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Evan Burton

Out of curiosity

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Out of curiosity... has anyone undergone a major shift in their opinions regarding the JFK assassination? From being a 'lone nutter' to belief in a conspiracy? From a belief in a conspiracy to a 'lone nutter'? Or perhaps a major shift in how you thought it was done (I don't know details so you'll have to decide what is a major shift)?

If so, what convinced you?

By past performance, I'm guessing this will be futile but.... this is your personal view. If someone says "I changed my opinion because of A" and you think A is completly bogus, please do NOT voice your view that A is bogus... just let people voice what shaped their opinions.

Thank you.

Evan,

This is copied pretty much verbatim from another forum where someone recently asked me about my shift from a conspiracy believer to a lone nutter.

My "conversion" is not an easy story to summarize. I got into the subject of the assassination when I saw Oliver Stone's *JFK,* read the books his movie was based on, then started reading every conspiracy book I could get my hands on. (Anti-conspiracy books, not so much, at least not until a little later.)
In 1998 I began getting really excited about some of the newest developments in the case, including John Armstrong's "Harvey and Lee" theory; some of Harrison Livingstone's claims about the medical evidence, the Zapruder film, and a Texas-based conspiracy; the hints being dropped about evidence Barr McClellan was supposed to publish proving LBJ's complicity; and some leads that were new to me about David Ferrie and Guy Banister. (I never bought into Garrison's allegations about Clay Shaw; I agreed with a lot of prominent researchers who thought Garrison started off with some viable leads but then went off the rails after David Ferrie died.)
I started trying to synthesize some of this into as coherent a scenario I could, and felt like something of a kid in a candy store when I finally got an internet connection and was able to post my ideas and debate points with others. Some of what I learned initially seemed to validate the theories I was pursuing, but some aspects became more troubling. Several unusually good researchers urged me to study more primary sources, rather than rely on books and websites, and even helped me get ahold of some. (A LOT more is available online now than then, thanks to researchers of both the CT and LN persuasions.)
The first casualty was my faith in Garrison's reliability, and this was driven home quite forcefully when Patricia Lambert's FALSE WITNESS came out and verified what I was already encountering in the primary sources: that Garrison, with the help of some overly cooperative witnesses, essentially made his entire case up. My confidence in what I was learning about Garrison increased greatly as I debated Garrison supporters and found their arguments even weaker than I'd expected. They often didn't bother debating evidence much at all and relied on personal attacks about how I was some kind of CIA disinformation agent or propagandist.
It's hard to underestimate how shocking it was to me that what I had thought of as a tremendously important chunk of history -- all the suspects developed by Garrison (Ferrie, Banister, the Cubans) and all the claims I'd thought were so enlightening about Oswald in New Orleans (and Clinton! and Jackson!) -- were just fantasies, things Big Jim took from unreliable, often mentally unstable "witnesses" and embellished, or speculation of his own that he simply declared to be factual. That changed the way I looked at a lot of things -- first John Armstrong's "Harvey and Lee" theory, which I'd thought so groundbreaking and crucially important, and now reminded me more of the way Garrison cherry-picked statements from dubious witnesses and wove them into a story that could often be footnoted and verified, but completely lacked any basis in reality when scrutinized more carefully. (I would characterize Armstrong as an honest but misguided researcher, however, not a flat-out xxxx like Garrison often was.)
I've written pretty extensively about specific problems with Garrison's claims (first at John McAdams' Kennedy Assassination Home Page, then at my own website), and the subject is also touched upon in an essay I wrote a little while later about why I no longer believed Armstrong's theory:
I thought it was important to explain why I'd changed my mind about Garrison and Armstrong, partly because my early months online were spent wallpapering alt.conspiracy.jfk and alt.assassination.jfk with posts endorsing Armstrong and the earlier (pre-Shaw) Garrison theories, and partly because I wanted to try to spare other researchers some of the hassles and wastes of time that I'd experienced.
Other problems with things I believed started to emerge. The Barr McClellan thing fizzled badly; his book, which was supposed to have all sorts of rock-solid evidence against LBJ, turned out to be a lot of hot air. Research on the Z film showed me that things I'd thought were indications of forgery turned out to be pretty silly. The Zavada Report came out around that same time and basically kicked the stuffing out of all the forgery claims. My fervent belief that Lee Oswald was just a poor, innocent patsy began to crumble. An interview with Nick McDonald in Walt Brown's JFK/DEEP POLITICS QUARTERLY convinced me to give McDonald the benefit of the doubt about his encounter with Oswald in the Texas Theatre, and some research into his statements and those of the other Texas Theatre witnesses convinced me that Oswald had drawn his gun on McDonald, something I'd never believed before. (Citations available upon request.)
Then Dale Myers' book, WITH MALICE, convinced me that Oswald had killed Tippit, something I'd vehemently denied for years. And then not only some more careful readings of things like the Warren Report, the HSCA Hearings, and Posner's book, but also some of the newer books like Gus Russo's LIVE BY THE SWORD and Gary Savage's FIRST DAY EVIDENCE convinced me that the case against Oswald as a JFK assassin was a lot stronger than I'd ever considered, and the Warren Commission wasn't the total joke I'd been led to believe.
It still took a little time for the other shoe to drop, so to speak; I didn't become an LN overnight. In fact, I was being called an LN for quite some time before I actually was one, just because I'd become so critical of conspiracy theories I thought were ridiculous, like Garrison's. As a CT, I wanted the junkier theories off the table so we could all take a better look at what was left. By the time I was done, though, I'd decided that pretty much all of the conspiracy theories were junk and was convinced that, in all likelihood, it was Oswald alone who did it.
An issue that started to seem more relevant to me than studying individual conspiracy theories was figuring out why intelligent, educated people can be so susceptible to conspiracy theories in the first place. Books like Michael Shermer's WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS, Daniel Pipes' CONSPIRACY, and David Aaronovitch's VOODOO HISTORIES helped give me some perspective, and some research published just in the last year or two has helped me get a better handle on some of the psychological aspects of the issue. I refer to some of this in my SKEPTIC article:
Dave

