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Meet Alex Jones

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Jones has been yelling into microphones and bullhorns more or less continuously, and often at violent volumes, for the past 16 years. Since launching his broadcast career, he has become a multiplatform prophet of paranoia who sees diabolical plots in every turn of the news cycle. In his Manichaean melodrama, nodes of private and state power share an ugly face and a demonic brain intent on a single, shared goal: creating the New World Order. To Jones, the New World Order is a blanketing presence, a wicked beast for which he has endless pet names: the "demonic high-tech tyranny" or the "absurdist 1984 regime of control-freak sadists." Jones, who loves to draw analogies to sci-fi classics like Dune and Star Wars, sees the 21st century as a kind of fanboy-fantasy landscape populated by three groups: a rebel alliance of liberty-loving patriots (his fans); masses of consumerist sheep (those who ignore him); and a sadistic elite (global bankers and their agents), forever tightening the screws on the imperiled remnants of human freedom.

The New World Order's methods are many: manufactured economic crises, sophisticated surveillance tech and — above all — inside-job terror attacks that fuel exploitable hysteria. The endgame, Jones believes, is a mass eugenics operation that will depopulate the planet by poisoning our food and water with fluoride, radioactive isotopes and various futuristic toxic soups being engineered in New World Order laboratories. Those who resist are being tracked by secret, federalized police bunkers known as "fusion centers" that will eventually round up every dissenter and throw them into camps run by the Federal Emergency Management Authority.

By disseminating such theories over the airwaves and online, where followers can get the word out faster than any film distributor, Jones can draw a million viewers within days for a documentary like his The Obama Deception. "In the past, such theories were circulated in booklets, books, public speeches and sermons," says Chip Berlet, who studies conspiracy culture for Political Research Associates, a Boston-based think tank. "Jones reaches more people over the Internet than any conspiracy crank in U.S. history."

Jones has 80 million hits on his YouTube channel, and his fringe views have slowly begun to infiltrate more mainstream outlets. Many of his fans, in fact, believe that Glenn Beck routinely rips off Jones, stealing his ideas and then watering them down for broader consumption. "People inside his company tell me Beck follows what we do closely," says Jones. "It's frustrating that I've never sold out, yet I'm being gobbled up by this giant Pac-Man who puts my work through his corporate-media assembly line. He takes information from me about secret combines and elites and then spins it against big government, but he ignores big business. He says George Soros is at the top of the New World Order power pyramid? Give me a break. I have no love for Soros. But I don't trust Beck. Ninety-eight percent of my audience hates him. New listeners tell me I'm a Beck wanna-be. I'm like, 'No, it's the other way around.'"

In November, Jones put on a demonstration of his power by employing his latest guerrilla technique. Asking his audience to stage a mass online search of the phrase "Revolt Against TSA" — a tactic known as Google Bombing — Jones instantly manipulated the term to the top of Google's search index. As intended, the maneuver caught the sensitive traffic antennae of Matt Drudge, who put the TSA story on the national news agenda. "Our show was the detonator on the cap of the TSA story, and Drudge was the barrel of the gun," says Jones. "The result was a direct head shot on the New World Order."

Such attacks get Jones lumped in with the far right, for good reason. It was Jones, a longtime supporter of presidential candidate Ron Paul, who spread the Obama "Joker" poster that defined the early Tea Party protests in 2009, and he employs the movement's rhetoric of "patriots" and "government tyranny." But on closer inspection, his mishmash, anti-establishment politics are too bad-trip weird to fit neatly into any political category. "Ignore the left and right wings," Jones likes to say. "Study the brain of the bird."

To Jones, what matters most is the "continuity of agenda at the top. When I called Clinton a Wall Street puppet, they called me a right-wing extremist. When I said the same about George W. Bush, they called me an anti-war communist. Now that I'm against Obama for the same reasons, mainline conservatives embrace me. When I attack the next right-wing 'savior,' they're gonna call me a communist again."

On the spiritual cancer of modern capitalism, Jones sounds more like Ralph Nader than a Fox Business channel libertarian. "Madison Avenue makes us addicts of consumerism, using glass wampum to steal our capacity to direct our own lives," Jones says. "The globalists are smart and tell us sin is fun, sin is a red-­devil cheerleader. No — sin is cheating other people, it's sending troops to die in illegal wars, it's keeping people dumb so you can control, exploit and kill them."

Jones and his staff are currently scripting his 19th film, which will examine the New World Order strings attached to Rick Perry, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck — a sort of Tea Party Deception. Among the targets, Glenn Beck looms large. "Beck, and more lately Limbaugh, sees our success and knows he has to talk about the New World Order to stay relevant," says Jones. "But he spins it in a neoconish way that reinforces the controlled, left-right paradigm that divides people instead of bringing them together."

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