Included in the long list of words that no longer mean what they used to – terrorism, indigenous, hate speech, and so on – is conspiracy theory. It used to mean that two or more people conspired to commit some nefarious act, in which case the official account of 9/11 would have been the quintessential conspiracy theory. But now it means any account that’s at odds with the official one, the latest, in this sense, being that it was the Israelis who set off the ammonia nitrate explosion in Beirut with a small nuclear missile.
The thing about such theories, in the minds of people attracted to them, is that it only takes one that turns out to be true to render all the others undoubtedly true. It’s true just in case it could be true, and since it could be true it is.
The problem with conspiracy theories, in the minds of people who find them risible, is the number of people who’d have to have been silenced. But, I counter, they wouldn’t have to be silenced if no one would believe them. Thus, for example, I’ve made no secret that I was the second gunman on the grassy knoll. I have a signed contract to do the update on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And I’ve outed my three buddies who chickened out just as we were boarding the fifth plane. I’ve given the police names and addresses. None of them have even been visited.
God, if He exists, knows my sins, so why bother telling Him? Because, they say, confession is good for the soul. But what if He doesn’t know my sins? And when I tell Him, what if He doesn’t believe me? This is what I’ve been living with since that day in Dallas. This is the true meaning of Hell.