Why Alex Jones Renounced President Trump

Things have changed a lot for Alex Jones in the last year or two. Long gone are the days when I used to listen to Infowars every day, a research process that was as much social anthropology as it was history, but I still like to keep an eye on the Tip of the Spear himself.

Things were looking good for a while – the media were paying attention, and thinly-veiled analogues for Jones were appeared in Homeland and The X-Files. He won over a new audience with a stoned appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience. Most of all, a presidential candidate was calling in to the show and making references to Infowars in speeches and tweets.

Donald Trump’s election was a phyrric victory for Jones, however. When your capital is based on your opposition to the institutions of state, it is a problem when you find yourself aligned with those institutions. The narrative of the Deep State worked for a while – the idea that Trump was being prevented from carrying out his more radical policies by unelected officials in organisations like the Department of State and the CIA with an unspoken agenda of their own. This kind of narrative fitted seamlessly on top of preexistent New World Order narratives, but we shouldn’t ignore that it was also the argument made by many Obama supporters as to why he also failed to close Guantanamo Bay. Conspiracy theories are in no way restricted to the right, nor to the margins.

But Jones has also had considerable personal problems. He split up with his wife, Kelly, and lost custody of his children in a rancorous public court case which famously saw Jones’ lawyer claiming his on-air person was “performance art”. Many of his critics leapt at the chance to say this was an admission of what they had known all along, ignoring that if he was lying the first time, why assume he was telling the truth this time, especially when his children were at stake? Kelly was a significant cog in the Infowars machine, and has kept the pressure on, very publicly. Two Infowars employees sued for unfair dismissal, accusing Jones of sexual harassment and racism. Then some Sandy Hook parents sued over claims that it was a staged false-flag. There are rumours that he is having problems with alcohol. Even his protegé Paul Joseph Watson seems to be distancing himself.

When Trump launched a bombing raid on Syria on 13th April 2018, Alex lost it.

During a 26-hour live show (something Jones has done annually for some time), a clearly exhausted Jones begins teary renouncement of Trump which builds into a tirade that makes his fragile state of mind plain.

“I will tell Trump that, you really betrayed your family, and your name, and everything that you stood for… I thought of Donald Trump as a bigger man than me… When I turn against Trump, it’s not because they got to me… I feel like I just had my best girlfriend break up with me… I’m done with Trump.”

It’s hard to read this as mere performance art. His co-host looks genuinely concerned as he repeatedly tells Jones not to stay on air. Jones interrupts him so often that he falls into a confused silence.

There’s no way the Alex Jones of ten or even five years ago would have failed to work this into his broader narrative somehow, no way he’d have let his audience know he was wrong. This disavowal says a lot more about Jones than it does about Trump.

The Week in Conspiracy, 20 January 2017

By Mitch O’Connell, via BoingBoing

I haven’t done one of these in a while. That’s because all the wild conspiracy stuff I used to post is now our everyday reality, and the stuff of the regular news shows… So perhaps today is a good time to post.


John Carpenter publicly denies that They Live (1988) is an allegory for the secret Jewish control of the world:


Erich von Daniken appears on the Richie Allen Show. Yes, he’s still alive, and still promoting the Ancient Aliens thesis:


Delegates at the Contact in the Desert UFO conference see UFOs. A weird coincidence? Were these delegates more “ready” to see UFOs? Or were the ETs deliberately reaching out to them? Whichever reason, this sighting is by no means the only such example, and you might enjoy the Last Podcast on the Left’s take (but put the kids to bed first) – http://cavecomedyradio.com/podcast-episode/episode156-the-coronado-group-abduction/


The CIA have declassified 13 million documents and published them online. Most news outlets are focusing on a small number of inconclusive UFO reports. Sky news, however, focused on their tests on Uri Geller, something that Geller has claimed for a while, though not always being taken seriously. The papers provide evidence, however, stating that “As a result of Geller’s success in this experimental period, we consider that he has demonstrated his paranormal perception ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner.”

Corbyn Apocalypse?

