Friday, March 29, 2019

You Don't Understand Alex Jones and Qanon: A Quick Primer

Guess what?

Information warfare is *complicated*.

It can't be explained in five minutes by some triggered journalist who took one or two Sociology classes at Columbia or Georgetown, their freshman or sophomore year.

I think most of us have seen the conspiracy theory bullsh*t from Alex Jones and his entertainingly absurd website, "Infowars".  Fewer have seen the conspiracy theory drivel of Qanon.  But many of my readers have.

I need to point out something here, because it's *REALLY* important.

Alex Jones and Qanon have taken great pains to ESTABLISH themselves as conspiracy theorists.

Yes. You heard me. They WANT to be thought of as conspiracy theorists. That ought to be painfully obvious by now.  If you don't understand this point, you simply don't understand their purpose.

But WHY? THAT is the question.

I assume most of my readers are familiar with the phrase "trust-washing".  Trust-washing is the process of building public trust in a media or social media personality who seeks to disinform the public by disseminating disinformation.

For example, let's say you want to prop up the profile of a particular Twitter account, so you can later use that account to mislead people once that account has, say, half a million followers.  You would feed that account juicy intelligence, while portraying the account as #NeverTrump.  The account accumulates a large following on Twitter.  Once the account has reached half a million followers, the account slowly leads their followers away from the target.  That's *CLASSIC* trust-washing.

Think of Alex Jones and Qanon as the opposite of trust-washing.  Think of them, in fact, as "anti" trust-washers.

So, yes, one of their purposes is to gain the trust of the far right.  But that's only part of the story.  What's really important to understand is that, having established themselves as rightwing conspiracy theorists, WHATEVER THEY SAY, GOING FORWARD, IS FLAT-OUT REJECTED BY THE LEFTWING.

Allow me to give you an example...

Ever wonder why Alex Jones attacks the Bilderberg Group?

More importantly, have you ever VETTED the Bilderberg Group?  You're going to find some of the biggest players in transnational organized crime.  But if you start going after the Bilderberg Group publicly you sound CRAAAAAAAAAZY.

Get it?  They totally poison the water, so that a rational discussion cannot possibly occur with regard to certain topics.  This insulates bad actors from any objective criticism/analysis.  In a politically polarized environment, you begin to see the effectiveness of the strategy.

I had the misfortune of following the Parkland shootings and the aftermath very closely.  Before I had even seen Qanon's ramblings about the March for Your Lives kids and "crisis acting", I had already vetted them.  More importantly, I vetted their parents.  I'm not going to get into the ugly details of what I discovered.  But what I found was pretty disturbing.  Over the past few years of doing this, it was probably the discovery that most disturbed me.  When I began to try to explain, for example, the father of Cameron Kasky and his off-the-charts ties to Russian organized crime, I was relentlessly attacked--mostly by well-meaning people.

Maybe there was just a little irony in Anderson Cooper's post-Parkland shooting interview with the daughters of Michael Sucher, the President and CEO of AK-47 manufacturer Century Arms International.

I don't want this article to become an ideological tit-for-tat, so I hope I have explained my point here. Don't shoot the messenger. But, PLEASE, think about what I'm telling you here and do a little background checking yourself.

But don't you love the irony in the name of Alex Jones' website?


Only it's Alex Jones who's waging it.  And he's obviously had some serious training in information warfare.  He's not as crazy as he'd like you to think he is.


  1. I have noticed that there has been an uptick of calling russian influence a conspiracy theory.

    1. I've noticed the same.

      I've also noticed that these geniuses run from any conversation related to the ongoing counterintelligence investigation.

      They seem not to want to discuss that, for some reason.