Friday, January 29, 2021

#2434: Ted Yoho

Theodore Scott Yoho was the U.S. Representative from Florida’s 3rd congressional district from 2013 until his term limit in 2020 (his views on taxes and national debt is a likely reason he kept getting reelected).

Though it is unlikely that he himself actually bought into birther conspiracy theories, he has certainly promoted them, including backing legislation that would support a formal investigation into the matter and saying that he hoped the investigation would bring down the government: “They said if it is true, it’s illegal, he shouldn’t be there and we can get rid of everything he’s [Obama’s] done, and I said I agree with that.” One example of things that could be undone is, of course, Obamacare, which Yoho has denounced as “racist because it taxes tanning beds, which means that if Yoho goes tanning he will be “disenfranchised because I got taxed because of the color of my skin.” His concern over racism is charming indeed. Yoho also believes that the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional. He has also promoted the Bilderberg conspiracy theory.


Expressing skepticism about immigration reform, Yoho – who likes to present himself as some kind of anti-immigrant superhero – claimed that he believes the Hezbollah is smuggling potential terrorists over the Mexican border: “I talked to a guy that works with Hezbollah, they call him the 007 of Hezbollah, they call him and find out he’s brought over 1,500 people here illegally that don’t like us, they want to blow us up,” said Yoho. He didn’t name sources. As for foreign policy, Yoho has argued that we need God on our side in the fight against ISIS; after all, they have their God on their side, so we need a bigger and stronger one; and we certainly need to stop “taking God out of this country”. 


Yoho is opposed to same-sex marriage, ostensibly because marriage is “ordained by God” and shouldn’t be “redefined”. He has consistently voted against anything resembling LGBT rights. Indeed, he has claimed that gay marriage is a distraction pushed by Democrats to deflect attention away from the country’s larger problems. Instead of gay marriage, we should apparently focus on the War on Christmas.


And Yoho is, unsurprisingly, a climate change denialist. Though he admits that he’s “not smart enough” to determine the roots of climate change (true), he can nevertheless rule out the possibility that humans are largely responsible because phenomena like droughts are a natural occurrence and because climate science is “an agenda-driven science” that’s “not right.”


Diagnosis: In many ways your standard crazy-uncle-at-Thanksgiving wingnut figure, and as wingnuts in general, Yoho is heavily pushing conspiracy theories across the board. Congress has plenty of these, but that doesn’t – needless to say – make it any less frightening.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

#2433: Charmaine Yoest

Charmaine Yoest is a writer, political commentator, former president and CEO of the anti-abortion group the Americans United for Life, and a policy analyst and later vice president of the fundamentalist hate group the Family Research Council, as well as senior fellow at Gary Bauer’s organization American Values, a prominent figure in the Council for National Policy and vice president of the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Family, Community. In April 2017, she was also selected by Trump to serve in the United States Department of Health and Human Services as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Public Affairs. She is a major figure, in other words. She is the daughter of Janice Shaw Crouse. 

Yoest’s official position is that the role of government is to “get out of the way” of families, except for families that aren’t organized the way Yoest thinks they should be or do things she doesn’t fancy, such as single parents or gay couples (Yoest is of course a firm opponent of same-sex marriage and “homosexualist activism”), in which case the government should definitely interfere and break them up.

Yoest is perhaps best known, however, as a fervent and frenetic defender of the thoroughly debunked claim that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. Indeed, as head of Americans United for Life Yoest helped develop the strategy for a Texas statute that would put up multiple obstacles to abortion services, precisely in the guise of protections for women’s health, a statute that was promptly struck down by the Supreme Court due to the fact that it relied on patently false claims. Of course, Yoest is often reminded that there is a vast scientific literature, and enormous amounts of data, showing that her proposed link simply isn’t there, but any data that goes against what Yoest already believes can be swiftly dismissed, given that the scientific establishment “is under the control of the abortion lobby.” You’ll look in vain for details about what lobby she could possibly be talking about or explanation of how they control or conceivably could control the scientific establishment. 

