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Lenny Pozner

Families in grief have the right to do so in peace and dignity



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Social Media: Terrorism and the Truther Movement

July 9, 2017

There seems to be an expanding ethos emerging in our digital community who, for a variety of reasons simply cannot and will not believe the multimedia reporting of many of the tragic acts and mass murders being committed all over the world. It wouldn’t be so bad if this strange new society stuck to simply voicing their opinions in a rational and peaceable manner. But sadly, this is not the case. In fact, whenever an act of violence attracts the attention of these self-styled Truthers they will latch onto such events, pick out any slight inconsistencies, and in effect, re-write their version of what happened. But what makes this community so disturbing; is they will latch onto the survivors, their families and just about anyone they can find who has a connection to the incident… And they will badger, harass and in extreme cases, track down those involved in order to cause them harm. The Truther Movement became more widely known in the wake of 9-11. But they have been associated with acts of violence including the Sandy Hook School shooting. Where they have committed criminal acts in their pursuit of protecting their Second Amendment rights to bear arms.


Terrifyingly, these Hoaxers are currently latching on to the wave of terrorist activity occurring worldwide. Their usual diatribe centering on the Government ‘Staging’ these events to direct attention away from political and legal tactics which will somehow detrimental to our Civil Rights. However, it’s the Terrorists themselves who are committing crimes in order to coerce in furtherance of political or social objectIves using criminal acts and violence.  Acts of terrorism are far from new, yet the reporting of such acts has entered a new phase; Instantaneous digital upload via Social Media.


The world wide web www. enables us to connect and share many aspects of our lives with people all over the world! It has revolutionized the way we keep in contact with friends and loved ones. We find ourselves connecting to people all over the Globe! Learning about places we cannot visit, cultures and customs of civilizations which were previously only accessible through books and encyclopedias. Business and trade revolutionized by the completion of transactions at the mere push of a button!  But it has a dark side…


The eye opener for me was when my twelve-year-old daughter came to me concerned because a video had popped up on her YouTube feed claiming to contain the beheading of a person. I immediately took the tablet from her and quickly ascertained that reporter James Foley had indeed lost his life in such a barbaric manner. I was stunned. But almost immediately, another file popped up dissecting this video and claiming to prove it was faked! Since then this incident has been pulled to pieces by people claiming its falsehood, for instance, this article a common thread being: The creation of terrorist groups by governments hell-bent on control. Yet The Foley family? They’re not able to exist in a comfortable bubble believing their son will be returned to them uninjured someday. But not only has the link to the original video clip been shared and therefore cloned many hundreds of thousands of times, so have the clips made by Hoaxers intent on dissecting every second of footage attempting to prove its fakery. I’m not sure what would be worse for me; knowing that my son’s final moments are online for not only the world, but also for me to see, or that one second of false hope germinating in my broken heart that maybe, just maybe those Hoaxers are right.


The Paris attacks of November 2015?  several co-ordinated attacks which lead rise to False Flag event, allegations and social media flooded with so many images it’s impossible to tell which are faked and which are real. Yet the parents of one young woman, whose last moments were filmed from a nearby window as she texted ‘ I love you. I’m sorry.’ know full well just how real those attacks were.


And in Nice at Bastille Celebrations, a van is driven at full speed into revelers killing 84 people. YouTube is floodedwith clips of the van attacking from several different angles making it all too real. Yet chillingly, instead of helping, a bystander takes their phone, films people in the road dying and uploads the footage. And still, others take that footage and claim it too is faked!, Graphically describing the dead and injured as shop dummies and farm animals!


