In the conspiracy swamps of Infowars, the white nationalist who allegedly shot and killed worshippers at two New Zealand mosques last week was wrong for killing people, but his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim manifesto showed he was operating on the right set of ideas.
In the aftermath of the massacre, Hatewatch reviewed about nine hours of programming from Infowars, the far-right conspiracy theory platform founded by Alex Jones, and found its hosts and guests cited multiple points of agreement with the accused killer’s racist manifesto.
The manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement,” was filled with fear and paranoia about immigration and Islam common in white nationalist and nativist circles.
Those themes are also common in the world of Infowars and its peers. Along with other far-right conspiracy mills such as the website WND and the antigovernment group Oath Keepers, Infowars has long stoked fears about supposed “replacement migration” in the West.
For example, in July 2017, WND published an article headlined, “PLOT TO REPLACE EUROPEANS WITH REFUGEES EXPOSED,” which cited a 2000 U.N. publication titled “Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?” The U.N. report considered how to “offset population decline and population ageing resulting from low fertility and mortality rates” in countries including the U.S., some European Union member states, Japan, Russia and the Republic of Korea.
Seventeen years after it was published, the report was seized upon by far-right conspiracy theorists. Infowars and Oath Keepers ran with WND’s reporting on their own platforms and used the report as proof of an international conspiracy to destroy the West.
The day after the New Zealand massacre, the Infowars team and their guests walked a tightrope, denouncing the killer’s actions yet continuing to fan the flames of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment, all while stubbornly ignoring the role such dehumanizing rhetoric plays in the radicalization of some killers.
One instance of that came when Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, appeared on Jones’ show less than 24 hours after the killings.
Rhodes said the massacre shouldn’t scare people away from holding some of the same views as the alleged mass murderer. The Rhodes quote was first highlighted by a journalist for BuzzFeed News:
When a guy who’s worried about or concerned about mass immigration of Muslims into Europe goes crazy and kills people, then they’re gonna blame all the rest of us who have the same concern. That’s how it’s gonna be used. And this is why we have to just fight back and say, ‘You know what, that doesn’t erase the fact that this is a problem. This is what drove this guy over the edge.’
I’m not making excuses for him, but what I’m saying is that it’s a real, serious problem and he saw it. And because he saw it — I don't agree with what he did — but he saw something that is very real. We can’t back away from that.
Rhodes wasn’t the only one. Other Infowars hosts and guests found points of agreement in the alleged killer’s manifesto.
Here’s a rundown:
Matt Bracken, guest on multiple shows
The first guest to appear on Infowars after the massacre had himself written an anti-Muslim manifesto just a few years ago.
Ex-Navy SEAL Matt Bracken published his racist screed, “Tet, Take Two — Islam’s 2016 European Offensive,” in late 2015. It incorrectly predicted World War III would break out the following year due to what he perceived as an alliance between Muslims and international socialists hellbent on destroying Western nationalism.
In the essay, he vilified Islam as a “brushfire or ringworm infection [which is] dead and barren within the ring, but flares up where it parasitically feeds off the healthy non-Islamic societies around it.”
Bracken’s essay went on to blame, in part, “emancipated European and American women” for not “producing a new generation” of nationalists, specifically mentioning lower birthrates for European women who “will soon meet real Muslim men.” (The alleged terrorist’s manifesto in New Zealand notedly began with: “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates.”)
In all, Bracken appeared on three separate Infowars shows the day after the killings.
On Jones’ show, neither the host nor the guests brought up Bracken’s “Tet, Take Two,” even though fellow guest Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers personally endorsed the essay in a 2016 interview with Jones.
Instead, the three of them held a roundtable discussion about the New Zealand killings, agreeing with the terrorist’s apparent motives and lamenting how the massacre was going to be used to blame white men and to further a nefarious plot to confiscate firearms and ignite a civil war.
“The globalists want to keep the borders open and keep flooding America and the West with unassimilable Third-Worlders for as long as they can before there’s a rupture,” Bracken told Jones. “What the guy … did in New Zealand was try to speed it up so that the cataclysm happens sooner rather than later.”
Earlier that day, on “The David Knight Show,” Bracken peddled in racist extremism to explain his perceptions about the duplicity of the left.
“And now globalism is the latest tactical terminology, is globalism. But it’s basically a means of foisting socialism on the entire world. But the hinderance to globalism is the example of free, prosperous, successful and you could even say like high-IQ nations. ... If you want not only to lead to a civil war but if you want to socialize America, you bring in more low-IQ people because low-IQ people always fall for the trick of socialism.”
As for the alleged terrorist’s manifesto, Bracken said: “You disagree with his thinking, but the way he puts thoughts together, it’s at a high level. He’s a very intelligent person.”
David Knight, host of ‘The David Knight Show’
David Knight was the first Infowars host on air the day after the massacre. He spoke in similar terms as Bracken about the alleged killer’s white supremacist manifesto, finding points of agreement.
“Some of the things this guy said were true, quite frankly,” Knight said before echoing the fundamental antigovernment conspiracy theory surrounding the United Nations. “It is a great replacement. … It is designed by the U.N. to replace the people who are the indigenous people in western Europe and America with foreign migrants.”
Knight described what he saw as “problems” that come with “the great replacement.”
