We’re all familiar with the crazy ideas of the “9/11 Truthers”, who claim that the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were a great conspiracy by the Bush Administration to push their agenda and get public support for invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire topic has consumed many blogs on this site, and whole issues of Skeptic magazine, and need not be rehashed here. The simplest retort to the “9/11 Truthers” is the gross incompetence of the Bush Administration, and the fact that they couldn’t get their act together on things we know they were doing. Yet the supposed “Bush conspiracy” worked like a charm (except for the passengers of Flight 93 crashing their plane when they overpowered the hijackers), and not a single leak from all those people allegedly involved in that Byzantine plot has ever emerged. Given how many leaks have occurred since those events on many other failed Bush and CIA policies, it’s impossible to believe that they managed to keep this big a conspiracy secret for over 12 years now.
The same goes in Britain for the “7/7″ bombings of several buses and other sites in downtown London; there is a clique of conspiracy nuts mainly in England who could be called the “7/7 Truthers”. For the same reasons, they claim the “7/7″ bombings were orchestrated by the British government, even though they did not have the motive of Bush and Cheney to push the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. There are actually a wide range of other bizarre conspiracy advocates out there, and they all seem to form a large, poorly organized group of paranoid conspiracy nuts who believe that the U.N./Trilateral Commission/ Illuminati/ Freemasons/whatever big organization is out to get us, with their “black helicopters” and secret sleeper cells, ready to take power in the U.S. when the signal comes.
If that wasn’t crazy and paranoid enough, guess what? There is a whole gang of even crazier people out there who believe that the Obama Administration orchestrated the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre! Yeah, you read that right. And what is the supposed motivation for arranging this elaborate conspiracy to perform such a heinous act? Allegedly, the Administration wanted a national outcry over a massacre so they could push for gun control. The Obama Administration, which has avoided the gun issue like the plague both during the campaigns and during its first four years, suddenly decided to go after our guns. This at a time when it already faces more than enough political challenges with the debt ceiling, the immigration issue, and so many other important topics on its agenda that are better uses of its post-election capital in a government prone to stalemate due to the GOP hold over the House. In fact, a lot of political commentators have remarked that the gun control issue is poorly timed for Obama, distracting the voters from issues he had planned to push after the inauguration, and expending a lot of political capital he needs elsewhere. Only in the mind of a gun crazy/conspiracy nut does this make any sense, but then these people already are scared of the U.N., the Trilateral Commission, and the “black helicopters”.
Their evidence for this bizarre notion? They claim that one of the little girls killed in Sandy Hook is still alive! As explained by Alex Seitz-Wald:
The girl in question is Emilie Parker, a 6-year-old who was shot multiple times and killed at Sandy Hook. But for conspiracy theorists, the tears her family shed at her funeral, the moving eulogy from Utah’s governor, and the entire shooting spree are fake. Welcome to the world where Sandy Hook didn’t really happen.
There are dozens of websites, blog posts and YouTube videos extolling the Emilie Parker hoax theory. If you Google her name, the very first result is a post mocking her father for crying at a press conference after the shooting. One popular video, which already has 134,000 views, was made by the producers of a popular 9/11 Truther film. “Just as the movie ‘Operation Terror’ shows the 9/11 attacks were a made-for-TV event, so too were the mass shootings … There can be no doubt that Sandy Hook was a staged event,” the narrator intones. He goes on to say that the adults who participated in the media coverage of the shootings “should be prosecuted as accessories after the fact in a mass murder” — i.e., the parents whose children were murdered in the massacre should be thrown in prison.
The crux of the theory is a photograph of Parker’s sister sitting on President Obama’s lap when he visited with the victims’ families. The girl is wearing the same dress Emilie wore in a pre-shooting photograph of the family shared with media, so she must be Emilie, alive and well. “BAM! I cannot believe how idiot these people are [sic]… That’s her,” one YouTuber exclaims as he watches the two images superimposed on each other. (Apparently missed by these crack investigators is the possibility that the sister wore Emilie’s dress and that they look alike because they are sisters, after all.)
The supporting details to the hoax theory explanation are reminiscent of the arcana of any well-developed conspiracy theory. What about the car? What about the rifle? Why does someone off camera allegedly tell Parker’s father to “read the Card” (as in a cue card) before he goes on CNN? Why is he laughing? Who is the guy running into the woods? Why is there police audio referring to multiple shooters? Why does one boy who survived the shooting tell Dr. Oz it was like “a drill”? Why was the principal quoted by a local paper after she died? Why do some of the parents look like some of the victims of the Aurora shooting — are they “all actors”? All of these questions have simple explanations, but in each case, the theorists have sided more with less likely, but more nefarious possibilities.
One man has taken it upon himself to catalog all of the theories at SandyHookHoax.com. By way of credentials, creator Jay Johnson explains: “I am the only person in the world to solve LOST,” he writes (yes, the TV show).
In an email exchange with Salon, Johnson said he initially “wanted to help the kids express their feelings and memorialize the victims … But then I saw how the local paper interviewed the principal after she was dead, and I realized it was 99% odds another psychological operation that was going on,” he explained.
Noting that he started the website on “12/21/12” he explained, “since I am the New Age Messiah, with my Look Your Heart in the Mirror™ as the new revelation from the Goddess Tefnut, aka Ma’at, of Egypt, I thought the date was significant.”
But the hoax theory has even earned the backing for some presumably more credible sources. James Tracy, a tenured professor of communications at Florida Atlantic University, sparked controversy this week after he wrote a blog post suggesting the parents were “crisis actors.” “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described,” he wrote.
Websites owned by Alex Jones [yes, the same clown who embarrassed himself in the national media last week with his foaming-at-the-mouth attack on Piers Morgan], the conspiracy theory pundit who helped start the 9/11 Truther movement and has millions of readers, are a virtual one-stop shop for Sandy Hook “false flag” miscellanea. So far, mainstream conservative figures haven’t hopped on board, though Gun Owners of American head Larry Pratt told Jones this summer that he thought there was a good chance the Aurora massacre was perpetrated by government agents.
Then there’s just the downright bizarre subgenre of theories. One posting on the community forum of Jones’ website connects Sandy Hook and Emilie Parker to Satanism, postulating that the school was a “recruiting center” for the Church of Satan. There’s even a low-budget slasher flick called “Sandy Hook Lingerie Party Massacre” — could that be connected?
Whether there is a connection or not, we can count on the Internet’s conspiracy theorists to find one, even if it means denying the legitimacy of the mourning families’ grief.
And if this were not enough, the conspiracy crazies are harassing and threatening Gene Rosen, the Good Samaritan who took in a bunch of the first graders when they fled the school after their teacher was killed, and sheltered them until their families could come find them. This kind, gentle man, who did a simple good deed from the heart, is now being harassed and threatened non-stop by these sick bastards who don’t want to believe any of the truth in this story.
And that is the sickest, most perverted part of it all. Never mind that these crazies are accusing our President and the people who work with him with the cruelest and most outrageous of criminal acts, all based on zero evidence and lots of crazy thinking and false pattern recognition. The President and the Administration can take care of themselves. The real victims in this demented view of the world are the Good Samaritans like Gene Rosen, or the poor families of the victims, who are not only grieving for their very real loss, but are now being accused of being actors, and hoaxers whose children are not really dead. Haven’t they suffered enough? At long last, conspiracy wackos, have you no shame?