The Boston Bombing, Brussels terror attacks, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida, Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester, the London Knife/car attack {including French school children} and the latest London Attack involving a hire van and three knife-wielding attackers; All of these events have been recorded and the Proof uploaded to the internet, yet they are being denounced as Fake! False Flag Events! HOAX Operations! Completely contrived events designed to take away our Civil Rights, all staged to further political agenda and divert our attention from the real issues! Gun Control seems to be a common thread in the US, while Theresa May’s plans to put a cap on Social Carefunding seems to be the presumptive cause of the latest attacks in the UK! In all honesty, I cannot personally see how anybody can think that way! What part of the brain, which Chemical or hormone, who in their right mind can possibly believe these things are all faked.


The only reason I can think of why such a body of people believing in such crazy fallacy is that they simply cannot stand to live in a World where such atrocities can happen. This would be the kind way of rationalizing such hysteria. Imagining the Truthers as a passive group of individuals whose minds cannot conceive of violence. Of intimidation. Or hate. But a quick trip into any truther forum will prove that these individuals are very capable of all three.


And as a result, the victims of these crimes are dehumanized. Literally written out of existence by the ones who shout the loudest. And the families of the victims are disallowed their right to grieve for the lost, the right to honor their loved one’s memories and at worst case, are told to their faces that their loved one never existed at all. And the Terrorists are left to plan and execute their next atrocity while attention is diverted from the horror and pain they created in the last. It’s literally the simplest form of counter-terrorism! Deny it ever happened, therefore it does not exist!

Terrorism is real! False Flag Propaganda is not! If you come across these clips on YouTube, Vimeo or any of the other video sharing sites, please, Block and Report the user immediately. Doing nothing is easy. We have to stop the spread of this propaganda. Only then will the victims and the victims’ families be allowed to grieve in peace.

Don Lemon (CNN) talks to Lenny Pozner

May 5, 2017

It can take years to build respect, credibility and a good reputation, but only a few minutes for someone with ill-intent to come along on the Internet and try to impeach it with lies and defamation. Perhaps no one knows this better than Lenny Pozner, whose life was turned upside down when his son Noah became th

Woman accused of sending death threats to Sandy Hook dad jailed, admits skipping court

May 5, 2017

The woman accused of sending death threats to a Palm Beach County man whose 6-year-old son was murdered in the Sandy Hook school mass shooting will remain jailed in Broward County while she figures out if she still wants to plead guilty or go to trial.


Lucy Richards, 57, looked disheveled and used a wheelchair for her brief appearance Wednesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

She admitted she had violated the terms of her pretrial release on bond when she decided not to show up for a scheduled change-of-plea and sentencing hearing on March 29.


Richards was arrested a few days later, on April 1, in a hospital near her home in Brandon, near Tampa. She was transferred to Broward from the Pinellas County jail on Tuesday.

Richards has pleaded not guilty to four federal charges of sending threatening email and voicemail messages to Lenny Pozner. Pozner’s son, Noah, was murdered in the 2012 mass shooting.


Richards had been expected to plead guilty to one count on March 29. Federal prosecutors had planned to recommend that she would avoid any prison time and would be sentenced to house arrest and probation.

But Richards balked and phoned her attorney's office that morning. She said she was not coming to court that day.

A judge revoked her $25,000 bond and issued an arrest warrant.


Prosecutors have not said if the original plea agreement and sentencing recommendation are still on the table for her.

In court on Wednesday, Richards spoke only to ask questions about the timing of her case and whether Assistant Federal Public Defender Robert Berube will still represent her.


"The next time I go to court, it takes how long? Is it months, weeks ...?" she asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer.

The judge told her he anticipated the judge assigned to her case, Senior U.S. District Judge James Cohn, would promptly schedule her next court hearing.


Richards, a former waitress who is receiving Social Security disability payments, told court officials in Tampa after her arrest that she wanted to go to trial and did not want her fate to lie in the hands of a judge, court records show.

Prosecutors said Richards told investigators she got angry and sent the death threats to Pozner after she read online conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook shootings.


Though Richards could have avoided serving any jail time, her admitted violation of the terms of her release on bond have caused her to spend close to three weeks in jail and she will likely remain locked up for at least several more weeks.

