At a day-long conference in Austin organized by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Texe Marrs, a series of speakers revealed who really killed JFK, explained the evils of Obamacare and ranted about the “New World Order,” but steered clear of spewing overt hatred against Jews. Sponsored by Power of Prophecy, Marrs' Austin-based "end-times ministry," the Liberty & Truth Conference hosted about 80 people at the Airport Hilton on Saturday. The audience was overwhelmingly white and over 40. Many of the attendees were from out of state.
The lack of anti-Semitic themes stood in contrast to 2010's conference, which was co-sponsored by American Free Press, a publishing platform for Willis Carto, who long led a now-defunct group called Liberty Lobby and is one of the best-known professional anti-Semites in the United States.
That year, Marrs and other lecturers repeatedly returned to the theme that “bloodthirsty” Jews sit at the center of a vast global network controlling the media and the banking system and are responsible for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks and the JFK assassination. In his writings and audiotapes, Marrs has posited that a Jew will emerge as the anti-Christ and criticized American Jews as “the chief polluters and destroyers of America.” He’s heaped praise on the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a hoax text favored by the Nazis that alleges a global Jewish plot to take over the world.
This weekend, the conference featured more mainstream, though still far-right, figures. The speakers covered a bewilderingly broad swath of antigovernment grievances and conspiracy theories. But apart from allusions to “international bankers” and the Rothschilds — classic bugaboos of the paranoid right that typically allude to Jews —little overt anti-Semitism was in evidence.
Two speakers—Gaylon Ross and Jim Marrs—presented detailed Powerpoint presentations on the JFK assassination.
Suzanna Hupp, a former Texas legislator and gun rights activist who survived a 1991 mass shooting in Killeen, Texas, praised the audience as part of “a tiny percentage that can actually make a difference for the country.” “The other side is radical and extremist,” she said. “They’re talking about flushing 200 years of history down the toilet.”
For his part, Texe Marrs focused on talking up his new book, Robot Alchemy, which posits that “the Elite” will soon undertake a global campaign of mass murder to “depopulate” the planet to make way for highly intelligent robots.
If that wasn’t enough, the program also advertised a "mystery guest," who turned out to be none other than Alex Jones, the almost comically loud author, radio show host and conspiracy theorist extraordinaire. Jones and his growing legion of followers believe they are part of a small vanguard challenging the so-called New World Order (global elites allegedly working together to control the planet and its resources) and its myriad and tangled plots. Recently, Jones has attracted mainstream media attention, with interviews on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” and BBC’s “Sunday Politics” show. Jones asserts that the Boston Marathon bombing and the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., were “staged” by agents of the New World Order in order to justify gun confiscation.
Although Jones is now an international figure, he was once a relatively obscure conspiracy-monger toiling in regional fringe circles. Marrs described Jones as a “personal friend of mine” who he met through the Austin cable access TV channel, presumably in the ’90s, when Jones had a little-watched show.
At the Liberty & Truth Conference, Jones received an enthusiastic response as he launched into one of his hallmark semi-extemporaneous tirades. He mixed in more hard-line Christian language than usual, referring to the New World Order as “a Satanic conspiracy at war with all of God’s creations.”
He praised the attendees as part of a tiny elite mocked by clueless “sheeple.” “We are the resistance,” he said. “We are the people that know. ... You are the leaders.” Jones said he was “not calling for shooting people” because “we’re winning peacefully.” But, he said of those who put fluoride in drinking water, “These people should be executed after a trial by jury for putting poison in the water.”
As a keynote speaker, Jones brought considerably more energy and relevance to this year’s Liberty & Truth Conference compared to the 2010 event. Texe Marrs was clearly pleased with the fresh injection of vitality.
“I know we have God on our side,” Texe Marrs concluded happily.