Chicago-area conspiracy theorist targets Sandy Hook family


chicagotribune.com

A YouTube video shows a man called Dr. Kaasem Khaleel, a pseudonym of a Chicago-area man. (YouTube HANDOUT)

Jillian Soto remembers the day she stumbled across a website that showed photos of her at her sister’s funeral — and was horrified to read accusations that she had faked grief as part of an elaborate government hoax.

Only a month earlier, Victoria Soto, 27, had been shot down while sheltering her first-grade students at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn., left 20 children and seven adults dead.

“I was in tears” reading the website, said Jillian Soto, 24, who was told by a lawyer that the author was protected by free speech. “Everyone tells you, don’t pay any attention to these websites. But it hurt.”

Conspiracy theorists have thrived on the Internet, producing hundreds of such websites that challenge official reports and claim nefarious plots behind emotionally charged events — despite evidence to the contrary. Some are wildly speculative, casting doubt on whether man really took steps on the moon.

Others, like the website Soto discovered, which espouses anti-government and anti-Semitic opinions, are viewed by some watchdog groups as malicious hate speech.

Many of the people behind these websites operate in relative anonymity. But, after acting on a tip, the Tribune has linked the Sandy Hook hoax website to a Chicago-area man named Cassim K. Igram, 57.

Igram is linked to several pseudonyms, including Dr. Cass Ingram and Kaasem Khaleel, names that appear on websites and in books endorsing very different causes.

Dr. Cass Ingram promotes herbal medicinal remedies. Kaasem Khaleel has written books and hosted radio shows that blame the U.S. or Israeli governments for many modern-day tragedies, from the 9/11 terrorist acts to the recent Boston Marathon bombings. The website Jillian Soto discovered, nodisinfo.com, is registered to Khaleel, who sometimes goes by “Dr. K” or uses other spellings of the first name.

Igram is an osteopath by training but lost his Illinois medical license in 1999 for “unprofessional, unethical and dishonorable conduct” while trying to charge a woman thousands of dollars for nutritional supplements without her approval, according to the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners, which reprimanded Igram for failing to notify that board that he had run afoul of Illinois law. In February, an administrative law judge rejected Igram’s bid to have his Illinois license reinstated. While he remains licensed in Iowa, where he grew up, officials say they are not sure if he practices medicine there.

Ingram has written numerous books on purported herbal remedies and nutrition, which are tied to products sold by North American Herb & Spice Co. LLC, a company that was sued by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly making bogus claims concerning oregano oil.

Igram also owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $658,000, according to a federal tax lien filed with the Lake County recorder of deeds.

For all his personal and professional troubles, Igram is among the conspiracy theorists who have found the Internet a powerful medium to attract attention and gain followers. While his images and writings are easily found online, Igram did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails seeking comment. Attempts to reach him through family members and business associates were also unsuccessful.

One Buffalo Grove address listed in public records as Igram’s residence is actually the home of Judy Kay Gray, owner of the North American Herb & Spice Co., confirmed a man who answered the door. He denied that Igram lived there and referred questions to a lawyer. Another address provided for Igram led to a post office in Lake Forest.

Hate group experts say they monitor nodisinfo.com and hundreds of other websites like it. Often, they say, before police have cleared the crime scene, conspiracy theorists have pulled together bits and snips of information to create a narrative that supports their worldview.

Less than 24 hours after the Boston Marathon bombings, for example, the site blamed the terrorist acts on the government conspiracies. It alleged that the suspected bombers, the Tsarnaev brothers, were framed by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence operation.

“It’s people who generally want to demonize someone for a tragic event and often it will be Israel and the Jews,” said Marilyn Mayo, a director for the Anti-Defamation League’s center on extremism. “This (website) is particularly disturbing because it uses pictures of children killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”

Is it better to expose the people behind such sites or ignore them? That is a question that Mayo grapples with all the time, but “often we do expose these folks,” she said. The ADL believes that is it important for the public to know about the “bigotry and demonization that underlie their conspiracy theories,” she said.

The website displays photos of victims and survivors — often taken from online news stories or social media accounts — with claims that they have been doctored. The author uses red lines and arrows to point out where he believes the pictures have been changed in order to appear legitimate.

