Alleged Giffords Shooter Shares Currency Plot Obsession with Anti-Abortion Killer
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 09:57:06 PM EST
Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Arizona shares an obsession with government currency and money manipulation plots with anti-abortion killer John C. Salvi 3d. Loughner wrote about a conspiracy of currency manipulation in text posted on YouTube.

Salvi was found guilty in the Brookline, Massachusetts clinic shootings in late 1994 that left two women dead and several persons injured.
Although he was found competent to stand trial, there was substantial evidence that Salvi was mentally unbalanced and obsessed with conspiracy theories. Salvi later committed suicide while serving a life sentence. Shortly after his arrest Salvi released a handwritten note alleging conspiracies of freemasons, conspiracies to manipulate paper currency, and conspiracies against Catholics. He talked about the Vatican printing its own currency and claimed a vast conspiracy of the Ku Klux Klan, the Freemasons, and the Mob.

Most of the news coverage of Salvi portrayed him as a confused person making nonsensical statements alleging conspiracies. In fact, almost all of Salvi's conspiratorial statements echo scapegoating theories long circulated by a specific sector of right wing anti-abortion organizations active in the Boston area and nationwide. Some of these aggressive anti-abortion groups call abortion providers evil and claim to be fighting an "abortion Holocaust." A few of these anti-abortion militants suggest that abortion providers deserve death.

It is still difficult for many people to see the political side of the Salvi case. There is still a widespread lack of knowledge about the beliefs of the right wing conspiracist subculture-and there is still an attitude of denial that groups promoting conspiratorial worldviews have growing influence in our political system.

More here: John Salvi, Abortion Clinic Violence, and Catholic Right Conspiracism: The Politics of John Salvi's Conspiracy Theories.

Jared Lee Loughner warned about the "current treasonous laws," and stated he would not "pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!." He said he could not "trust the current government because of" Constitutional "ratifications; adding that the "government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people controlling grammar (sic)."

In recent years some conspiracy theorists on the political right and left have spread similar money plot theories, although they deny any lineage back to historic antisemitic roots. Instead they point to the Populist Party battle over the coinage of silver and gold in the late 1800s, popularized in the book and movie, the Wizard of Oz. Some proponents of the idea of a currency plot in the late 1800s and early 1900s, however, routinely used antisemitic references to Jewish bankers. The obsession with manipulation of currency by secret Jewish plots traces back to the hoax document The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and antisemitic writings by Father Denis Fahey, an adviser to 1930s radio demagogue Father Coughlin, a fascist and an antisemite.

The writings of Jared Lee Loughner are an odd jumble of right-wing Patriot and anti-Federal Reserve themes mixed with rhetoric similar to that from people who are mentally unbalanced. It is too early to tell where this story will lead. It is clear, though, that aggressive right-wing rhetoric targeting Democrats as treasonous encourages some unstable people to act out in aggression or violence. This was the warning of my report Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, and Scapegoating, published in June 2009.

As I wrote in Toxic to Democracy:

Right-wing pundits demonize scapegoated groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in the audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.".

The right-wing demagogues are not legally culpable for the violence and assassinations, but they must share some moral culpability.

In the six months following the inauguration of Barack Obama there were at least  nine murders by men and women who intersected with ideologies of White Supremacy, xenophobia, and antisemitism.  More here:

Across America there is a rising crescendo of diverse voices clamoring for a public discussion of the connection between demonizing rhetoric by high profile pundits and politicians and the rash of violent attacks by individuals enmeshed in bigotry and conspiracy theories.

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More about right-wing conspiracy theories circulating in the Tea Party milieu targeting President Obama, liberals, leftists, and Democrats can be founf here:

Reframing Resentments in the Tea Party Movement: How Right-Wing Populists use Demonization, Scapegoating, & Conspiracy Theories to Justify Apocalyptic Aggression, UC Berkeley conference paper.

'The Manchurian President': Chicago's Commie Liberal Puppet: The paranoid style of American politics is alive and well. In These Times.

Right-Wing Populism & Conspiracism and the Tea Party movement.

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Updated Posts:

Possible Racist and Anti-Immigrant Tie to Alleged Arizona Assassin

The Becking of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

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Excerpts from the posted writings by Jared Lee Loughner:

"If the property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution then the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.... The property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution. Thus, the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.

"The majority of citizens in the United States of America have never read the United States of America's Constitution.

"You don't have to accept the federalist laws. "Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.

"...a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

"If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

"You call me a terrorist.

"Thus the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem

"In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people controlling grammar.

"No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!.

"No! I won't trust in God!"

I'll betcha anything that the two named murderers ALSO believe that the world is secretly run by Satanists, occultists, and Pagans. That belief, too, is very very common among right wing grand-conspiracy believers.

But we need to be careful -- some of the info out there is inaccurate. The following FOX news story: stranger-to-trouble/

refers to a law-enforcement memo alleging an association between Jared L. Loughner and a white nationalist organization called American Renaissance, which is said to denounce "ZOG" ("Zionist Occupational Government" -- a term commonly used by neo-Nazis, and other overt racists and anti-Jewish bigots, to refer to the U.S. government). In fact, American Renaissance, which advocates a much more genteel form of white nationalism, has usually avoided anti-Jewish rhetoric and never uses terms like "ZOG" -- I know this from my own study of various white nationalist websites back in the late 1990's.  My point here is not to defend AmRen, but just to remind ourselves that government agencies sometimes get their facts wrong.  Hopefully we'll have more trustworthy information within the next few days.

by Diane Vera on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 04:34:41 PM EST

American Renaissance:
Was Jared Lee Loughner tied to anti-immigrant group?
Christian Science Monitor ared-Lee-Loughner-tied-to-anti-immigrant-group

Arizona Shooter Allegedly Tied To White Supremacist Group
News One e-groups/

The Christian Science Monitor article notes:  "Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League, is skeptical about any hard connection between Loughner and American Renaissance."

I agree with Pitcavage's reasons for skepticism on this particular point:  "The fans of American Renaissance tend to be older and they tend to be intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals," says Mr. Pitcavage. "Based on the limited nature of [Loughner's] internet footprint suggesting his thoughts and beliefs, there's nothing to lead one to think he would lean that way. It's perplexing to us that there is a notion of a substantial connection."

But I agree with Chip Berlet that Loughner's ramblings do seem to echo standard right wing populist grand conspiracy ideology.

by Diane Vera on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 05:19:45 PM EST

Just a bad analysis by a law enforcement. There are several obvious errors.

American Renaissance is a eugenicist White Supremacist group with a leader who tolerates antisemites at his conferences and on his blogsite.

Never seen American Renaissance use the term ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) which is a term used by neonazis, especially Christian Identity.

See the SPLC article on white supremacist group American Renaissance and its schism over antisemitism

_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 11:06:22 PM EST

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