Conspiracy Theorist or Open-Minded

Why is “conspiracy theory” such a bad thing? Especially since COVID-19 started, people throw the term around like it’s bad. Anything people don’t like or don’t agree with suddenly becomes a “conspiracy theory.” But is it? Crazy things happen. Haven’t we all read something that sounded so weird and crazy that if we had heard of the possibility of it happening we would have chalked it up to conspiracy theory? I have. I read a lot of true crime books, so I see what people are capable of doing.

I’ve been following the disappearance of a local young man for over a year. His car was found with the headlights still on, but he left everything behind, even his clothes, shoes, and watch. I belong to a couple of communities of people who toss around ideas of what could have happened to this young man. One guy posted that he didn’t want to hear anything about alien abductions or cults. I’m not entertaining the thought that aliens abducted him for a year and never brought him back, but in my head cults are not out of the realm of possibility.

Cults are a real thing. They do exist. They also use unscrupulous methods to attract – or force – new members into the cult. Another young man was kidnapped by some cult members about 50 miles from where this young man disappeared close to the same time, but he managed to escape. Why do some people think cult abductions are so far-fetched that they don’t even want to consider the possibility?

Some may think I’m too open-minded, but I like to consider all possibilities in any situation. I’ve seen some weird stuff. It seems like the majority of people can only consider simple explanations. I do realize that it usually is just the simple explanation, but sometimes it’s not. An hour before this young man disappeared, he was talking about spiritual enlightenment and a couple of extreme ways to reach it. Maybe he wasn’t kidnapped by a cult. Maybe he joined one of his own accord. Maybe he started his own cult. His father is the pastor of a church, so he has seen people invited into a religious organization before and all the effort that goes into keeping parishioners. Just a thought.

I’m going to put on my little tin foil hat and see what other ideas come to me.

An Only Child and her Sister

By Casey Maxwell Clair

An Only Child and her Sister documents the life of writer Casey Maxwell Clair and her family. The first paragraph sucked me right in. Clair writes simply and expressively, and I felt like I was there growing up with her.

I never realized how many people neglect and abuse their kids, but the more I read, the more I realize I probably know people who do. Even though the topic is a serious one, this book wasn’t at all a downer. Clair told the story matter-of-factly and wasn’t looking for sadness and sympathy from her readers.

The story starts in the 1950s and details growing up in Hollywood with parents in show business. Clair’s mother is narcissistic, and her father struggles with drug addiction and bouts of mental illness.

The consequences of abuse and neglect follow the victims throughout their lives and affect every relationship, every job, everything. I recommend An Only Child and Her Sister. It gets five stars from me.

True Crime is My Guilty Pleasure

I’m fascinated by true crime. Maybe I should have been an anthropologist. Pondering the activities and mental processes of others is my obsession…literally…My doctor calls it OCD, but whatever.

My favorite crime shows are Cold Justice and Snapped. Cold cases and missing people interest me the most. I like to see the puzzles solved and justice brought to the perpetrator.

Lately, I’ve been reading books about evil parents and how they treated their kids and others. You just never know what goes on in the homes of others. It’s easy to think you don’t know anyone who is doing or experiencing bad things at home, but the sad reality is that you probably do. I feel lucky to have had an upbringing that didn’t include torture. I don’t know why these books appeal to me, but maybe it’s because the authors survived and wrote books. They must be tough.

I recently read Call Me Tuesday by Leigh Byrne. It was well written and grabbed my attention quickly. The things this poor child suffered were bizarre and heart-wrenching. She showed incredible tenacity and a will to survive. Byrne wrote a second book called Call Me Cockroach: Based on a True Story (Call Me Tuesday Series Book 2). I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it is great.

What are some of your favorite true crime books?