Out There Radio, Podcasts, Season 3 — June 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

Episode 306: The Devil in Alex Jones

by

Alex Jones and the DMT Elves

Photoshopping by Ken Eakins

Alex Jones is the most famous conspiracy theorist in the world, but his fame has come with a price. His increasingly bizarre behavior has led many to question both his sanity and his sincerity. Is he a digital cult leader, or a stooge for the NWO, or just a man destabilized by fame? This episode examines how single figures come to represent entire movements, and the potential drawbacks of being a conspiracy celebrity.

Episode Sources and Links:
PRISM

Alex Jones BBC Meltdown
Alex Jones CNN Meltdown

Jon Ronson Interview

Two perspectives on the Bohemian Grove incident:

Jon Ronson: “Secret Rulers of the World
Alex Jones:  “Dark Secrets: Inside Bohemian Grove

DOWNLOAD AUDIO PODCAST BELOW:

8 Comments

  • Raymond and Austin, this show was quite refreshing. Really in the old Out There spirit. It was nice to hear you both addressing a recent, legitimate kind of conspiratorial subject like the new NSA/Western company spying scandal and you made great points about how these issues get sidetracked by focusing on the people involved (like Assange or Snowden) instead of the real crime or institutions in the background responsible. It’s a way to frame the debate that leaves it ultimately irrelevant. Have you seen Russell Brand’s interview on the Morning Joe? It’s hilarious and he points out what a superficial sham that kind of news reporting is.

    Ugh Alex Jones… You know back when I was a kid I remember seeing a few of his films and I thought the guy was pretty cool. As I got older, read more, evolved my social philosophy to anarchism and became more careful regarding evidence-based claims and the like, I grew really disgusted with him. I think I can boil down the obvious problems to a few points:

    1) His off base paleo-conservative, quasi-religious right wing belief system permeates much of the content in his films and articles published by his staff at the website. This is why ridiculous articles get written like ones demonizing black bloc anarchists as “police provocateurs” without any evidence, an inability to note *any* societal benefits in more socialistic countries like Iceland or even Chavez’ Venezuela (despite its problems), anti-abortion/women’s choice material obviously from religious convictions rather than any legitimate reasoning, blind support for capitalism and “free markets” without any critique of their inherent societal problems, hit pieces on the Occupy Wall Street protests, the slavish almost religious reverence for the U.S. Constitution without acknowledging any of its problems, etc.

    2) He makes false claims and/or makes claims based on news articles/data points where he exaggerates facts to suit his views. Any listener who hears him make these claims while sounding absolutely sure of is sure to wonder “Wow, that’s on the record? They actually have admitted putting cancer viruses in the vaccines?” or something. But if they actually take the time to research these claims (5 minutes of Google searching for example), they find that the truth of the matter is much more softcore, such as “in the original Polio vaccines from 1955 to 1961 (and up to 1980 potentially in other world countries) there is research that shows it contained contamination by the SV40 virus”. The difference between those claims and their implications are obvious. Other claims include him saying definitively that “George Washington grew and smoked marijuana”. The truth, however, is that there is a diary entry by George Washington of him separating his male and female cannabis plants without a reason given. And it is true that one has to separate female plants to grow marijuana. But there is no proof to say such a claim. “Dyncorp runs global child sex trafficking rings”. Truth: ‘Several men contracted to DynCorp did engage in human trafficking while working in Bosnia, selling women and girls as young as 12 to each other and smuggling them into places of prostitution. Dyncorp’s response to the problem was to ignore it and sweep it under the rug. The activities of the were exposed by two other DynCorp employees. And again, in a May 2009 meeting interior minister Hanif Atmar expressed deep concerns that lives could be in danger if news leaked that foreign police trainers working for US commercial contractor DynCorp hired “dancing boys” to perform for them.’ Again very disturbing, but yet very different stories. Or, more recently, his site claimed that black-hatted guys at the Boston bombing were “Craft International mercenaries”, but as I recall they were actually a WMDCST (Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team).

    It find his making such claims without going into the specific evidence and research to be his worst, and most deceptive, quality. And I feel its also dangerous because people who think he’s a loon may reject the truth of these matters without knowing that there are actual things behind them that could be important considerations, if one gets past the grandiose hyperbole presented as fact.

