In an age of ‘alternative facts,’ a massacre of schoolchildren is called a hoax


SandyHook.jpg

Ed note–pay attention to who/what gets dragged into the ‘Sandy Hook never happened’ nuttery, just as predicted here years ago when this was only in its embryonic stage.

latimes.com
 
If there is anything worse than losing a child, it is losing a child and having people taunt you over the loss.

That is what happened to the family of Noah Pozner, a 6-year-old with tousled brown hair and lollipop-red lips, the youngest of the 26 children and staff members gunned down in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

In the years since the massacre that shook the country and opened new anxiety over gun violence, the family has received hate-filled calls and violent emails from people who say they know the shooting was a hoax. Photos of their son — some with pornographic and anti-Semitic content — have been distributed on websites.

These outlandish theories, which hold that the Newtown school shooting was a staged mass murder engineered by gun control advocates, have lived until now in the dark corners of the Internet.

But they have gained fresh momentum in the last several months, residents here say, at a time when conspiracy theorists across the country have attained the status of celebrities, and the nation as a whole is engaged in a contentious debate over the nature of truth.

President Trump and his national security advisor, Michael T. Flynn, have been open enthusiasts of Alex Jones’ Infowars, a Web-based radio and video network that has relentlessly pushed the theory that Sandy Hook was staged by Democrats to advance a gun control agenda.
 
An unabashed Trump supporter during the campaign, Jones says he received a personal call of thanks from the president-elect days after the election.

Although Trump has not spoken publicly about Sandy Hook, many residents here say he is nurturing the culture of exaggeration and paranoia on which conspiracy theorists thrive.

“Maybe it has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but somehow these hate creeps have been less shy about their beliefs,” said Noah’s father, Lenny Pozner, an information technology specialist. “They’ve been emboldened.”

Mark Fenster, a law professor at the University of Florida and author of a book about conspiracy theories in American politics, said the Sandy Hook hoax theory was a response to a Democratic-controlled White House of a kind that often shows up in political extremist circles.

“Conspiracy theories are pervasive in American politics and they target whoever is in power,” Fenster said. “I think it won’t be long before the Alex Joneses of this world are saying that Trump is part of some conspiracy.’’

The town of Newtown is drafting an official letter to the White House demanding that Trump sever his ties to Jones.

“Jones repeatedly tells his listeners and viewers that he has your ears and your respect. He brags about how you called him after your victory in November. Emboldened by your victory, he continues to hurt the memories of those lost, the ability of those left behind to heal,” reads an excerpt of the letter that was shared recently with the news media.

Family members who lost children at Sandy Hook say they find themselves twice victimized.

An unemployed waitress was arrested in December in Florida on charges of making death threats against Pozner, with repeated phone calls to his home in which she muttered ethnic and racial slurs and profanities. Another man is in Rikers Island prison in New York fighting transfer to Connecticut for a deluge of harassing phone calls to the home and office of the medical examiner who signed the coroner reports for Sandy Hook victims.

At a memorial run in 2015 in honor of slain teacher Vicki Soto, a 33-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., man was arrested after police said he shoved a photo in the face of the victim’s younger sister, Jillian Soto, and demanded to know whether her sister really died.

Another man was convicted of stealing memorial signs erected in playgrounds to commemorate the dead children. He later called the children’s parents and said they shouldn’t mind because their children never existed.

Most of the families associated with Sandy Hook have removed or protected their social media accounts and unlisted their telephone numbers; some have changed homes.

Newtown residents are distrustful of outsiders. On the fourth anniversary of the massacre in December, there was a low-key prayer vigil in a Catholic Church. An unmarked police car was stationed outside the elementary school to keep an eye out for hoaxers who show up frequently, photographing children and confronting families.

“This cloud of disinformation and misinformation and fake news has been harmful to the community,’’ said Patricia Llodra, a Republican selectwoman for Newtown. “I’m not an angry person, but when I think about the hurtful things these hoaxers say, I want to ask, ‘How could you? How dare you question the pain that these families experience every day.’”

Other tragedies have inspired conspiracy theories: The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the moon landing, the John F. Kennedy assassination. What distinguishes Sandy Hook is that the theories revolve around people who were utterly ordinary. None would have become public figures if not for 20-year-old Adam Lanza’s rampage through an elementary school that fateful morning.

Pozner and his then-wife, Veronique, had moved to the Connecticut suburb, an 80-mile drive from New York City, for its tree-lined cul-de-sacs and quality public schools.