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South Florida father fights conspiracy theories, threats tied to son’s death

May 1, 2017

(WSVN) - The term “fake news” has exploded into a national conversation about separating fact from fiction. But for one South Florida father, online lies and conspiracy theories are a very real reminder of his son’s murder, and he’s fighting back. 7’s Brian Entin has our special assignment report “Cruel Intentions.”

On Dec. 14, 2012, Lenny Pozner dropped his three kids off at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Only two survived the day.
Lenny Pozner: “The footprint of the shooter was right next to all three of my children.”

Noah was the youngest of 20 first-graders and six adults killed in the massacre.


Lenny Pozner: “He loved to tell jokes, he loved his family, he loved to laugh. He loved being a 6-year-old.”

Lenny moved to South Florida after his son’s death. We’re using old pictures of him.

He asked we not show his face today. That’s because in the years since the tragedy, he says he has been harassed, even threatened by people who believe that the horror at Sandy Hook never happened.


Voicemail from woman: “You’re going to die. You’re going to rot in hell. Death is coming to you real soon, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Lucy Richards was one of those who believed the mass shooting was a hoax — say federal prosecutors.

The Tampa woman was indicted in December, charged with sending Lenny death threats.

She has pleaded not guilty.
The voicemails Lenny says he received are disturbing.


Voicemail from woman: “Did you hide your imaginary son in an attic? Are you still [expletive] him? You [expletive] Jew bastard.”

Sandy Hook hoax videos have been viewed millions of times online.

The details vary, but some involve claims nobody really died or the shooting was staged by the government to impose stricter gun laws.
They say grieving family members like Lenny are paid actors.


Lenny Pozner: “‘You guys are fake,’ or ‘your child didn’t die,’ ‘we know the truth’, things like that. They consider me a villain. There’s no compassion.”

Read the full article here:


In an age of 'alternative facts,' a massacre of schoolchildren is called a hoax

April 25, 2017

If there is anything worse than losing a child, it is losing a child and having people taunt you over the loss.

That is what happened to the family of Noah Pozner, a 6-year-old with tousled brown hair and lollipop-red lips, the youngest of the 26 children and staff members gunned down in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


In the years since the massacre that shook the country and opened new anxiety over gun violence, the family has received hate-filled calls and violent emails from people who say they know the shooting was a hoax. Photos of their son — some with pornographic and anti-Semitic content — have been distributed on websites.

These outlandish theories, which hold that the Newtown school shooting was a staged mass murder engineered by gun control advocates, have lived until now in the dark corners of the Internet.


But they have gained fresh momentum in the last several months, residents here say, at a time when conspiracy theorists across the country have attained the status of celebrities, and the nation as a whole is engaged in a contentious debate over the nature of truth.

President Donald Trump and his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, have been open enthusiasts of Alex Jones’ Infowars, a web-based radio and video network that has relentlessly pushed the theory that Sandy Hook was staged by Democrats to advance a gun control agenda. 


An unabashed Trump supporter during the campaign, Jones says he received a personal call of thanks from the president-elect days after the election.

Although Trump has not spoken publicly about Sandy Hook, many residents here say he is nurturing the culture of exaggeration and paranoia on which conspiracy theorists thrive.


“Maybe it has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but somehow these hate creeps have been less shy about their beliefs,” said Noah’s father, Lenny Pozner, an information technology specialist. “They’ve been emboldened.”

Mark Fenster, a law professor at the University of Florida and author of a book about conspiracy theories in American politics, said the Sandy Hook hoax theory was a response to a Democratic-controlled White House of a kind that often shows up in political extremist circles.


“Conspiracy theories are pervasive in American politics, and they target whoever is in power,” Fenster said. “I think it won’t be long before the Alex Joneses of this world are saying that Trump is part of some conspiracy.’’

The town of Newtown is drafting an official letter to the White House demanding that Trump sever his ties to Jones.


