Two weeks ago we were on holiday in a blissful little place called Trefriw which is in North (kind of middle) Wales- look for Llandudno or Colwyn Bay on a map and go south inland for a few winding miles, and I should have downloaded, then uploaded the photos by now, buy I haven’t……sorry ’bout that.
Anyways, the things about holidays is you tend to get into another sort of routine, and the one thing I could not get back into was reading up on what other folks were doing of on WP. I had enjoyed being away, going here and there, watching the Soccer World Cup in the evening and here we were back.
Oh my! Trump’s fat backside had descended upon the UK. The UK Govt had continued to make a mess of Brexit, aided by its opponents in its own Party (all wealthy by independent means). The Labour Party continued to fail to convince it is not indulging in Anti-Semitism thus saving the government . Drunken Wastes of Precious Resources were lurching about the place. Idiots were proclaiming that an onerous piece of excrement who leads the EDL (That’s the English Dolts League) should be free to preach hate, and Johnson, Boris (minor) had a hissy fit and ran away from his job because it wasn’t fair and he couldn’t Walk the Walk. There was some other nasty news and the usual Idiots On Parade on FaceBook but I won’t take up your time.
Now I don’t like the Summer at best (I’m weird. So sue me), this prolonged heat was not doing anything for my temper or judgement. So to spare my poor wife rather than glower, brood and stalk muttering like some central character out of a British 1950s over-rated drama and returned to Vol II of my series.
The first draft (draught?) was completed and now the fun begins with the re-write, I love re-writes, you can put in ‘Hey why didn’t I think of that before‘ s or delete the ‘What was I think of there‘ s and in my case actually work a proper plot into the narrative. I have too much fun with dialogue, scenes and situations, my first drafts normally read like a TV sketch show (though not all funny scenes). I even created a good working and maybe permanent title:
‘OUR SKIRMISHERS of SILK, STEEL and FIRE’
I wonder why that title turned red?
Anyways, I was pleased with that. So at about 350 pages in the first draft and into page 50 of the re-write. Of course only the FIRST re-write but the one which will make the narrative appear as a book. All the old characters are there (part from the lesser ones I gleefully killed off) and a couple of new ones. Maybe not as much action at the beginning, but it’s the plot thing y’see.
So that’s all about the writing.
Now to the simmering bad mood over the excess of idiots that despite Darwin’s best arguments and assumptions still survive.
To get around this I have set up another blog. One solely devoted to ranting at all the mean-spirited, the selfish, the foolish, the oafish, the snake-oil merchants and those who (as the old saying went) should have been drowned at birth. This blog is will be short on humour and long on vitriol, on the basis, of they started it I’m gonna finish it. No reasoned and polite discourse here, I’m done with that.
The common and popular media would have you believe that 500 hundred years ago today Martin Luther invented the Reformation. Naturally being the common and popular media this is somewhat inaccurate. As a dedicated and serious historian (See “A True History of These Isles Vol. 1 (Prehistory to 1216 CE-ish)”, available on Amazon Kindle $0.99/£0.99- terms and conditions apply) it therefore falls upon myself to ensure the correct application of facts and a fair interpretation of both Luther and the events.
Luther’s Early Life
Martin Luther was born 10th Nov 1483in Saxony into an industrious family; he had several siblings. His father insisted he become a lawyer. He seems to have had a typical education as he referred to his time in school as being both ‘purgatory and hell’, while his university (at Erfurt) was a ‘beer and whorehouse’. Despite this he received a Master’s Degree in 1505. As his father was still stuck on the idea of his son being a lawyer Martin Luther was sent back to Erfurt to study just the law. He didn’t like it and felt there was more to Life, so took to philosophy, but on encountering Reason and Logic felt he might be slipping back into Law. He concluded the only way to be worthwhile and content was to encounter God
A Dramatic Event
On the 2nd Jul 1505, or so the records state, while walking in a field or riding on a road, he was struck by lightning, but survived. Not wishing to have that such a close encounter with God, as yet, weary of people inferring there were many other reasons why a student would be lying confused in a field and also not wishing to risk a repeat experience he became a monk.
