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Previously on Dateline

I’m thinking there is a conspiracy connection down under.

Secrets and Lies

Lateline Tv Program Transcript Exerpt: Read full post

From the bizarre to the plausible, they’re often compelling. And sometimes they can change the course of history. In popular culture and real life – conspiracy theories, who subscribes and why.

Tony Jones: It’s said every truth passes through three stages before it’s recognised. First its ridiculed, then opposed and finally regarded as self evident. But it’s a long process from the first to the last. Woodward and Bernstein in uncovering the truth about Watergate are among the few who’ve succeeded. But that hasn’t diminished the fascination with conspiracy theories – they abound. Everything from government cover-ups over alien invasions to a sinister new world order. As we’ve seen with the Oklahoma bombing, believers can go to deadly lengths to make their point. And they’re not simply modern day phenomena — they’ve been around for centuries, involving Jews and Freemasons and such arcane sects as the Knights Templar and the Bavarian Illuminati. So what are the elements of a conspiracy theory? Do they attract only the disaffected or, is Henry Kissinger right, that even a paranoid can have enemies.

Video Report By Trevor Bormann

Columbine High Student: People are being shot all around me.

Trevor Bormann: It was the shocking finale in the dysfunctional lives of two American teenagers. Fifteen dead at a Denver school. At first, the shootings at Columbine High had gun lobby leaders running for cover. They had to defend their decision to turn up in town for an annual conference.

Charlton Heston, National Rifle Association:
What saddens me the most is how that suggests complicity- it implies that you or I or 18 million honest gun owners are somehow to blame.

Trevor Bormann: But then, some gun owners had theories of their own. There were extraordinary claims that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were victims of a CIA mind control experiment gone wrong. Or at least pawns of a plot by the anti-gun lobby to discredit the pro-gun lobby. Sometimes events are so shocking they seem to defy explanation.

Do we really live in a society where one man, Martin Bryant [1][2][3] traumatise a whole nation? After the Port Arthur massacre familiar theories emerged from the gun lobby.

Ian Murphy, Gun Lobbyist: Well it’s very hard for a layman to know exactly but from the scientific evidence that’s now available it would appear that Martin Bryant definitely did not do that job.

Trevor Bormann: Well if Bryant wasn’t the killer, who was?

Ian Murphy, Gun Lobbyist: Well that’s a good question. But we believe there’s got to be a conspiracy in this whole thing and a lot of evidence has been covered up.

Trevor Bormann: Ian Murphy’s the founder of the Australian Freedom Scouts, an organisation that trains as a militia. The scouts believe gun bans in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre have left Australia open to invasion.

Ian Murphy, Gun Lobbyist: It smells, the whole thing looks dreadful. And I mean it’s important from everyone’s point of view that the truth is told. This could be as big a matter as the assassination of President Kennedy.

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