Sunday, December 21, 2014

#1243: Ronald Weinland


Ronald Weinland is a hardcore religious crackpot and leader of the Ohio-based doomsday cult the Church of God (a Herbert Armstrong splinter group), who apparently thinks that he has been appointed by God to reveal the timetable of the end of the world, as described in Revelations, to his fellow humans. His claims are laid out in his book 2008: God’s Final Witness, which identified his wife Laura as another Revelation witness, and which he continues to promote despite the rather obvious fact that his predictions for 2008 failed rather badly. He originally prophesied that Christ would return on September 29, 2011, but later changed it to May 27, 2012 (and issued a stern warning to those who mock him that they would be divinely cursed with “a sickness that will eat them from the inside out”). Tough luck, and after that date came and passed Weinland backpedalled and provided Pentecost 2013 instead, all the while urging his followers to give him money. Currently the idea seems to be that Jesus will return on “a future Pentecost,” and some people seem willing to continue to send him money.

The return, believes Weinland, will be heralded by a World War III that will cause the destruction of the US and most of the world, except for ten European countries that will unite under the rule of the Anti-Christ (most likely the Pope). Things will then go badly for the final 3.5 years of the Earth. There is a website debunking his claims (a rather straightforward task, really) here, though I am not completely convinced the people behind that site are ideally well-hinged either.

In June 2012, Weinland was convicted of five counts of tax evasion, and is therefore currently in jail, where he belongs.

Diagnosis: Rarely has anyone been a more deserving or easier target for mockery than the Weinlands. And he still seems to have supporters out there. Words fail.

Friday, December 19, 2014

#1242: Jay Weidner


Some time after the death of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, people started, with the help of an array of well-known tools such as pareidolia, confirmation bias, selection bias and motivated reasoning, to find a variety of esoteric images (from circles to triangles) and connections in his films, and a variety of conspiracy theories, from the ridiculous to the unhinged, has predictably appeared.

Among the most prominent promoters of Stanley Kubrick-related conspiracies is Jay Weidner, called by Wired Magazine an “authority on the hermetic and alchemical traditions,” “erudite conspiracy hunter,” and “considered to be a ‘modern-day Indiana Jones’ for his ongoing worldwide quests to find clues to mankind’s spiritual destiny via ancient societies and artifacts.” At least Jesse Ventura and History Channel treat him as an authority, and the latter featured him as such in their “documentary” on The Lost Book of Nostradamus and as a producer in Nostradamus 2012. But he remains most famous for his Kubrick-related work. Notably, Weidner argues that Kubrick was hired to direct the fake Apollo moon landing and for some reason hid a coded confession in The Shining (featured in his documentaries here, and here - he actually takes endorsement by David Icke to be a selling point). The clues are, suffice to say, pretty weak (the Grady twins resemble the Gemini sign, the typewritten “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” should be read as “A-11” rather than “All”, and there is a scene where Danny wears an “Apollo-11 USA” shirt). Weidner did, however, make an appearance in the entertainingly stupid Room 237.

At the core of the Kubrick conspiracies is of course the idea that Kubrick was part of a Freemason-Illuminati conspiracy and devoted his film career to hide clues of its existence in his films (the purpose of that remains abundantly unclear). Eventually the Illuminati decided he had crossed the line with his final film Eyes Wide Shut (for apparently exploring trauma-based mind control) and went on to assassinate him (here, for instance).

Weidner is also the co-author of The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye (that would be this item); Alchemy and the End of Time, and A Monument to the End of Time (with Vincent Bridges), as well as a contributor to the book The Mystery of 2012 (Sounds True).

