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I have held an undamped and near life-long fascination with JFK. While it's inception was purely assassination-focused, and as a fervent proponent any number of conspiracy theories, it has long-since morphed into my being predominantly focused on everything but the assassination - the man, his ideals, family, friends, administration, the good, the bad, the significant and trivial, alike.

My earliest memory of having anything more than a passing interest of JFK occurred when I was app. 11 years old, when I happened across a thick paperback book entitled, "High Treason". Standing in the middle of a Kmart, flipping through it's pages, I discovered the book to include several and rather disturbing post-mortem photos of the late President. As if I needed further incentive, other pages contained several rather sensational statements of "conspiracy", "murder", "cover-up" and the like. If it was meant to grab the casual reader, young as I was, it succeeded. I was both intrigued and curiously anxious to read the book, so as to answer the simple question of, "What happened?". I do not know how I convinced my mother to purchase the book for me, but she did, and I poured over it as soon as I got home, ultimately, reading it several times throughout those early years, and referencing it often.

Later, I caught a glimpse of Gerald Posner on the Today show one morning, before going off to school, and overheard his discussion about his new book, "Case Closed". I immediately scoffed and dismissed the very existence of any notion that Oswald acted alone, and that no conspiracy existed. Later, I got a copy of his book, read it, and recall having grave and pervasive doubts about my many, and to that point sincerely held, conspiratorial beliefs.

The issue remained in some fluctuation in my mind's eye over the next several years I wasn't sure what I believed, to be honest, and worse, it could not only change by the last article or book that I had read, but at times, even by the moment. For years, I held off on reading the Warren Commission Report. In my younger years, before we held the internet in our pockets, it was all-too-easy to avoid. In fact, I don't know how I could have gotten a copy of it, even had I wanted to, prior to the internet. Later, and after the internet became a staple of our lives (sometime around 2000-01, maybe?), and it was readily available, I still felt a pang of honest hesitation in reading it. For reasons unknown at the time, but which become clearer with the dual benefit of both age and hindsight, I now know that I put it off for so long, simply because I was afraid of what I might find, and worse, that it would all make sense, and that my own intellectual honesty would force me to sacrifice even the last vestiges of any possibility of my conspiratorial beliefs.

Now, unsurprisingly with the aid of hindsight, this is precisely what occurred.

I do not now believe that there has been one scintilla of any credible or empirical evidence of a conspiracy of any kind, in any direction, or which in any way sheds even a faint or whispered doubt on the singular and ultimate truth - that Lee Harvey Oswald acted entirely alone in the planning, execution, and assassination of JFK.

Despite my certainty, I remain sincerely open to the possibility of being wrong, and have neither qualms nor trouble in admitting where my own ignorance or mistaken beliefs have lead to an erroneous conclusion, when necessary. In fact, I would not only accept but welcome - any information which could effectively prove that some element of a conspiracy was involved, even to me, and in my own mind's eye.

But I do not believe that it does, and hence, do not hold my breath in waiting for it.

Having been a long-time lurker, I can say that I am impressed, oftentimes bordering on amazed, at both the depth and quality of your discussions, and the level of cumulative knowledge which so many members seem to share, and from either side of the debate, and all points in-between.

I will try to keep up, and hopefully contribute in some small way. Where I cannot, I will try to stay out of the way.

Thank you for allowing me to participate.

Edited by Curtis Berkley
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Praise the Lord. a convert!

Just what we need, another born again LN.

Ha! Thank you.

I think we need the truth, no matter what that may be, or where it may lead. We can agree on that, I think.

While we may be in opposition on this issue, I hope that you'll appreciate my efforts to be transparent in stating my beliefs, all sincerely held, and from the outset.

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Welcome to the forum, Curtis.

I have always wondered this, and perhaps you could clue me in. You say that you used to favor a conspiracy, but now you cannot find "one scintilla of credible evidence." Well, what evidence made you feel like there was a conspiracy in the first place? Is that evidence all void now? My point is that I feel like LNers always overcompensate and unfairly assert there to be no credible evidence. I believe there was a conspiracy and concede that there is indeed damning evidence against Oswald.