What I find amazing is simple, alleged CT turned Lone *I done seen the LHO light* Nut, all seem to have a terrific aversion citing the very thing they claim to (NOW) support: the 1964 Warren Commission Report. I wonder W-H-Y ... Dave?

Dale Myers? c'mon.... LMFAO!

Edited by David G. Healy

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I was never more convinced that there was a conspiracy after reading Case Closed. The way the major media championed the author and paraded him around the various main stream channels like the messiah - the defender of the warren commission. I thought ; something is going on here, and it isn't the truth.

I mean the entire prosecution of the lone gunman in this book case depends on a bullet shedding its core from a tree branch, continuing on it's path and mysteriously hitting the curb and wounding Mr. Tague.

Sure, there are pre numerous web pages full of other criticisms of the book, but come

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on, only Bugliosi came up with a different but just as crazy a scenario, this time the bullet hits the pavement, unzips the copper, jumps up and continues to the curb.

OH please!

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I hadn't given the Assassination much thought and had no opinion either way until someone gave me Case Closed as a Christmas gift when it was first published. I couldn't put it down and was fascinated by the theories of Mr. Lifton.

Much later in life, I was doing some research on one of my grandfathers who had a long career in intelligence from WW1 through the late '50s and I started finding references to individuals on the periphery of assassination. Like some Google search gone wrong, one thing led to another and he I am.

I've done some original research on the New Orleans/Quaker/Paine angle but I've put that on the back burner and am currently working on things related to the AF1 tapes.

I'd say I went from oblivious/agnostic to CT'er

Edited by Chris Newton

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I mean the entire prosecution of the lone gunman in this book [Case Closed] depends on a bullet shedding its core from a tree branch, continuing on its path and mysteriously hitting the curb and wounding Mr. Tague.

I don't think that is a fair assessment of the "entire prosecution of the lone gunman" case as laid out by Gerald Posner in Case Closed.

Yes, Posner thinks the bullet hit the oak tree and then the lead core separated from the copper jacket. I think that's probably the correct scenario to account for Tague's minor injury too. And such a scenario is certainly physically possible, as proven by some of Dr. John Lattimer's experiments, in which he fired Carcano bullets into tree limbs, with the copper jacket "often" separating from the lead core [source: Case Closed, page 325, footnote].

It might seem quite strange to some people that the exact same type of Mannlicher-Carcano FMJ bullet could split in two after striking an oak tree branch, and yet remain totally intact and undamaged after penetrating several feet of a pine tree (which has been proven in demonstrations). But, under certain conditions and circumstances, apparently both of those things can and will happen to a Carcano bullet.

But since we're talking about the MISSED shot that struck no limo victims, we are, after all, really only talking about GUESSWORK when it comes to what happened to that bullet. And Mr. Posner certainly understands it's guesswork too.

Yes, he seems pretty sure in his own mind that Oswald's first shot struck the oak tree and deflected to the Main Street curb. But that doesn't necessarily mean that an alternate scenario couldn't also be correct. Such as the theory that has a fragment from the head shot doing the damage to the curb and Tague. And I doubt that Posner himself is so stubborn that he has totally dismissed at least the possibility of that latter "head shot" scenario being true.

I do, however, agree with John Crites' earlier post regarding Vince Bugliosi's "bouncing bullet" theory. IMO, that scenario put forth by Mr. Bugliosi just does not seem likely at all -- especially when comparing it to the other two alternate scenarios mentioned above that could account for the Tague/Main St. damage.

