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September 1, 2006
A Look Inside Insanity

Last night on the way to a meeting, I listened to a caller on the Hugh Hewitt show absolutely wrong-foot the normally unflappable Hugh when the caller suggested that he could prove that Republicans support Satanic control of world events, as long as we had an "open mind". Hugh asked how he could prove that, and the caller said that a website could prove that Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan conspired to murder John Lennon ... and that Stephen King had carried out the hit.

Yes, I mean that Stephen King.

Intrigued, I looked up the website and started knocking around it. If one ever wanted to peek inside the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic, this website -- which is completely earnest -- gives one the best possible potential. In its way, it illustrates all the faulty logic, leaps of conjecture, and paranoid thinking that creates conspiracy theories from Right to Left and in certain parts of the world where such thinking is mainstream. This is Mena airfields and one-world-government on steroids.

The most pathetic part of this website comes from a handwritten letter from Stephen King himself, who apparently tried to take pity on the nutcase (also named Steve) who obsesses about this theory:

Dear Steve,

I didn't kill John Lennon and I think you know that as well as I do, inside the wall of denial that you've put up. Your interest in me is a way of allowing you to avoid dealing with your own mental and spiritual problems. Let it go, why don't you, and find more constructive outlets for your considerable talents? Meantime, here is a fascinating book about the man who really did kill John.

Best, Stephen King

I'm impressed that King actually tried to talk the man down from his mental ledge, and King even sent him a copy of Let Me Take You Down, a book about Mark David Chapman. Unfortunately, the conspiracy nut believed that the book was a coded message that King used to threaten his life. I'd say that King might want to review his security situation.

It's a sad and extreme example of what happens when people stop looking for rational answers and instead adopt the lazy but satisfying belief that massive conspiracies exist just out of sight which explain everything wrong in the world. It's an impulse we see all too often, and the end result brings us to imagine that politically liberal novelists conspire with conservative politicians to murder entertainers, among other impossibilities.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 1, 2006 4:53 AM

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