People Break Down The Worst Examples Of A TV Show Dumping A Major Cast Member And Trying To Continue
We're all aware television shows are fake and, heck, even the ones pretending to be real have a certain level of fabrication permeating throughout. That's not why we watch, though, we watch because we want to be invested into believing in a show's characters and their journeys. So when a character is mysteriously removed from a show with zero explanation it can leave a bad taste in our mouths that never goes away.
Reddit user, u/jsakic99, wanted to hear about:
Not Gone, Just Reborn
Came here to say this. Top Geat BBC is nothing w/o Jezza, Crash and Mr. Slowly.
I watched a few episodes of the reboot and its a total joke.
On the other hand i bought amazon prime because of Grand Tour.
No More Troy & Abed In The Morning
It definitely lost some of its charm without Troy, but Hickey, Elroy, and Frankie were decent. It was still a good show without Troy, just not as good.
Fired For Good Cause
Criminal Minds comes to mind for me. Thomas Gibson definitely deserved to be fired, but once he was gone the show felt completely different. They should have stopped there instead of trying another season.
To be fair, they pulled it off once before, when Mandy Patinkin left. Hotch was very much the solid center of the group, after that though, and they never really found someone to fill that role. I love Prentiss, but she doesn't fill that void, and Rossi wouldn't really do either. They would need to find someone that had chemistry with the other characters but still had the darkness that Hotch brought.
How Does Your Family Work?
Dukes of Hazzard for one season tried to replace Bo and Luke with two other Duke cousins.
The Coy and Vance situation made the whole Duke family tree even more suspicious. Bo, Luke, Daisy, Coy and Vance all called each other cousin, and called Jesse "uncle". None of them were siblings. Were these all just random children that Jesse "found" and raised? Did Jesse have 5 siblings who each had a child that they were unwilling/unable to care for? Did they all leave their kids with Jesse because a moonshine runner was considered the most respectable? There probably aren't too many social workers in Hazard County, but someone really needs to look into this.
CSI after Grissom left was never the same
I thought Liev Schreiber's short guest-stint standing in for William Petersen was good, but Grissom was kind of integral.
A Magical Missing Sister! Of Course!
So what always hit me as funny was in the TV Show Charmed.
Basically the entire concept was about three sisters being the chosen triad that together could do amazing magic.
After a couple seasons all three of them were on the floor "Dying" and it cut off.
Next season apparently two of the sisters had been saved, the but the last one had died off screen and the entire thing was skipped over. "You saved me, X saved Y, but that left Z to die!"
But how can a show that's entirely about the power of three sisters being the chosen ones continue with one of them gone? Easy, they find a long lost sister and activate her magic!
Steve?confused homer simpson GIF Giphy
As a child I remember being very confused and not realizing right away it was a different person.
I Want To Believe
The X-Files after David Duchovny left.
Something was missing when Mulder was gone. Scully and Mulder dealing with the monster of the week type episodes were the best.
It's A Teaching Hospital...Get It?
Scrubs final season was so bad that even Dr Cox couldn't save it.
It was meant to be a spinof series but wasn't allowed to be branded as such.
We ALL Hate Randy
That '70s Show
We all hate Randy
Randy embodies everything people hate about late series main cast replacements. He's a buff pretty boy, unlike Eric, but is still marketed as being a sensitive, nerdy guy, which is what made up a big part of Eric's appeal. He bonds with Red like Eric never could, he immediately takes Eric's place as Donna's love interest and is shunted into the main group without pretense and with little defined character. He's basically Poochie, from the Simpsons, but unironically.
Perhaps The Biggest Of All
The Office comes to mind, though I enjoy the later seasons too.
This is the one for me. I'm fine with folks enjoying the last few seasons (and I guarantee there's post-Carrell episodes I enjoy as well) but by and large, it lost a lot of its magic without him. That said, I imagine some key writers departing were also responsible for the tonal shift (where some characters turned into the cartoon versions of themselves while others were seemingly reinvented on the fly).
Yeesh...nervous the simpsons GIF Giphy
John Ritter, from 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter.
The main character died in the beginning of the second season*. It's a family sit-com, but I remember liking it. And it was starting to build a bit of a following when it happened.
John Ritter. Died from aortic dissection. So sad.
Worse, he started having the fatal symptoms when he was on set rehearsing for the next episode. The crew had to rush him to the hospital.