The Sandy Hook hoax allegations were especially jarring for the Soto family, who asked a social media expert for help.

Ryan Graney, 31, of Nashville became friends with Victoria’s mother, Donna, after viewing Donna’s Facebook page about a month after the shootings. Donna Soto complained about the hoax conspiracies targeting her family, as well as fake fundraisers set up in her daughter’s name, Graney said.

Graney offered to help the family for free.

“It’s about respect and being a decent human being,” said Graney, who formerly worked for a company that “scrubs” clients whose reputations have been tarnished on the Internet.

Graney tracked several people through the website, finding several email addresses. Besides Khaleel, she found the names of two other men, one who lives in north suburban Wauconda and another associated with a website for Knowledge House Publishers.

Virtually all books sold on the website for Knowledge House, whose address is a rented mailbox in Vernon Hills, are by Khaleel and Ingram. The business was registered with the state of Illinois to Cassim K. Igram and its president was listed as Cassim Igram, according to the secretary of state’s office.

While the website still appears active, the company was dissolved by the state after failing to file an annual report and pay a franchise tax in 2011, according to state records.

Graney sought to reach the people associated with nodisinfo.com through email, asking that photos of the Sandy Hook families be removed. None of the people she contacted responded to her messages, she said. Instead, the website turned its attention to Graney and Jillian Soto themselves with emails purporting to be “cease and desist orders” for harassment.

Someone also posted portions of Graney’s emails on the website, combined with her photos that they found through her Twitter account. They devoted a page of the website to Graney, calling her a “Mossad spy.”

Despite becoming the target of the website’s ire, Graney doesn’t regret coming to the Sotos’ defense.

“If this was my family, I would want someone to do what I’m doing for them,” Graney said. “It’s 100 percent libel and slander. But the only thing to do is to get a lawyer, and they (Sotos) just don’t have the time and money.”

The site proclaimed that Graney is “a kind of Internet police person, scouring and looking throughout the World Wide Web for the slightest enemy of the Soto clan and its ludicrous actions.”

Graney said, “They take tweets of mine from two years ago and say I am part of the plan.”

Jillian Soto also called Knowledge House Publishers directly, but said that the man who answered the phone hung up after she identified herself.

She called back and left a voice mail: “You are not a coward on the Internet to post my picture and … say all this stuff about me,” she said, “but you won’t talk to me over the phone?”

No one associated with Knowledge House Publishers returned calls or emails from the Tribune.

The Tribune also phoned Igram using a number provided by the Anti-Defamation League. The voice mail greeting identified the phone’s owner as “C. Ingram,” but the man who answered the phone on a separate occasion said he was Kaasem Khaleel. He declined to be interviewed, saying he was “on the road” but would try to find someone to respond to questions. No one associated with him or the website called back or responded to additional interview requests.

Separate YouTube videos — some espousing anti-government conspiracy theories, others touting herbal remedies — show what appear to be the same person, but they are introduced or identified as Khaleel or Dr. K in the former and Dr. Cass Ingram in the latter.

On fightingforliberty.ning.com, the two identities appear to overlap: A page identified as Cass Ingram’s includes information with similar conspiracy themes.

Several of Igram’s relatives said they were aware that he used different names to promote his books but said they had never seen nodisinfo.com.

Two of Cassim K. Igram’s siblings said they were dismayed to learn about the website.

On Knowledge House Publishers’ website, books by Ingram such as “The Cure is in the Cupboard” and “Natural Cures for Radiation” are advertised next to books by Khaleel, including “Wrongly Blamed,” which promises that readers will “discover who really was behind 9/11 and the London bombings.”

As Dr. Cass Ingram, Igram touts the miracle effects of wild oregano oil. He has been long associated with a company that sells the product, North American Herb & Spice Co. LLC, based in Lake Forest, according to court documents.

Igram also co-wrote a book with Gray, the company’s owner.

In 2008, the FTC ordered Gray to pay $2.5 million for falsely claiming that wild oregano products are scientifically proven to prevent or treat colds and flu. The products, sold at prices ranging from $29.99 to $69.99, also were credited with boosting the immune system and killing a variety of germs and pathogens, according to the FTC complaint.

Company advertisements that include Igram’s image and endorsement of the oregano oil were included in the FTC exhibits.

