RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
While some conservatives are using the latest mass shooting as an opportunity to offer warnings about government conspiracies and Nazi tyranny coming to America, Religious Right activists continue to harp on old memes about government persecution and the dangers of LGBT rights.
5) The Black Underwear Prophecy
But sometimes, Bakker delves into prophecy of his own, like when he predicted that the U.S. would experience a massive financial crash or get hit with devastating natural disasters on September 13 of this year.
Perhaps wisely, Bakker usually makes his prophecies much less specific, such as when he declared recently that something bad will happen at some point because God recently told him to wear black clothing, including black underwear.
4) Stop The Nonexistent Bible Ban In Schools!
Of course, neither prayer nor the Bible are outlawed in schools, but the myth survives, with the help of a steady stream of debunked stories about school officials disciplining students for praying over their lunches.
This week, Focus on the Family held its an annual “Bring Your Bible To School Day,” telling participants about a case in Broward County, Florida, where a student was allegedly banned from reading the Bible.
One sign that the Broward County story is fishy? It was written by Fox News pundit Todd Starnes, the king of inaccurate reporting.
As Sarah Jones points out, “facts don’t appear to matter to Focus on the Family.” In reality, the student in question wasn’t disciplined for reading his Bible, but because he refused to read an assigned book. “The Broward School District claimed it was told Giovanni was reading the Bible when he should have been reading an assigned book, not during free-reading time,” CBS News reported. “The district stressed that any student may read the Bible, or any other religious book, during free time.”
3) Another Discredited Fox Report
Speaking of fabricated stories, Fox News recently jumped on an incident where a woman claimed that she was “kicked out of a sporting goods store after alerting a manager that a man had frightened her young daughter in the women's restroom.”
Naturally, Fox’s report used the claim to both knock the retailer, REI, and to demonize trans rights.
Seeing that the allegation came from the Pacific Justice Institute, a group that has pushed similar stories that have ended up on Fox News before being debunked, it came as no surprise when REI reported that after “reviewing relevant video footage,” it “found no evidence to suggest that a man entered the women’s restroom on the date in question” and also found no evidence that the customer was kicked out of the store.
But something tells us that this story will continue to percolate through the right-wing media, even after being exposed as false.
2) High Alert For Hitler
Ben Carson wants Americans to know that the stage is set for the rise of an Adolf Hitler-like leader in the U.S. as a result of the “control of thought and control of speech,” which he says is destroying this country.
He also sounded off on measures to prevent gun violence, claiming that Hitler and other tyrants only were able to carry out their actions because people didn’t have firearms, a notion rejected by researchers who have actually studied such dictatorial regimes.
While Carson’s statements are now getting more attention due to his high standing in Republican presidential polls, these are themes that he has touched on previously. As we’ve reported: “Carson has even claimed that he is losing his First Amendment right to free speech and that Hitlerian progressives are turning America into a society 'very much like Nazi Germany.' 'We live in a Gestapo age,' he has said, also arguing that Obama takes his cues from Mein Kampf and is effectively committing treason.”
1) UCC Shooting Conspiracy Theories
Right-wing commentators have been stepping over each other in the last week trying to have the worst possible reaction to the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, but the response from End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles truly was in a class of its own.
The “Trunews” host suggested that the shooting was actually the work of a “secret death squad” that goes around “this country staging mass shootings in order to build public support for disarming the American people of their firearms.”
As evidence, he cited “the mysterious appearance of similar looking persons at the scenes of recent mass shooting,” a claim he likely picked up from an online meme that merely shows four women with brown hair in tears.