Sunday, February 22, 2009

Intro

I started LEAVING ALEX JONESTOWN so I could stop taking up space on my other blog, Swallowing the Camel, with Alex Jones stuff. This blog will be devoted exclusively to evaluating information presented to the public by Jones, his radio show guests, and some of his associates (members of the 9/11 Truth movement, for instance). Let me make a few things clear right away:

  • I have no personal beef with Jones. I think that he is sincere in his beliefs and is only doing what he feels must be done to make the world a better place. That doesn't mean he's right, however.
  • Nothing I post will be related to the nationality, religious affiliation, or lifestyle of Alex Jones. This blog is about the information Jones disseminates, not about Jones himself.
  • I welcome dissenting views, but comments that are disrespectful toward Jones, his associates, or myself will be removed. I'm here to examine information, not to engage in flame wars or talk smack about anyone.
  • I realize that not everything Jones says is inaccurate. He says a lot, so he's bound to be right once in a while.
  • I do not subscribe to ridiculous, groundless theories that Jones is a disinformationist, a Jesuit, a Freemason, an alphabet agency agent, etc. You cannot defeat paranoia and rumour-mongering by indulging in paranoia and rumour-mongering, so I don't.
  • Jones himself encourages his audience to check his information, and once in a great while he even provides a source. I'm just taking him at his word. If the things he says are correct, then they'll withstand any amount of scrutiny.

Why Alex Jones?

Why am I singling out Alex Jones? Why not Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or other conservative personalities who consistently distort the news and get their facts wrong? Why not David Icke, Jack Blood, or other conspiracy theorists?

Well, it's rather simple. Jones has become outrageously popular. His appeal transcends class, age, race, ethnicity, politics, and religion. My city is plastered with PrisonPlanet stickers. Many educated, middle-class people I know preface sentences with "Alex Jones says...". His viral videos, numerous websites, and widely available radio show are spreading his message to thousands of people every day. This means his misinformation is reaching thousands of people every day.

Unlike Savage, Don Imus, Howard Stern, and other controversial radio personalities, Jones does not present himself as an "infotainer". He presents himself as a serious researcher, activist, and documentarian who is providing vitally important, factual information to the masses. Rarely does he admit, "This is just my opinion."

So those are the general reasons I'm singling out Alex Jones. To be more specific, I'm concerned that Jones:

  • Spreads erroneous, discredited information
  • Elevates rumours and conspiracy theories to the status of facts; rarely provides sources for outrageous statements
  • Misinterprets and/or misrepresents news items, legislation, government documents, etc., to bring them in line with his belief that the world's elite are carrying out systematic repression against all people in preparation for the installation of a "New World Order"
  • Uses this misinformation to instill fear, anger, and panic in his audience
  • Provides a forum for guests who hold pseudohistorical and pseudoscientific views
  • Provides a forum for guests who hold anti-Semitic views
  • Provides a forum for guests who offer bogus medical treatments and cures
  • Appeals to emotionality in lieu of logic/rationality
  • Fosters an "Us vs. Them" siege mentality
  • Encourages fear and distrust of all officials, law enforcement personnel, military officers, medical professionals, and educators
  • Presents deeply flawed analyses of historical events as fact
  • Retroactively reshapes descriptions of events so that he can claim, "Everything I say comes true!"
  • Promotes "Satanic panic" (anti-occult hysteria created by misinformation and hoaxes)
  • Fosters extremely dangerous anti-vaccine hysteria
  • Exaggerates and distorts information to fit his worldview (a common media tactic, but still unacceptable)
  • Gives inaccurate health and dietary advice, though he is not a medical professional and does not seem to have a medical advisor
  • Discourages people from donating to the American Cancer Society and other nonprofit cancer organizations
  • Inculcates fear and disrespect of law enforcement by exaggerating and harping on isolated instances of police brutality and malfeasance
  • Provides scientifically inaccurate information about global warming, space exploration, food additives, and sundry other topics of which he has no specialized knowledge

38 comments:

chris said...

well said. i have watched some of Jones videos (mainly about 9/11 and its very very hard for me to think like jones-it was a "inside job")

ran solo said...