How Things Were Done
At this time a large portion of Central Europe was supposed to be ruled by The Holy Roman Emperor. As was the custom of the time he divided his time between fighting the French while arguing with any pope as to who had the final say in things. In the meantime various princes, dukes, counts etc fought or sued each other, while suppressing peasants who rebelled or worse took the nobles to the courts. It was a good time for mercenaries and lawyers (Be fair, you can see Luther Snr’s point of view).
Luther in Conflict with The Church
At this time the Church had become very indulgent by making a rule which said you could do what you liked as long as you said you were sorry and paid a large amount of money to the Church. Luther thought this unfair upon the poor people and showed his displeasure by writing a version of the Bible in a very common language called The Vernacular while in 1517 (31st Oct) also by nailing to the door of a church a work of nine-five reasons why he was right. The Church authorities acted swiftly.
In 1521 he was summoned to a church court. Here, he defended his case with great eloquence for three or five days and then confused everyone by saying he had nothing to say and was going to stand there. Despite this clever and dramatic move The Church authorities said Luther was incorrect and thus an hysteric. They then condemned him to the terrible punishment of a Diet of Worms.
The Peasant’s Official Revolt
Because Luther had been saying the Church was too wealthy and not Religious enough he had gathered a following. On hearing the news of the cruel sentence passed on him The Poor People were so outraged by this vile treatment that they rose in official rebellion (instead of their normal rowdy behavior). This started in 1524, a peasants’ council was formed and in was agreed to upgrade the rebellion into a war. This ended in 1525, because the authorities could massacre better than peasants could massacre large armies.
The peasants however were good at wrecking churches, monasteries, and being not educated also libraries. Luther was disgusted with this and told them they should concentrate on praying, being rude to bishops and but listen to their rulers.
This was well-received by many of the nobility.
Luther’s Private Life
During this turbulent time people were daring to think the unthinkable. This can be typified by the case of twelve nuns at a convent in Brehna, Saxony who were fed up of being nuns. On hearing of this Luther in a spirit of gallant manliness smuggled them out in herring barrels on the 4th April 1523. The Church authorities may have thought something fishy was going on but possibly shrewdly deduced he’d end up in a pickle. He and one nun Katharina von Bora did however fall in love and marry, thus allowing all clergy to marry. When Katharina found out he’d been living on hard bread and sleeping in a mildewed bed (or maybe the other way around) she soon sorted him out, Luther learning the great value of the phrase ‘Yes Dear’
Luther and The Reformation
Several bishops and affiliated lesser nobility had tried to have Luther massacred but more sympathetic nobles kept hiding him. When the authorities realised he wasn’t arguing with them, but only the bishops and rowdy peasants it became safe for him to come out of hiding. The first thing he had to do was to tell people to stop listening to people who were not reading The Bible but just having visions as you never knew where they’d got those visons from. He wisely then set up his own church to ensure more Bible reading and singing of hymns.
In Later Years
Luther had a family, his own church and a reformation, however in later years he also suffered with many types of ill-health which made him short-tempered, and sadly not amusingly irascible but down right unpleasantly rude. Being a typical man when admonished by his wife on this score he blamed someone else. This included in particular The Jews, which was very unfair because he was supposed to have read the Bible and it didn’t need much of an excuse for the population to pick on Jews. This outlook of his may have led to a case of Terminal Stupidity as he died in 1546. Normal and balanced people do not subscribe to these later views and wish he’d just to stuck more wholesome pastimes in his retirement such as tending to a garden or annoying bishops.
It can be argued that because of Luther there are a lot more ways of being Christian than there used to be. As long as people don’t hurl insults or objects at each other over the matter then this is no bad thing.
The author wishes it to be known this article is originally based on a post of some two years ago (Whimsicalities Anyone?) which is so full of inaccuracies and incorrect assumptions that is has been fully overhauled.
For more interesting views on matters historical readers may (or may not) wish to consider investing in a copy of
Available on Kindle (normal terms and conditions apply)
The United States of America, North America, America, USA, and this is your national holiday and this will be the first one I can recollect in which some Americans experience unease or regret about celebrating for they are ashamed of the current circumstances in which they perceive their country is in. I am sorry for those folk that they must feel this way and it would be disingenuous not to say it is easy to understand why. To have the holder of the office of president who has no political experience, has a questionable reputation and seems to have scant regard for the population as a whole must be a bitter experience, particularly when as sometimes happens in democracies the winner was not the one with the majority of votes cast.
