When faced with a search for the weirdest cranks around, I confess that it is truly a hard decision to make, there is simply so much choice, and so what I’ve finally settled on as a selection criteria is to go for those who have influenced lots of others and are often cited as “evidence” for an assortment of utterly bizarre and absurd claims. There are of course many who are completely bonkers that nobody takes seriously, so I’ve dropped them (for example the guy who thinks he is peter pan, the girl who believes that sonic the hedgehog is her husband, etc…)
I suspect that as you look at my list, your immediate thought will be … “ah but what about …”, and you will most probably be right, so feel free to drop a note into the comments. There are many many wholly viable candidates, so one other filter I’ve applied is to eliminate the historical ones who tend not to get as great a degree of traction as they once enjoyed, for example folks such as L. Ron Hubbard, Richard C. Hoagland, Uri Geller or Erich von Däniken.
So without any further bluster, here is my own wholly subjective list of the top 5 weirdest most influential cranks on the Internet today … specifically the ones, who gather disciples around them that seriously and passionately buy into their daft claims …
1. Mike Adams – Natural News
Mike Adams is the one man band behind NaturalNews, the crankiest of crank sites that is into all sorts of utterly absurd claims including vaccine denialism, AIDS/HIV denial, quack cancer medicine, conspiracy theories about modern medicine, quantum woo (specifically to do with many worlds and quantum consciousness), oh and let’s not forget his conspiracy theories about Obama and gun control.
Really, all that?
Yep. I’ve seen references to his various postings popping up on Facebook on a very regular basis these day, so he is very much in my list. He gets my top position because he is so weird that other cranks consider him to be a crank.
2. David Icke
This is a guy who has a very special kind of crazy, he not only believes himself to be an incarnation of god (and announced that on a live TV interview), but also has churned out a vast stream of books making all sorts of bizarre claims. For example, did you know that the world is really being run by shape-changing alien lizards? If curious, then you will find that his Wikipedia page is an entertaining read.
He is on the list because I once again see a regular stream of stuff being posted from his website by many to establish various weird claims as “truth”.
He also manages to tick a few popular buzzwords within his stream of gibberish such as “Illuminate” and “Zionist conspiracy”, and so these days he is quite a popular go-to guy within the Islamic community as the source of “evidence” for such claims.
When it comes to the role of “conspiracy theorist”, this guy is no amateur, but is instead a true professional.
Least you wonder, if you have seen the 2012 avengers movie, then yes, the shape-shifting aliens in it where indeed inspired by Mr Icke’s claims.
3. Alex Jones
What can I say except that Mr Jones has a radio show that aires across 118 radio stations in the US and so he wears the crown of “America’s leading conspiracy theorist”. His websites include Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com, so if you see anything being cited from those, then that should hopefully set your bullshit siren off.
What is his stance?
He asserts that U.S. government was responsible for both the Oklahoma City bombing, and also the September 11 attacks, that the Moon landings were faked, and that NASA has secret technology. He also pushes the New World Order conspiracy (manufactured economic crises, sophisticated surveillance tech, ll—inside-job terror attacks to fuel exploitable hysteria, etc…).
His ability to promote all this via broadcasts across 118 stations makes him very much the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America.
You can tune into all the action via his Wikipedia page for lots more details.
4. Glenn Beck
There is a two word phrase associated with this guy that should cause anybody interested in facts to shudder, and those two words are “Fox news”. They dropped him in 2011 due to low ratings, but the very fact that they gave him a platform at all … ever … opens them up to some criticism. (but then that is really not the only reason to criticise Fox “news”)
So what is his stance?
He is not only into the promotion of the idea that Global warming is a liberal conspiracy, but has also done some truly scary shit, and promoted a considerable degree of paranoid thinking over the years that has taken root within many minds.
Adding him to the list is not a political stance, but rather is down to the observation that he is a very influential nut.
5. Vani Hari, the Food Babe
A pseudoscientific crackpot who manages to drum up a sufficient degree of consumer outrage against various food producers for claims that have no credible basis at all.
Producers such as Kraft, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Subway have all been forced to modify the ingredients within their products as a result of her campaigns. From their viewpoint being seen to respond to such ill informed public criticism is a business decision, and not because any of the claims had any merit.
You can find a history of it all on her Wikipedia page here.
The food babe is no babe in the woods and grossly distorts the facts due to the conflict of interest she has. Her site sells ads, and so she is highly motivated to stir up controversy and draw eyeballs. With both a book and also a TV show in the works, her influence is growing.
And so that’s it the … the top 5.
One further thought
There are many more candidates, Ray Comfort, Eddie over at World Truth TV, Jenny McCarthy, Alex Chiu, Richard Dawkins … nah, just kidding about that last one, but the rest, and many many more, are indeed all candidates.
Seeing the top five or any of the others being cited as evidence for almost anything at all is more a less a rock solid ironclad guarantee that the claim being asserted is pure unadulterated bullshit … but hey, welcome to the Internet.