Let’s take a day off from Beaver Street to talk about conspiracy theories. I bring it up now because in the course of my correspondence with “Alan” (click here and here), I mentioned that after publishing Nowhere Man, a conspiracy theorist who calls himself “Salvador Astucia” began posting articles suggesting that I’m the CIA spymaster who gave the order to whack John Lennon. (Or something like that. It’s hard to make sense of his insanity.) I also sent Alan a link to a satirical piece about the top three Lennon-murder conspiracy theories, which includes the spymaster theory. Alan’s astonished and expletive-filled reaction prompted me to try to explain what it’s like to have a conspiracy “nut” accuse you of murder, which, oddly enough, has its upside.
This has been going on for years, and at first it was disturbing, especially when other writers picked up on it and reprinted his “theories.” You’d think that people who call themselves journalists would make an effort to get in contact with someone before they implicate him in a high-profile murder. But the only conspiracy theorist who’s asked to interview me is Astucia (means “clever” or “cunning” in Spanish), and that is the only interview I’ve ever refused to do. I don’t know if he really believes what he’s writing, or he knows it’s bullshit and he just says it to be provocative. But he’s also a Holocaust denier and tends to describe me as a “Jewish writer.” That’s why I call him My Personal Nazi. (Everybody should have one.) What I finally realized is that when Astucia gets active, and starts splattering stuff all over the Internet—it goes in cycles—it sells books. So, I don't totally hate him. And any time I find myself on a top-three list with Stephen King and J. D. Salinger, I only have My Personal Nazi to thank.