Category: Conspiracist Psychology

Michael Savage: Obama Will Commit Anti-White Genocide, Just As The Mayans Prophesied

by Brian Tashman (Rightwingwatch.org)

Conservative talk radio host Michael Savage is positively convinced that President Obama is inciting an anti-white race war, and now he has definitive proof: An elderly Mayan woman prophesied it, maybe.

On yesterday’s edition of “The Savage Nation,” Savage said he felt the need to tell his audience about this prophecy, which he said he read about in an email, because of “the hatred towards white people that is being fanned primarily from inside of the American administration.”

“They interviewed an ancient, an old Mayan woman who said she had a dream and she said, ‘I see the future and in the future we will be missing our white brothers,’” Savage said. “That was chilling, that was a shocking, chilling statement. I don’t want to dwell on that too much but the fact of the matter is that unless something drastic is done quickly, how does this all end? How does this end when you have an administration that is siding with terrorists in the case of the PLO, are siding with the burners and the destroyers in Ferguson or in Baltimore, tell me how this ends?”

– See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/michael-savage-obama-will-commit-anti-white-genocide-just-mayans-prophesied#sthash.QWUVpGhf.dpuf

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Wing-nut conspiracy theorists have done it again: The truth about the Planned Parenthood hoax revealed

Probes into alleged for-profit organ harvesting have turned up exactly nothing. So why won’t the right take a hint?

Salon.com


Wing-nut conspiracy theorists have done it again: The truth about the Planned Parenthood hoax revealed
A still from the video “Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts” (Credit: YouTube/The Center for Medical Progress)

If you’ve been keeping score at home, you’ll have noticed that not one but two states, including a red state with a paleoconservative governor, have in the past several days exonerated Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the so-called secret-video sting that has conservatives calling on Congress to defund the non-profit organization. The appropriate response to this news is, “Of course! Because Planned Parenthood is absolutely not selling fetus parts via some sort of grisly underground marketplace.” For many, especially on the right, no amount of fact-checking will ever be enough. But for the sake of the public record, let’s review those exonerating reports again here.

Last week, Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey became the latest in what’s sure to be a long list of state attorneys general to conclude the same thing. Specifically, Healy concluded,

“Over the past week, my office has conducted a thorough review and found that Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ health care centers are fully compliant with state and federal laws regarding the disposition of fetal tissue. Although donation of fetal tissue is permissible under state and federal law, PPLM does not have a tissue donation program. There is no evidence that PPLM is involved in any way in the buying or selling of tissue. As such, our review is complete.”

Sure, Massachusetts is a leftward-leaning state, but Indiana is very much not. Back on July 16, Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., launched an investigation of Planned Parenthood following the release of what was obviously a doctored and misleading video. The probe focused on facilities in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Merrillville, and this past week the Indiana Department of Health reported it was “unable to find any non-compliance with state regulations. Therefore, no deficiencies were cited.”

Because of course.

But it’s good to know that small government conservatives — conservatives who routinely frown upon wasteful government spending — have successfully prompted frivolous investigations in 12 states, including deeply red ones, all based on obviously fraudulent videos. All in all, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana are in the process of or have concluded completely unnecessary investigations. Meanwhile, at the federal level, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is conducting its own inquest.

Perhaps, if it were being ideologically consistent, Fox News Channel might conduct an investigation to determine the combined price tag for all of these baseless inquiries. Given how Planned Parenthood clearly isn’t doing what these videos claim, the GOP might as well launch investigations into Keyboard Cat to determine whether it’s really playing that annoying song. That’s exactly how farcical this has become.

Indeed, the rapid descent of modern conservatism into a netherworld of conspiracy theories and hocus-pocus gimmickry is nearly complete. This is a political demographic that includes people who think the California drought is God’s punishment for abortion and that same-sex marriage created Hurricane Sandy, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that too many conservatives completely accept the veracity of an explicitly falsified video. (Meanwhile, the 97 percent scientific consensus on the climate crisis is a hoax.) This willingness to believe in ridiculousness while rejecting objective reality is growing increasingly self-satirical.

Objective reality includes the following facts:

• Planned Parenthood is not selling fetus parts for profit or otherwise.

• Only three percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities involve abortions.

• Per the Hyde Amendment, no federal funds can be used for abortions. And there’s no evidence that Planned Parenthood has done so.