She is almost as vigorously opposed to contraception as she is to abortion, and does not hesitate to lie to (attempt to) bolster her case (nor does she hesitate to pretend to be shocked and outraged and cry “oppression” when attention is drawn to the dishonest tactics she and her organizations use to pressure politicians and organizations to do what she wants – calling it “lack of self-awareness” is far, far too charitable). She has claimed for instance that condoms do not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (it does), and asserted that contraception does not reduce the number of abortions, saying that to accept this argument “would be, frankly, carrying water for the other side to allow them to re-define the issue in that way”. 

Of course, abortion opponents like Yoest see enemies everywhere. The media, for instance – in 2013 Americans United for Life was part of a “March on the Media” to protest perceived pro-choice bias in the media. As an example, Yoest claimed that the media displayed a pro-choice bias in its coverage of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, because they referred to the future prince as “the royal baby” rather than “the royal fetus.” It’s downright nefarious, but luckily Yoest is paranoid enough to connect the dots and see the patterns. A similar threat is courts coming to decisions she doesn’t like, something that she, like many wingnuts, calls “judicial activism” and interprets as a personal attack. 

Yoest is apparently willing to engage in whatever levels of whataboutism it takes to defend Trump. For instance, with regard to the “grab them by the pussy” comment, Yoest said that although she didn’t appreciate Trump’s comments, liberals are being hypocrites for criticizing Trump and not “Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who have lyrics that are replete with this kind of vulgarity.” Yes, she actually thought that what people reacted to was the use of naughty words, and that itself is pretty telling.

There are decent Charmaine Yoest resources here and here.

Diagnosis: Hateful, delusional and fundamentally intellectually bankrupt Taliban-style (and even more obviously: Gilead-style) fundie. Yoest, however, is also something of a star on the religious right, and her amount of influence and power is frightening, especially given the boost she got as a result of president Trump’s need to appeal to the religious right.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

#2432: Chao Hsing Yeh

“Tooth fairy science” is a term coined by Harriet Hall to denote clinical trials and studies done on the properties of a phenomenon before it has been established that the phenomenon exists. Of course, the results of such studies are really pure noise, but with a bit of ingenuity and lots of bias and p-hacking, you may still be able to produce outcomes that look like they are statistically significant. Many alternative therapies, and in particular TCM and acupuncture, are subject to massive amounts of tooth fairy science. 


Chao Hsing Yeh may certainly look like a real scientist affiliated with Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and she does ostensibly have training in science. But Yeh is also a significant promoter of pseudoscience, especially auricular point acupuncture (APA), and she buys into all the prescientific, vitalistic nonsense associated with it: Apparently, APA is “based on a concept called the meridian theory. It proposes that how you feel is governed by the flow of energy, or qi, through a network of invisible pathways that connect different organs in the body. Specific points on the ear correspond to specific areas of the brain, and these areas have a reflex connection with specific parts of the body. Stimulating the ear points can signal the brain to prompt reactions in the body to relieve symptoms, such as breast cancer-related pain.” This is pseudotheological gibberish, of course, and neither meridians nor qi have the remotest connection to reality. Nevertheless, Yeh “can always find a point on the ear to deliver treatment” if she tries, and did you know that the magic apparently works in part because the ear represents an “inverted fetus”?


Her 2015 study on APA in breast cancer patients, sadly funded by the American Cancer Society, is anyways a splendid example of tooth fairy science. It is discussed here. And yes, most of the typical trappings of tooth fairy science is there: a tiny sample, vaguely defined protocols (apparently the auricular points are not defined but vary with the whims of the patients and practitioners), an obscure methods sections, and, not the least, there is no evidence of blinding. And that should really tell you everything you need to know, since blinding would be really, really easy to do, and you are really allowed to wonder why the researchers dropped it. And to clinch it: in the results section, Yeh provides percentages supposed to show that the patients who received “genuine” APA experienced improvement, measured in percentages, whereas the control group experienced “moderate improvement” – no, we don’t actually get the specific figures. You can, however, derive them from some complex charts. As expected, it turns out that most of the differences were not statistically significant; a few were borderline significant, but with 18 different measures examined, apparently without corrections being made for multiple comparisons, you have a prime case of p-hacking. In short: this is a negative result. The study provides significant evidence that APA doesn’t work. This is not how Yeh spins the results.


