Thursday, April 9, 2020

#2325: David E. Taylor

David E. Taylor is a faith healer who claims that Jesus himself has appointed him to be America’s Moses, in order to help bring the country “deliverance from murder (abortion), drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, lesbianism, gambling, murder/homicides, corruption, and wicked government.” The appointment was apparently confirmed by God’s appearance in a cloud in Canada; indeed, “there are witnesses who can attest to this Face to Face Appearance of the Lord in Canada.” We are sure there are. 

From the cloud, God told Taylor that the US is chosen “to be His representative in the Earth like as was Israel,” and that Taylor was to lead it – the background idea being that “after every 400 years in certain dispensations and generations the Lord God makes a notable appearance by coming down on Earth from Heaven to that nation in that generation for the World” (like Israel ostensibly were in bondage for, well, over 400 years) and “now in your day America has entered her 400th year.” The veracity of the request was apparently proven by the fact that Taylor, at the time (2006), didn’t know that America’s first settlement at Jamestown was established in 1607. “Wow!!”, says Taylor’s promotional materials. 

The cloud incident wasn’t Taylor’s first chat with God. Now, a central theme of the New Apostolic Reformation is that God is directly communicating with newly appointed apostles (in which case He seems to be lying to them with startling systematicity), and Taylor’s official biography states that “[s]ince 1989 from the time that he was 17 years old, he has been granted well over 1000 face-to-face visitation appearances from Jesus Christ personally.”

And Taylor is not a nobody on the fanatic fringe of the religious right. In 2011, for instance, he was Lou Engle’s cohost for The Call: Detroit, which was arranged for the purpose of converting Muslims to Christianity and free’ gays from homosexuality. He is currently head of his own multimillion prosperity church Joshua Media Ministries. Here is a video of Taylor receiving a yacht on his “Miracle crusade against cancer” campaign – yes, he claims to be able to cure cancer, but you need faith (and he needs a yacht), so if your cancer isn’t cured your faith was probably not strong enough; apparently Jesus himself told Taylor to “attack cancer and when thousands begin to see cancer fall, faith will arise again, and other sicknesses will fall!” In 2016 he predictable ended up in some trouble for his almost astonishing – even for a prosperity gospel preacher – level of spineless grifting and greed. After the deposition for his handling of the church’s money in 2016, Taylor once again received some attention in 2019 for having turned his ministries into “a slave labor cult”.

Taylor has written a large number of books, a recurring topic being how to recognize prophecies and God’s messages when decoding your dreams.

Diagnosis: Primarily a grifting piece of pond scum, but he does, indeed, seem to be genuinely delusional on top. His whole existence is a sad tragedy for us all.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

#2324: David Chase Taylor

Truther.org is a conspiracy website run by one David Chase Taylor, an exceptionally paranoid conspiracy theorist originally from the US – where he founded the website in 2007 – but now apparently living somewhere in Germany, where he moved after having declared that he is actually the messiah. The website is dedicated to pursuing Taylor’s interpretation of the truth (remember Badger’s law), which appears to be, roughly, centered around the idea that the CIA is really located in Switzerland, from where they want to kill everyone with Malaysia 370 and 9/11 attacks and, not the least, race wars. Most of all, they want to kill David Chase Taylor, since he is the messiah. For a global cabal that controls everything, they are strikingly ineffective at achieving some of their goals.

This request my predate his discovery that he is the Messiah
and that Switzerland is really a giant base for the CIA/Roman Empire
And unfortunately for them, Taylor is out to reveal and spoil their plans for state-sponsored terrorism and wicked Illuminati schemes. Thus far, he has prevented the planned 2011 Superbowl Nuclear Plot, the planned 2014 Superbowl Nuclear Plot, as well as a long row of “live” assassination attempts on a range of public figures. Taylor has also written several books detailing the evil plans, including the Bio-Terror Bibleand Greenland Theory: Apocalypse Now (which seems to be written in a single paragraph and is available here; it seem to consist entirely of random PIDOOMA pseudohistory to show that the Roman empire still exists and controls everything, as it has always done, though their main seat is currently located in Greenland). 