I feel like I say this weekly, but there are great researchers and authors on this forum whose work you should familiarize yourself. IMO, Check out patspeer.com: it's a good starting point to dispel myths that there is no evidence of a conspiracy.

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Welcome to the forum, Curtis.

I have always wondered this, and perhaps you could clue me in. You say that you used to favor a conspiracy, but now you cannot find "one scintilla of credible evidence." Well, what evidence made you feel like there was a conspiracy in the first place? Is that evidence all void now? My point is that I feel like LNers always overcompensate and unfairly assert there to be no credible evidence. I believe there was a conspiracy and concede that there is indeed damning evidence against Oswald.

I feel like I say this weekly, but there are great researchers and authors on this forum whose work you should familiarize yourself. IMO, Check out patspeer.com: it's a good starting point to dispel myths that there is no evidence of a conspiracy.

Brian - thank you very much for the welcome.

I was a most reluctant concert, I assure you. I think that my belief in a conspiracy was the culmination of many things, chief of which, was that I simply wanted to believe that a conspiracy existed. In fact, albeit at the risk of painting with a too-broad brush, I think that is the central and necessary element of every conspiracy theorist - to want to believe it. From my own experience, I then spent considerable time and effort looking to support that desired conclusion. I only read what agreed with my opinion, and rejected anyone or anything which might challenge or otherwise fail to support it. Ultimately, I should have begun by challenging my own need to believe it, instead and first.

As information became more widely available, and I allowed myself to explore and give it honest consideration, the actual, provable, tangible, credible and empirical facts simply became impossible to ignore. Over time, I could not continue to reconcile my belief in a conspiracy theory, and at the expense of my own intellectual honesty. And so, I chose the latter.

I do not believe that there is one scintilla of evidence which has been produced or provided (admittedly, perhaps I have missed or misunderstood it), in any regard, which would allow a reasonable person's mind to conclude that there was any form of a conspiracy, whatsoever.

I do not make this claim to be either sensationalistic or inflammatory, to anyone or anything, but because I have fully and completely satisfied myself that the mere absence of any credible evidence is more than sufficient means to conclude that it's absence is, by definition, the result of it never having existed, at all.

As I've said - I am perfectly willing to admit my error, and would sincerely welcome it - but only at the presentment of empirically credible and independently verifiable proof and evidences. One of the best things about being on this side, is that it is the CT's who are making the claim, and are burdened with producing it's support and defense.

And therein lies the rather cyclic rub, it can be produced because it simply doesn't exist. And somewhere, I always knew that in the years before my "conversion", and maybe others have felt the same.

Have their been oddities? Curiosities? Coincidences? Any number of seemingly plausible theories, in whole or in part? Are there questions about particularities of often secondary (or tertiary) importance to the singular questikn of conspiracy. Certainly.

But evidence? None. Not one.

And this absence of proof necessarily prevents any definitive linking between Oswald and any of the dozens or so groups and people who probably rejoiced in Kennedy's death, in my opinion.

I will say this, and easily; I am certain that my level of knowledge and the amount of time I have researched the matter, sizable and long-standing as it has been - is dwarfed and comparitively insignificant to a great many of the regular posters, here. And I am happy to be educated by them all.

Edited by Curtis Berkley
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Curtis,

"empirically credible and independently verifiable proof and evidences." is what you want now - even though you are absolutely certain it doesn't exist.

Yet in the past, you were swayed by whatever book you read on the case. Did you check the citations back then to test credibility of what was being presented?

When you had your "epiphany", did you check the citations used by the WC to likewise test the credibility of what was being presented? Hint. You simply can't have.

"But evidence [of conspiracy]? None. Not one."

Yet you also say: "Having been a long-time lurker, I can say that I am impressed, oftentimes bordering on amazed, at both the depth and quality of your discussions, and the level of cumulative knowledge which so many members seem to share, and from either side of the debate, and all points in-between."

Since the vast majority of discussion here is on the side of conspiracy, and you find nothing credible in any conspiracy evidence or theories, I feel you are being way too effusive in your praise.

But you look like butter wouldn't met in your mouth. I bet you were an alter boy! So angelic looking, I feel like pinching your cheeks!

