Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#1840: Jason Kissner

Jason Kissner is a criminologist and birther who has made his presence well known on various conspiracy websites with his apparently unique take on the birther conspiracy: Kissner claims that Obama is really Indonesian and (of course) a Muslim. In fact, Obama is apparently the son of a cult leader, one Mohammed Subud, since Obama and Sudub, according to conspiracy theorists, look kind of similar in pictures (that they admit to have modified to make the resemblance more obvious to the untrained eye). Kissner has written about these issues for the interestingly named (a corollary of this) website American Thinker; you can find his critical thinking trainwreck about Obama here; it’s rather hilarious.

In addition to his birther stuff, Kissner has made himself known with his Ebola conspiracies – a topic that seems to have generated a whole conspiracy industry back in 2014. According to Kissner, the 2013 outbreak was apparently due to a bioengineered variant of Ebola that is more contagious than previous strains. His evidence is simply an argument from incredulity, based on the fact that Ebola reemerged after being dormant for years and that the Zaire strain that appeared in West Africa is a distinct strain, which Kissner cannot imagine could have happened without human intervention. Kissner is not an epidemiologist. That’s to put things diplomatically. In any case, Kissner concludes that US bioterrorism must have introduced this “new” Ebola strain to Guinea. Why? Well, it has to do with the Ebola drug ZMapp; according to Kissner, the developers of ZMapp must have known about the new strain beforehand. Once again, Kissner is no epidemiologist and really doesn’t appear to have the faintest clue how these things work. More elaborate discussion here. 


Diagnosis: Hilarious nonsense, and one does sometimes suspect he’s a poe. But when you consider what this kind of thinking has managed to lead to by 2017, it does admittedly become a bit less funny.

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