The Great Pope Center Conspiracy Laid Bare for All the World to See

RALEIGH — Call off the dogs, leftist media — your relentless interrogation has broken us. We admit it. It really is just a big conspiracy. We’re prepared to spill all. This is our confession.

Just as you suspected, there was no way students would reach conservative, free-speech positions on their own. Elyse Crystall’s mass email accusing one of her students by name of “violent hate speech” that was a “perfect example” of what a “white, heterosexual, [C]hristian male” would say — well, it really would have been a “minor blip” if the students were left to their own devices. It’s true; not one student at this highly selective university would have thought to complain if we at the Pope Center — through our army of “unpaid interns,” taking over the campus like those kids in “Village of the Damned” — hadn’t interfered and forced them to do it.

In a nut’s shell, you’re right; she would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for our meddling kids.

And now you’re all doing your best to make sure no one makes the mistake of thinking this issue is about speech. I mean, after all, a fellow can’t go around citing his Christian beliefs when the instructor asks his class why heterosexual men feel threatened by homosexuals, right? Right — it’s an issue of classroom control. That and making sure students feel comfortable. Comfortable, that is, so long as they’re not about to say the “C” word, you know, the one that rhymes with “Blistian.”

At least that awful “C” student didn’t think to ask what was the difference between Crystall’s saying “heterosexual men feel threatened by homosexuals” and his saying “heterosexual men feel disgusted by homosexuals” (as you’ll recall, he answered Crystall’s discussion topic by saying his friend got a love letter from a homosexual but didn’t feel threatened, he felt disgusted and dirty). Had he done so, it would have unleashed a wave of crippling discomfort not seen at Carolina since at least the Great Air Conditioning Malfunction of ’01.

Just so everyone’s clear: “Heterosexual men feel threatened by homosexuals” is a very compelling topic for discussion in an English literature class, fully protected by the First Amendment, the principles of academic freedom, and last but not least, the Inner Circle of students in Elyse Crystall’s class who are privy to those special communiqués from her to be read aloud to, but not shared with, the media in the March 31 press conference. It’s “heterosexual men feel disgusted by homosexuals” that’s the violent hate speech that should cause the student to be vilified by name in public since this backwards country doesn’t believe in tarring and feathering hate speakers. Not that this is at all about speech. Again: “threatened,” academic; “disgusted,” violence and hate.

In the interest of full disclosure, and to remove this horribly intense media scrutiny of our operation, we at the Pope Center will now make public our entire conspiracy. You can trace it all the way back to our very own, behind-the-scenes Mr. Big. Yes, that’s Mr. Big, the one giving the marching orders behind such a densely constructed facade that no one on the outside could ever hope to discern his movements. Without this admission, you’d never know.

Why are we about to do this? Well, this investigative onslaught into our “well-orchestrated,” “well-financed,” Viking helmeted “conservative machine” is, frankly, very painful to undergo, and we’d like it to stop. Let someone else suffer for a while. Maybe that sounds callous or selfish, but you’d understand if you had ever cracked ribs laughing. It’s excruciating.

Let’s start at the bottom of the conspiracy and work our way up. The bottom rung you know about — the students, “beautifully manipulated” by smiling Joey Stansbury with all the alacrity of an evil Gepetto. Somehow he stumbled across UNC’s big secret that students couldn’t think for themselves. Soon he discovered how to disrupt the process of professors doing the thinking for them. Now this. Frightening, isn’t it?

Next, the Pope Center. Employers of Stansbury, corrupters of youths. Also quoters of the First Amendment, but that’s only to hide our real agenda. For whatever reason we can’t hide it from the crackpots. Somehow, they know.

The third rung: the Bush Administration. This is as high up the conspiracy ladder that the Indy dared climb, but how brave! Still, tin soldiers and Ashcroft are coming, guys — look out!

Who’s above Bush? It’s Big Oil, right? Halliburton? Enron? No, think harder. Right: George Herbert Walker Bush. Bush I’s calling the shots; all the loonies know that. Why else would George W. Bush have his dad’s old guys in his administration? Vice President Dick Cheney? As General Jack D. Ripper said, it’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it?

Above the elder Bush is, of course, Ronald Reagan. What, you think he disappeared from the public because of Alzheimer’s? Oh, you tools of the military-industrial “mainstream” media! No! Reagan merely went into hiding to solidify our movement, to become the world-dominating henchman he’d been training for all his life. Don’t pretend you conspiratoids never imagined this.

That leaves only one man (of course it’s a man — a white one). A man appointed by the Gipper himself, partly because of his relative youth and partly because of his unmatched skills for networking. A man linked to seemingly everyone and everything. Reagan learned of him through Eddie Albert, his friend from the 1961 film “The Young Doctors.” Albert ran into this man in 1989 on the set of “The Big Picture” and notified his pal Ron, “This is your man!”

I’m talking about none other than Kevin Bacon. Be afraid, campus kooks. Be very, very afraid.