Gray could not be reached for comment.

Igram’s relatives say they seldom talk to him, other than occasional email correspondence.

He received a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree in 1984 from Des Moines University. He was licensed to practice medicine in California from 1991 to 1995, public records show.

In 1999, Igram ran into regulatory trouble in Illinois and agreed to have his medical license permanently suspended and to pay a $4,000 fine to the state of Illinois.

According to a complaint filed with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, Igram in 1996 charged a woman $300 for a brief medical consultation over the phone. Without seeing the client, he ordered medical laboratory testing for her and her husband. He then attempted to charge her more than $4,000 for nutritional supplements, lab tests and fees, the complaint said.

Last June, he petitioned to have his medical license reinstated, saying that he did not understand that the “placement of his license on inactive status was permanent and irrevocable,” according to a court document. He also testified that he had spent about $100,000 in attorney’s fees to settle the case.

In February, an administrative law judge declined his request.

Jillian Soto now speaks for a group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which calls for the federal government to reform laws concerning firearm sales and background checks.

She said she no longer checks nodisinfo.com because the theories and comments “are just disgusting.” While she has made her Facebook page “private,” she continues to post photos of events held in honor of her sister and other Sandy Hook victims.

Said Soto, “We refuse to let them run our life.”

  1. #1 by Peter on 05/31/2013 - 9:34

    Does pinning 9/11 on Israel/mossad really discredit one? I think not. By suggesting it does that only lends credibility to the other claims.

  2. #2 by Petrus on 06/01/2013 - 9:34

    “Dr K” is an obvious fraud. He claims that no planes struck the twin towers. He may be intentionally subverting the 9/11 truth movement.

  3. #3 by annebeck58 on 06/02/2013 - 9:34

    Oh, Jeez.
    I am very disgusted with Dr, K, whom I know and I worked with regarding the Republican primaries (and the vote-fraud, which I do believe is and was rampant..) I wish Dr K would stop this insane behavior, as it helps nobody.
    This, from the article, got to me: (person from) Anti-Defamation League’s center on extremism (said). “This (website) is particularly disturbing because it uses pictures of children killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” And, I agree with this ADL person, believe it or not. I wish people would wake up and think. But, this (crazy) Hooker theory is causing folk to ignore what’s really going on, to the other extreme. And it all comes down on ALL of US.

    You see, as many of us have said since people started going oingo-boingo on Sandy Hook, the Hookers are one of our biggest problems. We know our government is not to be trusted, particularly since 9-11 (and before). We also know why; ADL is milking our federal govt for every dime they can get (which is too much.)

    Petrus; Dr K believes everything he says. I’ve known him and spoken with him and even did a couple of radio shows with him (after the Texas mess of a primary.) I find it deplorable that he’d have a go at family members of (obvious) murder victims. I don’t even know what more to say. But, it makes me said that we are ALL under the scope for the behavior of a few.

    Peter; Yes, they will use what he’s said about Sandy Hook to paint us all as insane, idiots, lunatics.. And any of us who’ve been to and commented on Dr K’s site will be painted with that same broad brush.

    It’s very frustrating.

  4. #4 by annebeck58 on 06/02/2013 - 9:34

    And, I wanted to (also) say:
    Anyone who targets loved ones of murder victims must have something wrong with him. I am very upset by this post and will contact Dr K (Cass Ingram), myself, to let him know how bothered I am by this.
    Why do people not consider how their words, particularly online, hurt others? All of these conspiracies; Sandy Hook, the (insane) Batman ruse, London’s latest knifing, and the Boston Marathon bombing, ended in people dying. Yet, those who go on and on about them being false-flags (with no deaths, at all) are truly not considering how painful these events have been and are to the family members. I’ve watched people egg-on others to have a go at family members, in YouTube, and I find it disgusting.

