Conspiracy Theories

Unpacking Jared Lee Loughner

If you're the Southern Poverty Law Center, the media will mistake your guesses for gold.


The Southern Poverty Law Center presents itself as a watchdog monitoring the political extremes, and a large portion of the press takes that pose at face value, despite decades of evidence that the group's real specialties are fundraising and fearmongering. So when the organization offered an opinion about Jared Lee Loughner's worldview, reporters paid attention. It was "hard to say" whether the murderer was "a right-wing extremist," spokesman Mark Potok wrote a day after the Tucson shootings, but it's "pretty clear that Loughner is taking ideas from Patriot conspiracy theorist David Wynn Miller of Milwaukee." Potok elaborated: "Miller claims that the government uses grammar to 'enslave' Americans and offers up his truly weird 'Truth-language' as an antidote. For example, he says that if you add colons and hyphens to your name in a certain way, you are no longer taxable." And since Loughner wrote that the government was performing "mind control on the people by controlling grammar"…well, you do the math.

We may well eventually learn that Loughner encountered Miller's odd ideas at some point. But it's worth noting some things that Loughner hasn't done. For one, he hasn't added any colons or hyphens to his name. Also, he hasn't declared that he isn't taxable. Miller's following, to the extent that he has one, consists of people who think his ideas will allow them to avoid penalties in court. Yet when Loughner was arraigned, just a day after Potok published his speculations, he didn't invoke a single Millerism.

And while Miller believes he has discovered a "Correct Language" (sorry, ":Correct-Language:") that everyone should be using instead of the "bastardized" English imposed by shadowy elites, Loughner's YouTube channel raised the possibility of creating new languages. What exactly he meant by that is anyone's guess, but it sounds rather different from Miller's project.

Nonetheless, The New York Times jumped on Potok's comments and gave Miller a call; Miller, as any self-promoting crank would do, declared that yes, Loughner had "probably been on my Web site." And on January 12—two days after Loughner had appeared in court without drawing on any of Miller's peculiar legal strategies—the Los Angeles Times was citing Potok's Loughner speculations as well, in an article originally slugged "Loughner's ramblings appear rooted in far right." The article also followed Potok in wondering whether Loughner's obsession with currency sprang from right-wing monetary theories, and quoted another professional extremism-watcher, Chip Berlet, who felt he had found rightist undercurrents in Loughner's use of the phrase "second Constitution."

In the meantime, people who actually knew the killer were talking to the press, dropping clues about what Loughner really was reading and viewing. Loughner's friend Zach Osler, for example, told ABC that while the killer wasn't interested in mainstream political debates, he was a fan of Peter Joseph's 2007 documentary Zeitgeist. Joseph's movie is one-third arguments that religion is a fraud, one-third 9/11 trutherism, and one-third conspiracy theories about bankers.

Loughner's interest in Zeitgeist clears up the currency question a bit. After the shooting, there was a lot of speculation about one of Loughner's comments on YouTube, "I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!" Writers at several outlets, including Reuters and The New York Times, noted that this sounds like something a gold bug would say. The theory that Loughner wanted a gold standard suffered a pretty big blow, though, after some of his writings turned up on the UFO/conspiracy site In one of the discussion forums there, Loughner spouted impenetrable ideas about an "infinite source of currency." There were actual gold bugs in the thread, and they were as mystified by Loughner's ideas as anyone else.

Zeitgeist, meanwhile, belongs to the old money-crank tradition, a venerable worldview that stretches from the Greenback Party to the Social Credit movement and from the fascist poet Ezra Pound to the pop Buddhist Alan Watts. Joseph's critique does overlap with the arguments offered by gold bugs, and if you download the study guide he offers online you'll find them among the rainbow coalition of sources that he cites: libertarians (William Anderson, Ron Paul), leftists (John Kenneth Galbraith, Ferdinand Lundberg), Birchers (Gary Allen, G. Edward Griffin), even a cameo by Lyndon LaRouche. But his movie's chief argument against the Fed is that it is a private institution that profits by lending money at interest; and it praises the old money-crank remedy of an "interest-free independent currency" that isn't created by private banks.

