FROM FRINGE TO FRONTLINE How Alex Jones stoked many of the conspiracy theories taking hold in today’s Republican party

Embrace Common Sense

By Rob Kuznia

On a January night in 2002, a 37-year-old man donned a patriotic-themed uniform, covered his face with a skull mask and activated a long-held plan.

Armed with a .45-caliber pistol, crossbow, makeshift bomb launcher, 2-foot-long sword and double-barreled shotgun/assault rifle hybrid, Richard McCaslin made his way into a forest north of San Francisco. His mission: to find and expose a secretive group of elites who — he wrongly believed — engaged in child abuse and human sacrifice.

On a January afternoon nearly 20 years later, another man made his way from California to Washington, DC, on a quest to vanquish elites who, he wrongly believed, had stolen the presidential election from Donald Trump. Daniel Rodriguez, then 38, joined the mob that besieged the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. During the battle to breach the building, Rodriguez used a stun gun on a police officer, who would suffer a heart attack and traumatic brain injury.

Both McCaslin and Rodriguez said they had been inspired by a fiery conspiracy theory peddler named Alex Jones.


Relegated to old news (june 2006) TP

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