• Consequently, de-funding Planned Parenthood would put into jeopardy its ability tosave lives and, germane to this issue, prevent abortions. The Washington Post editorial board concluded:

“No federal money is used by Planned Parenthood to provide abortions except in some rare exceptions. So cutting off government funds, mostly through Medicaid and grants, would only hurt the thousands of people, most of them low-income women, who each day depend upon Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and other health services. Given that many of the clinics are in medically underserved areas, it’s a myth, as Republicans claim, that other providers can fill the gap. Shutting down clinics would make it harder for many women to obtain birth control — and the last thing either side of the abortion debate should want is an increase in unwanted pregnancies that result in more abortions.”

• Along those lines, in 2013 and 2014, 3,577,348 patients were provided with birth control services by Planned Parenthood. That’s upwards of 3.5 million potential abortions prevented. What happens when these services disappear? Maybe the press should quiz anti-choice Republicans about this one.

• Additionally, Planned Parenthood would lose the ability to conduct breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings — hundreds of thousands per year. It’d also lose the ability to perform thousands of vasectomies every year. How many unwanted pregnancies will result from the loss of this particular option?

• Journalist Nicholas Kristof reported that Planned Parenthood and other family planning facilities “prevent about one million unintended pregnancies a year, of which 345,000 would have ended in abortion.” This according to the nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute. Again, why do Republicans want to create circumstances that’d produce an additional million unintended pregnancies and a third-of-a-million abortions every year?

• If women who visit Planned Parenthood are forbidden from donating fetal tissue to biomedical labs, that tissue will be tossed in the waste bin. Republicans appear to prefer this option for some reason. Meanwhile, eliminating the legal tissue donation program would put a damper on research into preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

• Here’s a salient fact. When fetal tissue research was authorized by the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, how many Republicans voted against that law? Exactly four. The other 41 Republicans voted “yea.” This, among other things, highlights how sensible Republicans were in 1993 compared to the lunatics running the show today.

But, okay, I get it. It’s much easier to lapse into a satisfying outrage coma over a stupid video than to accept the clear and incontrovertible reality that Planned Parenthood and similar organizations save lives and prevent abortions — millions more lives saved than abortions performed. The Republican Party and the Tea Party conservatives who’ve commandeered it believe, and perhaps rightfully so, that its most active supporters are quite simply gullible knuckleheads who will gladly accept without question anything they’re told, while also categorically rejecting anything that doesn’t conform to the fantasies they’ve rubber-stamped.

This sting video, as well as its several sequels, are provably mendacious, and yet no one on the right seems to have any issue with wasting taxpayer money to find out for sure. Nor are they concerned about the serious repercussions of shutting down Planned Parenthood. If they were truly “pro-life,” they should be.

I Blew My Top

When the Jade Helm 15 Facebook pages started popping up, I started feeling my blood boil. Texans, people who believe in the military, and all those most (self-proclaimed) patriots were suggesting that an all scale takeover (or at least a ‘false flag’) would be conducted by joint forces of the U.S. Military, I couldn’t help but want to yell “Bullshit” at the top of my lungs. To think that these people who continually shouted blind obeisance be the law of the land from September 11, 2001 until the day Barack Obama took office were now accusing every active duty military man and woman of murder, conspiracy and/or plotting a crime against humanity was a shock. No less, the shock that they did so with no hint of acknowledging the irony.

Funny, many a 9/11-Truther was just that out of fear of government, but many were simply left-leaning liberals and anti-war types who found the Bush Administration all too prepared to go to war with Iraq and somehow use 9/11 as a reason. As 2008 drew to a close, I have to believe that the anti-government folks remained anti-government but more left-leaning 9/11-truthers had to chose between “Hope” (Obama’s slogan) and the fatalism that tandem wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had on the American culture at large. I chose ‘Hope’ in a very tenuous way, convinced that Obama was the closest thing to hope America could get. But even then, the wars didn’t end quick enough for me; and I am guessing that they didn’t end quickly enough for the rest of the 9/11-Truth Movement. Regardless of how an individual made it into becoming a ‘Truther’ there is little denying that they were likely to end up as a Tea Partier, or perhaps a radical left member of the Occupy Movement, or perhaps a psuedo-survivalist Prepper (engaged in preparation for various hypothetical Armageddons). With many within these camps, the ‘Left’ and the ‘Right’ were really one unified group known as the ‘Powers that Be’ (PTB) and most of the wrangling is all a show for the plebeian masses.