Maybe it has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but somehow these hate creeps have been less shy about their beliefs. They've been emboldened.
Lenny Pozner, Noah's father


Read the full story here:

Leonard Pozner, A Father of Sandy Hook victim speaks out against ‘hoaxers’

January 31, 2017

Leonard Pozner one Sandy Hook victim father talked to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360” about the hate he has received from various individuals who believe the incident was fake.

“They don’t think anything bad ever happens, they don’t think anyone ever gets hurt,” said Len Pozner, a father of one of the 20 children killed in the mass shooting. “They think whenever they see anything on the web or on television that is a crime or mass casualty event that has to be a hoax.”

The father received voice mails from what he called a “hoaxer,” and has experienced other online hate as well. Leonard Pozner said, “They’re pretty intense. … I still remember the chills that were running down my body, hearing the voice mails. It’s over the top.”

When he began to see the hoax content appearing online, he worked to take down every video depicting false evidence, and created an organization called the HONR Networks to help him do so.

“There were news reports that had some conflicting information, and so we worked to clarify that information,” Pozner said. “I call it a thought virus, because really what they want to do is they just want to replicate their way of thinking to other people. What we do is we reduce the content that’s on the web. We’ve taken down probably thousands of pieces of content on the Internet.”

Leonard Pozner said this has become a part of his journey and the successes of taking down wrongful content and sharing the truth with others is what he focuses on. When Cooper asked if he thought the hoaxers will ever go away, he immediately said, “I don’t think so, I don’t think it will ever go away.”

Pozner asked to appear on the show via phone without identifying where he was or showing his face because of the online hate and death threats he’s received. He said, “It’s basically just hate, they’re projecting hate onto people and if someone is visible and if someone is a victim of crime, it’s easy to find people these days on the web, so it’s easy to gain access to someone.”

Emotional Abuse is as Serious as Physical Abuse: HONR Network

December 30, 2016

Nowadays abuse against victims and their families affected by incidences of mass violence has increased in certain parts of the world. The reasons for this may be unknown but it is surely an evil that must be curbed. There are times when people are abused emotionally as well as physically. Emotional abuse is actually as serious as physical abuse if not more. There have been instances where emotional abuse has been fatal. The major reason why emotional abuse is as serious as physical abuse is discussed here. 
Physical abuse just leads to physical pain. This pain will heal in a matter of time. But emotional abuse leads to a permanent blot on the mental state of victims and their families affected by incidences of mass violence. This doesn't mean that one is better than the other. Both are serious crimes that merit sufficient punishment. Emotional abuse is the other name for mental harassment of victims. 

When people are harassed mentally it will leave an impression on their minds that has their feared for rest of their life unless treated. There have been instances where people have been reported to have become mentally ill after they have been harassed mentally. This emotional abuse has become more and more rampant. 

When people are abused physically they can be consoled and that part might as well be forgotten after the abuser has apologized and has been punished accordingly. But emotional abuse becomes very difficult to discover, let alone think of consoling the abused.

Emotional abuse is again undiscovered because victims may be afraid to ask for help, fearing more abuse. The tragic part is that they are threatened by these abusers against any complaints. HONR Network of Lenny Pozner is committed to standing up in defense of victims and their families affected by incidences of mass violence. With every tragic new incident, conspiracy theorists are renewed in their zeal to unleash torrents of abuse, harassment, defamation and hate towards survivors and their families. Some are driven by pure delusion that such incidences are staged hoaxes, while others simply for profit.

Emotional abuse may also be a by-product of fights between people. There is no reason why those two opposing parties can't reach a proper solution so that their differences may be sorted out. There is a saying that there is no problem that doesn't have a solution. Well this very much true. The proper resolution of the problem is the first step that one can take to prevent abusing people. One needs to understand that he has no right of abusing any one. 

We all need to curb this evil. We at HONR Network Take Action Against the Abusers. Whatever the reason, HONR Network is dedicated to taking necessary action, within legal parameters, to bring accountability to Abusive Hoaxers; whether social or legal.

