How The Satanic Temple controls the media - and your mind (Part 2: After School Satan) [Mirrored from Queer Satanic]

[This article was originally published by Queer Satanic, a collective of former members of The Satanic Temple who are presentlty being sued by The Satanic Temple for speaking out against them. It was originally published on Medium on February 13th 2022, but it seems to have gone down, possibly as a result of The Satanic Temple’s efforts to silence Queer Satanic. I suspect it might have something to do with June Everett accusing Queer Satanic of having doxxed them. I’ve been asked if I would like to share or mirror this article to my blog, and I agreed on behalf of the cause of solidarity with anti-fascist Satanists who want to rebel against The Satanic Temple and oppose their leadership. The Satanic Temple has gone out of their way to spend money from Satanists who pay to be members on defending Catholic conservatives on free speech grounds, but this concern for free speech seems to not be applied to left-wing Satanists who speak out against The Satanic Temple. In solidarity with the cause, let me show you something that Lucien Greaves doesn’t want you to see.]

Last time, we looked in detail at how a press release from The Satanic Temple takes advantage first of weak local journalists and their editors by offering a compelling conflict narrative; this makes a story easy to cover “both sides” of and meets the minimum standards of objectivity. We showed how this simple, facile framework leads to a story that can be turned around quickly and neatly without any deeper questions pursued, and we showed how this tidy “man-bites-dog” Satanist story then works its way through each step of the rightwing media ecosystem, something that justifies further coverage by increasingly prominent “straight” news outfits as well as liberals and leftists looking to dunk on the right.

This time we’re not going to go through this process again in the same way, but we are going to examine how pernicious the effect is when no one bothers to actually fact-check an organization that started out in 2013 by lying to the media and just never stopped.

After School Satan logo

“After School Satan” clubs have been a point of pride for TST since first announced in late summer 2016 in the Washington Post.

If you are looking at that logo and chuckling to yourself because a.) you realize what the acronym is, and yet b.) you realize that would be inappropriate for an elementary and middle school program, you would be correct on both counts. But remember, we’re dealing with The Satanic Temple here, so all of the original iconography was not “After School Satan Clubs” (ASSC) it was just “After School Satan” (ASS). From conversations with some high-ranking ex-TST members, we’ve also been able to confirm that internally, “ASS clubs” was the joke, as well.

Anyway, here’s how TST’s website describes it at present:

The After School Satan Clubs meet at select public schools where Good News Clubs also operate.

“Good News Clubs” or GNCs are religious indoctrination clubs run by Child Evangelism Fellowship, which they describe as “weekly Christian programs for kids 5–12 years old featuring a Bible lesson, songs, memory verses, and games.”

But you shouldn’t trust an organization’s self-marketing. GoodNewsClubs.info has some independent information about GNCs, but understand that there are thousands of these clubs across the United States harming tens of thousands of students, and they absolutely deserve to be countered.

No wonder people who want something like that also want to believe that a group like The Satanic Temple‘s self-marketing actually does exist and offers an alternative to kids.

Unfortunately, TST’s claims are lies.

After School Satan description as of September 2020

As late as September 2020, the Temple claimed to have active ASS clubs in nine school districts. A person searching for themselves to double-check could even find multiple national and local headlines about it:

What you may notice (but journalists and fact-checkers never seem to) is that those stories don’t include the clubs getting to the point of actually meeting with students.

Ordo Sororitatis Satanicae detailed why Springfield, Mo., fell apart in their 2019 piece about Lucien Greaves and The Satanic Temple, but as far as we can tell, no news outlets thought it worth doing follow up at the time or ever since.

We reached out to Heinrich Kaiser, a former organizer for TST’s local affiliate group in the Washington, D.C.-area, about what happened to their program after getting all that press coverage and making public promises about it.

I was the spokesperson for PG [Prince George, Md.] county on this initiative years ago. Leadership pushed the promotion and left us high and dry like it never even happened after we had certified educators on board and a media blitz.

Which are both the more typical way of things with TST: the announcement is spoonfed to media who dutifully talk about it because it’s such a good and easy story for them, but then overworked journalists and understaffed newsrooms forget to follow up. By the time they do — if they do — the story is too old. Plus, the way the rules of news work, “turns out, nothing happened” is a tough sell to an editor.

Now, two of those places (Taylorsville and Portland) did get to the point of an “open house” at least, but there’s no evidence Taylorsville actually provided anything for students. Meanwhile, leadership of what in 2018 would break off from TST to become “Satanic Portland” confirmed publicly that one of their major sources of tension was that Portland’s local After School Satan club (mis-abbreviated here) fell apart after the national leadership got the headlines and photos they wanted then proceeded to ignore them for months at a time.

{{embedded tweet: https://twitter.com/sporkbot/status/1480410748081770499}}

In general, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it seems pretty odd that dramatic protests and news coverage would accompany so many After School Satan clubs yet there then would be nothing about any of them actually meeting if they actually did.

See, though many provisional clubs were announced to great acclaim and consternation, when we asked around, only one program ever actually served a child that we can find: Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma, Wash.

There, a radio news story confirmed that a volunteer from the Seattle chapter taught one child once a month for two hours during the spring 2017 semester.

After-school Satan club tests the limits of church and state
At most schools, band practice, sports, drama and the chess club are the options that kids choose from for their…www.kalw.org

After a lot of hullabaloo about the club being on the grounds of Port Defiance Elementary, a young girl named Veronica (we’re not using her last name for privacy reasons) ended up being the only kid who joined.

“I am 11, I will be turning 12 on August 9th. My friend is a week older than me because she’s on July 28,” she says.

Erin Botello is Veronica’s After School Satan Club educator, and a member of the Satanic Temple in Seattle.

“Veronica is our only student,” she says. “She has come to every meeting that we have held … She is fierce. She has a great head on her shoulders, she also has a very supportive family who also shows up with her to the meetings.”

Additionally, we have documentation that TST’s non-church 501(c)(3) Reason Alliance Ltd. paid for a semester’s worth of once-per-month rent, starting December 2016 then till the end of spring semester 2017. Reason Alliance writing the check set off an entirely new round of rightwing outrage over how fast it got nonprofit status, but we won’t go further into that here.

Officially, the program was “on pause” the next semester. On the other hand, TST also told the Tacoma News Tribune the club was “well-attended” as a way to describe having one student participate.

The club met once a month with kids from all elementary grade levels during the second half of last school year, but it doesn’t have the resources to continue this year, according to the Satanic Temple of Seattle.

It was a matter of funding, and also volunteers who couldn’t take the time out of work because it’s right in the middle of the work day, so we didn’t have enough volunteers,” said [Seattle] Temple leader Lilith Starr.

Those volunteers were members of the Temple, and Starr said two of the three of them had a background in teaching.

While Starr declined to give specific numbers for how many kids came to the 90-minute club, she said it had been well-attended.

“It was a matter of funding” — it cost total of $154 to rent the room for the semester.

And according to Botello when we reached out last week, TST shut the program down not due to a lack of local support but because the national org already had all of the headlines they needed.

“I pushed to do it for another year, and to make it bigger. But I was shot down real quick,” Botello said. “I wanted to keep it going, being more intentional about lesson plans and expanding to more students. But they shot me down. They said the ‘jig was up’ basically and the stunt had run its course.

“I was very passionate about the program. And I put a lot of my own money and supplies into it,” she continued. “It was a real slap in the face that they reduced my work to a ‘political stunt.’ As a parent, I felt some type of way about using children as pawns for political gain.”

The partner of Derek Piersing, former leader of the “South Sound Satanists” affiliate group centered on Tacoma, also independently confirmed this in a statement written in March 2020.

The only reason I joined TST was for the After School Satan Club. The first year Derek and I were both students and we couldn’t make it to Point Defiance to participate, but we were told it was a huge success and I was so happy. That summer we moved to Tacoma (for unrelated reasons) and I told Lilith [Starr] I wanted to enroll our son and be a teacher in the program, which she was enthusiastic about. As the school year approached, though, I didn’t hear anything else. I tried to talk to her about what I needed to enroll our son, and what I needed to do to be able to teach and always she said ‘we’ll get back to you’. So I waited, and heard nothing, until the mass email saying the program was canceled. I was frustrated because we had a student (my son) and the year before we had only had one, we had volunteers, including myself and a few others thanked in the email, so what had happened? No answer, no explanation, nothing except my name on a list in a mass email.

Indeed, Australian comedian Jim Jefferies did more journalistic work that fall than most professional journalists ever have on the topic when he interviewed ASS club’s then-national program lead Chalice Blythe.

In press releases, as late as September 2017, Blythe was still claiming publicly that things were going great and going to be “even better and much bigger” than ever.

“Last year [fall 2016– spring 2017], the After School Satan Club curriculum was only offered in school districts where local chapters of The Satanic Temple could manage and maintain them. In that time, we received a flood of emails from parents, educators, and other qualified parties who were interested in operating After School Satan Clubs in schools near them.”

The Tacoma News Tribune included Blythe’s statement without further investigation, as did Seattle’s alt-weekly paper The Stranger. TST member and future high-level media contributor Jack Matirko of course went one step further for his Patheos blog:

Amusingly enough, when asked by the Washington Post last year about the ASSC program the Liberty Counsel’s founder and chairman Mat Staver said:

“… I can’t imagine there’s going to be a lot of students participating in this. It’s probably dust they’re kicking up and is likely to fade away in the near future for lack of interest.”

If this expansion of After School Satan Clubs to a volunteer network is any indication, Mr. Staver may find that he was sorely mistaken.

But having Blythe on camera, Jefferies asked her a direct question, and Blythe confirmed that despite the massive amount of media coverage nationwide the year before, there were no active programs anywhere in the USA at that time.

{{embedded YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6vOvu4gzhw&t=240s}} 

Jim Jefferies: There’s 3,800 Good News Groups — clubs — across America. How many branches do you have?