Diagnosis: Not a wild-eyed New Age conspiracy theorist with a homepage and a youtube channel, perhaps, but given her academic affiliations the nonsense pseudoscience pushed by Yeh is all the more disturbing – and nonsensical pseudoscience it is, even if Yeh is able to describe it using scientific terms and something that only superficially looks like real studies.


Hat-tip: Respectful Insolence

Thursday, January 21, 2021

#2431: Matt Wykoff

Matt Wykoff is an internet crank and Catholic extremist who sends emails to people he disagrees with demanding that they shut down their blogs and websites or suffer the wrath of the One True Church. According to Wykoff “[h]eliocentrism is a myth” – even an “evolutionist myth” (no, he doesn’t have a clue: What did you expect?) – and “[s]cience disproved heliocentricism centuries ago and decades ago and continues to do”, whatever that means. Of course, by “science” Wykoff doesn’t mean science: It is, in fact, very unclear what Wykoff means by “science”, given that he refers to all real scientists in quotation marks (sometimes) or as “the pagans” (usually). General relativity, too, is a myth: it says a lot of silly things that “are totally unproven too”; moreover, general relativity is “just a theory”: “That’s why it’s still called the ‘theory’ of general relativity because none of this has been proven. It has been debunked.” Furthermore, science is always changing and thus clearly inferior to Wykoff’s own mind, which is locked in deranged fundie-mode and completely impervious to evidence, reality or reason. If you wish to look at the absolutely abysmally deranged details, you can do so here. This is Time Cube territory. (Remember Time Cube?)


What if you, upon Wykoff issuing his demands, fail to close your blog or website? Well, here is his response to noncompliance: “I hereby declare- your organization to be – – an unlawful assembly. I order all those assembled to immediately disperse. I repeat- to immediately disperse. I order all your activity to immediately cease. I repeat-to immediately cease. It is not in accord with the ordinances of Canon Law [… lots of blather …] you are therefore ordered to discontinue your illegal profession. Failure to do so will result in proactive, responsive, and co-active measures [… more blather …] You may be arrested and or subject to other police action. It has so been declared: It is declared that all non-Catholic government exists in a state of in authenticity. It is thenceforth declared that all modern constitutional states lack canonical legitimacy. It has therefore been thenceforth declared that their existence is an offense to the Divine Majesty and a crime against humanity. The aforesaid Freemasonic corporations are hereby declared anachronical to true human progress. It is decided in order for modern constitutional states to gain authenticity they must recognize the Supreme Jurisdiction of the Papacy and all Papal Dogmas.” You will also risk smiting by God and be burned and so on. Also, “[l]ibertarianism (and the constitution) are simply tyrannical failures and instruments that lead to false flag attacks and government-run pedophilia through their Manual (and Visual) Body-Cavity Searches of Juvenile Hall youth. A Catholic Monarchy simply is the answer to today’s varied and many problems.” So, ok, it’s starting to go downhill from an already impossibly low position. If you have a perverse wish to see how far down Wykoff is prepared to go, here is your chance: “The united states is a kosher certified and privately owned judeophile corporation. It is the Whore of Babylon …” is just the start of one of the most fascinatingly incoherent anti-semitic, birtherist, anti-gay stream-of-consciousness tirades ever to grace the Internet (a high bar).


Here is his irrefutable proof of God and proof that all of science is bunk. A central component is apparently the Shroud of Turin, which “proves that the Majesty and Ineffeble works of God are awe inspiring. There is 3 dimensional information on a 2 dimensional object. This is physically impossible, and is therefore a miracle on the Holy Shroud.” Well, then.


