading, banks conspiring to sell worthless mortgages, and bribes to get around regulations. But, as I pointed out before, huge conspiracies of this type are really hard to hide.
If Oswald was innocent, then why did he run after the assassination? Why did he kill the cop who confronted him? It’s not as if it is impossible for him to have done the shooting …
Does that mean there wasn’t something else going on? No, because there are still too many unanswered questions, such as why Jack Ruby, who really had no stake in this, would go out of his way to shoot Oswald. Looked more like a mob silencing to me.
But these days I won’t jump to conclusions without knowing for sure. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean I should believe it.