When people concoct wild conspiracy theories, usually no one is truly hurt. Sure, there may be those individuals who are sucked in by the false narrative. But these unrealistic conspiracies don’t have to be believed. It’s the decision of the person who believes what’s being told to them.
Logic might assume this theory would apply to people who claim to have been harmed by such tall tales. Conspiracy theorists probably don’t expect to be ordered to pay damages if their claims turn out to be a pack of lies. Don’t tell that to Alex Jones.
Alex Jones used a terrible tragedy as the backdrop for his conspiracy. Jones insisted that the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School were staged. He said that the government hired actors to play the families of the victims and the administrators at the school.
Jones claims the whole hoax was designed to give the government a reason to confiscate guns from every American citizen. He thought that the faked shooting of innocent young school children would be enough to trigger legislators to repeal the Second Amendment.
Most people appreciate that this was, at best, a farfetched fantasy. Sure, the liberal left wants to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens. It’s a terrible idea with huge consequences that the elite left will not acknowledge.
You see, they’ll keep their armed body guards while the masses are left to fend for themselves. But Jones’s notion that Sandy Hook was a fabricated, governmental cover-up was simply too far outside reality to be believed. But was he liable for spreading his concocted story?
Some argued that in a democracy where free speech is a core value, Jones could say whatever he wanted. However, multiple U.S. courts have ruled otherwise. Two separate juries in Texas and Connecticut have determined that the conspiracy irretrievably damaged the victims.
The Texas jury ordered Jones to pay the victims of the eight families $4.1 million in compensatory damages and $45.2 million in punitive damages. This total amount was reduced by a Texas state law, which places a cap on maximum damage awards.
Subsequently, the Connecticut jury awarded these same eight families another $950 million in damages. That brings Mr. Jones’s total obligation for his fantastic tale to over $1 billion. Since the shooting, Jones has continued to claim it was a hoax.
The families of the victims argued that the conspiracy led to harassment against them. They insisted that Jones’s perpetrated hoax unnecessarily exacerbated the anguish over tragically losing their children. The family’s lawsuits against Jones started in 2018.
They hired a team of lawyers to take action against Jones and Free Speech Systems. Free Speech Systems is the parent company of Jones’s conspiracy organization, Infowars. Christopher Mattei was on the family’s legal team. Mattei argued, “It’s exactly what Alex Jones set himself up to do.”
“That’s what he built. He built a lie machine that could push this stuff out. You reap what you sow.” Like many Americans who realize that the shootings were a tragic reality; there is little sympathy for Jones. When the lawsuits started, Jones reportedly admitted that the shooting really did happen.
But it was too late. He failed to comply with court orders during the discovery process. This second judgment makes it clear that free speech is fine, unless you purposefully slander the names of dead children. In a sense, Alex Jones really did reap what he sowed.