HONR Network is currently undertaking the task of financially assisting Sandy Hook parent Leonard Pozner, who’s 6 year old son Noah was killed in his elementary school along with 19 of his classmates and 6 female educators, to civilly prosecute Wolfgang Halbig.

As Mr. Lenny Pozner and his family grapple to deal with grief and moving on with life without Noah, Wolfgang Halbig spreads slanderous and defamatory propaganda against Mr. Pozner and his family, as well as that of the other Sandy Hook victims.  Mr. Halbig’s campaign of disinformation and hate speech has resulted in the escalation of harassment and death threats toward Mr. Pozner, and continues to recruit new foot soldiers to the Sandy Hook truth movement every day.  Recent history has demonstrated that some of these “truther” types are dangerous to society, and have committed a slew of crimes as a result of their mindset.

HONR Network needs the support of concerned, empathetic citizens who want to see such abusers punished for their actions.  Please consider donating to our cause, so we can be effective in our quest to combat the cruelty perpetrated against those who have lost loved ones to unspeakable tragedy.
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Florida’s unhinged ‘truthers’ exacerbate Newtown’s grief

November 15, 2016

Tony Mead feels victimized. “I’ve been attacked online. My business has been attacked. My ex-wife has been contacted. Google my name, you’ll see blogs attacking me as a pedophile.”


Poor, befuddled Tony can’t understand why he has become the object of so much vitriol. After all, the Hollywood man told me, he’s only the administrator of the Sandy Hook Hoax Facebook page, where he hosts fantastic assertions about the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre of 26 school kids and teachers, where first responders and parents of the victims are characterized as cunning and mendacious “crisis actors” in a government-orchestrated hoax.

Mead seems shocked that others might stalk him with the same aggressive hostility that he and his followers employ against the grieving parents of massacred children.

The rest of us, meanwhile, wonder why the hell Florida has been stuck with the likes of Tony Mead.


Mead, who runs a Hollywood moving company, belongs to the Florida triumvirate who’ve become the nation’s leading promulgators of “false flag” theories about the Sandy Hook horror. Mead’s a supporter of James Tracy, the Florida Atlantic University professor who contends that the U.S. government was behind Sandy Hook, the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, the San Bernardino attack and more. Mass shootings, in Tracy’s warped universe, were theatrical events contrived to dupe American citizens into accepting gun control.


Florida’s third great propagator of Sandy Hook madness is Wolfgang Halbig of Lake County. Halbig led a gaggle of Sandy Hook “truthers” and trollers to a Newtown Board of Education meeting in 2014 to demand that local officials investigate their deranged imaginings. Halbig and Mead have intimated that they won’t stop harassing the Newtown parents unless their theories are disproved by exhuming the bodies of slaughtered children.

Halbig had been crowd-funding his so-called investigation until both GoFundMe and PayPal kicked him off their domains — for obvious reasons. Of course, hoaxers saw that as further evidence of a sinister conspiracy to stifle the truth.

The Florida Three and their disciples have been relentlessly tormenting Sandy Hook emergency responders and parents. They stalk them on the Internet. They threaten. They picket Newtown. In November, a truther disrupted the Vicki Soto 5K Memorial Run, organized to honor the heroic Sandy Hook teacher killed while trying to shield her students. Last month, Amazon intervened after trollers en masse posted nasty reviews of a book by a Sandy Hook mother about coping with loss.


For three years running, these unhinged freaks have insinuated themselves into Newtown’s anguish, insisting that the funerals were fakes, that the grieving is counterfeit. After an op-ed last month in the Sun Sentinel by Lenny Pozner, father of the youngest child killed at Sandy Hook, describing the “wave of harassment, intimidation and criminal activity” from hoaxers in general, and Tracy in particular, FAU finally began the complex legal procedure to fire a tenured professor.


