Saturday, October 4, 2014

#1170: Frank Porter Stansberry

Oh, yes, The End. We have covered the lunatic fundies of Rapture Ready rather extensively. Frank Porter Stansberry is not one of them; but Stansberry is a financial publisher, author and founder of Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, as well as the guy behind a viral 2011 video called “End of America”, the theme of which is precisely as silly as the medieval theological ruminations of Harold Camping, even though it (arguably) avoids overt appeals to supernatural elements in its endtime predictions.

Stansberry’s brand of (lack of) reasoning has, predictably, endeared him to a certain type of people, and he has made appearances on Alex Jones’s InfoWars as well as frequent contributions to the WND. At the latter site he claims, for instance, that Obama will violate the 22nd Amendment and win the 2016 election. How? Because mystical “forces” backing Obama will unleash an economic boom the likes of which we’ve never seen, making millions of Americans much wealthier and improve the standard of living for everyone in the country (despite his claim that we are also headed for a big crash), thereby making “an idol” of President Obama and allow him to “redraw the rules that govern the presidency” to seek “unlimited power” and become “a tyrant unlike any other in American history.” Yup, coherence is a commie conspiracy. And there are people who actually listen to him. He also uses slurs to describe homosexuals, but that’s apparently ok since he’s got lots of gay friends.

Stansberry is most famous, however, for his “financial advice” (covered in some more extent here), which is the type of advice that got him in legal trouble, in 2003, for a “scheme to defraud public investors by disseminating false information in several Internet newsletters.” In 2007, he and his investment firm were ordered by a U.S. District Court to pay $1.5 million in restitution and civil penalties (the court rejected Stansberry’s 1st Amendment defense; the Amendment does not protect deliberate lying for commercial gain).

Diagnosis: All the subtlety and integrity of a spambot. Yet despite Stansberry’s impressive lack of connection to reality and truth, he’s got (it seems) something of a fanbase.

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