The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A Minnesota man who had been making an independent film depicting the coming of a “New World Order” in America was found dead with his family over the weekend in what investigators have said appears to be a murder-suicide.
But the man’s supporters have quickly spun a conspiracy theory pointing to the federal government as malicious actors trying to silence the truth.
Crowley, 29, was found dead, along with his wife Komel, 28, and daughter Rani, 5, in their suburban Apple Valley home south of Minneapolis. Investigators said it appeared that the bodies had been there for several weeks—probably since before Christmas—and deemed it a probable murder-suicide, with Crowley the apparent perpetrator.
However, in the conspiracy theory industry in which Crowley operated his home-based filmmaking business, the deaths were immediately assumed to be assassinations carried out by nefarious “New World Order” agents.
At Alex Jones’ InfoWars site, the news story reporting on the deaths described the “suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths,” namely, “the controversial nature of Crowley’s latest project, entitled Gray State, a highly-anticipated independent film envisioning a brutal police state, martial law crackdown, complete with biometric identification, a ubiquitous surveillance state and FEMA stormtroopers rounding dissidents up into camps.”
Indeed, a look at the trailer Crowley created for Gray State reveals it to be an attempt to film nearly every fever-dream conspiracy theory about the New World Order of the past ten years:
Crowley successfully raised over $60,000 in 2012 in an Indiegogo campaign to make the film, and a number of scenes were filmed on sets with professional actors. These included scenes involving roundups and executions of American citizens, home surveillance and forcing children to have chips implanted in their bodies.
Crowley’s project was enthusiastically supported by members of the antigovernment movement, where most of these conspiracy theories originate, and Crowley was interviewed by Alex Jones for his radio show. He was also apparently well connected to the far-right “Oath Keepers” movement, frequently posting their material on the film’s Facebook page.
In one Facebook photo posted in January 2014, Crowley can be seen conferring with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and far right Constitutionalist pastor Chuck Baldwin, among others. Another Facebook photo meme lionizes “III Percent” movement founder Mike Vanderboegh. That was one of Crowley’s last posts.
Crowley was an Army veteran who had served in Iraq. ON his LinkedIn profile, he explained: “After five years I had enough and left to pursue filmmaking.”
Crowley’s wife was a dietitian who ran a business called Mind Body Dietitian. She and her daughter Rani can be seen in a video that Crowley shot to promote a “documentary” he also planned in support of his feature film, to be titled Gray State: The Rise. The video shows him at home devising lighting for specific shots he had planned.
On the Facebook page for Gray State: The Rise, the administrator posted a notice about the deaths, saying: “Gray State founder, director and screenwriter David Crowley and his family have passed away. Please pray for their families and friends of which they had many. … We will try and keep you all posted, but this page will go dark for awhile as the future of Gray State is uncertain.”
Stewart Rhodes chimed in, saying: “I was honored to know David, to see him work, and to help, in a small way, with this project. This is a great and tragic loss, and comes as such a shock.” Others across the Web were not so measured. One site reporting on the case asked: “Who really murdered them?”
Commenters at the Gray State Facebook page were far more certain that the family had been “suicided” – a term popular with conspiracy theorists who believe that nefarious New World Order assassins frequently kill the people who try to expose them by staging their deaths and making it appear to be suicide.
“The Creator of Gray State was killed by our Gov’t… watch the Concept trailer,” wrote one. “This will shine some light on what this movie was about and will have you know why he was murdered by our Gov’t. Everyone knows except those who haven’t seen this yet.”
“DEMAND JUSTICE FOR DAVID CROWLEY! We must not allow his good name to be soiled. He did not kill anyone, this was an assassination!” wrote another, who was especially persistent in pursuing this claim. In another post, he wrote: “DAVID CROWLEY WAS ASSASSINATED!! No doubts. He is not part of a psyop but a real person, one of the major players behind exposing the horror of the upcoming police state.”
He then apparently set up a Facebook page dedicated to the concept. “David Crowley and his family were murdered by those who want to shut down the Gray State project,” it says. “Help expose what really happened and demand justice.”
One of his admirers posted a video of Crowley speaking at a “Ron Paul Festival” held in Tampa, Fla., in 2012, while he was raising funds for the film:
“This man did NOT kill himself. He was SUICIDED,” wrote the post’s author.
Editors’ Note: This article will appear in our forthcoming Intelligence Report.
It was two years ago today that President Obama was sworn in for a second term.
My, how the world has changed.
The economy is purring like a kitten after years of growling like a sour tummy. Jobs are coming back, wages are beginning to rise. The stock market is way, way up.
The war in Afghanistan is finally over. Finally.
More than 10 million previously uninsured Americans now have health insurance.
Did I mention the price of gas? I could go on. But I won’t, because this isn’t an article extolling the policies and virtues of our commander in chief.
No, this is a look back at what, two years ago, we called the paranoid prophecies of the right’s most rabid Obamaphobes — the most frightening predictions of the doom that awaited all of us if Obama were to be reelected in 2012. You remember: real end-of-the-world stuff.
