Alex Jones’ Mis-Infowars: 7 Bat-Sh*t Conspiracy Theories – Rolling Stone
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Alex Jones’ Mis-Infowars: 7 Bat-Sh*t Conspiracy Theories

From “false flag” attacks to man-made hurricanes, a look at the favorite talking points of the “most paranoid man in America”

Radio host Alex Jones has been spewing his conspiracy theories into microphones for for over 20 years, ever since his community college days when he first started accusing the government of being involved in the Oklahoma City bombing on public access channels in Austin, Texas. The self-described libertarian, who hosts The Alex Jones Show and operates the InfoWars website, has since ranted on a wide range of topics from New World Order plots turning Americans into sheep, to the truth behind the NASA moon landing, to terrorist attacks and mass shootings – including 9/11 and Sandy Hook – which he says are being covered up.

While Jones currently has millions of followers, there’s one particularly troubling person who seems to be buying his theories. On December 2nd, 2015, President Donald Trump appeared on Jones’ show, praising the conspiracy-minded host. “Your reputation is amazing,” he said from his desk in Trump Tower. “I will not let you down.” And so far, he hasn’t. After the election in November, Trump called Jones to thank him for his service. As Jones told it, “He said, ‘Listen, Alex, I just talked to kings and queens of the world, world leaders, you name it, but he said it doesn’t matter, I wanted to talk to you, to thank your audience.'”

During the election season, Trump and Jones echoed each other’s “alternative facts,” both propagating false claims that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and that thousands of Muslims celebrated the collapse of the Twin Towers in New Jersey. Yet somewhere between Trump’s fear-mongering about rigged elections and him tweeting lies like millions of undocumented immigrants voted for Hillary, even Jones expressed surprise that his theories were being given so much credence by such a powerful man. “It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word for word hear Trump say it two days later,” he said in August. “It is amazing.”

At 43, the “most paranoid man in America” has thrust himself into mainstream news cycle, reaching 1.9 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, over 6.7 million people visiting his website and 2 million tune in weekly to his syndicated radio show. All told, Jones is the most prolific conspiracy theorist in the country – yet he’s still unknown to many in America. To give our readers a taste of the kind of rhetoric he loves, here are seven of his favorite conspiracy theories, explained. 

Cheryl Chenet/Getty

Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a D.C.-area pizza restaurant

In December, a man named Edgar Maddison Welch drove from North Carolina to Washington, D.C., armed with an AR-15, to rescue children being held in a sex ring in the basement of Comet Pizza. When he found no children, Welch, 28, surrendered to police and told them he thought Clinton and Podesta were running the pedophilia ring. The falsehood spread when in October WikiLeaks began publishing leaked emails from the Clinton campaign director, and social media users began to theorize they contained food-related code words, such as “cheese pizza” meaning “child pornography.” In November, Jones posted a since-removed video, saying he had “zero fear” of standing up to Clinton even though she had “personally murdered children.” Using the hastag #pizzagate, he pushed the notion that Podesta had dined at Comet Pizza, and, naturally, figured it was the site of an underground pedophilia ring. Jones took to the air later that month and said that “Pizzagate is real” and urged his listeners to “go investigate it for yourself.”

Turns out Welch listens to Jones and shared the InfoWars articles. Jones has since backtracked, claiming that this was just a red herring to distract from the real evils of the Clintons. Jones later posted a “special emergency report” to tell his audience to “drop this, I smell a rat, it’s a diversion.” He removed his previous videos because he didn’t want to mainstream media to use his reports to distract from the real damage the Clinton family was doing. “They are coming after the free speech,” Jones said before he added, “This is all about shutting you down.”

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The government is complicit in countless terrorist and lone-gunman attacks

In July 2001, Jones warned his audience that the government was planning to blame Osama bin Laden for the future destruction of the World Trade Center. On September 11th, he opened his radio show saying: “They need this as a pretext to bring you and your family martial law.” As the founding father of the 9/11 Truth movement, Jones has been pushing that the U.S. government was behind the attacks for over 15 years.

