BY DON WILKEY
With the stoke of a pen, Peter Savodnik, in his book, The Interloper, discredited a billion dollar industry … the JFK conspiracy business. The who-killed-Kennedy movement has generated an enterprise that led to Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries, web sites, volumes of books and made fortunes for authors who speculated about the assassination.
Author Savodnik journeyed to Russia and spent years of research to tell the story of Lee Harvey Oswald’s stay in the Soviet Union just before he came to Dallas to shoot the president. The facts reveal that the KGB, FBI, CIA and American State Department knew of Oswald but chose to have nothing to do with the confused young man.
Oliver Stone got it wrong and the Warren Commission and Gerald Ford got it right. Evidence points to a lone gun man and there is no case for a conspiracy, according to Savodnik.
America has become a conspiracy mongering society as of late. Some suggest it is a result of the election of the nation’s first black president. Hats off to Donald Trump who recently announced that Obama was really born in America. The Birther movement claims Obama was never born in America and is thus constitutionally disqualified to serve.
Trump rode this movement for years. The fact that he now acknowledges the American birth of the president is akin to the John Birch Society acknowledging the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a myth. If conspiracy mongers denounce a conspiracy myth, we best pay attention.
Trump appears to follow the National Enquirer and has suggested Ted Cruz’s father might be the man in a photo of Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pamphlets in New Orleans.
Years ago I ran across a group that monitored the Religious Right. They coined a term for the movement. They called them “sons of Birchers.” The Birchers are conspiracy buffs who believe all national and world events are controlled by secret societies. Author Russ Bellant has done a splendid job of uncovering the deep roots the JBS has with the Religious Right.
I received some interesting claims on Facebook from some former classmates. There are large segments of the American public that believe Michelle Obama is really a male and actually a former linebacker at Oregon State University. “He” had a sex change operation and married Obama. The children are not really their biological children.
Others have claimed Chelsea Clinton is not the real daughter of Bill and Hillary. Check out YouTube if you doubt how many are following these theories.
Billy Hargis, self proclaimed founder of the Religious Right, used to claim that Mexico was loaded with Communists who were planning on infiltrating America by illegal immigration and turning our nation into a Communist country.
Agnew Waters, a professional author from Washington during the ‘40s, once explained sugar rationing as a Jewish plot to Communize America. In a speech she once shouted, “There are 200,000 Communist Jews at the Mexican border waiting to get into this country. If they are admitted they will rape every woman and child that is left unprotected.”
The Mexican border and immigration has a long history of being connected to conspiracies. Recall that Oswald spent some time in Mexico before the assassination.
Conspiracy mongering appears to be a growing trend in the nation. Because of social media, the prospect for conspiracies to become a viable part of American politics is a real possibility. Many of Trump’s followers do not believe you can trust the American media. This opens up many new options for sources of truth.
It often becomes easier to believe the myths and conspiracies, than the facts.
– Former Oklahoman Don Wilkey is a retired Baptist minister living in Bellville, TX and an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer