It is a sad day for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Before Alex Jones was able to profiteer from the Las Vegas tragedy that left 58 people dead and hundreds wounded, his massive incredulity issues kept him from promoting his “Deep State” conspiracy theory directly it had already been picked up by NewsWeek as a story of the crumbling support for Jones within his own media machine, InfoWars.com.
Of course, as Jones is constantly predicting a violent uprising is imminent, his YouTube page claims that he, in fact, predicted the Las Vegas attack.
… but this story isn’t about Alex Jones using bloodshed to hock survivalist gear. With Alex Jones the man repeatedly claiming that Alex Jones the conspiracy theorist as a “character” that is being played in the failed attempt to maintain custody and visitation rights with his children, his voice has been surpassed by the swelling mass of former (and current) InfoWars.com followers that have taken to social media … this time largely separate from Jones and InfoWars.
Though Jones and his protégé, Paul Joseph Watson, are not absent from this latest round of fear mongering they are overshadowed by a slew of independent and smaller named conjecturists who use social media posts, memes and selective video clips to suggest through the use of tiny snippets and whataboutism to promote the appearance that, and I quote “There is Something Fishy about the Official Story.”
The once flourishing conspiracy theory empire of InfoWars has at least started to show that it may not be able to fully control the conspiracy theory narrative better than countless independent conjecturing people may be able to consistently produce straw man arguments and inconsistencies in the current knowledge of the case and thus “Expose the ‘Official Story’ as a Fraud” (mind you, this “official story” people are complaining about is still less than 48 hours old at this point and not at all thoroughly investigated).
Unlike Alex Jones, the tens of thousands of independent people suspicious of the “official story” are met with nearly constant push-back from their friends and family. Still, they persist.
This massive event, with mass casualties, first captivated and concerned the American public. As is normally the case, a brief period of lag time is followed by a portion of the public beginning to sift through any and all available material, video, police statements, looking for potential discrepancies …
and they find them. Those little discrepancies feed the preconceived notion that the official story, regardless of what that story is, must be a lie.
Here is where the Backfire Effect comes into play. The people who are “just asking questions” or posting conspiracy memes are not coyly prodding at the dominant narrative to attempt to get to a greater truth. There is a deeply held belief, just under the surface, a belief that not just this story, but everything that the “mainstream media” (or MSM for those in the know) and the “powers that be” (or PTB if you will) are always lying all the time and that is due to the fact that the truth is so devious and disgusting it would drive the average person mad if they knew.
The image posted above is another component to this story. Websites posting stories about the Las Vegas Shooter were timestamped on September 29th, 2017 … a few days before the massacre occurred. Here is what you get with a Google Search of the shooter’s name for the dates 9/28/17-9/30/17.
This is something conspiracy theorist commonly search for now, on Google, to show that the “official story” is false. The assumption that is made is that the date stamps are accurate, but for an effective explanation for why that is not always the case, Metabunk.org has provided some helpful information. I intentionally changed the date of this blog as an illustration.
Again, trying to say that this one bit of “evidence” is invalid does not change the way someone thinks. For every person in their social network who disagrees, there is certainly at least one (if not several more) who agree and are willing to defend the belief that “something’s fishy” and assert that anyone who believes the MSM and the PTB are all just Sheeple. The short list of acronyms and mocking names for unbelievers, are the hallmarks of a consolidated (or consolidating) group identity. They may call the uninitiated “sheeple” but they are used to regularly being called “conspiracy theorists” or “crackpots” and such negative interactions have led to a sense of community among fellow believers in conspiracy theories (even if they disagree on the who, what, and why).
The Las Vegas Massacre conspiracy theories will be placed into a further Meta-Conspiracy Theory. Since individual conspiracy theorists don’t have to agree about the secrets, only that there are secrets being hidden, they can coalesce around a set of lose meta-conspiracy beliefs.
I. Something is Going on – A secret plot or plan is being hatched by unknown powerful elite entities and it the plan is ongoing.
II. (Nearly) Everything is Part of the Conspiracy – Every, or nearly every, event or aspect of modern life is either a part of the plot, a lie to cover up the plot, or the bread and circus to keep people from questioning the plot.
III. Qui Bono? – If you want to know who is behind the conspiracy you have to look to who benefits, except (but sometimes including) those who agree with the belief that a conspiracy exists.
… which leads to …
IV. Woke Warriors – Those who are “in the know” are called to action, either in the passive sense through the promotion of that occult knowledge the elites “don’t want you to know” or in an active sense (which might mean anything from voting your anti-establishment conscience or a violent resistance and insurrection).
The difference between active and passive “woke warriors” is an area that has been thoroughly investigated, whether they be sovereign citizen cop-killers, domestic terrorists, or the electorate who were once described by Richard Hofstadter in his 1964 article on the Paranoid Style of American Politics. I point out Hofstadter to end on the following unsettling note: Hofstadter was writing about America and, at least in his view, all Americans are potentially susceptible (and historically our entire politic was completely encapsulated in) a very real, and very volatile paranoia.