Late last week a Texas jury ordered Alex Jones to pay nearly \$50 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shootings, with two more trials still scheduled. These awards may be sharply reduced, but if they are not, the result will probably mean the destruction of Jones’ media empire.
For decades Jones has been one of America’s most prominent conspiracy theorists, and although I’ve never watched his show nor scarcely ever visited his website, under ordinary circumstances I would be quite sympathetic to his plight, given the tremendous record of dishonesty by his arch-enemies in the mainstream media.
From what I’ve read, Jones came to major national prominence in the early 2000s when he became a leading skeptic of the government’s 9/11 narrative, widely promoting public criticism of that official fairy tale when no one in the mainstream media and even few alternative journalists were willing to do so. I myself only became aware of these issues long afterward, and if I’d been listening to Jones at the time I would have learned some important facts years earlier.
- American Pravda: Seeking 9/11 Truth After Twenty Years
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • September 7, 2021 • 7,800 Words
However, even a broken clock is right twice each day, and the conspiracy community seems plagued by individuals who tend to believe that almost everything is a conspiracy and that reality can be determined simply by inverting the statements of government officials or mainstream journalists. Jones represents an unfortunate example of this tendency, probably egged on by his numerous agitated followers.
Soon after the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School took the lives of 26 students, Jones and various other prominent conspiracy-activists began denying the reality of the massacre. They focused upon initial inconsistencies in the mainstream media reports and what they considered suspicious video footage to claim that the killings had never occurred, and that the incident was merely a hoax concocted by powerful groups for sinister reasons, with the allegedly grief-stricken parents actually being “crisis actors” recruited to play a role for the national television cameras. Indeed, Prof. James Fetzer, who held similar beliefs, entitled his controversial book Nobody Died at Sandy Hook, and he subsequently lost a defamation lawsuit similar to that of Jones.
The parents of murdered children are highly sympathetic victims, and publicly accusing them of being paid actors with imaginary losses seems legally actionable, especially after they were bombarded with death threats by Jones’ legion of devoted followers. Under American libel law, even the wildest accusations may be freely made against public figures without much fear of legal consequences; but the parents of murdered schoolchildren are private individuals, so Jones appears to deserve his fate.
Any sympathy I might have had for Jones in this current case vanished during my extensive reading of the last few years, although almost none of the material had anything to do with the particular details of what actually happened at Sandy Hook.
After I gradually became aware of the conspiratorial reality behind much of modern American history, one particular figure earned a great deal of my respect, and I featured him in the dedication of my recent collection of articles on this topic:
To the Memory of Michael Collins Piper,
Who Pinned the Tail on the Donkey Almost Thirty Years Ago
For decades, journalist Michael Collins Piper of the Spotlight and the American Free Press had ranked as one of America’s foremost conspiracy-researchers. Although I was only slightly aware of his work prior to his 2015 death at age 54, since that time I’ve read nearly a dozen of his books and been very impressed by his knowledge and reliability, with the latter trait being all too rare within the conspiracy-community.
One of his last published works was False Flags, a 2013 compendium of the most important events that he believed involved hidden conspiracies, including the JFK assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 9/11 attacks. Despite its blemishes, I’d highly recommend this book, which is available on this website in HTML format:
- False Flags
Template for Terror
Michael Collins Piper • 2013 • 136,000 Words
The bulk of his text dealt with those major events of recent American history, but the last chapters focused on what he regarded as a new and particularly threatening conspiratorial technique, a very effective means of confusing and frustrating all investigatory efforts by citizen-activists.
The growth of the Internet had made it increasingly difficult to suppress the distribution of information, so he suspected that a different approach was being used:
But the plan—as we shall see—was not just simply standing back and loudly and repeatedly denying the existence of conspiracies. Instead, the course of action was far more subtle—some might even say Talmudic (and, if truth be told, it was a stroke of genius).
The intriguers effectively determined that “if you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em” (as the old saying goes).
That is, rather than working to REFUTE conspiracy theories, the solution would be to INFECT them and MISDIRECT them and add utter confusion to the mix.
The consequence would be that conspiracy theories would look so ridiculous that no broad swath of people in the general public might one day actually begin to have any belief in their credibility.
In Piper’s opinion, the Sandy Hook school shootings represented the first real-life test of this new strategy, which he believed had been masterminded by Cass Sunstein of the Obama Administration:
The Sandy Hook affair was tailor-made for putting the Sunstein gang’s experiment in motion. It involved violence. It involved the explosive issue of gun control, inasmuch as the incident was said to have been a mass shooting. And it was another sensational school shooting—and one at a grade school, no less.