I opted out of said movements, none of which I was ever really an active participant in, though I kept the faith (and it was a type of faith) that 9/11 was an inside job (or something to that effect, depending on how comfortable I was with whom I was conversing at the time). I sought a degree in the Social Sciences and became fascinated with Social Psychology, groupthink, the concept of Confirmation Bias and Contagion Theory as it pertains to social networks. It was well over a year into my graduate degree before I applied a bit of Social Psychological analysis on myself. I was a poor, lower middle class kid in a Rust Belt state whose father was drafted during the Vietnam War and who was always told to avoid the military (by my dad, mind you). I was raised by a staunch Democrat and actually heard her, my Grandmother, insisting that the first Iraq War was more a political boondoggle than a legitimate and necessary political conflict. I grew up in America in an era of increasingly inflammatory political rhetoric and passed the time with my father watching Alien abduction dramas and reading about JFK assassination conspiracy theories. Essentially, I was primed to believe that 9/11 was an inside job since at least as far back as Operation Desert Storm.

Oh, the realization that a deeply held, and cherished, worldview was only a matter of social location and conditioning is hard in any case. In my case, I fought it. I did not want to accept that actual terrorists took down the Twin Towers. George W. Bush had nothing to do with it! Not even Cheney? What about Building 7? Even the structural insecurity of the towers and the discrepancy between the melting point of steel and the burning temperature of jet fuel, which seemed so thoroughly evident to the case for ‘Truth’ proved to be irrelevant. The Global Conspiracy that simply had to consist of the President, his cabinet, the Saudi King, Norad, several hundred military personnel, staff writers at New York Times, Associated Press, Scientific American, and all other major news agencies as well as every physicist and engineer in the world finally, effectively, ceased to exist for me.

Belief lost is mourned, no matter how counterproductive or damaging the belief may be.

Like a phoenix, however, the thirst for greater truth as to why conspiracy theories are so prevalent grew within me out of the ashes of my faith in the 9/11 ‘false flag’ and has led me to study the various causes (and effects) of conspiracist ideation (a fancy way of saying how people come to dogmatically believe in conspiracies).

It was with this background that I came across a post in a Jade Helm 15 related Facebook group that infuriated me. It was not related to Jade Helm 15 but, rather, to the Lafayette Louisiana movie theater shooting that occurred on July, 23rd and claimed that it was a false flag operation. As proof, the individual posted a link from the website Beforeitsnews that claimed that ‘crisis actors’ played eye-witnesses and concerned citizens. I won’t post the comments, or the Beforeitsnews article, but I will post my infuriated response below. After reading the article and seeing the ‘evidence’ it included (which consisted of looking up the Linkedin profiles of the eye-witnesses and quoting some considerably inflated sounding resume content to show that all of them were actors, media experts, major players in the oil industry, etc.) I felt compelled to vent.

After I deleted about 100% of what I first wrote (which isn’t fit to post here), I rewrote my response from the heart, and with significantly less profanity.

I wish I could pretend that this was all just harmless conjecture, but I know it is not. I was once like you, certain that the PTB were so vile that they were capable of anything. You think you are ‘awake’ but you are really just sheep wearing a different coat. I know, of course, because I was certain that I was ‘awake’ until I look back to find that all my worst suspicions either never happened or were the result of gross incompetence (the real ‘hidden hand’ is stupidity, it turns out). You may want to believe that every shooting is a false flag and every victim a crisis actor. Just because you don’t want to believe that people shoot up theaters (churches, schools, workplaces, or their own homes) does not mean that it had to be a false flag. Sorry. Call me a sheeple, call me an idiot, but I refuse to pretend that you aren’t dangerous misled people. I say this, so that when Jade Helm 15 ends and none of your fears come to fruition, I hope that some of you (even just a few) reevaluate why you were so convinced that the Illuminati (which apparently consists of every who is active duty military) is out to get you. Ask yourself why you thought those little stickers on your mailbox was code for FEMA camp pick-ups and detainment or death. Ask yourself why you believe what you do, and ask yourself if it does you any good, or if you are simply in a constant state of fear due to the constant change of culture and society. False flags have happened, sure. Governments, consisting of well meaning people or total self-serving idiots, will always screw over someone even as they may help others (but that is not guaranteed). Next time (and yes this type of freak-out will happen again), after JH 15 ends up being nothing more than a military exercise, ask yourself you are really ‘awake’ or just responding to the fear, the feeling of hopelessness due to the changing political climate, or just the need to make sense of a world that seems to make no sense. I know what your immediate response will be, what I hope is that you will consider this an invitation to rethink, pray, or meditate on this issue and why calling victims and witnesses to crimes ‘crisis actors’ may be the worst thing anyone can do in a tragedy. If you believe in justice, go straight to the people on the ground, wherever the crisis is happening and help them (maybe those ‘crisis actors’ are really just people, in a crisis). If you can’t be bothered to help another human being then your non-action is worse than any actions from the powers that be and you are complicit, whether you are prepping for some scary Illuminati FEMA bogeyman to come take your guns or just hate the President. Practice kindness, charity and compassion to all you meet, or admit that you are part of the problem.