I won't waste any more of your time, Curtis. Promise.

And good luck!

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Curtis,

"empirically credible and independently verifiable proof and evidences." is what you want now - even though you are absolutely certain it doesn't exist.

Yet in the past, you were swayed by whatever book you read on the case. Did you check the citations back then to test credibility of what was being presented?

When you had your "epiphany", did you check the citations used by the WC to likewise test the credibility of what was being presented? Hint. You simply can't have.

"But evidence [of conspiracy]? None. Not one."

Yet you also say: "Having been a long-time lurker, I can say that I am impressed, oftentimes bordering on amazed, at both the depth and quality of your discussions, and the level of cumulative knowledge which so many members seem to share, and from either side of the debate, and all points in-between."

Since the vast majority of discussion here is on the side of conspiracy, and you find nothing credible in any conspiracy evidence or theories, I feel you are being way too effusive in your praise.

But you look like butter wouldn't met in your mouth. I bet you were an alter boy! So angelic looking, I feel like pinching your cheeks!

I won't waste any more of your time, Curtis. Promise.

And good luck!

Greg - you've not wasted my time, at all. I enjoy your posts, and am happy to see you chime in.

While somewhat surprising, I am no less glad that you agree that there is no, "empirically credible and independently verifiable proof and evidences" that prove their was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK. Your admission prevents a lot of heavy-lifting on my part, and which most likely risked our chasing circular logic, anecdotal evidences and any number of red herrings.

As to your question regarding my research of sources, my admission that I only read and considered things which aligned with my own desire to believe that a conspiracy existed, speaks directly to that. And it served as a lesson, even now on the "other side" of the debate, to be diligent in accepting anything purported as fact.

But as you must know, it is only in the checking of facts and sources that the conspiracy theories unravel, often unable to support the slightest weight of honest scrutiny. As C.S. Lewis said of atheists, and which is also true of conspiracy theorists, "You can't be too careful in what you read." But I agree, had I been more diligent in checking the conspiracy theories which I believed early on, I could have saved myself an extraordinary amount of time and effort.

Why participate here? Again, to learn from my mistakes, in not wanting to insulate myself from ideas opposed to my own, and to ensure that I remain open both in word and deed. Perhaps most importantly, I feel that JFK as an actual historical and important figure, is often lost in merely seeing him through the prism of his assassination, and there is so much more to him, than that. And conspiracy theorists not only further hinder the search and acknowledgment of who he was, both as a person and President, but exponentially so, and do him a great disservice, in the process. I also think that I'd like to be a part of a group of like-minded others, who seek the truth, even while they may disagree with others as to the best path toward it, or the conclusion at which it will land. Finally, I think that is well-beyond time for the reaaonable amongst us to first admit that no conspiracy exists, and to work to help others to realize the truth of the same, even if that means combating the conspiracy and those who theorize it, even against all evidence and reason.

I hope that answers it (forgive the typos as I am on mobile), and again, check in as frequently as you like, as I sincerely enjoy the dialogue, and your take on things.

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Curtis,

You're right about one thing. There's not a scintilla of evidence. Of anything. Evidence is put through the screen of the Rules of evidence and in the case of witness testimony is tested by cross-examination. All that exists in the JFK assassination realm are facts, allegations of fact, lies, misrepresentations, and opinions.

The U.S. Government has done a terrible job of presenting hard, cold facts relating to the assassination. Curious minds want to know why this terrible job continues until today.

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You're right about one thing. There's not a scintilla of evidence. Of anything. Evidence is put through the screen of the Rules of evidence and in the case of witness testimony is tested by cross-examination. All that exists in the JFK assassination realm are facts, allegations of fact, lies, misrepresentations, and opinions.

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy. Enough for any "reasonable" person to conclude there was more than one shooter. To deny this IMO has nothing to do with evidence or reason. It's almost like denying the theory of evolution for religious reasons or because one doesn't like it.

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and yet the amazement continues...

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You're right about one thing. There's not a scintilla of evidence. Of anything. Evidence is put through the screen of the Rules of evidence and in the case of witness testimony is tested by cross-examination. All that exists in the JFK assassination realm are facts, allegations of fact, lies, misrepresentations, and opinions.