On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, Pozner drove Noah and his twin sister and another daughter to school. Noah, wearing a Batman shirt, sang along to his favorite song, “Gangnam Style.”

Less than an hour later, he was shot in the face with such force that his jaw was blown off. His sisters cowered in another classroom and survived.

Pozner didn’t pay attention to anything outside the fog of his grief in the first weeks. But when he went online again, he was stunned to realize that many people seemed to think the massacre had been a hoax.

The “Sandy Hook truthers,’’ as they called themselves, tormented not only the grieving families, but teachers, police, photographers, first responders, neighbors, government officials and witnesses — they all were said to be part of the ever-expanding conspiracy to fake the massacre.

“This was specifically a plot to steal America’s weapons in order to neutralize its power. The chief perpetrators are powerful Zionists,’’ declared one website barely a month after the massacre.

The hoaxers claimed Sandy Hook children had been taught to play victims that day, and frequently cruised into town with cameras to “expose” the “child actors.”

Pozner believes his family became a particular target because they were the most openly Jewish family, and because his wife (from whom he is now divorced) was speaking publicly about gun control.

At first, Pozner was almost sympathetic to the disbelievers, in part because he had flirted with conspiracy theories himself in the past. “A lot of these people couldn’t fathom that somebody would look a 6-year-old in the face and pump bullets into his head,” he said.

He chatted online with those who thought the shooting had been faked. He fought back with facts. He released Noah’s death certificate, the medical examiner’s report on his death and, for those who insisted Noah didn’t exist, his birth certificate and his kindergarten report card. (“Noah is a sweet, inquisitive boy and I feel very fortunate to have had him in my class this year,” wrote his teacher.)

But it didn’t work. One of the doubters told Pozner he ought to exhume the body to prove he really had a child who died.

Eventually, Pozner gave up. He set up an organization called the HONR Network, devoted to fighting hoaxes. He and volunteers now operate a series of websites that duel with the websites of conspiracy theorists.

He has filed a lawsuit against the most prolific hoaxers and succeeded in getting Florida Atlantic University to fire a professor who had set up a website pushing the hoax theory. Free-speech laws protect much of the online rumor-mongers, but Pozner has had success removing pictures of children.

“My objective is to reduce the footprint of the hatred and the most disgusting content,” he said.

It took nearly a year to remove a video that featured photos of Noah over the soundtrack from a porn movie. He is currently pressing YouTube about a video with maps and directional arrows pointing to an apartment where he used to live, chillingly zooming in on him through a balcony door as though a sniper was aiming a shot. 

Fearful for his safety, he has moved six times since Noah’s death (he now lives in Florida) and has all mail sent to post office boxes.

The conspiracy theorists have shown unflagging energy. The most persistent, Wolfgang Halbig, a 70-year-old Florida man who describes himself as a retired school safety expert, said he had made 22 trips to Connecticut, wiped out his pension and spent more than $100,000, which he raised online.

His theory is that between 500 to 700 people were involved in the “conspiracy” — including the schoolchildren, parents, teachers and police, all the way up to President Obama.

In a telephone interview, he said he was encouraged by Trump’s election and was expecting that the new administration would open an investigation into not only Sandy Hook but also the Boston Marathon bombing and the Sept. 11 attacks.

“You have a president who is open and he wants the truth. He called out CNN for doing fake news,” Halbig said. “This opens up a whole new avenue for these events to be investigated.”

Sandy Hook became an issue late in the presidential campaign when Hillary Clinton ran an ad attacking Trump for his support of Alex Jones.

“Children were lost at Sandy Hook. My heart goes out to each and every one of those parents and the people that say they’re parents that I see on the news,” Jones declared.

Then he turned, in Pozner’s view, maddeningly ambiguous. “The only problem is that I’ve watched a lot of soap operas, and I’ve seen actors before,” Jones told his listeners. “And I know when I’m watching a movie and [when] I’m watching something real.”

  1. #1 by Leila Abdelmeguid on 02/05/2017 - 9:34

    The point is that the criminals who run the media LIE so much that it is almost impossible to discern fiction from reality. The organized crime synicate known as the “news” has lost so much credibility who could blame people for thinking that this is fake?