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Parenting is hard. That is a basic, simple truth--and it is not meant for everybody. I truly will never understand why people don't have to prove themselves capable of being parents before they decide to bring a new life into this world. You have to have a license to drive, buy a gun... fish! Why is there not a parenting permit?
Everything you do affects your children. And then children become adults who carry your actions that turn to scars. The job of a parent is riddled with failures. So that is a truth you have to ready yourself for and then make a plan to do better.
Thank God for therapists.
Redditor u/umbralia wanted to discuss the gritty details and the imperfections of childhood, by asking:
What are the things you feel your parents failed at when raising you?
I know I could never be a parent. I've never even kept a plant alive. It's a miracle my dog is semi-normal. That's the first step, acknowledge your faults and truths.
little things...Season 4 Swag GIF by Rick and MortyGiphy
"Confidence/worrying. Little things seem to be a big deal with them Also both of them would make unnecessary comments about my looks."
"Absolutely no food guidance at all. I was allowed to have as much soda, cookies, candy, cakes, chips, all sorts of junk food, etc., as I wanted. Seldom was there any healthy food in the house. I struggled with my weight most of my childhood and the early part of my adulthood because I was never taught to eat healthy. Finally as an adult I started figuring it out and finally lost the weight but I was not raised, ever, to eat healthy but I wish I was."
"Independence, I was the kid who had an overprotective parent so when other kids went to parks/shops/friends houses I was told no you can't go because it's unsafe, made me very socially isolated because everyone else did things and I had to stay back on my own."
No Big Loss
"My mom, she complained about me losing weight (I didn't) when I wanted to just eat enough to not be hungry. She kept asking me where I got this crazy idea to only eat when I'm hungry. And the worst part? When She was complaining about the weight I didn't lose, I was STILL overweight."
Impactcouple yelling GIF by The Maury ShowGiphy
"They failed at keeping their relationship issues to themselves and not letting it spill over into our childhood and impact our daily lives."
Children are always watching. That is lesson number one. Also, focus on imparting the ways your babies can live a full life and not just how to survive struggle.
ExplosionsIntimidating Season 4 GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"How to manage my anger. I was implicitly taught to bottle everything up because anger is an unacceptable emotion. It has had unexpected effect in a variety of areas down the line, especially when it comes to dealing with authorities."
"everything is ok"
"I have this reward issue, but for a different reason. My father used to just disappear for months at a time when I was a kid. We were a 2 income household and my mother was always too proud to ask for help or even admit there was a problem, so we usually went hungry and without power sometimes."
"Whenever my father came back, it meant we had money again and to compensate for how awful things were, my mother would take us grocery shopping and we'd get whatever we wanted. I remember vividly the times we'd come home from shopping and just pig out on ice cream, snack cakes, frozen pizza, candy, cookies, whatever we wanted."
"Having food, especially junk food, meant "everything is ok" in my brain. A lot of feast and famine as a kid. As an adult, it took me a while to work out healthier eating habits. There is still nothing as comforting as a stomach full of processed junk, but it doesn't happen often anymore."
Never Far Enough!
"My parents were extremely strict. I had to go to bed at 9pm every night, no matter whether it was a holiday or weekend. I was only able to be with friends my parents approved of. I went out with a guy in high school to see a movie that she chose for us to see. When we got to the theater, the movie was sold out so we chose a different movie."
"Both were rated PG (my mom would prefer it was rated G), and when I got home I told my mom about the movie we saw. She got furious with me because I didn't call her to get permission to change movies. That's just one of the many nightmares I dealt with. My mom would say something was okay to one day, and the next day we weren't allowed to do it ever again."
"I moved out when I was 18 years old. She lives in New England and I moved to Alaska for a while and then California. I haven't lived on the East Coast in almost 30 years. I'm in my 60's and sometimes I wonder if living all the way across the country is far enough away."
Feel the Hate
"When they got divorced it was abundantly clear they hated each other more than they loved us. Prior to that they were pretty good parents considering how young they were. Especially considering my dad had one of the worst examples of a father I'd care to imagine. They just got blinded by the bitterness between them and nobody thought to see above it."
"My sister was the center of attention when I was a kid, and in many ways, she still is. I lived a solitary childhood. My mom was completely disengaged from my life. I never go to do sports, hang out with friends, get involved in after school or extracurricular activities, or develop any hobbies. I was meant to be seen, not heard. I lived my entire childhood reading books, playing chess, and wandering around town aimlessly completely alone."