I clicked send, knowing that if it were me reading my own post only a few years ago, I would have disagreed completely. Since then, my worldview has changed and it continues to change as the world does as Heraclitus warned that it would. I can’t really be mad at conspiracists, it wouldn’t be right. I can hope that they take my words, and try to consider them. Seek compassion rather than an ever-increasingly labyrinthine blame-game. Regardless of what anyone else chooses, I have made my choice.

Theater gunman known as angry man with radical views

For decades before he opened fire in a Louisiana movie theater and killed two people, John Russell Houser was known as a man prone to anger, a loudmouth provocateur never afraid to share his opinion.

His family said they feared him so much they hid his guns and had him hospitalized. A local TV host frequently invited him as a guest, knowing he’d be a lightning rod who could light up the phone lines with rants against abortion and working women. In one prominent fight with local officials, he unfurled a 6-foot-by-6-foot banner outside his west Georgia bar picturing a swastika encircled by the words, “Welcome to LaGrange.”

“He was the kind of guy who would say, ‘I’m going to get you,’ but then again you get that a lot in local politics,” said Jeff Hardin, former mayor of Phenix City, Alabama. For years, Houser lived and worked there and neighboring Columbus, Georgia.

In the early ’90s, he was a regular guest on a local call-in television show where he’d be the conservative Republican pitted against a Democrat to debate issues. The host, Calvin Floyd, said Houser had radical opinions that included advocating violence against abortion providers, keeping women out of the workplace and fearing a military takeover of civilian government.

“He made a lot of wild accusations,” said Floyd, who hosted the show on WLTZ-TV in Columbus for more than two decades. “He could make the phones ring.”

Yet Houser had a dark side that went way beyond talk. In 1989, court records say, he was accused of hiring someone to burn down a Columbus lawyer’s law office. A woman and her father say he virtually destroyed a foreclosed home he was being evicted from in 2014 after they bought it. His wife and other relatives filed papers accusing him of domestic violence in 2008.

In Lafayette, Louisiana, police said Houser stood up during a showing of the movie “Trainwreck” Thursday night and started shooting without a word. Two people were killed and nine were injured; authorities said Houser shot himself to death as officers pursued him in the theater.

“I wasn’t a bit shocked that it happened,” Floyd said. “As many times as I had him on it was obvious he had a screw loose.”

The church-going son of a longtime city tax official in Columbus, Houser received an accounting degree from Columbus State University in Columbus in 1988. Despite later problems, records do not indicate he was ever suspended or expelled, said a school statement.

Pat Gregory, a spokesman for Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, said Houser enrolled in the college’s then-unaccredited Jones School of Law in fall 1994 and graduated in spring 1998, but the Alabama State Bar said Houser never applied to take the bar exam.

Houser posted on an online career website that he was an entrepreneur who owned and operated two nightclubs in Columbus and LaGrange, Georgia, in the 1980s and 1990s. But his stint as a club operator ended sourly when he was accused of selling alcohol to minors at Rusty’s Buckhead Pub in LaGrange.

In April 2001, the LaGrange mayor and city council voted to revoke all of Houser’s alcoholic beverage pouring licenses based on five convictions of selling alcohol to minors in the span of a year from 1999 to 2000, according to a court filing. Houser appealed that decision to Troup County Superior Court, which found that the mayor and council had acted correctly.

Houser put up the swastika banner in protest, according to an April 28, 2001, story in the LaGrange Daily News.

He told the newspaper he was “completely against” the Nazi philosophy but chose the symbol because it represents a government’s ability to do what it wants.

“The people who used it — the Nazis — they did what they damn well pleased,” Houser told the newspaper, accusing police officers of lying on the stand during his trial.

It was not the last time he’d invoke that type of imagery, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said he’d been on the group’s radar since 2005.

Last January, he wrote on one online forum: “Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism.”

He also posted on a forum dedicated to the New York chapter of Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right neo-Nazi political party.