Diagnosis: So it may be a bit mean to include someone like Mike Wykoff in our Encyclopedia, but he really tries his hardest to put himself out there – utterly feebly incompetent attempts, of course, but still.

Monday, January 18, 2021

#2430: Ryan Wyatt

No, we really cannot be bothered to write up an entry on Samuel “Joe the plumber” Wurzelbacher (who is not a plumber and whose name is not “Joe”), despite the profound stupidity, nonsense and many ridiculous conspiracy theories he’s been known to be pushing. 


Ryan Wyatt is at least not quite as boring. Wyatt is pastor of Abiding Glory Church, a staunch dominionist, and a proponent of what he calls “Governmental Dominion.” During a Spiritual Warfare conference at Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries, Wyatt explained the position, calling on his followers to “infiltrate” the “seven mountainsof influence, especially the government mountain, in order to attain “preparatory dominion” for the return of Jesus. Jesus won’t come back, said Wyatt, until God sees that there is a “mature, overcoming bride” who is “operating at the same level” as Jesus (yes, you are allowed to speculate wildly about other aspects of Wyatt’s work and personal life on the basis of his choice of metaphor). When there is such a bride, however, not only will Jesus return, but Christians “will work with Jesus to rule and reign.” In Wyatt’s dreams, “we are to rule, reign, govern, expand, advance and establish the government of God on the earth” since “this is about world domination.” 


He has apparently also written a book, School of the Supernatural: Live the Supernatural Life That God Created You to Live. It does not, contrary to what the title suggest, seem to be a New Age-inspired kids show on the Cartoon Network. Otherwise, Wyatt occasionally goes into trances (“[a] trance is like a Holy Ghost anesthesia”) to receive commands and prophecies.

Diagnosis: It is, admittedly, difficult to separate the literal from the metaphorical when people like this are talking, but there is little doubt that Wyatt is a firm dominionist and a representative of the belligerent arm of the American Taliban. Not a central figure, perhaps, but worth watching.

Friday, January 15, 2021

#2429: Jack Wu

Jack Wu is a computer programmer, religious fundamentalist and young-earth creationist, and a 2012 candidate for the Kansas Board of Education. Wu’s stated reason for running was that Kansas is “perverse” and that public schools were preparing students to be “liars, crooks, thieves, murderers, and perverts.” Part of the means for achieving those outcomes, according to Wu, is the fact that schools teach evolution. Opposition to teaching evolution was accordingly the centerpiece of Wu’s campaign. According to Wu, evolution is “Satanic lies”. In his own words: “My mission, in running for the Kansas State Board of Education, is to throw out the crap that teachers are feeding their students and replace it with healthy good for the soul knowledge from the holy scriptures. Let’s be specific. Evolution should never be taught in public schools as science. Evolution is false science! God made the heaven and the earth and created humans from the dust of the earth! The very bad teachers that teach that men descended from apes via evolution need to have their teaching licenses revoked. Yes, students should be taught that God created everything.” Removing the teaching of evolution from the schools can ostensibly be defended on secular grounds, too: “Evolution is like a deadly and vile disease, so it would be a cost-saving measure to get rid of the disease spreaders.” (Do notice that Wu talks about getting rid of the disease spreaders, not just the disease.)


Even though this is Kansas, Wu didn’t win. An important reason for that was probably Wu’s affiliation with Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church, which is internationally famous for picketing funerals with deranged anti-gay slogans and proclaiming that American soldiers’ deaths are God’s punishment for the tolerance of homosexuality in the US – Wu apparently attended such picketings, even listing it as his “community involvement” experience in the voter’s guide. Indeed, Wu moved to Kansas from California precisely to attend the church.


During his campaign, Wu also asserted that Topeka is evil, that Harry Potter promotes witchcraft, that Christmas trees are pagan idols, and that cancer is a judgment from God. Wu also lambasted then-governor Sam Brownback for being “a vile Catholic”, and showed himself to be proudly stupid and inept in general.


Apparently, Wu was too extreme even for creationist organizations like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research.