Is this left-wing or right-wing? Money cranks come in both flavors, but in the case of Zeitgeist the labels left and right are pretty useless descriptors. The best label would probably be "New Age paranoia." If you've ever gone browsing in an occult bookstore (and you really should; it's like browsing in a science fiction bookstore, only the authors really believe the stories they're writing, or pretend to), you may have seen a shelf labeled "conspiracies" alongside the sections marked "astrology" or "Tarot." People who write about fringe politics often miss the extent to which New Agers serve as a transmission belt, allowing ideas from the left, the right, and the counterculture—not to mention more outré folks like the UFO buffs—to slide from one subculture to another.

In 2009 Peter Joseph founded a full-blown Zeitgeist Movement, with a platform heavy on futurism, sustainability, and utopian economics. There's no sign, as of this writing, that Loughner's love for the Zeitgeist movie extended into a love for the Zeitgeist Movement. It isn't likely, given that Joseph now calls not for a new currency but for the abolition of money altogether. Loughner's own monetary nostrums weren't exactly the same as Zeitgeist's, and ABC unfortunately doesn't seem to have asked his friend Osler any follow-up questions exploring what exactly the killer liked about the documentary and what ideas he took from it, preferring instead to focus on the fact that Loughner used the psychedelic herb Salvia divinorum. But whatever he got out of the video is obviously just one element of the great big crazycakes combination that is the mind of Jared Lee Loughner.

We also know, for example, that Loughner was deeply interested in lucid dreaming, in reality-bending movies such as Waking Life and Donnie Darko, and in the science-fiction novels of Philip K. Dick, a writer whose paranoid plots often hinged on the idea that reality itself is a fraud. Another friend of Loughner's, Bryce Tierney, told Mother Jones that the shooter was "fascinated" with the idea that "the world is really nothing—illusion."

Interviewed by Keith Olbermann on the day of the murders, Potok gamely tried to link lucid dreaming to the radical right, noting that the conspiracy theorist David Icke is interested in the subject. Well, that's Potok's schtick; if Loughner had turned out to be a soccer fan, Potok may well have mentioned that Icke used to play for Coventry. My own guess is that Loughner's interest in alternate realities was at the core of his worldview, and that he was attracted to those elements of fringe politics that seemed to reinforce his suspicion that the waking world is a lie. But I'll refrain from declaring it "pretty clear" that my guess is a fact. That's the sort of thing that might make you look like a fool.

Managing Editor Jesse Walker is the author of Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America (NYU Press).

NEXT: So How Is This Different From an Armed Robbery?

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  1. Great piece Jessee. ATS has a topic here for people who want to see what he wrote there:…..649091/pg1

    Tough reading.

  2. I love how his friend – i.e., a guy who actually KNEW him – comes out and says, “no, he didn’t like the news; he didn’t like politics; he didn’t watch TV; he didn’t listen to talk radio,” etc., – and the people who already are deeply invested in the meme that it was nasty, right-wing rhetoric that “made” him do it simply waive all that away, saying, “well you can’t believe that guy – how do we know he really knew him? He’s just trying to get his 15 minutes of fame himself. Besides, how credible can he be? His supposed “best friend” is a mass killer!”


    People are gonna believe what they choose to believe.

    1. It’s ridiculous how the Violent Rhetoric narrative has stayed pretty much intact since day one, despite everything we learned about the guy in the meantime. In 6 months, everyone will’ve forgotten about the whole thing, except for a vague recollection of the Tea Party Murderer.

      ?And that, kids, is how history is written!

      1. Kinda like how everybody remembers that the kook who flew into the Austin IRS building was a teapartier, even though he quoted Marx in his suicide manifesto.

        1. Or the dude who shot himself at the school board meeting in Florida. Another anti-government type.

          1. The 82nd Texas Legislature just convened. HB 698 by Huberty allows school board members and superintendants with CHLs to concealed carry on school premises if they’re attending a school board meeting.

            The good Representative was apparently undeterred by current Texas law, which allows any school district to write a policy accomplishing the same thing. (Or allowing concealed carry any other way it wants.)

        2. Does anyone remember that guy at all?

      2. What was that saying about the big lie and that peculiar German organization?

    2. If you look at the change log for the talk page for the Wikipedia article on the Tucson shooting, you will find someone angrily insisting that the friend’s quote should not be included in the article, on the grounds that it is not a “reliable source.”

      That won the argument. The quote was removed from the article. (Could be back now. Wikipedia is rather fluid.)

