Conspiracy Theorists: How Will They be Remembered?

As one of the three or four Americans who actually believes that Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, it’s irksome in the extreme to me that I can’t get more people, even friends, to seriously consider the possibility.

In that light, it’s encouraging to read an interview with a novelist named Thomas Mallon in The Atlantic, under the title "A Single Bullet," who takes a long look at the "CTs" (conspiracy theorists) and the "Lone Nutters" (people like myself) and concludes that the nutters really aren’t so nutty.

What then do you think will be the ultimate fate or legacy
of the conspiracy theorists? Will their theories persist and outlive
them? What does a fourth- and fifth-generation CT look like?

I think that they will fade. There are certainly younger conspiracy
theorists, but I would say that the community of buffs, or
“researchers” as they like to be called, is by and large an aging
community. I think that most of them are people who have living
memories of the assassination. And I think that 100 years from now, if
you ask an American citizen who killed John Kennedy, the person will
answer, “Lee Harvey Oswald.”

I’m not saying this so much because I have this Frank Capra-like
belief that the truth will out as because one of the things the
conspiracists have never accomplished is to attach any other face, or
group of faces, to the crime, in the public mind. Oswald is the one
face that people have. One of the ironies of history is that the
average person, the average American forgets, if he ever knew at all,
that there was a conspiracy in the Lincoln assassination. Booth did
have this little band of plotters, who were quite active on that night.
But the average, reasonably informed American, when asked about
Lincoln, will say, “John Wilkes Booth killed Lincoln.” I think that
that will happen a hundred years from now with Kennedy and Oswald. And
as Henry Kissinger would say, it will have the additional advantage of
being true.

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

2 thoughts on “Conspiracy Theorists: How Will They be Remembered?

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    Like

  2. For years, I was in your skeptic’s camp, partly because the JFK assassination conspiracy theorists had such an overarching tale that struck me as a little too neat. Then I read “American Tabloid” by James Ellroy which posits that there were about 20 different plots to kill JFK by various strands of organized crime, and that the Dallas event happened to be the successful one, probably engineered by New Orleans mob boss Carlo Marcello.

    Since then, I’ve made a few friends who know enough about the subject that it’s just taken for granted by them that JFK was assassinated by a weird, unstable mixture of organized crime, Cuban refugees pissed off about the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and elements within the government (think J. Edgar Hoover and the CIA). The fact that JFK’s daddy was one of the serious fathers of organized crime in this country from Prohibition days, who helped to start the Teamsters Pension slush fund, just adds another layer of complexity.

    Who knows what actually happened, but the “single lone nut assassin” theory has been conclusively proven to my satisfaction to be fairly lame. And let’s not even get into the Jack Ruby connections with organized crime.

    Like

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