"And when I became of age to start working, she used my savings account as a means to finance sister's life. In later years when my sister grew up to be a sociopath, pathological liar, and ego maniac, they sort of recognized the mistake. My mom inquired recently why I never brought a girl over and I explained there was no room for me to have a social life in my sister's world."
Living WellNew Girl Facepalm GIF by HULUGiphy
"Confidence, money management, and throughout my teenage years, caring for me in general. I get it, my older brother had just died, but you had three other kids. One was only 8, and at 13, I shouldn't have had to step up and be his mother."
See there... failure and consequence. That is why there are so many wealthy therapists out there. Nobody says you have to be the perfect parent, just aim to be decent.
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You never know when you might need it.
That's a mantra we should all try to remember––especially when we're out driving. Suppose you get into a minor accident. It might be a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand, just in case. Oh, and if you ever spill anything, it might be a good idea to keep paper towels––or just towels––on hand.
You'll thank yourself later.
People offered their recommendations after Redditor thelegend223 asked the online community,
"What's something you would recommend people start to keep in their cars?"
"Not only helpful..."
"Jumper cables. Not only helpful if you need them, but it's nice to help others out. I've never used them for myself but at least a dozen times helping others."
A friend of mine always has jumper cables on hand and has even helped out some of my neighbors! It's awesome.
"Besides the obvious safety stuff, a roll of paper towels is way more convenient than you could possibly imagine."
"Tried to refill..."
"Taco Bell napkins. Checking the oil? Blowing your nose? Tried to refill your vape in traffic? Always napkins."
You will never regret having napkins on hand. They are a lifesaver.
"Last thing I'd want..."
"In addition to a lot of the stuff posted here, I keep a pair of old boots. The last thing I'd want is to deal with a breakdown etc. and have on flip flops or dress shoes or something."
"If you see a car..."
"Bottled water, blankets, and sweets.
My father-in-law told me this. If you see a car which has broken down on the motorway then those poor people have to vacate the vehicle for their own safety and stand at the roadside. If it's a family and they're waiting for their recovery they'll appreciate the blankets to keep warm and dry, the water because water is nice, and the sweets to cheer the kids up.
Pull over and give them that and it will make their bad situation a little bit better."
This is so wholesome. Anything to help out your fellow man is very much appreciated!
"I wouldn't have been able..."
"Fire extinguisher. I've put out a car fire with one. Not my vehicle, but still. I wouldn't have been able to help had I not had it."
Definitely keep a fire extinguisher on hand. You never know when you might need it for your car. Things happen!
"Cash. I once made the intelligent move of leaving for a road trip alone without my wallet. I'd stopped a few hours from home to gas up when I realized. Had enough cash stashed for gas to get me back home."
Cash, definitely. And keep it out of sight, of course. You don't want anyone breaking into your car.
"You put everything..."
"An emergency "can't get home" bag. You put everything in it you'd need if you were told to go to a hotel for 24 hours taking only what you had on you and in your car. Soap, clothes, an extra $100, toothbrush, food/water, phone charger/wall wart, etc. It comes in handy for a lot of things, just remember to rotate out the food and water if you decide to put some snacks and bottles of water in there."
"If you're in a relationship..."
"If you're in a relationship with a woman or have daughters or anything, a stash of feminine hygiene products as well. It'll come in handy eventually."
"To this day..."
"I visited Israel a few times and their requirement is to have a reflective vest and either a reflective triangle or those spark lights within arms reach for the driver. Thought it was not a bad rule, put a vest/triangle combo in the back of the seat.
To this day, I've given out seven sets like that too broken down cars on the roads. While I have no way of helping them fix the car, at least I help them set up the triangle for safety. None have ever refused to wear a vest when offered. So I just buy a new set after for myself or the next person."
We realize you're going to practically use up all of your trunk space with all this stuff, but trust us: You'll be so thankful later.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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I love weddings. I want a HUGE, extravagant experience! That is if the day should ever come. However, I do not believe in spending your life savings; but shedding some coin isn't a terrible thing.
In the end though there is nothing wrong in doing the ceremony small and intimate. Every penny saved from the ceremony can go toward a house, a college fund, old age. I've seen people drop half a million just to say "we had our wedding there!" In the end... there... wasn't all that special.
