Friday, June 13, 2014

The Millers, Conspiracy Theories, and Domestic Terrorism

On June 8 a young married couple in Nevada decided that they wanted to launch an revolution.  Jerad and Amanda Miller walked into a Las Vegas pizzeria, drew their weapons, and shot at point blank two police officers who were enjoying their lunch break.  Afterwards the couple draped the officers in Gadsden flags, and were reported by witnesses as shouting "This is the start of a revolution!"  They then retreated to a nearby Wal Mart where they were involved in a short gun battle with police which soon ended in a murder/suicide after Amanda Miller shot Jerad and then herself. 

There is a lot about this case that is very disturbing, but what disturbs me the most is how few people in the mainstream media (major cable and network outlets, national news papers) are calling this an act of domestic terrorism.  Secondly very few outlets are paying attention to the fact that the Millers were obsessed with conspiracy theories, which likely helped them to rationalize their plans.  

According to the FBI "'Domestic terrorism' means activities with the following three characteristics:
  • Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
  • Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
  • Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S."
Given the motives behind this horrific act, which the Millers were clear about in their post on various social networks, including noted 9/11 conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' website, it becomes quite clear that this act, besides occurring within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., and involving acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law, was intended to violently influence government policies by intimidating and coercing civilian populations.  This was an act of domestic terrorism.  Many in the mainstream media have only mentioned this offhandedly, although Tom Ashbrook in his radio show On Point did a great job of analyzing this story within the context of domestic terrorism.  

Regarding the Millers' belief in conspiracy theories this has been mentioned, but not discussed.  Among others the Millers' believed the following conspiracy theories:
  • 9/11 was an inside job
  • Chemtrails
  • New World Order conspiracies
  • Obama socialist agenda conspiracies
This is a very important piece of this story.  I spend a lot of time debunking conspiracy theories with my friends and family and I'm often asked about what the harm is in having some crazy ideas.  Well, the Millers are the harm.  The Millers lived in a world awash in conspiracy theories that see all governments as evil, authoritarian, illegitimate, and murderous.  I highly doubt that the Millers would have been willing to go so far in their 'activism' if they didn't believe that local, state, and federal governments are malevolent entities bent on exterminating the sheeple.  

This is a story of domestic terrorism fueled by belief in many popular conspiracy theories.  Conspiracy theories are not harmless, they are dangerous.  Considering that this nation is armed to the hilt, paranoid, and polarized politically those spreading conspiracy theories are throwing gas on the fire.  All of those purveyors of government conspiracy theories have blood on their hands. 

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