Just for fun, let’s review.
Joseph Farah, the proprietor of WorldNetDaily, the supermarket tabloid of the black helicopter crowd, seemed to have a firm grasp of his fate in a second Obama term. The scribe had already reported drones surveilling his Northern Virginia property. “If [Obama is] re-elected, it’s gonna be war,” he said. “We will be hunted down like dogs.”
Anyone seen signs of war on American soil? Nope. Not real war, anyway.
We believe that if Obama wanted to round up Farah, he could find him. And if, say for dramatic effect, he wanted to send in the hounds to chase him like a fox, he would do just that. Perhaps he’s just waiting for the right moment.
Let’s move on. A motivational speaker and self-help author named Robert Ringer (it’s OK if you haven’t heard of him) predicted the “Marxmeister” would quickly unleash the “dictatorial full monty”: instant citizenship for all Third World immigrants, a new sedition act criminalizing criticism of the government, forced equalization of income, suspension of habeas corpus, the end of fossil fuel production, and more.
Not yet — though Obama has been exercising his executive powers. We don’t know where that will lead!
Next up: Wayne LaPierre, the NRA chieftain who makes nearly $1 million a year scaring the bejesus out of gun lovers, claimed Obama would take away our firearms and “erase” the Second Amendment. His first term was, of course, a clever ruse “to ensure re-election by lulling gun owners to sleep.”
We don’t know if Obama’s veto pen has an Amendment eraser on it, but he still has two more years. So, we’ll see. For now, guns abound!
Not to be outdone (which would make him irrelevant), the former Clinton aide Dick Morris prophesied to Fox’s Sean Hannity that the president’s “big focus” would be to make the U.S. a “vassal state to a globalist entity.” To make it even worse, he would sign a treaty so that we’d need permission from Russia and China just to launch a new war. (But what if we wanted to attack Russia and China? They’d probably say no.)
We’ll put this one in the too-soon-to-tell category, though if vassal-ness (vassalitude?) is the president’s “big focus,” we’ve seen no sign of it. Yet.
In Texas, some county judge named Tom Head called for a property tax INCREASE to help defend his county during the coming civil unrest.
Here’s what he told a TV station: “He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County, OK? So I’m gonna stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.’”
Two years later, we’ve seen no sign of UN troops invading Lubbock County. Or any other of Texas’ proud (but militarily vulnerable) counties.
Finally, we reach our favorite prediction.
The actor Chuck Norris and his wife, Gena, posted a video on YouTube warning of “socialism or much worse.”
All right. That’s fair. You could argue we have all sorts of socialism built into our system: Social Security, the Post Office, etc.
But then Gena quoted a 1964 speech by Ronald Reagan: “We will preserve for our children this last best hope for man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into 1,000 years of darkness [emphasis ours].”
A full millennium. Of darkness!
Now that would take an act of Congress.
Local authorities have intervened and demanded that the Oath Keepers, an antigovernment group comprised of former military and law enforcement personnel, cease providing security for several Ferguson, Mo., businesses in the aftermath of a grand jury decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown.
In a public statement, the St. Louis County Police Department confirmed that the Oath Keepers had travelled to Ferguson and begun “walking the rooftops of businesses” with “semi-automatic rifles” “for the purported reason of providing security to local business during the civil unrest in the area.” In so doing, police say, they broke the law.
“[T]he individuals from the group did not adhere to St. Louis County ordinance regulating security officers, couriers, and guard,” a statement the St. Louis Police Department provided Hatewatch said. The ordinance “prohibits anyone from providing security without first obtaining a license.”
FBI agents in Texas have arrested a man who allegedly was plotting to use C-4 explosives and weapons to kill police officers, rob banks and armored cars, and blow up government buildings and mosques, authorities announced today.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, of Katy, Texas, was arrested Thursday on federal charges of attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material, the FBI said.
After setting up a Facebook page called American Insurgent Movement (AIM), Talbot allegedly sought to recruit five or six like-minded people who wanted “to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.” He wrote this year on the AIM page that he was seeking people interested in “walking away from your life … to stop the regime.”
The crimes Talbot was plotting to carry out — detailed in a six-page criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas — sound eerily similar to a series of terrorist attacks carried out 30 years ago by members of an infamous neo-Nazi group called The Order, also known as the Silent Brotherhood (or Brüders Schweigen in German). There’s just one big difference: Talbot talked about some of his planned crimes on Facebook, the complaint says, while The Order committed murders, robbed armored cars, and carried out a number of other attacks.
Talbot was expected to be held without bond as a flight risk and danger to the community after an initial appearance today before a U.S. magistrate judge in Houston.
Court documents say the FBI opened an investigation into Talbot’s activities last August after learning of his desire to recruit others for terror attacks. The “like-minded” individuals he initially attracted worked for the FBI, it turns out. The FBI used a confidential informant and two undercover FBI agents assigned to the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. ( continue to full post… )
To say that there is deep local antipathy to federal wolf recovery efforts in many of the Mountain West states where biologists are attempting to revive the endangered species would be an understatement. Sentiment against the big canine predators in places like Idaho and Montana, especially among cattlemen, often borders on sheer rage.