A wedding should be personal to the two most important people of the day. Big or small, who cares, just be happy.
Redditor u/the_original_Retro wanted to discuss the path to the chapel of love, in miniature, by asking:
People who got married without having a big wedding: when you look back, was it the better choice? Do either of you regret not doing something bigger for the day?
Small doesn't necessarily mean cheap. A small experience can be just as expensive as a rave blowout. So let's discuss ideas...
Save the Pennies...Season 1 Wedding GIF by NBCGiphy
"Absolutely no regrets. You always have the option to do the party/celebration for your anniversary/vows renewal etc down the line. We never felt the need though. Spend your money on something else forget the pomp of a big wedding. It's a disgusting industry in my opinion. My pair of pennies anyway."
To Be Happy...
"We paid about 2 grand total for our wedding, we married in a tiny little registry office which was nice and clean and the lady who married us was lovely, it wasn't a big venue but it was big enough for our close family and friends. We rented the suits and that was the most expensive item, we got the bridesmaids dresses online for cheap, they all looked really nice and my wife looked lovely, her dress was second hand from eBay."
"We found a bus museum and hired an old London bus for an hour to drive the people from the wedding to the party. We didn't have a reception and a sit down meal, instead we booked a local club that had a nice big room, we got a family friend to do a buffet for all the guests."
"It was a really great day, the wedding was nice, my wife was happy, lots of our friends and family attended, there was plenty of food and the drinks were cheap at the bar in the club we picked, I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out."
No Need for 1K!
"I told my husband when we were getting married. His mom told him my ring needed to be no less than like 2 karats or something insane. I told him when we went ring shopping, "you can spent $1k. If I even THINK you spent over that. I'll say no." Money can go to rent, a nice dinner out, be saved, etc. The wedding and everything related to it, I told him, do we really NEED that? I was from a poor family, he was from a much more wealthy family. It was a VERY hard adjustment for both of us."
"Not what you asked but, I wanted a small wedding. Just immediate family and a couple friends at my parents' home with a BBQ and water fun after. My mother insisted on the big deal. I hated it. The day was a torture for me. I regret giving in every time I think about it. The only part I am glad for is that I got married. I don't have any wonderful memories of the day itself. I let my daughter have my wedding dress for a costume. It brought me more joy at Halloween than it did on my wedding day."
Covid...Television Fighting GIF by WE tvGiphy
"Waited over a decade to get married. Covid let us get married over zoom without dealing with the messy logistics of an in person wedding. Also a lot cheaper. Covid is a great excuse for people that want small or non existent reception."
Awww... that all sounds lovely. I still want big, big. big. But that is me. Covid did teach us all a lot about small and intimate being enough. Love doesn't need a crowd.
It's Monday...tim curry no GIFGiphy
"My wife and I got married on a Monday night, at a church, with a handful of people there. We then had the "formal" (tuxedos, wedding dress, groomsmen and brides maids) church wedding and reception about 5 months later."
"We had to do this because we were living together and Rev. Killjoy didn't approve of that. He made us get married immediately or he wouldn't marry us on the date my wife wanted. We've been married 32 years and we both agree that neither wedding was necessary. An elopement with a small get together later with those most important to us would have been preferable for us."
"This question really interests me because me and my fiancé are getting married next February and we've actually gone from "big party" to "small gathering of intimate people" since we first started planning it. Mostly because neither of us is exactly "social". He's an introvert and the idea of a big party with people who we rarely see slowly became nauseating to us. I mean."
"The wedding is supposed to be a celebration of love with the people who actually know and cherish the couple. Not a "show off" event. I come from a deeply traditional family with big weddings and this has been a topic of "discussion" lately. So knowing how you guys feel after is actually helping. Thank you! :) Edited to correct spelling."
"My wife and I went on a trip and got married at a resort destination just me and her. We both didn't want the huge formality of a wedding day and the cost as well. Not to say we didn't have gatherings. We had a big party at our place prior to the trip."
"Then we hired out a few tables and a side room at a fav local restaurant and had a big dinner with my extended family. Finally as part of the trip we went back to visit her family and relatives overseas and had a similar dinner/gathering. We did a rough calculation and the cost of a big wedding was more expensive as the big trip and the x3 dinners."
"Ppl from both sides of the family seemed happy as they didn't have to spend a whole evening at a reception and/or attend an afternoon ceremony. A lot of our friends seemed happy either way, appreciated the casual party at our place and didn't feel the need to get all dressed up. Also the trip was basically our honeymoon."
