The Monday Blog

The Monday Blog – What is the difference between a conspiracy and the truth?

 April 4, 2022

By  Lorhainne Eckhart

Six months

What exactly is a conspiracy, anyway? It’s a term used by one of the three-letter agencies to discredit someone. Here is one of the current definitions: “A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.”

But what happens when a conspiracy is exposed to be true after the desired outcome has already been obtained? Does the general population then demand justice from powerful political groups and the mainstream media?

To give you an example, let’s go back to the early ’90s. Remember that tragic news story in the lead-up to the Gulf War when a young woman appeared in front of Congress with a tearful, emotional testimony of Iraqi soldiers going into hospitals with guns, into rooms where babies were being kept in incubators, and taking the babies out and leaving them on the cold floor to die, then taking the incubators? Stealing incubators and killing babies. The emotional story tugs at your heartstrings. Details from this young woman were faxed across the country to newsrooms, including that of the CBC’s Fifth Estate, which ran a documentary, available here. The details the young woman recounted informed the lead stories on TV and radio and in the newspapers. They were splashed everywhere, and not one journalist or congressman at the time bothered to find out the true identity of the young woman who had made the claims.

The story had people focused daily on the atrocities. Even politicians repeated the story over and over with the desired impact: People were outraged over the deaths of innocent babies. I mean, who wouldn’t be? You do not hurt children, so help you God. But the savagery of the attack and its key players provided needed ammunition in the war of words, kind of like a sales pitch to reach the hearts and minds of the people. In advertising and media, in order to be successful, you have to reach people on an emotional level whether with the truth or not. But what happens when people are convinced of a lie? How do you undo that belief and the damage it has caused, from sleepless nights to money donated to big charities to help the cause?

On a side note, I had one friend, who was like nineteen at the time, who was brave enough to speak up and call it out as bullshit, saying the entire war was about oil and the media circus was one big lie. No one believed her. And I, sorry to say, was a very young twenty-year-old who hadn’t yet learned that politicians and mainstream media actually have agendas and don’t often tell the truth.

But back to the war, which, as most now know, was big business, and the tearful heartfelt claim that was reported without evidence to back it up. It had been reported as eyewitness testimony, so who would question it? If you look at the testimony of the young lady before Congress, it was gut wrenching, emotional and the way she told her story connected personally with us, the people. She even mentioned her infant nephew. First, she was identified only as a Kuwaiti escapee. This reached people worldwide, with the news media running its daily cycle, leaving people feeling helpless, furious, outraged, wanting to help. I had family who were glued to the TV set to the point that they couldn’t sleep because of the atrocities toward babies, children, and the innocent. Many watching who had previously wavered suddenly turned into warriors, ready to take up arms because of this shocking incident.

But guess what? A select few investigated down the road, and they discovered that the young woman wasn’t a Kuwaiti escapee. Her father was the ambassador of Kuwait, part of the extended royal family. When the lie was discovered, the desired effect had been obtained, and the war was on, and members of Congress still weren’t aware of her identity. The world had already seen the story, so what do you think happened when more people began to investigate whether it was actually true, only to discover it wasn’t? On a visit to the hospital in question, these investigators saw the incubators and spoke to the doctors and medical professionals on the ground, and they were told that the events with the babies in the incubators had never happened.

Amnesty was one of the groups that investigated. Soon, the only eye witness, who had turned out to be the daughter of the ambassador, when confronted, said she hadn’t been in the hospital herself, but a friend who had been there had told her about it. Does anyone remember that? I don’t. I don’t remember the media ever running an international story to undo the damage of a lie and tell the truth. When the lie started to unravel, did anyone see politicians or mainstream media promoting the truth with the same ferocity as they had the false story, with soundbites over and over and over? Or was it that anyone who had called out the story as false or questioned the narrative was called a conspiracist? I still have family who will never believe the truth, because the lie was told so well.

Life moved on. A new enemy arrived on the scene, a new threat somewhere else, and the story basically evaporated, but the desired effect had already occurred because the hearts and minds of the people of the world had been captured. What the world didn’t know was that the people who appeared before Congress with that emotional, heartfelt story had been carefully coached by a PR firm by the name of Hill and Knowlton. See the video here.

Would the war have happened if that story hadn’t broken when it had, if the news media and journalists had actually investigated before running it? Politicians are supposed to be representatives who work for us, like business managers we hire to run our business, not steal our money or lie to us. But when it comes to the power behind the scenes, remember Wag the Dog? A story was created, and with how they went about it, it’s no wonder people were tricked. The soundbites, the narratives that ran all day, had captured people, and to help sell the war, the largest PR firm entered the news business. Who paid them and how much? Watch the video.

Remember, in war, the people need a common enemy, an evil person to terrify us so we unite and fight to take him down. And to tap into the emotions of the people, you need tears and pleas for help. Now, when you look back to the images and the stories, how many of you were ready to go and fight? Remember the Free Kuwait bumper stickers? How many of you donated money to those organizations? Ask yourself, who needed to sell the war to the people, and how many millions did the PR firm Hill and Knowlton receive?

That we were sold the war using the babies in the incubator story is a prime example of how easy it is for we the people to be misled, to be lied to, and to be tricked into believing a lie. Just remember the difference between a conspiracy and the truth is six months.

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From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart comes a new Billy Jo McCabe mystery set on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. When social worker Billy Jo McCabe accidentally picks up the wrong file, she discovers a shocking, twisted mystery plotted by a high-ranking social worker in the DCFS.


When Billy Jo McCabe accidentally picks up the wrong file, before she realizes her mistake, she discovers a secret no one was supposed to find.

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