Maybe FAU can rid itself of this embarrassment. The rest of Florida, however, has no such recourse. We’ll still be tarnished by our truther triumvirate and their vile fabrications. Perhaps no one knows this better than Leonard Pozner, whose life was turned upside down when his son Noah became the youngest child slaughtered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) on December 14, 2012.

Also read: Florida Atlantic University Fires James Tracy, Professor Who Questioned Sandy Hook Massacre - Lenny Pozner

Lenny Pozner used to believe in conspiracy theories. Until his son’s death became one.

October 5, 2016

On December 14, 2012, Lenny Pozner dropped off his three children, Sophia, Arielle, and Noah, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Noah had recently turned 6, and on the drive over they listened to his favorite song, “Gangnam Style,” for what turned out to be the last time. Half an hour later, while Sophia and Arielle hid nearby, Adam Lanza walked into Noah’s first-grade class with an AR-15 rifle. Noah was the youngest of the 20 children and seven adults killed in one of the deadliest shootings in American history. When the medical examiner found Noah lying face up in a Batman sweatshirt, his jaw had been blown off. Lenny and his wife, Veronique, raced to the school as soon as they heard the news, but had to wait for hours alongside other parents to learn their son’s fate

It didn’t take much longer for Lenny Pozner to find out that many people didn’t believe his son had died or even that he had lived at all. Days after the rampage, a man walked around Newtown filming a video in which he declared that the massacre had been staged by “some sort of New World Order global elitists” intent on taking away our guns and our liberty. A week later, James Tracy, a professor at Florida Atlantic University, wrote a blog post expressing doubts about the massacre. By January, a 30-minute YouTube video, titled “The Sandy Hook Shooting — Fully Exposed,” which asked questions like “Wouldn’t frantic kids be a difficult target to hit?,” had been viewed more than 10 million times.


As the families grieved, conspiracy theorists began to press their case in ways that Newtown couldn’t avoid. State officials received anonymous phone calls at their homes, late at night, demanding answers: Why were there no trauma helicopters? What happened to the initial reports of a second shooter? A Virginia man stole playground signs memorializing two of the victims, and then called their parents to say that the burglary shouldn’t affect them, since their children had never existed. At one point, Pozner was checking into a hotel out of town when the clerk looked up from the address on his driver’s license and said, “Oh, Sandy Hook — the government did that.” Pozner had tried his best to ignore the conspiracies, but eventually they disrupted his grieving process so much that he could no longer turn a blind eye. “Conspiracy theorists erase the human aspect of history,” Pozner said this summer. “My child — who lived, who was a real person — is basically going to be erased.”


The Pozners moved to Newtown in 2005, partly to send their kids to better schools, but after Noah’s death they saw no choice but to leave. “What happened just weighed on the town like a Chernobyl-like cloud,” Veronique told me from her home in a state far from Newtown that the Pozners prefer not to identify, given the threats that conspiracy theorists have leveled against some Sandy Hook families. The Pozners’ marriage had been falling apart before the shooting, and though Noah’s death briefly brought them back together, the couple eventually divorced. They still co-parent their daughters, who developed a fear of the dark after the shooting and asked Veronique to find a home in a gated community.


Lenny, who has a goatee and a middle-aged paunch, lives by himself a few miles from Veronique. Since relocating, he has moved apartments four times and gets his mail delivered to a P.O. Box on the other side of the state. “It’s part of what I need to do to stay vigilant,” he said. After eight months in his newest home, the living room was sparsely furnished, save for a painting of Noah and a cluttered coffee table topped with his daughters’ Barbie dolls and a book called The Meaning of Life.

“I prefer the term hoaxer to truther,” Lenny said, kicking a pair of jeans and Adidas flip-flops onto the footrest of leather Barcalounger. “There’s nothing truthful about it.” There is no universal Sandy Hook hoax narrative, but the theories generally center on the idea that a powerful force (the Obama administration, gun-control groups, the Illuminati) staged the shooting, with the assistance of paid “crisis actors,” including the Pozners, the other Sandy Hook families, and countless Newtown residents, government officials, and media outlets. The children are said to have never existed or to be living in an elaborate witness-­protection program.


