has had many titles. He has been a Navy seal, a professional wrestler,
an actor, a mayor and Governor of Minnesota, and now with his new
truTV show Ventura is taking on a new title: conspiracy theorist.
Theory with Jesse Ventura," which premieres on Dec. 2nd
at 10 pm, Ventura and his team of researchers take on a number of
curious conspiracies and postulate if the terrorist attack on 9/11
was an inside job, or if the mysterious High Frequency Active Auroral
Research Program (HAARP) complex in rural Alaska has the power to
create tidal waves and control minds. Starpulse spoke to Governor
Ventura about developing the show, his conversation with Fidel Castro
and if the government is even capable of pulling off such elaborate
How long have conspiracy theories been an interest of yours?
Well, it started back actually in my days when wrestling made the
transition from the 26 territories to being a nationwide sport.
Well what that did was it took us out of automobiles and put us
on airplanes. And if you’ve ever traveled a lot, at one point I
wrestled 63 consecutive nights in a row, you find out there’s a
lot of dead time in an airplane and an airport so I read. I got
into reading to reading conspiracy, particularly the John F. Kennedy
assassination that happened when I was a child, and I find it very
intriguing reading because you realize there is always the possibility
that what you are reading is true. And there’s always the possibility
that who you read about are actual living, breathing people, or
they were. It’s not a figment of a novelist’s imagination or characters
made up in their head. And so I have always found that intriguing
and it was natural that this show would come about because of my
passion for delving into this type of thing.
How do you
pick what conspiracy theories to cover for the show?
That was a
battle between myself and the network. We decided that this first
run we would keep all of them within the decade, within the last
10 year period, so there won’t be shows on Martin Luther King or
John F. Kennedy or that nature. They’re all within the last decade,
and we would just put a batch of them into the pot and we’d start
going through the pot, we’d have a bit of a tug-of-war. We finally
settled on the 7, we did an initial pilot, and then when they ordered
6 more, we settled on the 6 more, forged ahead and got the job done.
what theories that you covered, did you find that any of them were
false or didn’t have as much there as you thought they would?
be really up to you the viewer. We’re going to present the theory
to you. You will hear live interviews and at the end of it, you
can use your good judgment on whether you think it has validity
or not. We don’t take that presumption. We’re just investigating
the chances that it could be true, and we try to exploit that it
might be true, and ultimately it’s left up to you….
we were going to show both sides, but in one case in which generally
it’s the government, they don’t cooperate at all. You can’t talk
to anyone, they don’t answer any questions and they virtually stonewall
you. Well, in light of that fact, it becomes very difficult then
to portray their side. So it ends up that the show evolved to the
more conspiratorial side, or the opposite side of the government.
Which to me is good, because it gets on the record that there is
other thoughts about some major event or events not necessarily
what the government told us. And let me add, my doubts on the government
have accelerated since I left office over the many things that have
happened, including the fact that in 2004 when I was teaching at
Harvard, McNamara came through and said the Gulf of Tonkin incident
never happened. Well, my government’s lied to me so often now, they
don’t have a big credibility with me, and so I tend to look away
from them for the answer.
On the show
you work with a team of researchers. Who are they, and what are
They come from
a variety of backgrounds. They’re young, aggressive people who can
ask questions. June [Sarpong] is a very accomplished reporter. I
mean, she’s on a first name basis with Tony Blair; she’s interviewed
a marvelous array of people worldwide. And so she’s a valuable asset
because she knows how to conduct an interview properly, and get
information and doing it in a not so much in-your-face manner that
I tend to do. So we tried to get people who could work opposite
to the way I tend to work. We thought we could accomplish more doing
that. And the others, Alex [Piper] is the proverbial skeptic. I
mean just about every one we do Alex don’t believe it, and you get
the sense of that. But, you know, we still forge forward. He still
gets his assignments and he carries them out professionally, even
though you can clearly see that most all the time he doesn’t believe
show, it seems that you’re more interested in raising questions
than you are in answering them, is that true?
We don’t have
the time to answer them! We don’t have the budget to answer them,
and we don’t have subpoena power. I think to get the answers to
these questions you’d need to have subpoenas, because the government
ain’t talkin. So how can you get to the bottom of anything? Yes,
the show is completely to raise questions, and there’s nothing wrong
with that. When did we become a country where you couldn’t question?
We’ve lost sight of that. We’ve been told now you can’t question
things, especially in the case of 9/11. You’re called unpatriotic
if you ask a question about it, and I find that offensive. I was
trained in demolition by a chief warrant officer who taught me there
is no dumb question. If you don’t know the answer to it, then it’s
certainly not dumb to you. And I think that works well with demolition,
because in demolition you can make a mistake by not asking a question,
and you could blow up one of your teammates – which would be the
worst thing I can imagine. And so I’ve lived my life living that,
that there is no dumb question. So I ask questions, and the problem
is you just don’t get answers. Why?