There are those among us who believe nearly everything is the result of a conspiracy. All of it.
They don’t believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, don’t believe we ever landed on the moon, believe our own government orchestrated 9/11, and believe Bill and Hillary Clinton are murderers. They believe the food we eat, the medical treatment we receive and climate scientists are all part of grand conspiracies designed to somehow do them wrong.
More troubling is a subset of this group that has convinced themselves nearly all mass shootings are hoaxes perpetrated by shadowy, unnamed groups trying to upend the Second Amendment. They claim there are no victims, just “crisis actors” trained to pretend they’re victims.
The leader of this pack has been Alex Jones, a radio host and creator of the infamous web site, Infowars. Jones uses both platforms to spew conspiratorial nonsense about mass shootings.
He referred to Sandy Hook, where 20 first-grade children and 6 adults were massacred, as a “complete fake” and a “giant hoax.” He’s claimed the parents were actors and fakers. He’s been singing the same rancid song for years.
Now, two sets of parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook have had enough. After years of harassment, intimidation and even death threats generated, at least in part by Jones’ accusations, they’ve sued him and others for propagating this defamatory foolishness.
(It should be noted Jones, three days after the lawsuit was filed, finally acknowledged the Sandy Hook murders did occur. His attorney said his previous comments were “misunderstood” or “misrepresented.”)
Mr. Jones and his co-defendants will now hopefully have the opportunity to explain to a civil jury how he arrived at his conspiracy theories. It should be interesting hearing him tell us how dead people aren’t actually dead. If he could present just one of the hundreds of mass shooting victims still alive it would certainly be an eye-opener.
No such revelation is forthcoming because these horrors that keep repeating themselves are not hoaxes at all. Nobody is pretending to be dead or pretending to grieve a lost loved one. Any other notion is absurd.
Maybe some common sense is in order here.
Radio host and outspoken conspiracy theorist Alex Jones recently lost a much publicized custody battle with his ex-wife over the fate of their children. Prior to the ruling, Jones had asked the media, for the sake of his children, to be “respectful and responsible” in their coverage of what he called a “private matter.”
It was a reasonable request. After all, going through child-custody proceedings can be a highly sensitive and emotionally trying process. And when one of the parents involved is a public figure, it can be even more painful to the family.
Yet, there wasn’t a lot of compassion to be found for Jones in the news media, especially on social media, where his hardship was widely celebrated and mocked.
One of the more popular tweets came from a man named David Masad, who wrote, “If Alex Jones loses custody of his kids, I hope someone follows him around and claims his kids never existed and were just actors, forever.”
The reference would likely be lost on people who aren’t familiar with the Jones’s history. As founder of the popular conspiracy website, InfoWars, Jones has made some incredibly outlandish statements over the years, some of which have escalated into crusades — crusades wholly believed and even participated in by some of his estimated 8 million listeners.
A lot of these conspiracies have unsurprisingly centered around the government, like the idea that the feds have weaponized tornadoes, or that they have added chemicals to our water supply to turn citizens gay, or that 9/11 was an “inside job”, or that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex ring managed out of a pizza restaurant. Others have involved alleged satanists and media figures. Jones once claimed that Glenn Beck was a CIA operative, and that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was a secret eugenics program.
But the conspiracy that Mr. Masad touched on is perhaps the most egregious Jones crusade of them all, and it surrounds another story about parents and the pain they’ve gone through over their children. Only, in this story, those children weren’t part of a legal case. They were murdered by a crazed gunman.
You see, Jones, over the years, has perpetuated the notion on his radio show that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of 2012 was actually a hoax, created by the Obama administration, to enact tougher gun-control laws.
“Sandy Hook is synthetic, completely fake, with actors; in my view, manufactured,” Jones told his audience in 2015. “I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids, and it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors.”
Slightly hokey, but excellent information! Enjoy 🙂
By Ben Collins via The Daily Beast
Trolls told Chris Hurst that his grief over losing his girlfriend in the Roanoke murders was a lie. But I’ve known him for years. Maybe, I thought, I could get them to listen.
Chris Hurst spent the last two weeks trying not to cry on television while telling the world how beautiful his life with his girlfriend was before she was murdered for no reason. Chris was the boyfriend of Alison Parker, who was shot and killed on live television in August by a mentally ill man who had an invented grudge and easy access to firearms.
Chris is a friend from college. Chris and I hosted a radio show together.
Or, according to millions of conspiracy theorists online, Chris Hurst is a part of my imagination.
In the minds—and YouTube videos—of some conspiracy theorists, Chris is not a news anchor at WDBJ in Virginia. Chris, the videos say, is a “crisis actor” invented less than a month ago by the United States government as part of a false flag operation that will eventually allow the New World Order to take away every American citizen’s guns and force them into a life of subjugation and tyranny.
Every day now, Chris wakes up to find strangers’ hate on his Facebook wall that he has to personally delete. Or he’ll Google Alison to find the people he has to thank for donating to her scholarships and he’ll see, instead, another conspiracy theory YouTube video, viewed 800,000 times over, that says Alison was in on it all along, and that she’s been given a new life and maybe plastic surgery by the government.
“It happened again about an hour ago,” Chris says. “It’s hard for me to manage that because I hit land mines when I do. They have all these details I don’t want to know.
The most recent one says Alison was dating someone else and that she and Chris were never together at all. That person is really Alison’s ex-boyfriend, who conspiracists found by looking through her old Facebook photos.
Two weeks after he lost the love of his life in the most gruesome and devastating way imaginable, this is what he has to sit through when he turns on his computer each morning.
