Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reprint: Alex Jones- A Man of the People?

The following article is a reprint from a posting I had made on a separate blog over one year ago. It brings to light a certain question that I currently neither believe nor disbelieve, but rather, in simply attempting to open people's minds to a third alternative that I have not seen mentioned. Let it serve as a primer for future posts to come.

Alex Jones is the most prominent and outspoken American conspiracy theorist. Although he bears right-wing beliefs and considers himself a libertarian, I don't believe that he necessarily aligns himself with any known political party, though I can't be certain. Though I don't consider myself a fan, personally, I must admit a certain grudging admiration for the man, as I have seen videos of him of what can only be deemed as casting out the demons of the New World Order through his trademark megaphone at a yearly gathering of the Bilderbergers. The man bellows with an otherworldly passion and yet strikingly never pauses or stutters and does it in a manner that can only be described as charismatic. Spellbinding, I would say, were it not so cliche.

All ass-kissing aside, I only take an interest because my father does- a very deep one, in fact. My father listens to his (daily?) radio show, and though he claims to do his homework on every subject, he basically walks away sharing the same opinions as Jones: a deep distrust of the government and the general bias that all major media is, well, biased.

That being said, I am NOT saying that I am dismissing it (completely, anyhow), but rather, I am highly skeptical of it all. The reason for that is simple. I was highly interested in all these things about 10 years ago, when I was at the height my substance abuse days and on any given day could have been well-deep in any haphazard mix of pot, ketamineDXM, LSD, methamphetamine, cocaine, or whatever you could find under the sink kind of drug. This was right before 9/11. After that cork popped loose, the crazies just emerged from every corner of the earth and even though they had wildly different opinions on what had just happened, they all seemed to be of the general agreement that Martial Law was just 6 months away.

A decade later and nothing has changed: Hurricane Katrina, the Mortgage Crisis, bird flu, bird flu 2, etc. Every single one of these, and surely many more events that I haven't followed or don't know about were supposed to be a federal excuse to bring about Martial Law, yet it somehow never materialized. Though I will never know if it was the failure of this bleak future to manifest or if it was the conception of my daughter and a year of non-compulsory sobriety that came with it, but I eventually became disillusioned with my delusions and put the whole thing aside. Learning how to play Ace-King off-suit out of position eventually became a more important pursuit than following the state of behind-the-curtain national affairs.

Perhaps through no fault of his own, Jones has always been at the helm of these predictions. For a short time last year, I would listen to his radio show while grinding away in my basement at the behest of my ever-concerned father, but eventually put that aside as well, as I quickly grew weary of Jones's constant anger and his unfailing ability to label every piece of news as proof that the New Word Order was, in fact, winning. After all, even if all this was true, the basic material would still appeal mostly to the fringe enthusiasts: the mentally ill and those deep in hallucinogenic trenches.

Though I don't know to what extent he has benefitted financially from his endeavor, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario where Alex Jones's success did not come at a great cost, both to his personal and professional life. I am also certain that he would be the first to defend himself against accusations of fraudulence with just such a retort. "What do I stand to gain from all this? Do you think I like being a laughing stock and being called crazy by random people on the street?". Of course not, Alex, of course not.

Though it would be unfair to compare what he does to running a cult, the possible fraudulent motivations are still mostly the same: money, power, and pussy. Although I am sure he has such accusations leveled at him daily, I still don't find them all that likely. After all, running a cult and positioning yourself as a god on earth is much likelier to bear the above fruits than simply being a man in-the-know. Basically, I believe the market is and always will be stronger for cults than conspiracy theories. All this being said, I didn't really mind him and considered him to be a brave soul, right or wrong.

My general position on this began to shift a few months back when I was listening to my local talk radio station and a commercial came on with a voiceover that contained the unmistakable narration of Mr. Jones. He was pimping out some guy named Porter Stansberry, whom I had never heard of, essentially calling him a financial prophet who has never been wrong in his predictions, including the financial meltdown of 2008. For the record, Bill Maher had also predicted the busting of the mortgage bubble, except when recalling this "prediction", he passed off all personal credit and said it was so easy to see that even a lowly comedian like himself saw it coming a mile away. In any case, all we needed to do to prepare for an imminent financial collapse was to watch a video on www.endofamerica12.com. And hey, if we were smart, we would even be able to profit and laugh at the ignorant while our nation was sinking!