Waiting for the result of the Labour Party leadership vote, I thought it was a good time to share this astonishing piece from the Daily Mail last month. To attack left-leaning Jeremy Corbyn, the right-wing paper published a fictionalised future history, a report of Jeremy Corbyn’s first 1000 days as Prime Minister of the UK.

‘Give him enough rope and he will hang himself,’ a Blairite had said when Corbyn was elected Labour leader. That was true enough. The only problem was that he had hung the country too.

Money woes: In this imagined future, Britain is £3trillion in debt, and the price of bread has rocketed to £5 a loaf

What’s interesting is that apocalypticism and millennialism frequently function like this – although we are used to thinking of prophecy as predictions of the future, perhaps it is more important to consider it as criticism of the present. It is is not about what must happen, but about what must change; and therefore, a successful prophecy could be not one that happens, but one that provokes action in the present which prevents the prediction from happening –  quite the opposite of the traditional way of thinking about it. Similarly, this function operates outside of “religious” contexts – although perhaps party political allegiances are “religious” as much as anything.

Among the ramifications of left-wing policy, according to the Daily Mail:

“One Direction went off on a US tour and never returned. Multi-millionaire comedians who had once cheered Labour couldn’t see the joke when confronted with a Labour Prime Minister who actually meant what he said about soaking the rich. The summer transfer window saw the Premier League’s biggest stars departing en masse.”

“With Corbyn abandoning the nuclear deterrent and slashing defence spending, US President Donald Trump announced that America could no longer regard Britain as a reliable ally.”

“When he sold our nuclear submarines to President Putin at a cut-price rate, Trump called for the UK’s expulsion from Nato”

“Protesting that he had never been guilty of anti-Semitism, the Prime Minister declared that Israel was the chief obstacle to peace in the Middle East, and described Islamic State as a partner in the peace process. He was photographed shaking hands at No 10 with the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Islamic terrorist organisations.”

That last one’s my favourite. The first two points I don’t have a problem with. If only Corbyn could have abolished the monarchy too…

You can read the full story here.

Conservative Press uses David Icke to Discredit the Green Party

The Telegraph blog yesterday ran a piece which is clearly intended to tarnish the Green Party by association to David Icke. You can read the article here. If you are unaware, the Telegraph is perhaps the most overtly Conservative of the major UK newspapers.

Asa Bennett draws a comparison between Natalie Bennett’s recent interviews and David Icke’s infamous interview with Terry Wogan in 1991. As I have previously written about, Icke’s appearance on the early-evening Wogan programme on April 29, 1991, led to widespread ridicule in the media, which it appears a large number of people remember 24 years later. He had recently had a series of channelled communications with Theosophical Masters, and was announcing it together with his wife Linda and a second woman, Deborah Shaw, both of whom had changed their names and were all dressing in turquoise. In the interview, Icke makes several Edgar Cayce-derived predictions of ‘earth changes’, and when prompted, states he is a “son of God”. Wogan is rather mocking, and the video seems to be unavailable in its entirety as a result.

Prior to this, however, Icke was a rising star of the Green Party. In 1989, he was elected one of four “national speakers”, and by 1990 was described as “the Green’s Tony Blair” and was widely considered de facto co-leader with Sara Parkin. He was dismissed by the BBC in 1990 (either as a result of his prominence in the Green Party, refusal to pay the Poll Tax, or forthcoming announcement of his spiritual awakening), and resigned from the Green Party on March 20, 1991, prior to Wogan. Icke was involved with the Green Party for little more than three years.

Bennett writes:

The Green party swiftly descended into a spiral of insanity and infighting, with its vote in the 1992 election slipping to 171,000. At that year’s conference, members gave a rapturous reception to their ex-leader after he told them that the world was run by giant lizards (including the Queen) and that global warming was a scam.