Diagnosis: A genuine, wannabe comic book villain. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for the rest of us, he is as feeble, inept and incompetent as he is vile and wicked.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

#2428: Bob Wright

Robert Charles Wright is a lawyer, former NBC executive (CEO from 1986 to 2001 and chairman and CEO from 2001 until 2007) and previous CEO of a number of companies. He is also, with his wife Suzanne, the founder of Autism Speaks, as well as a number of other organizations and initiatives – Wright is, in short, a pretty powerful figure, and because he’s got lots of money, he has received numerous awards from various organizations and institutions (wealthy people tend to give each other such awards). He also enjoys significant power over a number of politicians.

Though Autism Speaks has generally toned down its initial anti-vaccine bullshit, anti-vaccine conspiracy mongerang used to be a core tenet, and the organization has never really distanced itself from the promotion of dangerous “cures”, like chelation therapy. Wright’s own grandson is autistic, and the mother, Katie Wright, claimed that he recovered significant function after chelation treatments to remove mercury, which was never the cause for anything (the “recovery” referred to nothing more than expected developments over time). It is worth pointing out that Wright in fact founded Autism Speaks as a response to his grandson’s diagnosis, and that Katie Wright was from the beginning convinced that vaccines were to blame, which they demonstrably weren’t. Bob’s unwillingness to commit either way is also reflected in the organization’s recommendations; when a science officer stated on the website that “vaccines do not cause autism”, it was quickly deleted and replaced with Wright’s statement that scientific research has not “directly connected autism to vaccines” and that “efforts must be continually made to educate parents about vaccine safety” (a dog whistle if there ever was one).


Wright was also one of several representatives for the quackery side of things called to testify before a Congressional hearing on the non-existent “autism epidemic” in 2012 arranged by Congress’s then-resident antivaxx champion Dan Burton. During his testimony, Wright admitted that given that his daughter was antivaccine, suggesting that they had no choice but to pursue that idea when Autism Speaks was formed, although he wouldn’t himself assert that vaccines were to blame. (He also unwittingly contradicted the claimthat there is, indeed, an autism epidemic).


Diagnosis: Whether Wright is or ever was strictly anti-vaccine might be hard to determine, but he and his organization have certainly lent credence to that false and dangerous idea, and Wright is to blame – artificially keeping the idea as a live option and giving it a powerful push, regardless of personal reasons for doing so, makes you a loon. Villains are villains even if their villainry is a response to the villainous attitudes of their offspring. Bob Wright is a powerful and influential villain.

Monday, January 11, 2021

#2427: Charles Worley

Conversion therapy, in addition to being useless, harmful, abusive nonsense, requires time and effort, so if you really wanted to get rid of homosexuals from society you might consider quicker fixes. Like the suggestion put on the table by Charles Worley, a fundamentalist King James Only pastor and current head of Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina.


In a 2012 sermon, Worley argued that a solution to the “problem” of homosexuals would be to have the entire American gay community interred in a giant “pen with an electrified fence”, so they couldn't escape and reproduce and would thus would eventually all starve and die out. (Yes, there are some details there that don’t add up even if you were a committed Nazi and fine with the means.) Unfortunately, Worley said, he couldn’t get the law past Congress, because America is currently [2012] being led by a “baby killing homosexual lover”. So as a compromise solution, he suggested that the next gay child to be born should be the first person to be interred in such camps. He did not expand upon what means he would employ to determine that the baby was, indeed, gay. Also, anyone who isn’t completely opposed to homosexuality and willing to use any means necessary to vanquish it, is a fool, because God. In fact, Worley also tried to make a secular case forhis suggestion, too: “It makes me pukin’ sick to think about – I don’t even whether or not to say this in the pulpit – can you imagine kissing some man?” (and yes, he sounds exactly like you’d expect him to sound).