The dynamics were absolutely on target—no pun intended—for the Sunstein thesis to be put to the test.
And, quite predictably, the mass media—as a consequence of its typically reckless nature—played right into the scheme. The frenzied rush in the heat of the moment to get “the scoop” led to sloppy, reporting and presumably otherwise honest mistakes by journalists.
And naturally, a lot of these errors were quickly the subject of discussion among emailers and those participating on Internet discussion forums who were concerned about the obvious push for further gun control that was accompanying the media reportage relating to the events at Sandy Hook.
Piper argued that a small group of establishment operatives successfully manipulated the conspiracy community on the Internet, promoting ideas that soon captured the imagination of these activists, many of whom were excitable and overly gullible:
One of the first and most outrageous of these Internet “revelations” that did so much to make sincere truth seekers look foolish was the oft-repeated theme that “Sandy Hook was a hoax” and that no children were even killed there. (Yes, that was a frequently repeated allegation.)
Even the introduction of the word “hoax” was carefully calculated and with the mass media reporting that “conspiracy theorists” were using that term to describe the tragedy, many in the general public began to doubt the sanity of a lot of good people who were rightfully raising questions about what happened at Sandy Hook and the way that it was being exploited…
This was their first big “test tube” case and it was proving to be a success, perhaps beyond even their wildest dreams.
Piper followed the events closely at the time, and he described how waves of Sandy Hook rumors and theories were deployed to swamp those websites following the story:
The Crisis Management Conspirators mesmerized and manipulated American patriots and other skeptics via a non-stop wave of Sandy Hook “factoids” that quickly spread like wildfire across the Internet. And patriot websites by the hundreds—by the thousands—were picking them up and reporting them. These legends—spawned by the Crisis Management folks—became the staple daily diet of email addicts who were eagerly helping distribute the latest Sandy Hook “revelations”…
Precisely because so much disinformation was being repeated by well-meaning and entirely innocent folks, a lot of good patriots concluded that something had to be amiss with the “official” Sandy Hook story or otherwise—they said—so many good patriots on so many websites and elsewhere wouldn’t be raising these questions.
The penultimate chapter of Piper’s book focuses upon a particularly pernicious element of the Sandy Hook controversy, namely the widespread belief that the parents of the children killed were actually “crisis actors” hired to play that role, an idea that soon became endemic throughout the conspiracy community and was also applied to the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing a few months later:
The manipulation by the Crisis Management Conspirators of the events at Sandy Hook was, in retrospect, a quite logical response to the phenomenon of 9-11 truthseeking (much of it Internet-based) which, in turn, had its own antecedents in the search for the truth surrounding the Oklahoma City bombing and the JFK assassination so many years before.
In that sense, we might suggest, there was indeed a secret connection, so to speak, between 9-11 and Sandy Hook—but it’s one that even the most fervent believers in the “big” story of Sandy Hook never realized, precisely because of the fact they had found themselves (most of them, to this day, unknowingly) caught in the web of disinformation being spun by the high-level Crisis Management Conspirators.
And one of the biggest cons of all perpetrated upon the legitimate truth seekers was the legend of “The Crisis Actors”—mentioned earlier—that came to be an article of faith surrounding Sandy Hook and later again, even more so, following the events at the Boston Marathon.
And as we’ve already noted (perhaps all too often) in the wake of Sandy Hook many people actually believed that there hadn’t even been any gunplay at all—that no children and no adults were shot that day, that it was all a big staged event, with the purported victims and their families (along with law enforcement) in on the deal.
This is where the now much-discussed topic of “The Crisis Actors” was brought into play. And, in many respects, it may have been one of the most ingenious scams ever pawned off on American patriots designed to misdirect their attention.
Piper noted how odd it was that nobody seemed to take personal credit for introducing the “crisis actors” theory, which suddenly seemed to blossom across numerous websites and email groups. This led him to suspect it was a deliberate attempt at organized manipulation, an attempt that succeeded brilliantly.
The Crisis Management Conspirators inserted the legend of the Crisis Actors onto the Internet with the expectation that it would become a part of the lore of Sandy Hook and help add confusion and—more importantly—play a significant part in discrediting conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists in the minds of the broad general public…
Yet, the Crisis Management Conspirators successfully distracted truth seekers—who were convinced that, once again, the authorities were covering up the truth about the Boston bombing—by cranking up the Crisis Actors legend (first spawned in the wake of Sandy Hook)…
There were people from all over the United States who had come to the Boston Marathon and they went home to tell friends and family about their narrow brush with disaster, only to hear that there were conspiracy theorists on the Internet who were saying that the bombing didn’t happen and that nobody really lost an arm or a leg.
