By S.T. Patrick
It was once said that the “slippery slope” argument—the idea that a small negative action will subsequently lead to larger, more significant actions—was a logical fallacy. Yet, in terms of labeling groups as “terrorists,” the post-9/11 fear factor that had citizens demanding closer scrutiny of other citizens has now led the FBI to consider “conspiracy theorists” to be potential domestic terror threats.
“Yahoo! News” uncovered the 15-page FBI document from the Phoenix field office (dated May 30, 2019) that linked “conspiracy-theory-driven domestic extremists” to a growing threat of violence. As stated in the report, “The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.” The document boasts proudly that it is the first such report to make that link.
Verbosely titled “Anti-Government, Identity Based, and Fringe Political Conspiracy Theories Very Likely Motivate Some Domestic Extremists to Commit Criminal, Sometimes Violent Activity,” the report specifically mentions the QAnon and Pizzagate theories, both of which are followed most closely, though not exclusively, by the political right.
QAnon has been the low-hanging fruit of conspiracy criticism for close to three years. At times pushing ideas as titillating as mass arrests of pedo-criminals and as bizarre as John F. Kennedy Jr. faking his own death only to remerge as Q, himself, the QAnon hoards are large, loud, and defensive. The mass arrests, prophesied as unfulfillingly as a pastor predicting the moment the world will end, have never come, and the defense has wavered from, “Just wait, just wait,” to, “Americans couldn’t sleep at night if their government crumbled like that all at once.” Believers in QAnon are easy targets; Pizzagate has recently become trickier.
Pizzagate, according to the FBI report, is the theory that “high-ranking Democratic officials are or were involved in a child sex trafficking ring centered at the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant in Washington D.C.” The theory peaked in 2016 and its reach had lessened throughout conspiracy circles—at least until the recent arrest of the late Jeffrey Epstein. With news of high-powered politicians, attorneys, and entertainers being frequent visitors to Epstein’s private island, a child sex trafficking ring catering to elite clients doesn’t seem so far-fetched. The FBI report was written before Epstein was arrested.
AFP readers, however, knew decades ago, via the work of ex-FBI official Ted Gunderson, what so many others did not: that child sex trafficking—many times involving high-profile political figures—has been a real problem for a long time in America. The reporting on this subject done by AFP, and The Spotlight before it, was scoffed at by the mainstream media, just as they ridiculed Jim Tucker’s reporting on the Bilderberg group before the entire world finally caught on and now accepts these meetings as “conspiracy fact.”
It’s the classic modus operandi of the controlled press and the high-level criminals themselves to deny, deny, deny until mass public awareness forces the truth out into the light of day. The FBI danced softly around the dangers of theories such as Russiagate, a left-leaning conspiracy theory—invented and promoted by Deep State officials in the U.S. government itself—that has been proven false. Part of the immediacy of the threat, the report said, is “the uncovering of real conspiracies or cover-ups involving illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities by government officials or leading political figures.”
Real conspiracies by government officials? Written in the heart of the Trump presidency and only specifically naming right-leaning conspiracy theories is a way for the FBI to say, “QAnon and Pizzagate are dangerous and crazy and cause criminal anger, but going after government officials on bogus theories such as Russiagate is valid. It causes outrage, yes, but it’s rightful outrage.”
For the FBI, violence committed by conspiracy theorists is a new category of domestic terrorism altogether. Who are the chief suspects? People who “attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others” and who are “usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events.” They could be lumped in to the “anti-government/anti-authority extremism” category that does already exist, but this is faulty for the FBI. The Bureau wanted a category to exist alone, knowing that every theory isn’t anti-government.
The FBI believes “conspiratorial extremism”—if there is such an animal—does not necessarily have to be anti-government. The obvious problem is that of finding and proving a direct correlation. Is someone who believes FDR had foreknowledge about Pearl Harbor a dangerous person? Further, does a criminal act committed by a QAnon or Pizzagate devotee occur because of their belief in either theory? If they cite a theory as the impetus for their acts, then, yes, a correlation exists. But if they do not, the FBI appears willing to invent the correlation.
The FBI is protecting the precious narrative that Americans should believe in the systems that the elites have spent billions to build and have worked decades to protect. But those systems are crumbling under the weight of the elite’s own selfish, dishonest, criminal behaviors. Most conspiracy theories are honest searches for truth, leveled at times when the public has grown tired of the Orwellian propaganda that they are fed daily by the MSM and their government. In this report, the FBI has made potential criminals out of those who search for truth.
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected]. He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication available from the AFP Online Store.