You're missing the point. If even 10% of what he says is true then you should be helping to get the word out. I think you just don't like his delivery, that's O.K. it's not for everyone. Personally I don't care for his cynical sarcasm and when does his impression of the NWO slave. He also interrupts callers way too much and goes on many rants saying the same things over and over. But this is just my opinion of his delivery. If anything he says is true, even the smallest percentage, then it needs to get out. I do appreciate that you are helping spread his name because if someone comes across your blog and does not know who he is, maybe they'll check him out become a fan and believer and that person will help spread the truth. Thank You, just remember, you're either part of the problem or the solution. If anything he says is true, then don't kill the messenger. The info needs to get out.

SME said...

I really can't make things any plainer than I have in this intro. You either get what I'm trying to do here, or you don't.

ran solo said...

I can't stand "conspiracy" nutjobs. They come at you 100 mph and act like you're the stupid one for being asleep. But I've also come to the conclusion that if anything they say is true then we have to listen and do what we can to change what's going on.

btw- I think you're a very funny writer and well educated. I don't know your beliefs but it would be nice to have a few ice cold pints and chat about real ways to get the public to take the blinders off. I think you have a much bigger role to play in all of this than what you think. Right now you have a fun blog about serious issues. I for one am attracted to that instead of all the "sky is falling" paranoia. If we would educate with logic and not fear then we'd get more support from the middle and change might actually happen. So if you and yours ever make to Pensacola FL with our white sand beaches then I'll buy you a beer, but you'll have to buy the next round cuz damn, we're in a recession.

SME said...

When I agree with Jones et.al., I say so. Sometimes I do. No one is wrong all the time.

Can we make it coffee instead of American beer? No offense, but you know...blecch.

Anonymous said...

so 9/11 was did by Osama??

SME said...

Maybe Osama didn't done it.

Anonymous said...

a lot depends on where a person is coming from politically, spiritually etc....myself ( a leftist) i find jones et al. amusing/entertaining but far off the mark in terms of offering solutions, accurate historical analysis etc...as for fear mongering...there was/is a recent story on his site bemoaning the govt's interference with 'garage sales'...the headline & teaser make it out that the govt. is going to arrest you for running a used item sale...upon further reading you find that the legislation in question is aimed at preventing the sale of used items that have been recalled for safety reasons..eg. old cribs, childrens toys etc....what is described at first as a 'nazi' like attempt to forestall individuals/group bake sale type events comes down to an attempt to restrict resale of unsafe items...hardly the gestapo at your door...
what jones sees as a monolithic 'illuminati' ruling group the left sees as the ruling class...the wealthy, elite etc etc...the left sees this group as somewhat cohesive but in competition with each other for bigger profits/market share etc...rather than the monolith jones sees....also jones & his ilk are always talking about some type of 'good old days' before some politician or other when american values (whatever they are) ruled the society etc...again depending on your point of view this period either existed or not...for the patriot type it exists as some golden age when america was self sufficient/benevolent etc....for say a member of the first nations i doubt this time exists, or the people of mexico, hawaii, the philipines, iran, iraq etc etc wherever america has interfered with big business, troops etc...alot of the rest of the world sees america as a land with high ideals but one that does not seem to even try to live up to them....sorry i ramble.....

Lana said...

Hi,

Interesting blog you have here Canadian housewife, I'll be sure to read it but I just have to get something clarified. You write that Alex Jones "Provides a forum for guests who hold anti-Semitic views", why not write 'racist' views? Why not even mention the forum he provides for anti muslim or anti mexican views?

I can't even recall having heard an anti-semitic gust on his show but I do hear plenty of christian guests who spout their insane views about Islam. He talks plenty about La Raza and how the "illegals" are destroying his beautiful country and he also has plenty of guests who share these views.

This is something I've come across often when people criticize Alex Jones and I just don't understand this. He talks so much crap about Mexicans and yet he's criticized for anti-semitic views?!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lana-Mexicans don't listen to conspiracy radio or watch web tv, and if they buy DVDs, the selection is usually something along the lines of "chica chica topless bloopers de telemundo", NOT 'The Obama Deception'.
Dorky jews do, however, love Jones,and their fathers have credit cards.

SME said...

That's a good point, Lana. Jones has, on occasion, engaged in race-baiting. He once said that even though he likes Mexicans and appreciates their culture, they and other immigrants are destroying America's culture. Before Obama was even in office, he declared that he would usher in "persecution of whites". However, his harshest criticism and his least rational rhetoric has been reserved for Israel and Jewish people. He has subtly accused Israel and/or Jewish interest groups of planning the Holocaust Museum shootings, blowing up Columbia as a "tribal bonding mechanism", manipulating other nations into fighting wars on their behalf, and staging incidents of hate speech as well as violent hate crimes. Though he is not overtly anti-Semitic, his eagerness to blame Jews for such incidents (with little to no evidence) is deeply troubling. And some of his guests - notably Texe Marrs - go much farther than he does.