Our own website draws a wide range of alt-media columnists and commenters, and for years afterwards I would see most terrorist attacks both in America and overseas regularly denounced as hoaxes, with all the victims supposedly being “crisis actors.”
But the simplest application of common-sense showed the implausibility of these theories. Surely it was far easier and cheaper to hire a couple of paid killers to mount a deadly attack than to recruit a large group of actors, make-up artists, and special effects wizards to stage a faked incident, afterward having to hope that none of them would ever reveal their participation in the high-profile fraud.
But as Piper points out, the ultimate result was to severely damage the credibility of all “conspiracy theories”:
But what a growing number of Americans do believe—as a consequence of propaganda from the Controlled Media—is that those people who are called “conspiracy theorists” by the media have some really crazy ideas and that they don’t believe that there was really a shooting in Sandy Hook that took the lives of 20 little children or that there wasn’t even really a bombing in Boston.
And many Americans now believe that anything that reeks of a conspiracy theory—even relating to the JFK assassination or the Oklahoma bombing or 9-11—is the work of paranoid minds whose opinions are to be dismissed, along with (in particular) the idea that Israel had anything to do with those tragedies.
That was precisely the design of those who helped make the truth seekers look “crazy” by feeding them a diet of extraordinary claims about Sandy Hook and Boston that took hold on the Internet like wildfire, even as the Crisis Management Conspirators were monitoring the communication networks between patriots here in the United States (and around the world) who were disseminating these stories.
The bottom line is that what many came to believe about Crisis Actors at Sandy Hook and Boston (along with other similar nonsense) is just one big fat fraud—a lie—a distraction—deliberately perpetrated by the Crisis Management Conspirators to make truth seekers look silly.
The supposed villain of Piper’s narrative is former Obama official Cass Sunstein, whose name would mean nothing to most of the public but remains very well-known within conspiratorial and alternative media circles. He taught constitutional law for 27 years in Chicago then served as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs from 2009 to 2012. But his enormous prominence had little connection to the three years he had spent running an obscure agency with a mind-numbingly bureaucratic title, nor to his later best-selling books on behavioral economics, the most recent entitled The World According to Star Wars.
Instead, his entire fame traces back to a single paper he co-authored in 2008 suggesting a strategy by which the government could disrupt and defeat the increasingly troublesome movement of “conspiracy theorists,” especially those who questioned the official story of the 9/11 attacks a few years earlier. Last year I described this approach under the heading “Diverting ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ into Dead-Ends”:
In the years following the 9/11 attacks, a vibrant movement of “conspiracy theorists” developed on the Internet, arguing that the true facts had been quite different than the official story, with most of them suggesting heavy American government involvement in those momentous events.
Back then, the Internet was far less channeled and regulated than it eventually became, and few effective means existed for the political establishment to shut down such troubling discussions. Therefore Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein, soon to become a top Obama aide, shrewdly suggested that the activities of those energetic individuals could best be undermined and disrupted by means of “cognitive infiltration.” Agents of the government or its close allies should join those online communities and promote a wide range of additional theories, often rather absurd ones, thereby stirring up internal conflicts, diverting the members into theoretical dead-ends, and heavily discrediting them with the broader American public.
Conspiracy theorists have a notable tendency towards paranoia, but as a wit once observed “Even paranoids have enemies.” Once it became known that a high-ranking Obama Administration official had previously suggested that the government employ online operatives to infiltrate and disrupt the conspiracy community, the story spread like wildfire, with rival individuals and factions sometimes accusing each other of serving as such “cognitive infiltrators.”
David Ray Griffin then stood as one of the foremost figures of the 9/11 Truth movement, and one of his books was entirely devoted to describing the elements of the 9/11 case within the framework of Sunstein’s alleged strategy for suppressing it.
- Cognitive Infiltration
An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
David Ray Griffin • 2011 • 66,000 Words
During that period, I was paying little attention to the 9/11 issue and was barely aware of the existence of a 9/11 Truth movement. But individuals who were very actively involved at the time have told me that they believe much of their movement’s momentum was lost when certain prominent figures were diverted into various bizarre theories of what had happened.