That has translated, politically, into a situation where lawmakers in Idaho recently approved $400,000 in funding to kill as many as 500 of the state’s estimated population of 650 wolves, leaving as few as ten breeding pairs. The bill was promptly signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter, who has made loathing of wolves a centerpiece of his political image.
Much of the antipathy is predicated on old-fashioned fear about wolves, particularly given their predilection for preying on livestock and family pets in areas where humans inhabit their range, not to mention the potential threat they represent to human life. But there is also a political element, particularly in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, that is fueled by far-right antigovernment paranoia and conspiracy theories.
Wolf recovery efforts are frequently depicted as the imposition of the “New World Order” on residents of the rural areas where the creatures roam. A number of far-right outlets, including the John Birch Society’s magazine and the conspiracist website World Net Daily, have run pieces describing how wolf recovery is a key component of a plot by radical environmentalists on behalf of the United Nations to destroy private property rights in America. In the Mountain West, holding such views is not uncommon.
It was while I was covering a Tea Party event in western Montana, in fact, that I first encountered this melding of conspiracy theory paranoia about wolves and far-right political dogma. Several speakers at the event described how wolf-recovery efforts in the region were part of a United Nations-derived plot to control their lives and destroy their property and gun rights, and a booth at the event handed out literature describing the conspiracy. ( continue to full post… )
The Oath Keepers are going operational.
An article posted to the group’s website Tuesday announced the formation of “Civilization Preservation” units, basely loosely on the organization of U.S. Special Forces teams, to provide “community security and support during crisis” – but also “to assist in forming and training town and county militias.”
These comically named 12-person teams would consist of two communications experts, two medics, two combat engineers, two weapons experts, two operations leaders, a commander and his assistant – positions that would be filled by the law enforcement officers and former military personnel who comprise the Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers imagines that these units would be scattered across the country, working with other veterans organizations such as the VFW, American Legion and Marine Corps League, to lead communities “in resistance to oppressive regimes.” ( continue to full post… )
Shocking news! By mid-October, President Obama plans to destroy the United States by creating federal regions that eliminate individual states.
Even in the overheated conspiracy world of the antigovernment Patriot movement this claim stands out as outlandish. “California to be absorbed into Mexico by October” is the headline on the advertising e-mail sent out this week by the Townhall website on behalf of Wall Street Daily, a financial publishing company. The far-right Internet tabloid WorldNetDaily sent out a similar e-mail titled “The America you know and love could look completely different in a matter of weeks.”
Townhall is a popular website where Tea Partiers and the Patriot movement intersect with conservative celebrities, media pundits and Republican Party operatives. WorldNet Daily is generously described as in a similar orbit, but the outlet typically features the more zany right-wing conspiracy theories. ( continue to full post… )
The police chief of a tiny borough in Pennsylvania’s coal country, who also heads a militia formed to oppose any new federal gun control measures, has been suspended for 30 days after he posted a series of profanity-laced videos to YouTube in which he angrily fires several automatic weapons and uses the word “libtards” in reference to liberals.
The Gilberton Borough Council voted 5-1 during an executive session last night to suspend Mark Kessler, saying he did not have permission to use the weapons he fired in the videos, The Patriot-News reported. The council did not suspend him because of the content of his videos. “It was just the misuse of borough property,” Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said. ( continue to full post… )
In the wake of White House moves to implement some gun control by using executive orders, the antigovernment “Patriot” right has exploded with fury, claiming that virtually any regulation amounts to an infringement of the Constitution or even a prelude to a national “gun grab” by federal forces hoping to disarm citizens once and for all.
These and similar claims have come from nearly every corner of the radical right. But one of the most noteworthy recent responses comes from the Oath Keepers, a group of conspiracy-minded current and former members of law enforcement and the military who believe a tyrannical and gun-hating “New World Order” is planned by global elites. Vowing to fight any legislation to ban “assault weapons,” the Oath Keepers have announced rallies at state houses across the nation on Friday with the aim of sending a message to lawmakers that the “they will be held accountable if they choose to dishonor” their oath to the Constitution. ( continue to full post… )
The far right does not like President Obama. He’s been depicted as a Muslim (he’s not) and a terrorist sympathizer. He’s been called a fascist and compared to Hitler. He’s been pegged as a socialist and even a communist. And, of course, an entire cottage industry has been built around the false accusation that he’s not even an American.
His 2008 election also helped fuel an explosive resurgence of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, whose sympathizers indulge themselves in all sorts of wild conspiracy theories about the federal government: It’s building concentration camps for dissidents, it’s selling out Americans to the dreaded “New World Order,” it’s planning to institute martial law, confiscate everyone’s guns and send in U.N. troops to keep order.
Of course, none of these fantasies have come true in the last four years. But therein lies the rub. The first term was nothing but an elaborate ruse to get re-elected. The second term, now that’s when everything hits the fan. Freedom itself, maybe even all of civilization, hangs in the balance. ( continue to full post… )