Now, Taylor’s ideas seem to form some kind of grand system, and it is, in a sense, laid out in the Greenland book, though “system” might be the wrong word since it suggests some sort of coherence constraint (random word soup might be more apt). Apparently central to the stream of thought is the claim that “[b]riefly, the Roman Empire, commonly referred to as Ancient Rome, evidently faked its own death 715 years ago and now excerpts [sic] command and control over all 206 nations of the world though its primary proxy state of Switzerland (home of the CIA) which was coincidentally formed in c.1300 AD, approximately 715 years ago.” Also, 1300 years have apparently been fraudulently added to the calendar and we are still in 720 AD. Though its starting point is already far down the rabbit hole, Taylor’s story goes rapidly downhill from there.

Among the other ideas more or less connected to that idea about the Roman empire, we can learn that

-       The name Santa Claus (S+N/X+T+C/K+L+S) acronymically and/or consonantly equates to ‘Sent to Kill System’ because Special Forces would travel from Greenland to the underworld on December 24th in order to execute assassinations, coup d’états, terror attacks and wars (e.g., Roman Vikings).” Details here (recommended). Apparently “Santa lives at the North Pole (i.e., Mt. Olympus or Mt. Zion) which is found in Greenland, home of the Roman Empire,” and he “accomplishes his tasks with the aid of the Jewish Race who are considered his ‘elves’ because they are much smaller in stature than the Greco-Romans, otherwise known as the Giants of Greenland. Santa Clauses’ wicked plans are executed in the underworld via Santa’s Workshop, otherwise known as Switzerland, home to the CIA.” Yes, he is real, but not what you think he is.
-       Bigfoot is a reference to the real, giant inhabitants of Greenland who are descended from the Greco-Romans.
-       Paul Walker was assassinated by the CIA to highlight the term “Fast and Furious” for … some reason.
-       JFK was assassinated by the driver
-       Taylor is a global warming denialist. He is also an Arctic and Antarctic, denialist. Apparently the “concepts of ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ were originally designed by the Roman Empire in Greenland in order to deceive the world into thinking that the Greenland ice sheet along with the polar ice caps are melting or at risk of melting,” whereas in reality the Greenland ice sheet doesn’t exist. A quote from his aforementioned Greenland book: “Because Greenland admittedly has mountains, valley, rivers and weather systems, a congruent and stagnant sheet of ice year round is not scientifically possible. In respect to the argument that Greenland is near the North Pole (which does not exist) and thus experiences colder weather, there are a few scientific facts which have conveniently been left out of the equation. Firstly, it is a well-known fact that hot air rises. Therefore, Greenland and the North Pole should, in theory, be the warmest place on Earth when using the accepted basketball-like model of Earth. Secondly, since Greenland and the North Pole sit atop the Earth, they should receive more sunlight than anywhere else on Earth, destroying any notion of polar ice caps. Sunlight translates to heat, regardless of where it is found. Lastly, considering that Greenland was named Greenland because it was once green, the argument that its location atop the Earth is somehow responsible for its ice age-like climate is ultimately null and void.” We have no idea where he is going with this attempt at reasoning. Neither, it seems, does he. The Ice Age movies, though, are nefarious CIA propaganda.
-       Alex Jones is a government agent tasked with deflecting our attention from the real conspiracies.

As for his claim to be the messiah, it is described in some detail here (definitely worth a read). A brief excerpt to give you the gist: “Although Jesus Christ allegedly existed 2,000+ years ago, he holds the title of Messiah and has been deemed the Savior’ of mankind. The reality is that mankind didn’t need a Savior back then like they do now. Therefore, the story of Jesus depicted in the Holy Bible is the story of the future Messiah which has now been identified as David Chase Taylor. Aside from all the physical traits and similarities, the trials and tribulations suffered by Jesus are reflected in the life of David Chase Taylor. That is to say that the persecution allegedly suffered by Jesus has been inflicted upon Taylor tenfold who has been subjected to unspeakable tortures and persecution over the last 7-years in his quest to save humanity from extinction.” You think that verges on crazy? You haven’t seen the beginning of it before you get to the parts about the Mayan calendar, his cat, the Obama–666 connection and his very lengthy description of his own physical appearance. Apparently he decided to reveal his identity because, well, we’ll let him explain: “After months of deliberation and with great trepidation, I begrudgingly announce that I am the so-called Messiah. I do not reveal this for fame or gain but rather out of self-preservation for it’s far less likely that the Geneva-based CIA will assassinate me prior to the end of the Maya Calendar in 2017 once I announce that I am the Messiah.” 

Pam Schuffert is apparently a fan.

Diagnosis: Again, we may be subject to criticism for covering people like David Chase Taylor here, but he’s become sort of a legend, and he does, in fact, have fans who actually think he’s onto something. Probably mostly harmless to anyone but himself, though. 