"Friend of a friend"
"I think my husband and I had around 15 people at our ceremony, afterwards we got to have a NICE sit down 3 course meal with everyone in a private dining room of a fancy hotel. THAT was beautiful, and it was just. everything we needed. THEN we came home and had a reception and it was the biggest waste of $ and time. I wish we had saved the money and just had another intimate sit down catered dinner with family and CLOSE friends."
"None of this "acquaintanced" "Friend of a friend" etc. Granted everyone else said the reception was "so much fun", but both SO and I wanted to leave before it even started. OR I wish we had just saved the money from that and gone on a hot vacation, just the two of us."
Perfect...british news GIFGiphy
"My wife and I are so glad that we had a small wedding (cost us about $700 total) and it was perfect."
"My brother's brother-in-law paid $30,000 for his own wedding and she left him in less than year (and they had been together a really long time before that). The only people who really benefit from large weddings are the people making money off of them. Keep it small."
Love is love. No matter what, let your day be for ya'll. Spend a million, spend a dollar. Invite ten, invite ten thousand. Just have the ceremony you want.
Conspiracy theories are beliefs that there are covert powers that be changing the course of history for their own benefits. It's how we see the rise of QAnon conspiracies and people storming the capital.
Why do people fall for them? Well some research has looked into the reasons for that.
The Association for Psychological Science published a paper that reviewed some of the research:
"This research suggests that people may be drawn to conspiracy theories when—compared with nonconspiracy explanations—they promise to satisfy important social psychological motives that can be characterized as epistemic (e.g., the desire for understanding, accuracy, and subjective certainty), existential (e.g., the desire for control and security), and social (e.g., the desire to maintain a positive image of the self or group)."
Whatever the motivations may be, we wanted to know which convoluted stories became apart of peoples consciousness enough for them to believe it.
Redditor Lopsided_Confusion57 asked:
"What's the wildest conspiracy theory you fully believe?"
We can't say any of these are true but sometimes it's fun to speculate.
The time traveling cyclist.
"The Australian cyclist Mick Rogers is a time traveler."
"In the 2002 Tour Down Under, Rogers was in a great position in the breakaway and looking to move into the overall race lead but a collision with a motorcycle left his bike out of commission. With the team service car and mechanics way down the road, it looked like Rogers' chances were gone. Then a cycling fan, who just happened to be at that precise point in the road, offered Rogers his bicycle to continue on. The bike also just happened to be the *exact* model of Colnago that Rogers had been riding. It was the correct size, right down to things like the stem and crank lengths. It even had the same pedal system that Rogers was already using, so he could just clip in and be away. He finished that stage and took the race lead, which he held on to all the way to the end for his only career win in his 'home' tour."
"My theory is that in the original timeline, Rogers didn't win the 2002 Tour Down Under. He quit cycling in anger and devoted his life to theoretical physics and solving the problem of time travel just so he could arrange it to leave himself a spare bike where and when he needed it."
"I'm on board for whatever book or screenplay you write."
"Wait, so if Rogers motivation to find ways for time travelling was losing 2002 race, and if he won, then Rogers never found time travelling and our time line is forever devoid of genius like Rogers who would have found time travelling and attended Hawkins party."
"Yep, exactly. Our timeline is stuck with boring old Mick Rogers, 2002 TDU winner and 3x World Time Trial Champion while some other, much cooler, party timeline gets Mick Rogers, the second coming of Einstein. He probably even cures Covid for them."
The best money making stunt.
"Information is leaked from a studio about an upcoming project that p*sses off the fan base. The studio will then change things to keep the fans happy. The conspiracy is the original leak was just a lie to drum up free publicity for the project."
"This made me think of the Sonic movie. No way in hell were they going to make Sonic look that bad. Put out a fake trailer with him lookin all scary, everyone is talking about it. Wala. Take a bit to say you're fixing his look, put out a new trailer. You just drummed up tons of publicity since people are now following the story."
"I have mixed thoughts to that one."
"I mean 'No way in hell were they going to make him look like that.' Buddy have you seen the cash-grab BS that Hollywood has pulled off before? Hell, when was there a movie based off a game that wasn't exactly as bad as that Sonic looked?"
"I will admit that they may have done that as a publicity stunt, but I also admit that they could have thought it looked fine."