  5. #5 by anastaSIA on 06/02/2013 - 9:34

    The tactic (and this is a tactic) used in this article to silence people who do not believe that Sandy Hook happened, is similar to problem with the holocaust. Anyone who says that there were no gas chambers is said to be “defamiing the dead” and upsetting the “survivors.” They call it “hateful.” It is a tactic to silence free speech. When is “free speech” ever anything that someone WANTS to hear? If we give up “free speech”, the Soto’s would not be “hurt” and “feel upset”. But the truth of the matter is if this truly happened, anyone saying it did not would never “hurt” anyone. They would simply shrug their shoulders at what would be considered an eccentric opinion, but since there are good reasons to believe that it never happened, those who say things are going to get all the right people very angry. Their anger is not justified, and as long as we have free speech in this country, they are simply going to have to grin and bear it. However, I can predict that our country’s days of “free speech”, a “free press”, and “freedom of religion” have reached their “end-times.”

    It is a known fact that when a so-called “conspiracy theorist” criticizes anyone on the internet, it is called “hate speech”, or “abuse” or “terrorism”. All such accusations about “conspiracy theorists” “targeting” people, should be treated with a great deal of skepticism, and anyone who is truly “targeting” anyone or trying to kill them most likely comes from those phoney Neo Nazi or other disinformation groups. Whenever I put a civilized comment on youtube, wholly factual and without any ad hominem,I am attacked in the most savage way by these disinformation agents, and usually they use my sexual parts or things going on in the bathroom to make their point. Does anyone really have to guess as to their identity.

    ed note–no Laura, what is taking place here is that unstable people ran with the bait offered them in the immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook and came up with a bunch of wild, off the wall conspiracy theories surrounding the event which were then used by the Jews in order to paint ALL persons who question ALL events as kooks and cranks, and it worked perfectly. True to form then, they DID contact persons involved with SH, threatened them, called them liars and ‘crisis actors’ and gave the Jews all the ammo they needed to paint us as unreliable and even vicious to those who are suffering.

    As we warned here months ago, Sandy Hook and its aftermath was an unmitigated DISASTER to the credibility of ‘truthers’, to the point that when REAL events and REAL coverups take place such as in Boston, NO ONE believes anything we say. There would have been a hell of a lot more believers out there in the aftermath of Boston had we not slit our own throats after Sandy Hook.

    So go ahead and continue to deny the reality of the situation, but the fact is that we have no one to blame for this mess but ourselves. As a movement, we made a BAD investment and in the process lost almost our life savings.

  6. #6 by annebeck58 on 06/02/2013 - 9:34

    AnastaSIA:
    I come to this from the exact opposite side as you. I do not see anything (of note) about Sandy Hook as being faked. Yet, I see conspiracy-addicts still going off the rail about it, to the point where every negative act is seen as done by our government.
    When I make a comment, free of cussing, free of name-calling, in YT, I am (also) attacked and it is generally done via discussing my, “private parts”, and private doings, particularly bathroom..

    Mark and I agree on Sandy Hook. Many of us who see 9-11 and the USS Liberty attacks for what they are see Sandy Hook as it was.
    Yet, we’re both attacked by the same group or by some who use the same tactics and even same wording for such attacks? Ever consider it may be the same group attacking both sides?
    The reaction, off of the rails as it is, to Sandy Hook has done one thing. It’s driven a huge wedge in the whole group of those who see the (most likely) truths of 9-11 and of the Liberty (as well as other lies we’ve heard all of our lives.) Think about who’s generally bolstering these lies and doing the name calling. I don’t think it’s people anti-Sandy-Hook, but more likely the same people we came into Sandy-Hook disgusted by.

  7. #7 by Carlos on 06/04/2013 - 9:34

    I’ve yet to see a picture of dead bodies. No one has. The only claim that anyone died at Sandy Hook Elementary comes from the jewish main stream media. Who gives a dam about the “movement” really. You think people are “waking up” to the truth? If they do, what does it matter really? Read your bibles people. Man does not save itself… it gets worse. Thy will be done. Thy Kingdom come. Amen.

    ed note–we never saw any dead bodies after 9/11 either, so I guess it didn’t happen. Same with the anthrax attacks. And the ‘Batman’ shootings in Aurora, Colorado–no pics of dead people, so it is all a hoax.

    PLEASE PEOPLE, WAKE UP AND USE YOUR BRAINS HERE.

    The only ‘hoax’ associated with SH is the idea that it didn’t happen.