    3) His personality and antics are completely self-defeating and, despite his dedicated listener/follower base, make him a quick turn off to anyone becoming freshly aware of such issues who comes from a sector that isn’t of the right wing, fundamentalist variety. There are videos of him on Youtube bullying and harassing peaceful protests, trying to storm in like a Nazi and disrupt/hijack them despite the fact that they were on the same ideological grounds regarding the issue. His screaming rants and rabid claims of near daily death threats and harassment and other paranoid fantasies only add to the bad mix.

    So anyways, thanks for doing the Out There expose on this guy finally. I think you made great points on the origins of this wing of the conspiracy culture from the John Birch Society (winding down through the later militia movements and “sovereign citizen” movements too) and how part of the problem is the joyless lack of counter culture in the vein of Wilson or the hippies, such that personal freeing of oneself from tyrannical modes of thought or behavior are ignored.

    I like how you were careful to point him out as dead wrong and, frankly, crazy in a lot of this without taking away from the legitimacy of issues that are truly troubling and conspiratorial.

    You also mentioned Bohemian Grove and maybe went a little light on them? I guess it wasn’t the focus of the show but still. That number and concentrated power of people getting together and doings stuff like that is a little disconcerting (not satanic of course) especially considering they have some policy talks at the event too (mixing politic/economics and frat parties are a bad idea) and some off the record things are no doubt decided between hands there. Also there is the gay porn star/male prostitute scandal angle to consider, which I believe there is documentation for to some degree. Like Bilderberg, it’s just another intensely secret get together of powerful economic and political interests far from public eyes that just reinforces the class divide all the more and ensures real power/connection remains in the background between entrenched groups.

    Finally, I wasn’t really sure your stance on this. But ultimately, the central claim that a shadowy elite comprised of inter-connected power structures/persons runs the world in ways contrary to the interests of the common person or even harmful–is this actually incorrect or insane? Do you believe there is some truth to this claim?

    Based on my studies and research, I think that there is a world elite, inter-connected on some levels through various groups, some secret, who work and plan to keep things in line with their interests.

    I like this quote from Michael Parenti on this: “Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.”

    I think we can all agree that is true and it is troubling and something we should oppose. But, unlike Alex Jones, without forgetting the very human qualities and diversity which separates us from them.

  • What the!!??

    I agree that AJ is either an agent of influence or a useful idiot for the establishment, but to blame him for the defacement of the Georgia guide stones because he featured them in a documentary and a few ‘fans’ were jerks… crazy… What’s your message… Don’t raise questions about peculiarities in public or you’ll be responsible for the actions of others who hear you and act on their own behalf? Twisted shit

  • I am a new listener to “Out There” so I’m still trying to get a handle on where you guys are coming from. I found this discussion of AJ pretty insightful, but your framing of his early background is flawed and this hurts your credibility somewhat. The Waco siege happened in ’93, and within weeks (or at the most, a few months) after all that went down, many people in Austin (myself included) who represented a wide spectrum of backgrounds, from older counterculture hippies to college students to the religious right types, were deeply troubled by the whole thing and shared a sense of helplessness and fear, that something was rotten about the whole sequence of events, not just by its brutality but the secrecy and cover-ups surrounding it.

    Alex Jones didn’t start to appear on Austin Cable Access (with a single camera and single mic and no budget, BTW) until 1996 (or 1995 at the very latest). And the Internet was still in its infancy (expensive computers, slow connection speeds, no video capability). So to suggest that Jones was already established as a media “conspiracy theorist” who then latched onto the Waco thing later on, is completely off the mark. (How old were you guys back then… 10 years old at most?) This hurts your credibility as a source on AJ from the beginning of the discussion, despite the fact that I agree with many of your views about the profiteer that AJ later became.

    To put this in context, the Waco disaster unfolded when AJ was 19 years old, and was a catalyzing event that motivated regular people to start speaking out against police-state style actions on the part of the US government. For example, legendary Texas comedian Bill Hicks (1961-1994) went on Austin Cable Access several times in the aftermath of Waco, and spoke openly about his suspicions and concerns about the disaster (many would say, massacre), and even went to the Branch Davidian compound (or as close as anyone could get to it at that time) with a small crew from Austin Cable Access to comment on it. Sadly, we did not know at that time that Bill was dying of cancer, as he kept it a secret – he looks thin and ill in his interviews about Waco, and he passed away less than a year after the fiery end to the Waco siege.