Some began to argue that no actual planes had hit the towers in New York City, and the images seen were merely holograms. Others claimed that nuclear explosions or mysterious energy-weapons had inflicted the destruction. And naturally enough, the more exciting and shocking the theory, the more it tended to capture the imagination and enthusiasm of the rank-and-file activists. Moreover, many of these different factions bitterly opposed each other, and the resulting infighting together with the sometimes outlandish nature of the claims soon cost the 9/11 Truth movement much of the little support it had gained in media circles and among the public.
Within a few years, the broader conspiracy movement was also swept by widespread beliefs that the Sandy Hook shooting, the Boston Bombing, and various other rampages or terrorist attacks were faked events, with the participants being paid “crisis actors.” It’s hardly surprising that Piper would regard this as an implementation of Sunstein’s strategy of “cognitive infiltration,” and even assume that Sunstein himself must have been personally involved.
Different figures reacted differently to these widely popular beliefs. Alex Jones eagerly surfed those waves of nonsense, becoming “a useful idiot” in what was very likely an orchestrated disinformation operation, and the revenues of his conspiracy media empire climbed into the millions or tens of millions of dollars per year. Meanwhile, Michael Collins Piper did his best to debunk those theories, often being bitterly attacked for doing so and eventually dying in poverty:
In a radio broadcast on Jan. 20, 2013 I had urgently warned truth seekers not to be taken in by all of this emerging nonsense and came under a great deal of criticism from many good folks who were fervent believers in the theory that no children had died and that the stories told by surviving Sandy Hook teachers (and children) were all lies.
The controversies surrounding Sandy Hook, the Boston Bombing, and “crisis actors” have largely been forgotten, only momentarily revived by the legal verdict against Alex Jones. But techniques that proved themselves very successful in smothering and defeating past challenges to establishment narratives may be deployed for similar purposes against later ones.
During the 2016 election drive, John Podesta served as campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton and his personal email account was hacked, with the contents posted on Wikileaks. His correspondence suggested extremely nefarious activities among DC’s political elites, with considerable evidence that this involved widespread pedophilia. Although totally ignored by the mainstream media, this “Pizzagate Scandal” became an enormous sensation in rightwing circles.
The almost hysterical response of the media and political establishments to these accusations suggested that they had considerable merit. As I later wrote:
Around the same time that I first became familiar with the details of the Pizzagate controversy, the topic also started reaching the pages of my morning newspapers, but in an rather strange manner. Political stories began giving a sentence or two to the “Pizzagate hoax,” describing it as a ridiculous right-wing “conspiracy theory” but excluding all relevant details. I had an eerie feeling that some unseen hand had suddenly flipped a switch causing the entire mainstream media to begin displaying identical brightly flashing neon signs declaring “Pizzagate Is False—Nothing To See There!” I couldn’t recall any previous example of such a strange media reaction to some obscure Internet controversy.
Meanwhile, a wave of severe media repression began. Youtube first broke its longstanding tradition of non-censorship by purging the extremely popular videos presenting the Pizzagate evidence, while an award-winning CBS journalist who aired a story on the scandal was immediately fired.
A couple of years later, I recounted these events in the context of the unfolding Jeffrey Epstein scandal and other shocking revelations regarding America’s political elites, drawing upon the major Pizzagate articles our website had previously published:
- American Pravda: John McCain, Jeffrey Epstein, and Pizzagate
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • July 29, 2019 • 6,400 Words
Aedon Cassiel • The Unz Review • December 2, 2016 • 3,100 Words
- Precedents for Pizzagate
Aedon Cassiel • The Unz Review • December 23, 2016 • 6,200 Words
Seen with the benefit of hindsight, the suppressive response of the establishment may have followed two separate but parallel tracks.
On the one hand, an unprecedented degree of Internet censorship was soon applied, with the previously reigning free speech policies on social media completely reversed in order to choke off any attempts to discuss the scandal or present the evidence to a broader audience.
But at the same time, a somewhat related version of those same ideas appeared on the Internet in late 2017, based upon the alleged disclosures of an anonymous high-level pro-Trump government official styling himself “Q.”
The QAnon Movement he launched soon incorporated those original political pedophilia accusations into a huge mass of other bizarre theories and conspiratorial beliefs, many of them utterly absurd but still wildly popular among grassroots pro-Trump activists and members of the conspiracy community. This resulting QAnon activism dominated much of the populist rightwing political landscape for the next couple of years, only fading away in the aftermath of Trump’s removal from the White House.
