ONTD Political

Meet the Sandy Hook truthers

4:22 pm - 01/09/2013

Theorists think they've found “absolute proof” that Newtown was a hoax. Have they no shame?


Yes, there really are Newtown truthers.

But in the crazy world of Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, this one may be the worst yet. (Maybe you’ve already heard some of the others, like the one about fantasy ties between the gunman’s family and th LIBOR banking scandal nd a related theory about the Aurora shooting and the “Dark Knight Rises.”) Most of the theories are really pieces of a larger meta-theory: that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, perhaps by the Obama administration, designed to stir demand for gun control.

In the latest angle, theorists think they have found “absolute proof” of a conspiracy to defraud the American people. “You reported in December that this little girl had been killed,” a reader emailed Salon in response to a story. “She has been found, and photographed with President Obama.”

The girl in question is Emilie Parker, a 6-year-old who was shot multiple times and killed at Sandy Hook. But for conspiracy theorists, the tears her family shed at her funeral, th moving eulogy from Utah’s governor, and the entire shooting spree are fake. Welcome to the world where Sandy Hook didn’t really happen.

There are dozens f websites, blog posts and YouTube videos xtolling the Emilie Parker hoax theory. If you Google her name, the very first result is a post mocking her father for crying at a press conference after the shooting. One popular video, which already has 134,000 views, was made by the producers of a popular 9/11 Truther film. “Just as the movie ‘Operation Terror’ shows the 9/11 attacks were a made-for-TV event, so too were the mass shootings … There can be no doubt that Sandy Hook was a staged event,” the narrator intones. He goes on to say that the adults who participated in the media coverage of the shootings “should be prosecuted as accessories after the fact in a mass murder” — i.e., the parents whose children were murdered in the massacre should be thrown in prison.

The crux of the theory is a photograph of Parker’s sister sitting on President Obama’s lap when he visited with the victims’ families. The girl is wearing the same dress Emilie wore in a pre-shooting photograph of the family shared with media, so she must be Emilie, alive and well. “BAM! I cannot believe how idiot these people are [sic]… That’s her,” one YouTuber exclaims as he watches the two images superimposed on each other. (Apparently missed by these crack investigators is the possibility that the sister wore Emilie’s dress and that they look alike because they are sisters, after all.)

The supporting details to the hoax theory explanation are reminiscent of the arcana of any well-developed conspiracy theory. What about the car? What about the rifle? Why does someone off camera allegedly tell Parker’s father to “read the Card” (as in a cue card) before he goes on CNN? Why is he laughing? Who is the guy running into the woods? Why is there police audio referring to multiple shooters? Why does one boy who survived the shooting tell Dr. Oz it was like “a drill”? Why was the principa quoted by a local paper after she died? Why do some of the parents look like some of the victims of the Aurora shooting — are they “all actors”? All of these questions have simple explanations, but in each case, the theorists have sided more with less likely, but more nefarious possibilities.

One man has taken it upon himself to catalog all of the theories at SandyHookHoax.com. y way of credentials, creator Jay Johnson explains: “I am the only person in the world to solve LOST,” he writes (yes, the TV show).

In an email exchange with Salon, Johnson said he initially “wanted to help the kids express their feelings and memorialize the victims … But then I saw how the local paper interviewed the principal after she was dead, and I realized it was 99% odds another psychological operation that was going on,” he explained.

Noting that he started the website on “12/21/12” he explained, “since I am the New Age Messiah, with my Look Your Heart in the Mirror™ as the new revelation from the Goddess Tefnut, aka Ma’at, of Egypt, I thought the date was significant.”

But the hoax theory has even earned the backing for some presumably more credible sources. James Tracy, a tenured professor of communications at Florida Atlantic University, sparked controversy this week after he wrote a blog post suggesting the parents were “crisis actors.” “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described,” he wrote.

Websites owned by Alex Jones, the conspiracy theory pundit who helped start the 9/11 Truther movement and has millions of readers, are a virtual one-stop shop for Sandy Hook “false flag” miscellanea. So far, mainstream conservative figures haven’t hopped on board, though Gun Owners of American head Larry Pratt told Jones this summer that he thought there was a good chance the Aurora massacre was perpetrated by government agents.

Then there’s just the downright bizarre subgenre of theories. One posting on the community forum of Jones’ website connects Sandy Hook and Emilie Parker to Satanism, postulating that the school was a “recruiting center” for the Church of Satan. There’s even a low-budget slasher flick called “Sandy Hook Lingerie Party Massacre” — could that be connected?

Whether there is a connection or not, we can count on the Internet’s conspiracy theorists to find one, even if it means denying the legitimacy of the mourning families’ grief.

source: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/09/the_worst_sandy_hook_conspiracy_theory_yet/

Why am I not surprised that Alex Jones' website is the "one-stop shop" for all this insanity.

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chimbleysweep 10th-Jan-2013 01:42 am (UTC)
How can people like this function in the world? Can they trust anything but (ironically) their own minds? Or is it all for show and attention?
sarahsumbrella 10th-Jan-2013 05:25 am (UTC)
I think the attention fuels it. Once they're able to make a great living off of it like Glen Beck and Ann Coulter, it must validate their crazy even more, and further prove to them that they must be on the right path.

