Last week I watched Richard Linklater's Waking Life and recognised one of the characters to be Alex Jones. The film itself is so good that he goes up a couple of notches in my estimation purely by association. So have I been too critical of Alex in the past? Well to start with I agree with his message that US citizens are on a dangerous and slippery slope, with fundamental freedoms being steadily eroded. I would guess that a pretty sizable fraction of the US population agrees with us too.
Criticism falls into several basic categories. Firstly there are those who might claim that Alex is motivated by fame and fortune more than by his convictions, but while I would agree that he may enjoy the attention I would not be so cynical. So then you could argue about his honesty, where I would only say that he is probably no less sincere than Bush or Blair. In terms of strategy, his impressive zeal seems to appeal to what is commonly described as the "lunatic fringe" but alienates many in the mainstream (and as an atheist I find his appeal to Fundamentalist Christian groups worrying). Finally, his analysis is often bizarre and exhibits a lack of credibility which allows him to be readily dismissed by the establishment. In the big picture I am not sure whether he does more harm than good, and although that puts him considerably higher in my ranking than Bush or Blair it is clearly not a ringing endorsement.
There is a relatively new website at www.global-elite.org which seems to be yet another forum for the discussion of conspiracy theory. Much of the material on the site was quite familiar to me, although I must say I had never heard anyone claim that AIDS is a biological weapon developed in Maryland around 1970 (I posted a refutation based on material available here). I was not at all surprised to find a link to a copy of an Alex Jones video "Dark Secrets Inside Bohemian Grove", but I thought I would check on the claimed involvement of Channel 4.
The story starts with writer and director Jon Ronson who, during research for a book called THEM, gathered footage which he used in a closely related series of 5 60 minute shows called Secret Rulers of the World produced by Fenton Balley and Randy Barbato for World of Wonder. Here is the extract from Jon's book where he describes how he recruited Alex Jones to help him successfully infiltrate Bohemian Grove and witness the burning of an effigy at the foot of a giant owl. Anyway, despite the fact that World of Wonder seem to think it was broadcast on Channel 5, it seems it was in fact broadcast on Channel 4.
Earlier this year I had an email discussion about Alex Jones with a guy called Alan Clark who is a mature student on the Software Systems for the Arts and Media course at the University where I work. I just got his consent to quote something he said about the video I watched:
My point is that Alex Jones is not a signifigant person and he does not represent anything significant at all. He seems to run some fringe TV show. He seems to be a kind of Von Daniken figure, making easy money from the sale of the ridiculous to the already bewildered. This video is made for a right-wing marketplace in the US, and if it is being sold around the peace movement outside of America, then I'd say that people need to educate themselves quickly about American politics. There are a lot more bewildering narratives where this one came from.
I just read about an interesting event which occurred on 2002-01-20 in Santa Rosa, California. A heavily armed Richard McCaslin aka The Phantom Patriot infiltrated the 2,700 acre Bohemian Grove compound - hangout of US presidents and other powerful white men. He was arrested and later told investigators he was prompted to act after hearing a Texas-based radio talk-show host discuss possible child sacrifice at the site. Here is a Reuters report I found on the web but there are plenty of other versions. The talk-show host in question is none other than Alex Jones.
I recently watched a film by Alex Jones titled "911 The Road to Tyranny", the basic premise of which is that the US Federal Government (USFG) is part of a global conspiracy to bring about a tyrannical New World Order (NWO) involving an 80% reduction in world population and the herding of survivors into compact cities where they will be controlled using technology such as implanted microchips for the benefit of the global elite. According to Alex there is undeniable evidence that various terrorist attacks carried out in the United States, notably the Oklahoma City bombing and the destruction of the World Trade Centre (911) were planned by the USFG with the intention of securing the consent of the US people to give up constitutional rights and freedoms in exchange for a promise of security. This plan, he claims, is well advanced, pointing to the (admittedly disturbing) "Patriot Act" as evidence. Why not dip in to the 40 minute excerpt at infowars.com/tyranny.htm and see what you think? The presentation is pretty persuasive until you start thinking about it and checking some facts.
Firstly, if the USFG had the power to bring off 911 and organise a cover up and media blackout then why did they allow Alex to make and distribute his film? (of course one could argue that they did so because they were confident he would be dismissed as a nut)
Next up Alex states that ozone depletion and global warming are fictional which I do not accept. Having done four years post-graduate research in space plasma physics I am pretty confident in my own judgement on such matters - see my page on climate change for references. Furthermore he claims that the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol is part of the NWO plan - so why did the USFG attempt to block it?
Now we come to the "Project Megiddo" report which Alex cites as evidence that the USFG has classified Christians, Gun Owners and Homeschoolers as terrorists. This is at best extremely misleading and in my opinion downright dishonest - I guess Alex hoped that no one would bother reading the actual report. For details please refer to my Project Megiddo page.
www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010