Thus, while efforts to investigate the very real evidence behind the original Pizzagate accusations were entirely suppressed, a somewhat similar movement covering somewhat similar issues suddenly appeared and rapidly grew, absorbing the energy of potential activists but laced with such ridiculous elements that it severely discredited all related ideas. Although I paid little attention to QAnon at the time, this twin-track process may have constituted a classic example of the political strategy originally proposed by Sunstein and later described by Piper.
Finally, I noted the eerie parallels I encountered regarding the Covid epidemic. As I wrote in July 2021:
There is no evidence that Sunstein himself ever attempted to implement that project, nor did he pioneer the idea. Such an approach was hardly new, and J. Edgar Hoover’s notorious Cointelpro program of the late 1950s and 1960s had used quite similar methods, though the FBI had targeted real-life activist organizations rather than any non-existent online communities of those pre-Internet days. Indeed, the use of agents provocateurs has always been a standard operating technique of domestic intelligence services. But we should keep these obvious tactics in mind as we consider the vast profusion of diverse conspiratorial theories that have sprung up like mushrooms in the wake of the global Covid epidemic and the severe stresses that it imposed on the ordinary lives of so many Americans.
Many, perhaps most individuals are quite reluctant to embrace any theory not blessed by their personal figures of authority, whether these be the editors of the New York Times or the pundits of FoxNews. Only a small minority of the population is willing to cross such ideological boundaries and risk the stinging epithet of being labeled “a conspiracy theorist.”
Transgressive individuals who adhere to some heterodox beliefs are also usually willing to accept many others as well, and are often quite eager to do so, sometimes exhibiting the troubling lack of logical thinking and careful analytical judgment that may taint their entire community. This leaves them open to eagerly nibbling the poisoned bait of fraudulent but attractive theories, whether these are advanced by well-meaning advocates, self-serving charlatans, or covert agents of the establishment engaged in “cognitive infiltration.” The vast profusion of unorthodox Covid theories, heavily promoted in videos, Tweets, and websites, may derive from all three of these different sources.
Some individuals have claimed that Covid does not exist, or that it is almost harmless, being little more dangerous than the ordinary flu, with our alleged death-toll merely a product of fraud and media propaganda. Others have taken this notion even further, arguing that viruses in general do not exist. Such sentiments have been all too annoyingly frequent on the very lightly moderated comment-threads of this website…
Not having devoted much time to these matters, I can only say that a great deal of the agitated commentary on this subject appears outlandish and implausible. Many activists seem to assume a unified worldwide conspiracy involving China, America, Russia, Israel, Iran, and virtually every other nation, all secretly working together to pretend that Covid is dangerous and that the vaccines against it are not, even though the truth is exactly the reverse. But the notion of all these mutually-hostile countries collaborating in such a bizarre scheme seems extremely unlikely, and Russian President Vladimir Putin recently made exactly this important point in his long annual presentation to his concerned citizens:
I heard: that there is nothing at all, in reality there is no epidemic. When you tell them that this is happening all over the world, they reply: “Right, country leaders have come into collusion.” Do they have any idea of what is happening in the world, of the contradictions that are plaguing today’s world, where all leaders allegedly upped and conspired with each other? It is absolute rubbish.
Particularly absurd has been the cast of primary villains for many of these agitated activists, who often focus upon Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum and Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the diabolical masterminds of our global calamity, with their plot identified as “the Great Reset.” A couple of months ago I addressed some of these claims in one of my comments:
I’ll admit that the whole Great Reset/Agenda 2021/World Economic Forum stuff has always seemed like total crackpottery to me, so ridiculous that I never looked into it other than sometimes reading some of the articles or discussion on my own website. I also put all the “Bill Gates’ diabolical plot to exterminate mankind” stuff in pretty much the same category.
My very strong suspicion is that these sorts of (in my opinion) implausible and ridiculous “conspiracy theories” are probably promoted to divert attention from the very real and strong evidence of Covid-19 having been an American biowarfare attack. After all, wouldn’t the CIA or whomever prefer that agitated activists on the Internet spend all their time ranting about some 83-year-old Swiss international banker named Klaus Schwab who holds annual public conferences in Davos rather than paying attention to all the numerous pieces of evidence I’ve accumulated implicating America’s national security apparatus in the gigantic global disaster?
In fact, didn’t that Cass Sunstein fellow years ago say that the using “cognitive infiltration” to promote ridiculous nonsense was the best means of defeating “conspiracy theorists” on the Internet? It worked pretty well for 9/11, so why not apply it to Covid-19 as well?