Based on his reading of the 9/11 Commission Report, Jones believes that the government was complicit in the attacks by assisting Saudi Arabia. “It says Saudi Arabia ran the attacks to blame Iraq that was always the plan,” he said. “And then our own government bare minimum stood down.” Last year, Infowars posted a video of Trump perpetuating the theory. “But it wasn’t the Iraqis, you will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center,” Trump said. “Because they have papers in there that are very secret, you may find it’s the Saudis, OK?” In November, Jones pointed to Trump’s public comments on the attacks as evidence that he wasn’t part of the insider elite. If he were, “he would have gone along with the official story,” Jones said. “But he didn’t. He was there Day One saying what I was saying on the radio at the exact same time.”

But Jones doesn’t stop with 9/11 – he also claims the Boston Marathon bombing was an inside job, and has said the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax that involved child actors. Jones has also said Jared Loughner, who killed six people and seriously wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, was a “staged mind-control operation.” “The government employs geometric psychological-warfare experts that know exactly how to indirectly manipulate unstable people through the media,” Jones said. “They implanted the idea in his head by repeatedly asking, ‘Is Giffords in danger?'” In 2016, the Brussels attacks and the Pulse shooting in Orlando were “false flag” operations, Jones said, arguing that the government allowed radical Islamists into the country so they “can attack us and then have our freedoms taken.”

Most recently, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway echoed Jones’ belief that the media ignores terrorist attacks when she spoke on the non-existent Bowling Green massacre by Iraqi refugees. Conway has since admitted her wrongdoing, but that didn’t stop Trump from going further and suggesting the media actively doesn’t report on such attacks and in “many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” Why not? “They have their reasons,” Trump said, “and you understand that.”

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty

Millions of undocumented immigrants illegally voted in the election

In August, Infowars posted an article, “Hillary Clinton Will Try To Steal Election With Illegal Votes,” which stated that Clinton launched the “My Dream, Your Vote” campaign to reach over 700,000 illegal immigrants. In November, another story, “Three Million Votes In Presidential Election Cast By Illegal Immigrants” cited’s Greg Phillips, a former official with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, who contended it had “completed an analysis of 180 million voter registrations.” Trump quickly jumped on the bandwagon and tweeted that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally” – though that was entirely without evidence. Trump’s claims were debunked as inquiries from mainstream newspapers proved in all 50 states found “no states that reported indications of widespread fraud.” But that didn’t stop Trump from tweeting again in January to say that he “looked forward to seeing final results” of Phillips’ analysis that said “at least 3 million votes were illegal.” 

On the season premiere of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver did a segment about Jones’ influence over the new president. “Trump validated his supporters’ beliefs about voter fraud and, in turn, they validated his,” Oliver said about Trump’s reliance on information from Phillips and Jones. Of course, when Oliver described InfoWars pushing stories like “tap water is a gay bomb and they are putting chemicals in the water to turn the friggin’ frogs gay,” he was joking. Mostly.

Former Fox News host Glenn Beck is a CIA operative

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Former Fox News host Glenn Beck is a CIA operative

A longtime opponent of the media in all its forms, Jones has also cooked up conspiracy theories about fellow radio hosts. In a 2011 Rolling Stone profile, Alexander Zaitchik wrote that “Jones draws a bigger audience online than Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck combined – and his conspiracy-laced rants make the two hosts sound like tea-sipping NPR hosts on Zoloft.” 

While Beck has since stepped back from the divisive rhetoric that made him famous, Jones has doubled down, accusing his fellow right-wing talk-show host of “stealing his ideas, guests and research.” In April 2014, Jones posted a video on his YouTube channel attacking Beck, saying Beck worked as an “Obama agent” and his staff office is a “CIA/FBI substation.” He added that this might be a recent development. “If he wasn’t always a spook, he was brought in by them over the last four years,” Jones said. In December, Beck, who had been interviewed the previous month for the New York Times Magazine article, titled “Glenn Beck Is Sorry About All That,” mentioned that Jones believed he was “a CIA operative that helped orchestrate the cover up of 9/11” and added that his accuser is “a really spooky guy, and you just have to be careful” – this from the man who made prepping a national pastime

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