      Caveat lector Wiki.

  3. David Icke is about as ‘far right’ as you can get. He’s basically what Lyndon LaRouche would be if LaRouche was a schizoid, leathery English hippie.

    1. Re: Adonisus,

      He’s basically what Lyndon LaRouche would be if LaRouche was a schizoid, leathery English hippie.

      Can anybody really be as far out there as LaRouche?

      By the way, anybody that espouses the idea that “we need another Bretton Woods!” is just batshit crazy in my book – or totally ignorant of economics. Also, what’s with that guy’s obsession with Riemann???

      1. The existence of LaRouche only goes to prove how closely the lunatic left tacks the retarded right.

    2. How do you get that Icke is “far right”?

      1. He’s not obviously and loudly Left. Klar?

    3. I never heard of Icke before, but Wikipedia says he has been associated with the Green Party and believes world leaders are actually, literally, reptiles. (Many libertarians feel the same way, but in a figurative rather than literal way.) The former is clearly ‘far left’, but the latter doesn’t sound either left or right to me: it just sounds crazy.

      1. Excellent that you should believe that! Excellent!

      2. I do not think we should dismiss out of hand the hypothesis that world leaders are actually, literally, reptiles.
        It makes sense that reptiles would be concerned about climate, and I find it facinating the use by a major advertizer of using a Gecko, an animal similar in appearance to lizards.

  4. Loughner: interested in alternate realities.

    The Left: manufacturing alternate realities.

    The dots connect themselves!

    1. ….so…..if she’s…..made of wood….then….

      1. SHE’S A WITCH!!!

    2. The Right = Creationist Flat Earth Climate Deniers (full blown alternate reality of the Neanderthal type).

      You think Jesus is coming back to save your grimy fucking useless “soul”, don’t you?

      Sorry to piss on your fantasy land.

      1. Re: Shrike,

        The Right = Creationist Flat Earth Climate Deniers (full blown alternate reality of the Neanderthal type).

        The Left = Creationists Flat Earth Physics Deniers (full blown alternate reality of the economics illiterate kind).

        Sorry for describing you oh so to the “T”, shrike.

        1. That’s piss.

          Even you usually can do better.

          1. The Right = Creationist Flat Earth Climate Deniers (full blown alternate reality of the Neanderthal type).

            Tell me more about this Flat Earth Climate.

            1. Come on, everybody knows about that.

            2. The Flat Earth has no coriolus effect, so hurricanes don’t rotate. The ocean currents are quite different, too, but I don’t have the data on hand to calculate how they would actually work.

              1. Wouldn’t you get a kind of Coriolis effect if the flat earth spun like a turntable. Of course, then you’d get people flying off the edge of the Earth.

                1. Yes, you would. I’m not sure that people would go flying off. Due to the weird spatial distribution of the gravitational field of a flat Earth, you’d probably get some component of gravitational force which would act against the centripetal force due to rotation. Not sure which would win, but it could be calculated.

              2. we do it all, baby

              3. The presence of the Coriolis effect on Earth does not preclude a flat earth. The Coriolis pseudoforce arises anytime you have to consider a rotating frame of reference. Thus, it arises on the Earth (which rotates). But it would also arise on a flat Earth which rotates.

                To prove that the Earth is round, you need to do what Eratosthenes did. Equally good would be to note how gravity works on Earth (basically constant everywhere, changes w/ altitude). Gravity on a flat Earth would be pretty interesting.

                1. There’s a great Charlie Stross novella, Missile Gap, set on a flat Earth.… Basically, some incomprehensible alien force has peeled the surface off of the Earth of 1962, smooshed it out flat like a Mercator projection, and stuck it on a giant Alderson Disk-like structure covered with ocean, all without otherwise harming the inhabitants.

                  No inverse square law for gravitational attraction towards a flat surface—so escape velocity is something like a couple hundred miles per second. The net effect is that space flight is essentially impossible, so the Soviets end up trying to explore the place with a nuclear powered Ekranoplan.

                  Weird story, interesting setting.

          2. Re: shrike,

            That’s piss.

            Even you usually can do better.

            No, it’s to the “T”, shrike – to the T.


      2. shrike|1.20.11 @ 5:48PM|#
        “..Sorry to piss on your fantasy land.”

