A.k.a. Russell Pine (real name)
Jordan Maxwell is a grand old man of American conspiracy theory, crackpottery and nonsense. His work is largely responsible for the nonsense peddled in the incoherent, made-for-the-Internet “documentary” Zeitgeist, and he has apparently been an important influence on David Icke: Maxwell has long claimed that the world is secretly run by lizards from another dimension. He was also, for a while, editor of the Truth Seeker Magazine, has produced “documentaries” for CBS, and – of course – hosted his own radio show. Maxwell considers himself the world’s leading expert in the occult, based on his powers of imagination and inability to comprehend the significance of aligning one’s belief with reality. He is accordingly notable for having pushed more or less any conspiracy theory or branch of pseudoscientific nonsense you could think of, from ancient aliens and the claim that there is a star-gate in Iraq that teleports people to a military base on Mars, to 9/11 conspiracies.
A main strain of Maxwell’s, uh, thought is astro-theology, an astrological reinterpretation of theology according to which religious doctrines are based on astronomical events. He is also notable for pushing the (rather popular) idea that Christianity is really a variant of the cult of Horus, a conclusion reached by focusing on some similarities and disregarding the vast number of dissimilarities. Maxwell is known to rant for hours about these issues, backed up with a couple of Bible quotes and perceived connections between various events and his presuppositions. Maxwell, however, has little actual knowledge of ancient cultures and belief systems, which is an advantage since it means that there will be fewer facts available to him that would constrain his interpretations.
Much of his work is (in the grand tradition of the insane rantings unfettered by reality or accountability starting with Isidore of Seville) based on drawing ridiculous conclusions about the world based on often imagined etymological connections and similarities in names and expressions. Of course, Maxwell arguably knows even less, if possible, about linguistics than about history, and the technique he applies is the one commonly known as paleo-babble. Some examples of Maxwell’s paleobabble are discussed here. One example: According to Maxwell, “[m]agic wands were always made out of the wood of a Holly tree. It’s made out of Holly wood. Hollywood is a Druidic establishment and the symbols, the words, the terms, the stories, are designed. Think about it. Think about how Hollywood does what they do. I’m not saying they’re evil, I’m just explaining how Hollywood works.” Calling for readers to think for themselves is an effective trick given the critical reasoning abilities required to listen to Maxwell in the first place. Of course, druidic cultures using magic sticks didn’t in fact make these sticks of holly. Bah. Details.
From his website you can currently purchase a set of 28 DVDs containing “the entire works of Jordan Maxwell” for the neat price of $ 570.
Of course, like so many conspiracy theorists of his ilk, Maxwell is himself the target of numerous deranged conspiracy theories (an example), and is often accused of being a tool for the New World Order.
Diagnosis: Utterly ridiculous, of course, yet Maxwell’s influence on contemporary conspiracy theories is significant – he’s been through them all, using techniques and assertions unconstrained by truth, evidence or rules for rational inference.