I could continue, writing at length about the despicable and shameless displays of bigotry and hatred which weak-minded folk claim is their right to free speech, while conveniently ignoring the duty of an adult to behave responsibly and maintain the stability of a community. But why should a sully the name of this day of celebration?
Let us look at all The United States of America and not a warped minority. ;
Yours is a young nation. We have 1776 as an expedient year of your birth, but your forebears discontent and then anger must have been growing long before that; let’s say three hundred years in the making. In terms of many nations you have only just begun; say four hundred years ago as a start, large scale of immigrations and constantly in waves. People restless to escape strictures of their homelands, looking for space to start afresh. Not much in age in comparison to other nations. It could be argued that you are still in the process of settling down, still learning to gell, but of course that does not always happen. There are enough examples in the world; all fractured places, their prejudices and ignorance used by more powerful neighbours as means to dominate and exploit. Let that be a warning. History never sleeps.
There is a fondness in the world to list the evils of the USA as if every other nation has a spotless record. There are injustices, there are crimes, and many have been carried on under a diluted blaspheming of the phrases ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘constitutional right’. But the folk of the USA learnt all these tricks from their ancestors in the ‘old countries’. As reprehensible as they are they are not American inventions. And in the USA brave, noble and determined folk fought long and hard against these injustices to the extent that they are now viewed as abhorrent though like all things precious that won must be fought for, always lest the evil, the weak and the stupid corrode them.
To return to that ‘respectable prejudice’ so indulged in, say the UK ,to be scornful of Americans as indulgent, self-absorbed, somehow not as intelligent. What sheer ignorance these folk spout. Need I take the time to list American novelists, poets, composers, artists, humourists, actors, playwrights, scholars, humanitarians, scientists, musicians, innovators, philosophers, inventors and so forth? Well obviously, I would have to because these tiny people have never heard of them!
But let us consider two facets. Let us think of these times, these past few years. We consider the return of the hate and ignorance, of the bombast and the puerile, the venal and the scavengers. They have crawled over your nation before; but they have been pushed back into corners, they have been exposed and found wanting. Unable to stand before the power of the ordinary, the generous of heart and spirit, the courageous, the decent, even the foolhardy. Oh, these wretched folk have brought their ‘populous crowds’, but all their efforts withered beneath the light and the heat of the ordinary Americans and these lesser folk were obliged to slink back into their corners. America look at the those myriad of gifted folk who have come from your ranks, and what can these corrosive elements offer in response, but to stew into their own bitter concoctions?
So let me tell you about you friendliness, your generosity, your willingness to help, your enthusiasm, your thoughtfulness. All these aspects which I see daily on WP. Let me mention your constitution and your separation of powers, which at the end of the day will bend any group of malefactors to the joint will. You have stood up and fought before, you have brought them down. You in your many groups with your differing views have come together and breathed life back into a flagging system, the result may not have been perfect, may have been ragged around the edges but it worked.
You are still in the making though, your states, your communities are in constant change because of your youth, and your myriad cultures coming together. You have made much progress, despite those who would try and drag you into some past based on servility to wealth and privilege and false divisions based on colour or religion. There may well come a time when the pressures will be too great for a 300,000,000+; 5 time zone nation to hold. That is actually no disgrace, nations like land masses break and re-form. You may end up separated from some small bitter little enclaves where folk pretend they are free while being owned by larger powers. But this I know; the true United States of America will hold strong, yes it may be slightly smaller; it happens. But as a people you can stand proud and hold fast to humanity.
So meet with your loved ones, your friends and your neighbours, celebrate those matters and concepts you hold common, share friendship, community and love. Make your 4th of July 2017 a time when you say ‘No more hate. No more division’. You are worth it.
Those who have read this blog over the months will know I have an intolerance of Intolerance and I hate Hate with twin passions that simply mirror those of the perpetrators; my weakness, my demons, my battle.
Today when I read the news of the dreadful and evil event at the mosque in Finsbury my first emotion was rage and came instinct to pick a social media fight with anyone who did not condemn this vile act, then I visited the Finsbury Park mosque site and good sense took over, inspired by the many of carry out small deeds of charity and love for and to anyone irrespective of race, belief system, politics, creed, gender social grouping and so forth.
I sent a message of support to the mosque.