        Don’t flatter yourself, jackass.

      3. I am an atheist. I know the earth is an approximate sphere. I do not deny there is a climate. That’s not my fantasy land you are pissing on….that’s yo momma!

      4. The Right = Creationist Flat Earth Climate Deniers (full blown alternate reality of the Neanderthal type).

        Interesting. The only person I know who denied the Climate was Al Gore.

      5. “You think Jesus is coming back to save your grimy fucking useless “soul”, don’t you?”

        You probably gave up on DNF too, didn’t you?

      6. And this has, what, to do with Loughner?

        Swing and a miss, shrike.

        1. It lets Shriek insult religion again. That’s what it has to do with Loughner.

  5. This is why I named my kid Robert’); DROP TABLE Students;

    1. Little Bobby Tables?

    2. Robert? Why not Clovis? Or Charles Martel?

      1. …or Clovis Charles Martel III?

        1. Well, I think you’d have to make Martel a middle name, unless you’re dumping your surname, but otherwise, that would be FRIGGIN’ AWESOME!

          1. ….Clovis Charles Martel [your surname here] III


            1. I mean, how great would that name be? And his nickname, of course, would be The Hammer. The Hammer. Shoot, you could get dates based on that name alone.

              1. The looks of disappointment that follow though my lower your morale.

                Of course it’s way too late to matter at that point.

                1. my = might

                  And this caps a day of typing words that sound like the words I’m thinking of using.

                  1. Well, the name’s not for just any man-child.

    3. lol, sql?

  6. You see, there are these people I don’t like. And there was this event that everyone didn’t like. So I’m gonna put the two together so everyone else will hate the people I don’t like.

    1. Yup, pretty much. The TEAM RED TEAM BLUE shenanigans really are the equivalent of a high school clique war, except that they never graduate and go get drunk in college.

      1. Sad, really.

  7. Potok thinks that if you walk away grumbling from the window at the DMV your next move is straight to the gun cabinet or KKK rally.

    I really don’t know how the man….oops sorry…I really don’t know how Potok functions in society…having to live with his own personal “Threat Code Orange” all the time?

    I did love his work in Meerkat Manor though.

  8. But Potok apologized, right?

    1. Did he? It wouldn’t be in character.

  9. I am disappointed in the lack of alt-text on the image at the top.

  10. The SPLC’s got it right!

    God DAMN Sarah Palin, George Bush, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbauer (sic), Ronald Reagan’s Ghost, and anyone who’s ever attended a Tea Party, including my own grandchildren…God DAMN them for what they done to make Jared Lee Loughner do what HE did!

    God DAMN right-wing, everything-hatin’ America! They got blood on their hands!

    1. Well said, Reverend!


    2. Now go do that voodoo that you do so well!

      1. I pledge allegiance, to Hedey Lamarr..

        1. That’s Hedley!

          1. where is froggy!

  11. Morris Dees is a corrupt asshole who’s gotten rich as a poverty pimp and shill for “injustice”:…..y-law.html…..01100.html

    1. And the guy’s sex life seems not exactly admirable:

    2. I read that as “Morris Day” and thought, “SHIT, what’d Morris do? I like ‘The Time’.”


      1. It was. . .jungle love.

        1. Oh-we-oh-we-oh.

    3. Oops, the second link was already in the article.

  12. A lot of the guys writing in “Modern Monetary Theory” and neo-Chartalism are also money-cranks to some degree.

    I will say that I think there’s something to be said for the argument that a privately-created currency which only comes into existence as an asset offsetting a liability of the federal government is not exactly a fair or felicitous arrangement for anyone except the bankers. But that doesn’t mean the government should just run the printing presses as the money cranks prescribe, it means that asset-based money should be freed to emerge in the market by repealing legal tender laws and ending the Fed’s monopoly over money.

    Anyway, what was this post about again?

    1. We have asset backed money now – unbeknowst to the Paul fucktards. The Fed balance sheet actually BALANCES on the asset and liability side.

      Dollar rising, inflation at an ebb, gold falling, when the Fed cranks up the Funds Rate up to 1% this Bush Depression will die into the night.

      1. ^ this thing makes noises from time to time; sounds like a flock of chickens, except chickens would make more sense.

        1. …and they’re delicious!

          1. …and they taste like chicken!