"Have you seen … CATS?"
"100% of the population believes that Putin has had people killed for political reasons but only a very small percentage of Americans believe that American politicians would ever do so."
"I mean, there's a reason the joke/saying is, 'The highest award a journalist can receive is being assassinated by the CIA.' There's probably been a handful who may've found out one too many things on the elites, and then had an accident before they could publish their findings."
"Ohhhh boy then south american journalists in the 60s-80s have been awarded way too much."
"MLK was literally murdered by the government."
"Lots of Black Panthers were too."
'"As part of the larger COINTELPRO operation, the FBI was determined to prevent any improvement in the effectiveness of the BPP leadership. The FBI orchestrated an armed raid with the Chicago police and State Attorney on Hampton's Chicago apartment.'"
"Quote from the Wikipedia article on Fred Hampton."
Conspiracies for the conspiracies to cover up the conspiracies.
"The CIA creates conspiracy theories to provide cover for the real conspiracies."
"It's actually kind of scary how smug anti-conspiracy discourse is used to derail actual conversations. A moment that chipped my faith in humanity just a little was when I was arguing with some people about Guatemala in 1954 and people denied my version of events happened 'because it's a conspiracy.'"
"Like no the parties involved admitted to it."
"If you don't know what I'm talking about and are from the USA you should have a google. But, basically the USA destroyed a democracy because it made a corporation sad."
"What's worse is when people will talk about how corrupt insert what politicians they don't like are, but then when you mention something that is actually confirmed to have happened, they pull the conspiracy theory card and act as if the idea people in power don't want to secure further power for themselves."
"We have been conditioned to think like that from since we started school though (I guess that's my submission for this ask post)."
"I think I remember reading about some CIA agents AMA. Someone asked him the question, 'What's the point of area 51?' The answer was, 'To keep your attention away from area 50 and 52.'"
"Obviously not an exact quote, but the idea of it has always stuck with me."
Extinct animals not actually being extinct for preservation.
"I think it is entirely plausible that the Thylacine still exists in the depths of the Australian mainland and the government knows it."
"It wouldn't be that crazy for misguided scientists to have moved or released a few in the late 1800s. Once the animal went extinct, they certainly couldn't reveal the existence of the mainland population lest poachers and local farmers destroy it. They also may have realized how significant the liability was for releasing large predators into farmland."
"Folks have found hair and scat samples that may be from the animal, but the university lab results always come back and say they are nonsense. That's probably the truth, but I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the government was strong-arming them into reporting BS results. TBH if I was a conservation scientist it wouldn't take much convincing for me to fake a negative test."
Robert 'Curt' Borton Jr.
"I believe in a LOT of really boring conspiracies. Stuff like. 'This person was about to expose corporate/government corruption, and then died suspiciously.'"
"But if you want to go for a more intense one, Robert Borton, who I just learnt about, takes the cake. tl;dr guy disappears in Vietnam and really strange sh*T happens to his family."
"This guy, Robert 'Curt' Borton Jr. turns 19 in 1965, he goes to fight in Vietnam. He lands in 1966 and vanishes 19 days into his deployment alongside 3 other soldiers."
"In 1976, two guys approach his dad and claimed to work for the Department of Defense. They asked him to sign a letter that would change his sons status from 'Missing in action' to 'Killed in action' and he refused. Arguing the military would not confront people in public to sign documents. However, in the following weeks he was approached again by these two guys in public places and eventually signed it out of fear. He later received money for doing so."
"His sister then claims that every time they've seen Curt's official files, the entries keep changing, and his sister claims her phone was being wiretapped. A cousin believes that everyone was being watched, claiming that he was followed to work several times and that two men would follow him from his home to his company and then back. After this went on for a month, he decided to confront them, but they denied following him. After that, for about a month, he was not followed."
"The family is convinced Curt was part of a secret government operation that brought him from Vietnam into the United States. Diane believes that he has tried to contact her and other family members on multiple occasions. She claims that she has talked to a man who is a "secret returnee" and that they are allowed to come back to the United States, as long as they do not contact their families. She believes that this was done because the U.S. government had already claimed that all of the living POWs had been brought home; since they were still left behind, they could not become known to the public."
We may never fully know if any of these are true. Given the track record and history of most governments in the world, maybe some of these aren't so far fetched.
Only you can decide what you believe or not.