Chalice Blythe: As of right now, we don’t have any currently in operation.

The airdate for that was October 2017. Despite being included in numerous press releases, we can’t find any evidence of such programs existing between then and January 2022. We were able to confirm that, as expected, TST’s 2021 year-in-review greatly mischaracterized what TST had done with its ASS clubs in that year and that there were no clubs in 2020, although this was blamed on Covid-19.

So, prior to January 2022 when an After School Satan club in Moline, Ill., actually met with students for the first time, there seem to have been none since Tacoma. (Even in Moline, we are relying on news to accurately characterize it as a meeting and not a provisional open house like in Portland.)

Again: we cannot prove that there were no ASS clubs during the previous five years, but it should be pretty easy for anyone to demonstrate TST actually met with kids other than that one program; as yet, no apologists for the Temple have been able to.

For five years, The Satanic Temple was able to advertise themselves offering a program without any of the work or headaches of actually doing it, knowing that news outlets were more interested in “reporting the controversy” than seeing if announcements or open houses ever got to the point of engaging students. Ignorant people without the time to do hours of follow-up on their own believed TST and these reporters, naturally.

People often say, “At least The Satanic Temple is doing something.” Well, the “something” TST was doing was getting attention and leaving all its volunteers high and dry.

Yet, when The Satanic Temple dusted off its After School Satan program this year and targeted the Midwest, it worked just as well. Numerous local and national news stories, including social media with rightwingers going nuts and smug liberals telling them that actually the Temple is great — why, just read TST’s own website for proof.

As far as we can tell, the program in Moline did actually meet, and when we asked campaign director “June Everett” on Facebook, she claimed it involved four students.

June Everett: We had 4 kids at the club in Moline.(emphasis added) Why does it matter? More are planning on attending in future months. They had such a great time I’ve been notified they want ASSC to be weekly. Geesh I don’t know why we don’t have 5,000 clubs up and going every year like GNC does. Maybe it has something to do with the 26 death threats I’ve received in the last 3 days? And all the doxxing that happens amongst other pissed off satanists? I plan on supporting my volunteers in anyway that I can. Being present for each club launch, taking care of all logistics to get the club approved, all documentation, required supplies, media training, ASSC training. Anything they need for future clubs. All of it.

Everett references doxing, and we’ll address that at the bottom because it turns out to be much too complicated to get into here. All subsequent press references to the campaign director of After School Satan also quote “June Everett”, so we’re going to have to follow that naming convention.

Just note that previously, someone named “Andrea Williams Wright” was also answering questions and also publicly identifying as the Campaign Director of the After School Satan clubs for The Satanic Temple.

June Everett: Well. I can tell you from experience that getting a school board to approve us is no easy task. The last two years have also been frustrating with COVID-19. Respecting the rules of the schools and considering that most were on and off with e-learning, therefore prohibiting most after school activities including Good News Club. I started receiving serious emails just this past fall notifying me that the GNC had returned, and that that there were parents willing to step up to volunteer to help run ASSC in their communities. I can assure you that just because a club never came to fruition, does not mean that there was zero effort trying to make it happen. (emphasis added)

I also just had a club approved in Ohio, and two more in the works in PA and NY. And of course now I’m getting flooded with volunteers who want to bring ASSC to their communities. So let’s see what the future holds. Cheers! & Hail Satan.

Of course, the work of volunteers on the ground is not and never has really been in question when it comes to The Satanic Temple. It’s what the national organization based out of Salem is doing with that volunteer labor and to what ends the two owners are seeking.

Everett did (apparently) actually pull off the ASS club meeting in Ohio she referenced with the Lebanon, Ohio, club facing a small protest Jan. 27.

Local Superintendent Isaac Seevers confirmed to The Dayton Daily News that there were “two students and seven adults that were participating in the meeting”, which sounds to us like an open house people were just scoping out, but we’ll be generous.

June Everett, an ordained minister of The Satanic Temple and the campaign manager of the After School Satan Club, said the meeting “was anti-climatic” and they were “just hanging out and having a good time playing games and enjoying snacks.”

Everett said the meetings will be held monthly unless the volunteer leadership determines the need to have more meetings.

“We’re not disappointed with today’s turnout,” she said. “We’re not going after numbers. We just want to make this available.”

Everett said there are more people interested in participating and that she has received about a dozen emails and messages. She said people are afraid of their children becoming a target. Everett also said the schools did a great job in preparing for the meeting and with security.

So, as far as we can (generously) confirm, that is a total of seven students in three states meeting since the program was first announced in fall 2016.

What this “accomplishment” has received in return is dozens but perhaps hundreds of articles from the local news to blogs to YouTube videos to the Washington Post to multiple Fox News segments devoted to it, as well as dutiful repetition of TST’s claims in press releases that the program is extant even when — if anyone who bothered to check — it was not.

This latest news cycle is even better than getting coverage of the “Baby Baphomet” on Fox News in December, because this time Lucien Greaves himself got to go on Fox News again.

TST even promoted it in an email blast ahead of time, telling people to tune in to Tucker Carlson’s show.

Satanic Temple email blast message Jan. 14, 2022

Why Greaves prefers someone like Carlson over someone like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or CNN’s Brian Stelter could be explained in many ways, but the most generous is that Greaves knows he’s going to get a copacetic interview from Carlson. The Fox News primetime host is certainly not interested in finding out that “there’s no Satan Claus” when it comes to an international Satanic organization that claims half a million members trying to get into the schools of his audience and educate children.

Carlson and the rest of the far-right media are absolutely not looking to point out that TST is, in reality, five hundred thousand email-newsletter subscribers in a trench coat and some dozens of people actually involved till they burn out, get kicked out, or find out about the whole “Aryan king” thingThe Gateway Pundit is absolutely not going to bother to point out the Temple’s public figures make a lot of (to TGP’s audience) scary promises TST never delivers on and therefore are not something their audience should be frightened of, are not a sign of the end times, are not another reason to stock up on doomsday prepper supplies they happen to also sell.

The right wants what The Satanic Temple is selling because it helps the right push its own grifts.

If you’re saying that the right-wing media ecosystem would be inventing Satanist conspiracies and fear-mongering even without TST, OK — you’re probably right.

But The Satanic Temple is the organization that actively seeks attention, clout, and money by handing these people pre-packaged fantasies to peddle without even bothering to actually do anything good.

All of this goes on and is allowed to glide on — frictionless — because everyone involved at every step of the way supporting or opposing the Temple is getting what they want.

The Satanic Temple “controls the media” because news orgs get a bigger audience, right-wing groups get a bogeyman, liberals and leftists get to feel superior or feel like they’re “trolling” the right, and TST gets to make a buck while Lucien Greaves gets to feel clever and important and have endless praise heaped on him by TST sycophants.

The only people who don’t benefit in all of these schemes are the people who are supposed to be benefitting: the pregnant people who need abortions, the organizations actually fighting to keep Christian dominionism out of the state, and children who probably could use a decent alternative to after school programs by the Child Evangelism Fellowship and their “Good News Clubs”.

And it seems like that ought to be important to someone by now.

Maybe next time.

Moreover, we’re still being sued by The Satanic Temple in federal court. If you’ve learned anything new, please follow us on our other social media to learn even more and show your appreciation with whatever you can afford so we can keep defending ourselves from this frivolous SLAPP suit.

@QueerSatanic | Linktree
We’re still being sued by The Satanic Temple in federal court. See below.linktr.ee


On doxing:

The Facebook profile “June Everett” clearly and unequivocally claims to be the Campaign Director of the After School Satan club program, as well as an “Ordained Minister of The Satanic Temple”.

June Everett
Campaign Director of TST’s After School Satan Club (ASSC). Ordained Minister of The Satanic Temple.

Early on in our exchange, she accused us of doxing and said that she had already had a conversation with us the previous weekend.

June Everett: I know whatever I share with you is going to be posted on your private shit-posting page and Twitter Account. I saw all the posts that you shared using your real name when I was answering questions for you last weekend. So that was cool. Don’t worry — I won’t doxx you like you doxx everyone else. 🙄 I’m sorry you hate TST so much that it has turned in to your full-time job. I would like to answer questions for you without you being so hostile about it. But I know whatever I say or honestly answer will just be flipped and twisted around and won’t mean a thing. So. What a conundrum.

At the time, this was a bit baffling, but with a bit of work we understood that she meant our fact-check of TST’s 2021 year-in-review where we referenced the conversation she had with someone else as “Andrea Williams Wright” under The Satanic Temple’s public Facebook post about After School Satan clubs returning mere weeks after TST had claimed they were actively meeting in 2021.

Although it remains public and we linked to the conversation directly there (and will do so again), the person asking those questions is not one of the four people being sued by The Satanic Temple, which is all “Queer Satanic” is, so we didn’t want to corral them into this without their permission.

Now, TST did attempt to dox the four of us by not only putting what they thought were our government names but also our home addresses into the public federal court record as part of serving us papers. Which is something fairly different from what the Temple’s supporters typically mean by doxing: referring to someone by the same government name they use when they buy stuff, own stuff, sue people, and give testimony in court as part of a “constellation of affiliate entities” exerting power over its members’ lives.

The Satanic Temple says, “We’re a legitimate religion!” But when pressed, it’s always, “I’m worried about being held accountable for things I say and do publicly for my legitimate religion.”

This is not deadnaming a trans person. This is not taking a new name as part of religious conversion.

This is the campaign director for what purports to be a national religious program for children, and she ought to perform the minimal amount of ownership and accountability of actually standing behind what she’s doing.

But — and this is where it gets tricky with The Satanic Temple — Wright being the same person as June Everett is based on only her word, and unlike typical “Satanyms”, there are multiple people legally named “June Everett”, including in Colorado, where Wright and Everett are from. Both were even involved in Menstruatin’ With Satan Campaigns in Colorado: Everett in 2020 and Wright in 2020, and Everett again in 2021. And yet the top non-Facebook search results for Everett including a LinkedIn profile clearly are a different person from Wright.

