Debunking Austin Bombing Conspiracy Theories

This post has been updated

Early Wednesday morning, the brief reign of terror unleashed by the domestic terrorist mailing package bombs across Austin, TX, ended when the alleged bomber, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, was discovered, chased down by police, and with a SWAT team moving in, detonated an explosive device in his car.

And if you think an open-and-shut ending to a crime spree means there won’t be conspiracy theories about it…well, you haven’t read enough of my work.

Read More »

QAnon Is One of the Oldest Scams on the Internet

In my first piece as a contributor for Daily Dot, I explored the links between hot new right wing uber-conspiracy “The Storm” and old school internet prosperity scams.

While the “intel” drops of #QAnon and his or her anonymous comrades might seem cutting edge, in reality, there are a slew of old scams and plots based around similar themes – a supposed insider spewing torrents of tantalizing, fanciful “intel” about some great event just about to come.

NESARA was a set of monetary reforms proposed in the late 90’s by engineer Harvey Francis Barnard. He wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve, ban interest on loans, forgive all consumer debt, go back to the gold standard, and establish a national sales tax.

After years of trying to get Congress to pass NESARA, Barnard published it online in 2000, where it caught the eye of a Seattle-area New Age enthusiast named Shaini Goodwin.

[…]

Omega took advantage of the naivete of early internet adopters, and in particular, the growing ubiquity of Yahoo groups. By the mid-1990’s, it was a world-wide scam, with millions of dollars flooding into the small town where its creator lived, Mattoon, Illinois.

To read more about the line from Omega to NESARA to #QAnon, read my piece here.

What Is “The Memo?” And Why Are Russian Bots Demanding to Release It?

If you’ve spent time on Twitter in the last 24 hours (and if you haven’t, congratulations), you’ve likely seen an odd hashtag blowing up political and Trump-supporter feeds: #ReleaseTheMemo.

Like virtually everything related to the Republican role in investigating Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, it’s a mix of bad faith, conspiracy theorizing, memes, blaming the Clintons and Obama, and Russian bots. So many Russian bots.

Read More »