More of my thoughts about the "Missed Shot Controversy":

JFK-Archives.blogspot.com / The Shot That Missed

Edited by David Von Pein

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I know Posner and the lonies use Lattimer as a "go to" a heck of a lot as far as ballistics go.

Didn't Stewart Galanor (Cover Up) interview him and didn't he say (Lattimer) he

threw away evidence? Evidence that I believe, just weeks prior he said he had, supporting some of the magic he used to say the MC could do?

Did he also throw away the bullets that hit a tree branch and lost the copper cover, and continued to the curb? Is that evidence still there visually?

Anybody in the research community that has Mr. Galanor's "cover up" and would like to comment,,, thanks.

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I find it unfathomably naive to conclude in the midst of the most glaring of evidence and CONTEXT, that LHO did ANYTHING alone.

It was suggested by Ron Paul at the debates a few years ago that 911 was the result of 60 years of US Foreign Policy.

JFK was intent on changing that policy and was deemed potentially successful, so he was "neutralized"

There isn't a time in all of History when you can find WHITE MEN not raping any and all resources wherever they can.

Where both sides are played against each other for the entertainment and profit of a few.

The 50's administations created the 60's need to "Protect and expand" the MICC which as Ike said had only become the dominant political and economic power during his administration,

while he watched helplessly and NIXON wrung his hands.

I was raised by very intelligent people who taught me to question things, to not simply accept at face value. Maybe it's a JEWISH thing? Judaism is an ongoing logical conversation with G-d and one's faith.

Nothing is taken as true until it can be referenced and agreed upon... as we see from the Talmud.

To support the WCR and LHO as Lone Nut is to close one's eyes to the CONTEXT of the times... JFK was not the only person who was killed to further the MICC agenda... far from it.

----

On the tape, recorded in May of 1972, the president confided to two top aides that the Warren Commission pulled off "the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated." Unfortunately, he did not elaborate..

Just THINK of the reputation and activities of the man saying THAT and in 1972 no less!. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Watergate, CREEP, MLK, RFK, etc, etc...

That people with a brain in ther heads can look at history and not see what RICH WHITE MEN have done and continue to do is a head shaker for me...

That anyone can believe these MEN simply stood by and watched JFK do his thing hoping some little man would take care of it for them is simply too difficult for me to understand

DJ

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David,

you are making me want to read "JFK And The Unspeakable" again.

Nothing wrong with doing that.

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Excellent post, David!

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I find it unfathomably naive to conclude in the midst of the most glaring of evidence and CONTEXT, that LHO did ANYTHING alone.

[...]

That anyone can believe these MEN simply stood by and watched JFK do his thing hoping some little man would take care of it for them is simply too difficult for me to understand.

Paranoia run wild.

~shakes head~

Edited by David Von Pein

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I find it unfathomably naive to conclude in the midst of the most glaring of evidence and CONTEXT, that LHO did ANYTHING alone.

It was suggested by Ron Paul at the debates a few years ago that 911 was the result of 60 years of US Foreign Policy.

JFK was intent on changing that policy and was deemed potentially successful, so he was "neutralized"

There isn't a time in all of History when you can find WHITE MEN not raping any and all resources wherever they can.

Where both sides are played against each other for the entertainment and profit of a few.

The 50's administations created the 60's need to "Protect and expand" the MICC which as Ike said had only become the dominant political and economic power during his administration,

while he watched helplessly and NIXON wrung his hands.

I was raised by very intelligent people who taught me to question things, to not simply accept at face value. Maybe it's a JEWISH thing? Judaism is an ongoing logical conversation with G-d and one's faith.

Nothing is taken as true until it can be referenced and agreed upon... as we see from the Talmud.

To support the WCR and LHO as Lone Nut is to close one's eyes to the CONTEXT of the times... JFK was not the only person who was killed to further the MICC agenda... far from it.

----

On the tape, recorded in May of 1972, the president confided to two top aides that the Warren Commission pulled off "the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated." Unfortunately, he did not elaborate..

Just THINK of the reputation and activities of the man saying THAT and in 1972 no less!. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Watergate, CREEP, MLK, RFK, etc, etc...

That people with a brain in ther heads can look at history and not see what RICH WHITE MEN have done and continue to do is a head shaker for me...

That anyone can believe these MEN simply stood by and watched JFK do his thing hoping some little man would take care of it for them is simply too difficult for me to understand

DJ

The Nixon "perpetuated" line has been taken out of context. I pointed that out to Rex Bradford some years ago and he removed it from his header on the History Matters website.

When you listen to the whole conversation, it's clear Nixon was saying that people's believing Kennedy was killed by a right-wing plot, when Oswald was actually a commie, was the greatest hoax ever perpetuated.

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I looked for that audio Pat, could not find it. Do you or does anybody have it and would like to post it?

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