Conspiracy theories run deep in the American consciousness — 61 percent of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t act alone — but a mass shooting had never drawn the conspiratorial attention that Sandy Hook did. The modern internet is partly to blame, with hours of uploaded cable-news coverage and reams of documents to parse for circumstantial evidence.

The internet also made it easier to reach victims, and the Pozners became an early target for hoaxers. Veronique, who is a nurse, joined several parents in channelling her grief into vocal gun-control advocacy. One early conspiracy theory held that she was actually a Swiss diplomat named Veronique Haller, who once attended a United Nations arms-control summit. (Veronique is Swiss, and her maiden name is Haller.) Hoaxers quickly scoured family photos on Veronique’s online accounts and began dissecting them for odd shadows or strange poses, suggesting that she had been inserted into the family via Photoshop.


Lenny may have been the first Newtown parent to discover that conspiracy theorists didn’t believe his son had been killed, because he used to be a serious conspiracy theorist himself. “I probably listened to an Alex Jones podcast after I dropped the kids off at school that morning,” Lenny Pozner said, referencing the fearmongering proprietor of InfoWars. Pozner had entertained everything from specific cover-ups (the moon landing was faked) to geopolitical intrigue (the “real” reasons why the price of gold sometimes shifted so dramatically) and saw value in skepticism. But for him, the appeal of conspiracy theories was the same as watching a good science-fiction movie. “I have an imaginative mind,” he said.


When he first discovered the theories about Noah, Lenny, who grew up in Brooklyn, made only a half-hearted attempt to respond. “I feel that your type of show created these hateful people,” Pozner wrote in an email to Alex Jones, to which one of Jones’s employees replied that Jones would love to speak to him if “we confirm that you are the real Lenny Pozner.” Pozner declined, in part because he found himself unable to do much of anything.

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6 Horrifying Realities Lenny Pozner Faced of Dealing with Sandy Hook 'Truthers'

July 23, 2015

On December 14, 2012, Lenny Pozner's six-year-old son Noah was one of 27 people murdered by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Lenny Pozner has since been consistently insulted and threatened by people who think he and his son were actors paid by the government to stage a crisis for reasons that only make sense to those whose thought processes sound like shrieking lemurs.

Lenny Pozner and a volunteer network he founded have been fighting back against these harassers using tactics like threats of legal action and YouTube takedown requests. That sounds like the worst thing in the world, so naturally we wanted to hear his story.

#6. The Conspiracy Theories Began Immediately
How long do you think it takes conspiracy theorists to turn nasty after a national tragedy? A year? A month? "They emerged immediately," says Pozner. First on the scene was Jonathan Lee Riches, an ex-con infamous for filing countless frivolous lawsuits. In a YouTube video posted two days after the shooting, he argued that Lanza had been mind-controlled by the Illuminati. "[He] left voice mails for Nancy Lanza [Adam's mother, whom he murdered] and Ryan Lanza [Adam's brother] on December 14. On December 16, Riches descended upon Newtown and pretended to be a relative of Adam Lanza. He got arrested, but he made videos right away about how it was a conspiracy to take away civil liberties."

Riches was soon arrested for violating parole, but he was only the vanguard. Merely glancing around the internet, it's not hard to come across examples of Sandy Hook conspiracy theory "tourism." We found an "inquisitive couple" that visited Newtown a little over a month after the shooting and were shocked to find that people didn't want to talk to them (clearly a sign of a cover-up!). Another theorist's website says they visited in 2014 to argue that the entire town is fake. Shit, why stop there? Maybe the entire USA and its history are an elaborate charade intended to deprive 300 million people of their gun rights.