The first sentence is clearly polemic: “insanity” is a highly loaded word, and there is no reason to assume that a party inn disarray means they are insane. Would the Telegraph use similar language to describe the chaotic state of the Conservative party in 1990 when Thatcher was unnsuccessfully challengened by Michael Hesteltine, ultimately leading to John Major’s leadership? But the latter sentence is either misinformed or deliberately misleading. Icke did not announce the reptilian thesis until 1995, nor was he ever “leader” (as the article actually acknowledges elsewhere). In fact, the other national speakers of the Green Party were extremely upset by Icke’s claims, describing them as “an embarrasement”, and Sara Parkin actually quit in protest to the decision to invite him to speak at a 1992 event (not conference) in Nottingham. The antagonism continued, and Icke was heckled at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival by then Green Party speaker, David Taylor. Clearly, the Green Party did not endorse Icke’s views.

The article’s point? “The Green Party is a Looney Tunes alliance of druids and trots,” it says, quoting another recent op ed by Tim Stanley. Not Christian; not capitalist (although they deny being socialist, let alone communist); therefore insane. It seems that the recent surge of support for the Green Party is upsetting the Conservative press. It also shows that Icke’s Wogan interview is still a subject of ridicule, a quarter of a century on.

Naomi Wolf and “insane conspiracy theories”

“it is important for readers who may encounter Wolf’s ideas to understand the distinction between her earlier work, which rose on its merits, and her newer conspiracy theories, which are unhinged, damaging, and dangerous”

Below is a link to an article just published by Vox, written by Max Fisher. Lots to unpack here… Are “conspiracy theories” necessarily “insane”? (Note that the author writes, “I was carrying the assumption that Wolf is a respected and authoritative figure to be taken seriously”.) How does this affect the way that the author (and presumably, Vox’s readership) read Klein’s earlier work? Is the fact that Klein’s earlier work is perceived as left-wing and liberal to be taken into account? Or is it because Vox is left leaning that the “conspiracy theories” are damned so out of hand? (Recent quantitative work has shown a not-inconsiderable link between conspiracy beliefs and the political right).

The insane conspiracy theories of Naomi Wolf – Vox.

David Icke, Chemtrails and UKIP Conference’s Star Speaker

Guido Fawkes today reports that Hong La, one of the speakers at the upcoming UKIP conference, is a fan of David Icke and Alex Jones, and a proponent of the Chemtrails narrative, in which the NWO is spraying mind and climate-altering chemicals from aircraft.

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that both Nigel Farage and Lord Monkton have both appeared on the Alex Jones Show on a number of occassions, as has David Icke. Rather curious, then, that Farage’s opponents aren’t milking that particular PR angle, instead reserving it for relatively minor figures like La.

David Icke, Chemtrails and UKIP Conference's Star Speaker.

Illuminating the Illuminati

I’ve been thinking a bit about the history of the idea of the Illuminati. I often get asked about the Illuminati when people find out what my area of specialisation is, but unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a self-contained and rigorous history of the evolution of concept I can point them to. Perhaps I should remedy that. But in looking for something, I came across this nice piece by Walter C. Utt, which appeared in the US journal Liberty 14:3 in 1974. it has a very US and 1970s perspective, but as a potted history, it’s rather good. The fun starts on page 17.

Illuminating_Illuminati_Liberty

Bilderberg, Alex Jones, David Icke and UKIP

Martin Rowson cartoon 8.6.2013

I expect, if you read this blog, that you’ll be aware that the 2013 Bilderberg Group meeting took place over the weekend at the Grove hotel in Watford. Only a few years ago, the press were largely denying the existence of the group; this year it has been covered by the Guardian (Martin Rowson’s cartoon from 8.6.2013 shown on left), the Independent, Sky News, the BBC and undoubtedly other outlets. The BBC even had Alex as a guest, although frankly I don’t think he handled it too well (see below). His similar tactics against Piers Morgan in the US were probably better received because many Americans see Morgan as an outsider, but here, Jones was the outsider.

Alex Jones has covered the Bilderberg Group for a long time, and this year travelled to the UK to personally report on the event, and to “bullhorn” the meeting from a barge. He also got to meet David Icke in person for the first time, despite Icke being a frequent guest (via skype) on his daily show. You can watch the interview below.

