JFK, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Madonna, Jodie Foster are just some of the high profile assassination victims or intended victims who have been connected with J.D. Salinger’s classic novel The Catcher in the Rye.
In our book THE CATCHER IN THE RYE ENIGMA: J.D. Salinger’s Mind Control Triggering Device or a Coincidental Literary Obsession of Criminals?, we remind readers that the murderers, stalkers and their victims and targets are all either confirmed or rumored to be part of the enduring Catcher mystery. The allegation leveled at Salinger is that he craftily implanted into his book coded messages that act as post-hypnotic suggestions or mind control triggers, which, in turn, enabled CIA handlers to activate Manchurian Candidates for planned assassinations.
It could be argued that, at best, those murders are only loosely related to Catcher for it was, after all, a critically acclaimed masterpiece and one of the biggest selling books of the 20th Century.
We expand on this in The Catcher in the Rye Enigma. Here’s an excerpt from a chapter titled ‘The argument against the Catcher conspiracy’:
Given its worldwide popularity, the fact that the book was found in the possession of a few killers – a handful at most – could just be pure coincidence.
Today, if some new Presidential assassin or serial killer had a copy of The Da Vinci Code or a Harry Potter book in their possession, would anyone blink? And even though religious books such as the Bible, the Qur’an (Koran) and the Torah have inspired innumerable assassins, madmen and terrorists – some well known, some not – surely that doesn’t mean there are insidious mind control programs infused in their writings?
What about John Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman? we hear you ask.
Yes, the man was completely obsessed with the book, but then again so, too, were countless other (normal) young people around the world in the decades following its publication. Many commented they felt as if Holden Caulfield was voicing their own inner reality and the angers and frustrations they felt in their own lives. And for those who are insane, as Chapman appeared to end up, a work as brilliantly and intensely written as Salinger’s novel was bound to reach the darkest corners of their brains, encouraging those individuals to take the story too literally, or out of context, or both.
People who are mentally ill often obsess over all kinds of artworks – such as Michael Jackson’s music, Stanley Kubrick’s movies or Andy Warhol’s paintings – believing there are dark messages embedded in those works, instructing them to kill. It’s simply a case of criminal minds latching on to warped ideas and dark concepts in popular culture. And certainly Catcher is not the only novel to inspire murders, and it won’t be the last.
As Aidan Doyle wrote on December 16, 2003 in a Salon.com article entitled When books kill: “A copy of ‘The Turner Diaries’ was found in Timothy McVeigh’s car when he was arrested. The novel was written by a leader of the National Alliance and tells the story of a white supremacist group that overthrows the government and subsequently eradicates nonwhites as well as race traitors. The narrator destroys FBI headquarters by detonating a truck loaded with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. McVeigh used a similar mechanism to destroy the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.”
The same article also mentions it’s not just books that have inspired killings. “A $246 million lawsuit was lodged against the makers of the game Grand Theft Auto III by the families of two people shot by teenagers allegedly inspired by the game. Such movies as ‘Natural Born Killers,’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘Money Train’ have routinely been accused of inspiring copycat crimes.”
It has been estimated more than 100,000,000 people have read Catcher. With only a few crazy incidents attributed to it, you could reasonably argue this is not a bad record and certainly isn’t enough to justify outlandish conspiracy theories.
The Catcher in the Rye Enigma is book four in The Underground Knowledge Series and is exclusive to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Catcher-Rye-Enigma-Coincidental-Underground-ebook/dp/B00YVROKZ4/