It should not be this difficult to just confirm that someone is who they say are.

So, while Everett says that she is the same person as Wright, and both Wright and Everett have publicly claimed to be Campaign Director for the After School Satan club program, we still cannot independently confirm that they are. Which is wild.

The same day the conversation was happening between us where Everett accused us of doxing, a Jewish community was targeted while meeting in their synagogue yet again. Somehow Jewish people — who are actually targeted for the ethno-religion rather than just by euphemism and proxy as Satanists are — conduct their work under their own names, meet publicly, and have a sense of community that can have internal and external accountability.

What an awful, pathetic religion Satanism is if it wants to get national headlines, untraceable money, and the right to teach children but is too craven to even endure scrutiny.


Editor’s note: a previous version of this article described Heinrich Kaiser’s role with The Satanic Temple inaccurately.

[Once again, this has been a mirror of what was originally written by Queer Satanic. All content here has been reproduced from the original article. And let me just thank Queer Satanic for giving me an unexpected opportunity to raise the issue of After School Satan being a scam.]

What I don’t understand about the way Joe Rogan fans interpret freedom of association

I don’t really care about the brew-ha-ha surrounding Neil Young’s decision to take all his songs of off Spotify. It’s his decision, plus I’m not a big fan of either Neil Young or Joe Rogan. What brothers me, though, is the way some people talk about it like Neil Young has morphed into some kind of authoritarian ideologue for…voluntarily deciding that he doesn’t want to share a platform with someone he disagrees with and hence requesting that his songs be removed from there.

Understanding this requires only a very basic examination of the concept of freedom of association. Freedom of association means that an individual has the right to voluntarily join or leave a group of their choice, that a collective entity has the right organize on behalf of its members, and that groups can accept or decline membership based on what criteria they decide. Based on that rather basic overview, there’s really nothing Neil Young did that goes outside of that concept. All he did was decide that Joe Rogan’s talking points about vaccines (which often objectively constitute misinformation) meant that he couldn’t share a platform with Joe Rogan, and requested that Spotify remove his songs, which they did.

Whether we agree with that decision or not, and personally I don’t really care what he does with his music, all this amounts to is Joe Rogan exercising his freedom of association. But apparently, exercising your right to freedom of association is not only worthy of mockery, for some it actually represents a form of censorship and authoritarianism. I can’t stress enough how backwards you have to get these concepts in order to arrive at that conclusion. True, Neil Young did ask for Spotify to remove The Joe Rogan Experience podcast from their platform on the grounds of Covid-19 misinformation, but when Spotify refused, he merely chose to leave the platform rather than call upon “big government” to censor the podcast, and from there Spotify took no action that was not in accord with the voluntary request of Neil Young. Perhaps if they decide to remove The Joe Rogan Experience as a response to some public outcry, then maybe we could theoretically talk about censorship, and even then you could also argue about freedom of association, since that also mean people or groups being free to decide who gets to use their platform based on their own criteria. The so-called “free speech alternatives” are if anything often more restrictive than mainstream social media. Gab can actually censor you if you post certain memes or porn, and even Trump’s new social media project bans speech that is deemed “hateful”. But every time I see that stuff, the people on those sites justify it. So whose freedom of association is valid and whose isn’t?

You know, everyone likes to quote George Orwell. Yes, even Marxists do it. Anyone who is even remotely familiar with his famous novel 1984 should recognise the concept of doublethink, usually defined as the practice of accepting two mutually contradicting beliefs and ideas as simultaneously true. In 1984, this happens as a result of indoctrination. But in the real world, people train themselves into it all the time, and Joe Rogan’s defenders demonstrate this process themselves. The usual example of doublethink given for the novel is that classic slogan, “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”. But in the case of the Joe Rogan squad, freedom of association is oppression and voluntary acts unto yourself are compulsion of others.

There really isn’t much more to say here and it really is a non-issue, an inflated controversy, so let’s just leave that there.

The British government may have cancelled Iselder

Something happened recently in my home country, and by my home country I mean Wales, that I would like to take the time to talk about. There was an announcement from Iselder, the one-man Welsh black metal band whose lyrics are dedicated to the cause of Welsh nationalism, which looked initially like an early retirement. Here’s what Gofid, the man behind Iselder, said on the band’s Facebook page:

Today was meant to be a day of celebration. Today was meant to be the day where all my hard work paid off. Today was meant to be the day where my second full length album, Metel Du Gwir Cymreig, was finally released. However, that’s just not the case.

It’s been almost two months since I was arrested on suspicion of inciting arson/criminal damage due to the “Burn Your Local Holiday Home” parody t-shirts, and the lyrics from the song “Llosgi Bwriadol” from the upcoming album. In a cruel twist of fate, my day started the same way it did on September 15th, with a loud knocking on my door. Panicked, I quickly got dressed with my heart beating through my chest, only to realise it was just the postman delivering Christmas presents I had ordered the week prior. If anything this made me realise how deeply this has effected me, with something as simple as a knocking on my apartment door triggering flashbacks and major anxiety.

Due to my PC being in police custody still, I don’t have access to the masters to be able to release the album, or create the merch people had ordered. I also don’t have the means to ship out CDs of past albums, t-shirts, patches, or other merchandise due to those also being seized. My main passion of creating music has been stripped away from me, and my emotional outlet locked away for an uncertain amount of time.

I don’t have much left to say except thank you (or diolch in my native tongue) for all your support over the past couple of months. From comments to private messages, you’ve been nothing but supportive of me throughout this whole ordeal, and I wish there was an easy way to repay all of you for your kindness.

It seems that Gofid got arrested in September, as he recalls in a comment he was accused of inciting or at least encourgaing people to commit arson and property damage. Not even violence, just property damage. This seems to be over his satirical “Burn Your Local Holiday Home” shirt, which parodies the archetypal church burning meme, based on the church burnings that occurred throughout Norway in the early 1990s. The charges are obviously spurious, since in order to book him for those shirts you’d have to arrest every purveyor of church burning shirts everywhere. But Gofid’s arrest seems to have resulted in his personal computer and merchandise being confiscated by the authorities, held in custody for an indeterminate length of time, which means that Gofid is presently unable to press his upcoming album, “Metel Du Gwir Cymreig”, or release new merchandise. At present, it is still possible to support Iselder by buying from his record label, Marwolaeth Records. Marwolaeth Records has explained in a post that Metel Du Gwir Cymreig is currently postponed until sometime in 2022, and it remains possible to pre-order it on Bandcamp, if you’re willing to wait for it.

At this point, I think it’s necessary to explain what the deal is with holiday homes, and why they’re such a pain in the ass from the perspective of Welsh nationalists/independence supporters. A holiday home is basically a second home rented out for people to temporarily live in while they go on vacation. In Wales, the increasing concentration of these second homes is seen to have a negative impact on the local community, contributing to a broader housing crisis by pushing up housing prices for people living in Wales trying to buy their own home. This problem is not only economic in nature, but it also has some cultural implications, with young Welsh speakers being driven out of the housing market by soaring house prices created by the proliferation of holiday homes owned by English speaking holiday-goers, which would contritbute to the decline of Welsh national identity. From 1979 to the 1990s, there was a radical Welsh nationalist group called Meibion Glyndwr who were responsible for burning holiday homes in Wales that were being used by the English bourgeoisie. Back in the day, rich English people, including politicians, would buy up second homes in Wales as vacation residence, which made regular housing in Wales much more expensive, and Meibion Glyndwr was formed as a kind of violent response to those conditions. It’s that history that Iselder is clearly drawing on in their satirical imagery.

Apparently, though, drawing attention to this reality through black metal satire is offensive enough to get you arrested and basically kill your musical career. I suppose this is England’s way of colonizing Welsh art while it still can.

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t expecting this to happen to anybody. I mean, I get that black metal is one of those artforms known for certain brushes with the law. Varg Vikernes was arrested for killing Euronymous (the latter of whom also probably wanted to kill him) as well as in connection with the church burnings that took place in Norway, members of the Greek black metal band Nergal were arrested because the police thought they were involved with a murderous “Satanic cult”, Dagon from Inquisition was arrested for having child pornography on his computer, and a few other black metal bands have also been involved in crimes. But Gofid didn’t do anything illegal, much less wrong, and he gets arrested and has his work stolen by the police. Meanwhile, there are actual fascist bands out there who get semi-mainstream status in the world of black metal. And I don’t just mean bands with problematic assocations like Marduk or Dissection. I mean actual, bona fide, white supremacist and fascist bands whose lyrics are based on white supremacist ideology. High-profile bands like Satanic Warmaster (an outright neo-Nazi band), Graveland (who still releases albums that glorify “the white race”), Destroyer 666 (whose first album literally had lyrics glorifying white pride politics and still has fascist lyrics on their later albums), Nokturnal Mortum (who still perform at NSBM music festivals), Acherontas (who also performed at an NSBM festival and whose later albums seem to contain thinly-veiled fascist lyrical themes), Black Witchery (who have quite a lot of anti-Semitic lyrics), Nyogthaeblisz (whose lyrics are not only anti-Semitic but also seem to be drawn from the Order of Nine Angles), and Peste Noire (a band that uses a Nazi prison gang symbol and whose music is all kinds of racist), to name some notorious examples. Not to mention whole record labels, even ones that have mostly non-NSBM/fascist bands, being owned by Nazis/fascists, like Iron Bonehead Records (run by an apparent neo-Nazi named Patrick Kremer), Nuclear War Now Productions (run by a racist biotech CEO and Yukio Mishima fanboy named Yosuke Konishi), and World Terror Committee (run by Sven Zimper, the vocalist for the NSBM band Grand Belial’s Key who was also in another infamous NSBM band called Absurd).

