Back in November of 2015, after the Paris shooting, I was shocked at the amount of conspiracy comments that were left on Youtube videos discussing the attacks. The Paris attacks struck a personal chord with me. I have played in bands most of my life, and have attended many concerts as well. All events like this are tragic, but the Paris shooting destroyed something sacred for me. As an atheist, live events such as these are much more like cathartic religious experiences than simply music shows. It is about the closest thing I have ever come to having, what some would call, a spiritual experience. Watching Jesse Hughes, leader singer of Eagles of Death Metal, discuss what he experienced was a way of coping with a kind of loss. I want to cry every time I think of what Hughes said, during an interview days after the shooting with Vice magazine, “Our friends went there to see rock and roll and died, I want to go back there and live”. It was a simple reminder that we will not be defeated in the face of hatred.
Sadly, not everyone viewed the tragedy as what it was; a brutal attack committed by angry people motivated by a particular religious ideology against their perceived enemy. Instead, as the comments to the Vice interview attest, many people saw the Paris attacks as a false flag. False flags are covert operations which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by a particular group, when, in fact, they are being orchestrated by somebody else. In this sense, they are the bread and butter of conspiracy theorists. As someone who spent some time in the conspiracy theorist community, believing that 9/11 was orchestrated by the US government, I witnessed the proliferation of false flag accusations. Ironically, my eventual departure from the conspiracy community was due to the incoherent ramblings, and constant false flag promoting, of conspiracy Super Saiyan, Alex Jones. Which brings us to today. Not even 24 hours after the tragic shootings in Orlando, Alex Jones, once again, is crying false flag.
Before addressing why Alex Jones is completely, and utterly, full of shit, it is important to highlight the sheer absurdity of false flag claims. One of the most upvoted comments on the Vice interview is angrily directed towards the Eagles of Death Metal: “BIGGEST ASS CLOWN BAND EVER!!! crisis actor sell outs FUCK YOU!” What this comment is alluding to is the idea that many people involved in large scale tragic events are really actors, hired by the powers that be, in order to stage tragic events to subvert democracy or pass unpopular laws. Forget the fact that a recent paper shows that conspiracy theories are mathematically prone to unraveling the larger they get. Forget that the Eagles of Death Metal have been a band for years, and that Jesse Hughes’ pro-gun pro-freedom rhetoric contradicts the claims that he is paid actor for a government supposedly staging events to subvert these very ideals. Not to mention the fact that he blames the political left for the attacks, something which ironically conforms to the conspiracy narrative.
Now, I disagree with a lot of what Jesse Hughes has said since the shooting, but I don’t hold it against him. He was not coached to be politically savvy prior to this event, and I wouldn’t be able to predict what I would say or do if I had been in his place. Let alone how to deal with being given a larger audience, due to the fact that a bunch of assholes decided to kill people who simply showed up to enjoy your music. But it is a further tragedy that Hughes’ experience, however he chooses to manifest it, is being systematically denied by a sub culture that sees him as a puppet. Even worse is the idea that the parents of Sandy Hook were also crisis actors. Some parents even being harassed by conspiracy theorists to prove that they actually had children prior to the shooting. Yet again, the same nonsense is being promoted just hours after the Orlando shootings.
Alex Jones who has made the crisis actor claims about Sandy hook and the Boston marathon, has, in the case of the Orlando shooting, taken a different approach. Instead of saying these attacks were staged, he instead claims that the attacks happened due to the governments open border policies and the acceptance of Syrian refugees. The false flag being that our government does nothing to stop these attacks, in order to, you guessed it, destroy liberty and take our guns. Now, the fact that the shooter was born and raised in America doesn’t fit that narrative, but that hasn’t stopped Jones. Who is now claiming that ISIS is activating death squads in America. Don’t forget to also buy his air purifying products to protect you against chemtrails (advertised in all his recent videos).
Jones also claims that he has never been against homosexuals. Although, he compares those who advocate for gay rights to a space cult with a eugenic plot to kill the worlds population. He also thinks that the supreme court ruling on same sex marriage opens the door for pedophile politicians. He views Islamic extremists as reprehensible for how they treat the gay community, something which I agree is terrible, and yet Jones’ radical Christianity leads him to think that the gay agenda is a eugenics space cult defending pedophiles.
Remember also that Jones is a supporter of Donald Trump. After years of supporting the birther movement, Trump and Jones make natural allies. Which, to me, is the biggest thing to fear from these types of attacks. With every threat and attack population level political conservatism increases. This is also why the left has failed to adequately deal with this issue. Calling Jones or Trump Islamophobic isn’t going to do anything. Their millions of followers don’t trust the narratives promoted by mainstream media. They see the medias denial that these attacks have anything to do with Islam as evidence that the main stream media is corrupted by a shadowy organization. Of course these attacks do have something to do with Islam. I take the fact that the shooter self-identifies as a Muslim, and claims it to be the reason for the attacks at face value, but that fact isn’t that helpful in the long run. These kind of attacks are not just carried out by Muslims. This is why Sandy Hook was a hoax, while Orlando was terrorism, to try to make the random acts of large scale violence fit a narrative.
I am glad I eventually got out of this community, and discovered science and reason, but we ignore the conspiracy underbelly at our peril. Alex Jones has over a million followers, and Donald Trump is the front runner of a majour political party in one of the most powerful countries in the world. The conspiracy is becoming mainstream, and no one really knows how to deal with it.