Edited at 2013-01-10 05:26 am (UTC)
wrestlingdog 10th-Jan-2013 01:44 am (UTC)

liret 10th-Jan-2013 01:50 am (UTC)
I just found this from the comments in the other post. The saddest part to me is that now the memorial facebook pages are full of commenters displaying their 'proof' that the children are actually still alive.
alryssa 10th-Jan-2013 06:06 am (UTC)
Ugh. Utterly gross.
lozbabie 10th-Jan-2013 01:50 am (UTC)
I post on a JFK conspiracy board and have already come across these theories. (One asshole when arguing about Oswalds flight from the building made the comment 'so that means that the children fleeing Sandy Hook are suspects?' This was the day AFTER it happened)

Mistakes are always indication of nefarious dealings. Never misreported or errors. All eye witnesses are 100% correct. Even eight year old boys who have just experienced the worst day of their life.

emofordino 10th-Jan-2013 03:58 am (UTC)
right? it can't POSSIBLY be that the media just has to be the very first to report anything, even if it means reporting something that they didn't bother to verify that ended up being untrue.

ugh, head-desking forever at these people.
aviv_b 10th-Jan-2013 01:59 am (UTC)
JFC - they're posting this crap on people's memorial sites. That's the most hurtful, truly evil thing anyone could do to the families of the victims.

I can't even begin to imagine how Emilie Parker's parents must feel. All the parents and children and the whole town really.

Not much surprises me, but honestly, I'm appalled.
lozbabie 10th-Jan-2013 02:20 am (UTC)
I'm honestly surprised they haven't started asking for proof by way of autopsy photos yet.

Yes, that will end up being asked for.
myrrhmade 10th-Jan-2013 02:04 am (UTC)
I'm going to throw up. FUCK
teacup_werewolf 10th-Jan-2013 02:21 am (UTC)
lozbabie 10th-Jan-2013 02:52 am (UTC)
Or the fact that the little girl might be wearing her sisters dress because she misses her and wants to feel close to her?
art_house_queen 10th-Jan-2013 02:25 am (UTC)
If this is too much for me to deal with, imagine what their parents must feel. DAMN.
celtic_thistle 10th-Jan-2013 02:32 am (UTC)
“since I am the New Age Messiah, with my Look Your Heart in the Mirror™ as the new revelation from the Goddess Tefnut, aka Ma’at, of Egypt, I thought the date was significant.”

Wait...what? Get the fuck out, you asshole.

This is beyond disgusting. Beyond. I expect no less from Alex Jones though. He's a piece of rotting shit. I just...fuck these people. Why do they feel the need to prove how omg ~above it all~ they are by pretending they're the only enlightened ones amongst a society of ~sheeple~ or whatever? How beyond vile. Beyond pathetic. Beyond reprehensible.

Edited at 2013-01-10 02:35 am (UTC)
shishmish 10th-Jan-2013 01:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah I thought "Your usual government conspiracy people..." until I got to that part. What in the what? Whatever he's taking, I don't want any of it.
tabaqui 10th-Jan-2013 02:35 am (UTC)
Jesus fuck. Fuck these people. Revolting pigs. I seriously have nothing more coherent to say.
agentsculder 10th-Jan-2013 02:41 am (UTC)
Can people not with the conspiracy theories? This is just so fucked up I don't even know where to begin. I shall let Mrs. White do the talking for me.
paksenarrion2 10th-Jan-2013 03:55 am (UTC)
Mrs. White has the right idea.

lamardeuse 10th-Jan-2013 02:43 am (UTC)
There's just no shortage of stupid out there, is there?
mickeym 10th-Jan-2013 02:51 am (UTC)
How...god. How do these people live with themselves? I just...I don't understand. I hope those people, the ones calling things a hoax and a fraud, I hope they never have to experience something like this -- along with the people who are being hateful. UGH.
cuterabbit33 10th-Jan-2013 03:08 am (UTC)
You know, there's a been of jackasses in the news lately, and I typically think "Well if I ever met them I would have some words with them!", but this.

I think, seriously, if I was actually face to face with people like this, I would physically assault them. Which is wrong. But I do not think I could control myself.
_morning_glow 10th-Jan-2013 05:15 am (UTC)
VERY RARELY do articles actually make me want to physically vomit. But this bullshit 100% honestly makes me sick. I didn't personally know any of the victims (well, one of the teachers was a barista at a Starbucks I frequent, but that doesn't really count) but I know plenty of people who do (my best friend knew the principal well, one of my coworker's 6 year old daughter's best friend was killed...just to name a few) and even the THOUGHT that any of these people might come across this crap is...I don't know that there are words to express how this makes me feel, really.