Diagnosis: Although a monstrously delusional conspiracy theorist, Weidner is a decent craftsman and is able to make even the most egregious bullshit sound plausible to the weak of mind. As such he has managed to garner quite a bit of an audience for his ridiculous claims. Worth keeping an eye on.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#1241: Alfred Lambremont Webre


Alfred Lambremont Webre is an almost legendary UFO crank, 9/11 truther and conspiracy nut, and one of those people that really justify the existence of places like whale.to or Red Ice Creations. Webre claims to have been a co-architect of the Space Preservation Treaty and the Space Preservation Act, and is, with one Stephen Bassett, the co-drafter of the Citizen Hearing, a proposed public forum to create a fact-finding process surrounding extraterrestrial phenomena and alleged government suppression of such facts from the public. Of course, all the facts are ostensibly already on the table, but Webre would not in a million years accept facts that don’t line up with what he already “knows”. He is also on the Board of Advisers for the New Energy Movement, a free energy lunacy group, and congressional coordinator for The Disclosure Project (I am not completely sure what that is, but with Webre as a coordinator I sort of have some idea).

The brouhaha over his Wikipedia entry is rather illustrative. When it was proposed for deletion, Webre’s fans, well, went nuts (a figure of speech, of course – none of his fans were ever but), culminating in Webre’s own, pithy assessment of the situation: “My view is that Wikipedia’s action continues to be part of the CIA time travel controlled US Presidency's retaliation against me for having exposed Soetoro/Obama’s participation in a 1980–83 secret CIA jumproom project.” Indeed, such is his view.

Not very surprisingly Webre thinks that the events of September 11, 2001, were a false flag operation, but he has his own spin. According to Webre the powers that be were employing secret exotic technologies developed by DARPA and CIA, including Tesla-based time travel that permitted Donald Rumsfeld to have images of the events at the World Trade Center on 9/11 30 years in advance in 1971. In 2006 he therefore submitted a Memorandum to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor under Article II of the US Constitution, the Treason Article. His time travel hypothesis has earned him the respect of a number of truthers through his participation at various truther conferences. He also participated in Joan Ocean’s 2011 Dolphins and Teleportation Symposium together with e.g. Andrew Basiago and Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, though the truthers rarely emphasize that.

Interestingly, Webre has enjoyed a rather impressive international career. Until Nov. 2010, Webre was – due to his impeccable credentials – an international war crimes correspondent for Iran’s PressTV. It was on Iran’s PressTV that he for instance accused Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for being an “out and out Zionist,” going on to describe a conspiracy between Vancouver police and serial killer Robert Pickton “to commit ritual Satanic murders with high-ranking politicians” and claiming that the Queen of England abducted 10 Aboriginal children in 1964 to have them killed. Concluding his comments, Webre described Canada as “the ultimate Zionist state under the British Crown and under Israel.”

He was also, it should be mentioned, a central participant at a 2007 conference in Kuala Lumpur as part of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s campaign to criminalize war and convict Bush and Blair of war crimes.

With one Dr. Carol Rosin he founded the Institute for Cooperation in Space (ICIS) in 2001, as an outgrowth of the previous ISCOS, Institute for Cooperation and Security in Space. Their mission is to educate decision-makers and others on why it is important to ban space weapons. With the help of former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the Space Preservation Act was originally introduced into the 107th Congress on October 2, 2001 (HR 2977) and included provisions banning “extraterrestrial” weapons, as well as chemtrails and “exotic weapons systems” such as HAARP. A revised Act was introduced to Congress in 2002. Webre himself apparently resigned from the Board of Directors of ICIS in 2011 to focus on a treaty to ban HAARP.

The reason why a ban on extraterrestrial weapons is important is, according to Webre, that although “we live in a populated universe,” Earth “has been quarantined.” Though “the quarantine was lifted in 1947, the year from which the UFO phenomenon began in full force around our planet,” according to Webre; “Earth’s humanity is not yet sufficiently evolved to be included in the universal society,” and the militarization of outer space by humans (who were “planted and cultivated here under the stewardship of more advanced societies”) is a main reason why the quarantine persists.

