Today I’m pointing you towards a very insightful article that is also a tough one to read. I do not mean intellectually tough, but rather emotionally because it involves the murder of very young children and also outlines how one parent had to cope with the subsequent claim that his young son had never actually existed.
First some background
The event itself
It is recent and so most readers will to some degree recall what happened. On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook school, brutally shot and killed twenty 6-7 year old children along with 6 staff, then shot himself dead. It was the deadliest mass-shooting at a US school, and also the third deadliest mass-shooting in US history.
The final report into the shooting concluded that Lanza had acted alone, and also noted “significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others“.
The Conspiracy Claims
Arising from this tragedy were some quite frankly truly obnoxious and quite bizarre conspiracy allegations. There is no one conspiracy theory, but instead there arose a collection of distinctly different ones that asserted different claims. Below is a small list, I’m not going to link to any of the actual claimants and grant them the oxygen of yet more publicity, but will instead point you at the Wikipedia page that covers the topic in detail …
The US Government did it …
- The Shooting never actually happened, it was a complete hoax staged by the US government
- Adam Lanza was drugged and hypnotised by his handlers to make him into a killing machine as an excuse as the regime is itching to take all means of self-defense from the populace before the economic collapse
- It’s all a hoax to scare people into supporting more gun control and a step toward an outright repeal of the Second Amendment.
Israel did it …
- The attacks were an act of “revenge” for the perceived cooling of Israel–United States relations under President Obama and so Israeli death squads did it.
Adam Lanza did do it, but had help from a second shooter …
- A Cincinnati news anchor for Fox affiliate WXIX-TV suggested on his personal YouTube channel that Adam Lanza was accompanied by another shooter
It was really those behind the LIBOR financial scandal attempting to silence a witness …
- Lanza’s father was supposedly going to testify before the Senate Banking Committee with information about the Libor scandal, and this was all setup to silence him.
It did not happen as described in the media …
- James Tracy, a former professor at Florida Atlantic University who taught a course on conspiracy theories, has suggested the shooting either did not actually occur or occurred very differently than accounted in mainstream reports, claiming political motives for the coverup.
There is more, and while the various theories put forward are all often quite different, they do have one common factor; they do not hold together when critically examined. I mention Mr Tracy specifically by name because he is part of the story within the article.
Beyond the actual tragic loss of life there is also the observation that some of those who latch on to these wacky conspiracy ideas can end up so obsessed that the harasses grieving relatives in a truly obnoxious and intrusive manner. Here are some examples extracted from the Wikipedia page that illustrate this …
Gene Rosen, a Newtown resident who was reported to have sheltered six Sandy Hook students and a bus driver in his home during the shooting, has been subject to harassment online alleging he was complicit in a government coverup, among other things.
Robbie Parker, the father of victim Emilie Parker – after doing a CNN interview on the day after the shooting – became the target of conspiracy theorists, who claimed the interview was staged. Parker has been attacked by theorists who believe he is a “crisis actor” and was “getting into character” before going on CNN to grieve over the loss of his child.
In April 2016, Matthew Mills, a 32-year old man from Brooklyn, accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors on one count of interfering with police arising from an incident in November 2015, when Mills angrily approached the sister of murdered teacher Victoria Soto—who is regarded as a heroine for her attempt to protect her students from the shooter in the Sandy Hook attack—shoved a photograph in her face, “and began angrily charging that not only did the Sandy Hook tragedy not take place, but that Victoria Soto never existed.”
If indeed the actions of Adam Lanza himself was not enough to initiate a discussion regarding mental illness and the consequences of not offering help, then surly the observation of grieving people being harassed like this should?
Now on to the article itself. Lenny Posner was a devoted conspiracy theorist himself and used to tune into Alex Jones, then Sandy Hook happened and resulted in the tragic death of his own son Noah. Suddenly the very existence of his own son became a conspiracy theory and so the article is about how he had to cope with the subsequent claims that it never happened, and how he responded.
I warned you above, and will warn you once more, it is an emotionally harrowing read, and yet also an insightful one as well.
As the families grieved, conspiracy theorists began to press their case in ways that Newtown couldn’t avoid. State officials received anonymous phone calls at their homes, late at night, demanding answers: Why were there no trauma helicopters? What happened to the initial reports of a second shooter? A Virginia man stole playground signs memorializing two of the victims, then called their parents to say that the burglary shouldn’t affect them, since their children had never existed. At one point, Lenny Pozner was checking into a hotel out of town when the clerk looked up from the address on his driver’s license and said, “Oh, Sandy Hook — the government did that.” Pozner had tried his best to ignore the conspiracies, but eventually they disrupted his grieving process so much that he could no longer turn a blind eye. “Conspiracy theorists erase the human aspect of history,” Pozner said this summer. “My child — who lived, who was a real person — is basically going to be erased.”
Actions have consequences
The actions of those that pursue to an excessive degree unsupportable conspiracy theories that pander to fictitious social paranoia and not facts now has a consequence.
In 2015 Lenny Posner founded the HONR Network as a way to legally fight back effectively …
We bring awareness to the cruelty and criminality of Hoaxer activity and, if necessary, criminally and civilly prosecute those who wittingly and publicly defame, harass, and emotionally abuse the victims of high profile tragedies and/or their family members. We intend to hold such abusers personally accountable for their actions, in whatever capacity the law allows.
Turning a tragedy into a soap box for the promotion of utterly delusional and completely paranoid ideas that have no basis in fact is bad enough, but to then go as far as actually harassing both grieving parents and also the public officials within the community impacted is not by any measure acceptable. So yes, the HONR Network should quite rightly pursue them legally and be both supported and applauded for doing so.