What was once a close knit, collaborative network of researchers into the assassination of JFK, has become a bevy of infighting, disinformation, distractions and insults. Somewhere along the way, people got lazy in their research. It’s so much easier to believe what other people tell us, than to actually go to the Archives, read through accumulated research collections, scan old newspapers, or to simply read a book. The problem with this approach is that we have to have faith in the person telling the story, which is easy to do when a piece is factual and properly footnoted as such. The more popular sentiments of late dealing with such things as LBJ did it, Judy Baker’s alternative history, massive unproven allegations of photo fakery, and supposed true stories of people who were there. Without proof of what people say, it will always be “just a story”….a sidenote in the history books as a might of been, if at all. As a researcher for 25 years, I can’t even tell you how many books I read, documents poured through, testimony examined, videos watched and photos scanned for clues. The time and effort I put into this interest of mine, gives me the inherent right to question and examine any story or theory out there. People with a story and not a lot of evidence and corroboration, should expect to be examined under a microscope. It’s what we do…expect living history to be examined in the same way as real history. And what most of these “other” stories and claims tend to do is distract from real research. I hate disinformation and propaganda and its hard to fight the part of me that wants to put end to all of it and point out the fallacies with these various claims and stories so that newer minds to JFK research don’t get poisoned with the nonsense.
It’s not a relatively new phenomenon either. After the movie JFK came out, a group called Lancer came on the conference scene in Dallas and has been accused of doing some very nasty and unconscionable things to COPA. Then we have relatives of Mae Brussel accusing John Judge of COPA of stealing almost $50,000 from the family he was once very close to. You hear these stories and think “That can’t be true”, but I’ve heard the stories from many researchers over the years, so there has to be some truth in the allegations. Then we have people and authors who have written books on the assassination get married to theories and stop looking for or accepting new evidence. People who think that just because their book has been written they can stop researching. I am suprised with new information about this case everyday. Parts of the narrative in my head change almost daily with new information gleaned by continuing to research and seek out new information. All I ask is people do their own research and come up with their own conclusions. It’s really not a hard request if you are truly interested in this case and not just a casual observer. Don’t ever stop seeking the truth and you will be amazed everyday….as you were.