Hat-tip: Rationalwiki

Sunday, March 29, 2020

#2323: David Tate, Clint Mitchell et al.

Old news, perhaps, but still worth mentioning, insofar as creationists are still tirelessly pushing for getting creationism – or at least anti-evolution talking points – on the science syllabus in public schools. And it is, perhaps not much of a surprise that Louisiana is particularly susceptible to religiously motivated pseudoscience. In 2010, for instance, the Livingston Parish School Board decided to explore the possibility of incorporating the teaching of creationism in the public school system’s science classes, with the director of curriculum for the district, Jan Benton, (falsely) telling the board that, under the Louisiana Science Education Act, schools are allowed to present “critical thinking and creationism in science classes, to the enthusiastic response of the school board (none of whom, of course, really associate “critical thinking” with critical thinking): Member David Tate asked: “We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe in creationism. Why can’t we get someone with religious beliefs to teach creationism?” (i.e. someone else, a preacher or creation society member, should come in to give the lecture to ensure that there is no meddling or objections from critical teachers). Clint Mitchell, meanwhile, added that “I agree … you don’t have to be afraid to point out some of the fallacies with the theory of evolution. Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom,” and even the president of the board, Keith Martin, agreed: “Maybe it’s time that we look at this,” and proposed the formation of a committee to study the possibility – apparently dimly aware of potential legal issues, he added that “The American Civil Liberties Union and even some of our principals would not be pleased with us, but we shouldn’t worry about the ACLU. It’s more important that we do the correct thing for the children we educate.”

After receiving some attention the board did back down a little, but still asked School Board staff “to look at the issue for possible future action.” David Tate said that “we don’t want litigation, but why not take a stand for Jesus and risk litigation,” thereby of course undermining any chance of winning said litigation by revealing to everyone that the whole point of their efforts was to get religion into public schools.

Diagnosis: No, attempts to maintain that the point is to teach students critical evaluation, and that it is all about science, don’t tend to last long. We are, after all, dealing with creationists here, and you don’t have to excite them much before their attempts to mimick reason start unravelling. Now, this particular Louisiana initiative is presumably dead, but similar attempts will be made again and again. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

#2322: Webster Tarpley

Webster Griffin Tarpley is an author, critic of U.S. foreign and domestic policy, founder of the Tax Wall Street Party, and deranged conspiracy theorist. Tarpley was for a long time affiliated with the LaRouche movement, and even attempted to run on LaRouche’s U.S. Labor Party platform in the NY Democratic senate primary in 1986. His 1992 book with Anton Chaitkin, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, was also published by LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review magazine, and already illustrated Tarpley’s problematic relationship with truth, facts and accuracy. Currently he hosts the online talk show World Crisis Radio, and is a member of the “world anti-imperialist conference” Axis for Peace, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, as well as a “research” Netzwerk of German 9/11 authors. He also hosts the podcast AmericanSystem.tv, co-hosted with the chairperson of the Tax Wall Street Party, Daniela Walls.

Yes, Tarpley believes that the September 11 attacks were engineered by a rogue network in the military-industrial complex and intelligence agencies as a false-flag operation, and has denounced the official story as an “outrageous myth” and “absurd fairy tale.” Instead of fundamentalist islamists, Tarpley claims that the organisations involved in 9/11 included Britain's MI6 as well as “government officials loyal to the invisible government,” the cabal that really controls everything and is invisible, so you won’t find evidence that it exists, which for conspiracy theorists like Tarpley is evidence that they really are a secret government and, moreover, extremely resourceful. As for the British connection, Tarpley is one of a rather surprising number of conspiracy theorists who have managed to convince themselves that Great Britain really are pulling the strings here and have been doing so for a long time (we’ve encountered the type before, e.g. here), and he has managed to receive some attention for instance for his “Versailles Thesis”, which lays the blame for the great wars of the 20th century on intrigues by Britain to retain dominance. For good measure, Tarpley also believes the Pearl Harbor attack was a government conspiracy. Tarpley’s views on 9/11 are summed up in his book 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA – Myth of the 21st Century (with a foreword by the noted and equally utterly deranged French conspiracy theorist Thierry Meyssan), which has been published in a number of languages.