I urge you to do the same. The Hate-Mongers will not win.
Refuge Craft in the Mediterranean 1st reports 22 dead
School bus in Syria 30 dead.
Bus with Coptic Christians 25 dead
Oregan 2 heroes dead
Mississippi 8 dead
Manilla- Botched robbery in a Casino 36 dead
Kahbul 90 dead
London 6 dead
And this does not include the injured, the scars of the survivors, the grief of the relatives and friends; the terror ground into the witnesses.
And these are the ones which have recently made the main news, they do not include the ongoing victims of wars in to name but a few- Syria, Kashmir, South Sudan, Yemen, Philippines. Our the constant seeping away of your lives in the pointless urban gang wars ( 7 kids stabbed to death in London, this year, so far)
The shock is numbed by the feeling of helplessness and the natural wish that it would all stop.
Let us at least hang onto our Humanity , our Respect, our Tolerance and our Compassion.
When you hear or read of such a tragedy, if you have a religion offer up a prayer for the victims, if you do not take a brief pause for silent reflection. All join together, mourn then strive in your own ways to ensure the weeds of Hate and Ignorance wither. Your ways may be small, but be persistent, and together you will be part of a mighty force.
I suppose most of us worry about our health from time to time, be it physical, mental, artistic or spiritual and at times feel as my dad used to say ‘feel at the bottom of the wheel’.
The question can arise if or when something should be done about whatever it is not just for your own well-being but for those close to you in the fall-out area. How much does your state affect them?
You see my demons have got a hold at the present and this will not do. They come sneaking up on the blind side every time. The side that loathes Intolerance, Ignorance and the Plain Stupid. Using those they can pump that up pretty good and they’ve had plenty to work with.
The prejudice and self-delusory short-sightedness of a large number of the Brexit voters.
The fashionable and thus self-judged clean-conscienced anti-Semitic of the junior wing of the Labour Party and the indulgent self-denying response by the leadership, thus allowing the opposition to have a field-day with ‘The Nasty Party’ label
The sheer bile and venom arising from the last US presidential Election, and the subsequent amateurish way this administration has started off.
The Islamophobic response to the London terror attack.
And the recent insight into the Sandy Hook conspiracy creatures.
Yes, you might say, you have good cause to be angry at them all.
Yes, but not the thundering venomous abusive response I have problems keeping in check, not the sort of remarks I have bouncing around in my head, which are not being released. For once they are released then more follow and then suddenly you are in a whole new way of life. You are looking to be offended, you don’t really spend much time thinking about the victims, you just want to hurt and humiliated the preps, the more damage you cause, the better; the urge to break one.
That is not healthy.
It is hypocrisy rampant.
My wife has to put up with this imitation of an Old Testament character striding about the place.
Because I like to write in a light and slightly flippant style the muse gets scared off
Now I can’t shift the blame onto the sources, nice though that would be. I should be above this instead of sinking into their mire. But currently I am in their depths, and it’s not fair that I should sully the WP with the sort of stuff currently going through my head; it might seep out onto my replies to others post and that will certainly not do! (Particularly if the subject matter of the post has only the most tenuous link to whatever I will be snarling about)
So I’m putting myself in quarantine for a while, work on the Patchwork novel and maybe start on another volume of the History. No reading of news either. This is a sort of retreat. Clean out the toxicity, and take some time to work out how I can up-grade my blog too; it’s been two years I should be able to have learnt something by now.
I wish you all the very best and secure in the knowledge that you will all keep on with your good works; interesting, entertaining, captivating and challenging.
Give me a couple of months, there’s no way I could ever truly leave WP.
Presidents of the USA have a great deal written about them. If they did nothing, that would be naturally cause for volumes. If they managed to please everyone that would also be cause of much discussion and opinion. And the current president, well he’s a bit of an easy one isn’t he? All you need to do is to go on social media write ‘Trump’ followed by an emjoi, just sit back add the occasional different emjoi and your profile goes through the roof.
Now The US constitution does have written into its many words parts which limit the powers of a president and even the most experienced politician has to learn that all over again, so President Trump with an amateur’s background might have a lot of catching up to do.
But this is not a call-out for the more subtle and nuanced arts of politics; this is more basic, this matter is directly within the scope of not The President but Donald Trump the person.