In April 2008, Houser’s wife, Kellie, his daughter and others filed court papers seeking a temporary protective order against Houser, saying he had “perpetrated various acts of family violence” and had a history of manic depression and bi-polar disorder.

At the time, records show, Houser was vehemently opposed to the upcoming marriage of his daughter. A judge had Houser committed, but the man told his wife he would continue trying to stop the wedding and his “threatening behavior” once he got out of the hospital.

A police report included with the request for a protective order said Houser believed his daughter and her fiance, who were 23 and 26 at the time, were far too young to wed and that he was mad at his wife for not stopping the marriage.

“Kellie told me that she removed all of the guns from their house in Phenix City … and he should not have one unless he obtained it illegally. She said he has made the statements that this wedding will not happen, although he has not overtly threatened anyone,” the report says.

Last year, Houser was evicted from his Phenix City home but later returned and caused some damage, including pouring concrete in plumbing pipes and tampering with a gas line, said Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor.

Norman Bone, 77, had bought the house out of foreclosure for his daughter, Beth Bone. Houser, angry he was being evicted, left it behind completely uninhabitable, they told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer newspaper. Comforters were torn, with feathers scattered all over the home; human waste was left in buckets; cut-up goldfish were strewn about the pool and the house. Even the fuse box was cemented shut.

By this spring, relatives had lost touch with Houser. In a divorce filing on March 24, Kellie Houser said she didn’t know where her husband was.

The estranged wife was unsure where her husband had been living since they split. The wife accused John Houser of lashing out as she tried arranging a divorce, and accused her estranged husband of trying to get money from his mother by threatening suicide.

Kellie Houser said her long-gone husband called her as she left work on March 30 and asked for her address. She had recently filed for divorce and needed to contact him.

“He told me if I wanted to play games with him I’d better watch out because he always wins,” Kellie Houser wrote in a court filing. He asked that any legal paperwork be sent to his mother. But Houser’s mother told Kellie Houser that she had not seen her son in years, and that security at her retirement home had forbidden her son from entering or approaching her.

Police characterized him after the shooting as a drifter who hadn’t spent much time in Lafayette. He had been living at least briefly out of a Motel 6; investigators found wigs and disguises in that room and said he tried to blend in with the fleeing crowd to escape the theater before running back inside when he saw officers in front of him. As police made their way in, they heard a single gunshot. Houser lay dead when they entered.

Associated Press

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Jade Helm 15 Began Today and Nothing Happened.

The biggest news story on the alternative news media thus far has been the “massive” service outages for internet and cellphone providers. Some service issue maps are totaling in the thousands (which is standard for most cable, internet and cellphone services).

The real news is coming from Facebook, as hundreds of Jade Helm 15 ‘Preppers’ and ‘Watchdogs’ report their various “all good” messages throughout the south.

FB Jade Helm 0FB Jade Helm 1FB Jade Helm 2Just like the ‘prophecy from planet Clarion’ that a flood would wipe out much of America and whose believers became the subject of the book When Prophecy Fails, the Jade Helm 15 conspiracists are just now seeing the disconfirmation of their worst fears unfold. Much like the 1954 prophecy, the believers’ certainty of a future cataclysm was met with the realization that there was no flood to come; well, there is no Jade Helm 15 Martial Law bogeyman and no Emperor Obama at the helm. The fear of a generally pro-Military South that that very same U.S. Military would round up the patriots in F.E.M.A. camps has been reused and regurgitated since Behold a Pale Horse was first published in 1990 (and even before) but has never come to light, no matter who was in office. As it was with the UFO cult, the reaction from Jade Helm preppers will likely be a re-commitment to the faith and an assertion that the very act of doggedly watching the U.S. Military actually prevented the enacting of an unjust martial law rather than admitting that their fears were unfounded and accepting that they were unable to separate ideology and reality when discerning whether a military exercise was an actual threat.

As the day progressed, of course, the same fearful rhetoric resurfaced. Preppers reminded one another that this was a long military ‘drill’ (their quotes) and frequent re-posting of the supposed power outages kept Facebook’s Jade Helm 15 Watchdogs alight with concern.  YouTube videos showing military personnel running drills and insinuating that what they were recording was somehow ‘something more’ were frequent for weeks and followed the same pattern of ‘concerned citizens’ filming transport trains transporting bulk military hardware. The fear is real (I think) but the threat is nothing more than the realization that Americans live in a country with a hyperactive Military Industrial Complex. Suddenly, this is a major concern to many who, once, thought nothing wrong with the concept of arming and equipping the U.S. Military with anything and everything it needs. Now that the need includes extensive training on a friendly practice area, it seems the very friends of the Military aren’t entirely comfortable with their heavily armed neighbors playing war games.