Don’t forget that in 2001, Alex Jones called Icke a “con man” and the Reptilian thesis as the “turd in the punchbowl” of his otherwise lucid conspiracist research in Jon Ronson’s Secret Rulers of the World documentary series on Channel 4. Interestingly, Icke now seems to be attempting to set up a media operation similar to Jones’.

Another guest to feature on the show was UKIP MEP Gerard Batten (below). Nigel Farage and Lord Monkton have both previously appeared on Jones’ show. Presumably, they are hoping that this exposure will increase their profile internationally through Jones’ considerable US audience, and may even be part of a strategy aimed at creating a broader libertarian network. However, given their recent bullish trajectory in the UK, how wise is it for them to be aligning themselves with someone who has just been called an “idiot” and a “lunatic” on the BBC?

Who thinks Britain should be a Christian country?

(Reblogged from Epiphenom by Tomas Rees:)

 In a speech just before Christmas, the British Prime Minister David Cameron declared that “We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so.” He did go on to accept that it’s OK to have a different religion or even no religion at all, but even so it’s an interesting turn of phrase.
He’s a politician, of course, so it’s clear that he sees some political advantage in making the statement – but just who is he appealing to? After all, religion is pretty unimportant for most British – even the 60-70% who claim to be Christian in some way.

By happy coincidence, recent research by Ingrid Storm at Manchester University has done a neat job in clarifying why some people regard ‘Britishness’ and Christianity to be linked.

She used data from the 2008 British Social Attitudes survey of over 2,200 people, and grouped the responders according to whether they were non-Christian (a mixed bunch of other religions and also non-believers), nominally Christian (those who said they were Christian but also said they went to Church less often than monthly), and observant Christians (those who go to Church at least monthly).

The survey also asks a bunch of questions related to ideas about national identity. Storm use a statistical technique factor analysis) to group these into three categories:

  • Civic-symbolic national identity (people whose sense of national identity is linked to cultural symbols, like the national anthem, sport or ceremonies).
  • Cultural-aesthetic national identity (people whose sense of Britishness is triggered by thoughts of the countryside, or of music, poetry or paintings).
  • Ethnic national identity (people who believe that immigration is a threat to national identity, or that a non-white person cannot be English, Welsh or Scottish).

The first thing that Storm did was to look at how nationalistic each of the three religious groups were. You’ll see from the graph that the non-Christians were the least nationalistic, and the observant Christians were the most nationalistic, at least when it cam to civic and cultural nationalism. Nominal Christians were in between.

The exception was ethnic nationalism. Neither observant Christians nor the non-Christians scored high on this measure, but the nominal Christians did.

In other word, the group most likely to see britishness through an ethnic/racial lens are the people who claim to be Christian, but who don’t actually go to church. The cultural Christians, if you will.

Storm then look at the relationship between these three kinds of nationalism and the belief that “Christianity is important for being truly British”.

The only kind of nationalism that was linked to this belief was ethnic nationalism. This link held even after controlling for factors like belief in god, authoritarianism, and the belief that Muslims do not want to fit in.

What this suggests is that the people who believe that “Christianity is important for being truly British” are also the people who define Christianity in ethnic, rather the spiritual terms. Storm says:

… thinking religion is important for nationality may be more a function of associating religion with ethnic background than of any nostalgia for the cultural heritage of religious symbols, morals and institutions associated with civic-symbolic or cultural-aesthetic national identity. In other words the more one regards immigration as a threat to national identity and thinks of race and ethnicity as important for belonging to the nation, the more one is likely to see Christianity as important for being British.

In other words, by emphasising the importance of Christianity for British identity, Cameron is appealing to the racists, rather than the religious, in his constituency.


ResearchBlogging.org
Storm, I. (2011). Ethnic nominalism and civic religiosity: Christianity and national identity in BritainThe Sociological Review, 59 (4), 828-846 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2011.02040.x

Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Tom Rees was first published on Epiphenom. It is licensed underCreative Commons.