After Worley’s suggestion received some attention, some among Worley’s flock actually defended him by effectively trying to claim that the vile bigot here isn’t Worley, but God. One Geneva Sims, for instance, pointed out that “[Worley] had every right to say what he said about putting them in a pen and giving them food. The Bible says they are worthy of death. He is preaching God’s word.” Meanwhile, one Stacey Pritchard pointed out that “sometimes you’ve got to be scared straight. He is trying to save those people from Hell,” and that Worley’s message wasn’t one of hate but of tough love. This is very obviously very incorrect. Worley also received support by people outside his church, like Billy Ball, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Primrose, Georgia, and Brad “sodomites are vile, unnatural, and worthy of death” Cheatham.

Diagnosis: A useful model for the stereotype hateful, inbred, stupid, bigoted, fundie redneck in any comedy show (he wouldn’t be believeable enough for anything more realistic). Apparently he has some followers in NC and Georgia, too, though his ideas are unlikely to reach very far.

Friday, January 8, 2021

#2426: Frosty Wooldridge

Frosty Wooldridge is an experienced anti-immigrant activist and advisory board member of the group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), whose bigotry and hate reflect an impressive depth of delusion. According to Wooldridge, Muslims and immigrants are to blame for Detroit’s decline into bankruptcy (“descen[t] into the abyss of crime, debauchery, […] and human depravity”) in the early 2010s: Firstly, “unlawful Mexicans moved in at a torrid pace”, converging “on the city for free government handouts.” Worse, though, Muslims are making “the city like a new American Baghdad” (there are some clues that Wooldridge might be confusing Detroit and Dearborn, but whatever: it’s all Michigan, and blame for Detroit’s decline must be assigned), “creating a beachhead for Islamic hegemony in America” and turning Detroit into a new breeding ground for Islamic terrorist. Wooldridge also promotes the false claim that Shariah Law is “creeping into American society, of course.

And just in case you don’t realize the depth of the problem, Wooldridge is ready to remind us thatendless legal and illegal immigration of third world people and their cultures and religions” is a far greater threat to America than the coronavirus. Accordingly, he has called on Congress to “shutdown all immigration immediately” in order to keep Muslims out of America: “Once in control of any country, Muslims destroy any artifact that fails to honor Allah. That means: everything. Then, they install Sharia Law, the most barbaric practices under the sun against women, children, animals, free speech, free thought and anything rational.”


Fortunately, he is not a racist. He even has an idea for how to address the issue of racism:Why not separate the races in America? He would also like to remind black people that “slavery built the pyramids, Great Wall, Carthage, Rome and other big empires. The one thing that African-Americans can at least appreciate: over 500,000 white Union soldiers gave up their lives to end slavery.”


In 2004 Wooldridge collected many of his ideas in a book, Immigration’s Unarmed Invasion: Deadly Consequences, including his ideas about immigrants’ “disease jihad”: If you go to Wal-Mart, or the movies, “you’re breathing air that may be carrying hepatitis,” and that’s just the top of the iceberg consisting of tuberculosis, head lice and more. And thanks to donations from illegals, blood supplies may be contaminated with a deadly parasite that will destroy your heart. One suspects that Wooldridge has never donated blood. Not scared yet? Think about the sanitary habits of “barbaric” immigrants, like Somalis, who have “never used a toilet or washed their hands before being plunked down in America,” or Mexicans, who “do not wash their hands after using bathroom facilities.”


Diagnosis: Yes, it’s the person on whom that stereotype uncle at the Thanksgiving dinner seems to be based. Lunatic, though probably (hopefully) pretty fringe still.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

#2425: Patrick Wooden

Patrick Wooden is a North Carolina pastor and anti-gay activist who is somewhat disconcertingly obsessed with anal sex and graphic descriptions of anal sex. His contributions have been promoted by the National Organization for Marriage and, in particular, Peter LaBarbera. Wooden, one of the chief organizers for the North Carolina amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the early 2010s and far from a fringe figure in North Carolina political circles, maintains that homosexuality is a “wicked, deviant, immoral, self-destructive, anti-human sexual behavior” that would “most certainly mean the extinction of the human race”.