  2. #2 by DonNeedNoStinkinUserName on 02/05/2017 - 9:34

    I’m astounded that this website would post such a hatchet job of a story from the LATimes. When I first started hearing about Sandy Hook I too thought how could anyone seriously think that many children have suffered “faked” deaths. What first piqued my interest into looking into it was a video I saw of one of the bereaved fathers Robbie Parker about to give a news conference the day after (?) the incident. He’d been caught non camera, grinning from ear to ear then came the call “You’re on” (or whatever was said . . . . . I’m not going back to find it) & he then became very serious & started speaking about the loss of his boy. Then came the contradictory stories from all & sundry involved but the thing that really got me was the fact (FACT which can be verified) that most of the parents who had lost children had had properties transfered into their names on XMAS DAY !!!! at no cost. Add to this, Wolfgang Halbig found the school had not been issued with an operating certificate which ALL schools must have. The FBI lists zero homicides in Newtown Conn during & after the “incident”. And there is so much more anomalous information, it would take me hours to document it all, including NONE of the parents being able to view the bodies of the their children. There is no way that I would ever allow my child (nor would anyone else I have asked) to be buried without seeing them for myself before hand There are also multiple problems with procedures, of first responders, etc.

    Best an open mind is kept on Sandy Hook to my way of thinking & trying to debunk it by using an LAT article does you no credit at all.

    ed note–it has never been our position that all the facts surrounding what took place at SH have been presented. We know there is another side to the story, for example, the role that psychiatric drugs played in the massacre, as well as the deliberate infusion of media violence into American society as a conditioning element in turning us into a war-loving/war-making society.

    But there is a big difference between adopting the reasonable position that there is more to the story vs. taking it to the lengths that Fetzer, Halbig, and others have done in alleging that ‘nothing happened’ at all, that ‘no one died’ and that it was all facilitated with the use of ‘crisis actors’, as if the NWO had suddenly decided to ‘play nice’ in bringing about its designs and rather than killing people, which it does best, to instead ‘fake’ everything as if it were a movie. All you people were taken by a ride in what was one of the most sophisticated mind control ops in recent history and in the process, erased in just a few months the credibility that the ‘truth movement’ had accrued over the course of decades, and what’s worse–you were warned ahead of time that you were all being played for fools and what the inevitable out come of all of this was going to be and yet you ignored these warnings and went ahead with your nonsense anyway.

  3. #3 by PJ London on 02/05/2017 - 9:34

    And the very worst thing about these ‘conspiracy theories’ is that in time, the darn things turn out to be true!
    “Ten shocking conspiracy theories that were completely true – The Sun”
    “33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True, What Every …”
    “6 Bizarre Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True …”
    “7 Conspiracy Theories That Sounded Crazy At The Time But Were True”
    “The wackiest conspiracy theories that were actually true – Geek.com”
    “2016 Is The Year All ‘Conspiracy Theories’ Were Proved True”

    Google “conspiracy theories that were true” oops : About 2 810 000 results (0,45 seconds)

  4. #4 by derek on 02/06/2017 - 9:34

    Leila point being “real” conspiracies like JFK, RFK, 9-11, moon landings, ZIONIST POWER become de legitimized as “fantasies” thanks to the Likes of
    J Fetzer, A Jones, P.J Watson, M. Shrimpton, K Barret and the like.

    Anybody who is skeptical about the official narrative searches the net and gets bombarded with the ramblings of these shills – result being it puts them off and the powers that be can use fantasies like Sandy Hook never happened etc against the truth movement.

  5. #5 by TonyFromIN on 02/06/2017 - 9:34

    Yep, and unfortunately we have to add Mike River of Whatreallyhappened to the list of Sandy Hookers

  6. #6 by PJ London on 02/06/2017 - 9:34

    What Leila and Derek do not understand, is that ALL of the ‘conspiracies’ were fantasies and ridiculous and unbelievable. The fact that some people buy into some of the stories is their prerogative. Some are more trusting and less cynical than others.
    My personal take is I never trust any scenario where the ‘actor’ commits suicide or is conveniently silenced by the police.
    I cannot believe that Sandy Hook was a massacre as there is so much contradictory evidence. Same with Boston, 9/11 being Saudi amateurs, 7/7 arriving on a train that was cancelled, and so on and so on.
    There are many cases where the deaths were documented, but the story was refuted Port Arthur, Dunblane, multiple shooters, the hidden truck, etc.
    In each case there has been no incontrovertible evidence to support the ‘official’ line, and much evidence to throw doubt on it.
    For Sandy Hook, the fact that the FBI does not list the deaths (but did for Columbine) is a huge problem. And like the ‘Holocaust’ the demonisation of people disputing the story is frightening.
    If someone says that the kids were killed by a pink Unicorn, the response is ‘ Yes dear, now take your medication.’
    If you ask real questions, ‘ Where are the bodies, why were they taken to a criminal with no licence for an undertaker, where are the inquest results and why was it not an open inquest?’ then you get death threats to your family. The same happened to people querying OK City, WTC 7 and many many more.
    The fact that some people believe some stories, Gulf of Tonkin, USS Liberty, Pearl Harbour, AGW, Vaccines and Autism, Fluoride and the facts only are revealed many years later, merely shows that some people are more trusting. Please do not berate the doubters, they may well have the last laugh.

