Why do people believe in conspiracy theories? Is there ever evidence to support the beliefs some Americans hold?
In many cases I believe it’s because people are so distrustful of government leaders. In other cases, it’s possibly because some are gullible and ready to believe anything they hear, regardless of the distortion.
But I think one reason is because people find them entertaining or exciting! Yes, sorry, but that’s what I believe.
I found a list of the 10 most enduring conspiracy theories believed by the American public. I’m going to devote the next several days to listing them. First up:
Official White House Portrait by Aaron Shikler
The JFK Assassination
(Now I have to admit that I subscribe to this one, at least in part!) I’ll make an exception to my own rule of “entertaining/exciting,” because facts bear out there’s more to the story than we’ve been told. Otherwise, why would the National Archives continue to hold some of the records secret?
I don’t believe we know all the full truth surrounding President Kennedy’s death, but this much is certain:
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, struck by two bullets — one in the head, one in the neck — while riding in an open-topped limo through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with killing him, and a presidential commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren found that Oswald acted alone.
An ABC News poll in 2003 found that 70% of Americans believe Kennedy's death was the result of a broader plot. The trajectory of the bullets, some say, didn't square with Oswald's perch on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.
Others suggest a second gunman — perhaps on the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza — participated in the shooting.
Others believe in an even broader conspiracy. Was Kennedy killed by CIA agents acting either out of anger over the Bay of Pigs or at the behest of Vice President Lyndon Johnson? By KGB operatives? Mobsters mad at Kennedy's brother for initiating the prosecution of organized crime rings?
Just 32% of those polled by ABC believe Oswald carried out the killing on his own.
In about two months, we will mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death. Books about the man, his administration, his death, and yes, the conspiracies, are already planned for release. There also will be numerous television programs devoted to the subject.
If you have an opinion on the subject, would you care to share it?
Next conspiracy topic: the 9/11 Coverup