I haven’t seen any stories of any of those guys getting arrested or having their homes busted open by cops to arrest him for white supremacist lyrics. In fact, I’m willing to bet that merely being accused of being a Nazi is the only real trouble they’ve ever had to face in their lives! Meanwhile a left-wing/left-leaning black metal musician who just makes songs about Welsh independence, history, and heritage gets arrested and has his music confiscated probably just for scaring some dumb settler-colonialist Anglos and/or their snowflakey sympathizers.

Words can’t express how much this aggravates me. Gofid can’t play, but fascists are out there enjoying celebrity status and make money off their music, and even get to be in festivals where they can faciliate connections with actual far-right terrorists, and I haven’t seen them suffer any real social consequences, apart from occasionally getting “cancelled”, and then having the voices of concerned metalheads against fascism deal with the possibility of being drowned out, not even necessarily by fascists, but by whiny, reactionary, often “apolitical” consumerists who don’t want to even wrestle with the challenge of just dealing with any concept of problematic faves. That’s just fucking horrid. But, I guess it’s a pretty good reminder of which side the state is all too often on, don’t you think? I mean, if Nazis and fascists aren’t being arrested for glorifying violence against Jews, but you can be arrested for satirically condemning the existence of second homes owned by English capitalists, then you know for a fucking fact that the capitalist state has a habit of tolerating fascists while persecuting radical leftists. Remember that for the next time somebody tries to whine about how the radical left control everything because some liberal politician said “Black Lives Matter” once and then never talked about police brutality again.

All that said, I say we ought to give the British state the middle finger and show some solidarity to Gofid and his band Iselder. I don’t usually do pro bono promotions like this, but what do you say about showing where you stand by buying whatever you want from Marwoleath Records! I know I intend to! Show Gofid some love and give the Welsh black metal scene a chance, and don’t give even a penny to the fascists who are laughing at you while you help them piss all over your freedom!

Oh, and one more thing. While Iselder has been getting shut down by the cops, I notice that Winterfylleth, who are practically an English nationalist band, got to play in Cardiff twice last month. Let’s not give them any money for them to go on interviews to whine about “Cultural Marxism” and Antonio Gramsci. Support Welsh, Scottish, and Irish independence! Support Iselder and Marwolaeth Records! Reject English colonialism!

Is Jacob McKelvy watching?

Over the last week I’ve been on the trail of Jacob McKelvy, the former leader of the Greater Church of Lucifer who has since gone on to be arrested on charges of child sexual assault and has been hiding his trail ever since he was let out of custody on bail pending a new trial. I have published two blog posts on the subject, each of them elaborating the case and the events following it, compiling the evidence connecting everything together. But over this time something strange has been happening in relation to the Facebook account for my blog.

Barthel Abraham, the man who came forward to this blog with the evidence of Jacob’s criminal case and new identity, has frequently reported to me that his messages keep disappearing. Under the Facebook post for my last article, he seems to have left five comments, but those comments are not visible to me, and my notifications tell me that there are no comments for that post, yet the post still indicates five comments. He suspects that either Facebook flagged him for spam, or someone has been following and reporting him – either Jacob himself, or possibly a minion of his.

What I am curious about is just who could be monitoring this account, if at all? If there is, I would suspect it to be Jacob himself. After all, he contacted this blog personally under the name Ya’akov ben Nahash in order to try and get me to tell his version of the story, and when I refused he changed his name to Baal Ben Shem and then deleted his account. There is an account active now called Baal Shem Tov, littered with anti-cosmic Satanist imagery. Could it be that he created this account so that he could report Barthel’s comments to Facebook? Or perhaps this is the work of his wife Michelle, a.k.a. Morana bat Nahash? Or maybe Jacob has someone as a contact for this sort of thing? But if there is someone monitoring the Facebook page of this blog, eager to spy on Barthel for some particular reason, I demand you to come forward and reveal yourself, because it is useless to hide. Jacob’s trail has already been discovered and brought to light, there’s little point in trying to obscure it again.

On “cancel culture” in light of recent political developments

The last few weeks have been interesting for anyone following the discourse of political correctness, or rather the way people talk about “cancel culture” nowadays, as conservatives in both the USA and the UK seem to be ratcheting up efforts to present themselves as the free speech movement on trivial culture war grounds. And before we get anywhere in discussing that let me establish from the get go that I simply despise the term “cancel culture”. It seems to have developed as a new way to refer to what might have simply been called political correctness a few decades ago, but is meaningless in practice. It might actually be an evolution of a previous term called “callout culture”, but if all it means is just a culture defined by widespread public shaming and ostracism as a means to remove undesired influences within in-groups, then that’s been around for as long as there have been organized human societies. I’ve even seen the term “cancel culture” applied to boycotting, which ironically is what conservatives have been doing for decades. By these terms, it was conservatives who were engaging in “cancel culture” towards any cultural expressions that were too progressive for them, just as much as it is progressives who do so for the opposite reason.

But anyways, just what is the controversy? Well, there are a couple of controversies that I have seen.

On February 25th through to February 28th, this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference took place under a heavy theme of “uncancelling America”. What does “uncancelling America” mean exactly? Well, going from what some of their speakers were saying, it seems to mean ignoring essentially all major policy discussions in favour of milking the idea of conservatives being under threat from liberal cultural elites, and judging from their social media output we can see that they are once again milking the tired old (and since debunked) talking points about some far-left takeover of universities. In practice, however, it also seems to mean cancelling speakers, as happened to the rapper Young Pharaoh over anti-semitic posts which blamed Israel, Jews, and for some reason the Communist Party of China for basically all social media censorship. What’s interesting is that CPAC’s official reason for booting him is that he expressed “reprehensible views that have no home with our conference or our organization”, which is funny because privately owned social media companies can say the same thing about literally anyone they despise. Now, I’m not saying that CPAC should have simply tolerated anti-semitism in their ranks, not by any means, but isn’t it just delicious irony that they have to start cancelling speakers after making their whole conference about how bad it is to cancel people for speech.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Conservative Party has been talking about taking action against universities over perceived threats to freedom of speech. What do they mean? Education Secretary Gavin Williamson answers this question by saying that he wants to appoint a “free speech champion” to the board of the Office for Students. This “champion” would have the authority to sanction British universities for fines if they fail to promote freedom of speech, at least by the standards of the government anyway. Essentially, the government wants to appoint minders to universities, or rather their student boards, who will monitor them for their activities and subject internal academic debate to state oversight, in the name of preserving freedom of speech. Of course, the irony hasn’t gone unnoticed, and the record of the Conservative Party on freedom of speech is easily shown to be appalling. Leftists criticize the Conservative Party for distracting from their own handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by waging culture war, and while it may seem hypocritical in light of progressive culture war tendencies, we know for a fact that the Conservatives have already been doing culture war in order to suppress our freedoms for decades, well before everyone on the internet started talking about how it’s the left that wants to do this, and all the while the party never actually stopped trying to control us. The only difference is that they’re glad that you think they’re not a threat anymore.

Back to the US, the last few weeks have highlighted the truly meaninglessness of the spectacle regarding “cancel culture”. On February 26th, the veteran toy company Hasbro announced that they would be changing their Mr Potato Head brand by removing the “Mr” part, in order to make the language gender neutral. Apparently this is only limited to the brand, and not to the actual toy itself. The toy characters will still exist, but the company sells them in a more gender neutral way. Now you could argue that this is rather pointless, merely a witless indulgence in political correctness (and I’d say that’s probably the case), but we can’t say that this was a case of them bowing to pressure from liberals/progressives. Quite the opposite, in fact. Hasbro only clarified their decision after the right began lashing out at the company. So if anything this has been right-wingers trying to cancel Hasbro for doing something they don’t like, and pressuring them to change, instead of liberals, and then proceeding to complain about the prevalence of “cancel culture” in the US. But then that’s just about the kind of self-awareness one should expect from the people who frequently resort to boycotting while pretending that it’s not sort of the same thing in principle. No seriously, what were they doing with Nike, for example, if not trying to cancel them for the Colin Kaepernick ad they ran? Or how about that time Charlie Hebdo ran a cover featuring Nazis drowning in a flood as a result of Hurricane Harvey and the right seethed at it, after previously defending Charlie Hebdo for their depictions of the prophet Muhammad and Muslims? Is that not “cancel culture”? Or is it only “cancel culture” when liberals and progressives think Charlie Hebdo goes too far in its depiction of Muslims and cry “hate speech”? This is nonsense and you don’t need to be much of an intellectual to see it.

And if that wasn’t enough, just behold how ass-mad conservatives got at the estate of Dr Seuss (or Theodor Seuss Geisel as was his real name) over its removal of six Dr Seuss books from publication. The books were removed because they contained depictions of non-whites that we would now judge to be racist, and which Dr Seuss himself has since regretted before his death. Conservatives are acting like those books have banned by the Democrats or some bullshit like that, but all that happened is that Dr Seuss estate removed those books on their own. I mean, unless you can point me to any actual legislation decreeing that those books are now banned from being published. And you know, it’s kind of funny that conservatives are defending Dr Seuss’ old material, because the same guy, during the 1940s, made cartoons depicting Josef Stalin in a rather heroic light, with one cartoon famously depicting him serving up a roasted Adolf Hitler for dinner. Of course, Dr Seuss wasn’t actually a communist. He was a liberal Democrat, a supporter of Franklin Roosevelt, and this was back in World War 2, when Russia was considered one of the Allies against the threat of Nazi Germany. But in this context he was also a staunch opponent of isolationism as well as fascism, cruelly mocked the America First movement for what he saw as its indifference to Nazi atrocity (hence the line, “but those were foreign children and it really didn’t matter” in one of his satires) as well as anti-semitism, a supporter of causes such as environmentalism and nuclear disarmament, and he even considered his own cartoon characters, such as Cat in the Hat, to be subversive icons of rebellion against authority. The irony of conservatives, including the Trump-supporting conservatives who appear to be at the vanguard of this nonsensical display, going out to bat for Dr Seuss’s cartoons is that his repertoire can easily be invoked conservative politicians like Trump, and indeed already has been. But the conservatives aren’t defending those cartoons. They’re defending some racist cartoons he made and has since regretted, because his estate removed them of their own free will. And now we’re at a point where Kevin McCarthy is reading Green Eggs and Ham in an embarrassing plea for the nation.

