‘Just because you’re paranoid …’

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2021

“I’m only paranoid because they want me dead.” — Jerry Fletcher, “‘Conspiracy Theory”

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”— Joseph Heller

Commonly asserted among those who love trivia, history, literature and/or conspiracy theories is the assertion that novelist Ernest Hemingway was convinced he was under constant surveillance by the FBI. His friends believed him paranoid, but after his death by suicide in 1961 the truth began to come out that the author was right all along — the FBI was keeping tabs on him and listening in on his conversations.

At issue here is not whether they were right to do so, but the awareness that just because Hemingway seemed paranoid doesn’t mean “they” weren’t after him.

Something I find very interesting is that we dismiss out-of-hand all conspiracy theories which we hold to be nonsense … but we don’t dismiss those that seem to us to be truthful, or to hold an element of truth.

If you are a dyed-in-the-wool Political Party A supporter, you may dismiss any conspiracy theories that lay culpability for problematic issues at the feet of PPA’s leaders. Any theories that place the blame on the desk blotters of Political Party B leaders, however, are fair game and should be supported. Right?

Any accusation, question, mandate, etc., should be examined with clear heads, open eyes, and critical thinking — no matter their source. It is never a bad idea to question something because it makes us figure out what is real and trustworthy, and what is … well, not.

It’s not healthy to always think we are the subject of persecution because someone does something with which we do not agree, or lobbies for something that screeches like claws against our own morality.

True, the enemy may not be aiming at YOU specifically, but still wouldn’t mind if you’re dead. But let’s approach the world and its problems as a place that needs fixing and its people as individuals made by God in his image, who need his mercy.

Just like you and me.

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.