Tarpley has, in fact, had several opportunities to take his conspiracy theories abroad. In 2011 Tarpley travelled to Syria to tell Syria’s Addounia TV that the Syrian Civil War was a NATO-CIA ploy to destabilize the country using mercenaries and death squads – in particular CIA-contracted Al-Qaeda groups, or “Ciaqaeda” – against the population and the Syrian government. Indeed, the idea that there is even a civil war going on “is absolute baloney, this is a Goebbels big lie campaign, there is no civil war here, there is no insurrection, there is no mass political movement against Assad,” just NATO working behind the scenes to try to topple a regime loved by the people. Tarpley’s evidence consists mostly of his own assertions (“I would like to argue that” followed by an assertion with neither argument nor evidence). And in 2012, he was interviewd by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation regarding the 2011 Norway attacks, saying that he believed “that the evidence points to a private network, or even a NATO network, within the police that contributed the long time delay until they stormed the Island.” That claim is, of course, not really consistent with the details, but Tarpley’s ideas are not about details but about large narratives. Tarpley’s conspiracy theory breakthrough, meanwhile, was the book Who Killed Aldo Moro, commissioned by Italian Parliamentary member Giuseppe Zamberletti, and which alleged, entirely unsurprisingly, that the US and NATO, not the Red Brigades, were behind Moro’s murder.

Part of the point of invisible shadow governments is that they remain invisible, and Tarpley’s primary evidence that the US (and everywhere else) is ruled by an invisible shadow government is of course, as mentioned above, that he cannot find any evidence for them. Accordingly, Tarpley has been rather dismissive of actual revelations of government secrets, such as Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency. According to Tarpley, Snowden is probably a triple agent ultimately working under the control of the CIA with the aim of weakening President Barack Obama and pushing him into intervening in Syria – that is why he would publicize minor public manipulation operations: in order to conceal greater covert misdeeds such as promoting war in the Middle East. Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange are other examples of covert CIA operatives. 

Tarpley has actually written two books outlying his conspiracy theories about the Obama administration, Obama & The Postmodern Coup: Making of a Manchurian Candidate (2008) and Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography(2008). His discussions of Obama, in particular how Obama is “clearly being controlled” – “The Elite are using Obama to pacify the public so they can usher in the North American Union by stealth, launch a new Cold War and continue the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan” – were heavily featured in Alex Jones’s “documentary” The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off (there are fine discussions of that movie, including Tarpley’s contributions, here, here, here and here); Jones is in general a big fan of Tarpley’s work. In 2012, Tarpley added a book about Romney: Just Too Weird: Bishop Romney and the Mormon Takeover of America: Polygamy, Theocracy, and Subversion to his portfolio. 

The general methodological principle of Tarpley’s work in his books, articles and videos is to take any claim made or article written by his target (the alleged member of the shadow government who is planning a New World Order or genocide or whatever) and interpret any description of an ongoing situation and any attempt to predict future developments, as advocating for the situation described or prediction made – so if you predict that humans may use bodily implants for various purposes in the future, for instance, then Tarpley will reinterpret you as actively trying to force people to get bodily implants. Add to that technique a generous amount of cherry-picking and strawmanning, and you quickly become, in Tarpley’s view, an advocate for a “global police force” to enforce totalitarian measures of population control, including forced abortions, mass sterilization programs conducted via the food and water supply, and forced bodily implants to prevent you from having children – such as John Holdren, who according to Tarpley, in a conspiracy theory popularized by Glenn Beck, ended up as a “Malthusian fanatic in the tradition of the arcane anti-human ideology that originated amongst British aristocracy in the 19th century.”

In 2017 Tarpley received renewed attention when he agreed to settle a libel suit brought by Melania Trump for publishing a “false and defamatory” report In August 2016 alleging that the First Lady had been a “high-end escort” prior to meeting Donald Trump. The settlement apparently involved a rather large sum of money, as well as a public apology.

Diagnosis: Tarpley has for decades been one of the leading kooks in the US, and still wields an impressive amount of influence among US conspiracy theorists – Alex Jones, for instance, seems to have picked up a trick or three from Tarpley. And his books and articles still seem to find a receptive and disconcertingly large audience. He is, accordingly, not just some harmless ball of colors and rage but someone whose paranoia might be causing actual harm.

