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Alex Jones (a question) (Sandy Hook)
Old 08-06-2022, 06:01 AM
  #1

Why did he do what he did? I remember hearing his name here and there in the years following the shooting at Sandy Hook, but never read the articles.

Now he's in the news again and has been ordered to pay parents 45 million. I'm glad for that in light of what he did.

I just never really learned/read about why he did what he did. What would be his purpose behind it? Is he just crazy?

Can anyone explain?

TIA


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Old 08-06-2022, 06:05 AM
  #2

Here you go, eliza. From NPR.

Quote:
A Texas jury decided Friday that conspiracy theory purveyor Alex Jones will pay one family $45.2 million in punitive damages after spreading lies about the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The jury's decision Friday came the day after it awarded the parents of slain first grader $4.1 million for mental anguish, bringing the total damages against the InfoWars founder to $49.3 million.

Jones spent years telling his audience that one of the worst school shootings in American history was a hoax. Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, who brought the charges against Jones, told the court how he made their lives a "living hell" after Jesse, their 6-year-old son, was gunned down in the attack.
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:06 AM
  #3

I'm mostly familiar with him because DH has me watch these insane YouTube clips of him ranting and raving from his InfoWars show. I think he's one of those people that has learned to make money off the crazies - by being crazy and stoking their conspiracy theory ideas, etc.
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:07 AM
  #4

I will never understand it, but apparently like minded whackjobs send him TONS and TONS of money for all the horrible things he spews because he was the only one telling the " truth" while the rest of us lemmings were buying all the govt and media lies.

A former coworker grew up in Sandy Hook. I am not sure if she attended that particular school, but she ended up leaving school that day she was so beyond upset.
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:08 AM
  #5

Thanks Amiga!! That helps and beats sifting through numerous news sites. And while I could google it, I'd rather have a convo about it. So, thanks for responding!

Additional questions...for anyone who cares to contribute.

His 'audience'...who are they? Was this guy anyone important pre Sandy Hook? To have followers...he must have been a 'somebody' (at least in his followers' eyes). How did he make money off of this?!

I find it all so strange and sad that someone would spend years doing this!!

So...the real lemmings are his followers who would send him $$, which he then kept and got rich from?


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Old 08-06-2022, 06:20 AM
  #6

At one point I believe he admitted to some form of psychosis. I do believe he would have to have some form of mental illness to believe and do what he does. However, when you are rewarded with huge amounts of money for telling lies, it certainly would encourage living in that alternate reality. And if one lies to oneself enough, it can become a reality and make it hard to distinguish. He is very anti-government so I think any chance he gets to spin a story in an anti-government way is a $$$ opportunity for him.

My sister's childhood friend married a guy who appeared to be normal. After losing his job due to an accident and getting on disability, he became immersed in conspiracy theories and spends his days making youtube videos on them. They are now divorced and he is crazy and manipulative in many ways. It's truly scary how being immersed in the wrong media can shape ones way of thinking.
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:20 AM
  #7

Alex Jones is probably worth between $135 million to $270 million that he makes off these kinds of lies, so I believe it is for the money. His attorney once claimed in court that he was a performance artist. Sad that that all his followers believe him. A man that only has a high school education.
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:21 AM
  #8

Alex ranted and raved and at commercial breaks sold dietary supplements. He is an old time Carnival barker selling junk and conspiracy theories. NPR has an article on his money making scheme.
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:23 AM
  #9

Quote:
So...the real lemmings are his followers who would send him $$, which he then kept and got rich from?
My guess is lots of the money is sponsorship of the shows he does. Advertisements and salary.

I don't get people who can even for a second believe this stuff. How do they survive their day to day lives? Are any of these people around me?
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:25 AM
  #10

His followers are extreme conspiracy theorists and have bankrolled his brand of craziness.


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Old 08-06-2022, 06:28 AM
  #11

He was/is selling supplements.

https://www.npr.org/2021/03/24/97936...ther-platforms
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Old 08-06-2022, 07:07 AM
  #12

Thanks for the npr article! Off to read it.
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Old 08-06-2022, 07:24 AM
  #13

For money.

Here is a clip of the judge reprimanding him for continuing to lie in court. My favorite part is when she tells him that his beliefs do not make something true. And then she ends it with, "Don't talk." . It was like watching a teacher reprimand a little kid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZO7KCKBOE8
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Old 08-06-2022, 07:47 AM
  #14

He loved the money and fame. I'm guessing he also liked feeling power over people and controlling their thinking.