Like, whatever, everyone is entitled to believe what they want to believe, but JFC KEEP IT TO YOURSELF when it's something like this. Stick to your own little corner of the internet and be as conspiratorial as you want, but don't pull this shit about trying to pass off a bunch of crap as NEWS. People in general are inclined to believe things that are presented to them as legitimate and they are ESPECIALLY inclined to do so when they are trying to process something so far outside of normal and that makes this kind of crap straight up manipulative and, once again, makes me want to actually vomit.
ladylothwen 10th-Jan-2013 05:19 am (UTC)
Reminds me of the conspiracies surrounding 9/11 especially about the victims of the flights, particularly Flight 93. These people are grieving, they have lost a child and you spew this at them. It's just the worst thing I can imagine. It's sick.
cinnamontoast 10th-Jan-2013 04:33 pm (UTC)
Or the people who were in the buildings and escaped. Those people are dealing with some serious survivor's guilt and PTSD that cuts to the bone.

Then these lunatics try to tell them that it never happened or that it was all staged and planned by our government. Fuck the conspiracy nuts. Just fuck them so much.
effervescent 10th-Jan-2013 05:39 am (UTC)
Ugh, this sort of stuff makes me sick. Especially considering that combating it is so difficult - a person who thinks they're fighting against a hoax is going to feel that they're doing the ~right thing~.
tigerdreams 10th-Jan-2013 05:58 am (UTC)
I had to deal with shit like this on Christmas. My boyfriend's step-uncle is a conspiracy theory idiot; he didn't claim that the children in Newtown didn't die, but he said that the whole thing had been ~orchestrated by the government~ for some nefarious purpose, and so had every other school or mass shooting all the way back to Columbine. And he was so insufferably smug about ~not being fooled~ that I wanted to punch him in his stupid smug bastard face for being so offensively, horribly, aeoihjsovbnrgnheh BAOSGJH
alryssa 10th-Jan-2013 06:09 am (UTC)
I have no idea how you managed to not do it, tbh.
zeonchar 10th-Jan-2013 06:14 am (UTC)
I don't believe in any of these theories, but why does this article bring up all of them and say they are easily debunkable... but not attempt to debunk any?
ceruleanst 10th-Jan-2013 07:11 am (UTC)
After a point, taking the time to refute frivolous claims becomes a garden path to more nuttiness. When you cite sources, they expand the theories to attack those sources, and then demand yet another explanation that doesn't rely on them. You show them a document, and every font and pixel becomes suspect. When the conspiracy theory grows, the number of people it can hurt grows too. Sometimes the responsible thing is to leave it as an exercise for the sensible reader, saying, in effect, "If you want to be sure, try researching it yourself, because it really should be that easy."
tsu_ 10th-Jan-2013 08:49 am (UTC)
....... I actually looked for an Onion tag, why isn't it there? D; how can people be so horrible?
atomic_joe2 10th-Jan-2013 09:28 am (UTC)
It's like they'd call me a 'sheep' for not believing in all their bollocks but they absolutely believe anything that a video on YouTube tells them without a shred of secondary proof. It's really quite bizarre and genuinely terrifying what they'll believe.

I'm actually going to publish a video to YouTube which is called 'The Illuminati Says The Moon Is Absolutely Made Of Cheese', backed up with evidence that I have just made up on the spot and see how many 'likes' I get.
moonshaz 10th-Jan-2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, do it, definitely!
world_dancer 10th-Jan-2013 02:37 pm (UTC)
I can't even read this article. It hurts too much.

My coworker lost a relative in the shooting. She was here that day, getting updates as the child went from "in school lockdown" to "missing" to "dead." There's no way in hell she was faking her anxiety and grief as she comforted her mother. And as it was a slightly more distant relative, rather than her own kid, there was no need for her to have said anything to us at all if this were just some kind of joke, no reason to fake phone calls.

I also saw her the Monday after, when she was raw from what had happened and from comforting the parents of the dead child. I heard her take breaks to have a cry when trying to keep moving got to be too much.

I saw this article last night and it upset me. But as I try to put my finger on what upsets me about it, I find that, yes, the crazy people who believe this upset me, but, well, they're clinically insane in my mind and not worth worrying about.

What pisses me off is that this article was written and published where people who have experienced this event on any kind of personal level might see it. This isn't "news." We don't need to know that crazy people are crazy. And as their "opinions" carry no weight of fact and actually directly cause harm to others, I see it as irresponsible that such a mainstream site would give voice to their ideas.

They are undeserving of the attention. Let them go back to their crazy corner of the internet where they can be crazy at each other and not possibly hurt the rest of us with their cruel accusations.
satellite__eyes 10th-Jan-2013 05:53 pm (UTC)
Had to de-friend someone on fb after they started posting articles questioning if this was a conspiracy or not. I just can't even with these fucking assholes. And the fact that this shit is being posted on MEMORIAL sites for these victims? DISGUSTING.

What pisses me off the most is people will claim "freedom of speech" but they obviously have NO consideration for the First Amendment if they're going to use it in this manner. It's completely disrespectful, unnecessary and, in my opinion, not a proper representation of the First Amendment. Cowards hide behind that shit and these people are obviously some very big, attention-seeking cowards.
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