There are at least two sides to every story, and once the media gets involved then there are countless more. I was a precocious child and seriously questioned “facts” I was being taught at school or heard on television. Thankfully my parents indulged my inquisitive nature and provided, to the best of their ability, answers and explanations. However, some explanations just didn’t equate and because I was a curious student I tended to independently research topics that the history books seemed to gloss over. In middle school I did three separate reports on the Cosa Nostra, the Mai Lai Massacre and Nixon’s presidency for one history class and the teacher asked me if I was OK, and suggested that perhaps I needed some guidance from the counselor due to my “depressing” (his words) topics. I believe this to be the time I started to lean toward alternative or “conspiracy theories.”
Through high school, college, and graduate school as well as a ridiculous amount of additional reading, my views on conspiracy theory evolved. I began to view the media as entertainment, often bereft of truth and always biased. Reporter’s were just actors reading words from a teleprompter fed them by sources who were responsible for making sure the news was just right for mass consumption. This created dissonance in me and led to a general distrust of authority. Needless to say it was a disappointing evolution but one that was inevitable for my personality and nature.
The event that convinced me, however, was the death of Princess Diana. Let me first say that I believe human beings are all “psychic” to some degree. I am a person who has had enough vivid premonitions (that have proven correct) to be convinced of “precognitive” phenomena as it pertains to me. I recognize these “visions“when the flash of information is accompanied by a very physical reaction, best described as a “gut feeling” increased heart rate and a sense of dread. (Unfortunately, my psychic sensitivity is strongest when pertaining to impending death, or physical trauma. Lucky me.) I digress; I was looking through our mail and found a People magazine (guilty pleasure) with a full cover shot of Diana and a small inset picture of Dodi Fayed the headline mentioned that the Princess might be with child. I remember holding the magazine and saying out loud (no one was home) “Diana, what are you thinking, they are going to have you killed. The mother of the future King of England can’t have a stepchild with an Arab. This is the final straw.” I stared at the cover and felt doom and dread, which is the only way to describe it. Of course, I forgot about it in a few days, but not before telling my Mom and best friend, the weird premonition I had. Three weeks later, as I made my way home in the early hours of the morning from a night out in NYC, I turned on the TV and there is was. The car had just crashed eight minutes or so prior and there was no word on the condition of the passengers. Once I heard Diana was involved I knew she was gone and I sat and cried, watching the coverage. The official announcement that Princess Di and Dodi had perished came sometime later, but it was a formality for I knew what had happened on a guttural level. Of course hearing confirmation just turned the tears to sobs, as my mother and best friend watched the same coverage and tried to comfort me as best they could. This was by no means the first time I had a similar experience, I just wished I had been wrong.
Time Out: This is where you think I am crazy and delusional and I would too. I know I am putting myself out there for ridicule, but that is in fact what a conspiracy theory invites.
Since then I have delved deeply into the Kennedy family, which perhaps was the most disenchanting research I have come across. Camelot? What Camelot? Watching Spitzer squirm out of politics, I wondered how J.F.K. might have fared under the same media scrutiny? My guess is he would never have been elected for a second term, if he ever made it to a first. A dirtier bunch has yet to be found.
The events which transpired on 9/11 were very close to home for me. Having lived in New York for most of my life the grief over lost friends and acquaintances had to be endured and only with time could they be questioned. Consequently, along with the sadness, disbelief and anger I was feeling, there was the gnawing suspicion that somehow the events of that day were not as they had been reported. It took quite some time to be able to start thinking about and asking questions about those facts. I discovered Loose Change, the first edition one day on YouTube and watched with horror as the documentary laid out the information that pointed to other theories of the attack. Skeptic that I was, there were some glaring discrepancies the film illuminated which I could not ignore (See the third edition of Loose Change for all the hypotheses). And so, like many conspiracy theorists, I simply don’t believe the party line that 9/11 was an act of brilliant terrorists who managed to pull off the impossible.
I by no means claim to know what happened in any of these tragic historical events, and am resigned to the fact that I may never know to my satisfaction. Yet they all, in their own way, foster my belief in conspiracies, cover-ups and crimes perpetrated at the expense of human lives and with blatant disregard for truth, morality and any semblance of a government that can be trusted. So I question everything, do you?
Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm