People will believe anything

Russell Anglin

There’s something about human beings that makes us want badly to disbelieve the official version of events.

Everybody loves a good conspiracy theory. On Sunday, my friend Kyle’s girlfriend, Alex, introduced me to one I had not heard before. According to a group of conspirators, Paul McCartney died decades ago.

Have you heard this one? Apparently the ex-Beatle superstar actually died in 1966 and was replaced by look-alike William Campbell. A quick stroll through conspiracy websites offers a dearth of evidence, including photo comparisons of McCartney with attached and unattached earlobes, comparisons showing McCartney at different heights (or perhaps different distances from the camera) before and after his “death” and audio files of subliminal messages John Lennon inserted into Beatles records, revealing the truth he could not announce publicly for fear of retribution by the Illuminati, or whomever.

If that does not convince you, take the cover of the Beatles’ 1969 “Abbey Road” record. John, George and Ringo are walking in step with their left legs forward, while “Paul” has his right foot out front. Think about it. This is obviously absolute proof that the man we know today as Paul McCartney is not who he claims to be.

The sad thing about this dubious claim is that I personally do not have much evidence to dispute it. Though the evidence to bolster the “Paul is dead” claim is unconvincing at best, there is probably no way I would be able to refute a staunch follower of this line of thinking. Those who are convinced Paul McCartney is dead will likely hold on to this belief for the rest of their lives.

Our beliefs too often result from our perceptions of what we want to believe, or think we want to believe, rather than what we think is actually correct. But can you blame us? We are such poor determinants of reality anyway, as we only have our logic and senses to fall back on.

In fact, I am not really sure I can prove anything is true. I can report facts, sure, but facts and truth are a little different. Anyone who has dealt with statistics can confirm this.

I guess the best we can do is assume that some things are not as they seem, but when it comes to what we can never know, we should probably let it be.