Originally Published February 2016
All of these people are liars, man…Nobody died, nobody got hurt. That sacrifice was in name only, and that was to get something, and that something was to become a star. JonBenet became Katy Perry, and that’s a fact.
—Dave Johnson, YouTube Conspiratologist
According to ET Online, “the Internet is abuzz” with an obscure conspiracy theory that tragic “toddler in a tiara” JonBenet Ramsey never died in 1996—but instead became pop singer Perry as part of a bizarre conspiracy:
To me, the most newsworthy thing about this story is not the story itself, but that the mass media has recently decided to pick up on it and blast it through the interwebs (I initially found out about it as it was a “Facebook Trending Topic”). There are literally hundreds of similar types of videos on YouTube alleging either similar death hoaxes, doppelgänger “replacements,” or both.
For the mother (or father) of all these stories—especially as it relates to pop music—please turn to the “Paul is Dead” theory, in which Paul McCartney allegedly died in the mid-1960s only to be replaced with the doppelgänger Billy Campbell (a.k.a. “Billy Shears”). If you want to understand what is at the “heart” of the Perry/Ramsey conspiracy theory, go read my post on “PID” first.
Second, go read my post on the overall “Celebrity Doppelgänger” conspiracy theories.
It is my belief that at the core of these theories (and I would bundle the “crisis actor” theories along with them) are two motivations:
- A desire to explain perceived personality changes in a celebrity, especially as they might change their image (reference not only “PID” but the Miley Cyrus theories).
- A way of dealing with horribly tragic situations that are too horrible to bear.
That said, I do believe there is a murky possible “third reason” that is a bit more esoteric in nature…that there might be “resonances” between people who uncannily resemble each other, as well as the fact that people who “change” in other areas of their life may literally give off another “vibe”…but that this is a *very* murky area and might only have any “real” meaning to the person who perceives the synchronicity.
Again, though, I return to the question: WHY did the mainstream media choose to “zone in” on this theory NOW? far more the significant inquiry, here.
And I’ll take a shot at answering my own question: I believe it “conditions” people to actually assume this type of mindset—a mindset where the fantasy blurs with the reality in order to create a madcap, batshit, “tasty” world of news coverage. It is, in my opinion, the “next step” in media…where the “conspiracy theories” are built into the texture of the news—sometimes with the full support of the celebrity or entertainment entity’s PR team—”for real.”