Out of curiosity, I visited the site. I had assumed that the "12" in the URL meant 2012, as in, the world as we know it will end next year. This made me even more curious, as I had thought it to be a bold prediction, as clearly this man would be made fool of right quick if his prophecy sunk.

Nope. The URL simply redirected to Stansberry Research, an investment site. As I would later find out, other personalities who were clearly familiar yet not immediately recognizable in the manner of Jones would voice over this very same commercial, except that they would replace the 12 with some other two digit number. Obviously, this number was just meant for some sort of tracking to find out which fear-mongerer held the tightest grip on the reptilian brains of the Glenn Beck crowd.

The site provides a compelling enough argument for why we should be afraid for the future of our country, though I didn't spot anything new or original. It was the typical scenario that would lead up to the inevitable collapse of the dollar, and while I would never claim that this is impossible, like Martial Law, this is one of those plots that the conspiracy theorists have been envisioning as being a mere 6 months away for at least the past 10 years, though more likely 20 or 30. Once you reach the end of the page, however, you are provided with the means to create your financial Ark that you can ride like a double rainbow into the Promised Land, just by subscribing to the site. Wow, I thought: salvation comes at the low, low price of just $49.50 a year!!!  Or...if you want to survive for the second post-Apocalyptic year as well, just $69!

When I saw this, my bullshit hackles immediately went on the rise. If not directly a scam, it is certainly pushing some serious boundaries in terms of business ethics and tastefulness. After all, to paraphrase his claims: "I don't mean to scare you, but the sky IS falling. Also, I have the means and knowledge to save you, but you must prove your worth by first opening your wallet in my direction!". Apparently, we must do so by offering our paper money (which will soon be worthless, mind you) that he will undoubtedly exchange with oblivious suckers for gold.

Not convinced? Well, a simple Internet investigation will lead you right to a previous indictment by the SEC against Agora, Inc., Pirate Investor LLC and Frank Porter Stansberry:

The following was taken directly directly from the SEC Website:

1. Defendants engaged in an ongoing scheme to defraud public investors by disseminating false information in several Internet newsletters published by Agora or its wholly owned subsidiaries such as Pirate. Through various publications, defendants claimed to have inside information about certain public companies. Defendants suggested that its readers could cash in on the inside information and make quick profits. The defendants offered to sell the inside information to newsletter subscribers for a fee of $1,000.

2. Numerous subscribers purchased the defendants "inside tips" and made investment decisions based on that information. The purported inside information was false and, as a result, the subscribers did not realize the profits the defendants promised.

3. The defendants, however, profited handsomely. On information and belief, Agora received in excess of $1 million from the sale of false information to its newsletter subscribers.

I don't know about you, but this is all I need to see to turn in the opposite direction. Unlike Michael C. Hall narrating commericials for Dodge, Alex Jones lending his distinctive voice talents to Mr. Stansberry's pet project makes him a direct endorser, which makes him morally responsible in my eyes, albeit not legally. While Hall is just an actor, Jones relies on his basic credibility as currency, which has just been flushed away forever in my book.

So where is the motivation here, from his standpoint? Even if we assume he was paid handsomely for the ad, and even if he is somehow guaranteed a profit share for his implicit endorsement, he clearly must know that his entire credibility is being wagered here. It is therefore my take that Jones does, in fact, believe this crap. After pondering this for some time, it led me to what can possibly be a fourth kind of motivation that goes beyond just money, power, and pussy. What if he is just some megalomanic who has hedged his bet against a future run by the New World Order in which he foresees himself as leading the charge and then ultimately winning? In such a scenario, today's quack becomes tomorrow's visionary leader with untold riches and political power on the other side. In a cult, assuming that the leader is sane and knows he is a fraud, he realizes that he can only fool some of the people some of the time and score just a small piece of the pie. It is quite possible that Jones is going for the whole thing, and if he is right, he would succeed. So even though he might be fighting for what he believes to be "right", this doesn't make his intentions pure by default. Replacing tyranny does not offer guarantees that you won't be replacing it with more tyranny.

Of course, this is just fun speculation on my part, but it certainly can't be disregarded entirely from the range of possibilities. Despite the fact that he might claim publicly that he wishes all of this weren't true, clearly he can't support that idea 100%, as this would make him a first class schmuck on the grandest scale. After all, the village outcast who spent his entire life savings to build a bunker in his backyard to avoid the backlash of Y2K surely would like nothing more than to be able to laugh into the faces of his neighborhood detractors when his vision becomes reality.

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