#5. At Some Point, Conspiracy Theorists Turn Into Hateful Trolls
Over the years, Pozner's harassers abandoned any pretense of constructing theories and devoted themselves to spewing personal abuse. "These people aren't 'truthers,' they're hoaxers. All of their ridiculous theories have been debunked. They manufacture evidence, falsify documents, and misrepresent facts to create their own whacked-out version of reality."

That's the trick they use. Publicly, they present themselves as "truth-seekers." How can you get mad at someone who wants to investigate the facts or "have a conversation"? After all, they're "just asking questions." But privately, all they do is spew hate and quibble pointless technicalities so their little bubble doesn't collapse. For example, to contribute to the public record, Lenny Pozner released Noah's death certificate. Hoaxers immediately started picking it apart, trying to hold their ideas together with a bunch of nonsensical arguments about font choice and layout like someone fixing a broken sofa with duct tape, if the sofa were also on fire.


#4. Sandy Hook Was A Perfect Storm For Conspiracy Theorists

The thing to remember about conspiracy theories is that they're not built out of thin air. The "anomalies" and errors in the official record are very real. Witness memories are imperfect, reporters get sloppy on tight deadlines, and mistakes get made. One news outlet got the dates mixed up (saying Noah was killed on December 15th instead of the 14th) and that's all the crackpots needed ("THEY ADMIT HE DIDN'T EVEN DIE THAT DAY!!!"). Of course, if 100-percent perfect reporting is your standard, then World War II was also a hoax. No non-hoaxes have occurred in world history, but in the world of conspiracy theorists, each new error or misprint sends the mob into frenzy.


#3. You Learn What Makes Conspiracy Theorists Tick
You have to have a, well, unique worldview to think that you live in a world in which scores of people will happily collect a paycheck pretending to be the victims of an unthinkable tragedy so the government can take advantage of a mourning nation. And Pozner's noticed a trend among those who hold that view. "I used to think these people were open-minded truth seekers. Not so. For the most part, they're socially reclusive narcissists. They're literally in their own little world."

Studies back his observations up. Conspiracy theorists often feel that they have no control over their lives in the grand scheme of things, but their theories at least assure them that there is a grand scheme. The people secretly running the world may be evil, but at least there's someone in charge, and we aren't randomly hurtling through space until we all die. Their lives matter. Now remember that picture of Noah in Pakistan? How could a supposed vast international conspiracy be so sloppy? Hoaxers thought the government did it on purpose to taunt them. That's their mindset: In a world where parents sometimes see their children murdered, the conspiracy theorists are really the ones in the middle of the story. It's all about them.


#2. It Becomes A Self-Sustaining Cycle
Okay, you've seen how soul-crushing all of this can be. So why does Pozner seek this stuff out every day instead of ignoring it?

"The perspective that if you ignore them the theories will dry up and die is an old one," he says. "It's total bullshit. It doesn't apply anymore. Modern-day conspiracy theories are like a thought virus. And the only thing a virus wants to do is replicate. The troll just wants to create more trolls ... I get hate mail from some as young as 15. 'We're watching you, we're going to get you, you're a traitor, and we're going to bring you to justice.' A certain amount of the population is easily suggestible."


#1. Still, There Are Tiny Hints Of Progress
Lenny Pozner does get glimpses of daylight here and there. "Today, our most energized volunteers are former deniers. With the help of a lot of good debunking material out there, they've had a chance to look into these Hoaxer claims and realize that they don't hold up." Pozner described a "moment of clarity" when all the pieces fall into place for a hoaxer. Occasionally they apologize, but most of the time they simply quietly return to their lives. Even at the end, they won't admit they were wrong.

Still, progress is progress. "I do have plenty of worthwhile accomplishments to feel good about. I would consider the firing of a tenured professor who defamed my son as a major victory ... On the downside; places like Twitter have been a constant cesspool of abuse. I have zero respect for Twitter."

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