      2. Re: shrike,

        We have asset backed money now – unbeknowst to the Paul fucktards.

        You mean there are certificates redeemable for your ass?

        The Fed balance sheet actually BALANCES on the asset and liability side.

        Remind me not to hire YOU as an accountant.

        To the “T”, shrike – described you to the “T”.

        1. “You mean there are certificates redeemable for your ass?” There are for mine!

      3. You make no sense about any of your chosen topics. Why would anyone pay any attention to you while you gibber about economics?

      4. We have asset backed money now – unbeknowst to the Paul fucktards. The Fed balance sheet actually BALANCES on the asset and liability side.

        And just what would those assets be, mister grifter? Here’s a clue for ya – debt is not wealth.

        1. > debt is not wealth

          Tell that to the Communisty Associations Institute, which has successfully sold the idea that perpetual debts and liens which can never be repaid maintain property values.

        2. But why would he refuse to pay debts with money not guaranteed by gold or silver? You’d think that if you could pay for something you already had with a currency that was worth LESS, you’d take advantage.

      5. Ignore me at your own peril.

      6. When will the Obama Depression end, shrike?

    2. Re: Graphite,

      Anyway, what was this post about again?

      It was about some guy with a weird Klingon last name who fucks sheep and then covers it up by pretending to be a watchdog… or something.

  13. Another friend of Loughner’s, Bryce Tierney, told Mother Jones that the shooter was “fascinated” with the idea that “the world is really nothing?illusion.”

    My half-baked (and wholly unsubstantiated) hypothesis is that Loughner, as a lot of us did at that age, sat around thinking about the nature of reality and truth, and the representations of those concepts in language. At the point where most people say, “Huh, that’s, like, weird, man; grab me a beer while you’re up” Loughner went down the rabbit hole and couldn’t find his way back.

    It happens.

    And Mark Potok is full of shit.

    1. Personally, I blame the philosophers. Gotta tone down that philosophical rhetoric, it’s dangerous to the mentally unstable.

      1. There was an old Dragnet episode where a kid shot someone after reading existentialist philosophy. Like a lot of them, it was unintentionally funny.

        1. Hey! Dragnet was a CLASSIC! Joe Friday was my HERO!! His staccato beatdowns of leftist hippie punks are the stuff of LEGEND!!


          1. Especially not on a Friday.

            1. Joe Friday, passionate drug warrior, died of lung cancer from cigarrettes. Makes me smile.

              1. Which reminds us, Mike, how you can use the word “patriot” while being against private-property rights.

    2. Then it wasn’t Ron Paul, or the Tea Party, or Hitler…it was that MF’er Morpheous.

    3. When I was that age, and probably the one getting the beer, most of my life-is-illusion/truth-in-scare-quotes friends were on the far left.

    4. Schizophrenia is probably genetic. That rabbit hole went looking for him.

      1. It’s a lot easier to believe that reality is an illusion when you’re hallucinating.

  14. Thank you, reason, for the alternate picture.

    But it looks like Roger Daltrey pantomiming and singing Magic Bus in the late 60’s. That could have been ugly, too.

  15. At least it wasn’t Daltry at the Super Bowl.

    1. Ooooh. Ouch. Damn.

      That night fully brought mortality into the front and center of my consciousness.

  16. You know, Potok said quickly means “stupid” in the original Klingon.

  17. Interviewed by Keith Olbermann on the day of the murders, Potok gamely tried to link lucid dreaming to the radical right, noting that the conspiracy theorist David Icke is interested in the subject. Well, that’s Potok’s schtick; if Loughner had turned out to be a soccer fan, Potok may well have mentioned that Icke used to play for Coventry.

    Basically Potok takes the 7 degrees of separation game further by just one more and grotesque degree…

    Every time I’ve seen this guy’s interviews, he sounds like a paranoid crank. My guess, however, is that he’s more the charlatan than a true believer.

    1. My guess, however, is that he’s more the charlatan than a true believer.

      Ordinarily you’d think so but since Dees has departed the scene to spend his ill gotten gains and laugh at the rubes. Potok has filled the role as head of the SPLC Kredible Believer Korps. Only someone who truly and deeply believed could so consistently stretch logic and reason to the point of bursting.

  18. If anyone bothers to go to Loughner’s YouTube channel. It’s clear after only a few seconds of watching any of his videos that Loughner is a schizophrenic.