Webre has accordingly written a number of books on exopolitics, consistently taking a completely insane and evidence-free, speculative approach. In 2012, he launched ExoUniversity.org, an “educational” entity offering online courses on exo-sciences, psi-sciences, and exopolitics, with an Earth Day forum entitled “An Introduction to Time Travel with an Emphasis on Teleportation.” Indeed – though it seemed impossible – Webre’s claims seem to have gotten even more bizarre lately. In 2011, for instance, he launched a boycott (of Examiner.com, it seems) to protest the CIA coverup of president Obama’s trips to Mars (the US government apparently has a secret base there where they meet with aliens).

Diagnosis: Deranged, unhingedly delusional madman. Nevertheless, Webre has managed to garner a surprising level of political clout, and several people of power around the world, from Dennis Kucinich to the Iranian government, seem to take him very seriously, thus making him – against all odds – an exception among the whale.to crowd in having actual detrimental influence on society.

Monday, December 15, 2014

#1240: Paul Joseph Watson


Paul Joseph Watson (no relation to the Sea Shepherd guy) is a versatile and tireless reporter for Alex Jones’s PrisonPlanet and InfoWars, and hence responsible for much of the bullshit to be found in rich supply on those websites. In other words, Watson is a staunch supporter of a variety of (mutually inconsistent) conspiracy theories (inconsistency doesn’t matter, apparently, since these people are mostly JAQing off anyways – a favorite trick for avoiding consistency expectations) and an impressive array of pseudoscience and denialist ridiculousness.

It’s difficult to paint a representative picture without giving him more space than he warrants, or to pick highlights, but Watson was for instance instrumental in promoting the conspiracy surrounding John Holdren’s alleged totalitarian global population control scheme (FEMA concentration camps wouldn’t be far behind). And don’t get him started on climate change, Bilderbergers or 9/11, though even Watson thinks the “no plane/hologram” theories are wrong.

At least there are people who think that Watson is an agent for the British royalty and the Knights of Malta (like George Bush) or a “direct descendant of eugenicist Bertrand Russell” (yes, some crucial confusions there), and they may, indeed, be worth a read if you like a break from coherence or appealing web designs.

Diagnosis: Amply paranoid addlebrain. He is pretty tireless, though, and has made some impressive contributions to clogging up the Internet with bullshit.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

#1239: Jean Watson


Jean Watson is a Distinguished Professor of Nursing at Colorado and head the National League for Nursing, the board that accredits nursing schools. Hers is, in other words, a position of genuine power and influence. Watson is also a supporter of a range forms of woo, quackery, and pseudoscience, which makes her very, very scary. For instance, Watson has been a defender of Therapeutic Touch (TT), a completely unfounded type of faith healing based on murky and fluffy musings rooted in medieval vitalism (though, of course, preferably mareted under an Eastern name such as “prana” or “chi”).

Now, at least at one point TT achieved notorious popularity among nurses, partially, one might suspect, because it contributed to a sense of empowerment among nurses through a way to feel they were participating more directly in the “healing” of the patient, rather than just passively carrying out doctor’s orders. Indeed, in Colorado defenders of TT, while heavily promoting the bullshit, were also desperately trying to keep science out of it, even trying to portray it as part of a feminist cause – during the Colorado panel investigation of the practice the panel was warned by the practitioners that a negative finding on TT would be viewed as male-dominated medical imperialism against female-dominated nursing. And Watson has been encouraging the bullshit. But how crazy is she? Well, in her speech heralding Colorado’s Center for Human Caring (a hotbed for TT training), she stated that this was “part of the universe turning, ushering in one of the seasonal ancient calendar revolutions … appeasing the gods and goddesses of the universe … this leave-taking from the Age of Pisces, after 2,000 years of the Mayan calendar, takes us away from the destruction, the violence, the technological, industrialized war and power into spirit-filled cosmology … commercial and machine entropy are being scattered to the universe and being replaced by guardians, angels in fact, of esthetic mystic and spiritual unification, of human and planetary evolution.”

Yes, you’re welcome. She was promptly elected president of the National League for nursing.

Diagnosis: A quack and a crackpot, yet Watson wields quite a scary amount of influence and power. A real threat to civilization.