Virtual Voices
Neil Heslin holds a portrait of himself with his son Jesse, who was killed in the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting.
Associated Press/Photo by Jessica Hill
Neil Heslin holds a portrait of himself with his son Jesse, who was killed in the Newtown, Conn., mass shooting.

A theory of conspiracies

Culture

Did you know that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax? Or at least very … fishy? Some things don’t add up. If you go online you can easily find videos and blogs that will expose the facts.

And by the way: 9/11 was probably planned and executed by the Bush administration. And the Apollo moon landing was actually filmed on a Hollywood soundstage. And a secret cabal assassinated JFK, not a single shooter. And Shakespeare didn’t write “Shakespeare.” Much of what we call history was orchestrated or covered up by the establishment for reasons of its own.

We used to call people who believed such things “nuts.” But more and more they seem to be our own relatives and friends, like those who recommended the Sandy Hook video to me: “Just watch it and see what you think.” Here’s what I think: We’re getting paranoid. We may have some reason for paranoia, with drone warfare and Obamacare, but that doesn’t excuse a failure to exercise judgment.

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The Sandy Hook scenario pulls together security-camera video, TV interviews, conflicting reports, and concurrent events to suggest that the U.S. government staged the whole thing, probably to deprive American citizens of their guns. Conclusion: The official story doesn’t add up. But if you think beyond the alleged inconsistencies, the implied story doesn’t add up either. Just how was this supposed to work? Were the kids actually shot by government operatives, or are they not dead at all? Were parents who didn’t show enough grief during interviews the real parents? (“CrisisActors.com provides actors for drills and events just like this. …”) Implications are dropped like paint splatters and viewers are encouraged to connect the dots, but there’s no connection that makes sense. Paid actors know how to act (including tears), but grieving parents thrust in front of a camera might not. Newtown, Conn., is a real community of interlocking relationships, not a soundstage. Fakers would be recognized and called out. And if the whole incident were an elaborate hoax, the perpetrators would have created more convincing footage for the security cameras.

I’ve been challenged for my skepticism about conspiracies: Don’t I believe in human depravity? Absolutely, but I also believe in human incompetence. Even in a small town, the coordination required to stage a massacre of elementary schoolchildren would have confounded Cecil B. DeMille with his casts of thousands. Chuck Colson explained his own attitude toward conspiracy theories by referring to personal experience: A relatively minor operation like the Watergate break-in, known to only a handful of conspirators, was impossible to keep secret for long. Think of how many dozens (if not hundreds) would have to be in on the Sandy Hook “hoax,” and extend that to the thousands required to bring down the Twin Towers and pin it on Muslim extremists. Less than unlikely: impossible.

“These things were not done in a corner,” said the Apostle Paul in another context (Acts 26:26). “The world judges securely,” wrote Augustine, meaning that over time, in general, by consensus, the majority opinion of events is at least roughly correct. History holds millions of secrets, but no “secret histories,” at least not of major events. Can Bilderbergers overcome the world? No. But Jesus can.

Janie B. Cheaney
Janie B. Cheaney

Janie lives in Missouri, is a columnist for WORLD, writes novels for young adults, and is the author of the Wordsmith creative writing series. She also reviews books at RedeemedReader.com. Follow Janie on Twitter @jbcheaney.

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