It is all about the money

People want your money. Some want it through legitimate marketing means doing a good job for as many customers as possible. Some embellish their story overselling their wares with terms like “new and improved.” And, there are those who do anything to get your money lying, cheating, causing fear, extorting, etc. I will stop of short of people who steal it outright. It is the category above thief that concerns me given their reach.

John Oliver on his show “Last Week Tonight,” offers some of the best reporting on subjects as he focuses his comedic lens at the hypocrisy and inanity. He did an excellent piece on con artists disguised as televangelists as they artfully and persistently bilk their followers under the guise of a “prosperity ministry.” The only people getting rich is the one talking not the many listening.

Yet, his show this past Sunday night illuminated me to another con artist bilking people for money – none other than Alex Jones of Infowars. I am well aware of Jones’ inane and provocative conspiracy stories – Sandy Hook shooting being a hoax as one of his more famous ones. What I did not know is how Jones uses his show to raise money for his main cause – his own wealth. And, with 6 million followers, he does quite nicely.

Oliver illustrated the number of high margin products offered as sidebar commercials on Jones’ four hour show. Oliver showed examples where certain products peddled by Jones could be bought for 1/10 the price. Plus, Jones uses a so-called medical expert, with purported numerous degrees, including one from MIT, to help him sell his medicinal wares. As Oliver pointed out, the expert has no such degrees.

A great example of Jones’ selling style illustrated by Oliver demonstrates how it works. Jones went on a long rant about how the government was making us all gay by putting feminine hormones in the water system. So, the next day after raising alarm, Jones pitched a water purification system that will rid your water of all unwanted chemicals and hormones. He scares you first, then he sells you a cure or a solution.

So, in addition to being a conspiracy crazed shock jock, at the heart of the show is another description of what Alex Jones is all about. As demonstrated by Oliver, Jones is an astute con artist.

20 thoughts on “It is all about the money

  1. I was fooled by a (since exposed) fake evangelist back in 1980. I even received a ‘lucky silk handkerchief sized scarf” as a plot to pull more money out of me. Such blatent dishonesty is criminal! 😠

    • Colette, I live in Charlotte which was home to The Praise the Lord (PTL) Club run by Jim Bakker. Bakker went to jail for defrauding donors. The sad truth is Bakker is a piker compared to the current crowd who brag on multiple homes, cars, planes and boats. Keith

  2. I must confess I am a bit of a sucker for the con man. I tend to be too trusting and must learn to be more skeptical (if you can imagine). These folks tend to target older people for the most part.

    • Hugh, it is not just the elderly, there are con artists taking advantage of any group whose zeal may obfuscate the real truth. There have been numerous examples of con artists disguised as investment managers taking advantage of church leaders usually coming in through a deacon or minister. Keith

  3. Alex Jones. Don’t get me started. At least the courts did force him to retract his bilious claim about ‘Mooslim teenagers raping a child in Twin Falls.’ The trouble is, with the likes of these con men, once blasted across social media, the damage is already done. People add his utterly false claims to their already corrupted ideas about the world, piling it on as one more bit of ‘evidence.’ And there are sooo many hopeful, gullible people that are too eager to part with their money to buy into false claims…even money they don’t have.

    I saw evidence of this up front and in my face as I was helping clean a relative’s home after her passing. She left this world owing money to everyone because she couldn’t restrain herself from using her credit card. And too many of her purchases were pills, books, & products sold by bilkers. And, may I add, she was a devoted follower of Fox News and Sean Hannity.

    • Linda, the Mark Twain line comes to mind, “It is easier to fool someone than convince them they have been fooled.” Whether it is a televangelist, Jones or the President, the wool has been pulled over the eyes of the followers and very little can be done to convince them otherwise. Cognitive dissonance at its worst. Keith

  4. Dear Keith,

    WITH these prosperity ministries. I have counted three that I know of that dared to ask their followers for extra monies so that they could purchase a new plane. I am used to ministries collecting funds to stay operational and to help and lift up others.

    They also pile the guilt trip of requiring the donation of 10 % of one’s income as a tithe. I have been blasphemous when I remind folks who are struggling financially, that this requirement exists nowhere in the New Testament.

    At no point do I mean that one with little funds do nothing. Volunteering help to another counts.
    And those who are financially blessed should be giving out of their abundance and not just this arbitrary man-made figure of 10%.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, I don’t mind paying for operations of a ministry, as the church is a religious cooperative. Paying for multiple airplanes is another matter. Jim Bakker famously said to Ted Koppel in a Nightline interview, “The Lord wanted me to have nice things.” But, the Lord did not ask me to pay for them!

      Thanks, Keith

  5. I am profoundly interested in conspiracy theory and investigating the hidden. I love researching and finding out more about the Roswell Incident and the JFK assassination and what happened on 9/11. Alex Jones is the part of all that I truly hate. He started his career by infiltrating the Bohemian Grove and smuggling out video of the weird things those rich and powerful people do there in front of the big stone owl. But that’s like the last thing he ever did that revealed truth. He manipulates the message and asserts things are true “Because I say so!” which is the way of the grifter and con man. He gets involved in the 9/11 investigations and makes himself the center of attention, making those of us who pursue legitimate unanswered questions look like a bunch of kooks because we are talking about some of the same issues. I really wonder if the nefarious forces trying to keep secrets really pay him to make us look wrong and insane. I loved what John Oliver did to him, but I want more. The man is not stupid or crazy, but he is greedy and evil.

    • Mickey, I think you have a good read on the situation. There are enough real conspiracies that could be looked into with proper due diligence. What this man does is disinformation.

      Here is one. The same PR people that aided the tobacco companies in lying about their awareness of the addictive powers of nicotine. That came to a head and they were fined in a huge settlement. Now those same PR people helped the petroleum industry lie about their impact on climate change. Right now, three state AGs are investigation ExxonMobil for misleading shareholders about the impact of climate change on its business. Those are conspiracies.

      I applaud your passion. JFK’s assassination leaves many questions beginning with the magic bullet. Roswell could use some poking around. Keith

      • I love the challenge of piecing the puzzle together, and hate people like Alex Jones who chew the corners off the pieces. As you point out, that kind of disinformation and anti-truth propaganda borders on being criminal in intent. And over so much time, the answers to the questions become irrelevant. I have no doubt that LBJ knew about and had a hand in the JFK assassination. But what difference does it make now? LBJ accomplished a lot of JFK’s goals because of the guilt he felt about how he became president, so in some ways he paid for the crime in the best way. Putting things together like that kind give us valuable insight on the lessons of History. But there are the misinformation trolls like Jones out there snatching all the flowers out of the garden.

      • Agreed. Saying Sandy Hook did not happen is shameful. The Jones inspired Pizzagate crusader who is going to prison, should sue him for false reporting akin to saying there is a fire in a crowded theater.

  6. Note to Readers: Yet one more troubling thing about the President is he not only appeared on Jones’ show he has personally endorsed it. Takes a con artist to know one, I guess.

  7. I learned something new from you, my friend! I knew Alex Jones was scum of the earth, but I was unaware of the huge marketing rip-offs! I can’t help but wonder how he lives within his own head? And, I wonder how many people were foolish enough to buy his water purification system … never mind … I’d rather not know … it would be too depressing. Thanks for the information, Keith!

    • Jill, this was news to me as well. If you get a chance, watch the last John Oliver show. Jones’ perpetuates and advances much of the Russian hackers work and then it gets picked up and made more newsworthy than it should. The fact he cons people as well for his own profit is indicative. The more sensational the better for his bottom line. Keith

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