SME said...

Anon, fuh cough.

Hammer said...

Hi SME,
I think you write very well and I enjoy reading what you write, but I question your reasons for singling out Alex Jones to scrutinize and criticize. I agree with you, he has become very popular, but outrageously? Outrageous to whom? I agree with you that his reporting of the news does instill fear, anger, and panic in his audience, but you claim his is "misinformation". I have checked out many of his news stories and claims and the majority of the time they are true. I've found mistakes in some of his comments like calling the Presidio in San Francisco a naval base when it's an army base, but that had nothing to do with the importance of the story. I also find your innuendoes that he is an anti-semite because he has guests or stories on his show or website that are critical of Israel misleading and unfair. Since when does criticizing a government for it's actions make someone a racist? Even though I don't understand your logic, I do like the way you write.

antivigilante said...

Well I think someone here could do more research.

I'd like to know how you get this "Us vs Them" idea from a guy who is consistently raging against dualistic themes such left vs right.

Try again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting this blog. I have a friend who has been brainwashed by this ridiculous show and I was going to start a blog like this myself if there wasn't already one! It's sad that there is even a NEED for a blog to rebut the rantings of a guy who is obviously an undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. Unfortunately, Jim Jones was insane and charismatic and look how many malleable people drank HIS Kool-Aid. (Is anyone else annoyed by the phrase "government Kool-Aid" in light of the fact that the ACTUAL PEOPLE WHO DRANK POISONED KOOL-AID were paranoid anti-government freaks just like the ones telling you "not to drink the Kool-Aid"?

S.M. Elliott said...

Anon, that's the Jones paradox. He rants against conquer-and-divide strategies while using them. "They" are rich, debauched occultists who want to kill us all and molest our children, and the henchmen of the elite. "We" are the good, honest citizens.

IMHO, I don't think Jones is clinically paranoid. He's misinformed, unwilling to be wrong, and very sloppy in his "research". He was heavily influenced by John Birch material as a young child.

Anonymous said...

Dear LEAVING ALEX JONESTOWN;

I enjoyed your statements in your intro like, "I have no personal beef with Jones" and "He says a lot, so he's bound to be right once in a while."
Your words betray you as one who is very skillful at giving out "Back handed Comments."
I shutter to think how many of the 58,000 men of my generation that died in Vietnam that could have been saved, had there been an Alex Jones back then warning that there was no "Gulf of Tonkin Incident" that launched us into that terrible war.
You say ",,, I'm singling out Alex Jones. To be more specific, I'm concerned that Jones:
Spreads erroneous, discredited information,,,"
As an older guy, I would say that perhaps you are "The Pot calling the Kettle Black".
And as far as your statement "My city is plastered with PrisonPlanet stickers", is not this the same "Freedom of Expression" right that you have in having this blog site?
Blessings to you young man,
Tim in Ireland

Benny the Basterd said...

This is a very important forum you have created and I am thankful. We should, all of us, independently examine the claims of Alex Jones and others trying to get to the bottom of things. By that I mean more than wikipedia and cursory google searches.

But really, should we attack Jones for being a hothead loudmouth? Is he not after all quite transparently an entertainer? I suppose you could continue to lump him in with Savage, Limbaugh, etc. But that would not be wise. If you wish to illuminate his or anybody's agenda, simple... Follow the money. The real fearmongers you are classing Alex with are getting rich, very rich. Messrs. Jones, Icke, Avery, Lewis, Griffin and many others are not. So who makes an honest effort for an open dialogue and who is a party line schill sowing division and animosity.

Bottom line, how often do you hear Alex bash "liberals". Come on now let's be fair, even if we are rubbed wrong by his personality.

Alex is rather excitable and silly at times but the myth is real and we need these questions raised for a healthy democracy.



Question Authority, questions are the first step toward real peace and freedom.

Thank you, and I hope you will grow in your worldview, as has Alex over the years, and not get too smug in your certainty.

Benny the Basterd said...

Sorry I was remiss in my previous post,

If you are silly enough to take medical advice from Alex Jones then you get what you get. Really is this even an important point of discussion.