Six head-scratching Jade Helm conspiracy theories

Re-post of the Army Times Article.

Written by Kyle Jahner

Jade Helm 15, the multi-state, two-month U.S. Army Special Operations Command training exercise, began today, but the conspiracy theories surrounding it have collectively become a story unto themselves — with wild theories to include FEMA death domes and ice-cream-truck morgues.

The Army calls Jade Helm a standard training operation for unconventional warfare. But some have “connected the dots,” and the military’s true motives remain unstated: to either engage in an occupation or at least prepare for war within the U.S.

Whether you have concerns about Jade Helm or simply find the theories and ensuing furor and paranoia entertaining, below are the most striking theories. Meanwhile, skeptoid.com has a primer for anyone looking for more benign explanations to the alleged evidence of nefarious plotting — for those unworried about being labeled “sheeple” by conspiracy theorists.

FEMA Death Domes:

 

Some have alleged that new dome-shaped facilities are being built by FEMA for the purpose of detaining insurrectionists. While the Associated Press has written about the shelters, Jade Helm conspiracy theorists have latched onto FEMA Death Domes. Though purportedly hurricane and storm shelters that can protect a large number of people (and in cases provide community facilities like gymnasiums), conspiracy theorists argue that walls designed to withstand hurricanes and tornados make great prisons, and have linked them to Jade Helm.

Blue Bell Ice Cream trucks: If you are going to start a war, you need a place to put the bodies, right? Some conspiracy theorists believe Blue Bell Ice Cream trucks could serve as mobile morgues. While none of the conspirators at Blue Bell balked at the idea and publicized the plot, sleuths found evidence: film of about a dozen Blue Bell trucks traveling on the same highway as a military convoy, apparently I-25 in Colorado.

Blue Bell closed it’s Denver-area distribution center near I-25 in May, the same month as the video was posted. Fort Carson sits about 75 miles down I-25 from Denver. The company has said the convoy convergence was a coincidence. Blue Bell has been reeling from a recall and production shut-down following discovery of listeria monocytogenes in its ice cream. Multiple deaths in recent years have been linked to the outbreak. Still, a conspiracy-minded site called the company’s first-ever recallsuspicious and the trucks’ proximity to a military convoy “creepy” while also linking the company to the Bush family and defense contracts, but admitted it couldn’t verify whether the trucks were preparing to be mobile morgues or merely transporting food or just the trucks themselves from a closing facility.

Walmart: Always Low Prices … on bases for martial law: The world’s largest retailer has become an essential element to any Jade Helm conspiracy site. A handful of Walmarts — two in Texas and one each in Florida, California and Oklahoma — suddenly closed in April for six months, with the company saying they needed to make plumbing repairs. There are actually two groups with conspiracy theories, which note that city officials in the cities said Walmart wasn’t filing for permits for repairs, according to a Florida ABC affiliate. One group expressing doubt is organized labor: some of the closings were allegedly punitive and retaliatory measures against workers agitating for better wages and rights, something they’ve been convicted of doing in Canada.

But Jade Helm theorists remain unsatisfied with either explanation of the closing of five out of more than 4,000 U.S. stores. (In addition, they cite razor wire protecting the roof of an abandoned Walmart in Cincinnati, though some noted it is in a high crime area and that copper and HVAC equipment would be a target for thieves.) Jade Helm theorists say the military plans to enact martial law and use the stores as processing locations or possibly to control the food supply in poorer areas. A theory also involves China using the sites as command centers, as it allegedly tries to replace the dollar as the global currency with its own and disarm Americans during a hostile takeover of the nation.

Asteroid strikes: Armageddon predictions are nearly as old as humanity, and while the world won’t exist forever, doomsday prognosticators are still batting .000 despite many hearty swings. But they’re nothing if not persistent, and now some believe that Jade Helm is preparation for an asteroid strike that will wipe out life on earth. (To be fair, sending Bruce Willis to land on it and drill a hole for a bomb wouldn’t be much more useful.)

The theory goes that eventually the world-ender will be discovered by the population as the asteroid nears, and the military will be used to corral the anarchy, possibly to force people to do what it thinks needs to be done to save humanity, or else just to make the last few weeks on earth less “Lord of the Flies” and more “North Korea.”