Friday, March 20, 2020

#2321: Russell Targ

One of the grand old men of American pseudoscience, Russell Targ is a physicist, parapsychologist and author best known for his work on remote viewing – indeed, he and Harold Puthoff coined the term “remote viewing” for the practice of trying to obtain visual information of distant or unseen target using parapsychological means. Yes, it is – of course – bollocks, and Targ’s “research” on the phenomenon is most striking for its lack of rigor: many of his experiments would also have been easy to make more rigorous without additional effort or use of resources, and reasonable people should really wonder why he chose not to do so. According to Martin Gardner, Targ and Puthoff “imagined they could do research in parapsychology but instead dealt with ‘psychics’ who were cleverer than they were,” though wishful thinking and motivated reasoning are certainly important parts of the explanation for their “results” as well.

Targ’s and Puthoff’s project took off in 1972 while they were “testing” alleged remote viewer Ingo Swann at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), which led to the initiation of the $50,000 CIA-sponsored Stargate Project. Though the SRI team managed to publish some papers, real scientific reviews of the SRI (and later) experiments on remote viewing have of course found no credible evidence for remote viewing but have found plenty of striking shortcomings in the SRI experiments (Targ and Puthoff were initially unwilling to provide later researchers with unpublished transcripts upon request, but after obtaining them from a judge these more serious researchers found “a wealth of cues” to how Targ and Puthoff had achieved their non-reproducible results). Targ and Puthoff for instance believed that famous fraud Uri Geller had genuine psychic abilities, so when they tested him they made sure that Geller had substantial control over the procedures and few limits on his behavior to enable him to make use of his trademark sleight of hand. The CIA has later expressed some embarrassment over their involvement in such nonsense. 

In 1982, Targ, Keith Harary and Anthony White formed the company Delphi Associates to sell psychic consulting services to individuals and businesses. In their book Mind Race, Targ and Harary claimed that all nine “silver futures predictions” made at Delphi (prices on the silver market) in 1982 were correct, though – as usual with psychic claims – they had some trouble documenting their successes. More recently, Targ has accused “skeptics” of defaming his Wikipedia entry by correctly describing his psychic studies with Uri Geller or studies on remote viewing and resisting his attempts to use sock puppets to alter the text and delete any critical commentary.

In addition to Mind Race, Targ’s books include Limitless Mind: A Guide to Remote Viewing and Transformation of Consciousness (2004); The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities; Mind Reach: Scientists Look at Psychic Abilities (1977, with Puthoff), Miracles of Mind: Exploring Nonlocal Consciousness and Spiritual Healing (1998, with Jane Katra – yes, of course Targ would go there, too), and The Heart of the Mind: How to Experience God Without Belief (1999, with Katra).

His daughter Elisabeth Targ has followed in her father’s footsteps with regard to sloppy research and a general distaste for evidence and rigor, though she focuses on the field of distant healing rather than distant information seeking.

Diagnosis: Many will find it hard to believe that the flaws in Targ’s pseudoscientific research were not deliberate, and wonder to what extent he really is a true believer. But that, we suspect, would be to underestimate the powers of motivated reasoning. As fine an example of flamboyant pseudoscience as you’ll be likely to find.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

#2320: Mark Tapson

Mark Tapson is the editor of the “news” website TruthRevolt (remember Badger’s Law), whose mission is “to expose the leftist news media and to hold them accountable for their hypocrisy and bias.” He is also affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Tapson is also a hardcore conspiracy theorist, and his research methodology is rather typical of conspiracy theorists. For instance, when Tapson infiltrated the Muslim Student Association’s annual West Coast conference in 2013, he did manage to find what he took to be evidence of a secret Muslim Brotherhood plot to “radicalize” college students: that is, he admitted that he didn’t find anything “radical” or “damning” at the conference, which “was largely very innocuous,” but for Tapson that is all the proof he needs – that the MSA’s conference was so “innocuous” is just part of Muslim Brotherhood strategy to win “the hearts and minds of the young,” and the very act of community-building “radicalizes them and it steers them toward further radicalization down the line.” Or in short: if you find evidence for the hypothesis you have already decided is true: good; if not, you just found evidence that the conspiracy to hide the truth of your hypothesis goes even deeper than you already believed, thus confirming it but in addition making it more urgent.



In addition to the perceived threat of Islamism, Tapson is concerned about communism: anything to the left of Paul Ryan is communist, and can then safely be dismissed by reminding people of the horrors of Stalin’s Soviet Russia and Mao, and thus warrant drawing conclusions like the “Democrat Party is the face of Moloch, the Canaanite god whom Milton called the ‘horrid King besmear’d with blood / Of human sacrifice.’ It is a cult of criminality and death.” And how do these commie crazies ever obtain any power in democratic societies? Voter fraud, of course. Tapson is, of course, also a climate change denialist because in a post-truth world scientific evidence is just whatever suits your ideological commitments anyways.