Also, People that criticize the Rothschild/Warburg/Oppenheimer/Schiff/Rockefeller/Morgan banking families and their interests are NOT anti-semites. ARE NOT Anti-Semites!!! I am a Jew, and I am telling you. Be very careful with your anti-semite aspersions. Or you will be lumped in yourself, with the likes of Hillel/ADL/B'nai B'rith Freedom of speech just watch what you say types who have no truck with our constitution.

I am a GMC baby from Detroit and I got slapped with ritalin, tofranil, braces, shrinks, etc. ad nauseum all because I was branded a hyper-active child. So is there something wrong with the medical/school/health system? Hell yeah. Vaccines? Until they can find a better preservative than mercury I will have to question that too.

Maybe all this obsessing with personalities is preventing your readers from uncovering inaccuracies or deceptions perpetrated by Jones. If you can find them, print them and forward them to Alex himself. If your info is accurate, maybe you'd be gratified by watching him eat a bit of crow.

I for one will not be holding my breath.

S.M. Elliott said...

Benny, take a look at the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism tags in the sidebar to get some idea of why I suggest that some of Jones's guests have expressed anti-Semitic views. It has nothing to do with banking or the Rothschilds and everything to do with sweeping statements like "Zionism is a Teutonic death cult" and "the Anglo-Saxon Protestant work ethic, along with international WASP cooperation, was eradicated by 'the Zion'."

Anonymous said...

I debunked almost everything you ever wrote, as well as conspiracy "science", here: http://www.outlawjournalism.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5691

S.M. Elliott said...

Well, no you haven't, Anon, because I deal primarily with instances in which Jones and/or guests are demonstrably wrong or are being ridiculous ("schizophrenics are demons", "Cinco de Mayo is an occult holiday", etc.). I haven't broached the vaccine, aspartame, or GM issues at all yet, really. Unlike Jones, I don't like to sound off on important topics when I'm not fully informed, and it takes a hell of a long time to be fully-informed when it comes to immunization, genetic engineering, and such.

Anonymous said...

While I don't necessarily agree with Jones on the GMO/water/food additives. I do absolutely agree with him on guns, the "war on drugs", and states rights. This federal gov has been out of control for decades. I personally like Jones, whether he is right or wrong, more than alot of other hosts because because he is not an "intellectual" on the level of a Medved or Savage, but he attacks issues with a common sense I like. Plus he's loud and he rants. I can't stand hosts that are calm and almost girly. If I wanted girly I'd listen to Laura Ingraham.

Erik Strand said...

I find this an important blog. Evaluating conspiracy theories is important not because conspiracy theories are necessarily wrong, but because some of them are serious. While one should be careful not to allege that someone is a disinfo agent without evidence, the consequenses may be the same: a certain number of people swallows conspiracy theories - which can be flawed and lack sources, but still have som truth in it - while their critics get an easy job.

For myself, I am active in Fampo - an organisation which works against conspiracies. At our website (see www.fampo.no/LHL.html ) I have written about the LaRouche Movement and some of their theories (the reason for singling out this movement is simply personal experience and knowledge, nothing else). Hopefully, someone here might find it useful. It is interesting to observe that they have provided some really good material, with sources, while at the movement can easily be exposed for its lack of seriousity.

By the way, here is an example of useful material (with sources) that one can find by following Prison Planet: www.fampo.no/Harris.html

wanderer said...

Pretty sure Alex Jones just does it for the money. he's carved out his little niche in the alternative media market and does what he has to do for the Benjamins to roll in.
Hes an intelligent guy and a lot of what he does is just an act.

-J

2cd6cc66-ccfc-11e0-9488-000bcdcb5194 said...

Recently I was listening to AJ and he said, "yes, I'm a capitalist and yes, I'm out to make money". I really think this is the essence of AJ. He's selling a product, himself, and in order to make the product marketable the product must distinguish itself from other products of its type. AJ makes his product different by taking news articles from standard media, and not so standard media, and giving them a spin so that they fit in with his current agenda. It doesn't make any difference if his spin is based on the real essence of the article as long as he can skim off enough words that will fuel his current fire.

Listening to his 8/21/11 I found that almost every 'breaking news' story cited fell into the above category. Some words were taken from the headline or body and given a spin even though the essence of the article differed with the spun out words. In addition, if you follow up these spun up comments you will almost always find that they are either entirely fabricated, have been rebutted my major media, or the originator with additional information. Of course, you can't trust major media or the government so you better believe AJ.

cf26973c-cda4-11e0-8736-000bcdcb471e said...

