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CONSPIRACY THEORIES MIGHT MAKE GREAT FODDER FOR FICTION

June 21, 2017

The other day, I was reading about all the kerfuffle with Megan Kelly and her interview with conspiracy theorist and all around nut job Alex Jones. I understand why her network wants the ratings. I understand why people are upset. I also understand why individuals like him need to be exposed. At the same time, it’s difficult to give them exposure when all (supposedly) the network is doing is exposing them for the nut jobs they really are so people are aware that there are actually such crazies out there. I’m not here to debate that.

If you have more than a few hundred friends on Facebook and they have differing social and political viewpoints, are tolerant to them as I am and don’t automatically “unfriend” them unless they step waaaay over the line, you’ve been subjected at least once, if not more, to a multitude of these crazy, usually unsubstantiated and poorly to not-at-all researched conspiracy theories.

If you’ve been to the supermarket or a convenience store and went to the checkout counter, you’ve passed by the rack with the magazines and the blazing headlines full of conspiracies.

In some way or form, unless you live in a complete bubble, you’ve heard at least one conspiracy, or thirty.

EXAMPLES

This Alex Jones and as a consequence, Megan Kelly is getting press right now because he believes the Sandy Hook shooting was done by actors and was staged so Obama and the dirty liberal weenies could push gun control. Yup, for the one or two of you who haven’t heard yet, Sandy Hook never happened. This is extremely upsetting to the families that lost their kids and the families of those teachers that lost their lives.

The media is concentrating on that one story but that’s only a drop in the bucket. This Jones character has a whole host of deeply disturbing and whacky conspiracies that fit the paranoid and anti-government types like a glove. I have no idea what his actual beliefs are because I’ve never personally watched him, but those of his ilk like to espouse stories, some just whacky, others plain hurtful, racist, and over the deep end. Below is a partial list of some of the more common ones, the crazy, the bad and the very ugly (not all attributed to Jones).

9/11 the twin towers were staged. Yup. A controlled explosion bla bla bla.

UFOs are real and we’re using alien technology to spy on everyone.

They’re putting chemicals in juice boxes to turn everyone gay.

Those strips in all the paper money are so the guv’mint can keep track of you.

The holocaust never happened (a long-held racist belief).

The earth is flat (more people believe this one than you might think).

Con-trails that jets put out are a way for the CIA to poison everyone so they have kids with medical problems and mental issues that turn them gay and into dirty liberal weenies.

Now, on a more obscure but closer to home (at least for me) conspiracy, and one I didn’t even find out about until AFTER I wrote Lusitania Gold, a conspiracy about the Titanic.

Note that this is a conspiracy Jones and his cronies have probably never covered.

Supposedly, the Titanic isn’t the ship that sank on April 14/15, 1912! Yup, that’s right. It’s an insurance scam. Folks, if I got this correct, the Titanic was switched out with the Olympic, its sister ship, because it wasn’t ready to sail or something, and the Olympic is the ship that sailed from Liverpool that fateful day. They switched the names of the two ships. I don’t have all the details, but it was all about insurance or something.

WHY BRING THIS ALL UP?

The last thing I want to do is legitimize the “just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t really after you” mentality, the tin foil hat club, and give these nut jobs a platform, but you have to admit, some of these whacky theories DO make for great plots.

Think about it.

For thrillers and mysteries and even science fiction.

Some conspiracy theories are even too crazy for fiction!

Or…

Are they?

If you can stomach it, and can do so without supporting these crazies, or giving them legitimacy…

Then again, there’s goofy, there’s whacky and then there’s just plain sick.

No, I have another way.

Just wait for some of your paranoid friends to post these theories. I’m pretty sure they will. I get this stuff a couple of times a week. I try to keep politically, religiously and sexually neutral on the web so as not to alienate my readers. Yet, I may privately respond to certain posters or even make an open neutral or logical comment to certain posts.

Even that gets me into trouble sometimes. I rarely if at all respond in kind.

Well, one thing. You can tell what I think about conspiracy theories. So, in a way, I’m giving something away.

At the same time, everyone has a right to freedom of expression, no matter how disgusting or controversial others think it is, up to a point.

We all have to draw a line somewhere. Wherever that line is, if your genre supports it, maybe listening to a small bit of this stuff might give you a spark for your next plot. Maybe not!

One more thing. Think about this. How about the reverse? Have you ever wondered where some of these whacky conspiracies come from? How many of these theories have come from books? Thriller plots anyone? Talk about reverse engineering! Hmmm…

Happy writing!

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