And you know, there’s something to this asinine culture war nonsense in America that should not be allowed to escape your notice. At right around the same time as all this is going on, there was also the struggle to get stimulus checks out to the American people to relieve them from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a struggle to implement a $15 minimum wage. When a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill was finally passed, not a single Republican voted for it. The $15 minimum wage, however, failed to get through, having been nixed by eight Democrats who took the side of Republicans on the issue. Notice that instead of talking about why they don’t want Americans to have any stimulus checks going to them, or why they think Americans shouldn’t get a living wage, Republicans are talking about how your established children’s entertainment is being banned even though no such bans were ever proposed or implemented. In fact, Kevin McCarthy also invoked an imagined crusade against Dr Seuss (claiming that Democrats “outlawed” Dr Seuss and “now they want to tell you what to say”) while delivering opposition to the For the People Act (or HR1), a bill that among other things would make Election Day a national holiday for federal workers, enable automatic voter registration, establish independent commissions in order to put an end to partisan gerrymandering, and overturn the Citizens United case that allowed super PACs to coordinate with political candidates. Indeed, no Republican at all supported this bill. They don’t want you thinking about your economic/material interests, they want you focused on brain-rotting culture wars that don’t mean anything so that you can forget about what’s happening in the real world. And the sad thing is they’ve probably been successful in getting liberals to go along with it snce instead of talking about Biden bombing the Middle East again they’re talking about Pepe Le Pew and Speedy Gonzales being problematic.

Now, I want to make something emphatically clear here. I don’t like political correctness, at all. And I think there is the argument to be made that the Potato Head thing falls into that in terms of it being classic politically correct rebranding, and the Dr Seuss thing, it could be argued, could represent a form of self-censorship. There’s also something involving the Muppets having a content warning for certain problematic themes and this plus the Pepe Le Pew thing is just silly. But voluntary conformity to prevailing cultural/normative expectations doesn’t really constitute some campaign by the Democrats to outlaw your favorite consumerisms. In fact, the same people who go on about how free markets mean companies can make their own choices have no right whatsoever to make such a big political cause over those same companies making that same choice in a way that they dislike. Republicans are using this to decry the preponderence of what they call “cancel culture”, but all they’re doing is cancelling Dr Seuss, Hasbro, and the Muppets for making decisions that they dislike. At least political correctness as a concept has meaning in the sense that it can be invoked in reference to pallid and dogmatic conformity to ideological orthodoxy and abstract moral rectitude – in fact, that’s exactly what the left meant by it before Allan Bloom and his ilk stole that concept from us and then the right recuperated it as a way of referring simply to modern liberal tendencies. “Cancel culture” on the other hand is simply a shorthand for when people do anything from vocally condemn someone or something for bad things being said or done to boycotts. It has no definite objectivity as a concept, and is simply means by which professional obscurants can lead you away from objective material conditions thus preventing you from changing them.

In short, people should do one of two things when the discourse of “cancel culture” emerges. We should either ignore it entirely and just move on to discourse on material public policy, or pay close attention to it on the grounds that we can see the ways in which it obfuscates material conditions. Of course, there is one other thing that should be done as well. Namely, we should reclaim the concept of political correctness as a term of social analysis from the opportunistic right-wingers who stole it from the left, just like they stole the entire concept of libertarianism from the left.

Green eggs and ham

Freedom in peril, under the knee

On Monday, a man named George Floyd was arrested by Minneapolis police for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill, only to be brutally murdered by a police officer, named Derek Chauvin, who crushed his neck beneath his knee for eight minutes, suffocating him to death. The police claimed that Floyd was resisting arrest, because of course that’s what they’d say. Soon after Chauvin and the other officers involved were fired and yesterday Chauvin was arrested. But this arrest was not before an ongoing series of riots broke on Minneapolis. What began as a peaceful protest against police brutality (namely the murder of George Floyd) somehow turned into a series of riots, possibly at the instigation of some mysterious agents.

The whole affair has already brought renewed attention to the issue of police brutality, albeit with a typically racialized focus (while it is vile that the US police are killing black people by deploying excessive force upon them, few of the people talking about racial violence will tell about the times that the US police murder white people), but the much graver consideration lies in what happens during the riots. A CNN reporter named Omar Jimenez along with a producer and photographer were randomly arrested by riot police while covering the riots. No reason was given for his arrest, so as far we can tell he and his crew were not breaking any laws. Jimenez was, thankfully, released soon after, but the fact that he was arrested on the spot at all for literally no crime or wrongdoing should tell you something disturbing. There was also an incident in Kentucky in which police fired rubber bullets at journalists without warning or provocation. For some unknown reason, US police are attacking and/or detaining journalists who are trying to cover the ongoing riots. This is an appalling and disgusting assualt on freedom of speech by US authorities.

Whatever is set to happen in America over this, I am certain that nothing good can come of it. Minneapolis is already imposing curfews on people over the riots, which is probably to be expected with the city constantly in flames (the rioters even managed to destroy a police station), but some fear that as the riots drag on the city will soon impose martial law on its citizenry. And given the fact that they’re attacking journalists both in Minnesota and out of state, I’m frankly not sure what to expect other than the civil liberties of Americans are going to take a beating. Even after the police officers who killed George Floyd are arrested and sentenced, who knows how many people are going to be detained, accosted and assualted for trying to cover the situation, and who knows how many more rights are in danger. Looks like this going to be a very grim week or so for liberty.

I am not a green

I have, on some level, been concerened with environmental issues for my entire life, even during my right-wing phase (in fact one of the problems I had with rightists at this time was their propensity to deny anthropogenic climate change). Perhaps it’s to do with the fact that I’ve been interested in wildlife and nature as a kid, but I have always had some sympathy with environmentalism, though perhaps not in its popular liberal form. Despite this, I have never once bothered to call myself a green, have never voted for the Green Party, and right now I won’t be intending to. I reject, wholeheartedly, such labels as ecosocialism, despite the fact of my longstanding environmentalist sympathies. Why? Because I consider the whole movement of green politics to be a gigantic fraud.

Last year, Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs released a new documentary film called Planet of the Humans, an environmentalist film that sought to criticize solar power, wind power and biomass from a progressive perspective, arguing that such energy sources are not only ineffective in acheiving their aims at providing clean energy, but also that such energy sources themselves are built on the back of the fossil fuel industry, with wind and solar plants requiring far more fossil fuel plants simply to construct than many fossil fuel plants themselves, and as a result have the hands of fossil fuel industrialists and the Koch Brothers behind them. Last week, on April 21st (the day before Earth Day as it happens), the film was made available for free on YouTube for a period of 30 days, and I recommend you watch it while you have the chance. The film goes into incredible detail as to the failures of wind, solar and biomass, the scale of fossil fuel consumption that goes into producing the planets, the many times that users of biomass and solar power end up relying on the same electrical grid as everyone else anyway, because as it turns out these “green” energies are only good for so much, how electric cars themselves actually depend on the same electric power grid that derives from fossil fuels and ultimately require tons of fossil fuels to produce, the many corporate ties to the present environmental movement, the fact that many of its proponents can’t even tell you what they think of biomass energy, and the fact that Earth Day, the “holy day” of the environmental movement, is essentially bought by huge corporations whose business is in destroying the environment and slaughtering animals for biomass and fossil fuels, not to mention that the actual festival is powered predominantly by diesel rather than solar power (which is only good for powering toasters per the admission of the festival organizers).

Predictably, the film was not received well by green liberals, and some on the left. In fact, many environmental activists and so-called climate experts began calling for the movie to be banned not long after its release on YouTube. A Stanford University professor along with several activists (including Bernie Sanders campaign surrogate Josh Fox) tried to get the film removed and succeeded in getting Films for Action, an outlet that has no connection to or relationship with Michael Moore, to briefly remove the film from their library. Extinction Rebellion was outraged by the film, denouncing it as lies and misinformation, supporting the decision to ban it. I can only imagine what Greta Thunberg must be thinking. Much of the criticism is rather hollow, claiming that it misrepresents the green movement and calling the footage dated, and then just leaves it at that. Many of them are simply mad that Planet of the Humans wasn’t another flick about how bad Republicans and fossil fuels are, as though such criticism is in short supply. I want to know how they can look at me with a straight face and tell me that the senseless desolation of the lush American deserts and other landscapes, the grinding of living animals into a pulp for fat (not to mention grinding random foliage into a pulp for biomass fuel), and the pumping of our atmosphere with even more fossil fuels is an acceptable trade off for their impotent “green”energies. Given that Green parties and ecosocialism are wedded to “renewable” energies as the solution despite the fact that they do demonstrably more harm to the planet than good, and the fact that they try to censor people on the left who tell the truth about it, I’d say this sort of thing is the reason why I can’t consider myself a green. It also points to things like the Green New Deal (rapidly embraced by Democrats and some of Labour) being a fraud because it too depends on such damaging energy sources (oh and, btw, are we not going to talk about how the very concept was first propounded by a right-wing warmonger?).