Just a thought concerning those comments that imply that ‘if some of what’s said is true then it’s important to be aware of that and act accordingly’. Well, when I listen to someone speaking or read someone’s blog I would like to think that what they are offering me is true. What the aforementioned comments imply is that it is ok to offer information that is untrue as long as some of the information is true. Let’s extend this to ABC, NBC, CNN, Meet the Press, etc. So as long as some of the information offered by these sources is true then they shouldn’t be required to be entirely truthful. This sounds a little scary to me.
So, if some of the information offered by AJ is truthful and some of it is not, which seems at least to be somewhat acknowledged by the previous comments, how do we determine which information is truthful and which is not? This blog helps but AJ is burning up the airwaves/internet for hours and hours each day with new ‘breaking news’ items that are not being verified either from the original source or from other public information venues. AJ says everything he says is verifiable but who has the time to check each item? I listened to his 8/21/11 broadcast on YouTube and decided to check him out. I listened to about 30 minutes of broadcast and checked out about 12 items that I thought were a little dodgy. It took me almost 2 hours to do the checking and I found that all but one item were either incorrect, spun so absurdly that they had no bearing on the original article, or the facts were taken so completely out of context such that they didn’t convey the original meaning of the article at all.
If it is ok for AJ not to speak the truth all the time, how do you know, without a lot of time consuming research, what it true and what is not true? In my opinion, even though AJ guarantees all that he says is verifiable he knows that very few listeners will stop to check the veritable firehose volume of words and text that he produces daily. Quantity it seems overwhelms quality.

S.M. Elliott said...

^ Exactly. As with any media outlet, it's perfectly impossible to track every story to its source or verify every claim. The best we can do is call b.s. on the bogus stuff we catch, and hope that more people will do the same.

Dantalion Jones said...

I would love it if you put up an RSS feed!!!

I don't see one on ANY of your blog sites! Yikes!

Dantalion

imAwildman said...

I have been listening to Alex Jones for years and have seen all his films. A very well informed American i met travelling was 100% convinced Jones was controlled opposition and so this leads me to your blog.

I find it interesting that Alex always seems to compare the US government to Nazi germany and i've noticed never seems to mention any jewish/zionist conspiracies when there is definitely something fishy going on within the jewish community. Watch Spielberg's hoax - Last days of the big lie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80GgRWuXcO8

Also interesting to note is that any articles on infowars by Robert Fisk have the comments section always closed. Robert has written extensively about the horrible mistreatment of Palestinians by the Israeli government. He was also one of the only western journalists to interview Osama Bin Laden years before he was labeled 911 mastermind.
Read his book: The great war for civilisation.

One more thing. Alex always uses articles published by Reuters and AP which are owned by the Rothschilds family.

Food for thought.

S.M. Elliott said...

Jones has had much to say about Zionism over the years, and many of his guests are hardcore anti-Zionists.

http://leavingalexjonestown.blogspot.ca/2009/02/alex-jones-wont-talk-about-zionism.html

tinfoil hat wearer said...

Perhaps you think that the National Defence Authorization Act is nothing to worry about and that the people who are concern about the possible ramification of this legislation are just conspiracy theorist. Maybe you believe Pulitzer prize winner reporter, Christopher Hedges, is just a tinfoil hat wearer who wasted tax payers money because he was concerned that reporters such as himself could be labelled under this act as a terrorist and that this law is an attack on Habeas corpus

Growing Storm/Thunder and Lightening said...

I am all for accurate truth and revealing misinfo and disinfo. I have two points to make. #1) there is BIG difference between Zionist and "Jews".

2) How do YOU know without a doubt that Adam Lanza Was in fact the shooter? Could not his body have been left behind by a team of shooters?

Newspaceman said...

Hiya, I got a shock when I noticed the STC connection.

Re :

I think that he is sincere in his beliefs and is only doing what he feels must be done to make the world a better place. That doesn't mean he's right, however

You are wrong. Surely. I saw him on BBC a month or so ago and, to be frank, he was obviously working in another capacity, re reminds me of Icke.

They piss in the whisky, so to speak.

Anyway, thanks, as always, sincerely - you know I appreciate the "debunking", it helps sort the wheat from the chaff.

Nahoda said...

I'm so glad to have discovered your blog! I occasionally watch his show after that disasterous appearance on Piers Morgan Show, and I can't believe the lies and bigotry he's spouting. Your posts hit the nail on the head and expose this lunatic sell-out.

Josh Lajoie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byron said...

Excellent reporting_breath of fresh air.

Bart Hollevoet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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