    ed note–no, there is no ‘contradictory evidence’ proving that ‘no one died’ at Sandy Hook, Boston Marathon, etc. You have been taken in by the same people who convinced millions of Americans on 9/11 that the terrorists who flew the planes into the TTs did so because they ‘hate us for our freedom’.

    OH WAIT, I FORGOT, 9/11 NEVER HAPPENED, right? Along with all the other false flag events since then. While we’re at it, Israel’s attack on the USS LIBERTY never happened, it’s still there, and all the survivors with their eyewitness accounts of what happened that day were ‘crisis actors’. Same with JFK–he was not assassinated, but decided that being US Pres just wasn’t what it was cut out to be and therefore faked his death and moved to Argentina.

    This is the problem with people who believe nothing. They wind up going overboard with their denial and in the process, allow themselves and their proclivities to be harnessed in the service of the enemy in making fools of all of us, and this is what the Sandy Hook Truthers et al have done to the hard work that the rest of us have tried to accomplish in waking the public up to the dangers we all face. There isn’t a planet or solar system far enough away where all you people need to be sent so that the rest of us who are serious about the business of waking the masses can get some work done.

  7. #7 by Vince on 02/13/2017 - 9:34

    Halbig never said “no one died” at Sandy Hook. However, he did say that “…the problem is, you can’t answer it because they won’t give you the materials that will allow you to make that decision.” (Interview with Aaron Wilson: Wolfgang Halbig of Sandy Hook Justice Report on August 29, 2016.) Halbig isn’t drawing on theories, he’s just looking for facts and evidence. He was denied evidence from the Federal and local police agencies. What is the govt. so afraid of when they don’t want Americans to draw their own conclusions? Americans have seen their share of obfuscations. When the govt. deviates from standard operating procedures (Sandy Hook, no FBI fingerprinting), conveniently, no evidence can be used to provide truth. We then have agendas leading to JFK, RFK, OKC, 9-11, Pearl Harbor, San Bernardino, etc. Sandy Hook is a prime example. But, TUT knows that.

    ed note–I don’t know whether or not Halbig is saying people died or not, but it is safe to assume that this is precisely where he is going, and besides that, absent his adding his voice to this ridiculous ‘theory’, we do have none other than the bloviating James Fetzer who has expressly stated that this indeed is his position on the matter, as evidenced by the title of his book ‘No Body Died at Sandy Hook’.

    There is lots of evidence we are not allowed to see. There isn’t a law enforcement agency in the WORLD that allows the general public access to evidence to a crime.

    Too much has been said on this matter, and were the ‘movement’ in its right mind, this insane diversion into la-la land would have lasted all of 5 minutes. Sadly, we are now going on 5 years with people still chirping the nonsense that it was all a ‘hoax’ facilitated with the use of ‘crisis actors’ and every other conceivable species of bullshit that unhinged minds could conjure up, and that it needs explaining how this entire event has been used in further endangering mankind to our eternal enemies is in and of itself indicative just how useless is this ‘resistance’.

  8. #8 by The Skeptical Cynic on 09/14/2017 - 9:34

    We will probably never know what actually happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. However, there are a good many reasons for asserting with certainty that the official story is an absolute absurdity.
    The official version might just as well be “the children died as the result of an out-of-control office furniture fire”.

    ed note–and just which part of it is an ‘absolute absurdity’? That some mentally deranged young man can go into a school with a rifle that weighs only about 7 lbs and can fire high-powered rounds as quickly as you can pull the trigger can kill a bunch of terrified, huddled children with no where to run? Just yesterday, right here in the sleepy ol’ northwest, some mentally deranged young man went into his high school armed with the same AR15 as Adam Lanza had and a handgun and shot 4 people, killing one. I suppose the facts of this case are an ‘absolute absurdity’ as well?

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