The Conspiracy Of Conspiracies

This weekend saw the passing away of Neil Armstrong. For most people he will be remembered as a heroic figure, a great modern explorer – the original space pioneer. A handful of others of course will still cling to their belief that he was a charlatan, part of a huge conspiracy to boost the standing of the USA during the dark days of the cold war. Here is the Tortoise Soup take on conspiracies.

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In a nutshell, I don’t believe in conspiracies. Any of them. It seems to me that some people can’t accept what is under their nose. The lunar landing headed by Armstrong was broadcast across the world and employed tens of thousands of people, costing billions of dollars in the process. I remember a broadcaster describing how he had met Buzz Aldrin at a party, and Buzz was mighty hacked off at the conspiracists. He described the intense training that they undertook, how when they blasted off they had no idea if they would ever return. They thought that they were saying goodbye to their family and friends for the last time. These brave men put their lives on the line because they believed in the project, they believed that space exploration would help humanity. Against great odds they made it back to Earth and yet a saddened Aldrin explained how not a day went by without people coming up to him and saying ‘come on, admit it – it never really happened did it?’

A particularly British conspiracy concerns the death of Princess Diana. The facts seem blindingly obvious that this was a tragic accident due to a drunk driver going too fast and losing control of the car. Yet millions of people believe that Diana was in fact murdered by the British establishment simply because she wanted to marry a Muslim man. The fact is that this would have been a plot so fiendish that it could only have been foiled by Princess Diana fastening her seatbelt. And that is where this conspiracy theory should end, yet many people will refuse to believe that somebody as exalted as the Princess of Wales could have died in such a commonplace, pathetic way.

Similar conspiracies surround the death of pop and film stars. It seems that the more an artist is loved the more people will refuse to believe either that they died of natural causes or at their own hands or, in many cases, that they are dead at all. Look at this list: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Bruce Lee. Great artists and entertainers all, but face facts conspiracists – there was nothing ‘dodgy’ about any of their deaths. Accept this and move on.

Who killed JFK? Who killed the man who killed JFK? The questions go on and on, the only certain thing is that next to nobody will ever accept the official judgments. And so we have to ask why there is such a proliferation of conspiracy theorists? So here is the truth – it’s all part of a conspiracy!

The conspiracy conspiracy is perpetuated by the media groups that have such an active grip on what we see, and therefore to a large extent what we believe. They love conspiracies, they sell papers and boost ratings. If they print a story that a celebrity has died then that story is over within a few days. If, however, they can sow seeds of doubt about the manner of the death then they can keep regurgitating the same news for year upon year. Barely a day goes by without the Daily Express dredging up yet another story about poor Lady Di. As people turn away from traditional faiths they have to find something else to believe in and all too often they hang on to the most bizarre, outlandish thing that they can find: the cult of the conspiracy.

So on this day above all days let us cast these conspiracies to one side. Let us raise a glass and toast Neil Armstrong, a real hero. Let us say ‘yes, Neil Armstrong was one courageous guy, he really did set foot on the moon!’ The truth is out there – it’s plain and it’s simple and it is right under our noses.

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