The persistence of conspiracy theories relies in their plurality. In any major historical event or news event, there are contradictory reports, ambiguous evidence, and details that are hard to fit into the dominant “official” narrative. Historians the world over know that just about everything in history you might want to say could be disputed by another reputable historian looking at the same facts. So if it’s a game that historians play, responsibly, what a hay day for imaginative if somewhat paranoid types who like to reinterpret the facts to fit one of many standard scenarios. The “Sandy Hook Truther” movement is now in sway and picks up many of the themes and tropes of 9/11 truthers, implying as one typical scenario that the government is pulling the strings and faking tragedies to suit their own interests. For instance, the video “The Sandy Hook Shooting — Fully Exposed,” has garnered 8.5 million views since it was posted a week ago.
The video begins with an ambiguous warning that it is not proving deception occurred, that “this is a simple, logical video. No aliens, holograms, rituals or anything that just facts.” In other words, he is limiting the genre of the conspiracy trajectory. Some conspirators go off the deep end, even when they are not schizophrenic, and imagine scenarios that closely resemble the X-file.
The video replays many news clips that have not been repeated since they first aired, such as the acquisition of a mystery man who ran into the woods from the scene of the Sandy Hook School shooting. It then shows a clip of police finding Adam Lanza’s shotgun in his trunk rather than in the school, where instead four handguns were found, though the story was told differently by a later medical examiner.
Further inconsistencies included a reporting of a school nurse regarding Mrs. Lanza as a kindergarten teacher, though that was an early mis-reporting; the video later alleges that no such nurse works there. Mrs. Lanza also does was not a kindergarten teacher.
Robby Parker, a father of one of the victims, is argued to be an actor because he was laughing before the camera was rolling and then “started hyperventilating to get into character.” The same person created a Facebook fund page, allegedly while it hadn’t even been confirmed if his daughter was dead.
“I want to know what kind of parents are making a Facebook fund page while the school is in lockdown and they do not know the condition of their daughter, she had not even been confirmed dead.” Further, their daughter Emilie was later photographed with the president after supposedly being dead.
The McDonald family’s body language is scrutinized and judged to not be consistent with those expected of parents who recently lost their daughter. There is a genre of acting assessments regarding the body language of grieving parents on the internet.
He then notes there is no footage of children leaving the school, only the famous still-shot of a line of children leaving.
His clincher is an RIP for Victoria Soto on December 10, 4 days before the shooting; and the Sandy Hook victims’ fund was created on December 11.
The show concludes claiming gun control legislation is the ultimate reason for the fake. We must wake up because “What’s left of the constitution is being destroyed in the process” of faking these events.
As reported in the Gawker, the man behind the video, who calls himself T.O.T.V. (“ThinkOutsideTheTV”), said he got in this general line of inquire after 9/11. “[I]t all started when me and my friends used to research 9/11 in high school. That’s what really got me started when it came to researching government cover ups […] Once I learned about all the false flag attacks in history that have been proven to be true, I knew it was only a matter of time before another came a long.”
By false flag here is referring to the conspiracy theory trope that some historical attacks are framed to look as if an enemy or some other convenient party made an attack.
“I never intended to expose who was behind it because I don’t know, and I could be wrong. But history repeats itself and I’m really glad people are waking up to it. […] People seem to mistake my video for exploitation of victims and children and that is totally wrong. As I said in the beginning of the video, we in no way claim this shooting did not take place and our hearts go out to anyone affected by the tragedy, weather one person was responsible or another. [… S]tay tuned for part 2, we have learned from the first one how to improve upon the delivery so hopefully it will be even better than the first.”
Since there is no ultimate accountability for conspiracy theories other than the story-tellers incentive to tell a good one, any number of scenarios or uses of ambiguous details make not a single convincing alternative history, but many, too many to disprove. They can be entertaining or riveting, as pondering who was really behind the JFK assassination, but when real people are struggling with real tragedy, such talk can only be felt as hurtful.