November 22, 2018 marked 55 years since President Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza. In all that time there have been countless claims of conspiracy, in books, movies, TV shows, etc., pointing to a wide variety of groups who allegedly committed the crime far various reasons, but not a single shred of evidence has emerged that anyone other than Lee Harvey Oswald was involved.
“History is much more the product of chaos
than of conspiracy.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski
A few years ago I put out a documentary, Conspiracy Theorists Lie, showing how both the political right and left have abused our understanding of the past and turned JFK’s murder into the gateway conspiracy theory; the one conspiracy story that most people have paid some attention to and the only one that polls suggest a majority continue to believe in.
It is my belief that we cannot turn the tide on today’s crazy beliefs, from 9-11 “truthers” and pizzagate followers to the anti-vaccination crowd, until people accept the fact that Oswald acted alone. As former National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski once observed, “History is much more the product of chaos than of conspiracy,” and the idea that hundreds, or thousands, of people, acting across multiple generations, can hide the truth from the general public, is pure nonsense.
I hope this list will help you, or someone you know, to develop a more reasonable understanding of the past and better evaluate new claims of conspiracy in the future. I will elaborate on each point and refine them as time permits.
- There was no, “magic bullet.”
- “Back and to the left,” is consistent with the laws of physics.
- Oliver Stone’s JFK is a pack of lies.
- Jim Garrison was a homophobe, not a hero.
- Clay Shaw was not in the CIA.
- Dave Ferrie, and countless others, were not in Dallas that day.
- President Kennedy’s record on Vietnam is unclear.
- President Kennedy was not going to expose a conspiracy before he died.
- No one controlled Earl Warren.
- The Warren Commission was not a rubber stamp.
- President Johnson was not a murderer.
- Malcolm Wallace’s fingerprint was not found in the sniper’s nest.
- Oswald’s brother knew he did it.
- Oswald’s wife knew he did it.
- The photographs of Oswald are real.
- Oswald did not leave work to watch the motorcade.
- LBJ’s alleged mistress did not expose the conspiracy.
- The limo was not destroyed without being inspected.
- The motorcade route was not changed.
- Oswald’s mother was crazy.
- Oswald’s behavior was erratic.
- Oswald was not, “a patsy.”
- Oswald had tried to kill before.
- Oswald brought his rifle to work after failing to convince his wife to reconcile.
- Oswald did not join his fellow employees to watch the motorcade.
- Oswald was seen with his rifle in the sniper’s nest.
- No other shooters were seen in Dealey Plaza.
- There is no place to hide on the, “grassy knoll.”
- The shots were not difficult.
- The shots are only consistent with Oswald’s location.
- A Houston shot would not have been a better option than Elm St.
- Oswald ran from the scene of the crime and left his rifle behind.
- Witnesses to the crime were seen on TV almost immediately.
- A reporter found Abraham Zapruder after he left the plaza.
- Oswald was seen shooting Officer Tippit.
- Oswald tried to change his clothes after each shooting.
- It was not suspicious that several officers showed up to arrest Oswald.
- Oswald tried to shoot more officers when he was arrested.
- Oswald’s behavior in custody was incomprehensible.
- Jack Ruby was not a hitman.
- Jack Ruby did not stop Oswald from talking.
- Jack Ruby got lucky.
- Robert Kennedy did not believe in a conspiracy.
- The conspiracy theorists cannot agree on a conspiracy.
- The HSCA was not a body of objective purity.
- The HSCA did not refute the Warren Commission.
- The HSCA did refute government involvement in the crime.
- The HSCA’s conclusion of a probable conspiracy was based on false evidence.
- President Ford did not admit to falsifying evidence.
- The witnesses have not been murdered.
- The records were not hidden from the public to conceal the truth.
- The records have not been altered.
- There is no hidden detail left that would alter the basic facts.
- No group of plotters would have agreed to such a ridiculous plan.
- Real conspiracies are far more noticeable.
I could go on, but you’ve got to cut yourself off somewhere. As Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, once said, “Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired” (a more modern wording of this sentiment I’ve seen quoted elsewhere goes: “You cannot reason people out of something they were not reasoned into”). To put it yet another way: When people are emotionally invested in their belief systems it is exceedingly difficult to get through to them or chart a course around their defenses with facts and logic. Nevertheless, there are times when particular individuals are ready to hear the truth and can be swayed by it, so I don’t want to give up the good fight all together.
For another perspective on this subject, and more evidence against the conspiracy crowd, try reading, or listing, to Jamie Palmer’s article, “My Misspent Years of Conspiracism.” The path we both traveled is basically the same; falling for conspiracy nonsense for years before realizing we were grounded in quicksand and didn’t know what we were talking about. If we can make it out of the true believing trap I remain hopeful that anyone can.