Late afternoon on Sunday, news broke that America did that thing America does so well: walked into a peaceful crowd of celebrating people and started shooting them.
From the details we have, about 16+ hours after the shooting, 19-year-old Santino William Legan decided he wanted to be a martyr for a cause existing entirely in his head, and cut the fence of the Gilroy Garlic Festival carrying a semi-automatic rifle. He opened fire, shooting approximately 12 people, killing three – including a six-year-old boy. Legan was then shot and killed by Gilroy police, ending the rampage.
As used to these horrible shootings as we’ve become, so too have we become used to the fusillade of conspiracy theories that follows each one. The one you’ll hear the most is the one you always hear the most, and the one that pisses you off to the greatest degree: that it was a “false flag” staged by (INSERT PRESIDENT HERE) to serve as a distraction from (INSERT NEGATIVE NEWS STORY HERE).
The modern conspiracy theory movement revolves around a small cadre of ultra-powerful families controlling political, social, and economic events.
Some of these families will be familiar to longtime conspiracy theory readers: the Rockefellers, the Kennedy’s, the Astors, George Soros, and of course, the Rothschilds (to whom I am not related.)
But deeper down, in the even danker and more shadowy parts of the “citizen researcher” movement is the name of another powerful and royal family, one passed around among a small number of woke anons, with its claws in every aspect of American society – banking, energy, transportation, manufacturing, communications, and food.
Yet even the deepest of research digs brings up almost nothing about them. And almost nobody knows who they are. That name: Payseur.
During my normal dredge through conspiracy theory social media, I stumbled on this tweet from a diehard QAnon believer detailing all of the people she claims to have told about the anonymous conspiracy avatar.
Walked the dog .. told someone about Q✔️ Went Christmas shopping .. told someone about Q✔️ Out in the front yard .. told someone about Q✔️
Who are you telling?
GET THE WORD OUT!
MSM is the GREATEST THREAT for when the TRUTH is exposed!!
Assuming this is true (and it’s Twitter, so you never really know), I can only imagine all of the blank stares that greeted this person as she ambushed random strangers with her enthusiasm for Donald Trump’s supposed plan to purge America’s enemies in a spasm of extra-judicial violence.
I want to answer a question that I’m asked over and over again: are there any conspiracy theories that turned out to be true?
That is, are there any popularly held beliefs that a group of powerful people secretly worked together to do something harmful, that were later proven with compelling evidence to be real?
You apparently didn't read the interview you're condemning. In it, I said: “Conspiracy theories are really exciting. Sometimes, even, they’re true – there are groups of people working together in secret for some particular end. I don’t think any rational person can dispute that."
To state the obvious, pipe bomb maker Cesar Sayoc and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers were violent, paranoid, hate-filled dwellers in the pervasive discourse of such people: conspiracy theories.
The targets of their ire were different. Sayoc was a hardcore Trump acolyte who felt that oppositional Democrats were the scourge of America, while Bowers appears to have disdained Trump for not doing enough to cleanse America’s REAL scourge – the Jews.
But both wanted their foes disposed of in the same way – a violent purging that spared no one they felt was not sufficiently on their side.
It’s a race war fought on obscure message boards and Fox News alike, pumping out anti-Semitic and violent conspiracy theories to broken minds who have no ability to discern fact from fiction.
These are self-proclaimed patriots who see themselves as the vanguard of a new digital war, where hearts and minds are won with memes, anonymous legions of soldiers fight by “digging” into people’s pasts, and anyone not sufficiently with them must be destroyed.
But when their memes and social media bitching didn’t get the job done, Sayoc and Bowers resorted to what paranoid killers have always resorted to when words aren’t cleansing the filth fast enough – bombs and bullets.
Their actions aren’t random. Their motives aren’t mysterious.