“The hoax theories have taken a toll for sure,” he says. “I’ve definitely felt it more than anyone. I’m the one with the Facebook and Twitter page.”
It is simply easier for some people to believe that the United States government has concocted a vast conspiracy to take away all of our guns than it is to believe that it is too easy for a mentally ill person to acquire one and shoot anyone they want.
And now those same people are taking it out on the families of the victims of gun violence after a tragedy.
The last decade has seen a boon for “crisis actor” conspiracies on the Web and—along with them—a new set of psychologists and philosophers are trying to understand how people get dragged so far away from reality.
When you dive into the world of conspiracy theories (either as a skeptic, or a conspiracy theorist, or just a curious onlooker) you will ultimately come across some conspiracy theories that sound really, really bizarre…
In fact ever since I started doing serious skepticism and debunking and investigating conspiracy theories I have found conspiracy theories so strange that I could never have possibly have thought of them (which is probably a good thing).
Now while there are a lot of things I have noticed about bizarre conspiracy theories, I have narrowed it down to five different things.
So here are five things I’ve noticed about bizarre conspiracy theories:
5. They’re indicators of mental illness.
First I want to say that anyone who believes that the world is controlled by shape-shifting aliens, or that the World Trade Center towers were brought down by lasers, or that the government is using radio signals to attack peoples minds, or believes in crisis actors, or believes that chemtrails are real is not necessarily mentally ill… I’m just saying it’s a pretty strong indicator of mental illness, especially when you consider the fact that others who also believe in such conspiracy theories have engaged in behavior that strongly indicates that they are mentally ill (such as making long and incoherent rants, or harassing people, or making threats), or actually has been found out or proven to be mentally ill.
It’s not just the people who believe in them either. Many of the people whom have created the most bizarre conspiracy theories out there are they themselves believed to be mentally ill. Even the ones who are very intelligent and hold college degrees, but come up with these weird conspiracy theories, are automatically assumed to be mentally ill because it’s really the most logical explanation for many skeptics concerning a person whom is very smart but believes in really weird stuff.
4. There is no deep end to them.
Have you ever heard or read about a conspiracy theory that made you think, “there is no way that there can be something stranger than this…” Well, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but trust me when I say this, there is a conspiracy theory out there that is more bizarre than what you have just heard or read about. And if there isn’t one, one will be invented soon enough.
Now I don’t blame anyone for believing that whenever they hear about a crazy conspiracy theory that they believe that it is the craziest conspiracy theory out there, I use to believe that myself when I came across a really bizarre conspiracy, but then I would be proven wrong again and again whenever I kept coming across one even more bizarre than the next one, it kind of destroyed my ability to believe that there is a bottom to conspiracy theory craziness.
In fact some are so bizarre that…
3. They are confused for satire.
It really should not surprise anyone that there are some conspiracy theories out there that are either so weird, or so bizarre, that some people don’t believe that it is a real conspiracy theory (well, as real as one can be) and that it was made up as a parody of other conspiracy theories, or some type of satire, or, as some conspiracy theorists may claim, dis-information.
This is something that even I have assumed at times whenever I see a bizarre conspiracy theory, either in the hope that no one can seriously be so crazy that they could come up with such a thing, or that it just looks like satire.
In fact some have actually turned out to be satire (or a hoax) but because some conspiracy theorists can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is fake, some of them assume that it is real.
- Why do people lie about their belief in a Conspiracy Theory? (illuminutti.com)
- 6 Conspiracy theories that make people paranoid (illuminutti.com)
- 5 Things I’ve noticed about… 9/11 Conspiracy Theories (illuminutti.com)
- Michael Hastings: 5 Conspiracy Theories That Didn’t Pan Out (illuminutti.com)
- How “The Matrix” inspired Conspiracy Theorists (and Vice-Verse) (illuminutti.com)
- 5 Conspiracy Theories that would be easy to prove (illuminutti.com)
- Are conspiracy theorists really the sane ones? (wnd.com)
Recently I read this VICE article about a person by the name of Ed Chiarini (whether that is his real name or not is unknown, but it doesn’t really matter) whom is a conspiracy theorist whom believes that everyone you see in the media is actually an actor (even famous actors).
When I first read this article I honestly believed that this person was a poe due to the sheer fact that the conspiracy theories he was creating and promoting were so ridicules that it bordered on satire…
Sadly, it wasn’t satire. He really does believe what he is saying. I figured that out when I saw his posts about the Sandy Hook massacre and that everyone seen in photos and videos being “crisis actors”. Even a well constructed poe would not cross that line.
After seeing that this person clearly believed what he was saying it became very clear that this person most likely has major mental health issues.
Many people who were commenting on the article were saying that he probably has schizophrenia, which is very probable he does have, but I was told by a fellow skeptic that he may have a rare mental disorder called Fregoli delusion.
Fregoli delusion, also known as the “delusion of doubles”, is a mental disorder that is sometimes the result of a brain injury and can leave a person to believe that two or more people are actually one person.
Besides believing that two different people are in fact the same person, other behaviors that can go along with Fregoli delusion includes the following: . . .
- Why do people lie about their belief in a Conspiracy Theory? (illuminutti.com)
- How reality caught up with paranoid delusions (illuminutti.com)
- The bible of psychiatric diagnosis exempts religion from “delusions”, even though it is one (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- Reality and Mental Illness are Starting to Converge (neatorama.com)
- Mental Disorders – Paranoia, Symptoms and Potential Treatments (criminologyjust.blogspot.com)
- Psychotic Disorders (landmark97.com)