Although for all of that, I do have a problem with Gibbs’ overall message despite this. His analysis on the flaws of green energy are brilliant, packed with an inescapable clarity and visible truth-to-power, but there seems to be no conclusions in sight. And to be honest if we consider that early in the film he remarks about how tools of industrial civilization cannot save us from industrial civilization, the constant talk about population control, and his negative attitude toward growth writ large, albeit wrapped up in a salient point about how infinite growth on a finite planet is suicidal, coupled with the lack of discussion of nuclear power or socialism, it strikes me that, ultimately, Gibbs is not capable of offering systemic solutions, despite a pretty systemic analysis, and so we are left to blame mankind for a problem of systemic development, not individual moral failing. The end result, taken together, leaves us with a void that leaves room for a great deal of misanthropy, which could lead us down the road of things like “deep ecology” which creates ample room for genocidal eco-fascism. I guess he didn’t want to talk about nuclear power because he couldn’t find anything really bad about it other than Chernobyl or Fukushima, and he figures that talking in favour of it would make him sound like a right-winger (a laughable point, considering that the communists of old were happy to make use of nuclear power), although perhaps he doesn’t want to talk about socialism because deep down he is not enough of a leftist to consider it. And I’m quite serious on the point of nuclear power: for all the incidents we’ve had with it, I think that, since fossil fuels are not tenable in the long run, and since “green” energies are anything but, nuclear power is going to be the only way to meaningfully change our means of producing energy . But Gibbs does not discuss this, and for me that is ultimately a problem. I also do wonder what thoughts Gibbs has on things like the Paris Accord, or the fact that China and India are major world polluters who get no blame from modern environmentalists, but then he probably thinks that’s a right-wing talking point too.

All in all, though, his film is illuminating as to the problem with the green movement and if you needed a real shot in the arm to convince yourself not to support the greens (who let’s face it only exist as a drain on left-wing votes), I recommend this film to you. As for the left as a whole, I think it must abandon things like ecosocialism and similar movements, because any political movement that has the word “eco” in it is almost certainly going to involve continuing the use of solar, wind and biomass plants which are killing the planet in much the same way as fossil fuels are (and in fact depend on those very fossil fuels themselves), while at the same time recapturing environmentalism from the greens from a humanistic lens. We are not going to escape Nature, nor destroy Nature, for we in fact our Nature in our very own way, it is because of civilization that we can even appreciate this fact, and it is only through a harmonious civilizational order that we can save the planet and our species from destruction.

The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the Mojave Desert, California


Please watch Planet of the Humans here, while it’s still up on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE

The First Amendment is officially a joke

The last month has been very eventful for freedom of speech on the Internet, and not for good cause. Last week, Tumblr announced a total ban on pornography would be implemented on December 17th. As has often been the case in past moral crusades against pornography, the impetus for this is a classic “think of the children!” scenario. In a statement, Tumblr makes it explicitly clear that their underlying motivation is to crack down on child pornography. But, it should be obvious to us that this excuse is a hollow in its self-righteousness. First of all if it was truly only child pornography they were concerned with, they would not be so focused on removing all adult content on the website. Secondly, despite the website’s claims to still allow free discussion about sexuality, the new move appears to present a credible threat to various sexual subcultures, sex-positive activists and sex workers by targeting their content even if it is not overtly pornographic.

In addition to this, art featuring nudity will inevitably also be targeted by this blanket and imprecise ban, as classical religious artwork featuring nude goddesses, saints and even Jesus himself have been flagged as “adult content”. This will not simply affect classical art either. Stealing Knowledge, a Tumblr blog which catalogues all sorts of interesting and obscure tidbits pertaining to my favored gamed series Shin Megami Tensei, also expects to have content flagged and then removed from the website, especially under ridiculous pretexts. And Tumblr is not alone in such censorship of art. Facebook actually banned an art historian and curator named Ruben Cordova from their website for posting pictures of Met Bruer’s popular exhibition Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body, which seems to have triggered the website’s algorithm for nude photos which are banned by the website. With this in mind, it becomes empirically clear that Tumblr is joining a much broader trend in social media of sanitizing online space under the guise of fighting child pornography.

Now you might be wondering what precisely this whole thing has to do with the First Amendment of the United States constitution. Well there are those who speculate that Tumblr was simply gearing up for new FOSTA-SESTA legislation which will have nasty consequences for the future of online pornography in general. Under the pretext of fighting human trafficking (on that point it’s worth mentioning that only a small number of cases actually relate to pornography), SESTA legislation will target websites that allegedly “promote or facilitate prostitution”, which is broad enough that legal escort services, certain cryptocurrencies and even pornography might be included. As a matter of fact, supporters of such legislation themselves are quite candid in their hope that such legislation will lead to a ban of pornography entirely. This is problematic because of the fact that the First Amendment protects most forms of erotic entertainment, with obvious exceptions such as child pornography and revenge porn, and in fact there are already fears that FOSTA-SESTA represents an intrusion of First Amendment rights.

I cannot ignore the irony of all this. The First Amendment is supposed to be America’s ironclad guarantor of freedom of speech and expression in the United States, the example of such for the free world (in contrast to my country where we don’t even have a written constitution). But the powers that be can effectively subvert it in the name of a substanceless moral panic disguising the expansion of unitary power over free expression. This applies not only to pornography and sex-positive communities (not to mention online LGBT groups), but also, as I’ve pointed out months ago, criticism of Israel. America, for its pretense to care about freedom of speech, is quite prepared to destroy it in as many ways as it can get away with in order to sanitize public discussion on the Internet.

On campus censorship: it looks like we’ve been deceived

I remember back in 2015-2016 there were many things going on within both American and British colleges/universities. The safe spaces, the loud minority of people who came to be referred to as social justice warriors, the trigger warnings, anti-racist protesters who demand the removal of some speakers, and people like Michelle Click, painted the picture of the modern university as a repressive environment (though I always thought it weird how this was never the case for my university as such). This put together with a confluence of narratives surrounding left-liberal intellectual hegemony within wider society, made it easy to believe that there was some kind of authoritarian left dominance of the campus space at the expense of intellectual diversity and freedom. You’ll find this narrative parroted to this day by the likes of Jonathan Haidt, Jonah Goldberg, David Frum, Douglas Murray, Jonathan Chait, Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Bret and Eric Weinstein (the latter of whom works for Peter Thiel and supported the NXIVM-backed The Knife Media), Dave Rubin (himself backed by the Koch Brothers), Dennis Prager (from the outright Pravda organisation known as Prager University), Charles Murray, Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk (from another Pravda organisation and living meme known as Turning Point USA), as well as the people who comprised the GamerGate crowd, including Carl Benjamin. It’s so ubiquitous an idea that even former president Barack Obama referenced it in a speech about free speech on college campuses. As much sense as it seemed to make at the time, some data has recently emerged that casts doubt on the narrative we’re used to.

Vox recently released an article about some data drawn from studies conducted by Georgetown University back in March, and the Niskanen Center in April. The overall picture, contrary to popular imagination and the odd New York Times column, is that it is actually left-leaning individuals who face the most censorship. In the Niskanen Center study, you will find a graph sourced from The US Faculty Termination for Political Speech Database which shows that it is actually liberal/left-leaning faculty members who are terminated over political speech more often than their conservative/right-wing counterparts. Not only that, if you look at the graph, you’ll notice a curious trend: starting at 2015, you do indeed find that it is conservative academics who are more likely to be terminated, but when you get to 2016, not only do we see liberals/lefties get fired more, but the number of liberals/lefties getting fired for political speech skyrockets over the next year, while the number of conservatives getting fired flatlines from 2016 onwards. If conservatives were really getting persecuted for political speech across the board, that trend would be reversed.

The Georgetown University study points out that while there are definitely high-profile instances of right-wing speakers being shut down (Gavin McInnes, Milo Yiannopolous, Ben Shapiro et al), there are just as surely incidents of (at least seemingly) left-leaning individuals who faced censure and don’t get nearly the same coverage: there was Lars Maischak (a professor of American history at California State University) who was fired for tweeting that Donald Trump should be hanged, there was Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (a professor at Princeton University) who was forced to cancel speeches in Washington and California because of death threats following a commencement speech where she called Trump a racist, sexist megalomaniac, there was Sarah Bond (a professor of classics at the University of Iowa) who faced death threats from white supremacists for suggesting that the ancient marble statues of Greece and Rome became white because of age and were originally painted in colour (because apparently suggesting that Greek statues were painted is some kind of Cultural Marxist agenda for white genocide), and there was a student named Dee Dee Simpson (a graduate of Sonoma State University in California) who was reprimanded for reciting a poem during graduation in which he condemns the violence that occurs against African-Americans.

Let that last part sink in: a student in what we’re all told is a left-dominated academic environment was reprimanded for condemning violence against African-Americans. That alone should cast doubt on the narrative concerning academic political correctness.

I should also mention John Summa from the University of Vermont (who is not mentioned in the study), who tried to teach his students alternative economics and critiques of neoclassical economics and whose contract was not renewed, and has had to fight for his career in order to continue teaching. But you will not see self-proclaimed “free speech warriors” take the side of any of those people, because they do not care. It is typically only when non-left-leaning or non-progressive figures face silence that they sound the horn of outrage. And sometimes they even call for the censorship of people they disagree with, as was the case for George-Ciccariello Maher (over his white genocide tweet). Not to mention, Fox News openly calls for the censorship of anyone in academia, college or high school, who insults a Republican or whatever it is they care about, chiding them for basically committing hate speech (funny how conservatives can’t even be consistent in their opposition to the concept of hate speech), such as the example of Gregory Salcido who bashed the military and was accused of bullying and snitched on by some snowflake students. Ironic, isn’t it?

And if that’s not enough, even the basic premise of this authoritarian far-left dominance of academia is not supported by data. Last year, InsideHigherEd looked into the subject, and one of the things they found was that academia was actually dominated by self-identified moderates. 46.1% of faculty members identify as moderates, 44.1% identify as liberal or left-leaning, and just 9.2% identify as conservative or right-leaning. This would mean that, technically, left-leaning academics are not in fact the dominant force in universities. Hell, even the narrative of academic dominance has shifted over the years. According to the Niskanen study, even the number of conservatives who believe that universities are hostile towards their speech has gone down within the last two years, while now it’s liberals/lefties who believe that universities are hostile towards them.