  8. #8 by Carlos on 06/05/2013 - 9:34

    9/11 is an undeniable event. The Boston Marathon bombing, undeniable event. Why? Because people actually died. Numerous eye witnesses for both. Every testimony that I’ve heard for Sandy Hook from “so-called” witnesses, their testimony contradicts the official story. If you want to believe the official story, you have to listen to the news and I have a problem with that. Something is wrong with that situation and everyone in my circle of friends (that care) feels the same. They truth will surface one day, so until that day, we do not need to split hairs over it.

  9. #9 by unitedagainstzionism on 06/07/2013 - 9:34

    So disinfo clown “Dr. Kaasem Khaleel”‘s real name is “Cassim K. Igram”, who also sells herbal remedies (probably a scam) under the name “Dr. Cass Ingram”.

    Khaleel, or “Dr. K”, has been promoting any and all ridiculous 9/11 nonsense dreamt up by Jim Fetzer and the no-planes/TV-fakery cult. Most notably on Rick Adams’ RBN show, where he unfortunately reaches a wide audience. He has made Rick Adams (who apparently remains totally unaware) lose credibility to discerning listeners.

    Igram is an osteopath by training but lost his Illinois medical license in 1999 for “unprofessional, unethical and dishonorable conduct” while trying to charge a woman thousands of dollars for nutritional supplements without her approval, according to the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners

    So, assuming that what this Chicago Tribune reporter says is true, we now know that “Dr. K” is not merely misguided in his disinfo — he’s a con artist, a scammer, a deliberate disinfo peddler for profit.

    While his images and writings are easily found online, Igram did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails seeking comment.

    Indeed, he never answers anything. Like any professional scammer, he simply ignores criticism and pretends no one questions him.

    annebeck58: Dr K believes everything he says. I’ve known him and spoken with him and even did a couple of radio shows with him (after the Texas mess of a primary.) I find it deplorable that he’d have a go at family members of (obvious) murder victims. I don’t even know what more to say. But, it makes me said that we are ALL under the scope for the behavior of a few.

    Are you sure he is not simply pretending to believe everything he says? That seems more likely. And now that we have established con-artistry, it seems like a shut case. “Dr. K” is not after truth but after money, and has no regard whatsoever for other people.

    Rick Adams, discernment! Accuracy, clarity, truth… do these concepts mean anything to you? “Dr. K” is poison. Analyze and recognize it. Please!

    Mark Glenn, you gotta also see the positive side of the Sandy Hook hoaxers! Thanks to that we can now discern who the most logically dysfunctional among us are! And now a MSM presstitute, despite being a total ignoramus (contacts the ADL, LOL), has exposed this clown that was peddling ALL of the disinfo (no planes/TV fakery, DEWs/micronukes, no victims on 9/11, Sandy Hook hoax, and all other minor disinfo memes) and was the only such truth movement character using a MUSLIM (well, Arab) name!

  10. #10 by MK Slave on 01/14/2015 - 9:34

    Hey Mark, I find it interesting that you use the ADL for backup of your Sandy Hook stance. I know a psyop when I see one, your here to denigrate folks pursuing the explanations of the whole actual event coordinated through the Judeo-Masonic universe apparently of which you belong. What’s that saying in the protocols? Control the opposition by being it? Yea that’s it. You are nothing but a political spinner for “Satan’s Choice” you and your Mark Layne AFP protegee, MC Piper. Not all goy are stupid and we noticed your subtle rollout of Trevor Labonte over the last year. Make sure he has that guitar in his hands everytime he takes a picture. I remember cluing him about some WN psyops and he didn’t have a clue two years ago and now he’s posting and reporting for Press (Zionist op) Tv. I could go on but I don’t expect you to post this since co-intel pro ops focus on gullible goy and not aware ones 🙂 https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/chicago-area-conspiracy-theorist-targets-sandy-hook-family/

    ed note–well, you know what I find ‘interesting’ about people like you?

    Nothing.

    You are nutcases who do more to help the enemy’s cause than the enemy itself. The fact that a nobody like you–who hasn’t contributed even a gnat-shit sized granule to the truth concerning the problems we are facing today–would characterize MCP, Tervor, Press TV and the rest as all a giant ‘Zionist Op’ tells me that you need to be locked up in a padded room.

    Your screen name says it all–indeed you are an MK Slave and don’t even know it.

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