What to do when you find yourself beginning to believe the conspiracy theory, because sometimes governmental corruption looks like a plausible argument.



Saturday night, Feb. 13, after a wonderful evening the preponderant Justice Antonin Scalia was viciously murdered by President Barack Obama … at least that is what conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones, host of the popular right wing extremist Internet radio show, InfoWars, are claiming.

“If this is an assassination, it signifies that they’re dropping the hammer, that’s the canary in the coal mine,” Jones said in an article.

As both the right and left wings have claimed, Justice Scalia’s death is a crucial factor in determining the legal outcome of several hot button issues, such as gay marriage, gun rights and abortion.

Scalia’s passing leaves eight Supreme Court Justices, making a potential split in voting, 4-4.

This means that in lieu of a tie the lower court’s decision is upheld, but a precedent for future cases will not be set.

In order to avoid possible splits and return the Supreme Court to nine members, the Republican-controlled Senate will have to approve one of President Obama’s nominees.

Obama nominated a candidate to replace Scalia, Judge Merrick Garland, but Republicans in the Senate maintain they have no plans to consider any nominees until after the new year.

However, history tells us the Supreme Court number does not have to be nine. Congress has the ability to appoint anywhere between six and 15 justices, due to the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937.

To many Americans, especially with the end of Obama’s presidency looming, this is a major turning point for the direction of this nation, and fuels reasons that rumors about the justice’s death would spread.

“While the majority of cases before the Court are decided unanimously or by clear majorities, many important and controversial cases are decided 5-4. While it may not be technically ‘unprecedented,’ leaving a vacant seat for the remainder of this term and the entirety of the next could have serious consequences on the judicial system,” said Tom Limbrick, University of Missouri Law student.

So what exactly is the likelihood Obama paid someone off to murder Judge Scalia?

Some might be surprised to find there is actually an equation to tell the propagation of a conspiracy theory.

Oxford physicist and cancer biologist David Grimes constructed a mathematical equation calculating exactly how long a large scale conspiracy theory can last.

Max Wingate, a mathematics major at Missouri Baptist University, had this to say regarding the equation:

“It represents the probability of failure over time. With a linear perspective, Gompertzian decay (a scientific method to graph human morality) and exponential decay.”

This means Grimes estimates the initial number of people who would have to be involved to keep everything under wraps through a period of time and documents the change in the growth of people until the secret could no longer last.

For example, regarding the claim that there is a suppressed cure for cancer the medical industry is keeping hidden in order to maintain a revenue stream from treatment programs, Grimes estimates 714,000 people would have to be involved in the cover-up, meaning it would only take four years, according to his equation, to let the cat out of the bag, if in fact there was a cat hidden.

Unfortunately, America does have its fair share of cats, which full circles into today’s conspiracy theories on Justice Scalia.

In 1975, after the Watergate scandal, a series of televised hearings took place to piece together a public record of misconduct by intelligence agencies like the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

The investigating group was called the Church Committee. Named after its chair, Sen. Frank Church, the full name was: United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.

This is an excerpt from the Senate website:

“After gaveling to order the first hearing, Chairman Church dramatically displayed a CIA poison dart gun to highlight the committee’s discovery that the CIA directly violated a presidential order by maintaining stocks of shellfish toxin sufficient to kill thousands.”

It is this dart gun that right wing extremists such as Jones are claiming was used to kill Justice Scalia that recent Saturday evening at the Texas ranch where he was staying.

Many questions have risen, like who found him and why was an autopsy not conducted.

On the conspiracies Limbrick simply stated, “They’re all crazy.”

It is currently unclear who funded the trip and whom Justice Scalia was with. Based on the financial disclosure requirements resulting from the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, more details should be surfacing in due time, at investigative organizations like the Center for Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org.

For those questioning the validity of all these different claims and wondering who or what to believe, know there are viable resources and people to be trusted.

Wingate said: “Unfortunately nothing can be 100 percent proven, because every theory is biased off of some type of assumptions to begin with. What I see here [Grime’s Theory] is just that. A lot of assumptions. This doesn’t mean it isn’t something to consider though. I think that the theories were well put and have at least some rhyme and reason to them, but it’s hard to prove considering the subject. I’d take it with a grain of salt and if you have the opportunity in the future to test it then test it.”

“If you’re going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you’re probably doing something wrong.”

— Justice Antonin Scalia

By Katie Seffens

Katie Seffens is a staff writer for MBU Timeline. She is a senior majoring in broadcast media. She works part time in the studio on the MBU Campus, live streaming sports and helping with the video broadcast for MBU Timeline. Seffens has various facets in the media world including but not limited to producing, writing and editing.