“Bringing in massive numbers of people all at once, of a different culture, different religion, that do not like your culture, do not like your religion, will not assimilate, are not coming here because they want the values and the culture of America, but simply because they want America,” he said. “They want our stuff. They want free stuff. They don’t want freedom.”
Like Bracken, Knight homed in on birthrates and women.
“Well he [the author of the terrorist manifesto] talks about that, and how the birthrates have fallen. He doesn’t talk about why or how the birth rates have fallen. It is both a psychological and a physiological component to it. … But they are stepping up the hatred between the sexes as well as between the races. And so, you don’t have any relationships. It’s pretty hard to have kids if women hate all men, and vice versa.”
Alex Jones, founder of Infowars
"Well it’s the Ides of March,” Jones began his broadcast. “The day that Julius Caesar was killed 2,000-plus years ago, a date that globalists like to launch new wars, launch assassinations or launch new movements, or revolutions.”
Instead of pointing to anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric, Jones instead blamed Islamist violence and the media reaction to it for the killing of Muslims in New Zealand.
“When Muslims strike out and bomb churches or shoot up churches every Christmas, every Easter, all over the world, and run down whole families with vehicles, we’re told, ‘It’s not Muslims,’” Jones said. “So that’s going to cause unhinged people to get violent.”
He also complained about media coverage of the alleged killer’s white nationalist views.
“Now they’re blaming all white people,” Jones said. “And it’s a big smokescreen for all the things that orthodox, radical, expansionist Islam is engaged in. But the globalists know that humanity is not going along with learned helplessness. We’re not adapting to these paradigms of submission anymore. We’re actually adapting and overcoming.”
Like Knight and Bracken before him, Jones focused on a section of the manifesto that specifically mentioned Muslim birthrates and a “will to conquer.” Jones responded on air, “That’s a true statement.”
Stewart Rhodes, guest on Alex Jones’ show
The founder of the Oath Keepers has been a frequent guest on Infowars over the years. And, as noted above, his appearance on air after the New Zealand massacre contained a defense of people who hold similar anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views as the alleged killer.
Rhodes also espoused a sort of 10-cent version of Bracken’s “Tet, Take Two” when he was asked by Jones what the “end game” is for the “globalists.”
Here’s how Rhodes responded:
Well, their end game is to destroy the West. And that's why you have this unholy alliance between the far-left and the Islamicists. [sic] They both have the same goal, which is the destroy the West. Certainly, there are some people on the left who don't want to do that. There are also some Muslims who don’t wanna do that, but they’re a minority within their own world. The great majority of the left — this is becoming very clear now — absolutely hates the West, hates this country, hates everything about it, and wants to destroy it. It’s part of their religion. As Matt (Bracken) pointed out not too long ago when we were on the show together, that’s their religion.
The Oath Keepers founder also noted that the alleged killer had traveled to Europe and “was disturbed by what he saw about mass immigration.”
“I think it just pushed him over the edge,” Rhodes said. “And this is why I think it’s gonna be used to target all the rest of us who are concerned about the same thing. I mean, it’s a real threat to the West.”
Leo Zagami, guest on ‘War Room’
Leo Zagami, a “New World Order” and “Illuminati” conspiracy theorist, was the first guest to join host Owen Shroyer on the “War Room” show on Friday.
Zagami said he’d predicted that the “invasion” of Muslims would lead to terrorist attacks against Muslims.
“They are planting the future seeds of an upcoming Christian terrorist opposition. It is a form of terrorism that will rise,” Zagami said. “Once the situation disintegrates as the result of the current Islamic invasion of Europe, a plan by the Illuminati and following a growing number of terrorist attacks made by various Islamic mercenaries of the New World Order. This is exactly what is happening.”
Owen Shroyer, host of ‘War Room’
Talking to Zagami about the massacre, “War Room” host Owen Shroyer brought up diversity, which he described as “forced integration.”
“I think that we don’t talk about the issue here which is this forced integration, this quote-unquote diversity,” Shroyer said. “It doesn’t work. It does not work. It has never worked throughout time.”
Later in the interview, Shroyer entertained Zagami’s notion that Pope Francis was “encouraging this race war” because the pope had urged people to welcome Muslim immigrants.
“Yeah, yeah, and he’s the one that pushes New World Order, One World Government, multiculturalism, diversity,” Shroyer said of the pope. “And again, folks, it’s not that people can't get along. It’s just like forcing two sets — the clash of civilization throughout time — it never works.”
Harrison Smith, Infowars contributor
Infowars contributor Harrison Smith spent more than 15 minutes during “War Room” dissecting the alleged killer’s manifesto, highlighting various passages.
Smith said the manifesto should not be ignored like those written by other mass killers. He began by going further than most other Infowars hosts and guests, condemning the manifesto and calling it destructive and damaging. But as he went on, Smith found points that he said were “kind of right.”
Notably, like others in the Infowars crew, he found points of agreement in the concepts of low birthrates and that “mass migration” would result in the replacement of — in the words of the manifesto — “the European people.”
“Well, he’s kind of right except it’s of all people. They’re trying to destroy all people, whether they’re European, whatever race they are,” Smith said. “They want you dumbed down. They want you infertile. They want to destroy your culture into one single monoculture.”
Photo illustration by SPLC