I’d be the first to admit that various groups and individuals are certainly taking advantage of the viral epidemic, notably getting the Federal Reserve to spend many trillions of dollars bailing out their businesses and loans, and massively boosting their stock prices. But after the 2008 Financial Meltdown, they used their political power to loot the American Treasury in exactly the same way and got a huge government bailout without the need for any disease outbreak. So I doubt they created Covid-19 for that purpose.
Most recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci of our NIH has become demonized as a particular target, partly because he had already been hated by many activists for his association with our unpopular lockdowns and other measures to control the epidemic.
When I wrote those words over a year ago, most of those challenging the mainstream narrative of the Covid epidemic were focused on the disease itself, claiming that it wasn’t dangerous or could easily be treated or didn’t even exist.
But soon afterwards, the vaccination issue became dominant, with anti-vaxxing sentiments crowding out almost every other issue in anti-establishment circles, especially among those open to conspiratorial notions. I’ve regularly challenged these ideas, drawing ferocious hostility as a consequence, much like Piper had received when he disputed the Alex Jones narrative of Sandy Hook.
- Are the Opponents of the Covid Injections “Anti-Vaxx Crackpots”?
Mike Whitney Interview with Ron Unz
The Unz Review • August 1, 2021 • 9,000 Words • 1,681 Comments
- Covid Deaths and Vaxxing Deaths
The Unz Review • January 17, 2022 • 2,800 Words • 1,408 Comments
- Vaxxing Conspiracies and 700,000 Rumble Views
The Unz Review • July 18, 2022 • 2,800 Words • 921 Comments
Having now reread some of Piper’s account of how “cognitive infiltration” may have been used to severely damage the conspiracy-investigation community by sending so many of its activists down blind alleys, the parallels with recent events seemed quite remarkable. Indeed, I think that many of the same individuals who six or seven years ago were obsessed with “crisis actors” have now become equally obsessed with the diabolical vaccination plots of Klaus Schwab or Bill Gates. People have a limited attention-span, and if they are preoccupied with certain issues they cannot pay much attention to others. As I recently explained:
Consider that according to the official narrative, Covid has now killed at least 15 million people around the world, including more than a million Americans, an unprecedented global public health disaster.
Meanwhile, for well over two years, there’s been almost overwhelming evidence that the Covid outbreak was due to an American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran), just as the Iranians had claimed at the time.
All of the very considerable evidence of American guilt was available in the establishment MSM, and therefore could not easily be denied.
- Covid/Biowarfare Series
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • April 2020-December 2021 • 60,000 Words
So how to conceal these remarkable facts? So long as the MSM itself avoided connecting the dots or considering obvious, logical possibilities, most “respectable” people would never entertain the idea. But there also exist many thousands of determined conspiracy-activists, who are always looking for suspicious examples of governmental criminality, and how could they be diverted? More than a dozen years ago Obama official Cass Sunstein had famously suggested that the best way to defeat “conspiracy theorists” was to have the government or its allies actively promote a wide range of their own conspiratorial theories, especially ridiculous ones, thereby contaminating and discrediting the plausible accusations that they actually feared.
When a mysterious, dangerous virus suddenly struck both China and Iran at the peak of American international hostility toward those countries, the most obvious possibility could best be concealed by releasing a swarm of other theories, mutually contradictory though they might be. Perhaps a Chinese lab accidentally leaked a Covid virus bioweapon or Covid doesn’t exist or viruses don’t exist or Covid isn’t dangerous or Covid vaccines are part of a diabolical plot by Bill Gates to exterminate most of the human race. And sure enough, that plethora of competing conspiratorial notions has completely absorbed the attention of nearly all those conspiratorially-minded individuals who fall outside the ideological mainstream.
As a result, for more than two years social media and podcasts have been awash with almost every possible permutation of Covid conspiracy or anti-vaxxing belief. Yet earlier this year when I began doing video interviews with alternative podcasters presenting the very considerable evidence of an American biowarfare attack, I was surprised to discover that most of them had never previously encountered that obvious scenario.
However, once obvious ideas about such massively important matters are suddenly made available for the first time, they may attract large audiences, and my presentations on Rumble have now been viewed well over 900,000 times, including more than 400,000 views since the beginning of July. And just a few days ago, the Russian Defense Ministry publicly suggested that the American government had been directly responsible for the emergence of Covid.
Perhaps at some point, additional writers or podcasters in the alternative media will finally become willing to discuss this important possibility.