    Politics might bug people, but it’s not a cause of schizophrenia. The DSM-IV does not list politics as causal for schizophrenia.

    Who knows? Maybe the APA shall list politics as causal for schizophrenia in the DSM-V.

    1. Speaking of Daltry — was he Quadrophenia?

  19. But – the first 1/3 of ‘Zeitgeist’ is illuminating for its astrological/religion intersection.

    The rest is crap though.

    And if the crazy fucking Loughner liked pistachios I still do too – don’t really care.

    1. Zeitgeist fails within the first two minutes because the etymology is all wrong.

      Since the entire basis of the claims are based on faulty etymology, the claims are false.

      Thus, the religion portion of Zeitgeist is false.

      1. Ridiculous.

        Since I have not seen you here before I will indulge you.

        Please tell us how the etymology fails in the first two minutes.

        1. You can see the posters???????

        2. What’s ridiculous, shrike, is your lack of etymological knowledge to not have picked up on this immediately combined with your intellectual laziness to do so.

          When you send to my paypal account $200 (U.S.) for my efforts (fee rate is a minimum one hour), only then I shall school you.

          Otherwise, go do your own heavy lifting.

          Zeitgeist is a huge fail, made by a moronic kid, suckered by New Agey bullshit.

          His entire anti-religious belief system has its basis in faulty etymological beliefs.

          1. Care to make your claim without attacking the messenger?

            What specifically about what is offered in the Zeitgeist films is faulty & why?

    2. Re: shrike,

      But – the first 1/3 of ‘Zeitgeist’ is illuminating for its astrological/religion intersection.

      Don’t give this guy a C.C.L.

  20. It’s hard to say if Mark Potok is pederast, but it’s pretty clear he writes in the same language as Guy Burgess. You do the math.

  21. You know, I’ve always wondered, along the lines of “What the hell is a Radio Picture?”

    What the hell is Poverty Law?

    1. It’s a Southern thing – you wouldn’t understand

    2. Communism.

    3. It’s what Mo Dees uses to fill his swimming pool with gravy.

  22. In one of the discussion forums there, Loughner spouted impenetrable ideas about an “infinite source of currency.”

    Currency is infinite!!!

    1. Here it is:

      If a member of the treasury creates 5 new currency’s then the new currency replaces the previous currency.
      If the new currency replaces the previous currency then the previous currency is no longer in use.
      A members of the treasury creates 5 new currency’s.
      Therefore, the previous currency is no longer in use.

      If the treasury creates a new currency then the new currency will replace the previous currency.
      The treasury creates a new currency.
      Therefore, the new currency will replace the previous currency.

      If the treasury creates one new currency then why couldn’t they create an infinite amount?

      Wouldn’t be beautiful to see your face on the new coins?

      Complete leftist gibberish.

    2. Currency is infinite!!!

      Currency isn’t but credit liquidity is.

  23. Is it just me or did that booking photo of Loughner look like Robert Blake in Lost Highway?

  24. Oh, this Loughner case also further confirms my conspirary theory that a significant number of notorious killers and assasins have ‘lee’ as either a first or middle name.

    1. I have “Lee” as a middle name and I love it!

    2. Actually it’s having three names in general

  25. Including Tommy Lee Jones?

    1. *especially* Tommy Lee Jones.

      1. By NOT killing his college room-mate, he has killed the world’s economy.

    2. I was thinking more on the lines of Kathy Lee Gifford, but yeah.

  26. I hate that the SPLC wishes the KKK and White Citizens Councils were still around.

    Pretty immature group these days.

  27. Thank you reason for finally pointing out the “Waking Life” connection.

  28. He like to smoke Salvia, which is a short-acting, but extremely potent psychedelic which is known to “cause” the onset of those prone to schizophrenia. It’s used in shamanic rituals and fits right in with the “all reality is illusion” and leftist ideology, as well. (Tho’ not all those who seek spiritual enlightment through “magic plants” ARE to the left, they do trend in that direction.) So I’m sure he at least aggravated his schizophrenia if he smoked it often.

    1. …fits right in with the “all reality is illusion” and leftist ideology, as well.

      That’s because the F-ing left has always been out of touch with reality anyway. And then there is that part of the left who would like to con everyone else into believing there is no objective reality, so as to give validity any self-serving bullshit they spew.