And of course, given how minds like Wooden’s work, there are conspiracies. The medical community, for instance, is, according to Wooden, suppressing the truth about the medical problems homosexuality leads to, since the truth would otherwise make people “gag and no one would want to be in a lifestyle like that;” for example, according to Wooden, by the time gay men reach middle age they “have to wear a diaper or a butt plug just to be able to contain their bowels” because of “what happens to the male anus.” Gay men, according to Wooden, regularly shove objects such as cellphones, baseball bats and animals up their anuses – one might wonder how he gets his ideas – and he has claimed that he personally knows a gay person who “literally died in diapers”. According to Wooden, anal obsession is “the very basis of homosexuality”, which is a rather noteworthy claim coming from him, given his obsession with anal sex.


Here is Wooden’s first stab at a criticism of Obama’s statement in support of marriage equality. He has also tried to argue (well: claim) that Obama’s support for gay rights is hurting black families, since parents would have to explain to their kids why the president supports things he they don’t like – and haven’t black people suffered enough already without having to do that? It was particularly hurtful to Wooden that the Democratic Party platform “actively supports evil” by endorsing same-sex marriage (“the greatest oxymoron that I know”) and that supporters of same-sex marriage were embarking on such “an evil endeavorback in 2012, since it’s not like he could have voted for Romney in the 2012 election either, given that Romney is a “a bishop in a cult”. Here is Wooden fuming over the fact that Pete Buttigieg was allowed to speak in a church in 2019, and here is Wooden more recently attacking Kamala Harris for “trying to turn America into Sodom and Gomorrah” since she officiated same-sex weddings while serving as California’s attorney general.


Addressing bullying of (and suicide rates among) LGBT people, Wooden says that instead of showing more tolerance, the families of such people should have “whoopedthem and that it isnormal” for men to react violently to a gay man they perceived to be flirting with them. Of course, Wooden hastens to add that there is “no bigotry against gays and lesbians in his or his followers’ efforts, so you better believe him.


Meanwhile, the entertainment industry is doing its worst to ruin America –guided and led as it is by none other than Satan himself. The show Glee, for instance, was satanic for trying to portray homosexuality not as a “wicked, perverse lifestyle that destroys people” but instead as “two clean cute little boys holding hands acting like two little effeminates.” And in Wooden’s imagination, “Satan has used Tyler Perry’s character Madea” and Martin Lawrence’s character Big Momma to promote “perversion” among African Americans.


Here is Wooden and LaBarbera discussing transgender issues and Chaz Bono, whom Wooden asserts is under “the influence of the Devil, demon spirits [and] spirits of perversion.”


Diagnosis: His bigotry, hate, obsession with anal sex and positive view of violence is the stuff of cartoon villains. But Wooden actually does seem to have a bit of a sympathetic audience and is not without political pull. Staggering.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

#2424: Lin Wood

The aftermath of the 2020 election has brought to light a significant number of frighteningly deranged, paranoid conspiracy theories in positions of authority and genuine influence, and several otherwise familiar characters have revealed themselves as the unhinged dingbats they probably were all along. Lin Wood, for instance. Lucian Lincoln “Lin” Wood Jr. is an Atlanta-based attorney, until recently most famous for once representing Richard Jewell, the security guard falsely accused in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996, and the parents of JonBenet Ramsey. More recently, Wood has been retained to represent Dr. Simone Gold, the founder of America’s Frontline Doctors who was fired for a video making false claims and pushing groundless conspiracy theories about COVID-19, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Kyle Rittenhouse. Which is fine. Everyone deserves legal counsel.


But in November 2020, Wood also filed a lawsuit in Georgia challenging the state’s process for voiding absentee ballots due to a lack of matching signatures. The lawsuit failed after the (Trump-appointed) judge found “no basis in fact or in law” to stop Georgia's certification of its election results at such a late stage, and that Wood had no legal standing to bring the lawsuit. Wood is a serious conspiracy theorist, however, and failing in court shows to him, at best, that the conspiracy runs deeper than he initially imagined. Wood accordingly continues to assert that Biden’s victory is a result of fraud, and even that Trump won the presidential election with 70% of the vote, a claim based on the default go-to source for this kind of people. In response to imagined election fraud (“Joe Biden has intentionally & fraudulently claimed status as President-Elect,” tweeted Wood; “IGNORE Biden shadow government”), Wood encouraged Trump supporters to do what “our Founding Fathers did in 1776”. Also during the weeks prior to the election, Wood tweeted repeatedly that he worried that Democrats planned to stage a coup to take the White House. Then he blamed Soros. But of course.