    So, despite AJ’s daddy being a wealthy businessman (owned a chain of dental clinics) and helping get AJ’s media aspirations off the ground, let’s keep in mind that AJ did start out as only one of a large grassroots group of people (hippies, militia types, religious groups) from various backgrounds in Texas who were galvanized by the Waco horror.

    Also, I have to agree with commenter Kol that your preoccupation with someone having defaced the Georgia Guidestones, and your insistence on blaming AJ somehow for that vandalism, kind of puts the stink of “AJ smear campaign” on this episode, rightly or wrongly.

    I hope this perspective helps round out the picture a bit and aids in perhaps helping you a present a bit more nuanced picture of AJ in the future. While I have never met him, I do suspect that like most of his, he is a very complex person with various conflicting motivations, mixed feelings and perhaps even shifting allegiances.

    • Russell,

      Thanks so much for the extra info on AJ, and for taking the time to share you thoughts on our episode. I’ve never been to Austin, unless you count watching the movie Slacker fifty times, but you’re right that AJ’s career is very much a function of time and place. I agree with you, the Austin “scene” should have been a bigger part of the discussion, not just because of Bill Hicks, but also for Richard Linklater and (*cue the creepy music*) Ron Paul. It’s an obscure topic, but I believe we got the basic timeline of AJ’s early career in the right sequence. Pardon me if I underestimated the amount of time between the siege (Spring of 1993) and the beginnings of his broadcasting career (sometime in 1995). As for the Guidestones, that part of the story has a personal element for me. When you study and research something enough to write a book about it, that idea (the Guidestones) becomes a part of you. I try to get the facts straight, but at the end of the day I’m striving to be an artist, and not a journalist. As an artist, I found Endgame to be the worst kind of Orwellian hellscape, aimed at an audience of people so angry, frustrated, and tuned-out that they are willing to believe in the absolute darkest vision of humanity’s future. To bring such a vision into the world and to present it as “actionable” reality is to invite the very chaos and darkness that it pretends to fight against. The vandalism at the Guidestones is merely one manifestation of that concept. I don’t believe it was AJ’s intention as a filmmaker for the vandalism at the Guidestones to happen, as I mentioned they are really a footnote in the film. However, knowing that these are the kinds of unintended consequences this kind of work invites makes it almost worse. So yes, I have an axe to grind with Alex Jones. Maybe it’s because “there but by the grace of God go I.” 😉

      Once again, thanks for sharing your thoughts, I’d love to continue the discussion if you like. Feel free to check out our book on the Guidestones, which includes material about AJ, as well as my grad school paper “The Milieu of a Digital Cult” which is a short essay about AJ and his unique alt-media empire(available by request). I’ll give your podcast a listen, and you site visitors should too!

      Thanks,

      Raymond Wiley
      Out There Radio

  • Very excellent episode, boys! Fantastic really. Can’t believe it took me so long to listen to this one. A+ all around, it reminded me of everything I loved about Out There in the first place.
    Keep going, Raymond and Austin

  • About your comments on “Chemtrails”. I don’t believe in “Chemtrails” but I do believe in Geo-engineering. Ever hear of Stratospheric sulfate aerosols? Even the Carnegie Institute has called for spraying the skies with aerosols to block the sun. Its all NGO/Goverment/International Corporations that are doing it to help stem the global climate change. They just don’t tell people things that are beyond their comprehension. Nice show by the way.

  • I am sort of wondering what has been going on with you guys ? I listed to the shows you did on the older out there radio which was all first rate and very impressive and alot of my favorite stuff to listen to.
    I just discovered you are back with out there again .. The disinfo show seemed to not compare. All of a sudden you are coming out saying that there is no 9/11 conspiracy that the towers just fell ? Seriously ? Are you going to do a show on that to explain what you are talking about since there is so much that doesn’t add up ? I am open to the idea that Alex Jones is influenced by some group but i really didn’t hear much that convinced me from your show. I think he does rant and rave and that’s his style .. alot of his predictions may be off, but most of his information to me sounds accurate from everything I can tell. He also seems to have excellent guests on. I know Alex is more to the right, you guys are more to the left .. I am more of a middle of the road moderate .. Anyway, it seems to me like you guys have made a sharp turn somewhere and it really puzzles me ..

  • You guys should really hear Josh Reeves
    unmask and debunk him in yoututbe,
    it’s a conscience changer for sure.

    he follows through with more hard core info
    in his movie “secret right vol.2” also available in YT.

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