  29. I pooped my pants.

    1. Use this to wipe, shrike:…../#comments

  30. Sucks this dude shit all over my internet handle.

  31. “he was a fan of Peter Joseph’s 2007 documentary Zeitgeist. ”

    Totally called that shit! Can’t prove it, though.

  32. Loughner was NOT into “lucid dreaming”.

    The term he used was “conscious dreaming”, which, IMO, is probably a description of his schizophrenic hallucinations.

    1. His friend Bryce Tierney told Mother Jones that Loughner was into lucid dreaming, so we’re not just going by the killer’s writing here. And “conscious dreaming” is often used (here, for example) as an alternative term for lucid dreaming.

  33. shrike|1.20.11 @ 6:03 PM

    That’s piss.

    And if there’s anything shrike knows… it’s piss.

  34. It’s interesting that we condemn Loughner as a loony for believing the government performs “mind control on the people by controlling grammar,” yet in all seriousness, isn’t that exactly what the government actually attempts by assigning new “meaning” to words/terms, or simply inventing from whole cloth new words/terms?

    Here are a few examples off the top of my head:

    — Monetary easing
    — Transparency
    — Fair trade
    — Family values
    — Judicial activism
    — War on (X)

    Can anyone think of any others?

  35. social justice
    community organizer
    health reform
    Troubled Assetts Relief Program
    overseas contingency operation
    affirmative action
    food desert
    achievement gap
    hate speech
    economic justice
    end-of-life consultation
    muslim community center

    just off the top of my head….

  36. Let’s look at the facts here.

    1) A movie cannot make someone do anything; it can be influential in an overarching condition of instability. Just like “wheat bread” can be influential or any random thing can be influential.

    2) The Zeitgeist Movement & films strongly re-enforce non-violence. It is a core tenant of the movement.

    3) The so called “interview” was between someone claiming to be Loughner’s “best friend” though clearly states he hasn’t had contact with him IN OVER 2 YEARS.

    4) Someone claiming to know what motivated Loughner’s attack hasn’t seen him IN OVER 2 YEARS.

    5) The Zeitgeist films are strongly anti-mass media & this “report” came from a mass-media source.

    Conclusion: Making the connection between the two is pure propaganda.

    1. #1 is certainly true, and #2 may well be true. Neither contradicts anything in the article.

      #3 is inaccurate. Since Osler explicitly states in the interview that their friendship ended a while ago, you can’t really say that he claimed to be Loughner’s best friend.

      #4 is inaccurate. Osler did not claim to know what motivated Loughner’s attack.

      #5 doesn’t seem particularly relevant.

      As for the conclusion — it’s not clear what you mean by “the two.” Blaming the film for the crime is obviously idiotic. Ascribing some portion of Loughner’s worldview to the film is not.

  37. and for your definitions…

    social justice = theft
    community organizer = communist
    health reform = communism
    Troubled Assetts Relief Program = theft
    overseas contingency operation = war
    affirmative action = racism
    food desert = bumfuck town
    xenophobia = anti-communism
    anti-immigrant = anti-illegal immigrant
    multiculturalism = tribalism
    achievement gap = IQ gap
    hate speech = political correctness
    economic justice = theft
    end-of-life consultation = death panel
    muslim community center = a building that does a million different things, only one of which has anything to do with religion.

  38. Yeah — perfect leftist dictionary. Thanks.

  39. Yeah — perfect! Thanks.

  40. When people are scared, they grasp at explanatory straws, and try to form coherent narratives where there aren’t any.

  41. Even a cursory examination of the SPLC will show that it is a money tree for professional racist* Morris Dees. End of story.

    Professional racist: individual deriving income from the full time incitement of racial tension. Best known examples: Al Sharpton and David Duke.

  42. I wish more people would remember Galileo’s precept to respect “that wise, modest, and ingenuous sentence, ‘I know it not.'”

  43. Good to see Reason knows what a crock the entire SPLC/Dees/Potok con game truly is.

    Evidently Gillespie kept Radley Balko out of the equation.

  44. Reason magazine is badly named. It has done nothing but mindlessly demonize Jared Lee Loughner. for real insights and reasoning into Jared Lee Loughner.

  45. This plan has no merit

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