Wood also asserted – in court – that more votes were cast in Michigan during the election than there are eligible voters in the state, a conclusion drawn from a mistaken comparison of the Michigan vote total with Minnesota population data. Indeed, according to Wood – who has endorsed calls for Trump to declare martial law – Trump won the election with more than 410 Electoral College votes. Trump “damn near won every state, including California” ­­– “I’ve looked at the real numbers,” Wood told a crowd of deranged conspiracy theorists in Georgia December 2020. And who’s behind stealing the election from Trump? None other than the Chinese government: “China’s making its move ‘cause they need our land to grow their food,” and any Republican official who has suggested that Biden won the election, which of course he did, such as Georgia governor Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, are “criminals” who have taken money from China, is part of the plot and should (and probably are going to) be thrown in jail.


Indeed, according to Wood, while everyone is focusing on blaming Bill Clinton, Soros, the CIA and other globalists for stealing the election, they are overlooking one crucial group of culprits: “THE REPUBLICANS”. The Republicans, including in particular Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell, “aspire to the goals of Communism,” and the ringleaders are awaiting imminent arrest. In a string of fact-free January 2021 tweets, Wood predicted that Mike Pompeo would “save the election” and have Pence jailed for treason and face execution by firing squad; since Pence is a “coward”, he would quickly start to “sing like a bird”. Wood did not attempt to explain what, exactly, would make Pence guilty of treason.


It is worth mentioning that Wood is in some legal trouble himself, based on his behavior toward former colleagues, whom Wood would (allegedly) email at odd hours to assert that he was behaving according to God’s will and would therefore not pay them in incoherent texts laden with profanities because “God has given me permission to be profane in this email.” It’s worth reading some excerpts. Apparently Wood’s anger stemmed in part from fear that his colleagues would interfere with “his imminent receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and appointment as Chief Justice of United States Supreme Court,” something he was ostensibly on track to achieving based on “1) a decade-plus old ‘prophecy’ [he] heard in a YouTube video, and (2) a conspiracy theory that Chief Justice Roberts would be revealed to be part of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring and was being blackmailed by liberals to rule in their favor.” In response to allegations, Wood stated that it “is my understanding and belief that the term conspiracy theorist was developed by the CIA in the 1950’s to demean individuals who were reviewing facts and reaching logical conclusions.” Or, in short, the idea that conspiracy theories exist is a CIA-instigated conspiracy.


Most recently, Wood has been pushing Covid-19 conspiracy theories and antivaccine misinformation. For instance, according to Wood, “Moderna is Gates vaccine [it isn’t remotely tied to Gates]. Gates urges depopulation theory (smaller servant class ruled by & service elites). 1+1=2. I will NEVER take Moderna or ANY Gates vaccine. I will rely on immune system created by God.” He has also gone full out, unfiltered Qanon, suggesting that the US is secretly run by a cabal of pedophile Democratic elites, including (again) Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, whom Wood accused of being “a member of any club or cabal requiring minor children as initiation fee” and of being behind former justice Scalia’s death; moreover, claimed Wood, Roberts may have been closely involved with Jeffrey Epstein, having “arranged an illegal adoption of two young children from Wales through Jeffrey Epstein,” and might have had him killed – Wood allegedly has this information “from a reliable source.


Diagnosis: Complete and utter mindrot, unhinged conspiracy theories and paranoid, utterly fact-free allegations. It is accordingly not entirely unlikely that he will receive that Presidential Medal of Freedom from someone ready to believe anything he would like to be true and the people whose mouths it falls out of.


Hat-tip: MotherJones