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy. Enough for any "reasonable" person to conclude there was more than one shooter. To deny this IMO has nothing to do with evidence or reason. It's almost like denying the theory of evolution for religious reasons or because one doesn't like it.

As an alcoholic in recovery for the past 30+ years, this is a form of denial very similar to what I've experienced in the realm of addiction. It's like seeing someone suffer needlessly, knowing that they won't stop suffering until they're ready, thinking "you poor soul"...

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Welcome to the forum, Curtis.

I have always wondered this, and perhaps you could clue me in. You say that you used to favor a conspiracy, but now you cannot find "one scintilla of credible evidence." Well, what evidence made you feel like there was a conspiracy in the first place? Is that evidence all void now? My point is that I feel like LNers always overcompensate and unfairly assert there to be no credible evidence. I believe there was a conspiracy and concede that there is indeed damning evidence against Oswald.

I feel like I say this weekly, but there are great researchers and authors on this forum whose work you should familiarize yourself. IMO, Check out patspeer.com: it's a good starting point to dispel myths that there is no evidence of a conspiracy.

Brian, the LNers apparently do not consider "circumstantial evidence" of any degree, in any amount, no matter how mathematically improbable, to be evidence - EVEN THOUGH there are thousands of guilty people in prison strictly because of this same type of evidence - purely circumstantial, though convincing to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, evidence.

in FACT, the majority of wrong convictions are based on faulty eye-witness testimony, NOT faulty circumstantial evidence.

and yet the LNers do not consider it "solid" lest it ruin their agenda.

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You're right about one thing. There's not a scintilla of evidence. Of anything. Evidence is put through the screen of the Rules of evidence and in the case of witness testimony is tested by cross-examination. All that exists in the JFK assassination realm are facts, allegations of fact, lies, misrepresentations, and opinions.

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy. Enough for any "reasonable" person to conclude there was more than one shooter. To deny this IMO has nothing to do with evidence or reason. It's almost like denying the theory of evolution for religious reasons or because one doesn't like it.

As an alcoholic in recovery for the past 30+ years, this is a form of denial very similar to what I've experienced in the realm of addiction. It's like seeing someone suffer needlessly, knowing that they won't stop suffering until they're ready, thinking "you poor soul"...

Hey, brother, I also am a friend of Bill W. Thirty-five years at the end of this month. :)

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You're right about one thing. There's not a scintilla of evidence. Of anything. Evidence is put through the screen of the Rules of evidence and in the case of witness testimony is tested by cross-examination. All that exists in the JFK assassination realm are facts, allegations of fact, lies, misrepresentations, and opinions.

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy. Enough for any "reasonable" person to conclude there was more than one shooter. To deny this IMO has nothing to do with evidence or reason. It's almost like denying the theory of evolution for religious reasons or because one doesn't like it.

As an alcoholic in recovery for the past 30+ years, this is a form of denial very similar to what I've experienced in the realm of addiction. It's like seeing someone suffer needlessly, knowing that they won't stop suffering until they're ready, thinking "you poor soul"...

In the words of SCOTUS' Scalia, "Let me get this straight..."

You claim that I, as an "LN", am best likened to a denier of evolutionary theory, and that such must also be due to having been previously addicted to drugs / alcohol?

Do I understand you correctly?

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You're right about one thing. There's not a scintilla of evidence. Of anything. Evidence is put through the screen of the Rules of evidence and in the case of witness testimony is tested by cross-examination. All that exists in the JFK assassination realm are facts, allegations of fact, lies, misrepresentations, and opinions.

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence of a conspiracy. Enough for any "reasonable" person to conclude there was more than one shooter. To deny this IMO has nothing to do with evidence or reason. It's almost like denying the theory of evolution for religious reasons or because one doesn't like it.

As an alcoholic in recovery for the past 30+ years, this is a form of denial very similar to what I've experienced in the realm of addiction. It's like seeing someone suffer needlessly, knowing that they won't stop suffering until they're ready, thinking "you poor soul"...

I am happy to be educated, welcoming even.

State your claim, and put on your proof.

We can start wherever any of you would most prefer, but "let us begin".

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