This story relates to the tragedy at Sandy Hook and the unbelievable activities of the Conspiracy Creatures (folk I never gave ANY time to, now they have reached a Defcon 1 in my book).
I am not going to relate the activities in my own words because these will lapse into profanities, aspects which taken out of selective context could not read well, and a very long discourse on why an authoritarian state is a good idea; all of which would show a complete lack of balanced judgement and would eventually serve only to nullify my argument.
I give you the full horror
Sandy Hook to Trump: ‘Help us stop conspiracy theorists’
By Mike WendlingBBC Trending, Sandy Hook
It was one of the worst school shootings in American history, but some people insist that the Sandy Hook massacre never happened. They post YouTube videos and spread rumours online, and their false theories have been repeated by a media mogul conspiracy theorist who has been linked to Donald Trump. Now, after years of harassment, the families of the victims are fighting back online.
Lenny Pozner clicks on a YouTube video showing his street and the outside of his home. The camera zooms in on his balcony, and his address and a route to his door flash up on the screen.
There’s no narration on the video – but there doesn’t need to be. The message is clear: “We know where you live.”
Because of videos like this one – there are dozens on YouTube, and more appear ever day – Pozner doesn’t want to disclose the city where he now lives. He’s had death threats and has moved several times in recent years.
Lenny Pozner has been targeted because he’s fought back against trolls and conspiracy theorists who make sweeping and false allegations about the murder of his son.
“Noah was just a regular six-year-old child,” says Lenny. “I dropped him off that morning – it really was an ordinary day of getting the kids ready for school.
“Then an hour-and-a-half later it was just the worst nightmare. Worse than any nightmare I could have imagined.”
The nightmare began on 14 December 2012 when a young man named Adam Lanza killed his mother and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School. In a matter of minutes, he shot dead 20 children and six adults, before taking his own life.
Even in a country where mass shootings are common, Sandy Hook stood out. The pupils were so young, and there were so many of them. Hundreds were traumatised – and many still are – after witnessing the carnage and its aftermath.
And yet despite extensive investigations and a report which determined that Lanza acted alone, conspiracy theorists have constructed a fake alternate reality in which the whole thing was an elaborate hoax, staged by the government to try to introduce strict gun control laws.
They seize on small inconsistencies between initial news reports from the chaotic scene and the facts. The more extreme among them have targeted the families of Sandy Hook victims. There have been at least two arrests linked to the hoax theories. On Wednesday, a warrant was issued for a Florida woman who is accused of harassing Lenny Pozner.
“We’re a luckier family,” says Hannah D’Avino, whose sister Rachel was a behavioural therapist at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “I personally will get about like three death threats a year because we don’t speak up that much.”
On a sunny, late winter’s day in New England, Hannah sits in the stately Newtown Public Library, down the road from where her sister was murdered. She recalls her sister’s spirit, her profound positive influence on her life, and her work with autistic children.
Her voice is subdued, but quivers with quiet determination.
“My sister was murdered 11 days before Christmas and I consider myself lucky because I don’t have a stalker,” she tells me. “That’s the situation I’m in right now.”
Some of the conspiracy theorists are regular visitors to this small hamlet in suburban Connecticut. In addition to the death threats and harassment directed at Lenny, Hannah and others, they’ve made videos of the school and local area and ask questions of locals and family members, and have posted the footage on YouTube.
And their theories have been picked up one of America’s most popular conspiracy theorists, a man who has been linked with President Donald Trump.
The online storm has prompted Lenny to form a volunteer network to track and take down the conspiracy theory videos and websites.
And other Sandy Hook residents are pleading with President Trump, asking him to speak out and help stop the madness.
Wolfgang Halbig lives in a big yellow house in a sunny, lavishly landscaped gated community in Florida. He’s a retired school administrator and safety advisor, and he says that when he first heard news of the Sandy Hook shootings, he was sitting in a chair in his living room, drinking coffee.
“My hairs stood up,” he says. “Because they’re not protected in the elementary schools.”
Halbig donated money to the Sandy Hook families. But he soon became both obsessed with the tragedy – and, somehow, convinced that it never happened.
“I think 14 Dec 2012 is an event that was in planning for a long, long time,” he tells me. “I think it probably took them two, two-and-a-half years to write the scripts for all the participants that were invited to participate in that exercise – or drill as I will call it.”