Russia to rescue independence-seeking Texans: Recently the incoming Joint Chiefs chairman called Russia the biggest threat to the U.S. Meanwhile, some Jade Helm theorists suggest Russia is coming to arm rebels in Texas in response to the U.S. arming of rebels in Ukraine and other countries in Russia’s backyard. In fact, some say Russia has already infiltrated the U.S. to help prepare for the civil war.

An alternative to this theory is that the U.S. is pretending Russia is arming an American rebellion in order to justify a declaration of martial law. Apparently the U.S. government is using the conspiracy websites to initiate the spreading of the lie that Russia is trying to start a civil war in Texas, all as a part of a false flag operation.

And another angle says Russia is in a secret allegiance with President Barack Obama. This one suggests that foreign troops will actually run the FEMA camps imprisoning dissidents, a theory complete with a Russian invasion.

Speaking of Obama: A number of online voices have cast doubt on the idea that there will ever be a 2016 election. They say Obama simply will impose martial law and become a tyrant … using a military that largely disapproves of his overall performance as Commander and Chief.

Jade Helm Not Martial Law

From Factcheck

Q: Is Jade Helm 15 a government attempt to create martial law in the U.S.?
A: No. It’s a joint military training exercise lasting two months this summer.

 

FULL QUESTION

What is Jade Helm and are we facing martial law as is suggested on many news outlets?

FULL ANSWER

In July, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command will begin an expansive military training exercise across several southwestern states. It is not, as some have claimed, the latest covert government attempt to introduce martial law.

Jade Helm 15, as the exercise is called, is an eight-week training program with members of the Green Berets, Navy SEALS and other special operations forces. The USASOC, in a statement, said it “periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies.” But the size and scope of the operation, USASOC says, makes it different from other exercises.

Training will take place on private and public land throughout Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. Accordingly, USASOC says it obtained permission from private landowners and state and local authorities to conduct the drills.

“The most noticeable effect the exercise may have on the local communities is an increase in vehicle and military air traffic and its associated noise,” the USASOC statement said.

However, some aren’t buying the military’s explanation for the exercise.

“These are not ‘training exercises’ for soldiers to be deployed in the defense of America, as we are told, but a training exercise for the potential of Martial Law,” says a post on the website of Oath Keepers, a group of current and former military members, police and first responders. Founded by Stewart Rhodes, who says he served as an aide to former Rep. Ron Paul, Oath Keepers pledges to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Infowars.com, a conspiracy website run by libertarian radio host and author Alex Jones, initially ran a story on March 22 with the headline: “Feds Preparing to Invade Texas, List State as ‘Hostile.’ ” The item went on to claim that a “newly released military document” detailed the Army’s “plan to wage war on the American people.”

Even celebrity Chuck Norris, in an opinion piece for the conservative WorldNetDaily website, suggested there may be more to the training exercise than officials claimed. “It’s neither over-reactionary nor conspiratorial to call into question or ask for transparency about Jade Helm 15 or any other government activity,” he wrote.

But the government isn’t invading Texas or waging a war on Americans. And the retail giant Wal-Mart isn’t involved either, as some conspiracy theories suggest.

‘Hostile’ States

Much of the suspicion of the exercise stems from a USASOC document pertaining to Texas that explained the reasons for Jade Helm 15 and asked permission from local authorities to move forward with the training. The document highlighted Texas, Utah and a small portion of southern California in red and labeled them “hostile” areas.USASOC_mapRepublican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert issued a statement saying that he was “appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority.” He added that he “can understand” concerns that “the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law.”

It’s true that Texas and Utah have Republican governors and Republican-controlled legislatures. But so do Arizona and Nevada, and neither state is listed as “hostile.” Arizona is listed as “uncertain” but “leaning friendly,” and Nevada is listed as “permissive.”

The “hostile” labels aren’t to be taken seriously, anyway. They’re part of a “fictional” exercise, says USASOC. Here’s what a USASOC spokesman told Fox 13 News in Salt Lake City:

Fox 13, May 5: What is the context for Utah’s “hostile” label on the map that has been publicly distributed?

Special Ops Command: The “hostile” label was part of the exercise design. It is fictional and is not intended to represent any belief that the state of Utah is hostile.

Other Texas Republicans accept that and have attempted to put residents at ease.

In a statement, Rep. Kay Granger, who represents the 12th Congressional District, called rumors of martial law being declared in Texas “entirely false.”

