Seeking information about a particular “hot button” item, I received an introduction on how conspiracy theories are created.
First off, theorists swear we have all been duped by a belief and educational system tweaked to control the masses.
I thought the old nun in the back pew controlled the masses or the monsignor did if the crowd was big enough.
Flat Earth believers declare that we have been deceived into thinking the earth is round, proving just how easily we can be hoodwinked and, if we have been massively fooled about the very planet on which we live, we can be fooled about many other, important things.
After learning a basic truth at mom or dad’s knee, other information is shared by a teacher who was told by a professor, who read it in a book written by yet another professor who was enlightened by a mentor who sensed it was the truth because it had been found carved on the wall of a cave by someone who saw it happening.
Sometimes alone and often in large groups, people seek knowledge, but with unquestioning belief in the words of people in uniform, white coats or black robes. Usually they can be trusted, but conspiracy theorists compile huge files of miscellaneous data to prove they can’t.
This column appears on the same day that all the files on the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy are set to be opened to the public.
I was a young adult when the assassination occurred and can remember tiny details of my reaction and the actions of people around me, as well as the reasons it took place.
The parish priest declared that it signaled the end of the world. Christ was coming and we all should be ready. The collection basket was still passed and no one dared ask what would be done with the money if Jesus called everyone home.
I cried off and on for three solid days over the death of a man I never met and only knew from newspaper reports and TV broadcasts. Since then, conspiracy theorists have come up with all sorts of different stories about the death of the president and, not long afterwards, his brother Bobby.
Enough blame has been passed around to satisfy the conspiracists, who are certain that those at the very top of the pyramid, who control the media, publishing houses and the education curriculum, can pull off any deception necessary to satisfy political ends.
Some are sure that the end of the world is coming.
Dust off the soul and get it ready for the ride.
Those with power are lined up on angles of the political spectrum and using all sorts of rhetoric to prove their points, but are completely unwilling to work together.
One of my collegiate mentors told me progress would only happen if everyone questions authority and works for social change.
Seeds of a conspiracy.