Diagnosis: A fairly typical wingnut strawman-basher and run-of-the-mill conspiracy theorist, Tapson may be far from the craziest wingnut political commentator out there. That observation, however, says more about the standards among wingnut commentators than it does about Tapson.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

#2319: William Tapley

William Tapley, known on youtube as thirdeaglebooks, is a retired furniture engineer, conspiracy theorist and self-declared prophet (“co-prophet of the end times”) who has received some attention for being extraordinarily unhinged and incoherent even by self-declared-prophets-on-youtube standards. A typical example (no link provided) is his 2014 claim, based on a commercial for the iPad, that there will be a false flag event at the Super Bowl, in a rant partially concerned with an image of a sunrise that he claims to be of a woman giving birth to the Antichrist. (Elsewhere, Tapley has argued that Danny DeVito is, in fact, the Antichrist – it seems to be an open question whether it is one or more antichrists.) In general, most of his videos seem to be devoted to pointing out symbolism the rest of us might, for obvious reasons, have missed related to the end times in otherwise mundane-looking things, such as information about the nefarious plans of the Illuminati in a Miracle Whip commercial.

If you wondered about the “thirdeaglebooks” alias or the “co-prophet” designation, Tapley is ready to explain: God has told him he, Tapley, is the Eagle of the Apocalypse, and his own research revealed two previous “eagles”, which meant that he was no. 3; the previous two were the 15th-century Saints Vincent Ferrer and Bernardino of Siena, who sounded the alarm about the church’s first great enemy Martin Luther, precursor of the false prophet. As for the “Co-Prophet” title, Tapley believes his partner to be none other than Daniel of Old Testament. 

Though unwilling to put an exact date on Armageddon, Tapley at least provided an estimate back in 2014: between October 13 and November 29, 2017. We don’t know about any updates, but an indication of what such updates would have involved can perhaps be gleaned from his 2014 response to the fact he had “predicted several events that had to occur 7 years earlier between October 13 and November 29, 2010, including: the fall of Israel, the fall of the Catholic Church, World War 3, and the return of Enoch and Elijah.” His response: These things did happen; you just might not have noticed. 

Among his most notable successes are a 2012 analysis of the infamous Gangnam Style video, which Tapley concluded was a message directly from God about the nature of the Anti-Christ – telling us in particular that the Anti-Christ had a gay relationship with the False Prophet. Let us just say that if this was God’s message, and that was his means of delivering it, we should be seriously concerned about a lot of things. In fact, by applying the same methodology (i.e. free association) Tapley has established that God is sending all kinds of warnings to the world, contained in “music videos, television commercials, even sporting events.”

Before coming up with the Gangnam Style analysis, however, Tapley gained some attention for writing and recording the ditty “Mitt Romney, A Hero In My Mind,” that he hoped would become the Romney campaign theme. (The ditty is, to be honest, probably better described as “anti-Obama” than “pro-Romney”.)

In 2013 Tapley argued that Margaret Thatcher’s death was a warning to Obama. Among the pieces of evidence for that claim is a verse in Daniel that refers to a lion but Tapley claims is really talking about a lioness and is therefore Thatcher – and if you wonder why the Bible talked about a lion and not a lioness, Tapley has the answer: it is because “she comes up out of the sea.” The purported explanation is rather telling at least in some ways. He also produced a response to Obama’s speech to Planned Parenthood in which he mostly lied about abortion rights but also claimed that the speech was proof that Obama is possessed by demons. Other things argued by Tapley include the claim that Prince’s death is a fulfillment of prophecy; Tapley compared him to Jesus, who you should remember (if you doubted his claim), was the Prince of Peace.

Last, but not least, Tapley is probably one of the most colorful proponents of the Denver airport conspiracy, which is already one of the more fascinating conspiracy theories out there. Tapley’s version is predictably concerned mostly with hidden and at the same time prominently displayed Satanism, but his take raised to some notability after being featured by Stephen Colbert. In 2011 Tapley also received the honor of becoming the first “three-peat” designee of Anderson Cooper 360’s “RidicuList”; Tapley, on his side, claims that he doesn’t think Cooper actually considers him a joke: “Well, he laughs at me, but I think it’s more of a nervous laughter,” said Tapley.

Diagnosis: Yes, he is belligerently insane. But he is also a happy, content eccentric who enjoys his retirement in an interestingly colorful way. Probably completely harmless.