Halbig has since devoted years of his life to “exposing” what he thinks is a government plot. He started a website. He’s revealed personal information about the victims of his attacks, including names, addresses, legal documents and financial information. And he’s personally travelled to Sandy Hook a number of times.
“I call it an illusion. The biggest government illusion that’s ever been pulled off by [the US Department of] Homeland Security.”
In his office, ghoulish blown-up pictures of the crime scene mingle with pictures of his family and his days as an American football player. His so-called evidence consists of a string of tiny details, small anomalies which are for the most part easily explained by the inchoate nature of a horrific breaking news event.
“I’ll be honest with you,” he says, “if I’m wrong, I need to be institutionalised.”
Conspiracy theories are a perennial feature of American life. But now they can be picked up by extremists and spread virally through social media. And that process has been fuelled by America’s deeply partisan political environment.
Hundreds of videos online are pushing false Sandy Hook narratives. Collectively, they have millions of views. Falsehoods are repeated by Twitter accounts and on Facebook.
Still, the theories might have stayed quarantined in some of the darker corners of the internet, were they not picked up and amplified by one of America’s most popular conspiracy theorists.
Alex Jones is a talk show host and the founder of the multimedia portal Infowars. Regular listeners and readers are used to his rants on everything from 9/11 to attacks across Europe. And on several broadcasts he embraced the Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists. Less than two years after the attacks, he welcomed Halbig on his programme and talked about an Infowars story headlined “FBI says no one killed at Sandy Hook“.
“Internet sleuths immediately took to the web to stitch together clues indicating the shooting could be a carefully-scripted false flag event, similar to the 9/11 terror attacks, the central tenet being that the event would be used to galvanize future support for gun control legislation,” the story stated.
He returned to the theme several months later on his radio show: “I’ve had the investigators on, the state police have gone public, you name it – the whole thing is a giant hoax. And the problem is, how do you deal with a total hoax? How do you even convince the public something’s a total hoax?”
Later he said: “Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there clearly but I thought they killed some real kids, and it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors.”
The liberal think tank Media Matters for America has listed other instances of Jones accusing the parents of murdered children being actors or casting doubt on the Sandy Hook investigation. Matt Gertz of Media Matters says that online and on air, Jones has an audience of about 8 million.
“It’s kind of remarkable, but believing that Sandy Hook was a hoax is actually fairly small ball for an Alex Jones conspiracy,” Gertz says. “He thinks that a set of global elites are planning to murder 80% of the world populace and enslave the rest of them. He has claimed that the federal government has a weather machine that they use to target tornado strikes on unfriendly populaces.
“He is sort of the nexus for what’s really a distributed network of conspiracy theorists who are on Facebook or on Twitter or using sites like Reddit or 4Chan or 8Chan.”
Jones, who did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, has also been linked to President Trump. In late 2015, Trump appeared on Jones’s radio programme. At the end of a half-hour interview, the candidate told the host: “I just want to finish by saying your reputation’s amazing. I will not let you down, you will be very very impressed I hope.
“And I think we’ll be speaking a lot… a year into office, you’ll be saying ‘Wow, I remember that interview, he said he was going to do it, and he did a great job.’ You’ll be very proud of our country.”
Trump has retweeted Infowars reporters and stories (for example here and here) and stories of dubious provenance that first appeared on the site have regularly shown up in Trump speeches and tweets.
To take just one example: in November 2016, Trump tweeted: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
Trump has not endorsed the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory, nor has he spoken about Jones’s claims that the massacre was a hoax. The White House did not respond to a number of requests for comment, including a series of questions about the relationship between the president and Jones.
Jones himself has tried to make the most of his connections to Trump. He claims the president called him shortly after winning the election and has spoken to him since, although the the New York Times reported that a Trump aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, “played down the frequency of their contact”.
Gertz, from Media Matters for America, says that there is evidence that Jones does talk with the president. But he cautions that both men have had a history of pushing conspiracy theories and presenting “alternative facts”.
“So trying to nail down for sure what their relationship is, based on the statements that they say about each other, is pretty dicey,” he says.
Less than two weeks after the 2016 presidential election, Jones posted a video which he declared was his “final statement” on Sandy Hook. In it, he claimed he had been unfairly treated by the media.