Granger, April 30: I know there has been some concern expressed by Texans because the upcoming training missions cite several states, including Texas, as “hostile” territory for the purpose of these training exercises. This is not an official designation and is solely for the purpose of the training exercise. The designation has led some to believe the incursion of martial law will be enforced on the citizens of Texas. I want you to know that these rumors are entirely false.

Rep. Ted Poe of the 2nd Congressional District took his message to Facebook. “The labels ‘hostile,’ ‘friendly’ and ‘neutral’ are standard protocol in most domestic military exercises and help the military participants plan their missions in complex scenarios,” he wrote.

Even Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has now said, according to the Austin American-Statesman, that he has “

That was after Abbott, responding to growing public concern, directed the Texas State Guardto monitor the training exercise so that Texans would know that their “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

He told the paper: “

No Wal-Mart Connection

Wild claims that Wal-Mart recently closed five stores nationwide, including two in Texas, to assist in the alleged government takeover are also baseless.

All News Pipeline advanced the theory that the stores would serve as “food distribution centers” and “the headquarters of invading troops from China, here to disarm Americans one by one.” Also, Before It’s News speculated that the government had built a network of tunnels beneath the closed stores. Never mind that two of the store closings were in Oklahoma and Florida, where Jade Helm 15 trainings are not scheduled to take place.

Wal-Mart, in a statement to TPM, said “there’s no truth to the rumors.”

 Martial, Martial, Martial

This isn’t the first time we’ve addressed unfounded claims of martial law in the U.S.

In September 2012, we wrote about the false claim that President Obama had signed 900 executives orders, including one declaring martial law. That rumor was actually advanced by Rep. Kay Granger, who later retracted many of the claims she had made about the “National Defense Resources Preparedness” order that Obama had signed. Like presidents before him, Obama issued an order updating the resources covered under that order, which allows presidents to delegate authority to various federal departments and agencies in the event of national emergencies.

Claims of martial law appeared in another viral email we wrote about in November 2012. That one claimed that the federal government was stockpiling ammunition and that Obama was creating a “standing army of government youth.” Neither claim was accurate. In fact, the National Rifle Association — no friend of the president — said the suggestion that the Obama administration was stockpiling ammunition and “preparing for a war with the American people” displays “a lack of understanding of the law enforcement functions carried about by officers in small federal agencies.”

And just last year, after several readers asked about it, we wrote about a video supposedly showing Obama going even further by calling for a “new world order.” But the creators of the video selectively edited the president’s words, combining clips from two different parts of his speech in a way that completely changed the meaning of what he said.

We always encourage readers to be suspicious of such messages. For more, see thisFlackCheck.org video on spotting bogus claims in viral emails.

— D’Angelo Gore

Sources

U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “Exercise readies SOF for threats abroad.” News Release. 24 Mar 2015.

Jade Helm15: Decoded.” OathKeepers.org. 22 Apr 2015.

Infowars.com. “Feds Preparing to Invade Texas, List State as ‘Hostile.’ ” 22 Mar 2015.

Norris, Chuck. “Jade Helm 15, Crime Stoppers and KSK.” WND.com. 3 May 2015.

Edwards, Ashton, and Roth, Max. “Planned military training ‘Jade Helm 15′ ignites firestorm in Utah.” Fox News 13. 5 May 2015.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Request to Conduct Realistic Military Training (RMT) Jade Helm 15.

Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “Governor Abbott Directs Texas State Guard To Monitor Operation Jade Helm 15.” News release. 28 Apr 2015.

Tilove, Jonathan. “Greg Abbott defends his Jade Helm directive.” Austin American-Statesman. 4 May 2015.

Gohmert, Louie. Gohmert Statement on Jade Helm Exercises. News release. 5 May 2015.

Granger, Kay. Jade Helm 15. Letter to constituents. 30 Apr 2015.

Poe, Ted. Facebook post. 4 May 2015.

Lamothe, Dan. “Why Operation Jade Helm 15 is freaking out the Internet — and why it shouldn’t be.” Washington Post. 31 Mar 2015.

Finley, Ben. “Obama’s Executive Orders.” FactCheck.org. 25 Sep 2012.

Finley, Ben. “Did FEMA Create a Youth Army?” FactCheck.org. 30 Nov 2012.

Piaker, Zachary. “No ‘New World Order.’ ” 5 Nov 2014.

Lobosco, Katie. “Walmart fired 2,200 to fix the plumbing.” CNN Money. 17 Apr 2015.

Garcia, Ahiza. “Wal-Mart: ‘No Truth To The Rumors’ Of Tunnels Being Built To Take Over Texas.” TPM. 4 May 2015.