The one where we team up with Jared Holt from Posting Through It to have a conversation with Mike Rothschild about certain "researchers" who are long on speculation and vitriol but short on facts.
Here are some of the sources we used to create this episode:
Mike Rothschild is a journalist, researcher, expert witness, subject matter expert, speaker, and debunker of conspiracy theories and fringe beliefs.
Over the last decade, Mike has written extensively about politics, history, pop culture, and weird stories your aunt shares on Facebook without actually reading. In particular, Mike is an expert on the QAnon conspiracy theory, tracing its evolution from a few 4chan posts to a massive, worldwide movement that draws on centuries of conspiracy theories and scams to induct its believers into a violent mythology.
Mike is the author of “The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything,” published in June 2021, with a paperback version coming in August, 2022. His next book, to be published in 2023, is “Jewish Space Lasers,” on the Rothschild banking family and the two centuries of conspiracy theories about them. His first print book, “The World’s Worst Conspiracies” was published in January 2020 by Arcturus Publishing, London.
In addition to his work as an author, Mike has served as an expert witness in several legal cases related to conspiracy theories, has guest lectured at numerous college classes and academic panels, and submitted written testimony to the January 6th Committee.
His work in debunking conspiracies has been cited in articles or interviews by the New York Times, Snopes, NBC News, Vice, Daily Beast, CNN and many others. He’s also appeared on high profile podcasts like Maintenance Phase, the Duncan Trussell Family Hour, Armchaired and Dangerous, Knowledge Fight, Reply All, and numerous others.
Mike is also a published playwright, podcaster, and working on several TV projects. For more information, contact Mike – firstname.lastname@example.org
“Rothschild also offers useful advice on how to help loved ones get out of QAnon. This is a disturbing and well-informed look at the darker side of modern American politics.“
“Human brains are hardwired to seek patterns in random chance, and order in chaos. We want explanations for why things are the way they are, why bad things happen to us, who’s responsible, and what we can do about them. By nature, this means we are susceptible to being given incorrect or intentionally misleading answers – particularly if the questions we’re asking don’t have a satisfying answer. And sometimes, if we don’t like the answer, we decide it’s not true – giving rise to conspiracy theories. Over the past few years, these incorrect or misleading answers have been branded with the term “disinformation.”
Conspiracy theories and disinformation, therefore, are not an invention of the internet age, didn’t emerge from a Russian trolling lab, and aren’t restricted to Americans of any political persuasion. Disinformation has been used by governments, rulers, and corporations for centuries to mislead people, cover up misdeeds, or in times of war to throw enemies off the track. And everyone is vulnerable to the right piece of false information or wishful thinking, if it hits them at the right time in the right way.”
Posting Through It" is Jared Holt’s weekly podcast and newsletter about our modern political disorder. You should go sign up for it because it’s awesome!
“Stewartson readily admits he’s not a journalist and his only real investigative skill is “googling shit.”
“I’m not a spy or a journalist,” Stewartson wrote. “All I can do is google shit, talk to people and write about it —which I have done.”
This is our current events recap program, where we offer our takes on what’s going on at the bleeding edge of the information war. Feel free to let us know what you think, suggest topics, etc. at email@example.com, or in our group chat using the Substack app.
Thanks for listening,
Jay and Griff