I'm no expert, but I think the really ridiculous and polarizing stuff posted on social media gets lots of clicks. The way the sites are programmed to keep people engaged mean that more and more people see these posts. Then he gets money from advertisers based on the the large audience. Even if it's people who are watching and commenting in disagreement. I never click on those links for that reason.
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Old 08-06-2022, 07:55 AM
  #15

Similar to former elected officials spewing lies and conspiracy theories, yet having many, many followers
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Old 08-06-2022, 07:59 AM
  #16

I was a bit fascinated with that judge's style. No nonsense and to the point. I could see she had a hard time here and there just trying to keep a straight face.
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Old 08-06-2022, 10:31 AM
  #17

I have a couple of conspiracy theory friends, and he is one of their favorite people. They quote him like he speaks the gospel.

One friend had called in to a show of his and discussed New World Order. I told him that he was acting like a nut job. Fortunately he and i are good enough friends that we donít get bent out of shape for speaking to each other bluntly.
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Opens my eyes
Old 08-06-2022, 10:51 AM
  #18

I also wondered about who would watch this man and I'll share one way it happens.
One of my (adult) children shared a video of his (AJ) years back to tell me that the shooting at Sandy Hook was a hoax. I watched part of the video and asked him how he could believe this? I raised this child and he was seriously trying to tell me it was a hoax?!?!
I asked where this video came from and he said it came up one of his social media feeds. That was when I realized that media of all sorts responds to the user's habits. It has also shed light on the work conversations and belief system that my child has formed.
It's all around us and I continue to have conversations with my child/others to plant seeds of doubt in conversation because the fear mongers, fame seeking, and sensationalists are feeding off their audiences.
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Old 08-06-2022, 11:08 AM
  #19

That clip was great! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-06-2022, 11:21 AM
  #20

My understanding is that his take was that the parents interviewed by the media after school shootings were "crisis actors" and that none of these events actually happened. It was a way to argue against gun control by saying there weren't actually any issues with guns, and that these events were being "made up by the media" in order to "control people" (i.e. try to get gun control measures passed).

I'm assuming he made his money from advertisers that advertised during his shows.

The Netflix documentary "The Social Dilemma" actually covers this general concept very well. It was a fascinating (and scary) watch IMO. All of these social media sites want to do everything they can to keep you scrolling/watching/interacting. The reason all of these services (FB, instagram, Tiktok, youtube, etc.) are all "free" is that the site itself isn't the "product"- the people are the product.

Those sites will even keep data on how long a user stays on/watches a particular topic, even if you don't click "like" or add any comments. When they see that you're spending time looking at/reading about something, they'll show you more of the same thing.

So if you go on youtube and watch any of Alex Jones' stuff, youtube will then suggest more of his videos to you, and more like him. Anything to keep you watching. If your FB can tell that you stop to read certain memes or posts, they'll show you more like those. So it gets to a point where this stuff is all people are seeing- they become immersed in it and thus start to believe that it's the truth- it's "everywhere" and there's "so much evidence" because this is all they're seeing on their social media.

Even google searches are impacted! So if "they" know that you're watching and interacting with this type of content, searching for related things, etc. what pops up on your google search will reflect those biases. Anything to keep you clicking. They gave an example where one person may google "climate change" and get results about it being a crisis, while another may google the exact same words and get stories about it being a hoax.
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Heís a con man
Old 08-06-2022, 12:02 PM
  #21

Who started off selling bogus vitamins. He probably saw there were gullible people, some media company thought he could make money and infowars was born. Below a few of his conspiracies:

Quote:
Jones has spent more than two decades developing his own kind of shocking and dangerous brand of storytelling, including calling the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks an “inside job” perpetrated by the U.S. government. He and his followers pass off these narratives as truth-telling, despite lacking sufficient evidence. Thanks to sales of his dubious nutritional products, Jones has turned his venture into a lucrative business model, earning more than $20 million in revenues annually in recent years, according to court documents.
Another conspiracy is that the government has chemicals to turn people gay and that the government can control the weather.

Roger Stone is requesting donations to help pay his friend’s 45 million payout settlement though I think he’s worth over 200 million.

I have a friend who also believes some of these conspiracies…they once sent me an article about how the pyramids were actually built by aliens.
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Old 08-06-2022, 06:27 PM
  #22

Thank you all for your responses/explanations! It makes sense, now.

For me, it's much easier to read PTers explanations than news media articles! More succinct!
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