H. Wecht M.D., J.D.
I recently learned of your jointly written article, "Conspiracy
Theories", in which you contend that "Conspiracy
theorists" typically suffer from a "crippled
epistemology". Such individuals are considered by
you to be "members of informationally and socially isolated
groups (that) tend to display a kind of paranoid cognition".
In your litany of conspiracy theories, you have included those
people who hold "the view that the Central Intelligence Agency
was responsible for the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy". In an obvious attempt to portray such
critics and disbelievers of the Warren Commission Report as paranoid
nuts and fruitcakes, you cleverly list this extremely important,
highly controversial, 46 year old, still ongoing controversy among
several absurd conspiratorial allegations, e.g., "doctors
deliberately manufactured the AIDS virus, the moon landing was
staged and never actually occurred; the plane crash that killed
Democrat Paul Wellstone was engineered by Republican
While this kind of quasi-intellectual, semantical game playing may
have legitimate application in a law school classroom in order to
stimulate debate and enhance the development of legal reasoning
among future attorneys, it is an insulting ploy that is far
beneath the dignity of two distinguished professors when utilized in
the manner set forth in your article.
Is it conceivable that you are not aware of the fact that 70-80% of
teh U.S. public (and even higher percentages elsewhere in teh world)
has repeatedly and consistently expressed disbelief in the WCR in
every national poll conducted on this subject from 1965 to the
present time? Do you not know that the House Select
Committee of the U.S. Congress (1977-79) concluded that the WCR was
wrong in its official determination that Lee Harvey Oswald acted
alone in plotting and executing the assassination of JFK?
Are both of you so intellectually arrogant and strongly defensive of
the federal government that you are willing to publicly state that
more than two-thirds of the American public and a bi-partisan
committee of Congressmen are cognitively dysfunctional?
From whom have the two of you derived such power and right to
ridicule and defame so many people?
But this part of your cleverly orchestrated diatribe pales by
comparison to the far more egregious and dangerously frightening
proposition that you have advanced with incredible academic
chutzpah, namely, your recommendations for "Governmental
Officially sanctioned government counterspeech "to discredit
conspiracy theories'; the hiring of "credible private parties
to engage in counterspeech"; the official banning of conspiracy
theorizing; the imposition of "some kind of tax, financial or
otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories;" etc,
why are you being so hesitant and conservative in your proposed
efforts to rid our society of conspiracy theorists, including all of us
who reject the WCR and the scientifically preposterous "single
bullet theory"? Why not simply have us arrested, placed
in concentration camps, tried by special government tribunals
(presided over by eminent sycophantic law professors like the two of
you to ensure correct verdicts), and then executed?
After all, if we need to make America safe, we had better get
In closing, I should like to be so bold and daring as to invite
either, or both of you together, to engage in a public debate with
me -- anywhere, anytime -- relating to the JFK assassination
and the WCR. Even though I am only a lowly Adjunct
Professor of Law at a school that admittedly does not rank among the
elite institutions such as Harvard and the University of
Chicago, I would endeavor to do my best to make such a public
presentation interesting and intellectually stimulating.
Please let me know where and when you would like to arrange for such
a debate. What a formidable challenge I would be
confronted with having to contend with the combined
sagacity and erudition of two such prominent legal scholars.
H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.
President, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
President, American College of Legal Medicine
Professor of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
and Graduate School of Public Health
Professor, Duquesne University Schools of Law, Pharmacology
Professor of Pathology, Carlow University