I’m already hearing of the conspiracy theories around Bin Laden’s death: “he’s not really dead. They only killed his double.” or “He was dead long ago. This is all a publicity stunt to get Obama re-elected.” or whatever…

The thing which makes the story true is the inconsistency in the account. First he was killed in a firefight, then there wasn’t really much resistance. He shot back and used his young wife as a shield, then he didn’t after all. He was shot because he resisted arrest, then he was executed after being captured. The Pakistanis knew about him being there. No they didn’t. They helped and gave support for the attack. No, they knew nothing about it.

If there was a genuine conspiracy of some sort the stories would be more watertight. It’s the inconsistencies and contradictions that make it seem genuine. That’s what really happens in tense, traumatic events–different stories emerge, different perspectives are given. Details are perceived differently by different people. Complicated reasons arise for different versions to be given. Different agendas come up which drive the narrative.

It’s the same with the gospel accounts of the resurrection. There are seemingly contradictory details. Memories are skewed, perspectives are biased, accounts vary.

That’s what makes it authentic. A conspiracy would have all the details tied up neatly and everybody would be on board.