Jones: ‘Psy­chosis’ led to claim of Sandy Hook hoax

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY JONATHAN TILOVE Austin Amer­i­can-States­man

Alex Jones, the Austin­based provo­ca­teur em­broiled in sev­eral law­suits filed by par­ents of vic­tims of the 2012 Sandy Hook El­e­men­tary School shoot­ing, said in a de­po­si­tion re­leased Fri­day that his con­spir­acy think­ing was a kind of men­tal dis­or­der.

Jones, who re­peat­edly claimed on his in­ter­net and ra­dio show In­foWars that the mass shoot­ing in New­town, Conn., was a hoax, told lawyers he “almost had like a form of psy­chosis back in the past where I ba­si­cally thought every­thing was staged, even though I’m now learn­ing a lot of times things aren’t staged.”

Jones blamed his men­tal state on “the trauma of the me­dia and the cor­po­ra­tions ly­ing so much, then every­thing be­gins – you don’t trust any­thing any­more, kind of like a child whose par­ents lie to them over and over again, well, pretty soon they don’t know what re­al­ity is.”

Jones’ ad­mis­sion came to­ward the end of the three-hour de­po­si­tion recorded in a down­town Austin law of­fice March 14 in one of sev­eral law­suits brought in Austin, Con­necti­cut and Vir­ginia against Jones by par­ents of chil­dren killed in the shoot­ing. The suits con­tend that Jones’ re­peated claims that the shoot­ings were staged showed a reck­less dis­re­gard for the truth and for the dis­tress and real harm he was caus­ing the par­ents, pil­ing tor­ment on their tragedies.

“So long be­fore these law­suits I said that in the past I thought every­thing was a con­spir­acy, and I would kind of get into that mass group think of the com­mu­ni­ties that were out there say­ing that,” Jones said. “And so now I see that it’s more in the mid­dle. All right? So that’s where I stand.”

But un­der ques­tion­ing by Hous­ton lawyer Mark Bankston, Jones con­tin­ued to dis­play a fun­da­men­tally con­spir­a­to­rial frame of mind.

The de­po­si­tion of­fers a re­veal­ing look at Jones’ state of mind at a mo­ment of max­i­mum peril for an Austin orig­i­nal. Jones has been stripped since sum­mer of ma­jor so­cial me­dia plat­forms for In­foWars be­cause of the con­tent of his posts and play­ing de­fense in mul­ti­ple court­rooms.

He was a lo­cal ca­ble ac­cess cult fig­ure who built a vast na­tional au­di­ence on ra­dio and on­line by declar­ing most ev­ery ma­jor na­tional calamity since 9/11 as a “false flag” or in­side job, all with a manic, riv­et­ing and of­ten en­ter­tain­ing style. With the rise of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, the once anti­estab­lish­ment icon be­came a kind of un­der­ground aux­il­iary to Fox News, build­ing sup­port for Trump with his au­di­ence and cre­at­ing news nar­ra­tives that com­ple­ment the pres­i­dent’s own taste for con­spir­acy think­ing.

Throw­ing fuel on the fire, Jones on Mon­day ques­tioned the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death of Jeremy Rich­man, one of the Sandy Hook par­ents has sued him for defama­tion in Con­necti­cut. His body was found that morn­ing in the New­town build­ing where Rich­man, a neu­ro­sci­en­tist, had cre­ated a foun­da­tion named for his daugh­ter Avielle, to en­cour­age brain re­search into the causes of vi­o­lent be­hav­ior. The state’s chief med­i­cal ex­am­iner has con­firmed his death was a sui­cide.

“I mean, how do I get a fair trial with stuff like this?” Jones said on In­foWars. “I’ve never said this guy’s name. Never said his name, un­til now. And ob­vi­ously first, it’s we don’t know, he’s got gun­shot wounds or what­ever. Now it’s, well, ap­par­ent sui­cide. I mean, is there go­ing to be a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion? Are they go­ing to look at the sur­veil­lance cam­eras? I mean, what hap­pened to this guy? This whole Sandy Hook thing is, like, re­ally get­ting even cra­zier.”

“We have no idea whether he was even mur­dered at this point,” Jones said of Rich­man’s death on Mon­day. “Why would some anti-gun guy do this? This is re­ally sad.”

The de­po­si­tion of Jones was or­dered by state District Judge Scott Jenk­ins in the case of Scar­lett Lewis, whose son was one of 20 first-graders, along with six educators, shot to death Dec. 14, 2012, by 20-year-old Adam Lanza. Lewis is su­ing Jones for in­ten­tional in­flic­tion of emo­tional dis­tress.

Alex Jones

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.