Herald Journal Columns
August 14, 2006, Herald Journal

Conspiracy theories and bunk


My family and I had a lively discussion a couple of weeks ago about conspiracies.

Remember the JFK assassination conspiracy theories? The CIA and FBI conspired with Fidel Castro to kill Kennedy. Some believe that because a conspiracy can’t be proven true or false, it’s proof the conspiracy is true.

Remember the rumor going around that the moon walk never happened? It was staged in a desolate place here on earth, like Nevada, conspiracy buffs say.

Many conspiracies involve the Middle East and Zionists. Israel and the United States are working together to take over the world, they say. There also was a shadowy cabal supposedly involving the first President Bush. The cabal, the Trilateral Commission, wanted to create a one-world government of some sort, believers said.

With the invention of the Internet, even the dumbest, most unlikely conspiracy theories can be kept alive indefinitely.

Here are a few of them you have probably heard yourself:

• oil and Haliburton, and how Vice President Dick Cheney used them to enrich himself conspiracy.

• Masons, Illuminati and Knights of the Templar conspiracy.

• 9/11 and how President George Bush used it to take over Iraq and its oil in the Mideast conspiracy.

And this latest, hare-brained conspiracy theory:

• Israel is allowing some of the Hezbollah rockets to kill a few Israeli citizens so it will have the “moral high-ground” when it kills innocent Lebanese civilians.

Here is my take on conspiracies. They don’t exist.

It is extremely difficult for a group of people to keep a secret. At least one person in the group will want to feel important or be paid for his special knowledge, and will expose the secret.

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to plan a surprise birthday party or baby shower? The more people involved, the more likely someone will spill the beans to the guest of honor.

Imagine how tempting exposing a secret is to someone who might make a lot of money or become famous by telling about it.

In the book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” author Rick Warren said the model church group is 12 people, because Jesus had 12 disciples.

One of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, later betrayed Jesus’ location for 30 pieces of silver. Eleven people might be the model number of people in a group who can keep a secret. Over 11, and all bets are off.

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