“I’ve always said I’m not sure what really happened, but there’s a lot of anomalies and there has been a cover-up of what did happen there,” he said.
“There is some evidence that people died there,” he said. “I don’t know what the truth is, all I know is the official story of Sandy Hook has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.”
He then played a montage of news clips and material from his Sandy Hook programmes over the years, including footage of Wolfgang Halbig. He did not include his “Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake with actors” quote. In signing off, he took another swipe at parents of murdered children who spoke to the media in the aftermath of the attacks.
“If children were lost in Sandy Hook, my heart goes out to each and every one of those parents and the people who say they’re parents that I see on the news. The only problem is, I’ve seen a lot of soap operas, and I’ve seen actors before, and I know when I’m watching a movie and when I’m watching something real. Let’s look into Sandy Hook.”
In front of his computer screen in his undisclosed location, Lenny Pozner is taking on the conspiracy theorists. He flicks through a YouTube page and points out a new video.
“Look – this was just posted,” he says. “It’s a hoaxer type video – it’s insulting, it has images of people who were connected to the tragedy.”
The thumbnail picture has a photo of his son Noah’s tombstone. There’s text on the picture which reads: “empty grave”. In the video, there’s a picture of Lenny himself.
“Here’s a photo of me taken two days after my child was killed and I’m being called a liar fraud and terrorist,” he says. “That’s how they vilify people.”
Lenny used to be a casual Infowars listener – he liked to listen to conspiracy theories as entertainment. That’s how he initially found out that his son’s murder was being denied by the conspiracy theorists.
At first he tried to engage with them through a Facebook group. But soon the mood among the hard-core hoaxers hardened.
“The only people that would come into the groups were trolls,” he says. “They were just coming in for their own amusement… after that I decided that the most important thing would be to start taking down content that’s spreading this information,” he says.
Every day, Lenny scrolls though reams of conspiracy minded content, complaining to social networks and attempting to get videos and posts taken down using network rules about copyright, decency and harassment.
After four years of pain, compounded by the harassers and the conspiracy mongers, people in Sandy Hook are tired – and some of them are asking the president to step in.
I meet Eric Paradis, a local Democratic Party official, in a bar down the road from Sandy Hook. One of Paradis’s daughters was at Sandy Hook Elementary on the day of the shooting – she survived.
Although Alex Jones has not been involved in the harassment of the families, Paradis says the president could use his influence to push Jones and the conspiracy theorists to the fringes, and help stop the harassment of Sandy Hook victims.
“The town committee wanted to put a letter together asking the president to denounce these hoaxers and tell them look… these are real children who died,” he says.
His letter is still under consideration by local officials. It reads:
“[Jones] continues to spread hate and lies towards our town, towards the people and organizations who came to help us through those darkest days. Jones repeatedly tells his listeners and viewers that he has your ears and your respect. He brags about how you called him after your victory in November. Emboldened by your victory, he continues to hurt the memories of those lost, the ability of those left behind to heal.”
The letter goes on to ask Trump to “intervene and stop Jones and others hoaxers like him”. Paradis says he and other Democrats tried to avoid making the letter about Trump’s larger political agenda.
“I really do think he can help us put a stop to it, because he does have a unique position with these hoaxers,” he says. “If he can help us out then that’s fantastic and a Democrat [like me] would be very grateful if he could.”
Lenny Pozner continues to take action against the trolls. He’s filed a lawsuit against Halbig, alleging invasion of privacy. Halbig is fighting the suit, which is just getting underway, and says that if he loses, he’ll check himself into a mental institution.
Lenny turns back to his computer, where he spots more conspiracy theory videos. So will he ever stop trying to fight the hoaxers?
He takes a deep breath and a long pause.
“I don’t know,” he says. “I would like not to have to do this. I would like to just leave it alone and feel the memory of my child is sacred and other people are also treating it that way,” he says, “but as long as they’re not – I feel I need to defend that memory.”
I would ask you to consider the parents. If President Trump does not about this then by that lack of action alone he is not worthy of the title.
I would ask citizens of the USA keep a very close watch on the activities of President Trump and let us know if he is mature and compassionate enough to distance himself from these creatures. And I would ask all WP folk to keep writing your own uplifting posts, share with the world and put an end to these creatures.
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