On April 20th, Swedish DJ and producer Tim Bergling (who performed under the name Avicii) was found dead in a hotel in Muscat, Oman. Bergling had been visiting friends in that city as part of a process of down-scaling his relentless touring and producing schedule, and of dealing with persistent health problems.
The death of anyone Bergling’s age (he was 28) of apparent natural causes is going to raise eyebrows, and for a few days, it wasn’t clear what happened – or if the causes were indeed natural. He’d been a heavy drinker, and as well as suffering from extreme pancreatitis. And yet…it seemed like there had to be something else.
But that speculation was cleared up a week later, when Bergling’s family released a statement attributing his death to suicide, saying he “could not go on any longer” and “wanted to find peace.”
That would seem to be the end of it – a young life ended too soon due to health problems and depression.
However, “mysterious deaths,” particularly those “deemed to be suicide” are a staple of conspiracy theories. The thinking goes that the powers that be (the wealthy elites, powerful politicians, the Illuminati, etc), dispatch their foes via murders meant to look like suicides or accidents.
So it’s not surprising that Bergling’s death would get pulled into the ever-expanding conspiracy theory of #QAnon, the totally unsubstantiated fantasy that Donald Trump is secretly plotting to arrest or execute tens of thousands of pedophiles in trafficking rings around the world.
In the case of Bergling, Neon Nettle, one of the worst and most virulent fake news purveyors on the web, waited just hours before publishing a “story” alleging that Bergling had been knocked off for trying to “expose” a pedophile ring alongside musicians Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington – who had also died of “suspicious suicides” in the last year.
The piece managed to get Bergling’s first name wrong, but didn’t hesitate to blame the whole thing on former Hillary Clinton campaign manager and Pizzagate figure John Podesta – citing absolutely no evidence.
Neon Nettle pulled their hokum claptrap down fairly quickly, but the damage had been done.
The “story” also cited Bergling’s music video for the song “For a Better Day,” which does depict the cruel reality of minors being trafficked for sex.
This was all that #QAnon needed to proclaim with certainty that Bergling had been killed, either in retaliation for the “For a Better Day” video, as some kind of Satanic sacrifice, or because he was about to expose some massive trafficking ring.
There is, of course, no evidence that Bergling had or was about to expose an “elite pedophile ring.” There’s also no evidence that Chris Cornell or Chester Bennington had anything to do with any such activity, and the only source for it is another notorious fake news site.
As for Bergling’s video “For a Better Day,” it was released in 2015. Why would the elite cabal dither for three years on killing Bergling? Was it not that important to them?
Bergling’s death is certainly a tragedy for those close to him. And the loss of his voice to fight human trafficking, a cause that seemed important to him, is meaningful. But saddling his passing with silly, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories doesn’t amplify that voice – it buries it under layers of nonsense.
If you want to do something good in the name of a musician you loved, donate to a cause he supported, or help a friend struggling with substance abuse. Don’t tweet a bunch of crap about John Podesta. You’re not helping.