|Santilli in his Bundy wildlife reserve|
Pete Santilli is an unhinged Internet ranter whose self-appointed role seems to be to (unsuccessfully) make Alex Jones look reasonable. His broadcasts have trawled through conspiracy theories on everything from 9/11 (“the World Trade Center towers were turned to dust in mid air by a very powerful energy source”) to pizzagate to Sandy Hook, and though he used to have a relatively limited audience (he was “ready to take my show to national syndication”, but had doubts that “the FCC regulated AM/FM radio stations can handle my truth & honesty”), he began gaining traction around 2013 when Ted Nugent and Larry Pratt started to frequent his show; Pratt, for instance, worked with Santilli to develop his theory that President Obama was raising a private army to overpower the U.S. military. Meanwhile, Santilli would violently call for having the entire Bush family and President Obama “tried, convicted and shot” for “treason” (apparently the trial and conviction parts are really optional); H.W. Bush would also be found guilty for his “involvement with his cronies in the John F. Kennedy assassination” and Obama for “moving drugs through the CIA out of Afghanistan”. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, should be “tried, convicted and shot in the vagina.” Yes, Santilli is that kind of person. He went on to describe in detail how he personally wanted to “pull the trigger” on Clinton (he referred to her with a sexual slur) and watch her slowly die, the rationale being apparently revenge for what Santilli believes to be faking the SEAL Team Six’s Bin Laden raid. Even Secret Service apparently took note of that rant.
Later in 2013, in his capacity as spokesman for Truckers Ride for the Constitution, he argued that violence against the government would be justified if his group’s plan to jam the Capital Beltway that surrounds Washington, D.C. and ask members of Congress to resign, failed. Originally, Santilli and organizer Zeeda Andrews called for the arrest of in particular Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but Santilli later backpedaled a little, denied that any arrestation attempts would be made but expressed hope that the senators would “voluntarily resign” as a result of the protest – before going on his radio show to threaten with a “bloody battle” against government if the protest failed, and saying that opponents of the government would have been “justified” in using violence. The event turned out to be somewhat disorganized, partially as a result of infighting over logistics and aims. At that point, Santilli also said that raising the debt ceiling would amount to “financial terrorism” and “an act of terroristic war upon the American people” to which his followers – Santilli explicitly called on the three-percenters – would be justified to “respond violently with the Second Amendment”. He also complained that the government wants to “take my guns away” in order to arm Al Qaeda. And in 2014 he explicitly called for a military coup to “restore the republic” from a state of affairs that mostly seems to exist in his own deranged imagination.
Santilli is probably most famous, however, for taking part in and even figuring as a spokesman or at least live-broadcasting as a sympathetic reporter – at least Fox News acknowledged him as a spokesman – for the occupation of a federal wildlife reserve in Oregon led by Ammon Bundy in 2016, which also led to his arrest. (We wish to emphasize that we are somewhat dismayed by the fact that he was arrested for it, though.) It was not his first Bundy stunt: Santilli participated in the Cliven Bundy standoff, too, where he declared that he was prepared to fight to the death with federal agents who were trying to round up cattle that were illegally grazing on public lands – or last, to initiate deranged attempts at activism; “every individual right now needs to stop watching the decimation of our Constitution, the destruction of our country by that freaking NDAA [sic] basketball-dribbling, freaking Muslim Brotherhood bastard,” he said, referring to Obama in connection with the border security policies he was protesting with his “Cinco de Julio” campaign. (He also denounced wingnut hero Joe Arpaio after Arpaio referred to Mexican migrants as “illegal Hispanics”; according to Santilli, that is a diversion created to conceal the truth, that asylum-seeking Muslims are flooding the border to harm America; “there are Arabs coming over the border,” said Santilli: “I personally saw them.” We don’t doubt that Santilli sees lots of things). In more recent years Santilli’s antics seem to have made his popularity in wingnut circles surge.
Santilli is not a fan of gay rights either. In an interview with James David Manning, Santilli pointed out that “when we oppose the sodomites, this is not just a battle between the heterosexuals and the homosexuals, this is a battle between good and evil, a battle between God and Satan himself.”
Santilli’s website promotes Judy Wood’s book Where Did The Towers Go? Evidence Of Directed Free-Energy Technology On 9/11, which argues that the Twin Towers were felled by an energy weapon on. Santilli gives the book his personal “100% satisfaction guarantee” and offers a refund if you “do not believe this is the most important book of our lifetime,” though he admits that the evidence that a “free energy technology” was involved in the 9/11-attacks may be “too much for the un-awakened mind”. His website also details the existence of a New World Order controlling the world from “behind the curtain”. “We’ve all been under a PSY-OP (psychological warfare operation) since 9-11,” says Santilli, though we are reluctant to go along further than to establish that there is indeed something off with Santilli’s psychological dynamics. And apparently Glenn Beck, who wrote an entire book detailing how Agenda 21 was a conspiracy to take over the US, is an agent for Agenda 21.
Diagnosis: As Ed Brayton (more or less) puts it, Pete Santilli stands to Michael Savage roughly as Michael Savage stands to Al Sharpton. Rabidly insane monster with ragingly violent delusion.