While we’re still here, I’ve also discovered some research conducted by a political scientist named Justin Murphy, specifically an article titled “Who Is Afraid of Free Speech in the United States?”, and it turns out that the far-left are nowhere near as averse to freedom of speech as you would be lead to believe nowadays. His research showed that “extreme liberals” (possibly referring to hard-leftists given America’s bastardized political lexicon) are actually the most supportive of freedom of speech within the broad political spectrum, and that the centre-left (or slightly left) and the far-right, not the far-left, are the groups most opposed to freedom of speech. In a way this finding kind of dovetails with a recent New York Times article which showed that centrists, rather than extremists, are statistically the least supportive towards democracy (which is ironic considering the New York Times is one of the archetypal liberal centrist outlets).

Keep in mind, all of this is applicable to America, here in the United Kingdom, a YouGov poll was released a few months ago which suggests that there is no actual evidence that students are more likely to oppose freedom of speech.

So, in broad summary, the narrative of overbearing dominance of academia by crazy left-wing ideologues and the suppression of academic freedom by them is a myth, based on lies by omission and popular anecdotes concerning political correctness on campus, pushed predominantly by conservative ideologues for the purpose of delegitimizing both left-wing and liberal movements, increasing support for right-wing political causes and politicians, getting liberal media outlets to hire conservative writers (whilst they hardly ever practice the same intellectual diversity with liberals for their own outlets) and generally projecting their own sense of victimhood. Yes, you heard me: much of this has been a self-serving victim narrative this entire time. The SJWs you see make up a loud minority that can be used to paint the left in general with a broad brush by those who want to accuse them of being fascists.

Pretty much

All this in mind, I would like to add some historical context to the basic premise I’ve described as well, because it is actually an old narrative within American politics. Right-wing pundits have been complaining about what they termed political correctness for past few decades, arguably beginning with the release of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals and Dinesh D’Souza’s Illiberal Education.  Even centrists embraced it at the time, with publications such as The Atlantic and New York Magazine running such cover stories as “Better Watch What You Say!” and “Are You Politically Correct?” as far back as 1991. Furthermore, as John K Wilson pointed out in The Myth of Political Correctness, the Olin Foundation gave thousands of dollars not only to Dinesh D’Souza, Charlie Sykes, The New Criterion (a conservative art journal edited by Roger Kimball), Peter Collier, David Horowitz (both of whom wrote a journal called Heterodoxy dedicated to “exposing” excessive political correctness), and Carol Iannone, but also supposedly liberal and centrist figures such as Christina Hoff Sommers and Richard Bernstein (the latter of whom worked for the New York Times), in order to promote the idea that authoritarian, politically correct left-wingers are attacking academic freedom. While the modern outrage over political correctness seems grassroots, and arguably sort of is (which I will touch on later), back then the whole political correctness thing was very much a mainstream media narrative backed up by right-wing think tank money. But this isn’t even the beginning of the trope. That honour goes to William F Buckley Jr, probably the grandfather of modern American right, and his 1951 book God and Man at Yale, which argued Yale was forcing left-wing ideology on its students and suppressing conservative (not to mention, Christian) thought on campus, and incidentally was also published by Regnery Publishing (owned by the financiers of the National Policy Institute). Huh, it seems even in the beginning there was right wing money behind it.

In broad terms, what we are seeing now is a repeat of the academic debates surrounding political correctness and alleged suppression of intellectual diversity that occurred in the late 1980s and the 1990s. Since there is no evidence of a takeover of authoritarian left-wing politics between the 1990s and the 2010s in the United States (I mean, unless somehow a secretive Bolshevik cabal successfully infiltrated the American government), we can conclude that the discussion of back then proved to be just a moral panic, and can speculate from here that the modern discussion surrounding academic political correctness will likely prove to be a moral panic as well.

Of course, while not identical in nature, the narrative also dovetails nicely with the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory, which has been a thing since the late 1980s, originally propounded by far-right thinkers such as William Lind, Paul Weyrich (who along with Jerry Falwell started the Moral Majority movement in the late 1970s, and was also the founder of the Heritage Foundation), Pat Buchanan, and Paul Gottfried, and largely took off after the Cold War. The theory goes that the Frankfurt School infiltrated academic institutions across the West in order to displace classical Western philosophy and “Judeo-Christian values” in order to subvert the political stability of the West, and also something about Jewish subversion. No seriously, guys like Lind and Buchanan ascribed “Cultural Marxism” to the Jewish race, and Lind himself even said “they are also, to a man, Jewish” when describing the Frankfurt School in a speech to Accuracy in Academia, which is probably no accident considering that the general theory of Jewish Marxists subverting culture and academia is essentially an echo of the Nazi ideology of Kulturbolshevismus (or Cultural Bolshevism), where just about anything that wasn’t romantic fascist culture that promoted the Nazi party and ideology was deemed the product of Marxist and Jewish subversion. This is an idea that continues to be prominent within the far-right, and hasn’t died out with the Nazis. In fact, the mythology of Cultural Marxism in some form is espoused today not just by hardline right-wingers, but also self-described libertarians and classical liberals, and one Jordan Peterson (who repackages it as “postmodern neo-Marxism” because he doesn’t understand any of the ideologies he’s trying to reference). Oh, and the notorious fascist terrorist Anders Breivik, whose massacre of students in Norway brought the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory back into the spotlight.

According to the modern version of Cultural Marxism, the SJWs and the already nebulous and non-empirical notion of illiberal progressive dominance of academia, not to mention the liberal media, is actually part of a long standing, ongoing conspiracy by Marxists to destroy not just traditional values (this time) but also the liberal democratic values of the Enlightenment as a quest to destroy all forms of meaning and value and replace them with mindless intellectual anarchy so that they can create a populace ripe for control by elites. Oh, and if you believe the whole package for long enough, it still involves Jews. It’s still a revival of a fascist conspiracy theory, and because it got spread around as an explanation for modern political correctness, many people on supposedly liberal circles who found themselves opposed to the SJWs ended up adopting the term to describe modern liberal-progressive tendencies and the SJWs, though not always believing it wholesale.

I think I’ve said enough on this point, but it’s worth considering how the mythology of academic political correctness and thought suppression became a thing in the 2010s. Like I said earlier, I think it can still be argued that the modern outrage about political correctness had a somewhat grassroots source, and I do stand by that. While it is true that right-wing money is still there and a powerful player in all this (Turning Point USA, for instance, is sponsored by Dennis Prager and the NRA, and Dave Rubin is sponsored by Learn Liberty, a division of the Institute for Human Studies which is partly run by one of the Koch Brothers), I do believe there are people in both academic and online circles who have encountered people who are progressive and/or liberal but possess an authoritarian mindset or controlling personality, and their activities and personalities may have moved a number of people to the right or at least away from the left. Not to mention, we can’t erase the well-documented incidents of SJWs doing what they do best – namely intimidate and harass people and disrupt events by shouting at them about privilege. A lot of this probably has something to do with the way GamerGate exploded into a wider “culture war” of sorts against progressives, and while the original impetus of the movement began with 4chan chat logs, it did trigger a lot of grassroots support drawn towards it. Not to mention, the broad concept of political correctness does sometimes apply to real phenomenon, such as the cases of the Rotherham and Rochdale grooming gangs and how they were handled by the authorities. Finally, while, academia is dominated by moderates, there is still a large enough presence of left-leaning academics and there is much said about said left-leaning academics in various media circles that can lead you to think that left-leaning thought is dominant.

Taken together, there are good reasons you can find yourself falling into this popular myth about academic suppression based on political correctness. If there is a lesson to take from this besides the main point, it’s the simple fact that people and their worldviews are formed and shaped by the environments they are in and the information they take in about it (which is often limited, either by circumstance or willful denial stemming from personal bias). And so for many Americans at least, their experience at university could well lead them into the worldview they have now. It’s also worth addressing how a lot of grassroots sentiment can be picked up by big moneyed political interests when it aligns with their own pre-existing goals. It happened with The Tea Party and the Koch Brothers, it’s been going on with the Mercers supporting nationalism, right-populism and the alt-right, it happened with Occupy Wall Street where a surprising number of the bourgeoisie supported it, and we’re seeing a lot of the “free speech warrior” crowd line up with conservatism and find the support of Turning Point USA, which is financially tied to Dennis Prager and is even known for trying to funnel money to conservative causes. In fact, there are several conservative think tanks operating on college campuses in America funneling dark money to conservative causes, suggesting that what’s been going on back in the 1990’s is still happening today, and that these dark money groups see, in the modern liberal outrage against SJWs, a golden goose opportunity to infiltrate universities and swing disaffected liberals over to the Republican Party and the right wing. All the same though, it would be a mistake to think this is some sort of anti-establishment sentiment. In fact, as I’ve established, far from being a sentiment that exists chiefly on the rebellious fringes of Internet politics, the mythology of academic political correctness is not only a long-held right-wing trope but also an embedded idea of the neoliberal-neoconservative-centrist alliance for decades.

Meanwhile, I think the mythology of a leftist dominance of academia and plot to destroy academic freedom is likely to set Americans down a path that will, ironically, be the real danger to academic freedom, because the ideologues who propound this mythology are ultimately hypocrites. Jordan Peterson not only barred Faith Goldy from sharing a platform with him and other “free speech activists”, but he is also on record saying that there should be a blacklist for professors who teach postmodernism and “neo-Marxism”, which is just a rehash of what Joseph McCarthy did and is also the kind of thing you expect from Richard fucking Nixon. Turning Point USA has a project called Professor Watchlist, which is pretty much exactly the kind of blacklist that Peterson advocates and exists almost entirely to shame professors for holding the wrong opinions on campus. Bari Weiss, a Zionist New York Times columnist who claims to defend academic freedom, has a history of trying to suppress academic criticism of Israel. There are also many cases where the liberal Alan Dershowitz pressured colleges and journalists over cartoons depicting him as having odious political views and colleges hosting BDS speakers, all because it’s “offensive” to him as a Zionist, and he even led a campaign to deny Norman Finkelstein his tenure at DePaul University because of his academic criticisms of Israel. It is actually somewhat well-documented that anti-Israel voices have a habit of being smeared as anti-Semites by people who want to shut them down, and cartoonists can actually be fired for making satirical cartoons critical of Benjamin Netanyahu or Israeli foreign policy. As I mentioned earlier, Fox News and many right-wing channels on YouTube will openly condemn any academic speaker who is against Republicans, Trump, the armed forces, Israel and other things they care about, and sentimentally disregard their exercise to free speech as treasonous hate speech. They wouldn’t be the only right wingers who aren’t consistent about free speech either. And, contrary to the narrative surrounding campus censorship, the real threats to free speech are not radical left-wing students, but actually the American government in accordance with the whims of Donald Trump and the Republican party, who are all too eager to suppress left-wing or anti-fascist/anti-racist protests whilst having gall to claim they’re supporting freedom of speech, expression and association. What’s more, far from being alienated, libertarian and conservative ideologues are being pushed into academia by right wing donors. But you’ll never be told this by the likes of Fox News, The New York Times, Spiked, or Carl Benjamin, or any of the intellectuals set against what they call the regressive left (by now simply a catch all term for any leftist that liberals don’t like).

That’s all I have to say on this. I do regret focusing so much on the American situation without saying anything about the British situation, but there honestly isn’t much to say about the situation here in the UK, or at least it’s far less pronounced than in America where there is dark money everywhere. However, I would not be too surprised if I found that there are right wing think tanks operating in colleges in the UK and doing similar things to what the American think tanks are doing. What happens in America never really stays there. As a final point, let me just say that political correctness as a broad concept is still a thing. It’s overplayed and mythologized to merry fuck by right wing capitalists who want to take over higher education, but it can used to refer to many things in political life pertaining to some semblance of unspoken manners of conduct, though hardly the monolithic progressive ideology that certain reactionary ideologues portray it as in order to smear left-wingers as totalitarians-in-waiting. But the narrative of this concerted left wing effort to silence free speech on college campuses is simply not supported by data. In fact, it is empirically clear that it is the liberals of the center who are among the real authoritarians, who ally with the right wing in order to suppress dissident voices in the name of capital and power on behalf of the establishment, for they don’t really value freedom of speech like they claim to, at least not universally.

So, in closing, if you are for freedom of speech, you must realize that the left, for the most part, are not your enemies. The evidence is clear on this matter. It is time to stop treating them as such. The real enemies are the coalitions of capitalists who funnel money towards right-wing causes and the centrists who cry free speech in one breath while silencing opposing voices in the next, and the rapid expansion of state power in the Western world that threatens freedom of speech for everybody. The narrative that the left are the real authoritarians is a way for the American liberal-conservative alliance to maintain power and clout and push back the influence of social-democratic and progressive politics in America, which is no coincidence given the rise of social democracy in the 2010s.

Do not be deceived.

On Alex Jones being deplatformed

Well isn’t this funny. Not too soon after I write a post where I mention Alex Jones and now I find myself talking about him again. I have received news that yesterday Facebook, iTunes, YouTube and Spotify have all removed Alex Jones’ show and channel from their respective platforms, effectively banning him from being able to broadcast on their platforms. The main reasons being given for this decision seem be that InfoWars violated the websites’ guidelines concerning hate speech, but I’m not entirely sure what specific action triggered this decision. I have heard from one source that it was over a podcast in which he seemingly threatened Robert Mueller and fantasized about killing him on his show, or how he seemingly threatened homosexuals, transgender individuals and drag queens and called for them to be burned alive, but I’m not quite sure what did it for Apple, Facebook, Spotify and Google. It’s possible, however, that his recent efforts to put his podcast on Spotify might have sealed the deal, with Spotify users apparently threatening to cancel paid subscriptions to the platform if they continue to host Infowars.

Now, why am I talking about this? Well for one thing, I think we in the Satanist and Luciferians circles are all too familiar with his shtick: him peddling conspiracy theories wherein politicians and media personalities he doesn’t like are basically demons from the pit of hell who want to kill Christians, enslave mankind and take over the world. You know, fundamentalist Christianity jacked up on ketamine, and with a bunch of other weird conspiracy theories on top of it (like gay frogs, chemtrails, and NASA allegedly running a pedophile ring on Mars). So he’s been on our radar for some time now, and imagine many of us aren’t really shedding a tear for him at this moment. And for another thing, I think there are points to make about freedom of speech and incitement.

I, honestly, am quite neutral on this issue. I know that might seem strange for someone as pro-free speech as I am, but do hear me out.

In principle, I don’t support the idea of Alex Jones getting deplatformed in the way that has been. However, it would be easy for me to take his side on the issue were it not for the fact that Alex Jones has come suspiciously close to incitement numerous occasions. For instance, in January he went on a bizarre, unhinged rant about CNN’s Brian Stelter, where he accuses him of being a devil worshipper who wants to control every aspect of your life somehow, and implies that he is going to “resist” him (whatever that entails) with everything he has and that God is going to destroy him. In 2016, Jones outright called for supporters of Bernie Sanders to have their jaws broken. More recently, he seemingly called for drag queens to be burned alive, which Pink News also claims is the reason for Alex Jones getting banned from Facebook. There was also a rant last year where Jones threatened to beat up Rep. Adam Schiff, apparently over something to do with accusations of him being an agent of Russia. And that recent story about Robert Mueller? I’m not making that one up. In fact, let me just leave a video compilation below which shows multiple examples of Jones’ threats, including some I already mentioned.

In summary, Alex Jones frequently skirts the line, sometimes even outright crosses the line, into incitement to violence for individuals he doesn’t like, usually while layering a sense of plausible deniability on top of his grandiose and vulgar threats. With Robert Mueller for instance, he insists that he’s going to get him “politically” in his rant. Because you know, he doesn’t really want to shoot him, even though he says he’s a pedophile who should be shot. Classy. But then there is a peculiar question we must ask, and I think some journalists have asked the same question: why hasn’t Alex Jones been deplatformed sooner given his particular history?

To be honest, I think the answer to that is probably to do with the ways in which Jones can give a sense of plausible deniability to himself. Besides the kind of thing I already mentioned, when Alex Jones was sued for custody of his kids by his ex-wife Kelly, his lawyer defended him by claiming that Alex Jones is a performance artist playing a fictional character. This is a very effective way of granting plausible deniability to his threats – after all, if it’s all just an act, then those threats aren’t really threats, they’re just part of the act; just a meme bro. It’s also a convenient falsehood, given that Alex Jones tends to double down on his conspiracy theories when pressed on the subject, and he will insist that what he believes is the truth outside of his show.

There is another issue with the subject of his deplatforming however, one that cannot be overlooked. I have heard the argument that after Alex Jones’ deplatforming, it is only a matter of time before the media begins to deplatform others who are accused of promoting conspiracy theories – not just right-wing nutjobs like Alex Jones who actually promote conspiracy theories, but left-leaning guys like Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore who are both critical of the Russiagate canard and are considered to be conspiracy theorists and fake news promoters by their centrist opponents. On the one hand it’s easy to the logic: America is already at a point where it looks like Silicon Valley capitalists can generate a monopoly on what is considered true and false because of their entrenchment within mainstream political circles. This may partly explain why they have wanted Alex Jones gone for some time now, because they believe he is spreading fake news (which, to be fair, he is and that’s his business model). On the other hand, I do have to stress again that Jones has a record of incitement, and I believe this sets him apart from people like Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore, who never come close to inciting anything.

Another argument you could make, one that I think might have more weight, is that deplatforming Alex Jones will only give people more reason to believe his ideas or give them credence, as The Guardian’s Sam Levin has argued. It makes sense because the removal can seen by devotees or sympathizers of the conspiracy theorists as proof that they are trying to shut that person down for his ideas, even in cases where that’s not actually true and you can point to cases of incitement to violence as a reason for their deplatforming.

Regardless, I will say this to any self-proclaimed free speech warriors thinking of unequivocally defending him. Why is it that someone like Alex Jones, who skirts the line between free speech and incitement to violence, worthy of defence in the name of free speech, and someone like Jake Flores, a comedian who made a joke on Twitter about ICE agents getting killed, gets his door knocked down by the US government is treated to radio silence? Keep in mind, when Count Dankula made jokingly taught his dog to give Nazi salutes, you guys rightly defended him. But when the US government bust down someone’s door over a joke, I don’t see you guys saying anything, and not only that but some of you guys defend the very state organization that violates your free speech principles. The Spanish government also arrests people for joking about public officials being assassinated and insulting the monarchy, and I have never, ever seen anyone outside the left talk about that. And aren’t you usually the people who, when you’re not talking about people you like getting deplatformed by private companies, you defend the very architecture of capital and private property that allows social media companies to have flagrant disregard for your freedom of speech? Well, even within that premise, why does Alex Jones getting deplatformed elicit moral outrage, but not when Facebook targets pro-Palestine groups at the behest of Israel and the US government? Is it because Alex Jones is somehow anti-establishment? Never mind of course that Alex Jones defends the people now in power in America on a regular basis, says nothing about the detention camps that ICE has implemented since the Obama administration even though he was the same guy who claimed Barack Obama was going to implement FEMA camps on his way out of office, and no matter how many times Trumps bombs Syria and goes against his supposedly non-interventionist America First program, he will always go back to supporting him out of Republican partisanship. Or is it simply because of some sort of partisanship wherein if it happens anyone who isn’t to your left you don’t care? Gee, it really gets my almonds going when even fundamentalist right-wing Christians like Rick Wiles decide that Alex Jones is going too far their liking, but the average online “free speech warrior” takes Alex Jones’ side.

Overall, this for me is not about hate speech. I oppose the concept of hate speech, but I also oppose incitement to violence. I can’t take Alex Jones’ side on this one. I’m not gonna cheer for his apparent censorship, but I’m not going to shed a tear either because I think Alex Jones might have ultimately brought this on himself.